Another Disney adventure cartoon from the DuckTales era, this series transplants several characters from Disney's adaptation ofThe Jungle Book into a show about the golden age of seaplane travel, featuring Petting Zoo People. Essentially an animated Tales of the Gold Monkey - especially as one of the key locations is Louie's, an island bar run by the titular orangutan. Also has elements of a Lighter and Softer, Disney version of Crimson Skies (particularly the Air Pirates; see below).Baloo the bear is a seaplane cargo-for-hire operator from the port city of Cape Suzette in a time not unlike the 1930s. His twin-engine flying boat, the Sea Duck, is his most prized possession, and he favors his freedom over all else, including paying his bills. When the bank forecloses on his debts, a young entrepreneur/lady bear/single mother named Rebecca Cunningham snaps up his business, his plane, and his home, and opens the "Higher-For-Hire" air cargo service. Rather than abandon his "baby" to her and whatever low-rent pilot she may hire, he stays on, working for the day when he can buy back the Sea Duck and be rid of her.Early on, he picks up a young stowaway, Kit Cloudkicker, who eventually earns the post of Baloo's navigator and sidekick. A daring barnstormer and aspiring pilot, Kit uses a collapsible airfoil to glide behind the Sea Duck on a line, and is responsible for much of the derring-do of the series in contrast to his overweight chum.Outside the odd subtle occasion, there's not a lot of romance between Becky and Baloo: their relationship smacks more of Sibling Rivalry. The two of them — with Kit and Becky's adorable daughter Molly — form a definite sitcom family dynamic, with the practical, strait-laced Becky faced off against her lazy, easygoing, roguish pilot.Allies of the crew include Louie (the orangutan monarch from The Jungle Book) who operates a seaplane truckstop of sorts out in the ocean that is Baloo's favorite hangout; and Wildcat, a seemingly slow-witted mechanic with incredible skills.There are three major antagonists: the Air Pirates, led by Don Karnage, who operate from a giant flying aircraft carrier called the Iron Vulture (and would have long ago plundered Cape Suzette, had it not been for all those big honkin' guns on the nearby cliffs); the country of Thembria, a pseudo-Soviet totalitarian state full of snow and blue warthogs, home to the napoleonic Col. Spigot and his Sergeant Schultz-like sidekick, Sgt. Dunder; and Shere Khan, the most feared predator of The Jungle Book, transformed into a Corrupt Corporate Executive... though it could be argued that he's not actually corrupt - merely absolutely ruthless in the best senses of the phrase.Refer to the Character Sheet for more details.
The Thembrian air defenses consist of catapults launching bathtubs, pianos, and other random objects, because the paperwork for getting actual ammo for their AA cannons is more of a nightmare than the Thembrian prisons.
In part two of "Plunder and Lightning", Baloo escapes an attack by dumping a load of fruit on the air pirates.
Similarly, in "Citizen Khan", Kit and Wildcat throw rotten fruit on the corrupt sheriff and his sidekick, causing them to crash.
Absent-Minded Professor: Baloo's friend Buzz from "Baloo Thunder" and "Bullethead Baloo" counts for this in spades.
Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewer in the episode, "Bringing Down Babyface" is (just barely) big enough for Baloo to fly the Sea Duck through.
Broken Ace: Whistlestop apparently has been struggling ever since aviation vehicles started evolving and becoming too complex for him to properly handle and briefly considers dissolving into obscurity until Baloo snaps him out of it.
Affectionate Nickname: Baloo dishes out a lot of these, but perhaps the most notable are "Lil' Britches" (for Kit) and "Becky" (for Rebecca). Rebecca's treatment of her nickname also mirrors the trope, only accepting it when she is on happy terms with Baloo. Kit calls Baloo Mowgli's nickname for the original, "Papa Bear".
The Alleged Boss: Rebecca Cunningham plays with this. She has Control Freak issues and is perfectly willing to push Baloo and others around in her schemes; however, she is usually all bark and no bite, and usually acts more as a bossy childish friend than an authority figure, something Baloo takes advantage of time and time again.
