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Film / Ghostbusters II

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Shit Happens, someone's gotta deal with it, and Who Ya Gonna Call?

Peter Venkman

Ghostbusters II is a 1989 supernatural comedy and the sequel to Ghostbusters. It was directed once again by Ivan Reitman.

During the five years following the Gozer incident in the first film, the City of New York somehow came to blame the Ghostbusters for all the damage that had happened and sued them. The company went bankrupt, and the heroes took more mundane jobs; Ray Stantz owns an occult bookstore, he and Winston Zeddemore perform in their old uniforms at children's parties, Peter Venkman is a cable TV host discussing the paranormal, and Egon Spengler is doing sociology research. But the ghosts start returning, and soon the Ghostbusters are back in business. Their top priority is to investigate a strange river of slime in an abandoned subway tunnel that seems to thrive on negative emotions and produce new ghost hauntings.

Meanwhile, Dana Barrett now works at a museum as an art restorer. Her boss becomes a Renfield for the ghost of Vigo the Carpathian, an ancient tyrant magically preserved in a painting. Vigo has Dana's infant son Oscar kidnapped, intending to take over the child's body. note 

When the Ghostbusters finally figure things out and arrive on scene, the museum is cocooned by the slime they were investigating and maintained as a physical manifestation of the negative emotions of New Yorkers. The Ghostbusters fight Vigo on the inside, aided by the spirit of New Yorkers (and the holiday spirit) on the outside to save the day.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which takes place in 1991, came out in 2009. A Continuity Reboot, Ghostbusters, came out in 2016. An Un-Reboot and sequel to Ghostbusters II, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, was released in 2021, followed by another sequel, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, in 2024.

We-We-We-We ain't 'fraid of no tropes.

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  • Actor Allusion: Vigo's full name was later revealed to be Vigo Von Homburg Deutschendorf. When Vigo steps out of the painting, he is played by German wrestler Wilhelm von Homburg and baby Oscar was played by twins William T. and Hank J. Deutschendorf.
  • Affectionate Nickname: While approaching the library in the climax, Peter refers to the Statue of Liberty as "Libby." The official name of the statue is "Liberty Enlightening the World".
  • The Ageless: Due to his immense power in life, Vigo lived to be over 105 years old, and would've likely lived even longer if not for his subjects' revolting.
  • All for Nothing:
    • At the trial, the Prosecutor tried to get the Ghostbusters to be put away and she won; however, the ghosts appear at the trial and scaring everyone and the judge. The ghost grabbed the prosecutor and take her away. She was traumatized and injured from her experienced. Adding insult to her injury, the case against the Ghostbusters were dropped and thus she lost the case. In the IDW comics, her trauma caused her to move out of New York. She moved to Detroit to get away from ghosts; however, there are ghosts in Detroit as well.
    • Jack Hardemeyer got the Ghostbusters committed; however, by doing this, this caused disaters in New York and forced to tell the Mayor the truth which lead Jack getting fired for what he did.
  • The Alleged Car: The sad fate of Ecto-1.
  • Anomalous Art: Viggo the Carpathian's disembodied spirit is found housed within his own portrait, emitting high counts of PKE energy and is ultimately used as a conduit to communicate with his underlings.
  • As You Know: Winston's Infodump to Ray explaining how the Ghostbusters went out of business after the first movie.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The film takes place in the lead up to New Year's Eve.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The judge at the Ghostbusters' trial claims not to believe in ghosts, and nobody affords them any credibility when they start talking about Vigo's painting. You'd think the whole Stay Puft Marshmallow incident would have taught New Yorkers to keep a more open mind.
  • Artistic License – History: There's a couple inconsistencies with the Titanic. A dockworker calls the police station about the Titanic arriving at Pier 34. In reality, the ship's intended destination was going to be Pier 59, owned by the White Star company.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Inverted: The Statue of Liberty gets weaponized by the Ghostbusters to mobilize the positive feelings of NYC's populace and stop Vigo's plot.
  • Audience Participation Failure: Ray and Winston perform their theme song for a group of kids at a birthday party, but unfortunately when they ask "Who You Gonna Call?" all the kids respond, "He-Man!"
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Inverted. Vigo uses Dana's son as a vessel in order to revive himself.
  • Baby Carriage: In the opening scene of the second film, with a more ghostly version used in a later scene.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Upon capturing their first ghost and getting back in the business:
      Venkman: We're the best … we're the beautiful … we're the only … Ghostbusters!
    • Vigo's decapitated head also supposedly proclaimed "Death is but a door, time is but a window - I'll be back!" after an extensive execution centuries ago.
  • Batman Gambit: Vigo and Janosz pull one when they decide to abduct Dana too, by having Janosz kidnap Oscar, knowing Dana would come to the museum to get him. Once she was inside, Vigo had the slime seal off the building.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Egon, Venkman, and Ray try to access the slime river by initially just setting up drilling equipment in the middle of the street, dressing like street workers and acting like they're on a job. And whenever anyone questions them, acting like angry New York construction workers forced to work overtime on a Friday night which frightens anyone away. It works for several hours, but eventually a cop and an ACTUAL power company worker notice they're just drilling a random hole in the street, far away from anything they could potentially need to work on like the phone or power lines. Venkman tries to play this off like they were dumb and made a mistake, but the jig is up at that point and they get arrested.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: The Ghostbusters are able to charge the slime with positive energy, making it an effective weapon against Vigo. And as a bonus, bring the Statue of Liberty to life to rally the New Yorkers.
