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Western Animation / The Ghost and Molly McGee

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"We may be an odd pairing, but it GHOST without saying: we're friends, supernaturally."
I can't believe you're all mine! (Uh, what?)
You and me for all time! (Ugh.)
I'm never, ever, EVER gonna be alone again! (Oh boy.)
The dream team: you and me! (For all eternity!?)
For all eternity! (AAH!)

The Ghost and Molly McGee is an American musical animated comedy television series, created by Bill Motz and Bob Roth (Brandy & Mr. Whiskers, LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures), and produced by Disney Television Animation for Disney Channel. The series ran from October 1, 2021 to January 13, 2024 for two seasons.

The series follows Molly McGee (voiced by Ashly Burch), an optimistic tween, who moves into a new house with her family in Brighton, only to find it being occupied by Scratch (voiced by Dana Snyder), a grumpy ghost whose joy comes from spreading misery. Immediately irritated with his happy-go-lucky new roommate, Scratch plants a curse in order to get rid of her, only for it to backfire on him when he discovers she cannot be scared due to her optimism and pure heart, thus he is cursed instead and finds himself bound to be in Molly's presence for all eternity (or at least as long as she lives in her new home).

The two have various wild adventures throughout Brighton, with Molly spreading her optimism and Scratch trying in vain to get the McGees to move away while discovering the true meaning of friendship, which also proves to be a danger in the ghost world. The second season goes on to give the duo a new obstacle in the form of the Chens, a ghost hunting family who move across the street from the McGees; forcing the family to juggle a new friendship with their neighbors (and Molly's crush on their son) while keeping the existence of ghosts a secret from them to protect Scratch.

Look here for the opening theme, sneak peek from NYC Comic Con 2020, sneak peek from Comic-Con 2021, and "Besties" and "My Best Friend the Ghost" promos.

It's The Tropes, it's The Tropes and Molly McGee!:

  • Actually, That's My Assistant: In "The Greatest Concert Ever", Molly hopes to meet Kenny Star when his bus reaches Brighton's truck stop. Molly believes she's finally got the chance to meet up with him, but the man turns out to be Kenny Star's stunt double decoy while the real Kenny is flying in his luxury jet airliner.
  • Adults Are Useless: Played for Laughs. Molly's new teacher is as much of an Extreme Doormat to Andrea as her fellow students, and several times throughout "First Day Frights" turns on her heel and walks in the opposite direction when she sees Molly's bullying under Andrea's watch, or Molly transporting Andrea's unconscious body in a laundry cart.
  • A Girl and Her X: An energetic Genki Girl and a cantankerous ghost who has bound himself to her.
  • Alliterative Name: Molly's full name is Molly McGee.
  • Animals Hate Him: Scratch. Whenever he's around animals they attack him.
  • Arbitrary Scepticism: Scratch initially doesn't believe in the myth of Howlin' Harriet despite being a ghost himself.
  • Artistic License – History: It's not quite accurate to say that Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation caused the South to rebel since it happened half way into the war.
  • Artistic License – Prison: Daryl wants to get the teachers out of the school for awhile so they stop spoiling everyone's "fun" (i.e., pranks). He develops an elaborate plan to have the three teachers wear orange jumpsuits, forges a letter from the principal telling them they're going on a team building exercise, uses the letter to arrange for a school bus to take them to the local prison, where they get off and walk inside. Prison populations are kept under constant surveillance and any new prisoners are noted well in advance of their arrival. Three people in orange jumpsuits who randomly show up at a prison without an escort or any paperwork would never be mistaken for inmates, let alone actually let inside.
  • Asshole Victim: When Andrea is on the receiving end of Scratch's Ghostly antics it is sometimes not undeserved.
  • Astral Projection: "Wraiths" are humans who've separated their souls from their body (literally AND figuratively) before death. This is possible by either Giving Up the Ghost or trying to enter a ghost portal as a human.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Scratch would never admit it, but Molly is the first person who treated him with respect and kindness. Heck, she even brings a dollhouse for him to live in on her grandmother's advice. For that reason, he comes to find that he likes her in turn even if she's annoyingly cheerful.
