Fallen Arches
Season 3, Episode 1A
Episode name pun on: The disease of the same name
Fallen Arches hero
Airdate: July 28, 2000
Director: John McIntyre and Craig McCracken
Story: Dave Smith
Writer(s): Don Shank
See also
"Slumbering with the Enemy"
"The Mane Event"
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Fallen Arches is the 1st half of the first episode of season three of the Powerpuff Girls. It aired on July 28th, 2000.


In this episode, a trio of old villains called the Ministry of Pain return. The girls intend to fight them, but Blossom claims that fighting their elders is the wrong way to approach the situation. She finds a possible scenario: recruit the former heroes who defeated the trio in the past. Too bad they can't agree with each other, and a painful scuffle ensues.


This episode starts with the Narrator's famous line: "The city of Townsville..." instead is being delivered by Townsville news anchor Stanley Whitfield. He reports that the city of Townsville has once again avoided certain destruction, thanks to the efforts of the Powerpuff Girls. Watching the unfolding story is an elderly resident of Pokey Folks who is furious and tired of the Girls' constant heroic exploits. We see that the man is a former supervillain who now wishes to resume his life of crime and to put the Powerpuff Girls back in their place. Donning his former outfit, he approaches two of his old friends the next morning at the home to recruit them back into a life of crime.

Later that same afternoon, the Powerpuff Girls receive a call through the phone as there is a bank robbery in progress. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup head out to the bank, but when they arrive Blossom is surprised to find that the robbers were actually three elderly men. The three elderly men introduce themselves to the Girls: They are Mastermind, the leader, Cohort, and Counterpart, the three leading members of the Ministry of Pain, a once-feared supervillain team from many years ago. Mastermind claims that they have come out of retirement to continue their reign of evil, and will not be intimidated by three little girls. When Buttercup and Bubbles hear this they become irritated and tries to confront Mastermind, but are halted by Blossom who refuses to attack three elderly men, believing that they must always respect their elders. Assured of victory, the Ministry of Pain makes off with all their ill-gotten money, much to the anger of Townsville's residents who blame the Girls for letting them escape.

Later the girls talk to the Mayor and he shows them what the newspapers are publishing about their defeat, but encourage them not to let the media get them down because they are the Powerpuff Girls who can fly, lift heavy objects, and 'laser beam people'. However, when he hears Blossom's explanation to whereas they could not defeat their enemies as Blossom utters their name "The Ministry of Pain" he becomes hysterical and runs to the window screaming "We are Doomed!". Buttercup's and Bubbles' attempts to convince him that the Ministry of Pain is an easy match for them, which he regards as nonsense. Instead, he shows an old video clip featuring the only superheroes to have bested the Ministry of Pain. We see an old superhero duo, Captain Righteous, and his sidekick, Lefty defeat and imprison the Ministry of Pain. When the video is over the girls have already left to find the former duo, leaving the Mayor to continue cowering behind his desk.

We are then introduced to Captain Righteous, who lives in a run-down apartment in the Pokey Folks retirement home. He answers the door to find the Powerpuff Girls, who he refers to as the "pumpkin heads". Upon hearing them refer to him by his former alter-ego, he smiles and welcomes them in, thinking they want his autograph. The Girls explain that the Ministry of Pain has returned and that they need his help to defeat them. Shocked at this news, Captain Righteous vows to rid the city of the former supervillain team, only to become furious when Bubbles asks if Lefty will join him in his fight. He angrily orders the Girls to get out, which they promptly do.

Then we are introduced to Lefty, who lives in comfort in a completely pristine apartment. He welcomes the Girls into his place, where they inform him of the Ministry of Pain's return and ask him if he is able to do battle with them again alongside Captain Righteous. Lefty is ecstatic at the chance to fight alongside his former friend, only to lament that the Captain has come to hate him in the years since their separation. Blossom then claims that the Captain would actually be very happy to fight with him once more, much to the shock of Bubbles and Buttercup. The Girls then return to Captain Righteous, reassuring him that Lefty would in no way interfere with his battle against the Ministry of Pain. Both men accept the offer to save Townsville once more, with Blossom completely self-assured that her plan is foolproof. Bubbles and Buttercup however still aren't so sure that Blossom's plan will work as the two men suit up for their upcoming battle.

The Ministry of Pain is on the loose again as they proceed to rob yet another bank in the city. As they leave with their prize, they are confronted by Captain Righteous, who is tired and weak from flying despite his old age. He tries to stop the Ministry of Pain, who simply file past him before they are stopped by Lefty, who orders the three men to stand down. Captain Righteous is surprised to see Lefty and asks him angrily what he's doing here. A heated argument erupts where Captain Righteous claims that Lefty only wants fame and glory for none of the work, much to Lefty's outrage as he shoots down the Captain's ridiculous claims. The Ministry of Pain then forcefully shoves Lefty out of their way as they make their getaway, causing Lefty to injure his hip. Horrified, Captain Righteous rushes to his old partner's side and the two men finally mend their differences. Lefty urges the Captain to continue the fight without him, but the Captain has a change of heart and realizes he can't do so. Lefty, however, is too badly hurt and faints as the Captain carries out one last attack against the Ministry. Captain Righteous flies himself right at the three men, slamming them and himself all into the ground and leaving them all badly injured. An ambulance arrives on the scene and all five men are rushed to the hospital.

Fallen Arches end

Her plan having backfired completely, Bubbles and Buttercup glare at Blossom for not letting them fight the Ministry of Pain themselves and her irrational reason for it.

Later that night, Stanley Whitfield reports on the incident and it's revealed that the five men are not in critical condition and are expected to pull through. However, he chastises the Girls for their failure to stop the Ministry of Pain when they had the chance, as Bubbles and Buttercup furiously glare at Blossom for her irrational plan. Ashamed, she quickly slides out of sight as Stanley concludes that "perhaps none of this would have happened if the Powerpuff Girls would’ve just saved the day".


Major Roles

Minor Roles


  • This episode received generally mixed to negative reviews, with most of the critics speaking out against Blossom's characterization and decisions throughout the episode.
  • This is one of the only two episodes where Blossom's actions are portrayed as negative, with the other being "A Very Special Blossom"; both episodes close out with Blossom being singled out for her blunder.
  • Despite the villains being elderly, all the Powerpuff Girls could have done was simply arrest them and escort them to jail without hitting them.
  • The Townsville newspapers are Townsville Tribune, Gogle (a reference to Google) and The Sun (which is sold for 50¢).
  • This is one of two episodes not to feature the Narrator. The other is "Documentary".
  • Pokey Folks, the asylum of the city of Townsville is similarly named as Pokey Oaks, the Kindergarten that the Powerpuff Girls attend.
  • Captain Righteous was inspired by Captain America.
  • Lefty is inspired by Bucky & Robin from Batman.
  • In Pokey Folks there is a painting on the wall with three dogs sitting on a table, this can be a reference to famous oil paintings of 1903, Dogs Playing Poker.
  • The "why didn't the chickenpuffs cross the rogues?" is a pun name for the well-known joke "why did the chicken cross the road?".

Production Notes

  • Although this episode premiered in 2000, it was produced in 1999 according to the credits.
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