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    Dan Mandel 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dan_and_his_messy_hair_8051.PNG
Voiced by: Curtis Armstrong

The main protagonist of the series. Maltempered, Dan usually swears revenge against anything that bothers him one too many times. He lives in a small and dirty apartment and takes mediocre care of himself. Having few likes and even fewer people he likes, Dan is getting revenge one annoyance at a time.


  • Abusive Parents: Implied heavily in the high school episode, though also in other episodes. His grandmother may have also been one.
  • Accidental Murder: In "The Barber" he accidentally killed Mike due to pushing a barber making him drop his scissors on a bottle of hair spray.
  • Ambiguously Bi: ...or maybe just plain confused; one episode had him actually bring up "cooties" unironically, and this was after an entire episode where he had a girlfriend.
    • He also calls Colby 'dreamy' and 'dreamboat' in "Family Camping Trip". And claims he lost his fight with him because he got lost in his captivating eyes.
  • Angry Fist-Shake: Whenever doing his Skyward Scream
  • Anti-Hero: Nominal Hero if not Villain Protagonist.
  • Anti-Villain: As of the season three opener, he is Type 1 with shades of Type 3 for trying to destroy the world to kill a family of squirrels.
  • Anti-Role Model: A little, angry, antisocial shut-in whose Only Friend barely tolerates him. He even wears a Fun T-Shirt that reminds the viewers about what kind of person he is, like if it were a label. He was also designed after the worst qualities of one of the show's creators, being a strange example of an anti-Author Avatar.
  • Author Avatar: An interesting case where the writer's worst qualities are manifest in him.
  • Ax-Crazy: Downplayed. Even though, Dan is possibly mentally unstable to the point of pure aggression, but has no intention of committing murder.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Even though Dan typically treats Chris poorly, he has been shown to care about him and has helped him out a few times, if seemingly grudgingly. This was best shown in episode "The Boss". In that episode, Dan finds a successful career as a temp, calling the company's debtors and late-fee holders and persuading them to pay their debts. Dan is forced to fire Chris, and when he learns his boss was really a demon, he had no problem with this; he's even happy to be going into big time evil. However, when his boss wants him to kill Chris, he turns on her to protect him without any second thoughts, showing that Dan truly does care for Chris in the end.
  • Badbutt: Although it doesn't stop him from hitting Refuge in Audacity, it's pretty obvious that Dan would be a lot more vulgar and obscene a character if only he wasn't the star of a PG rated show on a children's network. Many fanworks will portray him as Sir Swears-a-Lot; despite being clean enough to pass the censors on a kids' network, one of his letters has been described as riddled with profanities, and he does use the word 'suck'.
  • Berserk Button: Don't get us started.
    • His car getting harmed in any way is what usually causes him to snap.
    • In one of the funniest cases of Irony ever, calling him angry makes him angry.
    Dan: Who's angry!? How dare you! I'll strangle you!
    • Also, if you betray him, he will make you suffer.
  • Big Bad: He is the main conflict maker of his show. Downplayed, though since most of those who oppose him aren't much better. Unusual, considering that Dan's the main character.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Dan's the little guy, Chris is the big guy.
  • The Blacksmith: Dan secretly had the ability to expertly craft arrowheads out of silver.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Dan's moral code functions in bizarre manner that is about as random as his overall intellect. This shows up in how and why he seeks revenge against others.
    • He will not take action unless he has been wronged in some manner. His Hair-Trigger Temper means the actual slight can be incredibly small but he needs an actual provocation to take action.
    • His pursuit of revenge can go to utterly insane lengths but the actual revenge will not exceed what Dan feels is equal to the inciting incident.
    • Some cases have it that it's not the action in itself sets him off but the sentiment behind the action. His feud with the Burgerphile manager is a good example of this one.
    • His revenge schemes aren't just about getting even but about legitimately doing something about a problem that is bothering him.
    • It does seem he keeps to Never Hurt an Innocent in his plots as anyone he deems a bystander will be left alone or maybe even helped if Dan feels the urge.
