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* AccidentalInnuendo:
** [[HoYay "Crossing streams"?]] [[ToiletHumor Really?]]
** "Some moron brought a [[MrsRobinson cougar]] to a party, and it went berzerk."
* {{Adorkable}}: Vinz Clortho when possessing Louis Tully. Unlike Zuul, who is a sinister and forceful presence, Vinz is just as dorky as the person he possessed. He describes Gozer the Traveller and his history of destruction more like an excited child than a terrifying demon.
* {{Applicability}}: Three heroic businessmen and scientific innovators who get paid for performing a service well and use their profits to expand and create jobs for more people are opposed by a villainous government bureaucrat who puts the world in danger when he tries to put them out of business, using public safety as an excuse but, in context, is clearly only on a power trip. [[http://www.runleiarun.com/ghostbusters/chapter12.shtml Many would say]] this film is more [[UsefulNotes/{{Objectivism}} Objectivist]] than the film adaptations of ''Literature/AtlasShrugged''!
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The dream sequence in the first film, remnant of a cut scene that appears in its entirety in the novelization. The entire footage of the original scene, and others that were cut through production, has yet to ever be released.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: Dr. Venkman's "scientific method" in his parapsychological test; rewarding and sucking up to hot girls but electroshocking guys regardless of the accuracy of their preditions. So sleazy it's funny.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome:
** The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9We2XsVZfc theme song]] is nearly as beloved as the franchise that spawned it.
** "Higher and Higher." A literal example as it actually electrifies the Statue of Liberty's crown.
** The Elmer Bernstein score. Dana's theme is especially powerful besides the Lincoln Center theme (which sounds like a waltz).
** Music/BobbyBrown's song "On Our Own" played during the end of the second film.
** Special mention to Mick Smiley's "Magic" It set a very creepy and atmospheric tone for the escape scene in the first movie.
** "Flip City" in the second film. Performed by Glenn Frey of the {{Music/Eagles}}.
* DesignatedHero: The Ghostbusters are portrayed by the narrative as heroes throughout the story despite the fact that many of the ghosts they catch aren't actually hurting anybody. After their first outing where they cause '''more''' damage than the ghost they captured, they threaten to release it back into the restaurant they caught it from when their client objects to the sudden price increase. Of course once they save the actual world, their heroic status is quite indisputable.
** Peter Venkman especially. He regularly slacks off at work to hit on women, which gets him fired from the university and almost costs the ghostbusters their first client. He agitated Walter Peck, not caring about the consequences of trifling with a government official and he doesn't seem to contribute anything worthwhile to the team aside from carrying an extra proton-pack.
* DesignatedVillain:
** Walter Peck, as demonstrated in StrawManHasAPoint, is only a villain in so far as the Ghostbusters are concerned. They are, by their own admission, using "unlicensed nuclear accelerators" in a densely populated area. Peck had every reason to be concerned about their technology.
** Many of the ghosts in the film, by and large, cause less damage than the Ghostbusters. The worst they do is scare people and slime them.
* EarWorm: If there's some damn song / runnin' through your head / who ya gonna call?
* FanNickname: Mention Walter Peck to a more casual fan of the franchise and you might get some confusion who you're talking about. Mention "Dickless" and they'll know at once.
* FirstInstallmentWins: The first film is an undisputed classic. [[BrokenBase Fans are split about the second film.]] The cartoon and video game? Even moreso. And hoo boy, good luck if you bring up ''Film/Ghostbusters2016''.
* FountainOfMemes: Creator/RobertZemeckis stated that the first ''Ghostbusters'' spawned more licensed T-shirts with lines from the movie than any other film.
* GeniusBonus:
** In the first film, Venkman asks the librarian if there's any history of mental illness in her family, she mentions that she had an uncle who thought he was St. Jerome. St. Jerome is the patron saint of librarians.
** Also in the first film, Peter's entire conversation with Possessed!Dana actually follows a lot of the accepted rules for conversing with a possessed individual.
** Most of the theories, literature, and procedures the Ghostbusters use are used by real paranormal investigators, as Dan Ackroyd's father is one and Dan himself is an actual expert on the subject.
** Vigo (the Carpathian) and the mood slime cause, among other things, the ''Titanic'' and its ghosts to return. In real life, the rescue ship that helped the survivors was called the ''Carpathia''.
* GenreTurningPoint: This franchise is perhaps the first major ghost story where the supernatural entities are successfully fought through scientific research, which produces purely ''technological'' weapons effective against them.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** The first movie's scene in which Venkman tries to "scientifically" disprove the first ghost's existence. He asks the librarian if she has a family history of substance abuse… accusations of which later destroyed Bill Murray's second marriage.
