The Mafia: Dan's plan to get revenge on Elise's parents involves convincing the police that her father is part of it, which leads to real Mafiosi trying to kill him. It's a lie, of course, but it turns out Elise's mother is secretly working for a rival Family.
Male Gaze: In "Technology", once Elise is put under mind control and gets into that chrome skin-tight suit, the camera doesn't hesitate to get as many shots of her from the rear as possible.
The androids. They may look human, but they're hard as a rock and surprisingly brittle.
Mind-Control Device: Barry Ditmer's plan in "Technology" is to create a long-range wireless mind control device to force people to buy his products. He also has a smaller short-range headband device that he uses to turn Elise into his minion.
Mugging the Monster: Every episode begins with someone messing with Dan's life, thinking that he's just some crazy, misanthropic jerk. Dan quickly shows them that he's a determined, obsessive, occasionally intelligent, crazy, misanthropic jerk.
Nonstandard Character Design: In his first appearance, Imposter Dan looked like a really badly drawn Dan, making him really stand out. For his later appearance, minor tweaks were made to his design so he didn't look so out of place.
Noodle Implements: Dan's plan for destroying Chris "involves two Bengal tigers, an albino child, and five... no, six gallons of hummus." He hasn't worked out the details yet.
Noodle Incident: Dan's grandmother died at some point (offscreen). Since then, Dan has expressed his dislike of her and made mention of some unspecified unpleasantness which he does not regret.
In "Anger Management", a family of squirrels did something to Dan so horrible that it warranted Dan breaking into NORAD and attempting to launch the entirety of America's nuclear arsenal at the U.S./Canadian border, which would have led to World War III, and potentially, the entire extinction of the human race, all in pursuit of revenge (luckily, Elise was able to stop him).
Averted. Dan even refuses to let Chris drive away from an imminent explosion until he puts on his belt.
Played straight in "Technology" when they get in a wreck and Dan is thrown through the windshield resulting in a Non Sequitur, *Thud*.
Dan: Rainbows are nature's rainbows.
No Theme Tune: The openings tend to have something terrible happen to Dan, and then Dan screaming skyward about the episode's subject. There actually is an ending theme, but it's not heard on TV since, like nearly all networks, the Hub ran promos over the end credits. (This practice stopped after the transition to Discovery Family.)
Not Good with People: Dan is... a mild example of this. Not to say that he only somewhat hates humans, of course, but he appears to have a soft spot for cute fuzzy animals, such as Mr. Mumbles and the monkey in "Common Cold".
Dan and Elise on occasion, since Elise also has a pretty vindictive side.
In "The Dinosaur", Dan bonds with the Tyrannosaurus rex when he sees her enjoying television, eating burgers and yelling angrily at people. Just like Dan. He can't bring himself to kill her after that and settles for sending her his car repair bill. She responds with a Skyward Scream. Just like Dan.
Imposter Dan may be nicer than the real Dan but "The Telemarketer" reveals that he's just as vengeful as Dan is.
Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Well, Not So Imaginary Enemy, but Chris and Elise are pretty sure Dan has lost his mind in "Dan".
Obfuscating Stupidity: The governor and his work release employee in "Stupidity". The governor is a British villain pretending to be an uneducated hick in order to bring down the education system in America while the employee is a government agent working undercover to stop him.
Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement: In "The Salvation Armed Forces", Dan tells his friend Chris that the bell ringer knows twelve ways to kill a man with a bell. Chris thinks about it, but can only come up with one.
Only One Name: Dan, although given that Chris' last name is Pearson, and named after one of the show's writers, it's quite probable that Dan's last name is Mandel, after his own namesake, although Dan's driver's license in "Dan" only shows his given name.
Only Sane Man: So far, Chris is the most normal of the cast aside from the fact that he's apparently a werebear or something. Dan really should rethink his habit of sticking his fingers in Chris's mouth.
Origins Episode: The third season finale, "Summer Camp", where Dan recounts to Elise how he and Chris met and how he embarked on his first revenge mission ever against the corrupt camp director, Mr. Tedesco.
