CSBS | Danny Phantom Episode 5: Splitting Images Review

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Plot: Danny decides to use his powers to help get revenge on Dash for constantly bullying him. A spirit haunting locker 724, Sidney Poindexter, detests bullying and starts getting some revenge himself. But when he believes Danny’s payback is bullying, Danny will be forced to take Sidney’s place in the Ghost Zone while Sidney lives the good life in Danny’s body.

Breakdown: Oh god, there is a LOT to talk about with this episode. Get comfy.

So in 2006, Butch Hartman went on record saying that the “ghosts” in Danny Phantom were not actual ghosts as in the spirits of dead people. They were creatures from another dimension that took certain forms based on whatever. Some of them wanted to be human, so they took human forms based on the backstories of existing people (deceased or otherwise?)

How much truth there is to that statement is unclear. He did say that Nickelodeon and the demographic were a factor in that (And Butch Hartman himself seemed to be against it and depictions of ‘the occult’ presumably because of his religious beliefs), but it’s been a decade and a half since then and he hasn’t reneged on his statement.

While there are some “ghosts” that are clearly not human spirits and are rather concepts or the embodiment of certain items or energies, there are definitely some ghosts that are clearly actually ghosts. It’s hard to believe that these ghosts would be creatures who took on these backstories in order to gain human form. Sidney Poindexter, our ghost of the day, is one of those ghosts. What creature in their right mind would see a poor, friendless teenager be relentlessly bullied day in and day out and go “Yup. That’s the persona I want to take on forever.”? And then proceeds to not only take on their appearance but also create their own section of the Ghost Zone that endless tortures THEM with bullying of the same degree with the same people and who only haunts a locker with a mirror in it that doesn’t even allow them to haunt the locker unless someone with ghost powers activates the portal.

This is one ghost where it’s 100% confirmed that the ghost in question used to be a real person since Tucker knows about him and there are school records that prove it. I guess it IS possible that a creature took on this person’s form but, as I mentioned before, I can’t imagine why. Like many fans have speculated, I really think the Ghost Zone is a different dimension with supernatural creatures in it that aren’t ghosts, but I also believe that real ghosts somehow get tangled up in it and corrupted by the Ghost Zone or something because, for some ghosts, it just doesn’t make sense to sweep them under the rug as creatures who took on human forms and backstories. Unless some of these creatures are the stupidest and most masochistic beings in existence.

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Sidney Poindexter used to be a student of Casper High School in the 50s (1954-58). He was a horrendously bullied kid. According to Tucker, bullying him was so frequent that, by the time he became a senior, bullying him had become a requirement to graduate. He had no friends, was considered extremely nerdy, and, basically, his life was hell. The most tragic part of his story is his supposed death. Now, this being a kid’s show, they obviously don’t say he died in high school, but he is a ghost in his teenage form, and his part of the Ghost Zone is a recreation of his school with all of his peers constantly bullying him as they did in life.

There are two theories as to his death. The first is built on something Tucker said. He claimed that locker 724 was haunted because Sidney had been thrown into it so many times. Rumor has it that this implies he was once thrown in there, forgotten about and either asphyxiated or eventually died of dehydration or something. The somehow even worse theory is that, because of all of the relentless bullying, Sidney took his own life.

Sidney’s spirit haunts locker 724, but he’s not an active presence in the locker until Danny accidentally activates the portal within the mirror in the locker with his ghost powers. After this, Sidney starts sensing instances of bullying and gets revenge on the bullies while also protecting the kids being bullied.

Here’s where things get really complicated both with the story itself and the overall message.

While all of this is going on, Danny is getting so fed up with Dash’s bullying that he starts possessing him, causing him to do embarrassing things in an effort to get back at him.

Sam thinks it’s wrong of him to abuse his powers for such a thing, but Tucker applauds it because he sees it as not only standing up to a bully and giving him a taste of his own medicine, but it’s also fighting the good fight for all bullied nerds, like himself and Sidney.

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In one of these instances, Sidney detects it and views it as Danny bullying an innocent kid. He gets so angry that he emerges from the mirror entirely, attacks and later possesses Danny, which, and this is really weird and confusing, boots Danny from his own body, giving Sidney full control, including his ghost powers and form, while Danny is forced into the Ghost Zone version of Casper High and turned into a copy of Sidney, with no ghost powers, so he can be relentlessly bullied by Sidney’s bullies while Sidney lives it up in Danny’s body.

