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  • Aborted Arc: The news that the series would only have three seasons caused a lot of planned story arcs to simply disappear without a trace. What deal did Vlad and the Fright Knight break? What role does Dani end up playing? What did Valerie do after she discovered Vlad's identity and the existence of halfas? Does Dark Danny escape and make a return appearance, as is hinted at in "The Ultimate Enemy"? We'll never know now.
  • Absentee Actor: "Bitter Reunions" was the only episode in the series where Sam and Tucker were completely absent.
  • Accidental Hug:
    • In "One of a Kind", Danny and Tucker fall asleep and end up snuggled together. They wake up that way, scream, and yank their arms back.
    • With Danny and Sam in "Fanning the Flames." Unlike the first example, this was used for Ship Tease.
  • Achievement Test of Destiny:
    • Despite the fact that the name suggests it's an Inept Aptitude Test, the Career Aptitude Test in The Ultimate Enemy is played up as being one of these, being the sole determinator of one's future, And it's a very grave omen if you get a low score.
    • Played with in Fanning The Flames with the Northwestern Nine. Students have to sit in Cramtastic machines to study for it because test scores are directly linked with Mr. Lancer's bonus, but with Ember in town no one can focus. Tucker gets strapped into one by Danny and Sam to undo Ember's brainwashing, but because they accidentally left him there for several hours he got a perfect score while everyone else, including Danny and Sam, had failed.
  • Advertising by Association: When it got its first promo, the creators of Fairly Oddparents were mentioned.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Silver Age comics, with a teensy bit of Golden Age and Bronze Age thrown in for good measure, complete with the usage of 'POW!'s and 'WHAM!'s.
  • Afterlife Antechamber: Word Of Gof states that the Ghost Zone is this, being a kind of Purgatory. Heaven and Hell are called the Elsewhereness and Unworld, respectively, though we never see or hear of them in the show itself.
  • All Men Are Perverts:
  • Alpha Bitch: Paulina, the most popular girl in school, who loves to rub it in people's faces. In her debut episode, she agreed to go on a date with Danny solely because she believed she was stealing him from Sam.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Cartoon Network's Steven Universe.
  • Always Need What You Gave Up:
    • In "Phantom Planet," when Danny gets rid of his powers to have a normal life, just before he needs them to save the world.
    • On a much darker note, cheating wasn't a good idea either. Nor was begging his archrival to remove his humanity. It backfired horribly.
    • Similarly in "Phantom Planet," Vlad revealing himself to be half-ghost to the world, and then forcing the world to pay him in order to save the planet... which he couldn't actually do.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The amulets that Dora and Aragon wear to turn them into dragons.
  • An Aesop: Lampshaded, when Jazz freaks out about a ghost attack, Danny tells her, with a bored expression on his face, that the plan is effectively to go try and beat up the bad guy, say a few clever quips, get beaten up yourself, run around for a while trying to fix things, finally beat the bad guy, and go home having learned a lesson about how the world works. Whoopie. He immediately afterwards gets annoyed that the bad guy doesn't seem to be following this pattern.
  • Answer Cut: When Vlad asks Maddie to dump Jack and be with him, it cuts away with Maddie leaving his home along with Danny with an angry look on her face.
  • Anti-Climax Cut: "Identity Crisis":
    Tucker: Looks like we're gonna miss the movie.
    Sam: Unless we find some way to ignore all speed limits, red lights, and certain laws of physics.
    Closeup on Danny looking sly. Cut to: ...the kids in an RV going about 120 miles an hour, driven by Danny's dad.
    Tucker: Couldn't you've just flown us?
    Danny: The way my dad drives, this is faster.
  • Anti-School Uniforms Plot: Vlad Masters, the newly elected mayor, makes this a rule at the local high school, specifically to annoy Perky Goth Sam, since she's a close friend/sidekick to Vlad's Arch-Enemy, Danny.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Parodied/played for laughs in "The Fright Before Christmas". Maddie takes genuine issue over the scientific implausibility of the existence of... wait for it... Santa Claus. Jack, on the other hand, firmly believes he exists. Both of them, are the two "leading" experts and hunters of ghosts in the world, and are arguing this in front of children waiting to see a shopping mall Santa.
    • Danny has a moment of this when he can't believe that his body is generating extreme cold energy.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • "Mystery Meat":
    Mr. Lancer: Tucker Foley. Chronic tardiness, talking in class, repeated loitering by the girl's locker room.
    (Tucker gives a sly smile)
    • Later, after Jack and Maddie capture Jazz while she was trying to counsel a goth boy:
    Jazz: You've ambushed me, suffocated me with smoke, and worse, I was pulled away from Spike before he had his breakthrough!
