What happens when you take stock footage from a 1960s action cartoon, have the people responsible imbibe some fine hallucinogens, and re-use it in a nonsensical talk show spoof? You'll get something like Space Ghost Coast to Coast, one of the earliest outputs of Ghost Planet Industries (now known as Williams Street Productions) and Cartoon Network's first fully produced original series.
Coast to Coast, which had 104 episodes produced between 1994 and 2008 note on a fairly sporadic basis, ostensibly followed the talk show career of titular former superhero Tad Ghostal (better known as Space Ghost) as he interviewed various celebrity guests — but the episodes usually degenerated into Space Ghost bickering with Zorak and Moltar (two former enemies of Space Ghost who SG forced to become his band leader and director respectively) or some other off-the-wall craziness.
The series is known for being one of Adult Swim's most notable creations in their history - the limited animation (and smaller budget), surreal stoner humor and pervasive tone of excessive weirdness inspired the creation of several other shows, like (most notably) Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which could be considered a Spiritual Successor to this show, despite the two running at basically the same time.
After its final episode in 2004, the show had a brief revival over Gametap in 2008. In The New '10s it had another mini revival with small scale interviews inbetween other shows as well as the April Fools interview with Tommy Wiseau. Unfortunately with the death of Clay Martin Croker (a writer for the show as well as the voice of Zorak and Moltar) in September of 2016, and George Lowe (the voice of Space Ghost) experiencing health issues in recent years, it is unlikely that the show will see any sort of revival in the foreseeable future.
This series includes examples of:
- 555: In "Telethon", all the phone numbers that come on screen for people to call in order to donate money for the show are 555 numbers.
- Accidental Misnaming: Space Ghost refers to Pavement as The Beatles instead.
- Actor/Role Confusion:Space Ghost: My other guest tonight is Mr. "Lost in Space" himself, Mystery Science Theater's Joel Robinson.
Moltar: Joel Hodgson, Space Ghost, not Robinson.
- Though, as it turns out, Space Ghost didn't like the way "Hodgson" sounds, so he used the better-sounding namenote .
- Adaptational Jerkass: Space Ghost himself. In the original 1966 cartoon Space Ghost was a traditional, all-round good-guy superhero who fought crime and protected the universe from criminals, pirates, and other random villains. In the talk show, he's more of a self-centered, uncaring, prima donna. However...
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Space Ghost started out the talk show with some shades of his old, heroic self from the 1966 cartoon, but then slowly became a jerkass prima donna as the show went on.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: "$20.01" has Space Ghost replace Zorak and Moltar with an AI assistant called MOE 2000 (a clear parody of HAL 9000) to improve the show, only for MOE to eventually deduce that Space Ghost is the one dragging the show down and try to kill him.
- Alliterative List: Subverted in "Joshua":Narrator: Space Ghost is talking about the three "R's": Reliability, ratings, and (screen shows "Relivery" before being replaced with...) delivery. Let's start with R number one... (screen shows "Research"; after that brief bit, the next "R" is "Power").
- All Just a Dream: "Batmantis" and "Curses". "Flipmode" became this some time after the gas leak, turning out to be a one by Zorak who somehow crawled into one of the pipes.
- "Sequel" may or may not be one, seeing as The Stinger is Kirk the Storyteller sitting up in bed and declaring "The nightmares, they're relentless. And they're all coming from space."
- The last episode of Cartoon Network's Survivor parody "Staylongers" reveals that the whole thing was a dream Brak had while asleep in Space ghost's talk show.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: In-universe. Most of the characters have very different personalities from their original appearances on Space Ghost, most notably Brak, who is changed from an intelligent and dangerous villain into a complete idiot.
- They have offered an explanation for this, though. The Space Ghost episode The Lure ends with Brak and his brother Sisto flying into a swarm of Piranamites, supposedly deadly space insects. However, Brak and Sisto survived the Piranamite swarm, but lost much of their IQs, and that's why Brak is the way he is now (at least in this continuity).
- Always Someone Better:
- Ms. Nesbitt's new squeeze in "Lovesick".Zorak: Quite handsome, not like you. He's a doctor AND a lawyer. But he's sensitive. And a good kisser.
- Inverted with Birdman, who despite being the original choice to host the show is portrayed as pathetic and inferior to Space Ghost in almost every way.
- Ms. Nesbitt's new squeeze in "Lovesick".
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: Space Ghost's announcement that he's dying in "Terminal" is greeted by Zorak playing upbeat ragtime music on his keyboard.
- And This Is for...: After Zorak reveals he destroyed Space Ghost's Presidents of the United States ceramic figurines collection, Space Ghost repeatedly blasts Zorak while saying "And this is for... (insert president name here)!". Notably, Space Ghost used the name "Grover Cleveland" twicenote .
- Angels Pose: Seen in the transition title cards in "Jacksonville", parodying Charlie's Angels.
- Animation Bump: For a show with very Limited Animation, Bizarro Santa's transformation in "Girl Hair" is surprisingly fluid, which adds to the creepiness.
- Anti-Humor: In "$20.01":Zorak: I'm on a sea food diet. When I see food, I hate Space Ghost!
- April Fools' Day: [adult swim] ran an unannounced Space Ghost Coast to Coast marathon on April 1st, 2014.
- Art Shift: Space Ghost briefly changes character designs to look more like Squiggle Vision in two episodes: "Brilliant Number One" (and Two) and "King Dead".
- Ascended Extra: Judy Tenuta was one of the first guests on the show, and eventually ended up voicing Black Widow.
- Backdoor Pilot:
- Even though he would go on to become an Attorney at Law, (Harvey) Birdman would make an appearance here long before his show came to be. Voices changed, but they were still filming 'in the lot next door'.
- "Baffler Meal" was supposed to be this to Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but it didn't air until long after the show had already premiered.note
- Bad Santa: Bizarro-Santa in "Girl Hair."
- Badass Boast: Space Ghost gets a particularly awesome (and funny) one in "Rehearsal", even if it's undermined by the crew dissembling the set around and behind him.Space Ghost: The only thing to do right now is put out the best darn talk show we can. Arsenio, Dave, Leno...you know, maybe it's time you guys took a step back from the bleak lights of adulation, took a good look around. There's a distant thunder drawing near, rolling in across the vast wasteland of popular entertainment. Maybe you can't see it coming because your view is blocked by cheap facades of skylines and cityscapes. But you'd better make ready, my friends! Because this thunder is preparing to rain down fear and terror on your gilded houses of complacency! Mark my words, big shot, late-night gab fest mavens, you're about to tangle with a one-dimensional character and his long-forgotten archnemesis pals: a bug and a...what are you anyway, Moltar?
Moltar: I'm a poorly drawn, lava kind of a molten man.
Space Ghost: [resuming] ...and a poorly drawn, lava kind of a molten man! There's a new player in this late-night talk show war, and his name is-
Bob: [interrupting] Space Ghost?
Space Ghost: ...Yeah, Bob?
Bob: Uh, we, we need to book, man, The Snorks are in here for a promo or somethin' at 4, okay?
Space Ghost: Oh. Uh, right. Right...
- The Bad Guy Wins: "Girlie Show" ends with Zorak and Moltar successfully launching the "Klugman Revolution".
- Bears Are Bad News: "Kentucky Nightmare".
- Beard of Evil: Chad parodies this; his facial hair is different every time he's on camera.
- Beat: Uncomfortable pauses are used liberally in every episode, to the point of Lampshade Hanging:Space Ghost: It lets me blend... just about anything! [beat]
Space Ghost: Classy people are always blending stuff. [beat]
Space Ghost: Now, I too can blend. [beat]
Zorak: [takes a sip of coffee] Beat!
- Berserk Button: Space Ghost attempts to pick a fight with Bob Costas after he thought Bob called him a monkey; see Large Ham below.
- Big "NO!": Space Ghost delivers one before BooBooKitty hits the giant pin. His Big "NO!" is so long that he takes a breath and starts a second one.
- Zorak would let one fly right before he gets blasted on occasion.
- Blackmail: Alluded to in "Intense Patriotism" when Moltar is denied being allowed to peel Jeff Foxworthy's skin off:Moltar: [to Space Ghost, threateningly] I have a picture of you... buddy.
- Blank Stare: Space Ghost reacts to Zorak's technobabble plan in "Snatch".
- Blatant Lies: In "Woody Allen's Fall Project", James Kirkconnell's claim that the re-enactments are word-for-word. Now to be fair, he's mostly right, but there are still some discrepancies between the original episodes and the re-enactments. For instance, in "Girlie Show", Zorak says "He can't fire me; I'm the hardest working mantis in showbiz! Yow!" But in the re-enactment, Zorak ends with "Hi-yo!" And in "Freak Show", Bill Manspeaker says "And I'd say 'Stop hittin' me, who's talking to me? Stop it!'", while in the re-enactment, he says "And I'd say 'Stop hittin' me, who's hittin' you? Stop it!'" And Weird Al belts out a different note in the re-enactment than in "Banjo".
- Blessed with Suck: When Space Ghost asks his guests if they have any superpowers, he always gets answers that don't impress him.Penn Gilette: My superpowers are, I don't have to sleep, and I can control the minds of water fowl.
- The ending montage of clips in "Joshua", where each clip is only about two frames long.
- Space Ghost's "tribute to women" in "Girlie Show" is cut the same way.
- Body Horror: Space Ghost with his face sanded off at the end of "Flipmode".
- Body Snatcher: The episode "Snatch", which involves the studio being invaded by alien pods that
keep you up all night with their coughingkill and replace their victims.
- Bond One-Liner: Alongside the ridiculous Pre-Mortem One-Liner mentioned below, Space Ghost also has two back-to-back after he kills C. Ling Tile in "Curling Flower Space".Space Ghost: Well, it looks like C. Ling will fit in perfectly. On the roof. In jail.
