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Western Animation / Dave the Barbarian

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"Dave, Fang and Candy
Brave and bold, they're not
They ain't the greatest heroes
But they're the only ones we've got!"

Dave the Barbarian (2004-2005) is a Disney animated series, an Affectionate Parody of the Heroic Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery genres.

The series takes place in The Middle Ages and centers on a powerful yet cowardly barbarian named Dave who lives in the fictitious land of Udrogoth along with his self-absorbed older sister Candy and feral younger sister Fang. His parents, Throktar and Glimia, are the King and Queen, but are away "fighting evil" across the world (though they sometimes communicate via a magic crystal ball), and have left Candy in charge of the kingdom. Together the three siblings, along with their wizard uncle Oswidge, their pet dragon Faffy and Dave's talking sword Lula, are left to run and protect the kingdom.

There is a Narrator, referred to either as "the Narrator" or "the Storyteller", voiced by Jeff Bennett. He plays a big part in the show, as he controls what happens in the story. He is able to talk to the characters of the show, and vice versa. In fact, he was once captured by Arch-Enemy THE DARK LORD CHUCKLES, THE SILLY PIGGY!, and was forced to read narration where Dave loses to him.

The show was created and written by Doug Langdale of Earthworm Jim and The Weekenders fame. It premiered on Disney Channel on January 23, 2004; a year later, it began broadcasting on Toon Disney as well. In Latin America, the show was broadcasted on Jetix. While critically acclaimed, the show unfortunately didn't last beyond one season, as Disney just seemed to lose interest halfway into its run, resulting in the show's cancellation.

Much like its predecessors The Flintstones and the short-lived The Roman Holidays, Dave the Barbarian juxtaposes the ancient and the modern. Candy, for example, shops in the local mall (the "Great Indoor Marketplace of Udragoth") and uses the crystal ball for online shopping sprees. Occasionally, the series even breaks the fourth wall with a character directly addressing the audience.


  • Absurdly Long Wait: Invoked by Chuckles. When the heroes come to collect a debt he owed, he ordered his servants to say he was not home and that he would come back in nine thousand years. Dave doesn't care, since he brought a magazine.
  • Action Girl:
    • Candy's a martial arts expert and a capable fighter in her own right—and it's been shown plenty that she's (arguably) just as strong as her brother (if not stronger). However, she has little interest in fighting villains and usually only ever helps when others point out that the antagonists' actions will somehow prevent her from shopping.
    • Fang is aggressive and desperately wants to be an action girl, but her weak build and small stature makes her a subversion.
  • Actor Allusion: This isn't the first time Jeff Bennett's been a Lemony Narrator in a Doug Langdale-helmed series.
  • Aerith and Bob: Dave, Fang and Candy, to name a few.
  • Almost Kiss: Between Candy and the Zit-Monster she falls in love with in "Candy and the Zit."
  • Amazonian Beauty: Bicepia. After seeing Bicepia, Candy uses Magic Broccoli to become buffer...but keeps using it and quickly goes from Amazonian Beauty to a unholy combination of Gonk, Dumb Muscle and Brawn Hilda (don't worry, there is a Reset Button).
  • Ambiguously Brown: Almost every human characters' skintone is no lighter than tan. Oswidge, Queen Glimia, Candy and Princess Irmaplotz are a few of the notable examples.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Ned Frischman's accent is reminiscent of a New York Jew, and he keeps using the phrase "Oy vey".
  • Amusing Injuries: Dave in particular is prone to getting burned into a pile of ash.
  • Animal Motifs: Fang is regularly mistaken for a monkey, to her annoyance.
  • Apple of Discord: Chuckles presents Dave with a pair of literal rose-tinted glasses, which makes the wearer believe they are living in their personal ideal world. The family promptly begins fighting over them, making the kingdom much more vulnerable to invasion.
  • Argument of Contradictions: When Dave and Fang argue over how to deal with a band of monsters coming to Udrogoth, the discussion eventually degenerates into chasing each other around a table while shouting "Yes!" and "No!"
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A central part of the show's humor. Heroes and villains alike.
    • 'Girlfriend'
    Princess Irmaplotz: I do all the evil things. Destroy civilizations, torment innocent people, return library books (Beat) late.
    • 'Sweep Dreams'
    Dave: You're not dumping them in the soup you fiend!
    Chuckles: Why? Because they're your family and you care about them?
