Danny Phantom

Season 1 Episode 20

Control Freaks

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Jun 17, 2005 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
258 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Sam rebels when her overprotective parents forbid her from attending the strange Goth circus that's come to town. Little does she know that the circus performers are ghosts, under the mystical control of the creepy ringmaster named Freakshow, who also uses the ghosts to loot the town. When Danny falls under Freakshow's spell and joins the circus -- and the robbery spree -- Sam must operate under the radar to destroy Freakshow's magic crystal ball, free Danny and get grounded, big-time.moreless

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  • Danny gets brainwashed by an evil ringmaster into doing criminal activity

    One of the best episodes ever made. Sam is enchanted/interested in Circus Gothica but her parents disapprove of it for good reasons. Sam's parents also don't seem to like Danny or his parents thinking them to be a bad influence on Sam and her outlook. Danny is trying to be hero/helpful ghost but he falls under the influence of Freakshow the ringmaster's specter controlling staff. He and the other ghosts under Freakshow's control start committing thefts all over Amity Park. It is now up to Sam and Tucker to free Danny from Freakshow's staff of hypnotic power. Also the ringmaster traps Sam's parents, Danny's parents, and other adults inside his tent while he makes his getaway. The Fentons prove to the Mansons that they maybe eccentric but they can still fight aggressive ghosts and save the audience.

    An overall funny and enjoyable episode.moreless
  • ...

    I loved this episode. Freak Show, to me, was so funny xD Plus I liked Tucker's Circus Gothica hat. The little bat was cool (and I have one just like it xP) I gotta say, it didn't have a very hard to find plot...and Danny sounds like some crazed rapist when he's controlled xD

    Actually, I really liked Sam's parents, their happy go lucky attitude is comical compared to Sam's gothic lifestyle.

    I was very pleased with the (very slight) DannySam moment. I was so sad when there was no other slightly intimidate moment besides their blushing :cry:

    Unleash your dark side at Circus Gothica =)moreless
  • This episode was the best in the 1st season!!

    This episode was so cool! It's my favorite episode besides 'Memory Blank', and 'Phantom Planet'. In this episode, Danny is being accused of being involved with robberies in stores. Also, there's a gothic circus in town that Sam wants to go to, but her parents disapprove of it. So, she sneaks out and later gets in trouble because Danny shouted to everyone-including the protesting parents that they were there. Why? Because there was a mysterios gem that Freakshow has to control ghosts and Danny is under his control. He does rebellious stuff and goes to the circus to the gem. Sam and Tucker realize what's going on, and tries to stop him. The three of them save everything and are still grounded, though.moreless
  • Danny gets taken control of by Freakshow, and is slowly ruining his reputation as Danny Phantom. It was an awesome episode.

    This episode was pretty good, in my opinion. I liked the plot to it, and I liked how the introduction of Sam's parents shows us that she doesn't have the perfect life that we all think rich people have.

    When Circus Gothica comes to town, that's the main thing on Sam's mind: get to that circus. But her parents' ideas are far from it. When they see how she cut school to attend the circus, and see her with Danny, they pin the blame on him, and a restraining order is made. That's a pretty good summary, right? The entire episode isn't based along that plotline, but I just wanted practice on summary writing. See that? HA! (Just yelling out to my Literature teacher. Hee hee...)

    Anyway, if you forget about the stupid thing I wrote in that last paragraph, I'll move on to the real review:

    Control Freaks is a really good episode, and I mainly like it becasue Sam is my favorite character, and she's playing a bigger role than usual in this epoisode. We can see her feelings about her life at home, and how annoying her parents are (no offense).

    I also like how Freakshow was just a human who had the control over the ghosts. It was a nice change from all the usual full-ghost enemies. The final reason I liked this episode was that the ending was cute. (I mean the ending before Mr. Lancer. He's weird, no offense. And his part was more funny thatn cute. Seriously, when was this ugly teacher cute? No offense again!)

    Danny's friendship with Sam was shown, because it was whenever she was in trouble that Freakshow's hold on him would cease. I liked how the spell completely wore off when she fell, and then he went to catch her. Major DxS moment (to me)! Yay!moreless
  • Danny falls under Controll Freaks spell.Its up to sam and tucker to save danny ans stop freakshow!!!

