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"Call it fate. Call it luck. Call it karma. I believe that everything happens for a reason."
Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (titled Ghostbusters: Legacy in some countries) is a 2021 supernatural adventure film set in the Ghostbusters franchise, written and directed by Jason Reitman (the son of Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two films and produces this one) and co-written by Gil Kenan of Monster House fame. It is the direct sequel to Ghostbusters II, disregarding the 2016 reboot.

Two siblings, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), move to the small town of Summerville, Oklahoma with their single mother, Callie (Carrie Coon) after she inherits property from their late grandfather. When the town experiences a rash of unexplained earthquakes, the kids — with the help of science teacher Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd) — discover their family's link to the original Ghostbusters, and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

The film was originally scheduled for a 2020 release, but due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was ultimately delayed to November 19, 2021. 3 months before release, the film had a surprise premiere at CinemaCon on August 23, 2021. It also got another announced premiere at Lucca Comics&Games, an Italian comic book and fiction-based convention, on October 31, 2021 (for an Halloween night event), right after the full reopening of cinemas after the long COVID-19 Pandemic related stop in the country.

At CinemaCon 2022, another Ghostbusters film was teased and later confirmed during Ghostbusters Day note  to be a continuation of Afterlife, only going by the codename "Firehouse". The film was eventually revealed to be titled Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire and given a release date of March 22, 2024.

Previews: Trailer, Trailer 2 International Trailer Final Trailer

I ain't 'fraid of no tropes!

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    Tropes # to D 
  • 555: Phoebe watches the Ghostbuster's first TV commercial and writes down the number, 555-2368. Surprisingly, the number's still active, now being used by Ray's Occult Books.
  • Actor Allusion: There are two for Paul Rudd, both relating to his role as Ant-Man:
    • In one scene while "supervising" his summer school class, he can be seen reading an Avengers comic book. Ant-Man was a founding member (albeit not the Ant-Man portrayed by Rudd).
    • A later scene sees him getting a tub of Baskin Robbins ice cream out of a Wal-Mart freezer, despite his past relationship with the ice cream eatery.
  • Adults Are Useless: Most of the adults in the movie are apathetic towards everything and rarely say anything nice or help in any way. Notably, Callie does not listen to whatever Phoebe and Trevor has to say and is often found drinking. Only the original Ghostbusters avert this trope by coming to help the new team.
  • Advertised Extra: Weaver only appears in The Stinger to zap Venkman.
  • The Alleged Car: The Ecto-1 has to be coaxed back to life by Trevor and the ghost of Egon Spengler, and the sliding stop while chasing Muncher demonstrates that its tires are dry-rotted to an alarming degree. This car was already a beater when it began its life as the Ghostbusters' cruiser, but considering that it has been sitting untouched for a significant amount of time, the vehicle's poor condition is understandable. When Winston sees the car's sorry state, he's horrified and promises that he'll get it back into proper shape.
  • Almighty Janitor: Grooberson is introduced teaching summer school in a remote Oklahoma town, and not putting much effort into it, but turns out to be a seismologist investigating the odd earthquakes in the region as a hobby.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Egon's death at the beginning of the movie. There's some implication that he used the P.K.E. taser on himself to induce a heart attack but that would have left a mark on his body and would have cast suspicion on his death. The taser could have been used on Zuul to drive her off and the stress of doing that after the car crash and then his trap failing is what triggered the heart attack.
  • And Starring: Paul Rudd gets the final slot in the credits - Featuring Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Ernie Hudson, with Sigourney Weaver.
  • Appeal to Familial Wisdom: Subverted. Callie's advice to her daughter on the first day of school is, "don't be yourself". Phoebe ignores that and meets up with Podcast.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • While the existence of ghosts is still accepted and even championed by some people (such as Grooberson), the population at large doesn't seem to acknowledge their existence. The Ghostbusters' exploits have largely been treated as a minor footnote in history, Summerville's police chief (Lucky's father, Sheriff Domingo) doesn't believe the kids and treats reports of Muncher as being "an animal", and Grooberson and Podcast are the only ones who went out of their way to research the paranormal.
    • When contact is made with Ray, he reveals that years back Egon started insisting that there was an oncoming apocalypse and was so adamant over the regular Ghostbusting business it ended up breaking apart the team.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Ray tells Phoebe that Egon made off with "16 ounces" of isotope fuel when he left. Even in the metric-averse U.S. a trained scientist like Ray would measure such things in metric units.note 
    • When Podcast takes Phoebe to see the selenium mine, she asks, "Why would you make a steel beam out of an electro conductor like selenium?" That question makes no sense, because steel conducts electricity better than selenium. The real reason you'd never make girders out of selenium is because it's both hundreds of times more expensive than steel, and also just plain not very strong.note 
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Egon, with his work stopping Gozer finished and reconciling with his friends and family, departs from the land of the living.
  • Audience Surrogate: Podcast and Mr. Grooberson. The former is a surrogate for the over-exuberant giddy fankid that many Ghostbusters fans were back in their youth. The latter is a surrogate for the typical fan now; adult and a bit more world-wise but still prone to get giddy over their old favorite things from childhood.
    • Also, during the final confrontation, three Stay-Puft marshmallows stop fighting Podcast in the Ecto-1 to squee out the rear window as the original team enters the battle - it's likely that many fans did something similar in theatres.
  • Back for the Dead: Egon is killed at the start of the movie although that doesn't stop him from playing a pivotal role in the following events.
  • Backup from Otherworld: Egon helps in the final confrontation against Gozer, steadying Phoebe's arm and bracing her against Gozer's attack.
  • Beam-O-War: Between Phoebe and Gozer during the final battle.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Callie says to Gary that she wishes her daughter would do normal things like get in trouble. Minutes later, her kids go out to bust their first ghost, and get arrested for causing property damage, along with speeding and driving without a license.
  • Big Bad: Once again, Gozer the Gozerian.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Ivo Shandor, the Greater-Scope Villain of the original movie and technically this film, proposes an alliance with Gozer. note  Gozer promptly rips him in half.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just when it looks as though all hope will be lost, Callie and Phoebe are saved from being fried by Gozer by the arrival of the original team, who mock her before blasting her with their Proton Packs. This is then subverted, as they alone aren't enough to stop Gozer, prompting Phoebe's intervention with the Proton Pack (and help from Egon's spirit) to distract her long enough so the rest of the team and Trevor can get the required pieces in play to activate the mass of Ghost Traps.
  • Big "YES!": When Phoebe first blasts her target with the Proton Pack, Podcast is channeling everyone's inner fankid as he watches with exuberant glee.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The kids, with the help of the original Ghostbusters and Callie, defeat Gozer and save the world and everyone gets to reconcile with Egon's spirit. But now that Egon's work is done, he must move on to the afterlife. It's clear he still regrets he had to give up his family and friends in the last years of his life to ensure Gozer's defeat.
  • Black Comedy: The Mini Stay Pufts' introductory scene shows them to be joyfully and innocently psychotic, toddling around like grinning gooey babies to squish, roast, and impale each other without feeling any pain and not caring about being destroyed or killing each other. It's goofy slapstick and visual gags with a fairly sick and unsettling edge as we see them cheerily inflict brutal violence on each other that would turn the film into a complete horror movie if their bodies and guts weren't marshmallow.
  • Bloodless Carnage: When Shandor gets bisected, there's no blood or gore to speak of. Given that he's been laying inside a glass coffin for over a century, it's an open question as to how alive he was or how "juicy" his insides would be.