    • Maternal Instincts:
    Vlad: Mark my words Maddie, nobody says no to Vlad Masters. You will rue the day that you spurred my affection...AND. I. WILL. NOT. GET. A. CAT!
    Danny: Plagues, pestilence, boy bands, this is one evil box.
    • When the kids get in trouble in "Kindred Spirits".
    Jack: You three are in a world of trouble! Skipping school, stealing and wrecking the Specter Speeder...
    Lancer: Calling me OLD MAN...
    • Vlad's...
    "Taking my map, destroying my satellite, mocking my mental health..."
    "I've forgiven him for many things... causing the accident that ruined my life, stealing you, the backwash incident..."
    • Sam in "Memory Blank" after Danny calls her out on a few Season 1 incidents that were sparked by her meddling: "Anything else you wanna blame me for? World hunger? The Ice Age? Puberty?!"
  • Art Evolution: The main characters don't look like stick figures and actually gain muscles in later seasons; the colors also get more vibrant. Also, the earlier episodes had a very crude, simplistic, and mucky artstyle.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Failed cloning resulted in a female, younger version of Danny, named Danielle, who would devolve into ectoplasm if she used her powers. She got better. Cloning should produce a younger version, just a fair bit more so than the cartoon likely portrayed. The entire thing was an obvious reference/homage to the 90's Clone Saga from Spider-Man, which similarly botched cloning in many, many ways.
  • Asleep for Days: Subverted.
    Danny: What happened?
    Tucker: You passed out. We took you home. You've been asleep for four days.
    Danny: Four days?!
    Tucker: (laughs) Nah, it's only been a couple hours.
  • Author Appeal: Hartman incorporates space themes (he loves Star Wars) through Danny, who wants to be an astronaut.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Danny Phantom! In fact, Butch Hartman claims to have come up with the name first and then created a character around it.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The Fenton Family. Danny is often embarrassed by his family but he genuinely loves them and will always protect them just like they will do for him.

  • Back Blocking: In "Public Enemies." When Danny is captured by Walker after he walks in to a fake town meeting, one of the many flying ghost guards fills the screen with their backs.
  • Badass Family: Danny may be the one with superpowers, but Jazz, Maddie, and even Jack have proven capable of fighting ghosts.
  • Bee Afraid: In "13", when Tucker disturbs a beehive in the middle of lunch period and chaos ensues.
  • Beta Bitch: Star, who mostly hangs around with Paulina to maintain some popularity. Discussed by Sam and Tucker during her temporary departure from such status:
    Tucker: Which means I can finally focus on the satellite!
    Sam: Satellite? Her name is Star.
    Tucker: But she used to be Paulina's satellite.
    Sam: Ahh, the marginally attractive girl who always orbits around the popular girl.
  • Big Eater: Tucker, Jack and Danielle can be seen eating large amounts of food.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Season 1, Episode 6 "What You Want" gives us Sayonara Pussycat, an Expy of Hello Kitty. Sayounara/さようなら (with a long 'o' sound that is often ignored in English) is Japanese for 'goodbye'. Danny even shouts "Bye-bye kitty," as a One-Liner.
    • Nearly all of Wulf's lines, and one of Tucker and Danny's lines when trying to communicate with him, are in Esperanto.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: This exchange from "Frightmare."
    Danny:(After giving Nocturne a vicious attack) That'll teach you to steal peoples' dreams!
    Nocturne: 'Stealing' is such an ugly word. I prefer the term harvest for energy.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • From "Public Enemies":
    Mayor Montez: Now, I know you kids are scared because ghosts are scary things, but I came to your school, not because this a great photo opportunity, [turns and smiles for photographers] but because you children are our future...Voters. [Laughs at his joke as more photos are taken of him]
    • From "Maternal Instincts":
    Vlad: What an amazing, unexpected, and totally unplanned surprise! Personalized gift baskets?
    • The Amity Park signs really love this. "A safe place to live!"
  • The Blank: Amorpho, a shapeshifter whose default form is faceless.
  • Blessed with Suck: Early in the series Danny has little control of his powers and has started sinking through floors and making his pants intangible so that they fall down. He also got banned pre-series from bearing anything breakable while on school grounds.
  • Book on the Head: Used in the episode "Beauty Marked." A Beauty Contest is organized in Casper High to elect a local princess, and Sam competes just to protest on principle. During the walking- with- a- book exercise, she reads hers instead of having it on her head- and soon provoke a general stumbling.
