Danny Phantom

Season 2 Episode 8

The Fright Before Christmas

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Dec 06, 2005 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
189 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Danny Fenton hates Christmas. When he accidentally destroys the only copy of a ghostly Christmas story, the book's author, Ghost Writer, makes Danny hate the holiday even more by turning him into the main character of a brand new Yuletide tale. Danny is now trapped in a scenario where everyone talks in rhyme! With his magical Quantum Keyboard, Ghost Writer creates a series of catastrophes that threaten to ruin Christmas for all of Amity Park and pins the blame on Danny. When Danny goes into the Ghost Zone to confront Ghost Writer, he is surprised to find his old ghostly enemies in a giving mood. Danny enlists them to help him defeat Ghost Writer and restore the spirit of Christmas to Amity Park and, perhaps, to his own heart.moreless

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  • Rather forceable preachy and overdone

    It's not the worst episode but quite definitely not one of the better ones or close to it. Yes I understand the importance of classic tales but there comes to a point where writers need to leave certain story lines alone and either seek another one or come up with something totally new. If you can't do a decent Christmas episode (or any episode for that matter) then writers and producers should pursue something else. It starts as Danny hating Christmas because of his parents' bickering but learns to love it at the end. Really overdone. This episode had funny parts to it (I will admit it); a cast of various ghosts (most of whom were villains), and had an interesting antagonist who isn't really evil but understandably upset that Danny not only destroyed a work of literature he worked hard on and thus valued (and possibly had a deadline) but that Danny was proud of doing so. The Ghostwriter has a unique form of revenge I must say by making Danny the main character in a Christmas story which he loathes at first but then later loves. Then it gets too preachy for most people's taste. Not terrible but could've been done so much better. A potential special episode was compromised by an overdone plot someone realizes the true meaning of Christmas which certain portions were also botched.moreless
  • Man, they worked hard.

    You can tell they had a lot of fun and a lot of work making this episode. This is the one episode in the series that I can really picture the writers going back and forth with ideas. In order to make this episode work. Everything any character said had to be important. There could be no throw away lines. To make an entire episode in rhyme. My hat goes off to them for it.

    The villain was pretty interesting. I like that they kept with their tradition of always giving a villain an interesting motivation. (A tradition they'd continue until season 3) He was pissed because something he worked hard on was destroyed. I can understand that. I liked all the cool christmas imagery. I didn't really like Danny'd mean- spiritedness or that his friends were mean to him without proof that it was his fault, but I can forgive it because it worked itself out in the end.

    I do want to ask one thing though. If they wanted to make a holiday special, why didn't they do a version of the 'christmas carol'? Yeah I know it's really overdone in the media, but when you stop to think about it. It is the only christmas story to have ghosts in it. If ANY show deserved to do something relating to the famous Charles Dickens classic it's DANNY PHANTOM.

    But that's just me wishing that it was something it wasn't, and for what it is, it is a decent episode. Check it out if you're in the mood for Danny phantom this holiday season.moreless
  • Danny accidently destroys Ghost Writer's only copy of The Fright Before Christmas and is forced to be in Ghost Writer's new poem, The Fright Before Christmas 2, where Danny must learn a valuble lesson about the holidaysmoreless

    Nobody notices this, but this episode is definitely something that a family would watch. It shows the true meaning of Christmas... uh, I forgot what it was. But, finally, a cartoon Christmas special without there being Santa being turned into a vampire, or him being expected. -coughgrimadventuresofbillyandmandyandspongebobcough (wow that was a long cough! lol)- It's something you'd have to get a greedy person to watch. Anyway, it's beautifully plotted, and it's something I'd love to watch over and over, holiday after holiday, year after year. I wish the whole world can see this episode... oh, wait, never mind about that.

    EDIT 12/23/05: And what are you people talking about, Danny/Sam romance?!? The writers just wanted to show what the holidays were about!! Do you think ROMANCE is what Christmas is TRULY about?!?moreless
  • Great holiday episode that I watch every year! Highly recommended.

