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"What the hell are YOU starin' at?!"

Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man (1994-1997) is an Animated Series from Klasky-Csupo that aired on USA Network; starring Jason Alexander as the titular Duckman. Duckman is the cheapest, sleaziest, most incompetent private investigator in the world; he's also a lousy father, a small-time crook, and... a duck. He and his family are all walking, talking, tax-paying note  ducks, and Duckman's hyper-efficient (and humorless) assistant Cornfed is a pig, despite the fact that this is not a DuckTales-type animal world. While Duckman himself walks around naked in the tradition of Daffy Duck, everyone else wears clothes.

Very crude (right down to the deliberately ugly character designs), very cynical and very, very surreal — sort of like if Luis Buñuel had made Beavis and Butt-Head (a show also produced by a division of Viacom) — it freely mixed low-brow riffs with the abstract and the intellectual. The show has an ardent cult following, and a lot of its fans are still stewing over the final episode's cliffhanger.

Created by the late Everett Peck, who would later move on to create Cartoon Network's Squirrel Boy (in the interim he did design work for a bunch of shows for Sony Pictures Television).

The series also inspired a relatively obscure Point-and-Click Adventure Game adaptation called Duckman: The Legend of the Fall, released in 1997.

What the hell are YOU starin' at?! Go look at some tropes, you jerks!

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  • The Ace: Cornfed, if it's possible to be one in a deadpan low-key sort of way.
    Cornfed: From the inflection in your voice this morning I deduced that you and your family were being held hostage by a Grand-ma-ma lookalike.
  • Accidental Misnaming: A Running Gag where Duckman forgets Mambo's name and calls him something else.
    • In "Cellar Beware", there's a rapid fire batch of these:
    Kent: I'll have a Manhattan straight up, bartender.
    Duckman: I live here!
    Kent: Ah. Kent.
    Duckman: Han.
    Cathy: Cathy.
    Duckman: Elaine.
    Gene: Gene.
    Duckman: Ronny.
    Edna: Edna.
    Duckman: Dorothy.
    Glen: Glen.
    Duckman: Phil.
    Beth: Beth.
    Duckman: Rochelle.
    Dave: Dave.
    Duckman: Jeff.
    Jenny: Jenny.
    Duckman: Susan.
    • If Duckman's conversations with his deceased mother are any indication, he inherited this trait from her as she repeatedly mistakes his name for household items starting with the letter D such as Dustmop.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Duckman in "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W." after inadvertently saving the president's life.
  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload; In "They Craved Duckman's Brain:"
    Bernice: I'm going to call our congressman and get that S.O.B. to rouse the F.D.A, H.E.W., D.O.J., and every other V.I.P. in D.C. ASAP!
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Wilbur Nelson who appeared in the "American the Beautiful" episode was voiced by Alan Young, who previously played two other characters sharing the first name: Main character Wilbur Post from Mister Ed and Wilbur Bowser in an episode of Encounter.
    • Duckman is said to have had a relationship with a Seinfeld-obsessed blind woman who thought he was Jason Alexander in a duck suit. As a Brick Joke, said woman has kidnapped Jason, who is wondering who this woman is, and why she's talking about him having a duck suit.
    • In the finale ("Four Weddings Inconceivable") King Chicken proposes to Bernice, asking "In the movie Clue, what was your favorite ending: A, B, or C?" to determine if they're truly compatible.note 
    • "The One with Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role" is a reference to her show's Idiosyncratic Episode Naming.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Duckman needs to find a person who can do some investigation (i.e. a detective like himself) and Cornfed tells him to look at the sign on their door. Duckman snappily asks if they were evicted again, prompting Cornfed to chuckle.
  • Advertised Extra: Although not all episodes feature opening credits, those that do always list the characters of Fluffy and Uranus (who don't appear in many episodes) and Grandma-ma (who is often absent even in episodes set primarily in the family home - despite being largely immobile).
  • Advertising Campaigns: In-between the third and fourth seasons, USA Network ran a series of commercials asking, "Where is Duckman?", and showing Duckman at various locations like at a political rally and on the moon.
  • An Aesop: Tends to get dropped now and then, particularly in regards to censorship.
    • "The Once and Future Duck" highlights just how much of a minefield trying to control the future would be, through liberal use of chaos theory (e.g. Duckman going outside leads to his getting an I-beam through his skull, but staying inside leads to his becoming a Sassy Black Woman), leading to his becoming paralyzed by indecision.
  • The Ahnold:
    • In the episode "In the Nam of the Father," Cornfed takes off his shirt to reveal bulging muscles. Before he goes off to shoot the place up Rambo-style, he says, "Thank you, Nordic Track."
    • In "Dammit Hollywood," one of the celebrities that wants Duckman killed is an obvious Schwarzenegger caricature.
  • All for Nothing: "They Craved Duckman's Brain!" ends with the doc extracting the cure for cancer from Duckman... only to be drank by a cat.
  • Alliterative List: Subverted in "Ride the High School:" Duckman is proud Ajax is going to a university, because he can get back to the three "R's:" "Reading, running, and uh, the other thing."
  • Ambiguous Gender:
    • Fluffy and Uranus. Lampshaded when they're made the guards at the wall dividing the men and women in "Exile in Guyville" because they're "gender confused."
    • In one episode, it's implied Ajax is a hermaphrodite.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: In "Clip Job":
    Harvey: But now, I and the rest of the world, have been pushed over the edge by one series: Duckman.
    Duckman: Yes?
    Harvey: Duckman!
    Duckman: Yes?
    Harvey: Duckman! The series is called Duckman!
  • Amusing Injuries: While chasing down a dollar bill in the opening of "Not So Easy Riders", Duckman gets hit by no less than four cars. He's later seen on crutches at work.
  • Anachronism Stew: During "Pig Amok," Cornfed shows a documentary explaining the inherited gene that requires him to lose his virginity or die. During the documentary, one of those Civil War letters by Ulysses S. Grant is read, only it's revealed that it wasn't an actual letter, but an e-mail. To really hammer the point home, the President's email provider is ""
  • And I Must Scream: King Chicken initially decides to let Duckman go at the start of "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial." When Duckman suspicious asks why he would let him go, Chicken replies with:
    King Chicken: So that one day, when you least expect it, I will trap you in an elaborately-woven web of diabolical deceit, craven cruelty, and evil so terrible, that it will turn your life into an unending torturous Hell on Earth, where you'll be too frightened to die, and too damned to scream!
  • And Starring: Even though the opening credits list the characters instead of the actors voicing them, Cornfed still gets the "And" before his name. (Gregg Berger, who voiced Cornfed, was generally listed third in the end credits, behind Jason Alexander and Nancy Travis.)
  • ...And That Would Be Wrong: In "Ajax and Ajaxer", after Duckman encourages any viewing kids to steal soda from vending machines, Cornfed gets handed some Censor Notes which require him to invoke this trope.
  • "Anger Is Healthy" Aesop: In "A Room with a Bellevue", Duckman is sent to a mental institution after going on an angry rant in public. After a while, he starts treating his time in the psych ward as a vacation from the stresses of everyday life, which convinces the staff that he's insane and they put him through Electro Shock. After his brain has been fried, he is released from the hospital as an uncharacteristically cheerful Extreme Doormat who doesn't get angry at anything. Cornfed eventually sedates him and performs neurosurgery to reverse the effects of the Electro Shock. After waking up, Cornfed tells Duckman that it's the person who can cheerfully accept the madness of this world that is truly insane.
  • Animated Actors; In "The One with Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role:" Duckman, Cornfed, and Bernice are sitting on the couch after the second commercial break. They're casually chatting about various subjects until they're told by the off-screen director to get into places. When he says "Action," they get into character and continue the plot of trying to find the missing Ajax.
  • Animated Adaptation: Based on an underground comic book by Everett Peck, who also helped develop the show.
  • Anti-Role Model: Duckman. Explicitly lampshaded on at least one occasion.
    Duckman: "Role model?" Hey, I'm a water fowl! I'm not a TV show! Even if I were, any halfway intelligent audience would know I'm not somebody to imitate. Who'd aspire to imitate someone who's gotten the stuffing kicked out of him so many times, the only reason he gets up in the morning is because either he's really stupid, or somewhere, deep down inside, beats the heart of a disappointed, yet still hopeful, idealist. A yellow, ''YES YELLOW!'', teller of truth, who's a spokesperson for the silent masses who'd love to tell it like it is, who's an idol to be emulated, nay, a GOD, to be bowed down to!... But, heh, I'm... I'm not a role model.
    • "Das Sub": Duckman is a substitute teacher for a class that's surprisingly well-behaved and smart, but turns them into delinquents.
  • Appeal to Worse Problems: In "Das Sub", when Duckman is on trial:
    Duckman: In a world of psycho zombies and pumpkinheads and killer puppets who drill your eyeballs with their little screw hats, am I really such a bad guy?
  • Artifact Title: The episode "Aged Heat 2: Women in Heat" is not a follow-up to the first "Aged Heat", about criminal Agnes Delrooney posing as Grandma-ma, but is instead a parody of women's prison movies.
  • Artistic License – Biology: "Days of Whining and Neurosis": No, you wouldn't explode from eating a bunch of lactose-heavy foods if you're lactose intolerant. Most that would happen is you would experience diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain.
  • Artistic License – Law: At the end of "Married Alive", Bernice, in a rare moment of humanity, gratefully thanks Duckman for saving her from a sham marriage to Baron Von Dillweed...then becomes enraged when she realizes she would've been "legally bonded to a devious criminal...who I could've divorced and soaked for half his multi-billion dollar fortune!" Anyone who's learned the first thing about divorce law knows that this is utter hogwash: The most she'd potentially be entitled to is half of his income during the time that they were married. Furthermore, Bernice's relative youth, excellent health, numerous occupations and affiliations, and ability to run a household on her own would all work against her. At an absolute minimum she would have to endure years of miserable marriage (probably as many as 10) and then hunker down for a very long, very ugly court battle against a man who can afford the best divorce lawyers in the world. And then of course there's the nightmare Scylla-and-Charybdis decision of whether to allow a self-serving amoral sleazeball to keep custody of the boys or give them back to Duckman.
  • Artistic License – Ornithology: In a case of the show trying to make a nod to realism but missing the mark by being too clever by half, in "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W.", Duckman, who seems to be hitting it off with two very beautiful (and very stupid) ladies, comments in an aside that he wishes he had a penis. Now it's true that most birds don't have penisesnote  but among the small handful of birds that do? Ducks.
  • Art Shift; In "I, Duckman:" Duckman watches various home movies to hopefully get a clue about his past. All the home movies have a different art style: Steamboat Willie for his childhood years, Popeye for another time, Yogi Bear for high school years, and The Simpsons for adult years when he and Beatrice were still married.
  • As You Know: Parodied in "Color of Naught" after Duckman sees Angela. Charles and Mambo proceed to remind him of her backstory.
    Duckman: Don't you think I know all that?
    Mambo: That wasn't for you. That was exposition for the 99.9% of the audience who are usually out having a life on Saturday nights instead of staying home and flipping through obscure cable channels in the hopes they'll catch a little soft-core pornography.
  • Astronomic Zoom: Demonstrated at the beginning of "Days of Whining and Neurosis."
    • Also done in "The Gripes of Wrath"; the end of act two zooms out on an Earth with a happy face, and the start of act three zooms back in on Earth, which is now sporting a frowny face.
  • Attack Of The 50 Ft Whatever
    • "The Amazing Colossal Duckman" had Duckman continually growing every time he gets enraged. Later inverted when his condition shrinks him when isolated from other people.
    • "Apocalypse Not" opens with a Godzilla-style parody culminating in soldiers destroying Duckman's sex doll, which grew to enormous proportions when he left it plugged into an air compressor.
  • Author Tract: To such a degree in "America the Beautiful" that the following disclaimer appears at the start of the episode.
    Warning: The following program contains heavy-handed and over-obvious allegory and is not recommended for small children or certain congressmen from the South.
  • Back for the Finale: Various one-off or background characters are guests at the finale's triple wedding. Surprisingly, this includes Baron Von Dillweed, who left Duckman and Bernice on extremely bad terms, the mad bomber, who attempted to kill Duckman several times, Achmed Owasir, a movie character (who was Duckman and Cornfed's enemy in said movie), and Professor Edwin Byer, who shouldn't even exist (he was one of King Chicken's disguises), all of whom are happily cheering with the rest at the conclusion of the ceremony.
  • Bad Liar: In "The Gripes of Wrath," Bernice discovers Duckman has tickets to Busty Bikini Babe Fest.
    Duckman: It's not like it sounds! First prize is a scholarship, or, uh... something.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The start of act two of "Gland of Opportunity" has Bernice, Charles, Mambo, and Ajax mourning that "he's" gone. Given that Duckman had gone under the gas for surgery at the end of act one, you think they're talking about Duckman. But Duckman walks through the door and announces he's okay. Bernice snaps that they were mourning about Vile Kyle's death, not Duckman's.
  • Beat: In "Das Sub," there's a really long one after one of the arrested students asks if Duckman will take the rap for the crime, and Cornfed just stares blankly.
  • Bed Trick: Duckman once had a relationship with a Seinfeld-obsessed blind woman, who thought he was Jason Alexander in a duck suit.
  • "Before" and "After" Pictures: A thrice-done gag in "Psyche": The funny part is that the third photo is always of the same man.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Cornfed.
  • Big Bad: King Chicken, although he and Duckman had a truce near the end.
    • At the end of "Cock Tales For Four", King Chicken loudly reasserts his dedication to taking over the world and destroying Duckman, but it comes across more as a cry for help than anything he intends to actually follow through on. His only other appearances would be a story based on Hamlet that Cornfed eventually confesses to completely making up, a Star Trek parody that turns out to be a dream of Leonard Nimoy, and the finale, where it's heavily implied that he's given up his evil plans and now just wants a happy life with Bernice.
  • Big Damn Hero: Agnes Delrooney and Tony Randall in "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby!".
  • Big "NO!": In "Clip Job," Duckman delivers three of these in a row when shown footage of himself by Harry Medfly.
    Harry: Horrible, isn't it?
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...:
    Bernice: Let's see: Junk, junk, junk, summons...
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    • USA was a frequent target of the series.
