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Characters / The Magic School Bus

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Characters that appeared in The Magic School Bus.

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Main Characters

     Ms. Valerie Frizzle
Voiced by: Lily Tomlin

The teacher of the third grade class.

  • Ambiguously Human: While she seems human, she is several times implied to be Older Than She Looks. This, and the fact that she has access to Magitek far more advanced than anything else in the setting, has led to quite a bit of Wild Mass Guessing about her true nature.
  • Big Entrance: Shows up in various episodes by hang gliding in, hopping in on a pogo stick, riding an inflatable alligator on a wave out of the closet and zipping into frame from offscreen.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The field trips are kept a secret because, of course, any adult in their right mind would agree that they're much too risky, even if they do give the potential for better learning, and Ms. Frizzle was bonkers for trying perform them in the first place. But she's actually extremely competent and Crazy-Prepared; the best-case scenario happens every time: the kids learn a ton and no one ever comes to any harm.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: So often that the kids pick it up after a while. That's because she always has everything under control. And when she doesn't, you can see it on her face as she races to save the kids. Though a few times she is still a casual danger dialog even while she doesn't appear to have things under control.
  • Catchphrase
    • "Seatbelts, everyone!"
    • "Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!"
      • Also a Mad Libs Catch Phrase as she frequently changes "get messy" to something to do with where ever they are.
    • "WAHOO!"
    • "To the bus!"
    • "As I always say..."
  • Character Tics: Do her flashing earrings count?
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Not in a ditzy way, but she is strange. (In a good way!)
  • Cool Teacher: The coolest teacher EVER! She can make any scientific subject fun and interesting. For anyone.
  • Crazy-Prepared: She doesn't need anything but the bus, really.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite normally laughing along with Carlos' jokes, even she is disgusted by his "Snot Funny" pun in "Makes A Stink".
  • Expressive Shirt: Her dress, which is usually a plain purple one, has pictures that are always related to the episode's subject. Arnold even notices this pattern after they had a field trip in his Digestive System.
  • Fiery Redhead: In the most innocent way possible.
  • Friendly Scheming: Sometimes tends to play pranks on children and withhold some information from them, so that they would learn some new things:
    • In Going Batty, it is strongly implied that she deliberately 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 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 let them learn on their own.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Is always there to give her class an exciting boost... and fits the literal example towards Mr. Seedplot.
  • The Mentor: Well, she is a teacher.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: She's been a lot of places. She was once a Shakespearean actornote , spent 6 summers on the Rodeo circuitnote , took a summer to learn how to announce a baseball gamenote , formed and toured with the band "The Frizzlettes" with a now-famous rock starnote , and many others. To quote The Friz herself:
    "You'd be surprised what we teachers do over the summer break."
  • Nice Girl: She is optimistic, kind-hearted, caring, cheerful, resourceful, happy-go-lucky, passionate, reliable, sweet, friendly, funny, supportive, selfless, cheerful, loving and motherly
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Right before Janet refuses to leave Pluto with her stuff, you can see her with a surprised expression. It's like she anticipates Arnold's Heroic Sacrifice to get Janet to Earth.
    • Her sadness in "Gets Ready, Set, Dough" when the bus is having growing and shrinking problems, both for the bus's health (for lack of a better word) and for having to cancel a field trip.
    • Subverted when she puts on a show of losing a pinball game, because right after she laments, she smiles and shows the class how the game works with light instead of with balls.
  • One of the Kids: Maybe a downplayed example. She does crazy things that the kids think are lots of fun, and would make any adult scream "Most unorthodox!" (or more likely, "My kid's gonna get hurt!"). On the other hand, the vast majority of these crazy things are for the purpose of teaching the kids, and she usually talks and acts as much like a teacher as she can in these settings, and of course is always willing to take responsibility.
  • Perpetual Smiler: She very rarely stops smiling and is almost always enthusiastic about something.
  • Proverbial Wisdom: She is a mentor figure who often tends to quote proverbs and sayings, beginning with "As I always say..." or "As [relative] always says..." Downplayed, since these proverbs are usually not cryptic at all. Or maybe not downplayed, because they also tend to be kind of useless.
  • Static Character: Whatever seemingly affects her in one episode/book never carries over.
  • Team Mom: Well, she is the only adult.
  • Trickster Mentor: Tends to be this, putting the children in strange and sometimes dangerous situations (though the implication is that they only appear dangerous; she has them all under control); see also Friendly Scheming.
  • Quirky Curls: She has curly, red hair to go along with her quirky attitude.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: She has a different dress and earring set matching the theme of the next field trip.

