Fridge / Ghostbusters

Fridge Horror:

  • And I Must Scream: If you accept (as Winston clearly does) that a ghost is the immortal soul of a dead human being, imagine what it must be like to spend a literal eternity trapped inside a concrete block.
    • According to a producer, there was to be one scene in which you saw the inside of the containment system, and it resembled a prison, with sad-faced ghosts sitting around. They nixed it because 1) it was too expensive, and 2) it engendered sympathy for the ghosts.
      • This is later expanded on in the animated series, as the containment unit is shown as a place all but the most incorrigible ghosts actually greatly prefer to the living world - a quiet, peaceful existence free of all the things that can piss off a traumatized human being lacking a physical body. It's often implied to be a scientific equivalent to a very high quality resting place; as in a pharaoh's tomb. Ghosts have been known to seek the 'Busters out just so they can go in of their own free will. It also happens to be Bigger on the Inside, to the point it is basically it's own self-contained alternate dimension. Big enough that even the troublemakers can dick around in their own corner and leave the rest of the inhabitants along.
  • The concept, once you stop and think it through. Eldritch Abominationsplural — exist and actively plot The End of the World as We Know It. The rank-and-file supernatural nasties, down the most benign, harmless minions of said Abominations, are still capable of causing untold destruction and chaos. Ordinary humans who are willing to do insanely sick twisted shit in life can subsequently obtain ridiculous amounts of supernatural power once they die. Periodically, humanity has to face the threat of "Old Testament, real wrath-of-God-type stuff." And who's left to defend the planet from all this? A science nerd, an occult nerd, a uni bludger and a blue-collar guy who just needed a job with a steady paycheck, all armed with Mad Science. In a nutshell, the world needs Superman and it's got the cast of SNL.
    • Don't knock the 'cast of SNL', though; they've stepped up to the plate each time they've been needed so far.
    • Also, Harold Ramis was a cast member and writer for SCTV, which, while it aired on NBC in the 1980s alongside SNL, is nothing like it. SCTV makes fun of Canada and its television shows. SNL makes fun of everything, from American and world politics to the little things in life.
    • The whole horrific situation becomes some extreme Nightmare Retardant, since 'the cast of SNL' are more than capable of dealing with these threats as part of their day job.
  • A video game example, but what, exactly, is the deal with the children's section in the library?
  • Interestingly the first movie actually has a horror in a fridge.
  • When Venkman goes on his date with Dana he has no reason to suspect that anything more will happen than a typical night out on the town. Why, then, does he later produce a syringe filled with Thorazine that he'd apparently been carrying on his person the whole time?
    • A syringe? Venkman says he knocked Dana out with around 300 ccs of Thorazine, which is more than a cup of the stuff and would require SEVERAL syringes. Who the hell carries around a cup and a half of a powerful sedative and enough syringes to administer it?! Worse yet, that much Thorazine would probably kill Dana; of course, her surviving a lethal dose of powerful tranquilizer might be a side effect of being possessed, but still!
      • ...A little Googling escalates the Fridge Horror. Venkman is a PhD of both psychology and parapsychology, and most would expect the former to give him license to distribute prescription drugs. Many doctors keep basic equipment in their cars if not the stereotypical "little black bag" whenever they leave their homes, as lives are often saved by a trained medical professional who just happened to be in the right place at the right time - there are just as many dangerous situations that could be defused with a trained hand wielding a strong tranquilizer. Except that psychologists can't prescribe drugs - one with the training to do so is psychiatrist. Why the hell is a "Lovable Sex Maniac" like Venkman carrying enough tranquilizers to knock out an elephant?
      • Presumably, since he's now a paranormal investigator professionally, he's carrying it around to deal with possession victims.
    • Alternatively, it belongs to Dana, taking it to deal with the stress of having a dog in her fridge (or, maybe, she just leads a stressful life). Peter raids her bathroom for something, anything, that might help him deal with a demon-possessed Sigourney Weaver, and he comes across her Thorazine. Giving her 300ccs of the stuff is probably more an indication of how much it took to knock Zuul out rather than Peter risking negligent homicide. The novelisation uses this interpretation of events, though the drug he used is Valium
  • Gozer's destroyer form is considered to be pretty unimpressive, and deliberately so, but we don't really know what it was capable of. After all, Gozer in the form of a woman seemed pretty harmless until she started throwing lightning and doing hundred foot flips from a dead stop. There's no telling what Staypuft would have been capable of if it hadn't been beaten so fast. Even the weaker version from the game released a few years ago could spawn ghostly marshmallow minions.