  • Book Dumb: Neither Chris nor Elise are entirely sure if he's an idiot or a mastermind. Chris describes him as having an intricate, but random collection of knowledge. Dan knows who crafted Mt. Rushmore and that the person's son was the one to complete it, but guessed Ecuador regarding where it is.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He proves himself to be a tremendously clever and competent person time and time again, but only ever chooses to use his talents for the sake of petty revenge. Thanks to that, he's a bitter, prospectless loser.
  • Broken Ace: Shows astonishing aptitude for a wide variety of things, and pulls off extremely intricate and high stakes schemes Once an Episode, but seems to only be able to utilize his talents for the sake of getting revenge on stuff that annoys him, and is otherwise completely incapable of doing anything productive with himself.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: The Bully to Chris' Wimp.
  • Butt-Monkey: Not to Chris's extent, but his haplessness is what starts his crazy adventures.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Cosmic Plaything: Zig-zags. Usually, fate would be cruel to him just to move the plot forward.
  • Crazy-Prepared: An odd presentation. Dan has evacuation plans and various keys (some obtained via questionable means) stashed in various places. In spite of this, his revenge plans are often ill-formed, to the point that he forgot the drill he needed to drill into a bank's vault.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: When sufficiently motivated, Dan can do just about anything. Otherwise, he's a hopeless weirdo.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The reason why he can't stay mad at Mr. Mumbles. In "Technology", Dan refuses to buy a computer. One of workers shows that all he needed was a couple adorably odd cat videos to get him to buy one which he uses solely to watch cat videos...until it stops working and becomes obsolete, that is.
  • Dance Battler: Not by choice, though.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Hinted at.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dan certainly knows how to comment on the idiocy of others.
  • Depending on the Writer: How sympathetic he's portrayed depends on the episode and what he usually does. There are moments where the audience do want to see him prevail against whoever he felt wronged him. On the other hand, there are also moments in which it's nice to see him get a little comeuppance once in a while when he really crosses it (such as in "Monster"). He also seems to shift between being the Jerkass Woobie and Villain Protagonist depending on the episode.
  • Determinator: It doesn't matter if his friends get in his way. It doesn't matter if you have an entire army of guards. It doesn't matter if karma points a laser gun at him. Betray him & he will see to it that you suffer.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Being a Manchild, Dan really hates vegetables, especially broccoli.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Black hair? Check. Pale skin (as a possible sign he doesnt take care of himself?) Check. Definitely rather nuts? Big check.
  • Enemies List: Anything he can't immediately pursue vengeance on goes on the list. It's a big list.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: The episode "Dan vs. Stupidity" is dedicated to this.
  • Escape Artist: Dan is shockingly good at getting out of tight situations. He got out of being chained to the wall with nothing but a double-jointed left thumb and a lot of pulling, got out of leg shackles by biting it, somehow got out of a Siberian slave labor sweatshop, somehow got out of a straightjacket and face muzzle off-screen, and once chewed his way out of being duct-taped to his chair from leg to shoulder and later out of a locker! About the only place that might be able to contain him for any lengthy amount of time is prison or threat thereof.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mr. Mumbles is the only creature he treats with any kindness. Also despite treating Chris like absolute shit, Dan does consider him a friend.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Dan never resorts to homicide in his plans and is disgusted with Chris whenever he suggests it as a logical extension to Dan's current scheme.
    • Its a bit zigzagged on the murder part, as even as early as the pilot, Dan occasionally does plan to kill someone. He's just disturbed when Chris suggests it.
    • Dan's also rather shocked when Chris admits that he'd kill for bacon.
    • And refuses to collaborate with Elise's parents in getting back at Chris, because he doesn't trust "people who'd bump off their own son-in-law." That's not what their plan entailed; they've just indicated that they'd be willing to.
    • He also admits he finds himself frightening at times in 'The Boss'.
    Dan: Some of the things I say are disturbing, even to me! Especially to me.
