[[caption-width-right:344:[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic One ghostie you should definitely giggle at.]]]]
Casper, a ghost who [[IJustWantToHaveFriends wants to be friendly but scares people away]], debuted in a 1946 WesternAnimation/{{Noveltoon|s}} released by Creator/FamousStudios for Paramount Pictures, [[AdaptationDisplacement adapted from a children's story]] co-created by Creator/JoeOriolo. Casper appeared in 55 animated shorts and became Paramount's most popular character after ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}. In 1958, Paramount sold the character to Creator/HarveyComics, where he frequently crossed over to ComicBook/RichieRich stories.

The ghosts in the Casper stories look like they do because they are all [[BedsheetGhost cartoon caricatures of burial shrouds]], a [[AluminumChristmasTrees once-common way of burying the dead]].

In the Harvey Comics line, Casper lives in the Enchanted Forest with The Ghostly Trio, and met many other supporting characters, such as Wendy the Good Little Witch, Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost, and ComicBook/HotStuffTheLittleDevil.

Casper's television debut was on the Creator/{{ABC}} AnimatedAnthology series ''Matty's Funday Funnies'', sponsored by Creator/{{Mattel}} Toys. The Casper shorts were syndicated during the 1962/63 season, after which they returned to ABC, accompanied by new supporting segments, in ''The New Casper Cartoon Show''. In 1979, Creator/HannaBarbera produced ''WesternAnimation/CasperAndTheAngels'' for Creator/{{NBC}} Saturday mornings, with the voices of Creator/JulieMcWhirter as Casper and Creator/JohnStephenson as Hairy Scary. Since 1995, Casper has been the star of a Fox AnimatedSeries (''WesternAnimation/TheSpooktacularNewAdventuresOfCasper''), an AllCGICartoon (''WesternAnimation/CaspersScareSchool: The Series''), and a series of live-action/CGI films (starting with [[Film/{{Casper}} a feature]]); one of the direct-to-video movies, ''Film/CasperMeetsWendy'', launched the career of Music/HilaryDuff.
[[folder:Film Series]]

* The Friendly Ghost: The first appearance of Casper, as part of the WesternAnimation/{{Noveltoons}} series. Notable for it being co-written by Creator/OttoMessmer. PublicDomain.

* WesternAnimation/TheresGoodBoosTonight: Second appearance of Casper, as part of the Noveltoons series. PublicDomain.

* A Haunting We Will Go: Third appearance of Casper, as part of the Noveltoons series. PublicDomain

* Casper's Spree Under the Sea: The first short of the solo Casper series.
* Once upon a Rhyme

* Boo Hoo Baby
* To Boo or Not to Boo
* Boo Scout
* Casper Comes to Clown
* Casper Takes a Bow-Wow

* The Deep Boo Sea
* Ghost of the Town
* Spunky Skunky
* Cage Fright
* Pig-A-Boo
* True Boo

* Frightday the 13th
* Spook No Evil
* North Pal
* By the Old Mill Scream
* Little Boo Peep
* Do or Diet
* Boos and Saddles

* Zero the Hero
* Casper Genie
* Puss 'n Boos
* Boos and Arrows
* Boo Ribbon Winner
* Boo Moon

* Hide and Shriek
* Keep Your Grin Up
* Spooking with a Brogue
* Bull Fright
* Red White and Boo
* Boo Kind to Animals

* Ground Hog Play
* Dutch Treat
* Penguin for your thoughts
* Line of Screammage
* Fright from Wrong

* Spooking about Africa
* Hooky Spooky
* Peekaboo
* Ghost of Honor
* Ice Scream
* Boo Bop

* Heir Restorer
* Spook and Span
* Ghost Writers
* Which is Witch
* Good Scream Fun

