Samantha "Sam" Manson is the best friend of Danny Fenton and Tucker Foley in the Nickelodeon
animated television series Danny Phantom. She is voiced by Grey DeLisle.
One of Danny's best friends, Sam is a goth (much to her parents' dismay) and a strict ultra-recyclo
vegetarian. She considers herself as such with her taste in dark clothing and interest in the subliminal and netherworldly,
but with her outspoken attitude over her vegetarian lifestyle combined with the rights of animals and the future of the environment,
one would probably see her more as a Greenpeace activist than a goth. Her personality is seemingly less dreary than the stereotypical
"goth" persona usually shown.
Her parents are extremely wealthy, having inherited from the great inventor of the deli toothpick
cellophane-twirling device; although she keeps this a secret with only her two best friends knowing, as she'd rather earn
real friends, rather than through popularity and fake friendships that come with wealth. She has an often strained relationship
with her folks due to their optimistic, colorful personality as opposed to her darker outlook in life.
She's known Tucker and Danny from since at least the 2nd grade and has remained a constant friendship
with them. However for the case of Danny, she has since developed a crush on him, possibly blossoming into love. Her testimony
of her love for Danny has sent both of them into emotional circles as she often has to watch as Danny put a move on with other
girls, or at one point when she had a boyfriend herself, leading to awkward situations.
Sam's got into her share of troubles and adventure, ranging from being turned into a ghost dragon
briefly in "Parental Bonding" when wearing the amulet of Aragorn when Paulina gave it back to her, thinking it was
hers, to accidentally erasing Danny Phantom's existence by unknowingly making a wish Desiree grants in "Memory Blank"
to being nearly being a bride to Prince Aragon in "Beauty Marked", and even getting possessed by Undergrowth, a plant
ghost, as his 2nd-in-command in "Urban Jungle".
In spite of her wealthy upbringing by her parents, Sam is not so much spoiled as she is bossy
and can sometimes be hypocritical. For example, in Mystery Meat, Sam forces her Ultra-Recyclo Vegetarian diet on the entirety
of Casper High, despite her claims of individuality, which angered the spirit of a double-personality lunch lady. That diet
ends up turning against her in "Urban Jungle" as she ends up the only human unaffected by Undergrowth's terror. Instead, she
is vegetized, becoming "Queen of Amity Park" and fights Danny while hypnotized. In "Splitting Images", she advises
Danny against using his ghost powers for abusing bullies, but in another episode, she demands that he uses them to scare people
away from buying environmentally-threatening trucks (as shown in "Memory Blank"). Ironically, it is probable her outspoke
nature and general forceful attitude is attributed from her parents who have been known to do the same thing. Due to her outspoken
nature and disdain for anything mainstream, Sam is often a polarizing figure for fans of the show.
However, all of this can be attributed to the immaturity of her age (after all, they are
only 14), but despite it all, Sam is a true friend and fiercely loyal to Danny. It is apparent that she would do anything
she could that would help him during his numerous battles with his enemies as well as keep him out of trouble ("Kindred
Spirits") and has often been the one out of Danny's two best friend to take whatever risk necessary to save/help Danny.
That said, out of the three, Sam's also the most rational and mature, often thinking on a realistic
level compared to the two as well as pointing out to Danny to focus more on ghost hunting when the situtation should ever
arise. However expressive she may be though, Sam still harbors her inner most feelings inside, especially her secret crush
on Danny which she has trouble revealing (and quite often then not, this is trouble for her as other girls slowly warm up
The Love Issue
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending
There have been many differing fan opinions as to the relationship between Danny and Sam. But
ultimately, only Butch Hartman and the rest of the “Danny Phantom” staff know the true nature of that relationship.
The characters themselves on the show constantly deny any romantic attraction, although Sam's affection for Danny is quite
obvious to most of the other characters on the show.
There is also the fact that Danny is extremely attracted to Paulina (a popular, shallow, but
very beautiful girl) who detests him but is in love with his ghostly alter ego (although later episodes seem to indicate otherwise
that Danny may slowly be losing his crush on her), and has built up a friendship and romance with Valerie Gray (who likes
the human Danny, but hates his ghost self).
A "Fake Out Make Out" between Danny and Sam.
Danny and Sam smile at each other in Memory Blank
Sam's issue stems from the fact that she is often too shy or afraid to tell Danny her true feelings
for reasons of her own. Her only level of intimate reactions to Danny were through the two "fake-out make-outs" with
Danny, both to create a distraction and avoid danger (the first planned by Sam while the second by Danny himself). In both
instances, the two seemed to enjoy it, although they later become embarrassed by these two intimate moments.
At the beginning of the special "Reality Trip", Sam asks Tucker "Tell me again, WHY
do we hang around a kid who has ghostly enemies?" To which Tucker replies "Becaaaase you have a crush on him?"
Which is the first time it's really clarified and spoken in the show that Sam has feelings for Danny. Whether it truly is
a returned feeling remains to be seen.
The episode "Double Cross My Heart" however showed Sam falling for a new goth kid named
Gregor, who claims he is from Hungary, but later dumps him when he turns out to be a fake (he is actually from Michigan with
his actual name as Elliot). It is during this episode that Danny shows many signs of being jealous of "Gregor" and Sam's relationship,
and admits that he is unsure of whether or not he likes her as more than a friend.
Sam and Danny's relationship can be easily compared with the relationship between Archie Andrews
and Betty Cooper. Danny may be strongly attracted to another girl such as Paulina or even Valerie, and completely misses the
fact that Sam might be the perfect choice for him. This is reminscent of Archie's relationship with Veronica Lodge.
Sam's voice actor, Grey DeLisle, has stated in an interview that "We all know Sam loves Danny.
I just wish she'd say something about it!" In another interview, David Kaufman (Danny's voice actor) has said, "He
can fight an incredibly powerful ghost monster, then turn around and be completely baffled on how to deal with his affection
Danny is considered one of Sam's best friends. The two often get along well, but they are at
times at odds whenever Sam gets bossy towards him (usually for him to take his ghost hunting duties seriously or her outright
forceful protests) as well as share awkward moments when the two exhibit some signs of love for each other.
Sam also considers Tucker her best friend, but the two are quite opposites (his meat habits as
oppose to her vegetarian, his lighthearted behavior to her more down-to-earth method) and they often bicker over even the
mundane reasons. She also sometimes considers him to be an annoyance, but has shown to still enjoy his company.
Jeremy and Pamela Manson
Case in point, Sam's relationship with her parents are often strained as they often share different
opinions. The parents want a more chirpy, happy daughter, trying to remove her away from her gothic nature while Sam cannot
stand her parents' sunny personalities. She's often annoyed with them as well whenever they get involved in her life (ironically,
something she has a habit of doing as well), but still shows love for them both, concerned when they're in trouble and so
While she's not shown often, Sam seems to garner more respect for her grandmother then her parents
as she supports all of her granddaughter's individualist decisions, having been a bit of a nonconformist in her youth. (In
one episode, she shows Sam a picture of herself wearing the exact same outfit as Sam.)
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending
After first meeting him, Sam developed a crush on the foreign exchange student from Hungary.
She spent most of her time with him since going as far as sharing a kiss with him. Afterwards they almost became a couple
until he gets fed up with Tucker and insults him, accidentally slipping and revealing he lied the whole time just so she would
like him (his actual name is Elliot and he is from Michigan). Afterwards she chose to never interact with him again.
In the episode Fanning the Flames, a photograph is briefly shown of a slightly younger Sam.
Presumaby based on earlier sketches of the character, Sam is shown here as more emo-influenced,
such as wearing her hair brushed to one side with the area around her ear shaved on the other side.
Sam is a big fan of punk, metal, and techno/electronica music, as well as anime, monster movies,
and Akira Kurosawa's samurai films.
Danny and Sam were originally supposed to have a 'psychic connection' that would let one know
where the other one was. However, this was nixed right before the premiere, since Danny already had ghost powers and Sam already
had many other attributes, and Butch Hartman didn't want them to seem too already developed.
In "Teacher of the Year", Sam's username for the on-line computer game Doomed,
a parody of Doom, is Chaos.
Sam shares a last name with Marilyn Manson, which can be taken as a possible reference to her
goth lifestyle, however it is highly debatable whether Marilyn Manson is considered Goth or not. This is further enforced,
as Sam's mother once said during the "Control Freaks" episode: "If there's one thing us Mansons know how to do,
it's whip an angry mob of parents into a frenzy.", which is a reference to Manson's unpopularity with the parents of his
fans, and parents in general.
In "The Fright Before Christmas", it is revealed that Sam and her family are Jewish,
based upon the fact that they celebrate Hanukkah. Her Jewish background was also hinted at when her grandmother called her
"bubeleh" in the episode "Control Freaks."
Sam also has some artistic ability shown in "Memory Blank" she was drawing different designs
including the DP design that Danny now wears. She is responsible for the DP design on Danny's costume. While it technically
should have vanished at the end of "Memory Blank," when Sam wished Desiree to return everything to normal, she specifically
asks for the logo to remain because she "really likes it."
In some close-up scenes, Sam is portrayed with a purple wristwatch. On that wristwatch's dial,
in the place of 3, 6, 9 and 12 are a spider, a black cat, a bat and a skull. All are colored black.
Her favorite female movie monsters include Femalien, Terminatra and Nightmerica.
(These are all parodies of science-fiction movies, except Terminatra can be loosely compared to the gynoid assassin T-X "Terminatrix"
Cyberdyne Systems Terminator (from Terminator 3. Femalien is a parody of the Predator and Aliens movies.).
Interestingly enough, she may be the second person in the show to kill someone, as she rips
the head off of one of the teddy bears at the transformed Gothapalooza. These bears later turn out to be transformed people.