While Danny is being tormented with no way out (I don’t get why not. Sidney could get out.) Sidney basically wins everyone in Danny’s life over and becomes super popular because he starts treating everyone really well and impressing everyone with his ghost powers that, for some reason, no one is seeing him use even though he’s not even trying to hide that he’s using them.

What’s especially strange is that some of these people are kids he saw bullying others and got revenge on them. He knows they’re bullies, but is now trying to win them over for some reason while Danny, who was a bullied kid just getting revenge, is viewed as this ultra bully who deserves to have his life taken from him…quite literally.

Danny is bullied over and over and over again in this episode, but Sidney neither detects this nor gets revenge for Danny. And when Danny tries to explain the situation to Sidney, he doesn’t give him the opportunity. He just assumes he’s a bully and takes him over. What’s especially weird here is Dash says Danny’s his new locker neighbor…..which means Dash, the biggest bully in school, has the locker right next to Sidney’s and yet he doesn’t seem to know Dash is a bully, never detected any bullying from Dash, and, in actuality, thinks he’s an innocent person Danny is bullying.

Eventually, Danny gets the attention of Tucker and Sam who trick Sidney into the mirror. After a fight, which Danny pretty easily wins since Sidney doesn’t understand how to use Danny’s powers well enough….which….uhh….is….pretty damn weird for a person who has spent the better part of a century as a ghost. I mean, I guess he doesn’t have a lot of experience outside of the Ghost Zone so maybe he doesn’t have a good grasp on his powers as a ghost, but he’s been using them just fine up until this point. In his battle with Danny before he possessed him, he used his ghost powers well enough. I don’t understand.

Danny threatens to destroy the mirror if he doesn’t switch back, but, get ready for another brain bender – Sidney possesses Danny while in Danny’s body while Danny’s in Sidney’s ghost form. Did you get that? It’s a ghost possessing a half-human half-ghost, turning him into a full ghost that is also a copy of his body, and then using his body to possess the full ghost’s body that he doesn’t have……

Anyway, Danny has the mental fortitude this time to reclaim his own body, send Sidney back to his own form and escape through the mirror. Sidney wants to follow and get revenge, but his classmates surprisingly start chatting him up.

The fight with Danny (who has been coined the “Halfa” in the Ghost Zone) impressed Sidney’s classmates, whom…..I’ll assume aren’t also ghosts. That would imply all of these people died in their teens, which I can’t imagine would be true unless Casper High burned down and killed everyone inside or something. I guess they’re just constructs made from Sidney’s memory. He starts making friends, so he decides to not return to the real world. Not that he could anyway because one of the first things Danny does when he comes back is destroy the mirror.

The ending scene and the overall message of this episode is so backwards and weird.

A small sideplot of this episode was Sam trying desperately to save frogs from dissection – instead offering robot frogs with accurate innards to act as non-harmful substitutes, but no one wants to listen to her. Near the end of the episode, before she realizes Danny has been possessed, she uses Sidney!Danny’s newfound popularity to spread the word on the frog issue. When Danny smashes the mirror, Mr. Lancer, as well as pretty much everyone in school, suddenly gang up on him and treat him like he did something awful.

Mr. Lancer blames Danny for the frogs escaping (Danny fell on him when he came through the mirror. He was holding a box of frogs, so they escaped.) but because Dash and the others became anti-frog dissection because of Sam’s “fashionable” buttons that became popular when Sidney!Danny wore one, so they’re free anyway, he doesn’t get in trouble for that. However, I don’t understand why everyone hates Danny now. All he did was break a mirror and accidentally set frogs free, which, from the way they’re acting, they should not care about the first one and should be praising Danny for the second.

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But whatever. Lancer has to assign Danny a new locker….for…..reasons….The locker itself is fine, Danny just broke the mirror. The new locker is located right by the band room, so now Danny is also getting bullied for associating with band geeks. Said band geeks, and I’m allowed to use that term because I was a band geek, arrive in the final shot to show what gross losers they are by introducing themselves and asking Danny if he wants to help clean a spit valve. Because let’s pretty much destroy any message about bullying we can muster by having the last joke of the episode be the pathetic weird losers Danny now has to interact with regularly.

