Meg Thomson
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8 Television and Film Cars ‘90s Kids Will Remember

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While I like to pretend time isn’t flying by at the speed of light (it’s still 2008, right?), sometimes it can be fun to say, “Remember when?” I’ve decided to take a trip down memory lane and reflect on some of the memorable cars ‘90s kids grew up with on their screens.

Bullet – Full House (1987-1995)

1961 Oldsmobile 88

Danny Tanner’s car, Bullet, from the hit TV show Full House
Photo: Warner Bros. Television

Danny Tanner’s precious Bullet is imprinted in all of our memories. Mostly because it was more than painful to see it totaled. After Jesse crashed Danny’s car, the entire episode surrounded the car and its importance. Jesse and Joey made their way to a local car dealer that just so happened to be selling the exact same color, year, make, and model of Bullet: a red 1961 Oldsmobile 88.

The Magic School Bus – The Magic School Bus (1994-1997)

Magic School Bus

Photo: Scholastic Entertainment

Capable of flying, changing its size, and anything else you can think of, the Magic School Bus definitely made its mark on the world. The anything-but-traditional school bus took its students, and viewers at home, on many field trips during its three years on the air. With Miss Frizzle and Liz at the wheel, everyone was bound for adventure.

Driving School Car – Spongebob Squarepants (1999-Present)

Spongebob Squarepants

Photo: Nickelodeon Animation Studios

I firmly believe that Spongebob is a big part of the reason so many of us were afraid of failing our driver’s tests. It seemed like Spongebob was always in “boating school” (because it’s technically a boat.. with wheels.. but I digress). His driving skills weren’t the best. In fact, they were the worst. But that didn’t stop him from trying over and over again (torturing Mrs. Puff in the process). The car/boat is not just memorable for its unique appearance; we remember it for the laughing fits we thought for sure would give us abs.


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The Jeep – Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

Gilmore Girls Jeep

Photo: Warner Bros. Television

Lorelai Gilmore’s 2000 Jeep Wrangler was its own character on the hit TV show Gilmore Girls. Featured in practically every episode, the Jeep and Lorelai fit well together. When it broke down on the side of the road, Lorelai was told it was time to buy a new car. The entire engine needed to be replaced. But even then, Lorelai wouldn’t part with her Jeep. Luke ended up finding her a new Jeep to buy; but instead of driving the new Jeep, Lorelai had the engine taken out of the new Jeep and put it in her old one. Talk about never giving up on your car.

Underwater Car – Spy Kids (2001)

Spy Kids Underwater Car

Photo: Troublemaker Studios

To be honest, I’m still waiting on those instant microwave dinners from Spy Kids. I’m also waiting for the underwater cars. Let’s face it: Mr. and Mrs. Cortez were the ultimate cool parents when they dove their SUV into the ocean, turning it into a submarine. You can’t beat that. It’s hard to tell for certain, but the car appears to be an Isuzu ZXS (with a few modifications, of course).

The Mystery Machine – What’s New, Scooby-Doo? (2002-2006)

Mystery Machine

Photo: Warner Bros. Animation

Solving mysteries in the Mystery Machine, Scooby-Doo and his gang always rode in style. The Mystery Machine is a large van, similar to the Volkswagen Bus. In fact, I’ve seen a “Mystery Machine” out on the street. Someone decked out their VW Bus in paint and accessories to make it look just like The Mystery Machine. You could say the ’90s kid in me was geeking out a little. With the amount of room in the bus, they could fit all five characters plus the bad guys in handcuffs.


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The Comet – One Tree Hill (2003-2012)

1963 Mercury Comet

Photo: Warner Bros. Television

Right from the show’s opening scenes, Peyton Sawyer’s car began to play an important role in the show. The 1963 Mercury Comet always seemed to bring Peyton and Lucas together. As the series progressed, her car began to play a bigger role. It became known simply as The Comet, inspiring the title of Lucas’ second novel. It was crashed and rebuilt several times, but the car was resilient and well-loved, taking it all the way to Peyton and Lucas’ departure from the show.

Dune Buggy – Drake & Josh (2004-2007)

Dune Buggy

Photo: Nickelodeon Productions

The Dune Buggy. The second episode of the show set the tone for the kind of show Drake & Josh would become: a witty, comedic show with underlying morals and messages for its young viewers. In the episode, Drake’s friend decided to give Drake and Josh a Dune Buggy. However, neither of the brothers had their driver’s licenses. Drake hopped into the Dune Buggy with his friend and took off, crashing the car into a tree. the buggy was totaled and Drake had done some damage to himself in the crash. In an attempt to hide his mistakes, Drake put makeup over his cuts and bruises and did his best to play through the pain. Eventually, Drake went to his parents and came clean. The show displayed an important lesson for young viewers to own up to their mistakes and to think before making rash, unsafe decisions.

  • Meg ThomsonEditor

    Meg Thomson is a writer, photographer, blogger, and activist. When she isn’t writing, Meg can be found immersing herself in television scripts, adopting and playing with animals, or updating lists of her dream travel destinations (the list never ends). Meg believes writing is power, and equality is essential. She is determined to make a difference in the world, one word at a time. See more articles by Meg.