  • Stay-Puft melted into endless rivers of molten marshmallow, not ash, indicating the explosion wasn't hot enough to reduce him to ash (given the Ghostbusters, Dana, and Louis survived it, that probably goes without saying). If Gozer had taken Peter's suggestion of a giant J. Edgar Hoover or some other human, would New York City have been coated in Ludicrous Gibs instead of just a bunch of s'more filler?

Fridge Brilliance:

  • In a scene at the last level, Ray has these regarding Stay Puft. He figured that the necromantic shockwave in the opening brought Stay Puft back to New York, but was still wondering why he didn't pick a new Destructor Form. Ray explains that Gozer, like the other ghosts, operates on a form of symmetry that has him locked into Stay Puft form. "One Destructor Form per god per dimension'' as Ray puts it, musing that he didn't choose such a bad form after all.
    • Ray and Winston carry the Slime Blowers in II because they are the most positive Ghostbusters, as opposed to Egon, who is borderline emotionless (being seemingly immune to the same slime that made Ray and Winston want to kill each other), and Peter, who is...well, Peter Venkman.
    • In the vein of Fridge Logic, Peter mentions "If we think of J. Edgar Hoover, J. Edgar Hoover will appear and destroy us..." Didn't he have to specifically think of J. Edgar Hoover in order to even say his name?
      • Not necessarily. He was naming a random celebrity, not thinking of anything in particular. If I asked you to think of a random person, you'd just spit out a name. Or it could be that you need to actively picture something, like Ray actively chose the Stay Puft man. Or Ray was already thinking about Stay Puft while everyone else was prattling on about Hoover.
      • Exactly. Merely throwing an example out there is very different from saying/thinking, "Yea, I call thee forth, (__________)!"
      • In the game, Egon notes in Tobin's Spirit Guide (PS2 version, I'm not sure Egon's notes appear in the other versions) that they were lucky that Ray picked Stay Puft. He muses on the fact, that if they had successfully thought of nothing Gozer could had picked someone else other than the Busters to choose... or it could have gone with Nothing as its Destructor Form. And how exactly do you fight Nothing?
      • It's exactly right. Even though this is Played for Laughs in the film, Ray did a variation of Took a Third Option and chose "something that could never possibly destroy us". A 500-foot-tall Marshmallow Man, while a major nuisance to the immediate area, would not bring about a cataclysm that the architect Ivo Shandor hoped for. All the Ghostbusters needed to figure out was how to defeat him, and close the portal, and they (barely) accomplished both at the same time.
    • Given how political history isn't something any of the four seems to be interested in, it's possible that none of them actually knows what J. Edgar Hoover looked like. Presumably Gozer can't concoct his 50-foot duplicate from just a name.
  • The first time you see the original film, you assume that a "torb" or "sloar" must both be unspeakably-dreadful monstrosities when the Keymaster mentions them. On later viewings, once you know that the destructive force manifested in this era as a 50-foot marshmallow man, you have to wonder if those previous manifestations were as something equally dumb...
    • You get to find out what sloars are in the video game, though.
      • How it feels for a Shub or Zull to be roasted inside one remains a mystery.
  • The real-life version of 55 Central Park West does not look like it did in the first movie because the Ghostbusters blew up the missing portion!
  • He's not doing it out of scientific motives and clearly doesn't notice, believe or care, but Peter Venkman's experiment into "the effects of negative reinforcement on psychic ability" at the beginning of the first movie is proved perfectly; the more shocks he gets, the more psychic the kid he's electrocuting gets, while the more he butters up the hot co-ed, the less psychic she gets.
    • Yes, but it's not negative reinforcement. The shocks are positive punishment, but because Venkman wants to see him squirm, he ruins the experiment with arbitrary shocking. The girl, thanks to Venkman's praise, is being positively reinforced against proper psychic deduction.
  • The "Ghostbusters" theme by Ray Parker Jr. is the advertising jingle for the Ghostbusters as an organisation.
    • Sooo... The first thing they did with the five grand they got for the hotel job was hire a big-name star to write an advertising jingle? Instead of, say... A)improving their equipment so it's less likely to hurt someone(such as themselves) B)Fixing up the firehouse so it wasn't a deathtrap C)Publishing their results so the rest of the academic community would take them seriously? They were pretty damned confident about future work.