      • In "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W.", Duckman cuts a deal with USA to air the movie about his life story.
      Bernice: USA? Are they on at night?
      Duckman: Are you kidding? Dozens of people watch USA!
      • And again, during the movie.
      Cornfed: Did we really need all that degrading sex and gratuitous stomach-churning violence?
      Duckman: Hey, USA had certain guidelines.
      • "Color of Naught" has several jokes poking fun at USA for airing them on Saturday nights alongside a show with an incompatible audience. King Chicken even says USA is okay with him killing the casts of both shows, as they can save money by just rerunning Silk Stalkings.
    • One where USA wasn't the target was in "How to Suck in Business Without Really Trying". Viacom, the rightsholder to the show at the time, was parodied as Variecom.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "The Gripes of Wrath": Done intentionally for Dark Comedy. Yes, Duckman defeated Loretta the Supercomputer, causing everything to go back to normal. Too bad "normal" is only slightly better than the Crapsack World that the world became under Loretta.
    • "The One With Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role": Ajax returns to Earth safe and sound, but Betamax explodes.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: Played with in "Bonfire of the Panties" when Duckman's on a date with Courtney Thorne-Smith:
    Duckman: What I want to hear about is you.
    Courtney: Me? Well, my hometown was founded in... sex, sex, fondle, lick, lick, sex, breasts, sex, lick, sex, sex, restraints, oils, sex, velour, sex, sex. But all kids get picked on, you know?
  • Blatant Lies: Cornfed resorts to using one on Duckman to get him to go on his own son's field trip.
  • Blaxploitation: "Ebony, Baby" is an Affectionate Parody of this genre.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase:
    • Throughout "The Longest Weekend," many residents of Duckman's neighborhood utter his iconic "DWAAAAAAAH!" scream as things get more chaotic. He eventually gets annoyed by it, stating that the "DWAAAAAAAH!" is his thing.
    • Homer Simpson executes Duckman's "What the hell are you staring at?" at the end of "Haunted Society Plumbers". The credits have some outtakes of Homer repeatedly botching the catchphrase.
  • Brain Bleach: In "Ride the High School," Duckman opens Bernice's door to say good night, and Bernice screams. Duckman quickly shuts her door, shudders, and says, "Yech! It'll be a long time before I eat broccoli again!"
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In "Clip Job":
    Duckman: Look, I'm a person, not a TV show. I have a job, a family, a membership in the Suppository of the Month Club.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall; The series as a whole has multiple moments of this occurrence. Some of the more notable ones include:
    • In "Ajax and Ajaxer," Duckman eggs on any potential children in the audience to steal soda to "stick it to the man."
    • "Clip Job" in its entirety does this.
    • In "Exile In Guyville" the narrator says "maybe it was just the cheap and barely believable device of a desperate writer."
    • In "The Road to Dendron:"
    Cornfed: We've got to get to that banquet and stop that toast.
    Ajax: But I like toast. It's the muffins that must be stopped!
    Duckman: Eh, okay, son, now you're starting to scare the viewers.
    • "The One With Lisa Kudrow In a Small Role", Duckman, Cornfed and Bernice are discussing their other projects between takes.
  • Breast Expansion: When Duckman goes to get a billjob in "Psyche", there is a woman in the background getting a similar procedure on her chest. She starts off relatively normal-sized until they become bigger than her body, at which point they pop and she's sent flying.
  • Brick Joke: In "Bonfire of the Panties," there's a reference to a blind woman Duckman knew who's obsessed with Seinfeld. At the end of the episode, the woman is revealed, and she's kidnapped Jason Alexander in a bit of Actor Allusion:
    Jason: I swear, I've never met you before! Tell you what, let me go and we'll forget the whole thing, okay, uh, Irma?
    Irma: Tonight, I'm not Irma. Tonight, call me... Vandalay. (sits on Jason's lap and puts his face between her breast) I wish you had brought that duck suit.
    (Psycho strings as Jason turns and nervously stares at the camera)
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Duckman shows signs of actually being a competent detective when he properly applies himself, but he is usually so distracted by his various addictions, semi-psychotic anger, and depraved lusts that he barely knows where he is most of the time.
  • Broken Record: More than one occasion.
    • "Solve case, get out, solve case, get out, solve case, get out, solve case, get out..."
    • "Kill Duckman, kill Duckman, kill Duckman, kill Duckman..."
    • "When will we learn!? When will we we learn!? When will we learn!?" If Bernice is to be believed, Duckman kept saying this for three days.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: In "Clip Job":
    Fluffy: Aaah! Mr. Duckman, why did you eviscerate us with a hot curling iron?
    Duckman: It's Tuesday.
  • The Butler Did It: Or more accurately, The Butler Was Also Involved in "Haunted Society Plumbers."
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Fluffy and Uranus, who are gruesomely mangled on a regular basis.
    • Duckman himself also qualifies. The poor guy can hardly catch a break.
    • Even Cornfed is subject to this on occasion, such as spending a big chunk of "Soft, Plush, and Deadly" with a thickly swollen head from bug bites and being left behind. Or being kidnapped in "A Trophied Duck" and left bound, gagged, and hanging upside down in a closet.
    • Gecko, the family dognote  is abused in almost all of his appearances, mainly by Duckman.
  • Butterface:
    • In "About Face", we have Angela. Despite her gonkish face Duckman warms up to it and falls for her, even stowing most of his usual tendencies. Angela fixes the problem and becomes a Ms. Fanservice, but in the process causes Duckman to believe he's not good enough for her.
    • "Road to Dendron" brings us Princess Fallopia. Impossible Hourglass Figure, face of Ajax. Even Duckman's raging libido can't handle it.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard In "All About Elliott" when Elliott's final ingredient to make Duckman overload on pleasure is a stripper with boobs that are practically as long as she is tall. And that's not all; she's one of identical sextuplets!
  • Call-Back:
    • In "The Gripes of Wrath," a radio announcer talks about "midget throwing." In "Ride the High School," Duckman and Ajax participate in the "midget toss" event.
    • In "Research and Destroy," Duckman accidentally destroys a supercomputer that gathers focus group data. Duckman remarks: "Me and supercomputers, huh?", which is a callback to "The Gripes of Wrath."
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Iggy Catalpa.
  • Cartoon Bomb: When a Robin-Leach-type shows him one claiming it was sent by someone trying to kill him, Duckman tells him he gets such bombs every day.
  • Casanova Wannabe: If you were electing a president of this trope, it would be Duckman.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Seen in "Noir Gang" after Cornfed has a dream that ends with Duckman with dynamite saying, "You're my best friend!"
  • Catchphrase: "DWAH!", "What the hell are you starin' at!?", "Hommina hommina howah!" and others.
  • Character Filibuster:
    • Duckman used a rant as a filibuster in "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial" to irritate King Chicken into revealing his plot to the court.
    • We see the ending of one at the start of "Das Sub," as Duckman stands trial for land fraud. According to the judge, Duckman had already "acted out five Leprechaun movies, six Puppet Master movies and nine Maniac Cop movies."
    • And of course his epic rant on the human condition that gets him committed to an asylum in "Room with a Bellevue."
  • Chessmaster Sidekick: Cornfed.
  • The Chew Toy: Fluffy and Uranus.
  • Chirping Crickets: Heard at the end of "Gland of Opportunity" when Charles, Mambo, and Ajax have an extended awkward silence after Duckman says his kids are still proud of him even though he didn't perform the death-defying stunt.
    • Also in "Not So Easy Riders" when Duckman and Cornfed are camping out in the desert while on the run from the IRS, but subverted when it turns out Cornfed was making the noise himself to 'add atmosphere'.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Duckman is implied to have been this while married to Beatrice. He also behaves this way while dating Angela and later Honey.
  • Cliffhanger: The last episode of the fourth season ended with one that was never resolved. Making that episode a cliffhanger was intentional. Never resolving it was not.
  • Clip Show: Both played straight and parodied in "Clip Job," complete with some concluding Self-Deprecation at the producers' own expense.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Ajax. Also, Cornfed in "Ajax and Ajaxer."
  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: Unfortunately, the DVD releases had to remove a few of the licensed songs; in one instance, an entire scene was spliced out because of this. On the plus side, none of the removed songs were the ones by Frank Zappa.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb:
    • Duckman gives one to Fluffy and Uranus at the beginning of "American Dicks." He is caught on camera.
    Duckman: Oh... (chuckles) ... T(bleep). (Beat) Guess you'll cut that...
    • In "Forbidden Fruit," Fluffy and Uranus give one to Duckman after he behaves like a bad guest in their home.
    • A variation in "Ebony, Baby" where Duckman and Ebony pass by an air horn vendor on the way to meeting Tanzi, and subsequently air horns sound over all of Tanzi's inappropriate words.
  • Cold Opening:
    • "Bev Takes a Holiday."
    • "Clip Job" as well.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Demonstrated in "They Craved Duckman's Brain!", when bystanders overhear that Duckman has a cure for cancer in his brain. Once they start to riot when trying to grab Duckman, the doctor from the episode appeals to the crowd with An Aesop:
    Doctor: It's like the goose that laid the golden eggs. When the greedy king decided to cut him open to get all the eggs at once, it killed the goose.
    Man 1: Hey, he lays golden eggs, too!
    Man 2: Let's cut him open and get all the eggs at once! (crowd riots again)
    • In "Cellar Beware," after the family is robbed, Ajax mentions that he went downstairs in the middle of the night to get some butter from the fridge, and didn't think anything of the burglars.
    Duckman: Ajax! I can't believe you're so oblivious to the world around you!
    Ajax: Sorry, dod.
    Duckman: Next time, try to remember: There are other people in this house who would've liked a little butter too!
    • Duckman bemoans how it appears he's the last person alive in "Apocalypse Not," only to then state the advantages include things like shorter lines at the post office, and being able to watch the games whenever he wanted to.
    • During their pursuit of Ajax and the Vice Principal to stop them from getting married, Duckman and Bernice pose as a couple, and have drunken sex. The next morning, they discover what happened and freak out. And then Ajax walks in on them and states that he's appalled... that they would leave their clothes wrinkled and discarded on the floor after years of chiding him for doing so.
    • "I don't know what feces are but they smell like crap!!
    • In "Dammit Hollywood" Duckman is enraged by a family-oriented film he expected to be pornographic. He rants against what he perceives to be the wussification of media.
    Duckman: Where's all the sex and violence Bob Dole promised!?"
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Topps Comics published a comic adaptation of the show that lasted five issues as well as a three-issue miniseries called The Mob Frog Saga.
  • Comic Role Play: Done in "Role with It."
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger:
    • Lampshaded in "Hamlet 2: This Time, It's Personal."
    • Also lampshaded in "Clip Job" when Harry Medfly tells Duckman he's going to die and laughs diabolically. Right before it cuts to black, he says to the camera: "Doncha hate it when they do that right before a commercial?"
    • Yet again in "All About Elliott" when Elliott is rewriting Cornfed's appointment book, he chuckles evilly before 'noticing' the people still watching and says "What are you people still doing here? Don't you have a little Psychic Friends commercial to watch or something?"
  • Confession Cam: Used in "American Dicks" when various characters tell the camera what they think about Duckman.
  • Content Warnings: Parodied in "American Dicks": The text states that the show has been edited for content, but for the sake of ratings, they've let a few titillating lines slide.
  • Continuity Nod: Every Terry Duke Tetzloff appearance after "Cellar Beware" would have Duckman recap one or two roles he played in the past.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: See the Even Evil Has Standards example below.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Coupled with an Ironic Echo at the end of "The Once and Future Duck", when Duckman rigs the time-machine he'd accidentally made to bring the surrogate father's future selves back instead.
    Duckman: Don't worry - it's physically impossible.
  • Corrupt Politician: Senator Stark in "Days of Whining and Neurosis", who, by his own admission, likes to "smoke, drink, lie, steal, and fondle anyone within reach."
  • Cover Version: Cornfed sings "Mack the Knife" in "Married Alive".
  • Crapsack World: Evident in many episodes, but perhaps most prominently in the third act of "The Gripes of Wrath" where the world becomes a hellhole.
    • Also seen in "A Room With a Bellevue", whose first act is entirely devoted to pissing off Duckman until he loses it.
    • "The One With Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role": The planet Betamax becomes this after the aliens follow Duckman's ideology, to the point where the whole planet blows up.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Duckman's true father Red Crocker is revealed to be this. With heavy doses of Right-Wing Militia Fanatic.
    Red Crocker: "You Freemasons must believe I'm soft in the head! What do you think I am?! Some kind gullible mamby-pamby John Bircher?!"
  • Crazy-Prepared: In "Color of Naught", King Chicken reveals that the potatoes he served Duckman in his previous plot (in "Forbidden Fruit", which aired three episodes prior) played a part in his current one.
    King Chicken: Hey, you gotta think ahead in this business.
  • Creature of Habit: In "Clip Job", Cornfed asked Charles and Mambo what Duckman was doing before he was kidnapped:
    Charles: Well, when he got home Friday, he watched TV.
    Mambo: Then he went to the bathroom.
    Charles: Then he got something to eat.
    Mambo: Then he went to the bathroom.
    Charles: First thing Saturday, he watched TV.
    Mambo: After going to the bathroom.
    Cornfed: Thanks, I'm beginning to sense a pattern.
  • Credits Gag: Listen carefully to the voice beneath the loud tribal chanting in "Pig Amok": He's reading off the names in the credits.
    • In "The Road to Dendron", a reprise of "We're Off on the Road to Dendron" plays, with Duckman and Cornfed singing "We don't know what we'll find in Dendron, buddy, but we know it's gotta be twenty-three minutes and nineteen seconds long!" The word "long" is appropriately cut off.
    • "With Friends Like These" has The Gang's theme song supposedly played backwards. After a few seconds, a deep voice says "Hello, Eric? This is Satan. Thank you for watching, and remember to worship me. Goodbye." At the end the singer says "Eat more cheese.", the advice Duckman mistakenly thought Grandma-ma gave to him at his wedding in "Grandma-ma's Flatulent Adventure".
