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- The Real Spoofbusters: In "The Million Dollar Ghost", Danny encounters groups of ghost hunters that parody well-known franchises. One pair are known as "The Extreme Ghostbreakers", parodying Extreme Ghostbusters.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
"Dude, do you EVER stop talking?! Do you even know how obnoxious you are with your stupid jokes and your lame-o technology?! IDIOT!"
- Tucker receives a quick one in "Double Cross My Heart" when Sam's new crush, who seemed to be a nice guy, shows his true colors when he snaps at Tucker.
- Danny delivers an extremely harsh one towards Jazz in "Secret Weapons"; calling her a lousy ghost hunter, an overbearing sister and an obnoxious know-it-all who should mind her business. This ends up making her run away and cry, leaving several students who were overhearing to glare at him over it.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: Spider-Man WITH GHOSTS! It even has Expies to Spider-Man characters.
- Relationship Reset Button: The beginning of Season 2, when Desiree wipes everyone's memories and Danny forgets who Sam is.
- Reunion Revenge: Vlad invokes this in "Bitter Reunions". He throws a college reunion at his mansion in order to get back at Jack for the accident that gave him powers and for marrying the girl of his dreams who never noticed him at all in the first place apparently.
- Retcon: Sam being incredibly good at physical education in Micromanagment, despite complaining about Tucker's plan to distract the ghost hunters in Million Dollar Ghost including her having to exercise.
- Rich Bitch:
- Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor:
- Maddie with Vlad (rich) and Jack (poor/middleclass) although Maddie appears to have married Jack before Vlad became rich and is disgusted by his attempts to woo her now and clearly would have chosen Jack's well-meaning nature over Vlad's money even in other situations.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: In the episode "Memory Blank", Sam wishes she never met Danny, not realizing it would be granted. As a result both Tucker and Danny don't know Sam. Not only that but while in Danny's pictures of him and his 2 friends, Sam is missing, however Sam's pictures still has both Danny and Tucker. It helped that Sam was still wearing the Specter Deflector belt when the wish was made, that kept Desiree's magic from affecting her.
- Rogues Gallery: Being a Super Hero show, Danny Phantom has its fair share of villains: Vlad Plasmius, Skulker, Technus, Ember McLain, Spectra, Freakshow, Desiree, Youngblood, the Guys in White, the Box Ghost, etc. Most of the villains evenly contributed a dastardly deed at least twice.
- Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue...: When Danny attempts to stop the poem spell by destroying the Ghost Writer's Quantum Keyboard in "The Fright Before Christmas":Roses are red,
Violets are blue...
Once these fry, I'm guessing
This lame poem is... through?!
- RPG Episode: "Teacher of the Year", set in the MMORPG "Doomed".
- Rule of Cool:
- Some of his attacks don't even make sense. For example, in "Urban Jungle" he creates a snowball—with Eye Beams, no less—then puts some ghost energy in it, and throws it at the villain, which pops a hole in his chest. Fair enough. But then the villain, almost immediately after healing himself, explodes from the inside with ice energy...and all of this from one snowball?
- In Livin' Large, Danny takes a jump and Goes Ghost mid-spin then flies to go save the Ghost Zone. Because he can.
- Save Both Worlds: There have been moments where Danny has to save both the Earth and the Ghost Zone, most notably in two of the movies.
- Screens Are Cameras: Danny videochats with Sam and Tucker with no visible webcam.
- Screw Destiny: Danny in The Movie, in which he is shown a future where he's the Big Bad. Chillingly, he doesn't mind until he finds out that his whole family, his friends, and (far less importantly) his English teacher died because of him. He changed his tune right quick, then.
- Sealed Evil in a Can:
- Nicolai Technus spent a fair amount of episodes imprisoned in Level Zero of the Doomed video game.
- Fright Knight was sealed away inside a pumpkin, and was released first by Danny himself (accidentally), and later by Pariah Dark so that he could act as The Dragon.
- Pariah Dark was sealed away to free the Ghost Zone from his tyranny.
- Vlad seems particularly fond of releasing these - he released Pariah Dark unintentionally, and then later on intentionally releases Vortex on the world and then quickly loses control of him.
