The Pilot of the The Real Ghostbusters lacks plot and simply shows the Ghostbusters fighting several ghosts with no dialogue. As the pilot was made before the show had a production bible, everything was as the animators thought it should be. It has some continuity errors in it.[1] Ultimately, the pilot helped in securing the series' initial order for 65 episodes in syndication and 13 for Saturday morning.[2][3]


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Several residents of New York see ghosts and scream. The ghost in the no-ghost logo walks around and then freezes in a pose similar to the one in the logo and he is finished when a prohibited symbol appears over him.

A siren wails and wakes up the Ghostbusters, who then get on their uniforms and Proton Packs to get ready to bust some ghosts. The Ghostbusters chase after Slimer in the Ecto-1, but the green ghost splatters Stay Puft Marshmallows all over the windshield. As soon as the marshmallow goo is wiped off, Peter and Ray fall out of the Ecto-1 and Egon and Winston are crammed into one seat with Slimer driving the Ecto-1 and grinning evilly. The Ecto-1 is driven through a hotel crawling with ghosts.

Slimer and the ghosts scare Egon and Winston and chase them out of the hotel. Peter and Ray see a man in a telephone booth being bothered by a tiny ghost. They decide to give chase, but run into a big blue monster emerging from the sewers. A bigger pink monster falls from the sky and slams the ground. The two fall in front of an incoming subway train and are "rescued" by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man before they end up being snatched away from Mr. Stay Puft by a skeleton piloting an airplane.

Eventually, the four Ghostbusters are brought back together and they decide to bust all the ghosts. Most of the ghosts get in the Trap easily, but Stay Puft tries to resist and Slimer narrowly escapes. A Proton Stream grabs Slimer into the trap and after some struggling, the Ghostbusters finally get Stay Puft into the trap and thereby capture all the ghosts.

Differences from the Series

Comparing the pilot to the series opener

The pilot is something of the crossroads between the first film and the Real Ghostbusters Series in many ways. Slimer and Stay Puft Marshmallow Man were bad guys in the pilot and the Ghostbusters all wore the tan uniforms like in the first film. Peter looks more like Bill Murray than the later series had. Also, the animation was more exaggerated than the later series. The equipment also was different and was sort of its own design. The sleeping quarters and even the alarm bell look more akin to the film than the animated series as well.


The Proton Pack in the pilot compared to Kenner's Proton Pack.

The pilot is the first attempt at modifying the equipment's look and how it functions from the first film. The equipment therefore looks quite unique. One clear design direction that was not followed so closely later on is the strong avoidance of dark colors. While the Proton Pack and the Particle Thrower have some black/dark blue, it is nowhere near as dark as the later series. The trap avoided dark colors as well, instead being an aluminum color, instead of the dark blue of the series or the mostly black design of the films (it has the aluminum color used on the sides like this version).

Designs of the Proton Pack from the pilot were used to make the mold for the Proton Packs in the Kenner Toy Line.


  • Two of the ghosts in the pilot are Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, two ghosts from the movie who become allies of the Ghostbusters in the animated series.
  • The intro to the series was in part made from part of the pilot towards the end. It also had part of the beginning with the ghost getting trapped in the No-Ghost Sign.
  • Pieces of the pilot were used for the episode "The Halloween Door."
  • Since there is no dialogue and the Ghostbusters theme song plays throughout the pilot, the pilot is practically an animated music video of the song.
  • On page 15 of Ghostbusters: Get Real Issue #2, on the bottom of the page, to the left are the Real Ghostbusters from the pilot.

External Links


The pilot and a commentary was included on a bonus disc on The Real Ghostbusters DVD Box Set.

The restored version of the pilot will be included in the 2019 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray release as a bonus feature.[4]


  1. Ray Stantz (2009).The Real Ghostbusters-The Real Ghostbusters Pilot (2008) (DVD d. bonus ts. 1:02). Time Life Entertainment. Ray Proton Pack has large hooks for Particle Thrower
    Compared to
    Ray Stantz (2009).The Real Ghostbusters-The Real Ghostbusters Pilot (2008) (DVD d. Bonus ts. 2:53). Time Life Entertainment. Ray Proton Pack has small clip like device to hold the Particle Thrower
  2. Joe Medjuck (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Take Two" (1986) Commentary (DVD ts. 00:31-00:34). Time Life Entertainment. Joe Medjuck says: "And you were saying earlier I believe Joe, this opening was originally part of a promo?"
  3. J. Michael Straczynski (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Take Two" (1986) Commentary (DVD ts. 00:38-01:00). Time Life Entertainment. J. Michael Straczynski says: "This existed. This was done to sell the show and wasn't done by DIC, it was done by a separate company and this is what they showed to get the order for 65 episodes in syndication and the 13 orders for the Saturday morning show on ABC."
  4. Ghostbusters News "PRESS RELEASE + FULL DETAILS: Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II get 4K Ultra HD 35th Anniversary Steelbook release this June!" 4/5/19


Clips from Video

Comparing the Pilot to the Intro

Images of the Pilot version weapons

Images of Interest

RGB DVD Boxset Features

Secondary Canon

Previous Episode Based on Next Episode
None Air Date Ghosts R Us
None DVD Order Ghosts R Us
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