Space Ghost: Moltar, that's one tile that needs to be replaced.
- Book Ends: Susan Powter was the very first guest on the show, and "Live At The Filmore", the last episode of the series (before the move to GameTap) reuses the exact same interview footage.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Joel Hodgson refuses to pretend that he is being interviewed in outer space.
Busta Rhymes: I just think that this is, this... this, you know, this, the way the events have occurred in the last year has been really disastrous for, not just people, but, you know, entertainment and, you know, many other things on the whole, and... I think that if we don't start...
- The "Flipmode" episode is a frequently manic and ridiculous episode, brought on by a gas leak that makes everyone high and helium-voiced, complete with guest Busta Rhymes regularly breaking out into uncontrollable peals of giddy laughter. Then in the middle of all the nonsense Space Ghost suggests they "go outside and do the show in the woods." Cut to Space Ghost, Zorak, Moltar, and Busta Rhymes awkwardly standing around a campfire, looking dejected and miserable.
Space Ghost: [talking over Busta Rhymes] I'm not getting a single good idea... let's go back inside where the gas is!
[cut to Busta Rhymes, back inside, giggling uncontrollably]
- Breakout Character: Andy Merrill's dumb-but-cheerful portrayal of Brak (Created for SGC2C and refined on Cartoon Planet) would eventually be given his own show to headline, The Brak Show, with Zorak along to play off of.
- Birdman's appearances on the show most likely led to Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law (Birdman even has the same first name in his appearances on Space Ghost.)
- Brick Joke: In "Sweet for Brak", Zorak talks about trying to launch his own show, Blood Dumpster. Which, according to SG, is twenty-two minutes of a guy being chased down a tunnel by a Zorak playing a Knife-wielder. After SG makes a deal with Yogi to get on a sitcom, he ends up on an episode of Blood Dumpster, pursued by Zorak. Who took his advice about putting his character in a wheelchair to make him "sympathetic".
- Bullet Dancing: Space Ghost repeatedly blasts the floor near Zorak in "Pal Joey".Space Ghost: Dance, mantis! Dance for Michael's pleasure!
- The aforementioned Tansit.
- And of course, Zorak.
- Moltar becomes one depending on the episode, and when he does even Zorak turns on him.
- Birdman is possibly even more put-upon than Tansit.
- But Wait, There's More!: In "Joshua", the announcer says that if you take advantage of the power of the Space Ghost, you'll receive a deluxe canister set. But wait, there's more! You also get a shiny object!
- Call-Back: In "Spanish Translation", Zorak says "I must go to the store to get butter and cheese." Later, in "Batmantis", Zorak says "I must go to the store..." Space Ghost asks: "...To get butter and cheese?" This is also revisited in "Urges".
- "Spaceman? Space Master?"
- In "Bobcat", Space Ghost said that Bobcat Goldthwait reminded him of Judy Collins. Bobcat replied with "Wow, Space Ghost, man, crack a window, will ya?" Much later, in "Kentucky Nightmare", Space Ghost says to crack a window when Zorak lets off a stink. He immediately flashes back to his interview with Bobcat.
- Zorak's gum obsession gets called back quite a few times, which only makes you wonder even more why the episode it came from wasn't released on DVD.
- In "$20.01", there's a callback to the very first episode when Space Ghost introduces MOE 2000 by saying, "He doesn't eat, doesn't sleep, and doesn't book guests like those awful Bee Gees."Moltar: So sue me.
- "$20.01" also includes one to "Hungry" where Space Ghost interviews Lassie and tries to make out what she's barking about, saying "What's that? Is there trouble at the farm? Farms have chickens!" Only this time he uses it when talking to Teller.
- "Telethon" includes a reference to the planet Rumyungyunsonson from "Switcheroo"
- "Curling Flower Space" takes place after the filming of the non-existent "Brilliant Number Three".
- "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed" revisits Space Ghost's "Why do we always hurt the ones we love?" speech from "Banjo", this time with Banjo substituted with a repair guy Space Ghost had just killed.
- Calling Shotgun: In "Warren", Moltar calls it when Space Ghost announces they're going to see Warren.
- The Cameo: "Surprise" has a bunch, since Zorak cycles through guests in a hurry by blasting them off the screen after only a second or two.
- Bobcat Goldthwait and Russell Johnson have both appeared in subsequent episodes in Space Ghost's thought bubble, despite not being the featured guests on those episodes.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Space Ghost in "BooBooKitty":Space Ghost: There's this guy, see, he's from Alabama. And he gets busted for tryin' to smuggle books, into Kentucky!
David Lander: [Beat] That's good, it has some... I guess it loses something in the, the translation, you know.
Space Ghost: Did I mention that the guy from Alabama was my mother-in-law? [laughs] Hey, good night, everybody!
David Lander: You might wanna, the next time you tell a joke, you might wanna say "And now the joke is over," and then the person can laugh, 'cause I think that's, that helps so much.
- Captain Obvious: In "Warren":Warren: The past is just the future that already happened.
- Space Ghost, to his guests: "Are you getting enough oxygen?"
- Tansit in early appearances would shout "Predicate!" at the end of his sentences.
- Characterization Marches On:
- In the very first episode Space Ghost is quite smitten with guest star Judy Tenuta. In the anniversary episode she quickly grates on his nerves and he orders Moltar to shut off the screen.
- Brak's very first appearance has him playing Beavis as part of a Beavis And Butthead reference, sounding nothing like his modern self.
- Tansit's first appearance gives him a far more gruff, evil-sounding voice, and he's far less of a loser than he is in later appearances. In fact, his later voice actor also appears in the same episode as a disembodied announcer.
- The Chew Toy: Poor, poor Tansit.
- Christmas Episode: "A Space Ghost Christmas". Also ostensibly "Boo Boo Kitty", since Space Ghost wishes everyone a merry Christmas at the end.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Anyone remember Tansit? Or Lokar?note Or Christy (the band's drummer)?
- Cliffhanger: "Glen Campbell" ends on one; "Jacksonville" resolves it.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Space Ghost himself. A shining example is the episode "Brilliant Number One", which also paints guest Peter Fonda as one.
- He does this to Björk, too, although some would say this is Truth in Television.
- Pretty much everyone has at least a few traits of this.
- The show has a tendency to turn its guests into these; see the Redubbing entry. The results often make the people Space Ghost interviews seem a bit...off (especially in "Knifin' Around", where Bjork thinks packets of cream cheese are "children" and apparently doesn't know the difference between a couch and a toilet).
- Clumsy Copyright Censorship: The DVD version of "Glen Campbell" removes the audio of the Simpsons clip Space Ghost and Zorak watch at the beginning (as well as removing Space Ghost calling Moltar to watch the show and asking which character was Homer), but if you listen carefully, you could still hear the Simpsons audio whenever Space Ghost speaks.
- Cold Open: Occurs frequently. It would actually be easier to list episodes which didn't use a cold open.
- Comic-Book Adaptation: Coast to Coast was one of the subjects of the DC Comics Cartoon Cartoons anthology. Without a budget to worry about, the comics were able to engage in ideas that wouldn't have been possible in the show, like a full-manga spoof and the characters journeying outside Ghost Planet more often.
- Confusing Multiple Negatives: In "Needledrop", Space Ghost says:Space Ghost: There's only room for one ghost in this studio, and it's not the ghost that's not me!
- Continuity Nod: One of the charges Space Ghost is threatened with in the episode "Lawsuit" is devastating Paris (see Disproportionate Retribution), which happened in an episode from the previous season.
- Cool Old Guy: Space Ghost's grandfather Leonard Ghostal's age and decrepitude is surpassed only by how violent and intimidating he is; his threats are enough to give even Zorak pause.note Leonard: Why, twenty years ago, I would've put your head in a half-nelson, twisted it around, saying each letter of the alphabet on every turn, and when I reached the first letter of my true love's name (that would be the lovely Elizabeth), I would yank your head clean off and roll it down the pike like a bowling ball!
Zorak: [subdued] Okay.
- Counting to Three: In "Jacksonville", Space Ghost does this to Tansut to make him spill the beans concerning Moltar's location.
- In "Cahill", Space Ghost attempts this again on Zorak, but then when lightning strikes he continues counting after three in fear.
- Cover Version: Space Ghost sings "The Joker" (extremely badly) in "Kentucky Nightmare". Actually, he really only sings one line of it and then makes up a second. All accompanied with Zorak merely pounding on the keyboard, not producing any discernible melody.
- Crack is Cheaper: In-universe: The "Zorak and Moltar Sing Nursery Rhymes and Other Favorite Lullabies" CD is $94.
- Credits Gag: Editor Tom Roche's name is always upside down since some scenes from early episodes were handed in to him upside down; it was his job to flip them back.
- In "Mayonaisse", Space Ghost sings "Dear Old Donegal" over the credits, and during the part of the song where he rattles off name after name, the names appear on the screen under "Special Thanks".
- The credits for "Glen Campbell" list the various positions as sequential numbers, rather than the names of the positions.
- "Brilliant Number One" lists Jim Fortier as "Angel of the Morning", Pete Smith as "Average American", and Andy Merrill as "Hootie Ann Debloufiche".
- Many episode list Nathan Cook as Space Ghost's Male Secretary (and later, Former Male Secretary).
- During the 1997 season, Mike Lazzo is listed under a different article of clothing in each episode. (e.g. "Shoes: Mike Lazzo")
- Curse Cut Short:
- From the other direction in "King Dead", which opens with Space Ghost shouting the title at Zorak and Moltar from outside the studio for locking him out.
