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Trivia / The Magic School Bus

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  • Actor Allusion: Lily Tomlin gets to show off her talent in the fine art of drag as Ms. Frizzle as Archibald Dauntless in the live-action wraparound segments of "A Magic School Bus Halloween".
  • Actor-Shared Background: Dom De Luise's character in "Gets Ready, Set, Dough!" is a baker, a reference to his second career as a gourmet cook.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: Lily Tomlin was the voice of Ms. Frizzle, Malcolm-Jamal Warner voiced "the (male) producer," and the Theme Tune was sung by Little Richard. And then there's all the celebrities who voiced "guest" characters (Carol Channing, Dolly Parton, Dan Marino, etc).
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  • Channel Hop: Thanks to the series' popularity, reruns of the show aired on Fox Kids (as a way for affiliates to fulfill their E/I quotas after The Fox Cubhouse ended), Discovery Kids, and qubo, as well as Netflix (which is also the home of the reboot).
  • Children Voicing Children: All four of the boys are voiced by real boys, and all of their voices break over the course of the series.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: William Li is voiced by his sister's voice actress, Lisa Yamanaka.
  • Cross-Regional Voice Acting: The series uses voice actors from both Canada and America.
  • Directed by Cast Member: The Latin American Spanish dub was directed by Sylvia Garcel, who also starred as Ms. Frizzle.
  • Dueling Dubs: When the series was released on Netflix, the first season was redubbed into Brazilian Portuguese, European Spanish, French, German, Italian, Polish and Japanese.
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  • Fake Brit: Downplayed. British-American Dorothy Ann Hudson is voiced by Canadian Tara Meyer, but her British accent is more subtle than anything.
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  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Both Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton previously appeared together in 9 to 5. Dabney Coleman, whom also co-starred with them in 9 to 5, also made a guest appearance, but not with Parton.
  • Late Export for You: The show first aired in Japan in 1999, 5 years after its' North American debut.
  • Milestone Celebration:
    • The book The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition came out 20 years after the first book. As a result, it boasts a holographic cover, and includes appearances from several of history's most legendary scientists.
    • A DVD box set of the entire series was released in 2014 (20 years after the first episode).
  • The Other Darrin:
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    • Arnold and Tim were originally voiced by Amos Crawley and Max Beckford, respectively; their voices broke after the first season and they were replaced with Danny Tamberelli and Andre Ottley-Lorant, respectively. (Crawley can still be heard as Arnold in the Title Sequence throughout the show's run.) Oddly, the voice actors for Carlos (Daniel DeSanto) and Ralphie (Stuart Stone) were not replaced after their voices broke later on, and neither were Tamberelli or Ottley-Lorant.
    • The French dub was also tangled up. Except for Marie-Eugénie Maréchal as Phoebe, all the children had at least two voice actors.
  • Out of Order: Season 1 Episode 1, Gets Lost In Space, has Arnold remark that the class had already been inside a rotten log and to the bottom of the ocean. Those field trips aren't actually shown until Episodes 06 and 04, respectively.
  • Overtook the Manga:
    • Some of the episodes are adaptations of specific Magic School Bus books, but there are obviously quite a lot more TV episodes than books.
    • The first five computer games were adaptations of specific books. Technically, there were still unadapted books left after that, but none that would've particularly lent themselves to a computer game. From Explores the Rainforest onwards, the games have original storylines.
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  • Recursive Adaptation: There were books based on the book-based TV series.
  • The Resolution Will Not Be Identified: The final episode "Take A Dive" is never identified as such. The only clue that it's the series finale is Ms. Frizzle deciding to retire at the end.
  • Trope Namer:
  • Saved from Development Hell: The All-CGI Cartoon Netflix reboot was announced around 2013-ish and was finally released on September 29, 2017.
  • Science Marches On: A science show can't stay accurate forever.
    • Pluto is still a planet in "Gets Lost in Space", it's also depicted as being rather white, light grey, and blue, when in actuality Pluto is brown.
      • The phone segment at the end of the episode acknowledges that they took some liberties with this because, at the time, no one knew what Pluto really looked like.
      • Pluto is also missing Nix, Hydra, Styx, and Kerberos.
      • More moons have also been discovered around the gas and ice giants since the episode and corresponding game debuted.
    • In "The Busasaurus," Ms. Frizzle says that Tyrannosaurus rex was the biggest meat-eater of all time. Too bad the discovery of the slightly larger Giganotosaurus was published in the same year the episode airednote . In the same episode, Ornithomimus and Troodon are both portrayed with scales rather than feathers.
    • Weirdly, "Gets Eaten" has Ms. Frizzle state that all food chains begin with plants, which had been a discredited fact since the discovery of hydrothermal vents in 1977, seventeen years before the episode aired. Even weirder, this error is pointed out in the phone segment, so it's not carelessness. The fictional producer's justification for excluding hydrothermal vents creatures is "Yeah, but they're weird."
    • The Tongue Map appears in the video game.
    • Lampshaded in the Dinosaurs computer game. Keesha's report "Dinosaur Myths" discusses discredited theories about dinosaurs, and even mentions that then-current theories about dinosaurs may be disproved in the future.
  • Talking to Himself: The European Spanish dub has Carlos and Ralphie with the same actor.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • As with most things of this nature, the computer episode went out of date the moment it aired. The fact that the computer has a "gajillion gigabyte hard drive" AND still has a floppy disk. While "gajillion" is not a number, we do have computers and networks capable of working on Yottabyte levels (10^24 bytes).
    • Also, WiFi would be used to connect a computer network today, rather than Ethernet cables.
    • In "Holiday Special," the whole plot revolves around an item being lost while the kids are sorting the school's recycling. As recently as 2007, many modern recycling plants no longer require manually-sorted inputs ("single stream recycling," a.k.a. one big bin for it all).
  • Unintentional Period Piece: In the Solar System computer game, Arnold's report mentions that Pluto is the only planet in the solar system that has never been visited by a spacecraft from Earth. Setting aside the fact that Pluto is no longer counted as a planet, this ceased to be true when the New Horizons probe visited Pluto in 2015.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Magic School Bus Wiki.

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