  • Body Horror: Trevor, Podcast, and Phoebe make their play to exorcise Callie by having Phoebe tell her bad jokes to Gozer while Podcast stealthily rolls the RTV under Zuul, and Trevor waits in ECTO-1 as the getaway driver. Gozer can't remain fully our world without both guardians, and what remains isn't pretty. And Gozer is pissed.
  • Book Ends:
    • Callie is deeply embittered by her father's abandonment, even going so far as to remark there are no pictures of his family in his farmhouse. Later in the film she discovers Egon's lab and an entire wall of photos of her growing up to remind him why he left and what he's fighting to save and the dam of resentment and bitterness breaks.
    • The movie opens with Egon trying to activate a trap, but it doesn't work. The kids realize he had buried hundreds of ghost traps in the field, the transformer he rigged through the silos didn't have quite enough power to make it work and Trevor gave it the necessary juice by firing a proton stream into it, taking care of Gozer and their army.
  • Brick Joke: Early on in the film, Podcast tells Phoebe that his paranormal podcast is growing (he has one subscriber) and contends that his work "really found its voice in episode 46." At the very end of the film, as the team catches their breath after the climactic battle, Ray congratulates Podcast, who subsequently realizes that Ray is the one subscriber to his MTUU podcast (complete with Ray stating the show "found its voice in episode 46").
  • Bullet Seed: Muncher is able to spit shards of metal as dangerous projectiles.
  • Call-Back:
    • The entire town of Summerville was built around the Shandor Mining Company; the selenium used in the construction of 550 Central Park West all came from this mine.
    • Grappling demon-dog hands spring from a chair to clutch at Egon during the opening sequence, much like how Dana was captured for possession by Zuul.
    • Bags of marshmallows come to life and transform into tiny Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men — indicating Gozer is making a resurgence. Vinz Clortho chases Mr. Grooberson with the same clumsiness he exhibited in the first film.
    • Egon's basement lab features a collection of spores, mold and fungus, which he listed as a hobby in the first film.
    • The Twinkie in Ecto-1's glove compartment recalls the "That's a big Twinkie" discussion from the first film, when Egon stated that the abnormally high psychokinetic energy readings he was tracking were comparable to a Twinkie that was thirty-five feet long and six hundred pounds.
    • The candy wrapper Phoebe finds in a pocket of Egon's old jumpsuit is from a Crunch bar. That's the same type of candy bar that Peter gave Egon as a gag reward for determining that trapping a ghost could be done.
    • During the police station scene, Phoebe reacts badly to being told the old ghostbusting equipment is being seized and in an act of rage grabs at Egon's proton pack neutrona wand, attempting to brandish it as a weapon. This was a very clever, accurate and subtle callback to Egon losing his temper in the original movie (specifically, when he tries to physically attack Walter Peck after the containment unit is shut down), demonstrating that Phoebe has inherited Egon's seldom-discussed (or even noticed) deeply-buried but extremely fiery righteous temper.
    • One of the notes Egon has on Callie mentions the dorm room she's moving into (presumably for college) "shows serious stress fatigue in all load bearing" echoing his sentiments in the first movie where he questioned the structural integrity of the firehouse.
    • During the confrontation with Gozer, Peter, Ray, and Winston show up to help out. Ray once again reads her the riot act before Gozer once again asks if he's a god. Peter and Winston glare at Ray, remembering the last time he answered that question. This time, Ray says yes, he is a god. They're all gods.
    • After his battle with the mini-Stay-Pufts, Podcast emerges from Ecto-1 covered head to toe in marshmallow goo, looking exactly like the original team after the climax of the first film.
    • In the mid-credits stinger, Dana is doing the same ESP shock test Peter did to his own students in the first film, shocking him whenever he gives an answer she doesn't like. That said, "an answer she doesn't like" includes admitting he shocked only the male students and that he's getting all the answers right because he's cheating having marked the cards.
    • There's a very tall, even stack of books in the farmhouse living room, which nobody ever comments on. In the library scene at the original film's start, Egon and Ray do comment on a similar stack of books.
    • How Egon's spirit ascends at the end is close to how Egon thought his death would happen in the novelization of the first movie, that he would "go on in the vast cosmic continuum as a spark of energy".
  • The Cameo:
    • Jason Reitman regular J. K. Simmons appears as Ivo Shandor.
    • Sigourney Weaver reprises her role as Dana Barrett in The Stinger.
    • Olivia Wilde as Gozer, with Shohreh Aghdashloo as her rumbling voice.
    • Harold Ramis as Egon. According to Jason Reitman, it really is Harold, digitally recreated, not a body double. As of the film's release, he has refused to state exactly how saying, "I'm not going to talk about that just because it's too deep a secret and we've held onto it for so long. I don't know when I will feel comfortable talking about how we accomplished that."note 
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • The film seems to ignore the events of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which also features Ivo Shandor as the architect of the conflict and is portrayed differently here.
    • This film finally puts to bed that Ray is not a part of the Casper film series.
  • Casting Gag: In the Japanese dub, this is not the first time both Yūki Kaji (Trevor) and Yōko Hikasa (Lucky) had to deal with the supernatural together before.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Phoebe catches her mom up on what's been happening while the group is fleeing from Vinz Clortho, even taking a moment to pop out in the gunner seat to blast the Terror Dog so they can retrieve the ghost trap that contains Zuul.
  • The Cavalry: Ray, Peter, and Winston finally arrive during the final battle to help the kids defeat Gozer. Not long after, Egon’s ghost manifests to do the same.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the very first scene, we see that PKE meters can be turned into anti-ghost tasers. Podcast later uses this against the miniature Stay-Puft marshmallow men.
    • Podcast finds an Aztec whistle that supposedly scares off evil spirits. He later uses it on Muncher, but instead of being scared off, it only gets the ghost's attention and causes it to attack the heroes.
    • On the phone, Ray mentions that Egon left with a ton of nuclear fuel (for proton packs), and "All our traps". At this point only one of the classic traps has turned up. In the third act Phoebe realizes the rest are buried around the farmhouse forming a giant trap. Similarly, the missing fuel turns up later - fueling Egon's jury-rigged array of Proton Packs that are keeping Gozer's portal suppressed.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Midway through the film, Phoebe (who has been arrested due to the team's antics chasing Muncher in Summerville) makes her one phone call to Ray Stantz, who has been running his occult store in the interim between films. She gives him enough information about what's happening for him to reunite the team, alongside Peter and Winston, and arrive in Summerville just in time to save the kids and Callie from being killed by Gozer.
    • Muncher is established as being able to chew through metal. When the kids need to retrieve their equipment from the Summerville Police Station lockup in the third act, Podcast opens the remote Ghost Trap previously used to trap Muncher, leading it to stop and chew through the bars of the holding cage before disappearing.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Early on in the film, Phoebe suggests that she'll try to make friends with the students at her new school by telling jokes, which run into Stylistic Suck because they're unfunny. In the third act, she uses these same "lame" jokes to distract Gozer while Podcast gets the RTV in place to trap the Terror-Dog inhabiting Callie.
    • A subverted one is Phoebe's skill at lockpicking, which she uses to unlock the front door to Egon's house. When the kids have to retrieve the proton pack from jail, they discover it's behind an electronic lock which Phoebe claims is unpickable, so they have to figure out another way to get the equipment back.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: This being a sequel to films made several decades ago, there are numerous moments and lines that connect back to the original films:
    • The kids and Gooberson watch old news footage on YouTube of the founding Ghostbusters preparing to enter "Spook Central" in the climax of Ghostbusters (1984). Phoebe also watches the "We're Ready to Believe You" commercial.
