|"The Great Sock Mystery"|
|Number in season:||1B|
|Original Airdate:|| October 8, 2002|
January 6, 2003
|Written by:||Peter K. Hirsch|
|Storyboard by:||Stéfanie Gignac|
"Francine's Split Decision"
Ever wonder where all those missing socks go? One minute they are in the laundry basket, and the next - poof! - they have vanished! Find out once and for all when Baby Kate and Pal, and some of their furry friends, join forces to solve the great sock mystery.
The episode begins with Mrs. Read doing laundry in the basement. She hears some kind of rustling noise followed by the audience seeing a pair of eyes in the darkness. She calls out for D.W., thinking she is making the noise, and leaves the laundry basket behind with a red and purple sock hanging from it. The next scene opens with D.W. sitting on her bed with only one red and purple sock on, complaining how she can't wear her red and purple dress with only one matching sock. Her mom apologizes and says she can't find her other sock, and asks D.W. if she is sure she put it in the laundry. While D.W. begins to accuse Arthur of stealing it, Pal and Kate, watching the spectacle unfold, try to piece together what is happening. Realizing that she is upset over her missing sock, Pal resolves to find it. After inspecting the basement, he fails to find the sock but instead uncovers a brown hair that does not belong to anyone in the house. This leads him and Kate to conclude an intruder must have taken the sock.
Their first suspect is Nemo, but he quickly clears his name by reminding Pal that his fur is black and white, not brown, so it couldn't have been him. Back at square one, Pal and Kate get a break in the case when Toady informs them that she saw something large breathing heavily go to the basement the previous night when the sock was stolen. Determined to stop the thief, they set up a sting operation, leaving a sock in the yard as bait. The plan works, and to their utter shock they discover it is the neighbor's dog and their good friend, Amigo, taking the sock. Amigo explains that he is taking the sock for a good cause, and the only way it will make sense is if Pal follows him and sees for himself. Suspicious but curious, Pal goes.
On their way there, Amigo tells Pal about the Fur Masons, an organization founded by pets to better the lives of humans. Their contributions include training dogs to lead the blind, cats to catch mice, but there is one thing that stands out above the rest. Finally reaching their destination, a room filled with dogs carrying socks and trading them, Pal discovers the sock exchange. Amigo tells Pal that while he doesn't understand all the technicalities of the sock exchange, he does know that by pets taking socks, humans buy more, and fuel the economy. Pal is in awe as he takes in all this new information, but he knows he still has a job to do. As they wander past a sock auction, Pal insists that while he supports the cause, he needs Amigo to give back D.W.'s sock. Amigo informs Pal that he no longer has it, and the only way to get it back is to play the market.
With this Pal and Kate risk all the socks they have, but it is to no avail. They play every sock and fail to recover the one they are in search of. Defeated, Pal and Kate watch in horror as D.W. has turned her one remaining sock into a puppet. Just then—Amigo informs them at he's got a lead on their missing sock. He found the investor who has the sock and told him to meet Pal and Kate in their yard the following day. Out of socks, the pair work hard to gather as many lost things that could potentially be used to get the sock. The next day they find a frog by the name of Mr. Toad is in possession of the sock, but he is unimpressed by the woogle, lollipop, money, and set of keys Pal and Kate have to offer. He instead has a startling counteroffer, the sock in exchange for Pal. Kate vehemently refuses, as Pal is her best friend. Mr. Toad tries to convince her, reminding her that Pal and her aren't even the same species. The suspense grows, when suddenly Toady appears. Mr. Toad and Toady are old friends and are shocked to see each other. The sight of Toady makes Mr. Toad forget all about the deal as they hop off. Pal and Kate are successful in their mission and share a sentimental moment as Kate says she wouldn't have traded Pal for all the socks in the world.
- Mr. Toad inquires if the keys Kate offers him are to a motorcar. This is a reference to Kenneth Grahame's novel The Wind in the Willows, which also likely inspired Mr. Toad's name.
- The Fur Masons may be a reference to Freemasonry.
- Mr. Greenspan appears to be a reference to Alan Greenspan, U.S. Chairman of the Federal Reserve System from 1987 to 2006.
- The "Sock exchange" appears to be a reference to the New York Stock Exchange.
- The black cat from "Friday the 13th" appears in this episode.