Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / The Magic School Bus

Go To

Characters that appeared in The Magic School Bus and The Magic School Bus Rides Again.


    open/close all folders 

Main Characters

    Ms. Valerie Frizzle 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thefriz.jpg

"Seat belts, everyone!"

Voiced by: Lily Tomlin

The teacher of the fourth-grade class.

  • The Ace: There doesn't seem to be anything that the Friz is explicitly bad at. She has extensive knowledge in just about every science, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, zoology, and meteorology. The only time she's ever shown in any sort of trouble is when she overexerts herself in an athletic event (used to show the effects of fatigue on the human body), and even then, she still wins.
  • 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.
  • Ballet: Those dazzling figure skating moves she shows off on the frictionless baseball field at one point in "Plays Ball" had to come from somewhere.
  • Berserk Button: Gross-out puns are her least favorite puns, especially when they involve nasal mucus. Luckily, she'll just give you an icy stare of disapproval for it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: "In the City" shows that her Bus and students are not to be messed with when she's around and able to put up a proper defense. Just ask the two zookeepers who were looking for a bear—actually the Bus—in a junkyard only to be confronted by an angry redheaded raccoon.
  • 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 to 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!)
  • Consistent Clothing Style: Ms. Frizzle wears a different dress and earrings every episode, but it's themed to match the subject being learned about in the episode.
  • 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.
  • Death Glare: She shoots one in Carlos's direction in "Makes a Stink" in reaction to his "Snot Funny" pun.
  • Different in Every Episode: Her dress and earrings change every episode, depending on the subject that's taught.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite normally laughing along with Carlos' jokes, even she is disgusted by his "Snot Funny" pun in "Makes a Stink" and gives him a Death Glare for it.
  • 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.
  • Great Gazoo: As part of her Inexplicably Awesome abilities. While she can't grant wishes, she's definitely Ambiguously Human, can do seemingly anything she wants to, makes sure that her class learns everything firsthand, and can do things that would normally take centuries in minutes.
  • Hammerspace: That's where she keeps things like a giant replacement bulb or a set of molds for the bus.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: She is an awesome weirdness magnet. Also, was once the Trope Namer when it was called "The Frizzle". She can take her class anywhere from the depths of space to the inside of an ice crystal. And the shows, books, and videos on The Magic School Bus never gave any sort of explanation as to how she can do any of it. She just can.invoked
  • Informed Judaism: During the salmon episode, the "Friz" references a quote from her Tante Gefilte; "Tante" is a Yiddish term of endearment for an aunt, and Gefilte is an Ashkenazi Jewish dish made of ground fish meat.
  • In-Series Nickname: "The Friz".
  • It Runs in the Family: Has a HUGE bevvy of various aunts, uncles, and cousins, who are sometimes famous people such as "Uncle Edison" in the electricity episode, "Uncle Frank Lloyd" in the construction episode, and "Uncle Poseidon" in the salmon episode.
  • Large Ham: She's dramatic and enthusiastic about all the things she teaches the kids.
  • Magic Skirt: For some reason, her dress manages to retain its shape as she falls down a chasm a few stories deep.
  • 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.
  • OOC 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 (complete with the losing jingle being the Funeral March), because right after she laments, she smiles and shows the class how the game works with light instead of with balls.
    • Normally, she considers Carlos's puns to be Actually Pretty Funny. In "Makes a Stink", she gives him a Death Glare in reaction to his "Snot Funny" pun, in a subtle indication that grossout puns involving nasal mucus are a Berserk Button for her.
  • 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.
  • Quirky Curls: She has curly, red hair to go along with her quirky attitude.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: She's not the only redhead with green eyes in the series—Arnold and her sister Fiona also fit this description—but she is their teacher, and as Inexplicably Awesome as they come.
  • Static Character: Whatever seemingly affects her in one episode/book never carries over.
  • Team Mom: Well, she is the only adult.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Fiona's girly girl. She's stated to have been on more offscreen adventures than her sister, including color commentary for baseball games, a rock band, and even a rodeo.
  • Tranquil Fury: Just the icy stare she gives Carlos in "Makes a Stink" is enough to indicate that even for her, his "Snot Funny" pun went a little too far.
  • 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.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: She has a different dress and earring set matching the theme of the next field trip.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In "A Magic School Bus Halloween", she appears in the live-action segments dressed as an eccentric old peddler named Archibald Dauntless.
Advertisement:

    Arnold Perlstein 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/please_let_this_be_a_normal_field_trip.jpg

"Please let this be a normal field trip!"

