PERIOD ONE: 1983-1987

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Before the Movies | Era One (1983-1988) | Era Two (1988-1996) | Era Three (1997-On)
1983--YEAR ONE
GHOSTBUSTERS (AMG 19671) (First part of the film)
Egon Spengler, Peter Venkman, and Ray Stantz investigate a haunting at the New York Public Library; though they have...little success in dealing with the problem, Egon manages to get reading that confirm the ionization properties of ectoplasmic entities--it could be possible to capture a ghost, and contain it indefinitely. Their triumph appears short lived as they return to discover that the Board of Regents has terminated their grant and Dean Yaeger is throwing them off campus with great glee. Venkman decides that it's fate--they must go into business for themselves. He cons Ray into getting three mortgages on his parents' house to start up the world's first paranormal investigation and elimination agency: Ghostbusters.

The new company purchases an abandoned firehouse to be their headquarters--it's in a run-down neighborhood, but Ray loves the fire pole. Using their new discoveries, Ray and Egon create the proton packs and the first Containment Unit. A plucky Brooklyn girl, Janine Melnitz, is hired as their secretary and immediately develops a crush on Egon. Ray purchases a 1959 Miller Meteor Cadillac Hearse/Ambulance which is modified to become their vehicle, the ECTO-1.

The Ghostbusters' first client is cellist Dana Barrett, who encounters a terror dog in her refrigerator shouting the word "Zuul" at her. Venkman goes to her apartment and checks it, but there is no sign of the creature. By now it's obvious Venkman wants to bag Dana, too.

The Ghostbusters' first case involves a call to the Sedgewick Hotel, where they successfully bust a gluttonous, green, potato-shaped Class Five Full Roaming Vapor. After this, there seems to be a virtual explosion of paranormal activity in the New York area, so much that the team advertises for a fourth member: vet Winston Zeddemore is hired for the job. The Ghostbusters also draw the attention of the government, particularly an EPA hatchet man named Walter Peck. Peck and Venkman don't get off on the right foot, and Peck promises revenge...

"The Zeddemore Factor" (XU GBZF 1-01)
A few hours after hiring Winston, the Ghostbusters get a call to the Museum to battle dinosaur ghosts. Despite a slow start (he forgets to turn on his proton pack), Winston proves himself as a Ghostbuster by being instrumental in catching the entities.

This was 88MPH Studio's "Convention Exclusive" released between the first and second issues of the Legion mini-series. While most of the "Revival" stories (88MPH comics, iBooks novel, and IDW comics alike) have trouble fitting into the RGB-based GBOT timeline, this one takes place during the first film and besides the contemporary references (Tyra Banks wasn't famous in 1983) I otherwise regard it as now the "canonical" story of Winston's first case

GHOSTBUSTERS (AMG 19671) (Second part of the film)
Dana and her neighbor, CPA Louis Tully, are posessed by Zuul ("The Gatekeeper") and Vinz Clortho ("The Keymaster") respectively, and when Peck opens the Ghostbuster's containment unit, they draw on the psychic turbulence to release their master, Gozer the Gozarian, a powerful Sumarian diety. Gozer adopts the form of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and begins destroying midtown Manhattan before a risky plan by the Ghostbusters thwarts him, sending his intelligence back to his home dimension, along with Zuul and Vinz Clortho.

Date is derived from the date Ghostbusters was filmed, to allow time for it to "happen" before being "fictionalized" in the 1984 film, seen being produced in "Take Two". This was probably the most controversial assertion of the Timeline. In-story, a banner bearing 1983 dates can be seen as the Ghostbusters are taken to City Hall. The packaging of the 2005 DVD set includes one tantalizing, partially slimed reference ending in "83", which Jeff Nash and others assert could be some validation, though.

Walter Peck is fired by the EPA. He later continues his vendetta against Venkman with Bureau of Unidentified Flying Organisms (BUFO).

"Big Trouble with Little Slimer"

Louis Tully parlays media attention after the Gozer case into a deal as spokesman of "Keymaster Cologne"; he's rich and famous for about fifteen minutes. At some point between 1984 and 1988, Louis Tully augments his CPA with a law degree, though he mostly concentrates on tax law

Ghostbusters; Legion and Ghostbusters 2 Louis is seen as rich and famous in the mini-series, but in a universe where GB2 occurs he would have to essentially lose it all at some point between 1984 and 1988

Despite saving the city, possibly the world, lawsuits are filed against the team for thier activities in leveling Central Park West

Ghostbusters 2. The movie insinuates that the team disbanded immediately after Ghostbusters, but in the continuity of The Real Ghostbusters it is assumed the cases meandered in court for some three years before action is taken against the Ghostbusters.

The Ghostbusters rebuild the firehouse, and build a bigger containment unit. The Ghostbusters switch from uniform grey/tan flight suits to color-coded ones. Egon orders their old ecto-marshmallow-covered grey uniforms destroyed, but Venkman neglects to do this. A leakage from the containment unit causes the uniforms to come to life as spectral doppelgangers of the Ghostbusters. The Sedgewick Class Five, having escaped the containment when Peck blew it up, starts hanging around the firehouse.

"Citizen Ghost"

Comedian Dan Aykroyd, a veteran of Saturday Night Live and a paranormal enthusiast, convinces Columbia Pictures to turn his proposed ghost-hunter movie into an account of the Ghostbusters battle with Gozer. They option the rights to the story, and the money they wave in Venkman's face to do so comes in quite useful for the rebuilding of the firehouse and the new Containment Unit. Aykroyd and Harold Ramis write a script, and are tapped to play Ray and Egon in the finished movie. Bill Murray, whom Aykroyd and Ramis had both worked with, is hired to play Venkman. Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver, and Rick Moranis finish out the main cast as Winston, Janine, Dana Barrett, and Louis Tully.

Conjecture, a spin of the Contemporary Account of the filming of Ghostbusters with story of the movie's creation seen in "Take Two"

The marshmallow substance of the Destructor is collected and placed in the new containment unit. It recongeals into the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, but without Gozer's mind it is at first mindless, then develops a simple, almost benevolent personality.

Conjecture. The Marshmallow Man clearly is Gozer in the movie, but appears in the cartoon without having the power and evil of the Gozarian. The mindless Stay-Puft is seen in "Cry Uncle", but by "Deadcon I" and "Sticky Business" the somewhat Slimer-like personality is formed.

Ray names the Sedgewick ghost Slimer, and the team adopts him as pet and mascot over Venkman's objections. The Ghostbusters defeat the spectral doppelgangers formed from their old uniforms.

"Citizen Ghost"

1984--YEAR TWO
(The first season of The Real Ghostbusters, as established by "Take Two", which places the first season as concurrent with the release of Ghostbusters. Some of the episodes of season two--the syndicated package--are included in this year.)

The Real Ghostbusters Begins

"Knock, Knock"(RGB-76001;#240)
Digging a new subway tunnel, the transit authority disobeys the door telling them "do not open until doomsday". The Ghostbusters must close the gateway before, well, all Hell breaks loose.

I originally put this before all other RGB episodes in the erroneous belief that it was actually the pilot episode of The Real Ghostbusters; it shows in the higher animation quality and the use of an original song in the soundtrack (something that went away after the 1986 ABC season). I wonder if the writers of Extreme Ghostbusters were referencing this episode when in "Darkness At Noon" everything starts by, once again, the transit authority digging a tunnel in the wrong spot...

