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Western Animation: Dave the Barbarian

Dave, Fang and Candy
Brave and Bold, they're not
They ain't the greatest heroes
But they're the only ones we've got

Dave the Barbarian (2004-2005) is a Disney animated series, an Affectionate Parody of the Heroic Fantasy genre.

The series takes place in The Middle Ages and centers on a powerful yet cowardly barbarian named Dave who lives in the fictitious land of Udrogoth along with his older sister Candy and younger sister Fang. His parents, Throktar and Glimia, are the King and Queen, but are away "fighting evil" across the world (though they sometimes communicate via a magic crystal ball), and have left Candy in charge of the kingdom. Together the three siblings, along with their wizard uncle Oswidge, their pet Faffy and Dave's talking sword Lula, are left to run and protect the kingdom.

There is a Narrator, referred to either as "the Narrator" or "the Storyteller," voiced by Jeff Bennett. He plays a big part in the show, as he controls what happens in the story. He is able to talk to the characters of the show, and vice versa. In fact, he was once captured by Arch-Enemy THE DARK LORD CHUCKLES, THE SILLY PIGGY!, and was forced to read narration where Dave loses to him.

The show was created and written by Doug Langdale of Earthworm Jim and The Weekenders fame. It premiered on Disney Channel on January 23, 2004; a year later, it began broadcasting on Toon Disney as well. In Latin America, the show is broadcast on Jetix. Sadly however, the show only lasted one season due to Disney punting the show around their schedule. The reruns now mostly show on Early Morning shifts on the weekend.

Much like its predecessors The Flintstones and the short-lived The Roman Holidays, Dave the Barbarian juxtaposes the ancient and the modern. Candy, for example, shops in the local mall (the "Great Indoor Marketplace of Udragoth") and uses the crystal ball for online shopping sprees. Occasionally, the series even breaks the fourth wall with a character directly addressing the audience.

Critically acclaimed, but unfortunately it could not last since Disney just seemed to lose interest halfway into it's run, and thus cancelled after one season.

Tropes:

