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Magic Bus

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This is a page for the trope Magic Bus. For pages with similar names, see also:
The Japanese animation studio Magic Bus
Seat belts, everyone!

"Gimme a hundred
I won't take under
It goes like thunder
It's a bus-age wonder!"
The Who, "Magic Bus"

A vehicle which is capable of much more than you would expect from a standard vehicle of that same make and model. May or may not actually be alive to some degree or another (sentient AIs don't count, except when they're not supposed to be sentient in the first place). A Wizard Did It or Clap Your Hands If You Believe is basically inherently part of the description as to why it has these abilities; mundane causes like user customization/upgrades don't count.

Typically has quite a bit of overlap with Cool Car, Cool Ship, etc.

Trope Namer is The Who's song "Magic Bus," although that is not an example.

For the anime studio founded by Satoshi Dezaki (Osamu Dezaki's brother), click here.


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    Comic Books 
  • Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol featured a story in which Mr. Nobody made a bid for the presidency and travelled across the country in a bus powered by Albert Hofmann's bicycle. The trade compilation of this story is titled "Magic Bus". Yeah, it was that kind of comic.
  • Sheba, Briscoe's Black Helicopter, in Suicide Squad may be this. Nemesis thinks its all done with technological wizardry, but Briscoe keeps slyly hinting that there is something out of the ordinary about Sheba.


  • The eponymous vehicle of The Magic School Bus is sentient and has numerous magical abilities ranging from shapeshifting to time travel.
  • Several from Harry Potter:
    • The Weasley family car, which is an enchanted Ford Anglia that can fly and is sentient.
    • The Knight Bus, a heavily enchanted, purple, triple-decker bus that transports witches and wizards.
    • Sirius Black owned a flying motorbike, which he lent to Hagrid the night Harry's parents died.
    • The Hogwarts Express, while being probably the most famous vehicle in the series and exclusively used by the wizarding world, is an aversion; it shows no signs of magical properties at any point (except perhaps in the nature of the platform it leaves from and its ultimate destination). Although the fact it manages to leave on time every September with no delays for leaves on the line or the late departure of an earlier train or any other excuse painfully familiar to users of National Rail might count.
  • In The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, the aforementioned mouse is able to ride a toy motorcycle as if it were the real thing just by sitting on the seat and making engine noises.
  • The Scalawagons, in the Land of Oz, a whole series of sentient, flying taxis invented by the Wizard of Oz in book 35 of the series, for public transit in the Emerald City. They run on Flabber Gas.
  • The '57 Chevy from John De Chancie's Starrigger series. While it's stated that its abilities are the product of science, they are far beyond even the high-tech background of the setting, including inertial damping, artificial gravity, and some form of invisible streamlining.
    Live Action TV 
  • In My Mother the Car, the main character's mother has somehow reincarnated as a classic car.
  • Sid and Marty Krofft's Wonderbug, an adventure-comedy about three kids, their barely-functional dune buggy named Schlep Car, and a magic horn that transforms Schlep into the titular Wonderbug, a golden dune buggy with a face that can fly (among other fabulous powers).
  • In Junk Yard, one of the scrapped vehicles is a bus that somehow bestows benefits and other bonuses to the player if he or she can get the ball up there. It's even called the Magic Bus. A New-Age Retro Hippie lives in it, which he has painted into psychedelic colors and flowers.
    Video Games 
  • The King of Red Lions from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker first appears to be a stern, regal talking boat. It's later revealed that the boat is enchanted by the lost King Hyrule, though it's never explicitly stated whether he's a ghost that's possessing the boat, or alive and controlling the boat magically.
  • The trailer for League of Legends's 2023 Lunar Revel features Zoe driving one of these that collects the other characters in the Storycraft universe.

  • SCP Foundation: One of the "safe" SC Ps is a VW microbus (the "hippie van") capable of Earth-to-orbit and sealed up for use in space travel. Deconstruction ensues when it turns out it's actually no faster than a normal bus, the beatniks who intended to go to Alpha Centauri in a month end up dying of scurvy of all things long before (as in, almost 40 million years before) they reached it.

    Western Animation 
  • The eponymous vehicle of The Magic School Bus is sentient and has numerous magical abilities ranging from shapeshifting to time travel.
  • Professor Pat Pending's Convert-a-Car on Wacky Races is equipped with an improbable number of gadgets and can transform into other objects.