Voiced by: Amos Crawley (1994, 2020), Danny Tamberelli (1995-1997), Miles Koseleci-Vieira (2017-2018, 2020), Roman Lutterotti (2020-present)

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: He was blonde in the original books, but a redhead in the series.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: He knows a lot about geology to the point where he's the youngest member of the GRANITE society, but in the original books, the best he can manage in terms of geology is a styrofoam peanut made up to look like a rock, even as his classmates are able to find actual rocks around him while they're going through the inside of the Earth.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: He is a 8 year old kid who knows enough about rocks to earn a high award on it.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Molly Cule calls him "Sugar" throughout "The Magic School Bus Meets Molly Cule".
  • Badass Adorable: He certainly has his moments of outstanding bravery.
  • Berserk Button: Never mind that he's almost never looking forward to her field trips, you do not insult Ms. Frizzle in his presence. Just ask Janet.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't get him pissed. He becomes a Determinator.
  • Big Eater: He's been shown through numerous stories to snack a lot.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge, it's he who gets to say, "We've been Frizzled!" He also borrows Wanda's "What are we gonna do, what are we gonna do, what are we gonna do?" catchphrase in "Meets the Rot Squad".
  • 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.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Yellow in the original series. Green in Rides Again.
  • 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.
  • Cross-Cast Role: Together with Ralphie, he plays the family cow in the school play of Jack and the Beanstalk.
  • The Drag-Along: Never once completely enthusiastic about a field trip, even those he's looking forward to.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In "Making Magic", he volunteers to use the only escape pod to refill the bus's battery when it was low. Despite successfully getting it back to the bus, the pod runs out of power, stranding him alone in space until Miss Frizzle saves him.
  • 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. His voice when he says this line is absolutely frigid:
    "No one is better than Miss Frizzle''.
  • 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.
  • OOC 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?
  • Quirky Curls: But only in the original series. He gets rid of them in Rides Again.
  • Refusal of the Call: At the end of "Making Magic", Miss Frizzle gives him a chance to stay home from school as a reward for saving the bus. Surprisingly, he turns it down.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: The Savvy Guy to Wanda's Energetic Girl.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive guy to Ralphie's manly man. He's always nervous to at least some degree about going on field trips with Ms. Frizzle, and he's often a bit of a worrywart besides.
  • 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, and also that Janet had the sense to get him and everyone else on the bus as quickly as possible.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mallow Blasters. Also, Sea Weedies. He also loves Tuna Fish.
  • 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 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/punny_boi.jpg

Voiced by: Daniel DeSanto (1994-1997), Leke Maceda-Rustecki (2017-present)

  • Actually Pretty Funny: He sometimes gets this reaction from the rest of the class, even when they do the usual collective groan of his name.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Is very protective of his classmates and his brother Mikey. He also believes in his brother.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In "In the Arctic", he borrows Ralphie's "Is it just me, or...?" catchphrase when the heat source that just appeared smells fishy.
  • Class Clown: Is a jokester and in a class.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Blue in the Original series. Red in Rides Again.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even he calls Arnold on his pun in "In a Beehive".
  • 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 groaning from the rest of the class when he makes a pun.
  • Like Father, Like Son: His dad is just as fond of puns as he is, provoking a response of "Mr. Ramoooooon!" from the class (and the other parents) 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.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Ralphie and Wanda, most prominently in the opening when they're "swinging through the stars" and in "Gets Eaten" when they're pretending to surf together at the start.
  • 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?: 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 Hudson 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/da.jpg

Voiced by: Tara Meyer (1994-1997), Gabby Clarke (2017-present)