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Queen Glimia, who looks barely older than her teenager daughter Candy.
  • Action Girl: Candy; sometimes parodied, sometimes played straight. Fang wants to be one, but can't quite manage.
  • All Cavemen Were Neanderthals
  • Almost Kiss: Between Candy and The Zit.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Bicepia. After seeing Bicepia, Candy uses Magic Broccoli to become buffer...but keeps using it and quickly goes from Amazonian Beauty to a unholy combination of Gonk, Dumb Muscle and Brawn Hilda (don't worry, there is a Reset Button).
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Ned Frischman.
  • Amusing Injuries: Dave in particular is prone to getting burned into a pile of ash.
  • Anachronism Stew
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Parodied.
  • Animal Motifs: Fang is regularly compared to a monkey, to her annoyance.
  • Animated Series
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Fang to Candy sometimes.
  • Anti-Hero: Dave is a Classical Anti-Hero, Fang is more close to a Unscrupulous Hero.
  • Apple of Discord: In one episode, Chuckles sends Dave a pair of rose colored glasses that makes the wearer only see their ideal world around them, even though the real world is still there. All of Dave's family promptly begins fighting over them once they all see what they can do.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Parodied with respect to superhero origin stories.
  • Argument of Contradictions: An episode of the show has Dave and Fang arguing over how to deal with a band of monsters coming to Udrogoth. The argument eventually degenerates into chasing each other around a table while shouting "Yes!" and "No!"
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A central part of the show's humor.
  • Bamboo Technology
  • Barbarian Hero: Spoofed
  • Battle Couple: King Throktar and Queen Glimia.
  • *batteries not included: Used by a time traveler to enslave Dave's people by getting them addicted to a Game Boy expy.
  • Berserk Button: Fang is NOT A MONKEY!
  • Big Bad: THE DARK LORD CHUCKLES, THE SILLY PIGGY!
  • Big "NO!": Parodied.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Candy.
  • Camp Straight: Dave.
  • Casting Gag: The casting of Joan and Melissa Rivers.
  • Catch Phrase: "Bajabbers!", "Don't mess with the Princess!", "I am not a monkey!" "We got that."
  • Clothes Make the Maniac: The evil lederhosen.
  • Cool Horse: Spoofed in Twinkle the Marvel Horse.
  • Couch Gag: The collapsing castle wall in the opening credits.
  • Cowardly Lion: Dave.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Ned spent hours practicing his evil laugh before he became a villain.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Dave is a massive coward who enjoys, among other things, cleaning and knitting. He's also three hundred pounds of pure muscle who regularly fights evil wizards and angry gods and comes out on top.
  • Cute Bruiser: Subverted with Fang. She has the looks and the attitude of a Cute Bruiser, but the only thing she can beat are bugs. Granted, this includes bugs about the size of a rhinoceros that could lay waste to the entire Kingdom of Udrogoth — as she demonstrated when some of them didn't simply run in terror from her reputation.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Fang's default voice is a yell.
  • Dating Catwoman: Dave and Princess Irmaplotz
  • Dark Secret: In one episode, when Dave was snooping around to see who stole his cookbook, he sees Oswidge watching a soap opera, Candy shaving her beard, Fang secretly playing with dolls, and Faffy playing Go Fish with some other dragons, talking about how the 'Big Chump' hasn't discovered he can talk yet. Dave wonders out loud who said Big Chump could possibly be...
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lula.
  • Depending on the Writer: If Candy is an Action Girl or not, or if she is stronger than her brother or not. Also, Fang's strength changes from episode to episode.
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: Happens when Oswidge accidentally turns himself into a newt.
    Candy: Did you change your hair?
  • Dodgeball Is Hell: One of Fang's training regimens.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Fang is almost always barefoot.
  • Dumb Blonde: Argon the Ageless.
  • The Eeyore: Twinkle the Marvel Horse.
  • Empathic Weapon: Subverted, Lula has very little empathy.
  • Epic Fail: Chuckles' first use of the Pretzel Men. Not even Dave is scared by them.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Candy is a parody of this trope. Strangely this is never brought up with Fang.
    • Averted with Princess Irmaplotz, who is evil and one of the main antagonists of the series.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Possibly the most literal example out there, as well as a classic case.
  • Evil Knockoff: Mecha-Dave.
  • Evil Laugh: Several. Malsquando once mentions that Chuckles is widely considered to have the best in the business.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Malsquando, Princess Irmoplotz and Queen Zonthara.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Quoted above.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Faffy
  • Fake-Out Opening: In one episode, we see what appears to be the King returning home, but after we see How We Got Here we know it's really Chuckles in disguise, and now "the King" suddenly has green glowing eyes and sounds like Chuckles.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Princess Irmoplotz and Queen Zonthara. But not Fang. Except in that one episode where she was posessed by the forces of Pure Evil In The Form Of Lederhosen.
  • Fiery Redhead: Fang and sometimes Candy.
  • F Minus Minus: Dave seems to think that a "Z" grade is worse than an "F."