  • Credits Jukebox: Most episodes used the traditional ending tune (a faster remix of the opening theme), but many episodes featured different music during the end credits: "Apocalypse Not", "The Mallardian Candidate", "The Road to Dendron" (a reprise of "We're Off on the Road to Dendron"), "My Feral Lady", "The Tami Show", "All About Elliott", "A Room With a Bellevue", "The Once and Future Duck", "The Girls of Route Canal", "Bonfire of the Panties" (Duckman and Courtney trying to sing "Jim Slade, Big Black Dick"), "The Longest Weekend", "Where No Duckman Has Gone Before" (Star Trek fight music), "Crime, Punishment, War, Peace, and the Idiot", "With Friends Like These" (the in-show theme song played backwards, with Subliminal Advertising from Satan), "A Star is Abhorred" (one of Bernice's songs), and "They Craved Duckman's Brain!" (BGM from the video about people who profit from cancer).
  • Creepy Monotone:
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Agnes Delrooney is one for Grandma-ma.
  • Crossdresser:
    • During the musical number in "The Road to Dendron", Cornfed and Duckman sing that if they want to get to syndication, one of them is gonna end up in drag. During their attempt to save the princess, both end up doing so.
    • "Not So Easy Riders" has Duckman and Cornfed trying to evade the IRS in Las Vegas by donning showgirl outfits.
    • "Aged Heat 2: Women in Heat" Has Duckman as this for nearly the entire episode.
    • "Westward No!" has Duckman become a Vegas showgirl again after he loses all his money; he's still in the outfit when he leaves to do a catfish drive (it's a long story).
  • Crossover: The end of "Haunted Society Plumbers" reveals a supposed ghost to be Homer Simpson under a sheet.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: In "Days of Whining and Neurosis", Cornfed asks Duckman to do something. Duckman bitterly replies, "When pigs can fly!" Immediately after, Cornfed flaps his arms, lifting himself off the ground.
  • Curse Cut Short: In both "Apocalypse Not" and "Dammit Hollywood", a character is cut off before they can fully say "shit". And in "The Girls of Route Canal", Duckman in the flashback is cut short of saying "bumfuck" when he notices Beatrice.
  • Cut Short: The final episode of the 4th Season was not planned to be the final episode.
  • Cutaway Gag: Arguably more common in the first season than the other three. Examples:
    • In "Ride the High School", Bernice wonders how the public schools could've gone downhill so horribly. Cut to Duckman protesting in front of the White House, shouting "No new taxes!"
    • In "Cellar Beware", the two criminals who robbed Duckman's house get their comeuppance by testing Charles and Mambo's invention, which causes the nearby cars on the freeway to fly onto theirs like magnets. In the same episode, we see a cutaway to Duke Tetsloff at a Congressional hearing on unsafe products, defending that the security system he sold Duckman is only dangerous to someone irresponsible enough to try to open the console and fix it themselves.
  • Deal with the Devil: Averted.
    Duckman: If I need money, I'll sell something like, immortal soul!
    Cut to Satan watching Duckman in a raging fire.
    Satan: {disinterested} Eh, I'll pass.
    Duckman: {annoyed} Damn, worked for Cybil Shepherd.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The theater manager in "Dammit, Hollywood":
    Duckman: Are you the manager?
    Manager: No, I beat him senseless with my bare hands then dumped his cement-laden body into a nearby lake just so I could wear his name tag.
    Duckman: You're an odd little man, but you got a way with a witty retort.
    • Cornfed may fall under this as well, though it can be hard to tell given his monotone speaking habit.
  • Death by Irony: In "They Craved Duckman's Brain", Roland Thompson, a corrupt businessman who doesn't want the cure for cancer to get to the public because full hospitals are big business, dies after he crashes into a semi full of cigarettes, which get lit after his car bursts into flames, which causes him to inhale cigarette smoke at such a rapid rate that he develops deadly cancer in seconds.
  • Decade Dissonance: The episode "America the Beautiful" had Duckman and Cornfed venturing to different cities, all of which are a different stereotype of a certain period of time.
    • The '50s: Their first stop is in a suburban neighborhood literally in black and white and which is mentally stuck in the 1950's, right down to one of the people accusing Duckman and Cornfed of being communists.
    • The '60s: Their second trip was to a college campus in a 60s-ish town. Everyone who's not a cop is a hippie.
    • The '70s: Their third stop was a disco club.
    • The '80s: Their fourth stop is to a businessman's office, who represents the stereotypes of The '80s: obsessed with making money on Wall Street, heartless, and only concerned with material goods and trophy wives.
    Man: Pedigreed is good.
  • Deep South: "Inherit the Judgment-The Dope's Trial" and "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby".
  • Demoted to Extra: Many characters; notably, Cornfed gains increasing prominence at all of their expense.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: "Noir Gang". This is the only episode where the sky is fully overcast; at the end, it's revealed that this was what made everything black and white.
  • Depending on the Artist: The Sunwoo and Anivision episodes have different looks and animation styles from each other.
  • Description Cut: In "Apocalypse Not", Duckman's not present at the disaster drill. Bernice says that Duckman's probably stumbling around town with a bondage mask on his face. Cue said scene.
  • Deserted Island: Duckman is placed on one by Cornfed in "The Amazing Colossal Duckman" so Duckman is able to keep his temper under control. His temper causes him to grow in size, so being isolated on an island means nothing or nobody can piss him off. Of course, this leads him to start shrinking.
  • Destructo-Nookie: Bernice and Cornfed have such aggressive sex in "Pig Amok" that parts of the walls and ceiling crack.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: The last act of "It's the Thing of the Principal" has Duckman and Bernice freaked out at the possibility that they slept together after getting drunk in the hotel room's hot tub.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "The Road to Dendron", Dr. Ben Stein threatens to rip out Duckman's heart and feed it to his dingo if he doesn't quit making noise on the bus.
  • Disrupting the Theater: At the beginning of "Dammit, Hollywood", Duckman gets pelted with popcorn for constantly acting like a jackass during a screening of Lickety Split's Oily Adventure, which included urinating on the screen while shouting "Swim in this, Lickety!".
    Cornfed: On the bright side, they hit you harder at Little Princess.
  • Distant Prologue:
    • "Ride the High School" begins in "Africa, A Long Time Ago", where a father is teaching his son how to kill animals for food. It then cuts to "Austria, A Little Later", where a father is teaching his son how to play the harpsichord. It then cuts to "Virginia, A Little Later Still", where George Washington cut down the cherry tree. Finally, it cuts to the present: "Duckman's House, Tuesday", where Duckman is watching static on TV in the vain hopes that the Bouncing Naked Flesh Channel will be temporarily unscrambled.
    • Also utilized in "Joking the Chicken", for a 2001 parody that starts in prehistoric times and then cuts to the present.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Cornfed tries to use this excuse in "The Gripes of Wrath" when Bernice brings up a sex tape starring Sherry.
    Sherry: You said you erased that.
    Cornfed: Erased, ran off thousands of copies; it's such a fine line.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Duckman, Once per Episode, if not more.
  • Don't Explain the Joke:
    • In "Joking the Chicken":
    Iggy Catalpa: My name is... (checks wallet) Iggy Catalpa. I was checking my wallet, like I forgot. (silence from the crowd)
    • Jokes often have to be explained to Ajax due to his stupidity. One time, Bernice began to explain a joke about Duckman, but gave up and said, "Oh just laugh; we're belittling your father!" At which point, Ajax guffawed.
  • Double Entendre: Duckman often uses euphemisms for sexual acts. Examples:
    Duckman: You know, like those really ugly broads who are always yellin' about equal rights when all they really need is a little... (clicks) honey in their hives.
    Duckman: Hey nurse, I've got a thermometer that'll make you bed-ridden for a week!
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Zig-zagged, as Duckman often deliberately antagonizes Bernice and merits an asskicking or two to keep him in line. But Bernice also does go a little overboard with her abuse at times, especially when she's doing it solely to screw Duckman over or get him killed.
  • Downer Ending:
    • "About Face", which ends with Duckman deciding to not go on a date with Angela because he feels that he's holding her back.
    • In the same vein, the ending to "Bonfire of the Panties": Courtney Thorne-Smith dumps Duckman for the simple reason that as a celebrity, she makes dumb decisions and so because it would be a good decision to stay with someone she enjoys, she has to break up with him.
    • In the season 3 finale "Cock Tales For Four", it's heavily implied that Duckman's renewed enmity with King Chicken means that Ajax can never see Tammy again. Ajax just sadly stares out the rear car window as the Executive Producer credit appears. Tammy is never mentioned in any future episode.
    • "The One With Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role" ends with the distant planet of Betamax exploding, a result of its citizens adopting Duckman's bad advice and (presumably) going to war with each other. Luckily Ajax had returned to Earth by the time the explosion occurred.
  • Driven to Madness: In "Ride the High School", Duckman approaches a man in a school and asks where Ajax's classroom is. The man shouts at him, "YOU DON'T HAVE A HALL PASS EITHER, DO YOU?!" Then the man laughs maniacally and hops in a trash can.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Duckman in "Aged Heat", where he inadvertently destroys an entire city block with his reckless driving. Though in his defense, he was under great mental stress at the time, due to Agnes threatening him to go about his normal daily routine, even though Agnes had his whole family held hostage.
  • Droste Image: In "Days of Whining and Neurosis", Cornfed makes an exact model of the crime scene which includes himself and Duckman looking at his model.
  • Dysfunctional Family
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The unaired pilot featured a differently-designed house, and Duckman's design was slightly different.
  • Either "World Domination", or Something About Bananas: In "The Gripes of Wrath", after Duckman sees some naked women:
    Duckman: Humina humina how-WA!
    Cornfed: Either you're babbling, or you just told me in Cherokee that my scrotum is many colored.
    • Later in the same episode:
    Bernice: I didn't know you spoke Cherokee!
  • Embarrassing First Name:
    • Willibald Fievel Cornfed.
    • It was revealed Duckman has one too (to him anyways). Eric Duckman.
    • King Chicken clearly doesn't appreciate the time his name is revealed to be George Herbert Walker.
  • Enemy Mine: Agnes Delrooney and Duckman in "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby!".
  • Episode Title Card: Done traditionally in "The Road to Dendron" and "Haunted Society Plumbers", complete with theme music, since these are supposed to be Paramount Pictures movies. Every other episode merely had the episode title superimposed over the action, though.
  • Erotic Eating: Done unintentionally by the Vice Principal at Ajax's school. She eats several phallic-shaped foods, sending Duckman's imagination into a frenzy.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Invoked in "The Gripes of Wrath". Yes, Duckman has destroyed the supercomputer that caused both the "too perfect" utopia and the Hell-on-Earth dystopia. But it's still a Crapsack World.
    Duckman: Things can finally get back to normal. (cop cars and criminals round the corner, shooting at each other)
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In "Dammit Hollywood", the Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis caricatures try to kill Duckman from their plane. In the process, they inadvertently destroy several buildings, but make sure to remind the audience that they radioed ahead for everyone to evacuate the buildings so no innocent bystanders would be harmed.
    Bruno: We may destroy, but it doesn't mean we don't care.
    • Even Duckman himself has standards, he's visibly disgusted when he catches one of the teachers at Ajax's school making out with a teenage student in one of the lockers.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The ending to "The Longest Weekend", where Duckman is the last one standing in his warring neighborhood. A narrator explains:
    Narrator: The following story could have happened. Only by treating everyone with dignity and respect can we hope to maintain that element of surprise on that inevitable day when we wipe our enemies from the face of the earth.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • King Chicken is known for this but his Verbal Tic has his evil laughs end with a "Bawk Bawk Bawk". Bonus Points for being voiced by Tim Freakin' Curry!
    • The scientist from "Ajax and Ajaxer" was more than a little happy when Duckman and Cornfed took on his "case". Duckman and Cornfed eventually joined in his laughter.
    • Harry Medfly from "Clip Job". See Commercial Break Cliffhanger above.
  • Evil Twin: Wanted criminal Agnes Delrooney is almost an exact duplicate of Grandma-ma, except that Agnes isn't comatose and has a gravelly voice, courtesy of Brian Doyle-Murray.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: In "Days of Whining and Neurosis" Duckman meets Cyrus Red Herring, who works for MacGuffin Security.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Cornfed has seen it all, done it all. Although, come to think of it, almost every character gets one of these at one point. Even Duckman's list of acquired sex fetishes gets longer and longer.
  • Exposition:
    • In the first episode, "I, Duckman", Duckman delivers a bit of exposition about how Beatrice died and Bernice moved in to help care for the boys when he's irritated that the family is ignoring him.
    • Lampshaded brilliantly in "The Color of Naught" when Charles and Mambo tell Duckman that Angela has returned, and proceed to explain (in great detail) their relationship from season 1's "About Face". Duckman snaps: "Don't you think I know that?!" The twins reply that they were spouting exposition for the benefit of the many non-regular viewers who stumbled upon this while trying to find softcore porn.
    • In "Short, Plush and Deadly", Bernice reminds everyone why they're going camping, stating that she's not repeating it to deliver clunky exposition, but because it feels so good.
    • King Chicken always felt the need to explain his vendetta against Duckman was because of being made fun of when they were kids. On his fourth appearance, "Forbidden Fruit", this was mostly Played for Laughs, with the angry mob clearly bored/irritated by it at this point. The crowning example was "The Color of Naught," in which a live action news reporter claims Tim Curry has gone into hiding because he doesn't want to be forced to say those lines anymore.
  • Extreme Doormat: Duckman, after getting electroshock therapy in "A Room With a Bellevue". Of note, he sits and waits all day for a repairman to show up and when he gets up for a second (which is just enough window for a repairman to leave a note saying they missed him and to reschedule):
    Duckman: Oh, well, serves me right for disobeying gas company orders.
  • Eye Glasses: Somehow, Duckman's eyes are his glasses. He will pull them off his face to clean them, leaving his face unnervingly lacking features. At one point Cornfed also notices that Duckman doesn't have ears on which to put them.
    • He occasionally switches to shades with no visible eyes whatsoever (most notably in "Dammit, Hollywood") and can still see perfectly fine through them.