"Ghosts R Us"(RGB-75002;#101)
A family of ghosts attempts to put the Ghostbusters out of business by posing as paranormal investigators and "catching" their friends. Slug, Zonk, and their unnamed female conspirator hope to wake up their powerful pal Turloq, but end up with something nastier instead...

The ECTO-2 is first used.

"Killerwatt"(RGB-75001;#102)
A primal electric spirit is feeding off of the electricity of New York. The Ghostbusters rig up a bicycle that Janine has to pedal to keep the containment unit running while the four go out and stop Killerwatt.

"Mrs. Roger's Neigborhood"(RGB-75004;#103)
Watt poses as a sweet old lady, possesses Venkman, and tries to open the containment unit

Episode 104 is "Slimer Come Home", which takes place on Winston's birthday, conjecturally May 2, 1984. Thus it is moved later into the year.

"Troll Bridge"(RGB-75007;#105)
Trolls invade New York, attempting to rescue a "party" animal renegade. The Ghostbusters stop the trolls from burning down the city with a stone statue--Venkman sends the little troll to a college friend who loves practical jokes.

"The Boogeyman Cometh"(RGB-75008;#106)
A shadowy figure haunts young children Meghan and Kenny Carter. The fight becomes very personal when Egon reveals that the Boogeyman haunted him as a child, leading to his interest in the supernatural. Spengler's experimental "ecto-bomb" traps the Boogeyman in his home dimension

"Mr. Sandman Dream Me A Dream"(RGB-75009;#107)
A rogue sandman, keeper of dreams, tries to bring peace to the world by putting everyone to sleep. Ray gets zapped first looking at the ECTO-1's engine. Then Venkman gets picked off, and dreams of fame and glory. Egon's next, but his dream conjures Albert Einstein, who gives Winston an idea: when the Sandman attacks the firehouse and puts Janine to sleep, she dreams of being a Ghostbuster and catches the Sandman off guard.

In Janine's "Dream Ghostbuster" outfit, she wears white with red trim and high heeled boots. Comparisons will be made in later episodes, so pay attention.

"Legion, Part One" (XU GBL 1-01)
Venkman is interviewed by "Allmusic TV". Shortly after, a couple of strange cases occur where the ghosts involved have essentially been "lobotomized" somehow.

Micheal Draverhaven establishes mental domination over Slimer, and uses him to secure his release from the Albany Psychological Corrections Center

Six months after the battle with Gozer; while of course the Legion mini-series was not meant to fit into the RGB timeline, for our purposes there really isn't a lot to contradict it either (with small modifications for Slimer's role, and should the reader so choose, the appearances of the Ghostbusters)

"Legion, Part Two" (XU GBL 2-01)
Another "brain dead" ghost is caught at a Krazy's restaurant. The Ghostbusters are called about Draverhaven's escape, and Egon and Winston go to Albany to investigate.

"Legion, Part Three" (XU GBL 3-01)
Ray finds Draverhaven and Slimer, and Micheal tells him why he went insane--he'd developed the power to talk to and command ghosts. Ray tries to reason with him, but Draverhaven tells him it's too late--an entire legion of entities is about to attack New York.

"Legion, Part Four" (XU GBL 4-01)
The city is overrun with entities, and Egon, Venkman, and Winston fight to free Ray and Slimer from Draverhaven. Ray manages to break free, and knocks Draverhaven out, breaking his control over the entities. They disperse peacefully, and Slimer returns home. Draverhaven, now catatonic, is sent back to the Hospital. Egon agrees to go on a date with Janine.

Dana Barrett breaks off her relationship with Venkman because he won't commit to her. She marries violinist Andre Wallance (a fellow member of the orchestra) and gives birth in 1988 to a son, Oscar, before divorcing him.

Ghostbusters 2 Sigourney Weaver once conjectured, during an appearance on Arsenio Hall's talk show (promoting GB2) that Oscar's father was a character seen briefly in the first movie, a violinist from Dana's orchestra referred to as "The Stiff" in the movie (she called him "Mr. Nose Spray")--an idea Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis later confirm in the commentary track of the Ghostbusters DVD. Having the breakup happen so early is derived from Dana's non-presence in the cartoon. Venkman and Dana are seen fighting and breaking up in GBLegion#3; it is presumed in "this" universe, their reconciliation in GBLegion#4 does not happen. Andre has only been given a name in once place: the novelization of the first movie (so thanks to Miss Janine for supplying the answer to that nagging question!).

Episode 108 is "When Halloween Was Forever"; as it clearly takes place at the end of October, I moved it later into the conjectural year.

"Look Homeward, Ray"(RGB-75003;#109)
Ray goes back to his hometown, Morrisville, to recieve an award. Getting to see his childhood sweetheart, Elaine Fuhrman, again is an added bonus. Ray's jealous old rival, shoe salesman Alan Favish, uses magic to make him look bad, leading to a crisis of confidence and his brief resignation from the Ghostbusters. But when Favish gets in over his head and releases the sleeping puma spirit, Ray redeems himself and saves the day. The kiss from Elaine is, again, an added bonus...

It's interesting that in all Ghostbusters canon, Elaine is the only potential love interest introduced for Ray, and even she's never heard from again after this episode. He does get a love interest in an unproduced episode, ''Midnight on the Lady ''. We see Winston with a girlfriend in the NOW comics (RGB#19,23), and mentioned in "The Devil to Pay", though never named. Venkman and Egon's love lives are, of course, explored extensively in the movies and the animation.

"Take Two"(RGB-75011;#110)
Hollywood wants to make a movie out of the Ghostbuster's adventure with Gozer. Venkman is convinced Robert Redford wants to play him, but the parts go to Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd, and Harold Ramis. Things are complicated by a sleepy ghost and a very loud director and his clanking megazord

Trivia Note: We learn Ray and Egon are proficient in sign language. From Kingpin: "Dr. Crowley is a reference to Lovecraft. Referenced to writer Aliester (sp?) Crowley. The RGB writers weren't exactly original when it came to names, we have Ray's childhood nemesis Charles Favish, then the elderly Mrs Faversham, then we had the horror film character Dr. Crowley, then the villain who tried to destroy Halloween Dr. Crowley, and then we have Ray's nautical hero Max Philopolous, and then we had the monks of Saint Theopolus."

"Citizen Ghost"(RGB-75012;#111)
Venkman relates to UBN reporter Cynthia Crawford the tale of the team's rebuilding after the fight with Gozer, their adoption of Slimer, and the fight with thier spectral doppelgangers

"Janine's Genie"(RGB-75005;#112)
A genie grants Janine's wishes--leadership of the Ghostbusters, the affection of Egon--to keep them busy while the genie plots a supernatural invasion.

In this episode, Janine's Ghostbuster outfit is a medium brown in between Ray and Venkman's, with light blue trim

Episode 113 is "X-Mas Marks The Spot". I moved it to the end of 1984 for obvious reasons, I'd think.

"Janine's Day Off"(RGB-76044;#201)
Egon's dinner with Janine's family is rudely interrupted by a...little problem with imps.

We get one really good shot of Janine's family in this episode, which seems to be comprised of her parents, her sister Doris and nephew Victor (both mentioned in other episodes) a grandmother, and a brother (he seems to resemble the father, though Janine never mentioned a brother. In my fan fics I "establish" him as Victor's father, Janine's brother-in-law, instead. Janine's sister went for a guy that reminded her of Dear Old Dad). Except for Doris and Victor, they're never officially named.

