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->'''Ms. Frizzle''': Seatbelts, everyone! \\
'''Arnold''': Please let this be a normal field trip... \\
'''Wanda''': With the Friz? \\
'''Entire class''' ''(except Arnold)'': NO WAY! \\
'''Arnold''': Oh...
-->-- ''The intro to every single episode''

An animated EdutainmentShow which ran on Creator/{{PBS}} in TheNineties. 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 [[VideoGame/TheMagicSchoolBus computer games]], as well. The series follows an eccentric schoolteacher as she takes her elementary school class on very exotic [[ClassTrip field trips]] which teach scientific topics. These adventures are made possible by (you guessed it) [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a magical shapeshifting school bus.]] (And ViewersLikeYou, of course.) The show's WackyHomeroom consisted of:

* '''Ms. Valerie Frizzle''': InexplicablyAwesome. A CrazyAwesome GreatGazoo class teacher.
* '''Arnold Perlstein''': The ButtMonkey (possibly making him TheWoobie), practices InformedJudaism, occasionally played as TheSoCalledCoward; his cousin Janet is an InsufferableGenius DropInCharacter who shows up about once a season.
* '''Wanda Li''': The GenkiGirl and the {{Tsundere}}.
* '''Carlos Ramon''': The PluckyComicRelief and PungeonMaster; also a WeekendInventor in earlier episodes. Constant victim of the FirstNameUltimatum ("Carlos...!") and ToughRoom.
* '''Phoebe Terese''': NaiveEverygirl and aspiring FriendToAllLivingThings, ([[FriendToBugs including bugs]]). Started off in the books as a NaiveNewcomer, which is why her catchphrase is "At my old school, we never did things like this."
* '''Tim Jamal''': TheGenericGuy and StraightMan.
* '''Dorothy Ann ("D.A.")''': [[TheSmartGuy The Smart Girl]] in a MagicSkirt.
* '''Ralphie Tennelli''': The AgentMulder and an early form of DeadpanSnarker.
* '''Keesha Franklin''': The AgentScully (though the [[ArbitrarySkepticism existence of a magical bus doesn't seem to faze her]]).
* '''Liz''': Ms. Frizzle's [[NonHumanSidekick sentient pet lizard]]. Liz [[TheSpeechless can't talk]], but that doesn't stop her from being able to drive the bus and such (which must be difficult considering that [[FridgeLogic her legs aren't long enough to reach the pedals]]).

It's also worth noting that [[CashCowFranchise the show was popular enough]] [[AdoredByTheNetwork to go into]] [[ChannelHop syndication]], which is very rare for a Creator/{{PBS}} show.

Lent the FanNickname "Magic School Bus Cam" to the times when the camera on ''Series/{{House}}'' goes inside the patient's body. The {{Fandom}} has also provided the TropeNamers for OneLastFieldTrip and OfficialCoupleOrdealSyndrome.

A [[Recap/TheMagicSchoolBus recap page]] is currently in the works.

Creator/{{Netflix}} is currently developing a reboot of the series, starring Creator/KateMcKinnon as the voice of Ms. Fiona Frizzle, Valerie's younger sister.

!!''The Magic School Bus'' provides examples of:

* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: Every episode ended with a BreakingTheFourthWall segment where children called in to the show to ask about details the show got "wrong". The Producer (played by Malcolm-Jamal Warner) [[note]] though a female producer would take his place sometimes [[/note]] would explain that those details were deliberately glossed-over, altered, or just plain ignored in order to tell a story and do it within a half-hour time constraint. For example, during the episode about the digestive system, the bus goes through the process ''much'' faster than it actually takes. If they had done it realistically the bus would've been in Arnold's body for about two days at the least. Plus, they get out by inducing Arnold to burp since going out the other way would be inappropriate for children's TV. In another episode, they admit the kids would have been grown up by the time they traveled through the solar system to Pluto.
* TheAce: Ms. Frizzle
* AdaptedOut: Several of the kids in the original books don't make it into the TV series, though they didn't have much focus outside of giving reports in one or two books each anyway.
* AdventurerArchaeologist: "Shows and Tells," the archeology episode, plays with this trope. Arnold's archaeologist aunt, [[ParodyNames Arizona Joan]], is portrayed wearing an AdventurerOutfit and so forth, but nevertheless seems to have acted like a real archaeologist. Well, except for the part where she left some artifacts to rot in an attic trunk. Even Franchise/IndianaJones knows that ItBelongsInAMuseum. In the phone segment, the producer discusses the fact that while archaeologists travel to exciting places, they also have to do a lot of meticulous work when they get there.
* AgelessBirthdayEpisode: {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in one episode. It's Ms. Frizzle's birthday and the class goes to a bakery. During the AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle segment at the end, a kid goes there and tells the baker shown in the episode that one critical piece of information was missing from the show: They never said how old Ms. Frizzle is.
* AIIsACrapshoot: Well, in this case, Ralphie's brainless RobotMe is. And it [[NiceHat steals his hat]].
* AllDesertsHaveCacti: Justified in that they're in an American desert.
* AlliterativeFamily: Wanda and her brother William. Averted with the Ramon brothers, Carlos and Mikey.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The Japanese version has two ending themes. One of the ending themes is called [[http://www.nicozon.net/watch/sm1349565 "Dream On"]] by Creator/JunkoIwao. The other is called "Gohan ni Shiyou" by Dreaming.
* AmbiguousGender: The only reason we know Liz is female is because everyone refers to her using female pronouns. However, Liz seems to be a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson%27s_chameleon Jackson's chameleon]], but only the ''males'' of that species have those trademark horns, making her a case of AnimalGenderBender.