Do you see the problem here?

Danny gets revenge on his bullies, and that’s considered bad, even though it’s pretty much a morally gray area. Bullies deserve comeuppance, but, yeah, it’s not a good look to lower yourself to their level. It does not, however, in make you a bully unless you go too far with with what you’re doing to them, as in you do worse than what they’ve done to you.

Nothing Danny did in this episode seemed disproportionate to what Dash was doing and has done to him throughout the episode (and previous episodes). He made Dash smack his face into the locker after Dash mocked him for wearing a dress (long story) and then literally threw him into his locker. He made Dash dump his lunch on Paulina, which is the closest he probably came to bullying because Dash didn’t do anything directly before this to warrant that, and Paulina did nothing to him the entire episode. However, Paulina was part of a prank on an AV kid directly before this where they were going to trip him and possibly ruin his equipment, but Sidney already got comeuppance on her for that (Dash wasn’t part of it – Kwan was) and the prank didn’t even work because Sidney stopped it. Plus, Danny had no knowledge of it. Finally, after Dash had ridiculed him and thrown a huge sandwich on his face one piece at a time, Danny gave him an atomic wedgie and put frogs down his pants.

Really, the only way Danny maybe went too far here was by possessing Dash, which is a personal violation of Dash’s body, but he only did it for bursts that lasted a few seconds each.

Meanwhile, Sidney slammed a guy’s head with the locker door for playing keepaway with a band kid’s hat. He trapped Kwan’s head in a trophy and sprayed Paulina with a fire extinguisher because they were going to trip the AV kid. But when Danny gives Dash the atomic wedgie + frog pants, it makes Sidney so enraged that he comes through the mirror and attacks Danny with full force. He blasts him through the walls, he sprays ink in his face, and he finally possesses him and forces him to take his place in the Ghost Zone.

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Danny’s time in the Ghost Zone, being terribly bullied constantly, is framed like it’s his comeuppance for getting revenge on Dash, because he understands what it’s like to….be…bullied? But he knows that already. That’s why he was doing those things to begin with. He wasn’t bullied as badly as Sidney, but he was still bullied a lot.

What does Sidney get for his actions? He gets praised by his classmates and befriended by them. Which, ya know, good for him. The poor kid didn’t deserve to be bullied at all let alone to that magnitude in life, so, after 50 years of torment, it’s good to let him have some peace and happiness, no matter what he did. He’s still a hypocrite, but whatever.

What do Dash and the other bullies get? They get comeuppance throughout the episode, but they don’t learn a damn thing in the end. Technically, they didn’t even befriend Sidney!Danny immediately after he gave out sodas to everyone, like it seemed, because they invited him to a “touch” football game, but planned to have everyone tackle the hell out of him. They did, which would have seriously hurt Danny in any other situation, but because he could phase out of it and go score a touchdown, he instantly becomes insanely popular. Then they forget he was popular when Danny comes back with absolutely no reason as to why even though the reason they all became pro-frog activists is because Sidney!Danny wore the button? Even in the very end when Danny gets a new locker, Dash mocks him for it.

What does Danny get? Fuck all. He learns a valuable lesson about not abusing his powers to get revenge on bullies, which, fine, but they don’t offer any meaningful message on bullying at all. For an issue that was severe in the 50s, remained a severe problem in the 00s and is still a severe problem to this day, it would have been nice to have some coherent message about bullying or what to do about bullies, but I suppose that’s too much to ask for. Just let them bully you, I guess? The ending also made it clear that you can’t really count on teachers to do shit, so what solution are you positing, Danny Phantom? Is it a very depressing non-message?

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Danny starts the episode being humiliated and bullied when he was just trying to either live his life or protect the school (from the Box Ghost, but still) and ends the episode trying to live his life and protect the school while continuing to be bullied, only now even worse.

Sam at least got what she wanted, but Lancer still insulted her about it, and everyone else who never gave a crap before got praised for being better activists than her when they only took it up to be trendy.

I’m fully on her side here, by the way. I never liked the concept of dissecting frogs, and the need for such a thing went out long before this episode was made. I’m pretty sure it’s not a thing in schools anymore, but I don’t know for sure.

