Rollercoaster (Phineas and Ferb)

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Phineas and Ferb episode
Rollercoaster PaF.png
Promotional artwork for the episode detailing Phineas and Ferb riding their roller coaster.
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 1
Directed byDan Povenmire
Written by
Featured music"Perry"[1][1]
Production code101a
Original air dateAugust 17, 2007 (2007-08-17)
Episode chronology
← Previous
Next →
"Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror"
Phineas and Ferb (season 1)
List of Phineas and Ferb episodes

"Rollercoaster" is the pilot episode of the Disney Channel original animated television series Phineas and Ferb, originally broadcast on Disney Channel on August 17, 2007 as a preview of the series, and Disney XD on February 13, 2009. The episode follows series protagonists Phineas and Ferb building an extremely large roller coaster panning from their backyard to throughout the city.

"Rollercoaster" was written by co-creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh. Povenmire also directed the episode. The two used the episode to pitch the series to Disney. They recorded a set of storyboard reels, which Povenmire voiced over and sent them overseas. The preview of the episode totaled a combined 10.8 million viewers. Since airing, the episode has received mixed reviews from critics.

Plot summary[edit]

Stepbrothers Phineas (Vincent Martella) and Ferb (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) are sitting lazily under the big tree in their backyard when they decide to construct a large roller coaster. With their mother Linda (Caroline Rhea) at the grocery store, their sister Candace (Ashley Tisdale) wants to catch them in the act and "bust" them.

Candace goes to the store to tell their Mom of the boys' activities, though she is keen on neglecting it. Isabella (Alyson Stoner) asks Candace at the Flynn-Fletcher house if Phineas and Ferb are home, but Candace ignores her. Isabella then goes to Phineas with hearts in her eyes and says her common catchphrase "Whatcha doin'?". She says "Isn't that impossible?" to Phineas and asks him to go swimming with her, but Phineas declines and Isabella leaves. Phineas and Ferb begin working on the coaster. Meanwhile, Perry the Platypus (Dee Bradley Baker) performs his act as a "secret Agent P", being informed by Major Francis Monogram (Jeff "Swampy" Marsh) that Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (Dan Povenmire) has bought 80% of the Tri-State Area's tin foil. Perry darts off to investigate what Dr. Doofenshmirtz is doing.

With their rollercoaster finally finished, Phineas and Ferb unveil it to the neighborhood children in a glamor-filled light show with notable guests being Isabella, Ginger, and Katie. They immediately climb up the lift hill as Phineas shows everyone how to fasten their seatbelts, he then drops it after showing everyone how to release the buckle on the seatbelt, he then sits back down as the crest the top of the hill, they then pause as Phineas says “You all signed the waivers right?”. Once he finished his sentence, the rollercoaster rockets down the 3 mile drop and does an Inclined Triangular Loop, an Inclined Circular Loop, and Four Zigzags, it then comes to another drop and whips through the Corkscrew Around The Interstate, then Rubber Snakes fall onto everyone as they are screaming at the top of their lungs until Phineas says “Relax! They’re Just Rubber!”, The rollercoaster then dives into a Bucket Of Mud before shooting back out and going through a Carwash. The rollercoaster then comes to a complete stop as everyone is now squeaky clean, a worker rubs the front of the rollercoaster and waves goodbye. The rollercoaster rockets away and takes a quick trip through the AH-AH-AH-AH Section before diving down and turning through several loops around Doofenshmirtz Evil Inc. and dives down another drop. Doofenshmirtz, meanwhile, reveals that he is using the tin foil to cover the eastern seaboard, then using a magnet to pull it, thereby reversing the Earth's rotation. Perry fights him, but Doofenshmirtz manages to get the magnet activating. However, Doofenshmirtz soon learns that his plan is flawed because the magnet has only taken the tin foil off the eastern seaboard, forming it into a 2-ton giant ball. Seeing that it's heading forward, Doofenshmirtz decides to separate the magnet from his machine to stop it, and Perry is forced to help him out.

