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Western Animation: Count Duckula
"In the heart of Transylvania
In the Vampire Hall of Fame, yeah
There's not a vampire zanier than Duckula!
He won't bite beast or man,
Cause he's a vegetarian,
And things never run to plan for Duckula!
If you're looking for some fun
You can always count upon
The wild and wacky one they call Duckula!
Count Duckula!"

Count Duckula (1988-1993) was a 65-Episode Cartoon by Cosgrove Hall, the creators of Danger Mouse. Indeed, the title character originally appeared as a bad guy on Danger Mouse, but on his own show he was a fairly amiable vegetarian with aspirations of fame and world travel. As the opening sequence of each episode explains, there was a slip-up in the performance of a resurrection ceremony where tomato ketchup was mistakenly used instead of blood, thus raising the title character as a vegetarian instead of the typical blood sucking evil count.

And so, with his butler Igor (not The Igor, but instead a sarcastic hunchbacked vulture who wished his master would act more like a traditional vampire) and his maid Nanny (a hulking, dim but loveable hen with a bad habit of going through doorways without opening them first) in tow, Count Duckula would travel the world, running afoul (excuse the pun) of all manner of folks, including Dr. Von Goosewing, a bumbling vampire hunter who refused to believe Duckula was anything but a threat.

This series provides examples of:

