[[quoteright:344:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Casper-Friendly-Ghost-3.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:344:[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic One ghostie you should definitely giggle at.]]]]

Casper, a ghost who [[IJustWantToHaveFriends wants to be friendly but scares people away]], debuted in a 1946 {{Noveltoon|s}} released by FamousStudios for Paramount Pictures, [[AdaptationDisplacement adapted from a children's story]] made by Joe Oriolo. Casper appeared in 55 animated shorts and became Paramount's most popular character after ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}. In 1958, Paramount sold the character to Creator/HarveyComics, where he frequently crossed over to ComicBook/RichieRich stories.

In the Harvey Comics line, Casper lives in the Enchanted Forest with The Ghostly Trio, and met many other supporting characters, such as Wendy the Good Little Witch, Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost, and ComicBook/HotStuffTheLittleDevil.

Casper's television debut was on the Creator/{{ABC}} AnimatedAnthology series ''Matty's Funday Funnies'', sponsored by Mattel Toys. The Casper shorts were syndicated during the 1962/63 season, after which they returned to ABC, accompanied by new supporting segments, in ''The New Casper Cartoon Show''. In 1979, Creator/HannaBarbera produced ''Casper and the Angels'' for Creator/{{NBC}} Saturday mornings, with the voices of {{Julie McWhirter}} as Casper and John Stephenson as Hairy Scary. Since 1995, Casper has been the star of a Fox AnimatedSeries, ''TheSpooktacularNewAdventuresOfCasper'', and a series of live-action/CGI films, starting with [[Film/{{Casper}} a feature]]; one of the direct-to-video movies, ''Casper Meets Wendy'', launched the career of Music/HilaryDuff.
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[[folder:Film Series]]

!1945
* The Friendly Ghost: The first appearance of Casper, as part of the WesternAnimation/{{Noveltoons}} series. Noteable for having the story written by Creator/OttoMessmer. PublicDomain.

!1948
* WesternAnimation/TheresGoodBoosTonight: Second appearance of Casper, as part of the WesternAnimation/{{Noveltoons}} series. PublicDomain.

!1949
* A Haunting We Will Go: Third appearance of Casper, as part of the WesternAnimation/{{Noveltoons}} series. PublicDomain

!1950
* Casper's Spree Under The Sea: The first short of the solo Casper series.
* Once upon a Rhyme


!1951
* Boo Hoo Baby
* To Boo or Not to Boo
* Boo Scout
* Casper Comes to Clown
* Casper Takes a Bow-Wow

!1952
* The Deep Boo Sea
* Ghost of the Town
* Spunky Skunky
* Cage Fright
* Pig-A-Boo
* True Boo

!1953
* Frightday the 13th
* Spook No Evil
* North Pal
* By the Old Mill Scream
* Little Boo Peep
* Do or Diet
* Boos and Saddles

!1954
* Zero the Hero
* Casper Genie
* Puss 'n Boos
* Boos and Arrows
* Boo Ribbon Winner
* Boo Moon

!1955
* Hide and Shriek
* Keep Your Grin Up
* Spooking with a Brogue
* Bull Fright
* Red White and Boo
* Boo Kind to Animals

!1956
* Ground Hog Play
* Dutch Treat
* Penguin for your thoughts
* Line of Screammage
* Fright from Wrong

!1957
* Spooking about Africa
* Hooky Spooky
* Peekaboo
* Ghost of Honor
* Ice Scream
* Boo Bop

!1958
* Heir Restorer
* Spook and Span
* Ghost Writers
* Which is Witch
* Good Scream Fun