    What seperates this Christmas episode from the rest of the Christmas episodes out there is the fact that its ideas and storyline are truely original. The fact that Danny doesn't like Christmas is in and of itself a new concept. Also, the fact that virtually every part of this episode is in rhyme is also really cool. The villian didn't pose a huge threat but it was the fact that he was threatening something that people care about that made Danny fight back. This was interesting to watch and really cool. I'm sad this series is over but I enjoy rewatching this episode every christmas.moreless
  • Christmas is a special time of the year--to ghosts and humans alike.

    The Ghost Writer caused more good than harm in this episode. (And he's cute!) Sadly to say, the Ghost Writer is correct, there is no true rhyme for "orange".

    You have to love Walker's sense of humor at the end though. A classic to torment the Ghost Writer. The downside to this episode is the aggravating rhyme scheme. I love to read and write poetry as much as the next person, but even this got on my nerves.

    The true meaning of Christmas can be summed up into one word: Love. Thank you, Butch Hartman for this episode. A true classic.moreless
David Kaufman

David Kaufman

Kid Walla

Guest Star

Will Arnett

Will Arnett

Ghost Writer

Guest Star

James Arnold Taylor

James Arnold Taylor


Guest Star

Kath Soucie

Kath Soucie

Lunch Lady Ghost

Recurring Role

Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen

The Box Ghost/Kid Walla

Recurring Role

Tara Strong

Tara Strong

Ember/Penelope Spectra/Tiffany Snow/Baby Danny

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • Right before the commercial, Danny is running away from the Nutcracker. When the show comes back on, he is facing it.

    • The Ghostwriter has a half-brother named Randy.

    • When the ghosts are grabbing Christmas trees, you can see two Spectras for a second, one of them being her human form and one of them being her shadow form.

    • When the ghosts went to help Danny they would have had to travel through the ghost shield, meaning that they would not have been able to reach him.

    • Technically, Danny broke the truce when he beat up the Ghost Writer and had him arrested.

    • Ember is present (and speaking) at the ghosts' Christmas party, but she is not among the ghosts when they arrive in the real world to help Danny.

    • Before the trees attack, when Danny sees that little boy, the boy's shirt had red on the sleeves but when you see him again, the red is gone.

    • After Danny uses his ghostly wail, and transforms back into a human, he has his coat on. But earlier that night when he left he didn't have it on.

    • After Danny goes ghost, the Box Ghost says something. Once he turns around, Spectra isn't in her new form.

    • The episode's name is apparently based on Tim Burton's fantasy "The Nightmare Before Christmas" with Nightmare using the substitute "Fright'.

    • At the end of the episode, when all the ghosts are in the sled, there are two Spectras. One is in her body form and the other is in her shadow form.

    • As the enemy ghosts help restore Christmas to the town, one part of the sequence shows Danny, Tucker, and Sam bringing a Christmas tree into a young boy's house. When Sam enters, her coat is colored red. But afterward when Danny helps the boy put the star on top of the tree, Sam's coat is back to her regular black.

  • QUOTES (26)

    • Box Ghost: The Box Ghost shall conquer this holiday doom!
      Lunch Lady: We just couldn't leave you to wallow in gloom.
      Skulker: (Arming an arm cannon) Tomorrow you'll see what this baby can do...(warmly) But all ghosts share the truce....even half-ghosts like you.

    • Skulker: (To Danny; after the Ghost Writer writes him to a room with a bunch of his enemies) We've been waiting for you.
      Ghost Writer: Skulker said with a grin.
      Box Ghost: Now our holiday party can finally begin!
      (Spotlights come on and illuminate two christmas trees)
      Skulker: Eat, drink and be merry!
      Ember: Have some warm Christmas goose!
      Box Ghost: For surely you know of our annual truce!
      Ghost Writer: The truce! It's still holding? I thought they'd suspend it! To beat on their foe!
      Skulker: Oh, this truce, we defend it!

