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    A-E 
  • Accidental Aesop: For Masters of All Time, it seems to be that not everyone with the same life-changing experience is going to turn out the same as another. In the alternate timeline, Jack ends up suffering Vlad's hardships. But unlike Vlad, who used his ghost powers for his own selfish ends, Jack made an effort to be a hero, even if he wasn't very good at it.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • In "What You Want":
    Tucker: It was our [Danny and Tucker] first argument, and we were having it over a girl [Paulina]! Well, ''in'' one, actually. But you get the point.
    • The Box Ghost and Lunch Lady's daughter from the future in "The Ultimate Enemy" being named Box Lunch is most unfortunate to viewers with dirty minds, as the term "box lunch" in some circles is slang for cunnilingus.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is it possible than Sam may be in love with Danny Phantom more than Danny Fenton? Is this the real reason why she acted so pissed during the Grand Finale when he briefly and willingly took away his own powers? This makes a lot of sense with the episode "Double Cross My Heart", where Sam's new crush just so happens to have white hair (which is even in a similar style to Danny's), wears only black and white, and has green eyes. On the other hand, in Identity Crisis, she doesn't enjoy the presence of Ghost Danny after he split into his own person and acts like a Silver Age superhero, although Human Danny was far from ideal to be around either.
    • Vlad: Sympathetic villain who deserves the love he's sought, or a jerk who lost that chance years ago and needs to get his karmic justification, or The Sociopath who "loves" Maddie as one adores a painting, and would treat her such? The "bad" timeline where he gets her would suggest this...
    • Considering how easily Tucker is corrupted by his vice and how little time he's given in Season 3, it's possible that he's secretly devising an evil plot to wipe out his friends and take over the world. He becomes a mayor by the end of the series, giving him a significant portion of power in his hometown.
    • A somewhat common interpretation for Danny is that he has developed into a Stepford Smiler, explaining why he's remained pretty damn chipper through the whole show, especially after the events of "The Ultimate Enemy", which by all means could have (and should have) traumatized him.
    • This tumblr page suggests that Danielle may be a Stepford Smiler over her severing ties with Vlad and having Danny as her only family, and her life alone on the streets. It also suggests the reason she doesn't stay with Danny isn't "because she had places to go" but out of guilt over the trouble she caused him.
    • Princess Dorathea. Did she undergo a Heel–Face Turn at the end of "Beauty Marked" or was she merely rebelling against her brother? Was she ever truly an antagonist or was it her amulet that caused her to become aggressive? Though she never seemed to have much of a personal problem with Danny she was shown to be friends with most of his Rogues Gallery in "Reign Storm".
    • A common theory in later years is that Mr. Lancer knew that Danny Fenton and Danny Phantom were one and the same the whole time and only gave Danny a hard time to make sure he doesn't fail. There were many episodes that provide evidence for this theory. In "Mystery Meat", when Danny mentions he finally figured out what his powers for, and when he says "they make me...", Lancer finishes his next sentence by saying "... in a world of trouble" as if he heard what Danny said. During "The Ultimate Enemy", he assumes Danny stole the answers to the C.A.T. even though he admits to Jazz he wouldn't know how he did it unless Danny gained the ability to turn invisible and pass through solid objects, being very specific with his words and doesn't even suggest any other student was responsible. Most notable is in "Phantom Planet", where when Tucker gives a presentation on saving the world with Danny Phantom on stage, he mutters that they never bothered to put that much effort in their school work, and he'd have no reason to say they if Danny Phantom wasn't his student.
  • Alternate Self Shipping:
    • Somehow, there are Danny Fenton×Danny Phantom pairing fan-works, even though they're the same person... at least when Danny hasn't used the Fenton Ghost Catcher to separate his human and ghost halves, that is. Some of said fanfics involve said invention, and others take place in an alternate universe where they're completely different people. This ship is even common enough to have not one, but three names: Pitch Pearl is the standard name, Red Pearl is for when Phantom is under Freakshow's control, and Heroic Amusement is for when the fanwork is based heavily on the episode "Identity Crisis" (which itself is likely the main reason for this ship, due to it containing an instance of Danny being temporarily split into two people).
    • Danny also gets shipped with his Opposite-Sex Clone Dani, as well as his Ax-Crazy future self.
  • Anvilicious: Many episodes have aesops, and many of them aren't exactly subtle about said lessons. "Livin' Large" is generally agreed to be among the worst offenders.
    • Living in the past and being obsessed with what could've been is unhealthy. The show shows this moral by depicting someone fixated on a grudge from his college days as a despicable supervillain who eagerly beats teenagers and tries to murder his old friend. By the end of the series, this obsession has left Vlad with nothing, not even Jack's friendship.
    • "The Fright Before Christmas" has Danny lecture the main villain (and the audience) that just because you've had rotten Christmases in the past, doesn't give you the right to be a jerk on the holidays, especially to people who love the holidays.