  • All There in the Manual: Her last name is revealed in Meet the Class, a Rides Again tie-in book.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Do not doubt for one second the nutritional value of broccoli.
      Dorothy Ann: According to my research, broccoli is a very healthy vegetable!
    • Do not belittle math in front of her.
  • Book Smart: She is always the student who correctly answers to the questions asked by the teachers.
  • Bookworm: She reads a lot.
  • Brainy Brunette: Averted as she's very concerned with the facts, but her hair is blonde.
  • 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..."
  • Color-Coded Characters: Purple in the Original series. Lavender in Rides Again.
  • Cute Bookworm: She's pretty and usually seen with a book in her hand.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: In the original series, 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.
  • In-Series Nickname: Usually called by her initials.
  • Magic Skirt: Dorothy Ann always wears a pleated miniskirt which stays down no matter what, never mind the (very) occasional Precision Panty Strikes that accidentally pop up in "Goes to Seed", "Out of This World", and "Cracks a Yolk".
  • The Ophelia: Her inevitable reaction to any time she loses her "research".
    • When her books get washed into the ocean in "Blows Its Top", 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.
    • She has a similar reaction in the Rides Again episode "The Tales Glaciers Tell" when her FrizTab is crushed near the end.
  • 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.
  • Smart People Speak the Queen's English: Downplayed. She may be British-American, but her accent sounds rather soft, if nothing else (the most blatant being her pronunciation of "research" with emphasis on the second syllable, as it's done in the UK), and she appears to have lost the accent completely by the time of Rides Again.
  • Tank-Top Tomboy: Her swimsuit in Rides Again incorporates a lavender tank top.
  • Tender Tomboyishness, Foul Femininity: With Keesha, being a bookworm and closeted baseball lover who can be quite gregarious when she isn't being Captain Obvious.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Keesha's girly girl. Downplayed compared to the other two girls among the Frizz kids, as they're closer to the middle of the spectrum, but it certainly shows in their interests, and it's more pronounced in Rides Again.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She plays the role of the princess in the school play of Jack and the Beanstalk.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: She sports one in Rides Again, around the same time she swaps out her sweater and Magic Skirt for a neater-looking blazer and blue jeans.
  • Tomboyness Upgrade: Not that her personality wasn't at all tomboyish in the original series—she, along with her Girly Girl counterpart Keesha, are both closer to the middle of the spectrum than anything—but Rides Again really cranks up her tomboyish traits, with even many of her outfits getting a tomboyish makeover, while at the same time retaining her established bookish personality.

    Keesha Franklin 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/keesha.jpg

Voiced by: Erica Luttrell (1994-1997), Mikaela Blake (2017-present)

  • Agent Scully: Keesha is always skeptical of anything unscientific.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: ...except a bus that can transform, shrink, etc. Course, she is one of Ms. Frizzle's students, so she sees the bus do things like that on a regular basis.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": In "The Magnetic Mambo", her dancing style reeks of this when the Friz kids are preparing for the Walkerville Elementary talent show, despite her (admittedly seldom referenced) ballet background.
  • Ballet: Mentions having lessons in "Wet All Over". She's also seen doing an arabesque on Mercury in "Gets Lost in Space". Of course, as seen in "Plays Ball", it doesn't help her one whistle in a world without friction.
  • 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..."
  • Color-Coded Characters: Maroon in the original. Orange in Rides Again.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes she does that thing where people say the opposite of what they mean.
  • Girlish Pigtails: In Rides Again, as a way of making her girliness more apparent.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: As seen in "Butterfly and the Bog Beast", she's pretty good at football. Additionally, she sports a ponytail in the original series.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Her main color in the original series is purple, and she's in an afterschool ballet class.
  • Has Two Mommies: She's portrayed as being the daughter of a lesbian couple in the reboot.
  • 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.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The dark to Phoebe's light, being a consummate snarker who's generally disinclined to believe the fantastic.
  • Modesty Shorts: She wears purple bike shorts under her dress beginning in "The Frizz Connection".
  • 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".
    Keesha: DON'T YOU DARE BITE MY GRANDMOTHER!
  • Oh, Crap!: Her go-to catchphrase for when things go seriously south.
  • 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.
    • Also shown in "The Frizz Connection" when she's on the crazy balloon with Carlos and Ralphie.
  • Raised by Grandparents: All-but-explicitly stated to be under the guardianship of her grandmother in the original series.
  • Sassy Black Girl: Not quite sassy, per say, but she is the most skeptical and sarcastic member of the class.
  • Selfie Fiend: In "Space Mission: Selfie", she puts herself and the class in danger on several occasions during their field trip, just to get the perfect selfie for her application to Space Camp.
  • Tender Tomboyishness, Foul Femininity: With DA, being of the more fashionable sort. She also attends an afterschool ballet class, and she's got quite the sarcastic streak.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly girl to DA's tomboy. Downplayed compared to the other two girls among the Frizz kids, as they're closer to the middle of the spectrum, but it certainly shows in their interests, and it's more pronounced in Rides Again.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sushi.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: As a random traveler who helps establish the time zones at the end of "In the Zone".