    • Danny: (Depressed; after destroying the Ghost Writer's keyboard) With the keyboard all busted, the curse takes its toll. The story continues, but I've no control.
      (Sam and Tucker show up)
      Tucker: Dude, like, it's Christmas. So why are you here?
      Sam: Alone outside, with no friends or family near?
      Danny: Its my fault. All my fault, what happened tonight. I spoke out in anger and acted in spite. I started it all when I picked that first fight. But I'd give all I have to set everything right.

    • (After Danny storms off)
      Maddie: Hmm? What got into him?
      Jack: He takes after his mother.
      Jazz: Can't blame you for losing your cool, little brother. Go ahead. Clear your head and I think you'll be fine. (Christmas presents go up the chimney and start to follow Danny) But taking our presents is crossing the line!

    • Ghost Writer: You think this is over? It's barely begun! This all doesn't end till the lesson is done!
      Danny: And you think that I'll learn it? You think you're that tough?
      Jack: He exists!
      Maddie: No, he doesn't!
      Ghost Writer: Then Dan screamed...
      Danny: Enough! I'm sick of your fighting! Can you please let this die? You've ruined each Christmas, each Christmas... and I can't take anymore of this war, am I my clear? Fourteen years is enough! I am so out of here!

    • Danny: I won't keep this up!
      Ghost Writer: Danny said to the writer.
      Danny: There's no poem if I'm silent.
      Jazz: (About Jack and Maddie's fight over Santa's existence) Can't you make Dad not fight her?
      Danny: Augh!

    • Ghost Writer: But Danny's grim Yuletide was only beginning. Later that night as his patience was thinning...
      Jack: (Slides down the chimney) See! A fat man can fit down the chimney! Here's proof!
      Maddie: That still won't explain how he gets on the roof!
      Ghost Writer: And Danny just sat there, steaming and fuming. His blood pressure rising, his anger consuming...

    • Jack: Anybody seen Danny?
      Jazz: Like I even care.
      Maddie: What are you saying, Jazmine? Your brother's out there. Hold down the fort, Jack. I'll go after our tot. Those trees will not stop me! (Jumps out the window)
      Jack: Oh, man, that is hot!

    • Bill: It's tree watch, day one. Hope there isn't day two. Let's go to Lance Thunder, our weatherman who...
      Lance Thunder: (Surrounded by ghost trees) Can't believe I quit acting to work in this place. There's chaos here, Bill. (Ghost trees gang up on him) Not the face! Not the face!

    • Tiffany Snow: The sirens is wailing, the ghost trees attacking. Lock up your homes, I suggest you start packing.

    • Danny: (Fighting the Nutcracker) You think this can stop me? This bear or this train? I'll just fire away 'till no pieces remain! (Destroys Nutracker) Nothing to add?
      Ghost Writer: Danny asked. Then the answer, showed up in the form of Sam, Tucker, and Lancer. And Jazz, standing silent, her eyes filled with tears. Mourning the bear she had loved all these years. And Tucker and Sam felt that crushing blow too.
      Tucker: (As Danny tries to comfort him) Danny, don't.
      Sam: What's your deal?
      Jazz: I don't even know you.
      (They walk off)

    • Danny: And that's when I thought, maybe this is the moral. In the same way my folks love their old Christmas quarrel. Everyone celebrates in the way of their choosing. I was so busy whining, I started abusing the ones I loved most and I ruined their cheer. I'll try to be better come Christmas next year.
      (Danny, Jazz, Sam, and Tucker appear on the poem's last page)
      Sam: Uh, nice sentiment, but what are you, a greeting card?
      Tucker: Yeah. Why you talking in ryhme?
      Jazz: Such a dork.
      Danny: (Excited) We're not talking in rhyme. We're not talking in rhyme!!

    • Maddie: You've ruined our night!
      Jack: Drink some anti-ghost tonic!
      Danny: Wait, I ruined their night? How's that for ironic?
      Ghost Writer: So Danny did soar through the crisp evening --
      Danny: Look! What's a guy got to do to get out of this book?!
      Ghost Writer: And then Danny thought...
      Danny: (Flying around the city) Wait. My problem is clear. This poem's about Christmas which is here, here, and here. This curse will stay on me from my town to Rome. But he can't Christmas me in a non-Christmas home.

