action cartoon and re-use it in a nonsensical talk show spoof? You get something like
, which had 104 episodes produced between 1994 and 2008 on a fairly sporadic basis, ostensibly followed the talk show career of titular former superhero Tad Ghostal (better known as
) as he interviewed various celebrity guests — but the episodes usually degenerated into Space Ghost bickering with Zorak and Moltar (two former enemies of Space Ghost who SG forced to become his band leader and director respectively) or some other off-the-wall craziness.
- Actor/Role Confusion:
- Though, as it turns out, Space Ghost didn't like the way "Hodgson" sounds, so he used the better-sounding name.
- Which was also the reason they used "Joel Robinson" on MST3K.
- Alliterative List: Subverted in "Joshua":
Narrator: Space Ghost is talking about the three "R's": Reliability, ratings, and (screen shows "Relivery" before being replaced with...) delivery. Let's start with R number one... (screen shows "Research"; after that brief bit, the next "R" is "Power").
- All Just a Dream: "Batmantis" and "Curses".
- "Flipmode" became this some time after the gas leak.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: In-universe. Most of the characters have very different personalities from their original appearances on Space Ghost, most notably Brak, who is changed from an intelligent and dangerous villain into a complete idiot.
- They have offered an explanation for this, though. The Space Ghost episode The Lure ends with Brak and his brother Sisto flying into a swarm of Piranamites, supposedly deadly space insects. However, Brak and Sisto survived the Piranamite swarm, but lost much of their IQs, and that's why Brak is the way he is now.
- And This Is for...: After Zorak reveals he destroyed Space Ghost's Presidents of the United States ceramic figurines collection, Space Ghost repeatedly blasts Zorak while saying "And this is for... (insert president name here)!". Notably, Space Ghost used the name "Grover Cleveland" twicenote .
- Angels Pose: Seen in the transition title cards in "Jacksonville", parodying Charlie's Angels.
- Anti-Humor: In "$20.01":
Zorak: I'm on a sea food diet. When I see food, I hate Space Ghost!
- April Fools' Day: [adult swim] ran an unannounced Space Ghost Coast to Coast marathon 4/1/14.
- Art Shift: Space Ghost briefly changes character designs to look more like Dr. Katz in two episodes: "Brilliant Number One" (and Two) and "King Dead".
- Backdoor Pilot: Even though he would go on to become an Attorney at Law, (Harvey) Birdman would make an appearance here long before his show came to be. Voices changed, but they were still filming 'in the lot next door'.
- "Baffler Meal" was supposed to be this to Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but it didn't air until long after the show had already premiered.
- "Baffler Meal" became "Kentucky Nightmare". They initially decided not to make the episode because it focused too much on the Aqua Teens (Space Ghost only had about three lines). Once they made Aqua Teen Hunger Force into its own show and it became a hit, they decided to finally make the "Baffler Meal" episode.
- Bad Santa: Bizarro-Santa in "Girl Hair."
- Badass Grandpa: Space Ghost's grandfather Leonard Ghostal's age and decrepitude is surpassed only by how violent and intimidating he is; his threats are enough to give even Zorak pause.
Leonard: Why, twenty years ago, I would've put your head in a half-nelson, twisted it around, saying each letter of the alphabet on every turn, and when I reached the first letter of my true love's name (that would be the lovely Elizabeth), I would yank your head clean off and roll it down the pike like a bowling ball!
Zorak (subdued): Okay.
- This is helped by the fact that he's voiced by Macho Man Randy Savage. Oh YEAH!
- Bears Are Bad News: "Kentucky Nightmare".
- Beard of Evil: Chad parodies this; his facial hair is different every time he's on camera.
- Beat: Uncomfortable pauses are used liberally in every episode, to the point of Lampshade Hanging:
Space Ghost: It lets me blend... just about anything! [beat]
Space Ghost: Classy people are always blending stuff. [beat]
Space Ghost: Now, I too can blend. [beat]
Zorak: [takes a sip of coffee] Beat!
- Berserk Button: Space Ghost attempts to pick a fight with Bob Costas after he thought Bob called him a monkey; see Large Ham below.
- Big "NO!": Space Ghost delivers one before BooBooKitty hits the giant pin. His Big "NO!" is so long that he takes a breath and starts a second one.
- Bizarro Episode: Intentional for the first few years. Every seventh episode or so was supposed to be weird.
- Blatant Lies: In "Woody Allen's Fall Project", James Kirkconnell's claim that the re-enactments are word-for-word. Now to be fair, he's mostly right, but there are still some discrepancies between the original episodes and the re-enactments. For instance, in "Girlie Show", Zorak says "He can't fire me; I'm the hardest working mantis in showbiz! Yow!" But in the re-enactment, Zorak ends with "Hi-yo!" And in "Freak Show", Bill Manspeaker says "And I'd say 'Stop hittin' me, who's talking to me? Stop it!'", while in the re-enactment, he says "And I'd say 'Stop hittin' me, who's hittin' you? Stop it!'" And Weird Al belts out a different note in the re-enactment than in "Banjo".
- Blessed with Suck: When Space Ghost asks his guests if they have any superpowers, he always gets answers that don't impress him.
Penn Gilette: My superpowers are, I don't have to sleep, and I can control the minds of water fowl.
- Blipvert: The ending montage of clips in "Joshua", where each clip is only about two frames long.
- Body Snatcher: The episode "Snatch", which involves the studio being invaded by alien pods that
keep you up all night with their coughing kill and replace their victims.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Joel Hodgson refuses to pretend that he is being interviewed in outer space.
- Breakout Character: Andy Merrill's dumb-but-cheerful portrayal of Brak (Created for SGC2C and refined on Cartoon Planet) would eventually be given his own show to headline, The Brak Show, with Zorak along to play off of.
