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While rewatching a few episodes of Phineas & Ferb, I noticed something. During the last scene of the Title Sequence (Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making the Title Sequence!), when Candace shouts, P&F pause for a moment, and after she finishes shouting, go back to their respective instruments with what looks to me with an expression of extreme disdain.

So this prompted me to think: do they create things which have specific built in functions to become undetectable when Mom comes? I understand that there are many ways which could not have possibly been caused by their intentions, but does Willing Suspension of Disbelief go that far?

So, in summary, do P&F want to annoy Candace by making their inventions disappear as soon as Mom comes?

  • 4
    In an example of Early Installment Weirdness the pilot episode has Phineas make an attempt to the keep the daily project secret from Candace. – Rogue Jedi Nov 27 '17 at 19:08
  • @RogueJedi But in fairness, I've watched all the other episodes and can't think of one where they tried to hide their shenanigans from either Candace or their mom. Fate always conspired to remove the evidence before their mom could see it... or on a couple of occasions to hide or even remove their mother's memory of it. But never Phineas or Ferb. – Wayne Nov 28 '17 at 3:51
  • @RogueJedi Thanks for that unlabelled TVTropes link. I've just got back from a 22 hour imprisonment. (The previous sentence may be exaggerated.) – wizzwizz4 Nov 28 '17 at 18:08
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TL;DR: You're not imagining the boys' attitude in the title sequence, even though they don't demonstrate a similar attitude in the series.

In most of the actual episodes, Phineas and Ferb appear to want (genuinely) to please Candace. However, the title sequence was conceived and largely animated before the regular run of the show: the "pitch" for the show consisted of a story-boarded version of the first episode, complete with title sequence and theme song. While the show in the pitch is very recognizable, some elements did change over the course of the show, including, notably, Phineas and Ferb's attitude towards Candace.

From the lyrics to the theme song:

Finding a dodo bird,
painting a continent,
or driving your sister insane!
[Candace:] "Phineas!"

In that last pair of lines, Phineas appears to be painting a mustache on a portrait of Candace, which turns out to actually be Candace. The pitch lyrics also includes a muttered "aside" from Phineas1:

or driving your sister insane!
[Phineas, muttered aside:] "It's a short drive."
[Candace:] "Phineas!"

Painting a mustache on Candace, whether they believed it was a portrait or knew it was really her, is a much more hostile act towards Candace than we see in actual episodes of the show, and the lyrics suggest that Phineas might have one day announced "Ferb, I know what we're going to do today! Drive our sister insane!" Later in the storyboarded pitch (about 6 seconds into part 3), Ferb also has a line about the possibility that Candace might be put in charge which at least suggests that he doesn't like the idea.

It thus appears that there was originally a plan for two-way animosity between the boys and their sister, but this was abandoned (along with the name Dr. Meddleschmidt and the gag of Candace being in charge "conditionally", which made it into the pilot but not later episodes) for the rest of the show. However, unlike Meddleschmidt and the bawdier script elements, some vestiges of the idea remain in the title sequence.


1 Phineas has these asides throughout the title sequence, most of which did not make it into the final version of the song; one exception is "Locating Frankenstein's Brain/[Phineas:] 'It's over here!'"

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There are many episodes that make it clear that the boys have no idea why their inventions seem to magically disappear when their Mom comes home. Further more their Mom not seeing the inventions is usually caused by an improbable series of events, often involving Perry or Doof.

They have even several times told Candace how awesome it would be if their Mom saw their cool stuff and there is an episode in which they try to build something that mom can see.

They've also many times tried to do things for Candace and it is very clear that they love their sister and want to be nice to her. They just don't understand that what they do are things that their sister wants to bust them for and that she disapproves of.

So no, on the balance of evidence they are not trying to annoy Candace, they just don't see how what they do could be annoying or disliked by anybody.

  • 8
    Good answer. You may want to improve our by adding some relevant quotes from the episodes. – SQB Nov 27 '17 at 19:03
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    Also relevant - at least in all the episodes I've watched, everyone else thinks their inventions are super cool, it's just Candace who has a problem. – Wayne Werner Nov 27 '17 at 20:14
  • @SQB: Sadly I'm not sure where to get such quotes. I just watch far too much Phineas and Ferb on Disney channel so not somewhere I can link to it and I can't recall episode names well enough to even google for specific quotes sadly. :( – Chris Nov 27 '17 at 21:34
  • And yes indeed, everybody else thinks their inventions are cool. In fact even candace does as seen in the episode where they compete with their neighbours Thadeus and Thor in which Candace orders the boys to make something super awesome to show their neighbours that they are better. – Chris Nov 27 '17 at 21:37
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    +1. I was watching an episode the other night where Candace wanted to get the boys to bust themselves, and Phineas called his mom and told her what they'd created. They've never tried to hide anything they've made from their mom, and on several occasions have described their inventions to her -- of course what mom saw allowed her to have an alternative interpretation of what they said. They created a restaurant, she saw two people sitting at a table, they created a waterfall, she saw a leaky sprinkler. And so on. – Wayne Nov 28 '17 at 3:48
3

I've watched a large number of episodes, and the brothers virtually never mention Candace. They are doing their own thing, and they leave her alone to do hers. There is a virtually complete absence of quotes where the boys talk about how their inventions will affect her. It just doesn't cross their mind the great majority of the time.

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    They are amazingly self-absorbed. One could almost ask if they're a little young to consider the ramifications of their projects on their sister's mental health. – Morgen Nov 28 '17 at 1:25
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    @Morgen Obligatory: Yes, yes they are. – Iker Nov 28 '17 at 8:07
  • They aren't self-absorbed, if anything, it's weird that a teen girl cares so much about what they are doing. Most teen girls are totally wrapped up in their own issues. Her obsession with their projects is her problem, not theirs. The bigger issue is that the boys refuse to honestly describe their projects to their mom, and the mother refuses to believe her daughter. It's Snuffaluffagus all over again. – swbarnes2 Nov 28 '17 at 20:30
  • @swbarnes2 The boys do honestly describe their projects to their mom a number of times, it's just that their mom is convinced it's just a matter of overactive imaginations, and that is enabled by whatever happens every single time to make the boys' builds disappear. – Iker Nov 29 '17 at 8:22
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On the contrary to many of the claims made on this thread, I believe that Phineas and Ferb do not carry out their shenanigans in ignorance of or indifference to Candace's feelings, but rather with the object of receiving attention from her. As stated earlier, Phineas and Ferb love Candace. However, their age difference creates a situation in which one party is not as interested as the other. In other words, while Candace would prefer to text her boyfriend or make plans with her other teenage friends, Phineas and Ferb secretly wish that Candace would give them at least a fraction of the attention that she lends to her other interests. Just as neglected children often engage in rebellious acts and do not care if the attention they eventually receive from their parents is negative, Phineas and Ferb crave any type of attention from their older sister. Getting on her nerves seems to be the only way that they are able to do that.

  • In real life this would be spot on, but in the context of the show, I don't think it fits. +1 for a non-obvious answer though. – Andrew Grothe Nov 28 '17 at 14:39
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There was an episode where Phineas tells someone something like if Candace was interested only in what boys do the whole summer. Which means that they are very aware of Candace doing, but doesn't seem to care. And yes, it does cross their minds, but just like I said, they don't really care. How can they annoy Candace if they don't even care about what she is doing?

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