A Reality Show on A&E about Duck Commander, a Real Lifefamily-owned duck-call business located in rural Louisiana. Much of the drama and/or humor comes from watching the family in question, the Robertsons, balance being the owner/operators of what has become a multi-million dollar company with their rural upbringing and habits. It's essentially The Beverly Hillbillies updated for the 21st century as a Reality Show. It's also the spinoff of Billy the Exterminator.The various family members featured on the show include company founder Phil Robertson and his wife Marsha Kay ("Miss Kay"); their sons Willie (current CEO of the company), Jason ("Jase"), and Jules ("Jep," short for his middle name, Jeptha); the boys' wives Korie, Missy, and Jessica; and Phil's brother Silas ("Si"). Phil and Miss Kay's grandchildren also make occasional appearances, particularly Willie and Korie's eldest children, John Luke and Sadie. While Phil and Miss Kay's eldest son Alan initially shunned the spotlight, he made a few appearances beginning with season 4. Willie and Korie's adopted daughter Rebecca appeared for the first time in the season 5 premiere.Phil admitted that the show is scripted, but says the outdoors lifestyle portrayed in the show is real.On December 18, 2013, Phil was suspended indefinitely for making bigoted and crude remarks on homosexuality, quoting Scripture saying that it's a sin. This has caused a huge Internet Backdraft, with some saying he shouldn't be fired for exercising his right to free speech (a lot of this group are condemning the "politically correct crowd"), and others praising A&E for disagreeing with his opinion. The family is supporting him, and say that the show will not go ahead if he is not reinstated. On December 27, A&E reinstated Phil and the show will continue to air on that channel.
Provides examples of:
Actually Pretty Funny: Phil wants to make his granddaughters into more redneck girls, but when one of them said that cleaning a catfish was "worse than Jaws", even he had to laugh.
Aloha Hawaii: The third season finale, "Aloha, Robertsons!", has the Robertsons going on vacation to Hawaii. Willie's luggage goes missing, room accommodations go awry, Phil indulges his love for The Bourne Series, and everyone hates Willie's vacation itinerary. Currently the highest rated telecast on A&E ever, a title formerly held by both the Christmas Episode and the third season premiere.
Badass Beard: Admit it. Probably the first thing anyone ever notices when they first come across the show.
Big Eater: Martin and Godwin, normally. When it comes to donuts, however, Si beats them both.
This gets Godwin in trouble during one episode, as eating an unlabeled jar of pickles found in an old, abandoned duckblind makes him sick enough where Vomit Discretion Shot is invoked. He has to spend part of a trip in the bed of Willie's truck as a result, and is heard refusing food at the end of the episode.
The Big Guy: Justin Martin, one of the few non-Robertson Duck Commander employees.
John Godwin, another of the few non-Robertson Duck Commander employees, also qualifies.
Black Sheep: Phil and Miss Kay's eldest son Alan. He initially shunned the spotlight, instead focusing on his ministry. Also, he is clean-shaven, unlike his father, uncle, and younger brothers. Willie even lampshades this trope in the Season 4 premiere:
Willie: The perfectly shorn black sheep of the Robertsons.
Jase: Kinda funny that the black sheep of our family is a preacher.
Willie notes that he and Jase learned everything they know about tormenting Jep from what Alan did to them when they were kids.
Blind Without 'Em: Si, who mistakes raccoon droppings for muscadine berries and eats them in "Spring Pong Cleaning." The incident prompts a long-overdue visit to the eye doctor so he can get a new prescription for his glasses. According to the eye doctor, Si is legally blind.
Blood Knight: Si, and to a lesser extent Phil...when beavers are involved.
Jase, when it comes to fire ants in the duck blinds.
Brick Joke: Jase's favorite wrestler is Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and he's mentioned him several times on the show. Cut to the fifth season finale, "Stand By Mia", where Duggan is the star attraction in a wrestling match organized for the Robertson family reunion.
Buffy Speak: Often, when Willie and/or Jase try to lay out a profound point.
Butt Monkey: In certain episodes, nothing ever seems to go Willie's way, and everyone in his family seems to intentionally do stuff that he doesn't want them to do.
Phil has "happy happy happy" (and a penchant for doing this with other two-syllable words that end in Y, like "crabby crabby crabby" and "tacky tacky tacky"), "now we're cooking with peanut oil", and a particular aversion to anything "yuppie" (i.e. not redneck) or anything in the "sub-division" (the suburbs). He's also started using "Pee on the fire and call the dogs" in reference to calling something off.
