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Gets Ants in Its Pants

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"Gets Ants In Its Pants" is the 12th episode of Season 1 of the animated children's series The Magic School Bus. It originally aired on November 26th, 1994

Plot

The class is trying to decide on a project for the school science fair. Keesha comes in the classroom, following an ant, and saves it from getting stepped on by Ms. Frizzle when she arrives. Carlos tells Keesha that there's "no time for ant-ics" and that the class should focus more on their science project. The ant ends up on Arnold's Mallowblaster, and Keesha suggests they make a movie about it. She becomes the director of the film, assigning Carlos and Phoebe as her writers. But when the ant leaves the classroom, the class follow it outside to an ant hill, where the ant is now mixed with more ants. Keesha uses her magnifying glass to search for her ant, and Dorothy Ann informs that the ant has gone to the ant hill to inform the other ants of Arnold's Mallowblaster.

This prompts Ms. Frizzle to take the class on a field trip inside an ant hill, transforming the bus into a Mallowblaster. The ants then come around and take it and Keesha decides that the movie should have more drama and excitement. When the bus is taken to the anthill, Keesha decides that it's perfect to film the ants in. But she ends up running back to the bus when she encounters two hungry ants.

As Keesha and Liz make it inside the bus, Keesha surmises that the ants are guarding their anthill, which prompts Ralphie to have the movie star a guard ant, which Carlos call the "Guardfather". The ants surround the bus and sniff it with their antennae to see if the class are their friend or foe. Carlos jokingly states that "They want to know if we smell like the same deodor-ant", which he also adds in his list of ideas. Ms. Frizzle also informs that ants' body make certain chemicals called pheromones. This prompts Ms. Frizzle to turn on the ceiling sprinkler so that everyone inside the bus smells like the ants, also adding that "When visiting the nest, smell like the rest".

The class exit the bus and Keesha decides to enter the inside of the anthill in search of her star, with Liz and the rest of the class tagging along. When the class is still thinking of a good story, Tim comes across a prolific amount of ant crawling through the burrows. When Keesha becomes increasingly irritated when the class can't find a focus ant to film, Phoebe suggests that the class should work with the ants to know them better. Keesha agrees with this idea and tells the rest of the class to observe the ants' movements in order to know them better. When Ralphie spots two ants that look as if they are kissing, Carlos suggests that the movie should be "Rom-ants". But the ants are really passing around food, which Arnold recognizes as the cream of his Mallowblaster. So Carlos suggests that the class should do a film of that, which Keesha deems as incomplete. So Carlos suggests that the star could be a "presid-ant", which is predictably rejected. Suddenly, each of the students is carried away by each ant and Liz gets it on camera as the students hop off. They then come across ants carrying worms, and Keesha reminds the class that the film is focused on ants rather than worms. Phoebe then infers that the worms are really baby ants and Ms. Frizzle informs that when ants are hatching their eggs, they are called larvae, giving Carlos an idea to put this in the film. But Keesha argues that there is no drama or actual action to larvae. When the ants carry the larvae away, Tim infers that the ants are trying to keep them warm. Ms. Frizzle explains that nurse ants move their progeny around the nest so that they get kept in the right temperature. Carlos decides to call the film "Flor-ants Nightingale", but Keesha rejects this as well, much to Carlos' annoyance.

Just then, the class come across the larvae, which has transformed into pupae (which Ms. Frizzle says is plural for pupae). Carlos states that "It would make a great docum-ant-ary". Keesha refuses, reminding Carlos that the last class of Mr. Cut the students were in had already did a documentary on cows last year. Phoebe tells the two that after a number of other rejected ideas for ants, she decides that the film should be about an egg, upsetting Keesha, even though Carlos is getting angry with Keesha who still hadn't come up with a movie plot. After asked by Phoebe where ant eggs come from, Ms. Frizzle evasively explains to the class that the eggs come from the queen. Keesha loves this idea, and Carlos agrees and decides that the class should search for the queen ant. But the class have no idea which way around the tunnels to go.

Suddenly, water drips from the ceiling of the hill, and the class ducks and covers when the dirt tumbles down the ground. When the class takes a view overhead, Tim states that the ants are repairing the hill as construction workers and tells Keesha that the film should be about builder ants. Keesha tells him that although this is a great idea, there is no star for it, and the queen is the only star for the film.

Keesha leads the class in search of the queen. But as they come across a number of ants in the tunnel, they can't figure out which one is the queen. Ms. Frizzle states that the queen is the biggest ant and is the only one who lays the eggs. Keesha is at first excited of this, but the class reminds her that there's nothing the queen could do as the star of the film. So Keesha decides to quit and runs away.

Keesha approaches the bus outside of the rain and decides to just walk through the rain, still upset of her failure to find a star for her movie. Phoebe runs after her and tries to convince Keesha to continue directing the film. While the girls explain the connections of the ants and their duties, Keesha realizes that there isn't just "one" star for the film and decides to make a film about all the ants and what each of them do to protect their nest. When the class arrives outside, Keesha informs them about her idea of the film and tells them that all the ants are stars rather than only one ant being the star. Liz, the only one who noticing the mudslide coming the class' way, warns Arnold, who warns the others of this. They hop onto the bus, but not before Keesha tells them that they still have to save the ants. So she decides that they should use the magnifying glass to block the entrance. The plan works, and Carlos decides to make a survival film, which Keesha calls "A River Almost Ran Through It".

Back in school, the film is played, and the other children give it critical acclaim. Keesha informs that she wouldn't have been able to complete the film without Phoebe, who states she couldn't have done it without Arnold, who also says that he couldn't have done it without Dorothy Ann, who says that she couldn't done it without Carlos, who also says he couldn't have done it without Wanda, stating that her part was "signific-ant". Wanda that states that she couldn't have done it without Tim, who says that he couldn't have done it without Ralphie, who says he couldn't have done it without Ms. Frizzle, who also concludes that she couldn't have done it without the bus. The class then states that they couldn't have done it without the ants. Liz is upset that she wasn't included while Ms. Frizzle states that "It's easy if you got tal-ant".

Cast

Trivia

  • Though it was aired as a penultimate, it may have been the first episode in production order.

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