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< Bought and Scold

(Opening shot: the city skyline in the afternoon.)

Narrator: The city of Townsville! A locale inhabited by some of the most—

(On each of the following adjectives, a shot of a different villain is shown. First up: Mojo Jojo.)

Narrator: —accursed… (Fuzzy Lumkins in his bathtub.) Ill-conditioned… (“Him.”) Infernal… (The Gangrene Gang.) Unprincipled… (The Amoeba Boys.) Spineless… (The tentacled creature from “Bubblevicious.”)Monster-ous… (The Broccoloids.) Distasteful… (Kitty with the Catseye Jewel.) Felonious… (Roach Coach.) Gross… (The Boogie Man.) Dark… (Sedusa'.) Naughty…

(Next up is Quackor, the evil alter ego of Mandark’s lab duck on Dexter’s Laboratory.)

Narrator: Foul… (Abracadaver.) Grave… (The Rowdyruff Boys.) Miscreated… (Princess Morebucks.) …and spoiled lawbreakers to ever break laws!

(Cut back to the skyline.)

Narrator: But fear not, fair city. For enforcing the law of the land—

(A different girl is seen on each of the following three adjectives. First up: Bubbles, with flowers behind her.)

Narrator: —are the pure… (Buttercup, on a blue field with stars.) …the proud… (Blossom, on a field of golden rays of sunlight.) …and the perfect… (All three girls at their school desk, seen against a red background with stars.) …Powerpuff Girls!

(Around them, the scene dissolves to the classroom. Pan toward the front during the next line.)

Ms. Keane: (from o.c.) Okay, class. Let’s get out our workbooks— (She comes into view, leaning back against her desk.) —and turn to page nine.

(Running footsteps are heard outside, and the Gang bursts in through the door. The five troublemakers waste no time in turning the place upside down. Ace knocks a stack of papers out of Ms. Keane’s hands, while Snake scrapes his fingernails down the blackboard and causes great pain to everyone in attendance. Big Billy’s hand reaches across a table in front of several kids and scoops their milk and cookies back into his waiting mouth. Cut to a close-up of a boy flat on his back as a glob of saliva descends toward his face, then pull back to show Grubber sitting on his chest and letting a streamer of drool hover just above him. Little Arturo holds a book open in front of a girl, while Mitch Mitchellson stands behind him. He points to something and the girl leans forward for a closer look, only to have the book slammed shut on her nose.)

Girl: Ow!

(She covers her nose as Mitch laughs at her pain. Arturo joins him after a moment, then hits him in the face with the book. The girls cannot believe the Gang’s brazenness.)

Buttercup: Whoa!

Bubbles: Have the Gangrene Gang lost their minds?

Blossom: I don’t know, but they’re about to lose their heads. Come on! (She charges.)

(Cut to the three of them in flight.)

Blossom: Not—

Bubbles: —so—

Buttercup: —fast—

Girls: —Gangrene Gang!

(Their perspective of the Gang, now gathered around the front desk and not looking too concerned. Ace pulls out a sheet of paper entitled “DECREE” and bearing the official government seal.)

Girls: Wha—?

(Side view of Blossom as she skids to a stop in front of Ace’s outstretched hand. Her sisters are a little late on the brakes; they run into her from behind, grunting from the impact. Blossom leans down and begins to read. We can see four words in big letters at the bottom: “CRIME IS NOW LEGAL!!!” Bubbles pushes the ends of her sister’s hair bow aside to get a better look, and Buttercup reads over her shoulder.)

Blossom: “I hereby decree that from this day forth, all forms of illicit misconduct shall henceforth be deemed permissive and just. Any person or persons found committing such acts shall be given carte blanche to do so as is their will.”

(Her perspective of the last few lines.)

Blossom: “In short, crime is now legal!” (Shade everything but these last four words.) “Signed, the Mayor”?!

(Back to the girls; they have a little trouble believing this as well.)

Buttercup: Whoa!

Bubbles: Has the Mayor lost his mind?

Blossom: I don’t know, but we’d better find out. Come on!

Bubbles: But…the Gangrene Gang!

Blossom: What can we do?

(She struggles with the issue and addresses herself resignedly to the o.c. Ace.)

Blossom: Carry on.

(Pan to Ace, who snaps his fingers at his four colleagues, then along the rest of the room to show them back up to their old tricks. Billy holds two kids upside down by their feet; one of them gets a quick haircut from Snake. A third kid is being used as a roll-on deodorant by Grubber. Stop on him and follow Arturo back up the room as he rides into view on Mary’s back, pulling on her hair as if it were a set of reins.)