  • Big Applesauce: Mocked near the end by Venkman, who asks why any being would want to return in 1980s New York, rather than sunny Southern California.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • With Ray and Egon trapped with rapidly spreading flames in the firehouse's darkroom, Winston smashes his way in with a fire extinguisher.
    • A spectacular example - in the Manhattan Museum of Art, just as Vigo is about to possess Oscar, the animate Statue of Liberty's torch shatters the skylight; whereupon the Ghostbusters abseil in to the rescue.
    • Downplayed with Louis, who dons a Proton Pack; gets a bus to the Museum of Art, and, at the Slime-sealed doors, fires his Particle Thrower. With the crowd's joyous New Year singing sapping Vigo's strength, Louis's valiant display, as noted on the Heartwarming page, may well contribute to this.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Janine plants one on Louis before he goes to help the ghostbusters.
  • Big Bad: Vigo the Carpathian, a 16th Century tyrant who was executed in a violent revolution.
  • Big Blackout: Ray accidentally causes one.
  • Blob Monster: Being fed by human emotions, the Mood Slime has some sentience - in the abandoned Pneumatic Transit tunnel, it sprouts amorphous appendages which reach for Ray's dangling boots.
  • Body Surf: Vigo's goal. He attempts to take over Oscar's body, but once foiled, he decides Ray works just as well. Cue sliming.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The slime blowers expend far more slime than the tanks could be reasonably said to carry. Possibly justified by the fact that the evil version of the slime demonstrates itself to be self-replicating in the courtroom scene, so the good version could do the same. (The [canon] video game confirms this).
  • Brooklyn Rage: The source of the Big Bad's power. And what is the best way to overcome Brooklyn Rage? The spirit of goodwill brought on by New Years Eve and the spirit of patriotism as symbolized by the Statue of Liberty.
  • Call-Back: While exploring the abandoned railways, Ray, Winston, and Egon encounter a ghost train. During the Good-Times Montage from the first film, a TV reporter talked about "a spectral locomotive that would rocket past the farm where" his grandmother "grew up".
  • The Cameo:
    • Bobby Brown, who provided the movie's theme song "On Our Own", appears in a minor role as the mayor's doorman.
    • Bill Murray's brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, plays the psychiatrist who tries to talk to the committed Ghostbusters.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Vigo the Carpathian, the Scourge of Carpathia, the Sorrow of Moldovia: "Now is the dawning of the season of evil" and etc.
  • Care-Bear Stare: The good mood slime is charged with positive emotions. It's harmful to evil ghosts and if turned on humans it turns them into love freaks.
  • The Cassandra: Milton Angland, the author who appears on Peter's show at the beginning of the second movie and predicted the world would end on New Year's Eve that year. That almost comes true, though nobody ever sees or speaks of him again.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The montage of ghosts terrorizing New York City starts with people running out of a theater that was showing Cannibal Girls, which was Ivan Reitman's directorial debut.
  • Central Theme: Good will towards men vs. Ill will towards men.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • "Higher and Higher" in the second movie. Ray and Egon show us that the slime happens to really like Jackie Wilson's version of the song early on in the movie. A cover version is used later on in the movie to empower the slime, thus mobilizing Libby.
    • Egon is first seen in the movie conducting an experiment on whether negative emotions could have an impact on the surrounding environment. Enter "mood slime"… And then see the mood slime itself take control of a major landmark.
    • The psychic Venkman was interviewing predicting the world would end on New Year's Eve.
    • The evil stare that Vigo stupefies Ray with when the 'Busters pay the art museum a surprise visit plants the seed for Vigo to temporarily possess Ray towards the end of the film.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Between their lack of funds and every public defender condemning them as "charlatans", Tully is pressed into representing the Ghostbusters when they're put on trial after blacking out New York. Tully protests that he's a tax lawyer who got his degree at night school.
    Ray: That's fine, Louis. We got arrested at night. [Face Desk]
  • Combined Energy Attack: When the 'busters use the collective goodwill of New York to break through the slime shield on the museum. On a personal level, Vigo is defeated by being blasted with positively charged slime while Peter and Egon attack the painting with their proton packs.
  • Compact Infiltrator: Vigo the Carpathian's Mood Slime proves more sentient than initially suspected, using its shapeless mass to infiltrate Dana's apartment via the plumbing and pour itself into the bath she was running for Oscar - presumably with the intention of capturing him. Thankfully, Dana notices and is able to escape with the baby before the slime can make a grab for them.
  • Contrived Coincidence: As with the first film, the Ghostbusters just so happen to be working on the exact subject they need to defeat the villain when the villain's plans start to coalesce. In this film, it's studying the effect of human emotion on the environment.
  • Conversation Hog: Stephen "The Hammer" Wexler, the Hanging Judge convicting the Ghostbusters after their investigation of the mood slime goes awry. Not only does he have a very unprofessional rant about how he wishes it were still legal to have people burned at the stake, but he keeps rudely, and very vocally, interrupting the Ghostbusters trio as they're trying to warn him of the beaker of emotion-enhancing slime boiling over.