    Phoebe Terese 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/phoebe_6.jpg

Voiced by: Maia Filar

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Just ask Carlos, Ralphie, and Janet.
  • Birds of a Feather: Hinted at with Arnold.
  • Canada, Eh?: Downplayed. She's got the accent and the stereotypical niceness down pat, and she also translates Fahrenheit to Centigrade at least once, but apart from that, nothing overtly indicates that she came from up north.
  • Catchphrase: "At my old school..."
  • Color-Coded Characters: Red.
  • Daddy's Girl: Implied in "Going Batty."
  • 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.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Usually, when she brings up what they did or didn't do at her old school, she's a little nervous but nevertheless cooperates in the spirit of learning about science. However, even she doesn't hide her disgust when Ms. Frizzle suggests being shat out of Arnold in "For Lunch".
    Phoebe: [genuinely horrified] At my old school, we were never allowed to end up in the toilet!
  • 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.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: She's shown to be the striker for the Walkerville Elementary Bog Beast Butterflies at the end of "Butterfly and the Bog Beast", and in The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip she's mentioned to have karate after school.
  • 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" except by DA on one occasion). Carlos has also called her "Pheebolino."
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The light to Keesha's dark, being a sweet girl-next-door type and The Heart of the Friz kids.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother is neither seen nor mentioned.
  • Naïve Everygirl: More so than the other girls, due to being the "new kid" in their 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.
  • Put on a Bus: Quite literally. She doesn't appear in The Magic School Bus Rides Again, and it's explained that she transferred back to her old school.
  • 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).
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Her regular outfit, which debuted in The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor, incorporates oversized red short overalls.
Advertisement:

    Ralphie Tennelli 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/is_it_just_me_or_0.jpg

Voiced by: Stuart Stone (1994-1997), Matthew Mintz (2017-2018), Matthew Mucci (2020-present)

  • 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.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Though just by a small margin, he found more of Carlos's puns funny than their classmates did.
  • 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. Subverted with his full name, which is three-quarters Italian.
  • Big Eater: He enjoys eating a lot.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Downplayed. In "Kids In Space", he heads out of the Space Station to retrieve Wanda, however, all three of his attempts failed, leading Wanda to have to sacrifice herself so he can get back safely. Props for him for at least trying.
  • 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:
  • Color-Coded Characters: Green in the original series. Blue in Rides Again.
  • Cross-Cast Role: Together with Arnold, he plays the family cow in the school play of Jack and the Beanstalk.
  • 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.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: As revealed in "Ralphie and the Flying Tennellis" his family called him "Wee wittle waker pooper" which his classmates (especially Arnold) teased him about.
  • Friendly Rivalry: His relationship with Keesha is this. They are polar opposites which causes them to clash in many field trips or classes. But at the end, they are both shown to be very close friends.
    • He also has this relationship with Dorothy Ann with him being Brilliant, but Lazy and her being a buy the book learner. Their tend to constantly disagree on things in certain episodes.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Once made a fully functional robotic helper out of junk parts.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Mentions his "nonna" in "In the Zone".
  • 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: While 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.
  • Outdated Outfit: Rides Again reveals that he never really grew out of his baseball cap even after it stopped being fashionable.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Him not communicating with the others in "Kids In Space" causes Wanda to think he ejected her pet tardigrade into space instead of the laundry which causes her to chase after the pod and get sucked into space, leading to him and the class having to rescue her.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly man to Arnold's sensitive guy. He has quite the athletic prowess, right up there with Carlos and Wanda in that regard, and he's not very squeamish about most of the Friz's antics... except when they involve rollercoaster levels of nausea.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Carlos and Wanda, most prominently in the opening when they're "swinging through the stars" and in "Gets Eaten" when they're pretending to surf together at the start.
  • 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)?"

    Tim Wright 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tim_3.jpg

Voiced by: Max Beckford (1994), Andre Ottley Lorant (1995-1997), Kaden Stephen (2017-2020), Jonathan C. Sturgess (2020-present)

  • 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.
  • All There in the Manual: His last name is revealed in Meet the Class, a Rides Again tie-in book.
  • Catchphrase: "We've been frizzled."
  • Color-Coded Characters: Blue in the Original series. Teal in Rides Again.
  • 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.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive guy to Carlos's manly man, being the more artistic of the two.
  • 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 Ottley-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 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wanda_3.jpg

Voiced by: Lisa Yamanaka (1994-1997), Lynsey Pham (2017-present)