Overall, I never really disliked this episode before now….but now is now, and now I don’t like it at all. It’s a huge mess of an episode that really doesn’t seem to have a good grasp on what it wants the message to be, and any message I’m inferring from it doesn’t seem to be a particularly good one. ‘Don’t lower yourself to a bully’s level just to get revenge’ is about the best one I can sift out, but, looking at the big picture, that seems like a mediocre message lost in a sea of “but then what do I do?” which just seems be countered with “suffer in silence until you’re out of school or hope you impress your classmates enough somehow that you become worthy of their praise and respect and hope you don’t wind up being killed or being pushed to suicide in the meantime.” and that’s not exactly a great message.

There wasn’t even any outstanding comedic moments to help make up for it. The Box Ghost was definitely the highlight, and that’s pretty much because he’s the Box Ghost. He always tends to be funny. I also thought the robot frog was a bit funny, but that’s about it.

Next Episode….

….Previous Episode


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CSBS – Danny Phantom S01 Ep 04: Attack of the Killer Garage Sale

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Plot: Danny finally has a chance to be in with the popular kids when Jazz coerces Dash into inviting him to his big party. While he’s enjoying a taste of popularity, Sam and Tucker don’t enjoy being ignored and blown off by Danny. In an effort to get money for new cool clothes for the party, Danny decides to sell all of his dad’s old tech in the garage. However, it’s been tainted with ghost goo from battling Technus – a ghost who controls all machinery and gadgetry.

All of the tech he sold starts coming to life, controlled by Technus, and Danny will need a little help from his friends to take him down.

Breakdown: This episode was alright. It was half and half. I had my problems with the main plot because it’s just such a tired sitcom plot to have the dorky protagonist suddenly become slightly popular, ignore and abandon his non-popular friends only to discover, gasp, that the popular kids are jackasses and he wishes he were unpopular and back with his friends again.

There was also more cringey slang this time around, and I had to pause and rub my temples when Sam used the term ‘vaporware’ to describe a regular ol’ piece of shitty software. Tucker, as a tech guy, should’ve called her out on that.

Also, Danny’s resolution to Dash’s problem of ‘My computer’s being overloaded with schoolwork (?)’ is to replace the motherboard and install a new OS. Not only is that all sorts of wrong, but I sincerely doubt Dash would have the know-how to do that on his own.

However, I did like the revelation that Sam is filthy rich, she just chooses to keep it a secret to not be treated differently. Says a lot about Sam as a person because she could easily be popular too if she wanted to be. It’s also funny how she was clearly going to offer to buy the clothes for Danny, but stopped herself when he blew them off again.

Technus is a really great enemy because he not only has ghost powers, but he also has technopathy and makes creative robots with junk. He’s pretty funny and can definitely stand his own in a fight.

All in all, I liked this episode. The plot with the popularity is moreso worn out than it is something that really bothers me, but Danny was a bit of a jerk in that part, as expected, though.

Next Episode….

….Previous Episode


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AVAHS – Danny Phantom: The Fright Before Christmas

Plot: At the holiday season, Danny’s smile is on pause

as his parents fight to the teeth over old Santa Claus.

Year after year, the fight sparks up again

And Danny’s patience has begun to wear thin.

He takes out his anger in the zone meant for ghosts

Christmas trinkets and toys – he makes them all toast.

Meanwhile, the Ghost Writer completes his best work,

Danny ruins his poem, doesn’t care, what a jerk.

In vengeance of the story he lost,

He traps Danny in a poem world, for that is the cost.

Only when Danny learns the lesson will he be freed,

But Danny is adamant against doing the deed.

He’s determined to stay in his holiday funk,

Even when his friends and the town believe he’s a punk

Ghost Writer’s framing Danny for destruction and theft

If Danny doesn’t do something soon, they’ll be nothing left.

Can the Ghost Boy learn the lesson in time?

Or will he be stuck in a world of perpetual rhyme?

Breakdown: Is it time for A Very Animated Holiday Special again? Jeez, slow down, world.

This isn’t a must-see classic for me, but it’s still a treasured Christmas special from my childhood. It has a lot of great aspects to it. The reality-bending Ghost Writer was pretty unique and interesting. I wish we got to see more of him, especially considering how powerful someone like that can be. He even has mind-controlling/reality warping powers over the other ghosts – that’s pretty incredible.

