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"Brain's Shocking Secret"
Season/Series: 11
Number in season: 4b
Original Airdate: United States June 28, 2007[1]
Canada September 26, 2007[3]
United Kingdom December 12, 2007[2]
Germany May 13, 2008[4]
Written by: Glen Berger
Storyboard by: Stéphanie Gignac
"Phony Fern"
"Baby Kate and the Imaginary Mystery"
Read transcript

"Brain's Shocking Secret" is the second half of the fourth episode in the eleventh season of Arthur.


Brain does not want everyone to know that he was held back in kindergarten.


The episode opens to adult-aged Francine and Muffy investigating at a residence. Francine records her voice as she and Muffy are looking for an important clue inside the house. Prunella's voice is suddenly heard, to which Francine at first mistakes for a talking rake. An adult Prunella reveals herself from the shadows, claiming that she understands a secret about the President. Prunella tells Francine and Muffy to check the files under Lakewood Elementary, stating that the secret occurred in kindergarten.

At the White House, an adult Arthur is telling the president that his history as the smartest president is secure, but the president, revealed to be an adult Brain, says that the one person who knows his secret is still out there and it would be bad news if anyone found out. At the same time, Francine and Muffy find the files and find out about Brain's secret, surprising them.

Brain's Shocking Secret

At school, Mr. Haney is hanging up some pictures in a display case while Brain passes by. Brain says he was staying after class to set up for the chess club, and notices that his kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Robertson, is retiring after teaching for 30 years. In honorary recognition, Mr. Haney has chosen to hang up the class photos of all the classes she has taught. This scares Brain, and he tries to distract Mr. Haney by having him demonstrate how to make shadow puppets. Brain reaches into the display case to try to take one of the photos, but is pulled away by Mr. Ratburn, failing to get the photo as Mr. Haney locks the display case.

At the Deegan's house, Brain continues to plot how to get the photo from inside the display case. When Prunella asks him why it is such a big deal, Brain panics and closes the window blinds. Brain exclaims that he is in two kindergarten photos and is supposed to be in Prunella's fourth grade class. Prunella reminds him that she has been keeping the fact that he was held back, and the reason for it, secret all this time. Brain urges Prunella to continue keeping it secret because it would be embarrassing if his friends found out. Prunella says his friends would not care, but Brain is unconvinced and resolves to get the photo somehow.

Back in his room that night, Brain is still coming up with a plan to get the picture and thinks of a tunneling machine digging underground into the school but ends up in Mr. Haney's house. He then dismisses that idea and decides to take a nap. However, he ends up sleeping through the night and wakes up late for school the next morning.

At school, Brain is shocked to see that his friends are looking at the photos. It does not take long for everyone to realize that he is, in fact, in two kindergarten class photos. Brain tries to distract them, but Arthur asks why he was in kindergarten twice. Brain panics, and Francine asks if he failed kindergarten. Binky then shows up and asks why it would be a big deal, since he also was held back. Brain lies that he was held back due to his intellect. Muffy is skeptical about this, but Brain says that geniuses often get bored and do poor academically as a result. Binky stands by this and tells everyone off, after which they quickly run away. Binky postulates that he must also be a genius too since he was also held back and is bored in class. Brain tries to leave as he makes up the excuse that he has to practice chess, but Binky follows him outside.

At recess, Brain and Binky are playing chess. Binky wins using a move that he made up, and thus thinks that he should have the nickname of “The Brain.” Brain retorts that that is already his nickname, but nonetheless, Binky chooses to take the nickname, saying that they will find another nickname for Brain.

Later on, Brain and Prunella are walking home from school as Brain explains that he is now nicknamed “The Esophagus.” Prunella remarks on how silly this is, but Brain says it was Binky's idea. Prunella tells Brain that he should just tell everyone the real reason why he was held back since they will find out eventually. Brain gets really nervous and starts to accuse Prunella of revealing the secret to Muffy, but Prunella retorts that he is getting paranoid, and walks off.

In class, Mr. Ratburn is handing back exams and scolds Binky for failing with a D-. Binky says he did not study, since it would not matter if he failed. Brain points out that he will be held back again, but Binky thinks that would make him even more of a genius. Brain then imagines Binky being held back many times in an aged Mr. Ratburn's class, due to advice from “The Esophagus.” Realizing that Binky will never graduate by following the logic of his lie, Brain tells Binky to meet him at his house after school.

At the Powers' house, Brain is trying to get Binky to study a vast amount of scientific subjects, saying that there is work involved in being a genius. They go to science museum and then the library, but Binky continuously shows disinterest and is often distracted.

At The Sugar Bowl, Brain and Binky continue to study. Binky eventually concludes that he may not be a genius after all since he does not like studying as much as Brain does. Binky says that he wore the same clothes for a week since that is what Einstein did, but Brain clarifies that Einstein wore “identical” clothes he had within his wardrobe. Brain then tries to convince Binky that being held back is not always the result of being a genius, but Binky starts getting suspicious. Brain panics when he sees Prunella talking to everyone outside, thinking that she is telling everyone his secret, and rushes out to stop her.

Brain tells everyone to disregard everything Prunella told them about his crying a lot and being emotionally unready. Muffy tells Brain that Prunella was actually talking about the latest Henry Skreever book, and was not even talking about him in the first place. Brain is embarrassed as he realizes he revealed his own secret and runs off.

Binky is waiting outside, having overheard everything. He tells Brain that he thinks nothing of him being held back and admits that while he is still kind of sad about being held back (adding that he sometimes cries about it), being held back is ultimately nothing to be embarrassed about. After hearing this, Brain realizes that repeating ended up being a very good thing, because it helped him become emotionally ready to move up to the next grade, and as a result, he was able to acquire the knowledge to be dubbed "The Brain." The episode closes with Binky giving Brain his nickname back, and the two proceeding to the Powers' home to study so that they will pass the third grade together.






Episode connections[]

  • Binky does not appear in either kindergarten class photo. This explains why he claims to be older than Brain in "Finders Key-pers" and "Waiting to Go".


Home Video[]



Main article: Brain's Shocking Secret/Gallery