Abusive Parents: In Dan Vs. High School Reunion, Dan recalls that his "teenage years were filled with abuse and ridicule... and when [he] got to school it was even worse".
A lot of Dan's odder quirks imply some pretty scary things about how his parents went about raising him... assuming that they were trying to raise him at all. One of Dan's more cringe-worthy side comments mentions that he didn't learn to tie his shoes until he was twelve... not because he was reluctant to, but because there was no adult around attempting to teach him.
Going by the events of the "Summer Camp" episode its starting to come together about Dan's upbringing but it's still hard to tell what happened with his parents. The writers drop a lot of small hints about his parents either being negligent parents or abusive parents. There are even small hints that his parents may have passed when he was young and he was raised by his Grandmother.
Accidentally Accurate: In-Universe in the episode Canada. The screwball misconceptions Dan has about Canadians (half-bear, obsessed with hockey, Say "eh?", pronounce "sorry" "SOH-ree" and "About" as "Aboot", etc.) and Chris' great grandfather being in love with a yeti turn out to be 100% accurate.
In the episode, The Dentist, Dan thinks the title "S.V." stands for Super Villain. Dr. Pullem is indeed a Depraved Dentist-themed supervillain, complete with an evil lair (shaped like a giant molar with guns on), private army of killer robots, and Cool Car.
Acquired Poison Immunity: In "Baseball", Dan mentions that he's been hit with tear gas and pepper spray so many times that he doesn't even feel their effects anymore. Unfortunately, everyone else around him still does. Shows up again in "The Bank", where he casually walks through a cloud of tear gas shot by the cops.
The Alleged Car: Dan's car. An artist painted over it in "Art", assuming it was abandoned, and in "The Salvation Armed Forces":
Dan: There has been a mistake. My car was taken from outside your store today. Salvation Armed Forces Clerk: Ah, that's impossible. We received only one donated vehicle today, and it was not in drivable condition. Dan: That's the one!
In "The Wedding", we get to see an Alleged Plane. Duct tape is, predictably, used to keep the plane together. For a while.
Almost Kiss: Between Dan and Hortense at the end of "Burgerphile".
Bad Impressionists: In "The Ninja", Chris dresses up as Dan to act as a decoy, and he tries to imitate his attitude by saying, "I'm Dan! I get mad at everything, then I yell a lot. And I sure don't appreciate my friend Chris!"
Bad Santa: Dan's target in "The Mall Santa". Not that Dan's really any better when he takes over the job at the end of the episode.
Bag of Holding: Used as a brief gag with the toolbox in "The Dentist", where Dan throws out a wide variety of objects such as several tennis rackets before reaching the crowbar.
Also used by Imposter Dan, who left a cell phone to call Dan when he broke into his apartment.
Imposter Dan: I've BEEN you, remember? I know exactly how that tiny brain of your works. I know you so well I could even predict where Chris would be standing when the two of you broke into my apartment.
Big Bad: Dan himself. Downplayed though, since Dan, usually, goes against people just as bad or worse than him. However, he's always the one who causes the conflict.
Big Eater: Chris. Occasionally inches close to Extreme Omnivore territory. In "Art", Chris eats an entire plastic apple pie and half a plastic sandwich that was part of a realistic looking exhibit, but once he realizes what they are, he heads to the hospital to get his stomach pumped. In "Golf" he has no problem eating Mr. Mumbles' birthday cake, which is primarily comprised of cat food and in "Dan" Elise mentions that he once ate her shoes along with half a bottle of shampoo.
Chris: Sometimes people do things in their sleep, I once ate a pair of shoes.
Elise: Expensive shoes.
Chris: For the umpteenth time: I am sorry I ate your shoes!
Elise: And you used half a bottle of my good shampoo.
Chris: For dipping!
Acknowledged in-universe in "Stupidity", where Chris enters an eating contesting because he thinks eating is the only thing he's talented at. He wins, but lands himself in a hospital as a result.
It's so bad that, at one point, Dan is surprised when Chris won't eat the mechanic!
Bigger Bad: The main cause of Dan becoming what we all know him as now is either his parents, his grandma, or the Summer Camp Counsler.