  • Berserk Button:
    • If anyone pronounces Andrea Davenport's name as "Ann-dria" instead of "Ahn-dria", she will make them pay for it! Poor Libby did it in first grade, and her reputation didn't recover until middle school.
    • Anything kitchen-related for Molly's Mom. She worked in her parent's restaurant growing up and, apparently, hated every second of it. If you even suggest she should cook she'll burn you with fire from her eyes.
    • Molly absolutely hates magicians, seemingly due to some past event. Just being in the presence of one sets her off. Naturally, Scratch and Libby exploit this in separate episodes to torment her.
    • The Chairman gets destructively hangry if he doesn't get a constant supply of misery to feed on.
  • Bicolor Cows, Solid Color Bulls: A bunch of cows show up in the school in the episode "Talent Show". They all are black-and-white. In "The (Un)natural", Molly feeds a brown baby bull while Scratch is chased by an adult bull, also brown.
  • Birthday Episode: "Mazel Tov, Libby!", focusing on Libby's Bat Mitzvah.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "The End" reveals Scratch is not a ghost, but the Wraith of Todd Mortenson. Adia's best friend that she lost touch with because he wouldn't take risks and always played it safe because he was afraid to die. This fear and disinterest in living eventually made him "give up the ghost", giving us Scratch. Once Scratch remembers who he was, he reunites with his living body, and decides to leave Brighton and see the world; reuniting with his former best friend. It is left ambiguous if Todd even remembers his time as Scratch, though there are small hints the memory's there. Molly lost her best friend, but was also able to help him start living his life after so long.
  • Black Comedy:
    • In the first episode, as Molly and family are moving into Brighton, a bench collapses under a man, who is then knocked silly by a falling pole and carried off by a raccoon horde.
    • In "Howlin Harriet", the "M" from the "Camp Brighton" sign falls off and hits a bird trying to eat a worm on the head. After a second, a ghost bird pops out of the fresh corpse and flies away.
    • In "The (Un)Natural", among the many people of Brighton out to watch the Lemmings is an old woman with an urn, presumably of her husband's cremains. When the Lemmings score the final out, the slow-motion montage of cheering shows her accidentally knocking it over.
      • Also in the stands is a random Littlest Cancer Patient to comedically drive home the 'everyone is counting on you' angle. In the same slow-motion montage of cheering, she leaps to her feet and smacks her nurse off-screen with her IV stand.
    • In "Getting the Band(shell) Back Together", a particularly old member of Patty's elderly construction crew suddenly goes limp and dies on-screen, with his ghost floating out of his body. Scratch, who doesn't want to have to deal with this on top of everything else, crams the spirit back in there.
      Come donate your energies / Spackle all those crevices
      Take a break, and catch some Z's / Oh, wait, no — THAT MAN'S DECEASED!
    • "Ready, Set, Snow!" features another bird dying comically. This time, a bird trying to fly through the blizzard suddenly freezes solid and falls off-screen with a crash, flying away in ghost form a moment later.
  • Book Ends: In the first episode the Ghost Council is banishing a ghost to the Flow of Failed Phantoms. In the season 1 finale, when Molly's positivity overwhelms the Flow and frees the ghosts within after the Council sends her and Scratch there, said ghost is one of the first escapees. Both episodes also lampshade how much Scratch screwed up when he cursed Molly.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Sheela.
  • Calvinball: “Let’s Play Turnipball!” introduces the title sport, which is played with an actual turnip, uses a hodgepodge of random sports equipment like golf clubs and cricket bats, has some of the players on unicycles… and those are the understandable parts.
  • Celebrities Hang Out in Heaven: They tend to frequent the same clubs in the Ghost World.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: The Ghost Council, presided over by the Chairman, is a tribunal that monitors the misery/joy levels of ghosts' haunting grounds and periodically puts them up for review; any ghost that can't adequately spread fear and despair is sucked into the Flow of Failed Phantoms, a swirling green miasma where they wail in eternal torment.