(Cut to the girls in flight away from Pokey Oaks Kindergarten.)

Narrator: Now I know the Mayor’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but…

(On the end of this, cut to Townsville Hall as they fly in. The door slams behind them.)

Narrator: …crime legal?!

(Inside, the girls throw open the door to the Mayor’s office.)

Girls: Mayor!

Bubbles: How could you do this?

Blossom: Make crime legal!

Buttercup: What were you thinking?

(The Mayor’s chair is turned around, and his hat is visible above its top edge. On the next line, it slowly rotates.)

Princess: (from “o.c.”) I was thinking of putting— (The chair whips around, showing her in the yellow Powerpuff dress and wearing the hat in place of her crown.) —you ninnies out of business!

Girls: Princess!

Princess: (stepping across desk) That’s Mayor Princess, thank you. And I don’t appreciate you barging into my office!

Buttercup: Your office?! This is the Mayor’s office!

Princess: Not anymore, it isn’t. I—or should I say, Daddy bought it and the whole city for me.

Bubbles: (moving closer to her) The Mayor would never!

Princess: Oh, wouldn’t he?

(The screen flashes white; when it clears, we see the Mayor and Ms. Bellum seated on a couch. Blocks of some sort are piled high behind them. He addresses the camera.)

Mayor: One trillion dollars? Never, I said! Five trillion? No way!

(Pull back to show them in a circular chamber; the blocks are pieces of candy, and other piles in different colors are all around the room. Ms. Bellum has her hand over her face.)

Mayor: But a room full of Turkish Delight… (Close-up of him, reaching toward a loaded end table.) …how could I resist? (He scoops the treats into his mouth.)

(Flash back to the office.)

Princess: Like giving candy to a baby.

Blossom: Princess, I want— (Princess leans over her, furious.)

Princess: You want? You want? What about what I want? I wanted to be a Powerpuff Girl, but no! You wouldn’t let me! So then I wanted to destroy you, but you always defeated me! Well, now, I am in charge. I am the Mayor. Imake the rules. And I say— (pulling out decree) —CRIME IS LEGAL!! (Her perspective of the girls.) And if you try to stop anyone, I will throw you in jail! (This shocks them greatly.)

(Cut to the desk and pull back as the girls float slowly away in defeat.)

Princess: Now get out of my office! (She laughs shrilly after them.) I win, I win, I win, I win, I win, I win! Yeah!

(Cut to a street corner, where the miscreants are having a field day.' One man helps himself to jewels from a shop’s smashed front window; another passes a TV set out of an apartment to his partner. A stolen car rolls through the streets.)

Narrator: Oh, criminy! (The girls float into view; camera follows them.) With crimes not being crimes anymore, whatever are our li’l crime-fighters to do?

(It is total chaos around them as they make their way down the block. Two masked robbers enter a bank and stride cheerfully up to the counter. The taller of the two holds the decree out for the teller to read, while the shorter one holds open a bag for the cash. The teller sadly forks over a load. Inside the prison, a guard scratches his head and reads the copy that his superior is holding out to him. He turns around and unlocks a cell behind him, releasing three inmates. Outside, a steady stream of instantly-rehabilitated members of society pours through the front entrance.)

(Blossom floats past a big thug who has an old woman by the hair. She hands him the money from her purse. A prisoner shows the decree to a man sitting in a convertible, then pulls him out and throws him to the ground. The prisoner jumps behind the wheel and speeds off. Buttercup passes two sailors in an alley; they are using a little fellow for a punching bag. A policeman is relieved of his badge and hat, then of the rest of his uniform parts in very short order. He is left with nothing but his socks and underpants and a hangdog expression.)

(Cut to the exterior of the girls’ house in late afternoon and zoom in. The front door is open; from inside we hear the sound of objects being moved about. Several men carry the living room couch out the door and run away with it. The Professor steps out after them.)

Professor: Hey! This is a private residence, man! (The girls float past him.) Girls, where have you been? (Blossom hands him a sheet of paper.) What’s going on?

(He starts to read—it is a copy of the decree. As he does so, the men run back into the house.)

Professor: “I hereby decree…” (mumbling) “…deemed permissive…” (mumbling) “…in short, crime is—” Mamma mia! (running' into house) Girls!

(Inside, he follows them as they float through the house. The camera moves with them; as they go, several items are carried out behind them.)

