1) Even in a series founded on scientific learning, we’re taught our lessons by a woman who routinely does the implausible, if not the straight-up impossible, on a bus that can only be described as magic. There’s room in the world for both quantifiable facts and firm belief in the unexplainable.
2) Just when you’re thinking you should have stayed home today is sometimes when the coolest adventures get rolling.
3) Never mind how they did it at your old school. Fix your gaze ever onward and embrace the wild and wacky changes that take your humdrum life up a level.
4) There will be recurring characters in your life who don’t seem to serve any function other than to make a nuisance of themselves where they don’t even belong. These people probably deserve to be left on Pluto. Be better than these people deserve.
(Seriously. Janet. In Arnold’s place, I would have kept my space helmet on and abandoned my obnoxious cousin to her fate.)
5) Piggybacking on that, don’t discount the biggest weasely wimp in the group; he may end up doing some of the most courageous things.
(Props where they’re due. The boy chased down a dinosaur so he could return a paleontologist’s fossilized egg. That’s a sense of responsibility you can’t buy!)
6) Forget the naysayers. If only for one glorious half-hour a day, let yourself believe your teacher’s a vampire, the sound museum is haunted, a hastily manufactured robot will do all your chores, and you are totally Weather Man.
(Dream on, Ralphie. Dream on forever.)
7) Just like when trying to play a baseball game, things work much better if the story has friction.
8) Creating a distinctive ensemble cast is totally doable. Snazzy catchphrases and signature outfits/color-combinations work well. Don’t forget to include dynamic relationships within the group!
9) You don’t have to do anything explicitly romantic; the fandom will still ship your characters like nobody’s business.
(Carlos/D.A. and Ralphie/Keesha, anyone? C’mon, everybody knows they belong together. It was there in all the friction.)
Lesson with an Arguably Narrow Window of Applicability
10) The first time you eat your classmates, it’s an honest mistake. After that, it’s just carelessness.