October 25, 2014


(ABC, Syndication, September 13, 1986-September 28, 1991)

DiC Enterprises, Coca-Cola Telecommunications, Columbia Pictures Television

Lorenzo Music – Dr. Peter Venkman, Jim Venkman, various (season 1-2)
Dave Coulier – Dr. Peter Venkman, Jim Venkman (season 3-7)
Frank Welker – Dr. Ray Stantz, Slimer, Fred, Elizabeth, Manx, Mooglie (season 3-6), various
Maurice LaMarche – Dr. Egon Spengler, various
Arsenio Hall – Winston Zeddemore, Mooglie, various (season 1-2)
Buster Jones – Winston Zeddemore (season 3-7)
Laura Summer – Janine Melnitz (season 1 & syndication)
Kath Soucie – Janine Melnitz (season 3-7)
Roger Bumpass – Louis Tully (season 4-7)
Cree Summer – Chilly Cooper (season 3)
Jeff Marder – Rudy (season 3)
Jeff Altman – Professor Norman Dweeb (season 3)
Danny Mann – Bud (season 3)

Actor, comedian and singer Dan Aykroyd had one passion he had yet to bring to the screen: the paranormal. Inspired by an article on quantum physics and parapsychology, as well as his own family history with the subject via his father and great-grandfather, Aykroyd was determined to correct that. Wild with imagination, Aykroyd conceived of an epic that followed a group of ghost exterminators with SWAT-like gear across time, space and other dimensions to battle giant ghosts and demons. It was meant to serve as another starring vehicle for him and his friend, fellow Saturday Night Live alum and bandmate John Belushi, to complement their 1980 hit, The Blues Brothers.

Movie storyboards depicting the original uniform concepts.

Presenting the script to director Ivan Reitman, Reitman realized that Aykroyd’s vision, in 1980s money, would cost several hundred million dollars to create (remember, kids, this was before CGI and big budget blockbusters were in vogue). Also, the script was just non-stop action with very little in the way of character or story. At Reitman’s suggestion, Aykroyd paired up with Harold Ramis, with whom Reitman had worked with before, to help ground the script in reality and tone down the more elaborate sequences in order to secure a more realistic budget.

The result was a movie about three washed-up scientists who discovered how they could capture and hold a supernatural entity indefinitely. Losing their jobs at a prominent university led them to turn this knowledge into a business and become the Ghostbusters. Aykroyd and Ramis would play scientists Dr. Ray Stantz and Dr. Egon Spengler, respectively. Following Belushi’s death in 1982, the role intended for him was reconceived and fellow SNL alum and Reitman collaborator Bill Murray was cast as Dr. Peter Venkman (incidentally, his casting added weight to the project and helped the dubious studio get behind it). Ernie Hudson was brought in as the everyman Winston Zeddemore, to whom the more technical elements could be explained for the audience’s benefit. Rounding out the crew was Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz, the no-nonsense secretary with a crush on Egon. Serving as the innocent victims the Ghostbusters must rescue from the threat of model Slavitza Jovan’s Gozer the Gozerian were Sigourney Weaver as cellist Dana Barrett and Rick Moranis as accountant and Dana’s stalker-ish neighbor, Louis Tully. Released by Columbia Pictures, the film opened on June 8th, 1984 to critical and commercial success; becoming the second highest grossing film of the year behind Beverly Hills Cop

Ghostbusters vs. GhostBusters. Which do you like best?

During production of the movie, the existence of Filmation’s live-action television show, The Ghost Busters, was somehow overlooked and eventually discovered. Alternate names were considered up until the filming of the climax on Central Park West with crowds chanting “Ghostbusters,” causing a frenzied push by the producers to acquire the rights to the name. Fortunately, former studio head Frank Price—who had helped push the project into production—had just jumped ship to Universal Pictures, then-owners of the “Ghostbusters” name, and made the production a very generous deal to acquire it. Along with the movie’s success, Columbia was surprised at the number of younger fans the film had gained and contemplated continuing the franchise with an animated spin-off. Filmation president Lou Scheimer got wind of this and considered proposing co-production with Columbia, but was ultimately convinced to do their own thing with an update to their earlier show. Their GhostBusters cartoon featured the sons of the main characters taking over the business and working with their former gorilla partner, Tracy (Scheimer). Interestingly enough, Filmation’s GhostBusters was a lot closer in concept to Aykroyd’s original treatment; dealing with alternate dimensions and time travel, as well as having their jalopy imbued with spectral energy of its own. 


Columbia, meanwhile, partnered with DiC to create their animated series. As they only had the rights for the name for the movie—and as a little jab at Filmation—the title became The Real Ghostbusters. A short pilot was commissioned to give a general idea of the look and concept of the series, storyboarded by Kevin Altieri and Eddie Fitzgerald with no guide other than their own ideas. The characters were eventually designed by Jim McDermott, but instead of trying to acquire expensive likeness rights, they went for the embodiment of the characters themselves. To help differentiate between the three white, brunette characters in distance and group shots, their hair colors were changed along with their bodies. Peter was given brown hair and an average build, Ray was made a pudgy redhead, and Egon a tall, slender blonde with a large hairstyle. To make them easier to animate, the proton packs and Ecto-1 were streamlined. Set to a re-recorded version of Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” performed by John Smith, the pilot followed the Ghostbusters from their firehouse all across the city as they battled random supernatural threats; including the green ghost they first busted (dubbed Onionhead during the film’s production due to the awful smell of the puppet used, but later named Slimer for the series) and the final big bad from the film, Mr. Stay Puft (the only surviving giant entity from Aykroyd’s original concept). The end of the pilot, using the finalized designs, was reused as the end of the show’s original intro and other bits were used in promotional ads before the show's debut.

Promotional art featuring the refined designs.

