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Peter Venkman, PhD (Bill Murray)
- "Back off, man; I'm a scientist."
- 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 a real 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 a fairly smart guy. If only he 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.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer:Dana: You know, you don't act like a scientist.
Peter: They're usually pretty stiff.
Dana: You're more like a game show host.
- 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...
- Chivalrous Pervert: He's interested in dating his female students, however, he refuses to take advantage of Dana possessed by Zuul.
- Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Egon apparently tried self-trephination, but Peter stopped him.
- Deadpan Snarker: Definitely."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. Possibly justified by his line to Dana in the first film saying most people who say they see ghosts are nutjobs. In the second movie he's actually really bitter about this, believing his work with the Ghostbusters was the high point of his life, and now that they're(apparently) not needed anymore, his life is essentially over.Producer: This is the best we could do on such short notice. Look, no respected psychic will come on the 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.
- Freudian Trio: Ego
- The Gadfly: Especially in the sequel.
- Good Is Not Nice: He's a sarcastic wise-ass, despite being one of the series' lead heroes.
- Guile Hero: Can trick and bluff his way out of any pinch.
- 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.
- Jerkass Has a Point: In several ways.
- First of all. Peter greeted Walter Peck in a purely professional manner while Peck was in the Ghostbusters office, as Peck could well be a paying client, and this only stopped when Peck, without showing any credentials, threatened the Ghostbusters' operation, without any form of just cause.
- Second. Peter rightly responded that any interruption of their business, without evidence, just cause, or even a proper warrant, which Ghostbusters would then have the right to appeal, would open Peck up for a proper retaliatory lawsuit.
- Third. Peter had no obligation to show Peck the delicate, and highly classified, containment unit, especially as Peck was not in Ghosbusters HQ in any official capacity, but merely claimed to be an agent of the EPA, and "asked" to see the unit purely for the sake of his own curiousity, not because of any violation of code on the part of the Ghostbusters, nor any active complaint, civil or criminal.
- Lastly, when Peck angrily started ranting about shutting down the business, without cause, as opposed to listing proper violations of code, informing Peter of due notice regarding a hearing, or simply mentioning that Ghostbusters would be contacted by his office regarding non-compliance, Peter was right to toss Peck out on his ear, considering that Peter has long experience with con-men (especially being one himself), he knows a shakedown when he sees it, and usually, when a con-man who claims to be a government official, but isn't is met with a mark that won't be intimidated, goes to look for a sucker somewhere else.
- 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) and rebelling against authority.
- 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.
- Last-Name Basis: Venkman's first name is rarely used even by his friends, which stands out as the other three go primairly by their first names.
- The Leader: 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.
- Let's Mock the Monsters: While the guys consider flipping the bird to supernatural bad guys standard operating procedure, no one does it better (or faster) than Peter. See the Moment of Awesome page for how he used his taunts on Vigo to distract him, even while injured and crawling towards a supernatual being that could stomp him flat.
- 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: 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 Columbia, 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. Every one of these incidents is subverted 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 capable of when he 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 real ghosts.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner"All right—this chick is toast!"
"Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!"
"Viggy, Viggy, Viggy. You have been a bad monkey!"
- Punch-Clock Hero: He's Only in It for the Money and treats what he does as a the paying job it is, not some selfless mission or higher calling for the good of mankind.
- 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.
- Trust Me, I'm an X: "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
Raymond "Ray" Stantz, PhD (Dan Aykroyd)
- "Well, this is great. If the ionization-rate is constant for all ectoplasmic entities, we can really bust some heads... in a spiritual sense, of course."
- Adorkable: He's sweet-natured, nerdy, and a bit of a goof-ball.
- Admiring the Abomination: He gets boyishly excited by a lot of the weird, gross and terrifying stuff they encounter.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Ray is honestly the nicest guy you will ever meet, but if you mess with any of his friends, whether you be human or ghost, he will not take it lightly.
Ray: (to Vigo) You want a baby? Go knock up some willing hellhound. Otherwise I am giving you to the count of three to march back in that painting!
- He also hates it when kids are being threatened.
- Butt-Monkey: If he's not being manipulated or slapped around by Peter, he's getting attacked/possessed by one demonic entity or another.
- The Cameo: In Casper. Generally considered a non-canon appearance by fans due to how cowardly it makes Ray look.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Has this in spades. He believes that an undersea mass sponge migration he once witnessed was paranormal despite the fact that the sponges barely moved a foot.
- Demonic Possession: This has happened to him far more than any other character in the series. It's to the point where the other characters lampshade it every time he becomes possessed or slimed.
- Ditzy Genius: For the guy who was behind the creation of the proton packs and the Ecto-1, he sure doesn't have a lot in the common sense department.
- Drives Like Crazy: During the They're Back montage in the second film, Peter has a look of panic as Ray is driving the Ecto-1A to a new case.
- However, in the first movie and in other points during Ghostbusters II, Ray is shown to be a perfectly competent driver. Peter looks worried because that short clip is from a deleted scene after Ray looks into the painting of Vigo's eyes. In the cut scene, he drove Ecto-1A like crazy through traffic... because he was possessed by Vigo and aiming to commit murder-suicide. He's snapped out of it by Winston punching him in the face, slams on the brakes before Ecto can run head-on into a tree, and explains that he just felt an urge to drive into said tree and end it all. Peter warns Egon to keep an eye on Ray and not even let him shave. The comics featuring The Real Ghostbusters characters in Ghostbusters II included the scene.
- 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.
- For Science!: Far more mild than Egon, though.
- Freudian Trio: Id
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Good on Ray's part. He's seen with a cigarette in almost every scene in the movies.
- 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.
- In the 2009 game he mentions he spent some time in a seminary. Whether this was because he wanted to go or if it had something to do with the Stantzes being a top-notch Dysfunctional Family isn't elaborated on, but it's more or less confirmed that he was, at one point in his life, religious.
- 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.
- Leeroy Jenkins: "GET HER!"
- Leading to a hilarious brick joke. "Go GET HER...Ray!"
- The Lancer: He's this to Peter, making it an interesting aversion 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.
- ... Until the second movie, when he starts nicknaming everyone instead.
- Mad Scientist: A heroic example.
- Manchild: 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. He's also overjoyed to see a plush dog similar to one he owned as a child used as a prop and immediately rushes over to pick it up and cuddle with it.
- 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.
- 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. He's also overjoyed to see a plush dog similar to one he owned as a child used as a prop and immediately rushes over to pick it up and cuddle with it.
- 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.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He unwittingly chose the form of the Destructor.
- Nightmare Fetishist: The dream sequence he had may suggest how deep his nightmare fetish goes.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Stantz in the movies and video game, Stanz in The Real Ghostbusters. It's generally accepted that the cartoon misspelled Ray's surname, as opposed to how fans argue over whether Winston's is Zeddemore or Zeddmore.
