|Number in season:||4A|
|Original Airdate:|| May 18, 2006|
September 19, 2006
November 3, 2006
April 29, 2008
|Written by:||Glen Berger|
|Storyboard by:||Gerry Capelle|
"The Secret About Secrets"
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 the situation 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 an Elwood City Times headline titled “Drought Hits Elwood City” and advises her sister to start talking way shorter showers.
Next, we move to the Reads' bathroom, where Arthur is busy brushing his teeth while the water 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 an empty plastic 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 they're at the dining table with their parents, Oliver and Laverne talk to their daughters about ways that they can all start conserving water: Oliver and Laverne ultimately side with Catherine by way of telling Francine that the best way for her to conserve water is to start taking shorter showers, because while the plastic bottle thing is a good way to conserve water, it's not really going to do anything if Francine continues taking long showers. But then Oliver and Laverne tell Catherine that a way for her to conserve is to stop taking baths, since baths tend to use a lot more water than showers do ("Unless those showers are thirty minutes long," Oliver pointedly says to Francine).
Oliver and Laverne ultimately end the discussion by telling 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 Reads' 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 Frenskys' with Buster and Muffy to see who wins. Arthur's family used 10,500 liters and Francine's used 34,000. Buster blames the Frenskys' 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, revealing that he was the one wasting all the family'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.
- In Francine's drought fantasy, the Barnes family begging for water alludes to the Great Depression.
- 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.
- This is the last episode to use the original sound of Arthur yelping when Francine bangs the gong in the title card.
- Main article: Feeling Flush/Gallery
- Ark TV Transcript (archived page)