    Dave: Well yeah, there's that but-more importantly, I just washed that cauldron!
    • 'Termites of Endearment'
    Dave: You can take a man's shop, you can decimate his land, you can obliterate his family; his friends and all he cares for. But do not fool around with his frozen yogurt!
    • 'Horders and Sorcery'
    Malsquando: [Reads a letter from Fang] Okay...Giant Killer Bugs. Gold and jewels -And 'stuff'! I adore 'stuff'!
    • 'Plunderball'
    Fang: You have to protect your loved ones! Your family! You home! Your-
    [Looks at cupcakes]
    Fang: Cupcakes!
    Dave: My cupcakes! I cannot stand idly by and let innocent baked goods come to harm!
  • Atrocious Alias: When Candy eats Uncle Oswidge's magic broccoli to become more muscular, she believes "Candy" isn't a tough enough name and demands to be called "The Can."
  • Bamboo Technology: Very prevalent throughout the series. Parodied when Dave invents a megaphone using a squirrel, some twine, and... a megaphone.
  • Barbarian Hero: Parodied—Dave certainly looks like a stereotypical barbarian hero but, as noted in the Expository Theme Tune, he's "huge but a wimp." He's far more interested in stuff like cooking, cleaning and artistic pursuits than being a barbarian.
  • Battle Couple: King Throktar and Queen Glimia (Candy, Dave and Fang's parents who are technically the true rulers of Udrogoth) regularly fight evil all over the world.
  • Be the Ball: When Oswidge tries to fight off invisible people, one of them turns him into a ball and bounces him up and down.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Udrogoth's royal family consider themselves heroic—in fact, the King and Queen are off on a quest to rid the world of evil—but they're still barbarians, and in order to live up to the family name Dave has to pass a "Rite of Pillage" which grades him on his ability to plunder, ransack and wreak havoc on peasant villages. Granted, this isn't a normal part of their repertoire.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Candy is a stereotypical spoiled valley girl. Though she has been put in charge of an entire kingdom, she is far more interested in shopping and being popular than in actually keeping the country in order.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    • The death traps Fang sets up for Dave in "Floral Derangement": the first trap consists of blindfolded kids throwing dodgeballs, the second is a tank full of rabid walruses, and the third trap has Dave getting dodgeballs thrown at him again by blindfolded rabid walruses.
    • In "Lula's First Barbarian", Dave fears something may be on him. He guesses spiders and something burning before realizing he can't see anything on him... which leads him to ask if it's something invisible and then if invisible spiders were crawling on him and also burning.
  • Camp Straight: Dave has some very effeminate mannerisms, and typical feminine interests, like cooking, cleaning and knitting, but has a crush on Princess Irmaplotz.
  • Catchphrase: Quite a few of them.
    • Dave's is "Bajabbers!"
    • Candy's is "Don't mess with the Princess!"
    • Fang's is "I'm not a monkey" (or something along those lines) whenever someone mistakes her for a monkey.
    • Gert Bogmellon's is "We got that" and "lookin' for somethin' darlin'"
  • Clothes Make the Maniac: In one episode, Oswidge and the kids are sent a pair of lederhosen that will turn whoever wears them evil—Fang (not realizing this at first) ends up wearing the lederhosen, which gradually turn her evil (as well as angrier and more aggressive).
  • Couch Gag: The collapsing castle wall in the opening credits shows something different in every episode.
  • Cowardly Lion: Dave proudly declares himself to be a coward who prefers to run away from conflicts. However, if forced to fight, he is essentially a teenaged Conan.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Ned spent hours practicing his evil laugh before he became a villain.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Dave is a massive coward who enjoys, among other things, cleaning and knitting. He's also three hundred pounds of pure muscle who regularly fights evil wizards and angry gods and comes out on top.
  • Cute Bruiser: Subverted with Fang. She has the looks and the attitude of a Cute Bruiser, but the only thing she can beat are bugs. Granted, this includes bugs about the size of a rhinoceros that could lay waste to the entire Kingdom of Udrogoth — as she demonstrated when some of them didn't simply run in terror from her reputation.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon:
    • "Shrink Rap" has Lula, after Dave points out she's the reason Quasmir woke up, threatens to do something painful to him with a cheese grater.
    • "Pipe Down" has Candy, pissed at Dave's loud pipes playing, threaten to do something to him with a fondue fork (we don't hear what due to his loud playing).
