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Tropes Found in Danny Phantom
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  • Hammerspace:
    • On exactly one occasion, Danny is shown carrying the Fenton Thermos by a shoulder strap. The rest of the time, he just pulls it from behind his back, seemingly out of nowhere.
    • This also applies to his costume while he's human, and to whatever clothes he's wearing when he transforms. Whenever he was wearing prior to going ghost, that's what he's wearing when he changes back.
  • Hand Wave: The very concept of a "half-ghost" is this. The mechanics behind it are never really explained, and many a fan has tried to figure out how being half-dead really works.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Vlad and Spectra.
    Spectra: Look at you? What are you? A ghost trying to fit in with humans or some creepy little boy with creepy little powers?
    Danny: Both! …Neither! I don't know!
    Spectra:You’re a freak! Not a ghost, not a boy! Who cares for a thing like you?
  • Happily Ever After: The world is saved from a giant asteroid, Jack and Maddie (and arguably the whole world) knows and accepts Danny's identity as a half ghost, Danny is regaled as a hero around the world, the Big Bad has been banished from the planet, and Danny and Sam get together in the end.
  • Happily Married: Jack and Maddie Fenton; even when they fight, they deeply love each other, and Maddie will always defend Jack against Vlad's insults and jealousy.
  • Harmless Freezing: Subverted, as it was only used on ghosts who were unaffected.
  • Hartman Hips:
    • Maddie, Valerie, Paulina, etc... it is a Hartman series...
    "Man, that's hot!"
    • Sam in "Urban Jungle," but otherwise she's quite trimmed.
  • Hates My Secret Identity:
    • Dash in particular singles Danny Fenton out for bullying, but is a big fan of Danny Phantom.
    • Paulina likes Danny Phantom but hates Danny Fenton.
    • Valerie turns this around in that she grows to like Danny Fenton, but has a major grudge against Danny Phantom.
  • Headbutt of Love: Done with Danny and Sam after he saves her in "Urban Jungle" and following The Big Damn Kiss in "Phantom Planet".
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": In "Pirate Radio", after Youngblood and his pirates swipe the Fenton Ghost Shield, Youngblood turns to his parrot for the term, to which he says 'booty'. Youngblood, his crew, and even Tucker giggled at the word.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Poor, poor Danny... he does whatever he can to protect the people of Amity Park from ghosts that are actually evil, but he still gets considered an evil, threatening ghost himself.
  • Heroic Willpower:
    • Displayed, surprisingly enough, by none other than Jack Fenton in Bitter Reunions. At the time of the episode, he was the only individual without ghost powers to ever stave off an overshadowing, even if for a short period.
    • Interestingly, he only managed to fight back against Vlad, who is evil, and remembered being possessed by him. When Danny possessed him, on the other hand, he instantly submitted and remembered nothing.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Vlad: The purpose for getting the Skeleton Key isn't revealed until another episode - which in turn holds another hidden agenda, taking the Fenton Ecto-suit and the loyalty of the Fright Knight. While the first is dealt with, the show's abrupt end never showed the conclusion/purpose of the latter. Also fitting the ghost-hunting equipment he gives Valerie, the purpose of which we find out over a season later - that being giving him resources to clone Danny.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Happens to Vlad more often than not, but really comes to a head in the series finale when he makes a Batman Gambit to take over the world in exchange for saving them, revealing his ghost half to everyone in the process. This backfires horribly resulting in him being self-exiled from Earth and drifting in space, if not dead.
    • Also happens to Danny when Jazz accidentally sucks him into the Fenton Thermos in "Secret Weapons."
  • Holiday Ceasefire: The ghosts have a rule that fighting is not allowed during Christmas. They're furious when they find out that the Ghost Writer broke the rule and attacked Danny (even going so far as to team up with Danny to teach him a lesson).
  • Homage:
    • Multiple. The Goth Bookstore showcases George McFly's book from Back to the Future on its shelves. When Danny collapses from cold in "Urban Jungle," he wakes up floating in his underwear in a water tank a la The Empire Strikes Back. Then there's "three for the OpCenter" as they "beam up" to the upper level of the Fenton house. And those are just the really obvious ones. There's more than a few examples in dialogue as well.
    • To add into the "Back to the Future" references, "Masters of All Time" has a blink-it-and-you'll-miss-it" cameo of Marty McFly in the group shot of the 80's college student (wearing his infamous red "life jacket") and an even cooler homage: the clock tower on the school reads 10:04. Awesome.
    • Adding yet again to the "Back to the Future" references, the first reference is found in "Splitting Images", the fifth episode of the first season. Marty can be found this time as one of the kids in the 50s version of Casper High.
    • Vlad's mansion being empty of servants may be a reference to Dracula, who likewise had a huge, (mostly) empty castle.
    • Many references to Star Wars are seen throughout the series, as creator Butch Hartman is a major fan of the franchise.
    • After a ninja whirls his nunchucks about, Danny deadpans "I so don't have time for this," and sucks him into the Fenton Thermos rather than fight him. The same happens again in Public Enemies, sans the one liner, and he actually blasts the guy instead of using the Fenton Thermos.
    • The Groovy Gang and Scaredy Cat.