"Adventures in Slime and Space"(RGB-76007;#202)
A bad experiment with a plasmic strainer leaves the city coated in green slime and the team ready to relocate to Pittsburgh.

It's interesting that one of Egon's ideas in building the plasmic strainer was "disintegrating ghosts...on the spot", the exact same idea he berates Paul Smart for in "Robo-Buster". One can assume that his incident is one of the things that proved the idea impossible. The idea of a molecular destabilizer, mostly to render physical entities susceptible to proton beams, resurfaces in "Egon's Ghost" and "The Boogeyman is Back"

"Ragnarok and Roll"(RGB-76019;#203)
Jeremy Whittington tries to unleash ragnarok to take revenge on the world for his break-up with his girlfriend. It is only the example of his deformed servant DiTillio that causes him to reconsider before the Ghostbusters blow themselves up to stop him.

This episode provides what some (including me) consider a subtle but important development of Egon's character: when they Ghostbusters are overloading their proton packs, and convinced they're about to die, Ray, Venkman, and Winston exchange banter while Egon whispers only one single word: "Janine". This is the first time he gives any sign that her oft-expressed feelings might be returned.

Whittington's manservant DiTillio is named for RGB writer Larry DiTillio, who would follow Stracynski to Babylon 5. Larry would repay Joe's compliment in "You Can't Teach an Old Demon New Tricks" with "The Great Strazinski".

One of the beings trying to instigate Ragnarok is the demon Surt; he is caught and contained by the Ghostbusters.

Conjecture from "Slimer's Sacrifice"; there is no time frame given for the original Ghostbusters' battle with Surt, so I somewhat arbitrarily connected the battle with the "other" Ragnarok episode.

"Slimer Come Home"(RGB-75006;#104)
May 2. Slimer runs away after Venkman's latest tantrum ("He helps himself to everything that isn't nailed down or on fire!"), and a ghostly artful dodger tries to turn him against the Ghostbusters.

This episode begins with Winston's birthday party, conjecturally May 2, 1984, and is thus moved further "back" in the chronology from it's air date. According to the script, the "artful dodger"'s name is Ghash, though that does not come out in the episode itself.

"Captain Steel Saves the Day"(RGB-76061;#204)
Ray's favorite comic book character comes to life. Unfortunately, so does his arch-nemesis Doctor Destructo. Destructo kidnaps Janine and barricades himself inside Ghostbusters Central, so the Ghostbusters and Captain Steel go to Steel's creator--Len Wolfman--to create a device to stop the deranged scientist.

Trivia Note: Doctor Destructo is voiced by prolific voice actor Peter Cullen, probably best known for being the voice of Optimus Prime in the classic Transformers cartoon and the 2007 movie. What's really funny is that this would have been at just about the exact same time he was playing Eddie Spencer Jr. in the "other" Ghostbusters cartoon, the one put out by Filmation

"They Call Me MISTER Slimer"(RGB-76041;#205)
Venkman bitches at Slimer for costing them so much money, so Slimer hires himself out as a ghost bodyguard for a little boy. Unfortunately, the bullies retaliate by summoning up some barrow wights...

"Buster the Ghost"(RGB-76057;#206)
A disaffected ghost moves into Ghostbusters Headquarters and invites zombies with lousy teeth in to party down. In the end, Buster lives his real dream: becoming a dentist.

This episode was co-written by comic book writer Kieth Giffen, of Legion of Super Heroes fame.

"Night Game"(RGB-76008;#207)
When Winston vanishes from Ghostbusters Headquarters, the rest of the guys find him playing in a "contest of the gods", where good and evil are warring for one human soul. Winston has chosen a baseball game for the contest, because of his love for the Jersey Jaguars (a loser baseball team)

The Umpire allows the other Ghostbusters to witness the contest; they nearly blow it by helping out (the Umpire previously said "Only evil cheats"). Winston and the good guys win fair and square. The kicker is, the soul they were playing for was Venkman's!

This highly-regarded episode was written by Kathryn M. Dreenan, who just happens (still happens to be?) the wife of story editor J. Micheal Straczynski

"Roller Ghoster"(RGB-76053;#208)
Egon and Janine go on a date and run afoul of Ray Cougar, running an unauthorized Ghostbuster-themed roller coaster at his tacky carnival. The coaster ends up possessed by the combined spectral force of animals from a circus that burned down in the spot years before.

June 8. Ghostbusters, featuring Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd, and Harold Ramis as Venkman, Ray, and Egon, is released by Columbia Pictures. The real Ghostbusters attend the New York debut of the picture. A fictionalized account of the team's formation and battle with Gozer, it becomes one of the top-grossing comedies of all time, despite the fact that Venkman constantly grouses that Murray "Looks nothing like (him)"

Ghostbusters was released June 8, 1984 (Contemporary Accounts), so the release is set about halfway through the 1984 adventures. The ending of "Take Two", then, takes place months after the bulk of the story, allowing time for the film to be finished

"Who're You Calling Two-Dimensional?"(RGB-76012;#209)
Investigating mysterious noises at the Walt Fleishman Studio, the Ghostbusters are drawn into a cartoon universe and discover Fleishman alive, but being tortured by his creation Winchester Wolf. With the help of Dopey Dog, Ray's childhood hero, they free Fleishman and return to "reality"

Interestingly enough, Dopey Dog looks nothing like the Dopey Dog doll seen in "The Boogeyman Cometh"

"Dairy Farm"(RGB-76064;#210)
The Ghostbusters visit Ray's cousin Samantha, owner of a dairy farm in upstate New York. A pack of zombies try to drive them off the land: they're the Peterson family, the former owners of the farm. Samantha convinces them she loves the farm as much as they did, and they depart to the Other Side peacefully.

"Egon's Ghost"(RGB-76060;#211)
An accident with the molecular de-stabilizer during the containment of Arzun draws Egon into the dimension ruled by Arzun and his brother Tolay. With the help of the court wizard Hieronymus, Egon is freed and returned home

This would not be the last time that dimensional transit technology is used by the team. The molecular restabilizer would re-surface in "The Boogeyman is Back"

"Janine Melnitz: Ghostbuster"(RGB-76035;#212)
Janine's apartment is haunted, but the Ghostbusters can't help her: they've been kidnapped by a shape-changer claiming to be the ancient Greek titan Proteus.

This episode, by the way, features Janine's one and only shower scene. It is, regrettably, tasteful.

As far as Ghostbusting togs, this time she just borrows one of Venkman's jumpsuits.

The IDW miniseries ''Get Real'' features a crossover between the animated Ghostbusters and the IDW Ghostbusters of c.1997, taking place basically during the commercial break of this episode. I'm not 100% sure it should be GBOT canon, as it would imply Egon should recognize Kylie Griffin in ''Darkness At Noon''--IDW continuity features another version of the character.

"The Cabinet of Calamari"(RGB-76050;#213)
The Great Calimari sucks Venkman into a pocket dimension, where the spirit of Harry Houdini helps him escape and the Ghostbusters to defeat Calamari. Venkman hits on Calamari's cute but dim assistant Vanna

"Ghostbuster of the Year"(RGB-76048;#214)
The Ghostbusters are hired by Barbara Mente, agent of Charles Foster Hearse III. If they can figure out who is haunting Hearse's house, they'll get to be on the cover of Spooks Illustrated. The ghost is Hearse's ancestor, Charles Foster I, and would it surprise you to discover the answer is "Rosebud"?

