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- "Ready or not: here I come..."
The Magic School Bus Hides and Seeks is an episode of the first season of The Magic School Bus Rides Again.
On the playground, Ralphie is hosting a game of "Walkerville Ultimate Hide and Seek", a competitive version of the traditional playground game. Tim is excited, and Jyoti is "so pumped, she can't finish her sentence". Arnold isn't that excited, because he's already participated in so many schoolwide events, and he can't get enough of his clown leak. Dorothy Ann is worried that they will lose again, to an unnamed girl who just so happens to be the seeker (voiced by Gabby Clarke), and she's determined to defeat her. Flashback to the last time they played, when Dorothy Ann lost to the seeker. Back in the present day, Ralphie says he can't wait to see what will happen this time, and Dorothy Ann forms a team of the best hiders in the class: Ralphie, Tim, and Jyoti, whom she signed up this morning. Wanda wonders what Dorothy Ann will be doing, and the latter says that the Friz gave her a better idea. The Friz appears, camouflaged, covered in tempera paint, and tells the kids that camouflage is a perfect way to hide from predators. Dorothy Ann thinks this is a great idea and a perfect "secret weapon", and she arranges a field trip into the rainforest to see how animals hide, so they can send ideas to Ralphie, Tim, and Jyoti's earpieces during the game. The Bus turns into a helicopter and takes the class, minus the hiders, to the rainforest.
In the rainforest, Ms. Frizzle shrinks the Helicopter Bus and lands it on a leaf, where it turns back into the Magic School Bus. The yellow paint on the Bus blends in perfectly with the yellow bananas, and a hungry howler monkey rushes to the leaf and shakes the Bus around (and the class), mistaking it for a banana. Ms. Frizzle squirms over to the Bus's dashboard and turns the Bus green, prompting the monkey to drop the Bus, thinking it's just a camouflaging animal. Safe at last, Dorothy Ann turns on the Bus-to-classroom video chat mode, where the hiding three go over the rules of the game: "Don't get spotted by the seeker, do get to home base in the yard, and don't get tagged when you're running for it." The first round is in the Friz classroom, and the passengers exit the Green School Bus and watch a red-eyed tree frog, whose skin blends in perfectly with a leaf. Wanda tells the others that they need to blend in with their surroundings as the seeker yells "Ready or not, here I come!".
The game starts. Tim puts on a sand-colored vest and hides in Liz's habitat, which is covered in sand. Ralphie covers himself in mustard and pretends he is a yellow box, putting the box's lid on his body. Jyoti hasn't hid yet, and the seeker is approaching Ms. Frizzle's classroom. Dorothy Ann and the kids on the Bus are spectating, and she is worried that they are going to lose. Jyoti then dons her smart-fabric coat and blends in with the classroom (similar to Ms. Frizzle). When the seeker enters the room, she rips a clown poster off the wall and runs away (revealing her coulrophobia). The other kids reveal themselves and celebrate as Ralphie licks himself. Jyoti makes herself visible, making Tim, Ralphie and Liz stand in awe as if she is a goddess. She explains to the hiders and Liz that she was wearing a smart-fabric coat that can help her blend with her background. The students watching the classroom camera from the Bus cheer from the rainforest.
The next round is outside, and Dorothy Ann's team goes out to find more ways that animals camouflage. Wanda spots a Yucatán white-tailed deer, and notices that the light through the logs blends in with the spots on its fur. The seeker approaches the hiders, as they start to hide. Jyoti turns invisible and stands in front of a wall, Tim tries to cover himself, but the wind topples his disguise, revealing himself as he gets spotted. From the Bus, Wanda notifies everyone that people who get spotted and are out can still help the other people who are still in, meaning Tim can still help the others. Back in school, Tim gives Ralphie a "tic-tac-toe costume" so he can blend in with the tic-tac-toe board on the playground. The seeker doesn't notice Ralphie, so he is still in.
The next round approaches, and it still takes place outside. Dorothy Ann and the others leave the Bus and go outside for more ideas. Arnold gets a stick bug in his hair and screams whilst running wildly. He found the next strategy: color, pattern, and shape! Stick bugs pretend to be sticks to fool their enemies because they're the same color, size, and shape as a stick. At school, Jyoti and the others get DA's advice, to be the same color, pattern, and shape as something you're not. Jyoti hides in the ball cart, but is out due to the seeker touching Jyoti's nose when she feels the basketballs. At least Ralphie's still in the game, and he pretends to be a log.
The next round is the final round: get to home base! Dorothy Ann and co. go to the ocean to get more ideas. Once underwater, they notice that the floor is supposedly "moving", which happens to be a crab covered in dirt. The kids check on the game where they find out that Ralphie is wide open to losing, and he's gonna get caught. Dorothy Ann looks at the Bus's video screen and spots a bush, telling Ralphie to hide in it. The Seeker thought she found Ralphie, but still gets coulrophobic by a clown poster. After Ralphie successfully hides, Dorothy Ann says, "we need to go DEEPER!", making Arnold nervous, telling everyone, "The bus's Chance-of-Meeting-Something-Ugly-Down-There-Meter is off the map!" Keesha tells everyone that the Chance of Meeting Something Ugly Down There Meter is right next to the Chance of Arnold Totally and Completely Freaking Meter. Dorothy Ann tells the kids that they don't have a choice, and they need more strategies from the hiding experts of the ocean, so they dive.
Deep underwater, a barracuda snags the Magic School Busmarine with its gaping jaws, poking holes in the roof and floor with its teeth. The kids freak out and grab on to a barracuda tooth, as they admit that going deeper without camouflage was a bad idea, and Arnold says his catchphrase.
Back at Ultimate Hide and Seek, Ralphie, hiding behind a tree, tells DA that the seeker stopped looking for hiders and is pacing around Home Base. He can't reach Dorothy Ann, who's "kind of busy right now" fixing the Bus. Soon, the barracuda stops, and is scared by a mimic octopus pretending to be a lionfish (then spitting out the Magic School Bus). The Bus repairs itself with the Repairinator, and Dorothy Ann tells Ralphie to pretend to be a clown, eventually scaring the seeker and causing Ms. Frizzle's class to win the game. The others get back to school and win a special trophy, as the episode ends.
- This is the first time when the entire class makes fun of a classmate. In this case, Arnold.
- This is the second episode in The Magic School Bus Rides Again whose title follows the original series trend of "The Magic School Bus (does something or inside something related to the topic)".
- Arnold says "I knew I should've stayed home today!" for the first time in The Magic School Bus Rides Again.
- Liz lives in a cage, just like in Joanna Cole's books.
- It is revealed that Ralphie despises mustard after he covered himself in it.
- The episode's title is similar to three previous episodes: "Rocks and Rolls", "Shows and Tells", and "Ups and Downs". This is the fourth episode in the "The Magic School Bus _s and _s" formatting style.
- The seeker exhibits coulrophobia, which is the fear of clowns.
- The seeker is voiced by Gabby Clarke, who also plays Dorothy Ann.
- The Bus is animated in CGI when it is shaken by a howler monkey.
- The scene is used again in the modern digital inking/CG hybrid during Jyoti's video in In the Zone.
- The kids visit a rainforest for the second time, with the first time being in In the Rainforest.