      • Of course, good advertising would help get them future work and more business — as a catchy Ear Worm jingle is likely to help provide — would help with all of those problems over time; A) and B) are gradually resolved as more income is coming in from more jobs, and C) as they gain more evidence from these jobs to help support their results rather than one isolated case study. Don't knock it; you can have the best and safest equipment and facilities in the world, but if no one knows your business exists it's not going to do you any more good.
      • Alternatively (and a bit more likely); the "Ghostbusters" theme song is a big-name star covering the jingle initially commissioned by the Ghostbusters for their business (as a cash-in at the height of the Ghostbusters celebrity and popularity).
  • The pretty co-ed in the opening scene of the first movie was the control subject in Venkman's experiment. He planned all along to repeatedly shock one subject and let the other one skate by so as to compare the results. The fact that an attractive blonde walked in just made the choice of subjects easier.
  • Why did Zuul never leave Dana's apartment? Because gate keepers are not supposed to leave their posts.
  • Combination Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror for the second movie. Q: Why does Janine hook up with Louis? A: Because Egon is, ahem, paying too much attention to the slime and not enough to her...make of this what you will.
  • From the second film, as Peter, Ray and Egon power up their proton packs, Peter intones "Do", Ray fittingly intones "Re", but Egon shouts his own name. But he has, in effect, said "Mi/Me!"
    • Or, Egon's saying his own name because Ray just did? (Ray = Re?)
  • Egon's warning against Crossing The Streams makes sense when you think about what those devices are: focused proton emitters (like a laser, but with sub-atomic matter instead of light). Protons are positively charged. Particles with like charges repel each other. Two or more proton streams colliding is likely going to cause a massive repulsion effect, setting off nuclear chain reactions around the immediate vicinity (depending on the relative atomic stabilities of the surrounding objects). Not pretty.
  • Watch Zuul and Vinz Clortho during the final confrontation with Gozer. They continue to exhibit the same behavior they did when possessing Dana and Louis, respectively. Zuul is all calm and business-like, even intently staring at Venkman at one point, clearly recognizing him, and possibly thinking "Oh, it's YOU again! What do you want now, I've already found the real Keymaster!" On the other hand, Vinz is fidgeting nervously on his stone slab, and is the only one to get stroked like a puppy by Gozer. He even tilts his head in a puppy-like fashion when the Busters get zapped by Gozer.
  • Gozer showing up as a woman is an in universe case of Values Dissonance. The idea that a woman is an equally capable threat as a man is a very recent proposition, probably only becoming mainstream in the busters' (who all seem to be in their early to mid thirties) lifetimes. The last time Gozer appeared in our universe, someone tried the Stay-Puft trick, and given the beliefs of the time they settled on a woman as the "most harmless thing ... that could never ever possibly destroy us."
  • Why doesn't being hit by molten marshmallow from that high up (and that much of it) kill Peck? Because it's ghostly and doesn't obey regular laws of physics.
    • Alternately, it's not liquid because it's hot, it's liquid because it's disintegrating now that Gozer's spirit has been banished when the gateway collapsed. It's basically marshmallow-colored ectoplasmic slime, not genuine marshmallow.
  • In her apartment, early in the film, Dana compares Venkman to a Gameshow Host. In the original script, she was supposed to compare him to a Used Car Salesman, but this was improvised by Sigourney Weaver into the line we know today. If you look at Venkman's character development throughout the movie, he actually turns from a Used Car Salesman into a Gameshow Host - shedding off his deception and cynicism in return for genuine enjoyment of the situation he's in. Instead of conning people into doing what he wants, he's now using his personality to wrangle them into participating in the fun.
  • If you look closely at the "magnificent feast" the group is eating just before their first real call, Egon is drinking soda, while the others have beer. Seems odd, until you realize they're still "on call," and if they need to drive out (which they do), one of them needs to be sober.
  • The opening baby-carriage scene in GB 2 seems incongruous, considering the Big Bad of the film wants Oscar alive. But if you think of it as something the little bit of "mood slime" that got on its wheels did on its own, it makes sense: it only starts to move when Dana's building super agrees to help Dana with her grocery bags. As it'd already picked up some negative energy from the bickering people she'd walked past, it was repelled by the man's helpfulness and moved the carriage away. Then Dana saw it'd moved, and her own Mama Bear feelings for her child both repelled it (her love) and charged it up further (her fear), keeping it in motion until it got far enough ahead to be out of range. Luckily for Oscar, that was before it could roll in front of the oncoming bus.