    • Egon's sweet tooth is quietly brought up via Phoebe finding a partially eaten Nestle Crunch bar in his old Ghostbuster suit and the kids finding a Twinkie in the Ecto-1's glovebox.
    • When Gozer asks the original Ghostbusters if they're Gods, it takes Ray a moment, and with prompting from Winston and Peter, to remember that he should answer "Yes" this time around.
    • Egon's collection of mold and fungi are shown in his underground lab.
    • Descent into a mineshaft in pursuit of spiritual turbulence recalls Ray's descent into the old Pneumatic Transit subway in Ghostbusters II.
    • During the exploration of the Shandor Mine, inside Gozer's temple, a list of dates corresponding to major incidents involving Gozer can be seen, such as the Tunguska Blast of 1908 (referenced by Ray in the first film) and the 1984 incident in New York.
    • Ray is still running the Occult Shop he was shown manning at the beginning of Ghostbusters II, and it is explained that Winston has been paying the rent for him in recent years due to the business struggling amid high rents in New York.
    • There is a possible reference to Ghostbusters: The Video Game with the claim that there hadn't been a ghost sighting in 30 years. Afterlife was released and set in 2021, and the video game took place 30 years earlier in 1991.
  • Contrasting Sequel Setting: From urban Manhattan to rural Oklahoma, with loads of cool shots of the landscape.
  • Cool Car:
    • The original Ecto-1 makes a return, it's still fully capable of busting ghosts despite being 60 years old and sitting in a barn for decades. Plus, it now has an extendable gunner seat!
    • And for the miniature RC car variety, Ecto-1 now can deploy and retrieve a remote-controlled ghost trap strapped to the chassis of a high-performance RC car able to keep pace with full-size automobiles on city streets. Behind the scenes it was dubbed the Remote Trap Vehicle.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: When the kids head back to the police station to retrieve their confiscated Ghostbuster gear, Phoebe and Podcast find the proton pack and trap locked in a separate cell in the evidence room. Phoebe is unable to pick the lock due to it being a special brand of electronic lock. Podcast gets another idea on how to open the bars; by purposely releasing the Muncher ghost from the trap. It eats its way through the bars before escaping, allowing the kids to retrieve their gear.
  • Crazy-Prepared: It's revealed that Egon spent decades building and refining the defenses he wanted to use to permanently capture Gozer, including a network of Ghost Traps placed underneath the soil in front of his farmhouse, a stash of equipment in his hidden lab and a quartet of Proton Packs that keep the ghosts in the Shandor Mine at bay. When the film opens, he's just captured a spirit (implied to be Vinz Clortho) in the mine and races back to his farmhouse, where he stashes the Ghost Trap with it underneath his floorboards.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits are layered over notes, diagrams, and maps that (presumably) Egon made about Summerville, the Shandor mine, and his farm and equipment.
  • Crying Wolf: In addition to breaking their trust by taking all the equipment by himself and running off, Egon also wasn't able to get help from the other Ghostbusters because he had gone after several other false leads ("Another temple").
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Egon left his friends and family to prepare a way to stop Gozer from entering the living realm for good. It could be argued that Egon's actual reason for tackling the Shandor mine alone was due to his knowledge that Gozer can only be summoned when two humans are possessed by the Keymaster and Gatekeeper. By working alone, he guaranteed that Gozer didn't have access to enough potential victims. Gozer apparently tried anyway, only for Egon to die of a heart attack in the process.
  • Darker and Edgier: There is not as much comedy in this movie and the atmosphere is rather grim when compared to the previous movies, including the 2016 reboot. Most of the characters also don't snark or joke with each other as often.
  • Darkest Hour: The team's plan to stop Gozer and the Terror-Dogs at the farmhouse seemingly fails, with ghosts swamping Summerville, Egon's previously-placed defences not activating when they have it in place, Trevor's Proton Pack not working and the Stay-Pufts wreaking havoc on the Ecto-1 by shorting out several systems — and Callie and Phoebe moments away from getting fried by Gozer's lightning. Cue the original team to the rescue.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Phoebe is quick to suspect the identity of the ghost apparently haunting her. By the time she's been led to Egon's hidden lab she is casually, if one-sidedly conversing with it as she repairs an incomplete device.
  • Death by Cameo: At the start of the third act, the team discover the preserved corpse of Ivo Shandor (J. K. Simmons), who briefly reanimates as the ghosts threaten to spill out of the well before Egon's previously-placed packs fire off. A short while later, the reunion of Zuul and Vinz Clortho brings Shandor back to life... but he barely has time to throw off a We Can Rule Together pledge towards Gozer before she vertically tears him in half.
  • Deceptive Legacy: Callie believed her father went nuts and did not love her. She extended this belief to her children. Phoebe is furious to find the truth is that he was not insane, he was a scientist, and was once famous for saving the world.
  • Destructo-Nookie: When the Vinz Clortho and Zuul possessed Gary Gooberson and Callie Spengler get together, an earthquake shakes not only the entire town but also the farmhouse Phoebe and Trevor are staying on. Immediately clueing them in on the end of the world happening.
  • Determinator: Egon doesn't even let the fact that Gozer killed him stop him from busting her.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Like Vigo the Carpathian before it, Gozer got a sass attack from Peter Venkmann while the team was on the ropes, who decided to go with the schtick of Gozer being a jilted psycho ex-girlfriend this time.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The return of Gozer is again the main threat, and this time was dealt with a combination of multiple proton packs and several hundred buried ghost traps to apparently split up their essence among all of them.
  • Dingy Trainside Apartment: A noisy train can be heard going by the apartment that Callie and the kids get evicted from at the beginning.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Egon to Callie, leaving her presumably when she was young led to her resenting him. Later in the film, Callie discovers a board full of photos and press clippings from her childhood, implying he's been keeping watch over her, albeit from afar. They also realize that Egon was basically on his own when it came to dealing with the Shandor mine cult, and so abandoning his family to deal with it was a form of Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Trevor and Phoebe's dad is mentioned, and that he was good with his son but had trouble connecting to his daughter, but never appears.
  • Distant Sequel: The film takes place several decades after the events of Ghostbusters II, with Mr. Grooberson mentioning that there hasn’t been a ghost sighting in 30 years, and Phoebe pointing out that the events of the first movie concluded twenty years before she and Podcast were born.
  • Diving Save: When Phoebe's curiosity overrode her self-preservation as she wanted to watch Gozer's portal open, Trevor does a diving save on her when the proton pack rig lights up to stream-cross the cross-rip back down the hole.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The end credits theme "Haunted House" is sung by Mckenna Grace, who plays Phoebe.
  • Double Take: Peter does one after Winston gets his attention to notice that Egon's ghost is helping them against Gozer.
  • Dressed in Layers: Zuul (in Callie's body) rips off her clothes to reveal a gold dress her host hadn't been wearing before getting possessed.
  • Dull Surprise: During the climactic final battle, when the spirit of Egon arrives, Peter reacts with little surprise and merely comments that "I thought you might turn up."
  • Dying Reconciliation: A rare case of someone being able to reconcile posthumously, as Ray apologizes to Egon's spirit for not listening to him about Gozer's return.