- Spirit Advisor: Has one in the IDW comic. It's Jake Blues.
- 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.
- Not to say Ray can't occasionally dish some out, such as choosing to call the Team Pet "Slimer" just to annoy Peter.
Egon Spengler, PhD (Harold Ramis)
- "I collect spores, molds, and fungus."
- Adorkable: How could Janine resist such a handsome, shy, soft-spoken genius with No Social Skills?
- Admiring the Abomination: Admires some of Ivo Shandor's work in the 2009 game, but is also quick to admit that he was also very evil.Winston: "Stay in the light, Egon."
Egon: "I'm trying."
- Always Identical Twins: Harold Ramis played Egon's twin brother Elon in an Earth Day special. Dr. Elon Spengler is the leader of the Wastebusters, an environmental association. He looks exactly like Egon, down to the hairstyle. The only visible difference is the lack of a proton pack and the fact that Elon wears white tennis shoes as opposed to the Ghostbusters' standard black boots.
- Badass Bookworm: Not necessarily a Trope Codifier, but definitely one of the originals.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Egon completely flips his shit when Peck accuses the Ghostbusters of causing the containment breach, something that Peck caused.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Not to the extent as Ray, but still.
- Collector of the Strange: Molds, fungus and spores, mostly. He may even possibly find the scent of them attractive.
- The Comically Serious: In his own words: "I'm always serious."
- 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 friends' parents.
- Deadpan Snarker: Egon has his dry comedy moments such as the musical ectoplasm.Venkman: "Dooooooo"Stantz: "Reeeeeeeee"Egon: "Egonnnnnn!"
- Defrosting Ice King: Hard to tell, but he smiles considerably more in the second film.
- 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. Wanting to conduct a gynecological examination on Dana while investigating the baby carriage incident. Then there was that drill thing...That would've worked if you hadn't stopped me!
- Freudian Trio: Superego
- Gadgeteer Genius: He makes all of the equipment the Ghostbusters use. In fact, he works on so many gadgets, the other characters 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.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: He seems rather detached from other peoples' feelings, and occasionally misleads or disturbs people for his own amusement, but his ultimate goal, apparently, is for the common good.
- 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.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He seems to be mildly sociopathic, as he routinely puts people in unpleasant situations for scientific purposes and shamelessly lies and jerks people around just to see what kind of reaction he gets. The best example of this is in the beginning of the sequel when he tests the effect of human emotion on the environment by ruining a couple's marriage and giving a little girl a puppy only to take it away again.
- 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...
- Nice Guy: Although he's a mad scientist, whose methods are questionable, Spengler has a soft side only seen by his friends and Janine.
- 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.
- Not So Stoic:
- The scene where he flips out when Peck accuses the Ghostbusters of causing a massive explosion that Peck himself caused.
- 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 uncharacteristic edginess may be explained by to his own in-game notes: Egon admits he has arachnophobia.
- His reaction once to getting snarked at by a serious Jerkass in the IDW comic is a scream and an attempt to throttle him! Another comic had a fight between him and a ghost woman end with him standing over her and growling. He has to be calmed down by the others, and doesn't even recognise them at first.
- Egon seems to have something of a hot temper in general, and when he's agitated, his first response seems to be to go directly for the throat. Beware the Nice Ones indeed!
- Oblivious to Love: How the animated series and IDW comics interpret his relationship with Janine.
- Shout-Out/Named After Somebody Famous: Named for Egon Kisch (a famous Czechoslovakian journalist who, among other things, helped popularize the Golem of Prague and claimed to be descended from its creator, Rabbi Loew) and German philosopher Oswald Spengler.
- Sources conflict a bit, but Egon might be only half-named after somebody famous. "Egon" might not come from Egon Kisch, but from a classmate of Harold Ramis's in high school named Egon Donsbach, who was a refugee from Hungary.
- The Smart Guy: While Ray is also intelligent, Egon is The Strategist of the group.
- Specs of Awesome: He's the biggest nerd in an 80s sci-fi film — what did you expect?
- The Spock: Pure intellect — they didn't dub him "The Head" for nothing.
- Sweet Tooth/Genius Sweet Tooth: Describes New York City's telekinetic energy in terms of Twinkies, using his own as a visual aid. Accepts a Nestle Crunch bar as a reward.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: In the first film's climax, Egon drops the following gem while his tone of voice is only slightly more emotional than normal:"I'm terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought!"
- Theme Music Power-Up: In the cartoon series, most of these occur either while Egon is formulating strategy or when he does something that helps the rest of the group succeed.
- When He Smiles: Sometimes when he does smile it comes across as ominous or threatening. However when he does it for genuine reasons it's nice to see, such as when he's assuring Dana that he won't use anything to hurt Oscar during a routine Check-up.
Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson)
- "If there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say."
- All There in the Manual: The entirety of Winston's backstory is relegated to secondary works, and he receives little characterization in the films.
- Badass Mustache: Although he's clean-shaven in the cartoon and the second movie.
- The Big Guy: A former marine who provides the muscle and firepower in a team otherwise composed of scientists.
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: Must be a job requirement.
- 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 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.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Well, that might be pushing it, but Winston is far and away the best shot with a Particle Thrower.
- Naïve Newcomer: Averted; he gets the hang of his job very quickly.
- Only in It for the Money: His original reason for joining in the first place.As long as there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say.
- Only Sane Man: Compared with his colleagues, the quirky paranormal scientists, he has more common sense.
- Punch-Clock Hero: Took up ghostbusting purely to get a steady paycheck.
- Real Men Love Jesus: Or, in his case, Jesus' style.
- Sixth Ranger: Doesn't appear until the second half of the first movie, which explains why he tends to be left off some promotional materials for the movie, especially during its theatrical release.
- Skepticism Failure: The cartoon reveals that he didn't believe in the supernatural when he joined the Ghostbusters. That doesn't last long, of course."Look, I've only been with the company for a couple of weeks. But I gotta tell you, these things are real. Since I joined these men, I've seen shit that'll turn you white!"
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is it "Zeddmore" or "Zeddemore"? Both of the movies and the game spell it Zeddemore, leading people to believe The Real Ghostbusters, which used "Zeddmore," misspelled Winston's surname.
- Token Minority: The team black guy.
- 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.
Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts)
- "I've quit better jobs than this!" *answers phone* "Ghostbusters, whaddya want!?"
- All Love Is Unrequited: Has a crush on Egon, who is just not interested in a relationship.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Like Egon.
- 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 Mad Scientists before Winston added a bit more sanity.
- City Girl Squawk: She provides a great example of this accent.
