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Quacking Up

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"What the duck is going on here?!"

"Quack, quack, quack, Donald Duck
He's my little pal
Quack, quack, quack, Donald Duck
Daisy is his gal
Quack, quack, quack, Donald Duck
In his sailor suit
Quack, quack, quack, Donald Duck
Gee, I think he's cute"

Not unlike chickens, "duck" is often seen as an inherently funny word, and this is frequently applied to duck characters themselves. When not depicted as selfish and temperamental (or clumsy and dim), ducks are commonly shown as hilarious characters, sometimes because of the aforementioned negative qualities. It's also not uncommon for ducks to have some form of speech impediment a la Donald or Daffy. Ducks are often very loud, whether anthro or not.

Ducks can also garner humor through playing on the alternate meaning of Duck! (take cover!), or occasionally through serving as a Last-Second Word Swap for a certain obscenity.

Compare to Swans A-Swimming, for a more elegant and graceful waterfowl. Contrast Foul Waterfowl, for aggressive and dickish aquatic birds.


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  • Since 1999, the insurance company AFLAC has employed a white American Pekin duck mascot who has appeared in loads of commercials for the company. Voiced for many years by Gilbert Gottfried and later by Daniel McKeague, the bird was often seen quacking the company's name in frustration in hopes of attracting potential policy holders.

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 

    Films - Animation 
  • Alpha and Omega and some of its sequels feature the character Paddy, a British duck who serves as caddy for his French-Canadian golf-playing goose friend Marcel. Paddy is very much a Deadpan Snarker and The Jeeves all rolled up into one.
  • Toy Story 4 has Ducky, a stuffed duck who escaped a fair prize booth with his partner Bunny. As the two accompany Woody on his mission, Ducky makes frequent quips and has crazy imagine spots, much to Woody's annoyance.

    Films - Live-Action 

    Game Shows 
  • You Bet Your Life contained a pair of comical duck depictions of its host, Groucho Marx.
    • The show's opening cartoon title sequence showed Groucho as a duck, complete with glasses, cigar, bow tie, and bushy eyebrows.
    • If a contestant said the "secret word" of the day, a toy duck that looked like Groucho would drop from the ceiling bearing the $100 prize, to be split between the two contestants. Doubles as a Call-Back to "Why a duck?", a routine Groucho did with Chico in The Cocoanuts.

  • A very old joke, which could be either the Trope Codifier or Trope Namer: What happens when ducks fly upside down? They quack up!

  • Daniel Pinkwater's book Lizard Music parodies You Bet Your Life, presenting a game show on the lizard television station called "You Bet Your Duck." The host and contestants (who are lizards) wear duck masks.
  • In the children's book Truck Full Of Ducks by Russ Burach, a dog runs a business delivering live ducks. Unfortunately, one of the ducks eats the address of the customer he is supposed to deliver them to. While looking for the customer, he and the ducks encounter several odd people, such as an alien whose UFO has broken down and a pirate with a parrot on his shoulder ("I ordered crackers, not quackers!")

    Live-Action TV 
  • Elmo's World: Doctors plays up the "quack doctor" metaphor; a duck dressed as a doctor shows up a few times.

  • The 1976 novelty song "Disco Duck," by Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots, has the title character morph into an arm-flapping duck while on the dance floor.
  • The 1985 album Dare to Be Stupid by "Weird Al" Yankovic features the song "I Want a New Duck," a parody of the Huey Lewis hit "I Want a New Drug."

  • Campus-community station WQAX, 100.3 on your cable FM dial at Indiana University-Bloomington, got its name from the coaxial cable signal transmission lines. They're called "co-ax" for short, which when spoken fast sounds like "quacks". The station's logo was a very relaxed-looking duck with a headset (1973 was a primo year for marijuana jokes, especially in Bloomington, where even the mayor and some cops were known to partake.) A later logo designed by commercial artist Mike Cagle showed a scowling duck in profile. Some volunteer announcers would answer the phone "Quack quack".