  • Dating Catwoman:
    • The heroic Dave goes on a date with the vile Princess Irmaplotz, though he doesn't realize her true nature at first.
      Dave: Oh, I see. Just 'cause she has a diabolical laugh and commands legions of horrible zombies and has "Evil Princess" embroidered on all of her hankies, you assume she's evil. That's so shallow!
    • Irmaplotz describes herself as "half-good on [her] father's side", implying this was the case with her parents as well.
  • Dark Secret: In one episode, when Dave was snooping around to see who stole his cookbook, he sees Oswidge reading a romance novel, Candy shaving off a bunch of facial hair, Fang secretly playing with dolls, and Faffy playing Go Fish with some other dragons, talking about how the 'Big Chump' hasn't discovered he can talk yet. Dave wonders out loud who said Big Chump could possibly be...
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lula's dialogue consists almost entirely of cynical jokes at others' expense, and her delivery is always serious and uninterested. This gets lampshaded in one episode where Dave is magically transformed into her, as he yells for the villagers to come closer so he can make sarcastic remarks about them.
  • Depending on the Writer: If Candy is an Action Girl or not, or if she is stronger than her brother or not.
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: When Oswidge accidentally turns himself into a newt, Candy notes he looks different and asks him if he has changed his hair.
  • Drunk with Power: Dave after temporarily assuming the throne in "King For a Day or Two." When his first new law, a kingdomwide Casual Friday, proves popular, he becomes increasingly overbearing, instituting a mandatory Udrogoth Spirit Day, forcing all citizens to shave their cats, and finally issuing orders to have everyone attend his original musical, Oh, Pastry!
  • Dumbass Has a Point: In "The Princess and the Peabrains", Chuckles tries to invade Udrogoth's castle with the help of his ditzy nephew Knuckles. After botching the first attempt, Knuckles asks Chuckles why he doesn't just blast away the wall with his amulet. Chuckles is flabbergasted trying to come up with an excuse before begrudgingly doing just that.
  • Eating the Enemy: In "A Pig's Story", Chuckles the Silly Piggy brings an army of Pretzel Men to destroy the barbarians. Not even Dave is afraid of the giggling, wide-eyed snack people. Oswidge swiftly defeats the Pretzel Men with a jar of mustard and his appetite.
  • The Eeyore: Twinkle the Marvel Horse sees nothing but horror all around him.
  • Epic Fail: At the beginning of "A Pig's Story," Chuckles tries attacking the Udrogothian Royal with an army of Pretzel Man. Not even Dave was scared of them and they all end up being by Oswidge (with mustard).
  • Episode Discussion Scene: The Stinger to "Girlfriend" features Dave looking at the camera and saying "Some of you may be wondering why I tied a squirrel to a megaphone. Well... goodnight".
  • Evil Is Hammy: Chuckles is definitely this, both literally (since he's a pig) and figuratively (as he's a Dark Lord of Evil).
  • Evil Knockoff: Mecha-Dave is a mechanical copy of Dave, distinguishable from the original only by the huge wind-up key in its back.
  • Evil Laugh: Malsquando once mentions that Chuckles is widely considered to have the best in the business.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Malsquando, Princess Irmaplotz and Queen Zonthara are all this.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Faffy, the pet dragon of the Udrogothian Royal Family, will eat pretty much anything, including stuff that's still alive.
  • Fake-Out Opening: In one episode, we see what appears to be King Throktar returning home, but after we see How We Got Here we find out that it's really Chuckles in disguise, and now "the King" suddenly has green glowing eyes and sounds like Chuckles.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Princess Irmaplotz and Queen Zonthara are evil sorceresses and have prominent canine teeth to emphasize their malevolent nature.
  • Fearless Fool: Red Sweater of Courage does this to its wearers, granting them the courage and bravado to fight, but essentially causing their courage to override every other feeling in their brain, including logic and intelligence. Dave briefly wears it in an attempt to overcome his Cowardly Lion disposition, and he does...but in the process it turns him into a reckless Blood Knight with no common sense to speak of. He arranges three of his worst foes to unite against him to fight. Instead of making a plan to beat them like normal, he just rushes into the fight head first and gets his butt handed to him.
  • Fictional Sport: Underwater unicycle plunger archery is one of Dave and Irmaplotz' favourite hobbies.
  • F--: Dave's poor performance during the rite of pillage enrages the evaluator so much he gives the protagonist a "Z" grade.
