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"I'm a surfer from Malibu. I'm also half mermaid! I dig hitting the waves & hanging with my BFFs - human and mermaid ones!"
– Official website

Merliah Summers is the main protagonist in Barbie in A Mermaid Tale and Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2. She is played by Barbie and voiced by Kelly Sheridan. Merliah is a surfer from Malibu and a half-mermaid princess of Oceana. Merliah was born to Queen Calissa and Rip. She is also the granddaughter of Break and the niece of Eris.


A Mermaid Tale

Merliah was born half-human and half-mermaid. She was born in Oceana, an underwater kingdom, ruled by her mother Queen Calissa, but her father was just a usual human. When she was just a little baby, her mother gave her to Rip's father, Break, because she was born with legs and couldn't live in Oceana.

When growing up, Break thought Merliah couldn't handle the facts. He had told her that her parents died when she was a baby. She grew up as a "super-surf champion". She also has two friends named Fallon and Hadley, and the trio loved to surf, and Merliah was one of the competitors of the team Malibu. She always won every surfing competition, and that's why she is nicknamed the Queen of The Waves. She even had no idea about her origins and thought that she was a normal teenager, when she was really a mermaid princess and the daughter of the Pacific Ocean's queen.

One day, when she was in a surfing contest, her hair unexpectedly turned pink and she was able to breath underwater, and she was surprised to hear a pink, sparkly dolphin named Zuma talking. When she got home, Break told her the truth about her past, but she doesn't believe it. But when Zuma tells her that everything Break told her was true, she yanks off the magical necklace given to her as a baby. It was revealed that her mother was alive. So, she comes with Zuma to Oceana, but just to see her mother change her back to just a "normal" girl. Over the course of her adventure, however, she starts to accept her mermaid half. Merliah learns that what makes you different may be your greatest strength.

A Mermaid Tale 2

In Oceana, the residents were celebrating Merliah's one-year anniversary of her arrival to Oceana. In the human world, with support from Break, Hadley, and Fallon, Merliah was competing in the annual Surfing Invitational at Laguna Beach. Merliah and her biggest surfing rival, Kylie Morgan from Australia, were very competitive with each other.

In the competition, Fallon came in third place, Kylie was second, and Merliah was first. The next part of the competition would have Kylie, Merliah, Fallon and their friends going to the World Championship Surfing Invitational in Australia. Snouts came to see Merliah, so she went with him to tell her mother about the surf meet.

Calissa showed Merliah her seashell, and Merliah watched her mother's memories of her first Changing of the Tides Ceremony. Calissa explained that to make Merillia, a mermaid in the royal family had to sit on the throne in the city of Aquellia. Then, they must recite an ancient rite. At mid-day, they would be able to make Merillia. She also mentions that she fears if Merliah does it, she would lose her legs permanently and remain a mermaid forever.

Unfortunately, the surfing invitational and the Changing of the Tides Ceremony were on the same day so Merliah would only be able to go to one event. Calissa wanted Merliah to see the ceremony, but Merliah considered the World Championship Surfing Invitational to be more important. After an argument, with Merliah refusing to go to the ceremony, she left her mother, who was heartbroken.

In Australia, Kylie won the first round of the World Championship Surfing Invitational. However, she went on top of Merliah's surfboard at one point, and it caused Merliah to do a handstand while she surfed. When they returned to the shore, everyone ignored Kylie, even though she won first place and Merliah won second place. Merliah only won second place because she had a wipeout after her handstand because she couldn't hold it forever.

A group of people went to interview Merliah about her handstand, and she was even picked to be a model for a surf gear company by its founder, Georgie Majors. Their first photo shoot took place that night at a luau. While Merliah was modeling, she had to take off her magic necklace because it wasn't made by Wavecrest. She gave it to Hadley to keep it safe.

Meanwhile, Kylie was told by Alistair, an evil fish, that Merliah's Necklace gave her a magical advantage. Kylie decided to listen to him and she stole the necklace while Hadley was busy eating. Kylie used it to become a mermaid and she went to the bottom of the deepest trench in the ocean with Alistair, while Merliah, Hadley, and Fallon looked for her necklace.

Underwater, Snouts witnessed Kylie being trapped in Eris's whirlpool by Alistair. With Kylie inside, Eris was freed. Snouts went to Merliah, who was still looking for her necklace hours later. Merliah could sense that the ocean was in danger. Even without her necklace, Merliah can still breathe underwater, so she follows Snouts to the whirlpool, hoping she would be back in time for the final part of the surfing competition.

Merliah tied a plant around her waist and went into the whirlpool that Kylie was in. Kylie was freed, but the whirlpool's current was so strong, and the plant tied around Merliah wasn't strong enough to pull her out. She was stuck in the whirlpool, but Kylie and Snouts helped her climb out, and she eventually got out, and the whirlpool disappeared.

Kylie told Merliah that Eris had gotten out of the whirlpool. Merliah explained to Kylie that Eris was her aunt. She would have to stay in the Oceana to stop Eris, so Kylie apologized to Merliah for stealing her necklace, and she tries to give it back to her. Still, her mermaid tail turned into legs, and Kylie loses the ability to breathe underwater. Merliah decided to give her necklace to Kylie to prevent her from suffocating just until they reached the surface of the water, and Kylie decided to stay and help.