    Arnold Perlstein

"Please let this be a normal field trip!"

Voiced by: Danny Tamberelli

  • Butt-Monkey: His misfortunes are played for laughs an awful lot.
  • Catchphrase: "I think/knew/maybe I should've stayed home today." Arnold says this less often in the later part of season three and season four due to character development.
  • Chick Magnet: While any crushes in the series are only hinted at, Arnold seems to get Ship Teased with other female characters the most. Mostly with Wanda and Phoebe, on one occasion Tiffany, and even Dorothy Ann.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Yes, Arnold gets one of these. In "All Dried Up", he's the one who suggests going on a field trip, and has an entire backpack full of items that would help him out, including a "Field Trip Survival Guide". Notable for being one of the few times where he displays zero hesitation about a field trip.
  • The Drag-Along: Never once completely enthusiastic about a field trip.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: When facing off the T-Rex, he takes off his glasses and tucks them into his shirt pocket. Justified as he didn't want "Short Arms" to break them.
  • Honor Before Reason: Most memorably in the erosion and dinosaur episodes.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: He may not like the field trips, but he likes Ms. Frizzle. He serves as Ms. Frizzle's defense lawyer when Keesha puts her on trial, and will not tolerate anyone saying their teacher is better. Even his cousin Janet.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: More on the lines of "I Just Want a Normal Science Class."
  • Informed Judaism: A nearly throwaway reference in the Christmas Special.
  • In-Series Nickname: He's sometimes called "Arn" by others.
  • Jewish and Nerdy: He is informed to be Jewish and is also a bit nerdy.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Gets big to save everyone from a T. Rex., and even pulls off several karate moves to scare it off.
  • Lovable Coward: Is the most cowardly of his class, but not a complete coward.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Feminine Boy to Wanda's Masculine Girl.
  • Nice Jewish Boy: Is informed to be Jewish and is also a Nice Guy.
  • Oblivious to Love: There have been a few blatant hints that Phoebe has a crush on him, but they have gone over his head.
  • Only Sane Man: It may be presented as cowardice, but, really, he is justified in being scared of the sort of thing that happens on the average class trip.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Any time he suggests taking the class out on a field trip. One time during the desert episode he actually suggested to go on a field trip to help understand about desert animals (Phoebe was wondering how to help them out). The reaction from the rest of the class?
    "Arnold, are you serious?"
  • Phrase Catcher: In the books.
    Ms. Frizzle: Arnold, are you paying attention?
  • Serious Business: He is passionate about geology. After all, he's the youngest member of GRANITE (the Great Rock Admirers' National Institute of Tectonics Experts).
  • Ship Tease: Dorothy Ann kisses him on the cheek after he helps her hatch a chick to replace Mr. Ruhle's rooster Giblets, whom she accidentally lost. They then are delighted to find they can keep the chick and raise it after Giblets returns.
  • The So-Called Coward: Push comes to shove, he's the most reliable of the kids. Shown in "The Magic School Bus Hops Home," where despite Wanda putting him in danger, he dives after her when she swims to save her frog from a heron.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Arnold removing his helmet (On the surface of Pluto!) just to make a point to his cousin. Is probably the stupidest thing anyone has ever done in the entire series, show or books. Good thing it was the very first episode.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mallow Blasters. Also, Sea Weedies.
  • Undying Loyalty: He may dislike most of her field trips, but he'll stand up for Ms. Frizzle if he has to. Same for his friends.
  • Vocal Evolution: In the first season, he was voiced by Amos Crawley. But because Amos was going through puberty at the time, he was replaced by Danny Tamberelli in the 2nd season. Arnold's voice starts to deepen within Season 4. This was because Danny Tamberelli was starting to go through puberty at the time. The difference between the two voices is that Amos Crawley is Canadian while Danny Tamberelli is American.