    Video Games 
  • There are a total of nineteen duck villagers in the Animal Crossing series. Four are jocks, four are lazy, four are snooty, four are peppy, two are "normal," and one is smug. Most of the ducks' catchphrases contain the word "quack", and as with every other species of animal villager, the player character can form a friendship with them by talking to them, giving them presents, and performing tasks for them.
  • In Deltarune, Kris must build a "machine to thrash your own ass" midway into Chapter 1; while most of the parts are standard for a weaponized vehicle, you also have the option of using parts from an oversized toy duck. Using any of these has the game note that "your machine sucks ass," and building the entire duck results in special dialogue riffing on the result. Carrying over a Chapter 1 save file to Chapter 2 brings over the thrash machine, and the completed duck has comedic results there as well, making Rouxls Kaard's attacks pitifully avoidable during his battle and replacing the "Attack Mode" option in the Final Boss fight with "Duck Mode" (which does less damage but has a slight health-draining effect and adds silly squeaky toy noises).
  • Ducks are a running gag in Dink Smallwood, and on your journey you will run into an island inhabited with giant, talking ducks who participate in blood sports, a man training ducks for a parade, as well as a village that worships ducks.
  • Lucky the Duck from Only the Brave Can Rescue the Kidnapped Princess is a wisecracking duck who provides a generous amount of zany humor.
  • Pokémon:
    • Psyduck is a rather dopey-looking duck-based Pokémon, who the Pokedex describes as frequently confused and often suffering from headaches. However, it has very strong psychic powers, though it can't remember using them. It loses its absentmindedness after evolving into the Kappa-like Golduck.
    • The rare Farfetch'd carries around a leek and gets very temperamental towards those who try to remove it. The only Farfetch'd available in Pokémon Red and Blue is obtained through trade and has the silly nickname of "DUX." Farfetch'd is based on a proverb with a Double Meaning, one of said meanings being more or less "a fool and his money are soon parted." Just like how a duck walking through a forest with duck soup ingredients is just begging to be eaten by someone, anyone who believes that such a ridiculously favorable-sounding trade has no strings attached is kind of just begging to be swindled. Additionally, both forms of Farfetch'd and the Galarian evolution Sirfetch'd sport black unibrow-like markings on their heads, which give them all a sort of perpetually knowing, smug look.
    • Ducklett is a bit on the cartoony, gawky side design-wise and noted to be a better swimmer than flier. Its evolution into the beautiful, graceful Swanna is likely a reference to The Ugly Duckling.
    • Quaxly is cartoonish duckling with a mostly white body, teal legs and a pompadour-like crest and a cat-like grin. In the first trailer of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Quaxly is seen fliping its crest for dramatic effect.

    Web Comics 
  • The convent that Little Nuns takes place in raises a large number of ducks. Ducks appear in every drawing after a certain point, and their antics usually make for a Funny Background Event. Some of the ducks are even recurring characters (like the Chili Duck, a duck that fell into a bag of chili powder, or the Idiot Hair Duck, who is caught in a continual love triangle).

    Web Original 
  • Vinny of Vinesauce fame has an odd fascination with ducks. Said fascination tends to leak into fangames about Vinesauce.
  • Oozora Subaru of hololive has a duck motif and is noted to sound a somewhat like Donald Duck, especially in her ASMR video attempts. The exceptions being when she sings or when she's exhausted.
  • Sgt Ducky: Ducky's avatar is a green Duck and the animated universe consists of ducks, with the exception of a few characters where they are instead depicted as humans.