  • Arc Fatigue: The whole Danny and Sam romance that took place through the whole show and only became official in the series finale. It's understandably jarring that it was 50 episodes to sit through that constantly brought it nowhere; and by the end of the series when it officially completed, they might as well have been done with it midway through the series. Many fans consider the ongoing Danny and Sam subplot to be the weakest part of Season 3.
  • Awesome Art: One of the many praises about the show is that it's more detailed in both visuals and character designs, compared to Fairly Oddparents (Hartman's previous show).
  • Awesome Music:
    • Ember's theme is an excellent punk pop song whose lyrics reveal her backstory.
    • Also the intro song. In addition to being one of the most iconic things about the show, it's easily one of the most beloved theme songs of 2000s animated TV. It's a rap song that has amazing guitars to complement the flow.
    • The original theme song deserves a mention as well. It's pretty catchy like the one in the show, but there are a few nice differences that make it uniquely special.
    • The cool tunes that play during the title cards are always a good indicator of the tone of the episode. Each version is distinct as they use different instruments.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Skulker at first was the most dangerous enemy Danny encountered, but in his following appearances, he became less and less a serious threat, only showing competence one or two times during his encounters with Danny.
    • Vlad also suffered from this. In the beginning, he was shown to be the most powerful enemy Danny had, being able to easily defeat Danny with one hand behind his back. However, such success diminished overtime when he encountered the likes of Pariah Dark and Vortex. Danny was even able to beat him a few times. Both of these may have been intentional, in order to showcase Danny’s growth.
    • Danny himself seemed to suffer this in Season 3. Following two seasons that developed his growth as a character, the third season regressed him to doing rather idiotic things, became extremely selfish, and depending far too heavily on Sam.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Sam Manson is probably the biggest example in the whole show. She is a polarizing figure due to being bossy and hypocritical in the eyes of many fans, usually as a means to push her agenda. Some examples include temporarily forcing her Ultra-Recyclo Vegetarian diet on the entirety of Casper High without the consent (or even knowledge) of her peers, even in the face of a ghost attack, protesting a completely voluntary beauty contest (viewing it as sexist), and using Danny's powers for her own gain despite telling him he should be selfless with them. Her fans, on the other hand, view her as a lonely teenager struggling with an unhappy home life who strives to be the voice of reason even when it gets her flack from her friends, in addition to romanticizing her (eventually canonical) relationship with Danny.
    • Jack Fenton. Some fans see him as a Bumbling Dad who is genuinely funny and with some awesome moments. Others see him as an incredibly irresponsible, Fantastic Racist, violent would-be Mad Scientist with a skewed sense of morality, whose carelessness had caused the entire plot.
    • In some extent, Danielle "Dani" Phantom. Part of the fans think she has no interesting personality, others think she is an interesting character with unexplored potential.
    • Tucker Foley to an extent as well. Some fans find his character to be funny and endearing, while others find him obnoxious.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The random iguana-ghost attack during the beginning of "King Tuck". It's never mentioned again for the rest of the episode.
  • Cliché Storm:
    • The show is a cliché storm for the superhero genre, but usually makes it all work somehow, probably because the show had a heavy emphasis on comedy; the writing made it clear that they knew it was all cliched, so at times, it could come off as an Affectionate Parody of the superhero genre.
    • It's also a cliché storm for animated high school shows, having all the common stereotypes (Alpha Bitch, Jerk Jock, goth, nerd) and plot devices (teen parties, class presidential elections, field trips, science projects, aptitude tests), although the catch is Danny juggling these typical teen issues along with his superhero career.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • Most of the fandom knows that Danny, Vlad and Danielle are a type of being known as a "Halfa", half a human and half a ghost. The term "Halfa" is only used once in the series and was seen as the official term, with it being used in the web series DEATH BATTLE!. However, this is actually not true, there is no actual official term for being a human with ghost powers other than a basic description of "half-ghost". Danny was called the Halfa by Sidney Poindexter and ghosts from Casper High's older days, because that was a name for what they were calling him before his alias of Danny Phantom became more well known.
    • "Urban Jungle" introduced the concept of cores. Frostbite mentions that Danny's central core readings indicated extreme cold, confirming his body is self-generating it. This opened the fandom to the idea of elemental cores, from ice to fire, and how all ghosts carried these and what kind of abilities they have. Except, that's not what Frostbite meant. He was referring to Danny's internal body temperature, something very human. Cores are a fanon concept born from a misunderstanding.
  • Crack Pairing: "Pitch Pearl" (Danny Phantom/Danny Fenton) and "Haunted Past" (Danny Phantom/Dan Phantom). The worst part is that both are entirely possible in canon.
  • Creator Worship: While his other works are received as mixed at best, Butch Hartman still to this day gets compliments for Danny Phantom.
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Death of the Author: Despite Butch Hartman's insistence that the ghosts in the series are not spirits of the dead, many fans continue to view them that way anyway. It's not hard to see why either, given that the first 2 seasons portray them the opposite way of how Butch views them.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Vlad is the second most paired off character in the series. The fact that he has plotted and would commit murder, was responsible for many people getting hurt in attacks and Dark Danny in one timeline doesn't matter much to most of his fangirls. They see (as the entry puts it) a "...suave, handsome, charismatic, obscenely rich, relatively competent, with an alternate form heavily resembling a vampire and superficially sympathetic motives (he wants to make his old love interest his wife and his arch-nemesis his son): a perfect object for fangirl lust..."
