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Plays Ball Goes to Seed Gets Ants in Its Pants

"Well, Phoebe, I certainly won't let you down."
Mr. Seedplot

The Magic School Bus Goes to Seed is an episode of Scholastic's The Magic School Bus from season 1.



Plot

The class is planting a garden and will be featured on the cover of Plant It! magazine. All but Phoebe have full plots. Carlos gets angry that she only has a drawing of a plant, and she explains she has one at her old school and her letters to her former teacher, Mr. Seedplot, asking for her plant have gone unanswered. Ms. Frizzle overhears the class' conversation and takes them to Phoebe's old school in order to get her flower, for she states, "If the plant won't come to you, go to the plant", much to Phoebe's dismay.

All the while, Phoebe fears Mr. Seedplot will see them and take this very badly. An impatient Carlos asks Ms. Frizzle if the class could fly to the school, prompting Ms. Frizzle to transform The Magic School Bus into a ladybug. The ladybug bus flies to Phoebe's old school (which happens to be a placeholder name for the school) and through the garden to locate her plant. The Magic School Ladybird lands on the petal of a flower and inside the center of it.

Phoebe suggests that the class should stay in the flower and inside The Magic School Ladybird to avoid imminent embarrassment, but Ms. Frizzle escorts the class out of the bus anyway, much to Phoebe's dismay. The class slide down The Magic School Ladybird, and Phoebe is little more than apprehensive about this. Liz offers her a beekeeper hat so Mr. Seedplot won't recognize her, and Phoebe follows along with the rest of the class. She then takes off the hat after Wanda laughs and says, "Hey, Phoebe! Nice disguise!"

As the class play in the liquid, a proboscis of a bee sucks in some of it from the flower. Ms. Frizzle explains that every bee has a proboscis. Dorothy Ann informs that the liquid the class is stuck in is called nectar. In order to get more bees to drink the nectar to get The Bus out of it, Phoebe shows the class a picture of the flower and tells them that the lines of the flower are pointing towards the pool of nectar in the flower. Carlos finally comes to a conclusion and states that if there were more lines, more bugs would suck up the nectar. Liz hops inside the bus and pulls the lever to send lines out through the roof and around the flower. This attracts more bees, who use their proboscis to suck up the nectar right after the class enter The Magic School Ladybird.

Once the nectar has been sucked out of the flower, Ms. Frizzle drives the ladybug bus up the stem and Phoebe is still panicking over being obtrusive to Mr. Seedplot's view. Little does Phoebe know, Mr. Seedplot reads Phoebe's note and begins looking for her plant. Meanwhile, the bus continues crawling up the stem of the flower until it rests on top of an anther, which is made of pollen, which Arnold is allergic to. Just then, the bees fly around the pollen and cause the anther the bus is resting on top of to shake.

When Phoebe uses Liz' binoculars to find that Mr. Seedplot is at the garden, she asks Ms. Frizzle if the class can shrink even smaller, which Ms. Frizzle does in deference. Mr. Seedplot notices and is convinced that he discovered the "vanishing ladybug." The bus gets carried away along with the pollen on the bee's leg and flies to Phoebe's flower, dropping the bus on it in the process. Keesha then learns that the insects bring pollen from one flower to another and Carlos asks what that has to do with getting Phoebe's plant back from one school to another. Ms. Frizzle answers that question by exiting the bus and exploring around the flower.

Arnold's big sneeze propels the class out of the bus and they realize that they are at the top of the female part of the flower. Arnold sneezes again and falls through a tube of a pollen inside the flower. When Phoebe notices Mr. Seedplot's shadow, she follows along with Arnold and slides down the tube as well. The class follow suit and Phoebe meets up with Arnold to tell him that they are deep into the bottom of the flower. The class then notice a green ball inflating and find that there are more around the inside of the flower. When Ms. Frizzle states that the green ball is a "plant waiting to happen." Phoebe then learns that the green ball growing is a seed, and that her plant is making more seeds.

The class then learn that the pollen the bees brought to the flower grow tubes down to the eggs and together, they make seeds. Carlos and Phoebe carry a seed to the bus to plant it in the garden of the class' school and Carlos tells Phoebe that there is only five minutes left. The hop onto the bus, which flies on top of the growing seed and sprouts a flower. The bus is blown away through the wind, taking a ride on the seed. Phoebe then notices Mr. Seedplot riding a bicycle with Phoebe's plant in the basket, and Phoebe starts to panic. To her horror, the tiny bus lands directly onto Mr. Seedplot's head.

