Hello, Spongey here.
We’ve covered a number of topics on this blog, and there are many things I love that I keep bringing up. Spongebob, Goosebumps, MLP, the list goes on. But there’s one thing I’ve talked about and referenced more than anything else, ever since Day 1 of this blog, its Phineas and Ferb.
There really is no need to get into at this point. I’ve done several lists about this subject and even reviewed the TV Movie. This show really needs no introduction. Honestly, I have no idea how this show became one of the ones that got close to my heart.
I mean, it’s one of the earliest “New” Shows that just got to me on every level, and most of my love for other shows stemmed from this one.
It just had so much going for it, and it hit all my soft spots, even before they become soft spots. It has a formula that’s easy to follow, and uses it to subvert our expectations and make a lot of jokes with whatever subject they choose.
It’s got clever humor for kids and adults, it has fantastic songs, and a wonderful cast of characters that are more complex than they look. But most of all, it prides itself on being just …happy! The show itself celebrates Summer and all the amazing things you can do, and it avoids mean spirited. None of the characters are just jerks or idiots. And the ones that are just minor.
But you know all this by now, so why am I talking about it? Well…they say all good things must come to an end, and this show is no exception. Recently it was announced that on June 12, 2015, the series will finally end and have a grand finale.
Naturally, this has caused a lot of buzz, with plenty of people being sad over this news. You might wondering how I feel about this. …Honestly, I’m more or less okay with. I mean, yes it is sad to see it go, but it makes perfect sense for it to end here. Besides there being tons of evidence supplied by the creators on Twitter, this is where most Disney shows usually end.
Most Disney Channel shows, animated or live action, have 4 Seasons at most. It makes the most sense with this show, since it has the sort of formula that concept that doesn’t lend itself to 50 seasons. I mean, I’m surprised it even got to 4 Seasons while still retaining its quality.
They did a lot in those 4 Seasons and I think there’s enough for us to chew on for years to come. I do have some issues with it ending at this moment, but I’ll get into that at a later date. At one point I’ll do a list of the best Season 4 Episodes and songs, but for now, we’re doing something else.
It’s very sad to see a show I hold dear end, but at least it has a good run. But of course, for this I simply had to do something special for it. But what could I do? I’ve already done just about everything I could do, besides those Season 4 Lists I can’t even do yet.
Then it hit me. A long time ago back in those Blogger days that never happened, I did list of my favorite Phineas and Ferb episodes. But it had a few problems. One, it was done in early Season 3 so I couldn’t feature some of those good episodes.
And the other problem was that it sucked. This blog has come a long way, as it went from really terrible to…just terrible. But that post was bad in a way I kind of understand. Since I wasn’t exactly the smartest back then, I can see why the list had episodes that aren’t totally the best, and why the order was weak in some areas.
And why my explanations sucked and why my spelling, grammar and overall writing style wreak of putrid dog shi-wow I really hate myself.
Anyway, since then I have wanted to remake it in some form, and with the finale coming up…it’s time to do that. That’s right another remake of a list, but in this case it’s to fix a rather weak post.
This time the list will be different, including Season 3 episodes as well as a few I left off last time for whatever reason. I will also be remaking a majority of the Seasons, to go into more detail then I did the first time.
Yes, I will also remake the Season 3 sections, because that post sucked too. The choices were fine but it had so many writing issues. Hopefully, this list will be an improvement since I have grown a bit since the last list, and I have a better idea of what my favorite episodes are.
Just be warned that while some of this list is different, a nice chunk of it is the same. The change in explanation should make up for it but just know that there won’t be a ton of shocks if you recall the earlier list.
But there are enough differences, and hey for all you know even my number one may be different, you’ll just have to see. And yes, this will be split into two parts like last time.
With that out of way, which episodes, from Seasons 1-3, were the best? Which ones had the best comedy, best character development, and overall best writing? We’re once again counting them down, so get out your platypus who doesn’t do much, and fire up your inators because…
This, is the Top 20 Phineas and Ferb Episodes
20. Rollercoaster: The Musical
Writers: May Chen, Jennifer Keene, Martin Olson, Scott Peterson.
The first spot on most lists is almost always hard to pin down. Mostly because in a list like this, a ton of things could take up that spot, especially if there are many honorable mentions. This is no exceptions, as I couldn’t pick an episode to start the list with.
But after going through my options, I thought this would be a great one to start us out with. Mostly because it’s a nice, simple, and fun one.
The setup is simple:
“You know, Ferb. One of the best times we ever had was when we built that rollercoaster. We should do it again, but, this time, as a musical. What do you say? We’ll do all the same things, but break into spontaneous singing and choreography with no discernible music source!”
And that’s what this is: The pilot episode redone as a musical. That’s…about it really. It’s just the pilot as a musical…but it’s the pilot as a musical! That’s why it’s so awesome!
This is at the bottom of the list because it really is just good for the entertainment value. Critically, it works for what it is but my reasoning is just personal. I like it because I greatly enjoy the songs. It works critically but in order to be higher, it would need to have a lot more going for it.
