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Meets Molly Cule is the first episode of the fourth season of The Magic School Bus. It is about molecules.
The class is going to see Wanda's favorite singer, Molly Cule, in concert. They learn how to wash her car all the down to the very last bit. But when she sees a tiny dirty speck of tar on the badge, the class, except Arnold and Liz, check a spot before the performance starts.
While Wanda is listening to one of Molly Cue's songs on her cassette player, Arnold asks her why the class should have a car wash when Molly Cue is performing at Walkerville tonight. Wanda responds that the car wash is how she'll get to meet her favorite singer, who always have a car wash before the concert. Ms. Frizzle then arrives and guides the class to The Magic School Bus.
During the bus ride, Wanda feels nervous before Molly will not notice the class' car wash since there are so many car wash places in Walkerville. The Magic School Bus stops to a vacant lot and the class get out to start cleaning it just in time for Molly to arrive. The class becomes surprised when they learn that Molly knows Ms. Frizzle, who was on the singer's tour once under the nickname "Val-Gal". Wanda introduces herself to Molly and the singer looks at her watch to find that her concert starts in an hour. She lets the class clean her car and advises them not to get her car ornament (which is most important for her performance as Molly dedicated a song to) wet. Arnold asks Molly what the car ornament is made of, which Molly responds is a secret, and calling him "Sugar", encouraging Ralphie to tease Arnold with that nickname, prompting Arnold to blush. When Molly leaves to get the rest of the band, the class wash the singer's car, and Ralphie has a hard time cleaning the tires. So Ms. Frizzle offers him some soap and Ralphie discovers that the soap makes suds and the dirt slides away once water is added. Ms. Frizzle explains that it is caused by the slipperiness of the soap. Arnold then notices some tar on the hood and Wanda scrubs it off just in time for Molly to return. Molly uses the mega-magnifier Ms. Frizzle gave her to check for tiny dirt specks on her car. She then discovers that there is still a tiny speck of tar on the car and gives Wanda and the others half an hour to efface it off right before leaving. Since the class cannot see the tiny speck of tar, Ms. Frizzle leads everyone (with the exception of Arnold, who is left to stall Molly) to The Magic School Bus and shrinks it to the smallest size possible.
Arnold and Liz has a hard time seeing the bus and the rest of the class exit The Magic School Bus to take a view of the paint of the car. Ms. Frizzle states that when you are very small and see the paint close up, it is in pieces. Carlos informs that according to the shrinker-scope, the class has shrank to one millionth their normal size, and Wanda also learns that when very small, every bits of paint can be seen, which are called molecules. She uses an analogy of building blocks to juxtapose them to molecules and the class comes across molecules from the rag for cleaning the car. Wanda finally comes across the speck of tar and to Arnold's surprise, Molly returns and Arnold explained that the class are going on a small break. The singer leaves, but never before telling Arnold she expects her car to be immaculate once she returns. The class struggles to remove the tar molecules and Wanda realizes that the class needs soap and water to wash the tar. Ms. Frizzle picks up the class and drives to the water and soap molecules. The class exits The Magic School Bus and Ms. Frizzle uses The Magic School Bus to scoop the molecules inside The Magic School Bus. As The Magic School Bus drives to the tar and lets all the water and soap molecules out, the class discover how the soap molecules are grabbing the tar molecules and peeling them off the car. When the water molecules finally dissipates, Ms. Frizzle states that the rag would do the trick. She has Arnold use the rag to wipe the badge, which Arnold complies to. With the car now immaculate, the class enters The Magic School Bus and double back in size. Unfortunately, Wanda accidentally knocks off the car ornament with an umbrella and causes it to fall into a bucket of water, causing it to evaporate.
Arnold then learns that when Molly told Arnold, "That's my little secret, my little sugar", she was implying that the car ornament is made of sugar. Wanda also explained that the song's lyrics, "I love my sugar, down to the very last bit" to one of Molly's songs was a hint of her dedication to the hood ornament. With very short time, Wanda decides the class should put the sugar together to rebuild Molly's car ornament. So the class (save Arnold) enters The Magic School Bus and shrinks to size to enter the water. They come across the sugar molecules and struggle to put it back together, oblivious of Molly's return to her car. Ms. Frizzle uses The Magic School Bus to dark the water so the class could put the sugar molecules back together while Arnold continues to distract Molly. To their surprise, they find out that the sugar molecules are stacking up on their own. Ms. Frizzle tells them they are crystallizing. The bus rebuilds the car ornament and replaces it just in time as the class are seen in their normal size.
Molly thanks the class for their hard work and dedicates a song to them at her concert. The class joins her onstage as she performs her song about molecules. After the performance, the audience cheer and Ms. Frizzle shouts out, "Hooray for Molly Cule...and hooray for molecules".
- Molly's name is an obvious pun on the word molecule.
- This is the first time Tim has a higher-pitched voice since it was entering puberty. However in production and streaming order, it is Cracks A Yolk.
- William appears in Wanda's thought bubble in regarding the molecules as building blocks.
- One of the male audience members at the concert resembles Tommy from the 1997 animated version of Pippi Longstocking (which Nelvana also produced).
- This is one of the few episodes where the bus' emergency exit door is open, though that door is rarely ever used.
- Going by production order, this is the 6th episode of Season 4. This also marks as the twenty-first episode to be switched in streaming order.
- This episode was completed in August 26, 1997. This would mean that the Season 4 might have been in production on the Summer of 1997.
- In the Quebecois French dub of this episode, both the featured song "Down to the Very Last Bit" and the song that plays during the Producer Says segment are not dubbed and remain in English.
- The still that the credits are shown over is from the intro sequence.
- The Producer Says segment takes place in a quiet concert where the producer's phone is being disturbed by two audience members, which is banned for him to text a message.
- This is the second original series episode to include a character's name. The first being "Inside Ralphie".
- In the Producer Says segment, the Producer whispers, but doesn't holler or talk normally.
- This is the second time the producer does not say his job. The first time this happened was the end of Gets Lost in Space.
- In the concert scene, when the camera is in close-up on the class in the audience, Phoebe's sleeves on her shirt are red like her shortalls but with her collar yellow.
- If Molly Cule explained Arnold that her car ornament was a secret and referred to him as "sugar", she would have already spoiled the surprise with the word sugar before the class found out it was made from sugar while re-assembling it.
- When Wanda was singing along to "Down to the Very Last Bit" via her cassette player at the beginning, Dorothy Ann can be heard on the cassette despite that kids are not joined in until the concert at the end.