* AmbiguouslyHuman: Ms. Frizzle.
* AnAesop: The final episode, "Takes a Dive," is all about teamwork and cooperation.
* AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle: 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.
* AnimatedActors: 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 [[FridgeBrilliance because they never learned animal language]].
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: When the kids are falling in "Getting Energized," Mikey falls wheels - first. However, if that was drawn realistically, the wheelchair could have crushed him.
* AscendedExtra: Most of the kids, who, except for Arnold and Phoebe, were basically a mass of nameless MrExposition 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.
** 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. [[EnforcedTrope However, too many characters would have bogged down the kids' show, so they cut it down to eight.]]
* AsteroidThicket: 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 UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis.
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: 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.
* BaseballEpisode: "Plays Ball."
* BeachEpisode: "Goes to Mussel Beach." Also "Gets Eaten".
* BerserkButton: In general, the the kids in Ms. Frizzles class don't take well to one of their own being messed with or put in harm's way. See "TrueCompanions."
* BizarreAlienSenses: Non-alien example: When the students are turned into bats, they experience what echolocation is like, perceiving strobe-like flashing views of their surroundings each time they emit a sonar-cry.
* BizarreInstrument: 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, [[InsaneTrollLogic so I gave it a mane]]!
-->''([[EpicFail he demonstrates]])''
-->'''D.A.:''' It's a kitten, Carlos.
* ABloodyMess: 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.
* BodyHorror: 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.
* BoundAndGagged: 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, [[HoistByHerOwnPetard causing her to wrap herself in the web instead.]] When everyone gets out of the bus, Phoebe has to hop after them.
* BrainsAndBrawn: 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.
** Not to mention Dorothy Ann and Ralphie in "Plays Ball" and Dorothy Ann and Wanda in "Takes a Dive."
* BrakeAngrily: In "Lost in Space." Arnold gets sick of Janet insulting Ms. 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.
* BroodingBoyGentleGirl: Arnold and Phoebe in "Goes Cellular." Arnold was understandably moody and angsty, as he was orange on the night he was accepting a big geology award. Phoebe, on the other hand, stayed optimistic and even tried to help mask his orange skin...with flour.
-->'''Phoebe:''' There. You don't look nearly so orange now. [''giggles'']
-->'''Arnold:''' Phoebe, I can't go out there covered in flour! I look like a pumpkin pie!
* BroughtToYouByTheLetterS: Ralphie has a giant red 'R' on his t-shirt, and Janet has a smaller blue 'J' on hers.
* CacophonyCoverUp: When Arnold tries to hide the sounds of Ms. Frizzle's pinball machine from Mr. Rhule, he does so by stiffly swaying from foot to foot while shouting "Ding! Ding ding ding! Ding ding!"
* CanadianSeries: The series was produced by Canadian animation studio Creator/{{Nelvana}}, with physical production [[InternationalCoproduction handled by]] Creator/HanhoHeungUp in UsefulNotes/SouthKorea, and all the child actors (except for [[Series/AllThat Danny]] [[Series/TheAdventuresOfPeteAndPete Tamberelli]]) were Canadian.[[note]]Voice recording was handled in two separate locations: all of the children (including Tamberelli, who was especially flown in) were recorded together in Toronto, and Lily Tomlin (along with the assorted celebrity guest stars) were recorded in Los Angeles. This is also how other CanadianSeries with American voice talent, such as ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'', have been recorded.[[/note]] ViewersLikeYou in both Canada (on such stations as TVO) and in the US (on PBS) footed the costs, of course.
* CaptainObvious: 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?
** Dorothy Ann is a frequent source of these, partially due to the incredibly obvious "research," such as that squirrels and birds live in trees.
* CaptainsLog: In the "Out Of This World" (Episode 24), the bus turns into a starship. Cue the homage:
-->'''Ms. Frizzle''': [[CaptainsLog Teacher's Ledger]], Field Trip number 24. Welcome crew of the Magic Space Bus. [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries We are about to go where few even dared dream to go!]]
* CasualDangerDialog: 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, HeroInsurance.
** 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.)
** While not dialogue, there's a moment in the opening when the class is inside a volcano beginning to erupt. The kids are terrified, but The Friz is smiling calmly. It sums up the show in one image.
* CatchPhrase: More than you can count. Pretty much every single main character on this entire show has at least one, though the collective catch phrase of "AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!" uttered, in terror, by the entire class, deserves a mention.
** The Friz has many:
--->"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!"\\
"Bus, do your stuff!"\\
"To the bus!"\\
"[[ItsLikeIAlwaysSay As I always say...]]"\\
"Hit it, Liz!"\\
"Seatbelts, everyone!"\\
"Never say never!"\\
"Arnold, are you paying attention?" ({{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in the books where the kids are in space, Ms. 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?"
*** ''[[CollectiveGroan "CARLOS!!!"]]''
*** Which is subverted in the rainforest episode. Can of cocoa beans shows up containing a single bean. An enraged Carlos goes, "We've [[{{Pun}} bean]] had!" Everyone else is too irate at the company to react.
** Keesha: "Oh, bad. Oh, bad. Oh bad, bad, bad." Being the AgentScully, she'll also use "Let's get the facts..."
** Ralphie: "I think I'm gonna be sick..."; also, "Is it just me, or..."
** Wanda: "What are we gonna do, what are we gonna do, what are we gonna dooooo?!" Also, "Come on, you bunch of weasely wimps!"
