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Episode Information

"The Key to the Nile" is an egyptian-themed episode of The Backyardigans from the first season. It was the seventh episode to premiere in the United States and Canada. This also marked the first time in the show in which all 5 of the main characters appear altogether.



"Broadway-style musical numbers ring through the desert as Princess CleoTasha and her royal servants try to end ancient Egypt's drought by finding three gifts for Sphinx Uniqua."


Once upon a time, there was Tasha walks out from behind Pablo's house wearing a crown and introduces herself as Princess CleoTasha, the ruler of Egypt. She explains to the viewer how, as a princess, servants cater to her every need, and she never has to do things for herself. Tasha then sings the song "I Love Being a Princess" before the backyard transforms into the desert of Egypt. CleoTasha is seen looking out the window from her Egyptian palace, suddenly noticing that her garden and the Nile have dried out.

CleoTasha calls out for her servants -- Tyrone, Pablo, and Austin -- who enter at her beck and call. The four sing a reprise of "I Love Being a Princess," during which the servants explain how Princess CleoTasha never says "please" or "thank you," and Austin refers to her as "such a pain." After the song, CleoTasha orders them to fetch her a glass of water but is informed by the boys that there's no water to be fetched due to the Nile drying up, and the only way to refill the river is to fetch three special presents for the Sphinx Uniqua. Fortunately, the boys know where the presents are hidden and will help her find them.

As they embark on their journey, they sing "Three Presents for the Sphinx" as they walk over to a region with many pyramids. In the hidden pyramid, Tyrone tells CleoTasha that the first gift is the Jewel of the Waters. The kids rest in a clearing amidst the pyramids, but when CleoTasha orders the boys to serve her, Tyrone spontaneously leans against nothing, and his friends' stares of awe prompt him to realize he's just found the entrance to the hidden pyramid, which is actually invisible. Tyrone opens the door, and when CleoTasha states that she doesn't want to go in alone, he volunteers to come with her; she immediately pushes him in front of her to lead the way, catching him off-guard. They come to a room with six pedestals with a jewel on each one. CleoTasha approaches a golden jewel, claiming it matches her dress, until Tyrone tells her that she must only touch the Jewel of the Waters. "If you touch any other jewel, "all is lost," he says. He soon directs her to a blue emerald-cut jewel, the Jewel of the Waters. Oblivious to his assistance, she brags about finding it and hands it over to Tyrone so she doesn't have to carry it herself.

As the children continue their journey across the desert, CleoTasha notices the dry riverbed of the Nile and sings, "I Want My River Back." Afterward, she asks Servant Pablo what the second present is, and Pablo informs her that the Yellow Lotus Flower grows only on the Cliffs of Karnak. As they head toward their destination, they sing the second part of "Three Presents for the Sphinx." When they reach the Cliffs of Karnak, CleoTasha has Pablo accompany her up the golden steps. At the top, they come to a garden. CleoTasha, dazzled by the colorful flowers, wants to pick one of the red ones, though Pablo tells her that she may only pick the Yellow Lotus Flower, which means that if she picks any other flower, "all is lost." CleoTasha starts looking for the Yellow Lotus Flower, but Pablo, having spotted it already, points it out to her. Not even bothering to thank him, she picks it up and brags about finding it, giving it to Pablo so she doesn't have to carry it.

Next, they search for the secret oasis, where the final gift is located. Finding the hidden hole of water in the middle of the dry desert takes a while to find it, but they arrive just in time to watch it appear out of thin air. CleoTasha dashes to the oasis and is to drink from it, but she is stopped by Austin, who tells her that if she drinks the water of the secret oasis, "all is lost" and that the Sphinx is the only one allowed to drink it. Austin gives CleoTasha a cup, and she fills it with the oasis water. She hands it over to him, and as she returns to her horse, he remarks again that she never says "please" and "thank you."