  • Ballet: Downplayed a lot compared to Keesha. She might not have had any formal training, but she's a self-admitted fan, and she shows she might be self-taught early on in "Holiday Special" when she briefly imitates the movements of the dancers she anticipates seeing onstage that night.
  • Berserk Button: Accusing her of gluttony, as Arnold does during the climax of "For Lunch", is a surefire way to get a reaction out of her.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In "Wet All Over", she directs Ralphie's "Is it just me, or...?" catchphrase at him.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Come on, ya buncha weaselly wimps!"
    • "What are we gonna do, what are we gonna do, what are we gonna dooooo?!"
  • Character Tics: That little "tsk"-like sound she makes when she's annoyed.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Pink in the Original series. Light Blue in Rides Again.
  • Cross-Cast Role: For the in-universe school play of Jack and the Beanstalk, she plays the role of Jack.
  • Dainty Little Ballet Dancers: Averted. She's implied in one episode to be a self-taught ballet dancer, but at the same time she's a Pint-Sized Powerhouse as demonstrated in another episode.
  • Disappeared Dad: Wanda's father is never seen nor mentioned.
  • Genki Girl: Usually very.
  • Girliness Upgrade: In Rides Again. Downplayed in that she retains her fashion sense from previous appearances (apart from the new colors), but now all the Frizz girls are wearing hair decs, and Phoebe's personality (particularly the Friend to All Living Things aspect thereof) seems to have rubbed off on her. While both "Meet the Class" and "The Frizz Connection" confirm that she's not a case of Used to Be a Tomboy, this time around she's just barely more of a tomboy than Jyoti.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When she and Ralphie drift off too far away from the International Space Station in "Kids In Space", she sacrifices herself by kicking Ralphie back, causing her to drift further away. Luckily she is rescued moments later by Jyoti.
  • Jerkass: Sometimes falls into this. Played up for An Aesop in the coral reef episode.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She can be tough and brash at times, but she cares deeply for her friends and will always come through for them.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Tends to charge into situations without thinking things through, like with the lake monster. Justified in one case where she was trying to find her pet frog Bella.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Masculine Girl to Arnold's Feminine Boy.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Her reaction after accidentally unrecycling the bus in "Holiday Special"
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: After all...
  • Not So Above It All: Is just as scared of the music in "The Haunted House" as everyone else is.
  • One of the Boys: Enjoys sports, like Ralphie, and surfing with Ralphie and Carlos.
  • Opposites Attract: Hinted at with Arnold.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: See One of the Boys above.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: With Carlos, any time they're both paired with Ralphie.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Just so Viewer Gender Confusion doesn't ensue, her regular outfit and tuxedo are both colored in prominent shades of pink.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Despite being the smallest in the class, she's the highest jumper and could pull the metal handles off of large doors.
  • Psychotic Smirk: In "Meets the Rot Squad", she does this twice just before taking the lid off her rot in the first scene.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: The Energetic Girl to Arnold's Savvy Guy.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: When she dusts off her tuxedo for, respectively, a performance of The Nutcracker in "Holiday Special" and a GRANITE award ceremony in "Goes Cellular".
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Rides Again.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • In the show proper, she's the Tomboy to Phoebe's Girly Girl. She's got nerves of steel, Phoebe... not so much, but she's got the heart to compensate.
    • The behind-the-scenes special reveals she's also the Tomboy to her own voice actress's Girly Girl.
      Lisa Yamanaka: Comparing myself to my character, Wanda, in the show, I'll have to say that... really, I don't think I'm anything like her.
    • In the books, she's additionally the Tomboy to Carmen's Girly Girl; Carmen, a book-exclusive characternote , is essentially her feminine lookalike, with longer hair and a feminine outfit compared to Wanda (whose own outfit gets redesigned twice, in The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor and The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs, the latter which carried over to the 1994 series), though neither of their personalities are fully developed in the original books.
    • In Rides Again, she's the Tomboy to Jyoti's Girly Girl.
    • As revealed in Explores Human Evolution, she's also the Tomboy to her cousin Bo's Girly Girl.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak:
    • In "Holiday Special", she's looking forward to seeing The Nutcracker.
    • In "Gets Charged", she's excited by the possibility that Ms. Frizzle is in love with someone.
  • True Blue Femininity: By the time of Rides Again, she's past her pink phase, as shown with her new outfit, a light blue short-sleeved shirt and blue jeans.
  • Tsundere: Type A.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Carlos and Ralphie, most prominently in the opening when they're "swinging through the stars" and in "Gets Eaten" when they're pretending to surf together at the start.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In "Holiday Special", she accidentally sets off the unrecyling ray on the bus that turns it a pile of cans and bottles.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Her jacketless tuxedo has a pink one.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Her outfit in The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor, owing to the summertime setting. And you thought Walkerville's heatwave in "Kicks Up a Storm" was bad...
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: She does this twice across the series, as the title character of Jack and the Beanstalk in "Gets Planted" and as a random mustachioed traveler who helps establish the time zones at the end of "In the Zone".