  • Covered in Gunge: In the river of slime, Ray, Winston and Egon take a reluctant swim, and get completely drenched in the stuff. Janosz and Ray are later hosed with positively charged Mood Slime.
  • Creepily Long Arms: One arm, at least, used by the nanny-Janosz to snatch Oscar from the ledge.
  • Damsel in Distress: Dana spends most of the movie being threatened by Vigo and Janosz.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the adult humor and smoking are toned down, the horror is ramped up a fair bit compared to the first film. It wasn't enough that Oscar was stolen away, for example - it had to be on a building ledge, at Venkman's apartment after they were attacked in their own home. The spirits themselves are genuinely terrifying (the Ghost Train in particular), and then imagine what prolonged exposure to the Mood Slime does...
  • Dated History: When the Titanic is shown arriving in port, it has a huge hole in the prow. And is in one piece rather than having split in half. note 
  • Demonic Possession: Janosz Poha, Ray Stantz, and (almost) Oscar.
  • Destructive Savior: Ray and Winston's discussion during their first scene together reveals this is what bit the Ghostbusters in the ass after the first film and got them shut down by the authorities. After all, to stop Gozer, they did blow up the top floors of 550 Central Park West (not to mention the destruction Gozer caused as Stay-Puft both before and after the streams were crossed — destruction only made possible because Ray chose the form of the Destructor). Once the dust had literally and figuratively settled, the team ended up getting sued into bankruptcy by every state, county, and city agency in New York for all the collateral damage.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Vigo, arguably. His plan requires massive amounts of negative emotions, which makes a city like New York a good choice... right up until the fact that the final part of his plan has to happen at midnight on New Year's Eve, when New York becomes Party Central and a bastion of positivity. Can be justified, as Vigo hails from the Medieval era and thus doesn't understand the New Year has a different context to the masses in the modern era compared to his time period.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Vigo paralyzes the Ghostbusters with a blast of energy, then steps past them to take Oscar. Lacking any other options, Venkman crawls toward Vigo and starts mocking and insulting him.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Ray and Winston try to sing the Ghostbusters theme song at a birthday party for "ungrateful little yuppie larvae", but sadly, they're shouted down by their cries for He-Man.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: The ghostbusters' explanations to the psychologist are not worded in the best way, to say the least - Ray gives too many crazy details too quickly, while Winston accidentally makes it sound like they were having a bad trip.
  • The Dreaded: Vigo's titles when he was alive included "Vigo the Cruel," "Vigo the Despised," "Vigo the Torturer," and "Vigo the Unholy."
    Venkman: Wasn't he also "Vigo the Butch"?
  • Dreaded Kids' Party Entertainer Job: Ray and Winston have to perform at kids' birthday parties in their Ghostbuster suits (while dancing along to the "Ghostbusters" theme) after they were barred from busting ghosts. They're less than thrilled that the fame and recognition they earned from saving New York City is completely lost on little kids who are more interested in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983).
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The Ghostbusters saved the world, but five years later, they're thought of as "two-bit frauds and publicity hounds." They also apparently got shafted when it was time to clean up Gozer's mess. Ray and later Peter comment on this.
    TV Producer: No respected psychic will come on the show, they think you're a fraud.
    Venkman: I AM a fraud!

  • Emotion Eater: Vigo feeds on hate in order to strengthen himself. The Ghostbusters counter this by bringing the Statue of Liberty to life to inspire the spirit of patriotism in the New Yorkers.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: As Ray is ranting about how there must be some small flecks of human decency left in New York, Egon sees something offscreen and suddenly has an epiphany. One by one the guys turn to see what he's looking at, and finally the camera shows the Ecto-1's license plate and the image of the Statue of Liberty upon it.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: From his carriage being possessed and nearly run over by cars to the bathtub attempting to devour them to being drawn out onto a building ledge and taken by a ghost dressed as a witch, poor Dana and her baby Oscar can't go a minute without ghosts trying to harm them or kidnap him.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: The giant demonic marshmallow man and plague of ghosts from five years ago everyone remembers and even had physical evidence of was all the world's most elaborate hoax. Obviously. Though there is a great deal of truth in this, after all, people will often only believe what they ''want'' to believe.
  • Expospeak Gag: This exchange:
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Hey Egon, how's school? I bet those science chicks really dig that large cranium of yours?
    Dr. Egon Spengler: I think they're more interested in my Epididymis
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Downplayed example during the trial. Peter admits on the stand (albeit while feeding the answers to Louis and committing perjury to protect Dana) that the team did what they did because they were helping a friend. While this establishes the defendants' motive, the Prosecutor strangely doesn't pursue this line of inquiry during her cross-examination. To play devil's advocate, it may not have been necessary from a prosecutorial perspective. Regardless of what their motive was, the team was caught redhanded committing destruction of public property, (accidental) sabotage of public utilties, and violating their judicial restraining order. There was already more than sufficient evidence to (figuratively) hang them all without delving into the nuances of the case and their motivation.
    • Dana. She misses that the water for a bath has suddenly gone silent.
  • Fantastic Drug: Technically, the mood slime is a skin-contact version. It can make you very giddy or very mad if you get covered in it, depending on what emotions it was charged with. It's also implied that the ghostbusters inadvertently made the psychologist believe it was some sort of hallucinogenic due to some of their comments.
