50

There's 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it

In the title sequence, we see the calendar starting at June 3. 104 days later would be September 15. Over 3 months.

What school do they attend that they get such a long summer vacation?

"Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence!"

  • 4
    For reference: standard summer vacations in Italy are really close to that. From around 10/15 june to around 10/15 september. – Bakuriu Nov 14 '16 at 9:42
123

According to the Phineas and Ferb Wikia

At San Diego Comic-Con 2013, Dan Povenmire revealed that he wrote 104 because he only expected the show to last 52 episodes, like most Disney Channel shows lasted at the time, and there were two segments per episode, making it 104.

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  • 30
    Great out-of-universe explanation! – Gallifreyan Nov 13 '16 at 18:58
29

Because the show is written by Americans, and that's how long the summer vacation period lasts if you take into account the earliest possible start date and latest possible finish date.

United States

In the United States, summer vacation lasts two to three months. The dates vary depending on the location of the school district, with two major formats. One is from early June to early September (in most northern states), the other major format lasting from late May to late August (in most southern and western states). (Excluding some districts, as some schools may end late June and begin early September). About 104 days of summer vacation.

Wikipedia: School Summer Vacation

As to the specifics of their school, it's John P. Tristate Elementary in Danville. Since Danville is approximately 20 minutes drive from Mount Rushmore and adjacent to both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, it's not terribly easy to determine if it's in a Northern or Southern state.

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10

Obviously, the 'out-of-universe' answer is the correct one.

However, growing up, I lived in a very rural state. School typically ended on or about 20-May and started back up on or about 1-Sep. Pretty much exactly 104 days of summer. The schools tried starting back up earlier, but none of the farm kids (70% plus of the student population) would show up until September. There's stuff to do on the farm in summer. School comes a very distant second place when the cows need branding and the hay needs baling.

So, to actually answer the question:

Danville could be the only town in a highly rural, tri-state area. Implausible as that seems.

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1

Meter, and scanning. Notice this repeated stress pattern:

 V            V            V    V     <---- Beat
 There's a    hun-dred and four days
 of           sum-mer  va- ca-  shun... and school comes along just to end it
 So      the  ann-u-   al  prob-lem  
 of           our gen- er- ay-  shun... is finding.... etc

That may not come across well in text format, but the rhythm and meter of those four phrases is very similar, with three fairly equal stresses followed by two slower stresses.

Can you think of a lower number that fits the same speech patterns?

"A hundred and one days" would fit, but no lower number seems to suit.

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  • 1
    Having written a lot of poetry myself, I can tell you it's not too hard to find another way to fit the desired words around the rhythm even if they don't scan properly. I'm sure many other numbers than "a hundred and four" could have fit the rhythm simply by rewording the song slightly. – Rand al'Thor Nov 16 '16 at 23:15
  • @Randal'Thor you mean - Phineas and Ferb aren't really singing in the title sequence ?! – Criggie Nov 17 '16 at 0:55
  • It's the first line. They didn't need to name the number of days, they could've gone with any line, but they didn't. – SQB Nov 17 '16 at 9:02

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