The Magic School Bus + Rides Again Wiki
The Magic School Bus + Rides Again Wiki
General Information · Episode Gallery · Transcript

Cracks a Yolk Goes to Mussel Beach Goes on Air

Goes to Mussel Beach is the third episode of the foruth season of The Magic School Bus. It is about tidal zones.


The class has gone to the beach, but Ralphie insists that they stay in one spot even though it is crowded and trashy. The rest of the class thinks it is a rotten spot on the beach, but he insists that it is where they want to be.

Ms. Frizzle arrives via the Surfboard School Bus and receives a letter that float in with the tide. Tim understands what Ms. Frizzle means and at a pier, the water rises up when high tide and down when low tide. The letter Ms. Frizzle received is from her Uncle Shelby. The letter explains how he needs a special spot saved for a friend. Eager to get away from Ralphie and explore the rest of the beach, the class, minus Liz and Ralphie, go to find the spot.

Wanda checks the map and realizes that the class' destination is underwater and Ms. Frizzle states "never fear the bathysphere!" as the Bus transforms into a bathtub, which she and the rest of the class take a ride in underwater. The children become mussels and the Friz becomes a crab. The class then finds that the inhabitant of the spot, Mert, is not a human, but a mussel.

When the class lands in Mert's spot, Phoebe finds out that the stringy things they have are for fastening themselves down. Then they see other ocean creatures, such as turban snails and goose-neck barnacles, have taken over Mert's spot, and an owl limpet (Lottia gigantea) pushes the rest of the class out the way. So the class decides to find him a new spot. The middle zone is where the mussel made his home originally.

They try to go to the low zone, but find worse accommodations there. Sea stars try to eat them! Mert would never be safe there. Ms. Frizzle then equips the students with jet packs so they will be able to move around on their own. They head to the high zone. However, at low tide there is not enough water for mussels to breathe and there are hungry seagulls above looking for snacks.

The class decides to go back to Mert's original spot, which is just right for him. The high zone is to hot and dangerous while the low zone was replete with starfish ready to eat the mussels. With the help of the Magic School Bus, in the form of an owl limpet, they push everybody else out. Mert gets returned home, thanks to a phone call from Dr. Shelby, to which Carlos jokingly states the phone is "shell-ular", and the class goes back to Ralphie who has come up with innovative solutions to survive the beach spot he chose.

When they get back to Ralphie, they apply what they learn about finding the right place to live to try to convince him to move. They then find out his reason for picking the spot he chose: it makes them first in line for ice cream.


  • Ms. Frizzle's dress on shore is the one she wore in Gets Eaten, except now it has shells and clams on it instead of nautical flags.
  • Uncle Shelby's phone voice is actually Ms. Frizzle's dialogue sped-up. It's the same line she says when she is actually calling him

"Oh, I got his machine. Val here, uncle Shelb. Tell your friend, Mert, we'd be happy as clams to watch his place for him. Contact with you later."

  • Going by production order, this is the 2nd episode of Season 4. This is the 17th episode to be switched in streaming order form. This episode was completed on August 12, 1997.
  • This is the third time the producer does not say his job. The first time this happened was the end of Gets Lost in Space and the second time it did was Meets Molly Cule, except for the fact that he whispers, but doesn't holler in that one.
  • This is the third episode in the unofficial "Summer Trilogy", which is believed to take place at the end of Year One. The other episodes are "Gets Eaten" and "Kicks Up a Storm", both from Season 1.


D.A.'s mussel foot
The Magic School Bus
The Magic School Bus Rides Again