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Recap / Phineas and Ferb "Rollercoaster"

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"What are they doing right now? Why do you ask? What do mean, you can see it from your house? See what?"

The pilot for Phineas and Ferb, and the set up for all the plots to follow. Enter the Flynn-Fletcher family, as the snarky red-head Phineas remarks that he doesn’t want to spend this summer lazing around, so he and his brother Ferb set out to do something spectacular. And by spectacular, we mean build a roller-coaster. Meanwhile, their sister Candace, whose been put in charge (at least in the case of a crashed satellite) desperately tries to get her mom to see the unbelievable contraption they’ve built. Her attempts to do so are accidentally foiled by her pet platypus, Perry, who is actually a secret agent trying to thwart his nemesis Doctor Doofenshmirtz in his attempts to cover the entire Tri-State Area in tin foil. Why? Because he wants to use magnets to reverse the rotation of the Earth, duh.



  • Absurd Altitude: The rollercoaster shoots them into space.
  • Art Shift: A shot of the planet Earth and an overhead shot as the rollercoaster plummets to the ground are live-action photographs.
  • Bait-and-Switch Character Intro: In the first scene, Perry is depicted as an average, mindless pet, with Phineas stating "Well, he is a platypus. They don't do much." A couple scenes later, Perry stands upright and sneaks into an underground lair, revealing his true identity as a secret agent.
  • Brick Joke: Candace asks Linda to put her in charge by asking, "What if a satellite falls out of orbit and crashes into the house?" Later, when the boys' coaster gets thrown into space, a satellite passes by, and Phineas remarks, "You know, if that thing crashes into earth, Candace is in charge."
  • Cutaway Gag: At the beginning of the episode, Phineas says that their lives should be like a rollercoaster, and not like the one they rode at the State Fair. The scene then cuts to the State Fair rollercoaster... which only has one short hill and lasts five seconds before the ride is over.
    State Fair Employee: Please exit to the left.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The cashier at Mr. Slushy Burger vaguely looks like Jeremy, except he has a different voice. In The Musical, it is revealed that he really was Jeremy.
    • Katie and Ginger from the Fireside Girls appear but do not wear their uniforms.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first episode of Phineas and Ferb has Phineas being sarcastic and a little more antagonistic towards his sister Candace, something that's still in the theme tune ("...or driving our sister insane!") After that, he's just upbeat about his projects and bears no ill-will to her or anyone (even going out of his way to help Candace on numerous occasions). It also lacks any sort of a song, Genre Savvy, or lampshading which made the show famous. Dr. Doofenshmirtz's Evil Plan is also much grander in scope than his usual focus on "the entire Tri-State Area" too, and the key device in his plan is not an -inator.
    • During the course of the episode, Phineas casually lies to his sister about what they're doing and actually charges people to go on his rollercoaster, two things the Phineas of later episodes wouldn't dream of doing.
    • Monogram's message to Agent P appears to be prerecorded rather than a live video feed, as evidenced by the "Incoming Message" screen and Agent P clicking an envelope icon to receive his mission.
    • Phineas appears to care more about profiting off his invention than just having the "best day ever", as evidenced by his line, "We should've charged more."
    • While the Doofenshmirtz Evil Inc. building appears, it is not accompanied by the Evil Jingle.
    • Doof has a bit of a vaguely European accent which is all but dropped in later episodes.
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    • This is all addressed in "Rollercoaster: The Musical!" where the more fleshed out characters redo this episode as a musical, with all of the aforementioned quirks and traits that were absent in this episode now made present, especially on the musical number side of things.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Perry flings a screw with his tail at Doofenshmirtz, which he manages to dodge on time, but then the screw bounces off all over the place and into Doof's foot, causing him to jump in pain and accidentally set Perry free.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Candace gets so caught up in her phone conversation with Stacy that she fails to notice the boys going backwards and forwards with various rollercoaster-building supplies. And a lion.
    • When Candace comes home with Linda near the end only for the boys to suddenly show up when Candace looks away for a moment, neither of them notice the coaster train flaming in the tree, right before them.
  • Happily Adopted: This is one of the few instances in the show where any of the characters out-right refer to the fact that they’re a blended family.
  • Laughing Mad: The prospect of catching Phineas and Ferb not being home due to their rollercoaster running amok sends Candace into peals of rather demented chuckling.
    Linda: I worry about you sometimes, Candace.
  • Noodle Incident: Linda mentions how Candace tried to bust Phineas & Ferb for training monkeys to juggle bicycles.
  • Over-the-Top Roller Coaster: Phineas and Ferb built one that starts with a massive drop, and cuts through the city, with many crazy and impossible turns. Then, due to Perry and Doofenshmirtz's fight, the entire track gets moved from its original position and as a result, the coaster car goes off the rails. It's thrown into the sky, is carried across the country into Mt. Rushmore, gets flung across the Atlantic into Paris, and then flies all the way into space, where the coaster then does a final descent towards the boys' home. "Coolest Coaster Ever" indeed.
  • The Pilot
  • Rapid-Fire "But!": Said by Candace after failing to bust her brothers, with Linda discovering that the boys are still in the backyard.
  • Running Gag: Most of the running gags the show will be later known for are set up here.
  • Scare Chord: Plays as Candace comes home and checks the backyard and sees the boys are missing.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: By the time Candace checks the backyard returning home, Phineas and Ferb are not there as expected. When Linda takes a peek, they're suddenly here.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Ferb spends a majority of the episode being the Silent Bob, however, in the first of many instances, he suddenly says in a sophisticated British accent, "They're the only mammals to lay eggs", in reference to platypuses.
  • Tree Buchet: There's also an Eiffel Tower-buchet, and a Statue of Liberty-buchet.
  • Vocal Evolution: This was recorded before both Vincent Martella and Thomas Brodie-Sangster went through puberty, though Martella still uses an affected voice. Ergo, both of their voices are a bit higher than they would be throughout the series.
  • Wingding Eyes: Isabella's eyes have little hearts in them when she enters the backyard and greets Phineas.