But as it is, it’s got a lot going for it. This episode is certainly interesting, because it is more or less a remake of the episode. Sort of. The thing is, half the time it feels like how the episode would be like if it was made today. See, as a pilot there are a few things that are off a bit, such as Phineas’s characterization.
So here his more jerk-y bits are changed. On top of that. They expanded on certain jokes and add jokes where there none before. But at the same time they make a lot of self-aware jokes at the pilot’s expense. But they also do some of the same stuff, just with an added song.
Yeah, it is a bit mixed but despite the tone changes, it keep a coinsent level of enjoyment. I really like a lot of the jokes and the ways they poke fun at the pilot can be pretty clever.
I like how we find out that boys who took the poster didn’t get a discount like they planned, and how takes it from them, calling them “lousy extras”. There’s also Monogram trying to sing and Doof adding the Inator name to his original invention, thinking it will make things different.
In the 2nd half, they play things a bit more straight with less of the self aware jokes I mentioned but it still manages to be enjoyed with the songs and a few jokes here and there.
Also, they do re-use some scenes from the episode but they don’t flat out re-use the animation with no change. They pretty much redraw the scenes to fit the show’s improved animation. I do wish they didn’t do this too much but ah well.
Then of course we have the songs, the main reason this is on the list at all. The songs are all great. They all represent an aspect of the show, from a tune about Phineas’ famous proclamation, to some songs about Candace’ need to bust, to a song about Doof’s backstory.
They all do a great job of representing aspects of the show’s story oe characters. Kind of like what songs in musicals are supposed to do.
They are all of the quality we’ve come to expect, and they are very catchy and memorable. The singing is also top notch as usual. My favorites are the title song and You’re Going down, the latter of which was on my Original top 40 list.
Oh, and Monogram’s song is amazing too.
The important thing to note is that this episode was made for fun. They just did it because they thought it would be fun to do the pilot as a musical. They wanted to revisit and just have fun with it. Some of the people aren’t happy with this episode seem to forget that.
In production order, this was the Season finale and it’s a fitting way to end the Season. It’s fun to watch this back to back with the original to see how much the show has changed in terms of animation and humor.
It’s one of the many episodes that you can tell had a lot of passion and effort put into it. It’s a really enjoyable remake with a lot to like.
It has great humor, clever writing (for the most part) and a lot of great and memorable songs. It’s nothing really huge but it’s great just for how much fun it is. It’s one of the most enjoyable episodes, for all that and more, it earns the first spot on our list.
Rollercoaster the Musical: A rare remake that’s better than the original.
19. Finding Mary McGuffin
Writers: Aliki Theofilopoulos Grafft and Antoine Guilbaud
I was mixed on if this should be Number 2 or not. Eventually, I went with Rollerocaster but this one is also a nice, simple one to get us ready for the heavy stuff/
When Lawrence accidentally sells Candace’s doll to Doofenshmirtz, Phineas and Ferb become detectives to try and find it.
One of the strengths of this show is its ability to be incredibly funny and very heartwarming at the same time, and a lot of the best episodes manage to be both. This is a classic example of that.
The Phineas plot is pretty much a noir parody, and like always, they do all the jokes they could make with that set up. They spoof the music, the black and white, the narration and all that good stuff.
There are plenty of great jokes all over this episode, in both plots. But most of them are in the Phineas plot and they all hit their mark. But we all know what the best and most famous joke is…
“Aren’t you a little young to know about all these old detective shows?”
“Yes. Yes we…are”
…That wasn’t me. The episode plays that. It’s…amazing.
But of course, we also have the heartwarming part of the episode. As I said, Doof bought the Toy. Appeanrly Vanessa wanted it was a kid and Doof spent a long time trying to find one just to please her.
Upon hearing this, Vanessa is pretty flattered. The relationship with this two has always been a big part of the series, and this episode showcases it perfectly. It is typical but it works because both characters are so darn likable.
We see how much Doof cares about her and they go deeper into as the show goes on. This ep happens to be one of the best in that category because of how sweet it is. Vanessa gets a song called “Not So Bad a Dad After all” which is incredibly sweet and awesome.
…Yeah my song list wasn’t perfect either.
And that’s not even the best of that stuff. Charlene accidentally gives away the doll to charity, and Vanessa runs after it. She bumps into Candace and they fight over the doll until it lands in the hands of a little girl.
Candace decides that she’s too old for the dolls and the girl needs it more than her. That’s pretty sweet. Vanessa starts to think that maybe she doesn’t need to have the that one thing that proves her Dad’s affection for her.
“…Actually, I do. Give me that kid!”
And that is how you do a joke like that. It’s mean spirited done right, and it’s actually funny because you don’t expect!
Oh, and it causes Doof to approve of her, since it shows that she is learning from her father. The end. Yeah…this a pretty sweet ending. It’s a good example of how to have a character do something wrong but still make them likable in a way. So few shows know how to do that.
It just adds to how sweet and interesting this episode is. It develops their relationship very well with a lot of heart. Future episodes would go into it even more but this episode still holds up.
The episode has pretty much everything I want in an episode. A good story that diverges from the formula, character development, heartwarming moments, a great song, and some great jokes.
It’s just a really solid episode, and while it is overshadowed by some of my other picks, it’s still a great episode with a lot going for it. Not much else to say really, it pretty much speaks for itself.
And really, any episode with a MacGuffin literally named McGuffin is pretty awesome on it’s own.
18. The Lemonade Stand
Writers: Aliki Theofilopoulos Grafft and Antoine Guilbaud
One of the many important relationships in the show is the one between Candace and Stacy. So naturally, they go into it sometimes, and with this episode, they finally dive into it, big time.
Candace and Stacy’s relationship is put to the test when Candace feels she must pick between their friendship and busting her brothers.
This is gonna be a hard one to go into detail on, cuz honestly, it’s a pretty simple episode. Candace and Stacy Argue, they split up, Candace sulks, has to make a choice, makes the right one, Doof one liner, roll credits.
Not too much to really get into. I actually considered this off the list for that list, but I decided to keep it because of the principal of the thing. That and it is great for what it is and the good stuff it does.
While there have been Candace/Stacy episodes before and after this, I believe this is the only one where that’s pretty much the whole focus, which makes it special. It does basically amount to Candace just deciding to pass up a bust attempt once in a while but it works due to the emotion involved.
As per usual, there’s a song and it’s a rather depressing one about how Candace should have been a “Better best Friend’. It does a good job at being a sad song that sums up the story.
It was just kind of nice to see them address this, and it serves another good Candace development episode. Granted, it’s another one with her learning a lesson she’s gonna forget, but it’s still good.
Plus, you gotta love how they did their own P&F spin on a Lemonade Stand by pretty much turning it into a huge franchise. Though it is weird how the episode is named after it, yet it’s mostly just a backdrop for the real plot.
Then again, most episodes have Phineas as the backdrop with Candace doing the important stuff, ever since Day 1 so I suppose it’s not a problem.
Humor wise, there’s enough room. Most of the jokes are in the Doof plot where he has the evil plan to give people paper cuts, but the main plot has its moments like when Buford is trying to talk to Candace but he just gets Biff flashbacks.
Of course it all ends with a nice moment where Candace decides to mend her relationship with Stacy and go to the mall instead of busting the boys. Predictable it may be, but it’s still the perfect ending to this story. The actual ending joke from Doof just seals the deal.
It doesn’t go that deep into their relationship but it dives into it enough to help make for a sweet and interesting story. It could have given me more to talk about, but it’s still very good as it is.
It’s got good jokes, a great song, and it has a sweet story that explores an interesting friendship. …That’s…about it…again. Now do you see why this list has been hard to make?
Don’t worry, I promise most of the other entries give me more to say. This is only Number 18, after all.
Overall, this is a simple but sweet episode that is fun, heartwarming and just all around nice. It’s certainly not sour…like …a lemon. Get it?
Let’s move on.
17. Phineas and Ferb’s Quantum Boogaloo
Writers: Kax, Kim Roberson
I love a good Time Travel story. In the past, I’ve talked about how to make a confusing time travel story work. You have to make it so the story is so strong you can forgive time travel plot holes, and that it’s actually funny to think about how this all works.
The bad ones (Spy Kids 4) fail to do this and some are just lazy with it (Free Birds). But leave it to this show to give us another example of how it’s done.
Phineas and Ferb go 20 years in the future to get a special tool, and when Future Candace sees the time machine, she uses it to bust the boys on the day of the rollercoaster but of course, this causes a bad future.
This one may be tougher to explain because there’s isn’t one main reason that this one is great. There’s a bunch of little reason that just kind of come together. The main reason is just that I found it really interesting and fun.
I suppose to first thing to bring up is the future itself. We get to see Danvile 20 years in the future and they do a lot of cool things with that. We see that Candace has kids and is rather mellow, because at one point she pretty much gave up busting. Appeanrly her two boys don’t do anything because everything has been done.
Phineas fixes that with a Bowling for soup Cameo.
It was certainly interesting and fun to see stuff like that, especially the bit where we find out Stacy is the preseident of Uruguay. You know, Dan and Swampy actually came up with a full backstory behind that one off joke. The short version is that Stacy eventually married the son of the previous present and boom, President.
The point of that story is that she does not marry Coltrane, thank god.
But of course, the real draw is the story itself. Some do find it weird that Phineas getting busted for the Rollercoaster causes this bad future but it works for what the episode is going for. See, this dangerous act made adults think creativity is bad, so they went and banned all creativity.
Long story short, the place became a boring wasteland and all kids were put in these thingys until they grew up. Allow me to repeat that. Kids are pretty much held captive, and presumably frozen or something until Adulthood.
Um…yikes. This is a Disney show , right?
This horrifying certainly does a good job at conveying the rather obvious moral: Don’t stifle creativity. Sure, what the boys did is dangerous but that doesn’t mean all creativity is bad. The methods were rather extreme but the writers did a nice job with nice. It does add to why this episode is so great.