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy, sort of. He is a cute little piggy but is also a powerful dark lord of evil.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The Pillage Master has a very intimidating, "dark and shadowed guardian" voice. And yet...
    Pillage Master: You may call me...Gloria.
    Dave: That's a pretty name.
  • Gentle Giant: Dave
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A Roman salute is made by one of the characters while proclaiming himself to be a dictator.
    • Floral Derangement gives us this gem:
    Pinkeye the Sailor: Seagulls, seagulls everywhere
    Leaving presents in my hair!
    It gives my scalp a glossy feel
    Who needs shampoo when you can have real?
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: Ned Frischman does this when he brings GameGuys to Udrogoth.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Queen Zonthara, Princess Irmaplotz's mother, although she is a very minor character and not relevant in the series. Her daughter is the real antagonist.
  • Golden Snitch: The penmanship portion of the Rite of Pillage counts for 75% of the total mark - a result of a pen company being the major sponsor.
  • God of Evil: Parodied with Quosmir, the god of freshly laundered trousers and overused punctuation.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Lula.
    "You just sitting there is kinda ticking me off."
  • Here We Go Again: Dave's parents, on their quest to "Destroy all the evil in the world" they apparently succeeded. note  Yet once they finished their quest, it turns out that a new evil appeared in the very first place they started their quest, meaning they have to do it all over again.
  • Heroic Fantasy: Relentlessly spoofed.
  • High Collar of Doom: Fang deduces that Malsquando is evil because he has a "pointy collar", among other things.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Chuckles, in "A Pig's Story."
  • Hot Witch: Princess Irmaplotz and Queen Zonthara.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Ned Frischman and his Evil Laugh.
  • I Am Not Weasel: Fang is continually mistaken for a monkey.
  • Idea Candles
  • Inept Mage: Uncle Oswidge. He was actually just a cook in wizard school.
  • Insistent Terminology: "Not a monkey!"
  • Killer Rabbit: The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Candy and Fang.
  • Jungle Princess: Fang dresses like one and is a princess but doesn't have much to do with the jungle.
  • Large Ham: Chuckles (literally, and figuratively; extra humorous because he's tiny), the Narrator, among several others.
  • Late to the Punchline: The Pillage Master.
    "Laying waste—I get it! Ha ha ha ha!"
  • Laughably Evil: All villains, especially Chuckles the Silly Piggy.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Fang.
  • Limited Wardrobe
  • Lemony Narrator
  • Magitek
  • Masculine Girls, Feminine Boy: Fang and Candy's Masculine Girls to Dave's Feminine Boy.
  • Medium Awareness
  • Mega Neko: THE DARK LORD CHUCKLES, THE SILLY PIGGY! as titanic kitty-cat.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Amoeba wrestling.
  • Mistaken for Granite: A version that doesn't activate unless you touch it.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: When Fang attempts to speak monkey while on an island of monkeys who look like her:
    Fang: Which point me you to water in pants?
  • Narrator
  • Nice Guy: Dave.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Referenced.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Twinkle the Marvel Horse is a parody of Christopher Walken, through his manner of speech.
  • No Fourth Wall: The characters interact with the narrator, occasionally pausing to check their scripts, etc.
    • "The inside of this television set is filthy!"
    • Chuckles even captured the Narrator at one point and forced him to read his own story, making him the new Narrator, so to speak. Whatever the Narrator said would become real. They held auditions for a new Narrator.
      • Though Chuckles still had to follow the show's rules. Such as he couldn't kill Dave because it's a family show.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Faffy and Twinkle the Marvel Horse.
  • Noodle Implements
    • Hilariously inverted in Girlfriend.
      Narrator: Thinking quickly, Dave constructs a homemade megaphone using only a squirrel, some string and a megaphone. *Dave promptly holds up a megaphone with a squirrel tied to it.*
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Parodied in "The Maddening Sprite of the Stump". A giant muffin that had been attacking the castle is defeated offscreen, while the narrator explains that the show's budget is too cheap to actually show the battle, but assures the audience that it was exciting.
  • Only Sane Man: Uncle Oswidge.
  • Opening Shout-Out: When Chuckles takes over.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Faffy, though there are plenty of standard issue dragons roaming around as well; Faffy (who is routinely mistaken for a flying potato) seems to have simply lost the genetic lottery, hard.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Irmaplotz uses a werecow "to make Dave look like a dork." Afterwards, anytime Dave gets bitten by something else, he turns into that. This leads to Dave turning into a cat, Oswidge, a hamster, an egg beater, Lula and a gym teacher.
    • Resolved when he is made to bite his own tongue, turning Dave into a Weredave, and everyone he bites into a weredave.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Music Producer.
    Candy: He does look vaguely familiar.
  • Paper Tiger: Dave. As the Theme Song states, he's "huge but a wimp."
