Anti-Hero: Snarky, arrogant, conceited, womanizing and sometimes a real jerk, but still a good man. He softens up quite a bit in Ghostbusters II.
Becoming the Mask: Particularly in the first movie, there's something to this. He puts on an ironic persona of being a know-it-all big shot, but by the end, he's forced to back up his braggart ways and become an actual hero.
Berserk Button: The novelization of the first film reveals one; don't talk bad about his family. When a magazine does an investigative story on Pete's past and his father's history as a carnival impresario, Peter deliberately lets a ghost roam free in their offices until they agree to publish a retraction.
Brilliant, but Lazy: He is actually a fairly smart guy. If only he actually cared enough to do anything with his smarts. He has PhD's in both psychology and parapsychology, but uses mostly the psychology one to help him get together with girls.
Con Man: Venkman is the least sincere of the four, exploiting the field of "parapsychology" to swindle universities, push nonsense papers all day, flirt with his research subjects, and basically get paid for doing nothing.
The Casanova: If all those phone messages he gets in the game means anything. He seems to have become quite popular with the ladies. Despite this, though...
Casanova Wannabe: He is still not capable of winning over everyone. At least it seems that way till they start going out with him...
"You're right; no human being would stack books like this."
The Face: Peter is the group's ambassador and generally does the talking.
Flat Earth Atheist: At the start of the second film, even after dealing with real ghosts and an extradimensional deity, he still thinks the only reason a person would write a book about the end of the world would be to make a quick buck from gullible readers.
And with his producer after an episode of his show:
Producer: (famous paranormalists refuse to appear on Venkman's show) "They think you're a fraud."
Venkman: "I am a fraud."
Freudian Excuse: Having an absent, sleazy conman for a father certainly explains a fair amount of his personality.
Good Is Not Nice: He's a sarcastic wise-ass, despite being one of the series' lead heroes.
The Hero: It's a subtle thing, but if anyone in this group fill this role, it's Peter. The other members will generally do more of the heavy lifting, but Peter is higher profile and speaks for the group.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though you have to look really hard to find the heart of gold in the first film. It's much more evident in Ghostbusters II, and he is generally much kinder in the cartoon series as well. In the video game, he seems to have lost some of that heart and the Jerk seems to have resurfaced. A funny jerk, but a Jerk none the less.
The Kirk: An acerbic version. He nets all of the chicks and saves the day by breaking established rules, like EPA codes or "don't cross the steams."
Knight in Sour Armor: Despite his actions to the contrary, Peter is in fact more likely to do the right thing than not. He has his moments, when he can get away with it. He is a Jerkass for sure, but never would he step down from helping someone who really needs it. Notably, in the first film, he's willing to go back to jail (and quietly) if it turns out they're wrong about Gozer.
The Leader: Type IV. Not so much a leader as designated spokesperson or front man. Peter is the ladies' man of the group, and while he's less normal than Winston, he's more capable of relating to other people than either Ray or Egon. In the cartoon series, he is also the one who generally decides whether or not the Ghostbusters will take a given job.
Lovable Coward: For all his bravado, he's not exactly a brave guy; he'll step up to the plate if necessary, but very reluctantly, and will happily allow someone else to go first.
The Millstone: Pretty much every problem the 'Busters have to deal with in the original film is caused by him. It's his freewheeling attitude that gets them kicked out of NYU, his overt come-ons with Dana nearly cost them their first customer, and his standoffishness with Peck is what gets the containment grid shut down. Subverted, though, because Venkman's cleverness and quick tongue always end up fixing the problems he causes.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Perhaps if he hadn't antagonized Peck so much and just showed him around, Peck wouldn't have gone and shut down the power grid.
Obfuscating Stupidity: He is a very intelligent man, but he comes off more like a Casanova Wannabe. He obviously doesn't have any real interest in parapsychology or psychology. Despite all this, the very fact that he was able to become a scientist in those fields speaks volumes of what he is actually capable of when he actually works at it.