  • Character in the Logo: Scratch fills the "o" of "Ghost" in the series title.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early on in the episode "Talent Show", it's mentioned that Libby and her mom have a "Slam Poetry Saturday" at the library her mom runs, and very clearly are passionate about it. This comes into play later when, after finding out her singing voice isn't very good, Libby decides to turn her song into slam poetry.
  • Christmas Episode: "Saving Christmas," in which Molly (and later Scratch) tries to convince Andrea's father to help fix the annual Snowflake Festival and, you guessed it, save Christmas.
  • Chubby Mama, Skinny Papa: Molly's mother is plumper than her father, who's fairly thin-looking. This is the opposite of their children, with Molly being a lot more slender than her brother.
  • Close on Title: Every episode ends on a hard cut to the logo, with Molly and Scratch sing the last line of the theme song.
  • Confidentiality Betrayal: In one episode, Scratch is accused of eating a cake that Pete baked for Sharon, despite the ghost swearing innocence. Molly proves Scratch innocent by showing that he's allergic to carob (one of the cake's key ingredients), as it leaves him with terrible swelling. While happy that he's proven innocent, Scratch is upset because he told Molly about his allergy in confidence.
  • Company Cross References: In the episode, "All Shark No Bite", one of the stuffed animals Molly throws at the episode's titular ghost shark is Mr. Whiskers, with Molly even identifying him by name.
  • Crush Filter: We see new neighbor Oliver through one of these quite frequently, whenever Molly interacts with him.
  • Curse: In the first episode:
    Scratch: "I curse you, Molly McGee! Wherever you go, whatever you do, for the rest of your days, I'll be there, haunting you, tormenting you, turning your every waking moment into an unending nightmare!"
  • Cue O'Clock: In "A Very Hungry Ghost", Geoff exclaims that "It's time-to-go o'clock!" as a way to escape the Chairman and the Ghost Council.
  • Curse Escape Clause: The Curse was proceeded by the word "If you won't leave", meaning that the curse will be broken if Molly decides to leave the house on her own. This eventually happens in "Out of House and Home" when the McGees are evicted from their home after failing to pay the mortgage; the curse remains broken after the McGees move back in, with Scratch staying out of his own free will from that point onward.
  • Death Is Cheap: Scratch can resurrect people and animals by reuniting their ghosts with their corpses. So far, he's done this for an elderly man and the mayor's fish.
  • Demonic Possession: Scratch possesses an unconscious Andrea in "First Day Frights" at the school assembly in order to help Molly save face. He does it again to the driver of a tour bus in "The Greatest Concert Ever" and to Weird Larry in "Lock, Stock and Peril"
  • Devil, but No God: To wit a Ghost Council led by a malevolent God of the Dead seem to be the de facto supernatural authority in this setting with no benevolent counterpart.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Scratch "curses" Molly by promising to haunt her forever — and it takes all of ten seconds for him to realize he's made a horrible mistake. The other ghosts, not even knowing the full situation, make fun of him for it, as at a glance, all he's done is create unnecessary work for himself.
    Barrister Ghost: "Wherever you go, whatever you do"... "I'll be there"? This "friend" of yours must be quite the dunderhead, Scratch. It's more of a curse on the ghost than the human.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: "Ann-dria" gets mad at Molly for mispronouncing her name, then getting tongue-tied and trying to remember what vowel it was because anyone would become nervous with the whole class watching them and gasping in mortal terror. She tries to ruin the other girl's reputation for it. Scratch accidentally gets even with her by scaring her to death.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Molly and Ollie have complications being a couple due to their differing beliefs in ghosts. Given the context of their opinions is about something spiritual, it's like they are people who have trouble being in a relationship due to differing religions.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Molly and Scratch sing the theme song together.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The show's original working title, The Curse Of Molly McGee, alludes to the fact that Molly has been cursed by Scratch, but also that Scratch is now inseparable from Molly, which he considers a curse in itself. It was eventually changed to a simpler, more representative one that still highlights their relationship.