    Where to began.This episode is truely amazing.Its just so good!This episode made Danny evil(which was actually freaky and pretty cool.)Its one of my personal favorites.Danny working for the dark side and acting a little bit goth was very cool!I like to see the characters being controlled or hurt(well im evil!)This episode was cool,actionie(is that a word i dont think so)okay its action-packed,and it was funny.It had the danny phantom touch.Like Danny overshadowing Mr.Lancer and making himself lock himself in the janitors closet!Or danny saying'hey everyone look!Its Danny Fenton and Sam Manson!We ditch school and were proud!Man that is so funny!moreless
Ron Perlman

Ron Perlman

Mr. Lancer

Kath Soucie

Kath Soucie

Maddie Fenton (Mom)

Rickey D'Shon Collins

Rickey D'Shon Collins

Tucker Foley

Grey DeLisle

Grey DeLisle

Samantha "Sam" Manson

Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen

Jack Fenton (Dad)

David Kaufman

David Kaufman

Danny Fenton/Phantom

Rickey D'Shon Collins

Rickey D'Shon Collins

Cop #1

Guest Star

Jon Cryer

Jon Cryer


Guest Star

June Angela

June Angela

Principal Ishiyama/Shelley

Guest Star

Kath Soucie

Kath Soucie

Maddie Fenton (Mom)

Recurring Role

Grey DeLisle

Grey DeLisle


Recurring Role

Laraine Newman

Laraine Newman

Pam/Talk Show Hostess

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

  • QUOTES (34)

    • Sam: Well, look who decided to slum it with the troubled teens!
      Danny: What? I'm not in trouble!
      (Sirens are heard coming towards Danny)
      Sam: Oh yeah, your an upstanding citizen. Need to hide from the law?
      Danny: No... (Goes invisible)

    • Freakshow: (On TV) I am Freakshow! Master of the Circus Gothica, where your nightmares come alive. Circus Gothica, where the clowns never smile. Circus Gothica, come and get your freak on. Circus Gothica, coming to Amity Park. Cross over, to the dark side.

    • Sam: (After her parents wake her up and open the blinds, letting the sun in) I'm a creature of the night, doomed to a family of morning people....

    • Danny: (After seeing the jewelry hover in the air) And I thought the merchandise is flying off the shelves was just an expression.

    • Danny: (Controlled; to Freakshow's minions, while zapping their behinds) Ecto-butts in gear! (Freakshow's minions scream as Danny zaps them) This party's just getting started!

    • Sam's Dad: (After seeing the brick wall surrounding the Circus Gothica tent) We're trapped!
      Sam's Mom: (While writing on her list) Okay, that's objectionable, immoral, and obnoxious.

    • (Sam sees a shadow of a bat, then screams and hides under a train)
      Tucker Sam?
      Sam: Tucker?
      Tucker: Hey, Sam! Is this a great Circus Gothica hat or what? (Sam slaps the hat off Tucker's head) I'll take that as an "or what."

    • Sam: (To controlled Danny, while on the train) I saw you up on that high wire, you were fighting him the whole time! Fight him now, Danny! You're not just a ghost, fight him!
      Danny: Quiet! All of you! I'm trying to think!
      Freakshow: (To his minions) Stop her, now!
      Sam: (As Freakshow's minions lead her off the edge of the train) Well, it's the crystal ball or your friend, Danny, your choice! (As she is about to fall) I didn't mean that to be so literal! (Sam screams as she falls off the train)
      Tucker: Sam! No!
      Danny: Sam? Sam! (Flies down to catch Sam; Freakshow's staff breaks; Danny's eyes turn green again)
      Sam: (As Danny flies up with Sam in his arms) Danny? Are you okay?
      Danny: I think so, it's all a blur. I did some bad stuff, didn't I?
      Sam: Nothing you can't fix. (They fly up to the train)
      Tucker: Great, now maybe you can convince Tiny to let go of me.

    • Sam's Grandma: (To Sam, after climbing down from her window on a ladder) And just where do you think you're going, Bubeleh?
      Sam: You don't understand, grandma! My friend is in trouble and if I don't do something right away...
      Sam's Grandma: You know, I had a wild streak when I was your age. (Pulls out a photo album and shows Sam a picture of herself when she was fourteen)
      Sam: Why are you showing me this?
      Sam's Grandma: Who knows? Maybe I'm old and babbling... or maybe you should sneak out and help your friend while I'm lost in my memories. (Smiles at Sam, then Sam kisses her on the forehead and runs off; Sam's grandma takes off her sweater revealing Sam's blouse underneath) This is so wrong... (Puts on a wig matching Sam's hairstyle) But I dig it!

    • Sam: (After Danny locks Mr. Lancer in the closet) Danny, what are you doing?! We're in too much trouble as it is!
      Danny: (Hypnotized) No such thing as "too much trouble"! Unleash your dark side at Circus Gothica! (Phases through wall)
      Tucker: (To Sam) Man, we better follow him!
      Sam: (Sarcastically) Oh, no! But that would mean skipping detention and going to the circus! (Tucker stares at Sam strangely) Hello? Irony? (Grabs Tucker by his hand and he screams as they leave)

    • Sam: I wanted to experience something horrific and unimaginable, this isn't what I had in mind. (Camera focuses on Lancer clipping his toenails)

    • Sam's Grandma: (Trance-like) Cross over to the dark side! (Sam's parents stare at her) I'm just kidding, lighten up!