Papa Wolf: Even though Oscar is not his child, he did his part to protect him from Vigo.
Pet the Dog: At the start of the film, he's got very few good qualities but Dana sort of becomes a Morality Pet of his. He does become more heroic at the end of the film, and for all his sleaze, he is so not going to sleep with a woman under the influence of a major specter.
Phony Phony Psychic: A charlatan in the field of telepathy (later 'promoted' to a cable TV host on a paranormal talk show) finds himself getting dragged along on a hunt for actual ghosts.
"Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!"
"Viggy, Viggy, Viggy. You have been a bad monkey!"
The Slacker: He certainly tries to be this. In the first movie, he only goes to help Dana because he wanted to get into a relationship with her. Also in the game, he was busy getting coffee while the Rookie and Ray are being attacked by Stay Puft and his minions. He's basically reluctant to do anything unless some kind of personal gain is involved.
The Trickster & Token Evil Teammate: He is purposely contrary to people, inciting them to become aggravated with him. Peter seems to not care much for their feelings though and goads them on. He is willing to mock or patronize even people in places of authority, whereas Ray and Egon would be more-easily cowed and cautious. Though he usually shows more discretion with these people than to the average Joe. May be unrelated, but perhaps his attitude to higher authority improved after what happened with Peck.
Creepy Child: This is implied in the second movie. While Ray and Egon are in baby Oscar's room, Egon reveals he never had any toys when he was a child. Ray is curious and asks if he really never had any toys, and Egon responds by saying he had half a Slinky once (he straightened it).
The novelization went further, listing a number of strange experiments young Egon enacted which got him ostracized by his peers. "I think you've been spending too much time with Egon" was a common sentiment among his friend's parents.
For Science!: Let's just say he can get rather disturbing with how far he'll go for the sake of science. Tricking people into thinking they're going to counseling when, in fact, he just wanted to test if slowly increasing the heat would alter their moods. Then there was that drill thing...
That would've worked if you hadn't stopped me!
Expy: The Medic from Team Fortress 2 is a pretty clear Egon expy, from his similar uniform, Awesome Backpack, suspiciously similar goggles, round glasses, Ambiguously Jewishnote despite the fact that the lore kind of goes back and forth on whether or not he's supposed to be an ex-NaziMad Scientist tendencies... Medic even fights ghosts each year around Halloween!
Gadgeteer Genius: He makes all of the equipment the Ghostbusters use. In fact, he works on so many gadgets, the other characters actually asked him how he can produce so much. He tells them he's been doing an experiment where he sleeps for an average of fourteen minutes a day.
Hot Scientist / Hot Teacher: At least, Janine, Kylie, and his college students think so. He's not entirely happy about it.
"I think [my students are] more interested in my epididymis."
The Leader: In the cartoon, he trades off with Peter in this role. While Peter generally decides if they will take a job, once there the group usually defers to Egon's expertise.
Mad Scientist: Close to a Trope Codifier, but a heroic version (though he still can get a bit disturbing). Egon is primarily a theoretician and field strategist who mainly wants to study the things which the Ghostbusters encounter, rather than destroy them.
Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: He is already shown to be a bit odd, but nothing too serious. Just a bit of a nerd. The whole "mold, fungus and spore" thing were certainly strange but nothing horrifying. Then we get a glimpse into his life before the Ghostbusters—he used to be a coroner. This isn't too bad, though. Then he says that he does it as a hobby now. Oooookay...
Noodle Incident: Egon tried to drill a hole in his head at some point. All we know is Peter stopped him before he could do it.
In the video game, as he and the Rookie are going up the elevator, suddenly they are treated to a phantom image of the Spider Witch and one of her victims. Egon is quite shaken at seeing this. In fact, he seems quite nervous throughout the Spider Witch's level. He also angrily tears up a sign prohibiting the Ghostbusters from entering the hotel at the beginning of the level.