You also gotta love how Doof become an actual threat thanks to all this. He even has a villain song that good enough to be very high on my Top 40!
As the episode goes along, they accumulate quite a few time travel plot holes. Especially near the end as things get more confusing. I’ll just sum it up to give you a good idea:
Future Candace gets her time machine back and heads back to stop the other her from busting the boys. She tells her what happened but then the time machine gets ruined so they asks Phineas and Ferb from the Rollercoaster day to fix the time machine in the museum and then break it again so they can fix it again when they have to later in the summer.
“I’m a grown woman and I don’t understand anything you just said”
Oh, and the Candace who is from the bad future ceases to exist but only when it’s funny/Phineas points it out.
Present Candace tags along with them to future and goes to Future Linda to bust the boys but Linda has no controlling over these boys and Future Phineas is like 30. But on record, they are busted. Hollow victory, but still a victory.
Everything wraps up here…but then Isabella goes back and gives Phineas the tool he needs so he didn’t need to go the future in the first place. So this episode never happened and my brain just broke.
See what I mean?
It’s all confusing…but it makes sense, sort of. There’s still a logic story going on here and it doesn’t get too bogged down. The confusing stuff helps the story instead of hurts it. Dan and Swampy said they tried to make it so you would have to watch it a few times to get it, but you would still be able to follow it. I think they pulled it off.
But besides that, there’s some nice stuff here. Candace kind of busting the boys, but not really, was pretty cool. And oyu can’t forget that amazing joke with Aunt Isabella.
“I’m going to marry Phineas!”
As I said before, this episode is made up of a bunch of little things that were cool to see, that somehow combine to make a great episode. I can’t exactly explain it feels it deserves to be on the list, but it just does.
I like all the time travel stuff. I like a lot of the clever jokes. I like seeing the future and I like the rather dark story that gets across its moral fairly well. Stuff like that makes this episode one of the greats, and it’s very memorable.
There are a few episodes of this list that are here for either “Nostalgic” reasons or that they had stuff I liked seeing. However, it doesn’t mean they aren’t great or deserving. The Lemonade Stand is a notable landmark in character development, and this one is very deserving for its dark tone and look into the future.
We’d get another look in the future a few Seasons later and that was cool but nothing can beat our first glance. This isn’t my best explanation but it is hard to explain why this one is deserving vs the other episodes on the list.
But I hope you can see why it’s here. It has some Time Travel craziness mixed in with some good humor, interesting insights, and a very interesting story with some cool dark elements.
It’s a pretty great special with a lot going for it, even if it may not stick out as much to others. Don’t worry, our next entry is easier to explain.
16. The Beak
Writers: Jon Colton Barry and Pierro Piluso
This show is known for its very good 22 minute episodes, as they tend to be some of the best written episodes. Hell, half this list consists of them.
But this episode is different, as it mostly works, not because of a great story or anything like that.
It works because it is hilarious. Sure, most of the other ones have good Comedy but they don’t tend to the big selling point. At least not in the later Seasons.
Here it is, and I’ll explain why after the plot:
Phineas and Ferb become a superhero known as The Beak but not only must they stop a villain who is out to ruin everyone’s day, but they must hide their secret from Isabella.
As you can tell from that summary, this is a Superhero parody. And it’s a really spot on one. They got all the major elements and they a great job at poking fun at them. You have someone trying to hide their secret to keep a friend safe, even though it really makes more sense to reveal the secret.
You have a villain with an excuse to do what he does, that may become a good guy, and there’s other little touches as well. I won’t totally spoil how they mock all these elements but they did it in some clever and funny ways.
The Phineas plot especially does this, because in this context it makes more sense for Isabella to know since she’s been in worse danger in the past. It is played a bit seriously, but it never gets boring and they keep the gags coming.
Yes, people go OMGPHINBELLA over this but ah well. They don’t realize they just did this to parody Superhero stuff.
The other plots are also fun. Doof basically claims he’s the ruler of the Tri State Area and thinks everyone will be too lazy to actually check. Then when Roger thinks he’ll take the blame for the villain, he makes Doof the Mayor so he can take the blame.
And the rest of the episode has Doof just sitting there instead of doing all the evil stuff he wanted to do with the power. It’s really. But the most interesting part of this plot is Roger. Before, I assumed he was a good guy and Doof just hated him for being good.
But here we find out he’s…kind of a dick. That’s interesting and they have expanded on this in other episodes.
Meanwhile, Candace thinks the boys up to something weird, so she becomes a Supervillain to take them on. It’s every bit as funny as it sounds. This episode is just full of great jokes from top to bottom from the Superhero stuff to weird little bits like Phineas’ obsession with Bulgarian Folk Dancing.
I could just talk about all the funny jokes, but that would spoil the experience for those who haven’t seen it yet. But trust me, it has a lot of memorable moments.
And of course we have our villain, known as Kahka Peu Peu. Yeah, his name is kind of lame but he’s pretty funny with how they spoof Comic Book villains. Plus, he’s voiced by Ben Stiller.
The episode has a spoof of a Superhero theme, where it pretty much says that The Beak Rocks and you suck. Yeah, they have all their bases covered.