    • The gang goes to Comic Con in one episode. If we list specifics, we'd be here all night, so let's just say that all the basics and more are covered.
  • Devilish Hair Horns: Both Vlad and Spectra sport this.
  • Horrible Judge of Character:
    • Jack Fenton: Up until the finale, he believed that Vlad “Plasmius” Masters was his best friend. Oh, did the truth hit him like a ton of bricks.
    • Sam’s Parents, Pam and Jeremy judged Danny five seconds after meeting him. Eventually, they got a restraining order against him because they thought he was a bad influence on Sam. They think that Jack and Maddie are no better, going far as to judge them just by their usual attire.
    • Valerie Gray: After the fiasco that Cujo, the ghost dog, caused at Axion Industries, which led to Mr. Gray’s termination in “Shades of Gray”, Valerie swore to hunt down all ghosts, including Danny Phantom, who, at the time, was trying stop Cujo from causing any sort of harm. Up until “Life Lessons”, she blamed Danny for her misfortunes and only saw him as a threat to be dealt with with extreme prejudice.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Whenever Danny develops a new power. Or, in the case of "Memory Blank," has to relearn how to use them.
  • Hugh Mann: Amorpho.
  • Humiliation Conga: After Danny shows no remorse for destroying a Christmas poem, the Ghost Writer traps him INSIDE a Christmas poem until he learns the value of Christmas. Things just get worse from there, with the Ghost Writer making Danny's life miserable through turning the town against him.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Basic plot of "Life Lessons," combined with Egg Sitting. Also defines Skulker's character to a tee.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Oh so so much. Probably more prominent in "Beauty Marked" than any other episode, as Danny found at least a dozen for his ax-wielding opponent.
  • Hypno Trinket: Freakshow's staff in "Control Freaks", which of course puts other people under his mind control.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Sam Manson tends to act like one on occasion. She says she opposes violence yet is fine with hitting her friends, namely Tucker, even when it isn't needed. She despises forcing beliefs and opinions on to other yet forced the entire school to eat her "recyclable organic matter" because "we don't need meat." She scolds Danny for using his ghost powers against powerless school bullies yet she's okay with causing millions of dollars in property damage to a dealership because they were selling eco-unfriendly trucks. When Danny dated Valerie, Sam was keen on spying on them, but she she dated Gregor and he spied on them for her safety, she was furious with him.
    • Danny's archenemy, Vlad Plasmius, may count as one too. Despite his claims that all he wanted was to be loved, he treats the only two people who showed him any kind of love or admiration like dirt all because they weren't the wife and son he always wanted. He instead obsesses over a woman, a married one at that, who doesn't even like him as a friend and doesn't care how she actually feels and gaining his teenage archenemy as a son.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Some jokes done with Jack Fenton involve him demonstrating hypocrisy in a comedic manner.
    • In "Fright Night", Jack Fenton sees Tucker planning to go trick-or-treating and asks if he's a little old to be walking around in public in a stupid costume. This is coming from a grown man who wears an orange jumpsuit 24/7.
    • "Maternal Instinct" has Jack playing with toys of himself and a ghost while his wife Maddie laments how quickly their son Danny has grown and how she misses how much time she spent with Danny when he was younger. Jack replies that all children have to grow up sometime, then gets back to playing with the toys.

  • An Ice Person: Season 3 Danny.
  • I'd Tell You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You: "You three have seen too much. You must be eliminated before you permanently alter the time stream."
  • Idiot Ball: Vlad grabs it firmly in Reign Storm.
  • I Just Want to Be Special:
    • Tucker.
    • Amorpho, though not so much "special" as "noticed, good or bad."
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Danny to Tucker in "What You Want", Sam to Danny in "Control Freaks."
  • Idle Rich: Sam's parents are strongly implied to be this when in one episode she wonders why they don't have a day job like regular parents.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: In the episode Urban Jungle, Danny complains about being really, really cold, despite the warm weather. Later, this turns out to be a sign of his ice powers awakening.
  • Immaturity Insult: Some, if not most, of the adults tend to use this when addressing Danny, his friends, and every other teenager.
  • Immune to Mind Control: In "Fanning the Flames", Ember casts a love spell on Danny and Sam; only Sam is not affected because of the Fenton Phones she wore on her ears throughout the episode.
  • Impairment Shot: Danny wakes up to see Vlad and [[Dani]] out of focus in "Kindred Spirits."
  • I'm Standing Right Here: In "Doctor's Disorders", Sam reacts to Paulina calling her "Suzie Nobody" by remarking that she can hear everything Paulina is saying.
  • Inconvenient Itch: In one episode, Danny and Valerie end up in the Ghost Zone and are forced to team up against Skulker. After a while, they end up paralyzing him and leaving him on the floor as they exit the zone. At that point Skulker exclaims:
    Skulker: Okay now my nose itches.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Danny often has to come up with excuses (sometimes involving Suspiciously Specific Denial) on the fly so that he can get away and transform. His friends and sister will also up with some strange ones to cover for him.
    Danny: (noticing Box Lunch) A ghost? Here? (to Jazz) Now get out of my room!
    Jazz: We're in the kitchen... (also noticing Box Lunch) ... but if that's your attitude, then I don't want to see you ... or ... anything you do in here for the next ... several minutes! (exit stage left).