- Brother Chuck: Anyone remember Tansit? Or Lokar? Or Christy (the band's drummer)?
- Andy Merrill used in-character DVD commentary to provide Word of God that Lokar simply died at some point and the other characters literally forgot Tansit existed at all.
- Butt Monkey: The aforementioned Tansit.
- But Wait, There's More!: In "Joshua", the announcer says that if you take advantage of the power of the Space Ghost, you'll receive a deluxe canister set. But wait, there's more! You also get a shiny object!
- Call Back: In "Spanish Translation", Zorak says "I must go to the store to get butter and cheese." Later, in "Batmantis", Zorak says "I must go to the store..." Space Ghost asks: "...To get butter and cheese?" This is also revisited in "Urges".
- "Spaceman? Space Master?"
- In "Bobcat", Space Ghost said that Bobcat Goldthwait reminded him of Judy Collins. Bobcat replied with "Wow, Space Ghost, man, crack a window, will ya?" Much later, in "Kentucky Nightmare", Space Ghost says to crack a window when Zorak lets off a stink. He immediately flashes back to his interview with Bobcat.
- Zorak's gum obsession gets called back quite a few times, which only makes you wonder even more why the episode it came from wasn't released on DVD.
- In "$20.01", there's a callback to the very first episode when Space Ghost introduces MOE 2000 by saying, "He doesn't eat, doesn't sleep, and doesn't book guests like those awful Bee Gees."
Moltar: So sue me.
- Calling Shotgun: In "Warren", Moltar calls it when Space Ghost announces they're going to see Warren.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Space Ghost in "BooBooKitty":
: There's this guy, see, he's from Alabama. And he gets busted for tryin' to smuggle books, into Kentucky! David Lander
) That's good, it has some... I guess it loses something in the, the translation, you know. Space Ghost
: Did I mention that the guy from Alabama was my mother-in-law? (laughs) Hey, good night, everybody! David Lander
: You might wanna, the next time you tell a joke, you might wanna say "And now the joke is over," and then the person can laugh, 'cause I think that's, that helps so much.
- Captain Obvious: In "Warren":
Warren: The past is just the future that already happened.
- Catch Phrase: Space Ghost, to his guests: "Are you getting enough oxygen?"
- Channel Hop: Sort of. The show had already been airing on Cartoon Network's late night slot for years, and when [adult swim] was made in 2001 to take over Cartoon Network's late night, they just didn't move it as it fit [adult swim]'s demographics. So it wasn't the show that moved, it was the channel that moved.
- Characterization Marches On: In the very first episode Space Ghost is quite smitten with guest star Judy Tenuta. In the anniversary episode she quickly grates on his nerves and he orders Moltar to shut off the screen.
- The Chew Toy: Poor, poor Tansit.
- Christmas Episode: "A Space Ghost Christmas". Also ostensibly "Boo Boo Kitty", since Space Ghost wishes everyone a merry Christmas at the end.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Space Ghost himself. A shining example is the episode "Brilliant Number One", which also paints guest Peter Fonda as one.
- He does this to Björk, too, although some would say this is Truth in Television.
- Pretty much everyone has at least a few traits of this.
- The show has a tendency to turn its guests into these; see the Redubbing entry. The results often make the people Space Ghost interviews seem a bit...off.
- Cold Open: Occurs frequently. It would actually be easier to list episodes which didn't use a cold open.
- Confusing Multiple Negatives: In "Needledrop", Space Ghost says:
Space Ghost: There's only room for one ghost in this studio, and it's not the ghost that's not me!
- Continuity Nod: One of the charges Space Ghost is threatened with in the episode "Lawsuit" is devastating Paris (see Disproportionate Retribution), which happened in an episode from the previous season.
- Counting to Three: In "Jacksonville", Space Ghost does this to Tansut to make him spill the beans concerning Moltar's location.
- Cover Version: Space Ghost sings "The Joker" (extremely badly) in "Kentucky Nightmare". Actually, he really only sings one line of it and then makes up a second. All accompanied with Zorak merely pounding on the keyboard, not producing any discernible melody.
- Credits Gag: Editor Tom Roche's name is always upside down since some scenes from early episodes were handed in to him upside down; it was his job to flip them back.
- In "Mayonaisse", Space Ghost sings Erin's Isle over the credits, and during the part of the song where he rattles off name after name, the names appear on the screen under "Special Thanks".
- The credits for "Glen Campbell" list the various positions as sequential numbers, rather than the names of the positions.
- "Brilliant Number One" lists Jim Fortier as "Angel of the Morning", Pete Smith as "Average American", and Andy Merrill as "Hootie Ann Debloufiche".
- Many episode list Nathan Cook as Space Ghost's Male Secretary (and later, Former Male Secretary).
- During the 1997 season, Mike Lazzo is listed under a different article of clothing in each episode. (e.g. "Shoes: Mike Lazzo")
- Curse Cut Short: From the other direction in "King Dead", which opens with Space Ghost shouting the title at Zorak and Moltar from outside the studio for locking him out.
- "Boatshow" has a number which averts the word "dick" several times. Unsurprisingly, it occurs during the interview with Andy Dick.
- Dance Party Ending: Played with in "Needledrop". Space Ghost orders Moltar to hit him with another of those "block-rocking beats" and proceeds to dance, but he's the only one who does so, and guest Fred Willard looks a bit annoyed at his dancing. Even Space Ghost begins to tire of chanting "Hey! Ho!" to the beat of the dance music halfway through the credits.
- Darker and Edgier: Not so much darker, but definitely edgier when it hit [adult swim]. Suddenly swearing was allowed, there were some innuendos, and there was more violence.