Professor: You can’t give up! What about all those villains running free? (to' the thieves) Hey! That really tied the room together! (to' the girls) Oh, what about all the people who are counting on you? (to' a thief taking his chair) Hey! I sit on that! (to' the girls) Girls, what about all of Townsville? (They start 'upstairs; he calls up after them.) What about honor, truth, and morality? Girls… (Overhead view of him.) …WHAT ABOUT OUR HOUSE??

(Pull back on the end of this last to show him standing in a completely empty living room. Cut to Princess as she throws open a set of imposing double doors; she is in a dressing gown, with her hair bundled under two cloth caps. Pull back quickly to show her standing at one end of an ornately decorated marble gallery complete with fountains. She starts into this room; close-up of her as she proceeds down the way, now in a long hallway with antique vases and furniture lining both sides. The camera follows her, highlighting every bit of petulance ingrained in her face. From here, she moves into a ballroom whose ceiling positively drips with crystal chandeliers, then to a garage with a dozen luxury cars lined up along the central path she follows. Finally she arrives in the trophy room—this whole sequence is set at her home—where her father sits in his armchair by a roaring fire. As usual, his face is not seen. She stops in front of him—nearly twenty seconds have elapsed since she was first seen at the entrance to the marble gallery. Another moment passes before she speaks to him.)

Princess: I’M READY FOR BED NOW!! (The room shakes with the force of her yell.)

(Side view of the two as they walk back down the hallway.' The camera follows. Now she has become almost giddy with happiness and gratitude.)

Princess: Oh…thank you, thank you for buying me Townsville, Daddy. I know you think I’m too little to own my own city, but don’t worry. I won’t let you down!

(Cut to her bedroom—huge canopy bed up on a dais, carousel horses all around, floor-to-ceiling windows, everything you might expect a spoiled brat heiress to have at her disposal. Daddy dearest is tucking her in; his face is hidden by the folds of the canopy.)

Princess: I’ll be the best little capitalist piglet Princess you’ve ever had.  Good night, Daddy. (He hands her a stack of cash.) I love you too, Daddy. (She closes her eyes and snuggles with it; he steps away and the lights go out.)

(Cut to the girls under their blanket, but not in bed. Blossom and Bubbles are crying, while Buttercup looks ready to either follow suit or go postal.)

Blossom: This is awful! Princess’ new law makes us the bad guys!

Bubbles: I’m not a bad girl. I’m a good girl, right?

Buttercup: Good guys, bad guys, it doesn’t even matter! Princess won!

(Pull back; they are lying on the floor of their bedroom, which is dark and bare save for the hotline and their blanket and pillows. Light from the windows throws three elongated dots of light across the room.)

Buttercup: We’re out of business! Our crime-fighting days are a bust! (Close-up of them; now tears roll down her face as well.) ’Cause now if we bust a law-buster, we get busted!

(The look that comes over her face after she says this suggests that she is probably closer to a total emotional breakdown than she has ever come.)

Bubbles: It’s no fair. If we do good, we’ll be bad. And we’ll have to be bad if we want to be good.

(Close-up of Blossom, whose eyes suddenly pop wide open.' Now she begins to think long and hard about something.)

(Cut to a close-up of Princess, snoring like a buzzsaw and drooling slightly. She wakes up and wipes her mouth and eyes with the end of one sleeve, mumbling sleepily as she does so. Now she looks back and forth for a moment.)

Princess: I WANT A GLASS OF WATER!! (Pull back quickly on the end of this. Pause.) ON THE ROCKS!!

(She climbs down from the dais and stalks off across the bedroom; as she goes, she mutters angrily to herself.)

Princess: …have to get my own water…what is this?…not right for a Princess to have to get her own… (During this, she enters the marble gallery, then the hallway.) …when I want a glass of water, somebody should say, “How tall?”

(She walks o.c., and we hear the sound of ice cubes clinking in a glass, followed by water being run briefly. Now she starts back toward her room, glass in hand and still muttering. Around her, the hallway has been cleared of all its furnishings.)

Princess: …get my own crummy…what a load of…

(She trails off into 'Yosemite' Sam-style cursing as she passes through the marble gallery, also picked clean. Bits of recognizable English make their way back into her sotto-voce ranting when she reaches her bedroom, which has been swept of its trappings as well. Approaching the dais, she finally starts to make sense.)

Princess: Yeah! I oughta wake ’em up with the hotline!

(All that is left are her blanket and pillows. She sets her glass down and tucks herself in on the floor, grumbling on and taking no notice.)