- "Boatshow" has a number which averts the word "dick" several times. Unsurprisingly, it occurs during the interview with Andy Dick.
- Dance Party Ending:
- Played with in "Needledrop". Space Ghost orders Moltar to hit him with another of those "block-rocking beats" and proceeds to dance, but he's the only one who does so, and guest Fred Willard looks a bit annoyed at his dancing. Even Space Ghost begins to tire of chanting "Hey! Ho!" to the beat of the dance music halfway through the credits.
- "Sharrock" is a half-example, as one section of the credits includes Space Ghost dancing along to the Ghost Planet National Anthem.
- Darker and Edgier:
- Not so much darker, but definitely edgier when it hit [adult swim]. Suddenly swearing was allowed, there were some innuendos, and there was more violence.
- The series had already started going into this sort of direction by 1998. Only a year later, the series had gotten even stranger. A lot of episodes from this period have a very proto-Adult Swim/Aqua Teen Hunger Force feel to them.
- Deal with the Devil: "Sweet for Brak" ends with Space Ghost making a deal with Satan!Yogi to get on a sitcom. As you'd expect of the trope, said sitcom involves Zorak pursuing him with all manners of blades.
- Deliberately Monochrome: "Brilliant Number One" starts out normal for the first few seconds, then inexplicably turns black and white and drops letterboxes on the top and bottom for the rest of the episode.
- Lampshaded in "Zorak" during the ending:Zorak: Hey, what's going on? Is Turner de-colorizing now?note
- Lampshaded in "Zorak" during the ending:
- Denser and Wackier: The original '60s cartoon was a straightforward action-packed show that was fairly serious in tone. Contrasted to this particular show, where seriousness is either parodied or straight-up non-existent.
- Department of Redundancy Department:
- "Living with you is like living in a living nightmare!"
- "Americaners don't like foreigners... especially when they don't live there."
- "Greetings, I'm Space Ghost, and I have an important announcement concerning my death. I, Space Ghost, am dying."
- In "Needledrop", Space Ghost tries his hand at a rap:Space Ghost: Well I'm S.G. and it's plain to see that I'm S.G., and my name is S.G.!
- "I'm not sure if I remember how to behave around women of the opposite sex."
- "Le Livre D'Histoire" ends with "America's Funniest Funny Videos".
- In "Lovesick":Space Ghost: [depressed] Greetings. I'm Space Ghost. On tonight's show, we have comedian Carrot Top... and comedian Carrot Top.
- Space Ghost introduced Pat Boone in this manner: "My first guest is my all-time favorite recording artist of all time!"
- In "Jerk", we have, "For starters, we have a live studio audience here in the studio; completely live! We'll also be taking your live calls and questions here at the Ghost Planet live!
- Disproportionate Retribution: Space Ghost devastates France in the episode "Anniversary" for inventing the word "montage" (this came after Space Ghost was shown a montage that appeared to be celebratory at first, but turned out to be full of his embarrassments).
- Dissimile: "Dames are like mustard. They taste great on a sandwich, but when you're not eating a sandwich, they just sit there in your refrigerator... on a shelf... in a jar... labeled... mustard."
- Distinction Without a Difference: In "Bobcat":Bobcat Goldthwait: Well, I think Moltar's giving us the signal to wrap it up, huh, Space Ghost?
Space Ghost: No, Bobcat, that's just his way of telling us to finish the interview.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Curling Flower Space" has Space Ghost talking about the time when bugs "wore suits", "opened doors", and "were obedient to Man". Zorak, understandably, has no idea how to respond to that.
- The Dog Bites Back: Zorak and Moltar don't hesitate to take vengeance on Space Ghost for his abuse.
- Domestic-Only Cartoon: Not surprising, considering most of the animation is recycled from the '60s TV series.
- Do Wrong, Right: "Oh, I see what you're doing! No no no. If you want to control my mind, your eyes need to spin COUNTER-clockwise."
- Downer Ending: The last episode atmosphere in "The Justice Hole" makes you feel a bit sad for Space Ghost.
- Early-Bird Cameo:
- Early-Installment Weirdness: During the show's first episodes, Space Ghost, Zorak and Moltar's voice actors tried to imitate the characters' original voices and they sounded more stilted because of it. Also, Space Ghost interviewed his guests as if they were also superheroes.
- Brak and Sisto were originally imitations of Beavis and Butt-Head.
- "Baffler Meal" features the prototypes for what would become the main trio of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and they're quite a bit different. Master Shake acts as the leader of the team, rather than Frylock, has no hands, and his voice sounds a lot more like Ignignokt. Frylock is the most different, having a high-pitched voice* , crinkle-cut fries for arms and legs, and his amulet is hanging from his "neck" (or rather his waist, since his arms are above it), rather than being embedded in his back. Personality-wise, he's also a complete pushover. Meatwad is the most similar to his final design in terms of looks and voice, but unlike the modern Meatwad, he's depressed and suicidal.
- Easter Egg: The DVD sets have a few, including an unused intro sequence by Joel Hodgson, Space Ghost presenting the 1997 Southern Region Emmy Awards, Commander Andy and Captain Kirk (played by a young Seth MacFarlane!) and George Lowe in a Space Ghost outfit and cowboy hat on the ranch with one of his ponies.
- Epileptic Flashing Lights: Parts of the intro could certainly count. Also the barrage of previous episode clips at the end of "Joshua". Each clip is only a frame (two at most) long, leading to an almost epileptic flash effect.
- Episode Title Card:
- In an unusual twist, the episode title card (always text on a single color background) is displayed at the end of the episode, sometimes after the credits! An exception is "Knifin' Around". Also, "Boatshow" features the title "O Coast to Coast!" at the beginning.
- A bizarre subversion, at the end of "Kentucky Nightmare", the title card, credits, and logos all air in less than a few seconds total, with strobe lights over them making it hard to read. However, these are reused in the series finale, "Live At The Fillmore", complete with the title card still saying "Kentucky Nightmare". This may be attributed to the fact that it was allegedly originally aired in an unfinished state.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Zorak and Moltar express their disgust with Space Ghost's blatant, shameless pandering in "Telethon".Zorak: This is shameful, even to me.
Moltar: It's just so... wrong.
- "Everybody Dies" Ending: "Untitled" ends with the cast exploding.
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending:
- Seen in Space Ghost's flashback to last week's show in "Curling Flower Space". Also done in "Urges".
- "Hungry" has a variant: Mujibur & Sirajul, who stole Space Ghost's pizza, laugh derisively at Space Ghost, which continues through the credits.
- Everybody Must Get Stoned: Natural gas in "Flipmode", alcohol in "Idlewild South".
- Evil Laugh: Zorak has the classic Muhahahaha down pat.
- Evil Twin: Space Ghost's evil brother, Chad
- Eye Beams: Robin Leach (who is possessed by Moltar's brother-in-law, Zoltran) fries Space Ghost with one of these. Preceded by a very hammy Pre Ass Kicking One Liner.Robin Leach: And now, in very quick order, I will raise my arms, cover myself in black magic, and you are history!
- Eye Catch: "Jacksonville" had the title card spoof of Charlie's Angels. Subverted in that it appeared nine times in the episode, instead of being reserved for a commercial break.
- Face Palm:
- Failure Is the Only Option: Played for laughs in "Gallagher" with the "Space Time Quiz Fun 9000" game. The rules are: Space Ghost asks David Cross and Bob Odenkirk a question; if they get it wrong, they get blasted. If they get it right... they get blasted.
- Fast-Forward Gag: In "$20.01", Space Ghost asked Joel Hodgson to describe Mystery Science Theater 3000 in five seconds, to which Joel spoke in fast forward, chipmunk mode.Space Ghost: Uh, can you repeat that? I don't think MOE caught it.
MOE 2000: Joel said that Mystery Science Theater was obviously a simple idea that was based on people making fun of movies at home.
- Fear of Thunder: Space Ghost in "Cahill."
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences:
- Zorak does this to Space Ghost in "Chambraigne".
- Averted in "Toast" when Space Ghost tries to finish Merrill Markoe's sentences, but she says the opposite of what he wanted to hear:Space Ghost: Come over here and give me a kiss. Plant one on me. You know you want to.
Merrill: Oh, don't you start. Don't you even try.
Space Ghost: Yeah, right. Now come on!
Merrill: I would find that...
Space Ghost: Delightful?
Merrill: ...Dangerous and repellent. Don't, don't mess with me that way.
- Flanderization: Space Ghost slowly goes from a mostly heroic, if a bit full-of-himself superhero with the occasional bit of Cloudcuckoolander tendencies and childish behavior, to a completely insane manchild with a massively bloated ego over the course of the show.
- Flashback: "Curling Flower Space" is all about the flashbacks to last week's show.
- Follow the Bouncing Ball: Demonstrated in "Chinatown" when Zorak sings about Moltar.
- For the Evulz: In "Warren":Space Ghost: Ah-ha! So that's why you lured me here: So you could steal my show! But you already have a show. Why, Warren? Why?
Warren: [laughs] I just felt like it.
- Formula-Breaking Episode:
- The "Sharrock" episode, which is really a tribute to the music of Sonny Sharrock and Lance Carter. They even featured Thurston Moore, guitarist for the alternative rock Sonic Youth, under the pretense that it's Fred Cracklin.
- The episode "Table Read", which consists entirely of the voice actors (in live-action) rehearsing the script at a conference table. The script was an early draft of the very next episode.
- "Brilliant Number Two" is literally a re-airing of "Brilliant Number One" but with different subtitles and audio mixing.
- "Joshua", which is a mock infomercial for how to "take advantage of the power of the Space Ghost". It also includes some fake behind-the-scenes footage.