  • Book-Ends: In the first episode, Danny and Sam are vehemently denying that they were boyfriend and girlfriend. In the Grand Finale, their Relationship Upgrade is complete.
  • A Boy and His X: Sam parodies this, on two occasions.
    • "A boy and his dog. Somehow, it's not supposed to be this weird." The dog in question was a ghost dog that alternates between being small and cute, and being large and vicious.
    • Used again in "Infinite Realms": "Awww, a boy and his snow monster."
  • Bragging Theme Tune: He could walk through walls, disappear and fly! He was much more unique than the other guys!
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In "Phantom Planet":
    Technus: Nothing like a lazy day of shopping, lattes, and terrorizing the minimum-wage workers!
  • Breather Episode: After the heavy-handed "Reign Storm" dealt with character developments and important story arcs, the next episode aired was the lighthearted (possibly the most lighthearted DP episode), "Identity Crisis." There was also "The Ultimate Enemy" which was just gruesome, but the episode that aired after was a light and fluffy Christmas Episode.
  • Broken Aesop: Vlad is treated as in the wrong for thinking of his imperfect clones of Danny as cannon fodder. However, Vlad is the only one to feel sad when the unfinished perfect clone is killed.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Danny involuntarily lost his powers thanks to wish granting ghost Desiree in "Memory Blank." He also loses them in "Phantom Planet," but since that was done voluntarily, it's Always Need What You Gave Up.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Danny gets a stylized DP chest symbol on his costume. An episode exists to explain where it comes from, using a Cosmic Retcon so that everyone but Sam and Danny believes that it's always been there.
  • Bully Hunter: Poindexter, the ghost of a bullied nerdy teen who lived in the 50's, who unfortunately combines this with Horrible Judge of Character, who targeted Danny when he thought he was bullying Jerk Jock Dash Baxter.
  • Bumbling Dad: Jack Fenton may be a brilliant inventor and very skilled in combat when things get serious, but otherwise he's an idiot.
  • Butt Cannon: An episode where ghost erased Danny's memories, how to use his powers included, had him attempt to use his ghost ray by firing it from his hands. Instead, however, he somehow accidentally channels it through his rear. Naturally, Danny lampshades the ridiculousness of it.
    Danny: That can't be right, but it'll have to do!
  • Butterfly of Doom: Cheat on your CAT, and the world gets boned. By YOU!
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Tucker. He's dumped on quite a lot and has saved Danny more than once and yet, he only gets thanked once and it's a "thanks for being my friend" that Danny throws out to Sam as well. Although it's heartfelt, the execution of how that came about feels rather tacked on and awkward. Later seasons have him either virtually ignored or usually getting victimized.
    • It becomes part of the plot in "What You Want" when Tucker, after routinely getting pummeled every time Danny ditches him to save the world, wishes for ghost powers.
    • It also becomes part of the plot in "King Tuck" when Tucker awakens a ghost named Hotep-Ra and sends Casper High back to Ancient Egypt.
    Danny (checking which ghosts he's caught): Ember: Ghost Zone. Skulker: Ghost Zone. Box Ghost:
    Danny, Tucker, and Sam: Who cares?
    Box Ghost (popping his head out of the Ghost Zone): Hey! I have feelings too you know!

  • Call-Back: In "Maternal Instincts", Jack Fenton uses an action figure of himself to fight an action figure of a ghost, saying that nobody makes a meat puppet out of him, referring to "Bitter Reunions", in which Vlad Plasimus tried possessing Jack's body so that he could make a fool out of him.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Jazz in Reality Trip.
    Jazz (imitating Jack): I know! Let's catch the ghost and rip it apart mmmolecule by mmmolecule! You guys are so understanding.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: A number of villains refer to themselves as such (most notably Technus).
  • Caretaker Reversal: In the beginning of the episode What You Want, Sam is sick and Danny and Tucker try to take care of her. Guess which two characters get sick at the end?
  • Cassandra Truth: The fact that Danny can unwittingly trigger some of the Fentons' various ghost-detecting gadgets while in human form is a somewhat subtle variation on this. Their disbelief is Lampshaded by the Fenton Finder tracking device at the end of the first episode: "Ghost directly ahead. You would have to be some sort of moron to not notice the ghost directly ahead."
  • Catchphrase:
    • Danny: "I'm going ghost!", "You don't know the half of it."
    • Klemper: "Will you be my fwiend?"
    • Tucker: "Ya got that right!"
    • Technus: "I, Technus (insert outdated slang here)."
    • Box Ghost: "I AM THE BOX GHOST!", "BEWARE!"
    • Mr. Lancer has a habit of using classic literature titles in place of exclamations. "Paradise Lost!"
