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Recap / Dan Vs S 1 E 1 Dan Vs New Mexico

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Dan is determined to destroy New Mexico's hot air balloons after a series of New Mexican offences. Meanwhile, Elise has a vendetta to settle against some roadrunners who stole her cotton candy.


This episode provides examples of the following Tropes:

  • Aesop Amnesia: Parodied. Dan stubs his toe on a board game box. He angrily kicks it and hurts his foot again. He's about to kick it again, but stops himself and says he learns from his mistakes... only to hit the swinging lamp that he repeatedly banged his head against earlier.
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  • Area 52: Where Elise gets the alien spaceship.
  • Blatant Lies: While loading him into the ambulance, one paramedic tells the guy who got hit by a bus that he'll be fine. Once he closes the door, the paramedic acknowledges to his partner that the guy's as good as dead.
  • Berserk Button: Dan does not like being treated like a child. He pinches Chris when the latter asks him if he'll behave himself.
  • Brick Joke: Early in the episode, Chris remarks that Elise doesn't like roadrunners. Later on, we get a flashback showing us why.
  • Cult: Apparently a staple of New Mexico's hot air balloon community.
    Chris: (after hearing the cultists' ominous chanting) Sick Freaks!!
    Dan: Well what do you expect from hot air balloonists? They're just bad people.
  • Call It Karma: See below.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Dan wants an entire state to pay for damage done to his car. Elise uses a spaceship to blow up various locations as revenge for a roadrunner stealing her cotton candy.
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  • Drives Like Crazy: Dan notes a history of Chris hitting cyclists. Chris also falls asleep while driving. Later, he runs over a roadrunner (albeit while Dan was strangling him).
  • Establishing Character Moment: The opening scene quickly shows us what kind of a person Dan is.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Dan is offended that the guy dating the librarian's wife has the gall to hang around the library.
  • Flashback: To Elise's childhood, when roadrunners took her cotton candy.
  • Foreshadowing: Chris mentions early on that Elise hates roadrunners.
  • Granola Girl: Elise buys Granola at the gas station, and tries determinedly to get Chris to make healthier snack options. She doesn't succeed.
    Chris: It's still one thing if the milkshakes have cookies in them!
  • "Jump Off a Bridge" Rebuttal: In response to Chris saying Dan said they could have burgers instead of salad.
    Elise: If Dan jumped off a cliff, would you?
    [Chris thinks about it]
    Elise: Chris!
    Chris: I-I mean, it depends.
    Elise: Don't jump off a cliff!
    Chris: Well, I wasn't planning on it.
    Elise: But if Dan jumped, you would?
    [Chris thinks about it again]
    Elise: CHRIS!
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  • Kill It with Fire
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Parodied.
    Dan: Hey, you date a married woman, you get hit by a bus. Karma.
    Chris: I'm not sure that's how karma works.
  • Metaphorgotten:
    Dan: There's an old saying: "revenge is a dish best served immediately."
    Chris: I don't think that's a saying.
  • Morality Chain: Chris successfully convinces Dan to not do anything to the guy dating the librarian's wife. They're about to leave when they see the guy hit by a bus.
  • No Indoor Voice: Dan, which is one of the reasons he and Chris get kicked out of the library. (The other reason is their fist fight.)
  • Not So Different: Elise and Dan both hold oddly hypertrophic grudges.
  • Roswell That Ends Well
  • Running Gag: Chris has a tendency to hit cyclists with his car. Not that this is seen as much as it is mentioned.
  • Shout-Out: Dan thinks he and Chris ran over the Roadrunner.
    Dan: They use a lot of make-up on TV.
  • Skyward Scream: Dan has one Once an Episode, but the flashback concludes with a young Elise also doing this.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Dan mocks the balloon enthusiasts. Chris points out that doing so causes them to know that they did it.
  • Tempting Fate: In The Teaser, Dan wakes up saying today's gonna be a good day.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Hey, what else do you expect from balloon enthusiasts?
  • Vocal Dissonance: Elise as a little kid in her flashback has the same voice as adult Elise.
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