    Winston: It's very potent stuff. We made a toaster dance with it! And a bathtub tried to eat his friend's baby.
  • Fear-Induced Idiocy: When the slime suddenly starts sprouting tentacles that try to grab Ray's feet, he screams to get out of there, and as he's getting pulled up, he accidentally steps on an old pipe, which falls onto a power cable and causes a city-wide blackout.
  • Fictional Painting: The portrait of Vigo the Carpathian, a sixteenth-century tyrant from Moldavia. The painting becomes central to the plot when Vigo's spirit inhabits the painting and uses it to order museum worker Janosz to do its evil deeds. It is replaced by a renaissance-styled painting of the four ghostbusters after Vigo is exorcized from it.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist:
    • The number of people in the movie who claim not to believe in the supernatural a mere five years after a prehistoric deity marched through downtown Manhattan is staggering.
    • The movie tries to justify this claiming that Peck convinced everyone that the Stay Puft Man was a marketing ploy, and the explosion that closed the portal was the Ghostbusters misusing pyrotechnics, leaving them on the hook for all the damages caused by saving the world.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Dana meets Egon, he's working on an experiment to see if human emotions have an impact on the physical environment, and from the readings he gets, they do.
    • The psychic predicting the end of the world on New Years at the beginning of the movie.
    • When Vigo is brainwashing Janosz, his portrait changes to shows the old subway tunnel with mood slime flowing down the support pillars.
    • Ray got stupefied by the Vigo portrait unbeknowest to the rest of the team when they make an unannounced visit to the museum to analyze the room. Later on, Ray gets outright possessed by Vigo after the attempt on baby Oscar is soundly thwarted.
    • The scene when Egon and Ray demonstrate the slime's receptivity to negative emotions by insulting it. Ray gets really into it and Winston, looking mildly discomfited, intervenes to tell him to calm down. Later on, while covered in it, the slime's influence has much stronger effects and Ray and Winston very nearly attack each other.
  • Funny Foreigner: Janosz Poha. Except not really.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Johnny...where in the hell are you from anyway?
    Dr. Janosz Poha: (with Slavic accent) De Upper Vest side...?
  • Fur and Loathing: A woman is attacked by her haunted coat.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: A side effect of being doused with positively charged mood slime.
  • Ghostly Animals: When the slime floods into the city, the spirits of the minks in a lady's fur coat manifest as ghosts. They remain bound together and attack the woman until she gets the coat off, and then run away.
  • Ghost Train: One is encountered by Ray, Egon and Winston as they explore an abandoned subway tunnel beneath Manhattan. Egon is quick to identify the train as being the old New York Central "City of Albany" which accidentally derailed in 1920, killing over 100 people.
  • Giggling Villain: The Scoleri brothers.
  • Giving Them the Strip: Egon stops Winston and Ray from fighting by convincing them to take off their outerwear, which is soaked with negatively-charged slime. In the original script, it was Ray who'd be tugged towards the slime river by the measuring cable, but he'd have removed his belt to escape being dragged in.
  • Going Commando: The Ghostbusters are looking at the Statue of Liberty and debate whether she wears underwear.
    Peter: Kinda makes you wonder.
    Winston: Wonder what?
    Peter: Whether she's naked under that toga. [beat] She's French, you know that.
  • Hanging Judge: Stephen "The Hammer" Wexler. Not only does he have a very unprofessional rant note  (which any competent lawyer not named Tully would use on appeal to have the conviction thrown out) about how he wishes it were still legal to have people burned at the stake but he doesn't seem to have been too concerned with whether or not the Scoleri brothers were actually guilty.
  • Happy Ending Override: The first film ends with the titular team defeating an ancient Sumerian deity, sending it back where it came from, and being hailed as heroes by a grateful city. Ghostbusters II opens up five years later with their reputation inexplicably in shambles, the partnership dissolved, a court order preventing them from offering their services, and some of them even being so desperate that they have taken to performing at birthday parties. Peter and Dana broke up too. Egon is the only one of the group to have landed on his feet, as he's a member of the advanced theoretical studies department at Columbia University. Fortunately, the happy ending of the second movie seems to stick, as the video game (which is considered canon) shows them still active a few years later, and the current mayoral administration having very Ghostbuster-friendly policies.
  • Head Desk: Ray does this during the courtroom scene on realising Louis is their lawyer and not very well-qualified for it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Downplayed example during their trial. Despite how badly the deck is already stacked against them and the legal peril they now face, Peter intentionally commits perjury during his testimony to protect Dana and Oscar. He admits (albeit while feeding his answers to Louis to misdirect attention) that they were helping a friend, but he withholds Dana's name or any other personal information.
  • He Knows Too Much: When Ray and Egon were analyzing photos of Vigo's painting and discover his connection to the river of slime, he telekinetically locks the door before setting the room on fire.
  • Historical In-Joke:
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Ghostbusters analyze and co-opt Vigo's evil mood slime by using a positively-charged version of the slime to animate the Statue of Liberty, which allows them to bypass the slime barrier surrounding the Manhattan Museum of Modern Art. The slime blowers are then key to incapacitating Janosz and the possessed Ray without hurting them. When Vigo is forced back into the painting, the slime blowers are the only weapon that visibly hurt him.
