|Number in season:||4A|
|Original Airdate:|| May 18, 2006|
November 3, 2006
|Written by:||Glen Berger|
|Storyboard by:||Gerry Capelle|
"The Secret About Secrets"
Francine bets Arthur that her family can use less water than his. But despite her conservation efforts, her water meter levels are twice as high.
The episode starts in an arid desert with vultures circling Arthur and his classmates. Arthur narrates the beginning with an entry in his student journal. It is their seventh day in the desert after getting lost during a class trip that went horribly wrong. Making matters worse, the friends are down to their last bottle of water, and hope looks grim. Arthur suddenly looks up after hearing the sound of running water. Francine is washing her hands with what’s left in the bottle. Arthur gets very upset at her, and then he notices Muffy using the bottle to scare away a vulture with splashes. Next, Binky grabs the bottle to make a water balloon. Arthur takes the bottle away from his friends to conserve it, but he is so thirsty that he drinks it all up. “Oops!” he says as his friends growl at him.
The main story starts in the Frenskys' bathroom. Francine is taking a 30 minute shower while singing into a brush. Catherine gets upset when Francine finally comes out. She shows Francine a newspaper article titled “Drought Hits Elwood City” and tells her to take shorter showers.
Next, we move to the Read’s bathroom, where Arthur is busy brushing his teeth while the water is runs in the sink. D.W. barges in and shuts off the water saying “It’s called water conversation!” (conservation). Arthur tells her to go away and turns the faucet back on. The two battle, switching the sink off and on until D.W. runs to get their mom.
Then, in the school park, Arthur and Francine are playing catch with a baseball. They have each heard about how the other wastes water, and choose to make a conservation bet: whoever’s family uses the most water in the next week has to carry the winner’s book bag for the rest of the month. The two agree and leave for home, picking up their book bags with heavy grunts.
Francine finds her family’s water meter next to their land lord’s office (Mr. Sanders). Mr. Sanders tells her how the multiple meters used to be used frequently, but no longer are needed because he charges a flat rate. He suspects Francine is up to something, and decides to monitor the Frenskys' water meter as well.
Francine’s first step to conserving water involves putting a water bottle into the back of the toilet. She tells Catherine that she still plans on taking long showers and the two fight over the toilet cover, sending it shattering on the floor. While at the dining table with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frensky tell Francine that while they're proud of her for coming up with a way to conserve water, she still needs to start shaking shorter showers, as she's still wasting a ton of water that way. After telling Catherine that she needs to stop nightly baths (as baths tend to use more water than showers), Mr. and Mrs. Frensky tell Francine to go to Mr. Sanders to order a new lid for their toilet. Mr. Sanders is annoyed as Francine tells him to buy a whole new water saving toilet instead of just replacing the lid. He chooses to replace the lid, upsetting Francine a bit.
Then, we go back to the Read’s house. Arthur comes home from school and screams as he sees that D.W. has filled massive tubs up with water. She says she is saving it for herself, and Arthur yells at her again. Reading the meter in the basement, Arthur sees that D.W. has upped their daily average by 500 liters for a total of 2000. Francine goes to Muffy’s that same day. Muffy shows her how the Crosswire family conserves water by using an automatic pool cover. Back at her apartment, Francine sees that the Frenskys used 2500 liters that day. Mr. Sanders is not impressed.
The next day at school, Francine notices that Arthur’s voice is muffled inside the boy’s bathroom. She charges in and tells him off for letting the water run as he brushes his teeth. Arthur responds by saying he heard that Francine took a long shower at Muffy’s house the day before. They both agree to play fair from then on. Binky suddenly yelps when he notices Francine in the boy’s bathroom and she sprints out.
Over the next two days, the Frenskys use 3000 and 3400 liters of water. Francine is so upset at the rising rate that she decides to make a petition for the people in her apartment, requiring that Mr. Sanders buy a conserving toilet for every bathroom in the complex. But before Mr. Sanders can even order the toilets, the Frensky’s set a new record of 3600 liters in a day. Francine daydreams that she uses Elwood city’s last drop in one of her long showers. She runs through the town still in her bathrobe, and all her friends scold her for being so wasteful.
The week of the bet comes to an end, and Francine and Arthur meet at the Frensky’s with Buster and Muffy to see who wins. Arthur’s family used 10,500 liters and Francine’s used 34,000. Buster blames the Frensky’s massive water usage on Aliens who need intergalactic bathroom breaks, but Francine doesn’t believe him. She suddenly hears multiple flushes coming from the bathroom and barges in, finding her cat Nemo playing with the toilet handle and looking inside the uncovered top. So it turns out that the cat was the one wasting all the Frensky’s water. Francine is then seen carrying Arthur’s backpack to school. She stops her friends in front of her apartment to tell them about the new toilets Mr. Sanders installed. The episode finishes with a satisfactory flush, and Francine smiles.
- This is one of the episodes that focus on water. The others being Water and the Brain, D.W. All Wet, The Shore Thing, Arthur Makes Waves, and Swept Away.
- This is one of the episode that focus on Earth Day. The others being Arthur's Treasure Hunt, and Arthur Cleans Up.
- Aside from wasting a ton of water, taking too long of a shower can also be bad for your skin, as it strips it of both moisture and essential nutrients. Most experts say that anything longer than ten minutes is far too long for a shower, and that showers should be five to ten minutes long (the shorter, the better).
- Showers use around 2.5-gallons of water per minute while a bath uses up to 35 to 50-gallons of water. A five to ten minute shower would use around 12.5 to 25-gallons of water.
- If someone were to take a 30-minute like Francine did in this episode, you'd be using 75-gallons of water (which can be more than twice as much water as the average bath).
- The song Francine is singing in the shower is a parody of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" You can tell by how she says "Maybe on the midnight train" while in the real song its "She took the midnight train."
- Like all episodes of Season 10, this episode included the number '10' hidden in various places. For a list of them, see ARTHUR Season 10 Scavenger Hunt.