    • Desiree: "Your heart's desire is my command.", "So you have wished it, so shall it be."
    • Walker: "That would be against the rules."
    • The Lunch Lady has a pattern of gently offering food to her opponents, and then, regardless of the answer, viciously shouting at them, often ending it with "DOOOOOOOOOOM!!".
    • Various characters: "For the record, I blame you." "Survey says..."
  • Celestial Body: Nocturne, the ghost of sleep, has his entire body except his eyes and face-mask as stars in space.
  • Changed My Jumper: Subverted in the episode Masters Of All Time where Danny's time travel to the 1980's reveals that his black jumpsuit is actually fitting for that time period.
    Danny: Oh, great, I blend in.
  • Also, Valerie's first ghost hunting suit, first appearing in the tenth episode. We later find out in the fortieth episode why Vlad gave her the gear!
  • In the second episode of Season 2, "Doctor's Disorders", Spectra says she needs Danny's DNA to stabilize her new body so it never burns out or grows old. Come the season finale, "Kindred Spirits", Vlad wants his DNA as well, specifically from while Danny is in-between forms to likewise stabilize the Danny clone he was making.
  • In Micro Management, Jack left a melting pizza unattended. It was later used for climbing up to the desk later in the episode.
  • In Fenton Menace, we are introduced to Jazz's favorite toy, Bearbert. It was later used by Danny to get Jazz to act like a child again.
  • The Chessmaster:
    Danny: I don't understand...
    Vlad: What? That I used two 14-year-old pawns to turn a knight and topple a king? It's chess, Daniel. Of course you don't understand. But then, you never really did.
  • Clark Kenting: Unless you want to say that Danny's ghost form inhibits mundanes' perception of him or some other Techno Babble, we're asked to believe that changing his hair and eye color is enough of a disguise for him. He doesn't even bother to change his first name. The show mercilessly lampshades and parodies this, however, with Danny managing to get away with it mostly due to others being slow on the uptake.
  • Clock Discrepancy:
    • In an episode, the titular character tricks the Big Bad into thinking he still has 10 minutes left of powerlessness left by turning Vlad's clock back. This allows him to gain the element of surprise and win the fight.
    • Rather unusual because Vlad already knew Danny's powers were close to coming back, so should have noticed the time was off.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The episode The Million Dollar Ghost has the following exchange:
    Newscaster: ...the need for competent, non-Jack Fenton, ghost hunters in Amity Park has never been more obvious.
    Jack: Hey! They said my name!
  • Coming-of-Age Story:
    • In his definite Character Development Arc, Danny starts off as a naive boy who is looking for his place in the world, uncertain of the big decisions thrust onto him. By the end of the series, he has grown into a mature lad who continuously handles big burdens displayed before him. By the ending, said burdens and responsibilities are even bigger, but he's grown up enough to face the task.
    • A smaller meta-arc would be Jazz's coming of age, going from a nosy sullen kid growing up too fast to someone who appreciates her age and knows when not to get involved.
  • Continuity Drift: In one episode a nerdy friend of Tucker's is mentioned as "Nathan." In a Season 3 episode he shows up again, but gets called "Lester," although it might just be his last name.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Mostly the Fenton inventions, but several elements from prior are mentioned in latter episodes (and even move the plot forward). Justifies the great continuity this show has.
    • In episode 16, "Maternal Instinct," Vlad Masters is shown to have one of the large yellow monster trucks which will later show up in "Memory Blank."
    • Speaking of Memory Blank, it contains multiple shout-outs to earlier Season 1 episodes:
      • Danny brings up Sam's "great ideas" of changing the school cafeteria menu (episode 1), releasing the purple-backed gorilla (ep. 3), and selling his dad's old junk at a garage sale (ep. 4). She counters by asking whether he would also like to blame her for puberty, which was used multiple times as an excuse for his "voice change" in episode 5 when Danny was possessed by Poindexter.
      • Sam's photo album contains the picture she took of Danny and Tucker hugging during episode 3.
      • Danny also pulls a Fake-Out Make-Out on Sam, which she had originally pulled on him in the episode where Valerie becomes a ghost hunter.
      • At one point Danny phases down through the floor of the school, noticing the large store of meat in the basement that was discovered in the first episode.
      • Paulina is wearing the same dress at her Quinceañera (15th birthday party) that she wore to the dance with Danny in episode 2, while at the same time Sam comments that she looks "almost human," possibly in reference to Paulina's ghost-dragon transformation from the same episode.
      • During Danny's flashback/remembering sequence, special attention is given to him sneaking into the girl's locker room with his ghost powers, which happened in episode 6, the same episode Desiree was introduced.
