Road and mud aren't exactly "all terrains"...

— Phineas Flynn

Phineas and Ferb are building an ATV powerful enough to handle extreme terrains and even buildings. Meanwhile, Candace and Stacy go to a leadership seminar where Candace learns the steps needed to achieve her ultimate goal of busting her brothers. Dr. Doofenshmirtz is hosting the Telethon of Evil.

Episode Summary

The All-Terrain-Vehicle!

Candace is bored in her room until Stacy calls her to help her come to a seminar that will bore her. Stacy convinces Candace by saying there might be cute boys. Candace reluctantly agrees, but tells Stacy that she owes her. In the living room, after watching a commercial for an all-terrain vehicle, Phineas decides that he and Ferb can build a better model - one that can drive on literally any type of surface, like across some cheese and up a mountainside - which they later do. Buford is particularly happy to get into this idea, after Isabella explains some of the vehicle's features to him.

Perry enters the lair on a skateboard, and Monogram tells him that Dr. Doofenshmirtz has been stockpiling cameras and microphones.

Stacy and Candace attend a seminar hosted by Tedd Shaw, the topic at hand being "leaders of the future". She's surprised to see Baljeet there, because the seminar is directed at high school students. Baljeet, however, is always open to studying anything and everything he can. Although Stacy ends up falling asleep during the seminar, Candace becomes inspired to use Shaw's techniques - B.L.A.R.F. and N.A.R.G. - to bust her brothers. The boys conveniently drive by, Candace hops inside their vehicle, and tells them to drive it home so she can show it to Mom. Stacy, meanwhile, ends up spending time with a new boy named Chad.

Over at Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated, Perry is captured and tied up, and Doofenshmirtz explains that his alimony checks aren't covering his evil plans like they used to, so he intends to hold a Telethon of Evil to raise the money to fund his various evil schemes. He gives Perry a telephone so that he can accept call-in donations, then uses his Pre-Empt-Inator to override all TV programming in the Tri-State Area with his telethon. Lawrence, sitting in a dentist chair, watches the program (which he believes to be a "brilliant work of satire") in confusion.

While on the way home, Candace decides that Phineas drives too slow and takes the controller from him, activating the windshield wipers and the radio in the process, where a familiar tune can be heard. A news anchor spots the vehicle go by and drives after them, noticing the danger of the situation because there isn't an adult driver in the car. Back with Doofenshmirtz, he manages to raise a paltry 23 dollars before his telethon gets preempted for a news flash concerning the car. Furious, he goes after the news van with his hover car, shooting at them with a laser so that he can regain control of the airwaves. Candace drives on, blissfully unaware of what's going on around her. The news helicopter zooms in on Doofenshmirtz, who says hi to his mother, but ends up crashing into his own building due to the distraction. The unmanned hover car flattens the news van, losing the footage and disappointing the crew.

The kids arrive home, seconds after Linda, and Candace tells them to stay put. The disbelieving and fed-up mother tells Candace she's grounded and to go to her room after learning that she drove a vehicle without an adult supervision, and she stomps up the stairs in frustration. She calls Stacy, to tell her about her (mild) success in busting her brothers, but as she's out with a boy, and tells the last one is "F.R.E.E.P.O." as she is dismissed. The kids, bored of waiting in the car, are shot up into the air after Ferb notes that they haven't yet tried the vehicle's "rocket mode", Candace tries to figure out what F.R.E.E.P.O. means until the kids leaves her in the dust.


Read the transcript of The Secret of Success.



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Running Gags

The "Too Young" Line

Tedd: Can you see N.A.R.G ing can help you... become president of the United States?
Girl: Yes. Yes I can!

Ferb's Line/I know what we're gonna do today!/Hey, where's Perry?

Phineas: Road and mud aren't exactly all terrains. Somebody ought to build a vehicle that actually goes over all terrains.