  • Empty Shell: Whoever turns into a wraith causes their body to become constantly emotionless and dull; while their body is still alive, they act as if nothing is there.
  • Episode Title Card: Episodes use a colored gradient background with Chibi images of Molly and Scratch along with some sort of key item related to the episode, with their poses and clothing changing accordingly.
  • Every Episode Ending: All of the episodes end with the show title against a black screen as Molly and Scratch sing the last line of the theme song.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Scratch's purpose is to extend misery and scare others. He apologizes to a fainted "Ann-dria" after he accidentally scares her, since that was an accident.
    • It's implied that even Molly has her limits with Scratch's scares. In "The (Un)Natural", Scratch scares the bully from the Skylarks offscreen, and whatever he did was so horrific that even Molly is shown to be disturbed by it.
    • In "The New (Para)Normal", it's revealed that the Frightmares were trapped in the Flow of Failed Phantoms for the safety of both worlds, implying that even with the Chairman's hunger for misery, and the fact that he could command them, not even he and the Council wanted them loose.
  • Failed Attempt at Scaring: The Inciting Incident of the series is Scratch trying to scare Molly out of his house, and failing miserably because she is too darn cheerful (and desperate for friends) to be scared of him.
  • First Day of School Episode: "First Day Frights" shows Molly getting anxious for the first day of school in her new town — something she apparently goes through a lot, since her family constantly moves. Scratch sees an opportunity to capitalize on this by making the day a nightmare for her.
  • First Period Panic: Season 2's "A Period Piece" focuses on Libby going through the trials of getting her first period.
  • Ghost Amnesia: Scratch can't remember anything from when he was alive aside the name of a now-rare strawberry soda. Upon drinking it, he gets the memory of a childhood friend moving away and promising that they'll remember each other when drinking the soda.
  • Gleeful and Grumpy Pairing: Molly and Scratch. Guess who is which.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In a moment of haste, to scare Molly off and teach her not to try to be friends with him, Scratch curses her to be relentlessly haunted by him "for the rest of [her] days". Within seconds, he realizes in horror that that's not the way to get rid of a clingy friendly person that already isn't scared of you, and all he's done is fulfill his own promise: to bond himself for life to a girl who now thinks they're best pals.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: It doesn't happen often, but the show seems to use "corn" as a family friendly substitute for "crap", or "cob" and "God", as in "thank cob".
  • Hanukkah Episode: "Festival of Lights" has Molly and her family celebrating Hanukkah with Libby and her mom at their bookstore, just as the power goes out in the entire town.
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: Inverted; ghosts are required to spread misery in their domains, and if the people get too happy, the ghosts get resigned to the "Flow of Failed Phantoms". That's because the Chairman feeds on misery, whether it's from humans or the ghosts he sends to the Flow of Failed Phantoms.
  • Hates Being Alone:
    • Molly. The theme song lyrics have her overjoyed that being with Scratch means she'll never be alone again, and in the first episode she all but admits it to Scratch, saying that the ghost being bound to her for all eternity guarantees her a friend that she'll never lose after years of other friendships dying out thanks to constantly moving.
    • Scratch himself seems to feel this way, despite his protests to the opposite.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Scratch casts the curse upon Molly in a moment of pique, irritated by her and desiring to scare her away from his home, only to discover too late that she sees being bound forever to a ghostly being as the greatest thing in the world, as she now always has a bestie on demand, and it's Scratch who suffers from the curse instead.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Scratch has no issues with making fun of Molly's happy-go-lucky attitude, just as long as he's the only one who does it. He enacts revenge on anyone else who does so.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At the end of "Talent Show", after Libby has just managed to put on an impressive musical performance:
    Molly: From now on, I'm going to be completely honest with Libby, no matter what!
    Libby: Hey Molly, who are you talking to?
    Molly: No one! [Molly pushes Scratch aside]
  • I Have This Friend: Scratch pulls this in "The Curse," asking the Ghost Council to help find a loophole in the curse "his friend" placed on a human, and then again in "The (After)Life of the Party" when asking Molly how to handle his conflicting invitations to Geoff and Jeff's parties.