"Egon's Dragon"(RGB-76063;#215)
Egon accidentally releases a small dragon summoned and bound by his ancestor, Zediciah Spengler. The thing is causing major trouble trying to impress it's "Daddy" (bringing things like cars and a ferry) before Egon successfully returns it to slumber.

"Noone Comes to Lupusville"(RGB-76025;#216)
Gregor hires the Ghostbusters to help them in Lupusville. Turns out Gregor is a vampire, and the captured citizens are werewolves. The Ghostbusters wisely flee rather than be caught in the middle of this no-win situation.

"The Bird of Kildarby"(RGB-76034;#217)
Lord Liam Kildarby is less than thrilled that his family's castle is being turned into a New York tourist trap. He unleashes his wee pet canary on the city.

"The Long Long Long Etc. Goodbye"(RGB-76056;#218)
Ghostly detective Phillip Spade resolves old business with his old nemesis Blackie, turned into a monster by a mummy's curse.

"Venkman's Ghost Repellers"(RGB-76009#227)
The Ghostbusters meet Venkman's con-man father, Charlie Venkman, selling bogus "ghost repellers" to an expedition to survey the mysterious New Jersey Parallelogram.

This is one case where I broke the airdate order: the nineteenth syndicated is "Cold Cash and Hot Water", which also features Charlie. The team is clearly meeting him for the first time in "Ghost Repellers", and already know him in "Cold Cash". These three episode are in the proper order in the 2008 DVD set.

"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Ghost?"(RGB-76022;#220)
The Ghostbusters are hired to clear out a mansion of the ghost of the owner's deceased Uncle Horace. But Uncle Horace has hired them too, because he needs to find something before his soul can rest...

"The Man Who Never Reached Home"(RGB-76027;#221)
The Ghostbusters encounter Simon Quaig, who is trying to reach Providence--even though he's been dead for nearly a hundred years. He is being pursued by a "dark rider". Ray tries to help, but ends up getting stuck in the carriage himself. When Quaig confronts the dark rider, the amalgamation of Quaig's misanthropic deeds in life, he is able to go home at last--which now means Crossing Over To The Other Side.

The episode itself gives a date of 1987; this is compatible with the year it was broadcast, but not the timeline's precepts (to allow time between the early seasons of RGB and Ghostbusters 2. I split the difference by having Quaig's death be in 1887, as the opening flashback detailed, but hte episode take place in 1984 to fit the Timeline

"Doctor, Doctor"(RGB-76014;#222)
A chemical accident at Harcourt Chemical has Ghostbusters end up the unwilling host bodies of ectoplasmic parasites, and the equally unwilling subjects of the embarrassing medical experiments of Dr. Gould.

"You Can't Take it With You"(RGB-76024;#223)
An arrogant industrialist, Mr. Tummell, tries to disprove the old maxim, funding research into sending his money to the "ghost world"

Presumably, the unnamed scientist seen in this story was familiar with Ray and Egon's work, and Tummell's money more than made up for the difference in inspiration.

"When Halloween Was Forever"(RGB-75010;#108)
October 31. Samhaine, the ancient Celtic diety who's legend is at the heart of the Halloween celebration, attempts invoke perpetual Halloween. He is defeated and locked in the Ghostbusters' containment unit.

"Victor the Happy Ghost"(RGB-76062;#224)
A cute little ghost turns out to be a hideous monster, only slightly more destructive than his namesake, Janine's nephew.

"Lost and Foundry"(RGB-76037;#225)
Either it's an ordinary refrigerator gone bad, or a ghost has infected an entire iron shipment!

"The Revenge of Murray the Mantis"(RGB-76052;#236)
Thanksgiving. The spirits of the dead posess the balloon of Murray the Mantis at the Macy's parade. The Ghostbusters utilize the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to stop it (since the Death Star was unavailable...) Venkman romances Ann Lawson.

"Chicken He Clucked"(RGB-76018;#226)
Cubby, driven mad by living atop a fried chicken franchise, makes a deal with the demon Morgannon to get rid of all the chickens in the world. Morgannon enlists the help of the Ghostbusters to break the contract and restore his wounded demonic prestige

I admit, this is possibly my favorite episode of the show, with the principles of horror and wackiness perfectly melded in the form of Cubby, willing to go to frightening lengths to do an insanely asinine and petty thing

"The Spirit of Aunt Lois"(RGB-76005;#241)
The Ghostbusters must save Ray's aunt Lois from the Russian domovyen spirits released by fraud spiritualist Dr. Bassingame

As with "Venkman's Ghost Repellers", this episode clearly takes place before the events of "Cold Cash and Hot Water", where Mr. Venkman and Dr. Bassingame (pronounced "bass-en-game") team up. Ray specifically mentions the events of "Aunt Lois" in "Cold Cash"

"X-Mas Marks the Spot"(RGB-75013;#113)
Christmas. The Ghostbusters go back in time and meet Ebeneezer Scrooge, star of Dicken's A Christmas Carol. They accidentally interfere with events, and Ray, Venkman, and Winston must return to 1842 while Egon enters the containment unit to free the three spirits and close off an unproductive, anti-Christmas timeline.

I moved this episode to the end of 1984 for very obvious reasons, I think. The idea of de-stabilizing the molecular structure of a corporeal entity (Egon in this case) to allow access to the containment unit "follows" from "Egon's Ghost" and foreshadows "The Boogeyman is Back"

1985--YEAR THREE

(The remainder of the syndicated episodes (season two), as well as the second network season of The Real Ghostbusters, which is generally considered season three)

"The Hole In the Wall Gang"(RGB-76065;#228)
The house of cheese magnate Charles Von Limburger is haunted--and the bigger the hole, the bigger the ghost.

"Ghost Busted"(RGB-76015;#229)
The Ghostbusters deal with a drought in supernatural activity by becoming the Crimebusters, running afoul of a mob boss known only as "Crime Lord", who kidnaps Janine in an effort to neutralize the team.

One bit I found interesting was the team using a PKE meter to find the kidnapped Janine Melnitz. It's interesting that in "Janine, You've Changed" they try to find her by zeroing in on the lotsabuck's essence...probably a stronger PK trace?

"Ghostbusters In Paris"(RGB-76045;#230)
Asked to visit by the French government, the team makes a horrifying discovery: that Eiffel was a ghost-hunter, his tower a containment unit--and it's about to explode!

"Fright at the Opera"(RGB-76013;#231)
Egon drags Venkman to an opera at the Met (Venkman was confused and thought Egon said something about the Mets, one of New York's baseball teams) During the opera, as Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyrie" plays, a bunch of acutal Valkyries appear and cause trouble. Venkman saves the Diva, and earns her gratitude--and the jealousy of Leopold, the conductor.

The Ghostbusters try to stop the Valkyries, who according to Norse myth escort heroes to Valhalla, the land of the dead, but keep bungling the job. Venkman soaks in the Diva's attention until she reveals she was just doing it to make Leopold jealous. Venkman snorts about what a "hero" he is, and upon hearling this the Valkyries try to carry Venkman to Valhalla. The other three manage to prevent this, and Diva and Leopold reconcile.