* Doing What's Fright
* Down to Mirth
* Not Ghoulty
* Casper's Birthday Party: Last Casper theatrical cartoon.
!!! "The friendly tropes":
* AlternateUniverse: There are multiple universes in which Casper resides, thanks to ContinuityReboot and things of the like.
* AnimatedAnthology
* ArtEvolution: Casper's original design was a much chubbier duckpin like shape and had more resemblance to a bedsheet ghost, whereas his later Harveytoons redesign streamlined him into the simpler, big-headed ghost design that we recognize today.
* BedsheetGhost:
** While not exactly bedsheeted, the ghosts are invariably transparent, pale and not at all detailed.
** In at least one of the cartoons, many of the ghosts masquerade as sheets in a haunted house, going so far as to cover furniture and serve as pillowcases.
* BroughtDownToNormal: In "Not Ghoulty", Casper is tried in a ghost court for unghostly conduct (i.e. saving a baby from a burning building) and the judge removes his ghostly abilities until he scares someone again. This does not work out in Casper's favor, as his newfound friends, unaware of his powers being lost, get mad at him when he keeps screwing up good deeds he was a natural at before (i.e. a shopkeeper asks Casper to phase through a locked door to open it, but Casper can't, so he accidentally smashes through the shop window to unlock it). Fortunately, Casper turns the tables on the other ghosts--[[HorrifyingTheHorror he poses as a Ghost Exterminator and scares the crap of them]], [[LoopholeAbuse restoring his powers.]]
* CanonImmigrant: Wendy the Good Little Witch appeared in only one theatrical cartoon, but she became an established character in the comics that were being published at the same time. Likewise, the Ghostly Trio only appeared in a few of the theatricals, and they tended to vary in appearance and even in number (sometimes there were four or more of them), but they quickly evolved within the comics to their familiar likenesses. When an attempt by Famous to launch a series of made-for-tv Casper shorts came about in the 60's, they brought them over from the comics as main characters.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In early Casper comics, he actually scared people. But he eventually got bored and wants to make friends. Though in every other incarnations, Casper is apparently friendly from the start.
* ChekhovsSkill: Casper's informally scary appearance may have been a burden to him throughout the bulk of his debut, even scaring the mother of the kids he befriends--but this same flaw ends up scaring off a man from the mortgage company who dropped by to evict the family. The mother finally warms up to Casper because of this, and invites him to be part of their family.
* ChristmasSpecial: ''Casper's First Christmas'', a [[{{Crossover}} Cartoon Crossover]] which had Casper and Hairy Scary interacting with WesternAnimation/YogiBear and friends.
* ClamTrap: Discussed. In the episode "Ghost Writers", at the end the writing staff for Casper (it's a rather meta episode) spitball ideas for episodes, including "maybe a giant clam tries to swallow Casper!".
* {{Crossover}}:
** Spunky the Donkey, who originally appeared in several of the Creator/FleischerStudios ''WesternAnimation/ColorClassics'' and a Famous ''WesternAnimation/{{Noveltoon|s}}'', appears (curiously, without his mother, Hunky) in at least two of Casper's shorts, over a decade after his previous roles.
** "Casper's First Christmas" has the ghost crossover with Creator/HannaBarbera characters like WesternAnimation/YogiBear.
* CuteWitch: Wendy, who later got her own comic series, ''ComicBook/WendyTheGoodLittleWitch''.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Oh sure, he looks harmless, but there must be something to make him so instantly terrifying. Needless to say, he's very kind and benevolent.
* DistaffCounterpart: Wendy is essentially Casper as a witch; she even lives with three wicked aunts. Borders on MenAreTheExpendableGender, though to be fair, she mostly appears in the 1960s cartoon, where ghosts are simply a type of TheFairFolk.
* DrivenToSuicide: In his very first short, "The Friendly Ghost", Casper is driven to despair at his inability to make friends, and willingly allows a train to run him over. Since he's a ghost, the train doesn't harm him--it just blows him away in the wind.