** Also in the first film, when the containment system is shut down, the trapped ghosts are released throughout New York and see them flying out over Manhattan. During a long-distance shot, they seem to originate from right around the Twin Towers. So we have bright lights and ghosts flying out from the World Trade Center towers. One of the memorials to the Twin Towers has been shining twin spotlights straight up into the sky from Ground Zero (now from the centers of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum's pools where the twin towers once stood) once a year.
** The way Venkman smiles at a pretty young blonde and casually invades her personal space, coupled with the fact that he carried sedatives around when he was planning to go out with Dana make him seem downright creepy in light of the number of rape and sexual assault cases that have been making headlines in years around 2016.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** Peter [=MacNicol=] (Janosz Poha) would later play an art curator who was forced to host Mr. Film/{{Bean}}. Harris Yulin (the judge from the second film) was the owner of the museum!
** In-universe, Venkman is the one who had the idea to found the Ghostbusters, having to talk Ray and Egon into it, even saying "The franchise rights alone will make us rich beyond our wildest dreams." Flash forward a few years; Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis were pushing hard to make a third Ghostbusters film, but Bill Murray refused to come back.
** At the trial in the second film, the judge gruffly states that "Before we begin this trial, I want to make one thing clear: the law does not recognize the existence of ghosts, and I don't believe in them either." Just two years after the film was released, New York state law ''did'' recognize the existence of ghosts. ''See'' ''Stambovsky v. Ackley'' 572 N.Y.S.2d 672 (1991) (holding that "as a matter of law, the house is haunted.")
** From the first film, the librarian is asked if there any history of mental illness in her family. Alice Drummond, who plays the librarian, would play Ray Finkle's mother in ''Film/AceVentura'', with mother and son shown having both becoming mentally ill.
** One of the psychics interviewed by Venkman near the beginning of ''II'' predicts the end of the world to be in the year 2016... which happens to be the year the female-led ContinuityReboot is scheduled to be released. (Valentine's Day, the date pegged as the date in question, was actually the day that Sony released a teaser for the trailer.)
** Sigourney Weaver sports an aggressively '80s look in the first film. Contrast to her being the only normal-looking woman to modern eyes four years later in ''Film/WorkingGirl''.
** In the second film Louis asks Janine if she wants to play Super Mario Bros. 11 years later Nintendo made Luigi's Mansion.[[note]]The name Luigi is the Italian equivalent of Louis.[[/note]]
** The Twinkie scene, which featured in, and had strong significance in ''Film/{{Zombieland}}''.
* HoYay: Believe it or not, yes. In the scene where the Ghostbusters first meet Dana, Egon and Ray sit awfully close to each other (when Ray has plenty of room off to his left), they choose to huddle together in fear just before Stay-Puft arrives, in the sequel when Vigo paralyzes the Ghostbusters, Ray is the first person Egon checks on and vice versa... it's almost enough to make one wonder if it wasn't [[ShipTease intentional]].
* ItsTheSameNowItSucks: One of the key points of criticism about the second movie is that it's in many ways a repeat of the first.
* MemeticMutation:
** Any reference to "crossing the streams", "WhoYouGonnaCall?", "This man has no dick", and many, many more. Before the first film came out, "slime" had no verb form.
** The Ghostbusters uniform is still a standard of fancy-dress parties over twenty years later.
** "He is Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!" frequently comes up whenever people talk about Creator/ViggoMortensen.
** There is no X, there is only Zuul.
** "If someone ever asks if you're a god, you say YES!"
** Any description of the End Times now includes "Dogs and cats living together... MASS HYSTERIA!"
** "Back off man, I'm a scientist."
** "I ain't afraid of no ghost!"
* MostWonderfulSound:
** The proton pack start-up sound. You know the one; the one you just heard in your mind upon reading that.
** Also, the distinctive siren of Ecto-1, though more for nostalgia than the actual merits of the siren.
* NightmareFuel: The Terror Dogs. Particularly in the scene where Zuul kidnaps Dana. The second film has some choice moments as well, like Possessed!Janosz's glowing eyes and the heads on pikes that appear in the underground railway.
* NightmareRetardant: The whole premise of the franchise: there are horrific and powerful forces lurking in the shadows ready to do their evil at any time. However, they can be studied scientifically by learned experts, who in turn can develop effective and easy to use weapons and countermeasures those eldritch will never see coming. In short, if you have the knowledge, the tools and the courage to face these supernatural entities of your darkest nightmares, they will have real reasons to ''fear you!''