Big Guy, Little Guy: Chris is 6′ 2″, as seen on his driver's license; and Dan is 5′ 6″ according to his.
Big "NEVER!": When Elise warns Dan to tap out during their fighting-robots match, this is his response.
Big "NO!": Barry Ditmer when his security android is destroyed.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: The road sign in "The Ninja" is translated from Japanese using a subtitle reading "Hold caution for lack of safety without bridge in future ahead!"
Bond One-Liner: After destroying the dentist's army of robots (It Makes Sense in Context ... sort of), he quips, "Rinse that out and spit!" Then after causing his tooth-shaped Supervillain Lair to self-destruct: "Now that's what I call tooth decay!"
Brand X: "Generic Cereal" is on Dan's revenge list. Although in this case it COULD literally mean a brand called Generic Cereal.
In "Gigundo-Mart" he does indeed state that Generic-Os are his favorite cereal.
"The Salvation Armed Forces": the entire episode commences because Dan's toaster is broken and he couldn't get a toaster because the lady in front of him at the store bought them all. At the very last second, he steals one from said Armed Forces.
In "The Fancy Restaurant", Dan laments his favorite sandwich shop being bought out by a trendy gourmet restaurant, since he won't be able to get his favorite turkey sandwich anymore. When the sandwich place comes back at the end of the episode, Dan and his friends order the fabled turkey sandwich, which Dan takes one bite of before flatly declaring they're not as good anymore.
In the start of "The Beach", Dan gets a toy eyepatch from a cereal box and puts it in his pocket. It goes completely unmentioned from there on, until near the end when he hijacks a ship, puts it on and goes "Arrr".
In "The Lemonade Stand Gang", Elise planned on sending the kids in the episode to North Korea to work in factories. During "Gigundo Mart" she mentions that they shouldn't have kids working in factories when she has to fix a prototype built by them. Not because she is against it on Moral Grounds, but because according to her their hands are to weak and small to properly make complicated electronic machinery, she was basically only complaining because a top secret weapon was malfunctioning and she was having trouble fixing it
In "The Werewolf", Dan mentions how he hates coffee, but it is required on a stakeout. Later, in "The Gym", he laments again how he dislikes it, before Chris reveals how he got tea instead, knowing his dislike. Dan then makes a rant about how one cannot have a stakeout without coffee.
In "The Magician", the heirloom that Chris was going to give to Elise (and was stolen by the magician) was accidentally engraved with a misspelling. The episode ends with Elise asking "Who's Elsie?"
In "Canada" Dan Makes a glacier fall and cover the entirety of Canada In "The Monster Under The Bed" Dan goes back and Canada is still covered in snow and Dan remarks "I guess they never recovered from that glacier... Oh well"
In "The Superhero", Dan feeds a zoo kangaroo radioactive waste in order for the kangaroo to bite him, thus gaining the high jumping powers of a kangaroo. (Chris believed that Dan would merely get very sick.) This is foiled when the Kangaroo beats him up instead. At the end of the episode, a TV newscaster reports on a gigantic kangaroo that is rampaging through Los Angeles.
In "Jury Duty", Dan starts by telling Elise and Chris that he was abducted by aliens; naturally, they don't believe him. Cut to the security footage at the end, and you see that he was indeed abducted after destroying the burger joint.
Brilliant, but Lazy: Dan, in addition to Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. He may be unemployed and somewhat deranged, but he's apparently pretty well-read; in "Burgerphile" he references classical mythology and quotes Latin maxims, in "Ye Olde Shakespeare Dinner Theatre" he is well-versed in Shakespearean plays and in "Stupidity" he demonstrates ample knowledge on politics.
This is Lampshaded in "George Washington" by Chis saying that Dan has a random wealth of knowledge. Using the fact that Dan knows who built Mount Rushmore and not where it's located — he thinks it might be in Ecuador, which he also thinks is a US state.
Brought to You by the Letter "S": In "The Superhero". Terrifi-Guy has a "T", which encompasses most of the front of his costume. Dan-Man's "D" is less impressive.