All There in the Manual: The short-lived comic series confirms Becky's status as a widow and goes into some detail about Kit's life before linking up with Don Karnage.
All Women Are Lustful: Louie's aunt, Louise in "The Ransom of Red Chimp", who is attracted to men with accents and goes after Don Karnage, and later her flying rival, a French pilot named Jacques Toujour.
Some of the high points are in the four part pilot "Plunder And Lightning" and "Pizza Pie In The Sky", which were animated by Disney France.
Anti-Villain: Shere Khan. Sure, he engages in Evil Plans from time to time and can be ruthless when he needs to, but he is genuinely fond of the heroes and certainly has a conscience, and generally doesn't cross any lines that there's no going back from. Think David Xanatos, but nicer.
Louie can be considered an inversion of sorts. He is given an anthropomorphic role and wears a human attire, though his design and proportions are actually more hunched over and simian-like than his original The Jungle Book counterpart.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Louie's Last Stand", Dougie Benson, a minor businessman in Shere Khan's company, attempts to evict Louie from his property by forging Khan's signature on documents that mobilize his company pilots into a makeshift mook-army. When Khan finds out, he dresses Dougie down for forgery, misuse of company property, and his now soot-stained coat not being up to company dress code.
In the episode, "Bringing Down Babyface", after Baloo and Babyface Half-Nelson escape from the police, Officer Malarkey calls for backup, telling them, "Suspects are armed, dangerous, and wearing festive party hats."
"Whistlestop Jackson, Legend" ends with the titular famous pilot retiring after the satisfaction of one last heroic feat, but it is revealed that Khan, who held a grudge against Jackson, had intended for him to retire all along.
"Save the Tiger" ends with the reveal that Khan was secretly behind Baloo's kidnapping.
Badass Princess: Princess Lotta Lamour from "The Road to Macadamia". She's not afraid to confront her kingdom's Evil Chancellor ("Touch me and you're dust, buster!"), and during a fight she knocks out several of the chancellor's Mooks with a big mallet.
Shere Khan himself was a mix of the first two of those. He is deadly serious, hates having his time wasted and is extremely strict, but he values hard work and albeit he's quite demanding, he is also fair to his employees.
Broken Aesop: "War of the Weirds" sees Baloo stage a Martian invasion to get out of working. Then along comes Army Intelligence officer Colonel Grogg who thinks the invasion is real. So the gang further trick Grogg by scaring him so badly he runs away, and while he's gone, they dispose of all of the props and costumes, so that when he returns, it appears to his superior General Tumult that he's going insane, and Tumult demotes him. The unfortunate implication being that lying is bad, but lying to get out of trouble for lying is fine, even if it ruins someone's life.
Baloo can be considered something of a "Bunny Ears Pilot" as well, slovenly, obnoxious and Book Dumb, but is an ingenius and versatile flyer (including piloting prototype helicopters and a bare jet engine!). One could argue whether Rebecca's quirks make her a "Bunny Ears Businesswoman" as well.
Butt Monkey: Colonel Spigot and Douglas Benson from "Louie's Last Stand". Baloo and Rebecca also have some moments.
Characterization Marches On: Kit's history with Don Karnage and the Sky Pirates seems to be all but forgotten in episodes following the pilot, to the point the two seem rather inept about each other outside their connections with Baloo. Karnage rarely refers to Kit as anything outside the generic label of "Baloo's little friend".
Ironically Col. Spigot's first appearance in "The Idol Rich" is about the one time he and Baloo instantly recognise each other.
Cheerful Child: Molly Cunningham. She's rambunctious and not above a little blackmail to get what she wants. However, in the major incident she did that, she didn't hesitate afterward to bail out Baloo when her mother threatened to fire him.
Chick Magnet: Baloo has won affection and attention from Katie Dodd, Princess Lotta Lamour, Kitten Caboodle, Myra Foxworthy, Plane Jane, Sally the radio host, and even Rebecca herself, so he definitely deserves a spot here.
