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Series / The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers

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The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers is a Sports Drama Sequel Series airing on Disney+, continuing the story of the The Mighty Ducks franchise.

20 years have passed since the Mighty Ducks were first brought back from the brink, and in that time they have gone from plucky underdogs without a name to one of the most successful, and most cutthroat youth hockey programs in Southeast Minnesota, with their own arena, their own fan-press, and division system.

When Alex Morrow's son, Evan, is cut by the Ducks after his first practice back from summer vacation, she vows to start her own youth hockey team to directly compete with the Ducks right to his coach's face, and she gets to work (along with Evan and next door neighbor, Nick) building their team, and entering the league with nothing but a wing, a prayer, and a broken down arena, managed by a certain Gordon Bombay.

The first season premiered on March 26, 2021 and consisted of 10 episodes. The series was renewed for a second season in August 2021.

Original series star Emilio Estevez did not return for the second season; with Estevez's departure, Josh Duhamel was added to the cast as the director of an intense hockey camp in California, the setting for the second season. The second season debuted on September 28, 2022.

In February 2023, it was reported that the show would not be returning for a third season. In May 2023, it was removed from the streaming service entirely as part of a cost-cutting content purge by Disney and is currently not available to view legally on any platform.

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers Provide examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Koob is far from a model goaltender in terms of weight (and the fact that he's never officially played), but can block and catch things being thrown (and shot) at him with near-precognitive skill. Unfortunately, as of episode 3, this has yet to translate to the hockey rink.
    • By the first season finale, Koob has come into his own as a goalie and even has a few shutouts.
  • An Aesop: Like the original movie, the show has the message that youth sports should be focused on inclusion and having fun rather than trying to get the young athletes to win college scholarships or make it to the professional level.
  • Age-Gap Romance: They're not an Official Couple yet, but Bombay and Alex are clearly into each other. However, a Freeze-Frame Bonus reveals that Bombay was born in 1963, making him close to 60 in the series. Alex's age is never specified, but being that she dropped out of law school when she became pregnant, she seems to be anywhere from late thirties to mid-forties. But it should be noted that Lauren Graham, who plays Alex, was born in 1967 and is in her fifties.
  • The Alleged Car: Gordon's pickup has a broken passenger door, glove compartment, and radio.
    • And also a broken passenger window as of the sixth episode, thanks to former Duck Fulton Reed.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Nick has a crush on Winnie, the server at the Ice Palace, but he also seems to carry a torch for Evan in a borderline-romantic way. He also is very open about finding Logan attractive.
  • Amoral Attorney: Stephanie is a minor example. While we see few examples of how she behaves in relation to her job, she's not the most ethical person, expressing zero sympathy when vessel carrying the sweatpants she ordered is lost at sea. We do see that she's relatively unsympathetic to the low-income tenants that a client is trying to evict with their plan to gentrify a neighborhood.
  • Antagonist Title: "The Mighty Ducks" continues to be used in the title for continuity, but the team is actually the antagonists in this show due to Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome. It's then subverted in the first season finale when Gordon and Coach T agree to a game where the winning team gets the Mighty Ducks name. The Don't Bothers win and become the new Mighty Ducks.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Nick is a massive fan of hockey, but previously couldn't hack it out of the PeeWee circuit, and gets a second chance with Alex and Evan.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Alex chooses to call their new team the "Don't Bothers" as a direct reference to Coach T's remarks on Evan.
  • Artistic License – History: In universe. Despite being referred to as the "Original Ducks," only three (maybe four) of the six could be considered true originals.
    • Lester Averman, Guy Germaine, and Connie Moreau are originals, being with the team since its District 5 days.
    • Fulton Reed is recruited halfway through the season in the first film, but is there when the team becomes the Ducks (he is actually the first player to accept the change and become a Duck, making him the "Original Duck").
    • Adam Banks was a Hawk for most of the first film, only joining the Ducks after Bombay exploits a legal technicality.