- The series had already started going into this sort of direction by 1998. Only a year later, the series had gotten even stranger (there's semi-frequent talk about "the sex" in "Curling Flower Space" for instance). A lot of episodes from this period have a very proto-Adult Swim/Aqua Teen Hunger Force feel to them.
- Deliberately Monochrome: "Brilliant Number One" starts out normal for the first few seconds, then inexplicably turns black and white and drops letterboxes on the top and bottom for the rest of the episode.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "Living with you is like living in a living nightmare!"
- "Americaners don't like foreigners... especially when they don't live there."
- "Greetings, I'm Space Ghost, and I have an important announcement concerning my death. I, Space Ghost, am dying."
- In "Needledrop", Space Ghost tries his hand at a rap:
Space Ghost: Well I'm S.G. and it's plain to see that I'm S.G., and my name is S.G.!
- "I'm not sure if I remember how to behave around women of the opposite sex."
- "Le Livre D'Histoire" ends with "America's Funniest Funny Videos".
- In "Lovesick":
Space Ghost: (depressed) Greetings. I'm Space Ghost. On tonight's show, we have comedian Carrot Top... and comedian Carrot Top.
- Space Ghost introduced Pat Boone in this manner: "My first guest is my all-time favorite recording artist of all time!"
- Disproportionate Retribution: Space Ghost devastates France in the episode "Anniversary" for inventing the word "montage" (this came after Space Ghost was shown a montage that appeared to be celebratory at first, but turned out to full of his embarrassments).
- Dissimile: "Dames are like mustard. They taste great on a sandwich, but when you're not eating a sandwich, they just sit there in your refrigerator... on a shelf... in a jar... labeled... mustard."
- Domestic Only Cartoon: Not surprising, considering most of the animation is recycled from the '60s TV series.
- Do Wrong, Right: "Oh, I see what you're doing! No no no. If you want to control my mind, your eyes need to spin COUNTER-clockwise."
- Downer Ending: The last episode atmosphere in "The Justice Hole" makes you feel a bit sad for Space Ghost.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Birdman makes two oddly contradictory appearancesnote before getting his own show.
- Early Installment Weirdness: During the shows first episodes, Space Ghost, Zorak and Moltar voice actors tried to imitate the characters' original voices and they sounded more stilted because of it. Also, Space Ghost interviewed his guests as if they were also superheroes.
- Epileptic Flashing Lights: Parts of the intro could certainly count. Also the barrage of previous episode clips at the end of "Joshua". Each clip is only a frame (two at most) long, leading to an almost epileptic flash effect.
- Episode Title Card: In an unusual twist, the episode title card (always text on a single color background) is displayed at the end of the episode, sometimes after the credits! An exception is "Knifin' Around". Also, "Boatshow" features the title "O Coast to Coast!" at the beginning.
- A bizarre subversion, at the end of Kentucky Nightmare, the title card, credits, and logos all air in less than a few seconds total, with strobe lights over them making it hard to read. However, these are reused in the series finale, Live At The Fillmore, complete with the title card still saying Kentucky Nightmare. This may be attributed to the fact that it was allegedly originally aired in an unfinished state.
- Everybody Laughs Ending: Seen in Space Ghost's flashback to last week's show in "Curling Flower Space". Also done in "Urges".
- "Hungry" has a variant: Mujibur & Sirajul, who stole Space Ghost's pizza, laugh derisively at Space Ghost, which continues through the credits.
- Everybody Must Get Stoned: Natural gas in "Flipmode", alcohol in "Idlewild South".
- Evil Twin: Space Ghost's evil brother, Chad
- Eye Beams: Robin Leach (who is possessed by Moltar's brother-in-law, Zoltran) fries Space Ghost with one of these. Preceded by a very hammy Pre Ass Kicking One Liner.
Robin Leach: And now, in very quick order, I will raise my arms, cover myself in black magic, and you are history!
- Face Palm: Charlton Heston's reaction when Space Ghost responded to "Do you know Shakespeare?" with "Not personally".
- Fast-Forward Gag: In "$20.01", Space Ghost asked Joel Hodgson to describe Mystery Science Theater 3000 in five seconds, to which Joel spoke in fast forward, chipmunk mode.
Space Ghost: Uh, can you repeat that? I don't think MOE caught it.
MOE 2000: Joel said that Mystery Science Theater was obviously a simple idea that was based on people making fun of movies at home.
- Fear of Thunder: Space Ghost in "Cahill."
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Zorak does this to Space Ghost in "Chambraigne".
- Flashback: "Curling Flower Space" is all about the flashbacks to last week's show.
- Follow the Bouncing Ball: Demonstrated in "Chinatown" when Zorak sings about Moltar.
- Funny Schizophrenia: shown in the episode "Self Help"
- Gainax Ending: Several episodes end in this way.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Warren": "...this set of auxiliary power bands that I had hidden in my space cavity."
- Lampshaded in "Intense Patriotism": after Space Ghost says "Open wide," he mutters "That's gonna slide right past the censors."
- In "Curses": Space Ghost tells Moltar to go grapple with his lever.
- "Gallagher": If Bob Odenkirk's reaction is anything to go by, getting blasted by Space Ghost's rays is the equivalent of an orgasm. Driven home by Odenkirk saying "Oh, I love you, I love you..." after one such instance.
- "Curling Flower Space" is the first notable episode to have the word "damn" said, and the word "sex" is said quite a couple of times.
- For that matter, all the 1999 episodes (and to a lesser extent, "Kentucky Nightmare" and "The Justice Hole" since they aired before [adult swim] got established) could count.
- In "Dreams": when Moltar tells Space Ghost that he isn't allowed to say "bang a dog up the ass" on TV.
Space Ghost: Oh come on, Moltar, it's not like it was alive or anything.
Moltar: You can get taken off the air for that kind of shit. ER-AHEM-I mean...stuff.