The story isn’t the shows strongest but it still works even with all the jokes. It mocks Superhero clichés in clever ways and it has a ton of memorable jokes. …That’s really all there is to say here.
Yeah, the reason this list may take a while to do is that some of these episodes are pretty simple to talk about and I’ll have trouble really padding these segments out. But this is Number 19, so we’ll see how it goes.
While it’s always cool to have a 22 minute episode full of epic moments and story stuff, it was nice to have one focused on humor and parody. Even the actual story is there to parody something instead of giving the shippers fuel.
Overall, this is a really cool episode that does good job at being a Superhero parody, with a ton of great moments and funny jokes. Its probably one of the funniest episodes of the show in terms of the big, memorable moments. I would say “At least to me” but this whole list is my opinion, so what would be the point?
It’s a fun story with good jokes and Bulgarian Folk Dancing. Really who could ask for more? 16.
15. Phineas’ Birthday Clip O Rama
Writers: Chong Suk Lee, and Bernie Petterson
In the past, I’ve told you how I much I tend to like Clip shows. This is mostly because I’m big on reflection, and Clip Shows are a showcase for that. Stuff like Vission Impossible from That so Raven, or Remembrances from Legend Of Korra are perfect examples of why I like them.
Then there’s this episode, which is one of the best Clip Shows I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t do what the first example does, but it’s every bit as creative and funny as the other example.
It’s Phineas’s birthday and for the special occasion, Ferb puts together a clip show of the gang’s favorite moments. Candace learns about this and wants to use the footage they have to bust them, once and for all.
The main thing that makes this one good is how it makes fun of Clip shows. In true Phineas and Ferb fashion, they take full advantage of what you can do with a Clip show. For one, they make plenty of Meta jokes about how they make no sense in universe.
“Couldn’t see any of that, though, could you?”
“Not a bit”
“It’s a clip show thing”
The clips come in the form of quick rapid fire montages. For example, Phineas summons a montage of clips of people asking him if he’s “a little young” to do whatever he’s doing. Instead of just being there to be lazy, the clips are usually there for a joke.
One other reason I like Clip shows is that they make for a good Triiva game, where you try to remember what episode each clip is from. The nature of the clips here, make this one of the best episodes to do this. And yes, I have been able to place every clip though a few away manage to slip my mind.
They milk a lot of Comedy out of the Clip Show set up, and the Birthday thing gives the characters a good excuse to reminisce on past adventures. Doof doesn’t have the same excuse we still have good jokes with him. He thinks the “Inator” name is why he fails, so he calls his new invention a “Non-inator” so it will work.
Gotta love Doof logic.
So the episode uses the Clip Show formula and it has a lot of clever jokes. That’s fine but if that was all it had, it wouldn’t be on the list. No the real reason I love it is the ending.
See, some people may find it a bit cruel that Candace is trying to bust Phineas on his Birthday, and in any other show they would just ignore that. But here, they addressed in a pretty sweet way.
Despite that, you do kind of root for her since all this crap happens to her to stop her from getting to the party to deliver the disk. She even gets a few awesome moments where she overcomes some obstacles. She’s so awesome in one part that a random kid asks for her autograph!
Anyway, she gets there but Phineas makes a really heartwarming speech about how awesome everyone is for doing this for him.
“Today was a great day. The best day ever!”
After Candace sees this, she regrets trying to bust Phineas on his birthday. And with that, she smashes the disc. But that’s not all!
During her quest, she somehow got a hold of some worker guy’s weird wrench thing, and it turns out to be a special “left-handed flange tuner” that Phineas really wanted. And they hug for a pretty long time.
I haven’t said this in a while: D’awwww!
“Why, if I had a nickel for every time you did something nice for me… well, I wouldn’t know what to do with that much money!”
This ending is great. Phineas/Candace sibling moments are always sweet and this is up there with the best of them. After seeing Candace go so far to bust them, it’s nice that she gave it up for once. It’s that moment takes turns a very good episode, into a great episode.
This episode is easily one of the best Clip Shows you’ll ever see. They use the format to give us a really enjoyable episode that manages to have heartwarming moments. It doesn’t go big on reflection like other Clip Show episodes, but it still manages to do it in a smaller way.
This is the kind of Clip Show episode anyone will like, since it uses the format in a clever way with a lot of funny jokes. You might be wondering what I think of this show’s other clip show episode, This is Your Backstory.
…Well, it’s almost as good as this one, as it uses the Clip Show Format to do a character study of Doof. It gives us a timeline of his life, and shows all of the ups and downs of his life. It’s a really clever way to do a Clip Show, and while it feels a bit more traditional, it still works very well.
What holds is back? …Well, I’ll get into it later (hint hint) but there’s a scene in there that I really dislike. But even without it, it still wouldn’t be on the list. I prefer this one for it’s humor and how it spoofs Clip shows.
But it interesting how neither of this episodes have a song. The only half hour episodes where that happens. To be fair, they are clip shows so it would be hard to fit one in…except they did make a song for TIYB but it was cut for some reason. If they could fit a song into Cliptastic Countdown 1, they could do so here.
