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Flexes Its Muscles The Busasaurus Going Batty

"Leave no stone unturned: that's my motto."
Carmina Skeledon

The Magic School Bus: The Busasaurus is the third episode of Season 2 in the original series, and the 16th overall. In production order form, this is the fourth episode of the season, and the 17th overall.

Plot

The class is visiting Ms. Frizzle's old friend, Dr. Carmina Skeledon at a dinosaur dig site. She lets a fascinated Arnold see a fossilized dinosaur egg that Ms. Frizzle finds as they are leaving, and he still has it when they suddenly go back in time.

The class watches as they enter and exit the Ice Age and finally arrive in the late Cretaceous Period. Having gone back "67 million years, give or take a month or two," Arnold is startled to find that Dr. Skeledon's rock has "unfossilized back into an egg." The class is also frightened by the sudden appearance of large, long necked dinosaurs called Alamosaurus.

Keesha exclaims, "Oh, bad! Oh, bad! Oh, bad, bad, bad!" as an Alamosaurus lifts her into the air.

They separate and scatter, Arnold running after Phoebe and Liz. Arnold trips on a rock, and the egg goes flying, Liz barely managing to catch it in time. Arnold lets Phoebe see it, but an Ornithomimus suddenly appears out of nowhere and steals it from her. Arnold runs after it yelling, "Come back with my egg, you thief! It doesn't belong to you! Come to think of it...it doesn't belong to me either!" Phoebe runs after him, Liz quickly running to tell Ms. Frizzle.

The rest of the class and Ms. Frizzle regroup, Liz explaining in sign language to Ms. Frizzle that Arnold and Phoebe ran off after the Ornithomimus. Carlos, being paranoid about getting eaten by dinosaurs, misinterprets Liz's message and exclaims, "See!? I knew this would happen! The dinos did them in!" The class hides out on a riverbank, looking out for Arnold and Phoebe, and Ralphie spots Baby Parasaurolophus them. They cross a river filled with a herd of Parasaurolophus and land in an Edmontosaurus nest. Carlos is grossed out, while the rest of the class is fascinated when the Edmontosaurus mother vomits up pre-chewed berries for the babies.

Arnold and Phoebe wonder aloud, "Do you think he's a plant eater or a meat eater?" as the Ornithomimus hisses menacingly at them.

Meanwhile, Arnold and Phoebe continue to chase the Ornithomimus, but they stop when it does. Both wonder if it eats plants or meat, but most likely, it only eats eggs. Phoebe tries to get Arnold to forget about it, "it's just an egg," but Arnold points out it belongs to Dr. Skeledon. He steps away from her and says, "And it's up to me to get it back to her!" He runs off, leaving a stunned Phoebe, who then smiles and says, "Gee, what a guy!" before she follows.

"Gee, what a guy!"

The class continues on their way, only to stumble upon a Triceratops herd in a field. Keesha handfeeds a baby Triceratops. A pack of carnivorous Troodon ambush the baby Triceratops, but the smaller Troodon are scared away by the larger Triceratops. When the Troodon turn on the class, Ms. Frizzle hands them "Tricera-shields" to scare them off.

Arnold and Phoebe are still chasing the Ornithomimus. It stops again and sniffs the air, dropping the egg before running away as it realizes there is a sleeping Tyrannosaurus rex is nearby. Arnold and Phoebe are unaware, and as they look, Arnold finds the egg near the T. rex, mistaking it for a large rock.

The frightened class screams as the Tyrannosaurus rex attacks the bus, while in the background, Ms. Frizzle is looking over her insurance policy to see if it covers dino damage.

Phoebe helps him pull it free saying, "Something tells me we shouldn't be here". As Arnold asks, "Like what?", they accidentally wake the T. rex and Phoebe exclaims, "Like that!" They run for their lives as the T. rex chases them, and the approaching T. rex scares the Triceratops herd away, causing a stampede and for the students to take cover. Arnold and Phoebe find themselves in the same field as the class. Arnold trips into a mud puddle, losing the egg. Phoebe cries out for him before she runs on the bus, and he runs to hide under The Magic Triceratops Bus.

Arnold yells, "Hey, you big bully! Leave my class alone!" in defense of the class.