- "Warren" completely forgoes the talk show format in favor of Space, Zorak and Moltar going on a trip to investigate the existence of a Space Ghost replicant.
- "Story Book House" doesn't feature the main characters at all, and features Kirk the Storyteller reading a book version of two old episodes while a sketch artist draws the action.
- In a similar vein, "Woody Allen's Fall Project" presents scenes from five previous episodes, acted out in live action.
- Funny Schizophrenia: Shown in the episode "Self Help"
- Gag Dub: The Cold Open to "Piledriver" features Space Ghost, Zorak and Moltar dubbing an episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!.Velma: [with Moltar's voice] Well. I've seen a wallflower before, but this is ridiculous!
- Gainax Ending: Several episodes end in this way.
- Gender-Blender Name: In "Girlie Show", Space Ghost is taken aback when he learns that Alice Cooper is a guy.Space Ghost: Is nothing sacred?! Is love a lie?!
- Goshdang It To Heck:
- In "Curses":Zorak: Hey! Biscuit! Biscuit!
Space Ghost: Not now.
Zorak: Stuff you!
Space Ghost: Stuff you, too!
- Later on, in the same episode:Emo Phillips: Zorak? Zorak, you're an intelligent being; do you like riddles?
Zorak: ...Stuff you!
Emo Phillips: I-I'd rather do a riddle.
- In "Untitled", after Space Ghost and Moltar make up, Zorak shouts "FRACK!"
- In "Curses":
- Grammar Nazi: In "Pal Joey", Space Ghost contests that Michael Moore's film should be called "Roger and I", not Roger and Me.
- Happily Married: Moltar and his oft-mentioned but never seen wife, Linda.
- Linda was actually seen on the pre-Adult Swim Space Ghost Web site. She used the alternate Moltar character design from the original series.
- He Knows Too Much: In "Girl Hair", Space Ghost killed Hanson after they witnessed him hitting the Tooth Fairy with his Phantom Cruiser.
- Helium Speech: Heard for long periods of time in "Flipmode" due to the gas leak.
- Hero-Worshipper: Moltar loves Erik Estrada. When Erik finally appears on the show, Moltar is ecstatic and a kiss-up:Moltar: Oh, and, and remember the time when the skateboarder grabbed onto the back of that Chevy Malibu?
Erik: Right, right.
Moltar: And kept on skating? That was so cool!
Erik: That wasn't very smart, that wasn't really cool.
Moltar: Well that's what I meant. That was totally uncool!
- Hidden Depths: Subverted in "Knifin' Around", where at first it sounds like Zorak is actually envious of Space Ghost getting married, until he finishes his train of thought.Zorak: I need what you have. I need a woman. ...someone that I can sell her organs to Black Sabbath, make me some money.
- Hostile Show Takeover:
- The Aqua Teen Hunger Force do this to Space Ghost in "Baffler Meal".
- Comedian Dave Thomas (of SCTV, Not to be confused for the late fast-food baron) pulls this as well. Moltar and Zorak give their full support.
- Zorak and Moltar have also attempted this when Space Ghost off being distracted by something else. "Freak Show" is about the interview feed being hijacked by a Loony Fan, "Switcheroo" and "Hipster" feature Chad Ghostal attempting to take over the show, and "$20.01" ends with MOE 2000 attempting to seize control of the show after deeming Space Ghost unfit to be the host.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- In Curling Flower Space, Jerry Springer accuses SGC2C of being an "ambush show."
- In "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed", when William Shatner reminds Space Ghost that he played Captain Kirk at the start of the interview, Space Ghost declares, "Outer space shows are for children and stupid people."
- In "Fire Ant" Space Ghost declares that ants are stupid... while he's crawling after the ant on his knees like an idiot.
- A Running Gag in "Boatshow" is Zorak and Space Ghost calling Moltar "stupid". After the commercial break, Moltar finishes a song and asks, "Uh, isn't anyone gonna tell me to shut up?" Zorak says, "You don't deserve it." A minute later, after Moltar's next song is interrupted, Zorak says, "Shut up!" and "We hate you!"
- I Don't Pay You to Think: A variant occurred in "Pal Joey":Zorak: And how about a piano bench? I've been squattin' for four years!
Space Ghost: Sit down on your own time. I don't pay you to sit.
Zorak: You don't pay me at all!
Space Ghost: You'll get what I give you and like it!
- I Have Many Names: The narrator in "Joshua" first introduces himself as David Caldwell. By the end of the episode, his name has changed to Dick Dickenbach.
- I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!: A variant occurred in "Curses" after Space Ghost ate two guests and rejected a third for not being meaty enough:Moltar: Haven't you had enough, Space Ghost?
Space Ghost: More guests. MORE GUESTS.
Moltar: Space Ghost-
Space Ghost: Bring me more guests!
Moltar: Space Ghost-
Space Ghost: More guests!
Moltar: You're out of control!
Space Ghost: More guests!
Moltar: You have a problem.
Space Ghost: I'll tell you the problem. The problem is the crummy service in this place! (burps) I'm never eating here again! Come on, Zorak, we're leaving!
- I'm a Humanitarian: In the episode "Curses", Space Ghost is infected with the vapor of a vengeful demon that forces him to eat humanoids for sustenance. He eats his guests and eventually Zorak and Moltar. It turned out to be a dream of Kirk the Storyteller, though.
- Inner Monologue:
- In "Brilliant Number One/Two", after "thwarting" Vibratronica and The Polisher:Space Ghost: Those were close calls. Why are my old enemies coming back to taunt me? Why today? Why now? Why? Why? Why?
- In "Telethon":Space Ghost: None of this is real.
- In "Brilliant Number One/Two", after "thwarting" Vibratronica and The Polisher:
- Inner Monologue Conversation: In "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite", Space Ghost and guest Pat Boone engage in this with each other:Space Ghost: (Then strap on your bib, Space Ghost, and saddle up to a heapin' helpin' of Sugarman's Bovine Flavored Potted Meat! Have a cow, man, a Sugarman cow!)
Pat Boone: (You certainly, hey, that could be our slogan.)
Space Ghost: (Whoa! Hey Pat, we're reading each other's heads!)
Pat Boone: (I know, see, and I'm enjoying it!)
Zorak: Hey... why are you guys just staring at each other, huh? (Space Ghost and Pat Boone share a laugh)
Space Ghost: (Zorak has a tiny brain.)
Pat Boone: (Yeah, well, maybe you've got a point.)
- Instantly Proven Wrong: In "Spanish Translation":Space Ghost: Before we begin, I'd just like to point out to our viewers that although it may seem that the Ghost Planet behind me is really close, it's actually millions of miles away. So, don't worry, we're not gonna run into it or anything. [Ghost Planet slams into the studio, causing chaos]
- Instrumental Theme Tune
- Intoxication Ensues: A gas leak makes the characters high in the episode "Flipmode". Sort of subverted in that Space Ghost deliberately caused the gas leak.
- Ironic Echo: MOE 2000 attempts this in "$20.01" when he cuts the life support to the studio, quipping "So Tad, are you getting enough oxygen?" Space Ghost replies that he doesn't need air to survive (Zorak, on the other hand...)
- Is That What He Told You?: In "Urges":Moltar: The female typically eats the head and brain of the male.
Zorak: You're kidding.
Moltar: You didn't know that?
Zorak: That's not what my mother told me.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: The very end of "Zorak" features one of these. Among the things that would've happened if Zorak was never born: Diff'rent Strokes would still be on the air, Lokar would have Zorak's job, Space Ghost's show would be a huge success, and Space Ghost would also be governor of California and president of the whole universe.
- Jerkass: Everyone. Zorak is a Card-Carrying Villain who eats his nephew off-screen and likes to Kick the Dog whenever possible. Space Ghost is a supremely insecure Small Name, Big Ego whose self-absorbed paranoia leads him to callously disregard basically everyone else around him, and takes it up to eleven in the episode "Pavement", in which he is allowed to write the script, to the point of plainly declaring that Viewers Are Morons. Moltar is probably the least assholish of the three, approaching Only Sane Man, but he still enjoys seeing Space Ghost suffer and laughs at violent TV.
- Jump Scare: The original ending to "Snatch" has one, although it's more funny than startling:Colonial man: I suppose you're wondering what happened to Space Ghost and his fabled gang. Well... I don't know! Hawhawhawhaw! [suddenly cuts to footage of the colonial man turning around and growling, revealing vampire teeth, before cutting back to normal]
- Karma Houdini: "Lawsuit" ends with Space Ghost getting out of being sued and having to pay up for the abuse and neglect he heaped on Jan and Jace, because of his connections to Ted Turner. (It helps that Turner turns out to be the father of Dr. Nightmare, Attorney at Law.) However, this is hilariously subverted at the end, when Moltar gets SG arrested for attacking Zorak.
- Lack of Empathy: Space Ghost to a T. Heck, in one episode, he kills an intern, Joey, for annoying him and all he can think about is how it will affect his career.Space Ghost: Way to go, Joey!
- Large Ham: Master Shake in "Baffler Meal".Space Ghost: [in "Chambraigne"] YOU WANT A PIECE OF THE KING?
- Lampshade Hanging: The "Zorak" episode probably has the most instances of this in a single episode:
- After an exchange between Space Ghost and an entomologist regarding the number of limbs a mantis should have, the entomologist suggests that Zorak could have another pair of arms under his red vest. It cuts to Zorak in a blue vest, the 'red vest' snippet is played again and then shows Zorak in a red vest.
- The entomologist says the mantis can stay still for motionless for hours, it then cuts to a prolonged still of Zorak who breaks out and remarks 'actually, nobody moves much in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon'.
- During a clip of Zorak's first appearance in the original series, Space Ghost asks Zorak what was up with his voice. Zorak answers back asking the same.
