Western Animation: Extreme Ghostbusters
Developed by Jeff Kline and Richard Raynis, Extreme Ghostbusters
is a Sequel Series
to The Real Ghostbusters
(which was itself a Spin-Off
of the first Ghostbusters
film), airing for one season in late 1997
The show takes place ten years after the original Ghostbusters disbanded after they captured all the ghosts. While Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman and Winston Zeddemore move away, Egon Spengler stays in New York City
, living in the Firehouse with Slimer and working as an instructor for the class "Paranormal Phenomena 101" at a community college. But when construction workers inadvertently release a new breed of ghosts, Egon has little choice but to form a new team of Ghostbusters using his students:
- Kylie Griffin: A Goth who was a big believer in ghosts and the supernatural even before joining the team; she's as knowledgeable in these areas as Egon (her idol) or Ray. She has a weaker and lighter Proton Gun than her teammates, but she's also the one who carries the Ghost Trap. When the team encounters unknown threats in the field, she's the most likely one to identify and strategize around them (or at least translate Egon's words to the others).
- Eduardo Rivera: A slacker who only joined Egon's class for the "E-Z-A." He initially did not believe in ghosts but this changed when he had to go face-to-face with one. Like Peter, Eduardo can act like a smart alec at times and often speaks for the group, out of turn, he is also a frequent target of Slimer's pestering. His Catch Phrases are "Maybe he's/she's dead" and "We're scientists."
- Roland Jackson: The team's tech expert and unofficial leader after Egon, responsible for getting the Ecto-1 back in working order (also installing a wheelchair ramp for Garrett) and doing the lion's share of upgrading the Proton Packs, PKE Meters and Kylie's Ghost Trap. Like Winston, Roland treasures the Ecto-1.
- Garrett Miller: Born a paraplegic, he's the jock of the team who is the most gung-ho about busting ghost tail. His attitude and demeanor are similar to Ray and Peter put together.
Janine Melnitz, Egon's fifth and final student, returns to work as the Ghostbusters' receptionist, accountant and collector. Slimer returns to his role as Non-Human Sidekick
, when he's not eating everything in sight.
The show ran for 40 episodes and apparently was only ever intended for one season, though went out on a high note.
In 2013, an alternate
version of Kylie, now a protégé of Ray instead of Egon, appeared in IDW Publishing
comic book which mainly follows the movie continuity.
- Acrofatic: Despite being rather chubby, Roland was quite limber and agile.
- Adult Fear: Just try to watch the episode "Grundelesque" without thinking pedophilia...
- Or "Home is where the Horror is."
- Ammunition Backpack: Downplayed after the proton pack upgrade in the second episode, leaving the proton guns to use cannisters mounted on the guns themselves (and if you look close, the full-size backpacks all have an extra clipped on). Kylie's ends up rather tiny (apparently because of her size and build), and is more of an Ammunition Fannypack, though she carries the improved Ghost Trap as well, mounted onto the back of her body armor.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: People (such as Mayor McShane) don't believe in ghosts, believing instead that the original team tricked people and the new team is continuing the tradition. Note, however, that this series is in continuity with The Real Ghostbusters, which featured many public instances of supernatural activity in New York, as well as others across the planet.
- In the premiere, Eduardo says that anyone that believes in ghosts has half a brain cell. Coming face-to-face with Slimer changes his outlook, however.
- The series justifed this by pointing out most people believe the fantastic hoaxes were cooked up by the Ghostbusters as part of a scam. On at least one occasion though, the police showed that they did at least believe that the group didn't rob a bank. But as the crook had one of their proton guns, they were forced to bring them in for questioning.
- Art Evolution: The series had redesigns for the returning Real Ghostbusters characters and the Ecto-1.
- Ascended Fanboy: Garrett was a die-hard fan of the originals, which was why he signed up for Egon's class. Roland also qualifies. Being a techie, he was quite fascinated by Ecto-1 and their hardware in general.
- Backpack Cannon: Whatever that thing Egon uses towards the end of "Killjoys" is, it's this.
- Badass Grandpa: Egon. Just cause he's a decade older doesn't mean he can't still let ghosts have it.
- Also the other members of the original Ghostbusters during their brief appearance. When coming up against a ghost the current 'busters were having trouble with, they take it down in a matter of seconds.