Perry attempts to solve the problem using a helicopter (causing The D.E.Inc to get hit), which inadvertently causes the rollercoaster to crumble and speed off the tracks. As they spiral around the world and eventually space, Candace continues to try and bust them, even on the way home. The magnet is stopped, as Phineas and Ferb return home, Candace a second too late. Isabella says that was the best ride ever and she and Phineas talk about Perry and that he may lay an egg. Ferb burps from having peanut butter, which Isabella says was cool, and she leaves at that point. The episode ends with the roller coaster exploding in the boys' backyard tree and tin foil ball is seen rolling in the background setting. Upon the rollercoaster exploding Candace tries to bust the boys again. Mom responds by saying, "Give it a rest, Candace!"



An original storyboard panel from the pitch reel sent to overseas executives for Disney.[2]

Series co-creator Dan Povenmire attributed the genesis for the show to his childhood in Mobile, Alabama. Povenmire recalled that his mother told him "never to waste a day of summer".[3] Meanwhile, the show's other co-creator, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh grew up in a large, blended family.[4] Similar to Povenmire, Marsh spent his summers exploring and taking part in several different activities in order to have fun.[3] The two met while working as layout artists on The Simpsons in the 1990s. Povenmire commented that "We were always laughing at the same jokes". The two became a writing team on the Nickelodeon animated series Rocko's Modern Life. They began working on Phineas and Ferb around 1992, while still working together at Nickelodeon.[3] The two had become friends due to their mutual tastes and interests. Citing their childhood, they wanted to incorporate summer vacations, a time when the two would go out and do something constructive.[2] They spent sixteen years pitching it to four different networks, including Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, all of which kept shooting it down due to its complexity. When Povenmire landed a pitch with Disney, despite being unsure at first, the series was accepted.[5]

Povenmire and Marsh both wrote "Rollercoaster", and used it as the pitch for the entire series. Unlike normal series, they did not send a script to the overseas Disney executives, but set up a storyboard and mixed it over with dialogue by Povenmire, then set up a "play-by-play" and recorded it.[2] The series was accepted after 16 years of development and the episode was produced.[5] Several lines and scenes from the storyboard were removed or altered in the eventual production of the episode.[2] Several such scenes were eventually used in later episodes, such as a scene later used in the episode "Gaming the System", in which Doofenshmirtz waits a few seconds, until precisely 11:00, before initiating his plan.[6] Povenmire and Marsh wanted to include two things in every episode; a song, and an action or chase scene. However, the song in every episode did not begin until Flop Starz, the next episode.[3]


Vincent Martella, Thomas Sangster, and Ashley Tisdale, who voice Phineas, Ferb, and Candace respectively, were all hired by the casting department because of their popularity within the target age-group and general belief in their ability to perform their roles.[7] Another character, Jeremy, who is usually voiced by Mitchel Musso, briefly appeared in the episode in a different voice than usual from an unknown voice extra.[8] The end credits of the episode list several extras who possibly voiced him, including Dee Bradley Baker, Raviv Ullman, and the co-creators.[9] The episode used live action briefly in the shot in which the kids fall to Earth, a technique featured in two other episodes to date: Out to Launch and The Chronicles of Meap.[10][11]


The episode originally aired as a preview after the premiere of High School Musical 2 on August 17, 2007, with a rating of TV-Y7. Disney Channel wanted to start off the series in a special way, though they did not to use "Rollercoaster"; instead, they choose the episode "Flop Starz", and aired it in a worldwide premiere.[12][13]


When originally aired on August 17, 2007, "Rollercoaster" peaked high ratings in several categories. The preview garnered a recorded amount of 10.8 million viewers.[14] 4.15 million were in the demographic of kids 6–11, while 4.20 million were in their teens 9–14 category.[15] These high ratings lead to the episode being the second highest-rated telecast Disney Channel received in its recorded history.[16]

Other uses of the plot[edit]

The events of "Rollercoaster" would be revisited in the season 2 episode "Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo", which sees a future adult version of Candace returning to the events of the episode in a time machine to help her present counterpart successfully bust Phineas and Ferb for the rollercoaster. However, this action led to a chain reaction that soon followed, turning the future version of Danville into a dystopian society led by subplot antagonist Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz.[17] Later, the same Candace goes back into the past to stop the adult Candace from causing the disaster.