His reaction once to getting snarked at by a serious Jerkass in the IDW comic is a scream and an attempt to throttle him!
Oblivious to Love: How the animated series and IDW comics interpret his relationship with Janine.
Dysfunctional Family: The novelization for the first movie paints his family out as one. His parents disappeared and are presumed dead, and his brother and sister refuse to talk to him or each other for what we can assume are very petty reasons.
The Engineer: While Egon is typically the group's strategist during missions, Ray is the mechanic and practical inventor. He built the proton packs and the stuff on the Ectomobile, and also designs something called a "Ghost Bomb" in the cartoon series.
The Heart: He's considered this by the rest of the Ghostbusting team.
Hollywood Atheist: An interesting case. In a short scene toward the end of the first movie, Ray and Winston are alone in Ecto-1, and Winston asks if Ray believes in God. His response is a brief "Never met him." It's rather strange to hear this coming from someone who sees strange spiritual events every day. Ray goes on to quote the Book of Revelations regarding the End of Days, showing that he has some Biblical knowledge. So he may not be an atheist per se—he might be an agnostic.
Hot-Blooded: Out of everyone, he is the most passionate when it comes to ghosts and the supernatural, and is the first one to rush headfirst into the unknown.
The Lancer: He's this to Peter, making it an interesting subversion of the traditional roles; Ray is the idealistic, innocent one whereas Peter is the snarkier, self-centered one.
Last Name Basis: Unique among the main characters in that he generally refers to everyone except Winston by their last name. This seems more personal preference than reflective of his feelings towards them, however.
Man Child: His sheer delight at sliding down the fire pole (and at the rest of the fire station) in the first movie would put him here even if nothing else would. In general, however, where Peter is dry and cynical and Egon is clinically rational, Ray tends to have a lot of childlike enthusiasm for what they do.
In the cartoon, he sleeps with a Stay-Puft plushie, and the team picks him to stand in for a six-year-old child to help catch the Boogeyman.
In the second movie, when he fails to possess Oscar, Vigo decides Ray's just as good. The fact that Vigo specifically requested a child to live through speaks volumes of Ray's man-child tendencies.
The McCoy: Though more agreeable than his partners, he does jeopardize their safety with his headstrong personality.
Nice Guy: He's a decent person who genuinely wants to help others by using the technology the Ghostbusters create to study the supernatural and defend the city.
Vitriolic Best Buds: With Peter, who relentlessly teases and takes advantage of him, even going so far as manipulating him into mortgaging his parents' house. In spite of that, it's obvious that they care about one another, as evident in their final goodbye to each other when confronting Gozer at the end of the first movie.
If there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say.
Badass Bookworm: In the cartoon he's depicted as loving mystery stories, which helps the Ghostbusters "bust" the ghost of a deceased murder mystery writer by completing her Unfinished Business. When the Ghostbusters bust the the Jabberwock, he quotes from the Lewis Caroll poem named after the creature.
Cultured Badass: He is shown to be a fan of opera and seems to be the most civil-minded of the Ghostbusters.
When he does earn his doctorate (in the video game), it appears to be in either History or Egyptology.
Genius Bruiser: He is a very competent member of the Ghostbusters team. In the video game, while the others were chasing after the Grey Lady, he was actually looking through the newspaper archives for info on her, though he pretended he was looking up a baseball game. In the novelization of Ghostbusters, it is shown he was once in the Marines and has experience with different kinds of technology, which helped him get into the busting more easily than one would think a new hire would.
Genre Savvy: When Egon explained the growing problem with the containment unit, all Egon had to do was use a Twinkie as an example.
Unfazed Everyman: He takes the whole Ghostbusting business very well and he seems to be the most normal out of all of its members. No major idiosyncrasies to make him quirky or anything; he is just a normal guy with a job as a spectral exterminator.
Perhaps ironically the lack of any major defining quirks among a group as odd as the Ghostbusters is his quirk.