Si punctuates every other sentence with "Jack". He also starts most sentences with "Hey", which has been borrowed by others many times.
"He/she/they gone", used by pretty much everyone, but usually Miss Kay.
Mountain Man's trademark "mmmmhmmmm."
Censored for Comedy: Early episodes feature several instances of bleeping even though the family does not swear on the show. Phil very quickly voiced his displeasure with this practice in interviews about the show.
Christmas Episode: The 2012 special shows the Robertsons' incompetence in putting up Christmas lights, Si's incompetence as an elf, and Phil buying Miss Kay a "yuppie tree". It was also the highest-rated episode of a program on A&E ever, until the third season premiere and then the third season finale topped it, and beat out many other popular shows on other networks in its timeslot.
In 2013, the guys get called on to do a nativity play for the local church, Phil introduces Miss Kay and Jessica to the ins and outs of hog hunting, and Willie and Jase argue over who stole whose idea to give a family portrait to their wives.
The Ditz: John Godwin has a tendency to make random Ralph Wiggum-like statements such as, "My hands smell like taco meat" and declaring that if he were governor, there would be "no more jalapeno chips". He also insists that Martin's escaped monitor lizard is a "dragon".
In "Spring Pong Cleaning," we learn that Si's bad driving is due, at least in part, to his poor vision - which he hasn't had checked in about 15 years. He does eventually get a new set of lenses for his glasses that allow him to see better.
Amusingly parodied in "Here Lizard Lizard" when Willie and Si (on a ride-along with a West Monroe police officer) get Missy pulled over for going two miles above the speed limit.
Also, The Outdoor Channel show "Benelli Presents Duck Commander" was a pre-Duck Dynasty hunting show featuring primarily Phil, Jase, and Si with Martin and Godwin giving advice in response to viewer mail, with Willie showing up sometimes. While primarily a hunting show, it did have some of the things that made Duck Dynasty a hit. Si's storytelling, the guys' unique sense of humor (Jase attempts to call ducks with a kazoo), and a feature on Duck Commander Sunday all are shown on this show.
Once season 6 ended, A&E began to air a companion series entitled Duck Commander: Before the Dynasty. It consists of clips from the Duck Commander series, interspersed with present-day commentary from Willie and the guys.
Rebecca appeared in a Wal-Mart commercial for Duck Dynasty merchandise long before she was introduced on the show.
Early Installment Weirdness: The early episodes of season one emphasize Willie's tension with the rest of the family over the priorities of running the Duck Commander business vs. the others' redneck activities. The earliest also show more of Phil acting as the wise leader of the family, Si is less goofy, and Jase seems more immature and less laid back. Then there is also the fake bleeps and a lot more explaining the premise. Later episodes ramp up Si's insanity and goofiness, Jase is a relaxed wisecracker, Willie is a dorky buzzkill, and Phil is shown more as an Only Sane Man. Much, but not all, of this is due to editing. The rest is because the producers found out what worked for the show and encouraged it. And began setting up a lot of the scenarios that take place during the show.
Every Episode Ending: The Robertson clan (and usually Martin and Godwin, among others) sits down to a family dinner, with Phil (or occasionally Willie) asking the blessing and Willie narrating the Aesop.
Some episodes feature slight variants, like the Robertsons attending Duck Commander Sunday at a church or putting on a fair.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The Robertsons' slow-talking neighbor "Mountain Man", to the point where his real name (Tim Guraedy) is never used on the show.
Everything's Worse with Bees: In one episode, Hilarity Ensues when Willie, Jase, and Uncle Si attempt to gather honey from a beehive in the swamp. Phil shows them all up in the end by getting the honey without being stung at all.
Lampshaded in "A Big Duck-ing Call" after Willie told everyone about his idea to build the world's biggest duck call.
Jase: Where does he come up with stuff?
This occurred for real out-of-universe when Phil was suspended by A&E after his anti-gay remarks. He was re-instated shortly after following Internet Backdraft from the show's fanbase and threats from the rest of the family to pull out of producing the show if he was kept off.
Facepalm: The long-suffering Willie does this quite a lot, usually in relation to Si's latest crazy antics.
Family Business: Duck Commander. Founded by Phil Robertson; his son Willie is now CEO, and most of the employees are Robertson family members. This is lampshaded many times, usually in the context of why Willie can't fire them.
Once the series became a hit, A&E attempted to replicate its success by airing Southie Rules, a show about a multi-generational family living together in South Boston. It didn't work. Their next attempt, a show about several stay at home dads called Modern Dads, did, but for a very short time, and another attempt, The Governor's Wife, failed miserably. In 2014, the network premiered Wahlburgers, which focuses on Boston chef Paul Wahlberg (brother of actors Donnie and Mark Wahlberg) and his plans to expand his restaurant business.
Food as Bribe: When Willie has a giant order to fill, Miss Kay organizes a "packing party" and invites dozens of neighbors to help, cooking up vast amounts of food as enticement. It works spectacularly.
In the 2012 Christmas special, she persuades the guys to tackle the Herculean task of putting up her Christmas lights by offering to bake them some sweet potato pies.
Phil walked in on her making gumbo in "The Grass and the Furious", and she threatened to stop making it unless he put together a playhouse for their granddaughters.
Lampshaded in "Redneck Roadtrip" when she commented that it was her jambalaya that everyone really went to Duck Commander Sunday for.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In "Fowl Play", Jase tells Si to create a diversion by faking an illness or injury. He makes a joke about having a seizure- Jase's brother Jep would nearly die from having a seizure in a deer stand in October 2014.
Funny Background Event: One episode involves the duck-call-room group taking a break for a doughnut-eating contest, which Si wins. He then spends the money on a raffle tickets for a small camper. Several minutes and a commercial cut later, the group is outside unloading a truck when - hey, what's that backing into the parking lot behind Jase?
In "Hot Tub Grime Machine", Jase and Godwin are arguing about Godwin getting a hot tub when Jep is wheeled by behind them on a hand truck.
Also done with some of the Robertson famliy member descriptions. Jase is "Willie's Brother," Jep is "Willie's Other Brother," Alan is either "Willie's Pastor Brother" or "Willie's Beardless Brother," and Rebecca has been tagged as "Honorary Robertson."
The editors greatly enjoy messing with the subtitles half the time Si's doing a Confession Cam segment.
Garage Sale: The ladies hold one while the guys are out, and sell some of their prized possessions out from under them.
The Generation Gap: Played for Laughs. Phil is rather dumbfounded by modern technology and his grandchildren being so obsessed with it. Being the noble patriarch that he is, he often attempts to educate them in living off the land. To his credit, Phil often manages to get through to them. Other times, Hilarity Ensues.
"Get offa that Wii-pod!"
Gilligan Cut: Dozens. One can expect to see one of these almost every episode. Usually delivered by Willie, who, in commentary about what was happening during the episode, mentions how he will never ever do something or boast about a positive trait of a family member, only for the scene to cut to him doing what he said he wouldn't or the family member contradicting Willie's claim.
Halloween Episode: Features the Duck Commander crewing setting up a haunted house for kids at the warehouse, complete with Uncle Si scaring kids as a giant beaver.
Hidden Depths: Uncle Si is very adept at sewing, as shown in "Fishin' for Business" when he makes a very nice apron for Miss Kay.
Si also has somewhat eclectic musical tastes, and repeatedly references rap songs from the 1990s as well as the Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, and the theme song plus several quotes from In Living Color!.
He also tells Willie in "Duck Be A Lady" that he needs to accept that his daughter isn't a little girl anymore and that he needs to stop being so overprotective of her. Lampshaded by Willie, who can't believe he's getting good parental advice from Si.
Martin is revealed to be in graduate school getting a degree in herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles) in the episode "Here Lizard, Lizard".
Phil remarks at one point that every adult Robertson male has at least one college degree, with the exception of Si.
From more old photos in that same episode, Willie, Jase, and Jep may qualify, depending on one's opinion regarding beards.
Miss Kay's days as a good looking cheerleader comes up quite often.
Iconic Item: Si's blue plastic cup. His mother (supposedly) sent it to him while he was on a tour of duty in Vietnam, and he's held on to it ever since. He explains in one episode that there are three things he always takes with him when he travels: that cup, a gallon jug of iced tea, and his Bible.
Willie's American-flag headband and Jase's knit cap also qualify.
Jase: "I would compare these men to Girl Scouts, but I'm offending Girl Scouts across America."
It Came from the Fridge: Jase and Jep have to empty all the spoiled meat out of the warehouse's deep freezer after it breaks down, then spend all day driving around town with Phil to figure out a place to dump it. The smell gets to them within minutes of starting the job.
Also shown in Martin's house when the guys go through his fridge. In it was something that expired in 1998, moldy dried up bacon, and a giant box of mustard packets. "Who hoards mustard???"
Jumping the Shark:invoked Lampshaded and played with in the third season finale when the grandkids are playing in a giant floating shark toy in the pool. Jep has them clear out and proceeds to jump over the toy, right after Willie shouts "Don't jump the shark, Jep!"
Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Si claims to be an expert on several different subjects. Frequently, the emphasis is on 'claims to be.'
Leeroy Jenkins: Invoked by John Luke in "G.I. SI", as he rushes into a paintball game.
Lethal Chef: In "Jerky Boys," the guys try making their own jerky using Godwin's dehydrator. The finished product tastes terrible because Godwin used carburetor cleaner to scrub the thing out, and possibly because the deer meat Martin supplied for the project was already drawing flies.
Korie is one, according to Miss Kay.
Sadie burns a batch of muffins to a crisp while doing chores for Phil and Miss Kay. Her next effort turns out much better, though.
In one episode, Jase and Willie have a cook off to see who can make the best hamburger, even though everyone from the start agrees that Phil makes the best burger in the family. Both Willie and Jase's burgers are poorly received by the tasters Godwin and Martin, so neither Jase nor Willie wins.
Willie and Jase both fall victim to their own over-thinking. Willie loads so much meat and so many toppings onto his burger that it falls apart as soon as anyone tries to eat it. Jase chooses ground-up ribeye steak - a higher-quality meat than ground beef, but it has so little fat that his burger quickly burns on the grill.
More Dakka: At one point, practically the entire Robertson clan unloads on a pond in order to destroy a beaver dam.
For Halloween, Phil helps his grandchildren carve a jack-o'-lantern by blasting it with his shotgun.
Must Have Caffeine: Jase, Jep, Godwin, and Martin in "Duck Be a Lady." After the coffee machine in the warehouse breaks down, they get impatient with Willie's slowness to replace it and go to a coffeehouse.
Caffeine Bullet Time: The result of their visit to said coffeehouse, where they try espresso for the first time. They get completely wired, quickly finish the work Willie asked them to do, goof around in the warehouse, then crash hard once the caffeine wears off. Jase finally decides to buy his own coffee machine and go back to the regular stuff.
Never My Fault: Uncle Si has the tendency to claim that various machines are "pieces of junk" when it turns out he just can't operate them properly.
Non-Idle Rich: Though Willie is not as active as the others in "doing stuff"...that doesn't mean he's lazy. At all.
Phil especially lives exactly as he always did before Duck Commander took off. He and Miss Kay live in a modest house, where Phil does all of his own home repairs and hunts for his food. About the only thing Phil takes advantage of with regards to his wealth is buying off road vehicles to get around his land.
Noodle Incident: Just about every story Uncle Si tells about his time "back in 'Nam" devolves into one of these.
The majority of stories Si tells, no matter what the original subject, devolve into this. Phil has called it "Si-ence fiction".
Not So Above It All: Willie sees himself as the more sophisticated member of the Robertson clan but he still somehow ends up doing insane stuff like blowing up beaver dams and enjoying the impromptu test duck pond where the loading bay used to be.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Jep (first name Jules; the nickname comes from his middle name, Jeptha). Phil's wife, Marsha Kay, is always addressed "Miss Kay." And then there's Mountain Man. Possibly played straight with Jimmy Red.
Subverted with Si, whose first name (Silas) is occasionally heard, and Jase, who gets called "Jason" by Missy whenever he's in trouble for something.
Only Sane Man: Willie sees himself as this, and so does Jase. Often at the same time as Willie. In fact, most of their arguments are over who really is the Only Sane Man. For the record, the real Only Sane Man is Phil.
Overprotective Dad: Willie, towards Sadie. A major part of both "Daddy's Got a Gun" and "Duck Be a Lady".
Parental Favoritism: Jep is the youngest brother and Miss Kay's baby, and he uses this to his advantage more than once.
Real Men Love Jesus: There's more talk about Christianity on this show than almost any other secular program out there. Most visibly, the Robertsons usually end episodes on praying around their dinner table. Alan was the preaching minister at their church until very recently, and Jase also went to seminary and ministered for a few years before working at Duck Commander. Phil and Willie are not ordained ministers, but both preach. Phil has been known as "the Billy Graham of the duck hunting world" for a long time before Duck Dynasty. The entire cast, including children, wives, and Justin Martin, John Godwin, even Mountain Man put together "The Duck Commander Devotional", with scriptures and their thoughts inspired by them. More recently, they have planned to release a Duck Commander Bible- a bible with their thoughts on passages interspersed throughout.
