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"The Secret About Secrets"
Season/Series: 10
Number in season: 3b
Original Airdate: United States May 17, 2006[1]
Canada September 17, 2006[3]
United Kingdom November 2, 2006[2]
Germany April 28, 2008[4]
Written by: Dietrich Smith
Storyboard by: Stéphanie Gignac
"Desert Island Dish"
"Feeling Flush"
Read transcript

"The Secret About Secrets" is the second half of the third episode in the tenth season of Arthur.


D.W. discovers that getting a secret is a lot easier than keeping one.


At the beginning of the episode, Arthur whispers to Buster about a secret that we can not know what it is. Then D.W. comes in and asks what Arthur just told Buster, and Arthur tells her it was a secret. D.W. tells the viewers that she is annoyed about everybody having a secret except for her and asks the viewers if they have a secret and she promises not to tell anyone.

The Secret About Secrets

D.W. is annoyed that everyone has a secret except her. She goes downstairs to the kitchen and tells Arthur and Buster she has a secret. She is confused that they are not asking her who told her the secret and Arthur explains that the person who told the secret does not want their friend to go blabbing it to others. D.W. accidentally reveals that she does not have a secret and just made one up. In her room, Nadine tells her that she can't go around blabbing to others that she has a secret because then people would want to know. D.W. also points out that Nadine did not tell her she also needs a person to tell her a secret or else it is not actually a secret. D.W. then gets an idea. 

At school, she tells the Tibbles that her mother told her a secret, and she can not tell it to anybody. At first, the Tibbles do not care, but once D.W. says that their grandmother told her mother the secret, they pick up their "phone" to call her; D.W. jumps to get it but realizes it is actually a toy and scrapes her arm and the Tibbles ask if she is alright. At the nurse's office, she gets a bandage and sees James in the office covering something behind his back. At first, James is nervous to tell D.W. what happened, but then D.W. discovers the secret anyway: the woman in the office is calling James's mother and asks her to bring him a new pair of pants, claiming that James accidentally ripped his pants at recess, revealing his underwear "clear as day." James makes D.W. promise not to tell anyone, claiming "it's a secret." D.W. tells Emily that she has a secret, but she can't tell anyone. Emily complains that she is D.W.'s best friend. D.W. is about to tell her, but then she sees James and so she says to Emily that she will tell her tomorrow. That night though, D.W. and Nadine talk about what happened at preschool--D.W. is really tempted to tell someone (Emily especially, since she is D.W.'s best friend), but Nadine notes that D.W. promised James that she would not tell anyone, no matter what. At first, D.W. does not think it would be a big deal if she only told one person, but then she ends up having a dream where she tells Emily and the secret soon spreads to the entire preschool, and the dream ends with the rest of the students all making fun of James for what happened, upsetting him.

The next morning, while Jane's driving her eldest daughter to school, D.W. ends up confessing the secret to her mom -- upon learning what happened James, Jane (correctly) deduces that James is embarrassed about what happened and doesn't want any of the other kids to know, ultimately advising D.W. to continue keeping it a secret. When D.W. admits that she finds it really difficult not to tell someone, Jane gives her some advice: if she feels tempted to blab her secret about James, think of something else (like Christmas). During the day, D.W. just barely succeeds in keeping her secret to herself, but the next morning, she fakes being sick because she is still upset about the secret she is keeping. Jane allows D.W. to stay home from school and calls Thora to keep an eye on her. Jane and Thora realize the situation, and while watching her granddaughter, Thora reveals a way she discovered on how to keep a secret when she was a kid.

Thora takes D.W. out pedal-boating, and she gives D.W. a big conch shell. Thora tells D.W. to say her secret as loudly as she can into the shell and then throw it as far away as she can--D.W. does so, and afterwards, both she and Thora note that she is feeling much better. The next day at school, D.W. tells Emily the secret on how to keep a secret (the method that Grandma Thora taught her). Emily is very impressed by the secret that D.W. just told her, and D.W. is happy that she was ultimately able to keep what happened to James a secret.

The episode ends with an air bubble coming out of the conch shell that D.W. threw and floating up to the surface, which is popped by a pair of seagulls--when the bubble is popped, "James split his pants!" comes out, but the seagulls (not realizing the context of it) just shrug it off and leave.






  • After D.W. hurts herself from playing with the Tibbles, she finds James behind her and tells him that playing in the sandbox and hurting her arm is kind of a secret, but it does not really seem like a secret; she sort of just made that a secret.

Episode connections[]

  • James splitting his pants, which D.W. keeps as a secret, is similar to Muffy telling Arthur that he split his pants months ago in "Fernkenstein's Monster."
  • "Blabbermouth," an episode from the show's final season, has a similar plot to this episode (although it's about Buster learning to keep secret rather than D.W.).

Cultural references[]

  • In the prologue of this episode, D.W.'s family and friends such as Arthur and Buster are shown in a Brady Bunch style.


  • During the flashback where D.W. gets welcomed into the secret clubhouse, she whispers her secret in her bag, but during the next flashback where she is still at the clubhouse and her secret bag is magically jumping around and opening the door with Emily and James behind it, it opens by itself and her voice yells out her secret, except she never yelled her secret in the bag at first, she only whispered it, so it is unknown why her voice would yell it out when her bag opens.
  • At the end of the episode, D.W. is happy that she managed to keep James splitting his pants a secret, but she actually did not, as she told her mother about it.
    • She did, however, keep it a secret from any of her and James's classmates, which would have been potentially the biggest embarrassment for James.

Production notes[]

Home Video[]




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