    • Ken Wu is the most egregious example. He does not show up in the original film at all, and is initially selected to join Team USA, only becoming a Duck in the final period of the final game of D2. He never wears the original green jersey.
    • Furthermore, in the final game when the Don’t Bothers don the green jerseys of the “Original Ducks,” Julie Gaffney and Russ Tyler are included among them, despite Gaffney not coming along until the start of D2 and Tyler being a late roster addition midway through D2.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Averted with the gender balance of the Don't Bothers and the other teams – unlike the movies in which there are two girls on the Ducks (only one of whom is a skater) and seemingly none on any of the other teams, there are girls – in prominent rolls – on multiple teams.
    • However, played straight with the fact that the Don't Bothers reach an NCAA-regulated tournament and do not have a backup goalie.
    • Exaggerated with the Don’t Bothers’ general plot: They start as a seven-player team with almost no hockey experience and equipment; ten weeks later, they make it to the state finals.
    • In their first game a team who can barely stay upright on the ice and has little hockey experience (and had no "real" practices), six skaters, and a goalie who never moves, only gives up 12 goals.
    • Also zigzagged with the Moms Challenge and Alex's slapshot. Although the skills challenge is an informal competition and could go by any rules it wishes, in most best-of-three skills competitions, if Alex's foot were over the line, she'd usually be given a do-over. However, could be a case of Evil Is Petty, since Coach T is way too eager to disallow Alex's goal.
    • Bombay mentions that the kid he helped at Minnesota State now plays for the Islanders. While not entirely outside the realm of possibility, it's increasingly rare for undrafted players to get into the NHL after a collegiate career – especially a team as elite as the Isles. Most players who are in the collegiate system who later go into the NHL are already drafted at 18 or 19, meaning the struggles to afford equipment likely wouldn't apply to the kid in question.
    • Many of the Don't Bothers' games (and the original Ducks' games in the films) end with a goal as the clock hits zero. This is exceedingly rare in real life; teams tend to run out the last five or so seconds of a tied game to send it to overtime, and even when there is a goal near the buzzer the play will be reviewed and at least a little time (even if it is a tenth of a second) will be put on the clock if the puck hit the net before the clock hit zero.
    • Both Nick and Sam's goals during the 'icebreaker' at the hockey camp would be disallowed in actual competition. Sam batted the puck in with his head, which violates a rule that a puck must be directed in using the stick if intentional, while Nick putting the puck on his stick would have been penalized for closing hand on puck. Justified, however, as this was a 'no rules', every player for themselves drill.
  • Awkward First Sleepover: Koob spends most of his first sleepover ever glued to his phone, communicating to Nick by text even though they are in the same room. When his phone is taken away at 10 PM, he looks like he's in withdrawal.
  • Babies Ever After: Childhood sweethearts Connie Moreau and Guy Germaine have stayed together for 25 years and gotten married. Guy remarks that they have seven children – although it turns out to be a joke, that they only have three, but it feels like seven.
  • Badass Decay:
    • In-Universe. The Hawks have gone from being a powerhouse in the original films to the worst team in the league aside from the Don't Bothers, who they actually lose to. This is even reflected in the team's uniforms, which are now orange instead of black.
    • Bombay is this, to an extent. He's gone from a hotshot lawyer to a coach that international organizations like the Junior Goodwill Games were eyeing. He's since got little more to his name than a failing ice rink and an old clunker of a pickup truck.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Logan looks for all the world like a youth hockey prodigy when he moves in from Toronto, wearing nothing but Maple Leafs gear and showing off $900 skates. And then it becomes abundantly clear he can't skate at all.
    • Averman says he takes a limo to work every day. Turns out, he's a limo driver.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis:
    • The Mighty Ducks as a team have become what historically they've always faced: a powerhouse team with all the advantages that could possibly be afforded to them, charged by a ruthless youth hockey culture that turned them into the best team in the state, at the cost of the heart and scrappiness that built it.