Queen Calissa was at Aquellia preparing for the Changing of the Tides Ceremony with mermaid ambassadors from different oceans. Eris found them and made their worst nightmares come true, so Calissa could no longer swim, and she sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Merliah could sense that her mother was in trouble, and she met up with Zuma. They found Calissa, and Merliah and her mother apologized for their misunderstanding.

Merliah, Zuma, Kylie, and Snouts were unable to lift Calissa from the ocean floor even when working together. Merliah decided she would sit on the throne in Aquellia instead of Calissa and lose her legs forever to save her mother and Oceana. In Aquellia, Merliah and her friends got past Eris’ henchmen, large evil fish named Stargazers, and they saved the ambassadors.

After getting Eris away from the throne, Merliah sat on it and recited the rite for the Changing of the Tides Ceremony. Unfortunately, because she had no tail due to Kylie having her necklace, nothing happened. Kylie stopped Eris from hurting Merliah and gave Merliah back her necklace. She quickly became a mermaid again and was able to reflect one of Eris’ nightmare spells back at her.

Once the ceremony was performed, Queen Calissa and the ambassadors’ nightmares were gone. Merliah gave Kylie back the necklace so she could breathe underwater. Alistair pretends he wasn’t working with Eris, so Ambassador Selena considers making him a pet. Everyone notices Eris, whose worst nightmare came true: she had legs and would have them forever.

Eris was locked away somewhere secure by the ambassadors, and they left. Merliah felt sad that she would never surf again, but she was supportive of Kylie anyway. They went back up the surface to watch Kylie compete. Kylie wanted to give Merliah back her necklace, but Calissa and Merliah decided she should keep it because she helped save the ocean.

Merliah told her mother she wished she could still change back so she could show a new trick to Kylie. Suddenly, with just those words, Merliah was able to become a human again. Merliah was overjoyed, and Calissa told her that, because the ritual at the ceremony transforms a mermaid into her fullest self, Merliah’s fullest self was clearly both human and mermaid.

Merliah got to surf in the final stage of the competition, but because she was able to make Merillia, she became distracted and lost to Kylie. When Kylie was being rewarded, Georgie Majors offered to make her a surf gear model beside Merliah. Kylie decided to share her trophy with Merliah because she felt special to be a part of something big. They held up the trophy together and were cheered on by the hundreds of people in the crowd.


Princess Merliah is competitive, proud, and brave. She loves to surf, and she sometimes puts herself before the needs of other people--but she always does the right thing in the end. Although she has come to embrace her mermaid heritage, she loves to spend time with her friends and family both above and below the waves.

Physical Appearance

Merliah is a teenage girl with long blonde hair, blue eyes, and light skin. When Merliah was 16, pink streaks appeared in her hair when it came into contact with water. She has a heart shaped face, and naturally tanned skin from spending most of her time in the sun. She wears pink stud pearl earrings and her makeup consists of pink toenail polish and pink eye shadow. She is 16 years old in the first movie, and 17 years old in the sequel.

Barbie in A Mermaid Tale


Merliah's two-piece swimsuit is hot pink, orange, and white. She has a pink bikini top with short, pink bottoms. She wears a pink necklace that was given to her by her mother when she was little. That necklace has been replaced by a magic necklace that would allow her to be a human or mermaid whenever she wanted.


She sometimes wears a sleeveless blue top with a hood and orange flip-flops.

Mermaid Disguise

When trying to be a mermaid, she has to look like one. She wears a pink bikini top with seashells on them and a fake mermaid tail with the colors deep purple and sky-blue. The tail has moon and star designs on them.

Real Mermaid

After transforming, she became a real mermaid. Her tail color is pink and orange, with flower designs on it. The top only has one strap on the right and a flower on it, too. She also wears a new white-and-pink necklace given to her by her mother. Her hairstyle has changed. It was now long and wavy, with a crown that matches her tail.

Barbie In a Mermaid Tale 2

Malibu Swimsuit

Merliah's two-piece swimsuit at the beginning is similar to the one she wore in the first movie, except this one is violet with another type of flower printed on it. It also has flowers on the straps of her bikini. She also wears the magical necklace that lets her turn into a mermaid.

Australia Swimsuit

In Australia, she wears a two-piece swimsuit of many colors (mostly pink, but blue as well).

Wavecrest Model

In Australia, Merliah is picked to be the new model in Wavecrest Surf Gear, which she accepts. Her bikini is similar to the first movie, but the details on the top are different. She was forced to remove her necklace and wear a different one that Georgie Majors gave to her. Her hairstyle is changed, as well.


Similar to the first movie, when trying to find her necklace, she wore a sleeveless blue hoodie.


As a mermaid, her bikini top is identical to the one of her second swimsuit, but it is sparkly. Her tail has a sparkly, violet belt with a golden brooch, and the colors are now pink with a bit of orange. Her hairstyle is re-used from the Wavecrest Surf Gear, with a dark-pink crown with lighter pink jewels similar to her crown from the first movie.


Queen Calissa

Calissa is Merliah's mother. Merliah was raised away from her mother because Calissa feared she would be in danger if she grew up in Oceana because of Eris. All her childhood, Merliah had believed that her mother had died along with her father. When she first learned about her mom, she didn't want to meet her. She preferred to stay with her grandfather and forget everything. But Merliah finally realized that she has a mother who loves her and saved Calissa, risking her own life.

Now Merliah has a strong relationship with her mother. Calissa loves her daughter more than anything, and Merliah is very friendly and nice to her. Calissa loves images of Merliah as a baby. They love to spend time together. Calissa often gives Merliah just the right kind of advice she needs whenever she is distressed or confused. They have a beautiful mother-daughter relationship since they have a mutual understanding of each other's lives and responsibilities.


Rip was Merliah's father. She was told by her grandfather, Break, that Rip told him that he had fallen in love and married a mermaid, which is her mother, and died in an unspecified accident.


Break, Merliah's paternal grandfather, had raised her. They live together at a surf shack in Malibu. Break loves her very much. Merliah loves him, too, and she often goes to him for advice. At times they may have fought, like when Merliah was angry at him when he told her the truth about her origin. Afterward, Merliah told Break that she would always come back to him, even after finding her mother. They have a lot of fun together.


Eris is Merliah's aunt. She is evil and hates Merliah because she is half-human. Merliah has defeated Eris twice.

Unnamed maternal grandmother

Merliah's maternal grandmother. She was heard from her mother Calissa that her grandmother, the previous Queen of Oceana, gave her the comb before her first Changing of the Tides Ceremony.


Merliah has very close relationships with her best friends, Fallon and Hadley. She tells them everything, and they are always ready to listen to her. They love to surf, talk, and spend time together. They have their own surf team in Malibu. It seems that Merliah is their leader. Fallon and Hadley are the only land friends who know about Merliah's secret (until Kylie found out by accident).

Kylie Morgan

Kylie Morgan is Merliah Summers' rival. Originally, she was an antagonist (Kylie), but later reformed after finding out Eris was going to take over Aquellia. So, she decided to help Merliah defeat Eris.


  • "Craziness clearly runs in my family."
  • "Mermaids don't exist."
  • "I need help. I thought I was breathing underwater. I thought a dolphin spoke to me."
  • "I am Merliah, half-mermaid princess of Oceana and it is my duty to protect my subjects!"
  • "Why swim when you can shred?"
  • "I wish to be human."
  • "I wish to become a mermaid."


  • Barbie playing Merliah is referenced in Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale.
  • A doll of Merliah appeared in the 2011 movie Soul Surfer. It was shown a few times in the movie. Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2 and Soul Surfer have some similarities, such as the main character and the antagonist accepting a trophy together at the end of the movie, and the main character modeling surf gear.
  • Merliah could surf before she could walk, as described in her scrapbook.
  • In some Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2 illustrations, she has no pink highlights when she is human.
  • In the storybook, Merliah wears a blue and pink bikini top with a flower design in her human form. In the movie, she wears her usual pink bikini top.
  • Her name was originally Marisa.[1]
  • She was the third protagonist to have blonde hair with pink highlights. The first character to have blonde hair with pink highlights was Mariposa in Barbie: Mariposa and Her Butterfly Fairy Friends. The second character was Thumbelina in Barbie Presents Thumbelina. The fourth character was Barbie in Barbie: A Fairy Secret after transformation. The fifth character is Princess Lumina in The Pearl Princess. The sixth character is Princess Kara in Barbie in Princess Power.


  • In the first sequel, when Merliah puts her clothes on the rock before jumping in the water, her clothes are slowly sinking into the rock.
  • In the first film, when Merliah takes out the Celestial Comb, she is wearing her swimsuit again and the necklace that her mother had given her.
  • In the second film, Merliah's necklace appears when she's sitting on the throne. When the Changing of the Tides Ceremony is about to begin, it disappears.


Barbie in A Mermaid Tale
Barbie in A Mermaid Tale logo

Quotes: "What makes you different just might be your greatest strength." | "It feels good to be a part of something bigger than yourself."

Media: Barbie in A Mermaid Tale | Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2

Characters: Alistair | Ally Mahoney | Ambassador Kattrin | Ambassador Mirabella | Ambassador Renata | Ambassador Selena | Break | Dreamfish | Eris | Fallon Casey | Georgie Majors | Hadley | Kayla | Kylie Morgan | Lipstick Fish | Merliah Summers | Pufferazzi | Queen Calissa | Remo | Rip | Snouts | Stargazers | Syrenka | Syrenka's Pet Fish | The Destinies | Xylie | Zuma

Locations: Aquellia | Kayla and Xylie's Boutique | Malibu California, United States | Oceana | Sydney, Australia |

Objects: Merliah's Necklace

Songs: "Do The Mermaid" | "Queen of the Waves" | "Queen of the Waves (Eris Version)" | "Show Me Some Love" | "Summer Sunshine" | "Walking on Sunshine"

Other: A Mermaid Tale Merchandise | A Mermaid Tale 2 Merchandise