  • In the Continuity Reboot, several of Holtzmann's sidearm gadgets don't seem like that big of a tactical improvement on the proton packs, and some have clear disadvantages (e.g. Abby's ghost-punching gauntlet requires close range; the grenades demand an accurate throw and are less precise). However, the new equipment is also a lot less prone to collateral property-damage than the standard particle beams, and one such item - Patty's "ghost-shredder" - actually appears to acccomplish something that the original continuity's GBs never managed to do: it destroys the demon-ghost outright, rather than just trapping or banishing it.

Fridge Logic:

  • The university drops their funding... but the very moment they caught the hotel ghost (the "Slimer" one), they had in their hands indisputable evidence of supernatural manifestation. They should have gone back to university and gotten a big, fat grant and hired some ex-special forces to handle the actual Ghostbusting.
    • So, if you had the chance to suit up, strap on a proton pack, drive around in a badass hearse, blow shit up, catch ghosts and get paid for it, you'd get someone else to do it and sit behind a desk? 'Cause that would put you at odds with approximately every single person who's ever seen the films ever.
      • Why not do both? Bust ghosts themselves, but as soon as one ghost is trapped, go back to the university, free the ghost to show it to everyone as indisputable proof, and finally win the Nobel prize, as well as one million dollars from James Randi for proving that paranormal exists.
      • If you free a captured ghost, then you're simply allowing for more damage and arbitrary skepticism. Anyone who saw the original Star Wars trilogy would be familiar with the concept of holographic projections (assuming that it exists in the Ghostbusters universe). What you need, what you REALLY need to sell it for grant purposes is the testimonials of the people at the New York Public Library who interacted with THAT ghost.
      • It's plausible that, now that the trio was unemployed and middle-aged, they'd be more inclined for a "get-rich-quick scheme", which turned out to be their legitimate business within the film.
    • Also, their "indisputable evidence" turns out to be pretty disputable, at least by the EPA. "I have in my hand evidence of the paranormal!" "Okay, let's see it." "Oh, it's in this box on the wall. See the green light? That means there's a ghost in there." "...Really. Can you let it out and let us actually see it?" "Of course not, that would be extremely dangerous." And so on.
    • "Hey, we just got a call. Hop in."
      • Peck is an extreme Flat-Earth Atheist who believes that specific, shared hallucinations of ghosts in particular can be chemically induced. He'd just say they'd drugged him somehow without his knowledge.
  • Ghostbusters are supposed to be a privately operated company. Given that, how are they authorized to have blue police lights on their car?
    • They wouldn't be the first people to purchase a used ambulance or cop car with some of the works intact. I don't know if that's illegal anywhere, but if it is then it must vary by region.
      • One of Dan Aykroyd's conceits was that the 'Busters operate somewhat outside the law—in fact, there's a deleted scene where the car burns up a parking ticket. Walter Peck is about the only remnant of this idea, but one can easily assume that the Ectomobile rapidly became an icon and nobody wanted to challenge an icon (in-universe, that is).
    • Actually, in New York, cops use red lights; blue lights are used by volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers, and can be temporarily mounted on private cars with a permit. Although it's doubtful that the Ghostbusters would have qualified for such a permit...
    • While they were successful and had recurring customers, it's arguable that the Ghostbusters performed a hybrid of pest control and emergency services, one or both would require a business license at minimum and a city permit depending on how they classified their business.
  • Why doesn't a giant J Edgar Hoover appear when Venkman mentions him?
    • Because Ray had already thought of Stay Puft. They were screwed even before Venkman started his spiel.
    • Maybe Venkman only knew Hoover's name, and had never bothered to look at a picture of the former FBI chief. Come to think of it, a recognizable name with no physical appearance attached to it wouldn't be a bad solution to 'thinking of nothing.'
  • Why is it that the Ghostbusters were accused as frauds in the second film when clearly the ghost were running rampant during the final act of the film and everyone clearly saw a 100ft Marshmallow Man causing destruction in NY? Not to mention why didn't the Ghostbusters counter sue when it wasn't them that released the Ghostbusters from the containment unit?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fridge/Ghostbusters