Yanks with Tanks: He was originally in the Marines before he became a Ghostbuster, which may provide another reason why it didn't take him long to get the hang of the equipment. He's also been depicted as being the best shot with the proton gun.
Heel-Face Turn: He helps Louis (and the other Ghostbusters to an extent) out near the end of the second movie.
Hidden Depths: When Ray hooks him up with a text-to-speech computer in the cartoon, he's quite eloquent. He also solves a math problem Egon's been stuck on for awhile (although he misplaces the decimal point).
Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Shows up in Homestuck as the icon on protagonist John Egbert's t-shirt, but rendered in Super-Deformed anime style, and only referred to as "Slime Ghost". However, John makes blatant references to Ghostbusters II, and the comic doesn't pretend it isn't Slimer.
Bad Bad Acting: As seen when she and Louis are roped into acting in a commercial for the company.
"Who are you going to call?"
Beleaguered Assistant: Poor Janine, she is in charge of every single secretarial thing that goes on in the Firehouse. Despite being so swamped, she's able to keep everything going smoothly. Despite all she does, her boss Peter continues to refuse to hire more help around the Firehouse to ease her workload. He also expects her to come in even if there is a mass exodus of the city. Her sassy demeanor makes a lot of sense once you consider all of the work and abuse she has to deal with.
Not to mention the babysitting she had to do for three nutcase MadScientists before Winston added a bit more sanity.
Unfazed Everyman: She is surrounded by men who hunt ghosts, half of whom are mad scientists. She even has a ghost in a cage close to where she works that the busters keep as a "pet." Not once has she ever batted an eye at any of this.
Appeared as the player character in the 2009 video game, served as the team's prototype weapons tester (i.e. field-testing the weapons and upgrades that could explode at any moment and emit an alarmingly high amount of radiation and exotic particles regardless).
Adorkable: One of his most remarkable traits is his clumsiness. He fell off a roof, fell down a trap and accidentally zapped a tree with his pack.
Butt Monkey: He is made to do quite a few dangerous tasks like touching an inter-dimensional portal that could lead anywhere, he also has to go it alone in the huge cemetery that wasn't there yesterday. He is also trapped alone in a waterlogged hotel floor with malevolent candelabras. This dude puts up with a lot.
Canon Name: Given in the IDW comics, may only be canon to said comics (so far).
Realistic: Bryan Welsh
Stylized: Chad Fuller (Male)/Maddie Collins (Female)
Collector of the Strange: Since the player can collect some special items, you can turn the Rookie into this. One of the items he can collect is a possessed toilet.
Creator Cameo: In a manner of speaking. In the PS3 version of the game, associate producer Ryan French served as the base for the Rookie.
Funny Background Event: When he accidentally blasted a tree with his proton pack, and when he was left hanging with a high five. Also he goes plummeting down a trapdoor.
Heroic Mime: Never says a word aside the occasional scream or gasp.
Mauve Shirt: name tag says "Rookie" since it's more convient, Peter doesn't want to remember his name so they don't get attached just in case, testing out prototype equipment...
Put on a Bus: After the events of the game, he leaves New York in order to expand the franchise.
Harmless Villain: Debateable. The containment unit gets blown up because of him in the first film. Peck generally doesn't do anything truly lethal to the Ghostbusters directly, but he does act as an independent Disc One Final Boss who manages to either restrain or delay the Ghostbusters, which gives the real villains more time or freedom to act.
Jerkass: Where to begin? He harasses the Ghostbusters based solely on rumors. He orders the containment grid to be turned off despite the warnings of the Ghostbusters and a Con Ed technician's reticence against doing so, resulting in the release of all the ghosts therein. Then he has the nerve to have the Busters arrested for the disaster he himself caused!