Casual Kink: "Canada". It seems that Dan would like to be eaten off of...by Chris.
Catch Phrase: Dan's "Aw c'maawwwwwn!" and his favorite insult "Jerkface".
Whenever someone can easily give/replace something that Dan's trying to earn back, say, 50 cents or a free burger when his order is screwed up: "It's not about the X/X, it's about the principle!"
And besides, shut up.
Characterization Marches On: There's a lot more tension between Dan and Elise in the later seasons than there was in the first. In most of the early episodes Elise seemed more or less ambivalent towards Dan, and would sometimes casually tell Chris to go do whatever Dan wanted him for and in one episode admitted that it was fun to get mixed up in his schemes. Later on she began out right hating him, which Dan had done since day 1.
Comically Inept Healing: In "Dan Vs. The Animal Shelter", two hospital orderlies mention offhand that only the patients with really good insurance get examined by a real doctor—everyone else just sees an actor dressed as a doctor. This becomes a Chekhov's Gag when, at the end, Dan gets his face badly scratched by a cat and has to go to the hospital:
Doctor: Okay, let's get those pants off.
Dan: Um, I'm here about my face being all scratched.
Doctor: [chuckles] Oh, don't worry. I'm not a doctor.
In "The Wolf-Man," Chris points out to Dan that there is an animal shelter right next to his apartment. The animal shelter returns in "The Animal Shelter," where Chris remembers telling Dan about it.
Also, we actually see Chris's tomato garden before he accuses Dan of never asking about it in a later episode.
And in "The Salvation Armed Forces," Elise gets Chris a pink bathing thong and he can be seen wearing it later in "The Beach." Chris even mentions that she bought it for him.
Dan: Chris?! Oh no! Someone stole your pants! Chris: It's a bathing suit, Elise bought it for me. Dan: Well, I'm sure it looks much better on her.
In the beginning of "The Barber," Dan meets Becky at Ninja Dave's, the restaurant from "Dan Vs. The Ninja."
In "Burgerphile", Chris and Elise go to Cafe Puree for lunch while Dan and the crowd protests against Jeff the Burgerphile manager.
Dan gives Chris George Washington's ax (from "Dan Vs. George Washington") to destroy a child's bike in "The Lemonade Stand Gang".
In "Elise's Parents" Dan tells Elise that he has no dental records. A possible nod to "The Dentist" in which he stole his own records to prove that his dentist was a supervillain. This also gets called back in "Telemarketer", where Elise comments on Dan's poor dental hygiene.
In "Monster Under the Bed" Dan returns to Madame Zelda's from "George Washington" and Canada is still suffering from the iceberg disaster from "Canada".
In "The Dinosaur" Elise's brother mentions that their parents are house-hunting. A possible nod to "The Family Thanksgiving" in which Dan burned down their house.
In "Chris", the destruction of Santa Fe by a UFO is a nod to the ending of "New Mexico".
In "Vegetables", Burgerphile is pushing a new, healthier menu, with fresh veggies in place of french fries. It's likely this was in response to their owner and CEO, Jeremiah Burger, suffering a heart attack (brought on in part by his all-burger diet) at the end of "The Wedding".
Crazy-Prepared: An odd presentation. Dan has evacuation plans and various keys (some obtained via questionable means) stashed in various places. In spite of this, his revenge plans are often ill-formed, to the point that he forgot the drill he needed to drill into a bank's vault.
Dan is frequently seen in Fluffymixer's Fluffle Puff videos.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Dan. He seems illogical, weak, and pathetic most of the time; but he can, and will, go ape on you if you mess with him or his friends enough. Example: The family camping trip when he saves Chris from a chainsaw-wielding serial killer by fighting him with only a weed-whacker.
Chris himself can be seen as this. He is normally a big, lovable oaf, but he can easily take down someone by beating them up when he wants, or is told, to.
Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Literally, Dan tells the angry mob of theatre-goers attacking the defeated actor to "rise up, and stab him with your spoons".
Curse Cut Short: In "The Wedding". when Elise is dragging Dan out of the passenger seat, he screams "Get off me you filthy wh-!"