- Badass Longcoat: Kylie has one.
- Bait-and-Switch Credits: Samhain, who had appeared a few times on The Real Ghostbusters, appears in the opening but was never even cameoed in the actual show.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The title of an episode featuring a Literal Genie as the Monster of the Week.
- Belly Mouth: The Piper has one.
- The Bermuda Triangle: Is revealed in the second part of "Back in the Saddle" to be a huge, all-devouring spiritual entity.
- Berserk Button: Don't call Eduardo a daisy. Don't use Kylie's great Grandmother as a means to attack her. Don't mess with Roland's Equipment.
- Big Applesauce
- Big "NO!": Kylie, when she succumbs to her fear of maggots, and Eduardo, when he succmbs to his fear of death, in the episode "Fear Itself."
- "Home Is Where the Horror Is" has two kids saying this trope after attempting to sell candy to an old woman in the beginning of this episode.
- "Slimer's Sacrifice": Inside the containment unit, Slimer himself says this trope when he's consoling Eduardo after he gets hypnotised by Siren to destroy Eduardo's air tank. Also Kylie says it when she believes Slimer and Eduardo are caught in the fire by the ghouls in the containment unit, only for both of them to escape safely from the containment unit.
- Black and Nerdy: Roland, the African-American Techno Wizard who prefers classical music to rock or rap.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Garrett may be the first paraplegic example.
- Bond One-Liner: Garrett often utters one after the capture of a ghost.
- Bowdlerize: In "Bird of Prey" Kylie claims Hraesvelg literally means bird of prey. It actually means "corpse swallower".
- Brilliant but Lazy: "Brilliant" may be stretching it, but every so often, Eduardo will do or say something that indicates he's much brighter than his teammates give him credit for. He just doesn't put much effort into studying, which leads to ignorance.
- Canon Immigrant: Kylie Griffin made her way into the comic books, becoming the only character in this series to be in the movie canon, or at least close to it.
- Casual Danger Dialogue
- Catch Phrase: Eduardo's are noted above; another one is the team's Battle Cry: "On Three! Three!"
- As well as Kylie's "I'm not a (verb)er."
- Cavemen vs. Astronauts Debate: One episode has Eduardo and Kylie arguing about the properties of light, of all things. Doubles as a Chekhov's Gun, as both halves of the argument become critical to successfully busting the Ghost of that episode.
- Character Development: Unlike some animated shows of the time that suffered Negative Continuity, this series did feature some recurring themes, the most obvious of which was Eduardo and Kylie who both grew closer and, in Eduardo's case, more mature and competent as the series went on.
- The Cheerleader: Kylie used to be one. She's very ashamed of it.
- Claustrophobia: Garrett (though unlike the others, he would be the last person to admit his fear).
- Cool Car: The Ecto-1 is still around.
- Cool Old Guy: Egon.
- Composite Character: Janine combines her later-series design style with her early-series personality from the original show.
- Continuity Nod: To both events in RGB and XGB:
- In "Slimer's Sacrifice," the containment unit is populated by Siren and Banshee (from "Sonic Youth") and Lotan (from "Moby Ghost"; even though Lotan was destroyed and not captured). Surt is also mentioned as being previously captured by the RGB.
- Same episode has Egon refer to entering the Containment Unit before - which he did in RGB in "Xmas Marks the Spot."
- "Grundelesque" features the Grundel, as in the exact same Grundel that the RGB defeated.
- In "The Sphinx", Egon calls Garrett "Ray" in a fit of frustration.
- In "Eyes of a Dragon", Garrett takes offense to an FBI agent, citing how he and the other XGBs were arrested by "Feds" and handcuffed to a plane being torn apart by a gremlin (which happened in "Grease").
- "Back in the Saddle" gives the original (RGB) Ghostbusters some screen time. The same episode contains a more direct nod. During Egon's party, Slimer brings down the birthday cake - half of which he ate. Peter snaps at him, "You never change, you nasty green slime machine you?!" In "Slimer, Come Home" on the original series, Slimer devoured all of Winston's birthday cake and Peter yelled at him over it.