- Goshdang It To Heck: In "Curses":
Emo Phillips: Zorak? Zorak, you're an intelligent being; do you like riddles?
Zorak: ...Stuff you!
Emo Phillips: I-I'd rather do a riddle.
- In "Untitled", after Space Ghost and Moltar make up, Zorak shouts "FRACK!"
- Grammar Nazi: In "Pal Joey", Space Ghost contests that Michael Moore's film should be called "Roger and I", not Roger and Me.
- Happily Married: Moltar and his oft-mentioned but never seen wife, Linda.
- Linda was actually seen on the pre-Adult Swim Space Ghost Web site. She used the alternate Moltar character design from the original series.
- He Knows Too Much: In "Girl Hair", Space Ghost killed Hanson after they witnessed him hitting the Tooth Fairy with his Phantom Cruiser.
- Helium Speech: Heard for long periods of time in "Flipmode" due to the gas leak.
- Hero-Worshipper: Moltar loves Erik Estrada. When Erik finally appears on the show, Moltar is ecstatic and a kiss-up:
Moltar: Oh, and, and remember the time when the skateboarder grabbed onto the back of that Chevy Malibu?
Erik: Right, right.
Moltar: And kept on skating? That was so cool!
Erik: That wasn't very smart, that wasn't really cool.
Moltar: Well that's what I meant. That was totally uncool!
- Hostile Show Takeover: The Aqua Teen Hunger Force do this to Space Ghost in "Baffler Meal".
- Comedian Dave Thomas (of SCTV, Not to be confused for the late fast-food baron) pulls this as well. Moltar and Zorak give their full support.
- Hypocritical Humor: In Curling Flower Space, Jerry Springer accuses SGC2C of being an "ambush show."
- In "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed", when William Shatner reminds Space Ghost that he played Captain Kirk at the start of the interview, Space Ghost declares, "Outer space shows are for children and stupid people."
- In "Fire Ant" Space Ghost declares that ants are stupid... while he's crawling after the ant on his knees like an idiot.
- I Don't Pay You to Think: A variant occurred in "Pal Joey":
Zorak: And how about a piano bench? I've been squattin' for four years!
Space Ghost: Sit down on your own time. I don't pay you to sit.
Zorak: You don't pay me at all!
Space Ghost: You'll get what I give you and like it!
- I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!: A variant occurred in "Curses" after Space Ghost ate two guests and rejected a third for not being meaty enough:
Moltar: Haven't you had enough, Space Ghost?
Space Ghost: More guests. MORE GUESTS.
Moltar: Space Ghost-
Space Ghost: Bring me more guests!
Moltar: Space Ghost-
Space Ghost: More guests!
Moltar: You're out of control!
Space Ghost: More guests!
Moltar: You have a problem.
Space Ghost: I'll tell you the problem. The problem is the crummy service in this place! (burps) I'm never eating here again! Come on, Zorak, we're leaving!
- I'm a Humanitarian: In the episode "Curses", Space Ghost is infected with the vapor of a vengeful demon that forces him to eat humanoids for sustenance. He eats his guests and eventually Zorak and Moltar. It turned out to be a dream of Kirk the Storyteller, though.
- In Memoriam: "Sharrock," a tribute to musician Sonny Sharrock.
- Inner Monologue Conversation: In "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite", Space Ghost and guest Pat Boone engage in this with each other:
: (Then strap on your bib, Space Ghost, and saddle up to a heapin' helpin' of Sugarman's Bovine Flavored Potted Meat! Have a cow, man, a Sugarman cow!) Pat Boone
: (You certainly, hey, that could be our slogan.) Space Ghost
: (Whoa! Hey Pat, we're reading each other's heads!) Pat Boone
: (I know, see, and I'm enjoying it!) Zorak
: Hey... why are you guys just staring at each other, huh?
(Space Ghost and Pat Boone share a laugh) Space Ghost
: (Zorak has a tiny brain.) Pat Boone
: (Yeah, well, maybe you've got a point.)
- Instrumental Theme Tune
- Intoxication Ensues: A gas leak makes the characters high in the episode "Flipmode". Sort of subverted in that Space Ghost deliberately caused the gas leak.
- Is That What He Told You?: In "Urges":
Moltar: The female typically eats the head and brain of the male.
Zorak: You're kidding.
Moltar: You didn't know that?
Zorak: That's not what my mother told me.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: The very end of "Zorak" features one of these. Among the things that would've happened if Zorak was never born: Diff'rent Strokes would still be on the air, Lokar would have Zorak's job, Space Ghost's show would be a huge success, and Space Ghost would also be governor of California and president of the whole universe.
- Jerk Ass: Everyone. Zorak is a Card-Carrying Villain who eats his nephew off-screen and likes to Kick the Dog whenever possible. Space Ghost is a supremely insecure Ted Baxter whose self-absorbed paranoia leads him to callously disregard basically everyone else around him, and takes it Up to Eleven in the episode "Pavement", in which he is allowed to write the script, to the point of plainly declaring that Viewers Are Morons. Moltar is probably the least assholish of the three, approaching Only Sane Man, but he still enjoys seeing Space Ghost suffer and laughs at violent TV
- Kill 'em All: "Untitled" ends with the cast exploding.
- Lack of Empathy: Space Ghost to a T. Heck, in one episode, he kills an intern, Joey, for annoying him and all he can think about is how it will affect his career.
Space Ghost: Way to go, Joey!
- Large Ham: Master Shake in "Baffler Meal".
Space Ghost (in "Chambraigne"): YOU WANT A PIECE OF THE KING?
- Laughably Evil: Again, Zorak and Moltar.
- Lighter and Softer: In "Chinatown", Zorak sings about the recently-replaced Moltar, to which Space Ghost replies: "You're losing your edge."