    • When trying to act ghostly in order to get Jack to chase him, Danny yells "Fear me!", something a ghost translator from an early episode appended to every sentence spoken by Danny.
    • The emergency ham shows up in the episode "Pirate Radio," before being revealed to be useful for something in "Reality Trip." Also in "Pirate Radio", the easy-listening Ear Worm that's on every radio station is a version of Ember's rock song from "Fanning the Flames" - and Foreshadowing for her appearance as Youngblood's partner in crime.
    • In his second appearance, Skulker still has an appointment to check out a book on purple-backed gorillas. He must have gotten an upgrade since then, since it's never brought up afterwards.
    • In the episode "Reign Storm," Tucker mentions that Danny caught Skulker and Ember and sent them back to the Ghost Zone together. In the episode "Girl's Night Out," it's revealed that Ember and Skulker are now going out (see also, Pair the Spares). Too much time in the Thermos together?
    • In the episode "Forever Phantom," Maddie mentions the time Danny Phantom supposedly "attacked the mayor" ("Public Enemies") and when he "stole" everyone's Christmas presents ("The Fright Before Christmas").
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Danny's first battle with Vlad goes like this by means of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown administered by Vlad.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • From the Phantom Planet Finale:
    Maddie Holograph One: Your resolution is too low and your bandwidth is too large!
    Maddie Holograph Two:"*gasp* Why you holographic- *Violence Ensues*"
    • Another example from Livin' Large:
    Vlad: That sounds fun, akin to sticking hot needles in my- [Maddie enters the scene, interrupting him].

  • Dating Catwoman: Danny and Valerie briefly dated, despite Valerie being a ghost-hunter who works for Vlad.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Tucker ("What You Want," "King Tuck") and Jazz ("The Fenton Menace," "Secret Weapons").
  • Deadly Deferred Conversation: Subverted in the Grand Finale. Before leaving to round up the ghosts needed to save the world, Danny says he has a few things he needs to talk to Sam about after the world is saved (namely, their relationship). While everyone (except the audience) thinks he perished in an explosion, he survived and saved the world, with the episode ending on Danny and Sam's Relationship Upgrade.
  • Deadly Training Area: Despite being jury-rigged, Danny's homemade training area in his parent's basement includes lasers among other, less lethal, hazards.
  • Deadly Upgrade: The EctoSkeleton increases the user's power 100 times, while slowly killing them.
  • Death of a Child: "The Ultimate Enemy" shows the only cold-blooded murder committed in the series and the accidental deaths of Jack, Maddie, Mr. Lancer, Jazz, Sam and Tucker. Sidney Poindexter may also count, but he's already a ghost. An annoying one at that.
  • Detect Evil: Danny's ghost sense allows him to detect when another ghost is nearby.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Well, to a lesser degree. In one episode, Jack and Danny go fishing when they are attacked by some kind of sea dragon monster. Jack kicks its ass pretty easily.
  • Dish Dash: In the series' very first episode. Danny protects Sam from death by flying dishes by catching them all. Unusual for the trope, he gets all the dishes safely put away!
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Paulina was first introduced, they showed all sorts guys reacting to her like this. Oddly enough, that's the only time they did.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Overshadowing looks really, really similar to possession, albeit benign. It would be prime candidate for Insistent Terminology if anyone connected the dots.
    • Danny is scared and confused when the accident turns him half-ghost and spends most of the series trying to keep the truth from getting out. He only allows his closest friends to know about this part of himself and struggles to keep it all a secret. He is especially sure to keep this secret away from his family - his parents in-particular, who possess a dehumanizing, almost zealot-like opinion against ghosts - with Jazz agreeing to keep it a secret out of love for her little brother when she finds out about it. When his parents do find out, they are more shock and appalled at themselves that their son had to go such lengths to keep this secret from them. The whole things reads like a Coming-Out Story for a teenager realizes that they are LGBT+, some reading him as transgender or non-binary due to his conflicting nature as half-human, half-ghost.
    • Sam, Tucker, and Jazz trying to convince Danny to let them help him sort out his problems and that he doesn't have to get rid of his powers in "Phantom Planet."
  • The Dragon:
    • Bullet is Walker's second in command, as shown in "Public Enemies". His loyalty to Walker is questionable, considering he activates Wulf's electrical collar without Walker's authorization, since "Walker isn't here!". Not much is made out of it, though, since Bullet in absent in both of the other episodes with Walker as the main villain, and his only other appearances are minor cameos in "Reign Storm" and "Phantom Planet".