Btu now I’m talking about another episode, so we’ll end it here.
This was a great birthday episode that managed to one of the best Clip Shows out there with how it uses the format to give us a funny story with a really heartwarming story. It’s a classic.
Man, if I had a nickel for every great episode this show had…well…maybe I could buy a Candy bar.
14. A Real Boy
Writers: Aiki Theofilopoulos Graft, Antoine Guilbaud
One of the things that makes this show great is that it can be more than it seems. Instead of just being a funny cartoon with a formula, it becomes rather complex and inspirational.
This extends to the characters. A lot of them are way deeper or more interesting than they appear. Candace is an example of this as a lot of episodes prove. But you know which character represent this aspect of the show the most?
It all started in “Greece Lighting” as Doof made ihm just to be a Robot man to take down Perry. He mostly just spouted typical 50’s Husband phrases and that was it. They brought him back in Traffic Cam Caper, but only as transportation for Perry.
Eventually, he became Doof’s partner, and grew more of a personality. He was mostly just used for funny Non-Sequiturs but that made him a very likable character. But did anyone expect him to become complex and incredibly likable beyond that?
Not really, and that’s where this episode comes in.
When Doof’s latest inator erases his memory, Norm takes this chance to convince Doof he is his father.
The thing about this episode is that it’s less of a story, and more of an exploration of Norm’s character. As a story, it’s not too deep when it comes to Norm’s little arc. But not only does it work due to the other stuff going on, but it has some of the best character insight in the whole show.
While “Phineas and Ferb Busters” had a nice story for Norm, this was the first episode to really go deep into his character. We find out that he views Doof as a father figure despite the fact that Doof treats him like crap.
At the start, Norm is interrupted when he tries to tell Doof that he views him as a father, and it takes an inator to get Doof to share any feelings back at all. This really puts everything from before this into perspective, especially the episode I just mentioned.
It’s really interesting to see Norm like this, especially when he raps about it. Yes, raps. Norm is a pretty excellent rapper, to no one’s surprise. The song itself, besides being fun and catchy, goes even further into how Norm feels.
With this episode, you really start to feel bad for the Robot Man Boy. You see how mu7ch he wants Doof’s approval, even though Doof isn’t exactly willingly to give it to him.
Besides that, there’s some other stuff here. We find out Rodney has a son, and Doof shows how much he cares about Vanessa when he thinks he has offend her. We also a lot of clever jokes, like when Doof gets himself in a sitcom plot.
“This isn’t a sitcom Perry the platypus, this is real life!”
Heck, at the end he says the “sitcom cliché” has been resolved. And of course, there’s the Candace plot where she uses hypnotism to get her to stop busting for one day. It doesn’t work but it still leads to good jokes.
You have to love how Linda sees the invention but Doof’s inator just makes her forget it. It’s hilariously lazy.
The episode has plenty of little moments in the Norm stuff too, especially the entire ending. Seeing Norm have a small moment with Vanesa (complete with her calling him “bro”) is really nice.
Then there’s the actual ending, which by all accounts should be bad and mean spirited. However, it actually works. Yes, they subvert a sweet moment but Norm still thinks Doof apologized and is totally fine.
If it ended with Norm being sad, then it would be mean spirited but as it is, it adds to the odd tragedy of the character. It’s also sweet how Doof refers to Perry as a son. …Which kind makes their relationship incest but ah well.
Like I said, the story isn’t the best when it comes to Norm’s “arc” to speak. He casually tries to tell Doof about the Dad thing, he’s shot down, he raps about it, Doof loses memory, he tells Doof he is his son, Doof pushes buttons, inator blows up, memory back, cute Vanesa moment, ending scene. There’s not much time between the memory loss and the status qou returning.
However, it’s not a flaw as this episode mostly serves as a look into Norm’s character and how he feels. It could have been deeper but it works as it is for that reason , as well as the Comedy.
This is one makes it on the list due to how cool it was to see development for Norm. It’s one of those episodes, yes, but it works on it’s own due to the development and really nice moments.
It also further explores Doof. I mean, Doof’s parents treated him like garbage, and treated Roger well. He tries to be good to Vanessa to avoid that…yet treats Norm badly as a result. It’s kind of an interesting parrel, and Doof isn’t made unlikable because it’s interesting and he’s still a villain in the end.
So overall, this episode is great for how it dives into Norm’s character and makes you feel bad for him. And to think, he started off as a pure joke character but now he’s one of the funniest and complex characters on the show.
Like I said, he represents the show the most for that reason. Since then he’s had more time to shine, most notably “Norm Unleashed” and “Love at First Byte”. They were both great, with the latter giving him a love interest and the former going even further into how he wants to please. And he sings in both of them!
But as good as they are, they can’t top this one in my heart.
There may be sweeter episodes, but this episode still has good character depth, nice moments, a cool song and some good jokes to top it all off. It’s pretty awesome.
And to think, this is about a character voiced by a guy who wrote one of my least favorite Family Guy episodes!