    • Meanwhile, the Edina Hawks have gone from a feared powerhouse program that seldom ever lost to a joke team that hardly ever wins and is mocked by the other teams, including the Don't Bothers. They also now wear orange, the original District 5 color. Sure enough, they're the first team to lose to the Don't Bothers.
    • In Episode 8, Alex begins showing signs of this, over-working the Don't Bothers to extend their win streak, much to the kids' dismay.
  • Bookends: An example doubling as an Ironic Echo. The opening shot of season one is in the Ducks' complex, with a Zamboni riding over the modern Ducks logo; the closing shot of the season is in the Ice Palace, with a Zamboni riding over the original Ducks logo.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: As Gordon explains to Alex and Evan, Evan is right that Alex, while not as obsessed with hockey as the other Ducks parents, is still a meddler who needs to stop trying to fix all of his problems. However, Evan in turn needs to realize she's doing it out of love and she's giving him a chance to continue playing hockey when the Duck program won't.
  • Broken Pedestal: The original Ducks feel this way about Bombay to varying degrees, after years of him ghosting the kids as they grew up - with Charlie even going as far as to say he wouldn’t attend the “Spirit of the Ducks” gala because Bombay had made it perfectly clear how little he really cared about them.
  • Call-Back:
    • Fulton Reed smashes Coach Bombay's window again 25 years later – as a construction worker.
    • Lester Averman is now a limo driver, and he gets the team to rally behind Bombay by driving his limo out onto the rink, like a certain coach did back in the day.
    • Adam Banks’ immediate reaction to seeing the modern Ducks is to describe them as a bunch of Cake Eaters.
    • Alex is a paralegal at the Ducksworth Law Firm, Bombay's former employer and namesake for the Mighty Ducks.
    • Bombay responds to the Don't Bothers' win and celebration with "Are we Ducks, or what?", a line he used in the first movie.
    • With time winding down in a game, Evan passes the puck to Nick, who panics but ultimately scores the winning goal. Afterwards, he tells Evan, "Don't ever do that to me again!" echoing the same situation and the exact line spoken by Goldberg to Charlie at the end of D3.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Struggling to block shots on the ice, Koob starts calling out button presses in the hope that it will compel his body to move. It doesn't work.
  • Canadian Equals Hockey Fan: Logan is introduced wearing Maple Leafs gear and pulling out a bag of pricey hockey equipment. Sure enough, he and his father just moved to Minnesota from Toronto.
  • Character Tic: Alex tends to overshare and speak dramatically faster when she's nervous or stressed out, as she ends up catching herself several times.
  • City Mouse: Played for Laughs. Maya's family is originally from New York City and her mom acts as though Minneapolis, which is also a major city, is the country.
  • Confusion Fu:
    • The Don't Bothers manage to score a single point in their first game against the Ducks, thanks to a trick play Gordon slipped into Alex's notebook. Logan's terrible skating is put to use when he falls onto the puck and everyone has to help him back up to get to it...except he actually covertly slid it over to Evan who easily scores while everyone's distracted.
    • After some practice on Gordon's old skating lake, the Don't Bothers become so in-sync that they're able to pass the puck with their eyes closed, leaving the other team so freaked out that they don't even try to stop a goal.
  • Continuity Nod: Two of the youth hockey programs that participate in the league's team day are the Edina Hawks and the Coon Rapids Cardinals from the first film. The Hornets, Flames, and Huskies show up as opponents in later episodes as well.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Alex is one for Gordon: While both are legal professionals, Gordon was an ex-player and a hot shot attorney who only got into coaching when pressed into doing so after getting caught drunk-driving, whereas Alex is a put upon cog in her firm's machine and ex-ice dancer who gets into coaching because she wants to show up the Mighty Ducks and genuinely cares about the kids.