- The events of "Drool, the Dog-Faced Goblin" are also slyly referenced, where Egon compares the bowling alley case to "...the time we busted that Class-4 shape-shifter in the Poconos." Also, in the same episode, the bowling-alley bust is a nod to the very first bust in the very first RGB episode, "Knock Knock".
- Custom Uniform: What Kylie and Eduardo wear does not match the traditional Ghostbuster uniform at all.
- There may just not have been a jumpsuit in Kylie's size, but the orange body armor (over a skintight shirt and shorts?) and elbow/knew pads fits the trope more. Eduardo has no such excuse, and his Bustin' outfit appears to be a t-shirt and vest with jeans.
- Darker and Edgier: While the show retains the trademark Ghostbusters humor, it treats the horror elements more seriously than either the movies or The Real Ghostbusters.
- Deadpan Snarker: Kylie, Eduardo and Garrett.
- Janine also retains this, when she's onscreen.
- Disabled Means Helpless: Garrett is hardly this trope - he's a pair of guns with a body attached - but he is savvy enough to exploit it.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette/Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Kylie
- Eldritch Abomination: Many villains fall into this territory. A hell of a lot more often than in The Real Ghostbusters. The one that stands out the most is the giant fog monster in the final episode.
- Expy: "Deadliners" delivers a double-helping. A special type of eldritch abomination called the Vathack invade the works of young adult horror genre writer "JN Kline". They bring to life the titular Deadliners, monsters which are clearly based on the Hellraiser's Cenobites.
- Eye Scream: The episode "The Unseen" has the XGB crew track down a monster who takes away a person's eyes the moment a person looks at a magic orb.
- Five-Token Band: Although quite against those tokens' stereotypes.
- Golem: In "The True Face of a Monster", a rabbi's son creates one when his father's synagogue is victimized by racist hooligans.
- Goth: Kylie exemplifies the Gloomy Goth subtrope.
- Forbidden Chekhov's Gun: Egon tells the new team never to cross the streams in the pilot.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Eduardo. A milder case than most, as he only does it occasionally and can go entire episodes without speaking a word of Spanish.
- Griping About Gremlins: The Monster of the Week in "Grease".
- Handicapped Badass: Garrett takes this trope Up to Eleven. One fan theory is that the executives wanted a character in a wheelchair, as was growing ever more popular, and the creators responded by turning their gung-ho jock character into the wheelchair-bound one... and having him act like he didn't know he was handicapped.
- Heroic Resolve: Pretty much how Garrett shrugs off his claustrophobia in "Fear Itself", compared to the others' helplessness in the face of their own fears.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In "Slimer's Sacrifice," a damaged ghost allows Fenris to break free and threatens to allow the other ghosts in the Containment Unit to escape. Slimer rams the escaping ghosts and closes the unit from the inside - trapping himself in the process. The trope is naturally subverted when Eduardo goes in to retrieve the spud.
- Hidden Depths: Mostly Eduardo who, among other things, is an avid reader who Garrett seeks out for literary advice. He even tells him "There's a lot about me you don't know."
- His Code Name Was Marty Stu: Garrett writes a short story starring himself (he has his teammates die after the first page so he can be the sole hero and avenge them). According to Eduardo, there's nothing in the story to grab the reader and it's "just 40 pages of [Garrett] blowing away ghosts and chasing skirts."
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In many cases, the Ghostbusters defeat the Monster of the Week through their own tricks. Most notably is when Kylie and Eduardo turn an orb that marked anyone who looked at it as a target for a ghost who steals eyes on said ghost, causing all its victims to regain their eyesight.
- Also, there was a spirit from the dream world who was impervious to the busters' Proton Packs who decided to come over into the human realm, but in doing so, he lost his immunity to the packs and was captured the instant he crossed over. Big oops there.
- Huge Gun Tiny Girl: Averted with Kylie's proton gun (essentially a light gun connected to a fanny pack). She carries a full-size one just fine in "The Unseen", but is obviously struggling with its weight.
- I Can't Feel My Legs: When Garrett invoked it, you know it's Played for Laughs.
- I Need To Go Bathe My Cat
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Played every way but IN SPACE! (and technically even that if you count Negative Space Wedgies as space). Garrett isn't treated any better or worse because of the fact that he's in a wheelchair, and actually tends bounce between Butt Monkey and The Determinator. Lampshaded at the end of "Deadliners" by the trapped author referring to him as "the whiney wheelchair kid" in his new book despite Garret being largely responsible for saving them all.