The series was greenlit, and the final revisions were made. To further distinguish the Ghostbusters—as well as make them more appealing as toys—they were given new colored uniforms: Egon in blue with pink trim, Winston in gray with red trim and Peter in brown with green trim. Ray’s was largely kept the same from the movies and pilot. The equipment was further streamlined and changed from black to blue. The pack designs from the pilot, though, continued to live on as they were used as the basis for the action figure line produced by Kenner. Slimer was also softened to look friendlier and became the Ghostbusters’ live-in ghost mascot as a further draw for the kids. The containment unit, where a captured ghost was stored, went from a small wall panel to a massive room-sized device in the basement of the firehouse where the Ghostbusters were headquartered.

The original uniforms being possessed by the energy of Gozer.

While changes in a movie-to-television adaptation are not unusual, what was unusual was the fact that most of these changes were explained WITHIN the show. Specifically, the episode “Citizen Ghost,” which took place in a flashback that immediately followed the events of the first movie. It stated that the uniforms, covered in marshmallow goop after the original defeat of Mr. Stay Puft, had become so infused with spectral energy that they had to be destroyed. Luckily their new customized uniforms arrived during all the chaos. Slimer was found while they were fixing up the firehouse and Egon decided to keep him around as a guinea pig, much to Peter’s chagrin (since Slimer slimed him when they first met, and would continue to slime him throughout the series as a running gag). The episode “Take Two” also established that the film actually existed in-universe, inspired by the lives of the cartoon characters.

The animated version of the firehouse.

Reitman, Michael C. Gross and Joe Medjuck—the latter two producers on the film with Gross having also designed the no-ghost logo—served as producers for the series. Ernie Hudson was the only actor from the movie to audition for the role of his character, but somehow lost out to then up-and-coming comedian Arsenio Hall (it’s reported that Hudson was told he didn’t adequately capture the performance from the film that he gave). Hall also provided the voice for the commercial bumpers spoken through Mooglie, the ghost in the no-ghost logo. Maurice LaMarche, a known impressionist, was asked not to impersonate Ramis when auditioning for Egon. He did and got the part anyway, although he began the series with a much deeper tone for the first few episodes than he would use for the remainder. Lorenzo Music was cast as Peter, Frank Welker as Ray and Slimer, and Laura Summer as Janine. Another unusual aspect of the show was that the cast recorded their lines together to retain the ensemble feel of the film, whereas many shows had their actors recording individually. Often, when someone was unable to make a session, the other actors would have fun imitating them for the duration of the recording.

The Real Ghostbusters soundtrack album cover.

The producers wanted to feature music in the series much like was featured throughout the movie. Ollie Brown, a friend of Ray Parker, Jr., organized a duo called Tahiti comprised of Tyren Perry and Tonya Townsend. They were brought on board and provided songs in 10 early episodes, which were later released as a soundtrack album for the show by Polygram Records. However, as the series began to pick up steam on its own, they decided the added expense and effort was no longer needed and kept to just using the standard series score by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy. Some reairings of episodes would replace the Tahiti music with the score.

The series was simultaneously produced for broadcast on ABC Saturday mornings with 13 episodes and syndication with 65 episodes, leading to a whopping 78 episodes made at once—an unprecedented feat at the time. Writers Chuck Menville and Len Janson were originally recruited to be the story editors for the series, but became intimidated at the prospect of overseeing both the network AND syndicated version simultaneously. Jean Chalopin, head of DiC, then recruited a fairly inexperienced J. Michael Straczynski (of Babylon 5 fame) for the position. Straczynski loved the movie and was hoping to just write some episodes for it. He met with the producers and the network and was brought on as story editor and a writer for a number of episodes. Because the film was such a success, and given that the network would benefit from having the show more than the producers would, Gross and Medjuck were able to sidestep ABC’s notoriously stringent Standards and Practices department and dictate the way their show was going to be done. Given absolute freedom, Straczynski recruited the best stable of writers he could which included Menville, Janson, Richard Mueller (who also penned one of the movie adaptation novels and served as an uncredited story editor at times), Michael Reeves, Pamela Hickey, Dennys McCoy (both of whom would also write some of the tie-in comics), Marc Scott Zicree, Mark Edward Edens, and his associate from his Filmation days, Larry DiTillo. Other writers included Bruce Reed Schaeffer, Steve Perry, Arthur Byron Cover, Lydia Marano, David Gerrold, Kathryn M. Drennan, John Shirley, Craig Miller, Mark Nelson, Daniel Pitlik, Durnie King, Linda Woolverton, Randy Lofficier, Steve Perrin, J.M. DeMatteis, Steven Barnes, Robert Loren Fleming, Keith Giffen and William Rostler. They delved deep into mythology, science fiction, obscure occult references and many other places while embracing its movie roots; creating a very mature yet still kid-friendly experience. And it worked, as The Real Ghostbusters met with critical acclaim when it debuted on September 13, 1986 and became the number one animated series on any network.

Big bad Samhain, the Spirit of Halloween, had nothing on Q5.

Unfortunately, with success came extra attention and the old Hollywood adage: “if it ain’t broke, fix it anyway.” Parent groups found the show a bit too scary for children and expressed their displeasure to the network. As a result, ABC, in a stronger position than when they first bought the show, brought in consulting firm Q5 to retool and “improve” it along with the rest of their Saturday line-up. Q5’s suggestions included giving the Ghostbusters specific roles: Egon became the brain, Ray the builder, Peter the comedic con-man, and Winston the driver. Janine, perceived as too “harsh and slutty”, had her feisty personality toned down so that she could become the den mother. Her design was altered to make her short hair softened and lengthened along with her skirt, and her pointy glasses were rounded as “sharp objects frighten children” (she’d undergo a few design changes during the remainder of the run, which were addressed later on).  Summer was also replaced with Kath Soucie, who had a gentler vocal performance. The story content and subject matter was to be less scary and even more kid-friendly with a greater focus put on Slimer. Slimer gained more intelligible speech patterns and slowly worked his way to the center of stories since he was a “child surrogate” that represented the audience. Peter also became less hostile towards him, giving him the nickname “spud.” New recurring children characters called the Junior Ghostbusters were introduced to give the intended audience characters they could relate to. The animation and character designs were also altered slightly; with Ray becoming thinner and Slimer gaining a tail. Under protest about these changes and many others that were successfully shot down (such as eliminating Ray from the cast as superfluous), Straczynski quit the show. Janson and Menville were promoted to story editors in his place.

