Originally a supporting character on Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right was an endearingly (to the audience, at least) incompetent officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, spoofing silent-movie melodramas. Apparently the only officer in his regiment, Dudley took orders from Inspector Ray Fenwick while protecting the inspector's daughter, Nell, as well as the rest of Canada, from the schemes of the wicked Snidely Whiplash. Or so he thinks. Truth is Dudley mostly saves the day by sheer luck or the competence of his horse, but he nevertheless takes credit just the same.
In the late 1960s, Dudley headlined his own half-hour Animated Anthology series, which also included cartoons from Total Television. In 1999, Universal released a live-action Dudley Do-Right movie directed by Hugh Wilson and starring Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker and Alfred Molina. That same year, the show went on to inspire a log flume attraction at Universal's Islands of Adventure, titled, Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls.
Dudley Do-Right provides examples of the following tropes:
- All Love Is Unrequited: Dudley is fond of Nell, Nell is fond of... his horse.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Exactly why Snidely Whiplash has pea-green skin is never explained. He must be just that evil.
- Animated Series
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Inspector Fenwick instructed Dudley to get himself kicked out of the service in order to investigate Snidely Whiplash's fur-smuggling operation while in disguise. Dudley's attempts had initially backfired, as the building he burned down was condemned anyways and blowing up the dam solved an irrigation crisis. When instructed by Fenwick to not try, Dudley actually succeeded in the step by eating peas with a knife, something no mountie should ever do.
- Badass Mustache Snidely Whiplash.
- Bound and Gagged: Happens to Nell a lot, naturally.
- Bride and Switch: One episode had Dudley pull this trick on Snidely Whiplash, who was trying to marry Nell, by replacing Nell with his horse. (It worked!)
- Canada, Eh?: We know, you're shocked. Though, amusingly enough to the trope name, the trailing "eh?" is one of the few stereotypes NOT on full display.
- Card-Carrying Villain: In the film, Snidely decides as a child that he's going to grow up to be a bad guy.
- Chained to a Railway: The very opening sequence of the show.
- One episode portrayed it as an addiction for Snidely. He not only ties women to railroad tracks, but Nell, Horse, Inspector Fenwick, and even himself.
- One story's last panel features an insurance salesman trying to sell Snidely Whiplash a special villains' policy by saying it'll cover him if he's struck by a train while tying someone to a railroad track.
- Clothes Make the Maniac: Used for a Personality Swap episode.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: In an episode where Whiplash steals Do-Right's clothes (making him too ashamed to show his face, not because he's naked, but because he's out of uniform, which to him, is far worse), Do-Right comes up with a clever way of getting even later: He swipes Whiplash's clothes.
- Damsel in Distress: Nell. Although frequently she has to just get herself out of a situation due to Dudley's stupidity.
- Darker and Edgier: While the film was a box office failure, it somewhat retains the style of comedy we all know and love in Dudley Do-Right. However a chunk of the film focuses on Dudley being the bad guy in order to ruin Whiplash's reputation as the Bad Guy doing good. What does Dudley do as his first act of evil? He takes Snidely's best henchman and tortures him with a sawmill. It's really papier mache, but he didn't know that.
- Dastardly Whiplash: Partial Trope Namer.
- A Dog Named "Dog":
- Horse, Dudley's horse.
- And as a once-removed example, Dudley's recurring pet wolf, Faithful Dog (named after... it's a long story).
- Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: The Trope Namer, of course
- Fiery Redhead: Nell sometimes. Mainly when she gets fed up with Dudley's (or another character's) stupidity.
- Genre Savvy: The 1999 live-action film has this in spades. The characters are fully aware that they inhabit a formulaic melodrama, and they're quite comfortable with all the attendant absurdities. Any deviation from the fixed conventions of the genre, however, causes them deep existential anxiety and confusion.
- Godiva Hair: Dudley in one episode. Though in this case, it was a beard.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Played for laughs as Snidely kidnaps Dudley with the intent of replacing him with a robot duplicate. This backfires as the robot is better at being a Mountie then Dudley!
- Good Is Dumb: Pretty much the series' entire hat.
- Idiot Ball: Quite deliberately invoked. Both Fenwick and Snidely can be as stupid as Dudley if the comedy calls for it.
- Idiot Hero: Yeah. One memorable incident involved Dudley discovering his commanding officer Bound and Gagged, but simply thinking he was bundled up against the cold, and deciding to throw another log on the fire. However...Narrator: In the dim light that dim-wit threw in the fireplace not firewood but firearms!
- Fortunately for them both, the fire cooked off the ammunition, which scared off the criminals that had taken over the post.
- The Movie gives us an example when Dudley decides to test whether or not the woman at the door who claims to be Nell is a vampire (Snidely put the idea in his head that vampires were about) by asking her a question any true Canadian would know: What is Wayne Gretzky's middle name?note Nell points out that she doesn't know and then asks if he knows. Dudley realizes he doesn't, and then realizes something worse:I am a vampire!
- Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Spoofed in the episode: The Disloyal Canadians. In order to infiltrate Snidely Whiplash's crew and expose him as a fur smuggler, Inspector Fenwick ordered Dudley to dirty his own record and get kicked out of the Mounties. After two failures at getting thrown out, Dudley stopped trying and ate peas with a knife, something no Mountie would ever do, and got drummed out, allowing phase 2 of his mission to go through.
- Interactive Narrator: Happens on occasion.Snidely Whiplash (previously introduced in a title card as "Played by Larry Sabu"): So they're short on mounties, eh? Well I'll fill their ranks or my name isn't Larry Sabu!
Narrator: I beg your pardon, Mr. Sabu, but in this picture you're playing Snidely Whiplash.
Snidely (emerging from behind a tree wearing tennis togs): You play Snidely Whiplash. I played him yesterday and he beat me, six love!
- Interspecies Romance: Nell and Horse.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Dudley's is so exaggerated it actually looks... phallic.
- Lawful Stupid: Dudley. In one notable episode, Snidely kidnaps Nell at her wedding to Dudley. A couple days later, Dudley receives a letter from his abducted bride delivered from Snidely's sawmill. He refuses to open it because it isn't stamped. So he rides to the sawmill, gets Nell (who is tied to a log being fed into the sawblades) to stamp the letter, then rides back to the Mountie post before opening it. An hour and a half later, after finally receiving coherent orders to rescue Nell (Inspector Fenwick flubbed a line), he rides back to the sawmill (thankfully, the sawmill was seriously in need of maintenance or else Nell would have been in pieces by this point). After saving Nell, he then proceeds to arrest her for mail fraud since what she put on the envelope wasn't a legal stamp.
- Malevolent Mugshot: Snidely seems to frequently get his photo taken while actually committing a crime
- The Movie: A Live-Action Adaptation
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Not only did Snidely Whiplash fit this Trope when the show aired, but as the Dastardly Whiplash Trope proves, his name has become synonymous with villains like him in modern culture.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dudley is (to some extent, at least) a caricature of Nelson Eddy's Mountie character in Rudolf Friml's Rose-Marie, and has a tendency to break into Eddy's signature melody, "Shortnin' Bread."
- Rock Beats Laser: In The Movie, at one point, in order to combat Snidely's encroaching army, Dudley and his gang of natives start an avalanche. Snidely laments:That's not fair! They've got giant rocks — all we've got are these machine-guns!
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: In one episode, Dudley is tasked with stopping Snidely from interfering with a top-secret project on a mountain overlooking the RCMP camp. He is successful, but the project turns out to be a giant carving of Snidley's face in the mountain.
- Show Some Leg: In "Trading Places", Nell captures Snidely's gang by stripping down to her undergarments to distract them.