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Fan Fic / The Return of the Magic School Bus

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We all remember the 8 Friz Kids from the show: around the age of 9 and the best of friends. But what happens after Ms. Frizzle's time as their teacher is over?

The Return of the Magic School Bus gives us a possible answer. The gang is now in high school and as can happen, have started to drift apart but a distress signal from Mrs. Frizzle's bus and the disappearance of her current class calls them back into action and that's only the beginning of this adventure. Our heroes will have to rediscover the friendship they've let slide for so long before disaster strikes.

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The Return of the Magic School Bus contains examples of:

  • Big Sister Instinct: DA flips when her friends hesitate in going after Miss Frizzle's missing current class, which DA's youngest sister AJ is part of and practically drags them on the mission.
    • Surprisingly Janet demonstrates this trope towards Arnold.
  • Broken Bird: Keisha. With her grandmother in the hospital with cancer, she's lost all faith in Miss Frizzle's magic.
  • Broken Pedestal/ Rebuilt Pedestal: Tim desperately missed his friends at his new school and leaped at the chance to reunite with them only to be bitterly disappointed when they turn out to be out of practice at functioning as a team. He slowly realizes that they've grown up and changed but that doesn't make them any less his friends.
  • Call-Back: Several episodes are referenced by various characters, including R.U. Humerus claiming that Ralphie Bot was an attempt to impress a girl much to Ralphie's confusion.
  • Character Development: Tim has become capable of acting as a leader (not that he likes it) and Janet has a genuinely caring reason for running Arnold's life at the story's start. The other characters get some along the way as well.
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  • Cool Big Sis: DA to both of her little sisters.
  • Even Jerks Have Standards: While Janet is not completely ashamed of the things she did as a child, she genuinely cares about her cousin and is horrified at the idea that the gang (minus Arnold) thinks she'd purposefully hurt Miss Frizzle.
  • Exact Words: Phoebe said that it wasn't her place to explain what was bothering Keisha; she didn't say she couldn't phrase her explanation in such a way that DA would be tempted to investigate.
  • The Glomp: DA gives one to AJ when she locates her class.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Arnold and Wanda used to be this before their falling out.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Non-romantic example; Ralphie doesn't mind his old classmates calling him that name despite having gone by “Ralph” for years.
  • I Just Want My Friends Back: Tim turns out to have this as an issue. He felt more alone at his new school and wanted his friends back more than he realized.
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  • Jailbait Wait: One member of the conspiracy group who's offered to help the group states his intentions to wait for the high-school-aged Janet. She's quite flustered.
  • The Leader: Tim is forced to take up this role initially. He doesn't enjoy it at all and is immensely relieved once he doesn't have to play it anymore.
  • Mama Bear: Miss Frizzle, full stop. Liz too.
  • Only Sane Man: Arnold, unsurprisingly, and Carlos, surprisingly, both play this role though usually not at the same time.
  • Papa Wolf: The bus. After it escapes from its captors who only got it to stay because they held Miss Frizzle hostage, Phoebe is only able to coax it out by revealing her identity to it in a soft coaxing tone; this works because the bus remembers her as one of the students it wanted to protect at one point and to some extent, still does.
  • Official Couple: Arnold/Tiffany. Not anymore as of Chapter 10.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Several years before the story, Janet planned one of Arnold's birthday parties and he neglected to tell her to invite Wanda, leading to Janet not realizing that Arnold wanted Wanda there and leading to Wanda and Arnold's falling out. This isn't helped by Arnold's reluctance to make up with Wanda who takes this as him not wanting to rekindle their friendship.
  • Ship Tease: Carlos/DA, Ralphie/Keisha and Tim/Phoebe are teased seriously. Arnold/Wanda gets truly teased in Chapter 10 after The Reveal that Arnold's relationship with Tiffany is on the rocks. Additionally a conspiracy group member who's undergone a Heel–Face Turn flirts with Janet; given he's an adult, she's quite flustered.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: When their search of the sanctuary for Miss Frizzle's missing current class proves fruitless, the gang decides to think about what they'd have done had they been in this situation as 3rd graders. They quickly realize that they'd have regrouped back at the elementary school which is where they end up finding the kids.
  • Team Mom: Miss Frizzle per usual but also interestingly DA who soothes Keisha's worries about magic as gently as she can.
  • Team Dad: Mr. Shu and Tim for the most part but Ralphie takes a hand in it to snap Keisha out of her crisis of faith.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Implied with Ralphie's mom given he claims his cell phone was given “in lieu of actual parental affection”.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Janet. Her manipulation of Arnold has genuinely caring motives and she proves willing to help rescue Miss Frizzle.
  • Understatement: Keisha's response to finding out that Miss Frizzle's kidnappers are planning on building a sentient robot that could destroy the world? “This is really not good.”
  • When You Coming Home, Mom and Dad: Revealed to be part of the reason for Janet's childhood misbehavior.

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