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Nightmare Fuel / The Magic School Bus

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Take chances, make mistakes, get messy! Get nearly eaten!

     Season 1 
  • "The Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space"
    • The show doesn't make bare bones of what it's like to be trapped in space with no reliable transportation. Ms. Frizzle is lucky she has Liz and her microphone.
    • Janet driving the bus through Jupiter's red spot and abandons the wheel. Ralphie in a panic flies them out, but understandably the whole class chews out Janet for nearly getting them killed.
    • The crowning moment, of course, is when Arnold takes off his helmet on Pluto (in order to teach Janet a lesson), and his head instantly turns into a block of ice! It all happens onscreen, with no Gory Discretion Shot. Janet has to drag his limp body onto the bus, and yells at Ms. Frizzle they need to go back to Earth.
  • "The Magic School Bus Inside Ralphie"
    • White blood cells try to eat the bus. For a moment, Ms. Frizzle marvels at the human body as the class panics.
  • "The Magic School Bus Hops Home"
    • Wanda's Adult Fear when Bella goes missing. You can't blame her for saying her pet can't stay in the wild because of the herons.
  • "The Magic School Bus All Dried Up"
    • The bus gets washed away by a flash flood, with the kids inside. No wonder the next scene shows them sleeping in tents in the desert.
  • "The Magic School Bus In the Haunted House"
    • Arnold notes the class while pushing a broken-down bus is alone at night, and "vulnerable". Not helped by Carlos's invention making weird sounds at random times.
    • The house locks the class in by shutting the door. Arnold and Ralphie scream, and Ralphie claws at the door.
    • Dr. Contralto's story; she just vanished, and her house was turned into a museum. The class sees her portrait moving, and Tim with alarm asks what happened to her. Ms. Frizzle says, "No one knows." Everyone shudders and doesn't contradict Ralphie when he theorizes she's a ghost wandering around the place.
    • The ominous pipe organ sounds. Fortunately, it's just Dr. Contralto II playing them, and she stops when Carlos finds her.
     Season 2 
  • "The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top"
    • The bus nearly crash lands into the ocean when Liz presses the controls wrong.
    • D.A. versus giant squid for her books. D.A. loses, and Ralphie is appropriately freaked out.
    • Arnold has an Uncanny Valley moment where he imagines Carlos with D.A.'s hair and voice.
    • The bus gets squished under the layers of rock and becomes trapped in a volcano. When they try to break the rock, Keesha's helmet cracks from the pressure.
  • "The Magic School Bus and The Busasaurus"
    • Carlos's Adult Fear when he finds two of his classmates have gotten lost in a hostile jungle.
    • The Troodons aren't played for laughs. They chase after a Triceratops baby, and then go after the class.
    • When the T. rex wakes up, it chases Arnold and Phoebe for a good long while. Arnold trips and can't get into the bus in time, so he crawls under it.
  • "The Magic School Bus Out of This World"
    • D.A.'s Catapult Nightmare of the asteroid she's tracking hitting the school, while Ms. Frizzle is there. It turns out her calculations were correct; it is going to hit the school.
    • Carlos and Ms. Frizzle getting stranded on the asteroid while trying to redirect its path. Fortunately, Ms. Frizzle stays calm and follows D.A.'s lead.
  • "The Magic School Bus Cold Feet"
    • The kids are terrified that Liz was kidnapped to be "toasted and stuffed" into a meal. Not helped by them seeing a woman drop off her giant tortoise and asking for that. Even if it turns out the Herp Haven is a reptile spa, the thought is terrifying.
    • Liz is being kept in a freezer for hibernation. The class-turned-into-reptiles worries for a few minutes that she might not wake up, before succumbing to hibernation as well since their body temperature becomes significantly lower.
    • Phoebe after getting the bus to a sunny spot to warm it up realizes that she's being cornered by alligators. She remembers they are probably hungry due to not eating for a month.
  • "The Magic School Bus Ups and Downs"
    • Wanda breaking a vital diving rule and going scuba-diving off on her own to find the monster. She immediately gets tangled in lake kelp — a danger that has led to divers drowning in real life.
    • Gerry Poveri crossing the Moral Event Horizon by sabotaging the bus so that it sinks, with children inside. The class has to put in some elbow grease to get the bus-submarine floating again.

     Season 3 
  • "The Magic School Bus In a Beehive"
    • A large bear chasing the bus-bee, and then raiding the beehive. It becomes Nightmare Retardant when we zoom out and see the bear is just stealing a piece of honeycomb, but it's like a Godzilla movie for a few minutes.
  • "The Magic School Bus In the Arctic"
    • Ms. Frizzle accidentally drives the bus into the Arctic Ocean. Because she was looking at thicker coat options for the class after Ralphie asked. Fortunately, no one drowns, but the bus engine freezes and strands them.
    • The class faces the real danger of freezing while getting the bus moving.
    • Just as the kids decide to use hot water bottles to unfreeze the engine, the ice breaks, separating the bus, Phoebe and Ralphie from the class. They float off, helpless, as the iceberg breaks off in front of them.
  • "The Magic School Bus Spins a Web"
    • This episode is not fun for anyone who shares Carlos's arachnophobia. Or any insect phobia in general.
    • When the General accidentally shrinks the bus, the kids become so small that they're prey for other insects. Keesha and Phoebe get caught in a web, and Keesha freaks out on realizing a spider is ready to eat them.
    • The General ties Liz to a giant flyswatter trap, clearly not caring if she gets hurt or maimed by the mantis. Liz struggles to get free and gives an Oh, Crap! wave to the mantis when it comes for her.
     Season 4 
  • "The Magic School Bus Goes to Mussel Beach"
    • The scene with the sea stars. D.A. comments on how pretty they are. Cue a sea star grabbing a mussel, sucking out its insides, and leaving the shell behind. The class, with the kids changed into mussels, sensibly flies out of there before they can be eaten in turn.
    • Wanda as a mussel nearly gets eaten by seagulls! She has to do some fancy dodging to avoid the claws.
"The Magic School Bus Goes on Air"
  • In a moment definitely that potentially makes claustrophobics wince, the class shrinks and ends up inside the jar. A random person sees the lid and screws the jar shut, unable to hear the tiny kids screaming at her to stop. Fortunately, the lid is loose enough that they don't suffocate but they have to figure out how to get the lid off.
  • "The Magic School Bus Gets Swamped"
    • The flood when it starts. Due to a dead tree falling, the water from the swamps starts entering the city. The mayor deputizes the city council to mount sandbags so that the buildings don't get damaged.
  • "The Magic School Bus Goes Cellular"
    • Arnold's understandable fear that he turned orange all over. When it won't wash off, the class has to go inside his body to figure out what the problem is.
  • "The Magic School Bus Sees Stars"
    • The star nursery nearly causes the bus to crash, and Ms. Frizzle has to get creative to move the bus out of the line of fire.
    • The computerized voice that warns of the impending supernova.
    • The bus gets caught in the Red Giant's supernova. It's terrifying in how the blast knocks them back by a few hundred feet.

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