|“||Is it just me, or...?||„|
|~ Ralphie's catchphrase.|
Ralphie David Tennelli is the class athlete and daydreamer. He plays a lot of sports, and when he's not, he's daydreaming about playing sports. He's of Italian American descent, once mentioning that his mother's calzones "go down like rocks." He has a distaste for anchovies, which his dad puts on pizza to keep him from eating it. He mentions in "Kicks Up a Storm" that he hates roller coasters and shows to have a weak stomach in "For Lunch". Despite his occasional machismo, he has no problem showing when he's afraid. He loves superheroes and comic books, and he appears to be a science-fiction fan (as shown by his pajamas).
Ralphie loves sports and daydreaming. He's outgoing, kind, imaginative, and fun loving, and on rare occasions, he can be cowardly. He enjoys a day off from school, but he does respect his teacher and enjoys being in her class.
Ralphie is upset he hasn't come up with an idea for Broadcast Day as he types on his computer, and he's even more upset when his mother tells him he's staying home due to being sick ("Inside Ralphie"). The class comes to him, and their Broadcast Day becomes about his sick body. Irritated when Dorothy Ann interrupts the class baseball game to talk about her physics book, he sees it would make the perfect home plate ("Plays Ball"). They continue to butt heads when Ms. Frizzle takes the class inside the book to play a frictionless baseball game, but they stop their fighting long enough to get the bus unstuck when the wind blows the book shut. He comes up with a superhero persona in "Kicks Up a Storm" named "Weatherman." He and Keesha argue over who knows how storms are made and using the bus, he eventually makes one, realizing he may have made a huge mistake.
Tired of having to do class chores, which keep him from playing sports, Ralphie decides he wants to build a robot to do all the chores for everyone "Flexes Its Muscles". When the bus acts up, he gets his chance when Ms. Frizzle takes the class to her mechanic. In "Going Batty," he is convinced she is a vampire due to many coincidences, and he fears she plans to eat their parents during the parent-teacher conference, which is taking place not only off-campus but also at night. Six hours before the "biggest soccer game of the year," he is aggravated when Phoebe wants to name the team the Butterflies ("Butterfly and the Bog Beast"). He's the last in the class to finally agree to the mascot, though at one point he said he'd rather play for the other team. In Cold Feet, Ralphie is transformed into a turtle when he, Miss Frizzle and some of his classmates help Phoebe rescue Liz.
On a class trip to the Arctic, Ralphie is trapped on an ice floe with Liz, Phoebe, and the bus, and he worries that he'll never hear another bad joke from Carlos and never go on another field trip ("In the Arctic"). In "Goes Upstream," he's in charge of bringing fish to the school's annual Fish Fry. Unable to catch any salmon at the spot he and his uncle used to fish, the class finds out that the salmon have migrated. Up until realizing what a hard journey it is, he is determined to bring back some fish to the school. He's Ms. Frizzle's trainer for the Teacherathlon in "Works Out." Seeing that her competitor is the heavily muscled gym teacher, Mr. Sinew, he wonders how she'll ever beat him.
The class is enjoying a nice afternoon at the beach, but Ralphie wants to move away from their peaceful spot to a more crowded one ("Goes to Mussel Beach"). They find out later that the reason he chose the spot was so they'd be first for ice cream when the truck comes. In "Goes on Air," he's upset that their contribution to the Walkerville space capsule is an empty jar of air. He's an opossum, along with Wanda and Keesha, in "In the City."
- It is implied many times that he likes pizza, but clearly without anchovies. He also appears to like his mom's calzones. He also seems to like sweet things, like candy, ice cream, and mallowblasters.
The Magic School Bus (1994)