    • He also turns on his boss immediately when she demands that they kill Chris to cover up the fact that she's a demon despite the fact that Dan had been making good money, enjoyed working with her, and was excited about his long-term future if he continued to do so. Earlier in the episode, he was willing to fire Chris for these same reasons, but he drew a line without any second thoughts when he heard what the boss was asking for.
    • While infiltrating the new fancy restaurant in revenge for replacing his beloved sandwich shop, Dan is horrified to discovered the chefs keep live rabbits and lobsters before it's time to cook them. He promptly frees them both.
    • In "The Dinosaur", Dan ultimately refuses to kill the titular creature, since he relates to its sloth, gluttony and misanthropy.
    • Finally, it must be pointed out that as absolutely mental as he is, Dan makes an effort (for him, anyway) of never firing the first shot. He never flies into a rage against anyone he perceives to be innocent, as shown when he was nice to Hortense despite being at war with her employer, and he never attacks unless he is (or at least perceives himself to be) provoked.
  • Evil Laugh: Every now and then.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Many of Dan's adversaries are generally unpleasant enough to where the audience can at least mildly understand his motives.
  • Evil Virtues: Dan's defining virtue is Determination. Once he sets out to get revenge on someone or something, nothing can stop him. Also, more subtly, Honor. While most wrongs could easily be repaid, to him, it's a matter of being wronged in the first place. An excellent example is when the manager of his favorite burger joint refused to admit he got Dan's order wrong and refund him or correct it. While Elise and Hortense, the counter girl who Dan is sweet with, both are willing to buy him another burger, that's not the issue to Dan. To him, it's that the guy didn't admit he's wrong and do anything about it, ergo he provided bad customer service.
  • Expy: Chris Pearson once referred to Dan as "Calvin as a grownup, if his life had gone horribly wrong."
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • It's hinted that he became the revenge-obsessed Jerkass he is because his parents didn't treat him very well. In "Anger Management", it's heavily implied; he goes through anger management class and gets the task to click on a button when he sees something on the slideshow screen that ticks him off. Pretty much everything does, but he goes absolutely berserk when a flowery screen with the word "Mother" on it comes up.
    • There are hints that he was raised by his grandmother and several instances show the two did not get along.
    • The Series Fauxnale shows that a large of his drive for revenge stems from the need to stick up for himself, a brutal lesson he learns from the summer camp he and Chris attended (and where they first met and became friends), run by a Social Darwinist Jerkass.
  • Fun T-Shirt: What the front of his shirt says describes his attitude perfectly.
  • Genius Ditz: He can be rather smart at times, despite his impulsiveness.
  • Going Commando: In "Dan vs. the Bank" it's revealed that Dan does this on occasion. Interestingly, Chris was aware of that.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Downplayed. He can come across as being a vindictive jerk, but he truly is a good person when he's not actively trying to cross the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Grammar Nazi: At times, especially if the works of William Shakespeare are involved.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The entire basis of the show. Even aside from the episodic revenge quests, minor problems and issues often send Dan into a raging rant.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Which is why it's amazing how Chris managed to befriend him for so long.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: As far as hero goes.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Chris. They met back in summer camp and became "friends for life."
  • Hidden Depths: Has a surprising knowledge of Shakespeare and a somewhat eclectic collection of other topics.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Dan is implied to have had one hell of a childhood. No surprise there, given what he's like, and it's all Played for Laughs. Whatever happened was bad enough to send a psychiatrist running and screaming.
    Psychiatrist: Stooooooooop! STOP IT!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!! What is wrong in your brain?!
    Dan: Hey pal, if you didn't want to know about my childhood you shouldn't have asked.
  • Hot-Blooded: He is known for having a fiery temper.
  • Jerkass: It's written on his shirt.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Depending on which episode, sometimes Dan's wild accusations have some truth in them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sometimes he'll even help victims of villains, and he has genuine Pet the Dog moments with his kitten. Dan has a soft spot for animals too.
  • Kavorka Man: Despite his looks and appearance, he has occasionally charmed some women, Hortense being the main one (becoming his girlfriend.)
