Western Animation / The Ultimate Enemy


Danny Phantom's second Made-for-TV Movie. With an all-important test coming up that he hasn't had time to study for, Danny finds himself in a pickle until he accidentally obtains the test answers. As he decides to cheat on the test, a mysterious ghost named Clockwork attempts to eliminate him to prevent his decision from having catastrophic effects on the world.

The Movie shows examples of:

  • Achievement Test of Destiny: Lancer promoting the CAT as this kick-starts the plot.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Most of Danny's Rogues Gallery suffer horrible fates because of Dark Danny's actions. Vlad Masters himself becomes The Atoner after he realizes that he has created a monster.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Clockwork has shown himself to be one of the most powerful ghosts in the Ghost Zone. It's a good thing he's not proactive most of the time.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In the Bad Future, Damon Grey and the Box Ghost are missing an arm.
  • Apocalypse How: Dark Danny single handedly brought about a Class 1 in the future. If it weren't for Danny, it probably would've been raised to a Class 3a.
  • Bad Future: And all just because of cheating on one little test.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Danny cheats on a test, which causes the horrible deaths of his entire family, his best friends, and his teacher.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Nasty Sauce, that Danny remembers could blow up if it gets too hot helps him defeat Box Lunch. However, it then comes back with a negative use when it is what causes the explosion that'll take the lives of Danny's friends and family.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Boo-merang that is keyed into Danny's ecto signature both helps Jazz realize Dark Danny is impersonating Danny and to find Danny in the future.
  • Darker and Edgier: With death and destruction being rather rampant throughout most of the episode, all thanks to Dark Danny, who is perhaps the show's most evil villain, The Ultimate Enemy is tied with Kindred Spirits as the darkest episode in the entire series. It's also a fan favorite.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Dark Danny was shown to be a juggernaut that seemed unstoppable, with Future Valerie, Danny's enemies, and even an army of ghost fighters unable to stand against him. He was like this to such a degree that the Observants believed that killing Danny was the only way to keep him from coming into existence. However, through the use of some Fenton weapons and his newly acquired Ghostly Wail, Danny was able to defeat his evil self and trap him in the Fenton Thermos.
  • Despair Event Horizon: In the Bad Future, it was clear that Danny went over this line following the loss of his family and friends, leading him to the operation that resulted in Dark Danny's creation.
  • Deus ex Machina: Although Clockwork only intervenes in the climax because he concludes Danny earned it, the fact still remains that the Time Master stepped in and saved everyone when there was no way the hero could have done it on his own; Danny didn't reach his friends and family before the explosion killed (or would have killed...?) them. Even the Observants seem to see it this way when they tell him, "You cheated!"
  • Didn't Think This Through: Yes, asking Vlad for help makes perfect sense in context, and it works, but it's clear that Danny never considered what a big risk he was taking putting himself at the mercy of his Arch-Enemy.
    Vlad: (after Danny explains his plan) Or I could just destroy you now and prevent this future. Didn't think of that, did you?
  • Downer Beginning: Ten years in the future, the world is devastated, what's left of Amity Park is hiding under a giant ghost shield only for it be destroyed, and Danny is revealed to have become the most evil ghost to ever exist. Definitely one of the darkest ways to begin an episode.
  • Drama Bomb: Jawdropping. Not least for its awesomeness, abruptness, as well as its sudden venture into dark humour. Oh yes, and the brutal murders, so many brutal murders.
  • Driven to Villainy: The deaths of his family and friends started Danny on the path to becoming more evil than any of his enemies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Vlad Plasimus is horrified by what Dark Danny does to his human half.
  • Evil Cripple: Future Johnny 13 is confined to a wheelchair thanks to his injuries from Dark Danny.
  • Evil Future Me Scares Me: Along with everyone else.
  • Evil Plan: Dark Danny's is to destroy all of humanity at the beginning, then he switches it to ensuring the future he comes from after meeting his past self, Tucker, and Sam. The main flaw in this plan, however, is that with Past/Present Danny learning about that future, as well as learning about the main event that influenced it to come to pass, even if Dark Danny succeeded in killing off everyone important to his past self, there's no way his past self would do the same thing he did originally. He'd most likely ask Clockwork for a do-over and attempt to get everyone to safety before they'd die rather than going to Vlad and setting that chain of events in motion. It also makes you question who it was originally that Danny faced that set those events in motion because, even if it was Dark Danny, as it's implied to be, there's no way his plan would've worked in any case. In doing everything he does to set event in motion as he remembered them going, Dark Danny accidentally prevented his future from happening in a nice ironic bit of Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!. His hubris ultimately causes his downfall, as, even when Danny suggests it, he cannot envision a timeline where his past self doesn't go down the same path he did, thus he can't see himself losing, thus he gets defeated in the end.
  • Eyepatch After Time Skip: The Box Ghost.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Danny's human half in his Bad Future. So much so that Vlad refuses to divulge any of the details. Some things are best left unsaid.
  • For Want of a Nail: Danny cheating on a test sets off a long string of events that ultimately end with his family, friends, and teacher dead and his ghost half splitting off from him, becoming evil, and attempting to destroy everything. At the end, Danny knows this ahead of time and thus chooses to not cheat in order to avoid this string.
  • Foreshadowing: At the C.A.T assembly, Irving comments that if Nasty Sauce gets too hot, it could cause a massive explosion.
  • Future Badass: Plenty, from Valerie to Box Ghost.
  • Futuristic Superhighway: In the brief shots of Future Amity Park, we're shown Flying Cars going down one of these.
  • Heel Realization: After being without ghost powers for ten years Bad Future Vlad realized what a fool he'd been, shunting his best friend away for marrying the woman he loved and resenting their happiness, leaving him to revel in his loneliness. You know it's genuine when he repaired the photo of him, Maddie, and Jack to include all of them, and outright admits that it's probably the only "good" that came out of the entire ordeal. Though he momentarily considered destroying Danny to change the future, he ultimately helped Danny return to his own time.
