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Fan Fic / The Life and Times of the Fantasmic Four

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The Life and Times of the Fantasmic Four is a 9-chapter The Magic School Bus Fanfic by the ultimateSora. Phoebe, Wanda, Keesha and D.A., aka, 'The Fantasmic Four' keep a scrapbook chronicling their time in high school. As they enter their last year, however, keeping it up to date is only a tiny (albeit increasingly difficult) part of their lives. Relationships are tested, copious amounts of alcohol are consumed, lots of sex is had by all, SATs are taken and Hilarity Ensues. However, said hilarity is mixed with incredible amounts of angst.


Tropes that appear in The Life and Times of the Fantasmic Four include:

  • A-Cup Angst: Invoked by Wanda, who thinks Phoebe should suffer from it.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Carlos' behavior regarding the Faux Yay between his girlfriend and Phoebe. In his defense, he's joking.
  • Batman Gambit: A rival for Arnold's affections, Micah Channing, does this to break up Arnold and Phoebe. Although she succeeds, she doesn't win his heart.
  • Berserk Button: Upset Phoebe and you'll have D.A. to answer to.
  • Call-Back: To the episodes "Goes Cellular", "All Dried Up", "Wet All Over" and "The Busasaurus".
  • Captain Obvious: After literally bumping into Arnold's parents while trying to sneak out of his bedroom at 2am, Phoebe says to the girls that she's hugely ashamed because now Mr and Mrs Perlstein will think that she is "the tramp who seduced their son." Wanda points out that Phoebe is the tramp that seduced their son.
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  • Catchphrase: Averted with their Canon catchphrases, but Wanda gets a new one: "No big words!"
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Wanda drops a lot of these.
  • Coming-of-Age Story
  • Deadpan Snarker: Carlos.
  • Demoted to Extra: Tim.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: D.A.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Wanda even organizes an annual Valentine's Day house party where she guarantees that anyone who arrives single will end up in bed.
  • Faux Yay: The girls (D.A. included) all make jokes about D.A. being a "little lezzie" who is in love with Phoebe. She even pretends to hit on Phoebe to cheer her up. When D.A. is moving to New York for college, she says goodbye to her friends before boarding the plane:
    Phoebe pulled her into a tight hug, and both girls sobbed. Carlos went over to them and said, "Pheebs, if you wanna give her a full on kiss-with-tongues good-bye, I have absolutely no problem with that."
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  • Flash Back: Most of the story.
  • Foreshadowing: Early on, Arnold tells Phoebe that she deserves to marry "some rich Southern gent". When they meet after three years apart, she's dating one.
  • Framing Device: In the prologue Phoebe, having just finished college, picks up her copy of the Fantasmic Four's scrapbook and begins to read. In the epilogue, she puts it down and it's revealed that she and Arnold are back together and she's pregnant.
  • Genki Girl: Wanda
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Invoked by Carlos when D.A. is saying goodbye to Phoebe before leaving for New York. He's joking.
  • Heroic BSoD: Arnold has a minor one after Phoebe dumps him.
  • High-School Dance: Occurs about halfway through the story and is the plot's first major climax.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Invoked by Wanda at the end, describing the following: when D.A. is leaving for New York, she tells Phoebe she will find someone better than Arnold. Not only does D.A. invite Arnold to her wedding, but he gets back together with Phoebe there.
  • Idiot Ball: Phoebe cradles it for several years.
    • In chapter eight, Keesha successfully proves that "sex makes Wanda stupid".
    • In-universe, Wanda's use of "V-card" to mean virginity.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Wanda.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Arnold and Phoebe get accepted into different universities: Phoebe is going to Duke (in Carolina) and Arnold is going to Stanford (in California). Phoebe doesn't believe that a Long-Distance Relationship will work (largely because she thinks she is unattractive and Arnold will meet much prettier girls in California) so she breaks up with him, even though they still love each other. She refuses to get back together with him, even when he offers to chuck his scholarship for Stanford and work in crummy jobs to pay his way through Duke with her.
  • Mood Whiplash: Between the lighthearted bits with lots of drink, sex, Cluster F Bombs, Lampshade Hanging and Played for Laughs stupidity/violence and the angsty bits about relationship breakdown.
  • Official Couple: Arnold and Phoebe and D.A. and Carlos.
  • Only Sane Man: At one point, Phoebe becomes upset when Arnold sends Ralphie and Carlos to return a photograph of Arnold and Phoebe in fourth grade that he slept with under his pillow during their relationship. It seems that he means this as a sign that he has accepted her insistence that they get over each other (although he tells her he will love her forever), but it breaks her heart again and she seeks comfort from D.A. The latter sees Arnold's actions as shabby, manipulative and cowardly, and such treatment of Phoebe pushes her Berserk Button. Her first reaction is to yell at Carlos about it, and then announces she's going to talk to Arnold, telling her boyfriend to wait where he is for her. She goes completely mad at Arnold, leaving Keesha (who can see both sides of the argument) as the Only Sane Man (Wanda is exempt because, as she would cheerfully admit, she was born holding the Idiot Ball).
    • D.A. also has a moment of this, when Phoebe asks the girls if breaking up with Arnold is the right thing to do:
    "You're doing the realistic thing," D.A. said. "Doesn't mean it's right."
  • Road Trip: The girls take one after they graduate high school.
  • Scrapbook Story.
  • Significant Name: Wanda sleeps with a guy called Randy at D.A. and Carlos' wedding.
  • Symbolically Broken Object: Just before she leaves Texas for university in North Carolina, Phoebe breaks the head off a toy dinosaur that her ex-boyfriend Arnold had given her in a Noodle Incident years before (later depicted in The Best Chrismukkah Ever) because she's upset that their relationship is over and that she ended it despite the fact that they both still loved each other.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Wanda and Phoebe. Compare Phoebe's use of "had relations" to Wanda, who describes said act with a Cluster F-Bomb.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: The morning after D.A. and Carlos' wedding, Phoebe wakes up in bed with Arnold.
    Phoebe: (to Wanda) "Apparently, I slept with Arnold."
  • Your Cheating Heart: The guys all remain friends after they go off to different colleges. So do the girls. Carlos and D.A. and Keesha and Ralphie remain in their relationships. Three years after Phoebe leaves for North Carolina, D.A. and Carlos get married. Wanda, Keesha and Phoebe are their bridesmaids. The whole gang are reunited at the wedding, and Phoebe and Arnold end up in bed despite both being in relationships with other people. They get married three months later.


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