- Deadpan Snarker: For example, in response to a policeman arriving at the door;"Dropping off or picking up?"
- The Face: Janine is the receptionist for the four man organization; a notably interpersonal role. One scene in the first movie has her trying to convince a customer of their professionalism.
- Fiery Redhead: In the second movie. She got a makeover to look more like her cartoon counterpart.
- Meganekko: Wears big, thick glasses — which give her a "bug-eyed" look, as Venkman comments.
- Only Sane Woman: Until Winston shows up. After that, they trade off on the "babysitting the mad scientists" duty.
- Sarcastic Devotee: Despite her very sarcastic interaction with her bosses, she remains their loyal secretary.
- Sassy Secretary: She's very vocal about any grievances with the job.
- Team Mom: Especially in the comics continuity when she keeps on eye on how everyone is doing emotionally, and when the Ghostbusters go missing, runs the entire organization.
- 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.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: She seems to take the ghostbusting business pretty well, never showing any signs of it being out of the ordinary.
Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver)
- "Well, that's just great. Either I have a monster in my kitchen or I'm completely crazy."
- Action Mom: She becomes one in the second movie.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: As the first film progresses.
- Demonic Possession: Victim of this for half of the first film.
- Love Interest: To Peter.
- Mama Bear: She doesn't need a Proton Pack to be a Action Mom!
- Neutral Female: Averted. She tries to keep away from the trouble so as not to get in the guy's way, but when it comes to her, she fights back.
- One of the Boys: Even after she breaks up with Peter, she still gets along with all the Ghostbusters and vice versa.
- The Reliable One: You can always count on her. One of the reasons she and Peter broke-up, temporarily.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Had a lot of trouble finding one for a while.
- Statuesque Stunner: Especially when possessed in the first film.
- What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Goes from being an orchestral performer in the first movie to retouching paintings in the second, with no explanation for the jump.
Louis Tully (Rick Moranis)
- "Who does your taxes?"
- Butt-Monkey: Especially in the first movie. Although, since he does get to nail both Dana (while possessed) and Janine, he's either the unluckiest or luckiest character.
- Demonic Possession: He was once turned into a dog and the Busters helped him.
- Determinator: Louis may not be as tough as many of the characters, but he managed to outrun a terror dog before it cornered him. To add bonus points, he survived jumping over a wall near the Tavern on the Green, with out any injury. James Rolfe pointed out during a tour of the Ghostbusters locations, that said wall would risk breaking your legs due to it's long drop.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To Dana and later Janine.
- Fat and Skinny: The Skinny to Slimer's Fat.
- Friend to All Children: Louis despite his awkwardness is good with kids, managing to get Oscar to sleep. The second Oscar gets kidnapped, he goes to get the Ghostbusters out of the Asylum and then suits up himself. Though the latter of which might have been due to a confidence boost after having sex with Janine.
- Nerd Glasses: To rival Egon's.
- Non-Action Guy: At first. He picks up a proton pack in the second movie.
- 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, apparently sitting just inside his apartment door all day long so he won't miss Dana walking down the hall.
- Submissive Badass: In the second film.
- 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.I'm right here with you, guys!
Walter Peck (William Atherton)
- "Forget it, Venkman! You had your chance to cooperate, but you thought it would be more fun to insult me. Well, now it is my turn, wiseass."
- Amoral Attorney: He only aims to sue the Ghostbusters out of spite for their cause, but in reality is just a money grubbing agent.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Surrounded by news articles and tv interviews about the ghosts the Ghostbusters have caught, yet insists it's all an elaborate scam.
- Artistic License – Law: Without a search warrant, or any sort of legal document, never mind actually showing Peter any credentials to back up his claims, Peck walks into the Ghostbusters' building, "asking" to be shown very sensitive and rightfully classified technology (and specifically chemical tanks that they don't actually have) for no good reason. When a suspicious Peter refuses, he retaliates by forcing his way back into the building without notice, accompanied by a police officer and some guy in a hard-hat, waving around a piece of paper that neither the Ghostbusters or their lawyers have had a chance to review. This is a major breach of proper protocol for any kind of government facility. How Peck didn't wind up in jail himself is a major case of Karma Houdini. Though there are stories of actual government officials and bureaucrats doing that and worse in New York and getting away with it.
- Bad Boss: As head of P.C.O.C. he at first deliberately interferes with the Ghostbusters' investigation out of spite. Even after Peck's Heel–Face Turn he still enjoys forcing the Ghostbusters to do unpleasant things, especially Peter.
- Character Development: Probably goes through the most out of any of the cast over the course of the movies, games, and comics, going from an inept bureaucrat who hates the Ghostbusters, to a manipulative bureaucrat who hates the Ghostbusters (but not as much).
- Covered in Gunge: But hey, at least it was marshmallow.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Averted; he survives it.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Despite the "too dumb to live" below, he does have a good point that the Ghostbusters are using some extremely suspicious and dangerous technologies in an equally unprofessional manner. Of course, his response is every bit as stupid.
- Harmless Villain: Kinda sorta; the containment unit gets blown up because of him in the first film but Peck generally doesn't do anything truly lethal to the Ghostbusters directly. He acts 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.
- Hate Sink: Peck with his imperious self-righteousness and his Jerkass Never My Fault belligerency is clearly designed to inspire a burning hatred in the audience. When he has the Ghostbusters arrested for the explosion when it is clearly his own fault, the whole audience wants to punch his lights out.
- In the DVD commentary, William Atherton complained that the movie ruined his life; Peck's character was so despised that people would speak to Atherton as though they were giving him a piece of their mind, and people started bar fights with him on several occasions.
- Heel–Face Turn: In the comics, following the events of the game. He's still a dick, but a dick who recognizes the need for the Ghostbusters and will defend their behavior to the mayor and the press.
- 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. 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.
- This trope is also inverted; Peter has a point against his point. Nothing he was accusing them of was actually in EPA jurisdiction (The Nuclear Regulatory Commission would probably have wanted to have a word with them, though). His actions were completely illegal, and Peter rightfully counters that he is willing to sue for wrongful prosecution. Tellingly, notice that when Peck returns for his fateful "shutting off the containment system" visit, he brings with him one police officer and one guy in a workman's outfit and hard hat - i.e. no one trained to deal with the things he accused the Ghostbusters of. If there is any evidence for Peck pulling things out of his ass in service of his witch hunt, it's this.
- A second valid inverson is that Peck never showed any credentials confirming his claim to be from the EPA, had no search warrant, nor listed any plausible violations of code that allowed him even in the building, and lastly had voiced not one complaint brought against the Ghostbusters business, by anyone. Peter was right to be concerned that Peck was himself a fraud who just wanted to look at the containment unit for nefarious purposes, and Peter was ultimately proven right.