!1959
* Doing What's Fright
* Down to Mirth
* Not Ghoulty
* Casper's Birthday Party: Last Casper theatrical cartoon.
[[/folder]]
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!!! "The friendly tropes":
* AlternateUniverse: There are multiple universes in which Casper resides, thanks to ContinuityReboot and things of the like.
* AnimatedAnthology
* ArtEvolution: Casper's original design was a much chubbier duckpin like shape and had more resemblance to a bedsheet ghost, whereas his later Harveytoons redesign streamlined him into the simpler, big-headed ghost design that we recognize today.
* BedsheetGhost:
** While not exactly bedsheeted, the ghosts are invariably transparent, pale and not at all detailed.
** In at least one of the cartoons, many of the ghosts masquerade as sheets in a haunted house, going so far as to cover furiture and serve as pillowcases.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In early Casper comics, he actually scared people. But he eventually got bored and wants to make friends. Though in every other incarnations, Casper is apparently friendly from the start.
* ChristmasSpecial: ''Casper's First Christmas'', a [[{{Crossover}} Cartoon Crossover]] which had Casper and Hairy Scary interacting with WesternAnimation/YogiBear and friends.
* {{Crossover}}: Spunky the Donkey, who originally appeared in several of the FleischerStudios ''ColorClassics'' and a Famous ''{{Noveltoon|s}}'', appears (curiously, without his mother, Hunky) in at least two of Casper's shorts, over a decade after his previous roles.
* CuteWitch: Wendy, who later got her own comic series, ''WendyTheGoodLittleWitch''.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Oh sure, he looks harmless, but there must be something to make him so instantly terrifying. Needless to say, he's very kind and benevolent.
* DistaffCounterpart: Wendy is essentially Casper as a witch; she even lives with three wicked aunts. Borders on MenAreTheExpendableGender, though to be fair, she mostly appears in the 60's cartoon, where ghosts are simply a type of TheFairFolk.
* DumbBlonde: Some versions of Pearl.
* [[EmbarrassingMiddleName Embarrassing Last Name]]: Casper's last name (yes, he has a last name) is ''[=McFadden=]''. Try saying that without laughing.
* FelonyMisdemeanor: From the way Casper treats it, you'd think scaring people was ''ax murder'' or something. Wendy's the same with her aunts, though sometimes they did go farther with their spells than harmless pranks and scares (How does turning a butterfly - remember, all animals sentient in this series - into a ''hole'' in a plank of wood even work?)
* FunctionalMagic
* TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation
* IJustWantToHaveFriends: This pretty much defines his whole character.
* {{Jerkass}}: The Ghostly Trio. There have even been instances where even Spooky was a little appalled at their schemes, and he idolizes them.
* JustEatGilligan: If Spooky would just lose the hat that never turns invisible with him, he'd have a much easier time. Of course, the one time he did try to ditch it, nobody recognized him without it, and neither human haunting victims nor other ghosts who wanted in on his territory were afraid of him.
* MagicAIsMagicA: In the Harvey comics, at least, all ghosts have a very specific set of powers, and it is possible to make 'ghostproof' materials that they can't [[IntangibleMan phase through]].
* MonochromeApparition: The ghosts are transparent, pale and white-ish and not detailed.
* MorallyBankruptBanker
* TheMovie: There's several movies, the most recent being ''Casper Scare School''.
* OnOneCondition: ''CasperAndFriends'' has several episodes not featuring Casper. One is about a [[PetHeir rich cat]] living large and being waited upon by her butler. It quickly changes as soon as the butler chances upon the will and learns he's the next to inherit. [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption His several attempts to off the cat fail]] and the last one ends [[spoiler:with his own demise. The cat then phones asking for a new butler]].
* OncePerEpisode: The Famous shorts became increasingly formulaic as time went on. Casper feels lonely, Casper tries to find a friend but everyone runs away from him, Casper finally finds someone who will overlook the fact that he's a ghost and be friends with him usually after he helps them get out of some kind of trouble. The friend is then menaced by a large baddie, at which point Caspar steps in and demands, "You leave my friend alone!" at which point the baddie runs off in fear. All ends well. Rinse and repeat. Famous Studios had a hard time coming up with original ideas for Popeye, too, incidentally. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in an episode of ''{{Cheers}}'':
