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Danny Phantom's second Made-for-TV Movie. With an all-important test coming up that he hasn't had time to study for, Danny finds himself in a pickle until he accidentally obtains the test answers. As he decides to cheat on the test, a mysterious ghost named Clockwork attempts to eliminate him to prevent his decision from having catastrophic effects on the world.

The Movie shows examples of:

  • Achievement Test of Destiny: Lancer promoting the CAT as this kick-starts the plot.
  • Admiring the Abomination: When Danny first sees his evil future self demolishing the human forces using his Ghostly Wail, he at first admires how awesome the attack is before a visual disapproval by Sam and Tucker cause him to immediately retract the admiration.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Most of Danny's Rogues Gallery suffer horrible fates because of Dark Danny's actions. Vlad Masters himself becomes The Atoner after he realizes that he has created a monster.
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  • All-Powerful Bystander: Clockwork has shown himself to be one of the most powerful ghosts in the Ghost Zone. It's a good thing he's not proactive most of the time.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In the Bad Future, Damon Grey and the Box Ghost are missing an arm.
  • Apocalypse How: Dark Danny single handedly brought about a Class 1 in the future. If it weren't for Danny, it probably would've been raised to a Class 3a.
  • Bad Future: And all just because of cheating on one little test.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Future Vlad gains one.
  • Beware the Superman: Dark Danny, big time though this more a case of an obvious outcome as Dark Danny killed his human half, the part of him that feels empathy, kindness, and remorse instead of Danny willingly allowing himself to be corrupted by his own power.
  • Big Word Shout: Young Danny discovers his Ghostly Wail like this when being attacked by the future versions of his enemies.
    Danny: No! Get away! Get away! GET AWAY! (Ghostly Wail blasts everyone away from him)
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Danny defeats Dark Danny, Clockwork saves the others from the Nasty Sauce explosion, and Danny officially accepts Jazz as a confidant. However, Danny had to come clean to Mr. Lancer about acquiring the answers to the test (although Mr. Lancer decides to let him retake it at a later time), and it's implied that the Fenton Thermos won't hold Dark Danny forever...
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Danny cheats on a test, which causes the horrible deaths of his entire family, his best friends, and his teacher.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Dark Danny is an unrepentant, sadistic, monster that revels in the evil he causes. Justified in that he is literally incapable of any positive emotions or have any positive qualities as he destroyed the human half of himself which was the part of him capable of morality, empathy, and remorse.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Nasty Sauce, that Danny remembers could blow up if it gets too hot helps him defeat Box Lunch. However, it then comes back with a negative use when it is what causes the explosion that'll take the lives of Danny's friends and family.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Boo-merang that is keyed into Danny's ecto signature both helps Jazz realize Dark Danny is impersonating Danny and to find Danny in the future.
  • Darker and Edgier: With death and destruction being rather rampant throughout most of the episode, all thanks to Dark Danny, who is perhaps the show's most evil villain, The Ultimate Enemy is tied with Kindred Spirits as the darkest episode in the entire series. It's also a fan favorite.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Dark Danny was shown to be a juggernaut that seemed unstoppable, with Future Valerie, Danny's enemies, and even an army of ghost fighters unable to stand against him. He was like this to such a degree that the Observants believed that killing Danny was the only way to keep him from coming into existence. However, through the use of some Fenton weapons and his newly acquired Ghostly Wail, Danny was able to defeat his evil self and trap him in the Fenton Thermos.
  • Despair Event Horizon: In the Bad Future, it was clear that Danny went over this line following the loss of his family and friends, leading him to the operation that resulted in Dark Danny's creation.
  • Deus ex Machina: Although Clockwork only intervenes in the climax because he concludes Danny earned it, the fact still remains that the Time Master stepped in and saved everyone when there was no way the hero could have done it on his own; Danny didn't reach his friends and family before the explosion killed (or would have killed...?) them. Even the Observants seem to see it this way when they tell him, "You cheated!"
  • Didn't Think This Through: Yes, asking Vlad for help makes perfect sense in context, and it works, but it's clear that Danny never considered what a big risk he was taking putting himself at the mercy of his Arch-Enemy. Of course, this winds up becoming subverted as Vlad decides to spare Danny's life.
    • Dark Danny should have least been somewhat aware of the probability that, given the time travel shenanigans on display, that his younger self would learn the Ghostly Wail ten years early.