"Collect Call of Cthulhu"(RGB-76028;#232)
Cultists steal a copy of the Necronomicon on display at the New York Public Library. To find it, the Ghostbusters enist the help of Dr. Alice Derleth of Miskatonic University. The cult is attempting to summon the demon Cthulhu, and for a few terrible moments the great being walks the Earth before a risky gambit using an old H.P. Lovecraft story sends the monster back to his ocean floor dwelling. The cult leader, Clarke Ashton, is taken into custody, and Venkman tries to romance Dr. Derleth.

This story, of course, is a tribute to the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Alice Derleth is presumably the descendant of Lovecraft collaborator August Derleth. Clarke Ashton is a reference to Clarke Ashton Smith, another Cthulhu mythos writer. Another tie to the Lovecraft mythos is made in "Russian About", but vastly understated due to ABC "experts"

"Play them Ragtime Boos"(RGB-76003;#254)
En route to the Tulane paranormology conference, which just happens to be taking place at the same time as Mardi Gras, the Ghostbusters arrive at the Hotel Bordeaux in Muddy Flats, Louisiana, and end up right in the middle of a supernatural crisis. With the help of attractive blonde mahmbo Marie Cuttie they must battle spectral jazz musician Malachi, who is trying to turn back time.

Moved upon rewatching this episode, and remembering it takes place during Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras ends during this episode, and in 1985, according to http://www.usno.navy.mil/, Ash Wednesday (the day after Mardi Gras) was February 20. Marie Cuttie's name is suggested by GBWiki; I admit her fake Cajun accent was so thick I couldn't figure it out, and it sounded something like ''Nurico Teah'' to me.

This episode is livened by a sequence depicting the Ghostbusters as bands throughout the ages. (Fifties, Beatles, ect.) The Eighties punk band is probably the funniest: Ray with a mohawk and Egon with even weirder hair than usual.

"Banshee Bake A Cherry Pie?"(RGB-76021;#233)
Shannon O'Callahan, Venkman's Irish pop-star squeeze, turns out to be a banshee. They have to stop her before her song is sent all over the world--even New Jersey.

"Drool the Dog-Faced Goblin"(RGB-76026;#234)
The Ghostbusters go upstate to investigate Madam LaFarge's Sideshow and it's shapeshifting goblin. After some early suspicions, the team is convinced of Drool's good nature when he helps them defeat an evil metamorph. Unfortunately, Drool has to sacrifice himself to capture in the process.

"Scaring of the Green"(RGB-76040;#243)
March 17. A bog hound tries to eat the Chief O'Malley as part of a family curse. Inspector Frump, who hates the Ghostbusters, is along for the ride.

I shuffled the order a little bit again: as this episode takes place on March 17, I positioned iit working under the assumption that with some forty stories this year, approximately three take place a month.

"Boo-Dunit"(RGB-76017;#235)
Winston helps Agatha Grisley finish her final novel.

"The Headless Motorcyclist"(RGB-76030;#237)
The descendant of Ichabod Crane is being terrorized by the Headless Horseman, albeit with a modern twist to his M.O. Inspector Frump, of course, thinks Venkman is behind it.

"The Thing In Mrs. Faversham's Attic"(RGB-76031;#238)
A sweet old lady has something nasty upstairs, a monster summoned and bound decades ago by her father, Charles Faversham.

This was a great Venkman spotlight episode, but one little thing bugged me: if Charles Faversham is Agatha's father, why is she Mrs. Faversham??? Did she just happen to marry a man with the same last name as her? Odd.

"Moaning Stones"(RGB-76055;#239)
An exhibit showcases the three Moaning Stones of Tangalla, supposedly the prison of a demon called "The Undying One", bound by the great Ibandi leader Shima-Buku thousands of years ago. The museum imprudently puts the three stones together, and sure enough the Undying One returns with an army of skeleton warriors.

A voodoo follower named Dalia tells the Ghostbusters the true means of victory: Winston is the reincarnation of Shima-Buku, and it falls to him to re-bind the demon.

Venkman's ahead of his time in this episode. If he'd waited until the Nineties, his toneless, disharmonic "music" would've made him a ton of money, especially if he'd added a track of rhyming cuss words on top of it.

"Cold Cash and Hot Water"(RGB-76039;#219)
Venkman gets a call from his father, Charlie--he's uncovered a block of black ice, the prison of Hob Anagarak, Inuit god of fire. The Ghostbusters go to Alaska and, to Charlie's consternation, destroy the block of ice--it's too dangerous.

Except...

A few weeks later, Charlie and fraud spiritualist Dr. Bassingame are shilling the mighty Hob in Madison Square Garden. Peter is apoplectic ("He conned me!!! Me!!! His own son!!!") Hob predictably goes nuts and starts destroying everything in sight, but Egon finds a spell to rebind Hob. It requires Bassingame (the conjurer who first freed Hob), Janine ("an Inuit Minyan"), and "The Trickster". Meaning Charlie Venkman. (Egon doesn't know Peter sold him out to get Janine's cooperation...)

This finishes the "trilogy" of swapped episodes: the airing order was "Cold Cash" "Ghost Repellers", then "Aunt Lois"; changing it to "Ghost Repellers", "Aunt Lois", then "Cold Cash" works better with the internal nature of the episodes

"Sea Fright"(RGB-76004;#242)
Max Pilopolous dredges up the treasure from the pirate ship, the Stag, and causes Captain Jack Higgins and his decaying, taste-impaired crew to come back from the dead to get it back.

I HAD to make the "taste-impaired" crack!!! At one point, Higgins' crew runs across a faux cowboy in an obnoxious rhinestone outfit, AND THEY STEAL IT FROM HIM!!!

"Ghost Fight at the OK Corral"(RGB-76047;#243)
Venkman gets to live the western stories of Dewey LaMort when Wyatt Earp comes back, and wants the Ghostbusters to be the Clanton boys.

Is it just me, or did Random Choice photographer Boris Meely look exactly like a fifty-pounds lighter Ray Stantz?

"Cry Uncle"(RGB-76006;#244)
Egon's uncle Cyrus shames his nephew into quitting the Ghostbusters; but when the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is accidentally released he sees the scientific value of Egon's work.

Andrew MacMillon, Duke of Dunkeld in Scotland, dies. As per the terms of his will, his title it to be inherited by his nephew, American Ray Stantz.

Shortly before "Bustman's Holiday"

"Bustman's Holiday"(RGB-76029;#245)
Ray inherits the Scottish estate of his uncle, Andrew McMillon, Laird of Dunkeld--and all they have to do is bust one little ghost. What the shady caretaker Angus Lenny didn't tell them is that the "one wee ghost" was the Keystone--catching him releases a major supernatural problem: ghosts ready to repeat the clan wars and massacre of the nearby village.

"Aint' Nasa-Sarrily So"(RGB-76011;#247)
Captain Kirok's "five year mission" is being threatened by a ghost.

"Apocalypse--What, NOW?"(RGB-76036;#248)
Janine accidentally unleashes the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse on her lunch hour. They had been sealed in the Codex of St. Theophilus, which Venkman had accidentally bought at a Northeby's auction. With the help of Father Janosz and the order of St. Theophilus, the Ghostbusters defeat the Dark Riders and seal them away again.

"The Devil To Pay"(RGB-76038;#249)
Ray and Winston's souls are on the line in "You Bet Your Afterlife", hosted by Dyb Devlin, the game show host from Hell!