  • Informed Judaism: Actually averted; we actually see the Manson family celebrating Hanukkah. Ironic since Sam's parents are characterized as WASPs.
  • Instrument of Murder: One of the primary functions of Ember McLain's guitar is the ability to create harmful energy blasts.
  • Intergenerational Rivalry: 14yo Danny's rivalry and archemesis relationship with Vlad, his father's old college roommate.
  • Invisible Introvert: Of the half-ghosts, who all have invisibility:
    • Downplayed with Danny himself, who is more introverted and awkward compared to his family and friends, but is outgoing in his superhero form. His invisibility and intangibility sometimes manifests as him sinking into the floor out of embarrassment.
    • Zig-Zagged with Vlad. In his youth, when he first got his powers, he was more nerdy and afraid to confess his feelings to Maddie. But subverted by the time he's an adult, as he's become a ruthless, outgoing villain.
    • Subverted with Dani, who is more outgoing from the start.
  • Invisible to Adults: Youngblood can only be seen by children. This seems to be at least partly psychological—after tormenting Danny for a whole episode without the rest of his family able to see him, Danny makes him visible to Jazz by annoying her enough to break through her maturity, leading her to realize that while she thought she was an adult for so long, she is still only 16 years old in reality, and thus still a kid.
  • Invocation:
    • Danny's "Going Ghost!" is just a habit to say when he changes, it's not necessary.
    • Lampshaded the first time he meets Vlad.
    Vlad: You have a battle cry; hilarious!
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Future Badass Box Ghost: "Beware."
    • From "Bitter Reunions", after Danny scares off the ghost vultures in the castle and first meets Vlad's ghost form:
    Danny: I was aiming for the birds, but you'll do!
    Vlad: (mockingly, after Danny fails at attacking him twice) My vultures were supposed to bring the fat idiot to me, but you'll do!
    • In "Maternal Instinct," when Vlad first uses the Plasmius Maximus on Danny to temporarily De-power him:
    Vlad: I've seen your grades, and I know you're bad at math. ... I'll give you five minutes before I send my minions to destroy you. (mere seconds after Danny flees Vlad's cabin) Get him! Five minutes, five seconds — oh, apparently, I'm bad at math, too!"
    (Later, after Danny gets the better of him and DePowers him with the same device):
    Danny: I'll give you a five-minute head start, Plasmius.
    Vlad: Really?
    Danny: Minutes, seconds... you know how bad I can be at math. (to Vlad's minions) Get him!
    • In "Shades of Gray," Valerie was planning to go to a concert with the other popular kids, but subsequently had to sell her tickets online to pay for a moving truck. Paulina then asks her who bought them ("We don't wanna have to sit next to any losers at the concert."). Later, it turns out that Sam did:
    Sam: (at the concert with Danny and Tucker) I can't believe we're sitting next to those losers!
    • "Life Lessons" begins with a great example. When Danny is fighting Valerie, he says "I don't wanna hurt you," to which she replies "What makes you think you can?" Later, after finding out that they were assigned to the same Home Economics project, the teacher mocks them, referring to them as a married couple. Danny says "I am so not kissing the bride" to which Valerie replies, "What makes you think you can?"
    • As it happens, "Life Lessons" has another instance of this trope; after they finally manage to beat Skulker and remove the handcuffs binding them together, Valerie apologizes to Danny (Phantom).
    Valerie: I never thought a ghost could be anything but trouble.
    Danny: That's because you never bothered to get to know one.
    • And a few scenes later, when Danny (Fenton) finds out the job Valerie has...
    Danny: Wow, this is like the worst job ever. I didn't know this is the job you were talking about.
    Valerie: That's 'cause you never bothered to get to know me.
  • Iron Maiden: In one of the darkest bits of humor on the show, the Bumbling Dad built one of these as a punishment for his children. The "Fenton Stockades", he called them - though ultimately, he's the one who gets put inside.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: In "Bitter Reunions", Harriet Chin describes Jack Fenton's peers as smarter, more successful and better-looking. Jack's wife Maddie objects that her husband's jumpsuit is incredibly stylish.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Ironically, Valerie severs her relationship with Danny (Fenton) before it can start because she doesn't want him to get hurt because of her job hunting ghosts, including Danny Phantom.

  • Jackass Genie: Desiree is an odd example in that she's somewhat a mix of all three archetypes. While she started out as a benevolent genie soon after her passing, she quickly became embittered and resentful toward the people whose wishes she granted, as they would always end up with wonderful lives while she was cursed to eternally be the slave to anyone who happened to wish something within earshot of her. However, she's not completely able to twist a person's wish against them, as shown during the times Danny fought her. If a person's wish is specific enough, she has no choice but to grant it the way they want it.
  • The Jailer: Walker is warden of the Ghost Zone Prison and is willing to make up an excuse on the spot to arrest whoever he sees.
  • Jerkass:
    • Vlad, especially in the series finale, after he reveals his ghost powers to the world. Jack, while surprised at this, is willing to overlook it and try to rebuild their friendship. Vlad coldly blows this off however since he thinks his plans are coming to fruition. When they don't, though, he tries crawling back to Jack. Say the least, his chance at redemption is long since gone and Jack leaves him to rot.