--> "We got the tools, we got the talent!"
* SugarWiki/NoProblemWithLicensedGames:
** [[VideoGame/GhostbustersTheVideoGame The 2009 game]] was well-received by critics thanks to solid gameplay and full participation from the core four (even picky project selector Bill Murray) along with some returning supporting actors like Annie Potts and William Atherton. Dan Aykroyd himself said it may as well be the original series' canonical third film, a statement the majority of fans agree with.
** The 1990 UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis game is also regarded to be pretty decent.
** The 2016 ''VideoGame/LegoDimensions Ghostbusters'' Level Pack has received a warm reception, with its relatively long and enjoyable retelling of the first movie, a free-roaming world featuring locales from the first two pictures[[note]]budget-conscious ''GB'' fans can also visit this with the Slimer or Stay-Puft Fun Pack[[/note]], and the unlockable ability to play any Ghostbuster (all of whom speak through actual soundbytes from the movie).
* OneSceneWonder: In the second movie, [[Creator/CheechAndChong Cheech Marin]] as the dock supervisor who sees the wreck of the ''Titanic'' arriving and simply says "Well, better late than never.".
* PeripheralDemographic: When Ramis and Aykroyd wrote the film, they obviously intended it to be for an adult audience like ''Film/{{Caddyshack}}'' and ''Film/{{Stripes}}''. However, when the film became a smash hit, everyone noticed that kids were going nuts for it. After all, it is the ultimate NightmareRetardant story about ScienceHero characters facing the scary supernatural threats, and shooting them with AwesomeBackpack weapons. From that realization came the long running ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'' cartoon series and a slightly softened sequel with less innuendo, swearing, and casual smoking (though Ray can still be seen chewing on or holding unlit pipes and cigars, never a cigarette).
* RomanticPlotTumor: Egon and Janine. However, Harold Ramis was playing Egon as a Mr. Spock-like figure that barely smiled and was unconcerned with romance. This made the interplay between the two very awkward. Janine's seduction of Louis Tully was far more natural in the sequel.
** This didn't stop Egon and Janine from becoming ''by far'' the most popular ship in the fandom, beaten out only by ''maybe'' Peter and Ray or Egon and Ray. To their credit, both of these pairs at least had dialogue and some kind of interaction after the first movie.
* {{Sequelitis}}: The second movie is generally considered much weaker than the first, and something of a [[ItsTheSameNowItSucks pale imitation]] at that. The fact that that story requires a completely illogical ExtraStrengthMasquerade to have the Ghostbusters discredited about their claims of the supernatural after all the physical evidence and thousands of witnesses of Gozer's attack, and then essentially repeats the first film's basic plot, will do that.
* SignatureScene: The Ghostbusters battling the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
* SpecialEffectsFailure:
** You can see where the where the heated tiles Dana's eggs cook on end and the regular tiles begin by some eggs not landing on the heated ones.
** The Stop-Motion terror dog in the first movie just doesn't look like it's actually there, even though they do a fairly good job of having it crush a table and smash down a door. The puppets, however, are very well done.
** Towards the end of the first movie, a rather large rock harmlessly bounces off of a police barricade instead of crushing it.
** In the widescreen version of the first film when the ghosts escape, there's several incomplete ghost trails.
** Mr. Stay Puft unintentionally appears to be going through some buildings at times (known as "clipping"). It's particularly noticeable when he steps on the church, collapsing it from the top despite the foot never actually clearing the wall.
** In ''Ghostbusters II'', the mechanism that makes the toaster dance is clearly visible.
* StrangledByTheRedString: Played with. Janine was supposed to be Egon's LoveInterest, but the manner in which Harold Ramis played the character, it came off as forced and stilted (which still [[AbhorrentAdmirer worked in context of the movie]]). Janine's romance with Louis in the sequel was better handled. Ramis also ''hated'' the idea of Janine and Egon getting together, and demanded the subplot be abandoned in the sequel, which is probably part of the reason their interactions seem so awkward.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: While Walter Peck is wrong in his accusations towards the Ghostbusters, does not have the jurisdiction to do anything to them, and grossly overreacts to their snubbing of him, the fact that they operate potentially hazardous materials and equipment in a densely populated urban area means that there should be at least someone from the government looking into them.
* UglyCute: The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Also Slimer.
* TearJerker:
** It really is sad seeing ''[[JerkAss Peter Venkman]]'' of all people mourning Dana [[DisneyDeath when he believes she was killed during the crossing of the streams]].
