Peter Venkman: Alice, I'm going to ask you a couple of standard questions, ok? Have you or any of your family ever been diagnosed Schizophrenic? Mentally incompetent?
Librarian: My uncle thought he was St. Jerome.
Peter Venkman:I'd call that a big yes.
This interaction takes place when the Ghostbusters go to the library to investigate the haunting. They question the librarian about her sighting. Peter, ever the skeptic, goes through some preliminary questions meant to determine whether or not she is mentally sound. When she tells him that she had a crazy uncle, he takes that as evidence that she potentially had a vision in the basement and did not actually encounter a ghost. This quote reveals Peter's natural skepticism, even though he is a parapsychologist.
Generally you don't see that kind of behavior in a major appliance.
This is yet another sarcastic line from Peter, following the report of a paranormal experience. When Dana comes in and tells the men that her eggs flung themselves out of their carton and began to cook themselves on her kitchen counter, and that when she opened the refrigerator she saw the demon Zuul, Peter makes this comment. He jokingly refers to the fact that refrigerators don't usually contain ancient demonic portals.
Ray, when some asks you if you're a god, you say YES!
When they approach Gozer on the roof of Dana's apartment and it appears in the form of a beautiful woman, Gozer asks the Ghostbusters if they are gods. Being perfectly honest, Ray tells Gozer that they are not, and Gozer sends them flying towards the edge of the building, almost to their death. The men scramble to their feet, having just barely escaped death, and consult to decide their next plan. Referring to Ray's mistake of saying they weren't gods, Winston says this, warning his associate that they are going to have to tell some lies if they want to defeat the entity and stay alive.
Ghostbusters, what do you want?
The receptionist Janine is a sarcastic and sour-faced young woman who always seems like she would much rather be reading a magazine than doing her duties as a receptionist. This line, her standard greeting when she picks up the phone at the office, showcases her nonplussed, not-particularly-elegant attitude. While a receptionist might usually be more cordial on the phone, Janine is anything but, which shows that they are running a bit of a messy business. Even their receptionist isn't excited to be there.
Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown.
Peter says this on the roof of Dana's apartment, in reference to the Ghostbusters striking out and trying to defeat Gozer. Gozer has taken the form of a very sexy woman, even though Gozer is a far scarier and more menacing presence in its purest form. Nodding to their scrappy New York spirit, Peter says this to motivate the men to attack and conquer the demon, which seems to have limitless powers. This is a jokey line, in that he is referring to a wildly powerful deity as a "prehistoric bitch" and referring to their tactics as showing her "how [they] do things downtown." It is a bit of an understatement, given the stakes of the situation.
Dana Barrett: [channeling Zuul] There is no Dana, only Zuul!
Peter Venkman: What a lovely singing voice you must have.
Here we see one of the terrifying juxtapositions between horror and comedy. Possessed by Zuul, Dana has become a frightening person, gritting her teeth, smiling maniacally, and now adopting the deep and gravely voice of a prehistoric demon. The moment is horrifying, but Peter again cuts the tension by making a joke of it. He sarcastically jokes that Dana (as Zuul) must have a beautiful singing voice, referring of course to the monstrous voice emerging from the beautiful woman's mouth.
You know you don't act like a scientist...you're more like a game show host.
Dana says this to Peter when he visits her apartment and makes a suggestive joke about her bedroom. While he initially thinks she is paying him a compliment, by suggesting that he doesn't behave like the typical scientist—nerdy and stiff—she is in fact insulting his demeanor. By joking that he acts more like a game show host, Dana suggests that Peter is a little bit sleazy and unappealing in his lecherous advances. This comment gives Dana the upper hand.
Louis: Who are you guys?
Ray: We're the Ghostbusters.
Louis: Who does your taxes?
As he awakes from his possession by the demon dog, the ever-nerdy and networking accountant Louis looks over at the Ghostbusters and asks who they are. While it seems like he might be asking for their identities in order to identify and thank them, he is clearly just looking for new clients. Even after all of the traumatic and unusual paranormal experiences he has gone through, Louis has one central concern: being a successful accountant. This joke makes light of Louis's boring and narrow perspective.
Janine: You are so kind to take care of that man. You know, you're a real humanitarian.
Egon: I don't think he's human.
When Egon takes in Louis after he has been possessed by a demon, Janine takes the opportunity to flirt with the serious doctor a little bit. She tells him that she admires the fact that he took in such a hopeless and unusual character, complimenting him in a slightly seductive way. Egon flirts back with her, but he also has a hunch that Louis has been possessed or that there is something much more wrong with him. This moment represents a juxtaposition between the absurd and the suspenseful. In a moment of alone time, Janine wants to put the moves on Egon, but there are also more serious matters with which to contend.
Ok, who brought the dog?
Louis says this when he hears a strange growl coming from his bedroom. While the viewer knows that the dog is one of the demonic devil dogs come to life to help Gozer destroy the world, Louis mistakes the growling for a dog that someone brought to the party. Little does he know that in a matter of seconds he will be running for his life out of the apartment, pursued by the evil creature. In this moment, Louis has no idea what the noise is, and he thinks that the growling is some sort of silly practical joke, which creates a dramatic irony between what we the viewer know to be true and what Louis knows.
Ghostbusters Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Ghostbusters is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.