- Malicious Slander: After he causes the explosion with his careless shutdown of the containment unit, he tells the mayor, and anyone who will listen, that The Ghostbusters were causing hallucinations of ghosts by deliberately exposing their clients to massive amounts of noxious chemicals without any evidence whatsoever. Barring the sheer implausibility of the Ghostbusters actually being able to pull this off, such a reckless accusation does open Peck to any number of lawsuits, which any competent lawyer could easily use to bring massive consequences upon the accuser if he doesn't have iron-clad evidence, which Peck did not.
- Never My Fault: Peck loudly and blatantly blames the Ghostbusters for causing an explosion when it is clearly obvious in front of multiple witnesses that he himself is personally responsible for the disaster when he ordered the containment grid turned off.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: A government bureaucrat who, in his quest to obstruct one business, obstructs the business of the entire world.
- The Peter Principle: He has absolutely zero understanding of the Ghostbusters' technology, yet legally has the right to screw with both it and them (to a point; Peter actually threatens to sue him for the degree he's abusing his authority even before he shuts down the equipment illegally). Hilarity does not ensue. He's just a petty tyrant who thinks being a federal regulator means he can do anything.
- Red Herring Mole: In the video game, the Ghostbusters think he's the Big Bad, but it turns out he's an Unwitting Pawn.
- Shared Mass Hallucination: He thinks that the Ghostbusters were using hallucinations to make ghosts.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Peter in the IDW continuity, who he never misses an opportunity to needle.
- Stealth Insult: The astute viewer will notice that Peck continues to refer to Venkman as "Mister" even after pointedly looking over Venkman's two doctorates hanging on the walls of his office.
- Straw Character: Peck is the quintessential Reagan-era caricature of a government inspector.
- Strawman Has a Point: In-universe. He's up against the quintessential trifecta of what government inspectors are supposed to inspect; unprofessional, irresponsible and downright dangerous actions by private individuals. However, he falls flat on his face in that he is all those things himself, and makes no attempt to find responsible professionals to make the Ghostbusters' operation safer; he just shows up and throws his weight around because he found a loophole to justify his presence, and just makes everything worse as government inspectors tend to do.
- Too Dumb to Live: Let's see; he believes that mass numbers of average people can be induced to see Shared Mass Hallucinations. He knows absolutely nothing about chemicals, radiation, or any of the other things he claims to be harassing the Ghostbusters about, and worst of all, grabs what appears to be a random city worker to shut down equipment he doesn't even begin to understand. He's lucky something really unpleasant didn't grab him and make him into a snack. He's even luckier he was wrong; if it had been storage for dangerous chemicals and failed as spectacularly he would have killed thousands of people.
- Unusual Euphemism: "This man has no dick.""Well, that's what I heard!"
Mayor Lenny Clotch (David Margulies)
- "Somebody get me the Ghostbusters."
- Ascended Extra: He was a One-Scene Wonder in the first film, but got a larger role in the second.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments
- First-Name Basis: The Ghostbusters eventually get to know him on this by the second film.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Seems rather acerbic at first, but is a respected man who'll do whatever it takes to keep New York safe.
- Joisey: Sports an accent like this.
- Raised Catholic: Seems probable; he's on very good terms with the Archbishop of New York, even calling him by name and inviting him to his office as a consultant when ghosts start flooding the streets.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In contrast to Peck and Hardemeyer, he is much more willing to accept the Ghostbuster's help.
Janosz Poha (Peter MacNicol)
Janosz was a curator at the Manhattan Museum of Art that was forced by mind control to do Vigo's bidding and act as his agent on the mortal realm.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Controlled by Vigo to do his bidding.
- Creepy Crossdresser: When he dressed up like a demon nanny to kidnap Oscar ... you'd have to be there.
- Demonic Possession: Vigo forces his will upon Janosz, making him do his bidding.
- Deprogram: Thanks to the good version of the mood slime, he's freed from Vigo's influence. And he and Ray are turned into a pair of Love Freaks.
- Funny Foreigner: Of some kind...
- 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.
- Harmless Villain: He becomes a Not-So-Harmless Villain after kidnapping Oscar.
- Heel–Face Turn: Thanks to the mood slime.
- Hopeless Suitor: Where Dana is concerned.
- Love Makes You Evil: Well, Demonic Possession, but still counts.
- Mood-Slime Redeems
- The Renfield: Peter MacNicol played the Renfield here before playing the Renfield in Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
- Ruritania/What the Hell Is That Accent?: Just where on Earth is he supposed to be from?Venkman: You'll never get a green-card with that attitude, pal.
- "The Upper Vest Side," of course.
- According to the comics, he's from Moldavia.
- "The Upper Vest Side," of course.
- Vampire Vords
Judge Stephen "The Hammer" Wexler (Harris Yulin)
A notorious New York Hanging Judge who nearly put the ghostbusters permanently out of commission. It was he who also tried and convicted the Scoleri Brothers for murder, sentencing them to electrocution.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Despite his tough exterior, he has no qualms about begging the Ghostbusters to save his sorry ass when he is proved wrong that ghosts definitely exist.
- Adaptation Name Change: The Novelization identifies him as Judge Roy Beane, presumably as a Shout-Out to the famous judge from the Old West.
- Dirty Coward: Wexler may be a harsh and imposing judge, but he gets a big fright when he sees the ghosts of the Scholeri Brothers, men he sentenced to death, appear in his courtroom. He hides under a table and tries to leave the court as quickly as possible, not bothering to help the prosecutor who is being terrorised by the ghosts of the Scholeri Brothers. Wexler also has the cheek to beg the Ghostbusters, whom he had just sentenced to prison, fined heavily and are still under a judicial order, for help. Plus, he grudgingly rescinds send order and then orders the Ghostbusters to put things right.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Angry seems to be his default mood.
- Hanging Judge: Has a rep for giving defendants harsh sentences. Tellingly the ghosts awoken from his ranting are two crooks he sentenced to death.
- Jerkass: In addition to acting like an asshole toward everyone in his courtroom he uses the sentencing statement as a chance to bellow about how much he hates the Ghostbusters and how much he wishes he could give them harsher, more draconian punishments. His anger and hatred are so extreme it spawns ghosts from the Hate Slime, something not seen in anyone else in the movie up to that point.
- Large Ham: Especially during his "BURNED AT THE STAKE!!!!" rant.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Sort of becomes one out of desperation when he decides to rescind his sentence and let the ghostbusters take care of the Scoleri Brothers' ghosts who were terrorizing the courthouse.
Jack Hardemeyer (Kurt Fuller)The mayor's assistant who views the Ghostbusters with disdain.