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Reason why viewers root for him is because most of Dan's victims are usually worse than him, though Dan himself can be the receiving end of this as well.
  • Knight Templar: He can be rather ruthless when planning out his revenge.
  • Large Ham: The start of every episode has him doing a Skyward Scream.
  • Laughably Evil: It's just too hard not to laugh at how he gets revenge on a state, art, technology, and even a dead president over the most comically petty reasons ever.
  • Lean and Mean: Emphasis on the "mean" part.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Betraying him is a really bad idea.
  • Manchild: He's a grown man and the star of a TV show targeted for children, so what he does is very parallel to what children do. He refuses to eat vegetables and hates working even to save his own ass from being evicted from his apartment. Dan many times makes Chris and Elise pay for his meals as if they're his parents.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Dan's usually successful in his goals, but most of his victories turn out to be pointless or make things worse than he intended.
  • The Napoleon: He's shorter then most characters in the show and doesn't like to be reminded of it.
  • Never My Fault: Cannot admit when his methods or actions inconvenience him or anyone else.
  • No Indoor Voice: His trademark Skyward Scream at the beginning of every episode is self-explanatory.
  • Older Than They Look: He can easily pass for a teenager, due to his small stature.
  • The Paranoiac: Dan is very paranoid, though sometimes he turns out to be right.
  • Poisonous Friend: To Chris.
  • Properly Paranoid: When he speculates about something when being seemingly paranoid and suspicions built out of rage, he's sometimes right that the people he seeks revenge on are evil. Special mention goes to the dentist and the Burgerphile boss.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He often wavers between this trope and the above Manchild trope due to his behavior.
  • Pyro Maniac: His first answer to almost any problem is to burn it.
  • Revenge Before Reason: His bread and butter.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The manly man to Chris' sensitive guy.
  • Skyward Scream: How he opens each and every episode. He currently provides the image page.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Dan is well versed in Shakespeare's works, even naming his teddy bear Brutus. In "Dan vs. George Washington", Chris points out that Dan has a very intricate but utterly random collection of knowledge. For example when asked who carved Mount Rushmore, he gave the correct name immediately without even thinking about it, as well as the fact that his son had to complete it. However, when asked which U.S. state Mount Rushmore was in, Dan guessed Ecuador.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Casually peppers his rabid language with Latin.
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    Chris Pearson 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chris_and_his_solen_expression_8689.PNG
Voiced by: Dave Foley

Dan's dimwitted and gluttonous best friend, Chris tries to live out a normal life while also operating as the reluctant and unwilling sidekick to Dan's schemes. Dan's only real friend since childhood, Chris assists Dan with whatever scheme he has, whether he wants to or not.


    Elise Pearson 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/elise_and_her_eliseness_4318.PNG
Voiced by: Paget Brewster

Chris' wife and a friendly-ish acquaintance to Dan, she is unhappy with her husband's friendship with Dan, but knows he usually won't say no. She is as dangerous as she is attractive, being a quasi-government spy, something Chris is unaware about.


  • Action Girlfriend: Which is why Dan doesn't add her to his revenge list. He's too scared of her.
  • Badass Bookworm: She's smart and knows how to kick some ass.
  • Badass Normal: To add on to this, she's also one of the few level-headed characters on the show.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Do not hurt Chris in front of her, or else you'll be Bound and Gagged on a train to Guatemala.
    • Do not try to sell her or someone else things over the phone at her home. She will beat up telemarketers who call her home after they've been warned.
    • Calling her junior. Pretty much incites the least violent reaction from her while still pissing her off.
  • Brainy Brunette: While she's certainly smart, Elise also has some traits of Fiery Redhead mixed in.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Both her hair and eye color are purple.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Dan Vs. Technology: Where she's captured and brainwashed; she's rescued and has her mind restored by Dan
    • Dan Vs. The Magician: This time rescued by Dan's proxy, an amateur magician.
    • In Dan Vs. The Dinosaur; this time, her brother is the one who saves her.