- Limited Animation: To the point where animation of a character walking is performed by bobbing a still frame up and down as it moves across the screen.
- Limited Wardrobe
- Literal-Minded: In "Fire Ant" Space Ghost and Conan O'Brian argue about how literal Space Ghost's name should be taken.
Conan: FACE IT SPACE GHOST!
Space Ghost: No!
Conan: YOU'RE A SPACE MAN THAT CHOKED ON A MUFFIN.
- Little "No": When Space Ghost asks Michael Stipe to sing "Shiny Happy People", he just responds "No. *awkward silence*"
- Loading Screen: A rare non-video game example, and a rare example done on purpose. "Waiting For Edward" opens with nothing but a black screen, some easy listening music, and the word "Waiting" for over a minute. Suddenly, we catch a one second glimpse of the show already in progress, with Zorak riding on Space Ghost's shoulders ("Hang on Zorak! Hang-"), before quickly going back to the "Waiting" screen for a few more seconds, and finally to the actual start of the episode.
- Long List: In "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite", Space Ghost lists every single ingredient used in Sugarman's Potted Meat Food Product, which he endorses:
Space Ghost: That's right, 2% real meat to go along with superhero-sized portions of sodium nitrate, potassium bicarbonate, pyrodoxine hydrochloride, biotin, cobalt iodate, thiamine mononitrate, thenadiol bisulfite, sodium selenite, D-L-alpha-tocopperal acetate, glucaronalactone, lanacetol, pantothenic acid, and maltodextrin!
- Long Runner: It aired between 1994 and 2004; it was the longest-running show on Cartoon Network until Ed, Edd n Eddy passed it in 2009.
- One of the promos listed all the "real" talk shows that Space Ghost outlasted, and there were quite a few.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Comedian Steven Wright discovers that Space Ghost is his real father.
- Magic Tool: Moltar carries out all of his duties with a single lever.
- Mandatory Line: In "Boatshow", during the final number, Lokar's one line is: "I didn't have any lines today!" Zorak replies: "That made some people glad!"
- Manipulative Editing: See Redubbing
- Maximum Fun Chamber: In "Intense Patriotism", Space Ghost threatens to put Zorak in "The Box." Zorak is completely terrified by this threat and quickly does what he's told.
- Medium Blending: The whole concept of an animated character interviewing real people. But aside from that, there are other instances where Space Ghost or other characters are superimposed over live action backgrounds. Two episodes, "Chinatown" and "Pal Joey", feature a real dog and a guy in a Space Ghost costume, respectively, interacting on the cartoon set.
- Medium Shift Gag: In "Pavement", when Space Ghost flies to Jupiter to battle Fidor, he becomes an action figure, filmed in live action.
- Mentors: Warren was this to Space Ghost.
- Morton's Fork: Played for laughs in "Gallagher" with the "Space Time Quiz Fun 9000" game. The rules are: Space Ghost asks David Cross and Bob Odenkirk a question; if they get it wrong, they get blasted. If they get it right... they get blasted.
- Musical Episode "O Coast to Coast!", aka "Boatshow". Program is here.
- "Sharrock" is an In Memoriam episode for Sonny Sharrock (who performed the opening and credits themes for the show) and consisted mainly of his music.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Space Ghost says a variant of this in "Edelweiss" when he thinks he killed Zorak by blasting him too many times:
Space Ghost: Heaven help me; WHAT HAVE I DONE?! (beat) Oh well.
- Another variation of this from "Baffler Meal":
- Negative Continuity: "Idlewild South" ends with Space Ghost dying in a car wreck, and Space Ghost's ghost getting shot by a ghost bear. Don't ask.
- A bizarre subversion: "Lawsuit" ends with Space Ghost in prison. Everything is back to normal by next week, but 10 episodes later, "Sequel" picks up where "Lawsuit" left off.
- This is odd, due to the fact that early on, the show had some form of continuity (for example, Zorak's cannibalization of his nephew, Raymond, was referenced in episodes beyond "Hungry", the only episode where Raymond was shown alive; the subject was dropped after Raymond became an angel).
- This can be explained due to the show having multiple writers, some of whom didn't work with others or were just temps. Episodes penned by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer are all pretty much tied together (e.g. Chad Ghostal appears in many of them, both "Lawsuit" and "Sequel" were written by them). In other episodes, Moltar occasionally mentions having a wife named Linda, which is something Matt Maiellero (who either wrote or co-wrote nearly every episode during the first season, and became heavily involved with it again starting with Season 5) hated and ignored. The show as a whole is so ridiculous and bizarre that nobody should really care about it having any continuity despite the attempts made at it. It's all just apart of the show's charm really.
- Never My Fault: Space Ghost always refuses to admit he's wrong. This is especially seen in "Brilliant Number One" (and "Two") when he keeps blaming his mistakes and clumsiness on fictional entities like "impostornators" and "The Polisher".
- No Ending / Left Hanging: An odd variation: The episode "Snatch" ends with Space Ghost, Zorak and Moltar about to be devoured by replicating pods. That may seem like a solid enough ending (even if it is a bit of a downer), but the script for the actual ending was auctioned on eBay, and to this day has not surfaced anywhere online.
- No, Except Yes: In "Bobcat":
Bobcat Goldthwait: Well, I think Moltar's giving us the signal to wrap it up, huh, Space Ghost?
Space Ghost: No, Bobcat, that's just his way of telling us to finish the interview.
- Noodle Incident: At the beginning of "Pal Joey", Space Ghost is being timed by Moltar to see how fast he can inviso onto the set. Space Ghost is repeatedly dissatisfied with his times, and even leaves guest Michael Moore waiting, because if he doesn't get his time down to 3.5 by 6 o'clock Sunday, he's a dead man. We never do find out the details of that comment.