Cyborg: In "Technology" after being placed under Ditmer's mind control, Elise is outfitted with a cybernetic catsuit that attaches to her body.
Dance Battler: The entire town of Pembroke practices fight-dancing. Dan learns the skill as well.
Dark and Troubled Past: Elise is a parody of this in "New Mexico". Like Dan, she wants revenge on New Mexico. In her case, though, it's because roadrunners (the official state bird) once stole her cotton candy when she was a child, mentally scarring her.
That damn cactus also popped her balloon...
According to "The Ninja" she ran afoul of a ninja clan when she was fourteen.
At her 8th birthday party, Elise volunteered for a magic act....and was tormented by Magnifico The Magnificent's swords and knives.
Hinted at with Dan himself in "The Dentist". Having an unnecessary root canal at the age of 5, ON HIS BIRTHDAY NO LESS, couldn't have been good for his psyche.
Hinted even more so in "Dan", where talking about his childhood makes a professional psychiatrist run screaming out of the room.
Which in turn was brought up on the official Facebook page for Dan vs. run by Dan Mandel who stated that he had been raped by clowns. (This was subsequently retracted.)
Death Trap: Dan tries to set one up for the commissioner of baseball by suspending him over a kiddie pool with squeaky sharks in it.
Delayed Reaction: In "The Animal Shelter", Chris eats a meatloaf that Dan made as Dan explains his need for revenge on the animal shelter. When Dan says his plan involves a poisoned meatloaf, Chris continues to eat for several beats until he realizes he's been poisoned.
Depower: The fate of Terrifi-Guy in "The Superhero".
Devil in Plain Sight: Chris and Dan's boss at the temp company. The mural◊ on the wall behind her, as well as the various objects◊ decorating her office, and the general design◊ of the workplace, are all indications that she is more than a tyrannical boss.
Diner Brawl: Well, dinner theatre brawl, but pretty much the same. Incited by Dan.
Dan: Who would've thought an angry mob would get so out of hand..?
Elise's ex Colby, who would let her parents die to "protect" her.
Played With. In "The Dinosaur", there was a plan to stop the dinosaur by having them hit the dinosaur with 3 arrows, one each. Ben, Elise's brother, after seeing the dinosaur charging at Chris. Instead of saving Chris from being eaten, he decides to run away. He later realizes it was wrong of him to run away and decides to defeat the dinosaur himself.
Dirty Old Man: In "The Wedding" Jeremiah Burger wants to marry Hortense, who is less than half his age.
Although averted in the "The Wolfman". Dan discovers his car's been scratched by what he believes to be the Wolfman (and he ends up being right). So what does he do for revenge? He tracks down the Wolfman, finds where he lives... and keys his car. In a common Running Gag where Dan criticizes Chris for going overboard in their schemes, Dan chastises Chris for suggesting they kill the Wolfman, something that Chris thought Dan wanted to do because the only way to kill or even injure a werewolf is by shooting or stabbing it with something made out of silver and Dan brought a silver arrow and a bow along to begin with.
From the Thanksgiving episode: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. If you can't join 'em ... BURN THEIR HOUSE TO THE GROUND."
In "The Telemarketer", Imposter Dan spends a fortune and puts in a lot of effort trying to drive Dan insane as payback for Dan sending him to prison for six months. It's disproportionate since that only happened because Imposter Dan tried to steal Dan's life. Dan even points this out.
The most extreme one happens in "Anger Management", where Dan gets into a US military base and almost launches a bunch of nuclear missiles that would wipe out all of humanity. Why? A family of squirrels did something that annoyed him.
Inverted in the same episode. Dan expects to be charged for treason and attempted mass murder but he only gets mandatory anger management classes. The government doesn't want the world to know just how close it came to nuclear annihilation. They especially don't want anyone to know that one angry little moron acting alone managed to infiltrate NORAD and acquire nuclear launch codes.
In "The Common Cold" a scientist infects Dan with a lethal virus that nearly kills him just because Dan called him a geek.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: In "Anger Management", Dan and his counselor team up for a revenge plot and later go out to eat. Dan thinks they're on a date, but she actually just wants to discuss who her next target is. Dan asks "Are we just...revenge buddies?" in the same way someone might ask "Are we just *** buddies?"