  • Jerk Jock: Zig-Zagged, with both Dash and Kwan:
  • Jive Turkey:
    • The second episode has Mr. Lancer trying to speak rap using a "How to Talk Hip" book.
    • Hey Technus, your language is far out, but your execution is funky fresh.
  • Joke of the Butt: In "Memory Blank", a wish from Sam granted by Desiree results in Danny losing his ghost powers and forgetting both his experiences as a half-ghost superhero and his past with Sam. After Sam recreates the accident that originally gave Danny his ghost powers and tries to bring him up to speed on how his powers work, her efforts to get Danny to use his ghost rays ends with Danny only being able to fire ghost rays from his rear rather than his hands like he usually does. This is later given a callback when Tucker freaks out at the sight of Danny bending over in front of him.
    Tucker: Watch where you're pointing that thing!
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Danny invades the dreams of his friends and sister in order to snap them out of Nocturne's control in "Frightmare."
  • Just Eat Gilligan: With all the times that ghosts enter from the Fenton portal, it's surprising that they never simply shut it off to prevent more ghosts from coming out.

  • Kick the Dog: Discussed in "Reign Storm", where Danny asks Dash "Besides, shouldn't you be failing a test, kicking a puppy, or beating up somebody weaker than you now?"
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Surprisingly, Jack Fenton to Vlad in the series finale. After Vlad revealed his half-ghost powers and threw Jack's attempt to start over back in his face when he believed his plans are coming to fruition. When they don't, karma finally catches up to Vlad when Jack coldly strands him in space.
    Vlad: You wouldn't abandon an old friend, would you?
    Jack: An old friend, no. You, YES.
  • Kids Are Cruel:
    • Poor, poor Danny....
    • Tucker is also a victim of this.
  • Kid from the Future: Box Lunch, daughter of The Box Ghost and The Lunch Lady.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Inverted in a sense; Vlad (the villain) is a huge Packers fan.

  • Lame Pun Reaction: Danny is a master of really bad puns. Also lampshaded once in "Shades of Gray" and "Beauty Marked."
    "Hey, another 'ax' pun!"
    • Puns are used as lead-ins to commercial breaks with alarming frequency. As narrated by Ghost Writer:
    (A giant Nutcracker appears)
    "'Nuts!' Danny cried as he started to run."
    "Must we end every scene with a terrible pun?"
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Jazz, take it easy. There's a rhythm to these things. Ghost attacks, we exchange Witty Banter, I kick ghost butt, then we all go home having learned a valuable lesson about honesty or some such nonsense."
  • Large Ham: Oh, where do we begin? Box Ghost, Technus, Super Danny in "Identity Crisis", arguably Jack, and especially Undergrowth's "I AM EVERYWHEEEERE!"
  • Last-Minute Hookup: After episodes of conspicuous "hints" towards it, Danny and Sam's relationship gets serious only in the concluding two episodes of the series.
  • Last-Name Basis: (Penelope) Spectra.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
    • In "Eye For An Eye," we get Vlad overshadowing Bill Gates and selling himself Microsoft - no, pardon, Mastersoft.
    • An episode later, Vlad flips through channels, and mentions an "embarrassing celebrity arrest." Don't blink when the camera shows the TV, or you'll miss Michael Jackson.
    • In "Attack of the Killer Garage Sale" Technus' operating system is Portals XL, which seems to be a reference to Windows XP.
  • Least Rhymable Word:
    • In the Christmas episode, everyone was forced to speak in rhyme as someone narrated the entire episode. That is, until Danny picked up an orange, prompting the Ghost Writer to remark irritably that nothing rhymes with orange.
    • Later, in Ghost Jail...
    Walker: Orange? (offers it to Ghostwriter).
    • Tucker believed that the reason Danny doomed them all by getting rid of his powers in the Finale was because nothing rhymed with Phantom.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: In "Boxed Up Fury" when Danny saves Skulker from killer unicorns:
    Skulker: I won't tell anyone about this if you won't.
    Danny: Deal.
  • Licensed Game: The episodes "The Ultimate Enemy" and "Urban Jungle" both got video game adaptations. Both were planned to be released on multiple systems, but Danny Phantom: The Ultimate Enemy ended up a Game Boy Advance exclusive and Danny Phantom: Urban Jungle would have been as well had it not also been released on the Nintendo DS.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The show only lampshades this once, but uses the trope consistently. Specifically, Danny has remarked on how Dash owns an entire closet full of leather jackets, despite the fact that Danny wears the same clothes every day as well (as do most characters.)
  • Literal Genie: Desiree.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Danny's change of hair-style in "Phantom Planet."
  • Logical Weakness: Ever tried screaming really loud for a really long time? This is why the ghostly wail is only ever used by Danny as a last resort, as it completely drains him and deactivates his ghost form.
  • Look Ma, No Plane!: Danny has phased through at least one plane.
  • Love Makes You Evil:
    • Story of Vlad's life; he was in love with Maddie, but losing her to Jack after Jack had caused the accident that gave Vlad ghost powers made him turn quite bitter and obsessive.