Ferb: Two, Three, Four...
Phineas: Ferb, I know what we're gonna do today!
Ferb: Five, Six, Seven.

Phineas: Hey, where's Perry?
Ferb: You know, technically we didn't try all terrain.
Presses the rocket mode of the vehicle

What'cha doin'?


Oh, there you are, Perry


Perry's entrance to his lair

He uses a skateboard and goes through a pipeline, to which he lands upside down in his seat.

Evil Jingle

Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated!

Memorable Quotes

Candace: Baljeet, this seminar is for high school kids. What are you doing here?
Baljeet: Well, I usually attend college level conferences, but I thought I would dumb it down for the weekend.
Candace: That makes me wanna blarf.
Baljeet: I can see it is already working.
Tedd: And have you used these steps?
Candace: Believe me, I've blarfed and narged plenty. I got nowhere.
Candace: Stacy, wake up!
Stacy: (startled) Uhh! It's not my ferret!
Candace: Oh, no. I'm going to do it right this time. Even though every fiber of my being is screaming to tell you to stay here and find out the information, then run frantically out to that ATV and drive my brothers to Mom who'll bust them, I will resist! Yes! I am going to stay right here and break my old pattern!

Stacy: Good choice, Candace. I can't tell you have a p-
Candace is outside

Candace: Stacy, take notes for me!
Candace: Okay, I learn some skill that... Phineas, you're in the drivers seat, why are you operating with a remote control?

Phineas: Candace, We're too young to drive.

Buford and Isabella: Duh!
Doofenshmirtz: And now live, because it's evil spelled backwards, your host Heinz Doofenshmirtz!
After watching Doofenshmirtz's telethon of evil
Lawrence: This is a brilliant work of satire. It's my new favorite show.
Bridgette: And that's how socks sometimes get lost in the dryer. And cut tape.

Candace: I'm blarfing! I'm blarfing!
Cameraman: What was that?

Bridgette: I don't know, but it's more interesting than socks. To the news van!
Dr. Doofenshmirtz: And we're back. The Inator Corporation was generous enough to send us a giant check for 23 dollars. Thank you Sid and the guys, you do an important job. That brings our tally to 23 dollars. Let's go to the phones again. Silence Okay, if no one calls in the next few seconds, the platypus gets it!
News Announcer: We preempt this current preemption to bring you another preemption.
Dr. Doofenshmirtz: Nothing cuts into my television time! Screen changes to a test pattern with Agent P on it Oh, haha, very funny. Everyone's a comedian.
Dr. Doofenshmirtz: Oh, hey, it's me. It's me. I'm back. Perry the Platypus, you- oh, it's the chopper cam. Hello? I'm back. Hi, Mom. Hi. Perry the Platypus and news helicopter leave Oh, going back to the more dramatic wide angle shot- Dr. Doofenshmirtz crashes into his building And the final tally is... unbearable pain. And probably a herniated disc.
Stacy: Candace, what happened to you? The lecture's over. The gift bags were totally cruddy, by the way. It's just a bag, nothing in it.

Background Information

  • Ferb was counting the seconds between Phineas getting his daily idea and wondering where Perry is. This indicates he's well aware of Phineas's usual pattern.
  • A rock version of the "Quirky Worky Song" can be heard faintly during Isabella's explanation of the all-terrain vehicle's features.
  • As revealed in "Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo", 20 years later, after the leadership seminar, Stacy became the President of Uruguay. She probably got tips after Candace left.
  • Candace's guesses as to what F.R.E.E.P.O. stands for includes "Frequent Rampages Encourages Enormous Perpendicular Octagons" and "Free Raccoons Enter Existential Plastic Origami".
  • The poster above Stacy's bed has changed from The Bettys ("Ready for the Bettys") to the Paisley Sideburn Brothers ("Fireside Girl Jamboree", "She's the Mayor").
  • The kids respond with "Duh!" when Candace tells them that they're too young to drive ("The Fast and the Phineas").
  • Phineas, Ferb and their friends continue to complete "Today is Gonna Be a Great Day" in the song "All Terrain Vehicle" when they cross a tundra and surf a tidal wave.
  • The ATV, when it was presented, looked like a Hummer Humvee.

