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15 Magic School Bus Fan Theories That Will Make You Question Your Entire Childhood

Updated September 23, 2021 4.3k votes 925 voters 26.3k views15 items

List RulesVote up the theories that make you most wanna get in a psychedelic bus with Lily Tomlin.

If there's one thing '90s kids can all agree on, it's that Ms. Frizzle was the ideal teacher, and The Magic School Bus was crazy as hell. Okay, that's two things, but they're both true. And given how crazy that show was, it should come as no surprise there are a lot of fan theories about The Magic School Bus. Like all theories about your favorite childhood shows, some of them are sweet and nostalgic, some horrifying, and bordering on scarring.

The worst theories here can perhaps aptly be described as "The Magic School Bus conspiracy theories," because conspiracies are never happy. One such theory suggests the show is a liberal scheme to brainwash kids. There's also one about Ms. Frizzle and her bus being responsible for 9/11, but that didn't make the list because it's garbage. 

Here are The Magic School Bus theories worthy of your time. And yes, the famous Captain Planet theory made the list.

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  • 5

    Arnold Died In The First Episode

    Photo: PBS

    This anonymous theory from tvtropes.org is freakin' hilarious. It argues Arnold died in the first episode, when he removed his helmet in space. He subsequently went to purgatory, where he had to continue to live-out his experience in Ms. Frizzle's class. 

    The theory comes with the question: "Except Arnold is canonically Jewish, so why would he believe in Purgatory?"

    Indeed. 

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  • 6

    It's All About Drugs, Kids

    Photo: PBS

    I_tipped_Mr_Pink succinctly states his theory: "The Magic School Bus is slang for LSD and all the characters were high." The evidence? "Miss Frizzle just screams acid dropper when you see her."

    Further down the same IGN discussion board, user RommelMcDommel snarks, "magic bus has been drug slang since the 60s, duh." There's that whole song by The Who and everything.

    So, that's further proof. You know David Crosby was riding that bus

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  • 7

    Ms. Frizzle Is The Embodiment Of A Higher Power

    Photo: PBS

    Redditor alekkk (unfortunate name) believes Ms. Frizzle is the "corporeal projection into our world from the same omnipotent being." As per this theory, Liz and the bus are also extensions of this omnipotence. The theory's strongest evidence is that, as long as Liz or the bus are present with the kids, Ms. Frizzle knows exactly what they're doing, even when things are happening behind her back. Alekkk believes the power source from which she extends may be called "The Frizz", which producers refer to when taking calls in the post-credits scenes.

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  • 8

    The Magic School Bus Is Either A Transformer Or From Cars

    Photo: PBS

    The bus in The Magic School Bus is essentially a sentient robot, so it can only be one of two things: a Transformer or a transplant from the Cars universe. This anonymous theory,   shared on tvtropes.org, basically just stops there: it's an either/or, choose your own adventure situation. How amazing would it be if the Magic School Bus fought Megatron? There would be casualties among the children, though. Unless they weren't on the bus. 

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