    Tropes E to J 
  • Earthquake Machine: Though it is a side effect. Egon jury-rigged four proton packs' triggers to a PKE meter, aiming all the packs' neutrona wands to cross the streams at a specific point over the cross-rip under the mountain should the PKE meter reading spike due to the fissure opening. The stream-cross tamps down Gozer's attempt to emerge again. The side effect of the whole cross-rip flare-up and stream-crossing to tamp it back down again causes earthquakes daily in Summerville.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Lucky catches Trevor checking her out while she was in a partial state of undress as the new team dons the Ghostbuster jumpsuits in preparation for the final act.
  • Ectoplasm: Muncher leaves behind a faint blue trail of ectoplasm that, unlike Slimer's from the original films, has a faint glow to it.
  • Entertainment Above Their Age: Mr. Grooberson shows Cujo and Child's Play (1988) to a bunch of 12-year-olds. They don't seem phased by it. This may be a reference to the fact that the original Ghostbusters was itself an adult horror comedy that a lot of kids nonetheless loved.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The residents of Summerville only knew Egon as "dirt farmer" because he would constantly dig in his field but never planted anything. It turns out he was actually planting a large number of ghost traps around the field.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Ivo Shandor built all of his structures and placed himself in stasis in the hopes that he and Gozer could rule together. But you do not "rule together" with a god, you flatten yourself and beg them to accept you as priest. Shandor quickly pays for his hubris, as Gozer kills him shortly after they return.
  • Facial Dialogue: Although Egon's spirit never speaks a word during the film's ending, his expressions effectively convey his lack of resentment towards his friends, his pride in his grandchildren and his love for his daughter.
  • Fake Shemp: Egon is played by a body double in the prologue, with the actor's face deliberately not shown. Then when his spirit arrives in the Final Battle, Harold Ramis's likeness has been recreated through CGI, but Egon never speaks.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Ivo Shandor's reanimated body gets vertically bisected by Gozer. Thankfully, Bloodless Carnage is applied, and we don't see the gory details.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Ivo Shandor spent a significant portion of his life to worshiping Gozer going as far as building entire structures from the ground up for it to enter our dimension. He even arranged to have his corpse kept preserved to reawaken upon Gozer's arrival. So how does Gozer reward Shandor for a lifetime of devotion and servitude? It rips him vertically in half with little acknowledgement he was even there.
  • Final First Hug: Egon gets one from his daughter Callie before his spirit departs.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • It's revealed that Gozer can be partially trapped, as a portion of it ends up getting ensnared in the RTV as by-catch when the team captures Zuul and exorcises Callie. Gozer is finally defeated by being ripped apart into a whole field of buried ghost traps all triggering simultaneously.
    • The end credits list Sigourney Weaver... even though Dana has made no appearance in the film yet. Immediately after this, The Stinger featuring her plays.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Dedicating his life's work to fighting ghosts, to the point of estranging his family and closest friends pretty much assured that Egon Spengler would return as a ghost. And manifesting in his busting gear rather than his civvies.
    • Given her hair, glasses and preternatural brain power it's pretty bloody obvious that Phoebe's absent grandfather is Egon Spengler. The film still draws it out for a full hour before actually confirming it, and longer still before Phoebe says it out loud.
  • Foreshadowing: During his classes, Mr. Grooberson plays movies that are ill-suited for his students, including Cujo (about a killer dog terrorizing a family, including a scene shown where the dog attacks a car). In the third act, Grooberson is attacked by a Terror-Dog that leaps onto his car and possesses him.
  • Free-Range Children: The kids are more or less left to their own devices for most of the movie. With Trevor and Lucky, it's understandable due to them being teenagers, but not so much with Phoebe (who is twelve) and Podcast who is presumably around the same age.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The recommended videos of the "We're Ready to Believe You" video includes a conspiracy theorist wondering if Shandorians have infiltrated the government, a "Where are the Ghostbusters now?", a video about Proton Acceleration, and "Savage Science of the Proton Pack" which happens to feature Adam Savage who is friends with Afterlife's prop master and made the Aztec death whistle.
  • Funny Background Event: While the group are in the diner discussing what might be happening in Summerville, a pair of teens at the table next to them are listening in and turn in their seats towards them as the conversation goes on. This recalls a similar infodump scene in the first film, where the prisoners in the holding cell with the Ghostbusters find themselves increasingly interested in the exposition.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Phoebe is so smart that she is able to recognize a proton pack is missing parts just by eyeballing it; and reassemble it with minimal assistance (to show her where the parts and tools are located) from a helpful ghost.
  • Gate Guardian: The final act reveals that Egon spent the years before his death using a jury-rigged array of proton packs triggered by a PKE meter wired into the rig to force back hordes of evil spirits with crossed proton streams whenever they try to get through a dimensional gateway in Shandor's mine. Even after his death, the rig automatically tamps down the daily attempt by Gozer to come through like clockwork.
  • Geniuses Have Multiple PhDs: Phoebe Spengler is investigating her grandfather's workshop and is tinkering with a power pack. When she wonders how he got a certain part so small, Egon's spirit moves a desk lamp so that it illuminates a wall of diplomas.
  • Genre Shift: While having the same balance of horror and comedy as the original films, this instalment also veers more towards Amblin-esque coming of age fantasy drama as well.
  • Ghostapo: 1945 is listed as one of the dates in Gozer's temple, implying they're responsible for World War II, and more specifically for the development and usage of the atomic bomb.
  • A God Am I: Gozer once again asks this question of Ray after he reads Gozer the riot act. After Winston and Peter get on his case over the ''last'' time, Ray finally says "yes". Winston even adds "We're ALL gods down here!"
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: This film reveals that the Ghostbusters' goggles feature an integrated Polaroid camera, complete with flash.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Egon smiles as he gets one last hug from Callie before his spirit departs.
  • Grand Finale: While this is a reboot of sorts, the movie serves as a send-off to Egon Spengler alongside the rest of the original Ghostbusters team as they help the new generation stop Gozer for good.
  • Grand Theft Me: Both Grooberson and Callie get possessed by Terror-Dogs, leading them to meet and bring about the return of Gozer.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Ivo Shandor, who was directly responsible for Gozer's brief revival in 1984 thanks to the apartment building he architected serving as a portal to their dimension, is once again the cause of trouble with a new attempt to revive Gozer. It succeeds, but Shandor's reanimated body is very quickly disposed of by the God that he helped.
  • Growing the Beard: It's said In-Universe that Podcast's podcast doesn't get good until episode 46.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The minute Gozer is revived, Gozer rips Shandor in half. Vertically.
  • Haunted House: Egon's broken-down farmhouse looks like a classic haunted house, and it turns out that it is haunted: by Egon.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Egon broke away from his fellow Ghostbusters because he insisted there was further problems with the Shandor cult. He spent his life since then alone and spending what little money he had looking to hold back Gozer from re-entering this plane, and this included cutting ties with his daughter. The beginning of the movie even shows he managed to capture a terror dog and hid it, all the while knowing he wouldn't survive the attack.
  • Heroic Second Wind: As Gozer looms over the three Old Ghostbusters about to finish them off, Phoebe throws down the gauntlet at it. After Ghostly Egon appears to brace his granddaughter in the Beam-O-War, the Old Ghostbusters catch their second wind, get back up, and light Gozer up with three more proton streams.
  • Hero Insurance: Subverted. After driving through the town and destroying a lot of property, the kids get arrested and put in jail. The Ecto-1 gets impounded, and the proton pack and ghost trap are locked up in the evidence room.