I liked reassembling all of Danny’s old foes for the sake of having a Christmas party – that the enemies themselves planned! Danny’s the one being the grinch this whole episode yet people you’d think would be the jerks this time of year, like Sam and Danny’s foes, are caught up in the Christmas spirit and spreading cheer everywhere.

The fact that they team up with Danny to take down the Ghost Writer because he, ironically, disrespected the sanctity of Christmas and their annual Christmas truce was just awesome. I’m a sucker for plot lines where enemies and heroes team up – especially on Christmas.

I gained more appreciation for the story as a whole for this rewatch as well.

Every year on Christmas, Danny’s parents would do nothing but endlessly fight over whether or not Santa exists – Jack proclaiming he does and Maddie scientifically proving that he cannot….which is kinda strange because she’s a ghost hunter. Their fights would ruin every Christmas, and Danny would get less and less excited for the holidays every year until he got to a point where he hated the holidays.

Don’t know how Jazz survives it with a smile, though. She understands Danny’s anger, but she’s experienced more of these terrible Christmases than Danny and she still enjoys the holidays just fine.

When I got to the third act, I realized that they were subtly flipping the script on Danny. The Ghost Writer literally forces him to destroy Christmas for other people by ruining decorations, destroying toys and mowing down everyone’s Christmas trees. Even though they don’t point it out, he was doing to others what his parents did to him – he was so caught up in his own anger and fighting that he didn’t realize he was ruining the fun for other people.

Everything doesn’t start turning around because Danny suddenly gets all chipper for Christmas – it starts when he realizes that’s he’s ruined Christmas for everyone and gains a desire to fix it for them. Up until this point, it’s been about what he wants. It’s not even a magical turn around based on his realization either. It’s, AGAIN, his foes that come to save the day for him in honor of Christmas and gives him a taste of the holiday spirit, which, eventually, leads to the spell being broken. It warms my heart. (Also, hell yeah the Box Ghost gets a time to shine!)

The only point I didn’t like was, Danny’s such an ass about hating Christmas that he unabashedly doesn’t care that he destroyed the Ghostwriter’s masterwork poem all because it was a Christmas poem. I know he has to reach a high level of asshattery to warrant the spell placed on him, but that was still terrible.

Overall, though, I still really love this special. It’s not overly saccharine and forcing Christmas spirit down your throats. It’s a fun and heartwarming special that merely celebrates the Christmas spirit (just realizing that I’ve been making a pun this entire review…) and promotes not being a grinch to others, no matter your opinions on the day.


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CSBS – Danny Phantom S01 Ep03

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Plot: Danny is having trouble managing his time as he tries to juggle studying with his ghost fighting. He decides to write a report on a nearly extinct purple-back gorilla named Samson to help get his grades up, but he’s continuously interrupted by his newest foe – the ghost collector, Skulker.

Breakdown: This episode is a little mixed. The first half is quite weak as there aren’t many jokes that work and the story is pretty slow paced. Skulker literally has no reason to be shadowing Danny as much as he is. Right before the mid-way commercial, he just captures Danny in a net anyway. He could’ve done that from the start.

The side-plot with Jazz and their parents is also weak. She’s trying desperately to get her parents to seem normal by having them do an interview for Genius magazine, which focuses explicitly on female geniuses, but Maddie insisted Jack be a part of it because they’re a team. They keep getting sidelined by ghost stuff because of course they are. I really wish Danny Phantom had gotten another season so maybe we could learn why Jack is so enthralled with ghosts.

This B-plot seems to tie into the A-plot by having Danny’s discovery end up as the main article in one of the issues of the magazine, but it’s still flimsy – especially considering Genius magazine is meant to be about genius women. The discovery isn’t even ‘genius’ – he just glanced at a gorilla’s junk.

You could’ve easily amputated that entire side-plot and nothing would matter. No one would question how Danny had the connections to get a main feature in a magazine considering the importance of the discovery.

The second half shines enough to make up for the first since the pacing picks up quite a bit, the jokes land better and the story improves. Skulker repeatedly getting whisked away by Tucker’s PDA schedule is very memorable and hilarious, and Sam stopping Skulker in his tracks to chat his ear off about how wrong it is to keep living…..err….to keep beings in cages was also very funny.

There were some little details that irked me, like why couldn’t Skulker just rip off Tucker’s PDA? He did it to the last one. He’d be without a CPU, but it’d be better than being forcibly jettisoned into doing whatever activity is on the PDA.