  • In "Masters of All Time", this was ultimately subverted. Vlad and Maddie married, but Vlad has made her into nothing more than a bitter housewife and Jack a major woobie as a half-ghost shut in. But even then, Maddie and Jack loved each other in this future and helped Danny go back and change it the right way.
  • Love You and Everybody: Danny and Sam pull it on each other in "Claw of the Wild."
    Danny: I couldn't imagine my life without you. [Beat] Or Tucker. [monster appears in the distance]] Stay here. Wake up Wulf.
    Sam: Be careful. I couldn't imagine my life without you either. [Beat] Or Tucker.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Paulina idolized Danny Phantom and typically dismissed Danny Fenton. It later happens in reverse with Valerie, who loves Danny Fenton but hates Danny Phantom! Boy just can't win.

  • Made of Iron: Danny. Even putting it down to a ghostly Healing Factor, Danny gets shocked, blasted, and slammed into walls so often any ordinary superhuman would at least fracture something. Even disregarding the title character, the ordinary human characters survive at least crippling falls without even bruising.
  • Magic Mirror: The mirror in Poindexter's old locker acts as a portal between Caspar High of the present and a 1950's version of the school in the Ghost Zone.
  • Magic Skirt: Sam, Kitty, and Spectra.
  • Magnetic Plot Device: The Ghost Portal.
  • Make a Wish: Desiree, a recurring villain, who would grant you any wish.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Danny and Dark Danny's "Ghostly Wail."
  • Malicious Misnaming: Dash's insults towards Danny that involve the playing with the latter's last name.
  • Mama Bear: Maddie Fenton can get rather aggressive if either of her children are in danger.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Vlad.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Vlad in his black suit.
  • Man Hug: It's brief and goes without comment, but Tucker hugs Danny at one point in "The Ultimate Enemy."
  • Marilyn Maneuver: It's really brief, but when the Sphinx roars at Tucker in "King Tuck," Tucker's loincloth flies up into this trope.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Danny and Valerie. Valerie breaks up with Danny because, ironically, It's Not You, It's My Enemies. (They're a Dating Catwoman pair; Danny knew her other identity, but Valerie was in the dark.)
  • Mass Hypnosis: One of Ember's main abilities is to brainwash a large group of people. In "Fanning the Flames", "Pirate Radio", and "Girls' Night Out", she respectively hypnotizes all of Amity Park's teenagers, adults, and women.
  • Master of Delusion:
    • Valerie, unfortunately.
    • Danny, with regards to Jazz knowing his double life at first.
    "You Go somewhere I can't see you and get help!"
    "Are you hiding here? Then I'll hide way over there where I can't see you."
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Danny.
  • Meaningful Name: Most ghosts' names give clues as to some aspect of their appearance or what they can control.
    • The Box Ghost can control boxes and other cube-like objects. BEWARE!!!
    • Desiree, a genie ghost who grants wishes and lived her life trying to fulfill them for others, is simply another way to pronounce desire.
  • The kids all attend Casper High. Can they really complain about the constant ghost attacks?
  • Also, they live in Amity Park, Amity being a reference to the Amityville Horror.
  • Kwan, a that's name Korean in origin, meaning "strong."
  • Some of the episodes use punny names to hint at villain reappearances like "Dr. Bert Rand" from the episode Doctor's Disorders or M. Bursback Cruise line in Pirate Radio referring to Bertrand, Penelope Spectra's assistant and Ember's second appearances, respectively.
  • Megaphone Gag: When Danny goes missing, his parents drive around while pulling a digital video screen show a picture of his face. Danny's mom makes a standard plea for assistance to bystanders over the vehicle's PA system, but when Danny's father grabs the mic he goes on a spiel about how they intend to shower Danny with "sports and manly stuff" when they find him.
  • Mercy Lead: Valerie in "D-Stabilized." Subverted in "Maternal Instinct" by both Vlad and later Danny.
  • Merry Christmas in Gotham: The show has an all-round Christmas Spectacular as Danny teams up with his enemies to fight someone who is trying to spoil the event. Unusually for a children's show, Danny loathes Christmas, but with good reason.
  • Me's a Crowd: A Running Gag is Danny's inability to make copies of himself.
  • The Men in Black: The U.S. Government's answer to ghosts at first comes off as a typical example, with the little twist that they're called Guys In White and invert the usual fashion choices accordingly. Then we learn that they're paranoid, hammy, not particularly effective at dealing with ghosts, and obsessed with keeping their uniforms clean.
  • Mickey Mousing
  • Mind Rape: Vlad's attempts to get Danny over to his side. Done later on when Vlad tries to remove Danny's human emotions (at Danny's request, chillingly). That it backfired is putting it mildly.
  • Misery Builds Character: Early in the series, Valerie was cruel, selfish, and mean-spirited like her popular friends. However, her descent into unpopularity begins to change her into a nicer, less egotistical person to the people around her, making new, better friends while looking upon her former "friends" with disdain and disgust. She also becomes more compassionate and caring, going from just wanting to get revenge on ghosts like Danny to endangering herself to protect Amity Park from ghost attacks.
  • Mood Lighting: Seems to represent a drop in temperature coming with the presence of a ghost.