  • He's Dead, Jim: Egon's P.K.E. meter starts beeping as soon as he dies, apparently detecting his ghost.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Gozer, having been defeated in the first film, is the mastermind behind the Summerville crisis. There is a Red Herring with Ivo Shandor being the potential new Big Bad, but Gozer splits him apart (literally) to be the main villain alone.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: According to Ray, Peter felt this was why the Ghostbusters began failing before Egon went AWOL: They were too good at busting the spooks and put themselves out of business.
  • Hotline: Ray keeps the original Ghostbuster's hotline active and even has it ring into a red phone at his store.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: The ghost of Egon Spengler starts off weak (barely able to move a chess pawn) but driven by urgency, desperation, an encyclopedic knowledge of spirits and the close proximity of all of his fetters (including remaining family and friends), rapidly grows stronger until manifesting as a fully realized class 4 who can be fully tangible.
  • Improbable Food Budget: Callie is so hurting for money that she gets evicted from her apartment, then goes to Summerville, where she has no job and is not expecting an inheritance from her father, but she still takes her family out to a burger joint, buys wine for herself, and somehow sustains the family for at least several days.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Callie has a tendency to deal with stress this way, also at the end Venkman mentions everyone's celebrating victory in Egon's house with some hot chocolate... some of them with rum.
  • I Own This Town: Ivo Shandor founded Summerville a hundred years before the events of the movie and owned the local mine, because of this his name is practically everywhere. Unknown to his workers, he was less interested in mining minerals than he was in hollowing out the mountain to turn it into a temple for a God of Evil.
  • Irony:
    • Egon's still a ghostbuster even as a ghost himself; he manifests visually in his old Ghostbuster jumpsuit even though that's not what he was wearing when he died.
    • Ray, known as the heart of the Ghostbusters, was so hurt by the rift between them that he intentionally stopped believing... Mostly.
      • By refusing to believe Egon, the Ghostbusters as a whole failed to honor their motto ("We're ready to believe you.")
  • It Only Works Once:
    • The OG Ghostbusters once again try to defeat Gozer by crossing the streams of their proton packs. This time, they're not shooting an inanimate portal, but Gozer themself, who proceeds to physically separates the streams as they are being hit.
    • Notably, Egon set up an automatic stream-crosser with four packs in the Death Pit of the Gozer Temple and all it can do is hold the god back temporarily rather than outright stopping it for good. It seems that the first time in 1984 was a success because it caught Gozer off guard; now crossing the streams can barely keep things contained.
  • Jump Scare: Happens several times, particularly where the minions of Gozer are involved. Egon is attacked by a Terror-Dog inhabiting the chair he's sitting in (which is a Call-Back to the arms that attacked Dana in her apartment in the first film), while Callie is attacked out of the darkness by a Terror-Dog in Egon's lab.

    Tropes K to W 
  • Kill the Host Body: It's implied by the fact that Egon switched the PKE meter he had in his hand to Taser mode just before he died that he inflicted this trope on himself to prevent Zuul from trying to possess him and undo his success in trapping Vinz Clortho.
  • Last Day of Normalcy: We're introduced to Callie, Trevor, and Pheobe Spengler in their Chicago apartment before circumstances would force them to move to a small Oklahoma town to inherit their grandfather's farm. The scene shows us Callie's resentment of her late father, Trevor's snarky wit, and Pheobe's skill and affinity for science.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Phoebe has never heard of the Ghostbusters and doesn't believe in ghosts until Grooberson shows her YouTube footage of the first movie. Trevor has heard of them but seems to think of them more as ghost stories or urban legends.
  • Lightning Gun: Though normally tasers are considered nonlethal, both cases where they were used were to lethal effect. Egon made a variant of the PKE meter that turns its sensor vanes into taser electrodes. Egon uses it on himself to prevent a Terror Dog from possessing him and then Podcast later discovers this function in the climax, turning the tide against all the mini-Stay-Pufts messing up ECTO-1's on-board ghostbusting gear... and covering him in marshmallow goo since it makes the little terrors explode.
  • Lingerie Scene: Lucky's bra is seen for a second as she changes into the Ghostbuster coveralls. Trevor certainly isn't complaining.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Freshly depossessed from Zuul by the team's efforts, Callie expounds about all the discoveries she made in Egon's secret lab in Ecto-1 as they make their getaway from the temple... except everyone else in the car already knows.
  • Logical Weakness: In order to enter this world and take physical form Gozer needs Zuul and Vinz Clortho to take possession of some humans, become Terror Dogs and open the gateway, while also acting as a tether to this realm. Egon was able to capture one of them in a ghost trap, preventing the gateway from being opened. And again, in the third act, after Gozer comes through, Zuul was captured by the kids and separated from Callie, causing Gozer to become severely weakened in power but giving them a chance to regroup at the farm.
  • Logo Joke: Following the post-credits scene featuring Winston inside the old Ghostbusters Headquarters, the Stay-Puft marshmallow man appears on the franchise logo in place of the iconic ghost for one second.
  • Loose Floorboard Hiding Spot: Phoebe discovers a slide puzzle on the living room floor of her new house. She solves the puzzle, revealing a secret compartment under the floor containing a ghost trap inside.
  • Meaningful Name: The town of 'Summerville', founded and presumably named by Ivo Shandor, contains a hidden Sumerian shrine to the god Gozer — a subtle, soundalike hint that Summerville is a Town with a Dark Secret.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: After all hell breaks loose at the mine, the four kids raid the jumpsuit closet in Egon's lab for the old Ghostbusters jumpsuits and get to work.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Ecto-1 has a gunner seat that slides out of the car, just like it did in The Real Ghostbusters and in one of the original Ecto-1 toys. It's also Winston who is the most upset at the sorry state of the Ecto-1, as in the show he was the main driver and mechanic since as "the Hands".
    • During the ghost montage in Summerville towards the end of the film, a creature with one eye can be seen exiting from one of the buildings — the Bug Eye Ghost, who also appeared in The Real Ghostbusters.
    • In the first film, Ray quotes from Revelation 6:12 - "And I looked as he opened the sixth seal, and behold there was a great earthquake; and the sun became as black as sackcloth, and the moon became as blood." - infamously misidentifying it as Revelation 7:12. The same verse is read out early in this film, and it's later revealed that Ray now has the verse tattooed on his arm, with the correct identity, presumably to make sure he gets it right next time.
    • The backstory from Phoebe's call to Ray, which establishes the original team disbanded in part due to declining busts and ghost sightings after Ghostbusters II. This is the same basic backstory that Extreme Ghostbusters used to explain what had become of Ray, Winston, and Peter since Real Ghostbusters. Peter's sentiment is even the same as the animated Egon: The team was too good, and they put themselves out of business.
    • In the credits Ernie Hudson is credited as "Dr. Winston Zeddmore, PhD." to reflect the fact that Winston earned his PhD in Ghostbusters: The Video Game, putting him on equal footing with the other guys.
    • Ivo Shandor's appearance is extremely similar to how he looks in Ghostbusters the Video Game, which is where he was first depicted visually.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: In the second trailer, when Callie says that her father left her with nothing, Janine responds with "I wouldn't say nothing", implying the Ghostbusters legacy and gear. In the movie proper? It's a segue into the pile of debt Callie just inherited.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Halfway through the film, Gary, Phoebe, and Podcast try to open the ghost trap Phoebe found that Egon hid under the floorboards in the living room of his house. The released ghost was Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster of Gozer, who would later possess Gary. Vinz-Gary would then sabotage Egon's jury-rigged proton stream-crossing array in the temple that tamped down Gozer's daily attempts to rip through to this plane of existence.