As Mr. Seedplot gets closer to the school, Phoebe calls for Mr. Seedplot, prompting the teacher to stop his bike. While trying to figure out who called him, he sweeps the bus (which he is oblivious to) off his forehead, sending the bus flying to the class' garden. Carlos panics when he sees that the photographer has already arrived. As the bus lands onto the soil, Ms. Frizzle uses the bus to bury the seed, water it, shine it with light, and speed up time to make the plant grow faster. As the plant finally grows, Mr. Seedplot arrives just in time and an embarrassed Phoebe cajoles Ms. Frizzle to shrink the bus again.

The class finally surmise that Phoebe is embarrassed by Ms. Frizzle and they convince her all the things the teacher has done for the class. Phoebe soon realizes that she has no reason to be. As the class return to their normal size right in front of Mr. Seedplot, Phoebe proudly introduces her to Mr. Seedplot, only to find out that they're old friends and that Mr. Seedplot's first name is Archibald. Ms. Frizzle then states, "The magic is in the garden," and the class finally get their picture taken, with the picture ending up on the front of the magazine.

Producer Says Epilogue

Inside the office, Mr. Seedplot enters the office to write a letter to Ms. Frizzle. When he hears the phone ringing, Mr. Seedplot reluctantly answers it to answer a boy's questions. The boy asks why Phoebe didn't just search for the seeds from the catalog, to which Mr. Seedplot responds that seeds come from plants rather than catalogs. When the boy brings up how Ms. Frizzle speeded everything by magic, Mr. Seedplot becomes mesmerized by Ms. Frizzle's magic and almost loses focus of the topic as the boy even adds that some nature shows do the same thing as well. When asked what plant Phoebe had, Mr. Seedplot calls it a "pharrin madeupkatus". The boy doesn't buy this, and Mr. Seedplot explains the plant was similar to other real flowers. The boy then asks if Ms. Frizzle has a boyfriend, which prompts Mr. Seedplot to ignore the question and hang up the phone. He watches as Liz runs out of the classroom with the bouquet of flowers and letter and views Ms. Frizzle through the video caller waving to him. Mr. Seedplot falls back onto his chair as Ms. Frizzle laughs.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Instead of the producer answering the phone, it's Mr. Seedplot. It's implied he has strong feelings for Prof. Frizzle.
    • The concept of video calling is foreshadowed at the end of the Producer Says segment.
    • Archibald starts his letter with "Dear Valerie....", confirming that Prof. Frizzle's first name is Valerie.
  • Carlos showed his bossy side for the first time.
  • In the book Meet the Class, Arnold's allergy to pollen is noted.
  • The Bus transforms from the front view for the second time. The previous time is in Plays Ball, and the third is in Claw and Order.
  • The Bus's transformation sequence into a ladybug would be reused in season 2.
  • It's unknown if Arnold's allergy to pollen was transferred into Carlos' body for the events of Carlos Gets the Sneezes, which also focuses on allergies.
  • The name of Phoebe's old (and current) school is the outdated "Phoebe's Old School".
  • The TV tie-in book is called "Plants Seeds."
  • "Gets Planted" and this episode have much in common, as they both focus on both plants and Phoebe.
  • Robby Benson, the voice of Mr. Seedplot, is also the voice of the Beast in the 1991 Disney film Beauty and the Beast, which was released 3 years before this episode's air date.
  • On the VHS, DVD, Netflix, and Amazon releases, this episode strangely has the top margin cut off in some scenes. This is fixed in the iTunes/Vudu/Google Play masters. On the VHS, it's noticeable if you watch it on a modern television.
  • This episode aired two days after Stuart Stone's 14th birthday.
  • Unlike two episodes ago, when the color scheme was warmer than normal, the color scheme is cooler than normal. This applies to all home media.
  • This episode reveals that Arnold is allergic to pollen, thus making him sneeze.
  • Mr. Seedplot sings the song "Bicycle Built for Two" while riding his bicycle to Walkerville Elementary School.

Goofs/Errors

  • When Keesha finishes her sentence and says "...the pollen tube reached it.", Wanda's mouth moves.
  • When Phoebe says "The pollen that the bees brought..." the scene in which Ralphie says "They're all over the place!" is reused.

References to other media

  • During Phoebe's fantasy of meeting Mr. Seedplot, Ms. Frizzle's head on the Magic School Bus is similar to the Thomas & Friends character Bertie the Bus, another anthropomorphic bus.
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