    • Dark Danny also has his fans. Most notable thing about him is his voice and body, but most fans tend to forget he's a mass murdering psychopath that would as just as soon do this to them as kiss them... if they're lucky. Remember, he is a sadist.
    • Both Ember and Desiree are subject to this treatment as well, because they're both said to have had very tragic pasts, which make fans believe that they're not truly evil deep down, just confused and desperately wanting love. There's also the fact that both of them tend to be popular with fanboys for reasons you can well imagine.
    • Penelope Spectra is an even worse example. While Ember isn’t particularly malicious and Desiree at least isn’t exactly out to kill anyone, Spectra is a sadistic psychopath with very few redeeming qualities. Yet she has almost as many fans who consider her not to be evil.
    • According to fans, the Ghost Writer is one Hot Librarian. Downplayed, since he wasn't evil, just overzealous in trying to teach Danny a lesson.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Clockwork. For a character only appearing in two episodes, he has amassed quite a following.
    • Same for Ghost Writer, especially with the fangirls. One episode and there are SWARMS of fanart of him everywhere.
    • Don't even get started on Dark Danny. He only appeared once, but what an impression.
    • And for the fanboys, there is Desiree, a Literal Genie with a sympathetic backstory, and one of the best bodies in 2-D animation, and Ember McLain who is a ghostly rocker girl voiced by Tara Strong, sings a very catchy song and has a rather dark and very sympathetic backstory.
    • Spectra, Skulker, and THE BOX GHOST!
    • Freakshow, the only human character who could truly be considered an antagonist. He only appeared as the Big Bad of one episode, and the third TV movie, but is one of the more popular villains, with the general consensus being that They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character.
    • For such a minor character, Star has a surprising amount of love. There are a surprising amount of fans who are even wishing to have seen her as a potential love interest for Danny.
    • Wes Weston, a background character from the episode "Shades of Gray" that exploded in popularity. His fan name comes from a joke in "Flirting with Disaster" in which Sam holds a class ring given to Danny (with her name engraved in it) upside down and wonders "Who the heck is Wes?"
    • Cujo the Ghost Dog, despite having only one major appearance and a cameo in a few, has a following. Since Danny admitted he always wanted a dog, it's not uncommon for fanfiction to have Danny properly adopt the ghost pup.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Butch Hartman wrote "Phantom Planet" as a means of trying to wrap the series up. However, instead of bringing finality, many see a lot of problems with its ending. Danny's secret has been revealed to the world, but just because he saved the world doesn't mean humans who hate or hunt Danny Phantom, like the Guys in White, will leave him alone ("Reality Trip" showed exactly how that would go, a season prior). Tucker Foley is now mayor, meaning Amity Park is governed by an underage, technology obsessed teenager with zero skills in leadership. Also, too many subplots are left hanging, from Danielle still remaining a homeless girl to Valerie still living in her poor conditioned apartment.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Vlad Masters, adorned in a black suit.
    • Also Dark Danny, whose voice acting was so brilliant it stands out in the fandom.
    • Ghost Writer. (Although he wasn't so much a villain as he was excessive in teaching Danny a lesson about being a jerk on Christmas.)

    F-L 
  • Fanwork-Only Fans: The show has a large sect of fans who don't care for the show, itself, but love the fanworks because they are enamored with some of the characters.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A fair amount of fans give Season 3 this treatment. Even among those who enjoy the show's final season are split on the grand finale, Phantom Planet. There are just as many popular fanworks that acknowledge its events as there are those that completely ignore it.
  • Fan-Preferred Cut Content: While next to nothing is known about, many fans think the Darker and Edgier route that Steve Marmel wanted to take the series for Season 3 would have been more interesting than what did get produced.
  • Foe Yay Shipping:
    • Danny and Vlad. Vlad's first appearance alone has him creeping into Danny's room just watching the boy struggle in his sleep, then there's Danny's foot massage request in "Torrent of Terror", plus the multiple attempts Vlad has done to try and lure Danny into the dark side which when taken in a different context, it sounds almost seductive. And "Eye for an Eye" which is a treasure trove of subtext quotes ("I'm rubbing your nose in this mess you made, Daniel, doesn't it smell yummy?" and "You forgot to take your supplements, have a dose of vitamin-ME!" for example). That episode also has them seeing each other naked. Then there's the fact Vlad made a prepubescent female clone of him... whom he only planned to use to perfect a male clone. The Slade-Robin similarities don't exactly help, either. Given Vlad's obsession with Danny's mother and desire to make Danny his son, Freud would definitely have something Oedipal related to say about it.
    • Dark Danny and Danny have one-sided tension, with Dark Danny being the one generating it. At one point, he forces a Time Medallion inside Danny's body while Danny screams in pain.
