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9 Throwbacks To The Old 'Ghostbusters' In The New 'Ghostbusters' That Are Brilliant

There's a right way and a wrong way to reboot a movie franchise. Reboots aren't sequels, and as such, they don't treat the original films as canon, but assuming the originals weren't reviled, it's always a classy move to include a few nods. Don't forget your roots, and all that. I'm happy to report that the Ghostbusters reboot contains several throwbacks to the 1984 original, and even a couple of maybe-not coincidental nods to the sequel (sorry, no Bobby Brown cameo).

Some fans of the original Ghostbusters were understandably apprehensive that the reboot wouldn't honor its inspiration properly, but as a fan of all three Ghostbusters movies and The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, I assure you, it does. It's not a blatant copy of the 1984 film, nor is it too far of a departure. Some of the references are subtle, while others practically slap you in the face. But that's in keeping with the original, which featured both sly and over-the-top humor.

Sci-fi fans have had their hopes dashed before, of course. But the Ghostbusters reboot wasn't Darth Vader as a pod-racing tot (thanks, George Lucas), this was Princess Leia as a badass general (thanks, J.J. Abrams!). Paul Feig has done fans proud, reviving the series we hold so dear. Read on for some of my favorite references to the original (minor spoilers ahead).

The Theme Song


Ugh, no, not that theme song. The new song (other than Missy Elliott's verse) is... unfortunate, let's say. Unnecessary. But it happened, and we're stuck with it. Luckily, it only plays briefly during the middle of the movie. The film opens as the original does, with a ghost sighting followed by the classic Ray Parker, Jr. theme. As it should.

Columbia University

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In the 1984 Ghostbusters, Peter Venkman, Ray Stanz, and Egon Spengler were all employed by Columbia University before going into the exciting field of ghost busting. In the new movie, Kristen Wiig's Erin Gilbert also teaches at Columbia (Abby Yates and Jillian Holtzman are academics, too, but they have a slightly less prestigious employer).

The Cameos

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Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts all make cameos in the new film, playing new characters that remind fans of their old ones. Bill Murray is a professional debunker, which hearkens back to his TV-host gig from Ghostbusters 2. Annie Potts still has those glasses and that accent, which, to be honest, made up the bulk of her character. Slimer still knows how to drive, because of course he does.

The Equipment

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The modern-day Ghostbusters have plenty new toys, but like the the old ones, they also wear proton packs and carry PKE meters. The logo and Ecto-1 are the same, too, but this time around, fan get origin stories on both.

Mass Hysteria


Once again, our heroes are called into the mayor's office, where they argue about the best way to handle the city's ghost infestation, and the classic phrase is uttered.

More Love For The Old Theme Song


Yes, it gets two mentions, because it's that important. The original Ghostbusters theme was iconic, and three of its most memorable lines are referenced the new film. If that sounds like overkill, trust me, it's not. They're worked into the dialog seamlessly.

Hook & Ladder 8

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While the new Ghostbusters headquarters is above a Chinese restaurant, they didn't forget about Hook & Ladder 8, the real-life New York City fire station that served as the headquarters for the originals.

The Tributes


Despite the rumors, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man isn't actually in the movie. Well, not as himself, anyway. But there is a tribute to him. The movie also honored co-writer and costar of the original, the late Harold Ramis, by featuring a bust of his likeness at Columbia, dedicating the movie to him, and having his son, Daniel, appear in one scene.


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While Zuul doesn't appear in the movie, her name is dropped. And a Sony executive recently told The Wrap "There’s no doubt in my mind" that there will be a sequel to the new Ghostbusters, so the chances are pretty good that fans will get to see their favorite terror dog again.