Donut Mess with a Cop: In "The Wolf-Man" Dan and Chris chase a kid down the street and pass by a cop eating a donut, who doesn't pursue them until he realizes, "Oh, yeah, I'm a cop!"
"The Barber", but like "The Telemarketer", Dan isn't aware of it.
"Chris" fits pretty well, despite the fact that Chris and Dan make up...and Dan ends up with the toy.
Dumb Muscle: Moose and Harold of "The Lemonade Stand Gang", Chris occasionally boarders on this.
Dysfunctional Family: Dan unsurprisingly is implied to come from one. A cherished gift from his mother was a pair of brass knuckles. Also, he shouts "No, you shut up!" to his grandmother (and she responds in kind) as if "No, I love you more" was being said instead.
Elise's family also has issues. There's a reason Elise doesn't particularly enjoy spending time with them.
Early Installment Weirdness: Earlier episodes had more sci-fi and supernatural elements to them, such as zombies, wolfmen, and alien technology. The second season has the scifi elements return with androids attempting to take over the world in "The Gym". A Unicorn named Eunice and Saber-Toothed Cat named Mittens show up in "The Catburglar".
Episode Title Card: In place of a title sequence, the "Dan Vs." titles are above the episode title, creating the trope above.
Escalating War: Dan's war against the Lemonade Stand Gang. The kids were lucky Chris stepped in to change the rules, or Elise would have shipped them to Korea.
Et Tu, Brute?: Dan's Teddy Bear Brutus, Mr. Mumbles, and Chris betray Dan in "Dan".
Et tu, Brutus? [...] Et tu, Mr. Mumbles? [..] Et tu, Chris?
Again in 'The Mummy', where he says this after Mr. Mumbles cuddles up to the episode's namesake.
Even Evil Has Standards: Dan has been shown to, on occasion, be against homicide in his plans. In "The Werewolf" he was surprised at Chris when he suggested it as a logical extension to Dan's current scheme.
Dan's also rather shocked when Chris admits that he'd kill for bacon.
And refuses to collaborate with Elise's parents in getting back at Chris, because he doesn't trust "people who'd bump off their own son-in-law." That's not what their plan entailed; they've just indicated that they'd be willing to.
Evil Laugh: A very nice one in "The Wolfman", complete with lampshaded lightning.
Chris: That's odd...it's not even raining.
And then in "Traffic" he asks Chris and Elise what he thinks of the one he put at the end of his taped message. It's more of an evil giggle. Cute, but lame.
And in "Ye Olde Shakespeare Dinner Theatre," Dan gives out a few more evil laughs.
Evil Versus Evil: Dan is an amoral, vengeance-obsessed jerk, but the targets of his vengeance are often evil androids, monsters, Supervillains, criminals, Smug Supers, and others who genuinely deserve to have their lives ruined.
In Dan Vs. Dancing, Elise threatens Dan with her new "taser blade". Dan asks "Taser Blade?" to which she replies "It is exactly what it sounds like.
Extreme Omnivore: In 'The Mummy', Chris and Dan pose as cavemen in a museum exhibit. Chris eats a bit of model meat that he's holding. Dan, surprised, comments on this. Chris replies that "They didn't even add mammoth flavoring,", shrugs, and takes another bite.
Expy: Chris Pearson once referred to Dan as "Calvin as a grownup, if his life had gone horribly wrong."
Eye Scream: Happens to one of the mooks in "The Gym" after being bashed in the head by a pipe several times. He's a robot though
Facial Horror: In the Shakespeare episode, Chris is whipped with a fencing epée, marking him for most of the episode; when waiting in line, a girl handing out programs is repulsed and flees.
Fake Static: Dan does this to get out of a phone call with Elise in "The Animal Shelter", and she becomes angered that he's just saying "crackle" and "buzz".
False Friend: Elise's parents to Dan in "Family Thanksgiving".
Fan Disservice: The Boss from "The Boss" starts out as a hot business woman in a suit, then turns into a hot demon woman in a suit, but her final form is a muscular male demon with a goatee.
Fanservice: Kelly from "Reality TV" pulls this off without a doubt, with short skirts, serious curves, Hartman Hips, and an often baring midriff.
How about that supermodel Dan dreams about from the pilot? Pancakes and model lips for breakfast!
Supermodel: If you kiss me, I'll make you pancakes.
Fat Bastard: Averted with Jeremiah Burger. He's genuinely in love with Hortense and only had Dan thrown out of the wedding rehearsal because he was making a scene.
Fat Idiot: Moose and Harold of "The Lemonade Stand Gang".
Dan had his first encounter with bad traffic in "The Wolf-Man." Then came "Traffic."
Occasionally, something will rile Dan up while he's in the middle of exacting revenge on another party. This results in Dan whipping out a steno pad and writing down the offending object on his list of things to get revenge on later. (The list includes: Babies who cry at the park, babies in general, generals, dull pencils, pencils that are too sharp, and Arizona.)
In Animal Shelter Dan adds Burger Phile after accidentally drinking Chris' milkshake there. Later in the season, a whole episode revolves around Dan's vendetta against the fast food restaurant.
When Barry Ditmer hears that the threat recorded by Dan's computer was someone who had never owned a computer before, he jokes "Maybe some weirdo in a cabin in the woods somewhere." Guess who Dan and Chris run into and who ends up defeating Ditmer in the end?
Freak Out: Chris in "George Washington" suffers bouts of "Prairie Madness" during the road trip to Mount Vernon.
French Cuisine Is Haughty: In "The Fancy Restaurant", Dan's favorite sandwich shop is replaced by Cafe Puree. Of course, Dan vows to take down the restaurant. Elise joins in when she feels scammed by their small, expensive portions and exceedingly slow service.
Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Downplayed. Chef Puree was, to be fair, completely outmanned and surrounded when he surrendered, and several of the cooks rebelling against him were French as well.
Friendly Enemy: Imposter Dan has shades of this with Dan, but is outright this with Chris and Elise. When he dumped Chris in a trap hole to keep him out of the way, he had a pie waiting for him. Justified, since he doesn't think of Chris and Elise as his enemies.
Friend Versus Lover: Pretty much an everyday occurence for Chris, but played to a T in "Dan vs Dancing", where Dan and Elise argue over who can have Chris right in front of him. Of course, being a complete pushover, he can't put his foot down.
Dan: I've come to claim Chris. He promised me his time.
Chris: I said, "Maybe."
Elise: Well, you can't have him: I'm using him right now.
Chris: You two know I'm an independent individual, right?
Gagging on Your Words: In "The Dentist", it takes Dan great effort (he actually starts sweating from the strain) to say "Thank you," to Elise.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Has its own page. The most daring one is a recurring subtle element: whenever Dan awakens Chris and Elise in the middle of the night and they are shown in their pajamas, sometimes they look normal but other times their clothes are disheveled and their hair is untidy, like they'd been doing something that can't be talked about in a PG-13 show *nudge-nudge* *wink-wink*.
The Ghost: It seems as though this mysterious ex-friend of Dan's, Ted, is shaping up to be one...who is he and what did he do to make Dan's list?
Dan attempts this on Store Manager Jeff in "Burgerphile." He responds by claiming assault and calling the cops.
Chris successfully pulls it off in "Dan Vs. Chris", challenging Dan to the ritualized duel from their favorite sci-fi B-movie.
Go Look at the Distraction: Chris calls the cooks at the dinner theatre away to look at an obvious distraction. They discuss it for a moment before deciding to go see it.
Chris: You missed it. Never mind.
Gone Horribly Right: In "Jury Duty," Dan sympathizes with the defendant who allegedly destroyed a fast food burger shop across from Ninja Dave's because they both feel the store was stingy in how much ketchup they put on their sandwiches. The episode concludes with Dan finding video of Ninja Dave's security system showing the incident in question, and it's revealed that Dan was the one that bulldozed the store.
Grave Robbing: In "Golf", Dan mentions that the naval outfit he's wearing used to belong to his uncle, who was buried with it. Elise is appropriately disgusted.