The princess and her servants find Sphinx Uniqua, initially in the classic sphinx position, on all fours like a cat, but she sits up to receive the gifts. Being excellent with manners, she gladly thanks the others for each one. Princess CleoTasha asks the Sphinx what the secret of the Nile is, and Uniqua sweetly tells her that the secret, all this time, has been to say "please" and "thank you," the very thing she has never done all this time. Uniqua and the gang sing, "Please and Thank You." Realizing the errors of her actions, CleoTasha thanks her royal servants for knowing where the gifts were, for helping her find them, and for being such good servants -- and as predicted, the trees become green again, and the river Nile fills back up. The servants say, "you're welcome," and CleoTasha adds, "and please forgive me if I acted kinda like a jerk." They all celebrate the use of manners, and lastly, CleoTasha thanks Sphinx Uniqua for telling her the secret of the Nile. Austin's stomach growls, signaling the end of the adventure and the start of their snack break. CleoTasha invites everyone over for cheese, crackers, and apple juice at her house and runs off as the Egyptian landscape transforms back into the backyard, and Princess CleoTasha transform back to Tasha. They sing the end song, head behind Pablo's house, and the episode ends with Tasha peeking out and saying "Thanks!" before reclosing her house's door and they all lived happily ever after as the screen irises.




  • This is the eighth episode to be available on YouTube.
  • This is the first episode:
    • In the Canadian airing or production order to feature all five characters together.
    • To have the first snack at Tasha's House.
    • That Austin has appeared in since The Heart of the Jungle.
    • Where Tasha and Austin appear in the same episode.
  • This is the fourth episode in the US airing capacity where Austin appears.
  • On Treehouse TV schedules, this episode was listed as "Princess Cleo-Tasha".


  • When Uniqua first appears in her Sphinx costume, the colors of her limbs are reversed (dark pink when it should be light pink and vice-versa).
  • At the end of the episode, when the characters say goodbye and the camera zooms out, Tasha's house can be seen sunk in the ground.
"Me and My Friends" • Nick Digital pilot
"Pirate Treasure" • "The Heart of the Jungle" • "The Yeti" • "The Snow Fort" • "Secret Mission" • "It's Great to Be a Ghost!" • "Riding the Range" • "The Key to the Nile" • "Knights Are Brave and Strong" • "Viking Voyage" • "Castaways" • "Race to the Tower of Power" • "The Quest for the Flying Rock" • "Polka Palace Party" • "Surf's Up" • "Eureka!" • "Race Around the World" • "Monster Detectives" • "Cave Party" • "High Tea"
"Mission to Mars" • "Samurai Pie" • "Scared of You" • "Whodunit" • "The Legend of the Volcano Sisters" • "The Secret of Snow" • "The Swamp Creature" • "Horsing Around" • "Special Delivery" • "International Super Spy: Part 1" • "International Super Spy: Part 2" • "Movers of Arabia" • "Cops and Robots" • "Sinbad Sails Alone" • "Best Clowns in Town" • "Save the Day" • "Into the Deep" • "News Flash" • "Catch That Butterfly" • "A Giant Problem"
"Who Goes There?" • "Blazing Paddles" • "Garbage Trek" • "Fly Girl" • "What's Bugging You? " • "Chichen-Itza Pizza" • "To the Center of the Earth" • "Front Page News" • "Tale of the Mighty Knights: Part 1" • "Tale of the Mighty Knights: Part 2" • "Le Master of Disguise" • "Match on Mt. Olympus" • "The Great Dolphin Race" • "Caveman's Best Friend" • "Ranch Hands from Outer Space" • "Robin Hood the Clean" • "Escape from Fairytale Village" • "Pirate Camp" • "The Two Musketeers" • "The Masked Retriever"
"Robot Rampage: Part 1" • "Robot Rampage: Part 2" • "Catch that Train!" • "Attack of the 50 Foot Worman" • "Dragon Express" • "Flower Power" • "The Funnyman Boogeyman" • "Follow the Feather" • "Break Out!" • "The Action Elves Save Christmas Eve" • "Los Galacticos" • "For the Love of Socks!" • "The Flipper!" • "Elephant on the Run" • "The Magic Skateboard" • "Pablor and the Acorns" • "Super Team Awesome!" • "The Big Dipper Diner" • "The Amazing Splashinis" • "The Tale of the Not-So-Nice Dragon"