  • Accent Adaptation: In the German dub of Count Duckula, the German accent of Dr. Von Goosewing is dubbed into modern Saxon dialect, which has always been the Butt Monkey of the German dialects. The pirate penguins talk in very strong low German from the regions where most major ports of Germany are located.
    • In the Mexican Spanish dub, he does speak with a proper German accent.
  • Artifact of Doom: Igor sometimes tries to get Duckula to find these in the hope that they'll bring him back to "The Good Old Days". (The Mystic Saxophone from the first episode being a good example.) They never work though.
  • Berserk Button: Do not mention the E-word in front of the Egg. Don't even say anything that sounds like the E-word!
  • Black Sheep: The eponymous Count.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: (In "All In A Fog") Count Duckula saying "Cab!" just as a cab appears, then turns to the camera and says, "If only real life was like this!"
  • Catchphrase: The Narrator's closing remark "Good night out there...whatever you are!"
    • Nanny: I'll get it!
    • Usually followed by Duckula saying "Igor, order another door," or "Close the wall behind you, Nanny."
    • Nanny's archetypal cry of 'MY DUCKYBOOS' in reference to the eponymous vampire duck.
  • Came Back Wrong: Inverted - Count Duckula was an evil, murderous vampire who, after a botched resurrection ritual, came back right. Although from Igor's perspective the trope is played straight...
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Igor is definitely evil, to the point where Von Goosewing's Carpet Cleaner and Spot Removal Solution (which turns people opposite to how they usually act) turns him temporarily into a Friend to All Living Things.
  • Comic Books Are Real: The Count's hero Tremendous Terrence is a comic book star and cereal mascot but no-one shows any surprise when they meet him in person.
  • Christmas Episode: "A Christmas Quacker", which, interestingly, aired on Christmas Eve 1990!
  • Credits Gag: Many episodes have these in the closing titles.
  • Daywalking Vampire: The present-day Duckula is unharmed by daylight, in contrast to his traditional vampire incarnations which can be killed by sunlight. His relatives seem to be this as well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Igor. Duckula also has his moments.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Not the case with the pirate penguins.
  • Expository Theme Tune
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Too bad Igor relied upon Nanny to trigger it.
  • Finger Snap Lighter: Igor is capable of doing it.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Though the title character is as friendly as they come, the previous Counts most certainly were not.
  • Funny Foreigner: Used repeatedly in the traveling-the-world episodes, especially the Frenchmen...er, Frenchbirds, Gaston et Pierre.
  • Furry Confusion: "The Count and the Pauper" featured non-anthropomorphic chickens.
    • When Duckula found himself captive of a pair of Egyptian priests.
    Hoomite: Our legends say that when the great god Ra has had his fill of Human Sacrifice, Upshi shall rise from the dead.
    Count Duckula: Ah, human sacrifice.
    Yubi: Well, more of less human, give or take a feather.
  • Gentle Giant: Nanny. About as gentle as Lenny, anyway...
  • The Ghost: Von Goosewing's assistant, Heinrich.
    • The show actually seems to imply that Heinrich doesn't exist at all, and Goosewing is delusional. The comic adaptation clears this up somewhat; he used to have an assistant named Heinrich, who was always threatening to quit. Apparently he did, and Goosewing didn't notice.
    • In Heinrich's first 'appearance' Goosewing believes he has made him invisible with his 'invisibilitising ray'. The fact that there is no-one there in the first place and the doctor is wearing thick goggles may partially explain his ongoing confusion.
    • Moreover, Towser, the castle's werewolf, WAS undeniably real, but was never seen onscreen, apart from once where we see his eyes.
  • Hammerspace: Nanny's sling.
  • Heroic BSOD: Duckula has a small one when he faces a group of sentient vegetables, and they start accusing him of hate crimes.
  • Horror Host: The narrator has shades of this.
  • The Hunter: Von Goosewing.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the first episode, the head burglar scoffs at the idea of vampires, stating that they're just mentioned in the guide book to draw in tourists, but freaks out at the mention of a werewolf on the premises.
  • Inspector Javert: Also Von Goosewing.
  • Idiot Ball: Why DID they keep the ketchup bottle right next to the blood in the resurrection room?
  • Killer Rabbit: The Fluffy Bunnies of Planet Cute.
  • Knight Templar: Von Goosewing refuses to believe that the current Count Duckula is essentially harmless.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: A juicy one from "The Vampire Strikes Back" has a space hero asking Duckula what the date is, to which he replies "May the 4th." The hero responds as he leaves "May the 4th be with you."
  • Large Ham: The Phantom of the Opera and Dr. Von Goosewing when in his excitable mode.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Notable in Nanny always wearing her arm in a medical sling for some reason.
    • One newspaper comic gives the reason: she's hiding an Embarrassing Tattoo.
  • Long Title: One episode is titled, "Return of the Curse of the Secret of the Mummy's Tomb Meets Franken Duckula's Monster..."
  • Missed Him by That Much: The episode where Duckula boards a cruise ship that seems to be utterly empty; no matter where he, Igor and Nanny go, there's absolutely no passengers or crew. Igor even compares it to the Mary Celeste. Of course, as we viewers can see, everyone else is there — they just keep going in entirely different directions to the Transylvanians. The episode ends with the three leaving the ship, looking back - and there is everyone waving them off.
  • Monster Mash: One episode has Duckula and co. being chased by a mummy the Count inadvertently brought back to life, a Frankenstein's monster Expy accidentally resurrected by Igor, a werewolf who came to the castle to escape from the full moon but got exposed and transformed due to Nanny's interference, a space invader taking the form of a cabbage, and Goosewing. The episode is appropriately named "The Return of the Curse of the Secret of the Mummy's Tomb Meets Frankenduckula's Monster and the Wolf-Man and the Intergal-actic Cabbage...".