    Liz 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/liz_0.png

  • Animal Gender-Bender: She sports three horns on her head, which only male Jackson's chameleons have. In real life, females typically have no horns or traces of the rostral (nose) horn.
  • 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!
  • Butt-Monkey: She gets some slapstick here and there.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Will eat cake, pastries, pizza, juice, popcorn, chocolate, and, of course, 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.
  • Jerkass Ball: 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.
  • 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, for a scheduled maintenance.
  • 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 aloud. However, the book tie-ins sometimes depict her speaking intelligently, though unheard by the kids, through thought bubbles.
  • 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.

Advertisement:

Supporting Characters

    The Bus 

The Bus

Basis: 1970s Ward International R-183 School Bus with added rear fender skirts and chrome grille/hood spine.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_bus.jpg

The titular bus of the series, capable of transforming into almost anything to help Ms. Frizzle teach the lesson of the day to the kids. Despite the book and the cartoon literally being named after it, the bus itself doesn't have much interaction with the main characters, and as a result is more of a secondary character which literally serves as the vehicle to the story arcs.

  • Animate Inanimate Object: It has a face that emotes, though no one seems to notice (or they've just grown so used to the weirdness that they ignore it). Also, it can drive itself.
  • Cool Car: Admit it: you wish you had a bus like this, don't you?
  • De-Power: IT loses its magic near the end of "In The Zone" and turns into an ordinary bus. Luckily Jyoti is able to help get its magic back.
  • Disney Death: It has two of them. Both during Seasonal Episodes.
    • In "Holiday special", it hits itself with the unrecyclign ray and turns into a pile of cans and bottles. Luckily Miss Frizzle, Murph and the class are able to re-recycle them and bring the bus back.
    • "In The Zone" takes this up to eleven when the bus starts glitching out due to getting new magicware which makes it unresponsive. Luckily Ms Frizzle, Maven and the class get it back to normal so it can get back home. Only for it to not make it in time and lose it's magic, becoming a regular bus. Jyoti manages to save the day by using the geographical time zone to help bring its magic back.
  • 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.
  • Sentient Vehicle: It often lets Ms. Frizzle (or whoever is in the driver's seat) control where it is going and doesn't have much direct interaction with the cast, but it does display emotions and react to its surroundings, and occasionally communicates by beeping its horn, which may be its own "language". In extreme circumstances it will exercise its volition, such as when it, Ms. Frizzle, or the class are in imminent danger, or in the one case it turned into a bear and wandered off, which was apparently a plot device to help teach the kids about how and where wild animals may thrive in a city environment.
  • The Speechless: It may be magical, but it's still a bus. The closest it comes to speech is its horn, which can be heard at The Stinger of the outro theme. In the books, the bus displayed words via the screen above the windshield, but it never used these to communicate with anyone.
  • Transforming Mecha: Well, bus, anyway.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Even moreso by today's standards, but even when the books first premiered the model that the bus was based on was at least 10 years old, and 20 years old when the animated series started. By all accounts to the outside observer, it seems to just be a nondescript old bus, but...well, anyone who's seen the series can tell you its anything but nondescript.

    Janet 

Janet

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/janet_6.jpg

Voiced by: Renessa Blitz (1994-1997), Annalise Forbes (2017-present)

