In Future Tense, after a successful bust the Ghostbusters are given a television set as thanks, but due to a piece of spectral matter that has become lodged within it, the television reveals alarming visions of the future... including the death of the Ghostbusters![2]


Purple Gooper Ghost

Winston Zeddemore

Egon Spengler

Peter Venkman

Ray Stantz


TV World Owner

Water Elemental

Janine Melnitz

East Side Phantasm

Pirate Ghosts



Proton Pack

Particle Thrower


Ecto Goggles

P.K.E. Meter

Mobile X-Ray Machine


Slimer's Pocket Watch


TV World

Magic Supply Shop


EJEA Warehouse

Maritime Museum


A very slimy gooper terrorized an electronics store called TV World. Ecto-1 soon arrived and the Ghostbusters and Slimer marched out. However, Ray and Slimer were distracted by an episode of "Muffy and the Meatheads" being played at the store front. As the guys entered the store, an employee huddled behind the shelves. Winston is drenched in ectoplasm and the ghost dodged the others' blasts. Peter slipped on some slime and almost shot Slimer. During the bust, the Proton Streams punched holes in the ceiling or the floor of the Magic Supply Store upstairs. A glass case in the magic shop is damaged and a vase fell out. A tiny seed bounced out and into a hole in the floor. It bounced around and landed in a giant television set. Meanwhile, Winston threw out a Ghost Trap while the guys confined the ghost. As Peter drew up the bill, the employee offered them the giant TV, complete with stereo synthesizer, modulatizer, digital audio tracking transceiver, 60 channel AM/FM fiber optic solid state... but no one was buying it.

Ray and Slimer jumped in and accepted the TV as payment for the ghostbusting job. On the way home, Peter, Egon, and Winston were utterly annoyed they didn't get paid. Winston announced they had no money for the week's grocery money. Ray insisted they had the prime opportunity to enjoy an airing of "The Incredible Radioactive Gerbil From Outer Space." While everyone else slept, Ray and Slimer watched the television. At 2:31 A.M., the television glowed and showed the Ghostbusters at a warehouse engulfed in a wave of water. Ray ran up to sleeping quarters to tell everyone but they angrily threw their pillows at him. Later that morning, everyone ate breakfast. Ray was annoyed no one believed him but noticeably had bags under his eyes. Janine announced there was a call about a Free Repeating Phantasm on the loose on the East Side at an abandoned warehouse. Ray believed this was what he saw on TV and wore heavy rain gear. The phantasm attacked and Peter opened fire. Peter's blast ripped through the roof and jarred a water tower loose. The Ghostbusters were swept by the water out onto Ecto-1. Egon declared it was just a coincidence. Slimer hugged Ray and told him he believed.

At 1 A.M., Ray set his recorder for the Late Movie. At 1:45, the television showed the Ghostbusters battling Pirate Ghosts on a pirate ship. Ray and Slimer ran to tell everyone but got nailed by pillows. Everyone gathered to watch the video and started to believe something was wrong. Egon immediately suspected the TV but was zapped. He revealed the plug was already out. Janine announced Class 4's at the Maritime Museum. Outside the museum, the guys performed a sweep with Ecto Goggles and spotted the ghosts on a ship. Ecto-1 pulled up to the ship and they opened fire on the ghosts. However, the ghosts chopped up the planks and forced the guys to jump for the ship. The ship set sail and left the harbor. The Ghostbusters battled the ghosts while Slimer manned three Ghost Traps. After catching the ghosts, they pondered how to get home. The ruder and mast was shot during the firefight. All of a sudden, a tanker approached. Though playing around with nautical terms at first, the guys ran for the stern and shot into the ocean. The force moved the ship out of the tanker's way but it was rocked by waves made by the tanker's propeller.

Back at the Firehouse, Egon swept the P.K.E. Meter over the TV and got definite readings. Peter declared it was time to get rid of it. Egon denied the move and suggested they had to study it first. In Egon's lab, they used an X-Ray device on it. Peter used it on Slimer and saw his lost keys. The sonic profile on the TV came back normal but the EEG readout showed high activity. Egon took off the back panel and observed active fusion. Whatever it was, it was growing like a supernatural fungus. Peter pulled a Particle Thrower on it but Ray blocked Peter. Ray declared it was the greatest scientific discovery. The TV was plugged back in. The TV soon showed them carrying the TV to the roof during a lightning storm and seemingly dying.

Egon looked at the rear and saw the entity was growing even more. A lightning storm soon started. Putting all the cases together, Egon deduced the entity was a Water Elemental. Ray agreed and it was decided they needed to put the elemental into the Containment Unit as soon as possible. However, the power tripped and the Containment Unit was only powered by the Emergency Generator. They couldn't risk draining the unit's standby power. Egon ordered them to take the TV up to the roof and save the city, even if it was at their expense. They hauled the TV up to the tallest antennae so the lightning would destroy it. The Water Elemental soon tumbled out the TV and revealed its true form. The plan failed because a nearby lightning rod took away the charge. Peter shot the rod and the elemental was dispersed by a surge of energy. As the guys dried off in the rec room, Ray decided he was reading a book instead of watching TV. After starting off with, "It was a dark and stormy night...," Ray switched to a fairy tale book.


  • The episode was recorded on June 12 and 21, 1989.[3]
  • Dave Coulier recorded alone on June 12, 1989.[4]
  • "Muffy and the Meatheads" is Ray's favorite show.[5]
  • After the Gooper ghost is trapped, Ray watches a Godzilla movie titled, "Godzilla Goes To Hollywood."
  • Peter refers to Winston as the Scarecrow and Egon as the Tin Man, characters from "The Wizard of Oz."[6]
  • When on the pirate ship, Ray mentions remaking "Captain Blood." This was a 1935 film from Warner Bros.
  • During the lightning storm, the Containment Unit's Emergency Generator kicks on. It is noticeably larger and more useful than the one that appeared in "Killerwatt"
  • When running off the Emergency Generator, the Containment Unit's trap lock can't be used because it drains too much power.[7][8]

Animation ErrorsEdit

During the battle on the Firehouse roof, one shot shows 2 Rays and no Winston.


  1. Marsha Goodman (1989). Episode Call Sheet and SAG Report - "Future Tense" (1989).
  2. Eatock, James & Mangels, Andy (2008). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection booklet, p. 33. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  3. Marsha Goodman (1989). Episode Call Sheet and SAG Report - "Future Tense" (1989).
  4. Marsha Goodman (1989). Episode Call Sheet and SAG Report - "Future Tense" (1989).
  5. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Future Tense" (1989) (DVD ts. 01:35-01:39). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "Hey, check it out guys. My favorite TV show, Muffy and the Meatheads."
  6. Peter Venkman (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Future Tense" (1989) (DVD ts. 07:19-07:22). Time Life Entertainment. Peter says: "And you were the Scarecrow. And you were the Tin Man."
  7. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Future Tense" (1989) (DVD ts. 21:13-21:16). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "Emergency generator will handle it... for awhile."
  8. Winston Zeddemore (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Future Tense" (1989) (DVD ts. 21:17-21:22). Time Life Entertainment. Winston says: "But now we can't use the Containment. The Trap Lock drains too much power."


Episode Screen CapsEdit

Collages and EditsEdit

RGB DVD Boxset FeaturesEdit

Previous Episode Based on Next Episode
Partners in Slime Air Date Jailbusters
Partners in Slime DVD Order Jailbusters