YMMV: The Real Ghostbusters

  • Acceptable Targets: There is an ancient mystical tome in the ghost realm called "The Book of Annoying Beings." The Ghostbusters are on one page. As the Ghostmaster rips it out in frustration, we see that the very next page is devoted to mimes.
    • Several pot-shots are taken at New Jersey. Understandable, considering the show takes place in New York.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Interestingly, the show began life as an attempt to get out of this; given that J. Michael Straczynski ran the show early on, this shouldn't be surprising.
    • The essential idea was to create a show that was acceptable for Saturday mornings, but would still get the same Multiple Demographic Appeal that the movie had, which is why you have unusually solid (and complex) writing and humor (with examples like "The Thing in Mrs. Faversham's Attic" or "The Hole in the Wall Gang"), episodes with near-psychedelic visuals like "Knock, Knock" and, uh, a bit of occasional "focus" on Janine. Unfortunately, since The Merch sold like crazy, the executives saw only dollar signs, and demanded Re Tools to try and sell more merch. The writers revolted, many (including JMS) left and the show went right back into the ghetto. (Ironically this also drove away the wee kiddies to shows like, well, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) since the uniqueness of the early show is what drew people to it in the first place.)
  • Anvilicious: Fourth season episode "Follow that Hearse" really wants you to know that pollution is very, very bad.
  • Author's Saving Throw: "Janine, You've Changed," considered by many fans the best use of this trope ever.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: At one point in "Banshee Bake A Cherry Pie", we get a scene of a lovestruck Venkman dreaming he's in a music video with a singer (actually a banshee) he has a crush on. Egon appears, interrupting the performance and then breaks the fourth wall as the scene ends.
    Egon: "Uh hello, I'm Dr. Egon Spengler and you're not watching this overblown spectacle. It's totally in the banshee-riddled mind of my colleague here. Um, thank you."
  • Complete Monster: The Grundel (who later returns in Extreme Ghostbusters) is an evil spirit who enjoys corrupting children. He has minor Compelling Voice powers: If a child has history of bad actions and is getting into trouble all the time, the Grundel can often convince the child to invite him in, after which the Grundel will convince the child to commit more bad actions. The more bad actions the child commits, the more the child falls under the Grundel's influence, eventually turning into a Grundel themself and looking for more kids to corrupt. In season 3's "The Grundel," he convinced a child named Alec to tamper with the Ghostbusters' proton packs during a school assembly, endangering all the other children present. The Grundel also manages to convince Alec to bring his brother Lee to him so he can corrupt Lee as well, despite Alec's initial protests. When Peter Venkman tries to save Alec and Lee, who are hanging off a ledge at a dangerous abandoned warehouse that the Grundel had lured them to, the Grundel tries to prevent this, stating "If I can't have them, neither can you!"
  • Creator's Pet - Arguably Slimer; he was The Scrappy to a lot of viewers, so what did the producers do? Rename the show Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters and have him show up even more. Then there were the Junior Ghostbusters. Yeah.
    • Slimer was at least a little more bearable when he genuinely helped the Ghostbusters save the day, like when they went up against Killerwatt.
    • A large part of the problem was that Executive Meddling changed Slimer's character. Originally, Slimer was an affable sidekick that didn't speak coherently. While there were episodes where he would play a major role, there were others in which he barely appeared if at all. However, with the third season, Slimer started to take more focus in plots and began speaking coherently.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: This series and its concept is created by Columbia Pictures (which produced the original movies), not DiC, who only did the animation work.
  • Fridge Horror: The more feminine, mild mannered Janine with the long straight hair, rounder glasses and softer, less regional voice from the Lighter and Softer season 3 forward - with a few other makeovers along the way - becomes incredibly disturbing when you realize that she was secretly being manipulated and physically altered by a demon. By extension, pretty much all the Lighter and Softer episodes become a lot more disturbing when you realize what was happening with Janine and the demon.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The episode "Janine's Genie" has one scene in which the Ghostbusters, including Janine, tries to prevent a ghost-hijacked plane with the passengers inside from crashing in New York City. Janine and Peter, piloting the plane themselves, nearly avoided crashing against the WTC twin towers.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The episode "Egon's Ghost" becomes heartbreaking in light of Harold Ramis' death.