** Janet: "Prove it!"
** MadLibsCatchPhrase: 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)?"
*** E.g. when the bus in spaceship form is orbiting the moon: "Is it just me, or are we playing 'Ring Around the Moon'?"
*** Ms. Frizzle: "As my (insert unusually-named relative) used to say, (bad pun)"
*** E.g: "The more mixed-up things get, the better the ''{{s|tealth Pun}}olution!''"
*** Tim: Any variation of "We've been [[PersonAsVerb frizzled]]."
%% * CliffhangerCopout: Used these tropes frequently between commercial breaks.
* ChickMagnet: While any crushes in the series are only hinted at, Arnold seems to get {{Ship Tease}}d with other female characters the most.
* ChristmasEpisode: "The Family Holiday Special" features not just Christmas but also Hanukkah and Kwanzaa themes and is a musical episode. The show's theme of recycling is taught through several doctored Christmas tunes.
* ClassTrip: Basically the whole premise of the series.
* CollectiveGroan: ''"CARLOS!"''
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: In "Holiday Special," the un-recycling ray is red and the re-recycling ray is blue. Sound is also color coded red and blue based on how fast the vibrations. Positive and negative charges, too. It happens a lot.
* ColorMotif: Each character has a general color they can easily be associated with. Wanda with red, Arnold with yellow, Ralphie with green, etc...
%% * ConspicuouslyLightPatch
* ContinuityNod: 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.
* CoolCar: That bus is almost as adaptable as a certain cartoon cat's bag. It also has a face, for no apparent reason.
* CoolTeacher: The Friz, of course.
* CourtroomEpisode: "Gets Swamped."
* CrushBlush: In "Wet All Over," Wanda teases Arnold about his crush on a girl named Tiffany. The episode ends with him and Tiffany blushing after holding hands.
** He also blushes after Dorothy Ann kisses him on the cheek in "Cracks a Yolk."
* ADayInTheLimelight: Different episodes feature different kids/pairs of kids as the main protagonists. Examples:
--> "All Dried Up": Phoebe and Carlos\\
"Blows its Top": D.A. and Carlos\\
"Gains Weight": Phoebe\\
"For Lunch": Arnold and Wanda\\
"In the Haunted House": Carlos, and a little bit of D.A.\\
"Gets Ants in its Pants": Keesha\\
"Gets Lost in Space": Janet and Arnold\\
"Out of this World": D.A.\\
"Meets the Rot Squad": Wanda\\
"Inside Ralphie": Ralphie\\
"Plays Ball": D.A. and Ralphie\\
"In a Beehive": Tim
* DeadpanSnarker:
** Carlos
** Ralphie, when he takes time off from being the AgentMulder and/or panicking. Take this exchange from "Gets Ants in its Pants":
--> '''Ralphie:''' [[SarcasmMode I smell like an ant. Just what I always wanted.]]\\
'''Ms. Frizzle:''' [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Really, Ralphie..! Me, too!]]
** D.A., particularly towards Carlos. Like this exchange from "In the Haunted House," when Carlos is working on his instrument in the broken-down bus while the rest of the class have got out to push it:
-->'''Carlos:''' (explaining that the strange noise that everyone just heard was his instrument) I want my instrument to have the power of a thunderstorm, so I put an umbrella on it!\\
'''D.A.:''' That sounded more like drizzle, Carlos.\\
''' Carlos:''' (enthusiasm undiminished) Oh...how about this? I wanted it to have the roar of a lion, so I gave it a mane!\\
(instrument emits strange, sad sound)\\
'''D.A.:''' It's a kitten, Carlos.
** At least 50% of Keesha's dialogue is sarcasm or snark.
** Arnold also has his moments.
* DeadPetSketch: Giblets in "Cracks A Yolk," although he only "flew the coop."
* DifferentInEveryEpisode:
** Ms. Frizzle changes her dress, earrings, and shoes in every episode to reflect the subject covered.
** The bus also changes pattern and sometimes shape to reflect the adventure.
** How The Friz enters in an episode always varies as well (although it's usually followed by the kids shouting "Ms. Frizzle!")
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: An Irish television guide once described "In the Haunted House" in the following manner:
--> "D.A. is mad because Carlos' instrument doesn't work, so they spend a night in an old house trying to fix it so he can perform the following day."
* TheDragAlong: Arnold in almost every episode.
-->"''[[DidntWantAnAdventure Please]]'' let this be a normal field trip."
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: At the beginning of "Out of this World," D.A. (who, it transpires, is quite understandably worried by her discovery of an asteroid headed towards Earth) has a dream where she is piloting a spacecraft to try and stop the asteroid, and fails when she discovers Ms. Frizzle is unable to help her. Sure enough, the episode's climax sees Carlos and Ms. Frizzle trapped on the asteroid after a failed attempt to divert its course. [[YouAreInCommandNow D.A. has to take command of the bus and work out a way of both stopping the asteroid and saving her teacher and classmate.]] Her ensuing actions earn her a SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome.
* DreamIntro: Episode "Out Of This World" begins with Dorothy Ann having a nightmare about an asteroid crashing into Walkerville Elementary School and destroying it. She's awakened by the sound of her alarm clock.
* DressedInLayers: In "Ups and Downs", Wanda takes off her normal outfit to reveal she is wearing a wetsuit underneath, complete with flippers that she [[{{Hammerspace}} somehow managed to cram into her shoes]].
** Ms. Frizzle in some episodes, if she doesn't begin it in one of her usual themed dresses
* DriveInTheater: Featured in "Spins a Web."