  • Hope Bringer: At the climax after Vigo encases the Metropolitan Museum of Art in impenetrable slime and the hate-slime is infesting the city, the Ghostbusters recognize they need something to awaken the goodness inside the citizens of New York. They need something "good," "decent," and above all "pure" to fight this. Their answer: The Statue of Liberty.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Hardemeyer's defense after he's forced to reveal he had the Ghostbusters illegaly committed to protect the Mayor's interests. Instead of being grateful as Hardemeyer's hoping, Lenny's instead pissed, because that means Hardemeyer's zealotry is responsible for this entire mess and ironically damaged his election campaign rather than safeguarding it. Scant wonder Lenny fires him on the spot.
  • Idiot Ball: Despite Vigo nearly killing Egon and Ray from afar in their own HQ, the team (minus Peter) still goes underground into the sewers and into isolated danger — and without bringing any of their Ghostbusting gear with them apart from the Giga Meter. While borderline suicidal, their foolishness can be partially justified in-story. First, the Packs are a burden to carry and wield under normal circumstances; taking them down underground and into a confined space would be exponentially even more difficult. Second, the team's "spelunking" was only supposed to be a simple reconnaissance mission to try and trace the source of the River of Slime's flow. They didn't plan for a full-on engagement (although, again, they should have come prepared in light of what had just happened in the Firehouse mere hours earlier).
    • And when the trio does finally start to head back to the surface to get the Packs, Ray's discovery of the River derails their tactical withdrawal. They go into even further danger without their gear — and it blows up in their faces when the River grabs Winston. Before everything goes to hell, Winston even frantically chastises Ray and Egon for forgetting all about the Packs.
  • Is the Answer to This Question "Yes"?: After discovering Vigo's life history, Ray asks Egon if he thinks there's a connection between him and the mood slime.
    Egon: Is the atomic weight of Cobalt 58.9?
  • It Came from the Sink: Early in the movie, reddish slime starts coming out of Dana's shower.
  • Jerkass:
    • Egon with his hilariously cruel experiments, including fooling a couple into thinking they are there for marriage counseling and watching them from behind a one-way mirror, then making them wait for hours and slowly pushing up the temperature.
    • Hardemeyer is an arrogant Amoral Attorney who abuses his position of working with the mayor and gets the Ghostbusters committed out of spite.
    • In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it example, Ray. After looking at Vigo in the museum, he gets a sudden edge to his personality. When the room he and Egon are in catches fire, he snaps, "What are we gonna do, stick our heads in the toilet?!" He's also subtly more aggressive after that point, and the dam breaks after he and his cohorts get soaked from head to toe in bad slime.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Peter's first meeting with Hardemeyer and his anger over the fallout from the Gozer Incident (specifically how the team got stiffed on the bill among other things). The Ghostbusters did do a job for the city of New York and the city was legally obligated to pay for services rendered instead of screwing them over.
  • Just Train Wrong: Egon identifies the ghost train that "runs over" Winston in the subway tunnel as one that derailed in 1920, despite it looking much more like a train from fifty years before that.
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: This time, with Bad "Bad Acting" as Janine and Louis play a married couple who are haunted by a Bedsheet Ghost being pulled back and forth on a string, and Janine looks straight into the camera when she reads her lines.

  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • The Judge who launches into an extremely unprofessional and sadistic rant against the Ghostbusters after he initially finds them guilty — the bad karma this creates within the vicinity of the "mood slime" results in bringing back the Scoleri Brothers, sibling criminals he tried and sentenced to death for murder. He is then forced to rescind the order to get the Ghostbusters to help him.
    • The Prosecutor (played by the late Janet Margolin) as well, given her rude treatment of the main characters during the trial, which results in her getting hauled out upside down by the Scoleri Brothers.
    • Approaching the film's climax, Hardemeyer gets his just desserts for having the Ghostbusters committed during a citywide ghost apocalypse when Mayor Lenny, who requests their aid, catches wind of this and angrily fires him.
  • Live Mink Coat: During the scene where the evil slime terrorizes the city, there's a freaky moment where a lady in a fur coat steps into the slime and the coat comes alive, turning into a pack of pissed off minks.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Attempted when Dana first approaches Egon for help after the baby carriage incident. She's fine with him bringing Ray into the investigation — but not Peter due to their bitter falling out. They both agree...until Ray accidentally, and without thinking, lets too much slip in front of Peter. Suspicious of what his friends are up to, Peter quickly forces the truth out of Ray.
    • While the Mayor has little love for the Ghostbusters, he has no idea that Hardemeyer illegally committed them after their visit to the Mayor's Mansion (and that his Assistant usurped his authority to do so). Lenny only finds out once everything goes to hell and forces the truth out of Hardemeyer. He's rightfully furious and fires Hardemeyer on the spot.
  • Logical Weakness: Vigo is an Emotion Eater that feeds off negative emotions. As such, positive emotions are his Kryptonite.
  • Magic Skirt: The prosecuting attorney is lifted by her leg by a ghost, but her skirt stays up the entire time. (The novelization of the movie says that she was struggling to keep her skirt from rolling over.)
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When the Mayor and his staff see the sun being blocked by Vigo's slime clouds. "Somebody get me the Ghostbusters."
