True Stories

Miss Frizzle, Learning, and Why Enthusiastic Women Are Always the Hottest

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The Magic School Bus will once again fly up a kid’s nose to get a better look at his brain.

Netflix has ordered 26 episodes of The Magic School Bus 360, a computer-animated reboot of the beloved educational cartoon. The original show, which broadcast on PBS from 1994 to 1997 and in reruns ever since, got kids excited about science through fantastic adventures led by Miss Frizzle, an orange-haired and mind-stimulating teacher who drove the titular bus.

Miss Frizzle taught me a lot about biology, nahmean?

I mean one of my earliest crushes was on Miss Frizzle and she gave me little kindergarten boners.

Miss Valerie Frizzle, if you don’t know, is the thinking boy’s “Hot For Teacher.” On the original show, she was voiced by Lily Tomlin, who used a series of trills, whoops, and wild octave jumps to give Miss Frizzle a Pied Piperish ability to get kids like me to follow her wherever she went. Miss Frizzle has orange, frizzy (of course) hair worn in a beehive bun. She always wears a basic purple dress, but the print on the dress changes based on whatever science she’s teaching (in the digestive system episode, for example, she has food all over the dress with matching sandwich earrings, and in the space episode she has stars with matching planet earrings). Her catchphrase is “take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”

So messy.

I was an introverted kid. I liked to learn, but I was very sensitive and fearful. New experiences made me anxious, which was a problem, because most experiences are new for a six-year-old. But Miss Frizzle was comforting. Her enthusiasm and lust for life was irresistible to me. Even when the kids on the show didn’t want to do something, her encouraging would get them not only to do it, but enjoy it. She made trying new things exciting, not scary.

Her attitude made her super hot, too. I would watch The Magic School Bus to see what kind of adventures she would take the kids on, but also to see what she was wearing and look at her sexy cartoon nose. She was sort of a Manic Pixie Dream Woman, a quirky grown-ass lady. She was an independent woman, Miss Frizzle not Mrs. Frizzle, and she didn’t need to be teaching these kids. She just did it because she loved it. That’s attractive!

My crush on Miss Frizzle faded, but her influence remained. I find myself disproportionately attracted to redheads, women who dress outlandishly, and Jews. It’s never stated that Miss Frizzle is Jewish, but she’s definitely Jewish. But more than anything else, Miss Frizzle introduced me to the pleasure of liking someone more enthusiastic and extroverted than myself.

When the news came out today about the Magic School Bus Reboot, I had feelings. I haven’t forgotten you, Miss Frizzle. I’ll always have a special place for you in my heart, which you taught me about. You’re in my left ventricle.

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