- Jerkass: Hardemeyer is an arrogant Amoral Attorney who abuses his position of working with the mayor and gets the Ghostbusters committed out of spite.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Like Peck before him, he goes out of his way to make things miserable for the Ghostbusters.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He takes Walter Peck's role as the jackass close to the mayor who antagonizes the Ghostbusters, though arguably he's even worse.
Gozer (portrayed by Slavitza Jovan (humanoid form), voiced by Paddi Edwards)
- Gozer: Are you a god?
- '80s Hair: A mean flat-top.
- Agony Beam: Uses this on the Ghostbusters after they told it they were not gods.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Went from a "large and moving torb" to a "giant sloar" and then a giant marshmallow man.
- Big Bad: Of the first movie.
- Combat Stilettos: In its humanoid form.
- Eldritch Abomination: A non-cephalopod variety.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Speaks with a raspy, deep voice.
- For the Evulz: Seems to travel dimensions and destroy civilizations entirely for its own amusement.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Apparently Gozer's trademark. When it arrives to cause an apocalypse, it forces the denizens of the world its about to destroy to choose the form it will end them with. Ray accidentally chooses the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, which he believes to be incapable of causing the kind of destruction Gozer wants (and probably would have been had it not been the size of a skyscraper).
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: The video game and comics say it had a major rivalry with it's sister Tiamat.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The door Gozer used to enter man's world is also the thing that pushed it back out.
- Further, Gozer's habit of making the inhabitants of a realm choose the form used to destroy it works against Gozer. Gozer ends up stuck in a chubby, awkward body made of marshmallows and lacking any special destructive abilities, bringing Gozer down to a level where four random humans on foot manage to thwart the destruction entirely (multiple times if you count the Expanded Universe).
- Humanoid Abomination: At least Gozer took the form of one. Its true form has never been revealed.
- I Have Many Names: Also known as "Gozer the Gozerian", "Gozer the Traveler," "Gozer the Destructor", "Lord of the Sebouillia" and "Volguus Zildrohar."
- The Not-So-Harmless Punishment: Ray tries to think of a form for Gozer that couldn't possibly hurt anyone. There were certainly worse forms Gozer could have had, but Gozer still ends up as a hostile kaiju.
- No Biological Sex: Gozer only takes on forms with characteristics of other genders. In truth, it has none of its own.
- Not Quite Dead: Returns as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in the 2009 game, but in this game is fried to a crisp.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Seems to be Gozer's main goal. It kills everyone, its summoners and all else in its way.
- Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: In the final confrontation, the boys are surprised that s/he's a "girl", but clearly s/he is both, though it leans more towards the feminine.Ray: It's a girl.
Egon: It's Gozer.
Winston: I thought Gozer was a man.
Egon: It's whatever it wants to be.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Gozer has come to be known for its tendency to destroy all that is in its path.
- Physical God: And anyone who isn't can PERISH!
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: The Expanded Universe has implied that she was permanently stuck in the marshmallow man form.
- In the 2009 video game, Ray mentions the possibility that Gozer is only able to create one Destructor form per dimension and therefore will only be able to manifest as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in this one.
- The IDW comics had an alternate timeline where the Ghostbusters never defeated her and she's stranded on Earth in the Stay Puft form. After asking the Ghostbusters for help, they travel back in time to the Temple of Gozer and cover it in pictures of an even sillier cartoon character called Loofa Joe so their past versions would subconsciously turn Gozer into this if she tried to attack Earth again.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: A disturbing Humanoid Abomination with plans to destroy the world in a relatively light-hearted horror-comedy.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: From an androgynous woman covered in bubbles to a giant marshmallow man. Truly, Gozer doesn't seem to care what form it takes.
Zuul and Vinz Clortho (Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis when possessed)
Hellhound demigods and Gozer's loyal minions and scouts. Zuul is "The Gatekeeper" presumably responsible for guarding the Traveler's portal while Vinz Clortho is "The Keymaster" with the power to open it. They enter Earth first to prepare it for Gozer's arrival with Zuul possessing Dana Barrett and Vinz possessing Louis Tully.
- 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.
- 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.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Vinz, who is adorkable when possessing Louis.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Vinz clearly isn't all there, though part of it may have been due to possessing Louis Tully.
- Co-Dragons: To Gozer.
- Creator Cameo: Director Ivan Reitman provides the voice for Zuul."There is no Dana, ONLY ZUUL."
- Demonic Possession: The possessed forms of Louis and Dana.
- Elite Mooks: Intimidating and frightening by themselves, but ultimately not the Big Bad.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Zuul's voice becomes deep and monstrous when angered by Peter Venkman.
- Hellhounds: They're known as Terror Dogs.
- The Mirror Shows Your True Self: When Egon has the possessed Louis hooked up to a brain-wave scanner, the image on the display is of Vinz Clortho's head.
- Ms. Fanservice: Zuul at least while it's in Dana's body.
- Pet the Dog: When Vinz — in Louis's body — asks a horse drawing a carriage if it's the Gatekeeper, the driver rudely accosts him. Vinz growls at the man with glowing red eyes, gently assures the horse that when Gozer comes all prisoners will be released, then runs off shouting to the driver that he and all his kind will perish in flames.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: For Gozer.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: They both have glowing red eyes, which do shine through the eyes of their human forms.
- Unusual Euphemism: "The Keymaster" and "The Gatekeeper". It's strongly implied they have to have sex to open the portal to Gozer's realm.
- The Vamp: Zuul, while possessing Dana.
Prince Vigo the Carpathian (portrayed by Wilhelm von Homburg, voiced by Max von Sydow)
A 16th century tyrant and sorcerer, Vigo conquered a good section of Eastern Europe before being put down by a rebellion at the age of 105. Vigo reappeared in modern day Manhattan possessing his own portrait, and generated a "mood slime" that heightened and reacted to people's negative emotions, which hastened his return.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: A tyrant and sorcerer who curb-stomps the Ghostbusters.
- Big Bad: Of the second movie.
- Black Eyes of Crazy: When possessing Ray.
- Blob Monster: He controls the living River of Slime beneath New York.
- Body Surf: One of his more frightening powers.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He refers to himself as "The Scourge of Carpathia" and "The Sorrow of Moldovia".
- Catch-Phrase: "I, Vigo the Carpathian, (the names above), commands you!"
- The Dreaded: Feared and hated by his own subjects while alive.
- Emotion Eater: He feeds on human negative energy.
- Evil Overlord: "On a mountain of skulls in a castle of pain, I sat on a throne of blood."
- The Evil Prince
- Evil Sorcerer: In his backstory.
- Expy: Possibly of Vlad the Impaler aka Count Dracula.
- A God Am I: With the power to back it up.
- 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.