Ray has gone on a diet.

It was around this time that Music found himself replaced by comedian Dave Coulier (who would become famous as Uncle Joey on Full House). Two reasons for this persist: either Murray questioned why Peter sounded like Garfield (who was also voiced by Music, and whom Murray himself would go on to voice in two live-action movies) while Egon sounded like Ramis, or Medjuck or other producers wanted someone who could sound more like Murray. According to A Convenient Parallel Dimension by James Greene, Jr., voice director Marsha Goodman seemed to imply it was the former scenario. This created some confusion for viewers as earlier episodes would continue to be rerun on the network with Music and Summer in place. ABC did attempt to rectify this by re-recording some of these episodes with Coulier and Soucie replacing their characters’ dialogue. There was still one more departure to come; this time, though, of the actor’s own desire. Hall had begun development on the highly-successful first incarnation of The Arsenio Hall Show and left the series. He was replaced by Buster Jones, with Welker rerecording the commercial bumpers in a Slimer-like voice.

For the 4th season, the show was extended to an hour and retitled Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters, complete with a new Slimer-centric opening sequence that was later given a new recording of the theme song. A regular Ghostbusters adventure would precede two short Slimer adventures, done in a completely different animation style that was more rounded and cartoony. Slimer’s segments had an all-new supporting cast, such as ice cream truck driver Chilly Cooper (Cree Summer), con-man Rudy (Jeff Marder) and Scottish Terrier Fred (Welker), who resided at the hotel where Slimer was first encountered. Slimer’s nemeses were a trouble-making alley cat named Manx (Welker), and deranged scientist Professor Norman Dweeb (Jeff Altman) and his dog, Elizabeth (Welker), who sought to capture Slimer and experiment on him. Dweeb and Elizabeth would be the only Slimer segment characters to cross over into the main show (although the other characters would be rendered in the main style for the intro). Following the release of Ghostbusters II, Louis Tully (Roger Bumpass) was added to the cast in season 5 and Janine’s hairstyle was changed to resemble her movie counterpart’s. The mood slime from the second movie also made an appearance; however colored yellow instead of pink. Animation duties were moved from Japan to South Korea.

The Ghostbusters and some of Slimer's friends in the Slimer! animation style.

Newly added writers under Janson and Menville included Tony Marino, Duane Capizzi, Steven Roberts, Francis Moss, Pat Allee, Ben Hurst, Joe S. Landon, Charles Kaufman, Stan Phillips (who also directed and produced), Jules Dennis, Sean Roche, Gordon Bressack, Will Meugniot, Dennis O’Flaherty, Don Dougherty, Floyd Norman, Temple Mathews, Bob Forward, Leo Sullivan, and even Gross. A falling out between DiC head Andy Heyward and Saban Entertainment, resulting them being replaced as composers by Thomas Chase and Steve Rucker with the 6th season. Heyward led a buyout of DiC from Chalopin, who then proceeded to make a new company, Créativité et Développement (C&D). To ease some of their acquired debt, DiC sold the foreign distribution rights to their programs to Saban in 1987, who in turn sold them to C&D. DiC sued and Saban settled, but the working relationship between the two companies was effectively done.

The Ghostbusters examine the mysterious changes in Janine in "Janine, You've Changed."

The changes made to the show proved unpopular and viewership steadily declined. ABC had, at one point, asked Straczynski to return as story editor and salvage the show, but he was busy with other projects. He did, however, contribute several scripts with the proviso that he be allowed to do them the way they started out doing things. His contributions included “Janine, You’ve Changed” which gave an in-story explanation to Janine’s constant redesigns, and the show’s only prime-time special episode, “The Halloween Door.” The show managed to last for six seasons on ABC before finally being cancelled in 1991. That, coupled with the lackluster response to Ghostbusters II, put the franchise into a dormant state for a number of years despite Aykroyd’s constant attempts at getting a third movie into production.

Promo card for the series on Fox Family Channel.

Reruns of the series began airing on USA Network’s USA Cartoon Express programming block from September 16, 1991-September 11, 1994. It joined the Fox Family Channel (now Freeform) line-up from August 17, 1998-October 1, 1999. In August of 2012, it joined Fearnet’s weekend Funhouse block of horror-themed kid shows that included Tales from the Cryptkeeper, Eerie, Indiana and Dark Oracle. In 2017, the series started making the rounds on streaming services that included Netflix, Prime and Crackle, and was made available to purchase on Apple TV and Google Play. As part of the promotion for the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the official Ghostbusters YouTube channel began uploading complete episodes of the series on a rotating basis. In 2024, retro program network MeTV announced the launch of a new classic cartoon-centered network called MeTV Toons on June 25th. The Real Ghostbusters was featured as one of its launch programs.

All through the show’s production, Kenner released action figures, vehicles, a firehouse playset and child-sized versions of the equipment for North America, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Internationally, the toys were produced by Estrela in Brazil, Jocsa in Argentina, and Auriken in Mexio. Each wave of the line featured a series of Ghostbusters with different paint jobs, accessories or actions. Janine was featured in four of the waves before being replaced by a Louis figure for the remainder of the line. Aside from the toys, the show’s name was slapped on almost everything imaginable: TV tray tablesminiature gumball machinesradiosyoyosbath productsshaving kitsbeddingpuzzlesboard gameswatches and more. Beginning in 2020, Hasbro, current owner of Kenner’s molds, began releasing a Kenner Classics line that reproduced the first wave of action figures and ghosts, some ghosts, Ecto-1 and the Ghost Popper roleplay toy. In 2024, the next wave was finally released reproducing the “Fright Features” figures without Janine.

Real Ghostbusters handheld game by Renco.