As the T. rex viciously attacks The Magic Triceratops Bus, Ms. Frizzle suggests the class study its digestive system, but the terrified class begs her to "DO SOMETHING!" and she says, "Okay, class! Think big!". Growing Arnold into a giant 20 foot tall human, she helps him intimidate the T. rex away, making the class learn that the predator only wanted "a quick meal without getting hurt."

When Arnold recovers the egg from the mud puddle, Ms. Frizzle shrinks him back to normal size. Phoebe runs up to him and tells him, "It's a good thing you didn't stay home today, Arnold," to which he awkwardly replies, "Well, I should sure be glad when this is a rock again. It's a lot safer."

"It's a good thing you didn't stay home today, Arnold!"

The class returns to the present. Once they're all back at the dig site, they find a fossilized footprint of the giant Arnold's sneaker. Carlos, seeing some mud on Arnold's sneakers, then says, "I'd say it was a Sneakersaurus!"

Trivia/Goofs

  • The cartoon --The Busasaurus-- is loosely the TV series adaptation (TV adaptation) of the 1994 book The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs and there are a few differences:
    • The book focuses with all three periods in the Mesozoic era. But the cartoon adaptation focuses only on the Cretaceous Period. The cartoon version (the TV adaptation of said book) only shows the Cretaceous, because it was due to time constraints. In this version, time constraints forced the episode (in the TV series) to only show the Cretaceous in order for it to be up to 30 minutes like all other episodes. All three Mesozoic periods are visited in the book.
      • In the software adaptation Explores in the Age of Dinosaurs (which is loosely adapted from both the book and cartoon adaptations), that version (adapted from the book) however shows all the time periods (like in the book). But the bus transforms into three different prehistoric animals instead of a time machine (unlike the book and TV adaptations). It transforms into a Coelophysis (for the Triassic period), Stegosaurus (for the Jurassic), and Pteranodon (for the Cretaceous).
    • The class visits Ms. Frizzle's old friend in both. But both characters are different in the book and cartoon versions. In the book version, it was Jeff who is a male. In this version, they visit Dr. Skeledon who is a female.
    • The book version focused students were John and Wanda. The students focused in this version are Arnold, Phoebe, and Carlos.
  • Dr. Skeledon hosts the Producer Says segment at the end of the episode.
  • It is heavily implied Phoebe develops a crush on Arnold in this episode. This is applied again for a brief moment in "Goes Cellular".
  • This episode is based on both The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs and Jurassic Park. A few references to the Jurassic Park franchise are Keesha feeding the Alamosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus rex chasing the Bus and biting it. This is the second episode with pop-culture references, after Inside Ralphie and Fantastic Voyage.
  • This is the first time Arnold and Phoebe chase a thieving animal. The second is "Goes Cellular."
  • Going by production order, this is the 4th episode of Season 2. This is the second episode to be switched in streaming order.
  • Later, after this episode was made (and Jurassic Park), feathers were discovered on some dinosaurs (due to their relationship with birds). This is similar to how Gets Lost in Space and Out of This World mentioned Pluto as a planet, even though it loses its planet status in the 2000s. Coincidentally, Out of This World and this episode are both from the original Season 2.
  • Unlike the book, the Maiasaura are unnamed.
  • This is the first episode that doesn't open on or feature Walkerville Elementary School. The next few are Spins A Web, Works Out, Rocks And Rolls, Getting Energized, Gets Charged, Gets Swamped, In the city, Kids in Space, and The Frizz Connection.

Goofs and errors

  • Goof: When the Tyrannosaurus Rex moves its head, it changes colors from green to brown.
  • This is the first time Arnold is seen without his glasses. He can be seen without them again for a split second.
  • Goof: Ms. Frizzle says that T. Rex was the largest meat eating dinosaur, when in reality this honor likely goes to Spinosaurus, which had already been discovered decades earlier but wiped off the map before it could be fully appreciated; it would be several years before another reasonably complete specimen could be found and put together and more could be learned about this creature.
  • When the Bus transforms into a Parasaurolophus, the Bus is shown in bus form for the entire transformation sequence. Before this happens, Ralphie is shown in Carlos's color palette, skin tone and all.
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