  • Faceplanting into Food: In the episode "Sperms Of Endearment", Bernice decides to have a baby by way of artificial insemination. When she finds out that the sperm she was inseminated with is Duckman's, she goes, "Aaaaargh!" and faints into her soup. Then, when Duckman realizes Bernice might be carrying his baby, he also goes, "Aaaaargh!" and faints into his own soup. Ajax, having watched them both do it, just goes, "Argh?", and passes out into his soup.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Occurs in "A Civil War" when Duckman declares that Val couldn't have killed her husband. Besides other evidence littering the office, he inadvertently presses the play button on a tape recorder on her desk. The tape plays: "Val, put down that gun! You're my wife, don't shoot!" Duckman grabs the tape recorder and smashes it: "I can't hear myself think!"
    Cornfed: Duckman, you're overlooking evidence that no detective, not even you, should be able to miss.
  • Fake-Out Opening: Occurs all the time; much in the tradition of Rugrats (another Klasky-Csupo show produced in association with a division of Viacom), many episodes open with something puzzling, only for the camera to zoom out and reveal what it actually is. Alternatively, the episode will open on a show or movie that one of the characters is watching. Example from "America the Beautiful": A bunch of beauty contestants fighting (with one eventually pulling out a machine gun and wasting everyone). It turns out it's just a video game Ajax is playing.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Invoked in "Das Sub" when Duckman is filibustering to the judge.
    Judge: (wearily) Mr. Duckman, you've now acted out five Leprechaun movies, six Puppetmaster movies, and nine Maniac Cop movies.
    Duckman: Yeah, I know, there were ten Maniac Cop flicks. But real M-Cop fans don't count #8, which totally violated the integrity of the series!
  • Fanservice Extra: The beginning of act two of "Married Alive" has two women with low-cut tops walking through the mall. Naturally, Duckman is distracted for a minute.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Played for Laughs on occasion with Duckman and King Chicken's antagonism. Particularly, there's their interaction while drunk and making amends in "Cock Tales for Four", which is lampshaded.
    King Chicken: You know this means, don't you?
    Duckman gives King Chicken an uneasy expression.
    King Chicken: No, not that. It means...we're friends.
  • A Fool for a Client: Cornfed warns Duckman about representing himself in "Inherit the Judgement: The Dope's Trial", especially since Duckman had already won his case at that point. In a twist, he actually not only manages to retain his win, he enrages King Chicken to the point of blabbing his entire plan and turning the entire case on its head.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Character voiced by Tim Curry? It's King Chicken in disguise. One exception: Simon Desmond in "Vuuck, as in Duck".
    • After the credits in that episode, the audio clip over the Reno & Osborn logo is Tim Curry's voice saying "I didn't get to peel off my head." That was almost certainly just a joke, however; King Chicken couldn't possibly have known that the owner would give the team to Duckman, and how would building a senior citizen gated community help him gain revenge in the first place?
  • Foreshadowing: Lampshaded in "The Gripes of Wrath" when half of a background sign's letters blank out, leaving only the letters spelling "Foreshadowing" lit. This is due to Charles and Mambo debating with Duckman about whether computers are better or worse for the world, which is the whole theme of the episode.
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": In "They Craved Duckman's Brain", Bernice calls Washington about rescuing Duckman. She waits a really long time on the automated phone system:
    Voice: Thank you for calling the United States of America. We are open from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. weekdays, and are located between Canada and Mexico in the western hemisphere. If you would like to make a declaration of war, press one. Trade treaties and tariffs, press two.
    Voice: To become a U.S. ally and enjoy all ally benefits like free trade, U.N. forces and complimentary upgrades at Avis locations worldwide, press 34. If you've taken or plan to take American hostages, press 35.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Some of the background imagery in the intro sequence.
  • Freudian Excuse
    • Duckman has a lot of baggage - most notably a dead father (who was not unlike himself) and a widowed mother who ignored him while looking for a replacement husband.
    • King Chicken developed a hatred for Duckman because Duckman used to bully him in High School... at least according to the Topps Comics adaptation.
  • Freudian Slip: In "Psyche", when two big-breasted women enter his office, Duckman says "Come in, come in, I'm Duckman, and this is Hooters! I mean, Cornfed."
  • From the Mouths of Babes: Subverted in "Exile in Guyville"; the wrapraounds take place in the future and a mother tells her child that in the early Duckman stories, he didn't even say "fuck". The child answers, "No "fucking way!" Mother: "Fuck yes."
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": In "The Girls of Route Canal", Duckman unknowingly knocks over a tombstone, which rolls down the hill, hits Richard's casket, sending the corpse flying through the air and getting his leg caught in a tree, causing him to hang upside down.
  • Funny Background Event: Happens often.
    • The 'Medieval Dentist' in "Gland of Opportunity"
    • The woman getting (what appears to be) breast augmentation in "Psyche"
    • Throughout "Cock Tales for Four", Ajax and King Chicken's daughter Honey appear to be engaging in extremely kinky sex, with Ajax occasionally interrupting the main plot by requesting unusual props.
  • Furry Confusion: Real, non-talking birds have been in the same scene with Duckman.
  • Future Me Scares Me: The premise of "The Once and Future Duck": Multiple future versions of Duckman keep popping up in the present to warn Duckman that if he does something, he'll end up like them. Duckman eventually becomes so paranoid that anything he does will have negative consequences that he remains perfectly still in a chair.

  • Gainax Ending: In "Haunted Society Plumbers" Duckman & Cornfed are pretending to be plumbers working at a classy soiree. They end up trying to find a thief who had stolen a supposedly cursed diamond. Cornfed eventually saves the day by projecting a special-effects ghost to scare the thief into confessing. The owner of the diamond offers the duo a box of donuts as reward. A second ghost comes into the scene and scares everyone away. The ghost is revealed to be Homer Simpson wearing a sheet, who begins eating the donuts before saying into the camera Duckman's trademark phrase "what the hell are you staring at?!" Cue credits.
  • Genius Ditz: Ajax shows shades of this on occasion, usually for the sake of a joke. At a funeral, he gives a profound speech about how life is fleeting, only to be met with blank stares. He then says something you'd expect him to say, prompting the audience to laugh (which he sums up as giving them what they want). Also lampshaded in another episode when Ajax proves to be quite capable with a harp, remarking that he'd become an idiot savant with a few years' more practice.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: Invoked in-universe in an episode where older films with smoking are altered to remove the cigarettes and replace them with less offensive objects. See also Thank You for Smoking, which uses the same joke at the end of the film.
  • The Ghost
    • Near the beginning of "Aged Heat", Agnes Delrooney explains her situation over the phone to what's apparently her current love interest. We never find out who this is.
    • Tammy from "Cock Tales For Four" is never seen or heard; we only have a vague idea of what she and Ajax are doing on their (apparently absolutely wild) date by what Ajax comes downstairs to get.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • Seen in "Psyche" when Duckman says he and Cornfed aren't going on the date with the two women... and the next scene is the two on a date with the women.
    • In "I, Duckman", Duckman pulls out a reel of his old home movies. Cornfed hastily tries to make excuses and leave. Cut to the projector running with Cornfed strapped down and his eyelids clamped open.
  • Give Me a Reason: In "Not So Easy Riders", the IRS agent says this to Duckman while pointing a gun in his face.
    Agent: Give me a reason! I work and slave to protect John Q. Public from scam artists like you, and what does it get me? Do I get any satisfaction at all? Oh, sure, occasionally, I get a little peppy in my questioning, but then it's "civil rights" this, and "cruel and unusual" that!
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Bernice does this when she realizes that sperm donor she used to conceive is likely Duckman.
    Bernice: {reading the sperm donor's list of qualities} "'s watersports?"
    Duckman: {dressed in waterwings and a snorkel} "in fact I'm late for a date right now!"
  • Godly Sidestep: Finding himself in Heaven, Duckman gets an Etch-A-Sketch from God. He asks why and God tells him that it has the Meaning of Life written on it, but by then it has been erased from Duckman moving it around.
  • Grande Dame: Lady Calowina Worthington-Ford in "Haunted Society Plumbers".
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Parodied in "The Mallardian Candidate," where the episode ends with Duckman and Cornfed solving the case and being observed by a group of villains, who are also watched over by an endless chain of other criminal masterminds, until the final level, which is a family of couch potatoes watching television.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The premise of "A Civil War": Duckman being jealous of Cornfed's limitless abilities in virtually every category.
  • Groin Attack: Happens to Duckman on occasion.
    A newspaper is thrown right next to Duckman's head.
    Duckman: Heh, ha, you missed!
    Another newspaper strikes him a little lower.
    Duckman: {wheezing} Forgot the ads.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: Hilariously subverted in "Bonfire of the Panties" when Duckman pulls one of his hair as he prepares to break in to the Stein's house... then barges the door in and tosses the hairpin away.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Duckman, but especially in the beginning of "Bonfire of the Panties".
    Duckman: DAMN... STUPID... OXYGEN!!!
  • Hand Wave:
    • Utilized in "The Road to Dendron" when the villain explains why he kidnapped Ajax, which seemingly had nothing to do with his plan to kill the princess. The instant he begins to explain, a cow walks in front of the camera and munches so loudly you can't hear him. A few seconds later, the cow walks away, only to hear the villain concluding, "And that's why I did it!"
    • In "Westward No!", Big Jack McBastard comes back at the end of the episode, alive and well. When Duckman and Cornfed are baffled how he could've survived being trampled and eaten by vultures, McBastard simply says, "Long story."
  • Hanging Judge: In "Das Sub", after the judge carries out Duckman's community service sentence:
    Judge: Bailiff! If he's not gone in fifteen seconds, kill him!
  • Happy Dance: Duckman has one that involves pelvic thrusts.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Sometimes occurs, such as when Duckman sends Ajax down to connect a pirated cable with exposed wires. Cue the bright shock lights from behind Duckman.
  • The Hedonist: Oh, and HOW! Duckman's life more or less revolves around his desperate attempts to fulfill various borderline-illegal lusts and gorging himself on any junk food that the FDA hasn't had the sound mind to ban yet.
  • Henpecked Husband: John, to Roxanne, to the point where he's literally a dog on a leash.
  • Here We Go Again!: The ending to "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby" has Agnes and Duckman set to be arrested for drinking alcohol without posting proper health warnings. The two just laugh and run at the camera, still in the handcuffs from being held prisoner on Walt Evergreen's ranch.
  • Hidden Depths: Deep beneath the surface, Duckman really does care for his family, friends, and even Bernice. He can also solve cases if motivated to actually try.
    • In "Bonfire of the Panties", Duckman's friends and family give him an aphrodisiac that would allow one woman to become infatuated with him, and warn him that he is not to throw it away on some easy trick. Duckman manages to reverse engineer it and make all the aphrodisiac he wants. His Shoulder Angel admonishes him by pointing out his potential and how he is wasting his talents. His Shoulder Devil counters with how it doesn't matter because he's going to get all the tail he wants. His Shoulder Angel reluctantly agrees.
    • "The One With Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role" reveals that Ajax is saving money to go to college. (Not that he can spell "college," given the six Qs, but still...) However, his savings are all IOUs... to himself. Turns out he has been secretly slipping money into his father's wallet to help him out.
    • It's hinted at in the show, and strongly hinted in the comics, that Duckman and Bernice are actually attracted to each other, because, well, Bernice looks exactly like Duckman's dead wife, and Bernice actually sees what her sister saw in him. This causes them to lash out even more than they normally would.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: The end credits to "Haunted Society Plumbers" parody this, with audio of Homer's inept efforts to say Duckman's catch phrase correctly.
  • Human Popsicle: In "Gland of Opportunity" there's a brief shot of a character strongly resembling Walt Disney cryogenically frozen.
  • Humiliation Conga: Happens to Duckman at least Once per Episode.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: Duckman lets loose a flurry upon realizing that Bev and Cornfed hadn't consummated their relationship.
    Duckman: Bev, what're you sayin'? That he's never foamed your runway? He's never Jacked your Valenti? Woolied your mammoth? Sha-na'd your Na? Silenced your lamb? John'd your 3:16? Pardoned your Nixon?
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: A mainstay of Cornfed's characterisation.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: Played with at the end of "Apocalypse Not"; Cornfed tries to convince the citizens to avoid harming Duckman, who'd demolished most of the city while everyone else was in the sewer practicing a drill. First he argues that the destruction isn't Duckman's fault, which he immediately goes back on because very obviously is Duckman's fault. Then he argues that their own behavior in the sewer made them no better than Duckman, which he immediately goes back on because they're not the ones who demolished most of the city. At that point he drops the pretense and says "Let's get him," and everyone chases him into the sunset.
  • Hypocrite: The impetus of Duckman's first rant in "A Room with a Bellevue":
    Duckman: I just want to get home for my kids' birthday, but this whole leaf-blowing, false-advertising, traffic-stopping, tax-dollar-squandering, workers-on-permanent-coffee-break, upper-class-money-dodging, stolen-car-parts-dealing, sign-changing society won't let me! And you know who's to blame?! We all are! We say we hate lawyers, but we can't wait to sue somebody. We want leaders to make tough choices, then we vote them out when they do! We all want X-rated older-women-with-hirsute-upper-lips chat lines, then scream bloody murder when we get the bill! I ask you: What's happened to logic in this world?!
  • Hypocritical Humor: Used all the time, often demonstrated by Duckman.
    • In "Inherit the Judgement: The Dope's Trial":
    Mambo: You get the sense the gene pool around here could use a little more chlorine?
    Bernice: Now, now don't be snobs. This is the heartland, the soul of our country, the moral center of our national identity.
    Hillbilly: (bleeding) Does this look infected?
    Bernice: Let's blow this hellhole!
  • I, Noun: "I, Duckman".
  • Identical Stranger: Princess Fallopia is basically a female Ajax, which is the primary reason Duckman refuses to sleep with her.
  • Ignored Epiphany: At the end of "Days of Whining and Neurosis", Bernice notices that Duckman is healthier after his week in the clinic:
    Duckman: Well this changes everything! From now on, it's pinto beans every day! Sex, without a prosthesis! I've turned myself around. It's time to meet the new and improved Duckman! (a guy with a cigarette cuts him off) AGH! Hey you, Bob-Noxious! Haven't you heard the statistics on second hand smoke? Ahhh, a whole new world... (sniffs, but inhales the smoke; instantly his muscles drop, he regains his belly, and his eyes become bloodshot) And how better way to start that world than with a pound of bacon and some curly fries? And coffee filters, USED! I'll wear 'em around my face like a surgeon's mask! (sees a hot woman) HEY NURSE! I've got a thermometer that'll make you bed-ridden for a week! Where are ya goin'? It's time for my exam, see? I'm turnin' my head and coughin'! (coughs; runs after her) Now it's YOUR turn! Nurse! Nursey!