In 1987, Data East produced a Real Ghostbusters arcade game that was a 360-degree top-down shooting game that was later ported to various home consoles. Because of licensing agreements, the game couldn’t be released in its native Japan; instead, it was reworked into Meikyuu Hunter G (the “G” standing for Ghostbusters). Many mistakenly believe The Real Ghostbusters game was the remake as Hunter G was able to be released first. In 1988, Remco released two LCD handheld games that featured Peter having to repel a horde of ghosts as they descended down on him. Remco also produced two electronic table-top games and two “water challenge” games. In 1993, a Game Boy game was developed by Kemco and released by Kotobuki Systems in Europe and Activision in America. The game had very little to do with the show or concept as it was originally developed as a Mickey Mouse game in Kemco’s Crazy Castle series of games called Mickey Mouse IV: the Magical Labyrinth. Various licensing agreements meant that Mickey needed to be replaced as the main character for the game to be released in other territories. In Europe it featured Garfield while the American version featured only Peter and the theme song. Each version involved navigating an enemy-filled maze to find all the level’s stars within the time limit and getting the key to the exit.

The Real Ghostbusters omnibus from IDW, collecting the first half of NOW's run.

In 1988, licenses for a comic based on the show were granted to Marvel’s United Kingdom division for international publication while NOW Comics obtained the domestic rights. The Marvel books were magazine-sized and ran weekly until its last few issues went monthly, featuring several short comic strips and a prose story. Many prominent creators worked on the series, including Richard StarkingsPhil HesterDan AbnettAndy Lanning and Al Williamson. Marvel also made a point of including many of the vehicles, equipment and suits that only existed as toys in their stories. Additionally, Marvel would run Ghostbusters strips in the anthology titles It’s Wicked! and The Marvel Bumper Comic. NOW’s series featured a more mature tone than the Marvel books and typically had only one story per issue except when they would import some stories from Marvel’s books. It was primarily written by James Van Hise with art by future Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias. Because of NOW’s monetary troubles, the original comic series ended after 28 issues but was relaunched with a new series shortly after; lasting four issues and two specials before ending once again. Occasionally during their runs, Marvel and NOW would share stories and cover art, and both books featured the only time the character of Dana would be rendered in The Real style as she never appeared on the show. Both companies also produced a short-lived Slimer! spin-off book; however, the Marvel version was typically a reprint of the NOW series. Both series outlived the show, ending in 1993. In 2006, Titan Books reprinted some of the Marvel UK strips in four digest-sized collections. In 2012 & 2013, then-license holder IDW Publishing released two omnibus collections of the first volume of NOW comics.

The last vestige of the series came from the most unlikely place. In a promotional tie-in to the show and sequel film, Hi-C began production of a flavor called “Ecto Cooler”: a green-colored orange and tangerine drink that featured the animated Slimer on the packaging. The drink lasted well beyond the show. Despite Slimer’s removal from the packaging in 1997, the flavor continued on and was eventually renamed “Shoutin’ Orange Tangergreen” in 2003—then “Crazy Citrus Cooler” in 2006—before eventually being discontinued altogether. Along with trying to petition Coca-Cola, the makers of Hi-C, to bring the flavor back, fans of the drink have taken to figuring out the recipe for it and making their own. Ecto Cooler did return for a limited time (still without Slimer) in 2016 as part of a promotion for Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, and were handed out at the 2021 New York premiere for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Other food items included a line of marshmallow cereals by Ralstoncanned pasta and sauce by Heinz, and fruit snacks by Kids Classics.

Extreme team: Slimer, Garrett, Kylie, Eduardo, Roland and Egon.

In 1997, Sony, now owner of Columbia and its properties, sought to revitalize the Ghostbusters brand with a new animated series entitled Extreme Ghostbusters (originally Super Ghostbusters, both popular adjectives to add to the titles of things throughout the 80s and 90s). The Ghostbusters had disbanded and Egon (LaMarche) remained behind to monitor the containment unit with Janine (Pat Musick) and Slimer (Billy West, who was led to believe that his friend Welker had to turn down the role, but in reality was too expensive for the production’s liking) while he taught at the university. Circumstances led to Egon’s only students—cynical slacker Eduardo Rivera (Rino Romano), intelligent and gifted Roland Jackson (Alfonso Ribeiro), brilliant goth Kylie Griffin (Tara Strong) and wheelchair-bound jock Garrett Miller (Jason Marsden)—to reform the Ghostbusters. While many things were similar to The Real, the designs for the show were owned by DiC, necessitating some redesigns (some explained in-story) as the show was now produced by Sony's own Adelaide Productions. The series, despite having some of the same writers and producers from the previous show, failed to achieve the same success and was cancelled after only one season; but not before the original Ghostbusters (portrayed by their Real actors) made an appearance in the two-part series finale.

The Real Ghostbusters complete series DVDs by Time Life.

At the conclusion of Extreme, all was quiet on the animated Ghostbusters front until two movie-centric episodes, “Citizen Ghost” and “Partners in Slime”, were included as special features on the 2005 re-release of Ghostbusters II. The following year, three bare-bones collected DVDs were released with four episodes on each. This was the first time The Real had been available on home video since the original VHS releases during the show’s run. Sales were sufficient enough that Time Life produced a full series collection in 2008, which included steelbook cases (replaced with similar plastic cases in later releases) with design sketches inside, an episode guide and a bonus disk of additional content. Fans got the chance to vote for the set’s packaging: a slimed black box with some images on it, or a reproduction of the firehouse (pitched using an image of the real New York firehouse). The firehouse packaging won out, resembling the cartoon firehouse with two lenticular holograms. The steelbooks within were later individually released as season sets. The set was further broken down in 2016 by Sony Home Entertainment into 10 volumes, each containing a dozen or so episodes and reusing some of the Time Life artwork. The first five volumes were put together in a box set at the time of their release, and in 2017 all 10 volumes were gathered together into a single box. The pilot was restored and included as a special feature on the limited edition 35th anniversary re-release of both films. In 2018, the complete series was released in Germany by Turbine with both English and German audio tracks available.

The RetroAction figures on display with the included Firehouse backdrop.

