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''Nab him! Jab him! Tab him! Grab him! Stop that pigeon, now!''

One of [[ThePerilsOfPenelopePitstop two]] {{Spin Off}}s from ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces'', this series is best remembered for its bizarre aircraft designs. Dick Dastardly led the Vulture Squadron in pursuit of the courier Yankee Doodle Pigeon. The squadron's other members were Muttley, the snickering dog who was always begging for a medal; Klunk, the aircraft mechanic who spoke mainly in vocal sound effects, and Zilly, the nervous coward whose only redeeming virtue was his ability to translate Klunk's speech for Dastardly. The Mean Machine, Dastardly's car from the Wacky Races, could be seen frequently in this series as well.

Although this cartoon was set during UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne, Dastardly always had access to a telephone, even in flight, over which the general communicated with him. Just as Dastardly never won a Wacky Race, he never caught the pigeon. A supporting segment, ''Magnificent Muttley'', concerned Muttley's [[MrImagination flights of heroic fantasy]].

The series' [[TalkingToHimself entire voice cast]] consisted of Creator/DonMessick and Creator/PaulWinchell. Messick even provided the falsetto voices of Muttley's girlfriends in the ''Magnificent Muttley'' segments.
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!!This series provides examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: The Swedish farm maiden who takes a shining to Zilly in "Barnstormers."
* AgelessBirthdayEpisode: Two of them. One involves Muttley's birthday, and in the other, Dick Dastardly thinks it's the general who is having a birthday.
* AlliterativeName: Dick Dastardly. In the comic adaptation of the episode "Camouflage Hoparoo" (Gold Key, Hanna-Barbera Fun-In #2 as "It's Flop And Go-Go"), The General is identified as General Gibberish.
* {{Angrish}}: Muttley's "sanafrazzin rasafrassin." Dastardly has done this a couple of times as well as a lampshade.
* AnimatedSeries
* AntiSneezeFinger: One episode featured the Anti-Sneeze missile, which would hit anyone who sneezes. A misfired pepper shot forced the Vulture Squadron members to use the Anti-Sneeze Finger technique to avoid being targeted. [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption It ended as well as expected in that cartoon]].
* BadassMustache: Dick Dastardly
* BirthdayEpisode: Two.
** One episode was where they celebrated Muttley's birthday.
** The other was where they tried to celebrate the general's birthday but found out that it was actually Dick's birthday.
* BlindingBangs: Klunk.
* BlindingCameraFlash: Muttley does this to Dastardly in "Lens a Hand".
* BunglingInventor: Klunk.
* CatchThatPigeon: the TropeNamer.
* CatchPhrase: Dastardly's "Drat and double drat!" Also:
--> '''Dastardly:''' (''plummeting to the ground'') "MUTTLEY! DO SOMETHING!"
* ComicBookAdaptation: ''Dastardly and Muttley'' appeared in nine issues of GoldKeyComics' ''Hanna-Barbera Fun-In'' (first series, February 1970 - January 1972) and two issues of ''Golden Comics Digest'' (''Hanna-Barbera TV Fun Favorites'' issues #7 and #10). In many stories not distilled from TV episodes, gunfire is used quite a bit. Also, the General--always heard but never seen on the show--is shown in two stories but in different designs, by Mike Arens ("Heroic Dum-Dums", issue #4) and Jack Manning ("Bug Brained", issue #7).
* {{Cool Plane}}s
* CrashCourseLanding: Four more inept pilots you will never find.
* DastardlyWhiplash: Dick Dastardly, the first TropeNamer.
* DirtyCoward: Zilly
* DitzyGenius: Dastardly
* TheDragAlong: Zilly
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The General
* EvilDebtCollector: In a "Magnificent Muttley" segment episode, Muttley found a treasure chest and Dick Dastardly disguised himself as a tax collector to "seize" the treasure as payment for back taxes. [[spoiler:The joke was on him as the chest contained nothing but dog biscuits]].
* {{Expy}}: Muttley is an expy of two Hanna-Barbera dogs--Mugger from the movie ''Hey, There...It's WesternAnimation/YogiBear,'' and Precious Pupp from ''WesternAnimation/TheAtomAntShow''. When he was developed for ''Wacky Races'', his initial model sheets gave his name as "Sniffer." His wheezing snicker was first used by a smart-aleck dog that gave Huckleberry Hound a hard time some 10 years prior.
* TheFaceless: The General. Given his nature of contact with Dick Dastardly in the show, it's no surprise.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: A given for Dick Dastardly's antics.
* ForgotICouldFly: Normally, Muttley uses his tail as a propellor to keep him airborne after the Squadron crashes their planes out. In "Sky-Hi I.Q.", Muttley is assigned as Squadron leader, and after he loses ''his'' plane to a botched operation, he plummets to the ground (but is rescued by Dastardly and then sent groundward after Muttley gives him a dinky medal).
* ForgottenBirthday: One episode has the Vulture Squadron thinking they forgot the General's birthday and trying to surprise him. It turned out it was actually Dick's birthday and he forgot.
* GenreBlind: ''Everybody'' in Vulture Squadron, except for Zilly.
* GenreSavvy: Yankee Doodle Pigeon, obviously. Also, Zilly may be an abject coward, but he alone of the squad has a remotely realistic view of their chances (see FailureIsTheOnlyOption) and often tries to get out.
** Ironically, hauling him back to the squadron is the one area where the team ''isn't'' a failure.
* GogglesDoNothing: All five principal characters wear flying hemlets with goggles, but at no time are the goggles seen covering their eyes.
* GravityIsAHarshMistress
* HypocriticalHumor: In "Home Sweet Homing Pigeon," Dastardly's mouth gets stuck in a rope ladder and when he tries to talk, Klunk says, "Talk about me. You're the one who sounds funny!"
* IAmNotSpock: Many people still call this show by its working name and theme song, ''Stop That Pigeon''.
** Lampshaded in the ''WesternAnimation/YogisTreasureHunt'' episode "Yogi's Heroes," where Dick and Muttley capture Snooper and Blabber and force them to watch old D&M cartoons, which Snooper called "Stop That Pigeon-type cartoons."
* IndulgentFantasySegue: The ''Magnificent Muttley'' segments.
* InstantIceJustAddCold: An example from "Vacation Trip Trap" provides the page image.
* [[JustEatGilligan Just Shoot the Pigeon]]
** Played straight in several Gold Key comics stories, where artillery is used against Yankee Doodle quite often.
** Klunk 'invented' quite a few gunships. [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption Guess how that turned out.]]
* {{Leitmotif}}: Several, but a piece using a rink-tink piano during climactic action scenes would be used on Hanna-Barbera shows up to 1980. On ''WesternAnimation/TheNewScoobyDooMovies'', the episode "The Ghost of the Red Baron," uses it four times.
* LiteralMinded: In "Camouflage Hoparoo," Dastardly's desk-plane plummets to the ground, then Muttley emerges from a drawer. Dastardly tells him to do something and he does--he spins his tail as a propellor and floats away from the impending crash.
-->'''Dastardly:''' I meant do something for ''all'' of us, you...you deserter!!
* ThoseMagnificentFlyingMachines: They were a key component of the show, of course.
* MeaningfulName: General Gibberish.
* MotionlessChin
* MythologyGag: Dastardly's ''WackyRaces'' car, the Mean Machine, can be seen in several installments of the ''Magnificent Muttley'' segment.
** The name Vulture Squadron is possibly derived from the ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'' episode "Shadow of the Condor," where the Quest party meet a reclusive German WWI ace in the Andes mountains, who was a member of a flying group called the Condor Squadron.
** The name Klunk was first possessed by the lab assistant in the WesternAnimation/MagillaGorilla cartoon "Mad Scientist."
* TheNeidermeyer: Dick Dastardly, obviously. The General might also count.
* NervousWreck: Zilly.
* NoFourthWall: In "Ceiling Zero Zero", after Don Messick as the narrator plays the "umpteenth time" card over and over:
-->'''Dastardly:''' (''to narrator'') Oh, dry up! Who's keeping score?
* NonFatalExplosions
* OnlySaneMan: Zilly in Vulture Squadron.
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Near the end of episode "Medal Muddle", Dick Dastardly was falling and had no medal to offer Muttley so, in order to convince the dog to save him, Dastardly invoked the trope and promised to help Muttley find his lost medals. Dastardly kept good on his promise.
* OffscreenCrash
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Klunk and Zilly.
** Zilly is actually a male proper name.
* [[PackedHero Packed Villain]]: In one episode, Dick Dastardly gets caught in Klunk's pigeon-packing machine and ends up stuffed in a can labeled "sauerkraut".
* PepperSneeze[=/=]SneezeOfDoom
* PlagiarismInFiction: ''Magnificent Muttley'' episode [[LeonardoDaVinci "Leonardo Da Muttley"]] featured a King offering a reward to whoever invented a flying machine. Dastardly stole two of Muttley's designs, but both resulted in Dastardly believing he should suggest Leonardo to invent the parachute.
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: It's never said what country the Vulture Squadron is working for.
** Given that we can conclude that Yankee Doodle Pigeon is [[CaptainObvious American]], it is almost certain that Vulture Squadron fight for ImperialGermany. Of course, the fact that we can only come to this conclusion via indirect deduction (as Vulture Squadron has very little that would mark them as being German) should tell you something.
*** However, in "Fur Out Furlough", when the General offered a 30-day furlough to whoever caught Yankee Doodle Pigeon, Zilly planned to spend it in Miami and Klunk planned to spend it in Hawaii.