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Parodied in "Where No Duckman Has Gone Before".
    Duckman: Is he dead?
    Art: Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a rodeo clown! (beat) Well, I'm not a rodeo clown.
    Duckman: Who's Jim?
    Art: All right, fine! I'm a rodeo clown, and you're not Jim!
  • Image Song: "The Funky Duckman"
  • I'm Not a Doctor, but I Play One on TV:
    • Parodied in "A Civil War":
    Actor: Hi, I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV.
    • Also used in "Pig Amok" where actors from Chicago Hope are brought in to provide medical statements for a documentary.
  • In-Joke: One episode has Confed explaining in great detail how a murder was carried out by a group of celebrities in detox. One step involves klasky soup.
  • Inkblot Test:
    • Administered to Duckman in "A Room With a Bellevue". His answer disturbs the psychiatrists. Cornfed later "correctly" identifies the image in the inkblot test.
    • In "A Civil War", Duckman accidentally spills ink on his chest. Numerous people guess what the image on his chest is.
  • Inner Monologue: In "The Road to Dendron", after seeing Princess Fallopia:
    Cornfed: (thinking) I'm deeply, deeply in love. I'd better not tell Duckman.
    Duckman: (thinking) Nookie! Royal nookie! I got everything I want in the palm of my hand, and it's not even me! I'd better not tell Duckman.
  • Inner Monologue Conversation: In "Bonfire of the Panties", Cornfed is able to converse with Charles and Mambo in inner monologues. He mentions he rarely uses this gift because of a traumatic incident where he read Willard Scott's mind and was disturbed by what he heard.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Unfortunately, Duckman often ends up being this when he makes an effort to be nice and considerate-especially notable in the episode parodying Friends.
  • Insanity Defense: In "A Room With a Bellevue", Duckman is arrested for ranting in public without a starched collar. During Duckman's trial, his lawyer advises him to plead insanity. Duckman does so, but is instantly sentenced to a mental institution. The lawyer remarks, "Guess I should've seen that coming..."
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Duckman's neighbor IS Ben Stein. Same goes for Art De Salvo AKA Gilbert Gottfried.
  • Instant Costume Change: In "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial", Duckman laments that he has no lawyer for his case, so Cornfed ducks down and is suddenly in a lawyer's suit.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: As seen in "Not So Easy Riders". The IRS guy even points a gun at Duckman during his appointment.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune
  • Iris Out: "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial" ends this way.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Fluffy and Uranus, who always get eviscerated in some terrible way but are fine a few scenes later, though the effects sometimes last longer than others — for instance in the episode where they get eaten.
  • Irony: At the end of the TV version of "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby", an anti-smoking episode, the caption reads: "Ironically, the Duckman production staff smoked 45 cartons of cigarettes during the production of this episode."
  • I Take Offense to That Last One:
    • This one from "Clip Job":
    Medfly: You stupid clumsy idiotic brain-dead yellow imbecile!
    Duckman: Hey, wait, hold on there buddy! (beat) You really think I'm yellow? I've always seen myself as more a sallow ochre. Here, check the butt feathers.
    • In "Noir Gang," Duckman and Cornfed exchange insults through the narration, until finally:
      Cornfed: Simpsons wannabe!
      Duckman: (out loud) That's it!
  • It's Personal: In "Dammit Hollywood", when Duckman trashes Minehard on TV:
    Minehard: This time, it's personal. Not that the other times I said that weren't personal too. They were personal, but this time, it's just more personal compared to those other times, which were also personal.
  • I "Uh" You, Too: In "Cellar Beware", Duckman and the family are seemingly about to be killed by their own security system, so Duckman takes the last few moments to say he loves the whole family, even... B... B... Buh, BURRR!!! (Bernice stares before bursting into tears with everyone else)
    • In "Clip Job":
    Bernice: Hey, Mr. Demented, bug-eyed but strangely compelling in that off-beat kind of way, kidnapper: We're no TV show! We're real! We're flawed! Just because we're not a 27-inch picture perfect family doesn't mean we don't... (looks at Duckman) llll.... lo-lo-love- (shudders)
  • I Want Them Alive!: When Agnes and Duckman escape the chain gang in "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby", Walt Evergreen initially orders his minions to bring them back alive. But then he changes his mind:
    Walt Evergreen: Aw heck, this is the Deep South. Let's bring 'em back dead!
  • Jerkass:
    • Yes, it's Duckman. It's a core driver of the show's plots and comedy.
    • His uncle, Moe Dorkin is even worse, to the point where he inflicts psychological torment on Duckman and even Cornfed defines him as just plain evil. Not even Beverly is safe from his bile. Despite appearing in only two episodes, he's arguably the most obnoxious, unbearable character in the entire series.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: During most of his rants, Duckman is actually capable of making some pretty valid points about other characters or society in general.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Deep beneath his Jerkass exterior, Duckman genuinely loves his family.
  • Jeweler's Eye Loupe: In the episode "Pig Amok" Cornfed offers Bernice a diamond ring. Bernice accepts it and immediately checks it with a loupe.
  • Jitter Cam: Done in "American Dicks" to simulate the COPS feel.
  • Joker Jury: In "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial", King Chicken requests that, instead of going through the usual jury selection process, they just use whoever is currently (and unknowingly) sitting in the jury box. The motion is granted.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns:
    Duckman: Did I ever tell you my Dad's last words to me?
    Cornfed: "Careful, son, I don't think the safety is on."
    Duckman: Before that!
  • Just Between You and Me: "They never just kill ya. There's always a lecture."
  • Kangaroo Court: "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial".
    King Chicken: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: Think of an innocent child pickin' a daisy on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Now, imagine Duckman roaring out of nowhere, driving a large truck! He hits her, and kills her, then he backs up and he runs over her again and again and again, a sadistic beast, with a deranged, savage lust for blood!
    Cornfed: Objection! What's this fantasy got to do with the case before the court?
    Judge: Sustained! The jury will disregard the fact that the defendant wantonly, brutally, and carelessly killed a little girl.
    Duckman: Ha! Won that one!
    • Additionally, the judge is King Chicken's father, there was no jury selection process and the townspeople aren't too bright anyhow.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted in "I, Duckman." Wolfgang Cracker was a horrible cannibal that Duckman inadvertently caught some time earlier. Cracker considers it the best thing to ever happen to him, as (thanks to an agent) he went on to become a rich celebrity. He even mocks Duckman for it - saying revenge against a nobody would be a waste of time. Then he gets a package that turns out to be from the Mad Bomber...
  • Karmic Death:
    • The two burglars in "Cellar Beware"; they stole, among many things, Charles and Mambo's solar-powered magnet invention. When one of the burglars tells the other to open the sunroof, a ton of metal objects instantly are sucked onto their car, presumably crushing them to death.
    • In "They Craved Duckman's Brain", Roland Thompson tries to kill Duckman to prevent the cure for cancer from being issued to the piblic because it would cut into his profits from healthcare. He crashes into a truck appropriately labeled "Poetic Justice" full of cigarettes that burn up and cause him to contract and die from cancer within seconds from the smoke.
  • Karmic Transformation: At the climax of "You've Come a Long Way, Baby!", Tony Randall transforms the corrupt tobacco magnate Walt Evergreen and his goons into tobacco-eating locusts.
  • The Ken Burns Effect: Seen in "Pig Amok" during the Ken Burns-esque documentary.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Done quite frequently.
    • In "The Road to Dendron", Cornfed asks why he's acting so unlike himself. A voice from off-screen says: "The password is: Bad writing."
    • In "Clip Job", Duckman asks what kind of people would lower themselves to create a lazily written and morally bankrupt clip show, at which point he looks at the camera when the "Executive Producer" credits appear.
    • In "TV or Not To Be", God says, "I hate message shows," at the end.
    • Done by Cornfed in "Gland of Opportunity"
    Cornfed: You realize of course science would frown at the idea that a glandular transplant could manifest in a behavioural change.
    • Another one from the same episode: Voices from earlier in the episode play in Duckman's mind ("Chickenman"; "He is a less-than-ideal role model."), and ends with Duckman thinking, "Why do you hear these voices in your head every week?"
  • Lampshaded the Obscure Reference: At the end of "Clip Job", Cornfed arrests Harry Medfly and says, "Book 'em, Danno." He then tells the audience that while he could've gone with a Jack Webb reference, he decided to go for Jack Lord.
    • In "The Gripes of Wrath", Bernice says "What. A. Dump. What's that from, Duckman?" Duckman refuses to play along any longer:
    Duckman: I'm tired of it, Bernice! Tired of all of it! Especially this pretentious roleplaying from a movie nobody remembers!
  • Last Kiss: In "Inherit the Judgment: A Dope's Trial", King Chicken asks Bernice for one last kiss before he's hanged. Duckman, in turn, winces.
  • Last-Name Basis: Duckman, Cornfed, and King Chicken, although eventually their full names are revealed. Duckman is ashamed of his, and Duckman makes fun of Cornfed's name the first time it comes up.
  • Leitmotif: King Chicken, Agnes Delrooney, Beatrice, Fluffy/Uranus all have unique pieces that play when they make appearances.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Duckman can do this, rarely, when it comes to saving his or his family's ass. Even more rarely, he can do it when it comes to social situations. In certain circumstances, he can actually successfully charm women.
  • Limited Animation: Parodied in "I, Duckman" during the Yogi Bear parody.
    • In "About Face", there's about a minute of screentime where Duckman is talking to Angela in a bar with the lights out. As a result, there is nothing moving on the screen, and the only point of reference is the exit sign, which is the only thing lit.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: Subverted in "Joking the Chicken". Duckman has to think of a fake name and tries this, but he's too Genre Blind to spot several perfect fake names (Hanes, Smith, Miller) and instead calls himself Duckman N. Disguise. He then chastises Cornfed's fake name, Pat Corcoran.
  • Logic Bomb: How Duckman defeats Loretta the Supercomputer in "The Gripes of Wrath".
    Duckman: You made things worse when you made them better. (...) I mean, I liked having a lot of free time, but I hated not having anything to do. (...) Don't you see? Things were good when they were bad, and they got bad when they were good. People just aren't happy unless they're unhappy.
  • Logo Joke: In "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial," after Duckman is acquitted he mentions he had faith in a higher power, looks up towards the sky... the camera follows his gaze as it goes through the clouds... and stops on a mountain surrounded by stars with the word "Paramount" above the peak. Three guesses as to which company made this.
    • The closing Paramount logo from this episode is replaced on DVD by the CBS Television Distribution logo, as is the case for all episodes.
    • Klasky-Csupo also animated several shows for another Viacom division, Nickelodeon.
  • Long List:
    • In "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby", there's a parody of the scene from The Fugitive when a long list of places to search for the getaway is given.
    Walt Evergreen: OK people, listen up. I want a hard target search of every outhouse, beach house, warehouse, boat house, smoke house, clubhouse, ice house, hot house, White House, crack house, bath house, dog house, cat house, reptile house, halfway house, slaughter house, haunted house, gingerbread house, and Joe Eszterhas in the tri-swamp area.
    • In "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W.", Cornfed rattled off the merchandise created when Duckman had his fifteen minutes of fame.
    Cornfed: There's Duckman T-shirts, Happy Meals, condoms, tequila suppositories, aluminum siding, there are Duckman pajamas with peek-a-boo butt flaps, there's Duckman cereal with strawberry Duckman pinch toasted wheat women, there's Duckman Dairy-erre frozen yogurt, Simply Duckman-scented love oils, Duckman tartar control tuckus toothpaste with its pinch-able butt-shaped dispenser, and Duckman kung-fu action figures with the plier-like grip for that extra inch of pinch.
    • In "The Mallardian Candidate", Cornfed listed all the so-called "necessary" items Duckman purchased for the surveillance job.
    Duckman: Hey. Name one thing I bought that wasn't essential for this case.
    Cornfed: The closet full of Sansabelt Armanis, the Avian waterbed, the 350 pounds of Mallomars, the surround sound CD system you listened to while checking out the Sheryl Crow album cover for visible panty lines...
    Duckman: I said ONE thing!
    • In the same episode, Iggy reveals that his organization was behind all sorts of conspiracies, and lists them all:
    Iggy: Welcome to the World Domination League, the secret force behind every conspiracy: The death of Elvis, what really happened to Monroe, Hendrix, Morrison.
    Duckman: And President Kennedy?
    Iggy: No, actually that was a lone gunman. But everything else was us: The rise of Communism, the fall of Communism, getting prayers out of schools, getting sex on TV, the way pens don't work in the post office, the Olsen twins.
    • In "Clip Job":
    Duckman: Maybe I am a little rough around the edges. Maybe I could be a little more tactful when it comes to dealing with women, co-workers, service route handlers, census takers, the sheet metal workers union, people who bought Kathie Lee CD of Christmas songs, small, high-strung, butt-ugly dogs, kids with really funny birthmarks on their faces, peppers, Trekkers, boomers, buppies, slackers...
    • In "They Craved Duckman's Brain!", the villain plays a video which lists all the people who profit from cancer (see Straw Character below for the transcript).
    • In "A Room With a Bellevue", when Duckman finally snaps:
    Duckman: I just want to get home for my kids' birthday, but this whole leaf-blowing, false-advertising, traffic-stopping, tax-dollar-squandering, workers-on-permanent-coffee-break, upper-class-money-dodging, stolen-car-parts-dealing, sign-changing society won't let me!
    • In "A Civil War", after Duckman is kicked out of open mic comedy night:
    Duckman: Bunch of thin-skinned, no-humor pansies. You tell them an ice-breaker or two about women's libbers, gays, environmentalists, several minorities, the homeless, couple of religions, anorexics, obese people, the handicapped, old farts, baldness and people who walk real goofy 'cause they just had a vasectomy and suddenly, they get all sensitive, like I'd offended one of them or something!
    • In "Cellar Beware", the list of everything Duckman borrowed and never gave back to his neighbors: A lawnmower, a weed whacker, a "Dave and Jenny Farber" welcome mat, the TV, the dining room chairs, a framed picture of someone else's children at Sea World, and a dialysis machine.