  • Fluffy the Terrible:
    • The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy is a cute little piggy, but also a powerful and evil dark lord.
    • Subverted with Faffy, who's adorable but shown to have a very indeterminate, Kirby-esque appetite.
  • Gainax Ending: One episode concludes with all characters compensating each others' debts. When Dave expresses confusion over how debt forgiveness works, Uncle Oswidge says he will explain it all with a song, but sings a nonsensical song about an egg named Steve instead. Dave then says "Oh, I get it", and joins in alongisde the others before the episode ends.
  • Garrulous Growth: The episode "Beauty and the Zit" has Candy being kidnapped by a pimple she had removed through her uncle's magic, which caused it to grow in size and develop sentience. They eventually fall in love through a song montage parodying Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The Pillage Master has a very intimidating "dark and shadowed guardian" voice. And yet is called Gloria.
  • Gentle Giant: Dave is normally the largest and strongest person in the room, but he prefers to work on his peaceful and artistic hobbies rather than the violent endeavors expected from a barbarian.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: Ned Frischman brings videogames called GameGuys to Udrogoth. Once the entire town is addicted, he forces them to accept him as a god in exchange for extra batteries.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Queen Zonthara, Princess Irmaplotz's mother, is an evil sorceress who rules over the kingdom of Hyrogoth. Ironically, she is a very minor character; her daughter is the real antagonist.
  • Golden Snitch: The penmanship portion of the Rite of Pillage counts for 70% of the total mark — a result of a pen company being the major sponsor.
  • God of Evil: Parodied with the villainous Quosmir, who is just the god of freshly laundered trousers and overused punctuation (and a bunch of other ridiculously random things).
  • Grows on Trees: One episode has Princess Candy getting a visit from a bill collector, who tells her that she has to pay for all the stuff that she ordered, telling her "stuffed-animals don't grow on trees." Cut to a farmer picking up toys from bushes, saying it would be easier if they came up from trees.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": One of the areas would-be barbarians are tested on during the Rite of Pillage is "Laying Waste." Dave reacts as you would expect.
    Pillage Master: You must lay waste here. Then you must lay waste over there. Then, when you feel you can no longer lay waste, you—all right, what is so funny?!
  • Heir Club for Men: Averted. Candy, the first born child of the royal family, is first in line to the throne of Udragoth, rather than Dave, the only son.
  • Here We Go Again!: Dave's parents apparently succeed on their quest to "Destroy all the evil in the world". Yet once they prepare to return home, it turns out that a new evil appeared in the very first place they started their quest, meaning they will have to do it all over again.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: When Strom the Slayer comes to slay a dragon, Faffy attempts to hide by pretending to be a bust. It works, until Dave holding a smoking book underneath him causes him to sneeze.
  • High Collar of Doom: One of the things that makes Fang deduce that Malsquando's an evil sorcerer is because he has one of these. Chuckles the Silly Piggy also prominently utilizes one.
  • High Hopes, Zero Talent: Played straight with Fang but inverted with Dave —
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Chuckles accomplishes this in "A Pig's Story" by brainwashing the narrator in order to bend the story to his will.
  • Hulk Speak: Candy increasingly slides into this as she consumes magic broccoli to become stronger, losing brainpower in proportion to her physical gains.
    Candy: Look how big is my bendy thing with hand at end!
  • Humor Dissonance: Used In-Universe by Ned Frischman. The people of the past have never heard his incredibly lame futuristic "why did the chicken cross the road"-class jokes and therefore considers him to be the funniest man in existence.
  • I Am Not Weasel: Fang's regularly mistaken for a monkey by people outside of her family (and Strom the Slayer). This leads to her Catchphrase of "I'm not a monkey!"
  • Immortal Immaturity: Lula's former owner Argon the Ageless. Their partnership ended when he used her as the nose in a snowman and left her there.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Galder the Hot's excuse for cancelling a date with Candy is that "the sun broke." Despite having a severe case of Phlebotinum-Induced Stupidity at the time, Candy is easily able to see that this isn't the case.
  • Inept Mage: Uncle Oswidge's spells almost always backfire and make the situation worse than before, such as making monsters larger or summoning random heavy objects on top of the heroes. It's later revealed he was actually just a cook in wizard school.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Not only was Argon the Ageless, the warrior who used to wield Lula, in a romantic relationship with her, but he Really Gets Around when it comes to talking swords.
