In The Joke's on Ray, Ray inherits a joke shop from his late uncle, and armed with a big supply of practical jokes, quickly becomes a pest to his fellow Ghostbusters. But unbeknownst to Ray, two Imps that thrive on pranks were released when he took possession of the store![2]


Ray Stantz

Winston Zeddemore

Peter Venkman


Egon Spengler

Imp Pair

Janine Melnitz



Little Black Box

Proton Pack

Particle Thrower



P.K.E. Meter




Gaylord's Joke Shop

Hasty Pastry Bakery

World Trade Center

Pier 13


Up in the Firehouse's dining area, Slimer, Ray, Winston, and Peter ate sandwiches made by Egon. Egon revealed they were a basic blend of chemical components that precisely duplicated vitamins and minerals lost from sweating. Ray balked at the news and explained it to the others. The rest of the sandwiches were given to Slimer, who still wanted to eat them. The front door bell rang and Slimer went down to answer it. A mailman had a special delivery for Ray. After Slimer took the envelope, the mailman turned and saw Slimer then ran away. Ray learned his Uncle Gaylord passed away. The last time Ray saw him was when Ray was a child. Slimer wept for Gaylord despite never having met him. Ray's Uncle Gaylord willed him a joke shop in Queens.

Ray and Slimer investigated Gaylord's Joke Shop and tried out some of the items on sale. Ray noticed a button near the register and pressed it. A trap door opened beneath Ray and he slid down into some sort of a private museum of gags throughout history, Gaylord's Hall of Humor. Ray and Slimer watched a show that included a cowboy puppet with an exploding cigar and an Egyptian puppet throwing a pie in another one's face. The trouble started when Ray accidentally opened a sort of "Pandora's Box" and released two Imps. Ray didn't know he did and placed the box aside. As Ray and Slimer left the shop, the Imps emerged from the box, became invisible, and were drawn to pranks conducted in Ecto-1. Back at the Firehouse, Janine was at her computer playing "Egon love Janine" text on in a loop while Ray and Slimer hid behind the file cabinets. Ray called Janine to come to where they were standing and Ray placed a whoopee cushion on her chair, and when she went back to her desk to sit down, the whoopee cushion made a loud noise, startling Janine. Ray and Slimer started to laugh hard at the success of their prank. Upset, Janine threw the cushion away, and it made another loud noise blowing the trash out of the bin. Ray and Slimer laughed very hard again. Later, Peter, Egon, and Winston played cards in the sleeping quarters. Ray and Slimer offered to take a group photograph for the album. A pie flew out from the camera and splattered all over Egon, Peter, and Winston.

Outside the Firehouse, the two Imps observed Ray's prank then flew up and tapped the phone lines. Janine received a call, made by the Imps, and hit the alarm. Ray and Slimer were spared the wrath of the others. The Ghostbusters arrived at the Hasty Pastry Bakery but the workers had no clue what was going on. A giant frog emerged by the assembly line and they blasted it. A whole wave of water rushed out from the holes made and engulfed the guys. The Imps leaped from an assembly line and messed with the control panel. The machines all went berserk and flung baked goods all around. Peter managed to throw the shut off switch and turned off all the machinery. Egon picked up a piece of the giant frog and found a label. It read "Gaylord's Joke Shop." Naturally, everyone was angry with Ray.

Ray and Slimer returned the gag props to the joke shop and noticed the trap door was wide open. Slimer followed the trail of glittery material down to the Little Black Box. Slimer panicked and alerted Ray there were Imps in it. Ray quickly called the Firehouse but Janine told him the others were out on a call to the Twin Towers project downtown. A construction worker spoke with the Ghostbusters and told them no one called them. The Imps, bigger and nastier, threw down a girder at the guys. Egon spotted it and tackled everyone to safety. They boarded the service elevator and rode it up just as Ray and Slimer arrived by taxi. Ray tried to wave them off but they ignored him. The Imps sabotaged the elevator and let the guys fall to their deaths. Without any choice, they blasted the elevator motor and stalled it and the cable just before they hit the ground. Ray explained the Imp problem back at the Firehouse and Egon unveiled adjusted Ecto Goggles.

Another call came in, the Imps terrorized the waterfront. While the Ghostbusters boarded a luxury liner, the Imps operated a crane and hoisted them into the liner's pool. They opened fire but soon learned the throwers were useless against the Imps. Ray got an idea to use the Little Black Box to re-trap them. He took out Ecto-3 from one of Ecto-1's rear panels and instructed the others to lead the Imps back to the joke shop. That was easier said than done. The Imps threw a barrage of P.K.E. blasts at them. The guys ran into the joke shop and tried to barricade the entrance but the Imps busted through it with ease. Ray dunked them in water and Slimer threw pies in their faces. Completely enraged, the Imps charged past the others to Ray and Slimer. Ray and Slimer stepped aside to reveal the opened Little Black Box. The Imps were immediately sucked in but refused to give up. Ray threw out a Ghost Trap and everyone threw the box into it. Ray and Slimer swore there would be no more jokes. As they left, Ray decided he was going to sell the shop but he sat on a whoopee cushion. He looked up to see the guys clad in Groucho Marx joke glasses.


  • The episode was recorded on June 6, 1988.[3]
  • "The Joke's on Ray" was the first episode of season four to air but was the third in production order.
  • Ray was willed Gaylord's Joke Shop because his late uncle believed he had the worst sense of humor.[4]
  • Peter asks what Imps are.[5] Interpreted literally, this question contradicted a past encounter with Imps in "Janine's Day Off"
  • This is the first of two appearances of the Ecto-3.


  1. Marsha Goodman (1988). Episode Call Sheet and SAG Report - "Flip Side" (1988).
  2. Eatock, James & Mangels, Andy (2008). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection booklet, p. 30. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  3. Marsha Goodman (1988). Episode Call Sheet and SAG Report - "Flip Side" (1988).
  4. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Joke's on Ray" (1988) (DVD ts. 02:33-02:40). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "He willed a joke shop in Queens to me because 'Ray was my nephew with the worst sense of humor'."
  5. Peter Venkman (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Joke's on Ray" (1988) (DVD ts. 14:33-14:34). Time Life Entertainment. Peter says: "What are Imps?"


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