  • Medium Awareness:
    • The updated Ghostbusters sign with the ghost giving the "two" sign. The movie revolved around their comeback after five years of inactivity, so a redesigned logo might seem fitting. It was also their second run as ecto-exterminators. Furthermore, the "two" sign is better known as the V-Sign, "V for Victory," from World War II. So the logo is the Ghostbusters' Take That! to the authorities that shut them down after the first movie. The fact that it is holding up two fingers is coincidental (at least from the story point of view). Combining these two, V is the Roman numeral for 5.
  • Monumental Damage: After the positive slime wears out, the Statue of Liberty can be seen collapsed on the street. However, the credits show the Statue restored to its original state.
    • The junior novelization adds a bit of dialogue during the latter scene that claims the statue isn't exactly in its original state at the end - the torch and book are now being held in the opposite hands.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Dana spends a LOT of time in various states of undress in this thing.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Invoked by Vigo when his head died: "Death is but a door. Time is but a window. I'll be back."
  • Never Had Toys: Egon mentions that he never had toys because his parents "didn't believe" in them.
    Ray: You mean you never even had a Slinky?
    Egon: We had part of a Slinky. But I straightened it.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Ghostbusters II's ending scene at the museum takes place starting on New Year's Eve 1989 while ending on New Year's Day 1990, the film released on June 16, 1989.
  • Next Thing They Knew: And the next thing Louis knew, he and Janine were having sex!
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If the Scoleri Brothers hadn't appeared, the Ghostbusters wouldn't have been released from their restraining order and be able to restart their business. In fact, just before their interference, the Ghostbusters were about to go to jail.
    • This also makes them the Unwitting Instigator of Doom for Vigo. If they hadn't materialized during the sentencing, the Ghostbusters would've been stuck in prison when Vigo made his move to acquire Oscar (and Dana would have had no allies to help save her son).
  • No Kill Like Over Kill: When Vigo's subjects rebelled against him, they went to the extreme with his execution: poison, stabbed, shot, hung, stretched, disemboweled, drawn and quartered.
    Peter: Ouch.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: As the judge is passing sentence, Ray notices the mood slime has started bubbling in response to the judge's angry ranting. Each of the Ghostbusters makes an attempt to point this out to the judge, which only pisses him off further, causing the slime to bubble more and more. When they see the slime overflow the beaker, they (and Louis) duck under the table just before it explodes, summoning the Scoleri Brothers.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The Ghostbusters while posing as construction workers.
  • Obviously Evil: Vigo's painting would likely be described as dark and menacing even if it wasn't inhabited by his malignant spirit.
  • Omnidisciplinary Lawyer: Averted and lampshaded. Louis Tully specifically warns the main quartet that he's a tax attorney with a sideline in probate;note  when he says he got his law degree at "night school", he's saying that he didn't even receive instruction from an actual teacher. He knows bupkis about criminal defense, but the public defenders are unsympathetic to "charlatans" and the 'Busters can't afford an attorney whose price is higher than "free". Sure enough, he botches the defense and the judge rules against them. It's only the timely appearance of ghosts (thereby proving to the disbelieving judge that ghosts are real) that get the Ghostbusters off the hook. To his credit, Tully does help play legal hardball at that moment to force the judge to rescind the restraining order.
  • One-Winged Angel: After the Ghostbusters invade the museum and disrupt Vigo's plot, he gets forced back into his painting, where his face "warps" and takes on a more demonic appearance.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Louis takes the guys their gear and tells them about what's happened when they're released from Parkview. While Ray and Egon are talking about Vigo possessing Oscar, Peter looks dead serious, is totally silent (aside from one line asking where Dana is), and has his jumpsuit and elbowpads on before the others have even finished zipping up. And when they're walking out, he's a good six feet in front of them. His girlfriend and her son are in paranormal danger. He knows now isn't the time to be a smartass.
  • Pair the Spares: Janine, who spent most of her screen time in the first film fruitlessly flirting with Egon, hooks up in this film with Louis.
  • Papa Wolf: Venkman develops a fondness for Baby Oscar as the film progresses; when the plot to have Vigo possess Oscar is revealed, this trope comes out in full force, as mentioned in O.O.C. Is Serious Business.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: A version limited to New Yorkers is said by Ray after the proton packs fail to make a dent in the slime shell covering the museum.
    Ray: You know, I just can't believe things have gotten so bad in this city that there's no way back. I mean, sure, it's messy, it's crowded, it's polluted, it's noisy, and there's people all around who'd just as soon step on your face as look at you. But come on! There have gotta be a few sparks of sweet humanity left in this burned-out burg. We just have to figure out a way to mobilize it!
  • Pet the Dog: Vigo is surprisingly benevolent to his minion Janosz, agreeing to give him Dana as his wife and letting them act as his parents once he's reborn in Oscar.
  • Practical Effects: Vigo's painting. When the producers came up with the basic "Rasputin the Mad Monk meets Vlad the Impaler by way of The Picture of Dorian Gray" plot, they quickly discovered that faking a period-accurate 16th-century painting would be ridiculously expensive. So they came up with the sublime idea of combining it with the climax of the movie where Vigo steps out of the painting; they built a set of the painting's backdrop, lit it to remove all shadows, had Wilhelm Von Homburg pose in it, photographed the scene, then blew up and weathered the photograph. With the set at hand, they simply green-screened the backdrop and filmed Wilhelm stepping out of it, then spliced it into a green "painting" on the museum set.