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The very first episode, "Gets Lost in Space" features Janet as a protagonist. Carlos doesn't get a FirstNameUltimatum. Arnold and Janet's personalities are shown in full, but while D.A.'s intelligence, Ralphie's AgentMulder tendencies and Wanda's determination are hinted at, the non-Perlstein kids are basically wallpaper. The relationship dynamics between the kids (beyond the fact that everybody hates Janet) aren't explored and the plot is more episodic than usual. By the second episode, "For Lunch," the tone had switched, all of the kids' abilities, personalities, catchphrases, and relationships explored or at least hinted at.
** You want ''real'' Early Installment Weirdness? In the first episode, ''Arnold'' was the one who requested they go on a field trip.
*** To some extent, you can tell roughly how early an episode is in the series by the kids' reaction to danger. If they're panicking royally, early episode. If they're calmer, later.
** The animation also differs quite a bit between the first and fourth seasons.
* EatenAlive: Often, if titles like "Gets Eaten" are any indication.
* EditorialSynaesthesia: 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.
** There was also an episode where they could "see" air. It was some [[AppliedPhlebotinum special red-colored air]] called [[{{Pun}} Extraordin-Air]].
* EdutainmentShow
* EnsembleCast: The show really has no one single protagonist, giving the students a mostly equal role in any given episode occasionally taking turns in the spotlight.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: In the intro, as the class is "rafting the river of lava," the volcano inside is about to erupt. The kids are terrified. Ms. Frizzle's smile doesn't budge.
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: 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.
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: Pretty much any time the bus transformed, it would involve spinning in some way. Maybe it's a fan of [[ShoutOut Wonder Woman]].
* EverytownAmerica: Walkerville.
* EvilCounterpart: Janet to Arnold. Heck the show usually plays the "Dun Dun Dunnnn" music when she appears.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: We actually get to see Phoebe's old school in one episode. Judging from the sign out front, [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110209173059/magicschoolbus/images/thumb/e/e4/Phoebe%27sOldSchool.png/830px-Phoebe%27sOldSchool.png the building is actually called Phoebe's Old School]].
* ExcusePlot: Averted for the most part. The science lesson almost always tied in to some kind of conflict the characters were having (i.e., Ralphie wants a robot to do his chores = lesson on robotics, Carlos wants his invented instruments to sound better = lesson on sound mechanics). This was, however, much more common in many of the tie-in computer games, where some form of simple event would be used to motivate the class into going on their field trip and giving the player a bit more of a sense of purpose. In this case it was probably for the better, since the one game that didn't do it (''Magic School Bus Explores The Human Body'') can get pretty confusing. But in reality the purpose of the games was to explore different locations and learn about whatever the game in question was about- the "plot" was just there to give the player more to do than just "stand around in an area and click on stuff".
* ExplosiveDecompression: Averted in "Lost In Space." Arnold takes off his helmet on Pluto, and [[SpaceIsCold instantly freezes over]]. He ends up catching a cold, [[FridgeLogic despite the common cold not being able to survive on Pluto]].
** While [[SpaceIsCold 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 ShownTheirWork.
* FacePalm: Arnold's inevitable reaction to the news that they're going on a field trip. Pretty much everyone about OnceAnEpisode whenever Carlos tells one of his jokes.
* FanDumb: 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''. [[CaptainObvious That can't really happen.]] Your show sucks!" [[invoked]]
* FantasyHelmetEnforcement: One of Miss Frizzle's [[CatchPhrase Catch Phrases]] is "Seat belts, Everyone!" and the kids will often buckle up without prompting...on a flying school bus that can transform into anything at any time.
* FantasticVoyagePlot: Several episodes. Including ''three in a row'', involving Arnold, Ralphie, and a tuna fish.
* FirstNameUltimatum: ''"CAR-LOS!"''
* FiveTokenBand: 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 [[InformedJudaism Jewish]], DA is Australian-American (explaining her mild DarkSkinnedBlond) and Ralphie is Italian.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Originally, each book ended with Ms. Frizzle setting up classroom decorations and donning an outfit relating to the subject of the next book.
** {{Series Fauxnale}}s ended with Ms. Frizzle wearing a dress covered in question marks.
** Also, even though it was in the "pilot", Arnold talks about places the class already went: Inside a Rotten Log or to the bottom of the ocean. 2 episodes that would show up later in "rot squad" and "blows its top".
* FourPhilosophyEnsemble:
** The boys: Carlos is the Cynic, Arnold is the Optimist, Tim 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.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble:
** The boys: Ralphie (sanguine), Carlos (choleric), Tim (melancholic), and Arnold (phlegmatic).
** The girls: Wanda (sanguine), Keesha (choleric), Dorothy Ann (melancholic), and Phoebe (phlegmatic).
* FrenchJerk: Inspector 47. He gets better, though.
* FriendlyScheming: Some of the stories have Mrs. Frizzle [[TricksterMentor play jokes on kids and deliberately mislead them]], so that they would learn some new things on their own.
** In ''[[Recap/TheMagicSchoolBusS2E4GoingBatty Going Batty]]'', it is strongly implied that she intentionally played up the "vampire" image (took the children's parents to a castle, gave them tomato juice that looks very much like blood and made it appear as if they had turned into bats) to lure the kids on another trip and make them learn more about bats.
** In ''[[Recap/TheMagicSchoolBusS2E12ColdFeet Cold Feet]]'', this was partly unintentional: she ''wanted'' to tell the class what really happened to Liz, but seeing their reactions, she decided it would be better if she played along and [[FigureItOutYourself let them learn on their own]].
