This is the point in the series where humans start to become an important part of Ariel's world. Although she has been fascinated by human things in the past, it is here that she starts to think of them differently from how she has always been taught.
It's a carefree day as Ariel and Flounder are playing around, when they look up at the surface where two ships are engaged in a battle. In the fracas, a boot falls from one of the ships and lands on the sea floor. Ariel, ever the curious one, takes the boot to Atlantica where she tries to figure out its purpose. There it is dubbed as the "Thingamajigger".
But Triton can't stand the sight of the human thing and orders that Sebastian supervise Ariel and Flounder in burying the thingamajigger far away. Triton's angry reaction to the thingamajigger makes the Atlanticans think that he is afraid of it. The chatterbox clams spread the word all across the ocean with gusto.
Lobster Mobster and Da Shrimp hear about Triton's fear of the thingamajigger and conclude that it would be a powerful weapon to defeat the sea king. With one thing and another they manage to get their hands on it and start a beeline to Atlantica where they intend to take over the city.
Ariel decides that in order to stop Lobster Mobster from using the thingamajigger to take over Atlantica, the best thing to do is to find out exactly how it works. And to do that, she's got to find some humans. Although she's apprehensive and frightened (Flounder even more so) they head for the docks where they see a whole bunch of fisherman lifting their catch out of their boats.
Then something happens that changes Ariel's view forever. A porpoise is stuck in a fisherman's net, and a scrawny young man who answers to the name of "Eric" takes his knife and cuts the net, setting the porpoise free. Although Ariel never sees his face, this gesture makes her question the Atlantican belief that all humans are evil. The young man also loses both his boots when they fall into the water, making Ariel doubly realise that the thingamajiggers aren't that valuable.
Back in Atlantica, the Evil Manta (who was introduced in just the previous episode) has acquired the thingamajigger and arrived in Atlantica. By now the rumours of the thingamajigger's powers have multiplied — just as rumours tend to do. The Atlanticans are just about ready to surrender to the Manta when Ariel arrives, holding not one, but two thingamajiggers as weapons. The Evil Manta concedes defeat and flees.
Although Ariel's actions were correct, Triton's mind is not to be changed, and he orders that all three thingamajiggers be buried away where they cannot cause any trouble. Ariel, who now knows how harmless they are, decides that they would be better served kept away in a grotto. Of course, her father doesn't need to know that.
(Continuity note: Here, Sebastian knows about Ariel's human things collection from the very beginning. However in the film, he learns about it for the first time after following Ariel on Triton's command. Also, although this grotto looks nothing like the grotto we see in the film, it may have been an earlier version, before her collection became massive.)
|King Triton:||Don't you all realise that humans are evil?|
|Sebastian:||Evil as the Evil Manta. Maybe eviller.|
|Ariel:||I want to learn.|
|Sebastian:||But but but but—|
|King Triton:||No buts. Not even little crab butts!|
|( While swimming to the surface. )|
|Flounder:||Ariel, this is a big mistakge.|
|Ariel:||Flounder, I'm as scared of humans as you are, but we have to find out how to stop the thingamajigger.|
|Ariel:||Oh no, the humans are gone.|
|Flounder:||There's only one thing to do.|
|Ariel:||We swim 'til we find some.|
|Flounder:||Uh, going home was more what I had in mind. Ariel!|
|Lobster Mobster:||This thing weighs a ton. Let's rest and daydream about my future.|
|Ariel:||Half of me says go. The other half wants to see more!|