  • Power Perversion Potential: A slime that feeds and grows on emotions, influencing the mood of those who come into sufficient contact with it? AND it can manifest shapes?
    • Discussed at one point by Peter, who asks Ray if he had sex with it. According to Ray, Egon attempted to, but likely had no passion in it.
  • The Power of Rock:
    • The Ghostbusters use the positive emotions evoked by good ole rhythm 'n blues to power the slime.
    • Done to a lesser extent when the crowd outside the museum begins singing "Auld Lang Syne" once midnight strikes, draining enough of Vigo's negative energy to unfreeze the paralyzed Ghostbusters.
  • The Precarious Ledge: Dana checks on Oscar, only to discover that her baby is outside the window, some distance away on a narrow ledge.
  • Primal Fear: The sheer number of things Dana has to go through as Oscar is repeatedly manipulated, snatched away, and almost possessed…
  • Raising the Steaks: When the slime finally floods into the city, we see the ghosts of the minks in a lady's fur coat attack her. And a police operator reports a dinosaur skeleton breaking out of its museum exhibit.
  • Rasputinian Death: The team recounts the death of Vigo the Carpathian:
    Egon: Vigo the Carpathian. Born 1505, died 1610.
    Peter: 105 years old, he hung in there, didn't he?
    Ray: He didn't die of old age, either. He was poisoned, stabbed, shot, hung, stretched, disemboweled, drawn and quartered.
    Peter: Ouch.
  • The Renfield: Janosz witnesses the awakening of Vigo's portrait and is indoctrinated into serving the ancient evil. He is even imbued with some of his master's power to help his mission.
  • Ret-Canon: Slimer was in the first movie, but wasn't given a name (the crew called him "Onionhead") and was a minor bad guy caught by the Ghostbusters. He was turned into a good guy regular character and given a name in the cartoon series. The first time we see Slimer in the sequel, he's hanging around inside the Fire Station headquarters chowing down on some food, implying that even the live-action guys have adopted him. The only other scene we see him in, he's shown helping Louis, which again implies that Movie Slimer, like Cartoon Slimer, is now a Team Pet.
  • Sequel Reset: Peter and Dana have split up, only to rekindle their relationship. The Ghostbusters were sued out of business, only to get it going once again. They are interfered with by an Obstructive Bureaucrat until the Mayor asks for their help.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The team violates their judicial restraining order — the potential legal and financial consequences if they caught be damned — to help Dana investigate the mystery of what happened with Oscar's carriage.
  • Servile Snarker: When Janosz communes with Vigo for the second time, he tries to interrupt his master and tell him to get on with it rather than have to sit through his list of titles a second time.
  • Shout-Out:
    • At a party where Ray and Winston were performing, when they asked Who You Gonna Call?, the kids answered "He-Man".
    • Aside from the Mood Slime itself being a clear reference to The Blob (1958), near the start of the climax a group of people are seen running in fear out of a movie theater dripping in slime with a banner hanging from the marque in a font nearly identical to the iconic scene of the theatergoers running out at the climax of original film.
  • Sinister Subway:
    • Home to a Ghost Train, which is a Call-Back to an offhand comment in the first film, when a reporter informs viewers that his grandmother used to tell ghost stories about a spectral locomotive.
    • As another example of Shown Their Work, in searching for the source of the supernatural energy spike which caused little Oscar's runaway Baby Carriage at the start of the movie, the Ghostbusters discover the fictional Van Horne station filled by the river of slime. This is a reference to Beach's Pneumatic Railway which was built beneath Broadway and later shut down by Boss Tweed, and the movie depiction even resembles some of Beach's designs with its tile walls and mosaic frescoes. It also has a few elements in common with the City Hall IRT Station, mostly the shape of the vaulted ceiling and buttresses. (Interestingly, while the Manhattan Museum of Art was also fictional, the building used for its facade, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House near Battery Park, is within a mile of the original tunnel's location.)
  • Skeptic No Longer: Judge Wexler gives a scathing (and some might say unprofessional) rant about the paranormal being a bunch of malarkey at the Ghostbusters during their trial, only for his hate-vibes to energize the mood slime on the evidence table into boiling over. The two resultant angry ghosts that issue forth from the slime are some old acquaintances of his; the Scoleri Brothers, who he tried for murder and sentenced to electrocution. Under duress and now firmly a believer in the paranormal, he rescinds the restraining order on the Ghostbusters so they can get to work.
  • Slasher Smile: When the judge proclaims that he would like to see the Ghostbusters burnt at the stake in a boisterous and unprofessional rant, he sports a malevolent smile just before the mood slime explodes.
  • Square-Cube Law: In spite of the general Rule of Cool and Applied Phlebotinum, the law gets a brief nod during the Statue of Liberty scene…
    Winston: Can't you go any faster?
    Ray: I'm afraid the vibrations will shake her to pieces. We should have padded her feet.
    Egon: I don't think they make Nikes in her size, Ray.
    Venkman: Aw, don't worry, she's tough! She's a harbor chick!