It took Danny way too long to figure out that Skulker was being affected by his schedule.

I know that this is part of the joke in the episode, but SERIOUSLY no one was ever able to get close enough to Samson to figure out their sex? When they’re one of the only two of their species left? You’re really willing to let the species die out because you’re too lazy or scared to even try to get a peek at their fruit basket? Come on. That’s what tranquilizers are for.

Even then, it’s a goddamn gorilla. They’re not exactly modest. Their bait and tackle is usually on proud display. And if, indeed, no one was ever able to tell, why would you advertise that they’re both male when you don’t know?

Actually, if they never checked Samson, then they likely never checked the other gorilla either….so, they might very well both be female – making this revelation moot because they still can’t breed. Good job, scientists.

Tucker was also annoying me more than he usually does in this episode. His slip-ups, usually caused by arrogance, made the situation worse, not once, not twice, but three times in this episode.

Next Episode, Danny tries to make some extra cash by selling some of his parents’ gadgets, which accidentally causes chaos.

…Previous Episode


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CSBS – Danny Phantom S01 Ep02

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Plot: Jack shows off his new invention, the Fenton Ghost Fisher, a device meant to capture ghosts, to Danny. When he leaves the room briefly to go to the bathroom, Danny grabs the fisher and catches a dragon ghost. He combats the ghost for a while before knocking off the dragon’s amulet, which lands in his backpack. The dragon reverts to the form of an 18th century English girl who runs back into the Ghost Portal stating that she wanted to go to the ball.

Danny, thinking the whole event is over, resumes his day. A school dance is coming up, and Danny decides to ask out Paulina, the prettiest and most popular girl in school. However, he makes a fool of himself in his nervousness thanks to his ghost powers. Sam steps in to defend him, insulting Paulina in the process. As revenge and believing Sam to be his girlfriend, Paulina later accepts Danny’s invitation. She also mistakenly believes the amulet in Danny’s backpack is Sam’s.

It’s up to Danny, Sam and Tucker to retrieve the amulet before Paulina also turns into the dragon and causes havoc at the dance.

Breakdown: This episode always annoyed me a tiny bit. While we’re amping up the stakes with the Dragon Ghost, the way that it works basically amounts to ‘bitches be crazy.’

We see the Dragon Ghost three times in this episode.

The first, the 18th century English girl reveals that she turned into the dragon because she was upset that she couldn’t go to the dance.

The second, Paulina triggers it by getting upset that they don’t have a trendy new and discontinued fleecy tee in her size.

The third is the most understandable with Sam turning into the dragon when Paulina reveals that she was only dating Danny to get revenge on Sam, believing them to be dating, and she plans on dumping him in the middle of the dance since Sam revealed that they’re not dating. While this is more admirable, it’s set up like Sam’s more upset that Paulina’s shallow (she keeps repeating ‘shallow girl!’ in dragon form) than she’s upset for Danny, who is soon to be heartbroken.

Not to mention that this makes no sense anyway. Why would Paulina think Danny’s dating Sam when he’s asking her out? I’d think if my boyfriend asked another girl out to a dance, the relationship would be beyond over in a millisecond.

I do like the different reactions all three of them are having to this dance, though. Danny’s getting up the courage to ask his crush out to the dance. Tucker’s asking anyone with boobs and a pulse, and consistently gets shot down. He somehow lands Valerie, who will become very prominent later, but Danny forces him (through possession) to dump her for Sam. She’s been badmouthing the dance the whole episode, and they only catch on right before the dance that she’s partially upset because no one’s asked her out. Danny possesses Tucker to claim Valerie canceled and to ask out Sam. While Tucker initially protests, he changes his tune rather quickly when Sam comes out looking beautiful.

The sub plot with Danny’s dad was insanely unnecessary, though, besides to show off Danny’s newly discovered possession ability. Lancer understands that Danny keeps dropping his pants because they, seemingly, don’t fit well (it’s really his ghost powers) and fixes the situation by giving him a belt, yet he still calls in Danny’s dad for a parent-teacher conference because this is somehow a fault of Danny’s that needs to be discussed with a parent.

Then he, of course, has to invite possessed!Jack to be a chaperone to the dance purely to keep this plot going further and fabricate tension.