  • Costume Evolution: Several of the teams from the first film have changed the primary color of their jerseys. The Ducks have gone from green to purple, the Hawks black to orange, the Hornets yellow to black, and the Huskies blue to silver.
  • Crusading Lawyer: Adam Banks followed in Bombay's footsteps to become a lawyer, but he chose to become a public defender – making significantly less money than trial attorneys or civil litigators, because he had an interest in rooting "for the good guy."
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Bombay reveals he soured toward hockey after he gave some money to a young player to buy some tape, only to learn that his act of kindness violated state law regarding recruiting players for college programs and resulted in the end of his coaching career.
  • A Day in the Limelight: While Evan, Nick, and Sofi tend to get the most focus, the supporting Don't Bothers do get some time to shine in a few B-plots:
    • Episode 4 has Koob attend Evan and Nick's sleepover and he learns how to come out of his shell and have fun without screen devices.
    • Episode 5 focuses on Maya and Lauren, who have a falling out but reconcile before the end of the episode.
    • Episode 7 has a light focus on Sam, who has lost his desire to "be crazy" and feel enthusiastic about the team after Evan's betrayal.
    • Episode 8 focuses on Logan, who wants to become a better hockey player and find stability in his life after his mom's departure. It also has a light focus on Nick, who becomes jealous of Logan because Nick is insecure about his athletic inabilities.
  • Determinator:
    • The Ducks seemingly had no idea what Alex would turn into after cutting her son, because once she is on the warpath, she is on the warpath, getting a team together and registered in only three days, up to and including finding unclaimed city funds for youth hockey.
      • Extends to when the Hockey mom skills competition comes down: she gets a quick pep-talk from Gordon, and she immediately finds a way to take a slapshot over twice the speed of her first pitiful try.
    • Evan has clearly inherited this trait from Alex. After the Don't Bothers get humiliated by the Cardinals in their first game, Evan immediately leads the team back on the ice afterwards so they can improve their skating rather than sulk.
  • Dented Iron: Sofi is struggling with a knee injury because her parents refuse to let up on her.
  • Defrosting the Ice Queen: Stephanie starts to loosen up and genuinely bond with Alex after she shares that she's getting divorced. She also helps bring Alex to the state championship.
  • Digital Head Swap: Patrick Chan served as Justin Wong's skating double in Kenny's skating scene, with Wong's face subbed in on top.
  • Disappeared Dad: Evan's dad is a musician who is on the road with his rock band most of the time and only makes occasional visits.
  • Drench Celebration: Logan attempts one after the Don't Bothers celebrate scoring their first goal. His attempt is stopped by Alex, though she is honored that the team is treating her like a real coach.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Bombay helps Alex tap into her simmering resentment over the way her firm takes her work for granted and doesn't acknowledge how much she contributes to their winning cases because she's a paralegal rather than a lawyer.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Evil is too strong a word, but the one thing about the Ducks that hasn't changed since the '90s is that the team still accepts kids from all ethnic and racial backgrounds regardless of their gender. Sofi, a girl of South Asian descent, is one of the team stars.
  • Famed In-Story:
    • While Gordon has stepped away from hockey in the years since the original trilogy, he's still famous enough in the youth hockey circuit that Evan immediately recognizes him.
    • Despite none of them staying in hockey, Evan immediately recognises the original Ducks.
  • Foreshadowing: A stealth example that doubles as a Rewatch Bonus; this exchange after the Don't Bothers first identify themselves as such:
    Coach T: (about the name "Don't Bothers") You sure that's the name you want to go with?
    Alex: Yeah!
    Evan: But not for long, 'cause we're coming for yours!
  • Generation Xerox: Maya and her mother, as well as Nick and one of his mothers, bear a striking resemblance.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Gordon's goal was always to make the one-time jokes the Ducks into winners. He succeeded...only to watch the Ducks turn into exactly the "win at all costs" team they had once fought against.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Alex does this often.
    Alex: Did you see that? Nothing but net!
