Dana Barrett is the love interest of Peter Venkman in the 1984 comedy movie, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2. She is also the unrequited love to her neighbor, Louis Tully in the first film.
Dana first visits the Ghostbusters when she believes that there is a ghost, living in her refrigerator. At their office she meets Peter Venkman, who immediately takes a romantic interest in her. Peter and the other Ghostbusters interview her regarding the supernatural manifestation in her apartment then Peter volunteers to visit the apartment to further investigate. During his visit he flirts excessively and crudely with Dana and fails to find any signs of ghosts. During his time in her apartment, Dana becomes annoyed with his attitude since he continues to hit on her as he looks for ghosts.
He eventually checks her fridge, but doesn't find any supernatural activity there. Dana becomes further annoyed with Peter, he declares his love for her and she kicks him out of her apartment.
After the Ghostbusters became a much more popular company, Dana decides to give Peter another chance when he asks her for a date to discuss her case. However, before the date, Dana is attacked by a terror dog named Zuul who then possesses her body.
When Peter comes over to her apartment for their date, he finds Dana looking radically different. She dresses seductively in a shiny red dress and wears heavy makeup on her face. Dana asks if he is the "Keymaster" to which he replies negatively, receiving a slammed door in his face but later knocks again and lies to her to gain entry. Once inside Peter begins to question the possessed Dana, who introduces herself as Zuul, the "Gatekeeper". Dana tells Peter they must prepare for the coming of Gozer, the "Destructor". She then acts very sexually aggressive with Peter, under the mistaken belief that he is the Keymaster. Throughout their "date" Dana becomes increasingly frustrated with him as Peter continually rejects her wanton advances. When Peter insists on speaking with "Dana", she angrily responds in a demonic voice that "there is no Dana, only Zuul". Their "date" ends with a furious Dana growling monstrously and levitating above her bed. Peter then drugs her to get her back down on her bed then leaves to go back to his headquarters.
Eventually, Dana wakes up when the Ghostbusters protection grid explodes releasing all of the captured ghosts into the city. Amid the chaos Louis, who had been possessed by Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster, arrives at her apartment and they share a passionate kiss. Dana and Louis walk toward the roof of their apartment building where together they summon Gozer, transforming into demonic terror dogs in the process.
At the end, after the ghostbusters defeat Gozer, Zuul leaves Dana's body and she goes back to normal. Dana and Peter then become a couple.
Apparently, things went for the worse between Ms. Barrett and Dr. Venkman. After they grew apart, seemingly due to Dr. Venkman's fear of commitment and taking her for granted, Dana became involved with her other interest.
They married and had a son they named Oscar. However, their relationship fell apart and he decided to "ditch" her by taking a very good offer from an orchestra in London and breaking up their marriage.
Dana hired Maria to provide daycare for Oscar while she worked at the Manhattan Museum of Art in restorations. She was under the very watchful eye of Janosz Poha, the head of the restoration department.
In late 1989, Dana was given a scare when the stroller containing Oscar rolled off to the middle of First Avenue. She went to Egon Spengler for help and he agreed to look into it with Ray Stantz.
Dana made it clear that she didn't want Peter involved yet still asked about him and admitted that they didn't part on very good terms and sort of lost track of each other after she got married.
Amid this crisis, Dana still planned to resign from the museum and return to the orchestra. Peter found out about the investigation and rekindled his relationship with Dana.
While preparing to give Oscar a bath, a tub full of slime tried to kidnap him. Dana grabbed Oscar and fled to Peter's apartment. Dana and Oscar stayed there as the Ghostbusters continued their investigation. Dana took it upon herself to clean up Peter's place and even found his hamper.
Later, Peter was able to convince Dana to go out to dinner with him. They went to Armand's Restaurant and became closer. However, the romance was interrupted by the arrival of the other Ghostbusters.
Covered in slime and wearing only their long underwear, they made little sense but Dana became alarmed when they revealed the slime flow was heading straight to the Manhattan Museum of Art.
After the police took all four of them away, Dana returned to Peter's place and walked in on Louis and Janine Melnitz making out. Dana went to go check on Oscar.
Vigo had chosen Oscar to be his vessel and tasked Janosz with kidnapping him. Dana only watched in horror as an ethereal Janosz swiped Oscar from the apartment window ledge. Dana recognized Janosz and went straight to the museum.
She was imprisoned by Vigo. As the New Year arrived, the Ghostbusters arrived to save the world. Dana was restrained once more by Vigo. She implored the Ghostbusters to do something.
Peter did his best to stall Vigo and luckily, the singing of bystanders outside weakened Vigo. Peter reunited Oscar with Dana and advised her to take cover.
Once Vigo was defeated, Dana and Oscar went outside the museum with the Ghostbusters. She attended a special ceremony on Liberty Island weeks later in honor of the Statue of Liberty and Ghostbusters.