    • Principal Ishiyama: (To Danny's & Sam's parents) Some might call this little act of rebellion, "a cry for attention." But I call it, "a cry for detention!" Ha, ha, ha! Isn't that clever?

    • Talk Show Host: (On TV) Up next: Is your teenage daughter moody? Surly? Is her outlook on life blacker than her eyeliner? (Sam's parents glare angrily at Sam) Take an active interest in your child! Know who her friends are! Learn to recognize a bad influence when it walks in your door!
      Danny: (Walks into the Manson's kitchen) Hey, Sam! I got that "Morbid Anti-Social Youth" CD you wanted. (Sam's parents glare angrily at Danny) What?! Have you heard "My Parents Reek"? That cut rocks. (Sam's parents glare even more angrily at Danny)

    • Freakshow: (To ghosts, who are no longer under his control) Okay, when I called you "minions," it was really a term of endearment, like -- like, "I love my minions."
      Danny: You wanted a big haul, try this on for size! (Blasts a pile of money, causing it to fall on Freakshow)

    • Sam's Mom: (About Danny, while they're in the principal's office) Samantha, I forbid you from seeing this boy or any other of your troublesome friends.
      Sam: My friends are perfectly normal!
      (Door opens; Tucker and Mr. Lancer walk in; Tucker is dressed as Sam)
      Principal Ishiyama: (Holds her forehead) This is so wrong.

    • Mr. Lancer: (Locked in the janitor's closet) Waiting for Godot, is anybody out there?! This is so wrong!
      Janitor: (Comes in) See you Monday.
      (Leaves and closes the door behind him; Lancer begins pounding on the door)

    • Freakshow: (To Sam) What are you doing back here?
      Sam: Whoa, Freakshow! This is so cool! (Quietly to herself) Focus. (To Freakshow) Um, I'm looking for a friend of mine who is acting kinda weird.
      Freakshow: Oh. That narrows it down to, uh... everyone in this tent! (Laughs obnoxiously; to Danny) What are you doing, dolt? Get back out there and do your encore!
      Danny: Sam?
      Freakshow: What is that? Is that -- is that free will!? Obey me, minion!
      Sam: You're controlling him?!
      Freakshow: (To Danny) Get her! (Sam screams as Danny swings his ax)

    • Freakshow: (About Sam) Please welcome another victi - talent to the high wire in her first... and final performance.

    • (Jack and Maddie have just used the weapons built into their jumpsuits to ward off all the ghosts in the circus)
      Maddie: (To the Mansons) I ask you once again... you got a problem with jumpsuits?!

    • Sam: (Sarcastically) Nice job, Danny! Maybe I should've cried, "Hey, it's Inviso-Bill"?!
      Danny: I'm sorry! I don't know what came over me back there.
      Jack: (To Danny) Bad judgment, that's what! Next time think before you act! (Wrist ectoplasmic goo launcher accidentally misfires and splatters goo all over Sam's parents)
      Sam's Mom: Obviously, the apple doesn't fall far from the overbearing, orange jumpsuited tree.
      Jack: You got a problem with jumpsuits?!
      Maddie: Jack, let me handle this... You got a problem with jumpsuits?!

    • Tucker: (Dressed as Sam) This is so wrong. (To dollar bill) But you make it right!

    • Jack: (To Danny, Sam, & Tucker, about Freakshow) Nice work, kids! You caught that weirdo Goth punk thief red-handed!
      Sam's Mom: I'm just happy you're all safe.
      Sam's Dad: They're more than safe, they're heroes.
      Maddie: We're so proud of you! (Scene changes to Sam's house)
      Jack, Maddie, & Sam's Parents: But you're all still grounded!

    • Sam's Mom: Sam! Shouldn't you be in detention?
      Sam: Um... Lancer let us out?
      (Back at the school, Lancer is still locked inside the janitor's closet)
      Mr. Lancer: Let me out!

    • Sam's Mom: I'm keeping a detailed list of anything I find objectionable, immoral, or obnoxious. (Jack accidentally gags popcorn and soda all over Sam's parents)
      Sam's Dad: He on the list?
      Sam's Mom: Right now, he is the list!

    • Cop #3: Curse you, ghost kid!
      Danny: (Sarcastically) Great, more fans.