--->'''Norm:''' I don't get it. Start of the cartoon, Casper has no friends. End of the cartoon, he has friends. Start of the next cartoon, he has no friends again. What happened?
--->'''Cliff:''' I think it's obvious what happened. Casper was quenching his thirst for blood.
** There is also the phrase ''"A GHOST!"'' in just about every short.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Let's ''start'' with throwing the idea of ghosts being dead humans out the window (except for the movies.)
* OurMonstersAreDifferent: In ''Casper's Scare School'', ''many'' of the creatures that would normally be former fleshies were never fleshies. Mantha was always a zombie, Ra was always a mummy, ''etc''. The only characters that were confirmed to be formerly human were Fly Boy and his father.
* PublicDomainAnimation: His first three appearances have slipped into the PublicDomain, and as a result can be found on many dollar store DVD sets.
* ReluctantMonster
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* ShoutOut[=/=]HypocriticalHumor: From the 1995 movie: [[Film/{{Ghostbusters}} "Who ya gonna call? Someone else!"]]
* SlaveToPR: Ghosts are ''supposed'' to be scary, so Casper is feared by humans for being a ghost and looked down upon by other ghosts for not being a "proper" ghost. Other ghosts enjoy scaring, but also take it very seriously and do it because it's a ghost's purpose in [[labelnote:death]] life[[/labelnote]]. There are even scaring experts that the Ghostly Trio have either consulted to improve their scaring, or gone up against to prove that they were the best (in a GoodOldFisticuffs sorta way: the others and their fancy techniques are no match for tried-and-true invisible playing with objects or yelling of "Boo!"). One of the cartoons even featured a ghost school that taught haunting. Spooky protects his reputation as the number one scarer at any cost.
* StrictlyFormula: Nearly all of the cartoons are virtually interchangable from each other save for some superficial settings. One FamousStudios animator, Lee Miskin, even had a quote about it:
-->''"With the Casper series, you never knew what picture you were working on, because they were all exactly the same."''
* TerribleTrio: The Ghostly Trio, in every incarnation they've ever been in.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: Spooky and Casper. Though not identical, they look similar enough to fool some.
* TheVerse: Frequent {{Crossover}}s with other Harvey comics, even ''ComicBook/RichieRich'' (though he's never sure he didn't [[AllJustADream dream]] his Casper encounters). Some arcs have brought together ''all'' Enchanted Forest characters.
* WildTake: The Casper series has some of the weirdest, sometimes outright grotesque, wild takes of the Golden Age cartoons, and the original shorts have them at least once per short. The over-the-top runaway gags or transformations after the takes (a whale scared by Casper runs off on it's ''tailflukes'', a zookeeper hides - then runs away - ''inside'' a lion, another group of zoo staffers combine together into a wheel when they see him, etc.) are the icing on the cake.
-->''"A GHOST!"''
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Casper and Wendy.
** Funnily enough, Wendy's first appearance had her and Casper on a date.
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!!! "Comic Series":
* CrossOver: Casper had many encounters with other Harvey characters.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The "Casper and the Spectrals" comic book reboot.
* HalloweenTown: Spooky Town, a city segregated into numerous boroughs for different supernatural beings that competes with each other to scare normal humans and ensure the local SealedEvilInACan stays sealed.
* InterspeciesFriendship: Casper, wendy, hot stuff and spooky are good friends despite being different creatures.
* PowerTrio: In ''Casper and the Spectrals''; Casper (ego), Wendy (superego) and Hot Stuff (id).
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: All the demons from harvey comics. being ComicBook/HotStuffTheLittleDevil the main example.
* ScienceIsBad: In "Casper and the Spectrals" the main trouble was partially caused by an human scientist.
* SealedEvilInACan: Volbragg in the "Casper and the Spectrals" comic book reboot.
* SharedUniverse: Most of the characters of Harvey including Casper, Hot Stuff and Wendy live in the same universe, in fact all the monster characters live in a place called "The enchanted forest".