Real Men Wear Pink: Si's perfectly fine with doing dress-up and manicures with his brother's granddaughters. (He does have limits, though.) And he even helps out the women in making aprons—and turns out to be dang good at it.
The DVD releases use "Workin Man Zombie" by The 4onthefloor instead.
Running Gag: All of Si's rules in the woods in "Duck Season Eve" being rule #1.
Si and Jase's descriptions of Willie's definition of 'roughing it', which are validated when he brings the company's giant RV to their campsite.
Miss Kay naming all her dogs Jesse. It backfired on her when Jesse III lived longer than the vet predicted, so she named her new dog Bobo instead.
All the stuff Si lists as things they could possibly find in Phil and Miss Kay's storage room and sheds in "Let's Go Hunting, Deer".
Any and all references to Miss Kay's tendency to hoard.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Phil's reaction to being caught by security catching frogs on a private golf course and his reaction to being caught fishing on someone else's land. It's mentioned each time that this is his reaction every time law enforcement is concerned.
Si has this moment in "Si-Yonara", where one too many insults and his tea cup getting temporarily lost cause him to quit from Duck Commander in the middle of a work day. According to Willie, this happens at least once a month.
Self-Deprecation: Jase clearly enjoys the redneck lifestyle, but at the same time he's quite willing to point out its quirks and strangeness.
Sex for Services: Miss Kay coerces Phil into finding a new turtle for her this way in "Scoot Along Si".
Phil: Well, there's not many things that can get me up and out of my chair... especially while I'm sharpening my knife... and the last thing I ever thought would get me out of the chair was a turtle hunt. Miss Kay: If you want some lovin' tonight, today's the day. Phil: However... Miss Kay made me an offer I just couldn't refuse.
Shoot The Television: While hunting beavers, Si tries to lure them out of hiding by playing a recording of himself taking a bath and singing very badly. Phil eventually gets fed up with it and shoots the boom box.
Sibling Rivalry: Willie and Jase—big-time, especially in "Battle of the Brothers."
And they sometimes turn it against Jep, going so far as to duct-tape him to a pole in this same episode.
Simple-Minded Wisdom: YMMV on the "simple minded" part but for a family who make duck hunting supplies, mainly duck calls, for a living the Robertson Clan frequently and casually drop pearls of wisdom that would make a zen master smile in approval.
Lampshaded by Willie after they blow up the duck blind.
Willie: Let me tell you about redneck logic. If you wanna take something away from him, just blow it up! He's gonna be so enamored with the fire he'll forget about what he's losing. If it looks cool enough, he's fine with it!
One of the greatest pleasures of Uncle Si's life. His Final Solution for beaver invasions? Home-made napalm.
Averted when the guys accept Phil's challenge to get his old rowboat out of a tree. When Si says he has a couple of ideas, Phil warns him: no dynamite, chainsaws, or shotguns. Si immediately shuts up.
The Stoic: Phil pretty much keeps the same temperament regardless of what's going on around him. When something makes him "happy happy happy", an affirmative thumbs up is generally the only visible indicator.
Mountain Man is fairly stoic too. Rarely does he change the volume of his voice and really, that's only so people can hear him from a distance. His response to most questions given to him is a steady 'Mmmmmmhmmmmm'.
Through His Stomach: Mentioned, lampshaded, and invoked a lot, especially by Miss Kay in regards to Phil.
Tim Taylor Technology: Several examples, one of the best being a homemade conveyor belt powered by a pickup truck.
Or using a leaf blower to sound the giant duck call at the company's 40th anniversary party.
Or a vacuum cleaner with a ridiculously long extension to try to remove bees from a hive so they could get at the honey. It failed miserably.
Trademark Favorite Food: Iced tea, to Si. Boudin, to Phil. Squirrel brains, to Miss Kay. Hot donuts, to Jase. "Ham sammich", to Godwin.
Twerp Sweating: Willie's attempts to do this to daughter Sadie's boyfriend get undermined by Jase.
When Jep's daughter Lily gets invited to a play date at a mini-golf course, he doesn't cut the boy any slack, even playing against the boy to intimidate him. Jep softens in the end when the boy expresses an interest in hunting.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Willie's assistant (and Korie's relative), John David, was promoted in commercials as being a new cast member and someone who Jase wouldn't take orders from. He disappeared almost completely after the episode where he was introduced, and has only been mentioned once since then. When he has been seen, he is in the background and doesn't get to speak.