- Any ghost trapped in the Fenton Thermos. Temporary, but still sealed away.
- Secret Identity Apathy: Most of Danny's villains already know his secret identity from the start; he's well-known in the Ghost Zone for being half-ghost. However, in the episode Flirting With Disaster, Technus warns Danny against transforming and battling him in the open by motioning to a security camera, saying that Danny has a secret identity to protect. Technus is already taking advantage of Danny's civilian identity in this episode, so his reasons for stopping Danny from fighting is to screw with him and his new girlfriend Valerie.
- Secretly Wealthy: Sam's family's rich, but she does everything she can to hide it and be accepted for who she is.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: "Masters of All Time", only to end up changing the change back to the way things were. Also the point of "The Ultimate Enemy" from Clockwork's point of view.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Danny and Sam were in serious denial about their relationship through most of the series, and straight-out used the phrase several times, starting in the first episode.
Ember: So...where's the splat?
- To comic books, crewmembers, The Fairly OddParents, Doom, and Star Wars.
- Also, after forcing Danny to Walk the Plank from Youngblood's flying pirate ship:
Paulina: So you're like, a friendly ghost?
- The name of the male who wears the amulet to become a dragon is Aragon. (Possibly a shout out to the popular book series Eragon, or even The Lord of the Rings?
- The high school is named Casper High School.
- "Urban Jungle" has Danny on an ice world floating in a defrosting tank in his underwear... just before he prepares to beat the Monster of the Week voiced by Mark Hamill.
- The movie posters in Sam's basement: Citizen Kane, Planet of the Apes (1968), Star Wars, A Clockwork Orange and Jaws. In the same episode, see Baleful Polymorph above.
- "Darn! Right at the part where he says, 'you complete me.'"
- "Man, when she sings 'Wind Beneath My Wings', I just go to pieces."
- At the end of Pirate Radio, some very familiar music plays: Popeye's theme.
- From "Fanning the Flames": Take any requests? How about "Beat It"?
- At the end of "Reality Trip", Danny tells the Guys in White to leave his human self and his family alone, because he's not the ghost they're looking for, complete with a wave of his hand (which is currently sporting a reality warping gauntlet) to make them believe it.
- Speaking of "Reality Trip", the whole movie revolves around the villain Freakshow assembling magical gems to be placed into the Reality Gauntlet that, when complete, allows the bearer to rewrite reality at his whim. This is a huge reference to the Marvel story The Infinity Gauntlet, only with Freakshow in place of Thanos, and three gems instead of five.
- In "Public Enemies" when Danny fights overshadowed Kwan, the latter twirls a ghost guard's stick threateningly. Unimpressed, Danny just blasts him.
- "What You Want" features the extremely popular (at least among Paulina and her cohorts) new movie "Sayonara Pussycat".
- In Memory Blank gender flipped expies of the Predator, Terminator, and Freddy Krueger appear as movie monsters brought to life by Desiree.
- Ghost Rays in general look like the energy blasts from Dragon Ball, even the way Danny fires the extra-strong ones looks like a Kamehameha.
- The chariot race in "King Tuck" is a reference to the famous scene in Ben-Hur, complete with Messala's wheel-cutting spoke spikes.
- There are also a few shout-outs to Back to the Future. Marty McFly himself appears in a brief, pause-or-you'll-miss-it cameo in "Masters of All Time" and "Splitting Images". Also doubles as an Actor Allusion, as Danny's voice actor, David Kaufman, previously voiced Marty in the 90's Back to the Future cartoon. George McFly's book "A Match Made in Space" is seen in "Double Cross My Heart". And the coolest; the clock tower in the University of Madison (in "Masters of All Time") reads 10:04.
- There's an obvious nod in the episode "Lucky in Love" to Gone with the Wind. The Once per Episode title card was a parody of the famous movie poster of Rhett holding Scarlett in front of the burning city of Atlanta.
- In one episode, Danny plays a "Crash Nebula" arcade game, a reference to the Show Within a Show on The Fairly OddParents. Which leads to another one: in the Poorly Disguised Pilot for Crash Nebula, the young Crash is seen reading a Danny Phantom comic book.