Our Werewolves Are Different: The Wolfman in the eponymous episode doesn't seem to know about being a werewolf, as evidenced by wondering aloud who shot him in the butt with a silver arrow. The Wolfman itself is a general troublemaker, but isn't seen doing anything worse than damaging cars.
Overly Narrow Superlative: Dressing Chris while he's lying unconscious in a hospital bed is "the third most uncomfortable thing I've had to do all week."
Pac Man Fever: Chris is shown playing a video game by holding an Xbox controller upside-down. The quickness with which Dan beats the ... level? Stage? ... when he takes over (also holding the controller upside-down) might also count, depending on what kind of game it's supposed to be.
Palette Swap: Often done as a cheap way to make background characters. For instance, the guy who gets hit by the bus in "New Mexico" is clearly seen with new hair and shirt colors in "Baseball" as one of the members of the seating feud.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Used by Dan and Chris on several occasions, but probably most hilariously in "Elise's Parents", when a very-obviously male undercover cop poses as Dan's girlfriend and Elise's parents don't seem to notice.
Police Are Useless: In "Burgerphile", when Jeff tries to have Dan arrested, the cops try asking Dan nicely to unchain himself from the cash register, and when he refuses, they immediately give up and leave.
Justified, as this takes place in America, and Dan was exercising his 1st Amendment right of a non-violent protest. He wasn't doing anything illegal, so they couldn't arrest him.
Neatly subverted in "The Wolfman"—Dan and Chris are chasing after a child, and pass right by a Donut Eating Cop. He ignores it but then does a Double Take, proclaiming "Oh, right, I'm a cop." Smash Cut to Chris and Dan in a jail cell.
"I didn't ask you to build an animal jail across the street. Shut your prisoners up, warden!"
Protagonist-Centered Morality: Played with and Inverted. While the scripts are occasionally favorable to him, it's made very clear that Dan is nearly always in the wrong... and is sometimes blamed for doing things that aren't his fault. Dan is berated by Elise for sending an innocent man to prison for his crimes... when that "innocent man" stole Dan's identity. In "Family Cruise," Elise Sr. notes how it's Dan's fault the ship is sinking... when she and Elise broke the navigation system.
Reality Ensues: In "Parents", Dan tries to win custody of Dennis through a contest with the couple who already legally adopted him, only for the head of the adoption agency to tell him that's not how it works.
Dan taking out his revenge list and adding something new to it in the middle of revenge missions.
Dan knocking a glass off Chris and Elise's table and breaking it whenever Chris contradicts him.
Dan unsuccesfully working on inventing a jet pack.
Chris eating things laced with poisons, toxins, intoxicants, etc.
Dan leaving messages for Chris which always contain a rebuttal to something Dan succesfully predicted Elise would say.
The subject of the episode somehow damaging or messing with Dan's car. Especially if it's a location, abstract concept, long-dead historical figure or something else that shouldn't be physically capable of it.
Serious Business: Chris takes cocoa preparation very seriously, and he does not appreciate being woken up at three in the morning to make it only to have it wasted. He actually manages to intimidate Dan into sitting down and drinking it.
Dan explains his thing about arson by simply claiming that fire is "The Cleanser", in reference to a particularly funny chalkboard gag from The Simpsons.
In "The Beach", while looking for the free toy in his cereal, Dan asks "What's in the box! What's in the bo-ox!". Also, the theme and the attacking of Dan's boat when they release the aquarium shark into the ocean is pretty much a homage to Jaws.
A similar version of Quincy Jones' Ironside (1967) plays during Elise's fight with the android in "Technology".
In "Burgerphile", Jeff is so focused on having a perfect customer satisfaction record that he'll completely piss off a customer in order to claim that his record is still spotless. Jeremiah Burger calls him out on this at the end of the episode.
The vegans and vegetarians in "Vegetables". It's not stated whether they're on that diet for health or moral reasons, but either way they completely missed the point. The ones in it for health reasons never considered that starving themselves was far worse for their health than eating a steak. And the ones in it for moral reasons had no qualms about eating a broccoli monster, even though it was an intelligent, speaking creature.