  • Oddball in the Series: This is the first Ghostbusters film or even the first installment in the whole franchise to not open with the iconic theme song or be set in New York City. That is, at least, until the very final scene where the theme plays as the Ecto-1 is making its way into Manhattan implying the Ghostbusters are back.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: The mass ghost trap at the end was created by production buying almost 200 toys/props from various sources note  and rigging them to open and light up on cue.
  • Oh, Crap!: Two times, and with the same cause. The transformer array that Egon hid in the silos next to the Trap Field just don't have enough power to handle the array of traps. It fails Egon in the prologue, resulting in him retreating to his house, hiding the trap holding Vinz Clortho and waiting for the inevitable. The second time, all the heroes gathered have Gozer smack-dab in the middle of the Trap Field and being held in place from a proton stream from Lucky's proton pack, when it fails to power up the traps again. Lucky bears the brunt of it, getting thrown around by Gozer when it grabs ahold of the proton stream and yanks back, and then possessed by Zuul when Gozer rips the bait trap apart to reclaim its own by-caught essence portion in the trap.
  • Ominous Clouds: The clouds that form at Gozer's summoning are made even more thick, ominous, and threatening than they were in the original film as they form over Egon's farm in the climax, due to improved special effects.
  • On Three: Parodied. Venkman being Venkman, he does an...interesting version of this during the final battle.
    Peter: Okay, on the count of "three", go on "two". One, two!
  • One Last Job: By the time of the film, the Ghostbusters have long since retired from ghost busting, though not because they grew tired of the lifestyle. Ray points out to Phoebe during their phone call that jobs grew less and less available and hauntings became less frequent, with them going from ten calls a week to barely one a week (Ray says Peter claimed they got "too good"). When Egon left for Summerville and took all their equipment and the Ecto-1, they were officially done. Phoebe's phone call is what propels Ray to get Winston and Peter to go to Summerville themselves and bust some ghosts one last time, just in the nick of time to help Egon's family trap Gozer. The Stinger, however, implies that Winston may be reviving the Ghostbusters as he brings Ecto-1 back to New York and into the old firehouse headquarters.
  • One Phone Call: After she and the other kids are arrested over the chaos they caused hunting Muncher, Phoebe asks about her right to a phone call. The sheriff replies, "Of course. Who you gonna call?" She phones the number from the Ghostbusters' first TV ad, which she had seen earlier on Youtube. As luck would have it, it's still being used by one of the original team, Ray, who is able to give her some useful information about the Ghostbusters' later history. The call also alerts Ray and by extension Winston and Peter to the goings-on in Summerville, leading to their timely intervention in the climax.
  • One Size Fits All: Twelve-year-old Phoebe can somehow wear her grandfather's jumpsuit without swimming in it. Podcast, who's slightly shorter than Phoebe, also invokes this trope; it does look like all of the kids rolled up their arm and leg cuffs to make things fit.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Podcast" introduces himself to Phoebe with his moniker and never reveals what his given name is.
  • Otherworldly Visits Youngest First: Phoebe, who is only twelve, is the first to experience any hint of supernatural activity when her family moves to Summerville. The ghost of her grandfather, Egon Spengler, tries to reach out to her. Before the film is over, she has joined forces with her older brother, Trevor; the girl he's attracted to, Lucky; a classmate, "Podcast"; her mother, Callie; and the surviving original Ghostbusters to battle none other than Gozer the Gozerian.
  • Parents as People: Courtesy of two generations of Spenglers:
    • While Egon was absent for a majority of Callie's life, he kept tabs on her as she grew up and had a wall of pictures and clippings of her achievements in order to motivate himself to continue his mission to stop Gozer.
    • Callie is attentive to her kids but is a stressed-out single mother being forced to confront her now-dead absent father and the lack of anything of value he left them. Some of her cynicism and comments to her kids could come across as mean spirited, but as Gary points out she is the one who is taking care of them.
    • From context clues it seems that Callie had parental figures of some kind who tried to fill the hole left by her father with activities and sports. It was only slightly successful, though because she still reached adulthood feeling unwanted and unloved.
  • Parting-Words Regret: When Phoebe calls Ray and asks about Egon his immediate response was "Egon Spengler can rot in hell!" After being told that he died a week prior Ray's face immediately washes over in pain and sorrow. He explains to Phoebe they had a falling out after Egon took all their equipment in the middle of the night and left, and ten years ago after that Egon tried to reconnect but Ray was still bitter over it.
  • Passing the Torch: The torch, or rather, Proton Pack, gets passed from Egon to Phoebe, with Peter acknowledging her as a fellow Ghostbuster in the final scene.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Professor Grooberson doesn't do any actual teaching. He figures that the bulk of the kids in summer school aren't going to pay attention to anything he says anyway, so the town is basically paying him to keep them in a room for a few hours a day. So, he sits them down with a movie and then walks out of the classroom to do his own research.
  • Played for Horror: The tone is a lot darker than the original film, and nowhere is this better reflected than in the call backs. In the original, the scene where it's revealed that Dana is possessed by Zuul comes complete with Peter in full Bill Murray wisecracking smartass mode reacting to it with cool-headed sarcasm. Here? The similar reveal of Callie's possession by Zuul wouldn't be out of place in a genuine supernatural horror movie, with the characters who witness it terrified by it.
  • Police Are Useless: Repeatedly zigzagged. The sheriff and his men are somewhat justified in arresting the kids after they accidentally destroy half of Main Street, but they also mock Phoebe's claims that the kids were chasing a ghost even though it was flying around in plain sight. Later, they leave the jail (which has lots of confiscated weapons inside) completely unguarded, but this is likely because they are trying to protect the town from rampaging ghosts.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Phoebe gets a beautiful one when asked by Gozer if she's ready to die. "No. Are you?"
  • Pull Yourself Down the Spear: A comedic example; when a horde of mini Staypuft Marshmallow Men start playing around in a Walmart, one skewers two others and lifts them over a fire. As none of them feel any pain, one of the impaled ones starts pulling itself down the skewer in amusement.
  • Puppy Love: Podcast awkwardly asks Phoebe if she'd be his lab partner in a manner that subtextually looks like he was asking her out on a date, and Phoebe responds in kind.
  • Put on a Bus: Slimer due to the action leaving New York behind for the American Midwest. While Slimer does return in Frozen Empire, this remains the only one of the core four films (and the 2016 reboot) where the Ol' Onionhead doesn't appear.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Subverted; Egon attempted to bring Ray back into the fold years after abandoning the team and finding the Shandor Mine in Summerville, only for Ray to dismiss him out of hand ("another temple...") and refuse to correspond with him. It takes Phoebe's intervention for the original team to come back together, allowing them to bust ghosts one last time as the original four, via Egon's ghost helping the original crew to stall Gozer long enough for his farm defenses to activate.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The film makes absolutely no mention of who Callie's mother is. Alas, not Janine.
  • Romantic Ribbing: The first of The Stingers reveal that Peter and Dana are Happily Married, and Dana is running Pete's old Psychic Test on him. Including the "mild electric shocks" he used to give his students. It's clear that they're having fun together, despite Dana having to shock Peter whenever he tries to engage in Blatant Lies.
  • Rule of Drama: The PKE meter runs on this, frequently flaring up after ghost activity has already started. Most notably, the kids have already noticed something strange with Callie, then the meter sitting right next to her springs to life to clue them in just how strange.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When the kids are chasing after Muncher on the Ecto-1, they pass by a broken fire hydrant which washes off the dirt on the Ghostbusters logo on the car, symbolizing that the Ghostbusters are back in action. It also symbolizes how Egon's grandchildren no longer see him as a "dirt farmer" but a Ghostbuster.