Jerkass Has a Point: His initial request to see the containment grid was reasonable. He's also quite polite before Peter gives him the runaround. It is his job to make sure people like the Ghostbusters are operating with safe equipment, and in fact the Ghostbusters' containment grid could cause a massive explosion in a densely-populated area. After getting crudely brushed off by Peter, however, he overreacts and orders the grid's immediate deactivation. If Peter had cooperated instead of treating Peck and the EPA as an enemy from the start, they could have avoided the ensuing meltdown.
Ancient Keeper: She's spent decades keeping the Gozerian Codex in her last resting place.
Ascended Extra: Originally she was merely just the first ghost the Busters came across, then after scaring them off she wasn't mentioned again. In the video game, she was given an entire level where we were introduced to who she was and shown her deep connection to the event in the game.
Beware the Nice Ones: Or the silent ones at least. Despite seeming to be just a normal ghost, she ends up having the power to control the entire library, as well as ghosts that are not known to work together. Hurt her and you'll regret it, even if it takes nearly a century.
The Chessmaster: In the game, she purposely lured the Ghostbusters to her library by taking control of some ghosts and making them cause a ruckus. All this to get them to go after her murderer/ex-boyfriend so as to finally get her revenge.
Woobie Destroyerof Worlds: Her boyfriend used her to get at her rare book collection. When this is discovered, she dumps him and revokes his pass to her collection. He then kills her, trapping her in the library she tried to protect. It is soon shown, despite her circumstances, she isn't going to mope about. Instead she'll spend her afterlife plotting the downfall of her ex-boyfriend. She succeeds, with the help of the Ghostbusters.
Gozer the Gozerian (humanoid form: Slavita Jovan) (humanoid form: voiced by Paddi Edwards)
Are you a god?....Then DIE!!!
Agony Beam: Uses this on the Ghostbusters after they told it they were not gods.
Affably Evil: Vinz enthusiastically gushes to Egon about how Gozer has destroyed previous worlds and seems to expect humans to be genuinely excited about being destroyed. Vinz even politely assists Egon in mundane tasks and seems more like an excited puppy than a demonic invader.
Harmless Villain / Villain Decay: In the game, he's reduced to nothing more than his painting, unable to do much of anything aside from talk and make the player feel uncomfortable. To add insult to injury, said painting is owned by the very people who beat him: the Ghostbusters.
Hoist by His Own Petard: A version of Vigo's empathic slime empowered with positive emotions is what ultimately does him in.
Horned Humanoid: Grows two stumpy blood-colored horns after being sucked back into the painting during the final confrontation.
Ray: He didn't die of old age, either. He was poisoned, stabbed, shot, hung, stretched, disemboweled, drawn and quartered... Just before his head died, his last words were "Death is but a door, time is but a window: I'll be back."
Body Surf: For most of the game, unknown to the Ghostbusters, Ivo has been possessing the mayor of New York since before the game even started.
Deadly Doctor: He performed quite a few questionable surgeries in his time.
Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He kept a painting of his mother in his church to Gozer. Despite most everything else in the church being run-down, his mother's painting is the only thing that is still pristine. Even after being underwater for who knows how long.
Evil Old Folks: He is a cult leader who was involved with quite a few bloody sacrifices to Gozer as well as making buildings that would bring about the end of the world. Apparently he thinks mankind is too sick to survive.
Evil Plan: To wipe out the bastard humans, of course. Building Dana's apartment, storing energy and everything else works toward this goal.
My Death Is Just the Beginning: He and his cult made sure this would happen even after their deaths. Also they had an alternate plan in case Gozer had issues the first time, and already had it set into motion.
A God Am I: Ivo was upset that Gozer was beaten not once, but twice. So he decided he would take the energy he was originally going to give to Gozer and empower himself with it. He goes into it with the big speeches and everything.
Mad Scientist: An evil one to combat the Ghostbusters two good ones.
Malevolent Architecture: Dana's apartment building which Ivo designed specifically for causing horrors to come upon the world. Ivo also worked on the Sedgwick Hotel, Library, the Natural History Museum and his own personal island.
Misanthrope Supreme: He deeply hates all human beings, considering them vermins and "too sick to survive."