    • Candy and her zit.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy is a cute little piglet who often comes up with ridiculous evil plans, but his magic skills make him surprisingly effective as a villain. The first episode establishes that his amulet is an even stronger weapon than Lula herself.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Candy, Fang and Lula are all examples of this—for as mean, rude, self-centered and/or sarcastic as they can be, there are plenty times that show that they do care about others.
  • Late to the Punchline: Gloria the Pillage Master initially doesn't get why Dave's laughing at "laying waste," but at the end, after Dave just barely passes his Rite of Pillage, Gloria claims that he gets it and starts laughing.
  • Laughably Evil: All the villains on the show, especially Chuckles.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Fang can definitely be like this at times.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The only time we ever see different outfits is if the characters are dressing up for specific events or if they're wearing their pajamas—other than that, they wear the same outfits in every single episode.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator tends to limit himself to telling the story, but will comment if someone is really stupid, and even chastise the characters if they are not making sense of the script.
  • Loony Laws: In "King For a Day or Two," Dave institutes a Casual Friday for the whole kingdom. It's so popular that he becomes Drunk with Power and starts instituting increasingly bizarre (and unpopular) laws, such as forcing all citizens to shave their cats and making them attend his original musical Oh, Pastry!
  • MacGyvering: Subverted in Girlfriend. The narrator tells how Dave's quick thinking enables him to construct a homemade megaphone, using only a squirrel, some string and a megaphone. In the next scene, Dave promptly holds up a megaphone with a squirrel tied to it.
  • Medium Awareness: The characters know that they are on an animated sitcom, and in one episode pause to check their scripts in an attempt to work out where they're supposed to be doing.
  • Mega Neko: In one episode, Chuckles turns into a giant cat (or, more specifically, a kitten) after eating a magical grape that was hidden in Faffy's room in the Castle of Udrogoth.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Fang and the Drill Sergeant Nasty of "Horders and Sorcery" are both attacked by an amoeba in this way at certain points in the episode.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Queen Glimia looks barely older than her teenaged daughter Candy.
  • Muscle Angst: Candy, for all of one episode, as she's jealous of the attention Bicepia is getting.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: In a pinch, skinny Candy and tiny Fang are just as strong as their more physically impressive brother.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: When Fang attempts to speak monkey while on an island of monkeys who look like her, her lack of knowledge about their language at one point causes her to spout gibberish.
    Fang: Which point me you to water in pants?
  • Mythology Gag: "The Brutish are Coming" has the castle crumbling in the intro to reveal Tino's house from The Weekenders (which was also created by Doug Langdale).
  • Nephewism: A downplayed example—King Throktar and Queen Glimia (the parents of Dave and his sisters) are still technically around and keep in touch with their kids, but they're off traveling the world and fighting evil, so they don't get to see the kids in person that much (if at all). So while they're parents are gone (with Candy being the ruler until they get back), Oswidge (the kids' uncle through Glimia's side of the family) is the kids' guardian.
  • Nice Guy: Dave is definitely this—he's easily the nicest character on the show.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Twinkle the Marvel Horse is a parody of Christopher Walken, through his manner of speech.
  • No Fourth Wall:
    • The characters interact with the narrator, occasionally pausing to check their scripts, etc.
    • While cleaning the castle, Dave comments that "the inside of this television set is filthy", then wipes the camera as the episode ends.
    • Chuckles captured the Narrator at one point and forced him to read his own story, as whatever the Narrator said became real. The heroes realize that the only way to win is to get a new narrator, so they hold auditions to replace him.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Faffy serves as this to the Udrogothian Royal Family (particularly Dave).
    • Twinkle the Marvel Horse serves as this too, albeit to a lesser extent (since we don't see him as much as Faffy) and he mostly serves as this to Candy.
  • Noodle Implements:
    • In "Pipe Down", Candy threatens Dave to stop playing the Gargle Pipes, but is drowned out by Dave's playing, and we only hear the tail end of it.
    • It seems that Twinkle the Marvel Horse's subconsciousness is not a nice place to be:
    "I had that dream again. The one where I do terrible penguins...with a croquet mallet..."