    • Bertrand is this to Penelope Spectra, posing as her assistant when she's pretending to be a shrink, and always helping her out with her plans.
    • Youngblood has an unnamed skeletal ghost assistant who seems to change his shape to match whatever character Youngblood is playing (a parrot when he's playing a pirate, and a horse when he's playing a cowboy).
    • Johnny 13 has his own shadow which does most of the fighting for him.
    • Lydia is this to Freakshow. Even though he's had other ghosts under his command, Lydia is the only one who serves him willingly.
  • Drama Bomb: "The Ultimate Enemy." Period. The show had, for one and a half seasons, chugged along its storyline with a fairly cheerful and optimistic tone. Then "The Ultimate Enemy" aired and was, hands-down, the most serious and disturbing episode in the entire show, leaving many viewers speechless upon its first airing.
  • Dramatic Drop: Sam's reaction to Danny and Valerie being alone in his room for a long time.
    Sam: We haven't seen Danny or Valerie in hours!
    Jack: Ah, they're fine. They've been up in Danny's room! Alone! For hours!
    Sam drops her tea.
  • Dream Weaver: Nocturne, the Ghost of Sleep, demonstrates the power to manipulate dreams in "Frightmare."

  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After having lot of trouble during the whole series, in the last episode "Phantom Planet," things end well for Danny and his friends.
  • Easter Egg:
    • In one episode, Danny and Tuck are playing a Crash Nebula arcade game. Crash Nebula is one of Timmy Turner's favorite superheroes in Butch Hartman's other cartoon, The Fairly OddParents.
    • And then in the FOP episode focusing entirely on the origins of Crash Nebula, the comic book that Crash's original form (before he became Crash Nebula) is reading at the beginning of the episode has a picture of Danny Phantom on the back cover.
  • Egg Sitting: Danny and Valerie, Dash and Paulina, Tucker and Sam all are in the same "this bag of flour is your baby" project for health class in "Life Lessons."
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Before he tells the entire population of Amnity Park that his name is Danny Phantom, the name that the public used for Danny's ghost form was "Inviso-Bill."
  • Enemy Mine:
    • In "Prisoners of Love", Danny convinces some of his enemies (namely Skulker, the Lunch Lady, Technus, Desiree and the Box Ghost), all of which were in prison with him, to unite against Walker and his goons.
    • Danny and Vlad in "Reign Storm" (against the Ghost King) and "Torrent of Terror" (against Vortex).
    • Danny and Dash had to work together against Skulker in "Micro-Management," as did Danny and Valerie in the Chained Heat episode, "Life Lessons."
    • "Reign Storm" also takes this a step further by forcing Danny to unite every ghost he's ever met to defeat the Ghost King.
      • Done again in the Grand Finale when Danny had to get everyone, human and ghost, to work together to save both the earth and the Ghost Zone.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first episode's Cold Open gives little ones to each of the main characters in the form of their responses to Jack.
    Jack: So, Danny! You and your little friends want to hunt ghosts...
    Danny: Uh, a-actually, Dad, I wanna be an astronaut.
    Sam: Sorry Mr. Fenton. I was into ghosts, but they’re so mainstream now; they’re like cell phones.
    Tucker: Waste these looks and all this charisma hunting ghosts? Criminal.
  • Eternal English: You would think that someone who died 1600 years ago would not be speaking Modern American English. Also, the one non-English speaker speaks modern Esperanto.
  • Evil Diva: Ember, who gets power from peoples' devotion to her.
  • Evil Plan: While the particular episode's ghost(s) might have their own agenda, Vlad's plan stays the same until his Villain Decay in Season 3: Kill Jack, make Maddie his wife, and make Danny his son.
  • Expendable Clone:
    • No one, least of all Danny, seems particularly bothered when Danny destroys the less-human looking clones. Only the human-looking Danielle gains his sympathy. This is subverted, however, by the fact that Danny also doesn't seem to be bothered when he destroys the so-called "perfect clone" of himself, which would be, in theory, at least as "human" as his Opposite-Sex Clone Dani. This is justified by the face that the previous clones weren't fully sentient and if the "perfect clone" awoke, Vlad would've taken out the original.
    • Vlad himself only considered the "perfect clone" human, even rejecting the only person who probably loved him, being Danielle.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The opening song is basically the Elevator Pitch for the series.
  • Expy:
    • Danny Fenton/Danny Phantom is essentially an expy for Peter Parker/Spider-Man, both are outcasts who were bullied in school and obtained their powers through a scientific accident.
    • Dash Baxter serves as an expy for Flash Thompson: they're both Jerk Jocks who bully their protagonist while at the same time being the biggest fan of his superhero alter ego.