- I Have Many Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Also known as Vigo the Cruel, Vigo the Torturer, Vigo the Despised and Vigo the Unholy.Peter: Wasn't he also Vigo the Butch?
- Kubrick Stare
- Obviously Evil
- Rasputinian Death: Practically almost parodied.Ray: He didn't die of old age, either. He was poisoned, stabbed, shot, hung, stretched, disemboweled, drawn and quartered.
Peter : Ouch!
Ray: ...There was a prophecy, just before his head died, his last words were "Death is but a door, time is but a window: I'll be back."
- Sealed Evil In A Painting: When first encountered.
- Sorcerous Overlord: He was this in past life.
- Spooky Painting: Dana comments that the painting gives her chills, even before the paranormal shenanigans begin.
Slimer is the first ghost the Ghostbusters caught when the Sedgewick Hotel hires them to get rid of him. Depending on the continuity he treated as an ally, an antagonist, a test subject, or a pet.
- All There in the Manual: It's never really explained where he came from in the movies proper, but according to Dan Aykroyd he's the ghost of John Belushi.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: In the IDW comics, Ray theorises that Slimer is a force of gluttony given form.
- Big Eater: When first encountered, he's scoffing his way through a room-service trolley.
- Blob Monster: Spherical, and made of slime.
- Canon Immigrant: Although he originated in the first movie, the name Slimer and him living with the Ghostbusters originated in the animated series before it happened in the second film.
- Creator Cameo: His voice is provided by series director Ivan Reitman.
- Fat and Skinny: The Fat to Louis' Skinny.
- Harmless Villain: The Ghostbusters caused MUCH more havoc than he did, and he never actually hurt anybody.
- Heel–Face Turn: He helps Louis (and the other Ghostbusters to an extent) out near the end of the second movie.
- Meaningful Name: Deliberately. In the animated series, Ray gave him the name "just to annoy Peter."
- Merger of Souls: Dan Aykroyd says he's an accumulation of spirits that haunt the hotel.
- Multiple-Choice Past: The Expanded Universe offers multiple origins;
- Dan Aykroyd said he was a "vapor - a kind of confluence of stored up psychic energy, an accumulation of spirits that haunt the hotel who doesn't want to leave".
- The Marvel UK comics based on The Real Ghostbusters and the 2017 annual say he's the ghost of a human king called "Remils".
- The tabletop game said he's on Earth as a result of cult rituals.
- The 1992 annual said he was the ghost of an obese man who remembers nothing about his life except the desire to eat.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Most likely — see below.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: The first ghost seen not to be the spirit of a deceased human being.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Some of the comics say his name was King Remils when he was alive.
- Team Pet: In the game and other media.
Eleanor Twitty a.k.a. The Gray Lady or "The Library Ghost" (Ruth Oliver)
The first ghost the Ghostbusters encountered (but not the first they captured). Gets an expanded role in the 2009 game where it's revealed she was murdered.
- Ancient Keeper: She's spent decades keeping the Gozerian Codex in her last resting place.
- Anti-Villain: Type II.
- 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 as a node in the spectral circuit flow.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: 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.
- Finger on Lips: Shushes them when they disturb her reading. Disturb her reading again and she goes ape.
- Fog Feet: It seems to be the main way one tracks her.
- One-Winged Angel: Her "angry form."
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Ray; he really wanted to get her after scaring him.
- Scary Librarian: Especially in her angry mode.
- Snub by Omission: Her initial response to the Ghostbusters is to ignore them.
- Spooky Silent Library: Her chosen domain, obviously.
- Revenge Against Men: Her EX-boyfriend, not the Ghostbusters.
- Unfinished Business: Subverted. After thinking they had helped her pass on by taking her book, she suddenly reappears and laughs maniacally as she transforms into her angry mode.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: She has a disturbing tendency to shift between a quiet plain librarian to a raging grotesque ghoul. Though the others suspect this was also part of it - that the fight was not only to give the Ghostbusters the book, but so that they would wreck the room and uncover the path to the ghost world where her murderous ex was hiding.
- Woman Scorned: Oh yes...
- Woobie, Destroyer of 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.
Tony and Nunzio Scoleri (Jim Fye and Tim Lawrence)
Ghosts of convicted sibling murderers that appear at the Ghostbusters' trial. Their arrival and subsequent mayhem quickly convince everyone to reinstate the Ghostbusters.
- All There in the Manual: Their first names (as well as the identity of their actors) were given in an article about the film's special effects.
- Fat and Skinny: Tony is the skinny one, Nunzio is the fat one.
- Fat Bastard: Nunzio is disgustingly overweight and a murderer.
- Giggling Villain: Tony has a really high-pitched Annoying Laugh as probably his only vocalization.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their eyes glow brightly.
- The Hyena: Tony.
- Knight of Cerebus: To the extent that they're the only regular ghosts (in the movies, anyway) shown to be actively dangerous as opposed to merely a nuisance.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: If it weren't for the timely arrival the Ghostbusters would have been permanently disbanded.
- Psycho Electro: They're covered with surging electricity because they got executed via electric chair, although it's unclear if they can actually use it as a power.
- Sibling Team: They're literal Bash Brothers!
Video Game characters
The Rookie (model Ryan French)
Appeared as the player character in the 2009 video game, serving 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). In the IDW continuity he goes off to form the Chicago branch of the Ghostbusters after the events of the game.
- 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—touching an inter-dimensional portal that could lead anywhere, go it alone in the huge cemetery that wasn't there yesterday, get 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.
- Cowardly Lion: Realistic!Rookie can be pretty skittish at times. That said, he still braves his missions like the rest.
- 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.
- Good Luck Charm: In the IDW comics series, he's kept his uniform with the "Rookie" nametag, even after setting up his own Ghostbusters franchise in Chicago. It comes in handy when dealing with irate customers, since they'll usually end up trying to go over his head to his (nonexistent) supervisor.
- Heroic Mime: Never says a word aside the occasional scream or gasp.
- Mauve Shirt: His name tag just says "Rookie", since it's more convenient. Peter doesn't want to remember his name so they don't get attached, since he's testing out prototype equipment...
- Put on a Bus: After the events of the game, he leaves New York in order to expand the franchise.
- The Bus Came Back: In the IDW comics series, he makes several appearances after setting up a franchise team in Chicago. It's also revealed that his real name is Bryan Welsh.
- Naïve Newcomer: His name is very accurate.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His attempt to recapture Slimer at the beginning of the game leads to the containment vault accidentally being damaged and several ghosts being unleashed.
- No Name Given: Enforced; the other Busters don't want to feel too attached to him due to the High Turnover Rate of the team's other rookies.note
- Sixth Ranger: Joining a previously established team.
- The Voiceless: See Heroic Mime, the Rookie is mute aside from gasping or screaming once or twice. Given a speaking role in the comics after he's sent to Chicago.