This is, as far as I know, the first mention of Winston's offscreen girlfriend. It also features an appearance by an illusion of Samhaine. And doesn't Egon get awful indignant at the idea that Venkman was peeking at Janine in the shower?

"A Ghost Grows In Brooklyn"(RGB-76051;#250)
The guys bust a ghost at a plant shop, but just as the trap closes it hides in a geranium. Egon gives the plant to Janine as a gift, but then it starts growing and begins to destroy the city, drawing the attention of plant enthusiast Phil Dendron. Egon destroys it by overwatering it, but Janine is still so mad she bitches him out. ("Never give a woman flowers"...Venkman offers)

"I Am The City"(RGB-76054;#251)
The Ghostbusters are on hand for the latest round in the battle between Marduk, Babylonian God of the City, and his eternal nemesis Tiamat

"Last Train to Oblivion"(RGB-76042;#252)
Venkman is hijacked by the spirit of Casey Jones, a vigilante with a hockey mask and...er, by Casey Jones, the infamous train engineer; Jones wants to recreate the train wreck that killed him, but with a twist--Casey gets to prevent it this time!

Jeremy Whittington and his girlfriend Cindy wed.

Conjecture. This is actually derived from IDW's "The Most Magical Place on Earth" (GBIDW#5-7), where a boy named Scotty is possessed by a Manitou. Due to Dan Schoening's penchant for in-jokes, Scotty's parents greatly resemble Cindy and Jeremy; DiTillio is even seen nearby. As acknowledgement of something that was intended as a reference to the cartoon in the first place, and does not contradict any cartoon continuity, I decided to go ahead and use it here. The actual possession incident is not Classic Timeline canon, but can be found on the New Timeline.

"Beneath these Streets"(RGB-76016;#253)
Earthquakes? In New York? The Ghostbusters go underground and discover the "Pillar of New York", a giant gear that keeps Manhattan from sinking. A bunch of ghosts are trying to disrupt by closing off the flow of lubricating ectoplasm. The Ghostbusters have to find a way to restore the flow before the whole city goes bye-bye

"The Old College Spirit"(RGB-76010;#255)
Venkman's old frat, Tri Kuppa Bru, is haunted by the ghosts of college drop-outs. The Ghostbusters and Dean Fitzroy bribe their leader, Elwin Spaulding, with make up courses and fake diplomas.

"Hard Knight's Day"(RGB-76038;#256)
Venkman's latest girlfriend, Dr. Doris Tibbs, is kidnapped by the evil Sir Bruce Sans Pite', the first undead tyrant from a picture the team will face, who is convinced that she is the reincarnation of his lost love Lady Genevieve

I couldn't help but be reminded of this story the first time I saw Ghostbusters 2: undead guy in a picture has plans for Venkman's girlfriend. Sir Bruce, by the way, is an actual figure from Arthurian myth, albeit a very minor one.

"Masquerade"(RGB-76043;#257)
Kenny Fenderman wants to be a Ghostbuster. So Venkman gives him a highly dangerous piece of experimental equipment...

At least Kenny didn't suck as much ass as the "Junior Ghostbusters"

"Deadcon I"(RGB-76049;#258)
Which is scarier? The ghost convention, or the dentist's convention across the hall? The owners of Plump Towers aren't so sure...

The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man appears in this episode.

"Don't Forget the Motor City"(RGB-76020;#259)
Ray and Egon build the world's ugliest car to foil gremlins in a Generous Motors factory.

Trivia: Pea soup green is Egon's favorite color, and Ray has a suit in that color. Which is why Ray is such a lonely man, Venkman says...

"Devil in the Deep"(RGB-76046;#260)
Venkman tries to impress Ann Johnson of Celebrity magazine; meanwhile, Nexa is leading an invasion of Undyne water spirits. When Ray, Egon, and Winston are swallowed by Nexa, Venkman displays his little-seen inventive side and creates a micro-wave gun that frees his comrades and defeats Nexa, indeed seeming to impress Miz Johnson...

And Janine is impressing some of us with that skimpy bikini

"Lights, Camera, Haunting"(RGB-76033;#261)
Slimy MJN producer Artie Grendel hires ghosts to work in his movies. They don't want any money, either--just a chance to film their revenge on four certain Ghostbusters...

"Egon on the Rampage"(RGB-76032;#262)
Helen Schreck and Sandy Van Sanders of 20/40/60 shows up just as Egon is posessed by a demon from another dimension

"Station Identification"(RGB-76002;#263)
WBOO opens shop, trying to beam ghosts into living rooms across the country "It'll be even worse that what they're getting now!" Ray observes, as they're attacked by such creatures as "Gumbo, America's Clay Hero" ("Yo, 'm lookin' f' 'n orange horse"), "Star Patrol"("We're dead, Jim"), and "Power Guy: Prince, Hero, and Snazzy Dresser"

"Hanging by a Thread"(RGB-76023;#264)
A demon tries to steal the shears of the Three Muses of Fate.

This is arguably the worst episode in terms of animation quality; several late syndicated episodes were shaky, and this one is really bad. It seems like everybody was stretched out at this point, with even the voice cast getting into it--the Muses are especially limp and lifeless. This episode's one redeeming scene is the Ghostbusters trying to cross the River Styx and having to haggle with Charon the Ferryman. He finally accepts Ray's ham sandwich but bitches about it the whole time.

"Slimer, Is that You?"(RGB-76059;#303)
A freak experiment switches Egon and Slimer's minds just as Egon is being challenged by the Master of Shadows, an intellectual snob.

This episode takes place before "Transylvania Homesick Blues", as Janine and Venkman both have their original voices. It's an excellent episode (JMS wrote it) but falls prey to the common error of having the character's voices magically switch along with the brains. Having Welker and LaMarche try to imitate each other would've been more interesting and more accurate to boot.

Janine Melnitz falls under the influence of makeoverus lotsabucks, a spirit that feeds on a person's vanity. Frustrated in the glacial pace of her relationship with Egon, she relents in letting the creature "improve" her. The creature poses as a "fairy godmother", first changing her voice, then her hairstyle, then over time altering her actual physical appearance.

"Janine, You've Changed" In "Transylvania Homesick Blues", Janine still has her original appearance with her new voice (Laura Summer to Kath Soucie), but changes to her appearance wait until "Baby Spookums" Venkman's new voice is never explained.

The real explanation, of course, is interference by ABC executives who felt the original Janine was too harsh and unlikable. Thus, only the network episodes reflect a changed Janine: it produces a bit of a paradox, as in other material--such as the NOW Comics' series--Janine's face and personality remain unchanged. Personally, I much prefer the gutsy, abrasive "original" Janine to the shallow, ditsy cheerleader she became. In fact, if not for the sheer strength of "Janine, You've Changed" I would've written off all of the "improvements" as apocryphal.

On the other hand, I quite frankly DO consider apocryphal Venkman's changes in personality, especially his acting all buddy-buddy with Slimer, undoubtedly the result of similar network meddling.

"Transylvania Homesick Blues"(RGB-140012;#265)
The Ghostbusters travel to Boldavia, and meet the benevolent vampire Count Vostok, being hounded by Nicholas Van Helden, a crazed anti-vampire fanatic.