  • Heroic Vow: Danny promises his family and friends that he will not turn into Dark Danny. Dark Danny mocks him for it.
    Dark Danny: Oh, you are such a child! You promised?
  • Hook Hand: The Box Ghost of the Bad Future has one to replace his missing hand.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Dark Danny. So, so much. Unlike any other villain before or after him, even Vlad Plasmius, there is nothing humorous or light-hearted about him.
  • Last Disrespects: While Danny's family and friends get a statue erected in their honor that says "Gone, but Not Forgotten", Mr. Lancer's statue is sinking in the ground and just says "Gone".
  • Literal Split Personality: How Dark Danny was created: Danny has Vlad use a device to separate his ghost half from his human half, except Ghost Danny becomes malicious for some reason. Ghost Danny then takes the device and uses it on Vlad to separate his ghost and human halves, and overshadows Ghost Vlad for some reason, resulting in the two of them fusing together into Dark Danny. Then he kills Human Danny, in a manner so brutal that Human Vlad refuses to describe it.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Observants took an oath "To watch and never act," but judging by how annoyed Clockwork is by them "bring[ing] me in to do your dirty work" again, they regularly try to get around this by asking him to act instead.
  • Made of Explodium: Due to being made of a unique blend of forty-two herbs and spices, Nasty Burger's Nasty Sauce has the potential to be a liquid bomb if it gets too hot.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The most prominent ghost power in this special is the Ghostly Wail, which first appeared when Dark Danny knocked out the towers generating the ghost shield around Amity Park, then Danny himself got it when he was being attacked by future versions of his enemies. It came in quite handy during the climatic battle with Dark Danny, not to mention shocking him as Danny got it ten years earlier than him, proving the future could be changed.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Summed up by Tucker when he and Sam figure out what causes the Bad Future.
    Tucker: Let me get this straight. Danny gets caught cheating on a test, and we pay for it with our lives? How is that fair?
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Clockwork sends Box Lunch back in time to eliminate Danny before he turns evil. Danny's fight with Box Lunch sets the events that lead to Danny turning evil (Danny acquiring the test answers and the explosion that would take the lives of his family and friends).
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Future Box Ghost is a lot more powerful and serious than he is in the past. Also, the fact that he's got a hook for a hand and is missing an eye is terrifying. He's also lost the high-pitched voice and is now a Guttural Growler.
    Box Ghost: Beware...
  • Painful Transformation: Dark Danny's creation.
  • Power Nullifier: One of SkulkTech's weapons is a device called the Phantom Palm Pummeler which can short out ghost powers. Dark Danny is too powerful for it to affect him but it can work on present-day Danny.
  • San Dimas Time: While Dark Danny is in the past carrying out his plan to solidify his existence, Danny is trapped in the future trying to get back to his own time. He doesn't get back until after Dark Danny has strapped everyone to the explosive tanks of Nasty Sauce.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Dark Danny was sealed away in a Fenton Thermos and left with Clockwork, though for how long is unknown.
  • Secret Test of Character: Clockwork's plan in general. He knows Danny's a good if brash kid and doesn't deserve the dreary future set for him. So he allows Danny into said Bad Future to see if he can change things.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Dark Danny didn't just kill his parents, he killed his sister, his friends, and his teacher... just to secure his own future.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: This is the reason the Observants want Clockwork to destroy Danny. Fortunately, Clockwork has his own way of resolving this.
  • Stable Time Loop: Clockwork sends Box Lunch back in time to kill Danny before the Bad Future happens, which is a result of the Nasty Burger exploding and taking pretty much everyone Danny cares about with it. However, Danny and Box Lunch's fight is what leads to the Nasty Burger's later explosion (as well as Danny getting the test answers). Fortunately, this Stable Time Loop is broken thanks to Clockwork's intervention.
  • Serious Business: The CAT. If you fail this one test in your freshman year of high school you will be forever doomed to spend the rest of your life working a dead end job at the local fast food joint. On the other hand, if you score high on the test, as Jazz did, the most successful future possible is assured.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    Clockwork: That's the problem with you Observants — all you do is observe.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Or rather blow them up.
  • Time Travel
  • Time Dissonance: Clockwork doesn't view time the linear way humans (and the Observants) do.
    Clockwork: For me, time moves backwards and forwards and... oh, why am I bothering? You're fourteen.
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Since Clockwork's lair is "outside of time," all points in history are equally past, present, and future.
    Clockwork: I sent him back to his own time. Or should I say, forward to his own time.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Many of Danny's enemies have many Affably Evil moments and/or comedic.. Dark Danny is never Affably Evil and his atrocities are played dead serious...as his ghost status would indicate.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • While the accident that takes the lives of Danny's family and friends is averted, the fact that Nasty Burger is still going to explode is not addressed at the end of the episode.
    • The Fright Knight completely disappears after his only appearance, which is before the theme song.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The episode shares the basic premise of the Darkwing Duck episode "Time and Punishment" (a Time Travel plot where losing loved ones drives the hero to become the most powerful, most feared villain of all time in the future, and someone must go back to the present to Set Right What Once Went Wrong).
  • You Can't Fight Fate: This is Dark Danny's attitude throughout most of the film, believing that Danny's Bad Future is inevitable. However, Danny's will to Screw Destiny was so strong he gained the Ghostly Wail, Dark Danny's most powerful ability ten years early, shocking Dark Danny in more ways than one.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: This is what Future Vlad said to Danny regarding the fate of Danny's human self in the future.