    • Valerie and Danny in their secret identities also get a bit of tension, which is especially egregious considering they dated for a while as their normal selves.
    • Danny and Ember are a popular ship despite neither showing any interest in each other. Adding is that in his third "10 years later" video, Butch Hartman suggested Ember would probably be in love with Danny as he gets older but she would deny it.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • The show is popular with fans of Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja and American Dragon: Jake Long, due to their similar concepts (teenage boy heroes with friends who know about their secret identities and fend off a multitude of different enemies).
    • During the show's run, it wasn't hard to find people who loved both this and Teen Titans (2003), as they aired during the same years.
    • Due to both shows being on in almost the same years, as well as sharing many of the same tropes, character archetypes, and other similarities, you're bound to find people who love this series and the original Ben 10 series as well. One fan is making his own fan comic continuing the stories of both franchises, only set 5 years after their each franchise's last incarnations (Omniverse for Ben 10, since the latest incarnation is a reboot).
    • Even years after the two shows' runs, comparisons with Kim Possible are common, right down to have the same lead designer, Stephen Silver. As such, suggestions by fans of a crossover, despite the two shows owned by competitors (Nickelodeon for Danny and Disney for Kim), were not hard to find. It helps that Danny and Kim are a popular ship in fanfiction.
    • Miraculous Ladybug is another common comparison, as it also features 14-year-old superheroes who have to juggle their superhero duties and secret identities with ordinary teen life.
    • Gravity Falls also features teen characters dealing with ghosts, the supernatural, time travel, The Men in Black, and other dimensions. This crossover idea is so popular it has it's own name: Phantom Falls.
    • If the similarities aren't a deal-breaker for them, there's one with Ghost Force. With the possibility of a revival very unlikely, and Butch Hartman becoming a more controversial figure in recent years, some have looked to this as a Spiritual Successor.
  • Growing the Beard: Though Season 1 had its continuity and Story Arc (the first nine episodes are known by the fandom as The Magnificent Nine), Season 2 upped the ante with deeper, darker plots and more Character Development.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Everything about Ember and her character trait of wanting everyone to remember her name, after an insane YouTuber who was fanatically obsessed with her decided to commit a murder-suicide spree shooting in 2017, acting under his own delusional fantasies that she wasn't just a fictional character.
    • The scene where Butch Hartman and Steve Marmel play two announcers at the football game in "What You Want" may be harder to watch when the two's partnership and friendship came to an end before Season 3 was started.
    • In the final episode, Danny Phantom gives out a message to the whole planet to prevent certain destruction, which went "If we all come together, not as separate nations but as one world, we can do this." This is in some way reflective of various campaigns and meetings of fans of the series across the country coming together to make Nickelodeon change their minds about the show's cancellation. Unlike saving the Earth from disaster, this plan to save the series did not pan out.
  • Ho Yay: Danny and Tucker wind up in a Sleep Cute position (which is currently the page image for this trope in Western Animation).
    • Some fans even shipped Danny and Dash.
    • After seeing their combined form in “The Ultimate Enemy”, some fans started shipping Skulker and Technus.
  • Hype Backlash: The opinion of the show being an incredible landmark series for Nickelodeon is not a universal one. While it still has a strong and passionate fanbase, the sheer amount of Base Breaking Characters and the show's unsatisfying ending can put new viewers off.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming:
    • Amethyst Ocean = Danny/Sam
    • Pompous Pep = Vlad/Danny
    • Gray Ghost = Danny/Valerie
    • Pink Astronaut = Paulina/Danny
    • Pitch Pearl = Danny Phantom/Danny Fenton
    • Veggie Burger = Tucker/Sam
    • Phantom Rocker = Danny/Ember
    • “Hunter’s Flame” or “Metalheads” = Skulker/Ember
    • “Teddy Ghost” or “Swagger Bishie” = Danny/Dash
    • "Temporal Trust" = Danny/Clockwork
  • Inferred Holocaust: In "Torrent of Terror," Vortex causes natural disasters all over the world. Although nothing's directly said on-screen, there's no way there weren't at least a few casualties.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • Any argument against Sam's viewpoint. This varies from keeping the last of an endangered species in a zoo as opposed to the wild (One of a Kind), entering a beauty pageant to show how it is a "throw back to the dark ages" for women despite being voluntary (Beauty Marked) and Danny giving up his powers voluntarily to keep his loved ones out of danger (Phantom Planet).
    • Danny in Episode 5 for trying to fight back against the Jerk Jock bullies. Admittedly, it's just in how he handles things, but he's still put in the wrong for doing something about the constant bullying at the school. Same in "Reign Storm," where Danny is once again vilified for using his powers to stand up to Dash.