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Parodied in "The Maddening Sprite of the Stump." A giant muffin monster that had been attacking the castle is defeated offscreen, while the narrator explains that the show's budget is too cheap to actually show the battle but assures the audience that it was exciting.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Candy convinces Oswidge to turn himself, Dave, Fang and Faffy into toddlers to destroy Chuckles' evil army of living stuffed animals. After the battle is won, she requests Oswidge to turn the heroes back to normal, only to realize that the infant wizard doesn't know how to, causing her to realize what a terrible idea that was.
    • In the episode where Chuckles kidnaps the Narrator, the villain panics when the latter contracts a cough and loses his voice. Chuckles has another such reaction later in the episode when he realizes the Narrator that replaced the original one intended to have him "beaten like a cheap drum."
  • Opening Shout-Out: Chuckles succeeds in taking over Udrogoth (and, by extension, the world) in "A Pig's Story," to the point of where he even does his own take on the show's opening theme song.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: In "The Maddening Sprite of the Stump," Lula gets stuck in a tree stump and its resident Fairy Trickster declares that only the true ruler of Udrogoth will be able to remove her. The entire Royal Family try without success, and then a line forms, as expected. It turns out that it takes Dave, Fang, Candy and Oswidge all pulling at once.
  • Our Dragons Are Different:
    • Faffy is an adorably plump little critter who shoots lightning out his mouth, though there are plenty of standard issue dragons roaming around as well—it would seem that Faffy (who's routinely mistaken for a flying potato) has simply lost the genetic lottery, hard.
    • In "Here Thar Be Dragons", dragons are rebellious nonconformists who bully humans and have the voices of Metallica. They also only eat coal.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Irmaplotz uses a werecow "to make Dave look like a dork." Afterwards, anytime Dave gets bitten by something else, he turns into a werebeast-version of that. This leads to Dave turning into a cat, Oswidge, a hamster, an egg beater, Lula and a gym teacher. Eventually the situation is resolved when he is made to bite his own tongue, turning him back to normal, though it comes with the side-effect of turning everyone he bites into a weredave.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • When Chuckles disguises himself as a music producer, his costume consists of a cheap wig and a mustache. The heroes fall for it regardless, though Dave comments that "he looks familiar".
    • In the Villain Team-Up episode, Dave makes papier-mâché masks in their likeness, then has everyone go around insulting each villain while wearing the mask of a different villain, tricking them into fighting each other instead. It works flawlessly, despite the fact that the masks only cover their faces, and two of the villains are the very short Chuckles and the building-sized Quosmir.
  • Playing a Tree: Dave ends up casting almost everyone as a tree in the Udrogoth pageant because he's futilely trying to cast everyone in the Udrogoth pageant.
  • Poke the Poodle: Dave's attempts to be just a little evil in one episode (an attempt to make his relationship with Princess Irmoplotz work) really emphasize little. As in taking two free nut log samples instead of just one then feeling so guilty he bought ten-thousand of them. And inverted with Irmaplotz, who returns a library book on-time, but tore out the final page before doing so.
  • Poverty for Comedy: In "Rite of Pillage", Dave has to pass a series of tests to prove his barbarian-ness for the honor of himself and his family. One such test is proof that he can pillage villagers, so he is sent to pillage a house, only for the child to tell him that they are so poor that they could not afford to pay attention. He then goes off on a failed stand-up routine.
    Poor Boy: We're so poor, our bologna doesn't have a first name! Hello!? [Taps microphone.] Has this thing been invented yet? Come on, these are the jokes, people! We're so poor, we can't buy a vowel! So, two guys walk into a barbarian...
  • Previously on…: Parodied in the last episode of the series, which opens with a montage of Dave screaming and enduring misfortune.
  • Princesses Rule: After her, Dave and Fang's parents left to go fight evil, Candy (as the oldest of the three kids) is left to rule Udrogoth until they get back—she's still called "Princess" Candy instead of "Queen" Candy.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Evil Princess Irmaplotz wants to humiliate and destroy Dave after he broke up with her.
  • Pygmalion Plot: Non-romantic version, in the episode where the family tried to make Fang act more ladylike.
    Dave: (completely sincere) Because what could be more wholesome than the entire family working together as one ... to crush Fang's spirit and force her to stifle her true self?
  • Recycled In Space: Exaggerated in "A Pig's Story":
    Space Narrator: But just as it seems no one can hit the side of a space barn, the space lord scores a direct space hit on our space heroes' space generator!
  • Right Out of My Clothes:
    • In "Beauty and the Zit", Dave encounters the monster zit for the first time. Dave asks for the monster's hat before being roared at and landing in a large pile of hats. The clothes and Lula the sword float for a few seconds before falling to the ground.