According to Vostok, his feud with the Van Helden family was fictionalized by Bram Stoker in his classic novel Dracula. This episode was released in first-run syndication, but features Dave Coulier as Venkman--the only syndicated episode to do so. This episode was originally prepared for ABC with the Second Season voice cast, but shuffled to syndication.

"Baby Spookums"(RGB-140001;#301)
A baby ghost is reunited with it's parents

What?!?!?!?!?!?!? was what I said the first time I saw this one. Leaving aside the issue of spectral procreation (gee, I thought dead souls were what created ghosts...), I was flabbergasted by questions like "Why did Venkman sound like a bad Bill Murray impression? And what in Grife's name did they do to Janine?!" Why mess with success, basically--this show wasn't broken but got "fixed" anyway...

"It's a Jungle Out There"(RGB-140003;#302)
Raal gives sentience to all of the animals of the world, and tries to enslave humanity

Janine wears one of Egon's flight suits this episode.

"Camping It Up"(RGB-140010;#313)
The Ghostbusters go on a relaxing camping trip...until an extra-dimensional Sasquatch shows up

I moved this one a little earlier into the year, as it doesn't seem to be very cold. This episode provides a little interesting tidbit in the Janine/lotsabucks idea: we see her without glasses and with mussed hair in one brief scene, and she still looked like the same person as Season One.

"The Boogeyman is Back"(RGB-140007;#304)
Egon survives a fall off the World Trade Center during a bust, but contains his emotion (as usual...); problem is, the Boogeyman is able to feed on the internalized fear of this former victim of his, and break free from his pocket dimension. The Boogeyman kidnaps the rest of the Ghostbusters, and taunts Egon into facing him alone. Egon triumphs over his fear, and using the destablizer gun renders the Boogeyman vulnerable to the Ghostbusters' proton packs, and he's placed in the containment unit

"In the Box" (XU GBIDW2 1-02)(XU GBIDW2 2-02)(XU GBIDW2 3-02)(XU GBIDW2 3-02)
The Ghostbusteres catch a minor entity named Ralph, and send him into the Containment Unit. There, he encounters Samhain, the spirit of Halloween, but it's not--it's the Boogeyman, who devours Ralph to build up power.

There's not really anything to tie this story down too strongly Timeline wise, other than it would definitely be after "The Boogeyman Is Back" but couldn't be between "Chanted Evening" and "Closet Case" because the Boogeyman was free in that time frame. It couldn't be any earlier than "The Boogeyman Is Back" because after "The Boogeyman Cometh", he wasn't contained--he was confined in his own dimension

"Once Upon a Slime"(RGB-140008;#305)
Stuff in Slimer's fairy tale book comes to life

"The Two Faces of Slimer"(RGB-140002;#306)
An accident causes Slimer to metamorph into an evil, bigger version of himself

"Sticky Business"(RGB-140006;#307)
Marty Tillis, President of Stay-Puft Marshmallows, hires the Ghostbusters to walk a controlled Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man through the Park as a fund-raising and promotional event; a nasty sting ray-like phantom nearly causes disaster.

"Halloween II1/2"(RGB-140004;#308)
Halloween. Samhaine escapes the containment unit, once again trying to instigate eternal Halloween. Once again, he is foiled and contained

Democrat Lenny Clotch is reelected mayor of New York City

Conjecture. There was an election in the Real World in 1985, when Ed Koch was reelected to what would end up being his final term as Mayor of New York City. Lenny's full name and party affiliation are from the Ghostbusters novelization

"Loathe Thy Neighbor"(RGB-140013;#309)
The Ghostbusters meet the Munster/Adams-esque Macabre family: father Bella, mother Lucretia, daughter Lydia, son Thaddeus (who invents a Frankenstien dog, Patchwork), and even wierd butler Creelo.

"The Grundle"(RGB-140011;#310)
The Grundle tries to corrupt Alec Meredith, intent on turning him into another Grundle, before being stopped by the Ghostbusters.

All of the Grundle's previous victims return to normal when the creature is contained except Jack, a friend of seven-year old Kylie Griffin. Realizing that the Ghostbusters were about to catch him, the Grundle had this victim go into suspended animation, emerging twelve years later fully transformed into a duplicate Grundle

During and after the events of "The Grundle" as detailed in "Grundlesque"

"Big Trouble With Little Slimer"(RGB-140005;#311)
The Ghostbuster's old "pal" Walter Peck, ex-EPA hatchet man, shows up to cause more trouble. Except now he's a hatchet man for the Bureau of Unidentified Flying Organisms, and he tries to have Slimer destroyed. It doesn't work and he's fired once more.

"The Copycat"(RGB-140009;#312)
An annoying shape-shifting monster causes havoc in Ghostbusters' HQ

1986--YEAR FOUR
(The fourth season of the cartoon, retitled Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters)

"The Joke's On Ray"(RGB-175003;#401)
Ray inherits his Uncle Gaylord's joke shop, which is haunted by two trouble-making imps. The ECTO-3 is first used.

Quack scientist Dr. Norman Dweeb starts to chase Slimer, intent on studying him and finding out what he "really" is.

Conjectured from "The Slob" and "Deja Boo" Dweeb was a regular in the Slimer solo cartoons that ran during the third season, though I consider them, on the whole, apocryphal and thus not part of the main chronology (though one episode, "Don't Tease the Sleaze", featured a character that also reappeared in "The Slob")

"Flipside"(RGB-175001;#402)
A weird tornado throws Ray, Egon, and Venkman into "Boo York, the Big Pumpkin", a parallel dimension where they are chased by the "Peoplebusters", ghostly counterparts of themselves.

The weirdest thing about this episode is that none of the Ghostbusters or Peoplebusters seem to notice that they resemble each other. Why is there no Peoplebuster Zeddemore? How did Egon--the "real" Egon--become so known and reviled as to be used as the Peoplebuster insignia and to frighten ugly parlor customers? Does this give the Peoplebuster Egon any problems? Was NOW comics going to address any of this in their aborted Peoplebusters/ Professor Epimetheus storyline? I guess we'll never know...

"Poultrygeist"(RGB-175002;#403)
The Ghostbusters are called by panicked Farmer Jess, who's wife Maude has been "eaten" by a giant chicken. Turns out she has been infected with a weird form of lycanthropy that turned her into a werechicken. Egon is also turned into a werechicken before his latest invention stops the giant werechicken monster and Ray's chickenbane soup cures Maude and Egon's curses.

The co-writers on this lackluster episode were Duane Capizzi and Steve Roberts, who would go on to provide more inspired work in Extreme Ghostbusters

"Standing Room Only"(RGB-175004;#404)
Venkman builds a phony-baloney ghost-catching machine, that mystifies everybody when it seems to draw hordes of ghosts eager to be slapped into the containment unit! But, alas for Venkman's vanity, the real reason is the arrival of the destructive Mee-Krah: the ghosts think the containment unit is the only place safe from the creature!

