"Secret Society" is the fifth episode of Season 1 and the fifth episode of China, IL.
During a tenure ceremony, the Dean gives Steve tenure to the envy of his co-professors, especially Pony. Later, she sees the Dean at Turkey Gobblers getting lap dances, then blackmails him to give her tenure as well, threatening to inform his wife about his infidelity. The following day, an apathetic Steve is shown to no longer care for his job, slapdash teaching rampant in his room. During a break, the Dean informs him as well as the other history professors that Pony is now a tenured professors as well, then refuses to hear any complaints they may have, regardless of legitimacy. Outraged at the corruption, Frank attends one of Pony's class under a disguise, ready to sabotage the so-called professor. To his astonishment, however, he realizes that her teaching methods are well-received by the students, but on the other hand, Steve's unenthusiastic teaching prevails, becoming abusive due to alcoholism. Witnessing this, the Dean invites him to a club reserved for tenured professors, but an eavesdropping Pony hears this as well and invites herself to it as well to the frustration of the Dean.
At the club, those in attendance are reminded that the elixir they're about to consume shouldn't be consumed in excess, and should word about these gatherings spread, the offenders' tenures are removed. The consumption of the elixir occurs, and the professors briefly become their spirit animals. The following day, Frank runs into Pony and Steve, asking about what happened the previous night. While Pony claims she wasn't excited about it, Steve boasts about his excitement, claiming he can't wait for the next gathering.
Thinking there is something suspicious between the newly-tenured professors, Frank spies on them, thinking something suspicious is going on between them. Unaware of this, Steve runs to the clubhouse in the middle of class to get the elixir, and upon ingesting it, he turns into an eagle and takes the elixir to Pony's newly-purchased house. Pony refuses to take it, fearing the consequences, and Steve flies away, both unaware of Frank. The next day during Steve's lesson, the elixir's effects remain, and turmoil ensues. While Pony is giving a lecture, she hears a commotion coming from Steve's classroom and strikes him unconscious.
Pony tries to keep Steve locked in history office, but when Frank tries to enter, she strikes him and keeps him in the office as well. As the Smiths regain consciousness, Steve, once again in eagle form, breaks into the teacher's lounge carrying the elixir, enticing the staff there to indulge themselves in the beverage they enjoy deep inside. In doing so, the staff turn themselves into animals, and much of the campus follows suit, causing mass chaos. Running back to the history office, Pony reveals the news to Frank, admitting who the eagle he saw really was, and asks that he and Baby Cakes help stop the chaos.
The trio make their way to a factory, where they plan on stopping Steve. As Pony tries to end Steve's elixir addiction, he strangles her unconscious but soon regrets it as he is knocked unconscious by Frank. As the chaos dissipates, Steve and Pony regain consciousness in the campus hospital, and the Dean informs them their tenures are revoked—Steve loses his for causing chaos; Pony loses hers because, as the Dean reveals his wife is dead, he then states he no longer has to worry about Pony's blackmail.
- Running Gag: characters knocking one another out with a projector. In chronological order:
- Pony strikes Steve
- Pony strikes Frank
- Steve strikes Frank
- An unknown character in the form of a cat strikes Frank
- Frank strikes Steve
- While intoxicated by the elixir:
- Stacy Megan mentions ratemytech.net [sic], parody of the real-world site ratemyprofessors.com.
- Despite the websitebeing pronounced as "rate my teach," it's spelled slightly differently.
- Stacy Megan appears with another dog in future episodes, implying she bought a new one.
- Reagan and Steve's journey through time from "Rewind, Pause, Pay!" is referenced again when Pony tries to explain the September 11 attacks to a class.
- As Pony drives the Dean away from Turkey Gobblers, neither of them wear seat belts; in fact, the former's car appears to lack them.
- During Donny's report, the board behind him shows a conspiracy that Lee Harvey Oswald is God merely because the name has the letters G, O and D in it.
- Pony's job at Turkey Gobblers is never brought up again; "Is College Worth It?" shows her fruitlessly trying to get another job.
- The Dean reveals that he too finds being tenured is not easy; this is why he visits Turkey Gobblers despite having a wife others find attractive.
- When Pony consumes the elixir the second time, she changes form much more quickly than the first time.
- The Dean reveals that his wife's death is due to a giant squid eating her.
- Even though Pony strikes the right side of Steve's head, the left side of his head is bleeding.
- The lenses on Frank's 3-D glasses switch sides when he turns his head, and again when the camera pans.
- The Dean: Steve, tenure is the highest promotion a professor can receive. You are now unfireable—and almost rich.
- Pony: I wish I could get tenure and be almost rich.
- Pony: When life gives you leverage, make leverage-ade.
- The Dean: People can't know I'm not perfect.
- Steve: Being a rebel without consequences is like being a skinny in a world full of fatties.
- Frank: Pony, why are you in Oprah clothes?
- Baby Cakes: I wanna be teached by Pony bad.
- Frank: What? No, you don't. No one is getting teached by Pony badly.
- Pony: [About to give a lecture] Let's jump right in.
- Frank: Jump in piss, teach!
- [The rest of the class silences Frank.]
- Frank: Whatever.
- Pony: The Americans didn't need more land, but the natural resources were like—the gravy on potatoes.
- [The class gasp.]
- Student: It's finally clear! If potatoes are covered in gravy, then I'll kill anyone to get 'em!
- Pony: And that is exactly what the early Americans did—we killed everybody!
- [The class begin cheering.]
- Frank: Oh my God. She's—Amadeus-y.
- Steve: Pony, don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
- Pony: No, always look a gift horse in the mouth. Trojan horse, anyone? Am I the only person who knows history?
- Frank: There is something going on here, and I am going to fuck it up.
- Sammy: Oh look! Bird!
- Baby Cakes: There's a cheetah pushing a hamster up in a lion.
- Baby Cakes: Dad, I thought you kicked this koala shit.
- Baby Cakes: Hey, everyone, am I still a moose?
Characters Appearing Edit
- Baby Cakes
- God (pictured)
- Ronald Reagan (pictured)
- Stacy Megan
- Stephen Smith
- The Dean
- The Dean's Assistant
|"Coming Out of the Casket"||"Prom Face/Off"|
|Pilots||"China, IL: The Funeral" • Unaired Pilot|
|Season 1||"Rewind, Pause, Pay!" • "Dean vs. Mayor" • "Baby Boom" • "Coming Out of the Casket" • "Secret Society" • "Prom Face/Off" • "Frankensteve" • "Chinese New Year" • "Dream Reamer" • "Dean's List"|
|Season 2||"The Perfect Lecture" • "Is College Worth It?" • "Do You Know Who You Look Like?" • "The Diamond Castle" • "Kenny Winker Rules" • "China-Man Begins" • "Total Validation" • "Surfer God" • "Prank Week" • "Wild Hogs"|
|Season 3||"A Gentleman's Bet" • "Best Face Forward" • "Charlize" • "Crow College" • "Bi-Topping-Ality" • "Parent's Day" • "Displays of Manhood" • "Life Coaches" • "Gummie World" • "Magical Pet"|