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

Voting Rules
Vote 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.

  • 1
    597 VOTES

    The Kids Grew Up To Become Captain Planet's Planeteers

    This theory is of contentious origins, which Know Your Meme charts well. Regardless of where it originated, it suggests Gaia took the form of Ms. Frizzle, kidnapped the children in The Magic School Bus, took them to her "indoctrination camp" on an island, and brainwashed them into thinking they were in school. She then tried to turn them all into environment protectors, but the brainwashing didn't work properly for Phoebe, Ralphie, and Janet, who escaped. All three were driven mad, and Ralphie and Janet went evil, becoming Captain Planet villains Hoggish Greedly and Dr. Blight. 

    Once her warriors were ready, Gaia gave them their power rings and sent them on their way to protect the world from pollution.

    597 votes
  • 2
    393 VOTES

    Arnold Died In The First Episode

    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?"


    393 votes
  • 3
    514 VOTES

    Ms. Frizzle Is A Special Ed Teacher

    Ms. Frizzle Is A Special Ed Teacher
    Photo: PBS

    This theory is inherently mean, and has been propagated by more than one person. Surprise! The world is a cruel place. Consider kevo31415's short hypothesis: "They only have like 10 kids in the class and they all ride around in a short bus. All of them personlify mental disorders like ADHD, OCD, etc."

    The Redditor doesn't provide evidence for the claim that the kids on The Magic School Bus "personify mental disorders," but it cannot be argued that it's a small class that travels around in a short bus, although it's eight kids, not 10. It could also be argued the people who really need special help in life are the jackweasels who have nothing better to do than post spurious nonsense on Reddit. 

    514 votes
  • 4
    409 VOTES

    Ms. Frizzle Is A Time Lord A La 'Doctor Who'

    Ms. Frizzle Is A Time Lord A La 'Doctor Who'
    Video: YouTube

    ChannelFrederator makes the outlandish but super-convincing claim that Ms. Frizzle is a Time Lord from Galifrey, the home world of Doctor Who. The evidence? Her bus possesses many of the same capabilities as a Tardis. Perhaps she escaped Galifrey before the Time War and, instead of fighting to defend the universe, settled on molding young Terran minds.

    ChannelFrederator offered a secondary possibility of Ms. Frizzle being a character on Doctor Who named River Song, given their similar appearance (frizzy hair). River Song has "changed her face and name" before, so it's possible she took on the persona of Ms. Frizzle at some point. 

    409 votes
  • 5
    324 VOTES

    Ms. Frizzle Is A Wizard Or Psychic

    Ms. Frizzle Is A Wizard Or Psychic
    Photo: PBS

    An anonymous poster on tvtropes.org wonders wanderingly about the nature of Ms. Frizzle, speculating she must either be a wizard or a psychic/prescient, because she's always calm and capable of getting the class out of any danger. The poster points to an episode in which the class tries to get its bus-turned-submarine to sink, to little avail. The kids perform a series of maneuvers, taking on water and subsequently pushing out water to rise and fall as needed. The poster believes the science doesn't add up here, so Ms. Frizzle must have used her wizard magic to control the boat's buoyancy. 

    Not all theories are convincing. And also isn't a woman a witch, not a wizard? 

    324 votes
  • 6
    362 VOTES

    It's All About Drugs, Kids

    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

    362 votes