"Bitter Reunions" is the seventh episode of Danny Phantom.
Danny races home to make it in time for his ten o' clock curfew, but runs into three vulture ghosts who are searching for Jack Fenton. Danny fights them off, and as they flee, they drop a torn piece of a photo showing a younger Jack, which Danny takes. However, the fight with the vulture ghosts made him late for his curfew, and when he gets home he finds his parents waiting for him angrily.
Jack and Maddie begin to lecture him. Jazz interrupts by suggesting that the reason why Danny doesn't speak with them about his problems is because they never share their experiences from when they were younger with him. Jack uses this as an idea to take both Jazz and Danny to his and Maddie's twentieth college reunion held in Wisconsin in their old friend Vlad Masters' home.
They take the Fenton RV to Vlad Masters' mansion, stopping to rest for the night where Jack relates the tale about his best friend Vlad Masters (whom Jazz recognizes as a well-known billionaire): twenty years in the past, Jack, Maddie, and Vlad had been working on a prototype ghost portal when an accident (or over-enthusiasm) on Jack's part caused the portal to malfunction and explode in Vlad's face, causing Vlad to develop a severe case of ecto-acne and premature white hair, which hospitalized him and ruined his social life.
Jack has not spoken with Vlad since, and hopes that by meeting him at the reunion, Vlad will forgive him at last.
They reach Vlad's manor the next day, where Vlad gives a warm greeting to everyone in the family except Jack. Inside, they notice Vlad is a devoted Green Bay Packers fan. Danny also observes Vlad hitting on their mother.
Vlad convinces Jack that the family should stay with him in his manor for the night, as there is still one day until the reunion. Jack initially refuses, but when Vlad tells him of the previous owner, the Dairy King, and suggests that his ghost might still haunt the manor to this day, Jack changes his mind.
That night, as Jack stumbles around in search of the bathroom, the three vulture ghosts reappear and prepare to attack him from behind. Danny's ghost sense goes off, waking him up, and he finds and rescues Jack but is confronted by another ghost, Vlad Plasmius. Plasmius taunts Danny and easily defeats him, knocking him out, which reverts him back to his human form.
Vlad also reverts to his human form, Vlad Masters, and is surprised to find out that Danny Phantom is Jack's son. Danny later wakes up in his bedroom in Vlad's mansion, screaming. Vlad comes in to supposedly check on him. Danny comes up with a small lie to get Vlad to leave, secretly making new plans of his own.
The reunion comes the next night. Jazz refuses to join in the party, opting instead to watch films of the Packers' football games, so Danny goes alone with his parents. Inside the main reunion room, Jack reminisces with others, including one of his other classmates, Harriet Chin, now a reporter, who has nothing but disrespect for Jack, possibly because of the nickname Jack gave her: "Harrie Chin. Ha ha! Get it?”
Vlad walks over to Danny and asks for a favor: to go to his lab and get a present for Jack that he left there. Inside the lab, Danny finds an old, slightly-torn photo of his parents and Vlad. Taking out the torn photo of Jack that he got from his first fight with the vulture ghosts, he puts two and two together and figures out that Vlad must have sent the vulture ghosts after Jack.
Before he can do anything though, two ectopuses come out of nowhere. Danny transforms to battle them, but Skulker appears in a new robotic suit. Danny wonders how Skulker got his suit back, as it had been previously destroyed, but Skulker doesn't answer, and traps Danny inside the spectral energy neutralizer, which takes away his ghost powers.
Before the upgraded Skulker kills Danny with a new glowing blade weapon of his, Vlad enters the lab and dismisses Skulker. Vlad reveals to Danny that he was the ghost that Danny fought last night, transforming in front of him.
Vlad makes an offer for Danny to join his side, offering to teach him everything he knew about using his powers, if only Danny would renounce his father.
Danny refuses, leaving Vlad to continue the rest of his plan by heading down to the party in hopes of changing his mind. There, Vlad overshadows Jack and makes him wreak havoc on the party. Maddie deduces that a ghost must be possessing Jack. Harriet, upon witnessing this, sees this as the story of a lifetime. She and Maddie head over to the Fenton RV.
Back in the lab, Danny is still trapped in the spectral energy neutralizer and can't escape. But soon, the ghost of the Dairy King appears and pushes the "off" switch on the device, freeing Danny.
Grateful, Danny asks about the help and Dairy King replies that not all ghosts are evil and leaves after telling the boy kings don't fight. Danny transforms back into ghost form and flies over to the party room. He removes Vlad from Jack's body and shoves him into the library, where they continue their fight as Vlad tries to convince Danny to join his side.
The Fenton RV rams its way into the library, where Vlad phases in and kidnaps Maddie. While Jack endlessly chases after his wife, Danny turns intangible and invisible, drives the RV in Vlad's direction, and activates all of the RV's anti-ghost weaponry that he can until eventually the ectoplasmic goo hits Vlad, making him drop Maddie. Danny quickly possesses Jack and makes him dive in to save Maddie.
After he sends Maddie away to check up on Harriet, Danny grabs Vlad and threatens to expose both their secrets unless they come to a truce. Vlad agrees, and remarks that Danny is using blackmail against him, which he sees as a sign that Danny is slowly being influenced by Vlad without him knowing it. Vlad then dramatically makes an escape, vowing to return. Harriet afterwards apologizes to Jack for thinking he was a crackpot.
Unfortunately, Harriet immediately gets fired for her story on ghosts, while Jack grows upset that Vlad is still angry with him. As they drive home, Danny cheers up his father by praising him for how well "he" did in fighting off Vlad Plasmius. This does not get Danny a new curfew, much to his dismay.
- Story by
- Steve Marmel
- Written by
- Sib Ventress
- Steve Marmel
- Storyboard by
- Chris Graham
- Ray Angrum
- Art Direction
- Music by
- Guy Moon
- Directed by
- Wincat Alcala
- Julie Hashiguchi
- Butch Hartman
- Voice cast
- David Kaufman as Danny; Sports Announcer
- Rob Paulsen as Jack Fenton; Vulture Ghost #2
- Kath Soucie as Maddie Fenton
- Scott Bullock as Dairy King; Vulture Ghost #1; Vulture Ghost #3
- Colleen O'Shaughnessey as Jazz Fenton
- June Angela as Harriet Chin
- Martin Mull as Vlad Plasmius
- Matthew St. Patrick as Skulker
- Deric Battiste as Theme Singer
- Danny notices that Skulker got a new ecto-suit after it was destroyed, and after Vlad dismisses Skulker, Skulker leaves because he has to "go check out a book on a gorilla." This references Skulker's suit still being synced to Tucker's PDA schedule and the destruction of his suit at the hands of Delilah, both of which happened in "One of a Kind."
- When the Fenton family drives home at the end, Maddie is sleeping with Jazz's doll Bearbert. Bearbert later makes a more prominent appearance in "The Fenton Menace."
- Allusions: See List of allusions
- Goofs: See List of goofs
- First Appearance: Vlad Masters/Vlad Plasmius
- One Time Appearance: Dairy King
- Introduced Ghost Powers: Ghost Shield, Duplication
- In this episode, Danny calls Vlad a "crazed-up fruit loop." This nickname for Vlad has become very popular among fans.
- This episode is included on the Nick Picks Volume 1 DVD.
- This is the only episode of the entire series not to feature or mention Sam or Tucker. Neither Grey DeLisle nor Rickey D'Shon Collins provide voices in this episode.
- Danny tells Vlad that his parents will love him no matter what, even if he is part-ghost. This is the first time in the series he understands the unconditional love a parent has towards their offspring. Despite this fact Danny does continue to hide his ghost powers from his parents until the very last episode of the season.
- This is the first episode to feature a half-human antagonist. (The first episode to feature a full-human antagonist would be "Control Freaks").
- Danny learns in this episode that not all ghosts are evil. The Dairy King is one of the first nice ghosts he meets.
- This is the only episode that cuts directly to the ending title card rather than closing the episode with an iris out.
- In this episode, Danny foreshadowed Vlad's ultimate fate of being miserable and alone for the rest of his life as it happened in both "The Ultimate Enemy" and "Phantom Planet".
Click here to view the gallery.