“Misfortune at the Beach”
Season 4, Episode 17
Air date

July 24, 2011


Vince Cheung & Ben Montanio


Jody Margolin Hahn

Episode Chronology


Wizard of the Year


Wizards vs. Asteroid

"Misfortune at the Beach" is the seventeenth episode of season four of Wizards of Waverly Place, and the ninety-eighth of the overall series. It first aired on July 24, 2011, as a part of Disney Channel's Sizzlin' Summer Sunday.


The Russos go to the beach and find a fortune-telling booth called "Zelzar." Jerry tells the kids not to get a fortune because, for wizards, they are very real. Justin and Max get good fortunes, but Alex's fortune says, "Say goodbye to your life." Zelzar then agrees to take back the fortune if Alex gives him a day on the beach.


The episode starts out with Justin, Theresa, and Harper sharing a fan in the substation. Harper then remarks that the fan is only blowing hot air around. Theresa tells Jerry they need an air-conditioner and Jerry responds by saying they have 'armpit ice' which cools and deodorizes. Meanwhile, Alex walks into the substation saying that it is the hottest summer ever. She then continues to talk about how she got yelled at after standing in front of an air-conditioning display for not buying anything. Alex then tells Theresa that she bought her a screwdriver and said 'Happy Mother's Day'. Theresa thanks Alex and remarks that maybe she could use it to pry open Jerry's wallet to buy them an air-conditioner.

Alex asks Jerry if they could close up and go the beach but Jerry wants to take advantage of the heat by cooking pastrami sandwiches on the roof. Max comes down to the substation and tells the rest of the family that he will be outside on the beach. He then uses his wand to create his own private beach outside the substation. Jerry then agrees to close up the shop and go to the beach.

When the Russo family has arrived, Theresa hurries Jerry by saying that she wants to get a good spot on the beach. Max spots a fortune-telling machine 'Zelzar' and wants to get a fortune. Jerry then warns his children to never get a fortune from Zelzar because he is actually from the wizard world. For humans, it is a harmless game but for wizards, the fortunes are very real because Zelzar is actually from the wizard world. When a wizard request for a fortune from him, he is required to give a real one. They may get a bad one and there is nothing they can do about it

Harper then says that for once a human can do something a wizard can't. Theresa then requests for a fortune. Her fortune states 'You are admired by many.' and Theresa remarks that it is true. After getting a spot on the beach, Justin proceeds to warn boogie boarders that they are in a riptide and they respond by telling him to shut up. Harper then tries to find a comfortable reading spot. After choosing a spot, Jerry comes to Harper and tells her that he likes to put the barbeque at where she is sitting so that the smoke doesn't blowback on them. Harper agrees to moves and sits next to Theresa. Theresa opens an umbrella and it opened in Harper's face. Theresa apologizes and tells Harper she needs the spot for her umbrella because she only wants to tan her legs. Harper then moves next to Alex but is unable to read her book comfortably because Alex is singing too loudly.

Meanwhile, Max goes back to the fortune-telling machine to get a fortune from Zelzar. Justin tries to stop Max but Max said that their dad is only worried about them getting bad fortunes. Max assures Justin that he will get a good fortune. Max's fortune states that he will receive a sweet surprise. An ice cream vendor passes by and gives the both of them free ice cream that is called sweet surprise. Justin then decides to get a fortune as well. His fortune states that he will attract the attention of a stranger. A girl then waves at Justin as she walked past the fortune-telling machine.

Back at the beach, Harper is moving around the spot the family has chosen because the smoke from the barbeque keeps blowing back to her. Jerry then goes to the barbeque stove and asks Harper for some pages from her book because the fire is going out. Harper then states that she is still reading the book. Jerry asks her for the pages she has already read. Harper then remarks that she has not read anything yet. She tells Alex that she wants to read somewhere else. Alex tells Harper not to bring the book because people will think they are nerds. Alex then throws the book onto the mat and Jerry starts tearing the pages out.