All in all, the episode’s pretty good, but there are a few major things about it that irk me. It just felt a little on the sexist side, is all.

Oh, and just because I feel I have to mention this because meme(?) this is the episode where they have that line exchange –

Sam: “Promise me you’ll keep your pants up.”

Danny: “I’ll do my best!”

I don’t know why this became a slight thing. I mean, it’s a funny-ish joke in context, but outside….is it just hurr hurr, this is kinda innuendo? I don’t really get it.

Next Episode, Danny deals with Skulker, a ghost hunter.

…Previous Episode


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Cartoons Step-by-Step: Danny Phantom S01 Ep01

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Plot: One month ago, Danny Fenton’s life changed forever when he walked through a ghost portal of his parents’ invention and accidentally activated it while inside. The incident made him half-ghost, allowing him to maintain the look of a regular boy but also gaining ghost abilities and the ability to transform into a more proper ghost form, Danny Phantom. Unfortunately, Danny’s activation of the portal has also made it so that ghosts can sneak into the human world and cause havoc. Danny’s taken it upon himself to stop these ghosts with his powers while trying his best to keep his powers a secret from everyone else but his two best friends, Sam and Tucker.

In the series premiere, Danny’s first opponent is a lunch lady ghost that attacks Casper High after Sam changes the menu to exclude all meat items in lieu of an ‘ultra-recyclo-vegetarian’ menu, much to the lunch lady ghost’s disdain.

Breakdown: Ah, Danny Phantom. A simple tried and true tale that, to be honest, we’ve heard a thousand times before, but done in such a way that brought a fairly fresh spin on the story with plenty of memorable characters and storylines along the way.

Actually, put another way, it’s like the story of Spider-man but melded with Ghostbusters.

And, really, if you want to dissect this, it is a whole bunch of clichés. An unpopular kid who has trouble fitting in at school, bullied by the school jock who gets away with nearly everything, also targeted by jackass teachers, is given abilities that make his life even more complicated. The only two people who know about his powers are his two best friends, the tech genius, Tucker Foley, and the opinionated goth chick, who is obviously set to be a love interest, Sam Manson.

His parents are basically two bumbling idiots who never catch onto Danny’s secret in the least and are always causing trouble for him with their weird behavior in ghost hunting and odd inventions. However, they do help out inadvertently sometimes by inventing things Danny can actually use, even if his parents have no clue how to make them work.

His sister is the one who seems to break tradition here as she seems to fancy herself a psychologist in training who always tries her best to seem adult and mature. She deeply cares about Danny and worries about his well-being growing up in a household with such odd parents.

Our first enemy, the lunch lady ghost, is admittedly not very threatening. In fact, not many of the first season ghosts really were. However, that’s alright here. We’re just being introduced to the world and the characters, so having a somewhat silly ghost who actually can hold her own, even if her attacks are silly, is fine. They’re all mostly meat-based, even if she has some pyrokinetic abilities. Most of her abilities can be eaten or squished, but they can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when Danny doesn’t have a good grip on his abilities quite yet and even has trouble keeping his ghost form.

It’s interesting that the only reason the Fenton Thermos starts working is seemingly because Danny puts some of his ghostly energy into it, but does that fix it permanently or does he need to keep feeding it that way when he needs it? Because other non-ghost characters use the thermos in the future.

The conflict between Sam and Tucker felt a bit odd in this episode. Usually they reserve episodes where the main character is caught between two fighting best friends for when they’re a bit more established, but here they just jump right in. I won’t say it’s a bad part of the episode, because it does highlight one of the main character traits of Sam in a decent manner, though I don’t think the same can be said of Tucker.

While I’m pretty sure the fact that he loves meat stays true throughout the series, it’s never really given any more real attention in the future to my recollection. Plus, I find it kinda immature that Sam doesn’t drop the issue when the school starts being attacked because she changed the menu. I know I said the Lunch Lady Ghost isn’t a big threat, but it’s still possible for her to hurt people, especially with her minor pyro powers, and Sam still won’t budge an inch.

Other than that, the only real notes I have is that there aren’t many jokes that work very well in this episode. Either that or they just don’t hold up very well. Jack had a few entertaining lines, but that was about it.

Next episode – Parental Bonding: Danny asks his crush, Paulina, out to a dance, but has to deal with a dragon ghost in the meantime.


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