    • Tucker: Who are you talking to, Danny?
      Ghost Writer: Said Tucker, confused.
      Danny: Some annoying Ghost Writer. We're all being used! I blew up his story...
      Ghost Writer: No hint of remorse.
      Danny: Now he's writing a new one. We're trapped in by force!
      Ghost Writer: But Tucker and Sam merely shrugged in confusion. Completely convinced of my ghostly illusion.

    • Danny: Now you're ripping off gifts? What is that supposed to do?
      Ghost Writer: A: Make a huge scene, and B: blame it on you!

    • Danny: Sam!
      Ghost Writer: Danny said.
      Danny: Ah, for cryin' out loud.
      Sam: I know! Can't you see we're all under a cloud? Every present we had, in the chimney, up through it! That might work for you, but that's not how we do it!
      Ghost Writer: And Sam saw sad faces on Mom, Dad, and Granny, so I typed on my keyboard, that the blame was on Danny!
      Sam: You. You did this?!
      Danny: Are you out of your mind?!
      Sam: You're the holiday Scrooge! Do you think that I'm blind?!
      Ghost Writer: And Danny and Sam found themselves in a spat. But before Dan could calm her, I soon realized that, a new threat was needed to cut through the noise. And what better way, than attack of the toys?!

    • Ghost Writer: There was one little boy, in a little red hat. He thought Danny was cool...
      (The boy waves at Danny and Danny waves back)
      Ghost Writer: So we'll have to fix that! (Turns all the Christmas trees in town into monsters)

    • Ghost Writer: On this night before Christmas, a brand new attacker! And now, face the wrath of my monster Nutcracker!
      Danny: Aw, nuts. (Starts running)
      Ghost Writer: Danny cried, as he started to run. (Pause) Must we end every scene with a terrible pun?

    • Ghost Writer: (To Danny) You would be quite surprised what I can and can't do, but I'll leave you your freedom, so I can teach you. When you lash out at others, there's enmity earned. You're stuck in this poem 'till your lesson is learned.

    • Danny: (After destroying Ghost Writer's book) Oops, uh, sorry man, it was a total accident.
      Ghost Writer: Oops? Oops?! Do you have any idea what you've done?!
      Danny: Well, not really, uh, hence the "accident" part.
      Ghost Writer: You've destroyed my greatest work! And that was my only copy!
      Danny: (Picks up a page of the book from the destroyed pieces) "The Fright Before Christmas?" I destroyed a Christmas poem? Awesome!
      Ghost Writer: What?!
      Danny: Dude, I am sick of Christmas! I came to the Ghost Zone to get away from it. I might not have meant to destroy your stupid book, but that doesn't mean I'm not okay with it. (Destroys the page from the book that he was reading)

    • Ghost Writer: Danny Fenton hates Christmas, he hates it a lot, which is why I've inserted the boy in this plot. He'll go through this tale 'till the story is ended.
      Danny: But you can't make me rhyme!
      Sam: Hope your New Year is splendid!

    • (after Danny shows no sympathy for his book)
      Ghost Writer: Scornful child! Scrooge-like urchin!(rises into the air as his eyes glow red)
      Danny: And you are?
      (keyboards appear around him)
      Ghost Writer: The Ghost Writer! Every word I type on this keyboard becomes real. And since you destroyed my Christmas poem, you shall become my new Christmas poem!
      (he zaps Danny back to Amity mall and begins to narrate as he types)
      Ghost Writer: On the day before Christmas, in Amity Park, almost all there were cheery, yet one soul was dark.
      Danny: Hey, that voice? It's that ghost whose book I destroyed. Wait, I'm trapped in his poem? Now I'm really annoyed!