Inspired by the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" (which saw the crew of the newer series interacting with the events of the original series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles"), the use of "Rollercoaster" within the plot was viewed by Marsh as "a great way to interweave a story."[17]


"Rollercoaster: The Musical"
Phineas and Ferb episode
The cast of Phineas and Ferb perform "Carpe Diem", which includes many characters drawn on the show.
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 36
Directed by
Written by
Featured music
  • "Hey Ferb"
  • "You're Going Down"
  • "What'cha Doin?"
  • "My Whole World is this Screen"
  • "Mom Look"
  • "Aren't You a Little Young?"
  • "Back in Gimmlestump"
  • "Rollercoaster"
  • "Carpe Diem"
Production code239
Original air date
Guest appearance(s)

Kenny Ortega as himself

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Brain Drain"
Next →
"Make Play"

A remake of the episode aired on January 28, 2011 on Disney Channel and on Disney Channel on Demand on Verizon on January 21, 2011. It was titled "Rollercoaster: The Musical!" The episode features the original storyline, except it is put into a musical setting.

The episode included many Easter eggs from previous episodes, and references to other productions. For example, when Phineas is singing "Hey Ferb", the two of them are dressed as people from other musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, The King and I (during which Phineas is bald to look like Yul Brynner), among others. When Candace and her mother leave the supermarket and are walking from the parking lot, the two future Candaces can be seen behind a car. Also, while the roller coaster is flung into space, Meap can be seen in his spaceship. For the finale of the episode, the cast of the show performed "Carpe Diem" and almost every major and minor character from previous episodes of the show made cameos in the performance, including the Goozim from the episode "Got Game?", that also appears in the Phineas and Ferb Movie. Kenny Ortega made a special cameo as the choreographer of the performance.

Various phrases from the original episode were made into songs with two songs added in the episode, including:


1.^ Original broadcasts and the sneak peek of the episode have the song in the end credits. Other airings, however, include the song at the end of "Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror!" instead whilst others have Major Monogram singing : 'My Whole World is a Screen'.


  1. ^ Yoo, Jean. "Disney Channel Medianet". Retrieved July 1, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Original Pitch featurette, from Volume 1: The Fast and the Phineas (DVD). 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d Strike, Joe. "From Swampy & Dan Emerges Phineas and Ferb", Page 1". Animation World Magazine.
  4. ^ Galas, Marjorie. "Phineas and Ferb: Music, Mischief, And The Endless Summer Vacation". 411 News. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
  5. ^ a b Perez, Lauren (May 12, 2008). "USC dropout makes it big in animation". Archived from the original on August 21, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Gaming the System". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2. April 11, 2009. Disney XD.
  7. ^ Povenmie, Dan; Marsh, Jeff "Swampy". Promotion of Phineas and Ferb at Comic Con (Video).
  8. ^ Aired in Norway and the UK only (2009). Phineas and Ferb: What's What?.
  9. ^ ""Rollercoaster" end credits". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 1. 2007-08-17.
  10. ^ Writers: Kim Roberson, Piero Piluso, Ken Osborne (December 5, 2008). "Out to Launch". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Disney Channel.
  11. ^ "The Chronicles of Meap". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2. April 18, 2009. Disney XD.
  12. ^ Piper Reese, Dan Povenmire, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh. Piper's Picks TV #032: Piper Goes Hollywood – Dr. Doofenshmirtz & Major Monogram!.
  13. ^ McDonough, Kevin (February 1, 2008). "'Phineas and Ferb' is frantic from start to finish". South Coast Today.
  14. ^ Littleton, Cynthia. ""High School Musical 2" : OMG! It's a cable ratings record". Variety.
  15. ^ Umstead, R. Thomas (January 27, 2008). "'Ferb' Next Big Tween Thing". Multichannel News.
  16. ^ Brady, Shirley (August 20, 2007). "'High School Musical 2' Aces Nielsen Final". Cable360. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ a b Fritz, Steve (2009-09-17). "Animated Shorts 601: Phineas & Ferb Keep Summer Alive". Newsarama. Retrieved 2009-10-30.

External links[edit]