Alex and Harper run into Justin and Max and both of them tell Alex about their fortunes. Alex agrees to get a fortune from Zelzar but her fortune states 'Say goodbye to your life'. Alex decides to ignore the fortune but had a near-death experience. She goes back to the fortune-telling machine and tries to convince Zelzar to take back her fortune but he is unwilling. Max then scares Zelzar with a sword and he agrees. Zelzar promises to take back Alex's fortune if she gives him a day at the beach. Max takes Zelzar's place in the machine and Justin stays with Max because he is worried that Max's fortunes may come out a little 'Max-ish'. Zelzar starts enjoying himself on the beach while Alex has a few more near-death experiences.

A man on the beach then requests a fortune from 'Zelzar'. Since Max is the one in the machine, he gave the man his fortune. The fortune states 'Mustache and beard. Jealous?'. Justin then interferes by saying he's checking the machines because vague fortunes are given. He then states that Zelzar is trying to say that jealousy is a hairy subject. The man walks away and Justin kicks the machine. Max responds by printing a fortune that says 'Ouch'.

Alex and Harper tell Zelzar that he has had enough fun on the beach and its time to take back her fortune. He then states that he has not talked to any 'beach beauties' yet. Harper then suggests that they split up and look for him. Alex knows that Harper does not want to be around her because of the near-death experiences and insists that Harper stays with her. Meanwhile, another man goes to the machine to request a fortune. Justin interferes again and reads out the fortune which says 'How do you like my mustache?'. While Justin tries to think of another explanation, Max prints another fortune that says 'My mustache can beat up your mustache.' Justin then scolds himself for reading the fortunes out loud. After the man walks away, Justin asks Max what is his obsession with facial hair. Max responds by saying 'When you become a man, you'll know.' and then stroking his facial hair.

Zelzar goes up to Theresa and talks to her. Alex tries to get him away before Jerry recognizes him. Alex then has another near-death experience. She then decides to tell her father what happened. Jerry tries to get Zelzar to take back Alex's fortune but he says he is having too much fun. An unhappy crowd has already gathered at the fortune-telling machine because they are unhappy with the fortunes Max has given. Max gave a fortune to another man saying 'Grow a beard and join my beard club' and they have no idea what it means. Justin then allows them to destroy the machine. Zelzar then tells Alex that Justin and Max are ruining his fortune-telling business and that he needs to get back in there. Alex agrees to put him back in provided he takes her fortune back. Zelzar says that he cannot erase Alex's fortune but he can transfer it to the next paying customer. Alex and Jerry agree but she is unable to do the spell because there are too many people around the machine.

Haper then shouts that the lifeguard tower has been set on fire because of the unattended barbeque stove that has tipped over. Alex then tells Haper 'Good thinking.' Harper then states that she is not lying because Jerry's grilled tipped over. Jerry shouts 'My burgers!' and Harper shouts 'My book!' and Justin and Theresa shouts 'My floppy hats!'

Alex does to spell to put Zelzar back in and Max comes out. Jerry then suggests going home. While they were leaving, a little girl goes to the machine and gets Alex's fortune. A man comes over and tells the little girl to say goodbye to her life because he is a host of a show and they are randomly giving her $1 million. Alex starts shouting about how that is her money.


Guest Stars

  • Michael Carbonaro as Zelzar
  • John J. York as Game Show Host
  • Timothy Fitzgerald as Angry Beachgoer


  • This episode aired on Sunday as a part of Disney Channel's Sizzlin' Summer Sunday. The usual timeslot is Friday nights for new episodes.
  • Justin mentions in this episode that he is claustrophobic.
  • This is the third time Max has worn flip flops on the show. The first two being the Crossover special, Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana, and Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie.
  • Viewership: 3.5 million, the episode of Shake it Up! that followed it got 4 million, and the episode of Good Luck Charlie after that got 4.9 million. This makes it the least-watched program on Disney Channel's Sizzlin' Summer Sunday.
  • When Alex said that the hardware store owner's name was Old Man Greenwald, it's a reference to the series creator Todd J. Greenwald.


Oceans and seas, waves and tides... - Create an ocean

Fix the fan, make it right, make it blow with all its might. - Make a broken fan work again


visit: Misfortune at the Beach/Gallery

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