    • Vlad Masters as well serves as an expy for Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin. Both being rich evil masterminds who have an unhealthy obsession with the Danny and Peter respectively. They both know their secret identities and initially hoped to take them under their wings. In another nod to Marvel, his origin parodies Doctor Doom.
    • Vlad is pretty much an expy for Dracula. Both share the same first name (IE: Vlad Dracula III and Vlad Masters). Both live in huge (mostly) empty castles. Both have supernatural powers (Dracula being a vampire and Vlad being half-ghost). Both are in love with a woman whose name starts with the letter "M" (Vlad loves Maddie Fenton and Dracula loves Mina Harker). And, both use a backwards-spelling alias of their names (Vlad used "Dalv" on one occasion and Dracula, of course, has Alucard). Heck, Vlad even was supposed to originally be a vampire, but, the executives at Nickelodeon thought the whole "vampire" thing would be too occult and had him be a half-ghost instead.
  • The Guys In White are a pretty obvious expy/parody of the Men in Black comic/film series, replacing aliens with ghosts.
  • Initially Freakshow and his Circus Gothica mirror's Marvel's mind-controlling villain Ringmaster from the Circus of Fear, and Lydia Princess Python, another member. In Reality Trip, they parallel The Joker and Harley Quinn a little more, respectively. Not surprising, as Butch Hartman seems to be a fairly big fan of superhero comics.

  • Facial Horror: Vlad's smallest clone of Danny at first just looks like a minuscule version of Danny. Until it turns out his left eye is gone and half of his head is turning into ectoplasm.
  • Fallen Hero: Danny's future self most definitely, irrevocably, very disturbingly and with extreme violence and prejudice.
  • Fair Weather Friend: The A-Listers are shown to be willing to cut each other from their group without remorse:
    • In the Season 1 episode "10 Shades of Gray", when Valerie's father lost his job and her family become poor, Dash, Kwan, and Paulina are completely unfazed by the misfortune that befalls their friend and do not even pretend to care about what happen to her and just cut her out for being poor when she need her friends' support.
    Valerie: Things are kinda tight now, ya' know?
    Dash: No.
    Paulina: Nuh-uh.
    Kwan: Not really.
    • In the Season 1 episode "Lucky in Love", when Danny temporarily becomes popular when he starts to date Paulina (who at the time was possessed by Kitty, who's using Danny to make Johnny jealous), Danny took Kwan's place in the group, with Dash kicking Kwan out despite it appearing they are close friends.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • One episode has Bumbling Dad Jack Fenton kill off a ghost by squeezing it to death. True, it was a mutant beast and the ghost blood they ooze was green, but c'mon; that thing popped like a cherry!
    • Also, the death of Danny's clone — the disintegrating flesh, the sad, trapped look, the arm reaching out to his "father," the mouth opening slightly....
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: What Danny's future self did to everybody. Many ghosts have been crippled or otherwise permanently injured, and Valerie's dad lost an arm and an eye.
  • Fanservice: There are quite a few good looking people on the show and Bare Your Midriff and Goofy Print Underwear come up somewhat frequently. You can see where this is going.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Most ghosts don't like humans and most humans are terrified of the ghosts. Danny being half-ghost makes it worst, as he's hated period by most ghosts he meets and his Alter Ego is feared and hated by most humans except his Secret Keeper friends/sister and the Alpha Bitch. It gets creepy when Danny hears about his parents discussing what to do with his alter ego's remains if they ever caught him.
    • Although in the humans' case, it's somewhat justified. The majority of humanity's first experiences with ghosts stemmed from an attack by a group of Danny's enemies from the Ghost Zone. Until that point, it was the people that believed in them were the ones that were ridiculed. The reason Paulina was amongst the first to stop hating Danny was because Danny outright saved her life, at which point she started to idolize him.
  • Fat Idiot: Jack Fenton, or so Vlad would claim. Jack is actually a subversion, as he appears to be the same old Bumbling Dad, but he has been shown to be a competent inventor as well as being able to take out even strong ghosts when his family's on the line. He's still a ditz, but not as useless as one would originally think.
  • Fate Worse than Death: In "Reign Storm," not only does Pariah Dark get sealed back into his sarcophagus for the rest of eternity, but he gets sealed back into his sarcophagus for the rest of eternity backwards.
  • '50s Hair:
    • Sam's parents dress up like stereotypical conservative 50s parents, with the curls and bouffants and all, in reaction to their grandmother's Beatnik lifestyle.
    • Sidney Pointdexter and his crew cut.