  • Rule of Three: Egon's ultimate ghost trap is used three times across the film.
    • In the prologue, Egon himself activates it, but the system fails due to power shortage, forcing him to hide his remaining trap and commit Heroic Suicide to delay Gozer's arrival by a few more days.
    • The second time occurs during the climax, with the new team using the trap to try and defeat Gozer. While they did have the foresight to have Lucky use a proton pack to weaken Gozer, the Marshmallow Men rip up the circuitry that controls Ecto-1's proton pack, taking it offline long enough for the power to once again fail.
    • The final time takes place shortly after the second attempt. This time, not only is Gozer now bound by four proton streams being wielded by both the old and the new Ghostbusters, but Trevor uses his proton pack on the capacitors, bypassing the power issue entirely and finally letting them capture Gozer.
  • Sanity Slippage: Ray and the rest of the original team thought this was what happened with Egon in the leadup to, and during, their falling out years ago. It's not until late in the film that Ray and company realize Egon's paranoia was right on the money.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: When the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster reunite with one another in Grooberson and Callie's bodies, they flirt, kiss passionately and the camera cuts away as they both fall to the ground together.
  • Sequel Hook: In The Stinger, Winston brings the Ecto-1 back to the now-abandoned firehouse, seemingly to restart the Ghostbusters. Meanwhile, in the basement, a red warning light flashes ominously on the old ecto-containment unit...
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: When Callie becomes possessed by the Gatekeeper Demondog Zuul, she dons a shiny gold dress that shows off some leg as she reunites with the Keymaster Vinz Clortho.
  • Shout-Out: A haunted desk lamp appears during the movie, possessed by the ghost of Egon who much like Ray (the desk lamp), is a Friendly Ghost who teaches the protagonist and had schemed behind the scenes to prevent the plan of the Big Bad succeeding.
  • Signs of Disrepair: The Spinner's restaurant sign gets hit by a proton pack when the group chases Muncher. The next night, we find out that the chaos put the "P" out of commission, so the sign reads "S_inners". Even from the start of the film, the part that's supposed to proclaim "Shakes" reads "S_ak_s".
  • Smart People Play Chess: How Phoebe first bonds with Egon's ghost when he moves her chess pieces.
  • So Unfunny, It's Funny: Phoebe has an esoteric sense of humor and tries to make friends or light conversation telling bad jokes. Her deadpan attempts to be funny makes most of the jokes far funnier than the joke itself should be.
  • The Speechless: Outside of archival footage, Egon doesn't say a word on screen when he's alive or as a ghost.
  • Spin-Offspring: The film stars Phoebe and Trevor Spengler, the grandchildren of Egon Spengler from the original films.
  • Spirit Advisor: After being Killed Off for Real in the prologue, Egon’s ghost leads Phoebe to his lab and equipment so she can finish his work of defeating Gozer. He also helps Trevor with the Ecto-1, fixing some frayed wiring that was missed.
  • Stacked Characters Poster: One of the movie posters shows the main characters stacked up in the shape of an inverted pyramid with the Grooberson top center.
  • Status Quo Is God: Downplayed with Ecto-1. During Ghostbusters II, the team's car was overhauled to celebrate their second run as Ghostbusters (ex. updated corprate logo, digital announcement boards, new equipment and color scheme, etc.). At some point following the aftermath of the second film (and prior to Egon's theft of the car and the original tean's collapse), these updates were removed and the Ectomobile was restored to its classic configuration (minus a few new additions like the gunner's seat and the Remote Trap Vehicle).
  • Stealth Pun: Ecto-1 drives through a sign reading "This is how it ends" to reach the location of the Final Battle.
  • The Stinger: Two of them.
    • The mid-credits stinger shows Dana performing the same ESP experiment on Peter that he performed on his students back in his first scene in the original movie
    • After a deleted scene between her and Egon from the first film, Janine spends the post credits scene catching up with Winston. This is intercut with scenes of Winston returning the Ecto-1 to the old firehouse. The last shot shows the old ecto-containment unit beeping ominously...
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Egon Spengler dies just after trapping the Terror-Dog in the Shandor Mine in the opening sequence. Justified as Egon's actor, Harold Ramis, died seven years prior. Doesn't stop him from coming back as a ghost to help his granddaughter and friends one last time.
  • Summer School Sucks: Phoebe calls summer school a state-sponsored work camp for delinquents but goes in order to get out of cleaning out the farmhouse with her mom. Mr. Grooberson doesn't even teach the class — he just puts on inappropriate 80s horror movies and works on his own projects. However, she does meet Podcast, so it's not all bad.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Having a vehicle, sitting in storage for decades in a barn, will suffer the same kind of problems that anyone trying to coax a car back to life would expect. The Ecto-1's tires are dry-rotted, the engine needs several maintenance items, and the vehicle suffers further damage (scrapes, blown-out windows and engine problems) as the team utilizes it in their quest. When Winston Zeddemore sees the poor state of the vehicle at the end of the film (even checking its loose fender trim), he laments what's happened and promises to get it cleaned up and in working order again.
    • One occurs in the post-credits stinger. It turns out that Ray's bookshop, which specializes in an obscure niche genre, isn't very profitable and that is a big problem in a place with high rent like New York City. Thus, Winston has been bailing him out by paying the rent.
    • The kids get arrested for the property damage they cause while chasing after Muncher partway through the movie, particularly since they were using the highly conspicuous Ecto-1, which leads to their equipment being confiscated. The damage they caused also results in Trevor getting charged for underage driving, even though Grooberson points out to the police that Trevor is far from the first underage teen to drive without a license in their rural community.
    • Because they just found the thing, Podcast ends up botching throwing the ghost trap when he and Phoebe first face Muncher because he doesn't know how to wheel it into position.
    • Phoebe's call to Ray establishes that one factor in the original team's disbandment was declining ghost sightings and busts. This aligns with the world building of the first two movies. Business was only booming for the team in 1984 and 1989 because the Big Apple was in a state of spiritual upheaval and flux (due to 550 Central Park West nearing full charge and Vigo harnessing the Mood Slime). Once both threats were resolved, things quieted down to "normal" spiritual levels and thus business declined until the company could no longer sustain itself.
      • The declining busts also factor into Egon absconding with the Ecto-1 and all their gear. Ray acknowledges that with the downturn following Ghostbusters II, they could barely pay the Firehouse's mortgage anymore towards the end. With their finances in an already-precarious state, Egon's theft of all their corporate resources unsurprisingly cripples the Ghostbusters beyond recovery and the company collapses. Given it was his seed money which made their venture possible, Ray is rightly enraged by this betrayal and Egon's actions unsurprisingly destroy their longtime working relationship (and dooms his attempt to bring Ray to Summerville a decade later).
    • When Grooberson wonders how the kids don't know about the events from the first movie Phoebe points out that it occurred 20 years before they were born.
    • Gozer's very return to Earth. While the team defeated the entity in the original film, they didn't actually destroy it. They only cut off Gozer's incursion into our dimension and slammed the door close. Even if Shandor hadn't prepared a backup temple, Gozer would've eventually made another attempt to breach our reality again (as it had previously visited ancient Sumeria long before Shandor's time and thus could travel even without Shandor's temples).
    • Peter, Winston, and Ray being (briefly) taken out early in the final battle. While they are the original team and have confronted Gozer before, they also haven't been active Ghostbusters for the better part of 30 years (to say nothing of now being in their Seventies).
