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Meets the Rot Squad All Dried Up In the Haunted House

"If you can't take the heat, get out of the desert."
Ms. Frizzle

All Dried Up is the seventh episode of the first season of The Magic School Bus. It is about desert adaptations.


Seeing that their class diorama is void of animals, Phoebe asks Ms. Valerie Frizzle if they can add them. Carlos questions Phoebe over whether those animals could survive the desert heat. She is driven to the point that she feels they need to intervene and help the animals. She forms Students Against Desert Scarcity (also known by the acronym S.A.D.S.), and by the suggestion of Arnold, who is prepared with a field trip survival guide, she asks Ms. Frizzle if they can go to the desert to help the animals. While flying over the mountains in the Bus, she asks if they're going in the right direction, which prompts Carlos to explain the rain shadow effect, in which the mountains get the rain, leaving the lands on the other side dry. After seeing how various animals protect themselves from predators and the heat, Phoebe is still convinced the animals need her to bring them water. A rainstorm moves in and floods the desert, Phoebe and Carlos getting to the Bus in time. The following morning, the desert is in full bloom, and Phoebe realizes the animals didn't need her after all.


Main episode

While the class is making a desert for their diorama, Tim feels that something is missing. When Phoebe finally concludes that the diorama is missing desert animals, she asks Ms. Frizzle if the class could add them. So Ms. Frizzle gives Phoebe a model of a kangaroo rat and a Gila monster. Phoebe also adds in a tortoise, beetle, scorpion, jack rabbit, roadrunner, and a baby coyote, much to Liz's discomfort. Carlos, however, is dubious of all these animals surviving in the desert due to its extremely high temperature and lack of refuge. So Phoebe decides to do something about this. To the class' surprise, Arnold decides that they should take a field trip to the desert. Phoebe endorses Arnold's recourse, forming the acronym S.A.D.S. (Students Against Desert Scarcity), and Arnold tells Ms. Frizzle that he is prepared for the field trip, for he has his Field Trip Survival Guide with him.

So the class hop onto The Magic School Bus and ride to the desert. When Phoebe asks Ms. Frizzle to speed up the vehicle, Ms. Frizzle transforms The Magic School Bus into a biplane, and it flies away. When Phoebe notices that The Magic School Bus is flying over the mountains, she tries to tell Ms. Frizzle that The Magic School Bus is going the wrong way. But Ms. Frizzle elucidates that the desert wouldn't exist if there were no mountains. Carlos supports Ms. Frizzle's argument and explains to the rest of the students that some mountains have what is called the "rain shadow effect", which is the condition of water vapors condensing into rain or snow once warm, moist air rises above the mountain. So since the mountains catch all of the moisture, the air is able to reach through the other side, thus making it dry as the desert. When Phoebe gets overly inquisitive, Ms. Frizzle reminds her that she'll find an answer. The teacher lands The Magic School Bus safely onto the dry land of the desert and the class exit The Magic School Bus. They are appalled of the condition of the desert and they come across an animal known as the collared lizard, as well as the roadrunner, who is attempting to eat the lizard as its lunch. Phoebe tells the class that they need to protect the lizard and to her surprise, the lizard manages to get away on its hind legs. So Phoebe and the rest of the class hop onto the bus, which Ms. Frizzle transforms into a Gila monster. The roadrunner then proceeds to chase after them.

As the roadrunner continues to chase The Magic Gila Monster Bus, Arnold reads a cryptic tip in the guide that in order to avoid being eaten, one must become inedible, meaning to look unappetizing. So Ms. Frizzle transforms The Magic Gila Monster Bus into a horn lizard, which prompts the roadrunner to walk away. The Magic Horn Lizard Bus transforms back to its normal size and continues to ride. The class then exits The Magic School Bus to search for animals in deference to Phoebe and become tired, hot, and thirsty. When Phoebe notices a jack rabbit alone, Arnold reads the next tip of his guide, which says that to avoid the heat, wear a hat. So Phoebe proceeds to take Arnold's hat and attempts to put it on the jack rabbit, only for it to hop away. Ms. Frizzle tells her that jack rabbits have ear conditioning. Dorothy Ann explains how a car's radiator cools off hot water from the engine and juxtaposes it to the jack rabbits' ears which do the same thing. So the jack rabbit stays cool due to the blood running up its ears.

As evening falls, Phoebe notices a tortoise walking by and tells the others that they have to help it. When Phoebe asks Carlos, "How would you like to be a tortoise resting in a hot, desert sun?", this prompts Ms. Frizzle to transform The Magic School Bus into a tortoise. The Magic Tortoise Bus follows the tortoise to the tortoise's burrow, which is its shelter. Phoebe then had a thought that the reason they didn't see every desert animal is because they had already burnt up before the class' arrival to the desert. Just then, another tortoise pushes The Magic Tortoise Bus out of the burrow and outside the night-sky desert. The class then notices a coyote howling to the moon, as well as other different desert animals. Phoebe then approaches a scorpion and its progeny, and Carlos elucidates that the desert animals were just waiting for the sun to go down before coming outside. Phoebe, while acknowledging her mistakes, decides to give water to the animals by herself. Carlos tries to convince Phoebe that there's a way that animals can get water somehow. When Phoebe asks him exactly how, a dark storm cloud hovers overhead, and rain falls. The class quickly enter The Magic School Bus just in time for a sweep of water flowing their way.

The next morning, the class wake up to find a prolific amount of plants around the desert. They notice shrimp in the puddle and peccary, a desert relative of pigs, eating cacti, which are replete with water inside. Phoebe finally concedes that the animals don't need anyone's help to survive in the desert, for they have enough adaptation to beat the blazing heat.

As the students leave via The Magic School Bus, Arnold reads another tip in the guide: "For those without desert adaptations, always travel with a teacher with frizzy, red hair." Ms. Frizzle transforms The Magic School Bus into a biplane once again, and the students return to class. Despite already knowing about the desert adaptations the animals have, Phoebe still thinks that there are animals in need of assistance, calling herself and the rest of the class S.A.S.H. (Students Assisting Sleepy Heads), for Carlos, who is still sleeping in The Magic School Bus. Dorothy Ann then tells Phoebe that hibernation is an adaptation. The class leaves with laughter, and Ms. Frizzle tells them, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the desert".

Phoebe's Producer Says segment

Inside the office, Phoebe is seen wheeling the fake cactus on a wagon inside with Liz's help until she hears the phone ring. So Phoebe reluctantly answers it and gets a call from a boy who informs he's starting up a new group called "Save Our Kangaroo Rats" and wants Phoebe herself as president. Phoebe, however, informs her old schoolmate that kangaroo rats really don't need to be saved and can get all the water they need from devouring seeds and plants. When asked if the kangaroo rats have an adaptation to help cope with the short nights, Phoebe states that it was to show how desert animals come out at night, and it was due to time limit. When the boy expresses confusion of an adaptation growing a seed instantly after it rains, to which Phoebe responds that the time limit of the episode is what makes the plant sprout quickly. The boy also tells Phoebe that the needles on the cacti are also leaves, which doesn't lose any water, and not every desert is hot, which causes the temperature to drop if those certain deserts don't get enough rain. Before the boy hangs up, he asks Phoebe (who he doesn't recognize over the phone) to remind her to tell herself (unknowingly to him) that she's the greatest, which prompts a satisfied and grateful Phoebe to decide to answer the phone more often.

Episode Availability

Video Compilations

  • Holiday Special (2002 DVD)
  • All About Earth (2013 DVD)
  • Cracks a Yolk (2013 DVD)
  • Sky's the Limit (2017 release of All About Earth, also DVD)
  • Springs into Nature (2016 iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play)

Complete Original Series and Season 1

  • Complete Original Series (2012, 2018): Disc 1 (8-disc set), Disc 1 (6-disc set)
  • Season 1 (2015): Disc 1

Discovery Education


  • Phoebe is the first person to be on Producer Says other than the Producers, at least in airing order. She is also the only student to answer a call in the segments.
  • This is the first episode Ralphie is seen without his cap.
  • This is the thirteenth episode of Season 1 in production order and in the international order. Ralphie mentions this being "the final field trip", which references the production code.
  • The TV tie-in book is called "Gets All Dried Up". In later publications, such as the 25th anniversary edition, the "gets" was removed.
  • This episode and "For Lunch" are the only episodes that have no line breaks on their title cards.
  • In production order, this is the last episode to feature Amos Crawley and Max Beckford as Arnold and Tim.
  • This episode and the previous one are the only two Season 1 episodes that never had their funding credits shown on home media.
  • Carlos is the third character to sleep, the first being Arnold and Ralphie.
  • This is the only episode where the "Carlos!" gag is used in reaction to something other than a pun, joke, or inappropriate remark.
  • This is the first episode which Phoebe says something that results in the "Carlos!" gag, and also the only time someone other than the speaker ends up on the receiving end.
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