  • Jerks Are Worse Than Villains: While the ghost villains are no doubt evil, they're so entertaining to watch and often have such sympathetic backstories that it's hard to truly hate them. The majority of human characters, however, such as The Guys In White, are controversial for either having little to no such entertaining or sympathic traits or interesting backstories, and only existing to be one-note antagonists.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The future versions of Danny's Rogues Gallery in The Ultimate Enemy. All of them are still responsible for the things they did in Danny's timeline and want to kill him, but it's clear the future they come from, and in turn dealing with Dark Danny, has not been kind to them, and their desire to kill him is more so that Dark Danny can't come to exist. Valerie is left the sole defender Amity has, Ember went to seed after her vocal cords were damaged, Johnny 13 is left wheelchair bound, the Box Ghost lost an eye and hand, and even Vlad has become The Atoner after realizing what his actions have done. Fortunately for them, Vlad manages to help Danny return to the past and avert the event that set into motion Dark Danny's creation.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: To promote Bunsen Is a Beast, Hartman produced an animated short called The Fairly Odd Phantom that was a crossover of all his shows at Nickelodeon. As the now-deleted YouTube comments of the short would dictate, most only watched it to see Danny make an appearance for the first time in a decade.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Seriously, the fans pair Danny up with everyone... and everything. As shown in Crossover Ship, not just characters from his series. Many of these pairings have nicknames, such as Pitch Pearl. Strangest might possibly be Danny x Thermos. (Granted the pairing was created as a gag due to the craziness of the fandom at the time. That didn't stop someone from initiating Rule 34 for this pairing, though...)
    • His mother, Maddie, is no slouch in this regard, either. She's been shipped with Vlad, Danny, Spectra, Sam, and any other character you can think of.
  • Love to Hate: Dark Danny. Although he only appeared in one episode, he received high amounts of praise for his amazing voice acting (courtesy of Eric Roberts) and being a legitimately terrifying villain. Many people even wanted him to return before the series ended.

    M-S 
  • Memetic Bystander: An incidental Casper High student the fans dubbed "Wes Weston". He's a background character with next to no screen time and no lines who people turned to as an explanation for why nobody figures out that Danny Fenton is Danny Phantom - said background character had enough similarities to Danny's ghost form that one could assume the resemblance really isn't enough of a clue by itself. Then somehow the character gained the name Wes (in reference to a scene in which someone reads Sam's name upside down and wonders who "Wes" is) and became one of the only ones to know Danny's Secret Identity, who tries to tell people that Danny is a ghost but is never believed, and is often teased by Danny and/or assumed to be Phantom himself.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • The Box Ghost is an In-Universe example. Danny often pokes fun at how completely useless he is and often doesn’t even bother capturing him.
    • Vlad Masters is subjected to this by some, as he comes across as being extremely pathetic thanks to being extremely rich, well-liked by his community (until he lost his Villain with Good Publicity status), and having super powers, yet still being miserable due to his obsession with Maddie, a woman who is canonically shown to be unhappy precisely because of him and his refusal to let her pursue her obsession with ghosts and love of ghost-hunting in an alternate timeline where he managed to marry her in the episode Masters of All Time, as well as how he wants Danny to admire him and treat him like he's his father, even though Danny himself has nothing but hatred and disrespect towards Vlad because of how he wants to murder Jack.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Phantomrose96's infamous "It's not gay if he's dead", which cannot be escaped from.
    • "He's a fanta!" is used to similar effect as Kim Pastabowl.
    • Danno/the Dannypocalypseexplanation
  • Mind Game Ship: Ala Teen Titans (2003). Some Shippers just took it and ran with it.
  • Moe: Danielle.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Vlad got his own crossing of the Moral Event Horizon when he treated Danielle as less than human. Then in the penultimate episode, he tries to melt her alive.
    • Spectra crosses this in "Doctor's Disorders', when she infects Casper High with a ghost virus, knowing that it would be fatal. She nearly crossed this beforehand—trying to kill Jazz and force Danny to watch so he could cross the Despair Event Horizon and she could feed off his sorrow—but fortunately is foiled before she can.
    • Freakshow crosses it when he reveals he lied about sparing Danny's family and placed them on a roller coaster designed with traps set to kill them, despite that he had a brief moment where he almost formed an Odd Friendship with Jazz.
  • My Real Daddy: Although Butch Hartman is creator and executive producer of the series, many people in recent years have begun to credit at least 2 other members of the crew over him for the show's original success.
    • While "Danny" is undoubtedly the product of Butch's imagination, many fans feel that co-writer Steve Marmel, who was the show's lead developer for Season 1 and Season 2, is the real reason for the show's acclaimed success seeing how it suffered from Seasonal Rot following his departure, and considering the amount of controversy Butch has started in recent years on social media, many fans who have turned against Butch now consider Steve to be the true creator behind the show.