- Later-Installment Weirdness: The show changed greatly when it moved to the newly-created [adult swim]. The show's humor became a lot more random, there was a lot more swearing, Vomit Indiscretion Shots started to appear, and one episode (Idlewild South) even had Zorak and Moltar smoking weed on camera. The show had already started to go in this direction with episodes like Warren and King Dead, but the transition to Adult Swim was when they committed to it.
- Laughably Evil: Again, Zorak and Moltar.
- Leave the Camera Running: During "Sharrock", there's a segment that consist almost entirely of the camera slowly zooming in on Space Ghost's face while Zorak and the Original Way Outs play "Fear of a Ghost Planet".
- Left the Background Music On: In "Terminal", Space Ghost makes a long speech but is gradually drowned out by the background music. It's revealed that the music is coming from Zorak's boom box, who shouts "I LOVE THIS SONG!"
- Lighter and Softer: In "Chinatown", Zorak sings about the recently-replaced Moltar, to which Space Ghost replies: "You're losing your edge."
- Limited Animation:
- Animation of a character walking is performed by bobbing a still frame up and down as it moves across the screen. Lampshaded in "Zorak".Maxcy Nolan: One thing that I find just...most absolutely fascinating about the mantises, is the fact that they can stand motionless for hours. Literally not moving any body part that is visible.
Zorak: Actually, nobody moves much in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
- In "Switcheroo #1", Zorak mentions that every time he moves his arm, it costs Cartoon Network $42.Zorak: [moves arm] $42... [moves arm] $84... [moves arm] $126...
- Animation of a character walking is performed by bobbing a still frame up and down as it moves across the screen. Lampshaded in "Zorak".
- Limited Wardrobe: SG is always in super-hero apparel, Moltar is always in his containment suit... but Zorak does have a modest selection of differently-colored space vests.
- Literal-Minded: In "Fire Ant" Space Ghost and Conan O'Brien argue about how literal Space Ghost's name should be taken.Conan: FACE IT, SPACE GHOST!
Space Ghost: No!
Conan: YOU'RE A SPACE MAN THAT CHOKED ON A MUFFIN.
- Little "No": When Space Ghost asks Michael Stipe to sing "Shiny Happy People", he just responds "No. *awkward silence*"
- Living Prop: To varying degrees, the members of Zorak and the Original Way-Outs who aren't Zorak. Christy (the drummer) gets a few close-ups while playing the drums and of course an actual name, and The Sorcerer (the trumpet player) gets to say a couple of lines, albeit he goes unnamed, but Parko (the guitarist) does nothing but stand around throughout the entire series, and his actual name wasn't even revealed until synopsises of the original show were found.
- Loading Screen: A rare non-video game example, and a rare example done on purpose. "Waiting For Edward" opens with nothing but a black screen, some easy listening music, and the word "Waiting" for over a minute. Suddenly, we catch a one second glimpse of the show already in progress, with Zorak riding on Space Ghost's shoulders ("Hang on Zorak! Hang-"), before quickly going back to the "Waiting" screen for a few more seconds, and finally to the actual start of the episode.
- Long List: In "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite", Space Ghost lists every single ingredient used in Sugarman's Potted Meat Food Product, which he endorses:Space Ghost: That's right, 2% real meat to go along with superhero-sized portions of sodium nitrate, potassium bicarbonate, pyrodoxine hydrochloride, biotin, cobalt iodate, thiamine mononitrate, thenadiol bisulfite, sodium selenite, D-L-alpha-tocopperal acetate, glucaronalactone, lanacetol, pantothenic acid, and maltodextrin!
- Long Runner:
- It aired between 1994 and 2004; it was the longest-running show on Cartoon Network until Ed, Edd n Eddy passed it in 2009, which was itself passed by Ninjago in 2021. (though, "Coast to Coast" technically ran longer, if you count the Game Tap-produced webisodes).
- One of the promos listed all the "real" talk shows that Space Ghost outlasted, and there were quite a few.
- Loony Fan: Commander Andy, who hijacks the interview feed in "Freak Show" and annoys Space Ghost with references to past episodes and insane demands.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Comedian Steven Wright discovers that Space Ghost is his real father.
- Magic Tool: Moltar carries out all of his duties with a single lever.
- Mandatory Line: In "Boatshow", during the final number, Lokar's one line is: "I didn't have any lines today!" Zorak replies: "That made some people glad!"
- Manipulative Editing: See Redubbing
- Man on Fire: Jim Jarmusch is burned alive at the end of "Rio Ghosto" for not playing ball with Space Ghost on directing his film.Space Ghost: Aw heck, I'll just direct it myself.
Jim: Help me!
Space Ghost: Oh, be quiet.
- Maximum Fun Chamber: In "Intense Patriotism", Space Ghost threatens to put Zorak in "The Box." Zorak is completely terrified by this threat and quickly does what he's told.
- Medium Awareness: When Zorak complains about how he always explodes but Brak is never touched, Brak responds with "I'm not animated to blow up!"
- Medium Blending: The whole concept of an animated character interviewing real people. But aside from that, there are other instances where Space Ghost or other characters are superimposed over live action backgrounds. Two episodes, "Chinatown" and "Pal Joey", feature a real dog and a guy in a Space Ghost costume, respectively, interacting on the cartoon set.
- Medium-Shift Gag: In "Pavement", when Space Ghost flies to Jupiter to battle Fidor, he becomes an action figure, filmed in live action.
- Mentors: Warren was this to Space Ghost.
- Metaphorgotten: In "Joshua":Zorak: Tell us, Space Ghost: What's "branding"?
Space Ghost: Here, let me explain. Let's say you have a rowboat, a cow, and the big man.
Zorak: You mean Clarence Clemmons?
Space Ghost: Of course. Now, the cow wants to transport Clarence across the river. But remember, the cow is on fire, and Clarence has no hands or bucket, so he has to utilize his hooks, and the mighty power of his saxophone!
- Milestone Celebration: Parodied in "Anniversary", where Space Ghost arbitrarily decides to celebrate his 37th episode.
- Mood Whiplash:
- The ending to "Snatch": Just as Space Ghost, Zorak, and Moltar are about to be eaten by the pods, it cuts to black and a goofy tune plays as "HE ENDT" scrolls onto the screen, with the "T" moving to its proper place in front of "H".
- In "Freak Show", Commander Andy mostly makes trivial demands of Space Ghost (jumpropes with wooden handles, Super Elastic Bubble Plastic, more lines for Zorak, and a lockable diary). Then:Space Ghost: Grrr! Anything ELSE?!
Commander Andy: [serious] Yes. I want a little brother. [long pause] And that's it.
- Musical Episode
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- Space Ghost says a variant of this in "Edelweiss" when he thinks he killed Zorak by blasting him too many times:Space Ghost: Heaven help me; WHAT HAVE I DONE?! [beat] Oh well.
- Another variation of this from "Baffler Meal":Space Ghost: What have I done to the future of classic rock?!
- Space Ghost says a variant of this in "Edelweiss" when he thinks he killed Zorak by blasting him too many times:
- Negative Continuity:
- "Idlewild South" ends with Space Ghost dying in a car wreck, and Space Ghost's ghost getting shot by a ghost bear. Don't ask.
- A bizarre subversion: "Lawsuit" ends with Space Ghost in prison. Everything is back to normal by next week, but 10 episodes later, "Sequel" picks up where "Lawsuit" left off, which is a bit odd considering early on, the show had some form of continuity (for example, Zorak's cannibalization of his nephew, Raymond, was referenced in episodes beyond "Hungry", the only episode where Raymond was shown alive; the subject was dropped after Raymond became an angel).note
- Nested Story Reveal: "Warren". It begins with Space Ghost, Zorak, and Moltar watching TV, which is the impetus for the trio visiting Warren. The episode ends with Space Ghost killing Warren, only to be revealed as a show that Space Ghost, Zorak, and Moltar are watching ("That was good. What else is on?"). Subverted in the long version, where the story repeats at this point (with the dialogue exactly the same except for Space Ghost's Bond One-Liner line) two more times before finally ending.
- Never My Fault: Space Ghost always refuses to admit he's wrong. This is especially seen in "Brilliant Number One" (and "Two") when he keeps blaming his mistakes and clumsiness on fictional entities like "impostornators" and "The Polisher".
- No Budget: The final episode "Live At The Filmore\Unfinished POS" is filled to the brim with errors like missing sound effects, blurry cels, visible cutoff, Hong Kong Dubbing, even more Limited Animation than usual (such as Moltar supposedly using the internet or making a phone call when he's just standing there on-set,) etc, that are justified in-universe by the show's budget being used to bail Space Ghost out of jail.
- No Ending / Left Hanging:
- An odd variation: The episode "Snatch" ends with Space Ghost, Zorak and Moltar about to be devoured by replicating pods. That may seem like a solid enough ending (even if it is a bit of a downer), but the script for the actual ending was auctioned on eBay, and to this day has not surfaced anywhere online.
- "Fire Drill" ends abruptly due to...well, a fire drill. "Speck" ends with Space Ghost suddenly ending the show because he has something in his eye. "Freak Show" ends with Commander Andy calling out Space Ghost for his abrupt endings and getting cut-off mid-sentence by the credits.
- No Hero Discount: A plot point in "Surprise": Space Ghost is aggravated that he can't pick up a package without showing his ID, despite being a superhero that saved the post office employees' lives.
- Noodle Incident:
- At the beginning of "Pal Joey", Space Ghost is being timed by Moltar to see how fast he can inviso onto the set. Space Ghost is repeatedly dissatisfied with his times, and even leaves guest Michael Moore waiting, because if he doesn't get his time down to 3.5 by 6 o'clock Sunday, he's a dead man. We never do find out the details of that comment.