    Nick: Pretty sure that's basketball!
  • Happily Married: Connie Moreau and Guy Germaine have stayed together since they were kids.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Just when you think Bombay is bonding with Coach T in Episode 9, Coach T rats him out for his decade-ago NCAA rules violation and puts him in danger of being dismissed as coach of the Don't Bothers.
  • Helicopter Parents: Pretty much every kid's parent who stays in the Ducks program is The Agent; practically programming their kids lives in order to make sure they have every advantage possible, even cutting into how they eat and bringing pediatric psychologists to their practices.
  • Hidden Depths: Koob knows his show tunes, a skill he uses to distract Nick's moms while Nick and Evan search for his phone.
  • History Repeats:
    • The Don't Bothers get absolutely torched in their first games under their new coach in more or less the exact same way the Ducks did, and improve so much so that they defeat the Ducks at the end of the first season.
    • Sofi leaves the antagonistic team and joins the "Good guys", much like Adam did in the first film.
    • Evan and Charlie share many traits: Both are one of the best players on their teams, are captains (at least at some point) and are raised by single mothers (whom Bombay is attracted to). Possibly lampshaded when Evan wears a vintage Conway Ducks jersey in the second Don't Bothers/Ducks game.
    • A sibling pair (the Capek brothers from the Czech Republic) joins the team mid-season, just as the Duncans did in the first film.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: The Hawks, once the perennial league champions in the first film, are now the bottom-ranked team until the Don't Bothers are formed.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Sofi's slapshot is so accurate it actually fools Evan into thinking she's missing the cones she's supposed to shoot, when in reality she's knocking golf-balls off the cones with the puck without knocking the cone over.
  • Insufferable Genius: Lester Averman starts to break out his obnoxious wordplay and showboating at the pizza place, but he's just trying to be irritating for old time's sake. Later, when he tells Bombay he takes a limo to work every day, Bombay is not surprised, because he was a clever kid. Turns out, Averman is a limo driver.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Objectively speaking, Coach T is right that Evan lags behind the other Ducks in terms of physical development and it was clearly hindering his play at tryouts. Even Alex's "The Reason You Suck" Speech focuses more on the fact that today's ultra competitive youth hockey culture is forcing kids like Evan out, even though the odds are none of the players will become pros, than Evan's performance.
  • Jerkass Realization: Sofi's dad has one when he sees how distraught his daughter is at the prospect of having to keep practicing and playing for the Ducks instead of having fun with the Don't Bothers.
  • Jerk Jock: Coach T isn't exactly a complete asshole, but it's clear he bears some responsibility for the Ducks hyper-competitive culture and he holds the team to ridiculous standards. After the Ducks let Evan score a goal against them on a trick play, he forces them to practice immediately after the game even though the team still won by 16 goals.
    • Coach T's attitude has definitely worn off on the kids who stuck around, as every single one of them lets Evan have it for his mother's outburst. Special mention goes to Stephanie's son Trevor who repeatedly mocks Evan and the Don't Bothers and then illegally body checks him after Evan scores against the Ducks.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Episode 9, "Head Games" sees Bombay and Coach T seemingly reaching common ground, as Bombay walks in on Coach T being pressured by the parents of his players. While sharing drinks with him, Bombay confides with him his fall from grace, that he got banned from coaching by the NCAA. Coach T decides to take this information and rat out Bombay to the committee of the league, hoping to get the Don't Bothers kicked out of the Tournament on a technicality.
  • Killed Offscreen: Jan from the second movie is dead, and he left Gordon the Ice Palace.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: The last 20 years were apparently so rough for Gordon that he swore off the game altogether...again, banning hockey from the Ice Palace, only changing his mind when Alex reveals the sum of money that will keep it open through the year.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Logan has great hair, and is fully aware of his "good head of lettuce." In Episode 6, he becomes self-conscious about his "bad hair day" when... it really looks the same as it always does.