  • Downer Beginning: Ten years in the future, the world is devastated, what's left of Amity Park is hiding under a giant ghost shield only for it be destroyed, and Danny is revealed to have become the most evil ghost to ever exist. Definitely one of the darkest ways to begin an episode.
  • Drama Bomb: Jawdropping. Not least for its awesomeness, abruptness, as well as its sudden venture into dark humour. Oh yes, and the brutal murders, so many brutal murders.
  • Driven to Villainy: [[spoiler:The deaths of his family and friends started Danny on the path that caused the creation of a powerful, monstrous shadow of himself with all of his powers and none of his heart.
  • Enemy Without: Dark Danny isn't really Danny but rather the ghost half of Danny that was created by the accident that gave Danny his powers. He's more like a duplicate of Danny with all of his memories and powers but none of his heart. After being seperated from Danny, he separates Vlad from his ghost self and over shadows him. This causes Danny's ghost self and Vlad's to merge with Danny's ghost self being dominant. Dark Danny is all of the negative aspects of Danny combined with Vlad's and having the power of both combined.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Vlad Plasimus is horrified by what Dark Danny does to his human half.
  • Evil Cripple: Future Johnny 13 is confined to a wheelchair thanks to his injuries from Dark Danny.
  • Evil Future Me Scares Me: Along with everyone else. In fact even though Dark Danny isn't really Danny (just his ghost self with all of his memories), Danny is still understandably horrified by Dark Danny as he knows that even if the future changes, Dark Danny could still exist if Danny himself makes the choice to be corrupted by his power start believing that Might Makes Right. In fact a version of Dark Danny created by Danny choosing to be evil could be even worse that the current version of Dark Danny as the current version lacks all positive emotions like love, happiness, and kindness. On the other hand these positive emotions can actually make negative emotions even stronger as current Dark Danny is just a spiteful, arrogant, Psychopathic Manchild but a version of Danny fueled by hatred from a lost love, sorrow from lost happiness, and cruelty from a lack of receiving kindness would be a rage driven furnace of destruction that feels absolutely justified in making the world burn.
  • Evil Plan: Dark Danny's is to destroy all of humanity at the beginning, then he switches it to ensuring the future he comes from after meeting his past self, Tucker, and Sam. The main flaw in this plan, however, is that with Past/Present Danny learning about that future, as well as learning about the main event that influenced it to come to pass, even if Dark Danny succeeded in killing off everyone important to his past self, there's no way his past self would do the same thing he did originally. He'd most likely ask Clockwork for a do-over and attempt to get everyone to safety before they'd die rather than going to Vlad and setting that chain of events in motion. It also makes you question who it was originally that Danny faced that set those events in motion because, even if it was Dark Danny, as it's implied to be, there's no way his plan would've worked in any case. In doing everything he does to set event in motion as he remembered them going, Dark Danny accidentally prevented his future from happening in a nice ironic bit of Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!. His hubris ultimately causes his downfall, as, even when Danny suggests it, he cannot envision a timeline where his past self doesn't go down the same path he did, thus he can't see himself losing, thus he gets defeated in the end.
  • Evil Twin: What Dark Danny ultimately is as he is the ghost half of Danny combined with Vlad's ghost half. Dark Danny is basically Danny's shadow with all of his memories but none of his heart. This would be bad enough but Danny is even more terrified of him because even if he stops his alternate self, it doesn't mean he couldn't still become him by simply throwing away morality and choosing evil of his own free will.
  • Eyepatch After Time Skip: The Box Ghost.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Danny's human half in his Bad Future. So much so that Vlad refuses to divulge any of the details. Some things are best left unsaid.
  • For Want of a Nail: Danny cheating on a test sets off a long string of events that ultimately end with his family, friends, and teacher dead and his ghost half splitting off from him, becoming evil, and attempting to destroy everything. At the end, Danny knows this ahead of time and thus chooses to not cheat in order to avoid this string.
    • In a different vain, however, Dark Danny fighting Danny in the climax results in Danny managing to learn the Ghostly Wail ten years earlier than he did originally.
  • Foreshadowing: At the C.A.T assembly, Irving comments that if Nasty Sauce gets too hot, it could cause a massive explosion.
  • Future Badass: Plenty, from Valerie to Box Ghost.
  • Futuristic Superhighway: In the brief shots of Future Amity Park, we're shown Flying Cars going down one of these.