- Danny's not the first ghost hunter to hate Christmas — Peter Venkman can definitely sympathize. Egon Spengler was also once turned into a ghost for one episode ("Egon's Ghost"), obtaining, among other powers, the ability to sense ghosts.
- In "Parental Bonding" whenever the ghost dragon roars, you can faintly hear Godzilla's trademark roar mixed into it.
- In the very last episode, Phantom Planet, a meteor made of Kryptonite Factor threatens to destroy the world, just like in the first arc of Superman/Batman.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: In "Claw of the Wild", Danny hits Walker from behind with a ghost ray so that he won't be able to get to Sam and Wolf. Walker, as per usual, attempts to flaunt his moral superiority over Danny, and Danny decides to throw this hypocrisy back in Walker's face before freezing him and throwing him back into the Ghost Zone.Walker: Firing from behind! How very cowardly.Danny: (angrily) You'd know all about that. Torturing Wolf! Almost torturing Sam!
- Sickly Green Glow: Ectoplasm, and thus most ghosts and ghost related artifacts, glows a very distinct shade of vivid green.
- Sixth Ranger: Jazz joins "Team Phantom" later in the series, though she isn't accepted so easily at first.
- Skyscraper Messages: In the episode where Danny is dating Valerie, the two of them see building lights writing out "D+V" while riding a Ferris wheel. This was all set up by Technus as part of a plan.
- Small Name, Big Ego:
- "I TECHNUS, MASTER OF ALL THINGS ELECTRONIC AND BEEPING!" He is also the one who came closest to succeeding in his plans.
- The Fenton Family themselves. Or at least Jack - EVERYTHING they make has a "Fenton" somewhere in it, and half his inventions have his face on them somewhere. He even has a toaster that makes toast SHAPED like him!
- The Box Ghost, Master of all things Cardboard and Square!
- Walker, "the sheriff" of the ghost zone.
- Soap Box Sadie: Sam is an example of the angry Goth; she once put up an entire protest in a single night to counter Tucker's views; though he did the same. She both complained about people not accepting her for herself and fought to force the whole school to go vegan. Both of those things happened in the same episode- Tucker's protest was in response to Sam forcing the whole school to go vegan, and Sam's counter-protest was a response to Tucker's protest.
- Something Only They Would Say: In "Splitting Images", Danny, while stuck in Poindexter's body in the Ghost Zone, contacts Sam and Tucker through the mirror to help him out. Since he looks like a green-eyed Poindexter, Sam tells him to prove his identity.Danny: In Second Grade, Tucker threw up in your lunchbox, but he told you Ricky Marsh did it.Sam: (small gasp. angry) What?! I kicked him off the monkey bars for that! (points to Tucker) It was you?! (gasp of realization)Sam and Tucker: Danny?
- Something We Forgot:
- In "Fanning the Flames", Danny and Sam strap Tucker to the Cramtastic Mark 5, a study aid machine in Casper High, in order to "deprogram" him from Ember's spell... but they only remember they left him there 12 hours later.
- This happened to Mr. Lancer in the episode "Control Freaks". He was locked in the janitor's room, presumably for the entire weekend, with the janitor opening up to drop off supplies and then shutting the door.
- Space Whale Aesop: Remember, kids—if you cheat on tests, you will turn evil! That is, turn evil, murder all the people close in your life (and your English teacher), and create a Crapsack World where nearly every place on earth is a pile of rubble, thanks to you.
- Spider-Sense: "Ghost Sense" allows Danny to sense when other ghosts are around.
- Stalker Shrine: An unnamed student of Casper High has one for Paulina in his locker, while Paulina herself has one for Danny Phantom in her own locker.
- Stalker Without a Crush: Vlad is willing to spy on and learn everything possible about Danny, who he'd just love to have as a son himself.