In 2011, five sets of Minimates figures based on the series were made, while Mattel produced a line of Reto-Action action figures (7” dolls with cloth uniforms modeled after Mego figures) and their Hot Wheels division released a die-cast animated Ecto-1 in 2015.  Beginning in 2018, Diamond Select Toys released new action figures based on the cartoon as part of their Ghostbusters toyline; both with and without a piece of a Firehouse diorama. A special box set of the Spectral Ghostbusters from “Citizen Ghost” was released as a San Diego Comic-Con 2019 exclusive. Although the show has yet to return to its own comic series, several references have been made to it in 88MPH’s Ghostbusters: Legion and throughout IDW’s ongoing Ghostbusters series. IDW also had a couple of back-up features set in the animated world and crossovers in Get Real and 101. The 2022 first-person shooter video game Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, developed and published by IllFonic, received an update in early 2023 that allowed players to customize their characters to resemble the Ghostbusters and Janine from the animated series. In October, a 4th wave of free downloadable content introduced the ghostly villain Samhain (Ryan Colt Levy), as well as skins based on the Molecular Destabilizing suit from “Xmas Marks the Spot” and the Screaming Heroes Egon action figure. In 2024, Mondo announced that they’ll be releasing a line of Real Ghostbusters action figures while Magnoli Clothiers began offering high-end flight suits modeled after the cartoon’s.