  • Motive Decay: Vlad's initial, intriguing motive to turn Danny into his son and apprentice, putting him on par with Slade from Teen Titans, disintegrated without explanation by Season 3, leaving him nothing your average, run-of-the-mill Villain with Good Publicity.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Jack Fenton is made of this. When split into "Hero" mode and "Slacker" mode, Hero!Danny is too.
    "Curse this infernal messy room! This looks like a job for... the vacuum cleaner!"
  • Mundane Utility: In "Prisoners Of Love," Danny is shown using his ghost powers to vacuum high parts of walls and clean the lab.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Vlad will do absolutely anything to claim Maddie for his own. Luckily for Jack, Danny's powers have saved him from demise more than once.
  • Musical Assassin: Ember McLain.
  • Music Genre Dissonance: Ember has a punk-looking band but her Villain Song, "Remember", is a pop song. Sam even refers to it as such.
  • Mustache Vandalism: The first thing Technus does as soon as he's freed from Danny's old game of Doomed is to open a paint program with a picture of Danny's crush Paulina and draw a mustache and massive glasses on her. Later, once Technus beams himself into the mainframe of the Fenton RV, he does the exact same to a picture of Jack Fenton.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Lancer in "The Ultimate Enemy." Jack, Maddie, Jazz, Sam and Tucker are all "gone, but not forgotten." Lancer is just "gone" due to his statue being half-sunken into the ground.
  • Myth Arc:
    • Danny's coming of age as a superhero and struggle with his darkness, his deepening relationship with Sam, and the world's gradual acceptance of him - and that's just the main character.
    • Jazz's arc where she slowly and eventually accepts her parents' ghost hunting habits and eventually getting into the life style; she also learns to embrace her childhood instead of acting like an adult all the time.
    • Valerie's growth from a shallow, popular teen in the background to a fierce ghost-hunting warrior who starts to see a world beyond what she perceived while she was spoiled.
    • Vlad's continuous desire for Maddie and especially Danny that culminated in his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Mythology Gag: In "Livin' Large", Danny rides Johnny 13's motorcycle, which is a reference to Danny's original character concept where he would ride a motorcycle.

  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Vlad Masters/Plasmius, Skulker, Pariah Dark, Fright Night, and Dark Danny.
  • Narrative Poem: Most of the "Fright Before Christmas" is a poem, written in-universe by the Ghost Writer, in which Danny is trapped and forced to go through a Christmas story.
  • Nature Tinkling: While following his wife Maddie to her visit to her sister in "Prisoners of Love", Jack Fenton ends up having to pee and is forced to relieve himself outside when his sister-in-law informs him that there aren't any indoor toilets or outhouses around.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Kind of justified since it serves as a more physical metaphor for his character growth (his powers grow as Danny himself does). Also turns into various random abilities that show up and are never seen again. In Technus's first appearance Danny is able to project a square shield to protect himself, Tucker, and Sam, and his reaction is "Cool! How'd I do that?"
  • New Superpower: After establishing the basic ghost-related abilities, Danny gets newer, less-ghostly, energy-based powers about every other episode. One notable gain occurred in "Urban Jungle", where Danny develops ice- and cold-generation powers just in time to fight a plant ghost who is particularly vulnerable to cold. However, at least the producers were classy enough to foreshadow this new power; Danny's ghost sense is said to be a by-product of it. Furthermore, the episode used that power as the springboard to show the deepening friendship with Danny and Frostbite as student and mentor.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Danny gets manipulated into screwing up a few times. It almost always turns out alright and the one time it didn't found someone hitting the Reset Button. Ironically, he messed up all by himself that one time. It ended up destroying thousands, if not millions of lives... which made the Reset Button required.
    • Sam had a moment herself in "Memory Blank", where her wish that Danny never met her results in making Danny lose his powers and all memory of his adventures as a half-ghost superhero (as it was partly Sam's fault the accident that gave Danny his ghost powers happened in the first place).
    • Clockwork attempts to prevent the Bad Future by sending a ghost to eliminate Danny. The fight between Danny and that ghost sets the events leading to that same Bad Future into motion.
    • Jazz in the episode following when she learned of her brother's superhero identity. She insisted on being part of the group to help capture ghosts, but wound up doing more harm than good. Jazz even caused Danny to lose against the Box Ghost.
    Jazz: That was good work tonight, Danny. We caught three ghosts!
    Danny: No. Actually, you caught ONE ghost. THREE times. ALL OF THEM ME!!!
    • Then when Skulker attacked...
    Skulker: Now I'll ask again, WHERE IS {the ecto-converter}!? (gets shot by Jazz in the van)
    Jazz: That's right, you better run, ghost! This baby's juiced up by the ecto-converter!
    Skulker: (Beat. Skulker smiles deviously and mocks Danny) I like your new helper!
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Does Technus remind you of Gilbert Gottfried? Exactly.
  • No Dress Code: Sam, Paulina, and a few the other female students in Casper High wear midriff exposing shirts and tops without any repercussions at all.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Plasmius' introduction. Oh, but what an introduction.
    • Does it again in "Kindred Spirits."
  • Non-Linear Character: Clockwork. He always shifts through kid, adult, and old man appearances.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • "Maternal Instincts" revealed there was a "Backwash Incident" involving the college trio (Vlad, Jack, Maddie). It's one of the reason Vlad has held a grudge on Jack.