  • Heel Realization: After being without ghost powers for ten years Bad Future Vlad realized what a fool he'd been, shunting his best friend away for marrying the woman he loved and resenting their happiness, leaving him to revel in his loneliness. You know it's genuine when he repaired the photo of him, Maddie, and Jack to include all of them, and outright admits that it's probably the only "good" that came out of the entire ordeal. Though he momentarily considered destroying Danny to change the future, he ultimately helped Danny return to his own time.
  • Heroic RRoD: At the absolute worst possible time, after defeating Dark Danny with the Ghostly Wail and trapping him in the Fenton Thermos, Danny rushes over to save the others from the Nasty Sauce... but he's too far away, he can't "Go Ghost", and the Nasty Sauce is seconds away from blowing.
  • Heroic Vow: Danny promises his family and friends that he will not turn into Dark Danny. Dark Danny mocks him for it.
    Dark Danny: Oh, you are such a child! You promised?
  • Hook Hand: The Box Ghost of the Bad Future has one to replace his missing hand.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Dark Danny. So, so much. Unlike any other villain before or after him, even Vlad Plasmius, there is nothing humorous or light-hearted about him.
  • Last Disrespects: While Danny's family and friends get a statue erected in their honor that says "Gone, but Not Forgotten", Mr. Lancer's statue is sinking in the ground and just says "Gone".
  • Literal Split Personality: How Dark Danny was created: Danny has Vlad use a device to separate his ghost half from his human half, except Ghost Danny becomes malicious for some reason. Ghost Danny then takes the device and uses it on Vlad to separate his ghost and human halves, and overshadows Ghost Vlad for some reason, resulting in the two of them fusing together into Dark Danny. Then he kills Human Danny, in a manner so brutal that Human Vlad refuses to describe it.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Observants took an oath "To watch and never act," but judging by how annoyed Clockwork is by them "bring[ing] me in to do your dirty work" again, they regularly try to get around this by asking him to act instead.
  • Made of Explodium: Due to being made of a unique blend of forty-two herbs and spices, Nasty Burger's Nasty Sauce has the potential to be a liquid bomb if it gets too hot.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The most prominent ghost power in this special is the Ghostly Wail, which first appeared when Dark Danny knocked out the towers generating the ghost shield around Amity Park, then Danny himself got it when he was being attacked by future versions of his enemies. It came in quite handy during the climatic battle with Dark Danny, not to mention shocking him as Danny got it ten years earlier than him, proving the future could be changed.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Summed up by Tucker when he and Sam figure out what causes the Bad Future.
    Tucker: Let me get this straight. Danny gets caught cheating on a test, and we pay for it with our lives? How is that fair?
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Clockwork sends Box Lunch back in time to eliminate Danny before he turns evil. Danny's fight with Box Lunch sets the events that lead to Danny losing everything that mattered to him leading to the creation of Dark Danny (Danny acquiring the test answers and the explosion that would take the lives of his family and friends).
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Future Box Ghost is a lot more powerful and serious than he is in the past. Also, the fact that he's got a hook for a hand and is missing an eye is terrifying. He's also lost the high-pitched voice and is now a Guttural Growler.
    Box Ghost: Beware...
  • Painful Transformation: Dark Danny's creation.
  • Pet the Dog: After Danny confesses to peaking at the test answers, Mr. Lancer is happy that Danny was honest about it and allows him to take the make-up test the following week, even reassuring him he'll have plenty of time to study for it.
  • Power Nullifier: One of SkulkTech's weapons is a device called the Phantom Palm Pummeler which can short out ghost powers. Dark Danny is too powerful for it to affect him but it can work on present-day Danny.
  • Race Against the Clock: The final battle between Danny and Dark Danny: Danny returned to the past after Dark Danny strapped everyone to the tanks, and they're getting ready to blow...
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: When the temperature of the Nasty Sauce reaches critical, the temperature gauge actually broke.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dark Danny openly mocks Jack and Maddie for being oblivious parents.
    Dark Danny: What kind of parents are you, anyway? The world's leading ghost experts, and you can't figure out that your own son was half-ghost! ... Hello? Danny Fenton. Danny Phantom. Ever notice the similarity? Jazz did.
  • San Dimas Time: While Dark Danny is in the past carrying out his plan to solidify his existence, Danny is trapped in the future trying to get back to his own time. He doesn't get back until after Dark Danny has strapped everyone to the explosive tanks of Nasty Sauce.