"Robo-Buster"(RGB-175005;#405)
The Ghostbusters catch Janine returning from a date with Paul Smart, President of Grossjuck Industries (much to Egon's obvious disdain). After sneaking into the firehouse, stealing a ghost trap, and secretly copying confidential Ghostbuster files, he disappears. None of them hear from him until weeks later, when he announces his "New advance in spectral elimination": Robo-Buster X-1, a robot that blasts ghosts to nothing instead of containing them. Over the next few weeks the thing steals their business, and when Janine confronts Smart over the way he used her he orders the robot to blow away Slimer. But Egon has guessed the truth: the ghosts have not been destroyed, just vaporized, and reappear as an angry amalgamated maelstrom--headed straight for Grossjuck Plaza. Slimer is freed, the maelstrom contained, Smart embarrassed, and Robo-Buster destroyed--albeit after being re-programmed and helping the Ghostbusters

In joke: "Grossjuck Industries" named for Ghostbusters movie producers Micheal C. Gross and Joe Medjuck

This episode features the Ghostbuster outfit Janine would use several times throughout the rest of the TV series: it's pink with light blue trim. About the only redeeming value of this sexist, hideous thing is the realization that it's also Egon's colors reversed...

Comment: This was a real disappointment. The first half was electrifying, making the most use of the Egon/Janine tension until "Janine You've Changed"--the sight of Egon clearly in the throes of jealousy, sneering sarcastic cracks at Paul Smart, was a sight to behold. But they drop the ball big time second half--I wonder if it was Francis Moss's fault, or a rewrite?

"Short Stuff"(RGB-175006;#406)
The Ghostmaster hires a shape-changing spectral bounty hunter to eliminate the Ghostbusters. Taking his appearance from a character in Punk Cinema magazine, the hunter shrinks the Ghostbusters and tries to contain them in shimmering globes. Janine finds the right counterspell, and the team is restored to full size and defeat the hunter.

I thought that "Punk Cinema" bounty hunter was one of the neater visuals of the series. Kind of an evil punk rock Barney Rubble...

"Follow That Hearse"(RGB-175008;#407)
Winston's desire to enter the ECTO-1 in a car show is derailed when a ghost possesses it.

"The Brooklyn Triangle"(RGB-175007;#408)
Construction worker Edward Zeddemore uncovers a dimensional rift in Brooklyn, and when the Ghostbusters are called in he and his son Winston continue their old arguments. They are both sucked into the Land of Lost Objects, ruled by the Collector. Venkman and Ray follow quickly behind, and Egon and Janine arrive when the firehouse is sucked into the growing maw. The Ghostbusters confront the Collector and learn the truth: At one time a ghost-hunter himself, he has spent ten thousand years scrounging lost objects in hopes of finding two in particular: the twin keys that will open his realm an allow him to move on. As it turns out, the twin keys are Zeddemore family heirlooms, in Edward and Winston's care. The Collector uses the power of the keys to pass on, and the Ghostbusters are returned to Earth and about buried in five lifetimes worth of lost crap.

It is never stated in the episode, but I assume that the Collector was originally Ibandi, and the demon who imprisoned him was the Undying One, defeated by Winston and Edward's ancestor Shima-Buku, as detailed in "Moaning Stones"

"Floating Fright At The Farm"(XU MARGB 1)
The Ghostbusters are fighting a giant nutcracker, and after an assortment of pratfalls and jokes about nuts and Sugar Plums and the Mouse King the nutcracker is in a trap.

We head back to Ghostbusters Central where Ray and Slimer are playing with a toy remote control helicopter, and in classic fashion it causes Venkman to spill coffee all over himself and complain about it. Janine gets a phone call, and the Ghostbusters are off and running.

The ECTO-1 arrives at a farm in Elmo's Hill, New Jersey, which excites Ray--it was the location featured in the 1938 radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds". Okay, turns out it's not a coincidence--there's an approximately fifty-eight year old man there who was ten when the "Martians" crash-landed there. Everything was fine until the cable company came to dig new lines--since then, the alien ghosts have been causing a bit of a ruckus.

The good news is that the Martian ghosts don't have their disintegrator pistols, or this story would have been over real quick. The bad news is that they're still antisocial, and aren't afraid to telekinetically throw cows at the guys. Fortunately, the Martians don't seem to be able to steer them pretty well. The ghosts are quickly trapped, save one who manages to reactivate their crashed spaceship, but after forty-eight years underground it's not in the best of shape. In fact, it self-destructs

One exploding flying saucer later, the Ghostbusters are back in New York with their company coffers a little heavier and Venkman just glad to be out of New Jersey. And no Martians, right, except Slimer sees something butt ugly at the window...

Mars Attacks The Real Ghostbusters, released in January 2013, is the first story clearly set in animated continuity since the end of Extreme Ghostbusters. Placing it in continuity involves two cues: the references to 1986 in the cover and promotional material, and Janine's depiction, in which she sports the GB2/Season 5 haircut, which would actually suggest the story should be moved to 1989. However, if we suggest that she adopts the haircut in 1986, after "The Brooklyn Triangle", and keeps it until late 1989, both cues are satisfied

In the wake of the disastrous events of the last few months, several protracted lawsuits against the Ghostbusters (some dating back to the Gozer incident of 1983) are brought to court. Rather than go to trial, the team is forced to accept a plea agreement wherein they accept an injunction against acting as paranormal investigators.

Conjectured from Ghostbusters 2 The second movie takes place five years after the first, and the team is clearly down on their luck. The problem is, in the context of the Real Ghostbusters canon, the movie is released during the hiatus between seasons four and five, and while the comic was being released. My answer is to "move" the two year interval between the first movie and the first season, placing it between seasons four and five. There's no real dramatic break there, but by season five references are made to events of Ghostbusters 2, and the movie needed some "dead time" (pardon the phrase) away from Ghostbusting to work right. In GB2 Venkman does say "It's been a couple of years since we used this stuff"--"a couple" and not "five", so this conjecture does have a smidgen of support. There is a reference in the Season Five episode "Something's Going Around", which clearly takes place after GB2 (it's Louis Tully's animated debut!) in which Janine makes it sound like they've only been busting ghosts for "two years"--I just simply have to treat that as apocryphal.

Having had to give up thier lives as Ghostbusters, the team finds new ways to get by. Egon Spengler returns to research, specializing in new theories on psychomagnetheric resonance in human emotional states. Peter Venkman becomes host of a cheesy, low budget TV program called World of the Psychic. Ray Stantz keeps busy as the proprietor of an occult bookstore, and appearing with Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbuster costume at children's parties.

Ghostbusters 2. What Janine Melnitz is up to during these two years was never noted, though I assume she didn't let Egon get TOO far away yet. I conjecture that maybe she worked as his personal secretary at the research facility.

Cindy Whittington gives birth to her and Jeremy's son Scotty.

Conjecture. This is actually derived from IDW's "The Most Magical Place on Earth" (GBIDW#5-7), where a boy named Scotty is possessed by a Manitou. Due to Dan Schoening's penchant for in-jokes, Scotty's parents greatly resemble Cindy and Jeremy; DiTillio is even seen nearby. As acknowledgment of something that was intended as a reference to the cartoon in the first place, and does not contradict any cartoon continuity, I decided to go ahead and use it here. The actual possession incident is not Classic Timeline canon, but can be found on the New Timeline.

1987--YEAR FIVE
Nogad, a member of the community of Toad Island, assumes control and starts a program of returning to the "old ways"--meaning the occasional abductions of guests to the island and forcing them to mate with the "Deep Ones" to create stronger strains of Deep One/human hybrids.

Real Ghostbusters#8, though the timing is conjectural. This is some two years before the events of that story, and gives Nogad time to carry out his program for a time before Kenneth and some of the others get to the point of doing something about it.

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Established 20030513t
Version 20170926t