Princess: “Hey, Power-pukes, it’s the Mayor. Three glasses of water, chop-chop!”

(She laughs to herself and snuggles down. After a few seconds, she snaps wide awake and gasps sharply—the first indication that she has realized what is going on—and the camera pulls back above her.)

Princess: (drawn-out) MY STUFF!! (She starts to panic.) Oh, my gosh! We’ve been robbed! And they took all my— (She tumbles down the dais and runs across the room.) All the stuff! They couldn’t have taken— (now o.c.) —all the—I mean—how could—

(Now she runs down the hallway.)

Princess: Oh, no! Not all the things and the items and possessions and purchases!

(She throws open the doors to the garage and gasps. Pull back to show all the cars gone; all that remains is a double row of rectangular oil-smudge outlines on the concrete.)

Princess: Oh, no! Daddy’s cars!

(Now she reaches the trophy room and gasps again.)

Princess: Oh, no! (Pull back to show the room empty.) Daddy’s trophies!

(Close-up of her, chewing nervously on her lower lip.' Cut to the girls, who are sleeping quite soundly in their bedroom. The hotline buzzes, waking them up; cut to the exterior of Townsville Hall as they fly in. Inside, Princess has thrown herself at their feet, but they seem less than sympathetic. Zoom in slowly. She is still in her sleeping attire.)

Princess: (wailing) And they took all of it! Everything, and if Daddy finds out, I’ll be grounded forever, and just ’cause I begged him to buy me Townsville and make me Mayor, he’ll say it’s my responsibility and he’ll blame me and think it’s all my fault!

Bubbles: It is your fault.

Princess: (angrily) That’s not the point! What’s important is you going out and getting whoever took Daddy’s stuff! (begging) Please! I’ll do anything!

Blossom: Gee, Mayor, we’d love to help, but you made crime legal, remember?

Buttercup: Yeah, even if we found out who took your stuff, we couldn’t do anything about it.

Bubbles: Yeah, they’re not breaking any laws ’cause, you know—crime is legal.

(Cut to Princess, now at the desk. She is writing quickly on a sheet of paper.)

Princess: Fine!

(Close-up of it in her hand as she shoves it across the desk; it is a decree bearing four hastily scrawled words: “Crime is Illegal (again).”)

Princess: (from o.c.) Here! Crime is illegal again!

(One of the girls reaches into view and takes the document; pull back to show it in Blossom’s possession. She gives her sisters a knowing look, and they take off through the ceiling after a moment. Pan back to a frantic Princess.)

Princess: Go! Hurry! My financial future is at stake! (She starts crying.)

(The policeman who was stripped to his skivvies gets his uniform returned to him in a flash. He smiles at the girls’ presence and the new decree when he sees it in Blossom’s hand. The thug who was roughing up the old woman is still doing so, but Blossom rectifies that situation in short order. The two masked robbers stride into the same bank they hit before, still waving the “crime is legal” decree, but are met at the counter by her, new decree in hand. They stop short and turn to leave, smiling sheepishly. However, they find their retreat blocked by Bubbles and Buttercup, who give them what for.)

(The man who stole the convertible takes it for a spin and is stopped when Buttercup flips the car up onto its front bumper. Blossom, floating in midair, holds up the new decree for him to read before pulling him out and throwing him to the ground. Buttercup lets the car drop back, and Bubbles flies up and sets the driver behind the wheel. He smiles, and they fly away.)

(The two sailors keep punching the small fellow back and forth; Buttercup brings the workout to an end by knocking out both of them. She gets a hug from the fellow and grins uneasily at the show of gratitude. Now the three prisoners who were let out of jail walk sadly back into their cell; the girls pull the door shut. The guard stands outside and watches, and they walk past in front of him, the camera panning left slightly to the supervisor’s desk. The two men rejoice when Blossom holds up the new decree.)

(Cut to the exterior of Pokey Oaks Kindergarten and zoom in on the playground. The Gangrene Gang is asleep in and on various pieces of the play equipment. Ace is in a tire swing, Arturo in a pipe at the top of a ladder, Billy in the sandbox, Snake on the slide, Grubber hanging upside down from a chin-up bar. The girls float down into view, their old confidence against these adversaries now firmly re-established. Ace wakes up and holds the old decree out to Blossom with a triumphant smile on his face; she takes it away, crumples it up, and throws it back in his face. Now she gives him the new decree, and he holds it up to his face to read. After a moment, he lowers it to reveal a sheepish grin.)