    • In that same episode, Jack had previously had the house sent into a "parallel dimension." Maddie hasn't gotten over it since.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Averted in "The Nightmare Before Christmas," when Danny destroys the Ghost Writer's Quantum Keyboard, thinking it will undo the poem curse, but it turns out he's still talking in rhyme and now the Ghost Writer has no means of ending the curse himself.
  • Not Like Other Girls: By Danny.
    Danny: How can I trust her [Paulina]? She's a girl, girls can't keep secrets! [Danny notices Sam looking at him crossly] Uh, except for you, you're...different.

  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Played for laughs. When the family temporarily gets filthy rich, they move. Jack wants to call their new home "Fenton Works 2: This Time, it's Personal."
  • Off-Model:
    • Sprinkled throughout the series, most notably during a period in the first season (and the beginning of Season 2) where the entire cast turned rubbery in a few episodes.
    • The scene in which Danny falls on the floor, everyone looks down and laughs. However, when Danny stands up again, everyone else is still staring at the floor. Or in one girl's case... his crotch.
    • The most frequent error in the series is a shot during fights where Danny isn't carrying the Fenton Thermos when he logically should be doing so.
    • The promotional short "Fairly Odd Phantom", which is a crossover between Danny Phantom and the other three cartoons Butch Hartman created for Nickelodeon (The Fairly OddParents!, T.U.F.F. Puppy and Bunsen Is a Beast), has a few of these. Mostly with the character's eyes becoming smaller than they should be, or some weird proportions for a few seconds. Other than that, the short decently transferred the character models into HD otherwise.
  • Old Man Marrying a Child: Prince Aragon's plan in "Beauty Marked" boils down to this, as he is over a thousand years old and the one he plans to marry in the end is Sam Manson, who is in her early teens.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Dark Danny, apparently. No onscreen death actually occurs, however. He's also the only person who has actually committed murder.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Observant High Council.
  • Omniscient Morality License:
    • Clockwork, who does some very questionable things. It turns out okay, but still...
    " Danny Phantom grows up to be the most evil ghost on the planet. What do you want me to do about it?"
    • Also, the Observants may count, though their perception of time is not as dynamic as Clockwork's. They were willing to kill a fourteen year old kid, but only then to save thousands of lives.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: "Prisoners of Love" involves Danny and Jazz believing that their parents' marriage is in jeopardy due to Maddie being upset at Jack for forgetting their anniversary and choosing to go see her sister while mentioning something about a divorce. It later turns out that Maddie is visiting her sister because it's the anniversary of her divorce.
  • One True Love: Jack and Maddie Fenton, who are shown to be completely and utterly in love with each other no matter when, where or what they are. In alternate timeline where Maddie married Vlad, she's shown to be absolutely miserable and still in love with Jack, who took Vlad's place as the first halfa and stayed away from Maddie out of shame as a result. Hell, when Vlad designed a computer program based entirely off Maddie, specifically one that is supposed to love him and disparage Jack, the program reveals in its dying moments that it never loved him and instead loved Jack (or "The Jack Program", in this case). This is one of the reasons why Danny doesn't need to do much to interfere with Vlad's advances towards his mother — he knows she's never going to betray his father.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Whenever he's forced to team up with Danny, Skulker only does so to be able to continue hunting him.
    "Now go! Defeat him! So I'll be free to hunt you another day!"
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Christmastime is the only time of the year when Sam's actually cheerful. Unfortunately, everyone's so used to her sulkiness that they see it as a sign of the apocalypse.
  • Open-Fly Gag: When Tucker catches the jar containing Jazz's amorphous state in "Doctor's Disorders", Jazz tells Tucker that his fly is open.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Jack and Maddie Fenton wears orange and blue jumpsuits, respectively. Jack is immature and childish while Maddie is much more sensible.
  • Orbital Kiss: Danny and Sam in "Phantom Planet", complete with Foot Popping.
  • Our Souls Are Different: On multiple occasions, Danny Fenton's soul is shown to be separate from Phantom. Originally happened via a forced "Freaky Friday" Flip with Poindexter, who was capable of morphing into Danny Phantom while in Fenton's body. Subsequently, any time Danny's ghost and human halves are split - either by the Fenton Ghost Catcher or Vlad's Ghost Gauntlets in "The Ultimate Enemy" - the latter is conscious and active.
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Several antagonists, but notably Dark Danny who, unfortunately, does not return.
  • Out of the Inferno: While fighting Danny, Dark Danny is weakened by the Specter Deflector and hit into an oil truck, which the fire from his hair ignites. Danny walks away... Only for Dark Danny to emerge out of the blaze, unscathed and clutching the now-useless device. He then proceeds to beat the crap out of Danny.
  • Overprotective Dad:
    • Paulina's father:
    "If you upset my daughter, we are going to have a very violent talk."
    • Also, Valerie's dad, Damian, to a lesser extent. He's okay with Danny and Valerie being together, just so long as none of Danny's parents' "ghost weirdness" rubs off.

