- "Are We There Yet?"
When summer vacation finally begins, Danny looks forward to a break from ghost fighting while going on a road trip with Sam and Tucker. Unfortunately, his plans are derailed when Freakshow returns, armed with the all-powerful Reality Gauntlet. In the ensuing battle, Freakshow loses the gems that power that gauntlet while Danny loses his Secret Identity when he accidentally turns back human on national television. To make the situation worse, Freakshow kidnaps Danny, Sam, and Tucker's families to force them to recover the gauntlet's gems. With the Guys in White hot on their tails and the whole world knowing Danny's secret, the trio must go on their planned cross country trip to find the Reality Gems and stop Freakshow in order to get their lives back to normal.
Tropes found in this episode:
- Achievements in Ignorance: In trying to hold onto the Reality Gauntlet when they're in the air, Danny, Sam, and Tucker end up touching the Reality Gems in the sequence required to activate them all at once and enable control of reality. Worse yet, after recovering the Gems in the climax, Freakshow remembers the pattern.
- Ambiguous Situation: Right after Freakshow turns Danny into an orange gel-like substance and is splattered by the roller coaster, he reforms from it and is restored moments later. We're not given information if this is his ghost powers at work or if Freakshow changed him back just to toy with him longer.
- Animating Artifact: The Gem of Life has the power to imbue life in lifeless objects, examples including a drum-spider, a group of train-cars and a NASA rocket.
- A Rotten Time to Revert: Thanks to the Reality Gauntlet explosion that resulted from the Gems being sent away, Danny ends up changing back to human, not just in front of everyone at school, but on national television as well, exposing his identity to the entire world.
- Becoming the Costume: At the Comic Book Convention, the Gem of Fantasy transforms three nerds into the characters they were dressed as. Unfortunately, they were dressed as supervillains.
- Becoming the Genie: Danny exploits Freakshow's ghost-envy and tricks him into turning himself into a ghost using the gauntlet... and then sucks him into the Fenton Thermos.
- Big "NO!": Both Jack and Maddie let out one after Danny is seemingly killed.
- Blatant Lies: Upon seeing the Reality Gauntlet for the first time, Freakshow quickly identifies it but then claims he never heard of it.
- Bookends: The episode begins and ends with Jack spotting Danny out a window and firing a weapon at him.
- Call-Back: The Raven mascot costume from "What You Want" makes a return, with Tucker once again wearing it.
- Deadly Road Trip: A Deadly Road Trip Plot
- Death Course: Freakshow puts all the hostages save Danny on a deadly rollercoaster.
- Delayed Reaction: While the Fentons, Mansons, and Foleys are held prisoner by Freakshow, we have this exchange:Mr. Manson: (To Mr. Foley) This is Fenton's fault. Pass it down.
Mr. Foley: (To Jack) This Fenton's fault. Pass it down.
Jack: (To Maddie) This is-(With realization) WAIT A MINUTE!
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Upon seeing people wearing costumes to look like Danny and Sam, Tucker becomes upset that nobody is dressed like him.Tucker: What? No Tuckers?! Am I not geek-worthy?!
- Either/Or Title: The special is billed on Nickelodeon as "School's Out, Ghoul's Out".
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Danny turns on the house's defenses — designed to attack anything using ecto-energy — against the Guys In White. Unfortunately, there's no way to stop it from targeting him in ghost-form as well.
- Evil Is Cool: In-Universe. This is the only reason three nerds would go to the comic book convention as supervillains. Unfortunately, they end up getting exposed to the Gem of Fantasy.
- Evil vs. Evil: The Guys In White vs. Freakshow.
- Exact Words: Freakshow wasn't exaggerating when he said the deal was "If you wanted to see your family alive again, you'd bring me the gems."
- Expy: The Reality Gauntlet and its gems are clearly based on the Infinity Gauntlet and its six Gemsnote from Marvel Comics.
- False Reassurance:Danny: Let 'em go, Freakshow! I brought you the gems! We had a deal!
Freakshow: The deal was "bring me the gems if you want to see them alive again." Well, here they are, alive... for now!
- Forced to Watch: Instead of just killing everyone outright, Freakshow puts Danny's family, friends, and their families on a rollercoaster that will kill them at various points if Danny's not fast enough to save them.
- Hidden Disdain Reveal: Interestingly, despite being a Shipper on Deck for her and his son, Jack is quick to assume Sam is responsible for Danny being the ghost boy despite having no proof, hinting he isn't entirely accepting of her.
- Hostage for MacGuffin: Your parents for the gems.
- I Lied:Danny: You lied to me!
Freakshow: Yes, I did.
- Implausible Deniability: After Danny inadvertently changes back to human on national television, all he has to say is:Danny: Nobody saw that, right?
(Cut to Jack, Maddie, and Jazz who just saw the whole thing)
Jazz: (To Jack and Maddie) You didn't see that, right?
- Jerkass Realization: Jack and Maddie have one when Jazz informs them why Danny never told them about his ghost powers: because of their very anti-ghost attitude.Jazz: Hmm, let me guess. [mimicking Jack] "Hey, Maddie, let's destroy the ghost!" [mimicking Maddie] "No, Jack, let's dissect the ghost." [mimicking Jack again] "I know, let's catch the ghost and rip it apart molecule by molecule!" [normal voice] You guys are so understanding.
[Jack and Maddie look down in shame]
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": The audience when they witness Danny change back to human in front of them.