      • Similarly, crossing the streams again doesn't work because they're not firing at an interdimensional gateway this time. With the Temple underground and miles away, they're only actually firing at Gozer's physical manifestation. This attack thus proves as ineffective as their first fight atop 550 Central Park West. Worse, Gozer didn't realize what/who it was facing last time and didn't take these mere mortals seriously. Now, though, Gozer's experienced their weaponry and is able to easily deflect the Proton streams.
  • The Take: The first time Phoebe and Podcast test the franchise's iconic Proton Pack, the scene alternates between the proton ray obliterating the target (a handful of bottles on top of a discarded wheel tire) and the kids' awed faces. Phoebe also seems to have had a lot of fun firing the stuff.
  • Taught by Experience: Implied with Gozer when the surviving original Ghostbusters show up. Not only does the entity now know who it's dealing with this time, but now it's got the sense/feel for their weaponry and is able to easily counter the proton streams.
  • Team Spirit: Almost everyone at the climactic showdown contributed to bringing down Gozer. Phoebe challenged Gozer and locked into a Beam-O-War with it, Egon's Ghost manifested more materially to help brace Phoebe when she started losing ground in the Beam O War. The Old Ghostbusters caught a Heroic Second Wind and joined in tying Gozer with their proton packs, pinning Gozer in the middle of the Trap Field. Podcast finally repulsed the Mini-Stay-Puft onslaught going on inside Ecto-1 after he discovers the PKE Meter's Taser mode, which ended their sabotage of the Gunner Seat proton pack, which Trevor then applied to the Trap Field's transformers for the extra energy kick needed to power up. Callie finished the job by stomping the trap field's trigger pedal. Cue Gozer getting spectacularly torn to pieces as hundreds of buried ghost traps draw it in. Extra recognition goes to Lucky, who held the hobbled Gozer in place in the Trap Field according to the original plan with some surprise Proton Pack skills before the transformers failed and left her caught in the open against Gozer.
  • Technology Porn: Phoebe finds an old proton pack in an underground workshop and puts it back together. During this process, Phoebe extracts the heart of a Proton Pack: a miniature cyclotron in the cylindrical compartment at the bottom. There are also multiple closeups of Phoebe's restored Pack and Neutrona Wand as it warms up during the test-fire scene, also focusing on the rapidly rotating lights inside the cyclotron chamber (a new detail not seen in previous Ghostbusters movies), as well as hearing an expansion of the sound composition of the iconic Proton Pack Powerup sound.
  • Tempting Fate: While on a date with Grooberson, Callie wishes that Phoebe would come out of her shell a bit more, "cause some trouble". Not long after this, Phoebe along with Trevor and Podcast end up getting arrested for the damage they caused while chasing down a ghost.
  • Theme Music Withholding: Ray Parker Jr.'s iconic theme song doesn't appear until the ending credits.
  • There Are No Therapists: Callie's abandonment issues were allowed to grow from childhood into unhealthy bitterness and resentment; to the point she is broke, drinks to excess, and tries to quash her daughter's personality.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Phoebe takes a shot at Gozer with a proton stream as it's about to finish off the Old Ghostbusters while they're down, and then promptly locks into a Beam-O-War with the wrathful old god.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Ivo Shandor. Summoning an ancient deity is one thing, but doing so and then offering yourself up as their equal is just... special. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: While Peter was always a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, his appearance shows him as still with a sarcastic side but much more genuine and friendly. He was the first to check on Callie after Gozer was defeated, and in The Stinger he seems to have maintained a relationship with Dana, admitting to some of his sketchier behavior with grad students and patiently endures the same shock tests he gave to them.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: Callie, Grooberson, and Lucky get turned into Terror Dogs after they get possessed.
  • Truth in Television: Grooberson questioning why the police are charging Trevor for underage driving when it's a common practice in their town has some basis in reality. In many rural areas, underage driving is a common practice due to the low number of licensed drivers who can perform tasks, such as picking up farming supplies, that require driving a vehicle.
  • The Tunguska Event: 1908 is listed as one of the disaster dates in Shandor's mine, and they guess it was over the event. This is a callback to the original film, where it was also mentioned.
  • Unfinished Business: Egon's ghost vanishes after his daughter embraces him, solving his biggest loss.
  • Un-Reboot: The film is a Distant Sequel that takes place in the continuity of the first two films as opposed to the Continuity Reboot established by Ghostbusters (2016). Curiously, the discussion of the Shandor cult in this movie would put the canon of Ghostbusters: The Video Game in doubt, as that was advertised as a theoretical Ghostbusters 3.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Trevor gets teased about potentially being one. Gozer also asks Phoebe if she'd like to be this.
  • We Used to Be Friends: When contact is made with Ray, one of the first things he says is "Egon Spengler can rot in Hell" (albeit before he knows that Egon is already dead). It seems that Egon's increasingly paranoid behavior drove a wedge between him and the other Ghostbusters before he fully broke their friendship when he up and left with the Ecto-1 and most of their equipment. Egon attempted to contact Ray a decade after he left, but Ray was so angry that he refused to reconnect. In the end Ray apologizes for not believing Egon's warnings, and all of them reconcile.
  • Wham Line: After Phoebe calls Ray's Occult Books.
    Ray Stantz: Egon Spengler... can rot in hell.
    • Part of what makes it such an effective Wham Line is not just what's being said, but who's saying it. While the Ghostbusters have always been close friends and colleagues (both before and after Winston's hiring), Ray was always closest to Egon. So having Ray express such bitter, venomous hatred of Egon gives the line power it wouldn't have had coming from Winston or even Peter (and instantly establishes things did not end well for the original team after Ghostbusters II).
    • Phoebe's response to the above counts as an in-universe Wham Line for Ray: "[Egon] died last week."
    • In the climax Gozer has the kids at her mercy after they fail to trap her. She's about to attack, when suddenly, from offscreen, we hear the familiar voice of Bill Murray.
      Peter: Hey, flattop!
  • Wham Shot: Ray, Peter, and Winston saving the new team from Gozer's attack at the climax, in their old uniforms and armed with Proton Packs to boot.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Upon seeing the Ecto-1 for the first time, Trevor calls it a shitbox. Justified in this instance given its deterioration while in storage.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The last we see of Muncher, it flees out of the police station after unintentionally helping the kids get their equipment back from the secure lockup, with no word as to its whereabouts.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In the stinger, Dana subjects Peter to the same ESP shock test he did to his own students back in the first movie, to make a point about how much of a creepy asshole he was back then.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Rather a lot of this throughout
    • Egon and Janine: They don't, though clearly Janine still holds feelings for him even after his death.
    • Venkman and Dana: They do.
    • Trevor and Lucky: As of the finale of the film, if yes... not yet.
    • Callie and Gary: They do, whilst possessed by the spirits of Gozer. It's a Ghostbusters flick, what do you expect?
  • The Worf Barrage: The three original Ghostbusters attempt to cross the streams against Gozer, but this time Gozer, as a physical manifestation, is able to separate the streams and repel the attack.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Nonverbal variation in the climax when the surviving original Ghostbusters make their entrance. Gozer instantly becomes pissed and snarls (as do the Terror Dogs). As Winston dryly lampshades, "I think she remembers us."


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Ghostbusters 3, Ghostbusters Legacy


Gozer offs Shandor

While Shandor envisioned him ruling Earth alongside Gozer, Gozer splits him in half, seeing him as nothing more than a means to an end.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness

Media sources: