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Ms. Frizzle

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Valerie Frizzle
First Appearance The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks (1986)
Catchphrase "Seat belts, everyone!"
"Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!"
"Come on bus, do your stuff!"
"Never say never!"
"As I always say..."
"As [relative] always says..."
"Hit it, Liz!"
"Two by two, please."
"Single file, please."
"Dynamic deduction!"
"To the bus!"
"I couldn't have said it better myself!"
"Get out there and explore!"
Family See below
Voiced By Lily Tomlin
Valerie Felicity Frizzle (sometimes known as  "The Friz") is an eccentric third grade teacher at Walkerville Elementary School. She uses a variety of unusual magic devices to teach the kids scientific concepts. The most notable of these is her magical school bus, a shape-shifting vehicle that seems to have a mind of its own sometimes.

Although Ms. Frizzle denies Arnold's claim that she knows everything, she always seems to know what her students are up to, even when they think they're keeping her in the dark (such as in "Gets Ready, Set, Dough" and "Going Batty").

Ms. Frizzle has a first cousin named Murph who owns and operates her own recycling plant. She used to be in a band called The Frizzlettes and toured with the now famous rock singer, Molly Cule. Eventually, she went into teaching and learned everything she knew about "busanautics" from mechanic, R.U. Humerus (who she may have had a romantic relationship with, as well, telling by their nicknames for each other). It would seem that she likes babies/young kids as shown in "Under Construction."

It would seem that Ms. Frizzle has no fear, because no matter the situation, she will usually be laughing or smiling. An example of this is in the epsiode "Spins a Web" when the deinopis spider ensnares her in its trap, she is smiling and laughing even though the spider could harm her.

Despite her beauty and odd teaching methods, Ms. Frizzle appears to be on at least somewhat friendly terms with the school principal, Mr. Ruhle. At one point, they had made a bet on whether or not he could complete the light pinball machine she and Liz had built. If she couldn't, she'd have to give it to him, but she succeeded with the help of her students.

She's voiced by Lily Tomlin. In the upcoming stage musical, she will be played by Heidi Blickenstaff.


Ms. Frizzle has frizzy red hair in a bun. She uses static electricity to make her hair all frizzy. She often wears a dress that goes along with what the class is going to learn about. The pictures on her dresses often move, thus causing Keesha to ask "Where does she get her clothes?" Often when she talks, her earrings light up or glow. When she snaps her fingers, says certain phrases, or wears certain clothes, she will usually do something, for example light up. Thus, causing one of the kids in her class to ask, "How does she do that?"


While she is eccentric and a bit strange, Ms. Frizzle is beautiful, intelligent, optimistic, kind, resourceful, happy-go-lucky, funny, supportive, loving and motherly. She loves to tell jokes (like Carlos) that are related to the lesson she teaches her kids, even if she is the only one laughing. She has given up life as a rising star musician so she could be a teacher. She seems to put her students, her pet lizard, Liz and the bus before anything else.

Even though her students can tell that their teacher is a bit odd, they still love and respect her. Ms. Frizzle is very protective of her students. Despite bringing them on several very dangerous field trips she never once let any harm come to them and always a plan to protect them from whatever might be injurious, she seems to know a lot about the subject well enough to know that she can get her students out of the situation. Like all good teachers, she is incredibly knowledgeable in many academic fields and almost never needs help to gain information. The only times she does not answer questions is when she wants her students to figure it out independently. Nothing related to knowledge seems to surprise her; in fact it seems that at the start of each episode she already knew everything that the students learned by the end. She likely excelled in science (of all kinds) and history when she was in school as they are what she generally teaches her class.

In addition to her intellect and despite her skinny build, Ms. Frizzle is a terrific athlete with a strong level of health & fitness. She was not only able to win 2 out of 3 in the Teacherathlon (she would have won a clean sweep had she not held her breath in the first event) but is capable of backflips and unicycling among many other physical feats.

The producer once noted that Ms. Frizzle is "magic" so it isn't just her students who notice. It is likely that she designed and built her magical bus herself or modified an original one. There are theories towards her supernatural abilities such as her actually being a sorceress or that the static electricity she uses in her hair gave her powers but nothing is really clarified.


  • Katrina Eloise Murphy (First cousin)
  • Dottie Frizzle (niece)
  • Shelbert "Shelby" Frizzle (uncle)
  • Andromeda "Dromeda" Frizzle (aunt)
  • Red Beard the Pirate (great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather)
  • Unnamed great grandmother
  • Frita Frizzle (grandmother)
  • Beatrice Frizzle (aunt)
  • Edison (uncle)
  • Lucy (Great aunt)
  • Janine (Great aunt)
  • Alva
  • Lincoln Douglas
  • Newton (cousin)
  • Rocky (third cousin)
  • Nicholas



  • Coincidentally, Ms. Frizzle shares her first and middle name with both children's book author Valerie Tripp and Felicity Merriman from the American Girl series. Tripp wrote most of the core series books for Merriman, as well as several other characters and it can also be noted that both Ms. Frizzle and Merriman have the same hair color.
  • She use to be part of a band that toured called the Frizzlettes and Molly Cule was one of the members.
  • She used to be a Shakespearean actress
  • Despite her cheerful and energetic attitude, she has at occasional times shown anger and frustration in "Revving Up", she yells at Liz through the monitor to turn the Bus' key and in "Makes a Rainbow" when she desperately tries to beat the rainbow pinball machine game.
  • Ms. Frizzle is the only character who appears in live-action as seen in a Halloween special "A Magic School Bus Halloween" where she disguises herself as an old man.
  • She lives in a mansion with a bridge and a fountain statue of Liz in her yard.
  • She has a framed picture of Mr. Seedplot in her house, suggesting they are closer than friends.

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