    • This also extends to character design. While Butch also draws and came up with many concept drawings for the main character, Stephen Silver was the one who fleshed out Danny's appearance, even designing the logo on his chest. This has also extended into recent years with Hartman's art style being heavily criticized, which caused many to credit Silver more than him for how the characters look. To be clear, compare Butch's drawing of Danny at 24 to Stephen's take.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Depending on how you view it, Vlad's obsession with killing Jack for marrying Maddie so that he can have Maddie and Danny all to himself can come across as being laughably pathetic rather than genuinely disturbing for a kids' show, considering that Jack spent most of the series blissfully unaware of how much Vlad hates him and Maddie is also unaware of his feelings towards her, as well as Danny repeatedly demonstrates that he has nothing but disdain and disrespect towards Vlad, which can really make him look pathetic. It doesn't help that it's shown in Masters of All Time that Maddie would have been incredibly unhappy married to Vlad due to him forbidding her from pursuing her interests in ghosts and ghost-hunting, something that she can freely do with Jack, meaning that Vlad couldn't even be a good husband to her even if he married her.
  • Older Than They Think:
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Played With. Although Butch Hartman is the creator of the series, Steve Marmel is co-creator and many felt him leaving the show is the nail in the coffin as the third season lacked much of the magic the series had prior. It doesn't help that Hartman himself would become a divisive figure in the years since the show's end.
  • Once Original, Now Common: Danny Phantom was the first Nickelodeon original series to be a 22-minute action show with an ongoing narrative and story arcs. However, Avatar: The Last Airbender, which aired the next year, would also follow that structure, but has a much larger audience. It probably didn't help due to Danny Phantom's more cartoony aesthetic and moments of self-aware humor towards its clichés over Avatar's Animesque visuals with more serious and character driven narrative during a time in which anime was growing in popularity with American children. In addition, many shows in more recent years, such as Steven Universe, also have simpler designs and some level of self-awareness, but also aimed to be more serious and character driven. This does not make the series worse with age, as one can see Danny Phantom as a notable first step than anything else.
  • Periphery Demographic:
    • Despite being penned as a "Boy's Action Show", The fangirls of mostly the teenage and college age variety eat this show up.
    • There are also many adult male fans who are mainly here for the large amount of attractive ladies - Maddie, Desiree and Ember in particular have especially noteworthy amounts of fanboys.
  • Popular with Furries: Wulf, a tragic Esperanto-speaking Wolf Man and Frostbite, a Gentle Giant snow monster get a lot more love from the furry side on the internet than anywhere else. It helps that both are quite huge, too. The show even subtly referenced this phenomenon in "Reality Trip", where Tucker admitted that he had the hots for a wolf supervillainess. This ironically led to both the villainess and Tucker becoming popular in the furry fandom.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • SkulkTech = Skulker/Technus (inspired by their combined form in “The Ultimate Enemy”.)
    • Box Lunch is technically this given form, seeing as how she’s the daughter of the Box Ghost and the Lunch Lady.
  • Questionable Casting: While Rob Paulsen is by no means a bad voice actor, and performed a good impression of Gilbert Gottfried when voicing Technus, it seems rather odd that no one hired the real Gilbert Gottfried to voice Technus.
  • Rainbow Lens: Danny is scared and confused when the accident turns him half-ghost and spends most of the series trying to keep the truth from getting out. He only allows his closest friends to know about this part of himself. He is especially sure to keep this secret away from his family - his parents in-particular, who possess a dehumanizing, almost zealot-like opinion against ghosts - with Jazz agreeing to keep it a secret out of love for her little brother when she finds out about it. When his parents do find out, they are more shock and appalled at themselves that their son had to go such lengths to keep this secret from them. The whole thing reads like a Coming-Out Story for a teenager realizes that they are LGBT+, some reading him as transgender or non-binary due to his conflicting nature as half-human, half-ghost. Which becomes rather ironic in the light of creator Butch Hartman being, diplomatically, very conservative in his views, having occasionally voiced his concerns about the LGBT+ community.
  • Realism-Induced Horror:
    • Across the many villainous ghosts Danny has had to deal with over the show's run, Penelope Spectra's MO of posing as a school counselor and gaslighting the students over their various insecurities remains one of the most distressingly realistic. Many teenagers have had bad counselor experiences where they are blamed for their own problems or otherwise given irrelevant advice that overlooks their actual issues, and there's no way of knowing if you're paired with a bad one until you're in there.
    • "Doctor's Disorders" also dabbled into a fear most people, especially kids might have: medical malpractice. While Spectra's scheme of using ghost insects to essentially burn out the students of Casper High isn't realistic, the idea of being taken a ride for by your doctor is a reasonable enough fear. There have been many cases of people being falsely hospitalized and used as Guinea pigs, given unnecessary tests, and yes even purposefully killed like what Spectra intended. All under the guise of being told "it is for your own good" or to trust those in charge.
  • Recurring Fanon Character: Wes Weston is an OC made from a lanky background character that looked a lot like Danny. Fandom makes it so Wes is Amity Park's consideration for Danny Phantom's civilian Secret Identity instead of Fenton, which drives Wes crazy—not helped sometimes by Fenton making fun of Weston's inability to show everyone the truth.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Some changed their opinion of Danielle after "D-Stabilized", as it depicted her life as a homeless clone in a sympathetic light, her presence brought out better characterization from Danny than most of what Season 3 brought out and she was able to take on Vlad on her own after her body becomes stabilized.