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Phoebe
* FriendToBugs: Again, Phoebe. Of course, that's to be expected being that this is a science-themed show aimed at children...
* FunWithFlushing: 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.
* GallowsHumor: 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.
* GenderEqualEnsemble: Eight students; four boys, four girls.
* GeniusCripple: Mikey Ramon.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: May also be AccidentalInnuendo, depending on how intentional one believes it is.
** 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."
** Also in the baking episode, the bus has shrunk, and the class is lamenting how they can't get inside at their current size. Ms. Frizzle replies, "We can't let a little shrinkage get in the way of our fun."
** 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.
*** This comes after a more literal example as the episode's FantasticVoyagePlot goes all the way into Arnold's large intestine and Ms. Frizzle suggests getting out the natural way. Fortunately (as both Tim and Malcolm-Jamal Warner point out), they don't follow it through to its conclusion.
** This surprisingly racy exchange from "In the Arctic" when Arnold and Pheobe are covered in yellowish blubber:
--> '''Ralphie:''' They've gotten so cold, they've turned yellow!
--> '''Wanda (who is Asian):''' You turn ''blue'' from the cold, not yellow! I would know."
* GreatBigBookOfEverything: Dorothy Ann's ever-present "research".
* GreenAroundTheGills: 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.
* HairColorDissonance:
** 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.
* HairDecorations: All the girls, except Wanda.
* HalloweenEpisode: "Going Batty," "Gets a Bright Idea" and "In the Haunted House".
* {{Hammerspace}}: The amount of things Ms. Frizzle can carry on her person.
* HandGagging: Non-maliciously done by Carlos to Arnold during Keisha's turning the tables over Janet in "Gets a Bright Idea" (as they needed to quietly get him out of the room).
* HarmlessFreezing: 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 AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle-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. Or possibly [[AWizardDidIt The Friz Did It.]]
* HaveAGayOldTime: 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!"
* HeroicBSOD: Keesha gets a pretty [[TearJerker depressing]] one in "Gets Ants in its Pants".
** Not to mention D.A.'s one, when she loses her book bag (and with it all confidence in her own intelligence and abilities) in "Blows its Top".
* HiddenDepths: The reveal in "Gets Swamped" that Carlos is not only on the school debate team but made it to the finals.
* HollywoodDarkness: 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 Bus'' radio show."
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Usually "The Magic School Bus (does something)".
* IDontThinkThatsSuchAGoodIdea: Arnold, practically all the time.
* IfMyCalculationsAreCorrect: "According to my research..."
* IncredibleShrinkingMan: Many, many episodes.
* InexplicablyAwesome: The eccentric Ms. Frizzle's awesome and bizarre powers drive the stories: she can take the class anywhere from the solar system to a digestive tract. She purposefully never receives an explanation. In fact, the original name for InexplicablyAwesome was "The Frizzle".
* InkSuitActor: The original PBS run featured a tag scene toward the end with a character known as the Producer who fields a question or two. Said producer is clearly modeled after voice actor [[Series/TheCosbyShow Malcolm-Jamal Warner]].
** "Shows and Tells" had the kids on a show-and-tell themed game show where the host resembles ''Jeopardy!'' host Alex Trebek (who voiced him that episode).
** Then of course Lily Tomlin looks a ''somewhat'' like the Friz.
* InnocentInnuendo: In "Gets Charged," Wanda overhears Ms. Frizzle talking on the phone to whom she assumes is her Valentine and excitedly tells the other kids, "She said, 'I'd just love for you to come over and ring my bell!'" [[spoiler:She's talking to an electrician about fixing her front doorbell.]]
* InsectQueen: In one episode the class gets shrunk down and go into an ant hill so Keesha can make a movie about them. She's fixated on having the queen as her star, seeming to think of queens as we know them, and is disappointed when when she turns our to be just a giant ant who lays eggs.
* InsistentTerminology: Dorothy Ann would like to let you know that her book isn't ''purple'', it's ''violet.''
* InsufferableGenius: Janet
* IronicEchoCut: "I'm sure your class can do broadcast day without you." ''(cut to classroom)'' "We can't do it without him!"
* {{Irony}}: Ms. Frizzle uses a bus powered by magic to teach kids about science!
* ItCameFromTheFridge: One episode has a competition about the most spoiled food. Wanda brings some green bubbling mass that stood in the fridge for years. Nobody even remembers what it is. She won.
* ItIsAlwaysSpring: Maybe justifiable in that you can spot the kids living nearby a beach, so maybe they live in a town where it's always relatively warm or mild....although the episode about freezing shows that they ''do'' have a classic winter where it snows.
* ItsAWonderfulPlot: In "Holiday Special," Wanda wishes recycling didn't exist. The Friz shows her what Walkerville would be like without it.
* ItsLikeIAlwaysSay: One of Ms. Frizzle's {{Catch Phrase}}s.
* JustEatGilligan: In "Revving Up", Mr. Junkett was so sloppy while eating his peanut butter sandwich that he messed up the engine, and by extension, botched his own inspection of the bus. It's entirely his fault that he had to condemn the bus, and it was nearly destroyed.
* LamePunReaction: Constantly, as a result of Carlos.
--> '''Carlos:''' . Get it?\\
'''Everyone else:''' ''[[CollectiveGroan Car-los!]]''
* LampshadeHanging: The phone segments basically exist to admit and debunk the HollywoodScience used on the show, like "OK, [[ConvectionSchmonvection lava should've fried the kids just for getting close]], but we kind of had to show it off to properly teach about the earth's crust."