(A pause, after which the screen flashes blue and the word “SNATCH” appears briefly. Blossom has the tire swing by its chains and is whirling Ace over her head. When she lets go, he sails through the air and is met with a punch from Buttercup that knocks him back into the jungle gym. Grubber gets a rude awakening in the form of Bubbles, who socks him hard enough to spin him on the bar and then kicks him loose. He too ends up on the jungle gym. Arturo looks around nervously and is promptly knocked from his perch by Blossom; he hits the gym as well. Bubbles stands at the top of the slide and lets gravity do the rest, pushing Snake off and launching him into the air to join the other three. Finally, the still-sleeping Billy is lifted up by Buttercup and knocked across the playground; when he hits the jungle gym, he crushes it. All that remains is a mass of tangled ironmongery with five unconscious hoodlums mixed up in it.)

(Cut to a long shot of Morebucks Manor, with the Townsvilke skyline visible as well. The first rays of dawn begin to light the sky. Inside the mansion, Princess peers toward a darkened room.)

Princess: (hyperventilating) Daddy’s still asleep— (She turns; camera pans that way to show her looking out the windows at the city.) —but not for long! The sun’s already rising!

(As she continues, the sky lightens and the sun comes up.)

Princess: (angrily) Those Poo-Poo-Puffs better get that stuff back here fast, or— (nervously) —or Daddy’ll wake up. And I’ll be a day late and a dollar short!

(The sound of the doorbell startles her out of her moping, and she dashes off to answer it. The door opens to reveal the girls.)

Princess: Well? Did you get ’em?

Blossom: Oh, gee, Princess, we rounded up every crook and robber—

Bubbles: —and bad guy and wrongdoer—

Buttercup: —but it seems none of ’em took your stuff.

Princess: What?! How can—who could—where did— (She stammers for a moment.) I gotta have before— (She starts wailing.)

(Bubbles giggles softly, and Princess rounds on her. Now she is truly ready to pop.)

Princess: You! You did it! You robbed me blind! I should have you arrested!

(Pan slowly across the girls on the next three lines.)

Bubbles: Oh, you can’t arrest us.

Blossom: Crime was legal when we robbed you, so technically—

Buttercup: —all your stuff is ours now. (as' they float away) Bye!

(Princess runs out and yells into the sky after them.)

Princess: No! Wait! I need that stuff! (begging) I’ll do anything for it. Please! Please! (The girls regard her from midair.)

Blossom: Give back Townsville to the Mayor and Ms. Bellum.

Princess: NEVER!!

(An alarm clock rings o.c.; this sound shuts her up in a hurry and takes all the fight out of her. Close-up of the clock as it is shut off by her father. He slides his feet into a pair of slippers by his bed and stands up. Back to the front entrance.)

Princess: (frantically) Okay. Okay.

(Close-up of her and Blossom.' Princess holds a large gold key with a T worked into its head.)

Princess: (giving key to Blossom) Here’s the key to the city— (reaching o.c., coming up with hat and setting it on her head) —and the Mayor’s hat. Now gimme the stuff, I need the stuff, hurry!

Blossom: We’ll be right back. (She takes off.)

(The father figure walks through the hallway and scratches himself as he goes. After a few steps, he stops and looks around. Running into the garage and trophy room, he discovers what we already know. Outside, the front doors are thrown open and the camera pans slowly away from the house to reveal a mountain of expensive goods piled up in front of the house—the girls have returned everything they ripped off the night before, but 'not worried much about sorting it out. Princess stands in front of the lot.)

Princess: (frantic, relieved) All the stuff, all the beautiful stuff. Thank you for stuff!

(Cut to her, wiping her forehead. Her father’s shadow falls over her from behind.)

Princess: Phew!

(The sound of him clearing his throat causes her to turn around and give him a big grin.)

Princess: Oh… (laughing' nervously) …good morning, Daddy.

(As she continues, turn up from her to show him standing there and tapping the rolled-up morning paper against one palm. The camera movement puts her out of view.)

Princess: I bet you’re wondering what all of your things are doing out in the yard. Uh, well, you see—

(Cut to outside the mansion and follow the girls across the city as she continues. Buttercup carries the key to the city; Bubbles wears the Mayor’s hat.)

Princess: (from o.c., starting to whine) —it’s—it’s all those stinking Powerpuff Girls’ fault! They always ruin everything ’cause…I HATE ’EM!! (She cries and wails.)

(The standard end shot comes up.)

Narrator: Man, I am never gonna have kids. And so once again the day is saved—thanks to the Powerpuff Girls!

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