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Recap / Danny Phantom S 1 E 19 The Million Dollar Ghost

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As Butch Hartman loves to say, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Vlad Masters' ghost portal explodes (taking his entire castle along with it) just as he's about to get some magic key in the Ghost Zone he desperately wants. The good news is he knows where he can pick up a replacement — from the Fentons. To keep Jack and Danny busy while he removes and steals the portal from their basement, he anonymously offers a $1,000,000 reward on Public Ghost Enemy #1 in Amity Park — Danny Phantom. The 3 best known ghost-hunting teams show up for the competition: the Groovy Gang and Scaredy Cat, the Extreme Ghostbreakers, the Guys In White, and... that's it. (Apparently, there are some ghost-hunters you just do not mock.) Now Danny has to escape them all, keep his dad from embarrassing him, stop Vlad, and change the ecto-filtrator before the Fenton portal explodes.

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This episode provides examples of:

  • Chekhov's Gun: That key Vlad was after. Its purpose will be revaled in Reign Storm.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Unlike the other ghost-hunters who are never seen again, the Guys In White would become recurring villains in future episodes.
  • Cold Blooded Electric Torture: For seemingly no reason except to mock him, Vlad grabs Danny and shoots an electrical charge through him for several seconds while the boy screams in agony. He only stops when he sees Danny's about to pass out and revert back to his human form, since he doesn't want to expose his Secret Identity yet.
  • Enemy Mine: From Jack's point of view. He releases Danny Phantom so the latter can help him save his family from "the Wisconsin Ghost."
  • Foreshadowing: Vlad's mansion exploding shows what would happen to the Fenton Portal if the ecto-filtrator wasn't changed in time. And unlike Vlad, the Fentons can't survive the explosion by going intangiblenote .
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  • Gone Horribly Right: Danny tries to cheer his father up by letting him capture Public Ghost Enemy #1. He really gets captured (by Maddie), and can't escape just as he's realized what Vlad's really up to.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: The climax shows just how much of a badass ghost hunter Jack can be when he's got the right motivation.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Earlier on during a ghost drill at school, Jack foolishly mistakes Mr. Lancer as a real ghost, and then uses the Fenton Ghost Peeler on him reducing him to nothing but his underwear. Humiliated, he retaliates by giving Danny detention and a lot of extra work.
    Mr. Lancer: I can't give you detention, but someone named "Fenton" is staying after school.
    Jack and Jazz: Whoa! Look at the time!
  • Right Behind Me:
    Danny: Did you see the way all those ghost-hunters were laughing at him? How embarrassing! We're all gonna have to live with my dad's goof-ups for the rest of our lives. (Sam clears her throat) He's right behind me, isn't he?
    Jack: Yes, I'm afraid he is. If you need me, I'll be upstairs, doing something wrong...
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  • Shallow Parody: Surprisingly, there's nothing about the Extreme Ghostbreakers besides their name that indicates they're supposed to be a parody of the Extreme Ghostbusters. (Perhaps a more accurate representation would have been awkward, given how Sam and Tucker seem inspired by two characters from that show.)
  • Shout-Out: The demonstration Jack shows of a ghost portal exploding looks strikingly similar to a containment unit exploding.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Danny tries taunting Vlad about losing "the love of your life" to his dad. Vlad responds by painfully shocking him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: This is just one of several episodes where Valerie's conspicuous absence makes no sense — given her situation, she logically would have been the first to sign up for a competition to capture the Ghost Boy for a reward of $1,000,000, so what happened to her?
  • With My Hands Tied:
    Vlad: (while he's doing it) Oh, please, Daniel, must I actually defeat you with one hand behind my back?
  • Xanatos Gambit: Vlad only wanted the Fentons' portal to get to that mysterious key. If he succeeds in stealing the portal, he can get to the key. If he fails, however, the Fentons return all ghosts they capture to the Ghost Zone, which is what happens, allowing him to get the key anyway.
    Plasmius: Oh, Jack Fenton, even in success, you fail.
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