  • Missing Mom: Logan's dad moved them to Minneapolis from Toronto after he caught his wife cheating on him and divorced her.
  • More Diverse Sequel: The film trilogy did have a number of diverse characters, but was still mostly white, especially with the opposing teams. Although the most prominent characters – Evan, Alex and Bombay – are white, the Don't Bothers and their rivals are a fairly diverse cast; Stephanie and her two children are of mixed East Asian heritage; Sofi is South-Asian, Nick is Jewish (with two moms), Sam is Black, and Koob is dark-skinned. Even three of the white Don't Bothers members, Logan, Tibor, and Havel, are foreign nationals.
  • Mythology Gag: Just like the original Ducks before them, the new Ducks are take to the rink wearing the jerseys of the real life Anaheim Ducks in the Season 2 finale. Unlike the original films, where the jerseys were a gift from Jan and the Anaheim Ducks weren’t commented on, the jerseys are gifted to the team by the NHL franchise.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Gordon reveals to Alex that he was forced out of his job as a college hockey coach because he gave a player he was recruiting from a poor household some money to buy some equipment, which violated NCAA rules.
  • Odd Friendship: While Lauren and Maya couldn't be more different if they tried, they actually get along pretty well.
  • Official Couple: Sofi and Evan have officially crossed into this, with Sofi kissing Evan during the final game.
  • ...Or So I Heard: Nick knows exactly how long Winnie has been going out with Cocoa Chad. Not that he's been keeping track.
  • Parental Neglect: Evan's dad does care about him and wants to be part of his life, but he's so focused on chasing his music dreams that he'll often neglect him and miss out on important events.
  • Pet the Dog: Sofi's father initially disapproves of her quitting the Ducks to join the Don't Bothers, but signs off on her transfer after seeing just how happy being with the Don't Bothers makes her.
  • Phoneaholic Teenager: Gordon exploits this with the Don't Bothers by having them do the same passing drill he had the Ducks do in the first film, only with their smartphones acting as the puck instead of eggs. Obviously the kids care a lot more about not breaking their phones than a bunch of eggs.
  • Precocious Crush: Nick has one on Winnie, who runs the snack bar at the Ice Palace.
  • Previously on…: Every episode after the pilot begins with a recap of the previous episode.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Alex frequently reveals she has extremely little hockey knowledge in spite of living in hockey-mad Minnesota, even not knowing who the Minnesota Wildnote  are; a team her own son is a rabid fan of and owns several articles of clothing with their logo on it.
  • Pottery Barn Poor: Alex has pretty much always raised Evan on a single income as a paralegal, but she's managed to afford a pretty good-sized and beautiful house for the two of them (not to mention keeping him in a highly competitive junior hockey association for years).
  • Product Placement: The show avoids Bland-Name Product references and most of the hockey equipment-related references are limited to logos on gear, but a few non-hockey related mentions stand out as being more than just incidental references (probably because both of the companies/brands mentioned below are based in the Twin Cities area):
    • Evan specifically states that he bought Sofi’s knee brace from Target in Pond Hockey. Target’s bullseye logo is also on the wall that Sofi crashes into in the semi-finals, as well as the shopping bags Stephanie carries containing swag for the Ducks gala in Spirit of the Ducks.
    • Boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios are prominently placed on tables when the team is eating breakfast at the hotel in Head Games and on Sofi’s counter in Hockey Moms.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The Ducks wear purple jerseys, and they're the strongest team in the league.
  • Put on a Bus: Much like in the film series, some of the Don't Bothers from the first season don't quite make it to the second for reasons unknown. Lauren and Logan are now gone from the action, as are the barely-speaking Capek brothers. And, of course, there's Bombay...
