"The Hermit Crab Shell Exchange", sometimes styled as "Hermit Crab Shell Exchange", is the first episode of the third season of Wild Kratts, originally airing on PBS Kids on April 7, 2014. Overall, it is the 67th episode of the series. The episode was written and directed by Martin Kratt.
In this episode, after a series of pranks, Chris and Martin discover a hermit crab on the beach. They alert the rest of the team, who become increasingly interested in the hermit crab and its shell. Not far from where they are, Chef Gourmand begins collecting hermit crabs to make "hermit crab poppers".
The episode begins with a live action segment. The Kratt brothers find a hermit crab on the beach. Afterwards, they ask their "What if?" question and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.
After a series of pranks, Chris and Martin stumble upon a hermit crab on the beach. They see it get finicky over a couple of shells to choose from, leading Martin to name it Picky. They wake the other Wild Kratts members up to get them to pay attention to the hermit crab and its shell. They arrive at the beach. After the Kratt brothers explain why the hermit crab changes its shell, Aviva gets inspired to make Hermit Crab Powers and returns to the Tortuga. Not far away, Gourmand prepares to fish, when he notices the Wild Kratts. Not concerned, he propels his boat to another part of the beach to set up his restaurant there.
Aviva returns to the beach and hands the Kratt brothers the Hermit Crab Discs and their Creature Power Suits. They successfully activate their Suits, but they end up without shells. Aviva tells them that the shell is not naturally part of the hermit crab, so the Kratt brothers search the beach for one. They end up finding Gourmand picking up hermit crabs. They realize that they have to find a shell fast, but there are not shells big enough for them, so they improvise – Chris puts on a chest while Martin puts on a tire. They reveal themselves in front of Gourmand, who fires pastry dough at them using his dough canon. They end up rolling away (Martin's makeshift shell is a tire) after the ensuing encounter and lose their "shells". As Gourmand nears them, Jimmy teleports them the Miniaturizer, but Gourmand's dough balls damage it just as the Kratt brothers shrink in size. They continue their search for shells and soon find ones that fit their current size; however, it does not take long for them to start outgrowing their shells. Jimmy then calls and suggests that they head for the water to avoid Gourmand and find more shells. The Kratt brothers do what he says, but they start to have trouble breathing. Luckily for them, they are able to activate "Sea" Hermit Crab Powers in time. As they try to find a shell that fits and avoid predators, they witness hermit crabs lining up in front of a shell from big to small. The Kratt brothers join, and they all leave their old shells behind and enter the shells right in front of them. Koki is able to fix the Miniaturizer, and Jimmy teleports it to the Kratt brothers.
Gourmand sets his pot of hermit crabs aside, when the Kratt brothers resurface, normal size. They flip themselves onto his restaurant. Gourmand first attacks Chris and ends up hurling him into the water using an over-sized mixer. He then fights Martin, but Martin is able to take advantage of the spinning mixer. Gourmand is flung away, and he admits defeat before retreating. The Kratt brothers then release the hermit crabs.
The show transitions into the concluding live action segment. The Kratt brothers watch as a hermit crab chooses a shell. Afterwards, they conclude the episode by saying "Keep on creature adventuring; we'll see you on the creature trail!"
- Caribbean hermit crab (adults) (called Land hermit crab)
- Laughing gull
- Sea snail
- Marine hermit crab
- Conch (shell)
- Shark eye (shell)
- Queen conch
- Goliath grouper
- Green moray
Key facts and Creature Moments
- For their size, starfish are the strongest echinoderms on the planet.
- The hermit crab is a scavenger. He'll eat whatever he finds.
- A hermit crab uses shells for defense.
- Sometimes, to exchange shells more quickly while avoiding predators, a group of hermit crabs line up in front of a shell from biggest to smallest. Then they all leave their old shells behind and enter the shells in front, which are guaranteed to be larger than their old shells.
- Both types of hermit crabs in this episode look exactly the same. Real land and marine hermit crabs look differently.