** In "Spunky Skunky", an outcast skunk attempts suicide by jumping off a cliff, but convieniently falls into a can of white paint--he lives, but he thinks he's become a ghost.
* DumbBlonde: Some versions of Pearl.
* FaunsAndSatyrs: Hot Stuff's devil race are a child-friendly version of these.
* FelonyMisdemeanor: From the way Casper treats it, you'd think scaring people was ''ax murder'' or something. Wendy's the same with her aunts, though sometimes they did go farther with their spells than harmless pranks and scares. (How does turning a butterfly - remember, all animals are sentient in this series - into a ''knothole'' in a plank of wood even work?)
* FiveRaces: The [[ComicBook/HotStuffTheLittleDevil devils]] are the Stouts, the [[WendyTheGoodLittleWitch fairies and witches]] are the Fairies, the [[OurGnomesAreWeirder gnomes]] are the Mundanes who live to invent and build things, the [[WizardClassic wizards]] who occasionally [[HermitGuru mentor]] Casper or Wendy are the High Men, and the [[WesternAnimation/CasperTheFriendlyGhost ghosts]] are the Cute despite their [[PeekABogeyman scare superpower]].
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Casper can make friends with just about anyone of any species, after they aren't afraid of him anymore of course.
* FriendlyGhost: Casper is the TropeNamer and the TropeCodifier.
%%* FunctionalMagic
* IJustWantToHaveFriends: This pretty much defines his whole character.
* {{Jerkass}}: The Ghostly Trio. There have even been instances where even Spooky was a little appalled at their schemes, and he idolizes them.
* JustEatGilligan: If Spooky would just lose the hat that never turns invisible with him, he'd have a much easier time. Of course, the one time he did try to ditch it, nobody recognized him without it, and neither human haunting victims nor other ghosts who wanted in on his territory were afraid of him.
* JuvenileDelinquent: Spooky is a mid-20th century American ghost version.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfRaces: In the Harvey comics, many adventures involve meeting someone from an unknown magical species, most often [[AnimateInanimateObject a magically-alive species of animated inanimate objects]].
* [[WitchSpecies Magical Species]]: In the Harvey comics and most of the cartoons, ghosts and witches and devils (as well as [[WingedHumanoid butterfly-winged good fairies]] and [[OurMonstersAreDifferent monsters from ''Monster Land'' or giants]]) are nothing more than different magical species.
* MagicAIsMagicA: In the Harvey comics, at least, all ghosts have a very specific set of powers, and it is possible to make 'ghostproof' materials that they can't [[IntangibleMan phase through]].
* MonochromeApparition: The ghosts are transparent, pale and white-ish and not detailed.
* MorallyBankruptBanker: In his debut short, Casper unwittingly scares off a man from the mortgage company who was about to evict a mother and her kids. He tells them to just keep the mortgage and literally [[VisualPun burns a bridge]] as he hightails it.
* TheMovie: There's several movies, the most recent being ''Casper Scare School''.
* MrFixit: Pretty much the [[PlanetOfHats niche]] of the gnomes.
* NaughtyIsGood: Spooky
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: In "Not Ghoulty", Casper gets stripped of his powers by a ghostly court for doing good deeds like saving a baby from a burning building, and can only get them back when he scares someone again. Fortunately, he manages to turn the tables on them and get his powers back in the end.
* OnOneCondition: ''CasperAndFriends'' has several episodes not featuring Casper. One is about a [[PetHeir rich cat]] living large and being waited upon by her butler. It quickly changes as soon as the butler chances upon the will and learns he's the next to inherit. [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption His several attempts to off the cat fail]] and the last one ends [[spoiler:with his own demise. The cat then phones asking for a new butler]].