  • 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.
  • Body Horror: She's revealed to have an ingrown toenail in "Janet's Mystery Gene", much to the class's horror. According to Arnold, it runs in the family.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Janet typically has a "J" on her shirts.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In "Pigs in the Wind", she runs a blog where she reviews plays and considers the class's efforts at the start to be too unrealistic for her taste. However, at the end, it's revealed that when it comes to realism, she does have her limits.
  • 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.
  • Girliness Upgrade: In Rides Again, though it's rather subtle. Her outfit was already a gendered counterpart of her cousin's in the original series, but here, her hair is also longer, and her personality is different, too, with much less emphasis on her Manipulative Bitch streak in favor of a more subtle approach to her antagonism.
  • 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.
  • Hates Being Touched: Implied at the end of "Janet's Mystery Gene" when she's running away from a bunch of preeschoolers asking for a hug.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifter: In "Janet's Mystery Gene" as a consequence of Carlos accidentally messing up her DNA.
  • Insufferable Genius: Her initial characterization, but the "insufferable" half was given more focus in later episodes.
  • It's All About Me: The book she wrote and wanted to read to the preschoolers in "Janet's Mystery Gene" is all about how 'amazing' she is.
  • Jerkass: Ranging from Jerk with a Heart of Gold to near sadism, as the plot calls for it.
  • Jerkass Façade: As revealed in "Janet's Mystery Gene", she's just as nervous as her cousin, but puts up a sociopathic front to hide it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite being a Manipulative Bitch, there have been moments that show she genuinely cares for her cousin.
    • In "Gets Lost In Space", she panics when he removes his helmet and desperately gets everyone back to the bus so she can help him.
    • In "Gets a Bright Idea", she willingly goes with Arnold and his class to their field trip despite it boring her.
  • Leitmotif: In many of her episodes, her appearance is announced by the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: At the end of "Janet's Mystery Gene". You might even say she did this in Rides Again as a whole, if only because her sociopathic and manipulative tendencies aren't quite as apparent as they were in the original series.

    Mikey Ramon 

Mikey Ramon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mikey_4.png

Voiced by: Kevin Zegers (1995-1997), unknown (2018-present)

  • 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.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Occasionally peppers his speech with this.
    Mikey: ¡Hola, Frizzlers!
  • 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?
  • 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 

Mr. Ruhle

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mr_ruhle.jpg

Voiced by: Paul Winfield (1996-1997), Martin Roach (2017-present)

  • Agent Scully: Subverted. While he appears to be skeptical of D.A.'s story for much of "Cracks a Yolk", it's all a guilt-tripping ruse.
  • 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.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: His Agent Scully act for much of "Cracks a Yolk" is intended to guilt-trip Ms. Frizzle's students over Giblets flying the coop on their watch.
  • 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 Giblets and finding a new chick for him.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Downplayed in Rides Again. The point of the field trip in "Making Magic" is to pull off a Bavarian Fire Drill to prevent him from finding out about the Bus's true nature, which is inconsistent with events in "Cracks a Yolk", which ends with him revealing that he had believed D.A.'s story about the field trip through a hen's ovary the whole time and had simply played the skeptic to make Ms. Frizzle's students feel sufficiently guilty about letting Giblets fly the coop.

    Harry Arm 

Harry Arm

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/harry_arm.png

Voiced by: Amos Crawley

    Carmen 

Carmen

Voiced by: Ruby Smith-Merovitz

  • Demoted to Extra: She was in Ms. Frizzle's class in the original books, but in the animated series she makes a single appearance, as one of Ms. River's students, in "Goes on Air".

    The Producers 

The Producers

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_producers_3.jpg

  • Death Glare: The female producer, any time the male producer forgets he's not the only producer.
  • Girls vs. Boys Plot: Downplayed. Every time both producers appear together, the male producer forgets he's not the only producer, much to the female producer's chagrin.
  • Meta Guy: Most shows end with one or both of them getting a call from a viewer to either ask for clarification on certain aspects of the episode, or point out the scientific errors, the latter of which they usually justify with Artistic License, such as needing to consolidate the weeks an asteroid would take to reach the sun into a few seconds due to the time frame of the program (although a few exceptions featured one of the guest cast for that episode answering the questions on behalf of the producers, such as the baker in "Ready, Set, Dough").
  • Nice Guy: They're pretty genial to the irritated viewers.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: The female producer, most of the time.

Characters from The Magic School Bus Rides Again

    Ms. Fiona Frizzle 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1572281671665.jpg

Voiced by: Kate McKinnon

Valerie's younger sister, who takes over teaching the class in the sequel when her older sister gets her PhD and becomes Professor Frizzle.