    • Cop #1: (After finding jewelry on the floor after Danny leaves) Hey, you wanna take this stuff and blame the ghost kid?
      Cop #2: (Sighs) You're under arrest.
      Cop #1: Aww!

    • Danny: The crooks got away, I'm late for school, and... I've never seen so many Goths out in broad daylight. (Goths open umbrellas)

    • Freakshow: Don't let the rantings of the closed-minded norms beat you down. Show them your true colors! And when I say "colors," I mean all black. Make them see you for who you are.
      Danny: (Hypnotized) Make them see us for who we are. (Eyes turn red) Hey, everybody! Over here! We're Danny Fenton and Sam Manson. We cut school and we're proud of it!
      Goth Boy: (Spray paints Danny's shirt black) You're one of us now.

    • Sam: Danny, it's us! Sam and Tucker, your best friends, remember?
      Danny: (Starting to come out of the spell) Tucker? Sam? I... I... (Falls back in) ... am a ghost. I have no friends.
      Freakshow: Save your breath, children. He's under my control now.

    • (The Circus Gothica train is leaving Amity Park)
      Sam: We have to jump!
      Tucker: Are you crazy!? I can't jump!
      Sam: And I can't abandon Danny! (They both jump on the Circus Gothica train and scream until they land on it) Plus, I'll never hear the end of it if my parents learn they're right about him being evil.

    • (Going in and out of Freakshow's control, Danny has cut Sam off the tightrope and then catches her before she falls)
      Sam: Danny, don't scare me like that!
      Danny: (Back under the spell) How should I scare you?

    • Danny: (To circus ghosts) You know, it's ghosts like you that give ghosts like me a bad name!
      Cop #3: Freeze, Inviso-Bill!
      Danny: Although, it's hard to come up with a worse name than that.

    • Sam: How ironic is it that I'm stuck under house arrest while my parents go to a free Circus Gothica show?
      Tucker: Only slightly less ironic than the fact that they were right about it being evil.

  • NOTES (41)

  • ALLUSIONS (12)

    • Sam and Tucker: (Entrance to the train)
      The way that Sam jumps down into the train gracefully and quietly, and then is followed by a loud, screaming Tucker falling flat on his face, is increasingly similar to the entrance to CRD of Buffy and Xander in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode I Robot, You Jane. Buffy jumped into the "Bad guys" lair quietly, while Xander came plummeting down behind her and screaming in horror, landing with a sickening crunch and crash.

    • Episode Title: Control Freaks
      The episode name is similar to a villian off the DC comics animated show "Teen Titans," Control Freak. He's a couch potato who has a special remote that controls any non-living thing and brings it to life. This is similar to Freakshow who uses a staff to control ghosts.

    • Tucker: Can we take time off from your Gothapalooza to actually look for Danny?!
      This reference is obviously a forshadowing event for "Reality Trip"; Sam wants to go to Gothapalooza, in the bleak Nevada Desert.

    • Ellistica: Powers
      Ellistca's powers of streching and turning her arms to rubber could be a reference to the many stretching super heros such as Mr. Fantastic, Rubberband Man, Plastic Man, or, most likely, Elastigirl from Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles.

    • Jack: (To Sam's dad, about his apology) Save it for the bake sale, Thurston!
      Jack calling Sam's dad Thurston, is a reference to Thurston Howell III, a millionaire castaway on the old TV show, Gilligan's Island.

    • Circus Gothica: Objects
      Freakshow's ghost controlling staff has the Batman "bat symbol" at the near end of it. In addition, the Circus Gothica hats had the Batman logo on it, as well as the pamphlet shown on Sam's television.

    • Tucker: (Reading)
      In detention, Tucker is reading a famous book called A Farewell to Arms, an anti-war novel written by Ernest Hemmingway.

    • Title Screen Caption: "The Freakiest Show On Earth!"
      This is probably a reference to Barnum & Bailey's Circus which often uses the title "The Greatest Show On Earth!" More Info

    • Freakshow: Cross over to the dark side.
      This might be a reference to the "Dark Side" in the Star Wars saga.

    • Mr. Lancer: Waiting for Godot!
      Mr. Lancer is referring to the book Waiting for Godot, which was written by Samuel Beckett in 1997. More Info

    • Mr. Lancer: Cask of Amontillado!
      Cask of Amontillado was a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1846. It told a tale of great revenge. It also involved someone being walled inside a wine cellar, similar to when Lancer was locked up in the janitor's closet.

    • Freakshow: Appearance
      Freakshow's appearance seems to be somewhat inspired by The Joker from Batman. It wouldn't be surprising if Joker's design was used as a reference for Freakshow's design, with all the comic book references in the show and all.