* OncePerEpisode: The Famous shorts became increasingly formulaic as time went on. Casper feels lonely, Casper tries to find a friend but everyone runs away from him, Casper finally finds someone who will overlook the fact that he's a ghost and be friends with him usually after he helps them get out of some kind of trouble. The friend is then menaced by a large baddie, at which point Casper steps in and demands, "You leave my friend alone!" at which point the baddie runs off in fear. All ends well. Rinse and repeat. Famous Studios had a hard time coming up with original ideas for Popeye, too, incidentally. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in an episode of ''Series/{{Cheers}}'':
-->'''Norm:''' I don't get it. Start of the cartoon, Casper has no friends. End of the cartoon, he has friends. Start of the next cartoon, he has no friends again. What happened?
-->'''Cliff:''' I think it's obvious what happened. Casper was quenching his thirst for blood.
** There is also the phrase ''"A G-G-G-GHOST!"'' in just about every short.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Let's ''start'' with throwing the idea of ghosts being dead humans out the window (except for the movies).
** One early episode (possibly the first) actually did begin with Casper at his own grave.
* OurMonstersAreDifferent: In ''Casper's Scare School'', ''many'' of the creatures that would normally be former fleshies were never fleshies. Mantha was always a zombie, Ra was always a mummy, ''etc''. The only characters that were confirmed to be formerly human were Fly Boy and his father.
* PublicDomainAnimation: His first three appearances have slipped into the PublicDomain, and as a result can be found on many dollar store DVD sets.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: In "The Friendly Ghost", when the other ghosts are in the sky and about to fly into the buildings, the music playing is an excerpt of Felix Mendelssohn's "Rondo Capricioso, op. 14".
* RealityWarper: A number of times, Spooky has [[PlotDevice briefly discovered]] a way that his "Boo!" can alter reality, such as reversing time or changing something's size. Usually, he has to scream "Oob!" to reverse it.
** In addition to this, any ghost's "Boo!" seems to be able to make inanimate things jump up and run away, broken automobiles run again, barren trees bear fruit again, eggs hatch, and [[RuleOfFunny whatever alteration works for the panel artist]].
* ReluctantMonster
* SlaveToPR: Ghosts are ''supposed'' to be scary, so Casper is feared by humans for being a ghost and looked down upon by other ghosts for not being a "proper" ghost. Other ghosts enjoy scaring, but also take it very seriously and do it because it's a ghost's purpose in [[labelnote:death]] life[[/labelnote]]. There are even scaring experts that the Ghostly Trio have either consulted to improve their scaring, or gone up against to prove that they were the best (in a GoodOldFisticuffs sorta way: the others and their fancy techniques are no match for tried-and-true invisible playing with objects or yelling of "Boo!"). One of the cartoons even featured a ghost school that taught haunting. Spooky protects his reputation as the number one scarer at any cost.
* SmellySkunk: "Spunky Skunky" is centered around Casper befriending a skunk who is spurned from playing baseball with some local animals, prompting him to try to commit suicide by jumping off a cliff, only to fall into a white can of paint and think he's become a ghost. Capser rolls with it just so he can have a friend, but the act is up when the skunk falls into water and washes off the paint--and realizes that Casper is a ghost and flees. Later on, the skunk tries to save his other friends from a hungry wolf, and Casper of course arrives to save the day, earning the skunks friendship back (and also earning the respect of the others, who wear clothespins on their noses for the skunks sake when they play baseball).
* StrictlyFormula: Most of the cartoons are virtually interchangable from each other save for some superficial settings and slightly different characters (who all serve identical purposes in the plot). One Creator/FamousStudios animator, Lee Mishkin, even had a quote about it:
-->''"With the Casper series, you never knew what picture you were working on, because they were all exactly the same."''