- How Space Ghost became a ghost is simply explained as a "fishing accident."
- No Theme Tune: Starting in season five, the theme song was dropped in favor of a black screen shot with the word "Waiting" on it that would last for a few seconds at most (it was extended in the season finale "Waiting for Edward"). Anything resembling an intro was dropped starting in season six; the original intro was brought back for most of the eighth and final season.
- Not in the Face!: At the end of "Cookout", Brak is about to be blasted by Space Ghost and pleads that SG not shoot him in the face. Space Ghost ignores it and shoots him in the face anyway.
- Off the Rails: The show's general idea is that it's a talk show. Despite doing talk show interviews, the show inevitably gets derailed by the bickering, Seinfeldian Conversation, and antics of Space Ghost, Zorak, and Moltar.
- Once an Episode: Space Ghost blasting Zorak. Space Ghost inviso-ing to the desk to Zorak's music (with a few exceptions, like "Kentucky Nightmare" when he claimed they've never done that).
- One-Shot Character: Many:
- "Spanish Translation": Sisto, who would later get a (slightly) larger part on the spin-off The Brak Show.
- "Batmantis": Your Mother
- "$20.01": MOE 2000
- "Freak Show": Commander Andy
- "Zoltran": Puff the Magic Dragon
- "Piledriver": Grandpa Ghostal
- "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite": The Rappin' Space Goblin
- "Lawsuit": Dr. Nightmare (ATTORNEY AT LAW!), although he has an off-screen cameo in "Sequel".
- "Warren": Warren
- "Pal Joey": Joey the intern
- "Curses": Future Man
- "Girl Hair": The Tooth Fairy and Bizarro Santa Claus
- "Curling Flower Space": C. Ling Tile
- Only Sane Man: Moltar is usually the voice of reason and the straight man bullied by Space Ghost.
- Our Slogan Is Terrible: In "Joshua", the narrator says that Space Ghost: Coast to Coast is "a solution with real value". Not so bad, but he makes a confusing second slogan later on: "A valuable solution with real."
- Out-of-Character Moment Zorak in "Rio Ghosto":
Space Ghost: So, Zorak how was your weekend?
Zorak: I did some volunteer work over at the orphanage.
Space Ghost: Well... [stares blankly at Zorak] yeah.
- Overly Long Gag: The second half of the "Fire Ant" episode, in which Space Ghost follows an ant. For 10 minutes. There's a shortened version for the quarter-hour slot that reduces this to 15 seconds, but is otherwise identical to the original.
- The original version of "Warren" looped three times in a bizarre Framing Device that had Space Ghost and company watch the events of the episode from his TV, only to start them again when Space Ghost asks "That was good. What else is on?". The shortened version shows only one iteration.
- The episode 'Sharrock' from the second season is basically just three of overly long gags placed side by side. First, Zorak plays Space Ghost to the desk with some unruly noise rock, while the camera slowly zooms closer and closer toward Space Ghost for several minutes. Then we cut to an Indian Head test card while the show is 'under attack,' set to a similar sample of rock music. Finally, even the credits are something of an overly long gag, going on for longer than usual and playing the 'Ghost Planet national anthem' (again, loud rock-like music with strange vocals and feedback). The music is loosely explained as a tribute to the deceased Sonny Sharrock.
- The opening to "Speck", which is just Space Ghost humming "Sweet Home Alabama" to himself for thirty seconds.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: "Overruled! I am the undisputed breakfast master!"
- Piss-Take Rap: Space Ghost. (see Department of Redundancy Department)
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: In "Warren", Space Ghost delivers one before zapping Warren's monitor:
Monitor: You've destroyed Warren, I'm tellin'. You've destroyed Warren, I'm tellin'. You've destroyed Warren, I'm tellin'.
Space Ghost: Tell 'em THIS! (zaps monitor) When you see 'em in Poland / Pelham / Conyers!
- Precision F-Strike: "Dreams" has Mortar saying the "s" word (somehow) uncensored.
- Previously On: "Jacksonville" features this. In a subversion of this trope, nearly all the clips displayed never actually occurred in the episode before this, "Glen Campbell". Some of the footage was actually from "CHiPs".
- Pro Bono Barter: In "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite", Space Ghost reveals that when he was making the commercials for Sugarman's Potted Meat Food Product, he was paid in sandwiches. He didn't seem to mind, though.
- Product Placement: Parodied in "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite" when Zorak repeatedly plugs an ointment. After Space Ghost chastises Zorak for this practice, he starts plugging Sugerman's Potted Meat Food Product.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: "A Space Ghost Christmas" features a number of public domain Christmas songs, with new lyrics.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I! AM! BATMANTIS!"
Space Ghost: Do NOT... (hits Zorak with a wrench) DISTURB... (hits him again) THE JUDGE!
- Punishment Box: In "Intense Patriotism":
Space Ghost: Everything's free in America, Moltar. (...) It's the land of the free, and the home of the free.
Zorak: So I get to go free?
Space Ghost: No, now play me to the desk or I'm puttin' you in the box!
Zorak: (frightened) The box?
Space Ghost: That's right... the box.
- Quarter Hour Short: Although a handful of episodes fill the half-hour slot.
- "Rashomon"-Style: "Curling Flower Space".
- Redubbing: In the early episodes, the interviewees would be given one set of questions, their answers would be recorded, and then these answers would be juxtaposed against questions invented after-the-fact for comedic effect. Later episodes had the guests directly interacting with Space Ghost and friends.
- Retcon: Zorak had repeatedly explicitly stated in the first few seasons that he was a locust. Later on they realized he was supposed to be a mantis and retconned him as one.
- Revised Ending: "Snatch" originally aired with a colonial man telling the viewers they can bid on the ending on eBay. On all repeat airings, this scene was simply replaced with "The End".