  • Fight Unscene: Economy animation causes lackluster fighting scenes in what is otherwise an Action/Comedy series. This improves somewhat starting around the second half of Season 2 due in part to storyboarder George Goodchild.
  • Flying Firepower: Danny's ghost powers include flight and shooting ghostly ectoplasm beams.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: One episode has a Hungarian transfer student coming in to be Sam's Romantic False Lead. Turns out that he was an American guy putting on a show just to get closer to Sam.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Loads. A lot of it is really subtle and hard to catch until you rewatch things, but two good examples: the ectopusses Danny fights in episode 1 are sent by Vlad (who only shows up in the seventh). In the background, Valerie says "Mrs. Spectra says I worry too much about material possessions" in "My Brother's Keeper." The next episode, it's the loss of her material possessions that drives her to become a very aggressive ghost hunter.
    • Valerie tells Sam in "Reign Storm" that she'd better make a move on Danny, before someone else does. Soon enough, Valerie and Danny start dating, if only for a short period.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Danny tends to forget about his ability to become intangible.
  • Forgotten Anniversary: When the anniversary gift goes to the ghost world...guess what happens. Subverted in that it isn't Jack's Anniversary present for Maddie but rather a present for his Sister-In-Law's anniversary of her Divorce.
  • Friendly Enemy:
    • Vlad implied in one episode that his relationship with Danny is like this, stating "I'm sorry, but funny, joke-around Vlad isn't here today" before attacking him. This is a relationship Vlad saw with Danny during most of the series' run, on account of the villain's desire to have Danny as his surrogate son, his role as an Unwitting Pawn notwithstanding.
    • Played with in the Alternate Timeline in "Ultimate Enemy." Danny seeks Vlad's help when his friends and family are killed, and Vlad seems to be genuinely sympathetic when Danny arrives at his door.
    • By the end of the series, Danny was frenemies with most of the recurring ghost characters. When dealing with a problem bigger than he could handle on his own, he'd often turn to one of the ghosts for help. The fact that he was able to convince nearly the entire population of the ghost zone to help save Earth cemented that status.
  • Functional Genre Savvy: None of the characters seem to consider that any supernatural activity might be the work of something other than ghosts. It's Justified for Danny, at least, who explicitly has a power that lets him sense other ghosts nearby.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Danny's future-self isn't exactly what he'd hope it to be. Then again, not many people want to grow up to be a rampaging sociopath.

  • Gas Mask Mooks: Most non-operative GIW hunters wear masks that resemble gas masks.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Whenever Maddie shows her Action Mom or ghost hunting skills, Jack's usual response is "Man that's hot!"
  • Gender Bender: In "Attack of the Killer Garage Sale," there is a scene where Technus uses some kind of ghostly remote control to turn Danny into several different forms, one of those forms being a blonde supermodel.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain:
  • Girls' Night Out Episode: Aptly titled "Girls' Night Out," featuring Jazz, Maddie and Sam stopping Spectra, Kitty and Ember from making all the men disappear.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Danny's eyes glow green even in human form when he gets too angry.
  • Good Colours, Evil Colours: Interesting switch with Vlad and Danny. It's played straight when they're in human form: Danny wears white and Vlad dons black, but in ghost form, the hero is predominately black while Vlad wears a near all-white suit. Also played straight with their transformation rings: Danny's being white while Vlad's is black. Their hair, eyes, energy blasts, and skin colors in ghost form (no, not like that. It's blue, as in the exact negative of Danny's), also fit.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid:
    • "Reign Storm" where Danny, Vlad and Valerie have to ally to stop a Big Bad.
    • "Phantom Planet," where Danny has to enlist much of the population of the Ghost Zone (both friends and enemies) to save the world from an asteroid.
  • Great Big Book of Everything:
    • "Fright Night" - The Token Trio use a book to learn about the Fright Knight.
    • "Reality Trip" - The trio use a book to find out about the Reality Gauntlet and find out it was written by the Evil Albino.
    • "Infinite Realms" - Vlad mysteriously has a book with information about the Infi-Map in it.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Sam gets really annoyed whenever Danny starts drooling over Paulina.
    • In the episode 'Double Cross My Heart', Danny grows increasingly irritated about Sam's crush on the new transfer student.
    Sam: I've been looking for you.
    Danny: Where, in Gregor's locker?
    Sam: Whoa. Thank you, Joe Hostility.
  • Groupie Brigade: One episode focused on this when Danny Phantom (by this point, a well known hero and celebrity) is on the run from screaming teenage fans; most of which come from his own school. He had to secretly turn human to get away from the crazed mob.


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