- Status Quo Is God: There are numerous times that Danny's parents find out that he is actually Danny Phantom, the ghost vigilante they keep constantly chasing. And whenever they do find out, their only reactions are to be extremely accepting and supportive of their son... Yet for some absurd reason he continually wipes their memories, only ensuring that he will have to keep constantly hiding the truth from them and get constantly chased by his own flesh-and-blood. He finally comes to his senses at the end of Phantom Planet.
- Stereo Fibbing: Danny and Jazz do this in "Secret Weapons. "You two know each other?" "No/Yes!" "Yes/No!" "Sorta!"
- Steven Ulysses Perhero:
- "Hello, Danny Fenton, Danny PHANTOM."
- Also Frederick Isaak Showenhower.
- Straw Vegetarian: Goth girl Sam tries to get meat banned from the school café in favor of her parody vegetarian diet of turf (yes turf, as in grass) — the result is mass protests from both sides. In this case, though, the trope is invoked as one half of an affectionate parody of Meat Versus Veggies.
- Strictly Formula:
Danny: There's a rhythm to these things. Ghosts attack, we exchange witty banter, I kick ghost butt, and we all go home having learned a valuable lesson about honesty, or some such nonsense.
- It does have a continuity/Myth Arc, but the general formula of the show is followed in a strict pattern: Danny and co. have some personal problem, a ghost appears and somehow meddles in their personal problem, Danny goes ghost and beats the crap out of it, sends it to the Phantom Zone, and solves the personal problem, usually inspired by the battle.
- Or, to put it in Danny's own words:
- Stuffed into a Locker: A first-season episode revolved around the ghost of a nerdy kid who was stuffed into his locker so often as a student that he now haunts it.
- Danny, Tucker, Dash (in opening theme), etc.
- Sudden School Uniform
- Suddenly Bilingual: Tucker with Esperanto. Semi-justified in that geeks often DO use it as a secret language and it does come back a few times in later episodes.
- Sugar Bowl: "Gothapalooza" turned into this briefly by one of the Reality Gems. The protagonists were understandably shocked.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Many times. Technus - most of the time.
- Super Hero Origin: Covered in the theme song, with "Memory Blank" filling in the gaps.
- Superheroes Wear Tights: Danny, in ghost form.
- Superhuman Trafficking: Ghost hunting is a common occupation, although only Skulker and the Guys in White are even remotely competent. Freakshow, who uses and controls ghosts for his circus acts, is another example.
- Sympathetic P.O.V.
- Tagline: "Not seeing is believing."
- Theme Tune Cameo:
- Tucker's cell phone's ringtone in "Double Cross My Heart".
- Danny plays it on giant-robot-Technus' chest in "Attack of the Killer Garage Sale".
- There Are No Girls on the Internet: In "Teacher of the Year", Tucker and Danny don't believe girls play online games. They're extremely surprised to find out the player Chaos, who routinely kicks their butts, is none other than Sam. (She did admit to using "loads of cheat codes and secret power ups" though.)
- They Would Cut You Up: Even Danny's own parents want to do this to his ghost half. And the Guys in White, and their famous quote from Reality Trip.
- Title Drop:Tucker: Long night...
Sam: Of 'flirting with disaster'?
- Totally Radical:
- Executed mercilessly. Sam has even used the word "radical" on at least one occasion.
- "Stellar" has also been used a few times.
- Touch the Intangible: Vlad Masters has a pair of gauntlets that let him bypass the intangibility of ghosts. They're used in The Movie twice: first to separate Danny's human and ghost halves, and second to get rid of an intangible medallion that was tethering him to a Bad Future.
- Training from Hell: Sam did this to Tucker in "Micro-Management". Well, it's pretty hellish when you take into consideration he doesn't have superpowers and is only training to pass a school fitness test.Tucker: [while climbing up a rope] Like chinning up to a killer bird's nest on a tree branch of empty lies!
- Tranquil Fury: Danny entered a very coherent rage during his first true confrontation with Spectra.Ms. Spectra: Can I help you?
Danny: No, I'm sure you can't.
- Transferred Transformation: One episode involved a cursed amulet necklace that changed the wearer into a fierce dragon whenever they got mad. Initially in the possession of a ghost princess mad that her mother wouldn't let her go to a ball, it gets worn by Paulina Sanchez, who gets mad that a trendy clothing item is out of stock, and then Sam Manson, who gets mad at Paulina's shallowness.