    • Danny: I hate the holidays!
      Sam: I don't get it. How can anybody hate this time of year? I don't even celebrate it and I love it!
      Tucker: That's right. You don't know about "The Fight".
      Sam:"The Fight?"
      (goes to a scene where Jack and Maddie are arguing around Santa's display)
      Maddie: Santa Claus is a ho, ho, hoax!
      Jack: Heretic! Santa's real as real can be! Don't listen to her kids! Santa's coming tonight in his sleigh full of goodies! Keep the ho, ho, hope alive!
      Maddie: Flying at that altitude? In the open? At that speed? He's pass out. Or burn to a crisp from friction. It's scientifically impossible!
      Danny: If you need be I'll be in the Ghost Zone. Getting rid of some frustration.

    • Ghost Writer: (While typing) Young Danny thought quickly and picked up an orange. He threw it at Walker who... (No longer typing; trying to think of a rhyme) Aw, crud! Nothing rhymes with orange!

    • Walker: Orange?
      Ghost Writer: Ahh! Get that thing away from me!

    • Sam: Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas, Mikey.
      Mikey: You are being cheery?! It's a trap! It's a trap!(runs away)
      Sam: What's with him?
      Danny: (angrily)What's with you?
      Tucker: Aw, perk up Danny. I know you're in your annual holiday funk, but this is the one time of year Sam isn't instantly dour.
      Sam:(to an African American man) Have a Kickin' Kwanzaa!
      Tucker: And the one time of year I can bust out the Foley mistletoe beret. (starts talking to a lady)Hey there miss! Hows about spreading a little Christmas cheer?(is licked by dog) Mmm, you had liver for lunch.

  • NOTES (45)

  • ALLUSIONS (13)

    • Blue Toy: Appearance
      When the ghosts come to help Danny, one of the first toys floating resembles Optimus Prime from Transformers. The figure's coloring seems to be paying homage to the prototype colors of Ultra Magnus from The Transformers: The Movie (1987).

    • Ghost Writer:"Scornful child! Scrooge-like urchin!"
      He calls Danny 'Scrooge' here, which is, of course, a reference to the character of Ebenezer Scrooge from the 19th-century novel 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens. This name is actually very fitting for Danny in this episode because of his hate for Christmas, and then how he later comes to understand that the holiday is not as bad as he'd thought. Something very similar happens to Scrooge in the book.

    • Danny: You better watch out. You better not cry!
      Danny is quoting the popular children's Christmas song, "Santa Claus is coming to town", while complaining about his parents' fight.

    • Danny: (Charges a ball into a blast)
      Danny Phantom's ectoplasmic energy ball is obviously a parody of Goku's spirit bomb, used in Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT.

    • Ghost Writer: Name
      Ghost Writer shares the name of the title character from a kid's show in the '90's called Ghostwriter, where a spirit that could only communicate through written words joins forces with a group of kids to solve mysteries. The spirit often entered computers to avoid its one limitation of only being able to use letters at hand to communicate.

    • Remote Controlled Car: Appearance
      The remote controlled car that Tucker was playing with before it turned into a monster greatly resembled Radio Shack's Zip Zaps. More Info

    • Pottery Shed: Name
      One of the stores that Danny, Sam, and Tucker pass in the mall is called "Pottery Shed," which is likely a parody of Pottery Barn, an interior decorative store. More Info

    • Teddy Bears: Appearance
      The teddy bears that turned into monsters resembled Care Bears.

    • Dolls: Appearance
      The blonde dolls that turned into monsters greatly resembled Barbie dolls.

    • Episode Music: Sound
      Throughout the episode, the soundtrack contained fragments of classic Christmas music, including "The Nutcracker Suite" and "God Rest Ye' Merry Gentlemen."

    • Space Wars Toys: Name & Appearance
      The Space Wars toys are obviously parodying the Star Wars brand name. The toys themselves resembled popular Star Wars characters -- Chewbacca, R2-D2, and the Storm Troopers.

    • Danny: (Walking in shame over Christmas' demise that he had caused)
      The music played in this scene is the traditional French carol, "Noel Nouvelet," known as "Now the Green Blade Rises," which is an Easter song.

    • Episode Title: The Fright Before Christmas
      The episode title is a parody of the popular poem, "The Night Before Christmas," also known as "A Visit from St. Nicholas," which was written by Clement Clarke Moore. More Info