** The books had something similar, typically people complaining that ''their'' bus adventures tended to be of the very mundane "we got lost" variety, and saying that school buses can't turn into fish.
** It was also done in-episode from time to time. Like when they were inside the filament of a light bulb, traveling along with the electric current:
--->'''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 HilarityEnsues.
---> '''Arnold:''' "D.A.- your ponytails can stay in without-"
---> '''Keesha:''' "Never''mind'' that-!"
* LightAndMirrorsPuzzle: 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.
* LimitedWardrobe: The kids.
* LiteralCliffhanger: In "Revving Up", as Junkett chases the class as they tow away the bus, he trips and falls down a cliff, but hangs on to a branch [[StealthPun before the commercial break.]]
* LuridTalesOfDoom: The monster of Walker Lake, invented by reporter Gerri Poveri in the episode "Ups and Downs" as a ScoobyDooHoax. She calls it "[[BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord creative journalism]]". (Gerri Poveri, by the way, is [[Series/LaverneAndShirley Shirley Feeney]] and looks oddly like an adult version of Janet.)
* MagicalGuardian: Ms. Frizzle is this.
* MagicBus: Of course.
* MagicSkirt: 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.
** D.A. wears one too.
* {{Magitek}}: The bus is revealed to have several exotic components under the hood, with such names as "mesmerglobber," the "shrinkerscope," and the "dew-dinger."
* MarketBasedTitle: The early books were published as ''The Magic Bus'' in Britain because Britain doesn't have American-style school buses and ViewersAreMorons.
* {{Melodrama}}: "...And Ms. Frizzle's happiness will be ruined... ''forever''!" * Insert TearsOfRemorse here*
* TheMindIsAPlaythingOfTheBody: Averted in general but the kids will find whatever their current form eats appetizing and in "In the City", both Arnold and Carlos temporarily have their good sense temporarily overridden by hunger, going after worms and a night hawk respectively and the bus begins acting exactly like a bear.
* MonsterShapedMountain: In an episode about erosion, the class's trip along a mountainside triggered a series of rockfalls and stream-diversions that re-shaped the terrain to resemble a human figure.
* MorphicResonance: The kids, Ms. Frizzle, and the bus will keep their identifying characteristics even when transformed into something else.
* MostDefinitelyNotAVillain: In "Cold Feet," the rest of the class sends Wanda to try to get into Herp Haven:
-->'''Wanda''': Hi, I am but an innocent schoolchild who has innocently lost my innocent baseball over your fence. May I innocently come in and innocently get it back?
* MusicalEpisode: "The Family Holiday Special" has half a dozen songs in the form of Christmas carols with lyrics doctored around recycling.
* NeverSayDie: 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 [[ComicallyMissingThePoint "Don't be so negative. I'll get it."]])
* NobodyPoops: 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?"
* NoNameGiven: Only Dorothy Ann's last name was never mentioned.
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: 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 Ms. 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".
* ObliviousToLove: In "The Busasaurus," Phoebe develops a crush when she sees Arnold's bravery ("Gee, what a guy!"). At the end of the episode, after he scares off a ''T. Rex'', she runs up to him and says "It's a good thing you didn't stay home today, Arnold!" Despite her [[CoyGirlishFlirtPose body language]], he responds with, "Well, uh, I'll sure be glad when this [dinosaur egg] is a rock again. It's a lot safer."
* OffModel: In "Spins A Web," when Keesha 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.
* OffscreenTeleportation: Just how did the Frizz get into the cake batter?
* OhNoNotAgain: Arnold reacts this way verbatim to eating the bus and class in "Going Cellular."
* OnceAnEpisode: Early in an episode, Arnold will generally say "I think I should have stayed home today..." By ten minutes into the episode at the latest, he ''will'' have said "I ''KNEW I'' should have stayed home today!"
* OnceASeason: Arnold's AlphaBitch cousin, Janet, shows up to make life worse for Ms. Frizzle's class.
* OutOfCharacterMoment: 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''.)
** Or how 'bout in "Blows Its Top," when he starts reading D.A.'s books, prompting Arnold to actually ''see'' him as her?
* ParentalBonus: Many of the show's numerous {{Shout Out}}s do this; for example, at one point the bus turns into the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Enterprise]]''.
** Not to mention the Friz herself. As many a disgruntled cosplayer has noted, Ms. Frizzle is ''stacked''.
** In "Goes 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.
* PantyShot: Dorothy Ann has two in (ep.11, and ep.2)
* PepperSneeze: Used to get the bus out of Ralphie's nose.
* PinballZone: 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)
* PlotDrivenBreakdown: The bus tends to do this, like in "Flexes Its Muscles" and "Haunted House". Of course, its implied in both that Ms. Frizzle deliberately caused the breakdown to allow the kids to learn on their own.
* PlotSensitiveButton: Pulling the big red lever in the center of the dashboard apparently causes the bus to turn into whatever the plot requires. The button next to the steering wheel, too.
* PokemonSpeak: "Bella." Before Pokemon, to boot!
** "Herman."
* PungeonMaster: Carlos's shtick is making puns. [[GenerationXerox Same goes for Mr. Ramon, his father.]]
* PunnyName: Mr. Ruhle, the school principal. Also Mr. [=McClean=], the school janitor, and any other single episode character. Molly Cule, Radius Ulna Humerus, Carmina Skeledon, Harry Arm, Cornelius C. Contralto, Mr. Junkett...you see where this is going.
* RainbowLite: In the episode about rainbows, indigo is dropped as usual, leaving six colors.