Clip Its Wings: In "Flight of the Snow Duck", Baloo, Wildcat and Molly escape from a Thembrian prison by flying a plane made completely out of ice, while being pursued by military fighters. When one of the wings gets shot off, Wildcat scoops some water out of a lake and tosses over the wing's stub, instantly repairing it.
Contagious Cassandra Truth: In "It Came from Beneath the Sea Duck", Kit is chewed out by Rebecca for taking Molly outside the apartment while babysitting (in reality this was for a load of convoluted reasons). Baloo is Genre Savvy enough to suggest letting Kit explain what happened, however Rebecca just assumes that Kit learned his irresponsible behaviour from him and shushes him too.
Continuity Cameo: A lot of supposed One-Scene Wonder characters from specific episodes make background cameos in others (even previous villains such as Kitten Caboodle and Muffy and Buffy oddly enough). Sometimes counts as an Early-Bird Cameo.
Control Freak: Rebecca plays with this. While she has a rather shrill attitude and frequently manipulates or bullies Baloo and the others into following her schemes, she fails to have much intimidation over them or take much action against their own incompetent or obnoxious habits, leading her to come off more as a bossy friend than a domineering boss.
Cool Plane: The Sea Duck, natch: a rare case of a beat-up, unarmed cargo hauler getting the kind of love usually reserved for fighter planes. There are many, many other examples - stunt planes, crop-dusters, a multitude of flying boats - some pulled from genuine aviation history and others seeming to parody it.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Semi-subverted by Shere Khan. Khan is ruthless and can be quite vicious and vindictive. However, he has a moral code and a sense of honor, and his rivals are usually much worse than he is. Many of his appearances have him as a protagonist, and his antagonist appearances frequently end with him saying something along the lines of "You are right and I will stop taking the action you are opposing. Now get out before I change my mind". Furthermore, if he hires you for a job and knows your moral principles, the job will likely be dangerous, but it will be doable, agree with your conscience, and he pays very well in the end.
Whether or not it's subverted or not is completely up to the episode. In one episode he'll recruit the sky pirates to attack planes and create a fake fuel shortage. In another he'll swear a life debt. The most consistent thing about this show is its inconsistency.
Title Cards Always Lie: The title card of the episode "The Ransom of Red Chimp" has Don Karnage in his signature air pirate uniform, while in the actual episode he's wearing a bathing costume all throughout the episode.
Dashing Hispanic: Don Karnage fancies himself as one of these, but invariably comes off as just buffoonish. (Interestingly, some fanfics based on this show not only have him play this trope straight, but also transform him into a psychologically tortured Anti-Villain). Note, though, that, while he may not be Badass per se, he's still very dangerous.
A Day in the Limelight: "Flight School Confidential" is focused largely on Kit venturing to Thembria, with Baloo only having a brief role in the opening and closing moments. A couple of episodes also focus primarily on Rebecca and Molly's relationship.
Dead All Along: "The Old Man and the Sea Duck" ends with Baloo discovering that the man that had taught him to fly again had been dead and gone for 20 years, and that the airfield he trained at was a broken down husk of its former self.
Also in "Her Chance To Dream", Rebecca's new love interest Captain William Stansbury is revealed to be the ghost of the captain who crashed his boat on Louie's island centuries ago.
Death Glare: Despite Rebecca's appearance, she actually has given Baloo a pretty scary one from time to time.
Depending on the Writer: Both Baloo and Rebecca's personalities occasionally come off as erratic due to constantly passing off the Sanity Ball (eg. one can be completely gullible or arrogant towards a situation identical to one they were totally wary of in a previous episode). Their Not So Different tendencies also shift from episode to episode (sometimes Rebecca is Baloo's polar opposite, others they are borderline Distaff Counterparts for each other).
Determinator: In both a negative and positive sense, Baloo and Rebecca are very stubborn individuals, be it for Zany Schemes or heroics. Rebecca is also shown to be very protective of Baloo, to the point of potential self-sacrifice; Baloo, in turn, will go to great lengths to aid or protect her.
Distracted by the Sexy: The reason Baloo and Louie help Katie find the lost city of Tinabula, even though they didn't want to go treasure hunting in the episode "For Whom The Bell Klangs".