- Mineral MacGuffin: The 3 Reality Gems.
- Never My Fault: Agents O and K blame each other for Freakshow escaping with the Reality Gauntlet when both are equally responsible for it.Agent O: When this is over, I shall be affixing blame to you.
Agent K: Not if I affix it to you first!
- No Man Should Have This Power: Danny defeats Freakshow and takes the Reality Gauntlet to wipe everyone's memories of him being Danny Phantom (except his friends and sister). After which, Danny decides to destroy the gauntlet for good as it proved too dangerous to be in the wrong hands again.
- "Not So Different" Remark: Freakshow realizes that Jazz, like him, knows how it feels to grow up in the shadow of ghosts.Freakshow: Ghosts, ghosts, ghosts! You have no idea what it's like living in the shadow of ghosts all your life.
Jack: (snoring and talking in his sleep) Ghosts... ghosts!
Jazz: Oh, I think I have some idea.
Freakshow: My parents loved ghosts more than me. My audience loves ghosts more than me. And deep down, I think I love ghosts more than me.
Jazz: Tell me about it.
Freakshow and Jazz: Sometimes I wish I was a ghost. (They exchange a surprised look)
Freakshow: You really do understand me, don't you, child?
Jazz: (glances sidelong at Jack, who is still muttering Ghost in his sleep) More than you know.
- Our Hero Is Dead: At one point during the climax, Freakshow tricks Danny's friends and family into believing he's killed him.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Even with his feud with Mr. Manson, Jack referring to Sam as a "spooky, ooky, bat, daughter" seems a bit nasty for himnote . Then again, he could've just been in too much shock.
- Parodies for Dummies: Ghost Envy for Dimwits
- Popular with Furries: In-Universe. When the Gem of Fantasy transforms a nerd dressed as Empress She-Wolf, Tucker calls her the hottest geek he's ever seen. His opinion doesn't change even when she turns into a werewolf.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Tucker and Sam are abducted by Lydia's bat tattoos, we get this exchange:
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: The Mansons get furious at the Fentons when they learn Danny's the Ghost Boy. Jack accuses their "spooky, ooky bat daughter" of being responsible for it. As revealed in "Memory Blank," she actually is, but Jack has no way of knowing that.
- Running Gag: In the first half of the special, Sam and Tucker are continuously grabbed by either ghosts or the Guys-In-White.
- Rushmore Refacement: During the climax, Freakshow uses the Reality Gauntlet to transform Mount Rushmore into caricatures of himself. Fortunately, Danny changes it back.
- The process of Danny tricking Freakshow into turning himself into a ghost is identical to tricking Jafar into turning himself into a genie.
- The Reality Gauntlet itself is an obvious takeoff on The Infinity Gauntlet.
- Danny uses the Reality Gauntlet to make the Guys in White leave his human identity alone by telling them "He's not the ghost you're looking for".
- Once again, the Guys in White are a parody of the Men in Black.
- Shower Scene: Jack of all people has one right at the beginning, complete with a goofy shower cap, rubber duck and Censor Suds. It's interrupted when he spots ghost Danny flying outside his window, and Jack promptly picks up his Anti-Ghost weapon he brought with him to the shower and fires at Danny.
- Sickeningly Sweet: In-Universe. Upon seeing that the Gem of Form had transformed Gothapalooza into a land filled with living teddy bears, Sam tells Danny to destroy every last one of them. She's quite relieved when Danny turns it back.
- So Proud of You: Jack and Maddie tell Danny how proud they are of what he does with his powers after he reunites with them in the end. It still doesn't stop him from afflicting Laser-Guided Amnesia on them.
- Status Quo Is God: In the end, Danny uses the Reality Gauntlet to return everything to normal, with nobody knowing his secret except Sam, Tucker, and Jazz.
- Tempting Fate:
- Freakshow derides the Guys in White as "Top-secret ghost catchers who can't actually catch ghosts" and they quickly prove him wrong by showing they've captured his ghost ally Lydia.
- When the Mansons and the Foleys confront Jack and Maddie about Danny being the ghost boy, Maddie says it never put their families in any danger. Cue Lydia's tattoo ghosts capturing them.Jack: Until now.
- That Wasn't a Request:Freakshow: It seems, I need your help.
Danny: You miserable freak! Why would I ever help you?!
Freakshow: I'm sorry, did I say "need"? I meant demand!
- Tricked-Out Gloves: The Reality Gauntlet.
- Tricking the Shapeshifter: Danny goads Freakshow into turning himself into a ghost... which Danny can then effortlessly suck into the Fenton thermos.
- Undying Loyalty: Apparently, Lydia, the tattooed ghost, was the only one of Freakshow's troop to serve him willingly without having to be controlled.
- Unexpected Kindness: Danny's secret is revealed to all of Amity Park. While he's being hunted by ghost hunters, he's unexpectedly rescued by some kids from his school- namely, Jerk Jock Dash, who'd been picking on Danny throughout the series, and Dash's friends. When Danny expresses shock at this, Dash points out that he's saved them many times before, and they owed him the favor.
- The Unmasking: Danny accidentally does this when he reverts back to human form before a crowd at the concert and on national television.
- We Are Not Going Through That Again: At the end, when everything's back to normal, Danny expects he, Tucker, and Sam should be just about getting ready for their vacation. The other two pass as they had already taken a cross-country trip together once.