  • Heartwarming In Hindsight: Following 9/11, one of Peter's lines in "Knock Knock":
    "Hey, this is New York. Nothing stops this town. I love this place."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Peter gets possessed by a demon in an early episode. The symptoms? Spiky hair and a yellow complexion.
    • The story goes that Lorenzo Music was dropped because Bill Murray was concerned about Peter Venkman sounding like Garfield and executives sought to accommodate him. If indeed true, well, that makes a later Murray role very ironic.
    • In "Revenge of the Ghostmaster", the titular spook taunts the Ghostbusters using his own personal television channel, GMTV - no relation to the British breakfast-time show which started a few years later.
    • Episode 105 involves the Queensborough Bridge being attacked by Trolls, which takes on a whole new meaning nowadays:
    Peter: "It's Monday morning. Where else would trolls be but the Queensborough Bridge?"
    • In "Janine The Ghostbuster", Janine that she should go into business for herself. In the IDW comics, she's now the leader of The New Ghostbusters.
    • In the season 2 episode "Egon's Ghost", a Freak Lab Accident destabilizes Egon's molecular structure, turning him into, for all intents a purposes, a ghost, even though he's still alive. The side-effects of this half-ghost state include permanent intangibility, turning invisible at will, and, for no explained reason whatsoever, the ability to sense ghosts. This would later become the entire premise of the iconic ghost hunting show of the next generation.
  • Memetic Molester: The Grundel. Just the Grundel.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Before hosting his own talk show, Arsenio Hall was voicing Winston Zeddemore.
  • The Scrappy: The Junior Ghostbusters, a trio of kids that came with all the Executive Meddling to make the show Lighter and Softer. None of the writers were thrilled with using them. JMS even once recalled saying he'd only use them if he could run them over with a truck. The kids only appeared twice here (though with expanded roles on Slimer's own cartoony spin-off), but fans were still irritated because these two appearances took up screentime from the Ghostbusters' re-matches with fan favorites the Boogieman and Samhain, respectively.
    • Slimer himself probably counts.
  • Seasonal Rot: "Makeoveris Lotsabucks" is a particularly bad example, especially since it could've been passed off as a kind of proper fey. (Oddly enough, that example come from JMS himself, who may not have cared as much by that point - reportedly he made the name up as a Take That at the meddling executives who alienated him and most of the other writers in the first place.)
    • Arguably the fifth season more than any other. After the syndicated episodes, Seasons 3 and 4 suffered from Executive Meddling to be Lighter and Softer (as well as replacement voice actors for Peter, Winston and Janine), but still had some fan-favorites. Season 5, however, awkwardly shoehorned in elements of the second movie. (Louis was one thing, Janine getting a second makeover to give her the hairstyle of her movie counterpart was another thing, but the city's injunction against the team was seen as forced.) Slapstick humor became even more apparent and a number of episodes saw a Two Shorts format instead of one story.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The show was very rarely ever Anvilicious in any sense; "Janine, You've Changed", however, has a rather blunt anvil about not needing to worry about your appearance and weight and whatnot and trust that people will like you just the way you appear. And if you're at all familiar with the history of "youth beauty" and anorexia in the 80s and early 90s, that anvil seriously needed some dropping on the show's largest age group.
    • "The Bogeyman is Back" boils down to there's nothing wrong with admitting being scared. Maybe it's laid on a bit thick, but considering the target audience, it's a very valid message.
    • "The Halloween Door": He Who Fights Monsters, especially in regards to Moral Guardians.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Anytime Peter complains about Slimer. In "Slimer, Come Home," he condemns Slimer for eating "anything that's not nailed down or on fire." In "They Call Me MISTER Slimer," he points out Slimer is responsible for a lot of bills that he doesn't have to pay for.
  • Tear Jerker: The ending to "Drool, The Dog Faced Goblin".
    • Ray trembling and audibly trying not to cry as he quits the Ghostbusters in "Look Homeward, Ray" is heartbreaking. Props to Frank Welker for making Ray genuinely sound like he's seconds away from breaking down.
  • Ugly Cute (Slimer. The spud was actually pretty likable until he got overexposed in the later seasons.)
  • The Woobie: Slimer in some of his focus episodes, especially in "Slimer, Come Home."