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: As per franchise tradition: the team the Morrows put together is comprised of a kid too small to hack it on the Ducks, an injured sniper, a daredevil skateboarder, a popular girl, a geeky nihilist, a podcaster, a sedentary gamer, and a kid who can't even skate, all coached by someone who's never even played.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Charlie's absence during the Original Duck's Reunion - and why the reunion only consisted of Fulton, Averman, Connie, Guy, Adam and Ken - in Spirit of the Ducks, was down to Canada’s strict COVID-19 protocols effectively making participation a month long process, which led to a variety of scheduling conflicts, with several members of the original cast simply not being able to take an entire month off from their current jobs - acting or otherwise. This was explained in-universe as Charlie becoming estranged from Bombay, with the episode revealing that Bombay effectively ghosted on his former team and eventually Charlie became so fed up he stopped bothering trying to reconnect with him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • When Evan gets cut, Alex lays into the entire Ducks culture for being insane, expensive, and controlling at center ice. Naturally, she has to wobble her way back to the bench, and becomes a viral embarrassment for Evan at school.
    • And then it gets turned right back around on her when Gordon points out that she really isn't all that different from the other parents, she's just better at hiding it.
    • Evan later gives one to his ex-teammates for the fact that they all ended their friendships with him the second he was cut from the team because the entirety of their social identities revolve around the Ducks, and acknowledges his mom was completely right with her earlier dressing down.
    • The original Ducks make it perfectly clear that they don’t approve of Coach T or the current incarnation of the Ducks - and especially their treatment of Gordon Bombay - by pointing out that they were a bunch of misfits and losers that Bombay made into a championship winning team, and that there’s more to sports than winning. Adam Banks goes as far as to note that he wasn’t really a good person before he joined the Ducks, and that version of himself would fit right in with the current version.
  • Riches to Rags: Gordon Bombay went from powerful lawyer to acclaimed hockey coach in the original franchise. When the sequel series picks up, all he has is a rundown, money-sink of an ice rink that he inherited from his friend.
  • Screwed by the Network: Despite decent critical reception, the series was cancelled and will be removed from Disney+ on May 26, 2023. This is a result of cost-cutting measures that Disney and other companies have taken in order to compensate for the post-pandemic drop in subscribers.
  • Security Blanket: Lauren has her "whispersilk" cape, which she almost never takes off except for practice and games, and nearly has an anxiety attack over possibly having it been lost. Her father gave it to her when she was little to help hide her scoliosis, so she's deeply attached to it.
  • Sequel Hook: A few for a possible second season:
    • Bombay and Alex have clear chemistry and are clearly interested in each other, but haven't made anything official... yet.
    • The Don't Bothers are now officially the Ducks, with the Ice Palace as their permanent home, and have drawn the ire of the now-former Ducks while establishing themselves as a good hockey team.
    • The Ice Palace is literally falling apart, with structural damage dating back to 2005.
    • Alex might be considering going back to law school.
    • Stephanie appears to have had a change of heart about the Ducks, with at least one of her kids (Ruby) seemingly doubtful as well.
  • Sports Dad: All of the Ducks program parents are this, having splurged on expensive gear, private coaching sessions, etc. to try to get their middle school aged kids to the highest competitive levels of hockey. Stephanie in particular has hired a pediatric sports psychologist.
    • Sofi's parents go a step beyond: their son got into Harvard not only because they constantly pushed him to be the best, but also because they knew at some point they were going to need a french horn replacement on their orchestra, which would also greatly improve his ability to get in, and her mother more or less spells out that's the only reason she's even been playing in the first place: to get into the top schoolsnote .
  • Stay At Home Dad: Guy Germaine is this now, bearing most of the responsibility for child-rearing while Connie works as a state senator.
  • Stereotype Flip: Logan is a native of Ontario, Canada and a huge Leafs fan...who stinks at hockey, and can't even ice skate.
  • Still Got It:
    • Gordon proves he still has a knack for creating trick plays where he creates one for Alex that incorporates Logan and Sam's poor skating skills to give Evan a breakaway and score.
    • Fulton Reed might not play a lot of hockey anymore, but he still has a knack for breaking Bombay's window.