- How Space Ghost became a ghost is simply explained as a "fishing accident."
- Whatever Warren, Space Ghost's mentor, taught him:Space Ghost: I learned so much that summer...
- Amid all the arguing in "Lawyer" is Jace's blackmail threat to Space Ghost: "I'll tell everyone what you did to Dino Boy!"
- No Theme Tune: Starting in season five, the theme song was dropped in favor of a black screen shot with the word "Waiting" on it that would last for a few seconds at most (it was extended in the season finale "Waiting for Edward"). Anything resembling an intro was dropped starting in season six; the original intro was brought back for most of the eighth and final season.
- Not in the Face!: At the end of "Cookout", Brak is about to be blasted by Space Ghost and pleads that SG not shoot him in the face. Space Ghost ignores it and shoots him in the face anyway.
- Off the Rails: The show's general idea is that it's a talk show. Despite doing talk show interviews, the show inevitably gets derailed by the bickering, Seinfeldian Conversation, and antics of Space Ghost, Zorak, and Moltar.
- Once an Episode: Space Ghost blasting Zorak. Space Ghost inviso-ing to the desk to Zorak's music (with a few exceptions, like "Kentucky Nightmare" when he claimed they've never done that).
- One-Shot Character: Many:
- "Spanish Translation": Sisto, who would later get a (slightly) larger part on the spin-off The Brak Show.
- "Batmantis": Your Mother
- "$20.01": MOE 2000
- "Freak Show": Commander Andy
- "Zoltran": Puff the Magic Dragon
- "Piledriver": Grandpa Ghostal
- "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite": The Rappin' Space Goblin
- "Lawsuit": Dr. Nightmare (ATTORNEY AT LAW!), although he has an off-screen cameo in "Sequel".
- "Warren": Warren
- "Pal Joey": Joey the intern
- "Curses": Future Man
- "Sweet For Brak": Satan/Yogi Bear.
- "Girl Hair": The Tooth Fairy and Bizarro Santa Claus
- "Curling Flower Space": C. Ling Tile
- Only Sane Man: Moltar is usually the voice of reason and the straight man bullied by Space Ghost.
- On Second Thought: In "Warren", Space Ghost gets cold feet about visiting his old mentor Warren:Space Ghost: Let's go back. [puts the Phantom Cruiser in reverse] What am I doing? I love Warren! I need to see him. [goes forward] ...But he hurts me. [stops] But I've been replicated! [goes] ...But he hurts me. [stops] ...But, I have been replicated. [goes, after some brief gear grinding]
- Our Slogan Is Terrible:
- In "Joshua", the narrator says that Space Ghost: Coast to Coast is "a solution with real value". Not so bad, but he makes a confusing second slogan later on: "A valuable solution with real."
- Sugarman's Potted Meat Food Product boasts that it contains only 2% real meat.
- Out-of-Character Moment Zorak in "Rio Ghosto":Space Ghost: So, Zorak how was your weekend?
Zorak: I did some volunteer work over at the orphanage.
Space Ghost: Well I was- [stares blankly at Zorak] ...yeah.
- Overly-Long Gag:
- The second half of the "Fire Ant" episode, in which Space Ghost follows an ant. For 10 minutes. There's a shortened version for the quarter-hour slot that reduces this to 15 seconds, but is otherwise identical to the original.Space Ghost: I'm gonna follow him home. Kill his whole family.
- The original version of "Warren" looped three times in a bizarre Framing Device that had Space Ghost and company watch the events of the episode from his TV, only to start them again when Space Ghost asks "That was good. What else is on?". The shortened version shows only one iteration.
- The episode 'Sharrock' from the second season is basically just three of overly long gags placed side by side. First, Zorak plays Space Ghost to the desk with some unruly noise rock, while the camera slowly zooms closer and closer toward Space Ghost for several minutes. Then we cut to an Indian Head test card while the show is 'under attack,' set to a similar sample of rock music. Finally, even the credits are something of an overly long gag, going on for longer than usual and playing the 'Ghost Planet national anthem' (again, loud rock-like music with strange vocals and feedback). The music is loosely explained as a tribute to the deceased Sonny Sharrock.
- The opening to "Speck", which is just Space Ghost humming "Sweet Home Alabama" to himself for thirty seconds.
- The second half of the "Fire Ant" episode, in which Space Ghost follows an ant. For 10 minutes. There's a shortened version for the quarter-hour slot that reduces this to 15 seconds, but is otherwise identical to the original.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: "Overruled! I am the undisputed breakfast master!"
- Parental Substitute: In "Warren", Moltar and Zorak love the "fake" Space Ghost more than the real one, culminating with:Moltar: Gary, can you come home with us and... be our new dad?
Space Ghost: Now wait just a second!
- Piss-Take Rap: Space Ghost. (see Department of Redundancy Department)
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: The opening of "Mayonnaise" has Zorak and Moltar ribbing Space Ghost for a terrible one-liner he used against Grimlock the Toymaker, while coming up with a couple of better ones themselves. When Space Ghost attempts to come up with better ones (which are predictably lame,) Zorak and Moltar end up leaving in disgust.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
- In "Warren", Space Ghost delivers one before zapping Warren's monitor:Monitor: You've destroyed Warren, I'm tellin'. You've destroyed Warren, I'm tellin'. You've destroyed Warren, I'm tellin'.
Space Ghost: Tell 'em THIS! (zaps monitor) When you see 'em in Poland / Pelham / Conyers!
- Space Ghost also deliver one to C. Ling Tile before killing him with "medical school" in his flashback to last week's episode in "Curling Flower Space"Space Ghost: May cause drowsiness! From your coffin! Because you're dead!
- In "Cookout", every instance of Space Ghost blasting the Council of Doom is preceded with:Space Ghost: Well, ____, looks like you've stepped out of the frying pan and into the fire!
- In "Warren", Space Ghost delivers one before zapping Warren's monitor:
- Precision F-Strike: "Dreams" has Moltar saying "shit” (somehow) uncensored.
- Previously on…: "Jacksonville" features this. In a subversion of this trope, nearly all the clips displayed never actually occurred in the episode before this, "Glen Campbell". Some of the footage was actually from "CHiPs".
- Pro Bono Barter: In "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite", Space Ghost reveals that when he was making the commercials for Sugarman's Potted Meat Food Product, he was paid in sandwiches. He didn't seem to mind, though.
- Product Placement:
- Parodied in "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite" when Zorak repeatedly plugs an ointment. After Space Ghost chastises Zorak for this practice, he starts plugging Sugerman's Potted Meat Food Product.
- Played straight when they created a special episode to be run after the movie on the VHS release of The Mask (as New Line Cinema had then-recently been purchased by Turner Broadcasting). Said episode was reedited into the season 2 episode "Le Livre d'Histoire".
- Promotional Consideration: Parodied in "A Space Ghost Christmas":Tansut: "A Space Ghost Christmas" has been brought you by... by some things! Right-right over there! Good night, everybody!
- Psychic Nosebleed: In "Baffler Meal", Space Ghost gets these when he lies about his involvement with Burger Trench and when he does not punish Zorak properly for eating Frylock's eye.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: "A Space Ghost Christmas" features a number of public domain Christmas songs, with new lyrics.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I! AM! BATMANTIS!"
- From "Pavement":Moltar: This just bites, is all...
Space Ghost: What did you say?
Moltar: I SAID: THIS. JUST. BITES. IS ALL.
- From "Flipmode":Space Ghost: Do NOT... [hits Zorak with a wrench] DISTURB... [hits him again] THE JUDGE!
- From "Pavement":
- Punishment Box: In "Intense Patriotism":Space Ghost: Everything's free in America, Moltar. (...) It's the land of the free, and the home of the free.
Zorak: So I get to go free?
Space Ghost: No, now play me to the desk or I'm puttin' you in The Box!
Zorak: [frightened] The Box?
Space Ghost: That's right... The Box.
- Quarter Hour Short: Although a handful of episodes fill the half-hour slot.
- Rapid-Fire Comedy: In one episode, Zorak pulls a Hostile Show Takeover and becomes host. He has a slew of guests come on before blasting the TV monitor they're showed on; most if not all guests last on screen for a fraction of a second.
- "Rashomon"-Style: "Curling Flower Space".
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Conan O'Brien tries to give Space Ghost one at the end of "Fire Ant" but he's too busy following an ant to care about what Conan is saying.
- Recap Episode: "Story Book" and "Woody Allen's Fall Project" are a variation, both hosted by James Kirkconnell (aka Kirk the Storyteller, the host of an obscure Canadian public access show) and retelling certain episodes in styles such as a live-action theater recreation, or Kirk narrating an episode with accompanying on-the-spot marker illustrations. "Banjo" was revisited twice over in these formats.
- Redubbing: In the early episodes, the interviewees would be given one set of questions, their answers would be recorded, and then these answers would be juxtaposed against questions invented after-the-fact for comedic effect. Later episodes had the guests directly interacting with Space Ghost and friends.
- Remake Cameo: Gary Owens, the original voice of Space Ghost, voices the "fake" Space Ghost in "Warren".
- Retcon: Zorak had repeatedly explicitly stated in the first few episodes that he was a locust. Later on they realized he was supposed to be a mantis and retconned him as one.
- Revised Ending: "Snatch" originally aired with a colonial man telling the viewers they can bid on the ending on eBay. On all repeat airings, this scene was simply replaced with "The End".
- Rewind, Replay, Repeat: In "Urges", Moltar asks Space Ghost if he remembers his explanation of mantis mating habbits earlier in the show. Space Ghost promptly heads into the "little ghost's room" to replay it. "...the female typically eats the head and brain of the male... (rewinds) the male... (rewinds) the head..."