- Rewind, Replay, Repeat: In "Urges", Moltar asks Space Ghost if he remembers his explanation of mantis mating habbits earlier in the show. Space Ghost promptly heads into the "little ghost's room" to replay it. "...the female typically eats the head and brain of the male... (rewinds) the male... (rewinds) the head..."
- Running Gag: In "Curling Flower Space", Space Ghost threatening to Zorak or Moltar that he'll spin their head so fast it'll travel back in time.
- In "Jacksonville", various characters announcing they're pregnant, followed by dramatic sting music.
- In "Woody Allen's Fall Project", James Kirkconnell saying this phrase (or close to it): "And now, our word for word reenactment of a conversation that took place at a certain time, in a certain dimension, somewhere deep in space..."
- Satan turns out to be Yogi Bear.
- Say My Name: "Banjo! Banjo!! BAANJOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
- Self-Deprecation: Among other things, the second season's DVD box cover features such critical blurbs as "Needs some work." and "Jarring and unpleasant."
- From the intro to "Woody Allen's Fall Project":
Announcer: And now, in case you haven't already changed the channel...
Announcer: Welcome to Ghost Planet Industries, gateway to humor for literally hundreds of television viewers!
- Serious Business: While interviewing Bob Odenkirk and David Cross:
Space Ghost: I save entire planets.
Bob Odenkirk: God bless you, man. If we could, we would, but all we can do is make one or two people giggle a little bit.
Space Ghost: And those one or two people will be giggling their way to Armageddon while you two jokers do your little "ha ha" act!!
Bob Odenkirk: ...What did I do? You invited me on this show!
- Shout-Out: In "Snatch", Space Ghost tells Moltar "Please don't tell me how to do it. It sickens me.", a nod to William Shatner.
- Slow Motion: Demonstrated in "Cahill" when Zorak blasts Space Ghost with his laser gun.
- Soap Opera Disease: Space Ghost's unknown disease in "Terminal". Though being a ghost, he's already dead, so at the end after he "dies", he opens his eyes and says "Huh, this isn't so bad."
- Something Completely Different: The "Sharrock" episode, which is really a tribute to the music of Sonny Sharrock and Lance Carter. They even featured Thurston Moore, guitarist for the alternative rock Sonic Youth, under the pretense that it's Fred Cracklin.
- Left the Background Music On: In "Terminal", Space Ghost makes a long speech but is gradually drowned out by the background music. It's revealed that the music is coming from Zorak's boom box, who shouts "I LOVE THIS SONG!"
- Sound Effect Bleep: From "Flipmode":
Moltar: Well you're just making all this (bleep) up! Oh what, you're the only one who gets to make (bleep) up?!
- Special Edition Title: For the episode which parodied the Late Show with David Letterman, a new title was commissioned panning the galaxy in the manner the Late Show titles pan around New York. It was used on other episodes in order to amortize the cost of the titles on to the budgets for them. There was also a special opening for the Musical Episode.
- Special Guest
- Spin-Off: Cartoon Planet, which was pretty much Space Ghost Coast To Coast: Lite with a greater emphasis on sketch comedy, Toonami, CN's longtime action block which was "hosted" by a CGI Moltar for its first two years (and outlasted SGC2C), and The Brak Show, an Affectionate Parody of sitcoms.
- Coast to Coast could be argued to have spun off the two very different things Cartoon Network is best remembered, and watched, for: its other original cartoons, including Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, through its "World Premiere Toon-In" kick-off special, and [adult swim] as a whole (which launched with almost entirely Williams Street productions, including C 2 C and The Brak Show). That's before you even get to Toonami.
- Spit Take: Done often, one time Space Ghost does it three times in a row (the third is bloody).
- Start My Own: Before the start of the episode "Switcheroo" (with Mark Hamill and Bill Mumy), Zorak and Moltar attended Sci-Fi Con '97 behind Space Ghost's back. Space Ghost attempts to open Space Ghost Con '97 in bitterness.
- Sting: Used in numerous episodes, including "Batmantis" and "Lawsuit".
- The Stinger: Nearly every episode featured a brief vocal clip after the credits. In one of them, Space Ghost flat out says: "This is the end of the show."
- Stock Footage: Occasionally, the 1966 Space Ghost and Dino Boy clips are shown. Even besides that, the vast majority of the animation in the show was recycled from the old series into the new setting (with some exceptions, like drinking a mug of coffee). This practice was also carried over to Sealab2021.
- Stock Scream: When Santa transforms into his true self in "Girl Hair", the Howie Scream is heard.
- The Stoner: The premise of "Flipmode". There's a gas leak inside the ship, and it gives Space Ghost several "good ideas".
- Stoners Are Funny: What makes "Flipmode" so hilarious.
- Straw Fan: Moltar was one of these when Erik Estrada, Mike Judge and William Shatner appeared on the show.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Zorak remarks that Space Ghost's grandfather "sounds like Randy Savage" and "looks like [him] with a pasted-on beard."
- Stylistic Suck: It's made pretty clear that if the animators wanted to, they could've made the show fully and lavishly animated. It's just funnier this way.
- Take That: Jeff Foxworthy is on the show after Foxworthy’s sitcom didn’t work out, but before Blue Collar Comedy. He has issues with how Space Ghost treats his underlings and points out that he once had a show, but didn’t treat anyone as badly as Space Ghost.
Space Ghost: But the difference between your show and my show is that mine is still on.
- Take That, Audience!:
Space Ghost: Welcome back, stupid viewers! You'll watch anything! Go ahead, change the channel, you'll be back!
- Also, in "Mommentary - Jellybean": "If you're still watching, you're an idiot!"
- Talk Show: A send-up of the genre.
