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Recap / Danny Phantom S 1 E 5 Splitting Images

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Fed up with all the bullying he endures at school, Danny finally starts using his ghost powers to get back at Dash and his Jerk Jock posse. His actions awaken the vengeful ghost of a bullied student named Sydney Pointdexter, who changes places with Danny, sending him back to 1950s Casper High while taking over as Danny Fenton in the present.

Starting with this episode, the dimension ghosts come from will always be referred to as "the Ghost Zone."

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This episode provides examples of:

  • Batman Gambit: Danny tricks Pointdexter into undoing the body swap by threatening to smash the mirror that leads back to the present, even though that would strand them both in the past. Fortunately, instead of calling his bluff, Pointdexter tries to stop him by possessing him, allowing Danny to take his body back and escape.
  • Book-Ends: Another episode that begins and ends with an appearance by the Box Ghost.
  • Broken Aesop: The Aesop is "Standing up to bullies makes you a bully." The morality of the message aside, this makes Danny a bully for messing with Dash and the rest of the bullies. Pointdexter should, therefore, be just as much of a "bully" as Danny, as he also punishes a kid he thinks is a bully. Danny is portrayed as in the wrong for giving real bullies a taste of their own medicine, but Pointdexter is treated as in the right for giving Danny a taste of his own medicine. Danny concludes that what Pointdexter put him through "serves me right," even though he and Pointdexter did the exact same thing with the exact same motive. If Danny was wrong, Pointdexter should have been wrong, too; conversely, if Pointdexter's actions were justified, Danny's should have been, too. The double standard is very stark.
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  • Famed In-Story: Danny now learns that the half-boy/half-ghost is famous in the Ghost Zone.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Pointdexter switches bodies with Danny to give him a taste of his own medicine.
  • Free the Frogs: Sam's goal in this episode.
  • Grand Theft Me: Pointdexter uses a ghost's overshadowing ability to swap bodies with Danny.
  • Humiliation Conga: The bullying Danny goes through when his body is switched with Pointdexter's and sent to the spirit world.
  • I Can Explain:
    Danny: (to Lancer after everything that happened) I can explain... Actually, I really can't.
  • Karma Houdini: Besides getting sent back to his own realm, Pointdexter doesn't really suffer any consequences for his actions.
  • Magic Mirror: Serves as the portal between the two Casper Highs.
  • Mis-blamed: Pointdexter somehow thinks Danny is the bully picking on innocent kids and refuses to listen when Danny tries to tell him he has it backwards.
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  • Mood Ring Eyes: This is the first time we see Danny's eyes turn green with fury when he's still human.
  • Never Live It Down: Although this is the only time in the entire series the term "halfa" is used, it was adopted by the fandom as the species name for half-human/half-ghost hybrids.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Danny fights Pointdexter at the end Airbender-style, simply moving his head every time Pointdexter throws a punch.
  • Not Me This Time: Pointdexter starts taking revenge on the jocks shortly after Danny does.
    Sam: (hearing Dash, Kwan, and Paulina talk about what happened to them) Apparently, someone's been busy.
    Danny: It wasn't me, I swear.
  • Not So Different: One of the main complaints about the episode as well as how Pointdexter is Unintentionally Unsympathetic is how his method of teaching Danny a supposed lesson about being a bully that he doesn't need to learn pretty much makes him as bad as the people from his own realm who were picking on him. Not helped is how the episode never addresses this observation.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Danny learns that it's not okay for him to do this to other kids... even though he also decides he deserved Pointdexter doing it to him.
  • Plot Hole: Pointdexter somehow concludes Danny is the bully and Dash and his friends are innocent, even though he interferes in several of the jocks' attempts to bully other kids. There's no logical reason, if his observations of the school led him to think Danny was a bully, that he could have missed all the other real bullies at work, as well.
  • Portal Slam: After he gets back to the present, Danny breaks the mirror, destroying the portal.
  • Stuffed into a Locker:
    Tucker: [Pointdexter] got stuffed into his locker so many times, it's believed his spirit still inhabits it to this very day.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When Lancer suspects the first incident with Pointdexter was a distraction so Sam could steal the frogs, she goes, "Right... of course."
  • Time Stands Still: The first time we see an area of the Ghost Zone that works like this.
  • Totally Radical: Pointdexter uses a lot of 50s slang.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Although Danny is apparently more powerful than Pointdexter, Pointdexter is no match for him even after he steals Danny's body because he has no idea how to use Danny's powers.
  • You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost:
    Danny: (to Tucker and Sam) Guys, what's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost. Or... something really scary that we don't see every single day.
  • You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?: Danny (in Pointdexter's body) taunts Pointdexter this way, since the latter is a terrible shot.
    Danny: You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses? You couldn't hit a guy with glasses! In fact, you couldn't even hit the broad side of a barn!
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