- Irony: Kylie screaming when succumbing to her fears, despite that she said previously she's "not a screamer" in "Fear Itself."
- Ironic Fear: In the "What Do They Fear?" Episode, Eduardo's fear is of deathnote - ironic both because he was taunting Kylie earlier claiming she was afraid of death, and because he's always joking about it with his catch phrase "Maybe s/he's dead".
- All of their fears, really. Kylie, despite not really fazed by most of the creatures they deal with week to week, is afraid of maggots. Garrett, who can't really get far without his wheelchair, is afraid of tight spacesnote . Roland, who probably has the best grip on technology of the group, is afraid of his technology turning on him. Slimer, who is green and will eat almost anything, is afraid of broccoli.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eduardo and Garrett.
- The Jersey Devil: "The Jersey Devil Made Me Do It". It's a spiritual being that created a vaguely bat-like physical form by possessing ores and minerals.
- Kneel Before Zod: In the episode "Casting the Runes," Kylie and Roland experience this when they both encounter Kahlil:
Kahlil: How does it feel to be on your knees before the great Kahlil?
- Mood Whiplash: While the episodes usually ended on a triumphant or funny note (unless it was the odd two-parter), the ending credits music was strangely eerie, marked by a few demonic growls and laughsnote . Then again, this show was Darker and Edgier than its predecessor.
- My Brain Is Big: Kahlil, though he doesn't make a point of it.
- No Ontological Inertia: Once the Ghost Of The Week is captured, any of its spells or effects are conveniently undone. This is in-keeping with standards set by RGB, though.
- Not as You Know Them: The original Ghostbusters, when they return. Just for example, the idealistic, dedicated-to-the-paranormal Ray Stantz...is a used car salesman.
- Not Using the Z Word: More like "Not Using the D Word." Nobody calls the Hraesvelgr pretty much what it is - a dragon.
- The Obi-Wan: Egon and Janine.
- Oh, Crap: In the premiere, the PKE meters and other equipment detect supernatural activity for the first time in years. Realizing what that means, Slimer has this reaction and rushes to find Egon.
- Old Shame: In-Universe, where viewers learn that Kylie was voted best eighth grade cheerleader. She's mortified when the others find out and insists that "was another life."
- One Head Taller: The main cast - Janine included - to Kylie.
- One episode has Kylie driving the Ecto-1. She has to sit on a thick phone book to do so.
- Only One Name: A variation; the Extreme Ghostbusters have last names, but since the entire team is on a First Name Basis with each other, they're used very rarely.
- On Three: "THREE!"
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Kylie and Garrett's accents are very inconsistent.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Seriously, are they really ghosts or Eldritch Abominations from a different dimension?
- The 2009 video game explains this: the "shockwave" in 1991 made ghosts much bigger, stronger, and meaner. The Extreme Ghostbusters are therefore "Busters of Extreme Ghosts."
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Throw! The! Trap!" is what Roland says when the gang is about to catch ghosts in "Darkness at Noon" and in "Casting the Runes."
- Kylie gives one to Eduardo in "The Unseen" concerning the loss of their proton packs:
Eduardo: Well, looks like you lost my gun. That makes us even.
Kylie: Eduardo. Get! Out of! MY! FACE!
- Putting the Band Back Together: The Real Ghostbusters' reunion in later episodes.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Even more so than the original group.
- Rearrange the Song: A darker version of the famous Ghostbusters theme sung by Jim Cummings.
- Retired Badass: Egon & Janine.
- Reused Character Design: When IDW got the Ghostbusters license, artist Dan Schoening asked for permission to use Egon's design for this show (minus the grey streaks) for Roger, Janine's boyfriend. Even though the movie/comic and Real Ghostbusters/its corresponding comic are set in alternate continuities, Roger's resemblance to Egon is used as a plot point.
- Riddle of the Sphinx: In the episode "The Sphinx" when, even though Egon figured out the answer, no one knew what it was beforehand.
- Running Gag: Eduardo asking "Maybe he's dead?"