- The Talk Show with Host Name
- Tastes Like Chicken: Guest Emeril Lagasse objects to people who use this phrase, as he thinks each food has a distinctive taste, and to compare everything to chicken is inaccurate. This becomes a Brick Joke when guest Martin Yan cooks a chicken and Space Ghost fondly remarks "Chicken tastes like chicken!"
- Techno Babble: Zorak delivers some in "Snatch" in his plan to get rid of the replicating pods.
Moltar: It seems the the static electricity from the oncoming storm is triggering a... uh micro inductor dilfrobrah... dioptiloid. Microinductor diloptiloid. Not a word I use every day.
- Ted Baxter: Space Ghost.
- Telethon: In the episode of the same name.
- That Liar Lies: In "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite", Space Ghost tells Pat Boone that he invented the cotton gin:
Zorak: Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin.
Space Ghost: Lies! Stop with your slanderous lies! Just because you've never done anything, you lazy piece of space garbage! The look, the feel of cotton, that's all mine!
- That's What She Said: In "Boatshow", Steve Allen and Brak engage in a discussion in Brak's lanaguge, and after Steve said a line, Brak replied with "That's what she said!"
- The Dog Bites Back: Zorak and Moltar don't hesitate to take vengeance on Space Ghost for his abuse.
- Those Two Guys: After 32 million years of service, Space Ghost plays this trope straight with Jan and Jace. No wonder why he gets sued.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Played for Laughs on a few occasions, perhaps most notably in "Jacksonville" with James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett from Metallica.
: Zorak eventually led Metallica to the outer airlock, where members of the band were heard to say "Shouldn't we put on a suit or something?" [beat
] Metallica exploded in deep space.
- Time Out: In "Untitled", Space Ghost gives one to Moltar when Moltar refuses to send George Clinton back out.
Space Ghost: And you will stay in Time Out until I'm done with The Funkmaster.
- Timmy in a Well: When interviewing Lassie, Space Ghost naturally resorted to this when Lassie barked.
Space Ghost: What is it, girl? There's trouble at the ranch? Hmm... trouble at the farm. You say Brak was bitten by a rattlesnake?
- Also done in "$20.01" when Teller, as per his on-stage persona, didn't speak:
Space Ghost: Look, MOE, he's trying to tell us something. What is it, boy? There's trouble? Trouble at the farm? Farms have chickens.
- Toilet Humor: In "Intense Patriotism," Zorak took a dump in his pod and invited Space Ghost to say hi to his kids, whom he dropped off at the pool.
- Token Good Teammate: Of the main trio, Moltar is nicest person on Ghost Planet due to being the Only Sane Man. Of course that doesn't prevent him from having some Jerkass moments of his own.
- Two For One Show
- Unreadably Fast Text: Demonstrated at the end of "The Justice Hole", where we're informed to "stand by for super credits", at which point the end credits scroll by in less than a second.
- In the "Batmantis" episode, Space Ghost's ray fires words in a parody of the written sound effects from the 1960s Batman series. Zorak tells him to shoot the theory of evolution and Space Ghost fires a shot that is accompanied by three paragraphs of text humorously explaining Darwin's theory of evolution that only remains on the screen for about one second.
- Vocal Evolution: At the beginning, Space Ghost and Zorak sound more like their original incarnations than they do over time; their voices deviate from the originals by the second season.
- Voice Changeling: Space Ghost demonstrates this in "Telethon":
Zorak: Telethons don't have commericals!
Space Ghost: And bugs can't talk Zorak, (in Zorak's voice) so welcome to the asylum! (Zorak looks surprised)
- What Could Have Been: In-Universe example. Birdman was almost the host of the show with Lokar as his insect bandleader. However, Lokar was mauled by Birdman's pet eagle, Avenger, opening the door for Zorak. Birdman was fired when he revealed that he could not function without energy from the sun and passed out on set.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Invoked in "Telethon":
: I rented Barb Wire
. I hear it's awesome. Brak
: Ooh, I wanna see that! Moltar
: It's rated R
, Brak! Brak
: Aw, poop.
- What Is Going On?: Space Ghost asks, "...What happened?" at the end of "Girl Hair" while Bizarro Santa and the Tooth Fairy are fighting. In a subversion of this trope, Space Ghost was involved with the plot the whole episode; he just doesn't understand it.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Jeff Foxworthy called out Space Ghost for abusing Zorak and Moltar, though Space Ghost didn't take it very seriously.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Parodied at the end of "Jacksonville", which includes a section for a random bystander on the bus that Moltar was riding, guest-of-the-week Metallica getting lured out into space without suits by Zorak and exploding, and Mettalus' section being just as unintelligible as Mettalus himself, ending with the narrator going off on a tangent about his cat.
- Who Writes This Crap?!: Subverted in "Pavement"; Space Ghost openly announces at the start that he wrote the episode. What follows is a very disorganized series of guest star interviews (for instance, Space Ghost trying to interview Goldie Hawn while indie rock darlings Pavement play loudly in the background, or defiantly eating chocolate ice cream throughout his interview with Steve Smith) and plots that go nowhere (such as Zorak and Moltar in Space Ghost's prison).
- In "Flipmode", Zorak openly declares that the script sucks right at the start. Space Ghost forces him to participate, though.
- Wrench Whack: Done repeatedly to Zorak in "Flipmode".
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Also counts as Hypocritical Humor:
Space Ghost: You see, Mike, here in space, we're all equals. Except for Moltar and Zorak.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Chambraigne, an intelligence-enhancing shampoo that turns out to be a placebo, does this to Space Ghost.
- Your Mom: One of the techniques that Space Ghost tried on the blob in order to make it attack the replicating pods in "Snatch".
- The villain in "Batmantis" is "Your Mother".
- "Not my mother. Someone else's mother. Someone's sick, deranged mother."