    Carlos Ramon

Voiced by: Daniel DeSanto

  • Big Brother Instinct: Is very protective of his classmates and his brother Mikey. He also believes in his brother.
  • Class Clown: Is a jokester and in a class.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Made the "ploopy" instrument that sounds like a cross between a xylophone, pipes, and a cymbal.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • As early as the digestion episode, demonstrates a Big Brother Instinct towards his classmates (he went out of his way to track down and retrieve Wanda) and was revealed in "Gets Swamped" to be very accomplished at debate.
    • Also he's good at effective leadership, as shown in "Gets Ready, Set, Dough" where he commands the class to make a cake for Ms. Frizzle.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Often induces this from the rest of the class.
  • Like Father, Like Son: His dad is just as fond of puns as he is, provoking a response of "Mr. Ramoooooon!" from the class whenever he makes one.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: During a field trip to discover a new island, he wants to name is "Carlos Island," complete with an Imagine Spot of him dressed like a Spanish conquistador. He makes fun of DA when she mocks it, asking if she'd call it "According to My Research Island".
  • Tough Room: Most of his classmates hate his puns.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice deepens by the third season. The reason for this was because Daniel De Santo, who voiced him in the original series, was going through maturity and puberty at the time.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: More like Why Did It Have to be Spiders? He has a phobia of spiders, which prevents him from helping rescue Phoebe and Keesha from a spider web when they get down. Even at the end of the episode, he admits he can respect them but his phobia isn't gone.

     Dorothy Ann

Voiced by: Tara Meyer

  • Bookworm: She reads a lot.
  • Captain Obvious: Much of her research. "According to my research, after chewing comes swallowing!".
  • The Cassandra: When she comes to school in a rush after realizing an asteroid will hit the school, the class takes a while to believe her even with her calculations. After the class fails to reach NASA, she sarcastically mentions they can "wait for the big kaboom, and then you'll have your proof!"
  • Catchphrase: "According to my research..."
  • Cute Bookworm: She's pretty and usually seen with a book in her hand.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: She has a slightly darker skin tone compared to the rest of the class (sans Carlos, Keesha, and Tim).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Usually where Carlos is concerned since he is imaginative and willing to experiment, while she is, as he put it, "by the book".
  • Dumb Blonde: Inverted. She's a Smart Blonde. However, she can be a little spacey if she's lost in a book, and some of her "research" can be blatantly obvious.
  • Full-Name Basis: Always "Dorothy Ann" (or "DA"); never just "Dorothy."
  • Girlish Pigtails: Even when she takes her hairbands off, the pigtails stay in place.
  • Hollywood Nerd: She's frequently reading books, and apparently she can perform planetary and astronomical body trajectory calculations. In the third grade.
  • In-Series Nickname: Usually called by her initials.
  • Magic Skirt: Dorothy Ann always wears a pleated miniskirt which stays down no matter what.
  • The Ophelia: When her books get washed into the ocean, and in real life would be too watered out to use, she nearly dives into the ocean without even a life preserver. She looks a bit unhinged while searching for them up until she makes a logical conclusion without her research.
  • Ship Tease: Gives Arnold a kiss on the cheek after he helps her hatch a chick to replace Mr. Ruhle's rooster Giblets, whom she accidentally lost. They then are delighted to find they can keep the chick and raise it after Giblets returns.

     Keesha Franklin

Voiced by: Erica Luttrell

  • Agent Scully: Keesha is always skeptical of anything unscientific.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: ...except a bus that can transform, shrink, etc. Well, she is one of Ms. Frizzle's students. She sees the bus do things like that on a regular basis.
  • Berserk Button: Using her friends in malicious schemes will result in her doing everything in her power to humiliate you, as seen in her tricking Janet in "Gets a Bright Idea."
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Oh bad oh bad oh bad bad bad bad..."
    • "Let's get the facts..."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes she does that thing where people say the opposite of what they mean.
  • In-Series Nickname: Ralphie and Carlos call her "Keesh" infrequently.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Keesha may be sarcastic, skeptical and somewhat grumpy, but she has a good heart to her and still cares about her friends.
  • Not So Above It All: In the bat episode, she keeps dismissing Ralphie's claims that Ms. Frizzle is a vampire and has taken the parents to a castle to make them bite. With that said, she sees a lot of Not Helping Your Case in that their teacher gives the parents tomato juice to drink which resembles blood, and then hears her grandmother being chosen as Ms. Frizzle's first "victim".
  • Only Sane Man: She the most level-headed and down-to-earth of the class. When Ralphie thinks Ms. Frizzle is a vampire, Keesha starts out as this, but it gets subverted as he manages to convince the whole class, including Keesha herself.

