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Inside Ralphie

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"Inside Ralphie" is the third episode of season one of the animated children's series The Magic School Bus. It originally aired September 24th, 1994.


It's Broadcast Day and the class is counting on Ralphie to help them come up with an idea for the two hours of live television they're doing. The trouble is that he's sick, so his mother, Dr. Tennelli, won't let him go to school. So she calls Ms. Frizzle to tell her he won't be able to come.

When Ms. Frizzle says that there is an amazing battle going on inside him, the class decides Broadcast Day should be about whatever is making him sick. They go back to the bus, making him believe they are leaving him. It later returns as a shrunken helicopter through his window. Ms. Frizzle tells him to say, "Ahh!," and it enters his mouth, approaching his red and swollen vocal cords, but he coughs, sending it flying out. Afterwards, it enters via a cut on his leg. It travels up his bloodstream to his throat. While watching a video of his bloodstream, he notice that the blood inside is clear rather than red and that the cells and red and white blood cells and the jagged cells are called platelets, which help the body heal scrapes and cuts. Meanwhile, Dr. Tennelli returns and notices the television. She remarks that the stuff on it is "remarkably realistic".

As the bus enters the throat tissue, the students attempt to do the report. Ralphie and his mother watch this on television and notice that bacteria is destroying his throat cells, making him sick. Just then, the white blood cells come around and eat it. Unfortunately, it multiplies and begins chasing the students. Dr. Tennelli then turns off the television and tells Ralphie that the best cure for a bacterial infection is complete rest. As she leaves, Liz turns it back on and the inside story continues, where the medicine Dr. Tennelli gave Ralphie earlier destroys the bacteria. The white blood cells also see the bus as a threat since it's covered with antibodies and attempt to devour it. The others call for help, but Ralphie doesn't notice since he's sound asleep. The bus barely manages to escape from the white blood cells' grip and ride off, with the white blood cells chasing after it. They make it to Ralphie's throat and he wakes up just in time to listen to the report on television. The bus travels up his nose and Liz causes him to sneeze it out by sprinkling black pepper in his face. The students, still small, are now back in his room and interview him. They tell him that his body is built to keep out things such as germs, his throat is sore due to his body sending extra blood there to fight off the infection, and the white blood cells almost ate the bus because his body thought it was bacteria. They also tell him that his body was doing all this to protect him. As he finally goes to bed, the other students hop on the bus and leave through the window.


Ralphie: "How can anything that smells like grape shoe polish help my body get well? Ugh!"
Dr. Tennelli: "It will if you take one teaspoon three times a day. And don't forget to shake well before you take it."
Ralphie: [shakes] "Like this?"
Dr. Tennelli: [rolls eyes] "Even your jokes are sick."

Ms. Frizzle: "Ralphie, say 'aaaahh!'"
Ralphie: "Aaaaaaahhhh--" [the bus shrinks] "AAAAAGGGGHHHH!!"

Ralphie: "How are you gonna get the inside story if you can't get inside?" [notices his bandage] "Wait a second...I got it!" [takes the bus to his cut] "Look at this! Is it just me? Or does this say 'This Way In'?"

Carlos: "It's a shortcut! Get it? 'Short cut'?"
Students: "Carlos! Yuck!"

Arnold: "I'm gonna try to get an exclusive interview with these two bacteria." [bacteria multiplies] "I mean 'four bacteria'." [bacteria multiplies even more] "I mean 'eight bacteria'? Hey, guys! They're multiplying! Help!"

Keesha: (About the antibiotic): Look what it's doing!  It's destroying more bacteria!  The medicine is giving the white blood cells another chance.


  • The medicine Dr. Tennelli gives Ralphie is an antibiotic.
  • The white blood cells' would-be consumption of the bus is a reference to Fantastic Voyage.
  • Ralphie's last name is revealed in this episode. This makes him the first student to have one.
  • The class goes into Ms. Frizzle's bloodstream in "Works Out".
  • Ralphie is the first of Ms. Frizzle's students to get sick. The second is Dorothy Ann in "Sees Stars". However, Ralphie's illness is more prominent as this one's about the immune system and germs while "Sees Stars" is about stars.
  • This episode aired on FOX KIDS

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