- Riddle for the Ages: We never do find out what Chad did to Space Ghost before the events of "Hipster".
- Ruder and Cruder: Due to having more creative freedom since the formation of Adult Swim, this show ramped up the drug use and profanity.
- Rule of Three: In "Zoltran":Space Ghost: Just the other day, in fact, I went out and got myself a blender. It lets me blend.. just about anything!
Space Ghost: Classy people are always blending stuff.
Space Ghost: Now, I too can blend.
Zorak: (sips coffee) Beat!
Space Ghost: What I'm saying-
- In "Curling Flower Space":
Moltar: That's not what I said.
Space Ghost: What I'm saying-
Space Ghost: What I'm saying... is, saying, things are not relative.
- Running Gag:
- Space Ghost blasting Zorak.
- In "Curling Flower Space", Space Ghost threatening to Zorak or Moltar that he'll spin their head so fast it'll travel back in time.
- In "Jacksonville", various characters announcing they're pregnant, followed by dramatic sting music.
- In "Woody Allen's Fall Project", James Kirkconnell saying this phrase (or close to it): "And now, our word for word reenactment of a conversation that took place at a certain time, in a certain dimension, somewhere deep in space..."
- Two of them in "Cookout": Zorak and Moltar arguing over Beefaroni or Beefagetti, and Zorak requesting the bones when the cooks are done with their recipes.
- Satan turns out to be Yogi Bear.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: In "Switcheroo", the usual sound effect of Space Ghost taking off is replaced by a guy saying "Whoosh!"
- Say My Name: "Banjo! Banjo!! BAANJOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
- The Scrooge: In one of the bumpers for "A Space Ghost Christmas":Zorak: Christmas is cancelled. Go to bed.
- Series Fauxnale: The original run wrapped in 1999 with King Dead, which saw Zorak and Moltar fired (they would get revenge by hijacking Space Ghost's apartment and capturing guest star John Benjamin), in 2001, Cartoon Network announced the show would be revived and air on the Adult Swim block. In 2004, the 'unfinished P.O.S' episode Live at the Fillmore wrapped up the new run with the show running on fumes due to a lack of budget, but the now defunct Gametap service would pick up the show for an extra two series that ran from 2006 to 2008. The episode Bare Naked Ladies appeared to give the show a definitive conclusion with the show cancelled and the characters all moving on with their lives. Then the show returned to Adult Swim for a series of short bumpers that aired in between other programming, most notably for an April's Fool interview 'promoting'/critiquing The Room.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: The Cold Opening to "Sharrock" features Space Ghost complaining about having to pick Zorak up and telling him to get a part-time job, all while Sonny Sharrock's music plays in the background.
- Among other things, the second season's DVD box cover features such critical blurbs as "Needs some work." and "Jarring and unpleasant."
- From the intro to "Woody Allen's Fall Project":Announcer: And now, in case you haven't already changed the channel...
- From "Joshua":Announcer: Welcome to Ghost Planet Industries, gateway to humor for literally hundreds of television viewers!
- Serious Business: While interviewing Bob Odenkirk and David Cross:Space Ghost: I save entire planets.
Bob Odenkirk: God bless you, man. If we could, we would, but all we can do is make one or two people giggle a little bit.
Space Ghost: And those one or two people will be giggling their way to Armageddon while you two jokers do your little "ha ha" act!!
Bob Odenkirk: ...What did I do? You invited me on this show!
- In "Snatch", Space Ghost tells Moltar "Please don't tell me how to do it. It sickens me.", a nod to William Shatner.
- In "Explode", Moltar claims his agent is Ultraseven.
- When Zorak proceeds to antagonize Space Ghost's mentor and mentally unstable bush Warren, Warren threatens him saying "I can burn you like The Crazy World of Arthur Brown!"
- "$20.01" is a Whole-Plot Reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Zorak's family portait in "Zorak" includes a deceased older brother dressed like Donald Duck.
- There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it parody of Citizen Kane in "A Space Ghost Christmas": Space Ghost says "Rosebud." when Moltar rewinds the tape.
- Slow Motion: Demonstrated in "Cahill" when Zorak blasts Space Ghost with his laser gun.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Space Ghost.
- Soap Opera Disease: Space Ghost's unknown disease in "Terminal". Though being a ghost, he's already dead, so at the end after he "dies", he opens his eyes and says "Huh, this isn't so bad."
- Sound-Effect Bleep: From "Flipmode":Moltar: Well you're just making all this (bleep) up! Oh what, you're the only one who gets to make (bleep) up?!
- Special Edition Title: For the episode which parodied the Late Show with David Letterman, a new title was commissioned panning the galaxy in the manner the Late Show titles pan around New York. It was used on other episodes in order to amortize the cost of the titles on to the budgets for them. There was also a special opening for the Musical Episode, and "Sharrock" features a Theme Tune Extended version of the opening in tribute to Sonny Sharrock.
- Special Guest
- Cartoon Planet, which was pretty much Space Ghost Coast To Coast: Lite with a greater emphasis on sketch comedy (including footage recycled from other shows in the Turner library), Toonami, CN's longtime action block which was "hosted" by a CGI Moltar for its first two years (and outlasted SGC2C), and The Brak Show, an Affectionate Parody of sitcoms.
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force was intended to be a spinoff of SGC2C, but then they sat on the episode that introduced the Aqua Teens until after the series started. They wound up retooling the episode into fan-favorite Kentucky Nightmare anyway.
- Coast to Coast could be argued to have spun off the two very different things Cartoon Network is best remembered, and watched, for: its other original cartoons, including Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, through its "World Premiere Toon-In" kick-off special (which was simulcast across CN, TBS and TNT), and [adult swim] as a whole (which launched with almost entirely Williams Street productions, including C2C and The Brak Show). That's before you even get to Toonami.
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law could be considered an example, as Birdman retains the same full name as he does in Space Ghost, though the show takes place in a completely different continuity.
- Spiritual Successor: The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show, another comedic talk show hosted by animated characters.
- Spit Take: Done often, one time Space Ghost does it three times in a row (the third is bloody).
- Start My Own: Before the start of the episode "Switcheroo" (with Mark Hamill and Bill Mumy), Zorak and Moltar attended Sci-Fi Con '97 behind Space Ghost's back. Space Ghost attempts to open Space Ghost Con '97 in bitterness.
- Sting: Used in numerous episodes, including "Batmantis" and "Lawsuit".
- The Stinger: Nearly every episode featured a brief vocal clip after the credits. In one of them, Space Ghost flat out says: "This is the end of the show."
- Stock Footage: Occasionally, the 1966 Space Ghost and Dino Boy clips are shown. Even besides that, the vast majority of the animation in the show was recycled from the old series into the new setting (with some exceptions, like drinking a mug of coffee or Zorak playing his keyboard). This practice was also carried over to Sealab 2021.
- Other random bits of footage came from pretty much anywhere else within Turner — editor Tom Roche has said that they had free reign to use whatever Turner owned. Footage from The Rudy and Gogo World Famous Cartoon Show, CHiPs, and even CNN satellite feeds. The flowing curtains used during the "World Priemere Toon-In" and in other episodes were originally used by TNT for program bumpers (and one was also used by Turner Home Entertainment for a "Feature Presentation" bumper).
- Stock Scream: When Santa transforms into his true self in "Girl Hair", the Howie Scream is heard.
- The Stoner: The premise of "Flipmode". There's a gas leak inside the ship, and it gives Space Ghost several "good ideas".
- Stoners Are Funny: What makes "Flipmode" so hilarious.
- Straw Fan: Moltar was one of these when Erik Estrada, Mike Judge and William Shatner appeared on the show.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Zorak remarks that Space Ghost's grandfather "sounds like Randy Savage" and "looks like [him] with a pasted-on beard."
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Lokar and Tansit are a part of the Council of Doom now that Zorak and Moltar are otherwise occupied.
- Stylistic Suck: It's made pretty clear that if the animators wanted to, they could've made the show fully and lavishly animated. It's just funnier this way.
- Take That!: Jeff Foxworthy is on the show after Foxworthy’s sitcom didn’t work out, but before Blue Collar Comedy. He has issues with how Space Ghost treats his underlings and points out that he once had a show, but didn’t treat anyone as badly as Space Ghost.Space Ghost: But the difference between your show and my show is that mine is still on.
- Take That, Audience!:
- In "Pavement":Space Ghost: Welcome back, stupid viewers! You'll watch anything! Go ahead, change the channel, you'll be back!
- Also, in "Mommentary - Jellybean": "If you're still watching, you're an idiot!"
- In "Pavement":
- Talk Show: A send-up of the genre.
- The Talk Show with Host Name
- Tastes Like Chicken: Guest Emeril Lagasse objects to people who use this phrase, as he thinks each food has a distinctive taste, and to compare everything to chicken is inaccurate. This becomes a Brick Joke when guest Martin Yan cooks a chicken and Space Ghost fondly remarks "Chicken tastes like chicken!"
- Techno Babble:
- Zorak delivers some in "Snatch" in his plan to get rid of the replicating pods.Zorak: All right, here's the plan. We create a diversion by throwing the planet's orbital axis off by 13 degrees. Actually, 10 degrees should do it. You don't want to throw it off too much because, well, you know. Now, once we've lowered the gravitational fields by, say, 40 gigawatts and secured the outer perimeter... securely... well I, I think we'll be just fine.
- Moltar in "Cahill":Moltar: It seems the the static electricity from the oncoming storm is triggering a... uh micro inductor dilfrobrah... dioptiloid. Microinductor diloptiloid. Not a word I use every day.