** However, there are several shorts in the series where they actually ''did'' try to get away from the formula. "Ghost of Honor" is an episode where Casper visits the Paramount Cartoon Studio and ends up [[ShowWithinAShow being the inspiration for his own cartoons in the first place]], and "Ghost Writers" is a very meta episode parodying the series, centered on two of the cartoons writers brainstorming typical ideas for Capser cartoons. "Not Ghoulty" has Casper robbed of his powers and his newfound friends turning on him due to them trying to have Casper help them, only for Capser to keep screwing up because he can't use his ghost abilities anymore. One of later shorts tad the Ghostly Trio dosing Casper with something to make him more antagonistic (and thus more "ghostly" and interested in scaring people), but it [[GoneHorriblyRight works too well]] and Casper spends most of the short viciously pranking the Ghostly Trio[[note]]The end reveals that it didn't actually work, and Casper was teaching the Trio a lesson[[/note]].
* TerribleTrio: The Ghostly Trio, in every incarnation they've ever been in.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: Cousins Spooky and Casper. Though not identical, they look similar enough to fool some.
* TheVerse: Frequent {{Crossover}}s with other Harvey comics, even ''ComicBook/RichieRich'' (though Richie is never sure he didn't [[AllJustADream dream]] his Casper encounters). Some arcs have brought together ''all'' Enchanted Forest characters.
* WildTake: The Casper series has some of the weirdest, sometimes outright grotesque, wild takes of the Golden Age cartoons, and the original shorts have them at least once per short. The over-the-top runaway gags or transformations after the takes (a whale scared by Casper runs off on its ''tailflukes'', a zookeeper hides - then runs away - ''inside'' a lion, another group of zoo staffers combine into a wheel when they see him, etc.) are the icing on the cake.
-->''"A GHOST!"''
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Casper and Wendy.
** Funnily enough, Wendy's first appearance had her and Casper on a date.
!!! "Comic Series":
* BrooklynRage: Spooky is much more "tuff" than spooky (since he looks about as cuddly as Casper), is somewhat of a hothead, and even his "Boos" look more he's flipping out. He speaks with a Brooklyn-style FunetikAksent: his girlfriend Pearl is "Poil" and his [[NiceHat derby hat]] is a "doiby".
* ClothingDamage: Hot Stuff, in the third issue of Casper and the Spectrals, had all of his clothes burned by lava leaving him totally naked.
* CrossOver: Casper had many encounters with other Harvey characters.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The ''Casper and the Spectrals'' comic book reboot.
* HalloweenTown: Spooky Town, a city segregated into numerous boroughs for different supernatural beings that compete with each other to scare normal humans and ensure that the local SealedEvilInACan stays sealed.
* HeroicSacrifice: In Casper and the Spectrals [[spoiler: Hot Stuff sacrifices himself to save Wendy, however his body is healed by fire in the comic's ending ]]
* InterspeciesFriendship: Casper, Wendy, Hot Stuff and Spooky are good friends despite being different creatures.
* NoNudityTaboo: In ''Casper and the Spectrals''' ending, Hot Stuff doesn't care about being naked in public, even with Wendy looking at him. The little rascal even was surprised everyone was looking at him.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: All the demons from Harvey Comics. ComicBook/HotStuffTheLittleDevil is the main example.
* PleasePutSomeClothesOn: The trope is literally mentioned in ''Casper and the Spectrals''' ending, when Hot Stuff was naked.
* PointyEars: Hot Stuff, along with every other devil.
* PowerTrio: In ''Casper and the Spectrals''; Casper (ego), Wendy (superego) and Hot Stuff (id).
* SceneryCensor: In ''Casper and the Spectrals''' ending, Hot Stuff is naked with his private bits covered by specifically placed objets.
* ScienceIsBad: In ''Casper and the Spectrals'', the main trouble was partly caused by a human scientist.
* SealedEvilInACan: Volbragg in the ''Casper and the Spectrals'' comic book reboot.
* SharedUniverse: Most of the characters of Harvey, including Casper, Hot Stuff and Wendy, live in the same universe. In fact, all the supernatural characters live in a place called "The Enchanted Forest".
* WomenAreWiser: Pearl is generally more level-headed than her boyfriend Spooky.