- Truth in Television: Vlad can't buy the Packers because "the Packers are owned by the city of Green Bay, and they won't sell them to me!" The Packers franchise is collectively owned by most of the population of Green Bay, and their original contract (which was grandfathered in and isn't allowed anymore) specifies that no single person can ever own more than 5 percent of the team and that the only way to change the ownership by-laws is to disband the team.
- Two-Teacher School: More like three: Mr. Lancer, Ms. Tettslaff, and Mr. Faluca.
- Undeathly Pallor: Averted/played with: Danny's skin color sometimes changes when he goes ghost, but to a healthy tan, not a sickly pale.
- Untrusting Community: Danny had a serious public image problem through most of the series. This changes by the end, though - not only is his ghost half accepted as a hero, he has rabid fans. And plushies.
- Unusual Euphemism:
- Mr. Lancer uses book titles, while Vlad uses snack foods.
- In one episode, Vlad also gives a "what in the name of evil?"
- Uptown Girl: Danny and Sam, though Sam doesn't really care much about her family's comically vast fortune, rarely tells anyone about it, and the series itself only occasionally draws attention to it. Despite that, it's pretty clear that Sam's parents don't exactly like her friends, and the various unexplainable ghost related hijinks that happen over the course of the series don't help much.
- Urine Trouble: In the Christmas special, we find out that a dog peed on Danny when he was an infant while his parents argued about whether or not Santa exists.Tucker: Caught up in their riff on that jolly old fellow, they didn't see Danny's white Christmas turn yellow.
- Villainous Crush: Vlad towards Maddie, he has been obsessed with her since college and his ultimate goal is to steal her and her children away from Jack.
- Villain Decay:
- Vlad during the first two seasons was a Magnificent Bastard and a very competent arch-foe with an often sympathetic side. But in the third season, he became a shallow crook with little redeeming qualities; his final plan was to force the world to let him save it from a giant meteor in exchange for world domination (an agenda that was poorly conceived) and 500 billion dollars...as if he wasn't already filthy stinking rich!
- The Fright Knight suffered from a mild case of this. In his first episode, he's the most powerful and terrifying villain Danny had ever faced; in later episodes, he's always relegated to the role of The Dragon. He's still just as powerful as he always was, but seems weaker in comparison to Pariah Dark and later Dark Danny.
- Villainesses Want Heroes:
- While not an official bad guy, Paulina is the resident Alpha Bitch and she becomes romantically obsessed with Danny Phantom to the point of having a Stalker Shrine in her locker. She only likes Danny's ghost half and ignores his human half who has/had a crush on her.
- Word of God states that Ember Mclain, the Evil Diva might be secretly in love with Danny but won't admit it.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Vlad is a billionaire celebrity and later becomes mayor of Amity Park. Granted, he possessed the voters to win, but he keeps his position for the remainder of the season.
- "Wanted!" Poster:
- The title card for "Public Enemies" features Wulf slashing a wanted poster of Danny.
- Played for the laughs in "Boxed Up Fury". In the beginning of the episode, the Box Ghost is enraged to see there are wanted posters with very high bounties for Wulf, Vortex, and Undergrowth, while there is a "Not wanted!" poster for him. By the end up the episode, however, he's satisfied there's finally an actual wanted poster for him, despite his bounty being just 50 dollars.
- Weird Science: Almost nothing in this show even resembles real science but does have a logic (or lack thereof) all its own.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist:
- Valerie. Oh, Valerie... she wants to take down Danny Phantom because she sees him as an evil threat, and ends up working for Vlad and almost kills Danielle, despite Danielle definitely not being a threat to anyone.
- Vlad before his Villainous Breakdown could be interpreted as one of these as well. All he wanted was love and a family...and to get them, he resorted to the most drastic of means.
- Undergrowth was understandably angry over too much destruction of nature, but unfortunately, how he decided to handle the situation wasn't any better.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Invoked word-for-word in "An Eye for an Eye" after Vlad demolishes the Nasty Burger.Tucker: Farewell, old friend. We hardly knew ye!