- The marketing variety, in "Joshua". Amusingly, it's not even a complete sentence.Narrator: Based on our analysis of relative price value factors, subjective hosted product placement decisions versus generic yield acceptability, our directly linked network programming identity and the investment in demographic icon synergisticality.
Space Ghost: It's that simple... and that hard.
- Zorak delivers some in "Snatch" in his plan to get rid of the replicating pods.
- Telethon: In the episode of the same name.
- That Liar Lies:
- In "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite", Space Ghost tells Pat Boone that he invented the cotton gin:Zorak: Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin.
Space Ghost: Lies! Stop with your slanderous lies! Just because you've never done anything, you lazy piece of space garbage! The look, the feel of cotton, that's all mine!
- In "$20.01", Penn Jillette admits that magic is fake, and is another word for lying.Space Ghost: So... you're not really a magician?
Space Ghost: You're a liar!
Space Ghost: Liar liar, pants on fire! My apologies, folks. Goofy guest.
- In "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite", Space Ghost tells Pat Boone that he invented the cotton gin:
- That's What She Said: In "Boatshow", Steve Allen and Brak engage in a discussion in Brak's lanaguge, and after Steve said a line, Brak replied with "That's what she said!"
- Third-Person Person: Space Ghost interviews Beck in the third person.
- Those Two Guys: After 32 million years of service, Space Ghost plays this trope straight with Jan and Jace. No wonder why he gets sued.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Played for Laughs on a few occasions, perhaps most notably in "Jacksonville" with James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett from Metallica.Announcer: Zorak eventually led Metallica to the outer airlock, where members of the band were heard to say "Shouldn't we put on a suit or something?" [Beat] Metallica exploded in deep space.
- Time Out: In "Untitled", Space Ghost gives one to Moltar when Moltar refuses to send George Clinton back out.Space Ghost: And you will stay in Time Out until I'm done with The Funkmaster.
- Timmy in a Well:
- When interviewing Lassie, Space Ghost naturally resorted to this when Lassie barked.Space Ghost: What is it, girl? There's trouble at the ranch? Hmm... trouble at the farm. You say Brak was bitten by a rattlesnake?
- Also done in "$20.01" when Teller, as per his on-stage persona, didn't speak:Space Ghost: Look, MOE, he's trying to tell us something. What is it, boy? There's trouble? Trouble at the farm? Farms have chickens.
- When interviewing Lassie, Space Ghost naturally resorted to this when Lassie barked.
- Toilet Humor:
- In "Intense Patriotism," Zorak took a dump in his pod and invited Space Ghost to say hi to his kids, whom he dropped off at the pool.
- Space Ghost once said the Indians called him "Breaking Wind, Claps Like Thunder".
- Token Good Teammate: Of the main trio, Moltar is nicest person on Ghost Planet due to being the Only Sane Man. Of course that doesn't prevent him from having some Jerkass moments of his own.
- Too Awesome to Use: At the end of the Space Ghost-penned "Pavement":Space Ghost: This show is so good, I'm thinking about not even airing it.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Bob Odenkirk enjoys getting blasted. A lot.
- Tranquil Fury: Space Ghost opens Edelweiss by cheerfully informing the audience that Zorak was destroying his apartment. He doesn't really seem to mind until Zorak informs him that he smashed his US Presidential figurine collection. At which point Space Ghost tells Zorak that "you know I'm going to have to do something about this, don't you?" And then proceeds to blast Zorak 45 times.
- Trade Snark: At one point during "Batmantis", Space Ghost refers to "Batman. Restricted." (The ® is actually known as the registered trademark symbol.)
- Truth in Television: In "$20.01", Space Ghost forces Joel Hodgson to riff a movie on the spot. Joel doesn't come up with any good quips and says he can't do it off the top of his head. Funnily enough, improvised riffing is how the original KTMA seasons of MST3K were done, as they didn't involve a formal writing process. It wasn't until the first official season that they changed the way they produced the show, which is when the quality improved significantly.
- Twinkle Smile: A common gag when Space Ghost smiles at the camera. Exaggerated in "Untitled" when he and Erik Estrada exchange twinkle smiles to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".
- 2-for-1 Show
- The Unintelligible: Metallus, whose "voice" is merely metallic noises.
- Unreadably Fast Text:
- Demonstrated at the end of "The Justice Hole", where we're informed to "stand by for super credits", at which point the end credits scroll by in less than a second.
- In the "Batmantis" episode, Space Ghost's ray fires words in a parody of the written sound effects from the 1960s Batman series. Zorak tells him to shoot the theory of evolution and Space Ghost fires a shot that is accompanied by three paragraphs of text humorously explaining Darwin's theory of evolution that only remains on the screen for about one second.
- "Switcheroo #2" opens with the Star Wars text-crawl, made up of several paragraphs of rambling text that scrolls faster and faster until it's impossible to read.
- Unusual Euphemism: In "$20.01", Joel Hodgson said he would "crawl" Space Ghost. Note
- Vanity Plate: For the pre-Adult Swim episodes, the Cartoon Network Productions logo at the end is made to look like a jack-in-the-box.
- Villain Episode: "Surprise" follows Moltar and Zorak's preparation of a fatal surprise party for Space Ghost. And of course, there's Chad Ghostal's Hostile Show Takeover in "Hipster".
- Vocal Evolution: At the beginning, Space Ghost and Zorak sound more like their original incarnations than they do over time; their voices deviate from the originals by the second season.
- Voice Changeling: Space Ghost demonstrates this in "Telethon":Zorak: Telethons don't have commericals!
Space Ghost: And bugs can't talk Zorak, [in Zorak's voice] so welcome to the asylum!
[Zorak looks surprised]
- Voice of the Legion: Bizarro Santa speaks in this manner.
- Waxing Lyrical:
- In "Joshua":Narrator: Who can turn the world on with a smile?
Moltar: Space Ghost!
Narrator: Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Space Ghost: You know who!
- In "Intense Patriotism":Space Ghost: Space Ghost is coming to America! Today!
- In "Joshua":
- We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: During "Sharrock", Space Ghost and the crew pretend that Ghost Planet is under attack, and Moltar activates a "UNDER ATTACK: PLEASE STAND BY" screen that plays "Rocket #99".
- Web Games: Three Flash-based games were released during the show's time on Cartoon Network: Brak's Bean Chomber (a Pac-Man clone starring Brak), Blast Zorak (a Light Gun Game where Space Ghost blasts Zorak, who keeps popping up all around the set), and How Zorak Stole X-Mas.
- What Could Have Been: In-Universe example. Birdman was almost the host of the show with Lokar as his insect bandleader. However, Lokar was mauled by Birdman's pet eagle, Avenger, opening the door for Zorak. Birdman was fired when he revealed that he could not function without energy from the sun and passed out on set.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Invoked in "Telethon":Moltar: I rented Barb Wire. I hear it's awesome.
Brak: Ooh, I wanna see that!
Moltar: It's rated R, Brak!
Brak: Aw, poop.
- What Is Going On?: Space Ghost asks, "...What happened?" at the end of "Girl Hair" while Bizarro Santa and the Tooth Fairy are fighting. In a subversion of this trope, Space Ghost was involved with the plot the whole episode; he just doesn't understand it.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Jeff Foxworthy called out Space Ghost for abusing Zorak and Moltar, though Space Ghost didn't take it very seriously.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Parodied at the end of "Jacksonville", which includes a section for a random bystander on the bus that Moltar was riding, guest-of-the-week Metallica getting lured out into space without suits by Zorak and exploding, and Mettalus' section being just as unintelligible as Mettalus himself, ending with the narrator going off on a tangent about his cat.
- Whole-Plot Reference:
- "Curling Flower Space" is done in Rashomon style.
- While not explicitly addressed as such, "Woody Allen's Fall Project" is a take-off on those E! re-enactments of the long-running O.J. Simpson trial.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: "Urges" has Zorak driven to return home for mating season, despite the fact that female mantises devour the head of the male while mating. When he finally hooks up with someone, they turn out to be a crossdressing male mantis who's part of an underground support group and keeps Zorak occupied until his urge to mate passes.
- Who's Laughing Now?: Said by Space Ghost to Zorak in "Snatch" when he zaps Zorak's pod, causing it to grow in size like Ghost's own pod did.
- Who Writes This Crap?!:
- Subverted in "Pavement"; Space Ghost openly announces at the start that he wrote the episode. What follows is a very disorganized series of guest star interviews (for instance, Space Ghost trying to interview Goldie Hawn while indie rock darlings Pavement play loudly in the background, or defiantly eating chocolate ice cream throughout his interview with Steve Smith) and plots that go nowhere (such as Zorak and Moltar in Space Ghost's prison).
- In "Flipmode", Zorak openly declares that the script sucks right at the start. Space Ghost forces him to participate, though.
- Wrench Whack: Done repeatedly to Zorak in "Flipmode".
- Yank the Dog's Chain:
- Also counts as Hypocritical Humor:Space Ghost: You see, Mike, here in space, we're all equals. Except for Moltar and Zorak.
- In "Edelweiss", Zorak says that he set fire to everything in Space Ghost's apartment, except for his presidential figurine collection. Space Ghost is briefly relieved, until Zorak adds: "Yeah, I had to crush that with a hammer."
- Also counts as Hypocritical Humor:
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Chambraigne, an intelligence-enhancing shampoo that turns out to be a placebo, does this to Space Ghost.
- Your Mom:
- One of the techniques that Space Ghost tried on the blob in order to make it attack the replicating pods in "Snatch".
- Lokar decides to taunt Space Ghost about his "big fat mum" in "Explode". He gets a faceful of power band blasting for it.
- The villain in "Batmantis" is "Your Mother"."Not my mother. Someone else's mother. Someone's sick, deranged mother."