Ilyssa Selwyn (Alyssa Milano)
A curator at the Museum of Natural History and an expert of Sumerian culture. She was to be the curator at an exhibit on Gozerian artifacts, but naturally said exhibit causes a whole bunch of supernatural trouble.
- All There in the Manual: Most of her life before the game.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Her parents died in a cave-in when she was 15.
- Distressed Damsel: She gets kidnapped twice in the game, and both times has to be saved by the Ghostbusters.
- Demonic Possession: In the start of the game, she is possessed and brought to the Sedgewick Hotel 12th floor. Later, she is possessed momentarily while she's at the museum.
- Happily Adopted: Her adoptive parents used to bring her with them everywhere...till, you know, they died.
- Identical Great-Granddaughter: Ilyssa looks just like her great-grandmother, Ivo Shandor's mother.
- 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.
- Irony: She hates abrasive or pushy personalities. Guess who she falls in love with?
- Like Father, Like Daughter: She ended up getting into anthropology just like her parents.
- Love Interest: Replaces Dana Barrett as this in the game.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Ilyssa finds out she is a direct descendant of Ivo Shandor. How is this revealed to her? He tries to sacrifice her, of course.
- Parental Abandonment: Twice! Both her biological and her adopted parents died when she was young. She doesn't seem broken up about this.
- Tsundere: Type B, she seems to be nice normally, unless she's around Venkman. Can you really blame her, though?
A genocidal, sociopathic, New York architect and doctor as well as the founder of the Cult of Gozer in the 1920s. Shandor built the 55 Central Park West apartment building as a conduit to help bring Gozer to our dimension, since he believed humanity deserved to be destroyed. He reappears as a major antagonist in the 2009 video game.
- Ascended Extra
- Badass Grandpa: He captured an Eldritch Abomination from another world. Granted, it was only a baby; still impressive. He was the head of the cult of Gozer, and he made himself a god!
- Big Bad: Of the video game.
- 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 unnecessary 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.
- Ghostly Goals: Definitely Type B.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The game reveals that it was Shandor who was ultimately behind the events of the first two films and why New York City has experienced massive supernatural activity.
- Humans Are Bastards: Apparently this was his reason for trying to bring about the end of the world. After WW1, he felt mankind was far too sick to survive. Kind of ironic considering what ''he'' had done to his fellow human beings. Even before he started to bring about the end to life.
- Mad Doctor: See below.
- 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 vermin and "too sick to survive."
- One-Winged Angel: Shandor obtains his own destructor form for the climatic battle. Namely, he transforms into a gigantic, demonic monstrosity resembling a satanic mockery of Jesus Christ.
- Posthumous Character: Long dead by the time his work pays off in the first movie, and it wasn't until the video game that we see him.
Another member of the cult of Gozer, this woman would lure men up to her room in the Sedgewick Hotel and murder them.
- All Webbed Up: Kind of goes without saying. Her entire realm is covered in spider webs and hanging human bodies, and the boss arena in the 360 and PS3 versions of the game is all of this.
- Animal Motifs: Spiders, obviously. Even in life, her spider obsession seemed to be a major characteristic of herself.
- Ax-Crazy: She didn't need to be paid to kill someone, as she liked it so much she did it anyway.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Possibly. We are not too sure if she was human or not. If she was human then, after her death, she became a demigod-level spirit being.
- Blood Lust: Her suite, after she disappeared, was found to be painted in blood. Her victims hung on the ceiling drained of said blood, after she dragged them around to smear it on the floor.
- The Collector: She collects men's dead bodies and their souls, making them her eternal slaves.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: As if being a spider-obsessed Black Widow wasn't enough for her, she had to be this too.
- Everyone Calls Her Spider Witch: She was a professional Black Widow who brutally murdered her victims not for money but for a twisted hidden reason. She became known as the Spider Witch.
- 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.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: In her ghost form, she became part woman and part spider.
- No Name Given: Despite the crimes she committed, the authorities never discovered her name, not even a false one.
- Professional Killer: She worked for Shandor and is implied to have killed many men for Shandor's cult. Not really paid to do this, she just really likes to kill.
- Right-Hand Hottie: She loyally serves Ivo Shandor as a guardian over the Sedgewick's mandala node in her death. In life, she had killed many men for a reason only she and Shandor know.
- Spiders Are Scary: That's basically her levels entire theme.
- Spider People
- Urban Legend: She is this to the Sedgewick Hotel staff. They were terrified enough to keep her room locked...till it was opened for remodeling.
- The Vamp: She would seduce unknowing men so she could paint her room with their blood and possibly make them her eternal minions.
Azetlor AKA Edmund Hoover
Another member of the cult of Gozer, Edmund Hoover was a serial killer and rare book collector. When he was captured and executed Hoover merged with the Sumerian god Azeltor.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Before being executed, he told everyone that he was going to be reborn as Azetlor. He was.
- Badass Bookworm: He loves books a lot. To the point he will kill for them. Though we don't know what he looked like in life, Ray suggested that he was a sniveling little bookworm.
- The Dog Bites Back: He really shouldn't have killed Eleanor Twitty.
- Co-Dragons: He shares this with the Chairman.
- 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.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: After his death, he became a mandala guardian of the Library to continue serving his master Shandor.
- Serial Killer: He was known as the "Library Serial Killer."
- Would Hit a Girl: Murdered his girlfriend Eleanor Twitty, and many other women after her.
Mayor Jock Mulligan (Brian Doyle-Murray)
The Mayor of New York City in 1991 after Lenny Clotch.
IDW comic characters
Kylie is an employee at Ray's Occult Books that Ray hired to manage the store while he's off doing Ghostbusters stuff. She helps Ray over the phone with research into the occult using the store's books. Later when the Ghostbusters go missing Janine hires her to sub for the boys, and she accts as backup several times after.
- Badass Bookworm: She spends her free time going through Ray's books, and can kick ass along with everyone else.
- Canon Immigrant: Kylie is originally from Extreme Ghostbusters, though here she has a completely different backstory and hair design.
- Deadpan Snarker: Which is why she gets along with Peter so well.
- Perky Goth: Dresses in dark and somewhat antiquated clothes, but is positive and upbeat.
Special Agent Melanie Ortiz was an FBI agent that ran into the Ghostbusters while they were investigating the ghosts of aliens in Roswell, New Mexico. Later when she's on vacation in New York Ortiz joins the Ghostbusters to fill in for the missing team. After they return Ortiz stays on the team as a liaison between the Ghostbusters and the FBI.
- Cool Big Sis: Has moments of this with Kylie.
- Expy: In her original appearance Ortiz was basically Dana Scully, and her partner was Mulder. However she is not The Scully, she believes in the ghosts just fine.