  • Parental Abandonment: King Throktar and Queen Glimia, as noted in the summary.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Played straight with Candy, but averted with Dave in Civilization when Dave asks if Fang realises he's not a girl—while wearing blue.
  • Poke the Poodle: Dave's attempts to be just a little evil in one episode (an attempt to make his relationship with Princess Irmoplotz work) really, really emphasize little. As in taking two free nut log samples instead of just one then feeling so guilty he bought ten crates.
  • Previously On: Parodied in one episode that opens with a montage of Dave screaming and enduring misfortune.
  • Princesses Rule: Princess Candy is ruling Udrogoth until her parents come back from destroying all the evil in the world.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Evil Princess Irmaplotz to Dave.
  • Purely Aesthetic Era
  • Pygmalion Plot: Non-romantic version, in the episode where the family tried to make Fang act more ladylike.
    Dave: (completely sincere) Because what could be more wholesome than the entire family working together as one ... to crush Fang's spirit and force her to stifle her true self?
  • Rage Against the Author: Chuckles capturing the narrator.
  • Right Out of My Clothes:
    • In "Beauty and the Zit", Dave encounters the monster zit for the first time. Dave asks for the monster's hat before being roared at and landing in a large pile of hats. The clothes and Lula the sword float for a few seconds before falling to the ground.
    • In another episode, "The Cow Goes Moon", Princess Irmaplotz disappears for the second time, leaving behind only her dress. She takes it back.
  • Rip Van Tinkle: When Dave plays the gargle pipes loudly enough to wake the God of Evil Washmir, Washmir temporarily pauses in the middle of his declaration of destruction to say he needs to use the restroom because he's been holding it in for thousands of years.
  • Sapient Steed: Twinkle the Marvel Horse.
  • Shout-Out: Fang seems to be a feral version of Pebbles.
  • Somebody Else's Problem:
    Candy: Happy? They're going to destroy half a continent!
  • Someday This Will Come in Handy: The Trope Namer.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Deliberately.
  • SpaceX: Mocked mercilessly for two solid minutes in "A Pig's Story".
    The space lord pursues our heroically fleeing space heroes, and thus begins a pitched space battle, in space! Just look at that exciting space action!
    But just as it seems noone can hit the side of a space barn, the space lord scores a direct space hit on our space heroes' space generator!
    Space Captain Dave: Can our space engines power the space lasers?
    And with a tremendous space burst of space energy, the spaceship is space destroyed! Space!
  • Spikes of Villainy: Subverted and spoofed.
  • Splitting the Arrow: One episode has Dave's girlfriend for the episode doing this during their Falling in Love Montage, at which point they're doing underwater archery.
  • Spring Cleaning Fever: An episode is devoted to Dave's obsessive spring cleaning of the castle.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: The poetry of PedXing has this effect on everyone but Dave and Princess Irmaplotz.
  • Superhero Origin: Spoofed in the creation of the Time Zipper, with everything from a strike from the Nordic Gods to a radioactive grasshopper bit in about 10 seconds.
    Ned Frischman: Wow, that hardly ever happens!
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Lula.
  • Talking Animal: Twinkle the Marvel Horse; in one throwaway gag, Faffy is seen talking articulately to other dragons when he thinks no human is listening.
  • Team Pet: Spoofed with Faffy.
  • There Are No Therapists: Inverted in "Shrink Rap." Dave becomes a therapist to help people, but all he does is ask "How does that make you feel?" and generally irritates everyone.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Fang and Candy.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Dave.
  • The Unintelligible: Faffy.
  • The Un Reveal: In one episode Dave quickly makes an improvised megaphone, using only a squirrel, some twine, and a megaphone. The Stinger features Dave looking at the camera and saying "Some of you may be wondering why I tied a squirrel to a megaphone. Well... Goodnight".
  • Villain Team-Up: In "Red Sweater Of Courage," Chuckles, Malsquando and Quosmir team-up after Dave harasses each of them without provocation.
  • What the Heck Is an Aglet?: Dave and his friends and family are being held against the wall by magic. "Dave, do something!" "I am... I'm trying to remember what the thing on the end of a shoelace is called, an argle?" When they are let go, but still against the wall, he suddenly remembers something. "That the thing on the end of a shoelace is called an aglet?" "No, that gravity makes things fall."
  • Woman Scorned: Referenced.
  • You Are A Tree, Charlie Brown: Dave ends up casting almost everyone as a tree in the Udrogoth pageant because he's futilely trying to cast everyone in the Udrogoth pageant.
  • You Didn't Ask: Used to an extent. After a battle with invisible warriors. (which to fight the heroes had to become invisible), Uncle Oswidge makes everyone visible, including the enemy, causing Dave to say:
    Dave: If you can make them visible, why didn't you do that before?!
    Oswidge: Pick, pick, pick. Get off my back.
  • Your Head A Splode: Queen Zonthara's advice to her daughter.
    Zonthara:' If [Dave] loves you, he'll love you for who you are, honey...And if he doesn't, you can always use your powers to make his head explode!
  • You Mean Xmas: Harvest Day, complete with its own version of Santa Claus, the Harvest Hog. Possibly a Shout-Out to Terry Pratchett's Discworld, where our Christmas morphs into Hogswatch.

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alternative title(s): Dave The Barbarian
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