Skyward Scream: Dan does one just before each episode title is shown. Occasionally, his enemies will do the same after Dan's retribution.
Almost does it a second time in "Gigundo-Mart", but realizes halfway through that he already did that.
Smarter Than You Look: Dan is well versed in Shakespeare's works, even naming his teddy bear Brutus. In "George Washington", Chris points out that Dan's knowledge can be very intricate, but random. He asks who carved Mount Rushmore, and Dan nonchalantly gave the correct name 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 threw out a random guess, Ecuador.
Soul-Crushing Desk Job: In "Dan vs. The Boss", Dan and Chris get hired to work in cubicles at some vaguely-defined office. Dan avoids his work as much as possible by hiding in the bathroom for hours every dayand somehow the boss decides to promote him to management. Then it turns out the said boss is literally a demon.
Sticky Situation: Dan gets covered in maple syrup in "Canada", and with lemonade in "The Lemonade Stand Gang".
Elise: Oh, that Dan. Always covered in something.
Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Elise's Parents", when Dan presents a very poorly edited recording of a conversation with Don as evidence that he's a mob boss, he tries to pass off the phrase "cupcake him" as slang for murder. Later, an actual mob boss uses the same phrase.
Stupid Sexy Flanders: Elise's ex, Colby, from "The Family Camping Trip", elicits this reaction in Dan, if Dan's comments are anything to go by.
Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Dan gives one at the end of "Ye Olde Shakespeare Dinner Theatre" with an impromptu victory poem, having spoken most of his dialogue in this episode in iambic pentameter.
It lies in ruin, plain for all to see! ... That should teach you not to mess with - DAN!
Super Drowning Skills: Conscious Dan in "The Beach" after the ridiculous collapse of a boat with him and Chris far enough from shore.
"The Monster Under the Bed" has Chris tell Dan that he should be lucky he's not being visited by Uggragoth of the DeviantArt.
And if that does not convince you of this trope, then Dan's disturbed reaction to the images surely will.
In "The Magician", the antagonist was modeled after Criss Angel.
In "Stupidity", one of the leading causes of Dan's crusade against the subject matter is a parody of Transformers, complete with the tagline "give up on story, more explosions."
Another, smaller, instance in "Stupidity": "TV shows just quote older TV shows," a possible Take That! to Family Guy.
In "Reality TV", Dan dates a woman who he mentions is "the only female wrestling fan he knows that's graduated high school."
A few are directed towards places in southern California.
Chris: City of Industry? What's in City of Industry? Dan: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Tan Lines: Dan is pretty sallow already, but under his shirt and pants, he's extremely pale.
The Tape Knew You Would Say That: In "The Fancy Restaurant", Dan writes a message on the cheesecake Chris and Elise ordered for dessert, telling Chris to meet him in the men's room. Elise comments, "This is weird," and the waiter immediately appears with another cheesecake reading, "It's not weird. Don't listen to Elise."
Tempting Fate: What would you expect from a cruise ship called the SS Funtanic?
Theatre Phantom: Dan takes on a locally owned theatre by becoming a phantom to ruin it. He dons a mask with a Gag Nose so the crew won't recognize him.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Dan got angry at a squirrel for an unspecified reason and was unable to find afterwards, so he decides to hijack some nuclear missiles and destroy all life on Earth to make sure that he kills the right squirrel. Elise stops him from going through with it though.
There Was a Door: After infiltrating the Salvation Armed Forces store to get the file on his accidentally-donated car, Dan breaks the window to get back out, only to remember he'd left the file inside and casually go back in and out through the unlocked door. Revealing not only the broken window but the infiltration plan itself (he had hidden in a chair Chris donated) as pointless.
They Killed Kenny Again: In several episodes, Dan's car is destroyed, vandalized, etc and it re-appears to its original semi-destroyed and vandalized state by the next episode. However, unlike the other examples of this trope, the damage to the car oftentimes jump starts the plot for that episode.
Eventually justified in-universe: Dan's mechanic repairs the car for next to nothing, simply because he enjoys the challenge.