    Scratch: "Okay, Molly, there is never a "friend." You should know this by now."
  • Impact Silhouette: In "All Systems No", Molly leaves this in a wooden fence as she chases a skunk.
  • Inconvenient Summons:
    • The Ghost Council can apparently summon a ghost from anywhere for review, as Scratch shows up eating out of a trash can, with it taking a second to realize that he's been summoned. They later summon him from the baseball game he was helping Molly cheat in, despite his not wanting to go.
    • Molly's curse allows her to drag Scratch to her by calling his name, but it apparently doesn't work if he's in the Ghostly realm, unlike the Council's ability.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Molly's cheerfulness and optimism is so strong, she isn't scared of Scratch and cannot be cursed by him, thus she curses him instead. Though subverted in "The (Un)natural" where Scratch manages to convince her that cheating at softball is okay if it helps the Lemmings and the town and she struggles with it throughout the episode before finally refusing to keep cheating. She weaponizes this in the season 1 finale to save Scratch, Geoff, and the other ghosts in the Flow of Failed Phantoms on top of turning the Chairman into a robe full of flowers.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: The first episode shows that Scratch has claimed to Molly that he's very popular in the Ghost World, but a flashback reveals him to be particularly disliked among his fellow ghosts (getting barred from a nightclub for being "the worst of the worst"), and he's very nervous and defensive about maintaining that lie.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: "The Many Lives of Scratch" focuses on the Mc Gees and Libby putting together a "death day" (the anniversary of a ghost's death) for Scratch since he doesn't have a death day himself. This turns out to be important as "The End" reveals that Scratch didn't die and is just a wraith who left his body due to depression.
  • Ironic Name: The town of Brighton, thanks at least in part to Scratch, is a miserable and overcast place before the McGees move there.
  • Jerkass: Scratch can be rather callous and mean at times. In "First Day Frights", when Molly tells him how she's nervous about starting at a new school, he delightedly realizes that he could ruin her first day, make her a social pariah, and maybe even force the family to leave Brighton for good — a pretty low thing to do to a 13-year-old girl just to have the house to yourself again, especially for someone who's shown to be unpopular himself. In fact, relating to Molly's ostracisation with her peers is precisely why he uses his ghostly powers to fix her reputation, despite that costing him the outcome he'd been working towards.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Of course, that's not to say that there aren't moments where Scratch genuinely feels sorry for Molly whenever she gets depressed. Scratch will (reluctantly) help out Molly, even if it comes at his own benefit by scaring others, especially when the victims of said scares have dampened Molly's spirits.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • In the theme song, Scratch begrudgingly asks, "Is there a way to hit restart?" while his ghostly arm spirals towards the video player attempting to literally do just that.
    • "Perfect Day" has an Opening Shout-Out where Molly asks the same thing, complete with reaching for the video player.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the first episode, Scratch bestows his curse on Molly as she and other items in the attic float off the ground, and she looks absolutely petrified... but then she suddenly smiles, commenting "Fantastic performance!", causing Scratch to be confused and everything falls.
  • Moose and Maple Syrup: In "Hooray for Mollywood" Molly claims Scratch (disguised as a Bedsheet Ghost) is a friend from Canada who came to act in her movie, and in "Scratch the Surface" her fake identity Milly is passed off as Molly's cousin from Canada. Both times, the disguised characters try to pass off their supposed nationality with stereotypical accents and "eh?"s.
  • Mundane Utility: A Ghost haunts your new home. If you are Molly's mother, that means you can get some money back on the home for having a ghost and not disclosing it.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: Similar to Phineas and Ferb, the Once per Episode music segments tend to make use of multiple versions depending on the episode: either "montage" songs which aren't sung by the characters or are sung by them off-camera, "performance" songs which are straight-on rehearsed and performed for others, and "spontaneous" songs which come out of nowhere.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the first episode, Scratch has this reaction after realizing that his curse on Molly has backfired spectacularly because her pure heart and excessive optimism protects her and turns the curse on him instead.
