The Ghostbusters Franchise has been around for over 30 years, and is all based on the first movie that was in theaters in the summer of 1984. There have been many major canon items over the years, and with that comes this page.
Note: This page is meant for people new to the Ghostbusters Franchise.
Major Items in the Franchise
The franchise launched with Ghostbusters, which was released on June 8, 1984 and was written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film is notable for many famous jokes and scenes including Peter Venkman being slimed by a flying green ghost later known as Slimer in the animated series. The film's main antagonist was the powerful entity known as Gozer (a.k.a "The Destructor", "Volgus Zildrohar" and "The Traveller"), who eventually took the form of a 100 foot tall Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, thanks to Ray Stantz's "nice thinking". The Theme Song, written and performed by Ray Parker, Jr., which featured the classic lyrics "Who you gonna call?" / "Ghostbusters!" also went on to become just as well-known and iconic as the film itself.
The Real Ghostbusters
Later known as Slimer! and The Real Ghostbusters, The Real Ghostbusters was an animated series that ran from 1986-1991. Using the characters and locations from the two feature-films, 140 episodes were made before it was cancelled. The show developed and built-on many of the aspects and concepts from the films, including giving the green-ghost the name "Slimer". Notably, the four Ghostbusters wore different colored uniforms and were altered in appearance to make the characters more appealing and also to avoid infringement of image rights.
Ghostbusters II, the second movie, was released on June 16, 1989 and was set 5 years after the events of the first film. It included Slimer as he was popular with the fans of The Real Ghostbusters. The antagonist of the film was Vigo The Carpathian, who was a 16th century tyrant and magician. His spirit was housed in a large painting of himself, where it lay dormant until such time it could rise again. Using Psychomagnotheric Slime ("Mood-Slime") as a source of power, Vigo planned to transfer his soul into an infant, thus being "born again" and free to resume his reign of terror. A major scene of note was the animation of the Statue of Liberty using positively-charged mood-slime by the Ghostbusters to re-kindle the positive feelings of New York and thus weaken Vigo and his defenses.
Extreme Ghostbusters was the second major animated series and a sequel to the Real Ghostbusters. It aired in 1997 and had a one season run. The only characters to return full-time from The Real Ghostbusters were Egon, Janine, and Slimer. The show also introduced the following new team of Ghostbusters; Kylie Griffin, Eduardo Rivera, Garrett Miller, and Roland Jackson. The show also had revamped equipment and noted changes in looks of the Ecto-1 and Firehouse.
IDW started printing Ghostbusters comics in October 2008. It began as mostly stand alone mini-series and one shot stories that continued the adventures of the Ghostbusters from the two movies. A Ghostbusters monthly comic book series started on September 28, 2011 and set the canon after the events of Ghostbusters: The Video Game. It explored the return of Gozer and its new servitor Idulnas, an amusement park opening overshadowed by a Hungry Manitou, out of state cases as part of a cross country tour across America, and the debut of a rival business named the Ghost Smashers whose technology created an incredibly powerful entity referred to as the Megaspook who was ultimately taken by Death. The monthly series' second volume continued with Idulnas attempting to get revenge by sending a group of powerful demons named The Collectors after the Ghostbusters, Janine Melnitz forming her own team, the New Ghostbusters in the original teams' absence, holiday busts that culminated in a New Years battle with the first Bogeyman, Rodefhiri. The ongoing series ended on September 24, 2014 with the Ghostbusters narrowly surviving encounters with Gozer's sister and goddess of chaos, Tiamat.
The series was succeeded by two cross over mini series with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and with The Real Ghostbusters respectively. In the former, they acquired interdimensional technology, that allowed them the ability to access other dimensions, in an effort to send the Turtles back to their proper home. An annual followed Get Real on November 25, 2015 that featured an encounter with a Sandman then a third volume of the monthly series began on January 27, 2016 titled "Ghostbusters International" which sent the team across the world as part of a plot by Loftur Þorsteinsson, an immortal wizard, seeking to cheat his deal with the Devil by manipulating the Ghostbusters into finding a powerful grimoire, the Rauoskinna. It ended with the resurrection of Egon and Ray's girlfriend Jenny Moran being turned into a ghost by a Banshee queen named Aibell. A second annual released on February 1, 2017, followed by a six issue mini-series Ghostbusters 101 featuring a crossover with the Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) team that started on March 22, 2017. A sequel to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters ran from November 1 to November 29, 2017 which set the two teams in a race against time and across the multiverse while Egon and Donatello engineered a way to capture the Collectors once and for all. A third annual released on March 7, 2018. An eight issue maxi-event titled Ghostbusters Crossing Over started on March 14, 2018 set to bring Ghostbusters of many dimensions together.
In terms of continuity, what is considered canon in the IDW universe are the two original movies, aspects of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, The Other Side mini series, the "Displaced Aggression" mini series, the "Past, Present and Future" one shot, the "Tainted Love" one shot, the "Con-Volution" one shot, the "What in Samhain Just Happened?!" one shot, "the Guess What's Coming to Dinner?" short story in the Haunted Holidays trade paperback, the "Ghostbusters: Infestation" mini series, Volume 1 of the ongoing series, Volume 2 of the ongoing series, the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters" mini series, the "Ghostbusters: Get Real" mini series, Ghostbusters Annual 2015, Volume 3 of the ongoing series or "Ghostbusters International," Ghostbusters Annual 2017, the "Ghostbusters 101" mini-series, the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters 2" mini series, Ghostbusters Annual 2018, and the "Ghostbusters Crossing Over" maxi-series.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Ghostbusters: The Video Game was viewed as canon to the two movies and was released in the summer of 2009. The plot took place in during the Thanksgiving weekend of 1991. The game focused on explaining many things that were unanswered in the films, and included upgrades for the Proton Pack which the player (the Rookie) would use. The voice acting for the game's main cast was done by the actors of the films.
Ghostbusters: Answer The Call
Ghostbusters: Answer The Call (also referred to as just Ghostbusters) was a reboot of the original movie, featuring a whole new cast and plot. Released in 2016, the movie followed the story of four unlikely heroines, Jillian Holtzmann, Abby Yates, Patty Tolan, and Erin Gilbert, who attempted to thwart a sociopath and maintenance man named Rowan North from releasing thousands of ghosts into New York in what he called the Fourth Cataclysm. The movie featured a few cameos from notable actors of the original movies such as Bill Murray. Ghostbusters: Answer The Call is not canon to the first two movies and is its own continuity. It may also be noted that there was later a crossover between the two movie franchises in the comic book mini-series "Ghostbusters 101" from IDW Comics and they continue to cross paths.