13. It’s About Time!
Writers: Jon Barry, Mike Roth, Kent Osborne, Aliki Theofilopoulos
Yeah, as much as I like Quantum Boogalo, sometimes you just can’t beat the classics. However, it’s not quite for the time travel stuff. I’ll explain after the summary.
Phineas and Ferb repair a broken time machine from the museum, and they then travel back in time, accidentally taking Candace with them. Meanwhile, Doofenshmirtz replaces Perry with a new nemesis named Peter the Panda, making Perry depressed.
The first thing to bring up is that this was the first 22 minute episode. It works pretty well on that front, as while it does feel like a longer normal episode, it doesn’t waste any time and the extended time gives them room to do more gags and expand on the story.
So while future double length episodes would do bigger story, this still holds up for reasons I will explain. Also, this was the first appearance of Carl in production order. Nice.
The main plot with the time travel is pretty good. The first half has Candace running around, being affect by various mishaps and getting kick out the museum, while the 2nd half is them running around with Dinosaurs.
They do a lot of fun gags and they even fit in a few nice moments here and there. You gotta love how yelling is a more serious offensive than staling, and the amazing credits scene.
But honestly, …it is the subplot that puts this episode on the list. Without it, it wouldn’t be considered. I really enjoy the main story but the other story really makes this one great.
It’s basically a parody of break up stories, and they get it down perfectly. Just look at some of this dialogue:
“We’re not enemies, we’re just…bad friends!”
“We should take a break and start fighting other people”
The general tone of these stories is captured very well and the concept alone makes it funny. However…it actually works as a story. They do a good job at putting real emotion into it so you actually do feel bad for Perry.
It sounds weird but it’s true. Despite it being a parody, they treat it seriously and it ends up being just as emotional as it is funny. Of course there are actual jokes here, like the stuff with Dr Feelbetter. But it’s the other stuff that makes it work.
The obligatory sad song is very emotional and it actually lacks humor for the most part. If you don’t see it as sad, than you can laugh at how weird it is. If you do see it as a sad, it’s one of the best emotional stories the show has told. There are better ones, but this still works.
But the best part is how Doof is written. This was one of the first examples of him being a far more complex character than he first seemed. We get to see how he cares for Perry via fun musical number and he gets some nice moments.
But then there’s the twist. After things are settled at the Feelbetter scene, Doof reveals this whole time…this stuff was a big convoluted scheme. As he says, he wanted to get all the best agents in one room to use his Freeze-inator to turn them into a cheese board.
He doesn’t go any further, but let’s think about it. He basically toyed with Peter and Perry’s emotion, all so he can get on Dr. Feelbetter and freeze all the agents. It’s convoluted (as per usual)…but it’s actually really clever…and rather evil by Doof standards.
Wow. No one really talks about this part, but it’s awesome! It’s one of the rare times Doof showed real evil and it’s really cool!
And no, it doesn’t feel too out of character. For one, this is an early episode so Early Installment Weirdness is a factor. And they do show him being rather conflicted about what he did. We did see him care about Perry early on and you can argue he came up with the plan after he decided to go on the show.
He also tries to apologize to Peter before he gets his ass kicked. So this actually shows many aspects of his character, as he is shown as dumb, evil, and caring all in the same episode.
That’s pretty impressive.
My only problem is the ending to the subplot. When Perry naturally fires the inator that gets ride of Candace’s proof, we don’t come back to him and the episode ends with a gag about Cavemen wearing turtles.
The subplot does more or less conclude with Doof being defeated but it could have been a bit better.
Despite that, this episode is great. The main plot is very enjoyable, and the subplot manages to be silly yet very emotional with some character depth. It also works as our first 22 minute episode as it uses the extra time pretty well.
For all that, I’d say this is the best of the cartoon episodes called It’s About Time that aired within a few years of each other…That was weird.
Overall, a pretty good early gem for the series. Speaking of which…
12. Mom’s Birthday
Writers: Kent Osborne, Aliki Theofilopoulos
Every great show has it’s Growing the Beard moment. That episode that showed you that this show may be something special. There are the kind that happen to be the first great episode, and the kind that makes the show into what it is.
We’ll get to the latter in part 2, but as for the former, that first great episode was…It’s About Time, in production order. But the 2nd…was I Brobot. But the third was this!
And of those 3, this one is the best because it does a lot right.
Phineas and Ferb do a lot of special things for Linda’s Birthday, but they all keep upstaging Candace’s plans. Meanwhile, Doof uses his Shrink Spheria (“I was going to call it a shirnk inator, but I’ve done the whole inator thing before”) to get rid of stuff he hates.
Up to this point in the show, Candace was a mixed character for some people. Due to her nature, some people weren’t exactly fans of her and found her unlikable. Of course now she’s super popular, but back down, she was mixed.
As the show went on, many episodes showed her as a 3 dimensional character…and this was one of the first. Here, she wants to special stuff for Mom’s Birthday. She is doing nothing wrong and while she wants to outdo the boys, it does start out as genuine.