    • In "The Cow Goes Moon", Princess Irmaplotz disappears for the second time, leaving behind only her dress. She takes it back.
  • Rip Van Tinkle: When Dave plays the gargle pipes loudly enough to wake the God of Evil Quosmir, Quosmir temporarily pauses in the middle of his declaration of destruction to say he needs to use the restroom because he's been holding it in for thousands of years.
  • Short-Runner: As noted above in the description, the show only lasted for one season—and the one season only has 21-episodes. Or, if you want to get technical, 41-episodes (there was one half-hour episode and forty 11-minute episodes).
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "That Darn Ghost", the segment where the ghosts chase Dave and his family undergoes an Art Shift and is set to a musical number that is a transparent ScoobyDoo parody.
    • The song (and dance routine set to) "Candy and the Zit" is an obvious parody of the song "Beauty and the Beast" from the eponymous Disney movie.
    • Dave's "Bejabbers!" quote comes from an incredibly obscure show. The Brothers Flub. (Ralph Soll wrote for both shows.)
    • Irmaplotz (and later Dave) tormenting the filthy pixies with Ped Xing's bad poetry is rather reminiscent of the Vogons in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
    • One of the door-to-door charity functions that Candy rejects is dedicated to save children from being turned into donkeys.
    • As Candy's Zit dies after being sprayed with lotion, he quotes the famous line from Casablanca: "We'll always have Paris."
    • In "Band", Dave sings the lyrics in "Pancake Party" to the tune of the Chariots of Fire theme.
  • Somebody Else's Problem: As Quosmir and his mother prepare to destroy half a continent, Fang happily justifies her lack of interest/concern by pointing out that it's not the part they live on.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The Lemony Narrator constantly dips in and out of Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe.
    Narrator: And yea, the people do gather in honor of this, Dave's most special day—because, hey, free food.
  • Space "X": Mocked mercilessly for two solid minutes in "A Pig's Story", in which the new narrator peppers his dialogue with the word "space".
    Narrator: "And with a tremendous space burst of space energy, the spaceship is space destroyed! Space!"
  • Splitting the Arrow: One episode has Dave's girlfriend for the episode doing this during their Falling-in-Love Montage, at which point they're doing underwater archery.
  • Spring Cleaning Fever: An episode is devoted to Dave's obsessive spring cleaning of the castle. Chuckles takes advantage of this by using a coupon for castle polish to trap him.
  • Starstruck Speechless: In one episode, Fang is about to meet her biggest hero, Strom the Slayer, and assist a parade to ask for his autograph. But when Strom passes by, she freezes completely (even falling off without breaking pose).
  • Stating the Simple Solution: In "The Princess and the Peabrains", Chuckles has trouble getting into Udrogoth via Catapult. His nephew asks him why he doesn't just use his amulet to blast a hole in the wall. He stutters for a bit before doing just that.
  • Stone Punk: A "Great Indoor Marketplace" exists in Udrogoth, complete with functioning escalators.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: How Fang and Oswidge (separately) react to having their rooms torn out of the castle by a giant rampaging muffin.
    Fang: Hey! He threw my room! All my dollies are in there!...I mean...all my weapons.
    Oswidge: Hey! He threw my room! All my dollies are in there!...I mean...all my magic stuff.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Candy and Fang's strength changes from episode to episode—although, for the most part, Candy's generally shown to be just as strong as their brother while Fang is about weak as someone her age/size would be.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: During Chuckle's Hostile Show Takeover in "A Pig's Story."
    The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy
    Ruler of the universe
    He's powerful, and he's evil
    And his ears are... nicely shaped!
  • Suckiness Is Painful: The poetry of Ped Xing is so horrible it can actually make the reader physically ill. Dave and Princess Irmaplotz are immune to it, though, and instead genuinely consider him to be a great writer. The only writer capable of equally painful poetry turns out to be Dave himself, which enables him to fight back when Irmaplotz uses the threat of Ped Xing's poetry to command her army of Filthy Pixies.
  • Superhero Origin: Spoofed in the creation of the Time Zipper, with everything from a strike from the Nordic Gods to a radioactive grasshopper bite in about 10 seconds.
    Ned Frischman: Wow, that hardly ever happens!
  • Talking Animal:
    • Twinkle the Marvel Horse is capable of speech.