    Scratch: I didn't curse Molly McGee... she cursed me!
    • In "First Day Frights", Scratch gets this reaction when his plans to turn Molly's first day at school into 'the worst one in history' starts working... and it reminds him of his own mistreatment and ostracisation by his fellow spirits, motivating him to use his ghostly abilities to fix the damage against his better judgement.
  • Name and Name: The show's title is a downplayed take. It acknowledges both Scratch and Molly, but doesn't directly namedrop the former.
  • Negative Continuity: Averted. Despite being a more gag-focused, less dense show where every episode has a self-contained plot, there are some small moments of continuity (Scratch slowly, fits in and starts becoming a nicer ghost and more open about his friendship with Molly over Season 1) and foreshadowing (Libby beginning to suspect Scratch's existence).
  • Never Say "Die": Averted. Being a series where one of the main characters is a ghost and having significant focus on the spiritual world, death is spoken about and referenced constantly. In "Howlin Harriet", Scratch tells Molly that he's fine with eating poisonous berries because he's already dead, and during their earlier trip in, the camp's wooden letters fall on top of a nearby bird, which visibly kills it and lets its ghost continue on like nothing happened.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: A possibly unintentional example but all indications for the show's timeline suggests that it's in the year of 2032. In the segment "Monumental Disaster" it states that the town's founding was in the year 1872 and they were celebrating its 160th anniversary which if we add up the dates (1872 + 160 = 2032) means that it's currently 2032. Word of God has stated that this was a typo.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. In the aptly titled episode "Period Piece", the episode has Libby get her first period during a sleepover at Molly's. It serves as a Very Special Episode, showing the girls watching that periods are nothing to be ashamed or scared of, while it's also okay if someone doesn't get theirs at the same time as their friends. The episode's B-plot focuses on Pete and Scratch going to the store to get supplies for Libby.
  • No-Sell: Scratch can't scare Molly. Ever. She's constantly shown completely unfazed, and in fact ecstatic, by him in the first episode and theme song.
  • Ocular Gushers: Anytime Molly cries.
  • Once per Episode: A song is performed every episode.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghosts basically exist in the show's universe as colored blob of ectoplasm. They cross over to the mortal world to spread horror and misery abound, and get furious if no one gets scared.
    • Ghost-like spiritual beings that don't appear to have ever been living beings also exist in the form of creatures like Sobgoblins and Story Sprites. The former spreads sadness and feed off it to multiply. The latter slurps words right out of books and turn into the whatever those words describe when threatened, causing Dark Ages from the loss of knowledge.
  • Our Nudity Is Different: In "First Day Frights", Scratch freaks out after being involuntarily pulled away from his bubble bath. He quickly grabs a towel and tells Molly to turn away from his drenched body.
    Molly: Oh what's the big deal? You don't even wear clothes.
    Scratch: Yes, but I happen to be emotionally naked right now.
  • Our Slogan Is Terrible: The town motto of Brighton is "A place to settle" — intended to mean a place to habitate or settle down in, but given Brighton's gloomy and moribund nature, also a place you settle for.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: In the ghost world, male ghosts are usually blue or green, while female ghosts are pink or purple, with the exception of Howlin' Harriet. Averted, however, with ghosts like the Video Store ghost, who is orange, and Geoff's fiancee Jeff, who is purple.
  • Place Worse Than Death: Literally, in the case of the Flow Of Failed Phantoms; A terrifying vortex where the Ghost Council banishes ghosts who don't spread enough misery.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: Andrea Davenport makes it clear that her first name is pronounced "Ahn-dre-uh", and does not take it well when Molly mispronounces it.
  • Quieting the Unquiet Dead: The episode "Howlin' Harriet" has the titular ghost, the spirit of a woman who was run over by a train and lost the toes on her right foot in the process and is now said to roam the Brighton woods looking to reclaim them, and is finally able to pass on after Libby makes her some replacement toes.
  • Really Moves Around: In "First Day Frights", Molly makes it worryingly clear to Scratch that her family moves "a lot" while talking about her first day jitters regarding her new school.
