A children's novel written by Timothy Foote, the book was also adapted by Hanna-Barbera into an episode for CBS Storybreak.
- Animated Adaptation: Was made into a thirty minute episode for CBS Storytime.
- Arc Symbol: Arc Gesture? Much is made of the fact that humans and raccoons share having opposable thumbs. Thus it is that the "thumbs up" hand gesture is given any time any member of the heist team begins to doubt their ability to carry out the plan. A reminder of how capable they are as a species.
- Avengers, Assemble!: Most of the heist team is hand picked by The Oldest Raccoon, with small blurbs given to a few members such as Big Ben and Fat Franky's status within the community.
- Badass Crew: Each member of the Daring Dozen is the leading expert in a particular skill: Big Ben is the strongest raccoon on the island, Sailor Bill knows how to read street maps, while Greasy Gene lives above a garage and is familiar with mechanical devices. Get them together and they work like a single unit.
- The Caper: Central to the plot is the raccoons' plan to hijack the garbage truck and use it to steal Gull Island's usable supply of trash.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Some of the raccoons get tipsy when celebrating the successful heist. The narrative can't help but wag a gentle finger for the benefit of its young readers to remind them that drinking a little is okay, but getting completely ripped is embarrassing and disgraceful.
- Civilized Animal: More pronounced in the Animated Adaptation which have the principle characters some clothing. In the original, no real mention is made of the raccoons adopting human habits or inventions, but much is made of them having favorite bits of trash they like to eat. This is actually part of what makes going back to foraging so distasteful.
- Cool Loser: Joshua is much smaller than other kits his age and gets left out of their games. The skills he learns while amusing himself alone prove invaluable to the Caper.
- Dinky Drivers: The plan involves a crack team of raccoons stealing the local garbage truck so they can get first dibs on the trash.
- The Famine: When first cut off from the dump, this is the initial fear of the community. Subverted in that the raccoons still all possess the necessary skills needed to forage and live off the land, so none will starve, but as human trash is much more abundant and what they're used to, this is seen as a distasteful choice. Especially since it implies the raccoons aren't smart enough to access the better choice.
- Food Porn: The description of the generous leavings the raccoons enjoy. Granted, it does lose a little appeal when you remember it's garbage, but the raccoons describe it in terms of a feast.
- Green Aesop: A rather sneaky one amid the hijinks when the Oldest Raccoon mentions that humans have become more environmentally aware and are looking for new ways to dispose of their trash, including turning it into fuel, meaning that the raccoons might still have to fend for themselves in the future.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Subverted. While Nip and Tuck's actions as the new garbage men lead unknowingly to the crisis the raccoons are suffering, the ringtails themselves actually understand the humans' actions and don't really see them as malicious, just annoying.
- Picky Eater: Having been raised on human food, the kits of the island refuse to switch to natural fare.
- Shorter Means Smarter: Joshua is the smallest kit in the community, and most of his peers write him off as useless. He becomes integral to the raccoons' plans because he is the only one who figures out how to make a key work.
- Sliding Scale of Animal Cast: Type 3. The raccoons take center stage for most of the book, with the humans mostly just going about their business. Justified because the raccoons are trying to operate without the humans knowing what's going on.
- Title Drop: The Great Ringtail Garbage Caper is literally the name the raccoons give their plan.
- Xenofiction: While we occasionally get to see the plot from the point of view of the garbage men, the bulk of the book is seen through the eyes of wild raccoons, albeit ones who have become acclimated to living near humans.