EPISODE GUIDE (* indicates also rerecorded with Coulier & Soucie):
Season 1:
“Ghosts R Us*” (9/13/86) – Slimer accidently frees a ghost family, who seek to get revenge on the Ghostbusters by being better Ghostbusters.
“Killerwatt” (9/20/86) – The Ghostbusters must remove an electrical ghost from the city’s power plant.
“Mrs. Roger’s Neighborhood*” (9/27/86) – The Ghostbusters investigate a haunted house which turns out to be a decoy for a larger plot to open the containment unit.
“Slimer, Come Home*” (10/4/86) – Slimer runs away from home and gets involved with mean Poltergeists, whose leader wants to absorb him and other ghosts to become invincible.
“Troll Bridge*” (10/11/86) – A troll comes to New York and his family come looking for him, taking over a bridge and threatening the city unless he’s returned.
“The Boogieman Cometh*” (10/18/86) – Meghan and Kenny Carter come to the guys to get the Boogieman out of their closet, leading to the revelation that Egon has encountered him before.
“Mr. Sandman, Dream Me a Dream*” (10/25/86) – To bring peace to the world the Sandman seeks to put everyone to sleep…for 500 years.
“When Halloween Was Forever” (11/1/86) – Samhain, the spirit of Halloween, is freed and seeks to stop time and make Halloween last forever.
“Look Homeward, Ray” (11/8/86) – Ray is invited to participate in a parade in his hometown, but a jealous rival casts some spells releasing a creature on the town.
“Take Two” (11/15/86) – While overseeing the production of their movie, the guys have to face a ghost terrorizing the studio demanding absolute quiet.
“Citizen Ghost” (11/22/86) – Reporter Cynthia Crawford gets the story of what happened following the Gozer battle and how Slimer came to live with them.
“Janine’s Genie” (12/6/86) – Janine comes to possess a genie, which seems to grant her wishes but is really allowing more ghosts to enter the world.
“Xmas Marks the Spot*” (12/13/86) – The guys unknowingly rescue Ebenezer Scrooge from the three spirits in the past, resulting in the end of Christmas in the present.
Season 2:
“Knock, Knock” (11/6/87) – Construction workers accidentally find and open a door that unleashes a horde of supernatural entities that seek to transform the entire world.
“Station Identification” (12/9/87) – Ghosts attempt to take over the world via their own television station, which they can use to transport themselves through any TV.
“Play Them Ragtime Boos” (11/26/87) – Ghostly trumpet player Malachi seeks to turn back time by playing “When the Saints Come Marching In.”
“The Spirit of Aunt Lois” (11/9/87) – Ray’s Aunt Lois hires a phony psychic to remove ghosts from her house, but ends up enraging them instead.
“Sea Fright” (11/10/87) – A ghostly pirate ship comes to New York to reclaim their treasure.
“Cry Uncle” (11/12/87) – Egon’s Uncle Cyrus, not believing in ghosts, forces Egon to quit the team and the guys’ trying to convince Cyrus otherwise results in Mr. Stay Puft being freed.
“Adventures in Slime and Space” (9/15/87) – Egon’s new invention causes Slimer to split into millions of little copies, roaming around and sliming the entire city.
“Night Game” (9/22/87) – Winston ends up caught in an ancient battle between good and evil whose fight takes the form of their surroundings: a baseball game.
“Venkman’s Ghost Repllers” (10/20/87) – Peter’s father sells phony ghost repelling ponchos that causes a science expedition to become trapped in the New Jersey Parallelogram.
“The Old College Spirit” (11/27/87) – Peter’s old fraternity calls the guys to remove the ghosts of former students who were expelled and swore revenge on the university.
“Ain’t NASA-Sarily So” (11/17/87) – The guys trek to space to rescue the new space platform from a power sucking ghost.
“Who’re You Calling Two-Dimensional?” (9/24/87) – The guys investigate the haunting of Walt Fleishman’s old studio where they enter a cartoon world and meet his creation Dopey Dog.
“A Fright at the Opera” (10/26/87) – Valkyries are terrorizing the opera at the behest of the Phantom of the Opera.
“Doctor, Doctor” (10/13/87) – A chemical plant bust leaves the guys covered in slime they can’t remove, which seems to have a powerful hunger to feed off other ectoplasm.
“Ghost Busted” (10/22/87) – Slow business force the guys to take other jobs before they find their new niche: crime busting!
“Beneath These Streets” (11/25/87) – Ray discovers ghosts have disrupted the grease flow to the rotating pillar holding up Manhattan, resulting in earthquakes and heat waves.
“Boo-Dunit” (10/30/87) – Winston must solve a late mystery author’s final story in order to remove the ghosts acting it out in her house.
“Chicken, He Clucked” (10/19/87) – A deranged man uses magic books to remove all the chickens from the world, but the demon who helped him wants out of the deal.
“Ragnarok and Roll” (9/16/87) – Heartbroken Jeremy uses a magic flute to bring about the end of the world.
“Don’t Forget the Motor City” (12/3/87) – WWII gremlins interfere with the operations of a Detroit Generous Motors plant.
“Banshee Bake a Cherry Pie?” (10/28/87) – Peter’s favorite rock-star singer Shanna O’Callahan turns out to be a banshee who wants to use her concert to spread chaos across the country.
“Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Ghost” (10/9/87) – The guys are summoned to a mansion to bust the ghost of Uncle Horace, who turns out to be the one who actually called them.
“Hanging by a Thread” (12/10/87) – The guys are put in the position to retrieve the Shears of Fate of the Three Fates from the underworld before a demon gets them.
“You Can’t Take it With You” (10/14/87) – A billionaire opens a doorway to the afterlife to take his money with him, unleashing a horde of ghosts on the world.
“No One Comes to Lupusville” (10/5/87) – The guys end up enlisted in a war between vampires and the original residents of Lupusville.
“Drool, the Dog-Faced Goblin” (10/29/87) – The guys believe a real goblin in a fake sideshow is causing havoc in all the surrounding towns.
“The Man Who Never Reached Home” (10/12/87) – Simon Queg has been cursed for 100 years to never reach home, and when Ray tries to help him he inherits the curse himself.
“The Collect Call of Cathulhu” (10/27/87) – The spawn and cult of Cathulhu steal the Necronomicon from the library in order to bring Cathulhu back to Earth.
“Bustman’s Holiday” (11/13/87) – Ray must eliminate the ghost in his inherited Scottish castle, which causes two warring clans to rise up and resume their centuries-old fight.
“The Headless Motorcyclist” (11/3/87) – The guys have to save the descendant of Ichabod Crane from the Headless Horseman and Peter from being framed for the Horseman’s latest victim.
“The Thing in Mrs. Faversham’s Attic” (11/4/87) – Peter, reminded of his mother, takes Mrs. Faversham’s case for free to remove the ghost in her attic.
“Egon on the Rampage” (12/8/87) – Reporters mucking with the guys’ equipment causes Egon’s soul to be exchanged with that of a demon’s.
“Lights! Camera! Haunting!” (12/7/87) – A movie director enlists real ghosts to appear in his picture in exchange for help in eliminating the guys.
“The Bird of Kildarby” (10/6/87) – The mayor hires the guys to remove the ghosts from an Irish castle erected in Central Park.
“Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster” (9/29/87) – It’s up to Janine to save the guys from a powerful elder god.
“Apocalypse—What, Now?” (11/18/87) – Janine accidentally unleashes the Four Horsemen by reading a book, bringing the Apocalypse to New York.