    • Kenny Wu proves that he can still figure skate as well as he did when he was a boy.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: The Mighty Ducks organization, after two decades of sustained success, has essentially become the new Hawks, inheriting all the antagonistic Serious Business aspects and framed as the Opposing Sports Team for this story.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Evan is heavily implied to be a result of this, as it's mentioned his parents only had a brief fling before he was born.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • The show seems to set up a case of I Know Mortal Kombat in the first episode when Koob is recruited to be the team's goalie due to his strong hand-eye coordination from playing hockey video games. Cue the first game against the Cardinals where it's shown he still doesn't have the necessary stick and leg blocking skills and the Cardinals score several goals just by aiming low.
    • In the films (less so the third film), the Ducks win their games based on pure buffoonery, illegal moves that are simply entertaining for a kid audience, Easily-Distracted Referee shenanigans and tactics that aren't actually practical in hockey (such as the Flying V, which is an easily-penetrated system even at the Pee Wee level, or the Knuckle Puck, which is physically impossible). In the series, it takes four episodes for us to see the Don't Bothers win – in a one-goal game – and even by their first win, they're not playing particularly well. The kids are still just barely learning to skate and Koob is not yet comfortable in the goal. Still, the Don't Bothers appear to be learning more practical hockey than the original Ducks ever did, even if they're winning less.
    • During the Ducks reunion, a lot of the other team members have moved on, and of the kids we do see, only one is living what one might would consider a dream career – Connie is a state senator. And while she and Guy have stayed together since they were kids and have named one of their three kids after Bombay – possibly an unrealistic outcome – the others are just living relatively normal lives. Fulton works in construction, Averman drives a limo, Guy is a stay-at-home dad, and even Adam - the best player on Bombay’s Ducks and the one who was most likely to actually go pro - is a public defender. They also don't play much hockey anymore, but they still love the game – which was all Gordon ever wanted.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Gordon Bombay hates hockey now, seemingly having become disillusioned by the number of Helicopter Parents trying to get their kids to the pros hijacking the sport from the coaches. He later admits to Alex he actually still loves the game, but after seeing what the Ducks program became, being forced out of his college coaching job, and struggling to make ends meet at the Ice Palace, he's reluctant to get involved again.
  • True Companions: The original Ducks are shown to still be in touch with one another long after growing up.
  • Truth in Television: Dylan Playfair (Coach T) played in Canada's junior ice hockey circuit when he was younger and acknowledged that a lot of what the series portrays about the current culture of youth hockey is not too far from reality.
    • Logan's lacrosse style goal is a real, albeit rare, scoring technique at the professional level that skilled younger players are trying out with more frequency.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Initially, the Don't Bothers play this straight with Maya and Lauren. It's then subverted when Sofi quits the Ducks and joins them.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: Evan and Nick are able to track down fellow gamer "Koob13" with relative ease within their video game, including his real name on his profile page.
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite their issues with Bombay ghosting them for years, the original Ducks immediately take offence to finding out that the current Ducks consider him to be an embarrassment.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Evan is a good player, but struggles in his first practice in his new division because he's too small.
  • Wham Line: At the end of the fifth episode, the Don't Bothers are all in a good mood at school following their first win and Maya and Lauren reconciling, when Trevor approaches Evan alone in the cafeteria.
    Trevor: Coach T was at your game last night. He wants to see you. It's about the Ducks.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The Mighty Ducks logo has been altered, as the original is still in use with the real-life Anaheim Ducks who are no longer owned by The Walt Disney Company. The jerseys however still have the original purple and jade road coloring (the Anaheim Ducks changed their colors to orange, black and gold following the Disney sale).
    • When the original Ducks take to the ice, they do so in their original green jerseys from the original film, despite Kenny Wu being introduced in the second film and never actually wearing that jersey as the team had by-then adopted the uniforms worn by the real-life team.