Recap / Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Get Busted

In which the titular boys build the Flying Car of the Future, today!

Except…wait, they’ve already built it when the episode starts. In fact, we appear to have come in near the end of the day. Look, there’s Perry, and there’s Candace desperately trying to drag Linda into the backyard.

“Doesn’t this ever get a little bit old?” asks Linda. And you know, she’s right. It’s always the exact same plot. Every day they do the same thing, and it’s gotten repetitive. Candace points out how she’ll look around, to where the giant tower and flying car were just moments ago, and then Linda will say…

“I see it.”

…wait, what? She sees it. She sees the flying car! They didn’t ask for permission! They were in horrible danger! WHAT DO YOU MEAN, THEY’VE BEEN DOING THIS EVERY SINGLE DAY? Oh, those boys are busted!

When it turns out that Phineas and Ferb accidentally left out a screw on their giant tower, and it collapses, destroying half of their house, that’s the last straw. Realising their sons are in danger, Lawrence and Linda send the boys to the “Smile Away Reformatory School”, which sounds like a great place. The audience is then forced to watch as the boys undergo traumatic brainwashing, as all creativity is systematically pulled out of them.

Candace, who at first enjoyed her victory, slowly finds herself missing her brothers. Life’s boring without them. And when she sees them on the news, stuck in that horrible Smile-Away place, being mind-raped by that Drill Sergeant Nasty, she realizes that was wrong. She and Jeremy take the Flying Car of the Future (Today!) and set off to bust out her brothers. Will she succeed? And where’s Perry in all of this?


  • All Just a Dream
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Maybe busting the boys isn’t that great of an idea, after all.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Perry jumps up and wakes up this way. Since he is an animal, he doesn't scream.
  • Child Hater: The Sergeant is the biggest example.
  • Covers Always Lie: In-universe example. The Sergeant sends Phineas & Ferb to the “Smile Away Reformatory School” with a "realistically illustrated brochure". Phineas even lampshades that the actual place doesn't look like the brochure when he, Ferb & the rest of the kids arrive at the school.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is considered hands down the darkest episode of the series. It has a sadistic sergeant brainwashing innocent children by giving them cruel punishments and breaking their spirits.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Seregeant is sent falling off a cliff by Doofenshmirtz's spider-bot.
  • Dream Within a Dream: Turns out that it's Perry, dreaming of Candace dreaming that she’s busting her brothers, and then recounting her dream to the family.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Phineas & Ferb are indeed busted.
    • Averted in some countries, where it's just called "At Last". It was also one of the last episodes of Season 1 to air, so it could've worked as a series finale.
  • Foreshadowing: There are several hints that the events of the episode are All Just a Dream, including:
    • Linda calling Candace "the best daughter ever" for busting Phineas and Ferb.
    • Ferb's toolbox resetting and re-positioning itself after Candace trips over it.
    • The hole in the wall disappearing and reappearing according to whether Candace remembers it.
  • Hate Sink: The Sergeant is the most detestable character in the series for torturing Phineas & Ferb and even breaking their spirits. It's satisfying to see him fall off a cliff.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Sergeant is the most serious character in the series. He doesn't exist, though.
  • Left the Background Music On: The song “Little Brothers”, which seemed to be an internal monologue of Candace’s, turns out to be Stacy on the guitar.
  • Mind Screw: The last part of Candace's dream, starting with Phineas & Ferb juggling corn dogs, then Linda & Lawrence speaking in Baljeet's voice, who turn out to be puppets being controlled by Baljeet, who turns out to be a puppet controlled by a giant talking zebra.
    Zebra: I'm just as confused as you are, Kevin.
  • No Name Given: The Sergeant.
  • Order Versus Chaos: The Sergeant is a Knight Templar who wants to smash the imagination, creativity, fun and enthusiasm of the children and substitute it with order, discipline and conformity.
  • Status Quo Is God: Takes a hammer to this trope, but is in full-effect by the end.
  • Too Good to Be True: Jeremy asking Candace to marry him.
  • Victory Is Boring: Without boys to bust, Candace’s life isn’t quite the same.
  • Was Too Hard On Them: Lawrence tells Linda that they've been too hard on the boys for sending them to the Smile Away Reformatory School.
  • What Have I Done: Candace screams this to the heavens when she sees how completely emotionless the boys have become.