  • Morally Ambiguous Ducktorate
  • Mouthful of Pi: In "Igor's Busy Day", engaged Americans Scott and Laura take shelter in Castle Duckula after their car breaks down. Scott, a mathematician, tells Duckula he has memorised Pi to 15,000 decimal places; Duckula unwisely asks about this, and Scott begins demonstrating, entering an almost trance-like state as he spends most of the rest of the episode reciting numbers. (When Scott, Laura, and their extended family return for a holiday in the final scene, Scott begins reciting the largest known prime number in similar fashion, causing Duckula to wail in despair.)
  • Never Say "Die": Averted right off the bat in the pilot, when Duckula complains how Nanny could have killed him by smashing through the wall, and that her clumsiness with the tableware has already killed several of his servants.
  • The Nth Doctor: Not with a replacement actor, but a few episodes revolved around the fact that Duckula's ancestors were actually him, and he just comes back slightly different every time he is resurrected. This latest incarnation is just particularly unique due to the ketchup mishap.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Chances are, younger viewers might not recognize such a trope in the information secretary in the "Town Hall Terrors" episode. She'll tell you that information for the Grants for Crumbling Castles Department is on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. So don't come on Tuesday, lest you need to know trivial info such as popes & funny fish.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Duckulas were all traditional vampires, but the present day one averts nearly every trope usually associated with vampires. He's fully vegetarian, can walk around in broad daylight with no problem and is immune to holy water.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: While we never see him onscreen, Towser apparently cannot convert people as he's attacked Igor and Goosewing and they've remained the same. "The Return of the Curse of the Secret of the Mummy's Tomb Meets Frankenduckula's Monster and the Wolf-Man and the Intergal-actic Cabbage..." featured a traditional wolf-man (or rather a wolf-bird) who transforms by the light of the full moon.
  • Parody Names: Obviously Duckula for Dracula, and Dr Von Goosewing for Van Helsing.
  • Poirot Speak: Gaston et Pierre speak as though applying French grammar to English:
    Pierre: What is it that it is that you are referring to, mah Gaston?
  • Really 700 Years Old: Igor and Nanny are shown to serve Duckula even in the past, exactly the same. In fact Igor at one point refers to being dismissed "after seven and a half centuries of faithful service".
  • Rousing Speech: In the "Town Hall Terrors" episode, after stumbling onto a meeting about extending a railroad, Duckula gets caught up in the moment & invokes the trope, thus accidentally parlaying his grant for the crumbling Castle Duckula to having that railroad extend through the castle.
  • Secret Underground Passage: In the comics, Von Goosewing makes one of these into Duckula's castle. Subverted in that Igor and Duckula are fully aware of the fact that he's doing this and occasionally entertain themselves by watching him dig his 'secret' tunnel.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: One issue of the comic had Duckula's coffin go missing and Igor and Duckula running around trying to find who had stolen it. Ultimately finding themselves miles away from home without finding the coffin, they call Nanny at the castle and learn that she had removed it for cleaning.
  • Sign Off Catch Phrase: The narrator's "Goodnight out there... whatever you are!"
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness: Very, very friendly.
    • In early episodes at least, Duckula was unaware that he was a vampire, or of what a vampire even is.
    Duckula: Hold on, how can I be my own father?
  • Spin-Off: The show was itself a Spin-Off of Danger Mouse, but also Gaston et Pierre were modified slightly and given their own series as Victor And Hugo. There was even a Duckula/Victor and Hugo crossover episode.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The in-universe reaction to Planet Cute, a planet that invokes every sickeningly sweet cute stereotype imaginable. In a very literal sense, the "Cute Surprise" sold at the food stand has such a high sugar content that one taste probably would induce diabetes.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The castle is capable of teleporting itself around the world, but must return to Transylvania by dawn Transylvanian time. Some episodes revolve around Duckula trying to con people into buying it and the castle then vanishing.
  • There Was a Door and We Have The Keys: Nanny.
  • Thieving Magpie: While technically crows, Ruffles and his gang fit the bill.
  • Those Two Guys: Dmitri and Sviatoslav, the clockwork bats.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: The cartoon disclaims any resemblance to persons "living, dead, or undead".
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Broccoli sandwiches for the Count. Also, hot cocoa and choccy biccies.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Well, sort of. The closing credits make Duckula out to be a traditional bloodsucking-type vampire.
  • Überwald
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Von Goosewing is trying to kill a vegetarian vampire merely because he's a vampire.
    • Though in Goosewing's defence he doesn't know Duckula poses no threat, believing his pleasant demeanor to be no more than a pose.
    • Another reason which is revealed in the comics is that his niece, Vanna, is in a romantic relationship with Duckula, making his hatred more personal.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Duh. One of the most blatantly literal uses of the trope.
  • White Sheep
  • Who's on First?: Hoomite Yubi?
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough: Some jokes about Nanny along these lines.
  • World of Funny Animals: Humans are implied to exist however.
  • You Monster!:

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alternative title(s): Count Duckula
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