Phineas and Ferb’s true story — The fake story debunked

By Chege Karomo — ON Aug 08, 2022
Phineas and Ferb
Disney Television Animation

What’s not to love about Phineas and Ferb: two brothers going on crazy summertime adventures, much to the frustration of a sister who struggles to sell out her siblings to their oblivious parents. Did I mention they have a pet platypus who secretly fights crime, working for the O.W.C.A (Organization Without a Cool Acronym)?

You can watch Phineas and Ferb for hours without getting bored – that’s how good the family-friendly animation is. Given the unrealistic scale of the projects Phineas and Ferb undertake, it’s difficult to conceive there’s a true story behind the series. 

A fake story claims Phineas and Ferb is based on the imaginations of a Russian girl

Recent times have shown that fake stories can spread like wildfire on the internet in the age of social media. It’s unclear who published a narrative claiming Phineas and Ferb is based on the imaginations of a Russian girl. Still, the story is quite popular among fans of the animated series. 

The fake narrative claims a Russian girl named Candace Flynn came up with the crazy adventures. Flynn allegedly craved attention from her mother after her parents divorced, so she made up tales about her brothers’ escapades. 

Candace’s concerned mother reportedly sent her to Doctor Heinz Doffenzmirth, who prescribed medications that made her worse. Unable to get the attention she desired, Flynn resorted to writing her stories in her diary. 

After Flynn passed away via suicide in 2007, her family discovered the diary and sold the rights to Disney, the fake narrative claims. We know the story is false because the timelines do not add up, and there’s no confirmed record of a Russian girl named Candace Flynn. 

Phineas and Ferb was created by two animators: Dan Povenmire and Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh. The plot is entirely fictional, but it has some real-life inspirations. 

The creators based Phineas and Ferb on the summers they had growing up

Creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh
Creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh | Photo by Craig Sjodin/Disney+

Dan Povenmire and Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh spent most of their summers outdoors, so they created a show that loosely mirrored their experiences. “The show is sort of based on my summers growing up in Mobile,” Povenmire told He continued:

“My mom was always trying to get us to do creative things rather than watch T.V. She would always have some sort of creative project. We are always building a fort or doing any number of bizarre activities.”

Povenmire said his passion for film and television projects sparked during one of those summers. He explained:

“I used to spend my summer making little movies. My mom let me drape black material all the way across one end of our living room to use as a space field. I would hang little models of spaceships for these little movies I made with a Super 8 camera.”

For 16 years, Povenmire and Marsh pitched the show to numerous production houses; most of them viewed the concept as too complicated. Disney eventually decided to produce the show, and their gamble paid off. Povenmire added:

“It has been a big leap of faith for the Disney executives to let us do it this way. Now they are looking at doing other shows this way. It’s really fun, when you get to come up with the gags as well as draw them. I think that’s the most fun an animator can have.”