  • Recurring Extra: Often, a gloomy man that bears an uncanny resemblance to Scratch makes an appearance. He's Todd Mortenson, a.k.a. Scratch's human self after Todd literally gives up the ghost over lamenting about what could have been and regretting playing it safe and staying in Brighton instead of traveling the world with Adia.
  • Retro Universe: In "Molly vs. the Ghost World", Geoff explains to a temporarily ghostly Molly that the Ghost World doesn't get anything from the human world until it dies, making it an In-Universe example of this. For example, there's a Blockbuster parody with a sign mentioning the "oldest releases", and Geoff has only just gotten a flip phone.
  • Running Gag: Birds getting killed and turning into bird ghosts.
  • Satellite Family Member:
    • Billy and Jilly McGee are the satellites to their brother Pete, mostly because they make his life miserable even if they don't understand it most of the time.
    • The Suksai family (Molly's relatives on her mother's side) only exists to make Molly feel that she is "not Thai enough" by comparison because she can't speak Thai fluently, play Makruk, or eat spicy food. Later her family reassures that they've all felt the same way and she's fine just the way she is.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Season 2 reveals the Flow of Failed Phantoms was also imprisoning dangerous ghosts known as "Frightmares", and with it gone they're now free to be a threat to the living once more.
  • Secret Identity: Scratch has to be kept a secret from most townsfolk, because the more humans who know his existence, the less scary he becomes.
  • Secret-Keeper: Molly, her parents, Darryl, Grandma Nin and Libby are the only ones aware of Scratch and can see him.
  • Self-Parody: During Darryl's theme song takeover, one of the DVDs he's selling is "The Ghoul and Holly Hugee".
  • Shout-Out: During Darryl's theme song takeover, he tries to sell DVDs titled Reptilia and The Hoot Home.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • A san phra phum is an actual Thai concept.
    • Durians really do smell terrible and their scent has been compared to sewage, decaying flesh, and dirty socks. They also taste like custard, hence the saying "stinks like hell, tastes like heaven."
  • Silly Spook: Scratch the ghost often a Butt-Monkey, suffering Amusing Injuries of all sorts.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Bill Motz and Bob Roth's own Brandy & Mr. Whiskers. While both shows are about a Gleeful and Grumpy Pairing living with each other in an unfamiliar land, one is a completely zany and wacky episodic Status Quo Is God series, while the other is a slightly more grounded but still silly series that builds upon previous episodes and gives their characters plenty of development. Also, one has its respective duo be Vitriolic Best Buds, at best, while the other has its respective duo learn to become True Companions, overtime.
  • Spoof Aesop: At the end of "No Good Deed", after Molly spent the episode trying to teach her younger brother Darryl that Good Feels Good, he learns it can be hard to be a good person and that it takes a lot of effort to always do the right thing. From this, Darryl discovers the "real" takeaway from his sister's teachings...
    Darryl: Thanks Molly, you taught me a valuable lesson.
    Molly: Oh, what have you learned, Darryl?
    Darryl: Yeah, I learned that even when I try really good to be good, I still get things wrong, so I should just be me and hope for the best. (runs off to cause mayhem)
  • Surprisingly Functional Toys: Scratch uses a dollhouse in Molly's bedroom as his san phra phum, shrinking down to enter it. Though some of the furniture may just be stickers and decals on the walls, there's enough there for him to still exist semi-comfortably.
  • Swapped Roles: In this story, the Human haunts the Ghost.
  • Tampon Run: "A Period Piece" shows Pete and Scratch going shopping for period products for Libby's first period.
  • Title Theme Tune: "It's the ghost, it's the ghost and Molly McGee!"
  • Title-Only Opening: Episode 1 skips the theme song entirely and just has the logo to keep the plot going and introduce the characters.
  • Two Shorts: Each episode is made up of two 11 minute segments.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: The "Give Us Money" song has Molly trying to convince a woman driving by to sell her SUV and switch it for an electric car. The woman frantically tries driving away from her, but Molly is able to keep up on her bike as she tries hard to explain why electric cars are better.