    • A throwaway gag in the final episode reveals that Faffy can talk just fine, but he (for whatever reason) keeps it a secret from Dave and the others.
  • Talking Weapon: There seem to be plenty of them in-universe, including Lula and her older sister, Molly, better known as Mjölnir.
  • Team Pet: Faffy's the pet dragon of the Udrogothian Royal Family.
  • There Are No Therapists: Inverted in "Shrink Rap". Dave becomes a therapist to help people, but all he does is ask "How does that make you feel?" and generally irritates everyone.
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
    • In "Bad Food", Oswidge and his nieces come up with a plan to produce a loud enough noise to ruin the Armageddon Souffle.
      [Oswidge chops down a tree]
      Oswidge: TIMBER!
      Dave: Say. This might hurt.
      [Tree slams Dave's toe]
      Dave: [Scream]MY TOE!
      [Souffle deflates]
      Dave: I was right. It did hurt.
    • "Night of the Living Plush", Oswidge turns himself, Fang, Faffy, and Dave into toddlers to fight the evil stuffed animals. Afterwards...
      Candy: Time to Reverse the spell Uncle Oswidge!
      Oswidge: Applejuice!
      Candy: Ooh...This very bad now.
  • Too Gruesome for Cartoon Physics: Invoked in "A Pig's Story". After enslaving the show's narrator, Chuckles rewrites the episode's script so that his minions can deliver a gruesome beatdown to the heroes. However, the storyteller refuses to narrate the new tale, as it's "far too violent for a family show". As a result, the villain changes the script once more, so that the minions do "non-specific but presumably very unpleasant things off-camera" to the heroes instead.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Dave has a large, muscular upper body and short, scrawny legs. As does Candy in "Beef" and Chuckles in "A Pig's Story" when they are magically bulked up.
  • Translation: "Yes": In "Termites of Endearment", there's a brief bit with two stereotypically Scottish characters yelling in Scots-sounding gibberish while bagpipes play in the background. A one-syllable sound is subtitled as "What luck, Angus Macdougal Mackenzie Maclommond Machaggis Macteague!"
  • The Un-Reveal: In one episode Dave quickly makes an improvised megaphone, using only a squirrel, some twine, and a megaphone. The Stinger features Dave looking at the camera and saying "Some of you may be wondering why I tied a squirrel to a megaphone. Well... Goodnight".
  • 20 Minutes into the Past: Ned's originally from the year 1994 (about ten years before the show premiered on TV).
  • Villain Team-Up: In "Red Sweater of Courage", Chuckles, Malsquando and Quosmir team-up after Dave harasses each of them without provocation.
  • Weight Taller: When Candy eats Uncle Oswidge's magic broccoli to build more muscle, she also gets taller and continues to grow taller and more muscular the more broccoli she eats.
  • What the Heck Is an Aglet?: Dave and his friends and family are being held against the wall by magic. "Dave, do something!" "I am... I'm trying to remember what the thing on the end of a shoelace is called, an argle?" When they are let go, but still against the wall, he suddenly remembers something. "That the thing on the end of a shoelace is called an aglet?" "No, that gravity makes things fall."
  • Woman Scorned: Referenced.
    Princess Irmaplotz: Dating rule number one... "Never break up with an Evil Princess!" (diabolical laughter)
  • You Didn't Ask: Used to an extent. After a battle with invisible warriors. (which to fight the heroes had to become invisible), Uncle Oswidge makes everyone visible, including the enemy, causing Dave to say:
    Dave: If you can make 'em visible, why didn't you do it before?!
    Oswidge: Pick, pick, pick. Get off my back, Man!
  • Your Head A-Splode: Queen Zonthara's advice to her daughter.
    Zonthara: If [Dave] loves you, he'll love you for who you are, honey...And if he doesn't, you can always use your powers to make his head explode!
  • You Mean "Xmas": Harvest Day is the show's equivalent to Christmas, with the Harvest Hog being the holiday's equivalent to Santa Claus. This could possibly be a Shout-Out to Terry Pratchett's Discworld, where our Christmas morphs into Hogswatch.


"Isn't that cute?"

The episode "Night of the Living Plush" features a voice cameo from Amy Volkert, a Make-A-Wish teenager diagnosed with cancer whose wish was to voice a character in a cartoon. Sadly, she died before the episode aired.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / MakeAWishContribution

Media sources: