The animated series
- That statue that Drake Mallard pounds on to start his chairs flipping, sending him and his allies to Darkwing Tower? It's Basil from The Great Mouse Detective. Character designer Toby Shelton helped designed the casts of both.
- Not only that, the idea of a statue opening a Secret Passage to a superhero's headquarters is a reference to the William Shakespeare bust that opened the Batcave passage own the 1960's Batman series.
- DW's costume is a dead ringer for DC Comics's Crimson Avenger, one of the first costumed heroes, or perhaps to the (first) Sandman, another DC hero with a similar costume (at first) and a gas gun. Or to some versions of The Green Hornet, whom Crimson Avenger was a Captain Ersatz for in the first place.
- J. Gander Hooter, the head of S.H.U.S.H., has a Punny Name referencing FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
- He goes through a Dub Name Change in the French version, being called instead "Commissaire Magret". The word "magret" designates the breast meat of a mulard duck, but this is of course also a reference to literary character Maigret.
- "Darkly Dawns the Duck":
- The phrase "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it" is used . It's a shout-out to a previous animated avian adventurer, Super Chicken.
- After Gosalyn falls asleep, Darkwing remarks that her snoring could wake Elvis.
- Not only is Paddywhack in general a reference to It, but the episode begins with an establishing shot of St. Canard and with D.W. doing a noir narration - both straight out of "The Naked City."
"There are a thousand stories in the city of St. Canard.
- "In Like Blunt":
- The episode "Aduckiphopia" (besides referencing Arachnophobia) had DW grow four extra arms (something that once happened to Spider-Man) and had him take the new identity of 'Arachno-Duck' (wearing a variation of Spider-Woman's costume.)
- The episode "Planet of the Capes" was a shout-out to normalman, sharing the premise of a planet of superheroes having one inhabitant who has no powers at all.
- "Stressed To Kill" has a "How To Relax" segment in the style of the classic Goofy "How To _____" Disney shorts.
- "Going Nowhere Fast"
- "Film Flam" in addition to all the classic film references (being a Tuskerninny episode, after all) also has this exchange:
Gosalyn: "Look dad! It's Mongol from Mars!"
: "Yeah, right! And I'm
Donald-" (sees the Martian monster about to attack) "-DUCK!"
- When Darkwing's coat gets cut open, it's revealed that the sweater he wears under it is shown to have the TaleSpin logo.
- Kongo is a blatant parody of King Kong.
- Andy Ape is a spoof of Roger Rabbit.
- South Dakota Smith is a spoof of Indiana Jones.
- There were also at least two references to The Far Side. "Beauty and the Beet" had Dr. Bushroot's fellow scientists Dr. Gary and Dr. Larson, while "Twin Beaks" featured a group of alien cows from the planet Larson. ("On The Far Side of the galaxy.")
- In "Beauty and the Beet", when Bushroot realizes that he has the ability to communicate with plants, he remarks that he's become the Doctor Dolittle of the plant world.
- "Twin Beaks" was an episode-long Shout-Out/Affectionate Parody of Twin Peaks.
- "The Dark Warrior Duck". Yes, a Shout-Out to Frank Miller in a Disney Cartoon. note
- And the first arc of the comic revival is called "The Duck Knight Returns."
- And one of the alternate covers for the first issue is of Darkwing getting spooked by the lightning bolt that was on the Cover for The DKR, while another had him mimicking Batman's leaping pose.
- In "Star Crossed Circuits", upon being knocked dazed and stupid from a nasty fall, Darkwing proceeds to sing Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson".
- An averted shout-out: In the original drafts of the show, Darkwing was a spy (the series was conceived as a James Bond parody) and all the villains were members of the FOWL organization. In the actual series, only a couple of them are. The FOWL mooks are called "Eggmen," and originally their commander was meant to be Tuskernini, who is a walrus. In the final show, Tuskernini is not a FOWL agent, so the eggmen and the walrus never meet.
- The very first villain is named after Taras Bulba, a Russian novel and movie starring Yul Brynner. This is quite possibly the most obscure reference in the Disney Animated Canon.
- When Bulba grabs his henchman Hammerhead by the neck and reminds him of his stooge status, Hammerhead replies with "Yes, boss. I'm a stooge. Just call me Curly."
- The episode "Merchant of Menace" featured a villain named Weasel Loman.
- Pelican's Island is a Gilligan's Island parody.
- How about Tuskernini? They probably just chose the name for the "tusk" pun, but he is Wicked Cultured nonetheless. The name's a Shout-Out to Arturo Toscanini, an Italian orchestral conductor known for intensity and perfectionism.
- Two of the hat aliens in the "Brainteasers" episodes are named Barada and Nikto. "Battle of the Brainteasers" also features a reference to "Gallifreyian digit wrestling".
- In "Disguise the Limit", Dr. Sara Bellum says "I'm a doctor, not a duck-picker."
- In "Hot Spells" Beelzebub is briefly seen ordering around a pair of walking brooms from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice".
- In "Just Us Justice Ducks", as Negaduck pulls out a chainsaw to use on the heroes, he recites, "Now it's time to say goodbye to all our company!" from The Mickey Mouse Club theme song.
- Also in the same episode, when Negaduck has captured all the heroes, he throws them in a pile and says something to the effect of, "That's it for these loser avengers."
- Later, before the Battle Royale, Darkwing yells, "Justice ducks, assemble!"
- There are several episodes (the spy-based ones) where the music pays an homage by playing the first few notes of the James Bond theme.
- "Fluffy's Reign of Terror", a comic story in Disney Adventures, has a scene of Drake and Launchpad watching The Simpsons.
- The ending of the episode "Dead Duck", from the moment when DW on his knees promises to Death "to be good" begging for a second chance and especially after his wake-up, with his joyful cries "There's my couch, there's my chair. There's that rug I always trip over, I love that rug!", is a quite clear allusion to Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
- In "Getting Antsy" the villain who shrinks the city is named Lilliput and a couple of germs are named Blob and Ray.
- Lilliput himself is a villainous spoof of Ant-Man.
- Earlier in the episode, when Launchpad asks to stop for a burger (or three), Darkwing complains by referencing The Lone Ranger;
Launchpad: Hey, 'ya burn a lot of calories thwarting evil.
Darkwing: Fine. Lovely.
The pair march off-screen
Darkwing: (as he walks): I'll bet Tonto never made The Lone Ranger stop for burgers!
- Before Drake changes into Darkwing at the golf course, he accidentally dresses up as William Drakespeare.
- The way that Darkwing defeats Lilliput, by becoming very small and infecting Lilliput as a germ, is very similar to how Merlin defeated Madame Mim in The Sword in the Stone.
- In episodes featuring Splatter Phoenix, some famous paintings are referenced or parodied, including Picasso's Guernica, Caravaggio's Medusa and C.M. Coolidge's Dogs Playing Poker.
- In "Slime OK, You're OK", when the giant patch of ground is brought to life by Bushroot's IQ2U potion, she first references Mae West's most famous line from She Done Him Wrong with "Why don't you come up and seed me some time?"note , then Greta Garbo's most famous line from Grand Hotel with "I vant to be a lawn," complete with vocal impressions of West and Garbo.
- Heavy Mental has "Here's Hotshot!"
- One revealed years later at a convention panel - the reason that Negaduck wears yellow with red and black highlights? That's the color scheme worn by Professor Zoom, Evil Counterpart to The Flash.
- A bullied teen uses paranormal powers to seek revenge during the high school prom. Is this "Clash Reunion", or Carrie ?
- "A Duck by Any Other Name":
- The title is a reference to the line "A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet" from Romeo and Juliet.
- At the beginning, Tuskernini is wearing a costume based on Darth Vader. The penguins are wearing costumes that vaguely resemble Stormtroopers, but have generic "bubble" space helmets.
- One of the agents that tries to make a deal with Launchpad says that he can offer him a five-picture contract with Disney.
- Tuskernini dresses up as director Steven Spectacle at one point.
- When Drake is looking through a trunk of costumes, he pulls out a mask that resembles Batman's.
- One of the new disguises that Drake comes up with is James Pond. He even refers to himself as Double-O Duck, which was originally going to be Darkwing's name early on during the show's development. Double-O Duck was previously also used in an episode of DuckTales (1987).
- In "Duck Blind", Honker mentions that Johann Sebastian Bach was blind.
- In "Double Darkwings", a reporter by the name of Dan Gander erroneously refers to Gumbo as Dumbo.
- "Whiffle While You Work": While doing a rush job on her homework, Gosalyn states that the president she admires most is George Washington, whom she claimed invented the dollar bill.
- The title of the episode "Steerminator" is one shout-out, another in this episode is Darkwing quoting, "Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Hint, hint."
- "Heavy Mental": "What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?"
- "Dry Hard" and the Liquidator.
- "Paraducks" is a shout-out to Back to the Future, most likely the second movie. DW and Gossalyn use a time machine invented by Dr. Sara Bellum, and travel to when DW was a kid called Drakey, getting bullied by the younger brother of gang leader. DW takes Gosalyn's advice not to intervene, and when they go back to the present, the SUSH base is now a body shop that belongs to the gang, with one of the Mooks resembling millionaire Biff. When DW and Gosalyn travel back in time again, they train a Drakey to be more assertive and the three of them stop the gang, and everything goes back to normal.
- "Calm a Chameleon" is a reference to the song "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club.
- At the end of "Twitching Channels", the helmet in the "real world" that was picking up DW's adventures instead gets tuned to the dimension where Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers is set.
- "Days of Blunder":
- "Life, the Negaverse and Everything":
- Throughout "A Revolution in Home Appliances", the living TV impersonates Jack Nicholson, Walter Cronkite and Pee-wee Herman.
- "U.F. Foe" has Gosalyn trying to be an amateur filmmaker. Throughout the episode, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Orson Welles are all mentioned.
- Throughout "Whirled History", Gosalyn has an ongoing dream involving various historical figures. Leif Erikson, Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo and Robert Peary all make appearances, and are portrayed by Darkwing himself. Though not mentioned by name, Darkwing also portrays Henry Morton Stanley and Neil Armstrong. Herb portrays Dr. Livingstone.
- "The Quiverwing Quack":
- One of the talk shows depicted on TV is "Quackaldo", a spoof of Geraldo Rivera.
- At one point, Drake says "Well Gander Warhol always said everyone would have fifteen minutes of fame."
The Boom Studios comic book
James Silvani is having way
too much fun with this trope.
- Issue #1: Darkwing's arm turns into Kaa.
- Issue #2: Flounder appears on a computer screen
- Pics of Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy, Chip 'n Dale, and Monstro are on Gosalyn's schoolrooms' walls.
- A single panel contains shout outs to, among others: Pinocchio (his leg), Star Wars (Jabba the Hutt), The Nightmare Before Christmas (The Mayor), and Family Guy (the angry monkey.) Granted, they're all toys strewn haphazardly on the floor.
- Issue #4: In the near-final pages when Scrooge McDuck is explaining how he plans to restructure Quackwerks and help rebuild the economic and law-enforcement aspects of St. Canard, there are portraits in the meeting room that show crude caricatures of Mickey, Donald, Pluto, the three nephews, and Scrooge during past adventures.
- Issue #5: In the prison, with Bushroot, Megavolt, and Quackerjack (who seems to have a scowl permanently replacing his toothy grin so far), is a single Beagle Boy, and off-panel with just his ear and stubbly cheek, is none other than Big Bad Pete. Later, in a flashback, there's a bear-skin rug that resembles Br'er Bear.
- One of the mishaps inadvertently caused by Morgana has her accidentally bring the Thunderquack to life. It yells, "Feed me" at Launchpad.
- In issue #6: Gosalyn can be seen carrying a The Incredibles lunchbox if you look closely. One of the plant sculptures is Pinocchio.
- Not to mention that Negaduck is standing on top of Goliath from Gargoyles on the very first page. And one of the protester's signs was "Bring back Bonkers!"
- When DW presents himself to the crowd, a group of Darkwing Duck fangirls looks up at him. They're all dressed like the Disney Princesses (and Alice.) Two pages later, another female character is wearing a T-shirt with Animal on it.
- Continuing the two-page splash panel with all the Darkwings, aside from the aforementioned Captain Ersatz, there's also a Wall-E Darkwing, a Tinkerbell Darkwing, a TIE Advanced-shaped Thunderquack, a "homemade Gizmoduck suit" Darkwing (to reference that particular episode), Flying Monkey Darkwings, Gold Surfer Darkwing, Batmanand Robin Darkwings, a Fozzie Bear Darkwing... The artist threw everything in there, including the Kitchen Sink Darkwing.
- A later page has Tarzan Darkwing.
- Then, there's a set of the Seven Dwarfs that gets smashed, and you can see Queen Grimhilde's "heart chest" on the last page.
- Issue #7: There's a squad of Herobots wearing bandannas and equipped with the weapons of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- Magica De Spell's powered armor during Issues 7 and 8 have skulls that bare the details of past Disney villains, including Jafar, the Evil Queen, Maleficent, Captain Hook, Hades, and Ursula to name a few. Not to mention the Source Absorber (picked up from Hot Topic, no doubt!) which has Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie on it.
- And when Paddywhack rises you see Sebastian, Cleo, and Dory running scared.
- The first five Darkwings in the issue are the main Universal Horror monsters (Dracula, Wolf Man, Frankenstein's Monster, Mummy, Gill-man).
- And the last's Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness may itself be a shout out to Abe Sapien's from Hellboy.
- The cover◊ is similar to the very first issue of Batman.
- Issue #8: Another prison scene features background cameos by Zeke "Big Bad" Wolf, Foulfellow and Gideon, and a weasel.
- The list of alternate Darkwings continues with Darkwings resembling: Doctor Who, Optimus Prime, Simba, The Jonas Brothers, Chip 'n Dale, Darth Vader, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Roger Rabbit, Flik, Linus, Mr. Incredible, The Flash, Rorshach, Waldo, Jim Hawkins, Sporticus, Bozzo the Clown, Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, TRON, Popeye, Lady Gaga, Aladdin, Kermit the Frog, Charlie Chaplin, a Na'vi, Abraham Lincoln, Robocop, Bart Simpson, Sailor Moon, Calvin and Hobbes, The Blues Brothers, Lawn Gnome, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Kiss, Mad Hatter, Thing, Spock, Mario, Gandalf, Donald Duck, and the Seven Dwarves.
- One page includes a blatant This American Life parody, including an Expy of Ira Glass.
- The scene where the different versions of Darkwing attack Negaduck possessed by Paddywhack resembles the iconic scene from Crisis on Infinite Earths where all the DC superheroes are fighting the Anti-Monitor.
- Annual, 2011: One of the covers◊, which bears a very noticeable similarity to that of a certain Batman story written by Alan Moore.
- In a daydream, Gosalyn wields Jafar's staff.
- And in the pet shop, we see Gill, Nemo, Crush, Chum, and Anchor, Flotsam and Jetsam, Joanna, Mushu, Ms. Spider and Mr. Centipede, Iago, Sir Hiss, Thumper, Timothy Mouse, Bernard and Bianca, Jacque and Gus, Gurgi, the Dancing Fish, Pascal, Si and Am, Lucifer, and Scat Cat.
- As Darkwing rushes off to stop another caper, we spot a miscolored Dodger and Oliver, and later, we see Basil, Dawson, and Ratigan amongst the gears of a clock tower.
- Issue #9: The opening is a shot for shot homage to Mad Men.
- Goofy can be seen sitting on a rooftop
- There's a car with eyes.
- Wilbur and Tramp can be seen as Darkwing and Steelbeak fly over the city.
- Gosalyn's wall is plaster with posters of Pain and Panic, Smee, Horace and Jasper, King Louie, Lampwick, Jumba, Iago, a Hephalump, Gurgi, a Pink Elephant, and a Dancing Crocodile. She also has a Hamm piggy bank.
- You can see Mulan's sword in Darkwing's umbrella stand.
- Issue #10: Darkwing manages to activate a cloaking a device that turns his flying car into a llama that looks a lot like Kuzco.
- Issue #11: Duckthulu's altar has carvings of Elliot, The Reluctant Dragon, and both Maleficent and Madam Mim in their dragon forms.
- It also combines this with a subtle Crossover Punchline with a dazed Steelbeak saying "Ma? That you? I will watch my language... Buster told me to." Both Fowlmouth and Steelbeak were voiced by Rob Paulsen in the cartoons.
- Obscure Donald Duck supporting character Moby Duck and Admiral Ackbar appear among Duckthulu's cultists in issue #11.
- In issue 12, some of the alternate worlds observed by Morgana include a Jack Kirby-esque spacescape straight out of Doctor Strange, Mathemagic land from the Donald Duck edutainment short, Halloween Town, Asgard, a Fantasia montage, Wonderland, and a Salvador Dalí landscape.
- Issue 13 has Thomas O'Malley seen eating a fish skeleton while sitting on some trash cans and Br'er Rabbit appearing on a poster reading "Have you seen me?".
- One of the things that Carmichael Q. Anthony throws is a Dalmatian from 101 Dalmatians.
- When Carmichael Q. Anthony is given his coat with pockets full of various objects, a Goofy PEZ dispenser can be seen. When we see said objects embedded into the wall, forming Darkwing Duck's face, The Genie's lamp and Mickey's sorcerer hat can be seen.
- The third panel One-Shot appears in features him holding a Wii Remote.
- One of the panels where Darkwing fights One-Shot has framed portraits of Goofy, Panchito, and Jose Carioca, though the top parts of their faces are obscured.
- Framed portraits of Gus Gremlin, the Walrus, the White Rabbit, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Terk, and Tantor can be seen in Carmichael Q. Anthony's mansion.
- In issue 14, one of the new super-powered villains Darkwing has been fighting appears to be Stitch.
- In the flashback where Mortimer L. Marquand explains how he became Cat-Tankerous, Max, PJ, and Pistol can be seen in the panel where Mortimer is looking longingly at Gosalyn in class.
- Scrooge McDuck and the snouts of Goofy, Clarabelle Cow, and Horace Horsecollar can be seen on Suff-Rage's viewing monitors.
- The beginning panel of the 15th issue has a cameo by Tito.
- Toby can be seen with Darkwing propaganda materials on him.
- One of the alternate covers is a parody of the Obama "Hope" poster that depicts Launchpad and reads "Crash".
- Issue 16 features a page that has posters featuring the Monsters, Inc. and Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series logos and cameos by Jiminy Cricket and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
- Issue #17 (leading into Ducktales #6), during the Ducktales crossover. Scrooge and his nephews are helping Darkwing investigate a strange ink that can mutate normal people into monsters. At the end of the issue, Honker and Scrooge's nephews fall into the stuff and turn into classic giant Disney villains: Honker becomes Willie The Giant, Huey becomes Chernabog, Louie become Maleficent (as a dragon), and Dewey turns into Monstro.
- When our heroes break into the Quackworks building, there are visual elements referencing The Nightmare Before Christmas and Snow White.
- When Launchpad, Gosalyn, Webby, Huey, Dewey, and Louie are looking for the enchanted ink, Woody's hat, Cinderella's glass slipper, a jar labeled "Hunny", a bottle labeled "Drink me", Pinocchio's hat, one of Mulan's hair combs, Goofy's hat, and Lilo's doll can be seen.
- M'Ma Crackshell has a mug with Stitch's face on it.
- A poster of The Wise Little Hen can be seen on Donald Duck's wall in issue 18.
The Joe Books run of the comic book
This section is for both the revised omnibus and the ongoing series that is released afterwards.
- The revision of "Campaign Carnage":
- Launchpad asks if Madame Kira's crystal ball gets Pay-Per-View, saying that CM Pug has a chutes-and-ladders match with Hog Hogan.
- The new flashbacks for Mortimer L. Marquand's backstory shows him being bullied by a dogface version of Sid Phillips and an anthropomorphic version of Lampwick in his donkey form. He is also being bullied for owning a Pony Friend comic book.
- The revision of the annual story "Toy With Me" has Launchpad reference Toy Story when he and Darkwing figure out that Aloysius Mandelbaum has been turned into a toy.
- The first arc of the Joe Books run is "Orange is the New Purple".
- From issue #3, when One-Shot is looking for something to throw at Gosalyn:
One-Shot: Oh come on! I need a knife, but all I have is these useless spoons!
Gosalyn: Pretty dated quip, dad.
Darkwing: What can I say? I have a lot of nostalgia for the '90s
Gosalyn: You do realize it's not actually irony, right?
Darkwing: Quiet, you.
- Issue 3 has Darkwing being menaced by a large carnivorous dinosaur that resembles the Tyrannosaurus rex from Fantasia.
- Issue 6: There is a shelf with figures of Kaiju from the Godzilla franchise.