“Lost and Foundry” (10/16/87) – A ghost becomes fused with molten steel, and everything made from it comes to life seeking to bring itself back together.
“Hard Knight’s Day” (11/30/87) – Peter’s date drags him to a tapestry display where they come to life seeking to drag his date back in with them.
“Cold Cash and Hot Water” (10/8/87) – Peter’s father uncovers a demon trapped in black ice in Alaska, which in a cash grab he frees in New York.
“The Scaring of the Green” (11/16/87) – In exchange for getting the guys out of legal trouble, police chief O’Malley asks them to help rid his family of a leprechaun’s curse.
“They Call me MISTER Slimer” (9/18/87) – To earn money Slimer becomes the bodyguard for a bullied kids, but then the bullies hire their own monsters to deal with Slimer.
“Last Train to Oblivion” (11/24/87) – Peter is trapped on a train racing to oblivion whose conductor, Casey Jones, seeks redemption for a terrible train crash a century ago.
“Masquerade” (12/1/87) – Peter makes bullied Kenny Fenderman a Junior Ghostbuster and gives him an untested device, prompting his antagonists to challenge Kenny to stay in a haunted house.
“Janine’s Day Off” (9/14/87) – While Egon visits Janine’s relatives with her, the others deal with an imp infestation at the firehouse.
“The Ghostbusters in Paris” (10/23/87) – Workers accidentally break a device in Gustave Eiffel’s secret lab, releasing the ghosts held within the Eiffel Tower.
“The Devil in the Deep” (12/4/87) – Necksa, ruler of the sea elementals, declares war on the surface world for their constant pollution of the oceans.
“Ghost Fight at the O.K. Corral” (11/11/87) – The guys face the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday at Tombstone, Arizona.
“Ghostbuster of the Year” (10/1/87) – A woman hires the guys to remove the ghost from Hearst Castle for the title of Ghostbuster of the Year.
“Deadcon I” (12/2/87) – Ghosts hold a convention at a hotel and the owners want them out.
“The Cabinet of Calamari” (9/30/87) – A magician sends Peter through his cabinet into another dimension.
“A Ghost Grows in Brooklyn” (11/20/87) – A ghost possesses the geranium Janine takes back to her place, causing it to grow large enough to conquer the city.
“The Revenge of Murray the Mantis” (11/2/87) – Ghosts possess the Murray the Mantis parade balloon, and the guys’ only chance to beating it rests with Mr. Stay Puft.
“Rollerghoster” (9/23/87) – A carnival cashes in on the guys by having a roller coaster called Ecto-1, which ends up taken over by ghosts.
“I Am the City” (11/23/87) – Babylonian god Marduk and the dragon Tiamat wage their ancient battle in New York City.
“Moaning Stones” (11/5/87) – Winston is the only person who can banish the demon released by three ancient stones.
“The Long, Long, Long, Etc. Goodbye” (10/7/87) – A private detective’s ghost helps the guys free a thief who was possessed by an Egyptian curse 40 years ago.
“Buster the Ghost” (9/21/87) – A disgraced tooth fairy, Buster, tries to befriend the guys by bringing ghosts right to them.
“The Devil to Pay” (11/19/87) – Peter, Winston and Ray go on a game show run by a minor demon who seeks to claim their souls and become the next Devil.
“Slimer, is that You?*” (9/26/87) – A ghost challenges Egon in a battle of the mind for New York—just as Egon ends up with his mind switched with Slimer’s.
“Egon’s Ghost” (9/28/87) – Egon’s invention causes him to phase slightly out of reality, rendering him essentially a ghost.
“Captain Steel Saves the Day” (9/17/87) – The hero and villain from a comic about to be cancelled escape from the pages and bring their adventures to the real New York.
“Victor the Happy Ghost” (10/15/87) – The guys take in a ghost too cute to bust, not know it’s really a hideous malevolent spirit.
“Egon’s Dragon” (10/2/87) – The guys accidentally awaken a large dragon that Egon’s ancestor had summoned centuries earlier.
“Dairy Farm” (9/25/87) – The guys go on vacation at Ray’s cousin’s farm, but discover the former owners’ ghosts remain to ensure their farm is taken care of.
“The Hole in the Wall Gang” (10/21/87) – A haunted house is full of holes where ghosts emerge, and the bigger the hole the bigger the ghost.
Season 3:
“Baby Spookums” (9/12/87) – Slimer decides to take care of a small, friendly ghosts that has wandered into New York, not knowing his parents have come looking for him.
“It’s A Jungle Out There” (9/19/87) – A demon makes animals human-like, using them to help take over the world.
“The Boogeyman is Back” (10/3/87) – A near-fatal fall allows Egon’s fears to get the better of him, giving the Boogeyman a way to escape his realm.
“Once Upon A Slime” (10/10/87) – Slimer places his book on one of Egon’s devices, accidentally bringing its contents to life.
“The Two Faces of Slimer” (10/17/87) – Something escapes the containment unit and possesses Slimer, making him a monster when he sleeps.
“Sticky Business” (10/24/87) – The guys release Mr. Stay Puft for a charity event but end up also freeing a more malevolent entity in the process.
“Halloween II ½” (10/31/87) – Samhain is freed from the containment unit and turns the firehouse into his own personal fortress.
“Loathe Thy Neighbor” (11/7/87) – The guys are hired by a family to find out why weird things happen in their house.
“Big Trouble With Little Slimer” (11/21/87) – Walter Peck returns and after failing to get the guys arrested manages to legally confiscate Slimer and plan his destruction.
“The Copycat” (12/5/87) – A shapeshifter is loose in the firehouse.
“Camping it Up” (12/12/87) – The guys head out on a camping trip that is anything but relaxing.
“The Grundel” (11/14/87) – Lee asks the guys to find out why his brother Alec is doing bad things, and they discover he’s being influenced by a Grundel and in danger of becoming one.
“Transylvania Homesick Blues” (12/11/87) – The guys are hired by a vampire to help prove the giant bat-men attacking a village aren’t of his people.
Season 4:
“The Joke’s On Ray” (9/10/88) – Ray inherits a joke store and releases two imps that feed off practical jokes.
“Flip Side” (9/17/88) – Peter, Egon and Ray are transported to another dimension where ghosts live in the city and mortals are dealt with by the Peoplebusters.
“Poultrygeist” (9/24/88) – A werechicken hatches from the egg the guys recover from a job and bites Egon, turning him into one.
“Standing Room Only” (10/8/88) – Too sick to work, Peter invents a ghost attractor to bring ghosts to the firehouse, but they come to escape an entity that will destroy New York.
“Robo-Buster” (10/15/88) – Janine’s new boyfriend steals the guys’ technology to make a robotic Ghostbuster that seemingly destroys ghosts instead of trapping them.
“Short Stuff” (10/22/88) – The Ghostmaster sends bounty hunters after the guys, resulting in their being shrunk.
“Follow That Hearse” (11/12/88) – A ghost escapes the guys and possesses Ecto-1.
“The Brooklyn Triangle” (11/19/88) – Winston’s father’s construction company unearths a portal to a realm where all lost items go, including Winston and his father.
Season 5:
“Something’s Going Around” (9/9/89) – A ghost supplies the guys with potato crisps that make people allergic to ghosts.
“Three Men and an Egon” (9/16/89) – A clock monster causes Egon to age backward to nothingness.
“Elementary My Dear Winston” (9/23/89) – The ghost of Sherlock Holmes recruits Winston to help him find Moriarty in New York when Watson ends up captured.
“If I Were a Witch Man” (9/30/89) – The guys are called to deal with a witch who wants revenge on the descendants of those who imprisoned her, which includes Egon.