Stealing a bow from an archaeological dig site in "The Wolf-Man" might count as well, once it turns out to be full of skeletons.
Hartman Hips: Hortense, and Amber from Dan Vs. Anger Management.
Headphones Equal Isolation: The hippie who runs the animal shelter is completely oblivious to Dan rigging the entire place with dynamite and then releasing all of the animals, including a baby elephant.
Hellish Copter: The copter Dan hijacks in Dan Vs. The Traffic crashes to the ground and is destroyed.
Help, I'm Stuck!: In "The Fancy Restaurant," Dan escapes the dungeon by crawling through the vent that leads to the men's room, only to get stuck on the way out. Fortunately, Chris was able to pull him out.
Dan: My revenge is being stalled by this narrow vent. Free me!
Hidden Depths: Dan has a surprisingly thorough knowledge of history and is well-versed in Shakespearean drama.
Hidden Heart of Gold: Dan will actually do the right thing, occasionally, if it involves lives; he avoids killing people, tries to get Chris to a hospital when he's poisoned and even saves all of the animals in the shelter before blowing it up. He does have feelings in there somewhere.
At the end of "Burgerphile", Dan tells his new girlfriend Hortense to forget about him so she can move to Santa Monica and achieve her dream of becoming Burgerphile's Regional Manager (despite the fact that Santa Monica is only a twenty minute drive from Van Nuys — which Chris points out — but then again, we all know what bad luck Dan has with his car...)
Subverted in "The Wedding". While Dan does eventually let Hortense go, he plans to back together with her when Jeremiah Burger dies.
Internal Deconstruction: "Vs. The Neighbors" shows how some normal people would react to interacting with someone as violently crazy as Dan (in contrast with Chris and Elise, who've become jaded through years of experience with Dan).
Dan's paranoia. In that episode, Dan gets paranoid after they were nice to him under the belief that they're hiding something, possibly cannibalism. Instead of the neighbors coincidentally turning out to be bad guys, they turn out to be genuinely nice people.
It's Personal: In "Vegetables" Chris willingly goes along with Dan's plan when the vegan store owner throws a bag of burgers in the street.
It's subtle, but the Bank Manager from "The Bank". While she seems nice enough, she refuses to acknowledge anyone who doesn't have a big bank account and when the police think Dan is holding a clown (Chris) hostage, she convinces them to storm the place despite the risk to "the hostage". She even refers to him as "Collateral Damage". On the plus side, she's voiced by Tara Strong, IN THE EXACT SAME VOICE TONE AS TWILIGHT SPARKLE!!!, so... she's got that going for her.
Dan's boss in "Dan vs. The Boss". She enjoys making Dan suffer.
Even resident superhero Terrifi-Guy qualifies — he casually and needlessly destroys property in the course of his work, and has no sympathy for people who can't afford the insurance to cover it.
Jerkass Has a Point: Dan pointing out Jeremiah Burger's poor health and life expectancy was dickish, but he had a point.
Laser Hallway: In Dan Vs. New Mexico, Elise has to get through one in Area 52. She just flips it off with a light switch.
Subverted in Dan Vs. The Dentist, where he looks for them in the doctor's office.
Let's Get Dangerous: Whenever Dan wants to take something down, his determination and focus go way up, no matter how ludicrous the target is.
Let The Past Burn: In the episode Dan Vs. The Family Thanksgiving, Elise's Parents' house gets burned down after Dan storms out of the celebration. While everyone else is upset at how the day ended, Dan is suitably happy with the house burning down, making everyone spend the night together in a hotel.
Like a Son to Me: Elise's ex, Colby, to her dad. Though it might no longer the case, since Colby would let Elise's parents be killed by a serial killer to "protect" her.
Colby: He never hugs me like that.
As of "Chris", they still seem as happy as ever to try to get Elise and Colby together. Seems they forgot the whole bear thing...
Limited Animation: Characters from previous episodes are sometimes copy/pasted into the background, and the city backdrop is often two-dimensional during driving scenes. And vehicles turning is animated at roughly four frames per second.