This also happens to Baloo and Louie when they help Princess Lotta Lamour in "The Road to Macadamia".
This is the main reason that Baloo won't listen to Rebecca when she tells Baloo that Kitten Kaboodle is responsible for the "accidents" that have been happening on the movie set in the episode "A Star Is Torn".
"Cool Hands" Luke is obviously smitten by "Tan-Margaret" (aka Baloo) in "Feminine Air", even though they are competitors in an air race.
Distressed Damsel: Happens to Rebecca and Molly on occasion. Baloo and Kit aren't immune to the trope either.
Easy Amnesia: In "The Old Man and the Sea Duck", with a dose of Laser-Guided Amnesia too; it only affects Baloo's piloting skills, forcing him to re-learn them. However, the cliche of the second blow is avoided as Baloo's memory returns when he re-experiences the joy of flying again.
The business situation is very similar to Cheers as well: Entrepreneurial businesswoman takes over a failing business run by a laid-back owner and attempts to change his ways to make the business profitable, Hilarity Ensues.
Kit is also obviously meant to be an Expy for Mowgli in places. While he has enough unique traits to differentiate the two, his relationship with Baloo is very similar (right down to using the same affectionate nicknames for each other).
The three major Thembrians: Col. Spigot, Sgt. Dunder and the High Marshall are Expies (and parodies) of Col. Wilhelm Klink, Sgt. Hans Schultz, and General Albert Burkhalter from Hogan's Heroes.
Although the High Marshall is also a very obvious visual Expy of Leonid Brezhnev.
And as mentioned above, the show is based loosely on Tales of the Gold Monkey, making Baloo, Wildcat and Louie expies of Jake, Corky and, er, Louie.
He did buy it back once, though handed back the rights after realising the process was destroying Becky's business, implying he is pretty much set to work at Higher For Hire, willingly or not.
Fake Defector: At one point in "Plunder & Lightning" Kit rejoins the pirates, regaining Karnage's trust by pretending he didn't really care about his new friends, so he can convince Karnage to let his friends go. This is Played for Drama, with Baloo convinced that Kit has betrayed him until later in the story.
Family-Friendly Firearms: Interestingly enough, almost utterly averted. Don Karnage's men fire what appear to be real tracers out of their machine guns, the Cape Suzette anti-aircraft guns are firing real flak shells, and in one episode Baloo is chased by gangsters with very realistic-looking revolvers that fire real bullets. The few exceptions are justified, such as AA guns that shoot pies during an air race, since they are designed to hinder the racing pilots, not kill them.
In "Save the Tiger", Baloo saves Shere Khan's life and Khan owes him a debt in return. At first, Baloo asks for a few simple things, but when he realizes that Shere Khan is one of the richest and most powerful men in the word, he buys back his plane, isolates most of his friends, and eventually becomes bored with his new wealth and gifts. His endless lists of demands end up irritating Khan, who secretly arranges for Baloo to be kidnapped and held for ransom that equals the amount of all the things Baloo asked from Khan and Higher for Hire. Towards the end of the episode, Rebecca and Kit save Baloo, and Baloo's final request is to have everything back to the way it was before.
In "The Balooest of the Blue Bloods", Baloo inherits a mansion and the butler and maid try to kill him so they can inherit it for themselves. The mansion gets repossessed at the end of the episode.
Forged Message: In one episode one of Shere Khan's executives, Benson, tried to force Louie out of his club by writing a letter that said, "Do whatever Mr. Benson says." and forging Khan's signature, thus making the Khan pilot force think they were on a sanctioned assignment.
Friend or Idol Decision: Baloo has an almost unhealthy obsession with the Sea Duck and will scold anyone for laying a finger on it without permission. Nevertheless, it's established from the very first episode that he would sacrifice it in an instant to save his friends and surrogate family.
Friend to All Living Things: Wildcat proves that this description fits him in "Paradise Lost" and "The Sound And The Furry". Also Kit in "All's Whale That Ends Whale" and Molly in "Mommy For A Day".