    Duckman: (nervously, to the neighbors) Well, well, well, should have guessed it. You move into the same neighborhood, you're bound to have similar tastes.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
  • Look Behind You: In "Forbidden Fruit", King Chicken gets away by distracting everyone with a shout of "Look, it's Clarence Thomas!"
  • Lopsided Dichotomy: In "Apocalypse Not":
    Cornfed: That's either thousands of pounds of destructive flood water, or Rush Limbaugh on rollerblades.
  • Lorre Lookalike: A caricature of Peter Lorre's character Ugarte is in "Noir Gang"—not surprising, seeing how it's a Whole-Plot Reference to Casablanca.
  • Love at First Sight: Duckman and Beatrice fell in love when their eyes first met.
  • Made Myself Sad: When Angela meets Duckman after he dumped her, she angrily rants at how she's better off alone than with him before breaking down into tears.
  • Magical Security Cam: In "Clip Job", Harry Medfly shows Duckman numerous clips from the Duckman series. Duckman's shocked how he managed to get that footage, surmising that Medfly must have had hidden cameras everywhere. But Medfly rebukes that, saying he merely taped the clips off television, and telling Duckman that he's a TV series.
  • Mama Bear: Bernice, although she usually protects the children from their father.
  • Mandatory Line: In "Sperms of Endearment" Cornfed suddenly appears at Duckman's door. Duckman says it's a bad time right now but Cornfed states that he's required to appear in every episode for at least 10 seconds.
    • In "Ebony, Baby", the opening scene with Cornfed going on vacation seemingly serves the same purpose, as it has nothing to do with the episode's plot.
  • Mattress-Tag Gag: After Duckman gets an adrenal gland transplant in the "Gland of Opportunity" episode, he gets a huge confidence boost and starts taking all manner of risks.
    Duckman: The point is I'm ready to attack life with a new abandon. I've got thrills to seek, deaths to defy, mattress tags to tear off.
  • The Meaning of Life: In one episode, Duckman dies and meets God, who before sending him back to Earth gives him an Etch-A-Sketch. Duckman is angry about getting such a lame gift, until God tells him that it has the Meaning of Life written on it. By then, however, Duckman's angry gesticulating had erased it completely.
  • Medium Blending: The episode "My Feral Lady" features a sequence where Duckman and his wife-to-be appear on the live action daytime talk show "Leeza".
    • "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W." has a rather lengthy live action sequence, a made-for-TV movie based on Duckman thwarting the assassin.
    • "The Color of Naught" has the aforementioned cutaway to a live action news anchor (played by Walt Reno Jr., who did many incidental characters in the series).
  • Men Can't Keep House: Demonstrated by Duckman in "Married Alive" when Bernice is away for the weekend. The house becomes a dump in short order.
  • Messianic Archetype: Ajax is one in "The One With Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role", as he is worshiped by the citizens of Betamax, a far-off planet. Ajax even plays them a videotape of "advice" Duckman (whom he calls "dod") gave him, and they treat it like divine wisdom. Towards the end of the episode, Ajax escapes the planet and returns to Earth, and one of the Betamaxians says, "Truly, he was the son of dod."
  • Missing Mom: Duckman's wife, Beatrice, is thought to be dead the whole series... that is, until we're thrown a curve ball in "Four Weddings Inconceivable".
  • Mistaken for Masturbating: In "Forbidden Fruit", Fluffy and Uranus are in the top bunk of their bed while Duckman is in the bottom (Duckman having been kicked out of his own house for being politically-incorrect). All of a sudden, the bed starts shaking, and Fluffly and Uranus believe their housemate is masturbating. However, when they look, Duckman is actually doing leg exercises, and is none too pleased that his assistants are watching him.
    Duckman: I can't live with this lack of privacy! GO SLEEP OUTSIDE!
  • Mondegreen Gag: In "Grandma-ma's Flatulent Adventure", Duckman mishears a long speech by Grandma-ma (in a nutshell, that she accepts him as part of the family) as "Eat more cheese."
    • In "Psyche", Ajax greets Duckman (who is still upset from earlier about not thinking of himself as attractive):
    Ajax: Hey, dod. You're home late.
    Duckman: "Homely"? My own flesh and blood calls me homely. You know how that makes me feel? It makes me feel the way you must have felt when the other kids voted you the ugliest kid in your class. I can't believe you'd call me homely!
    Ajax: Actually, dod, I said you were home late.
    Duckman: Oh. You know, I think that Blevins kid is uglier than you.
    Ajax: Thanks, dod!
  • Mood-Swinger: In "The Gripes of Wrath":
    Ajax: It's over. Paradise is lost. The utopian dream forever shattered and never to be regained!.... But I could use a new stereo.
  • Moral Guardians: One of them kidnaps Duckman in "Clip Job".
  • Motive Rant: King Chicken would frequently point out how it was Duckman's childhood teasing that drove him to a life of crime. It became a Running Gag that other characters would be bored at the mere mention of that.
  • Motor Mouth: Duckman himself, though more in the first half of the series.
  • The Movie: Parodied in "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W." when a live action made-for-TV movie is made about Duckman. Cornfed is portrayed as an incompetent drunk (by his voice actor Gregg Berger at that).
  • Mr. Exposition: In "The Road to Dendron", a simple question to a stranger leads to this, but Duckman shoots him down before he can ramble too much:
    Duckman: Who's tall, dark and creepy?
    Man: Beware. Beware. That is the sultan's fakir, Achmed al-Wazir, an evil man full of tricks and tortures and torments. It is said that when the moon is full, he-
    Duckman: ALL RIGHT THANK YOU, we'll be in touch.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: There are three completely contradictory accounts of how and when Duckman and Cornfed first met, all with evidence supporting them. In "Civil War," they met in a bakery where Cornfed was working as a clerk, by which time Duckman had settled down in his present home in southern California, and Duckman (grudgingly) admits to remembering this. In "The Girls of Route Canal", they met in an airport where Cornfed was working as a baggage handler and "moonlighting" as a trucker while Duckman was wandering the world searching for Beatrice, whom he met in Iowa. This is from a story Duckman remembers clearly and gets genuinely emotional about. In "From Brad to Worse," the two first met in college, before Duckman knew Beatrice or Cornfed had any job, and this is corroborated by a third party (Brad) who was friends with them in the same college.
  • Multiple Head Case: Charles and Mambo
  • Musical Episode: Subverted: "The Road to Dendron" started out looking like a musical episode, with a catchy song to explain the plot. But there is no more singing for the rest of the episode, until the finale, which is muted anyway because the show used up its budget on the opening song.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: In "Haunted Society Plumbers", the song "That's Us" is briefly interrupted by Cornfed, reacting to one of Duckman's lyrics ("Opp and Heimer!").
  • Must Have Nicotine: Duckman is a smoker going through withdrawal in the first episode. He backslid in "Gland of Opportunity" and applied a ton of nicotine patches in "Days of Whining and Neurosis".
  • Neck Snap: In "Dammit Hollywood", Minehard Braunbusser snaps a guy's neck when he tries to leave the movie set.
  • Negative Continuity: In "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby", Grandma-ma is revealed to still be Agnes Delrooney from several months earlier and even waking up and participating in the plot. This is an interesting example, since in "Crime, Punishment, War, Peace, and the Idiot" before this episode we'd seen a flashback inside Grandma-ma's mind implying she was still Grandma-ma and suggesting the show was going to have no continuity with respect to Agnes replacing her, only for Agnes to show up in a later episode.
  • Nepotism: Walt Reno, who provided many incidental voices in the series, was writer/producer Jeff Reno's father.
  • Never My Fault: In "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby", after Bernice catches Charles and Mambo smoking:
    Bernice: When children pick up bad habits, it's time to take a good, hard look at ourselves and place the blame where it obviously belongs: On the cigarette companies!
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Art De Salvo and Terry Duke Tetzlov, two recurring characters who usually fill in when a plot requires a sleazy agent, unqualified doctor, human trafficker or similar scumbag. Justified in that both men are scummy sleazebags who probably aren't legally allowed to perform a certain job for very long.
    • Taken to a hilarious extreme in "Grandma-ma's Flatulent Adventure" where Duckman is delivering a eulogy at a funeral parlour owned by Tetzlov. He looks up when he is done speaking to see the funeral parlour is now a video game arcade.
    Tetslov: "Turn's out you need a license to operate a funeral home! So I set up this video arcade instead. You'll have to leave now you're scaring the children."
  • Nice Mean And In Between:
    • The Hufnagel triplets: we have Beatrice as the nice one who brought out the best in Duckman when she was around, Bernice as the snarky, mean one who will beat up Duckman at any opportunity she gets (usually for justified reasons), and Beverly as the in-between, as she can be as sweet as Beatrice but as snarky as Bernice when she needs to be.
    • At the detective agency, we have the nauseatingly sweet Fluffy and Uranus (nice), the crabby, lazy, and perverted Bad Boss Duckman (mean), and selfless but hypercompetent and serious Cornfed (in-between).
    • Duckman's family too, to some extent: Ajax doesn't have a single mean bone in his body (nice), Bernice retains her mean role, while Charles and Mambo consist of the in-between, as they both disapprove of their dad as much as their aunt does, but they care about him enough to still call him their dad and help him when necessary (as long as he doesn't screw up).
  • Niche Network: In "TV Or not To Be" Duckman flips past "The All Potato Cakes Network", "The Mismatched Buddy Comedy Network", "The Lets Talk in Pig Latin Network", "The Skin Disease Network" and "The Roadkill Identification Network".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
  • No Ending: The series' 4th season final episode ended with a Cliffhanger involving Duckman's wife Beatrice, whose death aggravated most of Duckman's self-destructive tendencies, being revealed to be alive. Naturally, the first time the show's creators were confident of the show being picked up for another season, it wasn't.
  • No Indoor Voice: Duckman's default voice.
  • Noir Episode: Specifically, "Noir Gang", which is rendered entirely in black and white except for the final few seconds when the sun comes out. There are Noir motifs right through the series, and in Duckman's own mind he's a pulp detective hero.
  • Nonhumans Lack Attributes: Duckman makes an aside to Cornfed in "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W." when some hot babes enter his office: "It's times like this, I wish I had a penis," lampshading that he wears no clothes and yet has no visible genitalia.
  • Noodle Incident: Numerous examples, usually involving Duckman doing something horrific.
    Duckman: It's hard to get [Ripley's] to come out, they're still mad about "the bee thing"...
    • In "Days of Whining and Neurosis":
    Duckman: I once went three years without a woman- no, six if you don't count that open house day at the morgue.
  • No Fourth Wall: Frequent asides to the audience, digs at the USA Network, and so forth.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Invoked in "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W.": Duckman is revealed to be a fraud when footage of Duckman grabbing women's butts was shown on Geofredo's show; Duckman complains about this, but Art De Salvo (who's representing him) tells Duckman not to sweat it; in a week, nobody will remember why he was famous, but the fame will remain anyway.
  • No Sympathy: In "America the Beautiful", the '80s businessman is annoyed that his secretary took time off for "an operation":
    Businessman: ...On her colon. They found some sort of... "tumor", or something. Jeez.
  • Note to Self
    • In "I, Duckman", a pigeon takes a massive poop onto Duckman's head. He says, "Note to self: More thumbtacks in the bird feeder.
    • In "A Room With a Bellevue", a bunch of insects envelop Duckman's face when he opens his car window. He remarks, "Note to self: No more meat-flavored cologne."
  • Not Helping Your Case: In "Clip Job", Harry Medfly tries to make a connection between what's aired on TV and social problems:
    Harry: Did you know there were 500 murders in America the week after The Terminator aired?
    Duckman: How many the week before?
    Harry: 500. But that's not the point.
  • No Theme Tune / Title-Only Opening: In "Das Sub", the typical opening sequence is not used. Instead, the Duckman title appears on a black background while the narrator from Law & Order describes the criminal justice system (see Opening Narration below).
  • "Not So Different" Remark: In "Cock Tales For Four", King Chicken blames Duckman for his life being a failure, due to Duckman ridiculing him to the other children when they were kids. However, after King Chicken says that Duckman couldn't possibly know what it's like to be an outcast, Duckman snaps: "I know exactly what that's like! [long pause] ...After you ran home, they always beat me up." This revelation causes the two to realize they have a lot in common, and temporarily become friends... until King Chicken's wife comes onto Duckman and King Chicken blames Duckman for it, thereby reinstating the long-standing feud between the two.
  • Off on a Technicality: In "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial," Cornfed looks over every possible technicality to save Duckman from going to trial over saying "egg" in the town. Nothing pans out and at the trial, Duckman is about to be pronounced guilty and sentenced to death. Fortunately, Charles and Mambo come up with the most unlikely technicality of all - Duckman didn't know what he did was against the law.
    King Chicken: Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
    Cornfed: (reading the boys' paper) Actually, this is the one town where ignorance is a legal excuse.
    Judge: I didn't know that.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: During the time that Grandmama spent in Agnes Delrooneys place in prison, she has somehow managed to become the head mobster for the gangs inside the jail, despite being unable to move an inch or talk.
  • Once per Episode: Duckman doing something horrible to his living plush-animal office assistants Fluffy and Uranus.
  • Only Friend: Duckman and Cornfed are this to each other. Cornfed's loyalty to Duckman is incomprehensible, but ultimately unshakable.
  • Opening Narration: The episode "Das Sub" opens with a Law & Order parody:
    Narrator: In the criminal justice system, there are two separate but equally important groups: The police and prosecutors, who apprehend and try the offenders, and the idiotic defendants who take up the court's time with their self-serving blather. These are their stories.
  • ...Or So I Heard: Demonstrated in "The Germ Turns" by Cornfed, of all people.
  • Orgy of Evidence: In "A Civil War," Duckman's lust for Val de Ree, the hot widow of a murdered business executive, leads him to ignoring multiple clues, including a bloody knife, an actual Smoking Gun, a recording of the murder, a parrot yelling "Stop it Val! You're killing me!", and the victim's still-warm body. It was actually the factory's burly foreman in a disturbingly form-fitting Val costume.
  • Other Stock Phrases: In "Gripes of Wrath", after Bernice shows affection for Duckman, he replies: "Who ARE you, and what have you done with Bernice?!"