    Western Animation 
  • Captain William Le Duck from the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Tails' Tale" is a duck with a French accent who is said to be one of Mobius' greatest pilots. He is afraid of the dark, and the only way he enters dark territory is by closing his eyes. He is also afraid of flying, which isn't something you'd expect from an Ace Pilot. Nonetheless, he will face his fears if he has to do so to save his friends. He is very friendly towards Tails and assists him in his quest to find and rescue Sonic when the latter goes missing and is later revealed to be imprisoned in the temple of Komometz.
  • Baby Huey is a gigantic, naive duckling cartoon and comic book character who was briefly a star in Paramount Pictures shorts from the 1950s and continued to appear in Harvey Comics. A big and well-meaning but clumsy fellow, he was often the target of predators such as foxes but proved virtually indestructible.
  • The titular character of Count Duckula is a Vegetarian Vampire duck as an end result of a resurrection ceremony where tomato ketchup was mistakenly used instead of blood. This incarnation of Duckula dislikes the habits of his ancestors and previous incarnations such as drinking blood, torturing innocent victims, and taking in stranded travelers seeking shelter and ensuring they are never seen again. He'd much rather become a famous musician, actor, or race car driver. He first appeared as an antagonist on Danger Mouse and while being more bloodthirsty, he was show-biz crazy back then as well. He reappeared in the 2015 reboot pretty much unchanged.
  • Daffy Duck of the Looney Tunes franchise, who started out as a hyperactive screwball but later became a selfish jerk, especially when paired up with Bugs Bunny.
  • Darkwing Duck: The eponymous hero and show itself were affectionate parodies of Batman and similar superheroes. Darkwing was comedically inept and hampered by his vainglory, short-sightedness, bad temper, and general klutziness. He also often provided his own narration.
  • Disney's Donald Duck has a comically bad temper and a nigh-unintelligible voice. He usually appears as a blustering Butt-Monkey in cartoons.
  • Both DuckTales (1987) and DuckTales (2017) feature Scrooge and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie getting into all kinds of crazy adventures and hijinks with their other family and friends.
  • Show Within a Show example; In the Family Guy episode, "FOX-y Lady", Peter pitches a pilot to the FOX Network for an animated series called Handi-Quacks, a show about three ducks; Red Heinie Monkey, Poopy-Face Tomato Nose, and Colonel Tushfinger, who become handicapped after getting run over by a bus. The pilot episode is drawn crudely in crayon and the three ducks are voiced by Joe, Quagmire, and Cleveland. However, the President of the FOX Network likes the pilot, but only wants to make one change; make Poopy-Face Tomato Nose's nose a plum. When Peter refuses to make the change, the President decides to pick up the show Peter's way, but Peter still turns him down, only to regret it later.
  • Little Bear: Duck is frequently the source of comedy. For instance, when asked why she cut part of Hen's shortcake off and ate it, she claims it "didn't look short enough", and her Platonic Valentine to Little Bear read, "I love you more than mud."
  • Loonatics Unleashed: Danger Duck is every bit the selfish, jerkish Butt-Monkey his ancestor is/was.
  • Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series: A '90s Disney cartoon about anthropomorphic ducks who play hockey, fight evil dinosaur aliens, and shoot lasers. Interestingly, it is not part of Disney's larger Duck universe.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures introduces Plucky Duck, the young protegee of Daffy Duck, who shares his mentor's greed, selfishness, and hunger for the spotlight.
  • Little Quacker from Tom and Jerry is a jovial, naive, and innocent duckling who spends most of his appearances obliviously walking straight into danger and requiring Jerry's protection. His voice can best be described as an exaggerated Donald Duck, making it rather hard to tell what he's saying most of the time.
  • Quack-Up Duck was a very obscure Hanna-Barbera character from 1978, appearing on Yogi's Space Race and its component feature Galaxy Goof-Ups. He really served no purpose other than to be a ditz.
  • Quacula was a vampire duck from the Filmation studio (predating Count Duckula by three years). He spent each episode trying to frighten Theodore Bear from his castle.
  • WordWorld: Duck is the youngest of the main cast. He is often naive and careless in his actions, but he loves to have fun and crack jokes. He acts as an Audience Surrogate to the young viewers, as he is still learning his letters.
  • Yakky Doodle: The eponymous character is a small, naive duckling with a Donald Duck-style voice. An Expy of Little Quacker from some of the later day Tom and Jerry cartoons, Yakky first appeared in three Quick Draw McGraw episodes but later got his own dedicated segments on The Yogi Bear Show not long afterwards. Yakky's often pursued by predators such as Fibber Fox and Alfy Gator, but luckily he has a Bully Bulldog friend in Chopper who looks after him. Yakky's quirky behavior often sees him singing the old Vaudeville song "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay" and asking "Are you my mama?" to dubious candidates for that role.