Production Information

  • It first aired on June 4, 2010 on Disney XD Germany. It later premiered in Latin America on July 16, 2010 on Disney Channel and in the United Kingdom on July 19, 2010 and showed on Disney XD on October 9, 2010, and it aired on Verzion on Demand on October 1, 2010.

International Premieres

  • June 4, 2010 (Disney XD Germany)
  • July 16, 2010 (Disney Channel Latin America)
  • July 19, 2010 (Disney XD UK)
  • July 31, 2010 (TVNZ 2)
  • August 7, 2010 (Disney Channel Asia)
  • October 14, 2010 (Disney XD Poland)
  • October 31, 2010 (Disney XD France)
  • November 20, 2010 (Disney XD Spain)
  • December 29, 2010 (Disney Channel Spain)
  • February 18, 2011 (Disney Channel Scandinavia)
  • March 5, 2011 (Disney Channel UK)
  • May 15, 2011 (Disney XD Scandinavia)


  • During the song, Baljeet could be seen at the dance scene but he was supposed to be at the seminar.
  • During the song, the singer mentions driving on a tightrope, yet the vehicle is not shown on a tightrope until towards the end of the song.
  • During the song, Phineas and Ferb are dancing on top of the ATV, but this is impossible because the cliff is extremely bumpy and they would have fallen right off.
  • Also during the song, when the singer says "through a cave," the headlights from the vehicle would have created cones of light through the cave.
  • As Isabella shows the hydrolics of the ATV, the space between her arms are white.
  • When Dr. Doofenshmirtz is on the flying vehicle, he mentions Perry, on live TV. This could uncover his secret agent identity to the citizens of Danville who are watching the news preemption. In fact, Lawrence was watching the Telethon of Evil at the dentist which he could still be watching, even though it was interrupted by a news break. This was straight after the Telethon of Evil was preemptied, so it means that Lawrence could have figured it out. However an explanation to this may be that this episode takes place before "I Was a Middle Aged Robot" and Carl may have found a memory of this incident, and erased it to prevent Lawrence from finding the full truth out. Alternately, he could have been under the influence of nitrous-oxide, (which could also explain his declaration that it was his "new favorite show")."
  • In the all-terrain vehicle, when Candace says she has got the hang of it, Ferb is gone. He reappears when Candace decides to go get mom.
  • When the camera is showing the people walking into the seminar, it doesn't show Candace, Stacy, or Baljeet walking in.
  • When the camera is showing the people walking into the seminar, it show little kids walking in too. Candace points out that only "high school kids" are allowed to attend.
  • Bridgette points out that the ATV is filled with children, but Candace is a teenager.
  • When Bridgette shows the ATV from an angle where she can see the kids, Buford is sitting in an impossible position.



  • This title seems to be a reference to self-help books, with titles such as "The Secret of Success", and to a lesser extent, the 1987 Michael J. Fox movie The Secret of My Success.
  • Thomas and Friends - During the song All Terrain Vehicle, Ferb, Phineas and Isabella faces are seen part of the vehicle as a Submarine, an Airplane, and a Train respectively.
  • Flubber - "F.R.E.E.P.O." may be homage to Weebo's name.
  • Tedd Shaw - His name and the fact that he led a seminar may be an allusion to the TED Conference.
  • Pinky and The Brain - B.L.A.R.F. and N.A.R.G may be allusions to Pinky and The Brain, where Pinky often spouts nonsense words such as "narf" and "zort" while the Brain has a tendency for creating crazy acronyms.
  • James Bond - Perry uses metal teeth to escape the trap, like the James Bond villain Jaws.



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