Too Dumb to Live: In "Stupidity", the antagonist's goal is to lower educational and entertainment standards so that all Americans are too dumb to live. Chris and Dan's near terminal stupidity at the end of the episode (Chris managed to set himself on fire and Dan tried to remove fire ants by beating himself with a two-by-four) convinces him that his job is done and he moves the operation to China.
Even though Chris saved everyone from a serial killer and proved himself a man, Elise's father STILL hates him and swears to get back at him. He's probably angry that Chris one-upped Colby, who's more of a son too, but Colby was ready to let everyone but Elise die.
Unreliable Illustrator: In Elise's flashback in "New Mexico" her parents look no younger than they do in the present.
Unstoppable Rage: Impressively, Dan, in a state of berserker rage, hits a pane of bulletproof glass with his head hard enough to crack it in "The Bank".
Unwilling Suspension: Dan does this to a costumed kid in "The Wolfman" and to the commissioner of baseball in "Baseball".
Villain Protagonist: Dan varies, depending on how badly he's actually been wronged, but this trope peaks with "Hero", where Dan tries to get back at Terrifi-Guy by trying to upstage him as a new Superhero... for about five minutes. He then quickly switches gears to become the supervillain, "Dr. Jerkface".
Weirdness Magnet: Dan. In at least three episodes random beings (including a dinosaur of all things) mess with his car for no reason whatsoever, prompting him to hunt them down, and in another episode, he has to deal with a giant tentacled monster hiding under his bed (this one was actually averted since it was only Chris pulling a prank).
Subverted in "Dan". When Dan seems to have given up on busting the fake Dan and takes the pleasant personality of Biff Wellington, Chris is excited and wants it to stay that way. Elise is skeptical, and it seems as if she's going to play the trope straight, but all she really does is remark that "she knew he hadn't changed" when the cops take the Fake Dan away.
Played straight in "Anger Management". Chris is so unnerved at Dan's new pleasant attitude he actually gets angry for once and effectively swaps roles with him.
Then played straight in "Anger Management". Chris is horrified that Dan (having taken the lessons in Anger Management to heart and found inner peace) won't get payback against Amber for extorting him. When Dan invites him over for herbal tea, Chris says that he doesn't even know who Dan is anymore. Of course, when Dan does go back to normal at the end of the episode, Chris seems more resigned than happy.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Specifically, at the end of "Dancing", what happened to Mr. Mumbles? Mr. Mumbles was left alone at Dan's place long enough that, by Chris' account, she was emaciated and not moving. Before a week-long Time Skip. Chris asks what happened to her at the end of the episode, but Dan only turns on TV to show the dance hall getting blown. And she's not seen until two episodes later.
Made explicitly clear what happened to Mr. Mumbles by Chris' remark of "I thought we got rid of all the explosives," and Dan turning on the TV right after Chris asked what happened to Mr. Mumbles. In case you didn't figure it out, Mr. Mumbles went and put them back, continuing the trend of Dan's personality rubbing off on her. And considering Mr. Mumbles is seen again alive and well...
"Elise's Parents" ends up establishing that Elise Sr. is actually a Crime Lord. Even though there are other times it would have been relevant, this doesn't come up again until the penultimate episode of the third season, "The Family Cruise".
What Is This Feeling?: Whenever someone shows Dan kindness, he is often left dumbfounded and not sure how to react.
What the Hell, Hero?: In "Dancing", Chris expresses shock that Elise stuffed Dan in a box and mailed him to a ghost town populated by fight-dancing madmen to keep Dan from endangering her chances of winning a dance contest. Doesn't really go anywhere since Elise pacifies him with a shoulder rub.
What Would X Do?: Dan asks himself "What would Mr. Mumbles do?" when trapped on a roof. He then displays cat-like agility by scaling a drainage pipe, landing on the stairway railing, then jumping the remaining distance to the sidewalk. He is amazed it actually worked.
Elise is a super-spy with deadly combat training and expertise in all sorts of powerful sci-fi technology. She's not as quick to anger as Dan is, but she can hold as well as he can — and her plans usually work. Messing with her doofy, oblivious, average-looking husband is not a good idea.