Spider Witch (Erin Gray)
All Webbed Up: Kind of goes without saying. Her entire realm is covered in spider webs and hanging human bodies.
Animal Motifs: Spiders, obviously. Even in life, her spider obsession seemed to be a major characteristic of herself.
Fate Worse than Death: Her minions, not herself. It is heavily implied the spider minions are the souls of the men she murdered. Now dead, they are forced to serve her as spiders for all time.
Foreshadowing: Her presence in the Sedgewick Hotel was hinted at early in the game. On one of the doors in the first level, you can see a ghost spider with the PKE meter. This door leads to the Spider Witch's old suite.
Giant Spider: After her death, if she was ever even alive, she was turned into a giant spider woman.
Healing Factor: While the Busters battle her, she can feed off...something to heal herself from damage. Depending on whether you can find her or not will define whether your battle with her will be fast or long.
Humanoid Abomination: Besides her spider humanoid form, she was this in life. She fashioned her suite to her bizarre tastes. Furniture was all heaped in a corner chewed up, and she painted blood everywhere in the room. Let's not forget her hanging men collection.
Knife Nut: She has some major Blood Lust and enjoys carrying a knife when taking her "husbands" to her suite. You put the picture together.
The Collector: He collects the dead bodies of his victims, much like the Spider Witch. He also collects books.
Eldritch Abomination: He became a mass of Black Slime and broken furniture with a helmet after his death.
I Have Many Names: Edmund Hoover, Edmund Hoover the Collector, The Library Serial Killer, Azetlor, Keeper of Knowledge, Azetlor the Finder, Azetlor the Collector, Azetlor the Returner, Azetlor the Lost, Azetlor the Destroyer, and Azetlor the Bookworm. Basically the opposite of the Spider Witch.
Kick the Dog: When he seduced Eleanor Twitty to get at her library's rare book collection. When she figured out what he was doing, he murdered her and damned her to an eternity in her beloved library.
Meaningful Rename: He changed his name from Edmund Hoover to Azetlor. Azetlor was a Sumerian demigod that ruled over the lost. Originally he collected all that was lost, but grew greedy and began to collect what he shouldn't. Much like what Hoover did with the librarians he killed and his books.
Non-Powered Costumed Hero: While not being an expert fighter, he put on the Ghostbuster uniform and did his part to help save the day in the second movie.
Odd Friendship: Once he gets over being scared of Slimer, the pair seem to get along pretty well.
Omnidisciplinary Lawyer: Averted and lampshaded in the second film. He specifically warns the main quartet that he doesn't know criminal law. Sure enough, he botches the defense and the judge rules against them. It's only the timely appearance of ghosts (thereby proving to the disbelieving judge that ghosts are real) that get the Ghostbusters off the hook. To his credit, Tully does help play legal hardball at that moment to force the judge to rescind the restraining order.
Sixth Ranger: He becomes something like this in the second movie.
Stalker with a Crush: He comes off this way in the first film, what with apparently sitting just inside his apartment door all day long so he won't miss Dana walking down the hall.
Took a Level in Badass: Double subverted. He does strap on ghostbusting equipment to help the team out in the second movie, but he's still far from Badass... at first.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: Chillingly realized when he visits Dana during the blackout scene. After a somewhat unnerving discussion, Dana tells him to leave. Once he is now alone in the dark, his eyes suddenly start to glow like flashlights in the dark hallway. A lot more disturbing than it sounds.
Informed Attribute: Her fact sheets says Ilyssa enjoys traveling, modern painting, French New Wave cinema, is fluent in six languages (two of which haven't been spoken in over 4000 years), plays violin proficiently and is learning the cello. Well, she's quite well-rounded, ain't she?
In the Blood: Sorta. Ilyssa doesn't realize she's the granddaughter of Ivo Shandor for most of the game, but she has a strange fascination with Gozerian mythology. Shandor was a big believer in Gozer back in his living days.