On top of that, we soon start to see why she wants to outdo the boys. ..They outdo her. Every time she presents something, Linda doesn’t see it because the boys present something a lot better.
The boys have no ill intent but you can see why she gets so determined here. You really do feel bad for her as those darn boys just keep upstaging her. It doesn’t help that Doof’s antics make things worse for here.
The whole episode has Candace having a bunch of problems, and it works because it adds to the story they are going for and it’s mostly funny due to how contrived it is. But back to my point, this plot line is perfectly written.
All parties are likable and it really develops Candace. We get a hint of the real reason she busts the boys: They do these amazing things that she could never do, much less get away with it. So if the boys aren’t doing them, they are equal. The events of this episode just add to it.
That’s…pretty interesting given the type of character she is. Of course over time she learned she rocks and now she only busts to prove she is not crazy. It’s safe to say she’s a pretty complex character.
As for the Doof plot, it’s nothing amazing but it has some funny jokes like the Wax Abe Lincoln and Washington. That was great.
But the part that really makes this one great is the ending. After facing problems left and right, Candace finally gives up and lets the boys start their special presentation. It all ends…with a recording of Candace singing a special song for Mom’s Birthday. She never quite to play it due to Doof’s hatred of instruments that start with the letter B.
So in other words, the boys used Candace’s song as the final and thus, she sings on stage and we get an incredibly sweet song where Candace teams up with the boys to wish Mom a happy birthday.
This is an incredibly sweet ending that really pulls everything together. It further shows how well these 3 work together, and it’s nice to see them showing their love for mother. But it’s also the perfect ending to the story.
After what Candace goes through, this is the perfect way to make it all worth it. It’s another example of doing torture correctly. If you give the character a happy ending, then the torment will add to the story and even enhance.
Thus, watching Candace squirm and go through this is kept amusing. If we had to watch her be tortured the whole time, only for some dumb gag to stop her from achieving her goal, it would be mean spirited and lame. But of course, they end it on a perfect note.
I mean, the show would never do anything like that, right?
This episode does pretty much everything. Besides being very sweet with good jokes, it showed us that Candace is quite the interesting character. Everyone is portrayed correctly, and it does torture correctly by giving the episode a great ending.
It was an early example of the strong writing the show has, and it continues to be a good watch to this very day. Plus, it works Mother’s Day as well. There’s also Father’s Day one but you’ll have to wait a few more lists to hear about that one.
So overall, a great early episode.
Writers: Aliki Theofilopoulos, J.G. Orrantia
In Season 3, they did a few “Timeshift” episodes which were episodes set in a certain time period staring that period’s version of our favorite character.
Each of them used their location to create tons of creative jokes, and I really liked all of them. And that includes the ones in other seasons like Season 4’s Steampunx but again, wait for a few more lists for that one.
They are all good, but this one was easily the best.
In Medieval times, Phineas and Ferb find a legendary sword so they can defeat the evil wizard Malefishmirtz.
The big difference with this Timeshift episode is that it’s 22 minutes instead of eleven. That already gives it the advantage, as it gives them more time to flesh out the story and pack in tons of gags.
This also has a framing device of Carl telling this story to Monogram. That also brings up this episode, as it gives us even more funny gags.
And of course, the epic setting is a bit more interesting than the Stone age, so it was bound to be great without even trying. The setting really gives the episode an epic feel, and they get all the tropes of genre right.
There are clever and funny gags all over the episode, even with how the characters are. For example, Vanessa is the Lady of the Puddle, and Baljeet is pretty much Legolas. Those are jokes in themselves and they do a lot of stuff like that.
The story itself is simple but it works as a gateway for jokes. I couldn’t possibly list them all but here are some highlights:
Monogram as Rapzuel, with his beard.
Carl taking Monogram’s Sandwich.
Shepard Spy. (“They’re the worst kind”)
And it all concludes with an epic monster battle, complete with song. The song is really cool but it does lose flow so it can pack in some jokes about Perry getting up again…and again. It’s funny but it stops the song from being as good as others.
It really as an example of the writers can take any concept and take full advantage of it. They make as many gags as you can with this sitting and this did it the best of those episodes.
This just has an epic quality to them that the others didn’t. Tri Stone was impressive for doing what Spongebob BC did but better, but as a result it isn’t the funniest. Doof Dynasty is very funny so no problems there. Temple of Jutchadoon is the weakest…for no real reason. Just not as impressive as the others. I actually wish it was 22 minutes to flesh out the story.
The extra time and framing device really helps this story. Every character has something funny to do and it’s cool to see they interact with this world. Like I said, all the Timeshift episodes do this but this did it the best.
I guess I just a have soft spot for this certain setting.
Overall, the episode takes a great concept and fills it up with funny gags and it has an epic feel with nice animation to boot. It’s epic, fun, and just plain funny.
…Yeah, that’s it. It’s a gag based episode so there isn’t much to say about this one. Kind of lame for our last entry in part 1.
And yeah, with that we end with Part 1. We’re halfway through this new list. What will the top 10? Will there be any surprises? Will my Number one be the same? You’ll just have to wait until whenever it’s done!