Funny Foreigner: Don Karnage. Colonel Spigot and Private Dunder, to an extent, too.
Furry Female Mane: Fairly standard for the female characters, with the exception of Muffy Vanderschmeer.
Gainax Ending: Arguable example with "Flying Dupes". Like most Disney Afternoon shows, the series is left open ended, with the finale focusing near solely on Baloo attempting to give Col. Spigot flying lessons. It doesn't help that this episode was banned on certain networks.
Genius Ditz: Wildcat, a Cloudcuckoolander of the highest order but neverless can fix a high number of mechanical issues in a matter of seconds (at least for what his provided apparatus allows).
Word of God claims Baloo and Rebecca were meant to foil each other in this regard. Baloo is extremely Book Dumb and slovenly, but also streetwise and resourceful due to his adventuring (as well as being a grade A Ace Pilot). In contrast Rebecca is well educated and has profound business ethics, but due to her pampered lifestyle is somewhat naive and inept to the outside world. Depending on what the scenario fit, either character would play The Ditz while another would act as The Straight Man.
The Grinch: In "Jolly Molly Christmas", Don Karnage decides the Sky Pirates will show the true spirit of giving; by making others give presents to them.
Don Karnage: I am not usually this generous, but Christmas comes only once a year.
Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Baloo, Kit and Louie, among others. Baloo calls Kit "Little Britches" (breeches) in spite of neither of them wearing pants at all, presumably as a Shout-Out to the Jungle Book Baloo calling Mowgli by the same nickname.
This even applies to the one episode where Baloo has to wear a tuxedo. Said tuxedo consists of a jacket, shirt, tie, and cummerbund...and that's it.
Heel-Face Turn: Kit, who leaves the Air Pirates before the series begins.
Heroes Want Redheads: Baloo and Louie spend most of the two part episode "For Whom The Bell Klangs" trying to win over Katie Dodd.
Heroic BSOD: Baloo does this in "A Bad Reflection On You".
Rebecca has a lighter variant in "I Only Have Ice For You".
Heroic Sacrifice: Baloo does this in the end of "Plunder And Lightning" where he rams the Sea Duck into Don Karnage's lightning gun and destroys it along with his plane that he had just reclaimed ownership for.
Rebecca also attempts this in "A Star Is Torn" by driving an booby trapped plane that Baloo was intended to fly for a stunt. However, Baloo saves her in time. She also does so in "Save The Tiger" by selling Higher For Hire to pay for ransom money after Baloo is supposedly kidnapped in Shere Khan's Evil Plan.
Hero Insurance: Subverted, this is often the reason Baloo comes off just as penniless following his good deeds than beforehand, with him often being rewarded, and then charged for his rather hazardous acts of heroism. Depending on how neccessary his acts of destruction were, this can lead some of his clients to come off as Ungrateful Bastards.
High-Class Glass: Rich Baloo in "Save the Tiger" acquires a monocle along with his fancy suit.
Rebecca: Jack is on a mission for the government, can't you understand? Baloo: Oh I understand, I just don't believe. I don't think he's really a spy. Rebecca: Oh? Then how do you explain the trenchcoat, huh? That's a spy's trenchcoat!
"Sheepskin Deep" has a kangaroo mailman insist that the postal service never loses letters...right before dropping several letters as he hops away.
"The Incredible Shrinking Molly" ends with the scientist having an idea to invent television, with Baloo, Rebecca, and Kit immediately ridiculing the idea, unaware that their adventures are a television show. Keep in mind that the series takes place in the 1930's, before television was invented.
Baloo: You're the one with the map. Which is the door to the treasure? Plane Jane: That one. Baloo: Hold it! You wouldn't tell me the right door. But you know that I know that you wouldn't tell me the right door, so this is the right door.
Improbable Piloting Skills: Baloo is so good a pilot he can pilot a plane even if he has to resort to directly manipulating the control cables to a craft's flaps and rudder when the yoke was broke. Furthermore, in one episode, he was able to quickly learn how to fly a prototype helicopter, despite the fact that operating that kind of vehicle is a completely different (not to mention revolutionary for the 1930s) concept in aviation. And don't forget, he was able to successfully "pilot" a prototype jet engine merely by hanging on to it and tugging on it real hard. No wings, no rudder, no plane. Just the engine. He even broke the sound barrier while riding it.
It Will Never Catch On: At the end of "The Incredible Shrinking Molly", the episode's Mad Scientist mentions that he's working on a new medium called "television", and Baloo scoffs at the notion of "moving pictures". They may have stood more a chance of getting away with it, if Baloo wasn't shown watching a "moving picture" at the start of the exact same episode.
Kangaroo Court: This is apparently the preferred "justice" system of the warthog-run Soviet Union expy Thembria. As Colonel Spigot explains to Rebecca Cunningham at one point (when she's just been arrested), the system is very simple and efficient: "First you will be given a fair trial. Then you will be shot."
In the episode, "Bringing Down Babyface", Baloo, Kit, and Rebecca are on the run from the law and are being chased through the sewers. The police try to stop them by stuffing items from stop signs and lights to a tree down the manholes. Baloo comments that the police used everything but the kitchen sink. They then dodge a kitchen sink, after which, Rebecca tells Baloo not to give them any more ideas. Baloo then comments that they didn't use a bathtub, and a bathtub falls on the Sea Duck. After which, Rebecca tells Baloo to be quiet.
In the episode, "It Came From Beneath the Sea Duck", Don Karnage sends Mad Dog and Dump Truck into the city, telling them to steal everything, including the kitchen sink. Later, when the heroes have a confrontation with a giant squid, the squid accidentally rips the sink from Rebecca's kitchen and drops it into Mad Dog and Dump Truck's submarine. Don Karnage is not amused when they bring it to him.
Knight in Sour Armor: Baloo on occasion acts as this. In "My Fair Baloo", for example, he is chastised for acting like a "buffoon" at a high class ball in the Spruce Moose. Almost immediately following this, he saves the guests from two attempted hijackings, a plane crash and being stranded on an isolated island.
Baloo: Now give me one good reason why I should bail those snot nosed money-grubbers. Rebecca: Because you're better than them? Baloo: ...Hmm, good answer. Let's go.
Leitmotif: Wildcat frequently has a quirky flute melody accompany many of his appearances. The Disney Afternoon OST disk also includes numerous one shot tracks that signalled different characters and locations.
Line-of-Sight Name: While trying to come up with a name for the "deceased uncle" that left him $50,000, Baloo's eyes alight upon a vacuum cleaner and goes with "Hoover".
Little Miss Badass: Molly in several episodes. Some of them being "Molly Coddled", "Mommy For A Day", and "The Incredible Shrinking Molly".
Local Hangout: Louie's is this for pilots, except that it's not really local, being out in the middle of the ocean. This gets justified in one episode, where it turns out that Louie's is about one tankful of airplane fuel away from Cape Suzette (and presumably near a major air route.)
They poke a little fun at the naming convention when Kit gets a They Just Didn't Care from the local newspaper:
Kit(reading): "Kit CLOWN-KICKER?!"
Macross Missile Massacre: The pandas try this on Baloo. However, the missiles don't lock on the Sea Duck to perform a full-fledged Itano Circus because they're heat-seeking, and Baloo has loaded his plane with ice.
More Dakka: Don Karnage's Tri-Wing Terror consists of little more than an engine, a small cockpit, and six stubby wings which seem to be little more than mounts for the six large-caliber machine guns.
Motive Decay: Somewhat. Depending on the Writer, Baloo could be insistent on working for Higher For Hire solely to get the Sea Duck back from Rebecca, or has grown accustomed to (if not outright enjoys) working for her. In "Save The Tiger", he basically retcons his insured wealth and ownership of the plane just so she can have her business back.
Never My Fault: The punishment for lot of offenses in Thembria, regardless of who is responsible for them, tend involve Spigot getting shot, who in turn blames a lot of his blunders on Dunder.
Never Win the Lottery: In "Your Baloo's in the Mail", Rebecca wins a big prize from a radio station, then trusts lazy Baloo to deliver her winning ticket—without telling him how important it is. Hilarity Ensues...but as noted above, some fans don't appreciate that the Downer Ending, where Baloo delivers the ticket just a few seconds too late, is Played for Laughs.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: Similarly, the Thembrian military usually consisted largely of bumblers whose favored ammunition is stacks of bologna; however, when set on actually offing someone, they take it to torturousextremes.
Off Model: To an extent, due to aforementioned Animation Bump. Don Karnage for example, looked rather vicious and sinister in design in some cases, while in others he was almost as cuddly and docile looking as Baloo.
Offscreen Villainy: During the pilot there are more than a few mentions of Don Karnage being famous for never letting anyone go, never taking anyone prisoner, and never leaving any evidence, the time he did let some pilots alive being due to him wanting to send a message. Of course, he never kills anyone over the course of the show (unless you count collateral damage from the Lightning Gun), mostly either due to his men's incompetence (or his own, occasionally), or Baloo and the gang being just that good.
Out of Focus/Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Many of the later episodes stray from the goings on of Higher For Hire and focus more on Baloo adventuring outside Cape Suzette. While Rebecca, Molly and Kit feature less as a result, Wildcat and Louie gain more prominent roles in later episodes.
Poke the Poodle: Both Don Karnage and the Thembrian Army have shown occasional tactics such as this. Subverted slightly as acts such as scratching your nails on a chalkboard and forcing you through a cheesy chat show are actually considered all manner of hell for their hostages.
Positive Discrimination: Subverted. Despite being a female character of the strong independent business woman variety, Rebecca makes her fair share of mistakes, with her and Baloo getting roughly equal opportunities to play the Straight Man for each other.
Punishment Box: Baloo stays at a Thembrian penal colony which he has mistaken for a fitness camp. He is frequently sent to what he calls a "solar powered sauna."
Punny Name: All over the place—area names like Cape Suzette (Crêpe Suzette), episode titles like "The Idol Rich" (The Idle Rich) and "The Sound and the Furry", and some major and minor characters' names.
Reset Button: Baloo managed to save up enough money to buy back his plane a few times, but events would always conspire to put him back to work for Becky. On the other hand, after an early episode where Rebecca has trouble learning how to pilot a plane, a later story shows that she's learned a lot from Baloo and is now a capable pilot on her own.
Rule of Cool: A general staple of the show, but most evident with Kit's airfoil. To be clear, it assumes a 12 year-old boy can hang on to a rope behind an airplane (travelling at a minimum of 150 mph), while coordinating a piece of metal below his feet.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Baloo is often shown to be rather overambitious with money, and is dead set on buying back the Sea Duck from Rebecca, however when he realises some immoral and harmful undertone in a scheme or investment, he turns it down immediately.
A frequent scruple for Shere Khan, his moral code preventing him from doing anything truly irredeemable.
Also, in one episode a character warns that "no one dares to face The Wrath of Khan!"
And who could forget the "This Was Your Life" execution ceremony in "The Time Bandit", complete with cheesy host and aquaintances from the guest's past.
Very frequently in the episode titles. "Citizen Khan", "The Old Man and the Sea Duck", "Last Horizons", the list goes on for miles.
The episode "The Road To Macadamia" is a straight up homage to the "Road" movies starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby but with Baloo and Louie.
Baloo's gypsy costume in the episode "A Spy In The Ointment" is pretty much a complete copy of Little John's costume from an early scene in the Disney version of Robin Hood. This is actually Fridge Brilliance when you consider that Phil Harris was both the original voice actor for Baloo and the voice actor for Little John in the movie where the costume originated from.
Naturally the show features a good few Shout Outs to The Jungle Book. Baloo's aforementioned tendency to disguise himself in drag is also likely a reference to a similar scene in the movie. "My Fair Baloo" also has Rebecca binded by a large (somewhat familiar looking) constrictor snake.
Also in "Gruel And Unusual Punishment", when Baloo lands on Bedevilled Island, he floats on his back in a stream eating food off of his stomach, much like he did in The Jungle Book.
In "For Whom The Bell Klangs, Part 1", the restaurant Baloo and Louie visit bears a strong resemblance to Rick's Café Américain.
And a blink and you'll miss it moment in "It Came from Beneath the Sea Duck": Becky is unloading her groceries, including a bucket of Pep (from the DuckTales episode "The Big Flub"). (Yes, "Pep" can also also be peppermint, but seeing that they're both Disney cartoons...)
Something We Forgot: A Running Gag throughout the episode, "The Balooest of the Blue Bloods" is Wildcat looking for the bathroom in Baloo's inherited mansion. At the end of the episode, the mansion gets repossessed, and when Baloo and Rebecca have lunch, they realize they left Wildcat behind at the mansion (who is still looking for the bathroom at that point).
Taxman Takes The Winnings: The ending of "The Balooest of the Blue Bloods". Baloo stands to inherit a ton of money from a distant relative, but he has to survive a night in a haunted, cursed house. After he survives the night, all the money is lost due to the "real family curse" - decades of unpaid land taxes.
Those Wacky Nazis: In one Disney Adventures comic story, "The Dogs of War", Baloo and Kit were briefly held hostage by a zeppelin full of smug, militaristic, German-accented dogs who kept mixing up their "v's" and their "w's".
Tickle Torture: Don Karnage does it to Kit in "Polly Wants a Treasure".
The Unintelligible: Gibber didn't speak out loud, he whispered into people's ears. All the viewer heard was a bit of, well, gibberish. Since his name is Gibber... yeah.
He said one intelligible word in the entire show, calling Karnage "crazy" in "Stuck On You". Needless to say, it was a poor choice.
Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Though the characters are generally loveable and redeemable, they have their moments of this, Baloo and occasionally Rebecca are perhaps the biggest players.
UST: A number of fans saw this in Baloo and Becky's interaction, despite having nothing outright romantic in the series.
Well, some episodes did show some obvious Ship Tease (Baloo's Post-Kiss Catatonia in "Your Baloo's In The Mail" may be a plausible canon example).
Word of God claims they intended to show infatuation between the two, though the creators admit it may have ultimately came out "lop-sided" in Rebecca's favor, who is occasionally shown to take bigger extremes in her devotion to Baloo.
Villain Song: "Sky Pirates," performed by Don Karnage and his crew during the pilot.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Baloo and Louie's friendship is often shown to be this, particularly in "buddy" episodes like "For Whom the Bell Klangs" and "The Road to Macadamia". They even have a fairly catchy tune dedicated to their status as such in "Friends for Life," but it never made it into the show, just the soundtrack.
Baloo: I got moves, son— Louie: You learned from me, I got a song to sing— Baloo: If you can find the key Both: Whatever he's got, I've got more of But there's one thing we both are sure of, we're Friends for life [etc.]
Don Karnage: Fools! Surely they would not be so stupid as to attack the Iron Vulture! (Ship rocks with impact) ...They are more stupid than I thought!
Also in "Polly Wants a Treasure"
Ignatz: We gotta get Kit outta there before one of those idiots [the pirates] sets off Captain Juan Toomanie'sbig trap! Baloo:(leaning backwards) Relax, that would take somebody really dumb. (the stalagmite he's leaning against falls back with a click) Ignatz:(Long-suffering sigh) Right again, Baloo.
Xanatos Gambit: Shere Khan always finds some measure of victory even in defeat - even in plots that don't involve him.
Yank the Dog's Chain: Many of Baloo's Get Rich Quick Schemes are successful, but the prize is always taken away by some unfortunate stroke of luck. "Your Baloo's In The Mail" is a particularly cruel example.
Yellow Peril: In the banned episode "Last Horizons", Baloo ventures to discover a lost Shambhala-like civilization known as Panda-La, and, upon finding it, is treated as a welcome guest, but the inhabitants secretly plan to invade Cape Suzette upon hearing about it from Baloo, clearly jibing at Pearl Harbor.
You Didn't Ask: Wildcat uses this exact phrase during "In Search of Ancient Blunders".