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Ray and Egon figure out the Mood Slime that Vigo uses and co-opt it for the team's own use by applying them as backpack tank-fed slime blowers.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Downplayed, but Louis' awe at seeing the team bust and trap the Scolleri Brothers during the courtroom sequence. By the time Louis formally met the guys in the first film, they had defeated Gozer literally minutes earlier and went out of business shortly thereafter. So while Louis has encountered the supernatural (when Vinz Clortho chased him out of 550 Central Park West), he's never actually seen them in their element and doing their thing until today.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Jack Hardemeyer has taken Walter Peck's role as the jackass close to the mayor who antagonizes the Ghostbusters, though arguably he's even worse.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Hardemeyer's reaction when the Mayor overrules his advice against bringing in the Ghostbusters and demands to know where they are (and with good reason considering their visit to the Mayor's Mansion was the last time they were publicly seen). A resigned Hardemeyer knows he now has no choice, but to come clean and reveal he had the team illegally committed – which makes him indirectly responsible for this current crisis (and jeopardizes the Mayor’s Gubernatorial ambitions once it gets out the team ‘’warned'' Lenny this was going to happen and the authorities ignored them).
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: Vigo's magic is able to cause a mass of mood slime clouds to block the Sun over New York. It's freaky to see.
  • Toy-Based Characterization: An interesting example — dull, deadpan Mad Scientist Egon claims to have grown up without toys, instead having a collection of various molds.
  • Villain Ball: Vigo didn't need Oscar's body to be reborn, he just needed the body of a young child, any young child, and there's tens if not hundreds of thousands of children in NYC that would have suited. If Janosz and Vigo had switched targets to someone whose mother wasn't on a first-name basis with the Ghostbusters, they could have won before the Ghostbusters were in a position to take them down. Though you could probably blame Janosz and his obsession with Dana for this.
  • Villainous Legacy: Downplayed with Gozer the Gozerian, as the entity's only mentioned indirectly once (and has no apperance or involvement in the narrative thanks to the team destroying the 550 Central Park West gate). That said, Gozer still casts a shadow over the beginning of the film, as the team's triumphant defeat of the Destructor, ironically, led to the their own destruction in the interim between films (thanks to the collateral damage).
    • Similarly downplayed with Walter Peck. While the EPA bureaucrat isn't even mentioned directly or indirectly (and with Jack Hardemeyer taking his place as the obstructive bureaucrat and secondary antagonist), Peck still casts his own shadow over the beginning of the second film. After all, it was his efforts to shut the team down which not only nearly allowed Gozer to triumph, but which also provided the foundation for the New York authorities to do the same following Gozer's defeat.
  • Waist-Deep Ocean: Inverted at the climax of the film, when the Ghostbusters ride a walking Statue of Liberty from Liberty Island to New York City. The Upper New York Bay that surrounds Liberty Island is 50 feet deep at its lowest point, while the Statue of Liberty is 111.5 feet tall from head-to-foot, meaning that the water should only be waist-deep... but the statue is shown submerged up to eye-level.
  • Weaponized Landmark: The Statue of Liberty, with the help of mood slime, is piloted by the Ghostbusters and marches through New York roaring for a fight.
  • Weird Weather: Vigo's power grows to the point that he's able to somehow create giant clouds of mood slime that block the Sun.
  • Weirdness Censor: Despite saving the world in the first film, the Ghostbusters are bankrupt and regarded as frauds just five years later.
  • Weirdness Magnet: A deleted scene, retained in the script and novelisation, suggests that Dana may have some genetic susceptibility to spectral interference.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: Despite his role as the secondary antagonist of the first film, there's no sign or mention of Walter Peck and his fate (though of course his efforts to shut down the team and cast them as frauds ultimately worked, albeit not as he'd planned). In terms of the Cinematic Canon, Peck's storyline won't be picked up again until Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (though the Expanded Universe's secondary canon has since used Peck extensively both in the 2009 video game and the IDW Publishing comics).
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Apparently Winston has an aversion to rats.
  • Winds Of Change: Ray, Egon, and Peter glumly wait as they're handed their guilty verdict in court... until Ray notices the ectoplasmic slime sample bubbling in front of them, accompanied by an unnatural wind that visibly ruffles their hair. Moments later, the court admits two surprise witnesses: the murderous ghosts of the Scoleri brothers, forcing the Ghostbusters back into the business.
  • Wrongfully Committed: The mayor's aide has the Ghostbusters committed in order to prevent them from starting a panic over the increasingly apocalyptic conditions. The mayor quickly has this order reversed when it becomes obvious their help is needed.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: A certain amount of this helps Hardemeyer in getting the Ghostbusters committed, and in the psychiatrist not believing a word they said. Even Dana, despite the slime covering them, doesn't seem to respond well. In a minor subversion, while his colleagues attempt to struggle against their captors while ranting about demonic paintings and the end of the world, Peter realizes that doing so just makes them look even crazier and merely goes along with it in a calm and reasonable fashion until someone wises up and lets them go.
    Peter: Don't look at me. I think these people are completely nuts.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Ghostbusters 2


"Get me out of this hole!"

In his panic to get away from the River of Slime as he's being hoisted up, Ray accidentally damages an underground powerline and ends up blacking out all of New York.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / BigBlackout

Media sources: