FANDOM


Farm-Fresh balanceYMMVTransmit blueRadarWikEd fancyquotesQuotes • (Emoticon happyFunnyHeartHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3Awesome) • RefridgeratorFridgeGroupCharactersScript editFanfic RecsSkull0Nightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out iconShout OutMagnifierPlotGota iconoTear JerkerBug-silkHeadscratchersHelpTriviaWMGFilmRoll-smallRecapRainbowHo YayPhoto linkImage LinksNyan-Cat-OriginalMemesHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic
File:The Magic School Bus title credit.jpg

 "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"

An animated Edutainment Show which ran on PBS in The Nineties. It was adapted from a series of books written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen. It was later made into a set of computer games, as well. The series follows an eccentric/insane schoolteacher as she takes her elementary school class on very exotic field trips which teach scientific topics. These adventures are made possible by (you guessed it) a magical school bus. (And Viewers Like You, of course.) The show's Wacky Homeroom consisted of:

It's also worth noting that the show was popular enough to go into syndication, which is very rare for a PBS show.

The Magic School Bus provides examples of:

  • Adult Child: Ms. Frizzle, in a good way.
  • AI Is a Crapshoot: Well, in this case, Ralphie's brainless Robot Me is. And it steals his hat.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Justified in that they're in an American desert.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version has two ending themes. One of the ending themes is called "Dream On" by Junko Iwao. The other is called "Let's Ride" by Dreaming.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: The phone segment at the end of each episode where one of the show's producers explains to a child over the phone how the events in the episode couldn't happen in real life, along with summarizing the educational content of the episode. These scenes were adapted from a similar section in the original books that discussed the same thing. When the show aired in syndication on cable TV, these segments were sometimes cut.
  • Animated Actors: The post-episode Q&A from "All Dried Up" had Phoebe answering the questions, and her responses make it clear they know they're on a show. Although, she's still in character to an extent ("At my old school, kids never answered the phone.")
    • In "Spins A Web", General Araneus appears in the phone scene. He is portrayed as being an actor, but is still himself and, in fact, is still in black and white.
  • Animorphism: Just about any time a field trip involves animals, the entire class finds themselves transformed into animals to learn about it firsthand. Foxes, birds, fish, bats, etc. Interesting, even in their transformed state, the kids still can't talk to any animals because they never learned animal language.
  • Ascended Extra: Most of the kids, who, except for Arnold and Phoebe, were basically a mass of nameless Mr Exposition characters in the original books.
    • The original book series continued after the show began, and characters from the show were gradually added.
    • The original kids all had names (as seen on the reports), but only Arnold, Wanda, Tim, Dorothy Ann, Ralph(ie), and Phoebe (who was introduced in the second book) made it into the show (Carlos and Keesha were added for the show, this troper thinks, since they appeared in a book that came out when the show did).
    • It should be noted that the original book series featured a lot more kids than the ones who made it to the TV show, fitting in line with what most people expect of a real classroom's size. However, too many characters would have bogged down the kids' show, so they cut it down to eight.
  • Asteroid Thicket: Played straight in "Lost in Space", as well as the original picture book which that episode was adapted from. Oddly, the computer game version of the storyline, which didn't include this part, pointed out the unreality of this trope in one of its interactive school reports.
    • Played straight in the video game adaptation for the Sega Genesis.
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Somewhat parodied in "Spins A Web."
    • Things grow and shrink on a regular basis, and the school bus is usually attacked when shrunken down to size.
  • Baseball Episode: "Plays ball."
  • Beach Episode: "Goes to Mussel Beach." Also "Gets Eaten".
  • Bat Signal: Dunno if it counts or not, but in a lot of episodes, Ms. Frizzle's earrings glow when she's about to lead the class on another wacky trip.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: "The Black Girl, the Brunette, the Blonde, and the Redhead."
    • Keesha: The sarcastic realist
    • Wanda: The tomboy
    • Dorothy Ann: The bookworm
    • Phoebe: The naive romantic
  • A Bloody Mess: One episode had Ms. Frizzle, in a vampire phase, present the kids' parents with glasses of "blood." Keesha pointed out that it was obviously really tomato juice, but no one listened to her.
  • Body Horror: The kids tend to change into the animal of the day, even if it's for scientific purposes. There was also more than one episode where they physically entered someone's body.
  • Bound and Gagged: Played for laughs in one episode where the kids are inside a black-and-white horror film. Phoebe tries to use a spiderweb to catch a military general who's commandeered their school bus, but he leans back in his chair and bumps into her, causing the web to wrap around her pinning her arms and legs together. When everyone gets out of the bus, Phoebe has to hop after them.
  • Brains and Brawn: Carlos and D.A. in the episode about volcanoes. Ms. Frizzle later invokes this with the two of them in the episode about light and rainbows.

 Dorothy Ann: Me? In charge with him?!

  • Brake Angrily: In "Gets Lost in Space." Arnold gets sick of Janet insulting Mrs. Frizzle to his face, culminating in an aborted trip to the planetarium. Arnold calls for a bus stopdown, and asks to go someplace else. The next thing you know, the school bus is launched into space.
  • Canadian Series: The series was produced and animated by Canadian animation studio Nelvana, and all the voice actors who played the kids (except for Danny Tamberelli) were also Canadian. Viewers Like You in both Canada (on such stations as TVO) and in the US (on PBS) footed the costs, of course.
  • Captain Obvious: An interesting variation:

 Ms. Frizzle: Welcome to the magma chamber, the heart of a volcano.

Ralphie: How do we get out of here?

Ms. Frizzle: Out of a volcano? How do you suppose?

    • A straight example: "According to my research, after chewing comes swallowing." Really, Dorothy Ann? Haven't you ever eaten food before?
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Occasionally, Ms. Frizzle.

 {while the bus is being attacked by white blood cells, mistaken for bacteria} "Ah, the wonders of the human body."

    • Also, while under attack by a Tyrannosaurus Rex, she bothers to check if her insurance covers dinosaur damage. Way to go, Hero Insurance.
    • Honestly, the class is screaming, while they are in something like "Informed Danger" because that bus is well more than capable of stopping everything from a T-Rex attack to a volcano to BENDING THE RULES OF SPACE AND TIME. (Well, they take enough damage to that bus.)
  • Catch Phrase: More than you can count, though the collective catch phrase of "AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!" uttered, in terror, by the entire class, deserves a mention.
    • The Frizz has many:

 "Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!"

"Bus, do your stuff!"

"To the bus!"

"As I always say..."

"Hit it, Liz!"

"Seatbelts, everyone!"

"Never say never!"

"Arnold are you paying attention?" (Lampshaded in the books where the kids are in space, Mrs. Frizzle isn't there, and the line is in her notes).

    • How about Arnold's infamous "I KNEW I should've stayed home today!"
    • D.A.: "According to my research..."
    • Carlos: "(Bad joke). Get it?"
    • Keesha: "Oh, bad. Oh, bad. Oh bad, bad, bad." Being the Agent Scully, she'll also use "Let's get the facts..."
    • Ralphie: "I think I'm gonna be sick..."
    • Wanda: "What are we gonna do, what are we gonna do, what are we gonna dooooo?!" Also, "Come on, you bunch of weasily wimps!"
    • Janet: "Prove it!"
    • Mad Libs Catchphrase: Or Phoebe's "At my old school, we never (insert crazy-insane escapade usually not included in any academic curriculum)"
      • Ralphie: "Is it just me, or (is a scientific process going on right in front of me)?"
      • Ms. Frizzle: "As my (insert unusually-named relative) used to say, (bad pun)"
        • E.g: "The more mixed-up things get, the better the solution!"
      • Tim: Any variation of "We've been frizzled."
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: Lily Tomlin was the voice of Ms. Frizzle, Malcolm-Jamal Warner voiced "the producer", and the Theme Tune was sung by Little Richard. And then there's all the celebrities who voiced "guest" characters (Carol Channing, Dolly Parton, Dan Marino, etc).
  • Chick Magnet: While any crushes in the series are only hinted at, Arnold seems to get Ship Teased with other female characters the most.
  • Class Trip: Basically the whole premise of the series.
  • Collective Groan: "Carlos!"
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: In "The Holiday Special", the un-recycling ray is red and the re-recycling ray is blue.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch
  • Context Sensitive Button: Pulling the big red lever in the center of the dashboard apparently causes the bus to turn into whatever the plot requires.
  • Continuity Nod: In the last season, the kids would often reference a field trip that took place in an early episode so as to build the current lesson on top of something they'd already learned.
  • Cool Car: That bus is almost as adaptable as a certain cartoon cat's bag. It also has a face, for no apparent reason.
  • Cool Teacher: The Frizz, of course.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Averted; all four of the boys are voiced by real boys, and all of their voices break over the course of the series.
  • Dead Pet Sketch: Giblets in "Cracks A Yolk", although he only "flew the coop".
  • Different in Every Episode: Ms. Frizzle changes her dress in every episode to reflect the subject covered.
    • Her earrings, too.
    • The bus also changes pattern and sometimes shape to reflect the adventure.
  • The Drag Along: Arnold in every episode.
  • Drive-In Theater ("Spins a Web")
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: In one episode they had goggles that let the kids see sound with "The Producer" later explaining that seeing sound is impossible and was just done for the episode.
  • Edutainment Show
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Normally played straight. However, it was lightly spoofed in the bat episode. At the end, Ms. Frizzle and Ralphie burst out laughing over his ending joke while Ralphie's mother looks back and forth between them with a deadpan expression.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Pretty much any time the bus did anything, it would involve spinning in some way.
  • Everytown, America: Walkerville.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: We actually get to see Phoebe's old school in one episode. Judging from the sign out front, the building is actually called Phoebe's Old School.
  • Explosive Decompression: Averted in "Lost In Space." Arnold takes off his helmet on Pluto, and instantly freezes over. He ends up catching a cold, despite the common cold not being able to survive on Pluto.
    • While space may not be cold, Pluto actually is, resting at an estimated −230 °C. And unlike space, there's (sometimes) an atmosphere present on it. This may be a simple continuation of the misconception, or a stealth example of Shown Their Work.
  • Fan Dumb: Many of the callers in the phone segments seem to fall into the "Culture Alien" variant. "Hey, you showed a bus turning into a snail on a show called The Magic School Bus. That can't really happen. Your show sucks!"
  • Fantastic Voyage: Several episodes. Including three in a row, involving Arnold, Ralphie, and a tuna fish.
  • First Name Ultimatum: "CAR-LOS!"
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Five-Token Band: When the class size was trimmed down from the books, it seems like they picked the eight kids who would give the class the most ethnic diversity. Keesha and Tim are black, Carlos is Hispanic, Wanda is Chinese, and even within the white kids, Arnold is Jewish and Ralphie is Italian.
  • Foreshadowing: Originally, each book ended with Ms. Fizzle setting up classroom decorations and donning an outfit relating to the subject of the next book.
    • Series Fauxnales ended with Ms. Frizzle wearing a dress covered in question marks.
  • Four Philosophy Ensemble:
    • The boys: Carlos is the Cynic, Tim is the Optimist, Arnold is the Realist, and Ralphie is the Apathetic.
    • The girls: Keesha is the Cynic, Phoebe is the Optimist, Dorothy Ann is the Realist, and Wanda is the Apathetic.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • The boys: Carlos is Sanguine, Ralphie is Choleric, Tim is Melancholic, and Arnold is Phlegmatic.
    • The girls: Wanda is Sanguine, Keesha is Choleric, Dorothy Ann is Melancholic, and Phoebe is Phlegmatic.
  • French Jerk: Inspector 47. He gets better, though.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Phoebe
    • Friend to Bugs: Again, Phoebe. Of course, that's to be expected being that this is a science-themed show aimed at children...
  • Fun with Flushing: Happens twice in two episodes, one where they go through the water cycle and travels through drain pipes to reach the girls bathroom where the water overflows, and in another episode, they cross over an open toilet bowl in order to escape from the bathroom window.
  • Gallows Humor: During one episode, it is suggested by one of the hysterical students that Wanda might have been eaten by a sea monster; Phoebe reacts with disappointment, citing that she wanted to feed the monster, immediately followed by the usual "Car-los!" reaction.
  • Genius Cripple: Mikey Ramon.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: Dorothy Ann's ever-present "research".
  • Green Around the Gills: This occurs with Ralphie in "The Magic School Bus For Lunch", a shade of green appears on each of his cheeks, as he can't "stomach" being inside Arnold's digestive system.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: The color Arnold's hair is drawn makes it hard to tell whether he's supposed to be a blond or a redhead.
    • Can also be said for Phoebe, who looks either brunette or redheaded.
  • Hair Decorations: All the girls, except Wanda.
  • Halloween Episode: "Goes Batty" and "In the Haunted House".
  • Hammerspace: The amount of things Ms. Frizzle can carry on her person.
  • Harmless Freezing: In "Gets Lost in Space," Arnold took off his helmet on Pluto and froze. When they got him back to Earth, he had a cold. The ludicrous nature of this was actually pointed out in the And Knowing Is Half the Battle-type ending that usually gets cut out in syndication. The writers know he should end up with a lot worse than a cold, but killing off a main character isn't very kid friendly.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Tons of examples.
    • In "Ups and Downs", Keesha talks about turning their "floaters into sinkers".
    • In "Revving Up", as the class floats around in the bus' carburetor, Wanda says "Now I know what a tossed salad feels like!".
  • Heroic BSOD: Keesha gets a pretty depressing one in "Gets Ants in its Pants"
  • Hollywood Darkness: Boy, do people's insides have good lighting! Also lampshaded in one of the closing "producer" segments.

 "Believe me, it would have been a lot easier to make The Magic School radio show."

 Dorothy Ann: "According to my research... which is very hard to do when going around like this..."

      • Also in the "Goes On Air" episode, when D.A. offers up her hair bands for the sake of science. Her hair stays in the pigtails, and minor Hilarity Ensues.

 Arnold: "D.A.- your ponytails can stay in without-"

Keesha: "Nevermind that-!"

  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: One episode revolved around this, a game of 'Light Pinball'. The objective was, using mirrors and prisms, to split a beam of light into the colors of the rainbow and redirect them into like-colored eyes.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The kids.
  • Lurid Tales of Doom: The monster of Walker Lake, invented by reporter Gerri Poveri in the episode "Ups and Downs" as a Scooby-Doo Hoax. She calls it "creative journalism". (Gerri Poveri, by the way, is Shirley Feeney and looks oddly like an adult version of Janet.)
  • Magical Guardian: Ms Frizzle is this.
  • Magic Bus: Of course.
  • Magic Skirt: In "The Magic School Bus Kicks Up A Storm", when Ms. Frizzle and her class are descending from the sky as part of the rain cycle, her skirt gets in a draft, which causes the pleats to become wavy, but her rear is away from the direction of the viewers.
  • Magitek: The bus is revealed to have several exotic components under the hood, with such names as "mesmerglobber", the "shrinkerscope" and the "doo-dinger".
  • Market-Based Title: The early books were published as The Magic Bus in Britain because Britain doesn't have American-style school buses and Viewers are Morons.
  • Melodrama: "...And Ms. Frizzle's happiness will be ruined... forever!" * Insert Tears of Remorse here*
  • Milestone Celebration: The book The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition came out 20 years after the first book. As a result, it boasts a holographic cover, and includes appearances from several of history's most legendary scientists.
  • Morphic Resonance: The kids, Ms. Frizzle, and the bus will keep their identifying characteristics even when transformed into something else.
  • Never Say "Die": References to death are avoided even though there have been numerous instances where the class was clearly in mortal danger.
    • Though, in "All Dried Up", Ralphie was clear in his meaning when, after spotting a vulture, he says, "Is it just me, or does this look like the final field trip?"
    • At least one outright exception: In "Spins a Web", Phoebe tells General Araneus that "You can't kill the praying mantis!" (He replies "Don't be so negative. I'll get it.")
  • Nobody Poops: Even when the subject is digestion. The producer, though, provides good reason:

  "It's natural. It's normal. But do you really think they'd let us show it on daytime TV?"

  • No Name Given: The last names of Dorothy Ann and Tim were never mentioned.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Naturally, though peculiarly, one episode ends with a completely random, older student pointing out and explaining the thermo-mechanics of Arnold's thermos (the subject of that episode), and when asked, "How did you know that?" replied, "I was in Miss Frizzle's class last year."
    • There are only fifty-two episodes -- they could easily all take place within one school year. Granted, they would be going on about twenty times more field trips than any real class.
    • Over the course of the "year", all four of the boys' voices break, leading to the hilarious line by post-pubescent-sounding Arnold about being able to stand "four feet tall again".
  • Off-Model: In "The Magic School Bus Spins A Web", when Keisha lifts the lid of a vacant spider's nest on the ground under which she and the others retreat, she's in her usual purple outfit with the thick, teal stripe on it. But when the scene cuts to a far away shot, her outfit is gray instead, but the color of the stripe stays the same.
  • Once a Season: Arnold's Alpha Bitch cousin, Janet, shows up to make life worse for Ms. Frizzle's class.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In a book about deserts, Carlos, of all people, is the only member of the class to have heard of the "rain shadow effect," which is cited as one primary cause of the classical desert (basically, differences in pressure mean mountains get a lot of rain which then fails to go on to the area which is now desert due to lack of rain). Even the book hangs a lampshade on how unlikely it is that Carlos is the one in the know. (And you'd think out of all the class...It'd be Dorothy Ann.)
  • Parental Bonus: Many of the show's numerous Shout Outs do this; for example, at one point the bus turns into the Enterprise.
    • Not to mention the Friz herself. As many a disgruntled cosplayer has noted, Ms Frizzle is stacked.
    • In the episode where they go to space, they are going past Uranus. Arnold sits on his cousin's lap to prevent her from leaving her seat, to which she says, "Uranus doesn't do a thing for me, so please get off!" Arnold replies, "Sorry, Janet, but I have to stay on top of the situation."
    • In "Gets Ready, Set, Dough", while the class is stuck in an oven, Phoebe says, "At my old school, we never got baked."
    • In the episode "For Lunch", Wanda thanks Arnold for "Giving me the ride of my dreams" after a field trip through Arnold's digestive tract.
    • In "Upstream", Ralphie points out the salmon are changing before their eyes, and Ms. Frizzle says he will go through the same phase as a teenager. Later on, you see the male salmon ejaculating on the eggs.
  • Panty Shot: Dorothy Ann has two in (ep.11, and ep.2)
  • Pepper Sneeze: Used to get the bus out of Ralphie's nose.
  • Pinball Zone: They spend an episode inside a pinball machine, learning about light, lasers, and reflection.
    • Ironically, it's actually a bit possible to make a pinball machine like that; just not exactly like what you see in the snow. (You have to use a laser)
  • Pokémon-Speak: "Bella." Before Pokemon, to boot!
    • "Herman."
  • Pungeon Master: Carlos
  • Punny Name: Mr. Ruhle, the school principal. Also Mr. McClean, the school janitor.
  • Rainbow Lite: In the episode about rainbows, indigo is dropped as usual, leaving six colors.
  • Recursive Adaptation: There were books based on the book-based TV series. Don't remember that? It's all right; they were pretty awful.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Averted with Liz.
  • Rummage Fail: Ms. Frizzle does this sometimes.
  • Science Marches On: A science show can't stay accurate forever. Pluto is still a planet in "Gets Lost in Space". In "The Busasaurus", Ms. Frizzle says that Tyrannosaurus Rex was the biggest meat-eater of all time. Too bad the discovery of the slightly larger Giganotosaurus was published in the same year the episode aired. In the same episode, Troodon is portrayed with scales rather than feathers. Weirdly, "Gets Eaten" has Ms. Frizzle state that all food chains begin with plants, which had been a discredited fact since the discovery of hydrothermal vents in 1977, seventeen years before the episode aired. Even weirder, this error is pointed out in the phone segment, so it's not a case of Did Not Do the Research. The fictional producer's justification for excluding hydrothermal vents creatures is "Yeah, but they're weird."
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: "Ups And Downs" has a talk show reporter creating a fake lake monster to bolster her ratings. The kids manage to discover the truth and expose the hoax.
    • Another one occurs in "Gets A Bright Idea", in which Janet uses a clever light trick to make it look like Arnold is a ghost. Since this is Janet, she doesn't have a motivation other than being her usual Jerkass self.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Besides the lampshaded issue of the planets aligning, to make it to Pluto and back in a single school day would require faster-than-light travel.
  • Seeker White Blood Cells: "Inside Ralphie".
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Bearing in mind that this a third grade class, Arnold and Ralphie.
  • Series Finale: "All Revved Up" wraps up the series proper; the class has to save the bus from destruction, and hide the fact that it is magical. The last episode to air was "Holiday Special." However, apart from this line, there are none of the usual trappings.

  Arnold: Now, that's what I call a field trip.

  • Shout-Out: Out of this World is basically one long Shout-Out to Star Trek, complete with Liz as Spock.
    • Ms. Frizzle's prisoner number when she's put on trial for taking Keesha's cucumber is #24601.
    • Arnold's cousin Janet shows up in the episode where they travel to every planet in the solar system, making her Interplanet Janet.
  • Shrink Ray: One of the bus' many features. There is also a portable version called, appropriately enough, the "Porta-Shrinker".
  • Sick Episode: "Inside Ralphie".
  • Soft Water: Played straight, but lampshaded in the book - during a trip to study the weather, Arnold manages to get sucked out of the bus during a hurricane and falls into the ocean several hundred feet below and only gets soaked for his troubles. A sticky note points out that, in reality, this would have gotten him severely hurt.
  • Space Does Not Work That Way: Many are lampshaded, but a prominent example is in "Sees Stars". It wouldn't be a good idea to hang around a supermassive star when it goes supernova. For more reasons than one...
  • Stock Foreign Name: Carlos. Averted with Wanda and with Carlos' brother Mikey.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Janet, the kids' parents, etc.
  • Swamps Are Evil: Subverted. In the episode about wetlands the kids start by believing in this trope but eventually learn the importance of a swamp in the ecosystem.
  • Talking Animal: The episode "In The City" where the kids are turned into animals (D.A. and Carlos have Feather Fingers, and The Bus becomes a bear) to learn about animal life in an urban environment. They keep things like their glasses, hair, and faces, but everything else is animal.
    • Liz gains a voice in the computer games to serve as a help file for how to play them.
  • Terrain Sculpting: One episode had Ms. Frizzle and the class attempt to carve a statue of their town's founder, Captain Kraznik P. Walker, out of stone without using their bare hands. (Captain Walker wanted his statue built "without human hand.") When the statue breaks away from its place, they make a mad chase after it down the mountain. Since the episode focused mainly on erosion, it turned out that they already made a statue of their founder out of stone while chasing after the statue they had been making, by shifting the water flow through different directions of the mountain that formed the face of their founder.
  • There's No B in Movie: "Spins A Web."
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: Ms. Frizzle gets blue-faced in "The Magic School Bus Works Out," as she holds her breath for a long time while rowing a boat as part of the Teacherathalon against a buff gym teacher.
    • In "The Magic School Bus Getting Energized," light blushing appears on Dorothy Ann's cheeks when Carlos's brother Mikey tells her he's glad that the rash she had from an accident last time Mikey helped out is gone.
    • In "The Magic School Bus Cracks A Yolk", Arnold blushes lightly when Dorothy Ann kisses him for his part in helping to get a baby chick to arrive in the world after hatching from an egg.
  • Time for Plan B: Played straight a few times.

 Tim: Anyone have a good plan B?

Wanda: There aren't any good plan B's, Tim! If they were good, they'd be plan A's.

  • Time Travel: "The Busasaurus."
  • Title Sequence Replacement: Fox Kids shortened the theme song at one point.
    • In a less severe example, Discovery Kids had the full theme song play, then end with a freeze frame of the bus before cutting to commercial. The title card that originally closed the title sequence appeared after the break.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The catapult jammed, and it has enough potential energy to throw a rock over a mountain - Get on top of it to unjam it. You're lucky to be alive!
  • Tough Room: "CARLOS!"
  • Trampled Underfoot: Janet does this to a mothball that was to be entered by the class for a smell competition in one episode. She was representing a rival class, so it's unclear if this was an accident on her part or not.
  • Trapped in TV Land: The class enters a '50s Sci-Fi movie in "Spins A Web."
  • Two-Teacher School: Ms. Frizzle and Mr. Ruhle (the school principal)
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Ms. Frizzle's clothes, shoes, and earrings, which change each episode and feature vaguely psychedelic patterns themed to the subject of the field trip.
  • Unnamed Parent: The kids' parents are always referred to by other adults as "Mr. Perlstein," "Mrs. Li," etc.; even in situations where first names would ordinarily be used. Oddly enough, their last names are never used anywhere else, so it's not like this was for the viewers' convenience.
    • Though this could be to keep the audience's attention and point of view. After all, most of the kids watching the show would call other children's parents by "Mr." and "Mrs." [last name]. Though that's just speculation.
  • Useless Superpowers: The bus' "magic" always fails whenever it could easily resolve the plot.
  • Vehicle Title
  • Wacky Homeroom
  • Weather Control Machine: The bus had its own.
  • Wraparound Background: Seen in a number of episodes if you watch out the windows while the bus is driving somewhere.
  • Wrong Parachute Gag: Happened during the desert episode. Arnold tries to avoid his usual complainer status by being Crazy Prepared. When the Friz puts the bus-plane into a steep dive when the arrive in the desert, Arnold asks Liz for his parachute.

  Arnold: That's not a parachute! That's a pair of shoes!

  • Xenophone: Carlos tries to create one in one episode, but it initially fails due to his misunderstanding of the principles of sound (and he understands this trope only too well).

 Carlos: How about this? I wanted it to have the sound of a lion, so I gave it a mane!

(he demonstrates)

Wanda: It's a kitten Carlos.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.