** The fact that in ''Ghostbusters II'' the guys who were hailed as heroes and saviors of the world five short years prior are laughingstocks now. Ray looks ''heartbroken'' when the bratty little kid at the birthday party tells him that his dad says the Ghostbusters were full of crap and that's why they closed down.
** The mundane jobs the Ghostbusters have at the beginning of the sequel. Peter is the host of an unsuccessful talk show (and every respectable psychic and parapsychologist thinks he's a fraud), Ray is the owner and seemingly sole employee of a bookstore (whose only customers we see are Venkman and an unnamed man picking something up for a Wiccan coven) when he's not doing kids' parties in costume as a Ghostbuster with Winston, and Winston is never seen doing anything outside of the birthday party gig. Egon is the only one who seems to be in a position of any prestige, hired back by Columbia University as a researcher. The fact that these heroes who defeated an ancient OmnicidalManiac of a deity and prevented the apocalypse are just regular losers in New York now is a little depressing.
** While it's never been confirmed in canon, fanon seems to hold that when Harold Ramis passed away, TheCharacterDiedWithHim. The implications of the Ghostbusters without Egon, arguably the most popular character besides maybe Venkman, are heartbreaking.
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: With a few exceptions, the games based on the series haven't fared too well. In particular, [[VideoGame/{{Ghostbusters 1984}} the 1984 game]] by Creator/{{Activision}} based on the first film tends to be regarded as interesting in concept and scope, but extremely tedious in execution (and the NES port of that game was [[PortingDisaster flat-out horrible]]).
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: Winston is generally agreed to be criminally underused in the sequel and most spin-offs. Thankfully averted in the ongoing comic, which gave him his own subplot, and a handful of spotlight episodes.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome:
** The films have aged very gracefully over the years. The proton pack streams in particular look about as good now as they would with modern CGI effects. And not to forget Stay Puft. The only thing that has dated somewhat is the stop-motion of the terror dogs, but they are still scary.
** In fact, most of the best visual effects were ''not'' optical effects - they were all practical effects.
*** The cards flying out of the card catalogue in the beginning sequence were very good and simply done - a blower out of view blew the cards out as the drawers opened, with crew behind a fake wall pushing the drawers out.
*** The books floating? A very complicated effect: books on a wire.
*** The eggs cooking on the counter? Another practical effect - the counter was actually superheated and those were real eggs really frying on the counter.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The main reason a third film with the original cast never happened was because of the falling-out between Creator/BillMurray and Creator/HaroldRamis over creative differences during the production of ''Film/GroundhogDay''.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids:
** There's some cussing, some innuendo, and early on in the movie, Peter actually asks the librarian if she's been [[NoPeriodsPeriod menstruating]] (ItMakesSenseInContext).
** Not to mention ghost-on-man sex and/or blowjob. Also, Walter Peck has no dick.
** As well as the fairly obvious symbolism of the key and the gate.
** While parents have a NostalgiaFilter, the scene where the librarian transforms and yells at them, and later the hands coming out of the chair and holding Dana down as she is taken through the door may be a little much for some kids.
** The first movie was meant to be an adult/older teen-oriented comedy not unlike the earlier Ramis/Murray vehicle ''Movie/{{Stripes}}.'' Chevy Chase turned down the role of Peter Venkman due to how dark and scary the script was; Chase claims it was much, much darker than the final product. Even then, what ended up in theaters is chock full of casual smoking, swearing, political undertones, sexual innuendo, and of course [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment the ghost-on-human blowjob scene]]. There's even allegedly an alternate take where Egon, upon spotting Stay-Puft coming up the road, shouts "Oh, FUCK!" instead of "Look!", but this was cut because the PG-13 rating didn't exist yet and one PrecisionFStrike would have meant nobody under 17 could see the movie, as it would jump straight from PG to R. Upon realizing kids were losing their minds over it, however, ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'' was conceived and began running and the sequel was toned down to be more kid-friendly, with maybe 5 swear words dropped in the whole movie, every character except Ray ceasing smoking (and Ray is never, ever seen with lit tobacco or even a cigarette, he merely chews on the end of unlit pipes and cigars), and fewer sex jokes.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical: Some have referred to Ghostbusters as [[http://washingtonexaminer.com/why-ghostbusters-is-the-most-libertarian-hollywood-blockbuster-of-all-time/article/2544522 "the most libertarian Hollywood blockbuster of all time"]], as every government official is either too abrasive and/or ineffectual to save the day. However, it was just one of Ivan Reitman's usual "snobs vs. slobs" theme, like ''Film/AnimalHouse''.

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