* RapidFireNailBiting: Used in one episode when Arnold, [[OnceAnEpisode as per usual]], gets nervous about the Wacky Field Trip of the Week. Ms. Frizzle snarks:
--> "In accordance with federal regulations, we would like to remind you that this is a non-fingernail-biting flight."
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Ms. Frizzle's bus can go to the edge of the Local Group and back inside of a school day, and she uses it to take kids on field trips for Pete's sake! {{Lampshaded}} by the general in "Spins a Web" after he discovers the bus's transforming abilities:
--> '''General:''' Does military intelligence know about this bus?
* RummageFail: Ms. Frizzle does this sometimes.
* RunningGag: The Portashrinker breaks whenever it can help.
* SayMyName:
** "Arnoooooold!"
** "Wanda!"
** "'''Junkett!'''"
** ''(collective gasp) Ms. Frizzle!''
* ScaryShadowFakeout: In "Gets Lost In Space," Ralphie, Dorothy Ann, Keesha, and Carlos see the shadow of an alien advancing through a cloud of dust towards them. It turns out to be Arnold, in a spacesuit, carrying a load of stuff for Janet.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Besides the lampshaded issue of the [[PlanetaryAlignment planets aligning]], to make it to Pluto and back in a single school day would require FasterThanLightTravel. The star life-cycle episode makes it explicit that the bus is fully capable of this, but introduces another problem: the second star they visit is a billion billion miles from the first one, which is over 17 million light years. That puts it ''well outside the Milky Way''.
* ScoobyDooHoax: "Ups And Downs" has a talk show reporter creating a [[StockNessMonster 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.
* {{Secret Keeper}}s: The fact that the bus is magical is guarded.
* SeekerWhiteBloodCells: "Inside Ralphie".
* SeriesFinale: "Takes a Dive."
* SharedFamilyQuirks: Both Carlos and his dad are frequent victims of the First Name Ultimatum as a result of constant Incredibly Lame Puns.
* ShoutOut:
** ''Out of this World'' is basically one long ShoutOut to Franchise/StarTrek, complete with Liz as [[TheSpock Spock]].
*** Also from ''Out of this World'' is Carlos mentioning that D.A. was supposed to be Pluto in the class' live Solar System diorama, before adding a [[Creator/{{Disney}} barking sound]] afterwards.
** Ms. Frizzle's prisoner number when she's put on trial for taking Keesha's cucumber is [[Literature/LesMiserables #24601]].
** Arnold's cousin Janet shows up in ''Gets Lost in Space'', where they travel to every planet in the solar system, making her [[SchoolHouseRock Interplanet Janet.]]
** "Inside Ralphie" has a moment where the bus turns to a [[Film/ApocalypseNow helicopter whilst "Ride of the Valkyries" plays from a hanging speaker]].
** In ''Blows Its Top'', when D. A. suggests names for the new island, she mentions Series/GilligansIsland, but says it's already taken.
** A brief snippet of [[Disney/{{Fantasia}} The Sorcerer's Apprentice]] plays three times during the show in instances relating to flooding or cleaning instruments.
*** In ''Gets Programmed'', it plays when the lawn sprinklers begin to go haywire.
*** ''In A Beehive'' has it playing when the bus is filling up with nectar.
*** And ''Works Out'' plays it when the class is mopping up the lactic acid inside Ms. Frizzle's leg.
* ShownTheirWork: The show tries its utmost best to do this, although they [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality pointed out the bits they fudged in order to make this work]].
** Lampshaded - in ''Inside Ralphie'', his mother (a doctor) watches the bus traveling through his bloodstream and when he says he's watching a movie, says they did a good job because the blood is demonstrated as clear at that level.
* ShrinkRay: One of the bus' many features. There is also a portable version called, appropriately enough, the "Porta-Shrinker".
* SickEpisode: "Inside Ralphie".
* SmoochOfVictory: Dorothy Ann kisses Arnold in "Cracks a Yolk" as a thanks for helping the rooster chick hatch (and saving her from getting in trouble with Mr. Rhule, the principal).
* SoftWater: 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.
* SomewhereAHerpetologistIsCrying: In "Cold Feet", Liz and the kids wind up in a "reptile spa" where the reptiles are being artificially hibernated in a cold room. Fair enough, except that hibernation is treated as a vacation and a great way for stressed out reptiles to get their nap on -- "Hibernation isn't dangerous...it's restful!" In actuality, hibernation in captivity is often induced as a way to increase reptile fertility, and it has the potential to be ''very'' dangerous, with about a million things that can go wrong. Add in that the hibernation room was well ''below freezing'' and it's a miracle Liz and the kids woke up at all.
* SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay: Many are lampshaded, but a prominent example is in "Sees Stars". It [[CaptainObvious wouldn't be a good idea]] to hang around a supermassive star when it goes supernova. [[UnrealisticBlackHole For more reasons than one...]]
* StandardSnippet: ''The 1812 Overture'', also known as the American anthem for StuffBlowingUp, is used as background music for the volcanic eruption in "Blows its Top".
* StockForeignName: Carlos. Averted with Wanda, her brother William, and Carlos' brother Mikey.
* StockSoundEffects: Unusual for a PBS animated series, this show is really heavy with classic Creator/HannaBarbera and Creator/{{Disney}} sound effects. (Nelvana did use H-B's sound effects quite a bit during the 80s, but generally avoided them afterwards, at least outside of this series.)
* StrongFamilyResemblance: Janet, Mikey, the kids' parents, etc.