     Phoebe Terese

Voiced by: Maia Filar

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Just ask Carlos, Ralphie, and Janet.
  • Birds of a Feather: Hinted at with Arnold.
  • Catchphrase: "At my old school..."
  • Daddy's Girl: Implied in "Going Batty." Well, she IS the only child of a single father.
  • Dogged Nice Girl: Downplayed. It's heavily implied in "The Busasaurus" and "Goes Cellular" that Phoebe has a crush on Arnold, but at the ends of both episodes, despite the fact she helped him get a dinosaur egg back and tried to help him look less orange, he largely ignores her affection and goes back to focusing on Wanda. They are very good friends who care about each other however and are often paired off together.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Very much so.
  • Friend to Bugs: Yes, even them. Of course, that's to be expected being that this is a science-themed show aimed at school-aged children...
  • Girl Next Door: Outside of school adventures, she lives a normal life as a young kid with her dad. She's generally rather down-to-earth, girly, sweet, a Naïve Everygirl, The Heart, etc. It fits.
  • Hair Decorations: Her yellow headband.
  • The Heart: Is very kind to people in general, not to mention animals.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Despite the kids generally being drawn at similar heights, there have been times where she appeared taller than the others and towered over Wanda (such as in "In a Pickle" and "Revving Up").
  • In-Series Nickname: The others sometimes call her "Pheeb" (not "Pheebs"). Carlos has also called her "Pheebolino."
  • Missing Mom: Her mother is never seen nor mentioned.
  • Naïve Everygirl: More so than the other girls, due to being the "new kid" in class.
  • New Transfer Student: In the original books, Phoebe was introduced this way in The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth, the second book of the series. Inside the Earth played her as a Naïve Newcomer with an Is It Always Like This? shtick, which eventually led to her "at my old school" catchphrase in the TV series.
  • Nice Girl: Phoebe is such a sweetheart. She is a kind-hearted, caring young girl with an adorable girly girl voice.
  • Performance Anxiety: Being the beanstalk for their production of Jack and the Beanstalk didn't help.
  • Plant Person: By "being the beanstalk for their production of Jack and the Beanstalk," she was actually a giant bean plant, courtesy of Ms. Frizzle's magic.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Gives one to Carlos near the end of "All Dried Up" when he's stumbling over "how desert animals get water." It's terrifying.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Students Against Desert Scarcity! It's "person power," not "man power"! Build a recycling plant on the abandoned lot! Don't take honey from bees!
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Wanda's Tomboy
  • Tsundere: Type B. While she's most often sweet natured and reserved, she does have a temper when triggered (again, just ask Carlos, Ralphie, Tim, and Janet).

    Ralphie Tennelli

Voiced by: Stuart Stone

  • Academic Athlete: Was put in charge of coming up with an idea for Broadcast Day, and was horrified when his mom told him to stay at home. Also reads a book that DA recommended to him.
  • Acrofatic: While not fat, exactly, he is the larger of the kids and the class athlete.
  • Agent Mulder: In contrast to Keesha, he jumps to outlandish conclusions more than once, such as when he was the first to believe that Ms. Frizzle was a vampire.
  • The All-American Boy: Check out his outfit, his interest in sports, love for food, and his mechanical expertise.
  • Big Eater: He enjoys eating a lot.
  • Big Fun: Again, while he's not fat, he's the class' Big Guy. He also built a robot to do everyone's chores for the sole purpose of having more time for fun.
  • The Big Guy: Is a strong and wide boy.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": His shirt has a big red "R" on it
  • Catchphrase:
    • "I think I'm going to be sick."
    • "Is it just me, or..."
      • His mother utters the same catch phrase in "Going Batty".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a few moments of snarky remarks.
  • Did Not Think This Through: When wanting to create a thunderstorm, as Weatherman, he doesn't consider that a thunderstorm is, well, big and loud, and that the bus can't just drive out of it.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Once made a fully functional robotic helper out of junk parts.
  • Hidden Depths: Was chosen to have an idea for broadcast day, implying talent in show business. Not to mention the robot he created.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Thinks that Ms. Frizzle is a vampire when she shows up in costume for parent's night. Never mind the fact that she walks around in broad daylight and eats cake.
  • Loophole Abuse: Before the class showed up at his house during his Sick Episode, he was going to "phone in" an idea, that is call the show to invite audience participation, since his mom told him he had to stay at home. She didn't say NOT to work on his broadcast day idea.
  • Lovable Jock: Is kind and likes sports.
  • Never Bareheaded: He keeps his cap on in school, despite many schools not allowing that. Heck, he even when he's sick in bed or in formal wear, his cap is on.
  • Nice Guy: Ralphie can be teasing on occasions, he is a reasonably good-hearted and friendly kid.
  • Nice Hat: It wouldn't be Ralphie without that red backwards baseball cap. His robot naturally takes the hat and replaces Ralphie's with the saucepan Ralphie had put on the robot's head.note 
  • Opposites Attract: Hinted at with Keesha.
  • Vocal Evolution: Like Carlos, his voice deepens by the third season of the series. This was because Stuart Stone, who voiced him in the original series, was going through puberty at the time.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He hates rollercoasters, or any fast-moving rides.
  • You Answered Your Own Question: *Picks scab* "How are you going to get the inside story if you can't get inside (my body)?"