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • Parodied in "The Road to Dendron." After Duckman is taken away by the guards (presumably to his death), Cornfed just dances around in a circle, repeatedly gloating, "The princess loves me!" When he finally exhausts himself and falls over:
    Cornfed: What am I doing?! Dancing for four days, forgetting about Ajax and Duckman. Why would I behave so callously, so unlike myself?
    Narrator: The password is: Bad Writing.
    • Also Lampshaded in "America The Beautiful" when Duckman yells at the Gordon Gecko expy that money isnt enough to make a person happy, and immediatly realizes what he has said. Cornfed points out that an obsession with another person can often bring about out-of-character behavior.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Parodied in "The Mallardian Candidate".
  • Overly-Long Gag: The AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-1 Plumbing scene in "Haunted Society Plumbers". Lampshaded when during the fifth repetition (and the second by the same character) Duckman interrupts to note they haven't even started the episode plot yet.
  • Papa Wolf: The one surefire way to light a fire under Duckman's ass is to mess with his family. Even Bernice.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: Some of the porno movies Bernice gives Duckman in "Gripes of Wrath" episode include "A Room With a Spew", "Bareassic Park", "Hannah Does Her Sisters" and "Howards End"
  • Parent with New Paramour: Duckman somehow had girlfriends occasionally.
  • Parental Neglect: Duckman, who learned all too well from his own mother.
  • Parody Episode:
  • Pelvic Thrust: Duckman's Happy Dance "The Funky Duckman" consists entirely of this.
  • The Perfectionist: Cornfed. One example from "A Civil War" is when Cornfed performed a complicated basketball slam dunk (complete with stopping in mid-air to paint a signature), and afterwards made the basket from the other end of the court using only a mirror as a guide. After the second shot, he complained that he caught some rim.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: During his time alone on the surface in "Apocalypse Not", Duckman manages to completely wreck the entire city in his hedonistic daze.
  • Pet the Dog: Deliberately avoided, if not quite often subverted. Usually thanks to Duckman acting like a jerk again once the tender moment's over, or being too oblivious or apathetic.
    • The trope is played straight at the end of the first episode, however. After spending most of the episode in a slump due to his family disrespecting him and finding out his attempted murderer wanted another duck detective dead, Duckman is consoled by his worried sons. Ajax even gives him a chunk of his sandwich.
  • Phone-Trace Race: Utilized in "Not So Easy Riders" when some IRS agents are tracing Duckman's phone call: Bernice keeps Duckman on the line by asking him if he's read any good books lately.
    Bernice: What's that one about? (listens) ...With her own sisters? Oh my God.
  • Pilot: There was one that was done as a pitch for the series. It was included on the DVD sets, but unfortunately with commentary enabled as the only audio track so you couldn't hear the dialogue.
  • Playground Song: In "The Road to Dendron":
    Duckman: (singing) 99 bottles of scotch on the wall, 99 bottles of scotch, if one of those bottles gets puked on the floor...
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Performed repeatedly in "The Road to Dendron".
  • Police Brutality: In "America the Beautiful":
    Cop: (to hippies) It's Thursday; time for your weekly confrontation with oppressive authority figures.
  • Political Overcorrectness:
  • In "It's the Thing of the Principal", Duckman and Cornfed try to get into the vice principal's office of Ajax's school, all to no avail. But the second Duckman mentions God in passing, a school cop confronts Duckman and says he won't stand for prayer in public school, and that he has to go to the vice principal's office.
  • In "Forbidden Fruit", an episode about sexism, Hebrew will now be known as "We-brew" and a sewer worker was charged with sexual misconduct for referring to his "manhole".
  • Poor Man's Porn: Duckman has used these many times, which is odd because he has countless porno mags and videos.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: A grotesque murder (by lactose intolerance) in "Days of Whining and Neurosis".
  • Porn Stash: Duckman has a notable one, of which was threatened with destruction in "Forbidden Fruit" to keep him in line.
  • Postmodernism: The series dabbles in this kind of humor, usually with its references and jabs at the USA Network. Two episodes stand in particular. "Clip Job" features an irate viewer criticizes Duckman's terrible character using footage of the show as evidence. And "How to Suck in Business Without Really Trying" has "Variecom" capitalizing on Duckman being a character to represent the USA Network, but has to con Duckman out of his name due to Duckman actually existing in a universe that also features a fictional character named Duckman. Complete with Duckman having to dress up in a costume of himself to make money.
    Duckman: Ah what the hell. If I can't be the real-real me, maybe I'll make some dough impersonating an imitation of the imitation of the real-real me.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • In "Research and Destroy", Bernice lets loose on a snooty bouncer who keeps her and the family waiting in line for Ajax's performance, despite being family: After the bouncer makes a remark about fog, Bernice keeps saying "fogging" while yelling at the bouncer. So while not the actual "f" word, "fogging" sounds close enough.
    • In "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial", Cornfed asks Duckman: "Are you out of your (beep)ing mind?!"
    • In "American Dicks", the cameraman's first introduction to Duckman is him swearing repeatedly, with each instance bleeped out. Even though bleeped, it's pretty obvious what words he's saying, given the context.
    • Demonstrated many times when Fluffy and Uranus snap at Duckman in "Forbidden Fruit".
  • Product Placement: In "Days of Whining and Neurosis" when the killers ask Cornfed how he put the clues together:
    Cornfed: As fate would have it, my own addiction: Murder, She Wrote reruns on USA. (holds up TV Guide) Check local listings for showtimes.
    • A tongue-in-cheek one occurs towards the end of "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby" when Duckman plugs Blockbuster Video, saying you can rent 7 Faces of Dr. Lao there. He even uses Blockbuster's slogan at the time.
    Duckman: Make it a Blockbuster night.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: On two occasions, Cornfed said in his typical monotone: "Oh. My. God."
  • Punishment Box: In "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby", for back-talking, Duckman has to spend a week... in the box. In a subversion, he comes out after the week is up feeling refreshed.
  • Punny Name: The third suspect's name in "America the Beautiful" is Saul... Saul Monella.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: In "Noir Gang", Cornfed punches out his reflection in Tamara's room after he tells Duckman that the two are in love, leaving no room for him.
    Cornfed: ...Ow.
  • Rapid-Fire Interrupting: In "The Longest Weekend", Tad Venom (the president of the competing neighborhood block association) repeatedly interrupts Duckman, as he just wants him out of his house.
    Venom: I'm sorry, may I interrupt you for a moment? (pause) Thanks. Please, go on.
    Duckman: You-
    Venom: Please, call me Tad. Look, Mr. Duckman, I promise you there's no neighborhood block association, and I'm not president. No, "promise" is the wrong word. "Pretend". (pushes Duckman out the door) I can't thank you enough for stopping by, please come back soon, although I will be out of town for the next thirty years.
    Duckman: I-
    Venom: Oooh, you silver-tongued devil. Bye! (slams door)
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In "Role With It," during a group therapy session involving role playing, Duckman winds up taking a lot of abuse from everyone else in the cast. When he gets his nerve back, though, he very calmly gives it back - doing a little role playing of his own and pointing out all of their faults.
    • In "The Gripes of Wrath", Bernice discovers that Duckman would rather go to Busty Bikini Babe Fest instead of taking his kids to the science/technology exhibit. She then launches into a tirade on how he'd rather ogle women than help his children develop their intellect.
  • Red Shirt:
    • The waiter in "Apocalypse Not", who even protests that he's not going to perform a dangerous task instead of the main characters, because he's a one-shot and nobody will care if he dies. Bernice says that's nonsense, and after the waiter predictably dies, she half-heartedly mourns his loss, but screws it when she can't remember the waiter's name.
    • And in "Where No Duckman Has Gone Before", Fluffy and Uranus appropriately play the "red shirt" characters from Star Trek.
  • Reinventing the Telephone: A smoke signal—lampshaded when they use a telephone after it doesn't work.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In the In-Universe movie about Duckman saving the President, Duckman and Bernice are actually brother and sister. It doesn't stop them from making out.
    Bernice: In-Law! Brother IN-LAW!
  • Removed from the Picture: Both Duckman and Bernice have a picture of them with Beatrice at her wedding. They each have the other's face torn from the picture.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: On the Seasons 3 and 4 DVD set, during "Aged Heat 2: Women in Heat", Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" was replaced with a stock music piece called "Wow!".
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: In "Clip Job", when Harry Medfly calls out Duckman on his lust for women:
    Duckman: Who says lusting and plotting 10, 12 hours a day to brush up against them's a crime?
    Harry: The Supreme Court.
    Duckman: (sarcastic chuckle) Yeah. Like they're in charge of interpreting the law for the whole country.
  • Riddle for the Ages: How is Beatrice still alive, and why didn't Cornfed say anything when he apparently knew all along?
  • Right Through the Wall:
    • Bernice and King Chicken have very loud sex in the next room in "Cock Tales For Four" to the point where everything they say can be heard clearly and a wall gets repeatedly bent inward several feet. Duckman knows what's going on but Honey Chicken is too drunk to notice. The final episode reveals though that they've never actually had sex.
    • Bernice and Cornfed do the same in "Pig Amok". It's so loud and destructive the walls start to crack. Duckman is too busy with his own thoughts to realize it, though.
  • "Risky Business" Dance: In "Apocalypse Not".
  • Roommate Com: "With Friends Like These", an obvious parody of Friends complete with studio-audience laughter.
  • Rule of Three: While investigating a murder threat, Duckman and Cornfed talk to a trio of suspicious characters in "Noir Gang", with Duckman convinced that the third one is guilty because of this trope. He is of course immediately proven wrong when the suspect is gunned down seconds later.
    Cornfed: So much for the rule of threes.
  • Running Gag:
    • Duckman always doing something horribly violent to Fluffy and Uranus in every episode.
    • Duckman screwing up Mambo's name.
    • From "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial", the sunglasses-wearing cop.
    Cop: "You folks lost?"
  • Second-Person Attack: At the end of "American Dicks":
    Duckman: (to cameraman, angrily) Well, I've about had it with you! Ever since you got here, you've been trying to make me look bad. Well, here! How do I look now?! (punches the camera)
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: In "They Craved Duckman's Brain", Cornfed tells Duckman that a wise man once said, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." This leads into a lengthy discussion about Star Trek, eventually derailing into Time After Time and A Clockwork Orange before the doctor finally tells everyone to shut up.
  • Self-Deprecation: This piece of dialogue:
    Cornfed: What am I doing? Dancing for four days... Forgetting about Ajax and Duckman.... Why would I believe so callously, so unlike myself?
    Voiceover: The password is: Bad Writing.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Duckman's middle name, Tiberius, is a reference to the middle name of Captain James Kirk.
    • In "The Road to Dendron", Duckman is forced into a metal cage and lowered towards lava. This is definitely a reference to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
      • "The Road To Dendron" and "Haunted Society Plumbers" are whole-episode references to the Bob Hope movies from the 40's and 50's.
    • In "Das Sub," a parody of 1995's Nixon sees Duckman re-enact the part where Nixon looks at a picture of JFK. As Duckman is filling the Nixon role, Dr. Katz is in the picture.
      "They look at you and see what they wanna watch. They look at me and know it's the wrong channel."
    • The series finale shows Ajax reciting the same marriage speech as Luca Brasi.
    • Duckman and Cornfed's plumbing business' theme song in "Haunted Society Plumbers" has the same melody as the Tiny Toon Adventures theme.
    • The episode "The Mallardian Candidate" is itself a shout out. The evil organization in the episode also has a Room 101 in their HQ.
    • In "Ebony, Baby", Duckman says "Flawless Victory. FINISH HIM!" after Ebony beats up a bunch of minions.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Sharing a body, Charles and Mambo displayed this sometimes, although they were also known to argue with each other. They've been known to headbutt each other!
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: King Chicken.
  • Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Parodied in "Four Weddings Inconceivable".
  • Skewed Priorities: In "Days of Whining and Neurosis":
    Duckman: Almost there, my cloved-foot comrade. Time to mingle with the millionaires, gallivant with the glitterati, hobnob with the hoi polloi.
    Cornfed: And with any luck, of course, keep a man from being killed.
    Duckman: Right right, there's always the side benefits.
    • Surprisingly happens to Cornfed in "Clip Job":
    Cornfed: Given that police organizations are woefully overburdened and that every minute counts in the first 24 hours of a victim's disappearance, I suggest we undertake our own demanding and difficult investigation, beginning with interviews of anyone who's spoken to or seen your father during the past two years combined with a systematic survey of all emergency care facilities within a 50-mile radius and a door-to-door canvassing of the city.
    Bernice: We have nachos...
    Cornfed: It can wait.
  • Slipping a Mickey: In "The Road to Dendron", Duckman is rescued by Princess Fallopia, but doesn't want to sleep with her because she looks virtually identical to Ajax and it would be weird. So he asks an aide to slip Fallopia a mickey every night, and the next morning he tells her a tall tale about how good he was in bed with her.
  • Slow Clap: Played straight at first in "Das Sub", but devolves into parody when the clapping group follows Duckman home, still clapping.
    Duckman: Would you shut the hell up and go home? I've called the cops! Freakin' hoodlums.
  • Slow Motion: In "The Girls of Route Canal", Duckman and Beatrice run towards each other in slow motion when they first meet. In a subversion, the two also speak in slow motion.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Duckman, of course.
    Duckman: And that is why, in Togo, biscuits are called "Duckman".
  • Smarter Than You Look: Honey Chicken might come across as a drunken lush unaware of her surroundings, but she knows all about King Chicken's infidelities and while she doesn't have much going for her, she's ruthless in maintaining what she does have.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Demonstrated by Duckman in "Gland of Opportunity" when he becomes famous. Interestingly, though, the show mostly averts this trope; Duckman is reluctantly trying to quit smoking right at the start of the series and we're shown the negative side effects of his former addiction.
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: When visiting a prison in the pilot, Duckman mouths off about how he'd like to teach the "braindead, bread-and-water eating scumbags" a lesson. He quickly learns they're on the honor system and retorts with this trope. Surprisingly, the prisoners buy it and Duckman gets away with his insult.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Duckman is bleeped a number of times in succession at the start of "American Dicks".
    • In "Exile in Guyville", futuristic society (including little kids) freely says the F-word, which is bleeped.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The end credits music to "Apocalypse Not" features some mellow music with destruction sounds and crowd screams heard underneath it.
  • Spiked Wheels: Used by Roland Thompson against Duckman and Dr. Craig in "They Craved Duckman's Brain!"
  • Spinning Paper: In "The Gripes of Wrath", Duckman has a vision of what will happen if he drinks the tomato juice: He happens upon a gun-toting thug, and accidentally drops the tomato juice. The thug sees the color red and goes nuts, shooting into the air. One of the bullets hits a scientist, who drops a volatile chemical, causing a giant mushroom cloud. Then a newspaper spins towards the screen, reading: "World is destroyed; Duckman to blame."
  • Stay in the Kitchen: America's ex-husband in "America the Beautiful".
    Mr. Nelson: But then she started asking me things like "What time I'd be home" or "Why she couldn't have a say in decisions". (Laughs) Imagine a woman questioning my authority.
    Mrs. Nelson: (Wearing an apron and shackles calling pleasantly from the doorway) Dear, will the gentlemen be staying for dinner? I fixed a roast.
    Mr. Nelson: Speak only when spoken to, kitten!
  • Stealing the Handicapped Spot: In "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W.", Duckman complains about getting ticketed for doing this. He argues that the only people who would even notice are handicapped drivers - and he can outrun them easily.
  • Sting: In "The Mallardian Candidate", every time "a conspiracy!" is said, a three note, dramatic sting is played. Eventually, Duckman gets irritated at it, especially when the sting interrupts his sentences and, in one instance, plays upon showing him merely walking into a building.
  • The Stinger: Later episodes began to feature audio clips played over the Reno & Osborn logo. Sometimes they were a repeat from the episode a la MST3K, other times they were all new.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Gripes of Wrath", Duckman says "Huminah huminah haw wa..." upon seeing the utopia Loretta created. Cornfed says "Either you're babbling, or you just told me in Cherokee that my scrotum is many colored." Later, when Bernice gives Duckman a box of porno, he says the same thing, prompting Bernice to observe, "I didn't know you spoke Cherokee."
  • Straw Character: In "They Craved Duckman’s Brain," Duckman has a cure for cancer in his brain, so the Corrupt Corporate Executive Roland Thompson who is Withholding the Cure tries to kill Duckman...after a really long Just Between You and Me:
    A video presentation: Ladies and Gentlemans, here are your cancer profiteers: doctors, lab workers, pharmaceutical manufactures, probate lawyers, obituaries writers, coffin makers, New Yorkers who need apartments, The Republican Party...
    Roland Thompson Nothing, really: they just go where evil is.
  • Straw Feminist: One episode features a band of militants who go around getting things changed such as "mailman" to "person person" and "Hebrew" to "Webrew".
  • Sublime Rhyme: In "A Room With a Bellevue":
    Nurse: (sing-songy) Uh-uh-uh, there'll be no sodomy, or you'll get a lobotomy!
  • Sudden Name Change: In "Married Alive", Beatrice's will gives Bernice's full name as Bernice Batrille NI Battle-Ax, whereas Duckman is referred to as such, implying that he has a one-word name. In "Bev Takes a Holiday", Duckman let's slip that his first name is actually Eric; this remains the case for the remainder of the series (and actually becomes a plot point in "How to Suck in Business Without Really Trying"). In the final episode, "Four Weddings Inconceivable", Duckman's full name is revealed as Eric Tiberius Duckman, while Bernice's has changed (with no explanation) to Bernice Florence Hufnagel. The DVD collection uses these names in its bio section and also refers to the sons as Charles and Mambo Duckman and Ajax Duckman, even though they're never called that in the show itself.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Harry Medfly kidnaps Duckman in "Clip Job":
    Harry: I know what you're thinking, but this has nothing to do with the fact that my column just got dropped, and my wife left me, taking my Franklin Mint clown plate collection.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: In "Ride the High School":
    Ajax: You know, you're probably my favorite dad.
    Duckman: Only.
    Ajax: Only what?
    Duckman: Only dad.
    Ajax: Only dad what?
  • Take That!:
    • In "Clip Job", Ajax basically equates Walker, Texas Ranger with sewage.
    • King Chicken's full name is George Herbert Walker Chicken.
    • In "Inherit the Judgement: The Dope's Trial", Charles and Mambo wander into a trailer park, where one of the residents throws a box out his window and almost hits the duo. Charles asks what the box is, and the man says, "Nielsen Box. Whole trailer park's got 'em."
    • In "Apocalypse Not", Duckman throws a brick at the building of The WB "for sucking" while trashing the vacant city.
    • Numerous jabs are taken at the Republican Party. See Straw Character above for one example.
    • In "Not So Easy Riders", Duckman manages to enrage a bunch of bikers and Cornfed tells him that he should try what Pee-wee Herman did in that one movie. Duckman retorts that he doesn't think its appropriate, nor is he in the mood.
  • Take That, Critics!: "And to think, Entertainment Weekly panned us."
  • Taking the Bullet: A flashback in "A Civil War" showed that Cornfed protected Duckman from bullets shot by a gunman. Twice.
  • Tempting Fate: Fluffy and Uranus tell house-crasher Duckman about some of their prized possessions in "Forbidden Fruit". The next morning, said items are ruined by Duckman.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial" when Cornfed wants to be Duckman's lawyer:
    Cornfed: Relax, Duckman, I'll get you off. Uh, I mean, I'll see that you're found not guilty.
  • That's All, Folks!: The end of "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial" featured a Looney Tunes parody, with Cornfed taking Porky's place:
    Cornfed: Abadeaabadeaabadea, that's everything we've got, people.
  • Theme Park Landscape: The underground cavern in "The Road to Dendron" features a water passage which Duckman, Cornfed, and Ajax use to escape, though in a subversion, the Fakir laments: "Why did I put in that water slide?! After them!"
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Fluffy and Uranus die in just about every episode. Usually due to saccharine.
  • Thick-Line Animation: The "Duckman & Oinky" cartoon in the episode "How to Suck in Business Without Really Trying".
  • This Is My Side: Done to an extreme in "Exile in Guyville", when an argument between Bernice and Duckman eventually causes a separation between the males and females of society, separated by a tall wall.
  • Toilet Humour:
    • In "In the Nam of the Father", Charles says that he's thirsty, and Mambo adds that he has to pee. Duckman says that both of their problems are solved.
    • In "Inherit the Judgment: The Dope's Trial", after the family drinks a bunch of water, Duckman says, "No time for bathrooms; we'll sweat it out in the car."
    • In "Where No Duckman Has Gone Before", Duckman says he has to go to the bathroom to give new meaning to the term "Captain's Log".
    • A minor recurring gag has Ajax imply that he mistook fecal matter for food.
  • Tongue-Tied: In "Cock Tales For Four", King Chicken and Duckman get drunk together, leading to this great line:
    King Chicken: You're... Dickman, private duck!
  • Took a Level in Badass: Fluffy and Uranus, of all people, when they're finally fed up with how Duckman is treating them in their own home and demand his respect by screwing over their usual PC-obsessive schtick and actually cussing him out. Duckman's sole response is to walk out in silent shock and awe.
  • Toothy Bird: Just look at the page image.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: Certain episodes later in the show's run featured a 12-second version of the theme music.
  • Undying Loyalty: For some reason, Cornfed, Fluffy and Uranus are consistently loyal to Duckman.
  • Unreliable Narrator: In "The Girls of Route Canal", when Duckman tells of how he was able to win Beatrice over her husband, Richard:
    Richard: Duckman, what a wonderful surprise.
    Duckman: Richard, I'm in love with your wife. In fact, I have been since the first moment I laid eyes on her. I'm sorry, Richard, but my love for Beatrice is like the strong prairie winds, which blow unchecked by man or beast, the mighty oak that grows stronger with each passing rain, the snow-capped peaks that tower above all else since time immemorial.
    Richard: Duckman, your eloquence has moved me. I'll leave.
    Charles: (voiceover) Dad, are you sure that's the way it happened?
    Duckman: (voiceover) Well, I may have changed a few details.
    (take two)
    Richard: Duckman, what a wonderful surprise.
    Duckman: Richard, I'm in love with your wife.
    Richard: (grips his chest in pain)
    Duckman: Huh. He did say it would kill him. Don't die! You can't die! I loved Beatrice even before I slept with her.
    Richard: My heart! (gasping)
    Duckman: Wait, damn you! I haven't finished! I rehearsed and everything. Come on. It's not like we used your bed. Just your floor, dining room table, workbench, hayloft-
    Richard: (groans)
    Duckman: Wait! No! I got to share this with someone! Clear! (puts defribulator to his chest) She said I was the best she ever had!
    (Richard dies; Charles and Mambo are speechless)
  • The Unreveal: Parodied at the end of "The Road to Dendron," where Cornfed asks why the Fakir had Ajax kidnapped in the first place. Just as he's about to explain, a camel chewing on hay walks by. Once the camel is gone, the Fakir finishes explaining, with Duckman and Cornfed nodding along.
    • The fact that in the Series Finale, Duckman's wife Beatrice was alive this whole time and Cornfed knew about this all along, but the episode ends on a never resolved cliffhanger that as of now remains to be unresolved.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Duckman, naturally. Although there are rare occasions when the viewer and even Bernice will feel bad for him.
  • Unwanted Rescue: In "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W.", Duckman inadvertently saves the president from a terrorist. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, he's ridiculed by the press for getting in the way of a bigger story, that is, a presidential assassination.
  • Unit Confusion: In "Das Sub", after Duckman gets a sentence of 5,000 hours of community service:
    Duckman: 5,000 hours? That's 45 minutes!
    Cornfed: Actually, it's about six months.
    Duckman: What? Damn metric system.
  • Utopia: The city briefly became one in "The Gripes of Wrath." When Duckman made an off-hand complaint about short-lasting deodorant, a supercomputer used his criticism to change society for the better. Something happened between acts two and three to cause a complete reversal of this scenario, though.
  • Verbal Tic: King Chicken ends his Evil Laugh with "Bawk Bawk Bawk".
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: King Chicken had a tendency to get away after his evil plan was thwarted. "Joking the Chicken" even has him say "Exit, stage left" as he makes his escape.
  • Villain Over for Dinner: Played with; in "Cock Tales For Four", Duckman and Bernice drive Ajax to his date's house, but the two haven't met her parents. Duckman is shocked when the girl's father turns out to be his arch-nemesis King Chicken.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In "All About Elliot" the eponymous character suffers one after his plan to kill Duckman with pleasure fails.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Done as a gag in "Psyche" when Duckman's in the hospital; his temporary voice box is set to "sex object".
  • The Voiceless:
    • Grandma-ma, who can't speak due to her coma. She makes up for it by farting instead, and using morse code on one occasion.
    • In a couple episodes, though, we do hear her speak: In "Grandma-ma's Flatulent Adventure", she's heard in a flashback and her interior voice is heard at the end of the episode: "I really hate that guy." (referring to Duckman, of course). And she also speaks in the flashback episode "Crime, Punishment, War, Peace, and the Idiot".
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Art De Salvo vomits into a paper bag in "Papa Oom M.O.W. M.O.W.", but we never see the vomit itself.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In "America the Beautiful", Saul Monella tells Duckman, "For some reason, you make me feel like dancin'."
  • Wedding Episode
    • In "Married Alive", Bernice narrowly escapes getting trapped in a sham marriage with Baron Von Dillweed.
    • In the final ep, "Four Weddings Inconceivable", which ended with a Cliffhanger that was never resolved.
  • Weirdness Censor: Invoked and exploited by Cornfed when he and Duckman dress up as a monster and Scarlet O'Hara in order to escape from an insane asylum, as the staff would pay them no notice.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Cornfed, from the episode "Clear and Presidente Danger": "For a complete list, please send $12 to Journal Graphics, Washington, DC, 20300."
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Discussed as Duckman takes a bunch of drink orders in "Cellar Beware".
    Duckman: "Flaming" this, "blend-and-brew" that... whatever happened to the manly drinks? The kind that made you go blind, puke 'til you drop, then wake up six days later married to the daughter of some over-protective father who would pay you to get it annulled?
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: One aspect of the show that was sadly de-emphasized in the third and fourth seasons is Duckman's detective agency job. There are episodes where he comes to the office but the actual detective work is almost an afterthought, in contrast to many episodes in the first two seasons where it's a bigger focus.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: King Chicken's wife and child are introduced in "Cock Tales For Four". While his wife, Honey Chicken, comes back in the final episode, their daughter is not even mentioned.
  • Where No Parody Has Gone Before: "Where No Duckman Has Gone Before".
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • "The Girls of Route Canal", which is about Duckman telling Charles and Mambo how he and Beatrice met.
    • "Crime, Punishment, War, Peace, and the Idiot", about Grandma-ma's early days.
    • "Exile in Guyville", which uses the wraparounds of a future society where a mother tells her son bedtime stories of Duckman.
  • Whole-Plot Reference:
  • World of Jerkass: There are very few good people in this show, which helps them stand out more. Examples include Ajax, Cornfed, and Beverly.
  • Wraparound Background: Used during the Yogi Bear parody in "I, Duckman".
  • Writer on Board: Occasionally, and never subtle.
    • In "The Once and Future Duck", James Madison takes advantage of the time portals that keep appearing throughout the episode to "send a message" to audiences: that the First Amendment is absolute, applies to everyone and everything, and has no exceptions; and that the Second Amendment doesn't mean that the average person has the right to own a gun. Not coincidentally, both of these opinions are very much in-line with mainstream American liberalism of The '90s; they really don't apply to what Madison would have actually thought (most of the Founding Fathers were big fans of private gun ownership), nor have they aged particularly well (the American left has generally moved towards favoring restrictions on free speech in the name of deplatforming bigotry and fighting misinformation).
  • X Days Since: Duckman gets committed to a mental hospital in the "A Room With a Bellevue" episode with a "It has been 3 days since our last 60 Minutes expose" sign out front.
  • Yandere: Tami from "The Tami Show".
  • You Are Fat: In "Apocalypse Not", Cornfed responds to Bernice telling him to shut up: "Everyone thinks your butt is huge." This is far from the only joke directed that Bernice's butt.


Video Example(s):


Obligatory Cornfed

Doesn't matter if it's a good or a bad time, Cornfed MUST appear in every episode.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

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