* SuddenlyVoiced: Although Liz never did speak in the TV show, She did gain a voice on the CD-ROM for helpful hints.
* SwampsAreEvil: 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.
* TalkingAnimal:
** The episode "In The City" where the kids are turned into animals (D.A. and Carlos have FeatherFingers, and The Bus becomes a bear) to learn about animal life in an urban environment. They [[MorphicResonance keep things like their glasses, hair, and faces]], but everything else is animal.
*** Taking even further is that, the kids apparently are still speaking English in their animals forms, as they cannot communicate with the regular animals.
** Liz gains a voice in the computer games to serve as a help file for how to play them.
* TerrainSculpting: One episode had Ms. Frizzle and the class attempt to carve a statue of their town's founder, Captain Crasnick P. Walker, out of stone without using their bare hands. ([[ItMakesSenseInContext 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, [[spoiler: 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.]]
* TheresNoBInMovie: "Spins A Web".
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodSandwich: Keesha never ''did'' eat that tuna sandwich from "Gets Eaten"...
* TimeForPlanB: 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.
* TimeTravel: "The Busasaurus", which takes us back to the time of the dinosaurs, as the title suggests.
* TitleDrop: Very first episode, "Lost in Space". Ralphie screams it repeatedly after they lose their map of the solar system and Janet sends Ms. Frizzle rocketing into nowhere.
* TitleSequenceReplacement: 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.
* ToughRoom: "CARLOS!"
** Not just the class. In "Getting Energized," Carlos has to keep an increasingly unruly crowd entertained. Among other things, he performs his impression of Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger. Nobody likes it.
* TrampledUnderfoot: 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.
* TrappedInTVLand: The class enters a [[TheFifties '50s]] SciFi movie in "Spins A Web." They enter a series of computer simulations in "Shows and Tells".
* TrueCompanions: The kids. They have their tiffs (there'd be no stories if there weren't) and are often paired off by rivalries, but otherwise have nothing but respect for one another, never go out of their way to hurt each other and always apologize for any trouble they cause.
* {{Tsundere}}: Wanda towards Arnold and D.A. towards Carlos (and Ralphie once).
** Phoebe's a Type B, sweet and reserved until she's provoked, most often by Carlos, Ralphie, Tim, or Janet.
* TwoTeacherSchool: Ms. Frizzle, Mr. Ruhle (the school principal), Mr. Sinew (the gym teacher), and another teacher, "Mrs. Rivers," was mentioned in "Goes on Air".
* UnlimitedWardrobe: Ms. Frizzle's clothes, shoes, and earrings, which change each episode and feature vaguely psychedelic patterns themed to the subject of the field trip.
* UnnamedParent: 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.
* UselessSuperpowers: The bus' "magic" always fails whenever it could easily resolve the plot... or, in the TV series, scares the kids during the commercial break.
* ValentinesDayEpisode: Possibly the least romantic Valentine's episode ever, with the focus being on electrical wiring, and Ms. Frizzle's "beau" turning out to be just her electrician.
* VehicleTitle
* VillainEpisode: Janet's OnceASeason appearances tend to be this, particularly "Gets Lost In Space" and "Butterfly and the Bog Beast" (the latter especially considering she successfully turned most of the class on Phoebe).
* VocalEvolution: Some of the kid actors' voices broke by the time the show ended.
** Inverted with Tim - whose voice became ''higher'' as the series went on.
* VisualPun: Ms. Frizzle's ''cell'' phone in "Going Cellular."
* WackyHomeroom
* WalkThroughTheCamera: In the episode "Gets Lost in Space," Arnold does this when he gets fed up with his cousin Janet and marches from the back of the bus to Ms. Frizzle. But did it have to pass through his ''crotch?''
* WhatAPieceOfJunk: The Bus has, on multiple occasions, been described as old and ragged. However, this is the same bus that can reach ''the edge of our solar system'' within a span of a few hours.
* WeatherControlMachine: The bus had its own.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: All of the kids. Yes, even [[PungeonMaster Carlos]]. It has to be said that despite their groaner potential, his puns are surprisingly clever given his age.
* WraparoundBackground: Seen in a number of episodes if you watch out the windows while the bus is driving somewhere. Justified in "Makes a Stink," where the bus is circling Flora Whiff's head.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: Carlos may ''seem'' to exist solely to [[PungeonMaster spontaneously generate]] [[HurricaneOfPuns hurricanes of puns]] and engage in [[SnarkToSnarkCombat Snark-To-Snark-Combat]] with Dorothy Ann. When the going gets tough, however, he shows that he's PluckyComicRelief [[{{Determinator}} with the emphasis on plucky]]. Take "Out of this World". Carlos spends the first half of the episode disparaging D.A.'s belief that an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. Once she's been proved right, however, he decides to leave the bus/spaceship in a two-man short-range craft and try to stop the asteroid alone. [[spoiler: He fails, paving the way for D.A.'s SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome.]]
* WrongParachuteGag: Happened during the desert episode. Arnold tries to avoid his usual complainer status by being CrazyPrepared. 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!''
* YouAreInCommandNow: D.A. has to take charge of the bus to rescue Carlos and Ms. Frizzle from the surface of an asteroid ''and'' prevent said asteroid from hitting the Earth. Needless to say, she succeeds.
* YouMeanXmas: Combined with SantaClausmas in "Holiday Special", secular Christmas decorations and references are aplenty but the actual term "Christmas" is never once named, [[InformedJudaism although Hanukkah is]]. Heck, even Kwanzaa gets a passing reference with a kinara drawn on the classroom's blackboard.