Voiced by: Andre Ottley Lorant

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When he and Wanda crash their bikes while delivering honey, he begs Ms. Frizzle to take a field trip to his grandfather's farm, to get more honey.
  • Catchphrase: "We've been frizzled."
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In the spider episode, he saves Phoebe and Keesha from an orb spider by cutting the web lines they were attached to, and does tug-of-war with a giant spider to save Ms. Frizzle from a hungry Dinopus.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a moment of this when he comments "This is one weird house" in the Haunted House episode.
    Ralphie: You mean your house doesn't have a jungle, a city, and ocean, and an alpine wonderland?
    Tim (cheerily): Nah. The landlord wouldn't go for it.
  • Determinator: He won't give up trying to find his and Wanda's model plane when he breaks the remote and it zooms off.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: He's invented a few items that have appeared on the show.
    • Designed Wanda's toy plane, which was durable enough to survive when he broke the remote.
    • For Dorothy Ann's birthday he had made a mechanical replica of the sun. Unfortunately it broke, so the class went into outer space to buy a star for her.
  • The Generic Guy: More noticeable than any of other characters, to the point where there are probably greater depths to recurring characters than him. The extent of his "genericness" does tend to get overblown out of universe, however, this page being an exception (this character entry is a good indicator that Tim isn't quite that generic, in fact). Downplayed in the chapter books, even those he doesn't narrate. He's been shown to be studious enough to go toe to toe with DA when he wants to, competitive and a Sci-Fi fan.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: In the bee episode, where he claims that they can just take honey from the bees to deliver to customers; Phoebe takes to task with him for not figuring out what the bees use it for. Except . . . he wanted to get honey from his grandfather's farm, which has sustainable beekeeping, and Ms. Frizzle decided to take them to a native beehive.
  • Sequential Artist: Tim is noted to be a good artist. In one episode, he says he's always wanted to do a comic book. He gets his chance in the weather episode, where he draws up a short "Weatherman" comic book based on the episode's events.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice noticeably changes randomly throughout the original series. In the first season, he had an accent and his voice randomly changed throughout the season, possibly since Max Beckford, who voiced him in that season, was already going through puberty. In Seasons 2-4, Tim was voiced by Andre Otterly-Lorant. In the 2nd season, he had a voice appropriate for a kid who's supposedly 8-9, but within Season 3, his voice got higher and a bit teenager-like due to Andre going through puberty.

    Wanda Li

Voiced by: Lisa Yamanaka


  • Balloon Belly: Liz, you knew you would put on pounds after eating all those cakes in the Bakery.
  • Big Eater: Will eat all the cakes in the Bakery if she feels like it! Poor Mr. Opera Baker...
  • Butt-Monkey: She gets some slapstick here and there.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Will eat cake, pastries, pizza, juice, popcorn, chocolate, and insects.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Briefly. Liz allies herself with Janet in "Butterfly and the Bog Beast", mainly so Janet will have a sounding board while the class is shrunk down, and because her Trademark Favorite Food is insects.
  • Genius Animal: She's better at using the bus's Applied Phlebotinum than the kids are.
  • Head Pet: Usually either or both of these to Ms. Frizzle but has done them with most, if not all, of the kids.
  • Hollywood Chameleons: Probably one of the few fictional chameleons to outright avert this trope.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": She is the Trope Namer.
  • Lovable Lizard: Ms. Friz's loyal and cool Jackson's chameleon sidekick.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Zig-Zagged in the episode with reptiles; the class finds her in a freezer where she's hibernating, but it turns out that Herp Haven took her habitat, a large lizard house with a TV and plenty of snacks.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: To Ms. Frizzle.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Her design with the three horns, frilly back and insectivorous diet indicates she's a Jackson's Chameleon.
  • The Speechless: Her communication is entirely with body language and facial expressions; she never speaks.
  • Suddenly Voiced: In some of the computer games based on the show, Liz is suddenly able to talk, often serving as an in-game helper to the player.
  • Team Pet: She's the only recurring animal character on the show.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Insects. In many Producers segments Liz is seen chasing them.