- Sadly Mythtaken: Hraesvelg from the episode "Bird of Prey." In Norse Mythology, Hraesvelg is a giant in the shape of an eagle whose name means "corpse swallower" and whose wing-beats cause the wind to blow. In XGB, Hraesvelg is a dragon whose name quote "Literally translates from Old Norse as 'Bird of Prey'" and who has complete control over the weather.
- Ravana from Hindu Mythology was given far worse treatment than that, having been turned from the utterly Bad Ass ten-headed villain of the Ramayana to a weird cat-like demon.
- "The Sphinx" has two examples, one in-universe and one regular. In-universe: A trio of what we are probably meant to assume are geniuses (they were playing Chess and watching Jeopardy!) identify the Sphinx as a Basilisk, which is typically presented as a serpent of some sort while the eponymous Sphinx is largely mammalian with only secondary avian and reptilian characteristics. Regular: The Sphinx is wearing an Egyptian-esque headdress despite being explicitly identified as Greek.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Achira in "Darkness at Noon", who was sealed in an underground tunnel until it is broken by tunnel workers trying to open up a path for the subway. Her release also unleashes other ghosts at the end of the episode. Several other episodes had the team fight a few ghosts that were imprisoned until being recently freed, such as the Leprechaun in "Luck of the Irish", the Oil Demon in "Ghost in the Machine", and Cohila in "The Crawler".
- Sequel Series
- Ship Tease: Eduardo and Kylie. Egon and Janine promptly pick up where the old show left off with a couple of hints that their relationship had progressed to another level.
- Shout-Out: Much more so than in RGB. Kylie, for example, is said to like Nine Inch Nails; she is also compared to Vampira (to her consternation).
- Small Annoying Creature: Slimer, although less so than in The Real Ghostbusters.
- Specs of Awesome: As always, Egon wears them.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: With the exception of Kylie, the new team look like dead ringers for the original Ghost Busters, especially Garrett (who looks like Ray) and Roland (who looks like Winston).
- Take That Me: The FBI agents in "Eyes of a Dragon" are mostly there to parody Men In Black (which was also adapted by Sony/Columbia to a cartoon series around the time that XGB was on, but unlike XGB ran for a few more seasons, possibly because Mi B was on Kids' WB whereas XGB was syndicated, and that might have been what doomed the show).
- Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: Kylie gets kidnapped by the Ghost Of The Week an amazing number of times. Then she is promptly released once the ghost realizes they cannot manipulate her (like the ghost clown that couldn't make her laugh).
- Very Special Episode: "The True Face of a Monster," which touched on the dangers of prejudice, anti-Semitism, and how violence is never the answer in confronting bullies.
- Villain Song: Not exactly, but the ghostly Piper from the episode "The Pied Piper of Manhattan" memorably sings the phrase "The mayor is going to rue the day he refused to pay the piper" before he begins to abduct the town's children.
- The Virus: Achira, the first ghost our heroes encounter, spreads a disease that leaves hideous green boils on everyone's skin. They were then revealed to be her offspring, and burst off in the form of small bat-things.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Garrett is completely reliant on his wheelchair for movement, and is close to helpless without it or on his back. He also can't climb stairs, though he can go down them just fine.
- Weird Science
- "What Do They Fear?" Episode: "Fear Itself". Induced by a Monster of the Week that was probably using it for self-defense, seeing as it was small and meek in person.
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: In-Universe example used in "Deadliners". Eduardo is mocked for reading a book series considered mere children's stories that Roland's little brother reads. What does the book contain, you may ask? A trio of monsters that resemble Cenobites mixed with the Gentlemen who horrifically mutilate their victims' bodies for "Fun" while trapping the author of the series. There is little doubt that this ep was made with a Reality Subtext in mind.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Even though the ghosts victims are usually shown returned at the end of an episode, at the end of "Killjoys," the only one shown to be fine is Roland.
- At one point or another, all the main characters from The Real Ghostbusters are accounted for, except for Louis Tully.
- Who You Gonna Call?: Who else?
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: The heroes are referred to as the XGB in a song.
- You All Meet In A Classroom: Before Slimer shows up, no one in that classroom was there to form a new Ghostbusting team, and they each had their own reasons for taking Egon's class.
- Your Worst Nightmare: "Fear Itself"