- Wham Episode: "Public Enemies". While Danny's exploits up to this point were mostly low-key, below the radar, and ignorable, now the entire town is aware of his existence, and ghosts have become very real for them.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- In the opening scene of "Control Freaks", Danny fights off a horde of ghostly tattoos by creating an energy sphere around himself; the sphere breaks out and swats the tattoos away. We never see this power on the show again.
- Due to the series being cut off while in its prime, we never found out what became of the Crown of Fire Vlad obtained after Danny defeated Pariah Dark.
- In that same episode, the Fentons and Valerie's father Damon launch a probe into the Ghost Zone. What became of this probe and whatever role it would serve would never be revealed.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: To convince Valerie to help him save Danielle from Plasmius, Danny tries to make her see she can't in good conscience harm her because she's half human.Valerie: She is a ghost, and I destroy ghosts.
Danny: Fine, destroy ghosts! But can you really take part in destroying a human?
- What the Hell, Hero?: Sam delivers a scathing one to Danny in Phantom Planet when he is perfectly content to give up his powers and stand back as ghosts terrorize the city, Vlad extorts the city, and Danny gets to be 'normal'.
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Danny gets all his ghost hunting needs in his own basement. One episode shows his own house has a weapons' vault, a possible other source.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Vlad. He is a bit old for this character type, but still dapper. His hair turned white when he got his ghost powers, the time he turned evil, so it doubly fits. Danny, on the other hand, is a subversion since his ghost form has white hair. Also played straight with Dark Danny.
- Whole Plot Reference: Several episodes have plots that mirror episodes from The Real Ghostbusters:
- "Splitting Images" (DP)/"Trading Faces" (TRG Season 5): Ghost takes human's place by trapping him in another dimension via a Magic Mirror.
- "Fanning the Flames"/"Banshee Bake A Cherry Pie" (Season 2): Ghost Idol Singer who attacks with Magic Music puts The Hero under a love spell to stop him from interfering with the big concert where her Evil Plan goes into motion.
- "The Fright Before Christmas"/"Xmas Marks The Spot" (Season 1): The Grinch of a hero learns to love Christmas.
- "Micro Management"/"Short Stuff" (Season 4): Incredible Shrinking Man plot while running from a ghost and trying to get home to get unshrunk.
- "Urban Jungle"/"A Ghost Grows In Brooklyn (Season 2): Ghostly giant plant takes over the city.
- "Frightmare"/"Mr. Sandman, Dream Me A Dream" (Season 1): Ghost tries to put everyone to sleep so they can dream forever.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Sam wears Danny's clothes twice. Sure, it was all for distraction purposes, but... Also Tucker in "Control Freaks" who seemed to enjoy wearing Sam's clothes. And Danny at one point in "Splitting Images". In "Teacher of the Year", Mr. Lancer's "sister" is actually just him in a dress.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Tucker says this word-for-word in "Boxed Up Fury".
- With Friends Like These...: The A-Listers. They appear to be close friends, but it's shown that they are quick to turn on each other and are unsympathetic to each other when they have a problem.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
- Dark Danny. Though the whole thing about watching helplessly as your family and friends get blown up and getting your super-powered ghost half removed did give a good start... but he only started a murderous rampage after getting separated from his human half. His past self is extremely horrified.
- Vlad may also apply as he seemed to be largely content with his life before the accident. When we see him without his powers in "Masters of All Time" he's a pretty normal guy, but seeing Maddie's Ghost hunting gear sends him into a rage.
- You Can't Fight Fate:
"...Me? I'm inevitable."
- ...according to Danny's future self (and a few fans), anyway.
"I'm still here. I still exist. That means you still turn into me."
- Seemingly subverted by the Observants at the end, when they state that Dark Danny "exists outside of time" and, as such, does not require a Stable Time Loop to justify his existence.
- You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: "Or something really scary that we don't see every day!"
- You Meddling Kids:Tucker: Sweet! I always wanted to be a Meddling Kid!