    • Dan Vs. The Common Cold; Is captured and Bound and Gagged by a former supermodel turned supervillain. It's Chris who ends up saving her (and Dan) after he and Dan are captured, too.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Played for Laughs.
  • Deadpan Snarker: To a lesser extent when compared to Dan, but more than Chris.
  • Deep Cover Agent: She's the top operative for a shadow quasi-governmental agency specializing in arms deals, espionage, and assassinations undercover as a simple wife of a dopey man.
  • Depending on the Writer: How she feels about Dan can differ from episode to episode. Sometimes she gets along with him, sometimes she hates him.
  • Determinator: She refuses to give up winning the dance competition, no matter what gets in the way, be it Dan's revenge plot, having no alternative, or Chris' broken ankle.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Elise can be seen as this to Dan.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Elise and her mother share the same name, so her parents sometimes call her Junior.
  • Extreme Doormat: A downplayed variant, interestingly enough. Chris gets away with a surprising amount of stuff nobody else could under her watch (including her own family).
  • Flanderization: In the first season, despite their animosity, Dan still considered her as a friend, and she would often begrudgingly enjoy working with him on the rare occasions their intentions overlapped. By the second season, they both clearly hate each other, and it seems the only reason they ever willingly interact is because neither wants Chris to abandon them.
  • Gamer Chick: The episode "Mechanic" shows she is highly competitive when it comes to video games.
  • Genius Bruiser: A female example.
  • Happily Married: To Chris.
  • Hero of Another Story: She's a secret agent who is usually out on some mission while Dan is plotting revenge against his offenders.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: She has a slim waist and her boob-hip ratio is equal.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: She looks quite a bit like her voice actress, Paget Brewster. The only difference being the hairstyle and color.
  • Little Black Dress: In Dan Vs. The Restaurant and Dan Vs. The Magician.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Elise's dad despises Chris.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The masculine girl to Chris' feminine boy.
  • Mysterious Past: When asked about what her summer camp was like, Elise reminisces her Training from Hell, but doesn't really say this outright. Also just how she became a member for a quasi-government agency.
  • Ninja: She shows some definite ninjutsu skills and often has dressed like one when performing stealthy operations. Most notably, when she fought against her mother, who was a skilled hitwoman for the mafia with a robotic battlesuit (though neither were aware of who each other were at the time.)
  • Not So Above It All: Despite seeming being the Women Are Wiser of the show, she does seem to be a lot like Dan (just with better social skills and better socially adjusted). For example:
    • In parts of "Dan Vs. Elise's Parents", she's just as crazy, if not more so, than Dan.
    • In "Dan vs New Mexico", she helped Dan destroy New Mexico because, when she was a kid, road runners stole her candy, and a cactus popped her balloon. She even did a Skyward Scream.
    • She also copies Dan's "I'm awesome!" declaration in "Dan Vs. The Family Camping Trip".
    • In Dan Vs. The Magician, she has an odd phobia for all stage magicians (revealed to be from a childhood incident involving antagonist magician in his younger years doing a knife-throwing act.)
    • When Chris gets smacked in the face with a fencing foil, Elise all but spells out that she left the responsible party tied up on a cargo ship headed for Central America.
    • When the kids blow up the car (and hurting Dan and Chris) in Dan Vs. The Lemonade Stand Gang, her plan of vengeance was to ship the kids to a labor camp in North Korea so they'd never be found.
    • When Dan was determined to ruin her dream of winning a dance competition, she sent him to Penbroke, a lawless ghost-town populated by dance-fighting monsters.
    • When Dan snubs her by piloting the giant robot himself instead of letting her do it as they agreed on earlier in "The Mechanic", she enters the tournament with a hi-tech mech of her own to crush Dan.
  • Not So Different: She can be just as vengeful and underhanded as Dan in the Sociopathic Hero department, but due to possessing more resources and skills she can be even more radical and effective with her vengeance attempts.
    • In "Dan Vs. Jury Duty," they both take part in the opening scream after both get served a jury summons.

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