  • Alliterative Name: Fiona Frizzle.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: She uses all the catchphrases that the original Miss Frizzle used when teaching the class. Of course, taking their relationship into account, it might be a family thing.
  • Cool Big Sis: Fiona's dynamic with the class is more similar to this than Valerie's style of teaching, which is more maternal.
  • Different in Every Episode: Like her sister, she wears different skirts and necklaces every episode according to the theme.
  • Gamer Girl: Implied to be this in "Nothin' But Net".
  • Genki Girl: As shown to be just as excitable as her big sister during field trips. Even in their most dangerous or scariest situations.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Usually as much of a Perpetual Smiler as her older sister, "In The Zone" is the first time you see her genuinely upset. She shows great concern when the bus starts to glitch up when in the Arctic and is genuinely saddened when the bus doesn't make it in time to download its data and becomes an ordinary bus.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: She's essentially a toned-down, more laid-back version of her Inexplicably Awesome big sister, complete with the red hair and green eyes.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Takes the place of the original Miss Frizzle for the reboot.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Redheaded like her sister and also wears dresses with patterns related to the subject of the day. Fiona wears her hair down unlike her sister, though.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly girl to Valerie's tomboy. Personality-wise, she's more laid-back than her sister, and more of a Cool Big Sis type.
  • Tongue Twister: Even more than her sister, Fiona is prone to rattling off long alliterative phrases at ninety miles an hour.
  • You Are in Command Now: She takes over driving the magic school bus and teaching Valerie's class after she gets promoted to Professor Frizzle.

    Jyoti Kaur 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jyoti_kaur.png

Voiced by: Birva Pandya

  • Berserk Button: Leave her hair alone. A magical ever-growing plant learned that the hard way in the very first episode of Rides Again.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In "Kids In Space", she's the one who rescues Wanda by using one of her inventions to pull her back.
  • Bollywood Nerd: She is a girl of Indian descent and is also real technology expert.
  • Character Tics: She has a habit of starting her dialogue with a single-word sentence, before continuing with her thoughts.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Purple.
  • The Determinator: Is determined to restore the bus at the end of "In The Zone" when it loses all its magic. Thankfully she is successful.
  • Expy: Her character design resembles Florrie and Rachel from the original book series.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: She's great with technology and is no slouch in the athletic department.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • She's shown to be really good at gymnastics in "Ralphie and the Flying Tennellis". and "Ralphie Strikes a Nerve".
    • She is also shown to be a big fan of pop singer and Fiona's cousin Maven.
  • Not So Above It All: In "The Good, the Bad, and the Gnocchi", she attempts to climb the wall of pasta by herself. It doesn't go well for her.
  • Meaningful Name: The name Jyoti is hindi for Light which is fitting for her interest in technology and bright ideas.
  • Purple Is Powerful: She is shown to be a smart and agile student and wears a purple shirt (which also becomes her main colour when her outfits change).
  • Replacement Goldfish: Phoebe returns to her old school and Jyoti replaces her.
  • Ship Tease: With Ralphie as shown in episodes like "Three In One"
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Wanda's Tomboy.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: As a random mustachioed traveler who helps establish the time zones at the end of "In the Zone".

    Goldie 

Professor Frizzle's new animal assistant. She is a golden tamarin monkey who accompanies the Professor as she travels the world on her Magic Moped.

    The Friz 

Voiced by: Kate McKinnon

Fiona Frizzle's "wacky, goofy, silly side".

    Fiona 

Voiced by: Kate McKinnon

Fiona Frizzle's daredevil side.

  • Action Girl: Fitting with her daring personaltiy and sense of adventure.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The brawn to the Friz's beauty and Frizzle's brains. Her sense of adventure is stronger by itself, and she shows some admittedly subtle muscle compared to the other Fragments.
  • Dreamworks Face: She does this on Netflix's official icon for "The Frizz Connection".
  • Genius Bruiser: She's the brave tough side of Fiona but is shown to be just as smart as Frizzle.
  • Tank-Top Tomboy: She wears a purple tank top.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Identifiable by her braided ponytail.

    Frizzle 

Voiced by: Kate McKinnon

Fiona Frizzle's reliable, bossy side.

  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The brains to the Friz's beauty and Fiona's brawn. Unlike the other two, she's both cautious and calculating.
  • Catchphrase: "Safety first!"
  • Grammar Nazi: Only once, but when Arnold says they have to get to the other Frizzles quick, she corrects Arnold by saying "Quickly! Adverb"
  • Insistent Terminology: Since they're doing their work on a hot air balloon and not at home, it's "balloonwork," not "homework," and Frizzle will let out a stage "ahem" anytime someone refers to it as the latter and not the former.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Being the stuffiest of the Fragments, she's got her hair tied up this way.


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

Top