  • Screw Destiny: At a very crucial moment in the Final Battle, Danny manages to spit in the face of 10 years worth of history and use the Ghostly Wail against Dark Danny.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Dark Danny was sealed away in a Fenton Thermos and left with Clockwork, though for how long is unknown.
  • Secret Test of Character: Clockwork's plan in general. He knows Danny's a good if brash kid and doesn't deserve the dreary future set for him. So he allows Danny into said Bad Future to see if he can change things.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Dark Danny didn't just kill his parents, he killed his sister, his friends, and his teacher... just to secure his own future.
  • Serious Business: The CAT. If you fail this one test in your freshman year of high school you will be forever doomed to spend the rest of your life working a dead end job at the local fast food joint. On the other hand, if you score high on the test, as Jazz did, the most successful future possible is assured.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: This is the reason the Observants want Clockwork to destroy Danny. Fortunately, Clockwork has his own way of resolving this.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    Clockwork: That's the problem with you Observants — all you do is observe.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Or rather blow them up.
  • Stable Time Loop: Clockwork sends Box Lunch back in time to kill Danny before the Bad Future happens, which is a result of the Nasty Burger exploding and taking pretty much everyone Danny cares about with it. However, Danny and Box Lunch's fight is what leads to the Nasty Burger's later explosion (as well as Danny getting the test answers). Fortunately, this Stable Time Loop is broken thanks to Clockwork's intervention.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Dark Danny traps Danny in the future while he goes back in time to make sure the events that lead to his existence still happen. Danny can't travel back to the past until he removes the time traveling medallion his future self fused inside him. The only person he can go to for help is the future version of Vlad Masters, who's now become The Atoner, planning to have him use the Ghost Gauntlets to remove the medallion so he can return to the past and stop his future self. Vlad, however, points out that he could also just kill Danny on the spot and prevent the Bad Future from ever happening ("Didn't think of that, did you?"); fortunately, he doesn't go through with it.
  • Time Stands Still: One of Clockwork's powers, as shown when he fights with Danny, is that he can use his staff to freeze time.
    • This is how the conflict is ultimately resolved. Clockwork intervenes in the last possible moment when the Nasty Sauce explodes, saving Danny and the others, and (as a bonus) takes Danny back to before Dark Danny took the C.A.Ts in his place so that he could set things right.
  • Time Travel: This movie lives, breathes, and thrives on it, if you couldn't already tell.
  • Time Dissonance: Clockwork doesn't view time the linear way humans (and the Observants) do.
    Clockwork: For me, time moves backwards and forwards and... oh, why am I bothering? You're fourteen.
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Since Clockwork's lair is "outside of time," all points in history are equally past, present, and future.
    Clockwork: I sent him back to his own time. Or should I say, forward to his own time.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Many of Danny's enemies have many Affably Evil moments and/or comedic.. Dark Danny is never Affably Evil and his atrocities are played dead serious...as his ghost status would indicate.
  • Wham Line: When Future Valerie sees Present-Day Tucker and Sam, she’s absolutely stunned that they’re living and breathing.
    Future Valerie: Sam? Tucker? It’s not possible...This is a trick! YOU CAN’T BE ALIVE!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • While the accident that takes the lives of Danny's family and friends is averted, the fact that Nasty Burger is still going to explode is not addressed at the end of the episode.
    • The Fright Knight completely disappears after his only appearance, which is before the theme song.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Explictly implied: Danny is stuck in the future because of Dark Danny phasing the time medallion keeping him tethered there into his body, and seeks out Future Vlad to help him out. As he is readying the Ghost Gauntlets to help Danny out, Future Vlad lays out the current situation: he can either remove Danny's time medallion, so he can stop Dark Danny from causing the Bad Future to come to fruition, or he can just kill Danny outright and get the same result. We then immediately cut away as Danny screams in pain... and then later on, Danny reappears in the past.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The episode shares the basic premise of the Darkwing Duck episode "Time and Punishment" (a Time Travel plot where losing loved ones drives the hero to become the most powerful, most feared villain of all time in the future, and someone must go back to the present to Set Right What Once Went Wrong).
  • You Can't Fight Fate: This is Dark Danny's attitude throughout most of the film, believing that Danny's Bad Future is inevitable. However, Danny's will to Screw Destiny was so strong he gained the Ghostly Wail, Dark Danny's most powerful ability, ten years early, shocking Dark Danny in more ways than one.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: This is what Future Vlad said to Danny regarding the fate of Danny's human self in the future.
    Vlad: Some things, my boy...are better left unsaid.

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