* ThePoliticalOfficer: Muttley fits into this role, as much of his job includes being tasked to stop desertion attempts (usually by Zilly).
** In "Sky-Hi [=IQ=]", Muttley temporarily became the squadron's leader and Dastardly was the one tasked to stop Zilly's desertion attempt.
** In "Who's Who?", when Dick Dastardly lost his memory and nobody else was officially assigned to take over, it was revealed that Muttley won't act the role without being ordered by someone of higher rank than his or offered a medal. Klunk once entered the trope's territory by forcing Zilly (and Muttley) into the plane.
* RoadRunnerVsCoyote: Appropriately enough, since one of the writers, Mike Maltese, had previously worked under Creator/ChuckJones on various ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' shorts...including, yes, the Road Runner and Coyote.
* ScoobySnacks: Medals act like this for Muttley.
* SpeechImpairedAnimal: Muttley
* StatusQuoIsGod
* SuddenlyVoiced: Yankee Doodle Pigeon in the comic books. Also Muttley, whose speech impediment is cleared up in a few comics stories.
* SuperCellReception: The candlestick phone Dick Dastardly used to communicate with the General had to be cellular. It appeared in the air sans landline and even as far away as Arabia.
* TalkingToHimself: Paul Winchell is Dastardly and the General; Don Messick is Klunk, Zilly and Muttley.
* TeamRocketWins: Dastardly actually wins one. In "Home Sweet Homing Pigeon", he tricks Muttley, Zilly and Klunk, whose discharges are imminent, into re-enlisting. It ends with Dastardly doing a Muttley snicker.
** Subverted in "Stop Which Pigeon?": Dastardly nabs the pigeon after diving into an aerial swimming pool created by Klunk. He then releases the pigeon when he [Dastardly] remembers that he can't swim.
** Subverted: The comic book story "Truce or Consequences" (Gold Key, ''Fun-In'' #10, January 1972) has Dick and Muttley luring Yankee Doodle Pigeon over to their side during a 24-hour truce, hypnotizing him and making him pose for photos depicting him as a traitor. With 30 seconds left in the truce and finding himself AWOL, Yankee Doodle consigns himself to the ultimate journey. But his final words--"ABOUT FACE!!"--cause Muttley to turn the cannon aimed at him towards Dastardly.
** They do catch Yankee Doodle Pigeon in "Heroic Dum-Dums" (''Fun-In'' #4, November 1970) by salting his tail (an old wives' tale). Dastardly and Muttley's assignment was to obtain Yankee Doodle's message satchel, which they do and then they turn him loose, figuring that he'll be humiliated for not completing his mission. The satchel was bogus--it contained a jigsaw puzzle which simply read "Sucker!" while Yankee Doodle kept his ''real'' satchel under his flying helmet. Cue the General relieving Dastardly of his medals.
** In ''Magnificent Muttley'', Dastardly manages to make Muttley's dream a nightmare in [[spoiler:''Movie Stuntman'']].
* ThreeShorts: Plus the "Wing Dings" blackouts.
* TheUnintelligible: Klunk, although you can hear him say words between his babbling that clues you in on what he means to say.
** Subverted with the General, as if you listen closely, you can tell he's just talking very fast.
* TitleConfusion: Due to its EarWorm theme song, the series is often called ''Stop That Pigeon'' or ''Stop the Pigeon.''
** Lampshaded in a 1986 episode of ''WesternAnimation/YogisTreasureHunt''. Dick and Muttley capture Snooper and Blabber and tortures them by making them watch episodes of ''Dastardly & Muttley.''
-->'''Snooper:''' Oh, no...not "Stop That Pigeon"-type cartoons!
-->'''Blabber:''' Our brains will turn to mush!
** ''Stop That Pigeon'' was the show's original name. The premise initially had Klunk and Zilly with a jolly, jelly-bellied Red Baron-type figure and an orange dachshund in pilot's goggles. Dick and Muttley were originally slated to be good guys (!) in ''{{The Perils of Penelope Pitstop}}'' but wound up in this series.
* VillainProtagonist: Dick Dastardly
* TheVoice: The General
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: In Gold Key Comics' ''Fun-In'' issues #7 and 10 and the two Golden Comics Digest stories, Klunk and Zilly are conspicuously absent. (Zilly does turn up in the last panel of the issue #7 story.)
* UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne: InNameOnly, though. The basic look is roughly that, but it doesn't exactly bring up much of anything else. Made [[AnachronismStew completely anachronistic]] in the ''Magnificent Muttley'' short "The Masked Muttley", which starts off showing Dastardly watching a television set.
** TV Guide's synopsis of the show upon its debut from the Sept. 13-19, 1969, issue: "Animated aerial adventures circa World War I."
* WrongTurnAtAlbuquerque: The ending of "Ceiling Zero Zero".
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