  • Painful Rhyme: Lampshaded by Danny to Lancer in "Teacher of the Year":
    "In the poem, 'The Tyger,' why does the author rhyme the words 'eye' and 'symmetry'?"note 
  • Pair the Spares: Once, when Danny began dating Paulina who really being overshadowed by Kitty, Sam got unwillingly paired up with Kwan while Tucker began dating Star. Finally, Star and Kwan hooked up with each other, allowing Sam and Tucker to both be single once more.
  • Papa Wolf: Jack can get rather aggressive if either of his children are in danger.
  • Parrot Expo-WHAT?:
    Jack: It's the Ecto-Exodus Alarm!
    Danny, Sam and Jazz: The Ecto-whaty-what?
  • Passed in Their Sleep: Word of God is Ember died in her sleep, though it was anything but peaceful. She died because her house burned down and she was too exhausted from being stood up from a date all night to notice.
  • People Jars: The clones in Kindred Spirits are kept in large tanks full of ectoplasm.
  • Perky Goth: While Sam tends to be a usual Emo Teen, she still has her moments of cheerfulness, especially when she needs to pull Danny out of a bout of cynicism. This goes double during the winter holiday season, as seen in The Fright Before Christmas.
  • Phantom Zone: The Ghost Zone is a literal Phantom Zone, being a sort of limbo area that ghosts reside in.
  • Ping Pong Naïveté: Danny.
  • Pining After Protagonist's Parent: Vlad has been in love with Danny's mother, Maddie, since college. A huge part of his character is trying to "win her back" by forcing her husband Jack out of the picture, which of course never works out because Danny doesn't want that.
  • A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Youngblood and his pirate crew. Though considering he later appears as a cowboy and astronaut, he's really a kid acting out fantasies.
  • Plague Episode: In "Doctor's Disorders", the entire student body of Casper High is infected by ghost mosquitoes, giving them a strange disease that makes them develop ghost powers.
  • Plot Hole:
    • In Identity Crisis, how did Technus escape from Doomed when Danny deleted it? He was trapped at level zero online, meaning deleting the program wouldn't free him.
    • How come Sam & Tucker couldn't see Youngblood when he was tormenting Danny in "The Fenton Menace"? They should've been able to see him as he's only invisible to adults (or kids who act like adults like Jazz).
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Prince Aragon in the episode "Beauty Marked" is shown to be a misogynist, as he yells at his sister Dorothea whenever she dares to speak her own opinion and is clearly outraged by the very concept of a woman defying his orders or thinking for herself.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: When Sidney Poindexter, a ghost from The '50s takes over Danny's body in the present, the other students have no idea what an egg cream is.
  • Portal Picture: In Livin' Large:
    Danny: Okay, think fast. If I were Vlad's portal, where would I be? Woah, that is a really big, really ugly painting. Evil dudes are so predictable.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Rather often, starting in the first episode with Danny saving Tucker and Sam from the Lunch Lady, only to collapse afterward. Subverted in the climax of "Ultimate Enemy." Eventually, he grows out of this as he gets used to his powers and develops them further.
  • Potty Emergency:
    • Jack has to pee in "Prisoners of Love" after he's followed Maddie to the home of her sister.
    • "Infinite Realms" has Tucker consume vegetables for the first time in his life by devouring the circle of blood blossoms to save Danny in colonial era Salem, Massachusetts. This has the outcome of Tucker needing to defecate for most of the remainder of the episode.
  • Power Degeneration: The fate of the Danny clones and almost that of Dani when overextending her powers.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: When Danny first gets his powers and, subsequently, whenever he "goes ghost", his hair turns white. In "Phantom Planet," when he decides to reverse the accident that gave him his ghost powers and get rid of them, he gets a streak of white in his hair, which goes away when he gets his powers back. It is even commented on in-universe.
  • Power Glows:
  • Power Incontinence:
    • A common theme for Danny in early Season 1, when he's still getting used to his ghost powers. In Parental Bonding,for example, his pants keep falling down due to his phasing powers acting up involuntarily.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Danny was seen phasing out of the girl's locker room twice in Memory Blank with a very content/perverted grin.
    • Danny also weaponized it against Tucker in What You Want when he lured Tucker into the girl's locker room, distracting Tucker long enough for Danny to defeat him.
  • The Power of Rock: Ember is a villainous version of this. Her theme
  • Power Trio:
    • Ego: Danny
    • Superego: Sam
    • Id: Tucker
  • Prank Gone Too Far: In Forever Phantom, Amorpho transforms into a cat and walks in front of a school bus. While he only meant to scare the school bus driver, his "prank" caused the bus driver to swerve off the road, and a large number of children would have died if Danny wasn't there to save them.
  • Prison Episode: Danny becomes an inmate of the Ghost Zone Prison in "Prisoners of Love" and has to find a means of escape so he can get back to retrieving Jack's apology gift for Maddie, which Danny accidentally sent to the Ghost Zone in the first place while using his powers to clean up the lab.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Several times throughout the series.
  • Purgatory and Limbo: The Ghost Zone is Purgatory, according to Word of God. Heaven and Hell do exist in the DP-verse, just under different names—they're called the Elsewhereness and the Unworld, respectively.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Danny has had a few throughout the series, but this is one that sticks out.
    Danny: *To other ghosts* The good news is, my powers are back. The bad news is, my powers are back! (KO's everybody with the Ghostly Wail)