“Partners in Slime” (10/7/89) – Peter has to go to Ghost Town to rescue Louis and Janine from Poso, a ghost who wants to take over the business.
“Future Tense” (10/14/89) – The guys are paid for a job with a new TV which Ray discovers predicts their future, including their deaths.
“Jailbusters” (10/21/89) – The guys are captured by ghosts and put on trial, leaving Janine, Louis and Slimer to save them.
“The Ghostbusters Live! From Al Capone’s Tomb!” (10/28/89) – The guys await the arrive of Al Capone’s ghost but end up transported to the other side instead.
“Trading Faces / Transcendental Tourists” (11/18/89) – A Slimer lookalike sends Slimer and Louis into Ghost World. / A vacationing ghost family seeks to remove anything that interrupts their peace and quiet.
“Surely You Joust / Kitty-Cornered” (11/25/89) – The guys must rescue Janine from a medieval fate. / Slimer finds a wish-granting cat.
“Slimer’s Curse / Til Death Do Us Part” (12/2/89) – Slimer’s lottery winnings are paid in cursed money. / The guys’ temporary replacement for Janine is a ghost who wants to marry Egon.
“It’s About Time / The Ransom of Greenspud” (12/9/89) – An accident with a trap sends the guys and Slimer back to 1959. / Ghosts abduct Slimer to exchange him for Spiderlegs’ freedom.
“Revenge of the Ghostmaster / Loose Screws” (12/16/89) – The Ghostmaster returns and casts a spell on the guys disabling all electronics around them. / Slime breaks a trap and poorly repairs it, resulting in the essence from the next ghost trapped to ooze out and bring objects to life.
“Venk-Man! / Slimer Streak” (12/23/89) – Peter is turned into a powered superhero. / The guys have to play games in order to stop the train they’re stuck on.
“The Halloween Door” (10/29/89) – A group wants to eliminate Halloween, breaking a seal in the process and loosening Boogaloo on the world.
Season 6:
“Russian About” (10/27/90) – The guys must stop a Russian cult from awakening one of the Old Ones.
“The Haunting of Heck House” (9/29/90) – Peter regales local kids with the story of when the guys had to spend the night in a haunted house without their packs.
“You Can’t Teach an Old Demon New Tricks” (9/15/90) – The guys end up in another dimension where they meet a demon who insists on Ray teaching him magic tricks.
“Janine, You’ve Changed” (9/8/90) – The guys realize Janine has gone through many unexplained changes over the years, learning there’s a supernatural reason behind it.
“Mean Green Teen Machine” (10/6/90) – A trio of pizza-loving ghosts invade the guys’ dreams in order to trap them forever.
“Spacebusters” (10/13/90) – Winston gets to go up to a space station where a ghost is absorbing the life force of anyone there.
“Guess What’s Coming to Dinner” (11/24/90) – The guys return from a vacation only to discover a family of ghosts had moved into the firehouse.
“Very Beast Friends” (12/8/90) – Two Sumerian gods possess Peter and Ray in order to have a definitive ending to their millennial-long fight.
“Ghostworld” (9/22/90) – A ghost uses an amusement park to capture the guys, leaving only a sick Egon and his mother to save them.
“Afterlife in the Flast Lane” (11/17/90) – A ghost gamesmaster takes a charity race and brings it to the Netherworld.
“The Slob” (11/3/90) – Dweeb makes an arrangement with the Glob to capture Slimer in exchange for freeing the Sleaze.
“Busters in Toyland” (12/15/90) – The guys have to rescue Louis’ nephew from Toyland after Louis gives him toys possessed by ghosts.
“My Left Fang” (10/20/90) – A German town requests that the guys save their local ghosts from a creature that feeds on them.
“Stay Tooned” (12/1/90) – An accident brings cartoon character Sammy K. Ferret to life, causing the real world to blend with the animated one.
“The Magnificent Five” (12/22/90) – The guys have a showdown with Black Bart in Texas.
“Deja Boo” (11/10/90) – Dweeb captures Slimer and uses a device to read his mind and learn the vulnerability of ghosts.
Season 7:
“The Treasure of Sierra Tamale” (9/7/91) – Ray and Slimer join Peter’s father to find a treasure in Mexico.
“Not Now, Slimer!” (9/14/91) – While the guys take on a squid ghost, Slimer tries to evade Professor Dweeb.
“Attack of the B-Movie Monsters” (9/21/91) – The guys face off against Japanese movie monster ghosts in Japan.
“20,000 Leagues Under the Street” (9/28/91) – Peter is abducted by giant insects whose leader plans to sacrifice him.
“Slimer for Hire / Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’ / Nothing to Sneeze At” (9/10/88) – Slimer helps Rudy walk dogs but Dweeb is after him. / Slimer tries to get Fred past Bruiser to attend a BBQ. / Slimer is in charge when the guys are sick and has to deal with Manx.
“A Mouse in the House / Cash or Slime / Doctor Dweeb, I Presume” (9/17/88) – Manx chases a mouse around the firehouse, causing a mess Slimer is blamed for. / Bruiser keeps Slimer from buying Chilly’s birthday present. / Dweeb tries to nab Slimer at the doctor’s with Janine.
“Pigeon-Cooped / Go-pher It” (9/24/88) – Slimer tries to teach a pigeon how to fly while protecting it from Manx. / Slimer deals with a gopher in his garden.
“Sticky Fingers / Don’t Tease the Sleaze” (10/8/88) – Dweeb interrupts Slimer’s wallpapering of the kitchen. / Slimer attempts to recapture the Sleaze after accidentally releasing him.
“Room at the Top / Tea but not Sympathy / Special Delivery” (10/15/88) – Slimer tries to find a quiet place to enjoy his new comic book. / Manx fakes being sick so Slimer has to take care of him. / Manx tries to get at the food Luigi asks Slimer to deliver for him.
“Out With Grout / Dr. Strangedog” (10/22/88) – Bud and Slimer get Grout a job at a new hotel but must get him back when Dweeb takes over the old one. / Slimer must stop Dr. Strangedog from turning humans into dogs’ servants.
“Slimer’s Silly Symphony / Little Green Sliming Hood / Monkey See, Monkey Don’t” (11/5/88) – Egon gives Slimer a conductor’s baton, inspiring him to start his own symphony. / To stop his watching TV, Peter tells Slimer the story of Little Red Riding Hood. / Rudy is inspired to go into business after seeing an organ grinder.
“Beach Blanket Bruiser / Class Clown / Dog Days” (11/12/88) – Slimer has to prevent Bruiser from spoiling Fred’s fun at the beach. / Slimer has difficulty getting Donald scripts he lost. / Slimer helps Fred pass obedience school.
“The Dirty Half-Dozen / Movie Madness” (10/29/88) – Ghoullem and Zugg put the guys to sleep to get uninterrupted revenge on Slimer. / Slimer helps Bud clean the theater to see his favorite movie for free, but Dweeb has other plans.
“Show Dog Showdown / The Not-So-Great Outdoors / Unidentified Sliming Object” (12/3/88) – Slimer and Fred compete against Dweeb and Elizabeth at a dog show. / Slimer and Chilly encounter mischievous rabbits on a camping trip. / Aliens abduct Slimer.
“Up Close and Too Personal / Sweet Revenge” (12/10/88) – Slimer uses his video camera to catch Manx in embarrassing moments and film Luigi’s commercial. / Dweeb dresses as Slimer on Halloween and ends up doing his chores and being targeted by evil ghosts.
“Rainy Day Slimer / Slimer & the Beanstalk / Space Case” (11/26/88) – On a rainy day Slimer enters his drawing of the amusement park to have fun. / Peter reads Slimer Jack and the Beanstalk. / Slimer gives an alien a tour of the city.
“Scareface “ (10/1/88) – Slimer disguises himself as Scareface to evade Ghoullem and Zugg.

Originally posted in 2014. Updated in 2024.