    • To a greater extent, Jazz. She started out a standard Aloof Big Sister: self-centered, judgmental and barely got along with her brother. When she learned Danny was half-ghost and he eventually discovered she had already known his secret, her character developed. She showed greater affection for her brother, accepted her parents' obsession with ghosts (to a degree) and showed genuine skill in ghost hunting.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: One of the arguments of Season 3 is that too many episodes take a great deal of time around Danny and Sam's relationship when the episodes themselves weren't even about them. Frightmare and Claw of the Wild, which had main plots that had nothing to do with with Sam, were victims of this.
  • Ron the Death Eater: As per her status as a Base-Breaking Character and some of her questionable actions in Season 3, Sam tends to have her negative qualities ramped up either out of hate for her character or wanting to pair Danny up with someone else.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The show has a huge number of fans for the villains who are more liked than the main hero, in part due to interesting designs, powers and backstories.
  • Seasonal Rot: Despite the introductions of new friends and foes, the development of new powers, and the return of some fan favorite characters, many felt the third season went through this due to rushed or forgotten subplots introduced earlier, and the somewhat weak writing plots of many episodes ("Urban Jungle" is one of the most prominent examples, especially since the marketing team went all out to hype up Vegetized Sam only for her to barely say three words before being turned back).
  • Self-Fanservice: Due perhaps to heavy abuse of Thick-Line Animation, the series has enormous amounts of this, mostly directed towards the female characters- especially Maddie, the mother of the main protagonist.
  • Ship Mates: Danny/Sam shippers, that don't give Valerie the Die for Our Ship treatment, usually pair her up with Tucker, since she was actually dating him anyway. Likewise, Danny/Valerie shippers pair Sam up with Tucker, since some saw more chemistry between these two than between Danny and Sam.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: The infamous "True-Fan VS Anti-Fan" wars, which boiled down to "Canon" (Danny/Sam) VS "Fanon" (Danny/Anyone else) and/or "Heterosexual Pairings" (Danny/Sam, Danny/Valerie) VS "Slash" (Danny/Vlad, Danny/Dash, and Danny/Himself (Don't ask)).
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: The Dani/Youngblood ship, despite the two never having interacted, or even appeared in the same episode.
  • Squick:
    • In-universe. Danny was quite disgusted that two of his enemies had a child.
    • "Geez, I'm eating so fast I think I just swallowed my spork." Cue Danny intangibly pulling the spork back out of his stomach.
    • Dash forcing Danny to eat a pair of old, putrid smelling, stain covered undies...
    • A Casper High student shows Amorpho (disguised as Lancer) a surprisingly realistic zit on his leg and asks him if it's pus.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Danny Fenton/Phantom and Sam Manson were obviously planned to be the Official Couple from the beginning, with almost everyone remarking on it, if not being an outright Shipper on Deck, and innumerable moments of denying any interest. The problem is that the writers were so busy making the couple inevitable they never bothered to actually show why they should be together. There was nothing more romantic to their relationship other than them being friends of opposite gender, and the whole thing came off more a combination of awkward teenage hormones and defensiveness in the face of relentless teasing. Adding to that is that Sam is the most divisive character in the series, many episodes unintentionally depicting her as a selfish hypocrite who demands conformity to her views despite voicing free will and the implication she's more in love with Phantom then Fenton. Worse, Danny and Valerie got real tension and some rather sweet development before that ship was sunk, so it wasn't that the writers didn't know how to write a relationship, they apparently just didn't want to.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • An argument against Sam's ranting towards Danny getting rid of his powers in Phantom Planet. She calls him selfish, and he actually questions why what he did was selfish. Many people have actually taken Danny's side of the argument as his reasons were justified; his wanting to be normal again was to protect his family from the ghost hunters searching for him, and in keeping with the perception that he was no longer needed as Amity's protector. It doesn't help with the above Alternative Character Interpretation for Sam.
    • "Double Cross My Heart" has the character Gregor want to start a relationship with Sam, while hoping not to spend anymore time with Tucker. Sam says that while "Tucker might be annoying, but he's one of my best friends, he's part of the package". However, Gregor's not wanting to have Tucker a part of his relationship with Sam was reasonable. 1) Tucker was constantly interfering with their dates and ruining the moment, 2) Tucker never stopped talking, 3) It isn't Tucker he's dating, it's Sam.
    • From the same episode, while Danny spying on Sam's date was wrong, his suspicion that Gregor was affiliated with the Guys in White was far from unfounded. Sam really comes off more as Love Makes You Dumb for being too fast to trust him even if she dumped him after the above moment.
    • "The Fright Before Christmas". Sure Danny needed to learn his lesson about not ruining the holiday for everyone and let go of how crappy his past Christmases were, but he wasn't exactly wrong to be upset given his parents arguing the existence of Santa, to the point of not even noticing when they put their son in danger. If anything, someone should have taught THEM that arguing over the existence of Santa Claus should not be more important than making their family happy.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • One of Herman's Hermits' "I'm into Something Good" during a montage in "Double Cross My Heart".
    • Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F" as Danny surveys his parents' very '80s college campus in "Masters of All Time".
    • Walking On Sunshine plays as the parents depart for the fake cruise in Pirate Radio. In-universe, nobody notices that the muzak that's playing in the same episode is an easy-listening remix of Ember's theme song.
    • The theme song's bass riff and chorus are remarkably similar to parts of Queen's "The Invisible Man"; such similarities are even more apparent with the show's unused theme song.
    • The show's theme song also sounds similar to "Toxic Dump (Parts I and II)" from The Ooze for the Sega Genesis.

    T-Z 
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Despite being the comic relief, Tucker Foley isn't that liked by several fans, finding him unfunny and never shutting up about technology or girls. In the episode "Double Cross My Heart", Sam has a new crush who seems like a decent guy, but then he finally snaps and yells at Tucker, which causes Sam to realize he's a jerk and breaks up with him. Even though he's the bad guy in this conversation, many actually agree with what he had to say about Tucker.
      Gregor: Dude! Do you ever stop talking?! Do you even know how obnoxious you are with your stupid jokes and your lame-o technology? IDIOT!
    • In "Girl's Night Out", Jazz calls out Sam for her bossy behavior and failed planning, as her refusal to hear Jazz's plan and insistence on her own got them nothing except humiliation. It was a welcome thing to hear.
  • Theme Pairing: Norm from The Fairly OddParents! and Desiree were created so Butch Hartman could Ship them as a Theme Pairing but he forgot. Also, they were both created so the fans would fall in love with them and have sympathy for them. It was a Batman Gambit to make the fans stop falling in love with Crocker and other Dracos In Leather Pants.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Despite the mixed reception of Season 3, Danny Phantom is considered the tough act that series creator Butch Hartman has tried to follow. The later seasons of The Fairly OddParents!, T.U.F.F. Puppy, and Bunsen Is a Beast are usually compared negatively to Danny Phantom.
    • For the show itself, The Ultimate Enemy is considered very well done that later episodes and hour long specials aren't seen in the same light.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The show is dated to the mid-2000s by the technology and fashion. Notably, Tucker uses a PDA, which smartphones have long since replaced.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Sam Manson. She's always brought up about how she's looked down on for being an individual and wanting to make a statement, although she's always seen being as equally vindictive and demands conformity for her views, such as the first episode where she changed the entire menu for her sake and not anyone else's, or when she entered a beauty pageant to declare how stupid they are in spite of how the other members genuinely wanted to win and weren't being mean to her. Her relationship with Danny is meant to be a cute Will They or Won't They? scenario, but her relationship instead comes off more as possessive, since she's known to act hostile to any girl who shows an interest in Danny and defies I Want My Beloved to Be Happy when Danny and Valerie were getting close, since she didn't comfort Danny when his heart was broken and only mused how clueless he was. Thus, she acts like she can only be happy for Danny if it's with her. Then there is her most infamous moment, from "Double Cross My Heart". She is extremely angry at Danny for spying on her during her date with Gregor, despite that she did the same to Danny during his time with Valerie. Unlike Sam, Danny had legitimate reasons since they knew nothing about Sam's new crush and had reasons to be suspicious of this conspicuous, foreign transfer student dressed in white and black who just happened to start at Casper High the same time the Guys in White become much more active in town. Further, the exact same thing had happened before (Johnny 13 had taken an interest in Jazz, and her life was in danger as a result). Sam is never called out for her own actions. Instead, it's Danny who apologizes while Sam laments that lying is the only way she can get a boyfriend.
    • Sidney Poindexter. He was a nerd in the '50s who was a constant target for bullying by everyone. Yet when he finally escapes to the living world, he doesn't take the time to listen to Danny's rationale as to why he was doing what he was to Dash (even if it isn't justified by the show's admission). He then proceeds to replace Danny's soul with his, hijack his body, and trap Danny in the spirit world version of Casper High from the '50s to spend an eternity getting shat on while he rejoins the living world in Danny's body. He really doesn't get any comeuppance for this act at any time either and comes off as not much different from the bullies of his time, so he deserves to be bullied in his purgatory.
  • Values Dissonance:
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The show likes to dabble in this a lot. It not only breaks the Never Say "Die" rule, but many of the show's antagonists actively attempt to kill major characters, sometimes in the most disturbing ways possible, and in one episode it actually happens. There are copious amounts of Body Horror, and the motivation of the Big Bad is based around an unhealthy, stalker-like obsession with a married woman.
  • The Woobie: Danielle "Dani" Phantom. Ignore whether or not you think she's a bad character or a wasted one. What we see is a spunky young girl who kicks butt, then think about what really happened with her. She's a little girl who was emotionally manipulated by her father to do bad things, only to find out he never loved her. Then there's her second episode where she's betrayed by a person she helped and had the one person who cares about her captured. Then she's nearly tortured to death by her father, who she very likely still cares about since she gave him the benefit of the doubt and asked if he found a way to fix her. Plus, all that time between the two episodes, she was effectively dying a slow, horrible death while living on the streets.

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