  • Unintentionally Karmic: Scratch tries to frighten Molly away on their first meeting, only for her to react with friendliness and eagerness around him, leading to him accidentally cursing them together. In the series thus far, her cheerful can-do attitude only serves to irritate him and ruin his usual routine of scaring people.
  • The Unreveal: Towards the end of "Jinx Vs The Human World", Scratch resigns from his position as Chairman, and lets the robe look for another ghost worthy of becoming the next Chairman. In the next episode, "The End", we never find out who that is, or if the robe has even finished searching yet, because the one scene where the Ghost Council appears conveniently does not show if there is anyone in the Chairman's chair or not. Word of God later revealed on Twitter that had the show gotten a third season, there was going to be a story arc in which the robe chooses Ollie.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Although Molly is impossible for Scratch to scare from the start, once she foils his attempt to scare the rest of her family off they're surprisingly okay with his presence, her mother even taking the chance to try and get some money back from buying the house, which he lampshades. Molly's grandmother at least has the excuse of being from a culture where sharing space with ghosts isn't unusual, and being on the other end of a webcam.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Irving the Illusionist showing up offering to clean the gutters in "Out of House and Home" is what results in Pete getting injured upon trying to clean them himself, the family hustling to pay his medical bills, and them forgetting to pay their mortgage which results in them temporarily losing their house.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Grumpy Scratch still attempts to make Molly's life miserable, in spite of Molly's optimistic naivety, but eventually they show common ground in interests like tacos.
  • Voice of the Legion: Scratch speaks with a reverberating undertone when haunting or bestowing curses, or if he gets extremely pissed.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Scratch tries to scare Molly by floating her out of the attic after they meet. She comes back inside, asking if he can make her "fly" again. When he invokes the curse, she tells him it's a "fantastic performance".
  • What Is This Feeling?: After realizing in "First Day Frights" that encouraging everyone at school to bully Molly and turning her into a social outcast is just as cruel as everyone bullying him in the Ghost World, Scratch suffers a sudden pang of guilt and empathy. He knows deep down what it is, and he does not like it.
    Scratch: Ohhhhhh, no, no. [Pounding his head] C'mon! What's this feeling?! I've WON — you WON! [Clutching his chest] It's over! Molly McGee is as good as packed, and — [Contorts in pain] — a-and YET... AAAAAAAAAHHHH can'tbelieveI'mgoingtodothis...
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Many cities in the US are called Brighton, but just where is the Brighton in which the show takes place? It's downright parodied in the first episode by having the pin representing Brighton have a super close-up, so much that no other cities can be seen. However, future episodes lessen the ambiguity. In "The Greatest Concert Ever", Kenny Star's tour bus starts out somewhere in eastern Nebraska, and given an estimated arrival time of 30 minutes later, is scheduled to arrive in Brighton. The highway map Molly uses displays Interstate 80, and Iowa is about 30 minutes east of eastern Nebraska. "The Turnip Twist" confirms Brighton is somewhere in the Midwest, and "Saving Christmas" shows Brighton's position relative to the Great Lakes, being west of the southern edge of Lake Michigan, placing Brighton either in Illinois or on the eastern edge of Iowa.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Molly has bits of this, like when she seeks out Scratch for advice on handling her first day of school. When Scratch tries to influence her to think negative, Molly realizes she's being silly. She thanks him for serving as her soundboard.
  • Wretched Hive: Downplayed, but Brighton is a clearly miserable place to live before Molly and her family moved there, with stores and buildings boarded up and many things falling apart, cracked sidewalks everywhere showing that no one is maintaining things, Andrea ruling the middle school with an iron fist...
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: As said above under Next Sunday A.D., Brighton is shown to have been established in 1872, and one episode revolves around the 160th anniversary of the city, which puts the present day as 2032.


Molly and Emmie

Molly has a bit of trouble understanding her cousin Emmie, who frequently speaks Thai back home.

How well does it match the trope?

3.5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / LanguageBarrier

Media sources: