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Western Animation: Chip 'n Dale

Chip 'n Dale are Disney cartoon characters, a pair of mischievous chipmunks. Chip is the relatively smart (albeit more neurotic) one; Dale is the less smart one with the tendency to do the clumsiest or least sensible thing possible at any given moment.

Their initial turn in the spotlight came in the Classic Disney Shorts, usually giving Donald Duck a reason to demonstrate his famous Berserk Button. (You probably remember that one cartoon where Donald was an apple farmer.) In the late 1980s, they were dusted off and given revised characters, more comprehensible voices and their own TV show, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. Like many other Disney regulars, they returned to perform their original roles in revivals such as House of Mouse.

Their name may be a pun on the famous 18th-century furniture style. It certainly isn't anything to do with the Chippendales Dancers, whom they predate by many, many years.

See also Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers for tropes that refer to them specifically in said cartoon.

Not to be confused with Warner Bros.' Goofy Gophers, Mac and Tosh. (Mac and Tosh are the ultrapolite ones.)


Tropes:

  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering??
  • Art Evolution: In their debut in Private Pluto. The two both looked the same and looked more realistic.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: A couple of shorts ended on civil terms between them and Donald or Pluto.
  • Breakout Character
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Dale.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: In the earliest shorts, both chipmunks were voiced by various (uncredited) female members of the office staff at Disney. In modern-day appearances, Chip is voiced by Tress MacNeille.
  • Curious as a Monkey: When they're not bothering someone intentionally, they're usually just this.
  • Escalating War: Usually against Donald, who had no problem utilizing cruel pranks of his own against them. Their bouts against Pluto were more one sided, though he could still bite back at times.
  • Genius Ditz: Dale is often the brainless troublemaker of the two, though in some cases actually concocts very elaborate stunts to give the two the upper hand.
  • Grumpy Bear: Chip, who is often irritated by Dale's stupidity and occasionally responds with violent discipline.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: However, some comic stories indicate that they're brothers, sharing the same relatives.
  • Invincible Heroes: Though they took blows in most of their shorts, they were the victors in all of their appearances (or at least came to a stalemate or truce in exceptions).
  • Iron Butt Monkey: While Chip and Dale often made the winning blow, they were often portrayed as almost as bumbling as their adversaries and usually took as many blows as they dished out.
  • Karma Houdini: In some cartoons, the chipmunks are clearly the ones instigating the trouble, for no other reason than because they think it's funny to pick on their chosen adversary (usually Donald or Pluto). They still invariably come out on top.
    • Idiot Houdini: In other shorts, while not intentionally meaning harm, they still managed to irritate others by nosing around their property or performing other collateral damage in their curious bumbling. When their adversary finally bites however, it is free game for them to retaliate for bothering them.
  • Karmic Trickster: In the shorts where Donald is the one who starts trouble.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Chip and Dale's three solo shorts that did not pair them up with Donald or Pluto were some of the rare Disney shorts not to be released on the otherwise fairly thorough Disney Treasures sets. Two of these, "Two Chips and a Miss" and "Chicken in the Rough" were put on one of the Cartoon Classics DVD releases, but the third, "The Lone Chipmunks" has never seen a DVD release to this day.
  • Literal Ass Kicking: Chip's version of a Gibbs Slap toward Dale is to pick him up by his tail and administer one of these.
  • Loveable Rogue: More often just after food and shelter, they do have a mischievous side however.
  • Love Triangle: With Clarice in Two Chips and a Miss and Gadget in Rescue Rangers.
  • Overly Polite Pals: In the first animated shorts they act this way towards each other. In later shorts and the ReTooled Series they acted more like Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • No Name Given: Until the 1947 cartoon Chip N Dale when they were given names.
  • Screwy Chipmunks
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In the earliest shorts, Chip and Dale were identical in looks and mannerisms. Eventually, Dale gained his red nose, buck teeth, and goofier personality to set him apart from Chip.
  • Speaking Simlish: In the classic shorts, they spoke in varying forms of heavily-accented, barely understandable English, to complete gibberish. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and Kingdom Hearts has them speaking normal English.
  • Spin-Off: Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.
  • The Golden Age of Animation
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Acorns, or nuts in general. Though their discovery of peanuts certainly turned them off of acorns in the short Working For Peanuts.
  • The Unintelligible: In their earliest appearances, their dialogue was recycled quotes sped up to an incoherent speed (most of these were made for their first short, to the point slowing them down to intelligible speed in later ones shows the quotes have no bearing to the plot). In later shorts they were voiced with new slightly more coherent dialogue for each short.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Dale, at times.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds
Classic Disney ShortsCharacters/Western AnimationDonald Duck
Classic Disney ShortsThe FortiesDonald Duck
FigaroThe Golden Age of AnimationHumphrey The Bear

alternative title(s): Chip And Dale
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