- Unfazed Everyman: Among the newer Ghostbusters at least.
Ron Alexander stole the schematics for the Ghostbusters equipment, built his own gear, and started his own rival company, The Ghost Smashers. The Ghost Smashers quickly became more popular since their packs disintegrated the ghosts instead of merely stunning them. Of course, this corner cutting backfires horribly, leading to a massive build-up of spectral energy that almost destroys Manhattan. Afterwards Ron is arrested, but gets released when the New Ghostbusters need someone to repair the packs.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Ron is based, visually, on 1980s Chevy Chase.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Ron may be an amoral con man, but he still built his own proton packs, and more impressively modified the design.
- Jerkass: Arguably the biggest dick of the cast, at least on par with original Peck. Absolutely no one gets along with him.
- Token Evil Teammate: The only Ghostbuster than could be considered evil. Even Peter has a shred of decency.
One of three ladies Ron Alexander hired to staff his Ghost Smashers. Despite that enterprise going south in a hurry, Jenny managed to strike up a relationship with Ray Stanz that quickly developed into a romance. She subsequently appeared as a backup Ghostbuster, and landed a job as the PCOC (Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission) liason to the Ghostbusters...Then she died. She got better, sort of.
- Badass Bureaucrat: Was this during her time with PCOC, doing her best to help the Ghostbusters from within the government apparatus, while ensuring the good taxpayers of New York got the most bang for their buck. Case in point: during an international paranormal emergency she used $400k of government cash to charter-fly the Ghostbusters around the world, and saved $30k by pooling the trips with those of some honeymooners from Long Island.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's Ray's girlfriend and a sweet and helpful person who helps out on busts and keeps Peck off the team's backs... who's also unafraid of strapping on a proton pack and openly defying the Big Bad. Becoming a Class 4 entity has only amplified this by giving her access to paranormal powers.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Ray certainly seems to think so. Of course, being a spirit in the Ghostbusters universe, she's not limited to 'cute' forms.
- Friendly Ghost: Is currently this. As mentioned already, she's friendly because she's that kind of person. Piss her off and you get the...
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Can turn these on and off at will. Surprisingly intimidating. She can also break out the...
- One-Winged Angel: Being a ghost does come with perks. She seems to have mastered a degree of shapeshifting, at one point terrifying the ever-living snot out of some students by morphing into a screaming banshee with the head of a gigantic naked mole rat.
- Shout-Out: Given her relationship with Ray, the fact that her appearance is based on Donna Dixon, retired actress and Dan Akroyd's real life spouse, is actually rather sweet. Bonus points for a dream sequence of Ray's that saw him and Jenny take on the roles played by Ayrkoyd and Dixon in Spies Like Us. Of course Jake then had to spoil the whole dream...
- Summon Bigger Fish: Tried this and failed: when the Ghostbusters were outlcassed by the spirit of a powerful sorceror, Jenny decided the best solution was to read a spell from the very tome said sorceror needed for his evil plot, one she understood might summon an even more powerful entity. It didn't work... in fact it sent her and the rest of the team (bar the spiritually immune Winston) straight to Hell.
- The Power of Love: Seems to be why she hasn't crossed over to the other side: not even death will keep her apart from Ray.
- Thrill Seeker: During her introductory arc, Jenny ended up flying shotgun with Ray on a tiny autogyro, soaring over New York, which was slowly being consumned by a giant ghost. Her only reaction? "I love this plan!"
- Voice of the Legion: Seems to be the only part of her 'ghostly' nature she can't hide when in corporeal human form: all of her dialog is rendered in the jagged white-on-black typeface that is used for ghosts within the comics.
- "When I first came back to this plane of existence, it was mostly curiosity. The same worms that once worshiped us could suddenly rip holes in the fabric of the universe... and beat you soundly. I wanted to play with them."
- Always Someone Better: To Gozer. Not only was she able to fight him head on and win, she was toying with him the whole time.
- Big Bad: Of the second story arc of the IDW comic.
- Cruel Mercy: Rather than simply destroying her victims, she likes to watch them live with their suffering. When Winston offers himself as a sacrifice to save Ray, Tiamat accepts, but then changes her mind when she realizes his Heroic Sacrifice would send him to Heaven, so she decides to take Winston's fiance as the sacrifice instead. However, instead of killing her, Tiamat removes all memories of their relationship from Winston's fiance AND EVERYBODY ELSE, so Winston is the ONLY person who remembers.Winston: Giving up my friends, my family, my WIFE? That's a sacrifice, all right.
Tiamat: But it's not yours. If you want to banish me, you must live to face the consequences. I insist you choose another sacrifice.
- For the Evulz: Tiamat doesn't have any real motive, she just wants to ruin the Ghostbusters' lives and mess with reality for fun.
- Hope Spot: Gives one to Gozer. When Gozer possessed Ray, he thought he could beat Tiamat by opening the containment grid and using the ghosts inside to increase his power. However, Tiamat had manipulated Ray's memories so Gozer wouldn't realize the containment grid had security measures that could detect if a Ghostbuster was possessed and deny them access. Tiamat did this just so Gozer could have a brief hope of winning, then complete despair in the face of defeat.I do truly love the feeling you people get when hope is snatched away. It's like nothing else.
- It Amused Me: About the only consistent motivation for anything she does.
- Mad God: Which works somewhat in the Ghostbusters' favor, since simply destroying the Earth would end any way of causing more chaos.
- Manipulative Bastard: For such a chaotic god Tiamat is good at messing with people's emotions, especially her brother's.
- Nonhumans Lack Attributes: Her humanoid form is a snake woman wearing nothing but her scales, but she has no visible nipples or genitals.
- Snake People: She's basically a cluster of snakes in humanoid form.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Fortunately for the Earth, it was never her intention to destroy it. She just wanted to mess with Gozer for a bit. Once she's had her fun, she leaves.
Janine's boyfriend in the IDW comic, who looks suspiciously like Egon with a blond ponytail.
- Canon Immigrant: A very interesting possible example, given that he looks exactly like Egon in Extreme Ghostbusters.
- Nice Guy: To contrast Egon, Roger is friendly and sociable.
- Identical Stranger: He doesn't look exactly like Egon, but he looks enough like Egon. In fact, he looks like Egon in Extreme Ghostbusters. This is even referenced when Janine mistakes a parallel version of Egon note FOR Roger!
- Put on a Bus: Accepted a teaching job in San Francisco and asked Janine to go with him, but Janine wouldn't leave... New York.
- Replacement Love Interest: It's painfully obvious to everyone that Janine is dating Roger because she can't date Egon.
- Satellite Love Interest: Only exists as a boyfriend to Janine.