    Supporting Characters 

The Bus

  • Animate Inanimate Object: It has a face that emotes, though no one seems to notice. Also, it can drive itself.
  • Cool Car: Admit it: you wish you had a bus like this, don't you?
  • Do-Anything Robot: Well, vehicle technically, but it has eyes and acts rather robotic depending.
  • Magic Bus: It's right there in the name, and considering the things it can turn into, the title fits.
  • The Speechless: It may be magical, but it's still a bus.
  • Transforming Mecha: Well, bus, anyway.


  • Aesop Amnesia: She learns to not be such a rude person in nearly every single episode she appears in, but it never sticks.
  • Alpha Bitch: While not as manipulative as most examples, she tends to be quite mean.
  • Big Bad: The closest thing to one the show has—whenever she shows up in an episode, you can bet that she'll make something go horribly wrong. Though it's downplayed as she doesn't always intend to...she just usually wants to show off.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Arnold.
  • Evil Redhead: If you think Janet's orange hair makes her a ginger, she's definitely the evil of the gingers on the show.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Through Proximity. She's Arnold's cousin, and the class tolerates her at the least.
  • Hate Sink: Nobody in-universe likes her and given how obnoxious she is, it's clear that we're not supposed to like her either.
  • Insufferable Genius: Her initial characterization, but the "insufferable" half was given more focus in later episodes.
  • Jerkass: Ranging from Jerk with a Heart of Gold to near sadism, as the plot calls for it.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She's had times when she tried to use rules to force Ms. Frizzle out of an athletic competition, or when she tricked Arnold into posing in just the right place to make himself look like a ghost thanks to a theater's special effects. She also managed to manipulate the class to turn on Phoebe once.
  • Pet the Dog: Sometimes, as to subdue her tendencies.
  • The Sociopath: Could go along with Jerkass, but Janet has shown her sociopathic tendencies, ranging from her obsession with feeding butterflies to a "bog beast," her constant irritability, annoyance, impatience, and aggression towards the class (most often Phoebe), her obvious irritation with being bored ("Gets A Bright Idea"), and that she seems to have no problem with lying or cheating ("Makes A Stink"). The only person she seems to have some empathy for is Arnold, but even then, she has no problem manipulating him as long as she gets what she wants.
  • Token Evil Teammate: When she goes along on field trips, she can function this way, such as overfilling the bus with rocks from other planets.

Mikey Ramon

  • Cheerful Child: Ms. Frizzle is delighted by Mikey, and enamored with his enthusiasm. The other kids think that he's a tad out of touch with reality.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Mikey operates on this principle regularly.
  • Crazy-Prepared: His wheelchair comes prepared with a raft in the ferris wheel episode that was able to hold himself and eight classmates.
  • Genius Cripple: This is a kid capable of programming tasks on an 1990s computer.
  • Handicapped Badass: Comes up with about five different sources of energy in a day to power a Ferris wheel, and stays calm during a normal field trip, which tends to freak the class out.
  • Noodle Incident: Somehow caused an off-screen incident at a camp-out event with marshmallows that made everyone except Carlos wary of him in his first appearance and gave DA a rash that didn't go away for days.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Ms. Frizzle can travel through space and time and turn people into crabs, so why is he still in a wheelchair?
    • This could potentially be a stealth aesop about accepting people for who they are, the way they are.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In universe example: The kids all complain about him when Carlos suggests calling him in the energy episode, and cheer him when he solves their problem.

Mr. Ruhle

  • Catchphrase: "Thought you could fool old Ruhle, eh?"
  • Evil Laugh: Gives one when he reminds Frizzle about their bet about the pinball machine.
  • Hidden Depths: He knows a lot about birds.
  • Not So Above It All: He ended up betting Ms. Frizzle that she couldn't beat her pinball came, because he wanted to own it. When she wins, she tells him he can play whenever he likes.
  • Punny Name: He lives up to his name, as he's tried to use the rules of a bet to sabotage Ms. Frizzle.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Has high respect for Ms. Frizzle, and listens to the class when Dorothy Ann confesses to losing James and finding a new chick for him.

The Producers

  • Meta Guys: Each show ends with one or both of them getting a call from a viewer to point out the scientific errors in the episode, which they usually justify with Artistic License.
  • Nice Guy: They're pretty genial to the irritated viewers.

Alternative Title(s): The Magic School Bus Rides Again


Example of: