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The Series

  • Accidental Aesop: While "The Case Of The Cola Cult" is completely unambiguous with its depiction of cults and shady forms of groupthink, it can also be read as a satire of aggressive marketing. The titular cult owes its entire existence to a commercial that outright says that the only way to feel like you belong in the world is to buy a particular brand of soda.
  • Accidental Innuendo: The fly is called Zipper. Y'know, instead of calling your (pants) zipper your fly?
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  • Anvilicious: "The Case of The Cola Cult" is completely unambiguous with its satire of cults, right down to its title and the fact that the cult members literally refer to themselves as a cult (few real-life cult members actually do this and the ones who do are usually deflectors/survivors).
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Canina LaFur. Some fans think she's fine or at least enjoy Carol Channing's performance of her, others think she's a vain, unfunny Damsel Scrappy.
    • Fat Cat's Quirky Miniboss Squad. For some theirnfar more entertaining and colorful than he himself is and for others their antics are too repetitive.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In episode "A Fly In The Ointment", when Zipper returns into Rangers HQ while being in Nimnul's body, Monterey briefly wears a monocle so that he could see the bodyswitch. Given that Monty isn't even nearsighted, that was really bizarre moment.
  • Canon Fodder:
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    • Gadget's past and the fate of her father, or anything at all about her mother, has never been explored.
    • What happened between Monterey Jack and Gadget's father, Geegaw.
    • What Monterey Jack was doing before he met the Rangers.
    • How Monterey Jack and Zipper meet each other.
  • Common Knowledge: Chip and Dale are not brothers, at least in this incarnation. They just look a lot alike and have matching names.
  • Contested Sequel: Any official comics. Those released by Boom! Comics in particular, for unlike every other official CDRR release, they came almost two decades after the last official story, and they came after the fandom and its Fan Fiction culture had been established.
  • Crazy Awesome: Dale's plans make him just this.
  • Critical Research Failure: In "It's a Bird, It's Insane, It's Dale", a news report shows that the Statue of Liberty is missing from Ellis Island. The statue's island is named Liberty Island; Ellis Island is another island entirely.
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  • Die for Our Ship: Poor Sparky. While he isn't usually outright hated, because he gets a Ship Tease with Gadget in the episode he appears in his existence has been known to make quite a few Chip/Gadget or Dale/Gadget shippers uncomfortable.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Foxglove the Bat, despite appearing in only one episode, has an enormous cult following, eventually earning her own website which still exists to this day (though it hasn't been updated since 2000).
    • Just like Foxglove, Lahwhinie appeared in one episode but gets an impressive amount of spotlight in fanfics and fanart.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Lahwhinie, although she is basically the Evil Twin to Gadget. Also Desiree D'Allure.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Fans of this show tend to harbor a resentment towards Bonkers for replacing Rescue Rangers in the time slot.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Most prominently, the scenes in "To the Rescue, Part 3" when Monty and Gadget talk about Geegaw, leaving the viewer with more questions than answers, and the end of "Good Times, Bat Times" which leaves the Dale/Foxglove pairing unresolved.
  • Fanon:
    • Chip Maplewood and Dale Oakmont was coined by Michael Demcio in Rhyme and Reason; it's been used by pretty much every fanfic writer ever since.
    • Foxglove becoming the literal Sixth Ranger since she's already Dale's girlfriend.
    • Gadget's coffee addiction.
    • Tammy as a nurse, established in Of Mice and Mayhem. It may have become canon, depending on how canonical one views the BOOM! comics.
    • The death of Gadget's mother (who went unmentioned in the series, and has been given many different names) and father (who was only mentioned in the pilot). There's been countless theories created by the fandom, but pretty much everyone agrees that Gadget's mother died well before Geegaw. The latter is usually considered to have been killed in a plane crash.
    • When Lahwhinie appears in Fan Fic, she's related to Gadget (usually her long lost twin sister) more often than not.
    • The classic Disney short Two Chips And A Miss is considered to be canon to the series, as it not only more closely resembles the setting and characterizations of Rescue Rangers than any previous shorts but is the only Chip 'n Dale short in which none of the other classic Disney characters appear.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • The one great debate is not about whom Gadget shall be together with. It is about whether ("pro") or not ("anti") Gadget shall be together with Chip. No matter whom she'd end up with, if anyone, if not with Chip. The majority of fans, by the way, seems to be in favor of Chip/Gadget.
    • Dale/Foxglove, though prior to the premiere of "Good Times, Bat Times", Dale and Gadget were the major Fan-Preferred Couple.
    • You'll notice not many people ship Gadget with the One-Shot Character Sparky, a lab rat and basically Gadget's equivalent to Dale's Foxglove; a one episode Ship Tease. This is basically the pairing pros and antis can both agree to dislike.
    • Monterey Jack/Desiree D'Allure.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: Oneshot characters joining up with the Rangers is beyond common. It could be just about any of them, but the most consistent ones are Foxglove, Tammy(who ends up being the team nurse as seen above), and Sparky.
  • Ficdom: There are a number of fans who say they prefer the fanfics of the show to the show proper, not because they dislike the show but because the fanfics go places that Disney would never be willing to go themselves.
  • Genius Bonus: Monterey Jack is obsessed with cheese. Monterey Jack is also the name for a blend of cheese from Monterey, California.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Judging from the fanart from that particular country, a sizable portion of the Rescue Ranger fandom comes from Russia. A slightly disturbing subset of Russian Rangers fandom literally worships Gadget. No, this is not a joke.
  • He Really Can Act: While Tress MacNeille and Corey Burton's respective resumes give plenty of credence to their acting abilities, their roles and Chip and Dale deserve extra credit for still managing to give emotional and articulate vocal performances while speaking in slow-motion (since the recordings had to be sped up in post to achieve the "chipmunk" sound).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • In the episode "Parental Discretion Retired," Monterey Jack gives an aside to the audience that his father, Chedderhead Charlie, "taught [him] everything [he] know[s]." A few shows later, Jim Cummings, who voiced Chedderhead, would replace Peter Cullen as the voice of Monterey for the remainder of the show, using the same voice he'd done for Chedderhead. Guess he really did teach Monty everything he knew!
    • In "A Wolf in Cheap Clothing", Jim Cummings voices a Tasmanian devil. A couple of years later, Cummings would become the voice for the Tasmanian Devil (as in, the Looney Tunes character).
    • "A Chorus Crime" is all about tap-dancing penguins, fifteen years before Happy Feet.
    • "A Chorus Crime" also introduced Canina LaFur, an upper class celebrity poodle voiced by Carol Channing, who starred as Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!. Another Disney production, Oliver & Company, which came out roughly a year before this show, also included an upper class celebrity poodle by the name of Georgette, who was voiced by Bette Midler. In the 2017 revival of Hello, Dolly!, Midler went on to portray Dolly herself.
    • In episode "Mind Your Cheese and Qs" Chip says that one of these days Monty's cheese attacks are going to cause big trouble. Come to Boom! Studios comic when Fat Cat uses the A.R.S ray on the Rangers, Monty's cheese attack actually saves them all.
    • In "Dale Beside Himself," the Rangers watch a movie that is clearly supposed to be a spoof of Aliens. 29 years later, and Disney purchases 20th Century Fox, meaning they now own the entire Alien franchise.
    • Buffy from "Out of Scale" is an obnoxious child who keeps mistaking animals that aren't squirrels for squirrels.
    • In "A Lad In A Lamp," when Mole is asked what he'd wish for if he could have anything in the world, he says "A candy bar."
    • With his white lab coat and curly orange hair, Prof. Nimnul kind of looks like a middle-aged Dexter.
    • Similarly, one short, orange, bespectacled and lab coat-wearing dinosaur scientist character briefly seen in "Prehistoric Pet" kind of looks like a proto-Alphys.
    • Those up on their Indie Rock may chuckle at the scene in "The Case Of The Cola Cult" when the cult members bathe in soda, turning their robes a variety of bright colors.
  • Ho Yay: Dale during the drag act in Adventures of Squirrelsitting. He's clearly enjoying his disguise and is flirty with both Chip, Monty and even Fat Cat.
    Monty: I'm sorry, pallies. But Gadget needs some cover.
    Dale: No problem! (winks and rotates his shoulder)
    • And this piece from Out of Scale:
    Monty: Why, Dale, what a lovely dress.
    Dale: (unamused) Oh, shut up.
    • Song of the Night ‘n Dale has the scene where Zipper goes inside of the fake nightingale and the gas inside makes him to pass out. When Monty picks him up, Zipper gives him a loving look and kisses him right on the lips.
  • Iron Woobie: Monterey Jack in episode "Love is a Many Splintered Thing", not only he didn't get to marry Desiree years ago but when she returns she just uses him for criminal deeds and breaks Monty's heart again. He also crosses this in "To the Rescue" pilot; he loses his house because of Fat Cat and hears in part three that his best friend Geegaw is dead.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Chip is an interesting case. While there aren't necessarily any canon episodes that woobify him (mostly it's Dale or Zipper getting The Woobie treatment), the Fanon really seems to enjoy painting him as one. Sure, he's a bossy Control Freak who can come off as overbearing at times but fics like What's Past Is Past and Plots really do a good job at breaking him.
    • From the show itself, Sewernose de Bergerac. While he does threaten to eat the rangers as well as several theater actors and patrons, it's hard not to feel bad for him. He was taken from his home at a young age and when he seemingly found a new one as a pet, he was flushed once he got too big. Not to mention that his dream of being an actor is a Tragic Dream as he's an alligator and frightens any human that sees him. In addition, his only source of company are two hand puppets, one of which he makes insult and demean him, hinting that he might be either self-loathing or have some mental problems.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Some viewers just want to watch Gadget.
    • And then there are the episodes "Adventures in Squirrelsitting" and "Good Times, Bat Times" where even more people are here for Tammy and Foxglove respectively.
    • "Love is a Many Splintered Thing" because of Desiree D'Allure.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Break Time" features a a pic of Gadget smoking a cigarette and her jumpsuit stripped halfway down to reveal a sports bra underneath. This pic has been redrawn and parodied countless times upon its discovery.
  • Moe
    • Dale is best described as a playful puppy dog trapped in the body of a fuzzy, adorable chipmunk. His softer temperament than Chip makes him seem cuter in comparison.
    • Foxglove is an adorable little pink bat with a soft little voice and who's very protective of her friends. Every scene where she's flirting with Dale is precious.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Fat Cat crosses it in 'Adventures in Squirrelsitting' when he threatens to drop Tammy and Bink to their deaths if he doesn't get the Maltese Mouse and even when he gets what he wants he drops them. Thankfully, Chip and Dale are there to save them.
  • More Popular Spin-Off: The original Chip n' Dale cartoons are considered some of the more disposable of the Classic Disney Shorts. Rescue Rangers, meanwhile, is considered one of the best animated shows of the 80s.
  • Narm Charm: Many of the crimes the Rangers had to deal with were, frankly, absurd. It begins with Nimnul building a giant laser for Aldrin Klordane, and its entire role in Klordane's plot being...to cook a giant jello mold to cause an earthquake underneath a bank vault. As opposed to robbing the bank with a giant laser cannon. The plots don't really get any more serious from there.note . On the other hand, the very premise of rodents solving crimes in the human world is ridiculous enough in of itself that the silliness worked very well, and was part of the series' offbeat charm.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Foxglove from "Good Times, Bat Times". Foxglove has an entire website devoted to her (and now dedicated to her voice actress, the late Deborah Walley).
    • Tammy and Bink from "Adventures in Squirrelsitting".
    • Queenie from "Risky Beesness".
    • Sparky from "Does Pavlov Ring a Bell?"
    • Lahwhinie from "Gadget Goes Hawaiian."
    • Geegaw Hackwrench from "To the Rescue, Part 3" isn't even really a character, he is only ever shown on a picture. Yet, despite his unknown fate and total personal absence, he is quite popular in the fandom.
  • Popular with Furries: The fandom contains a lot of furries, many who consider the cartoon their Gateway Series. Especially Gadget who is a fan-favorite (Disney was honestly surprised with her popularity).
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Chip and Dale tend to be more memorable and beloved for their heroic roles in the show than their rather polarising tenure as Donald and Pluto's foes in the Classic Disney Shorts.
  • Shipping: Chip/Gadget, Dale/Foxglove, et al. If there's even one hint of a ship in the series, someone's supported it somewhere in the fandom.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: The debate over the Chip/Gadget ship led to two flame wars known as the Ranger Wars (one in 1997 and the other in 1998), and it will probably never be settled.
  • Smurfette Breakout: Yup. Gadget. Even twenty years after the show ended, there's still a Gadget themed roller coaster at Disneyland. Disney admits that they had no idea she would be such a hit.
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: Buzz from "Does Pavlov Ring a Bell?". He is Nimnul's other lab animal and more important to his plot then Sparky is as he is the one brainwashed into doing the actual stealing. Yet he is constantly forgotten about in fanfics, especially in ones where Sparky ends up joining the Rangers.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In "Le Purrfect Crime", there is a beatnik mouse whose rambling gets on the main characters' nerves. He ends up getting thrown off the Eiffel Tower by Maltese de Sade.
  • Testosterone Brigade: Gadget has her own religion. Seriously.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Because of the episodic nature of the series, (and Western animation in general at the time) a number of plots were never followed upon that had potential for exploration:
    • Several plot points from "To The Rescue" focused on Gadget, Monterey, and Geegaw:
      • The full story of what happened between Monterey and Geegaw in Zazibar. All that's mentioned in the episode is that it involved cheesebread.
      • Thanks to Never Say "Die" Gadget merely says she "lost" her father about a year before, but doesn't outright confirm he's dead. Many fan fic writers have picked up on this thread by revealing Geegaw actually survived, but in the show itself he ultimately goes unmentioned over the rest of the series rather than the circumstances of his death/disappearance being explored.
    • "Good Times, Bat Times" appears to set up Foxglove as a new member of the team, however she ended up as a One-Shot Character (though this eventually got a follow-up in the Boom! comics). This is especially significant, as more than any other one-shot love interest, her arrival stood to substantially alter the character dynamics, particularly the romantic triangle between Chip, Dale, and Gadget.
    • Gadget's Ambiguous Disorder bears a lot of hallmarks suggesting she could be on the Autism Spectrum, particularly a higher-functioning form such as Asperger's. The show merely presents it as the way Gadget is, but could have provided groundwork for a deeper exploration of such disorders and their effects on people and their loved ones. Especially as shows such as The Big Bang Theory and Monk have since demonstrated that it's possible to balance comedy around such characters, while still being respectful and sympathetic to the potential serious impact these disorders present.
    • The Rangers have two recurring villains who operate gangs in the same city, Fat Cat and Rat Capone. Yet despite being opposing species (cat vs. rat) and opposing mobs, we never once saw them appear together in one episode. One wonders what a Mob War between the two with the Rangers caught in the middle could have been like.
  • Ugly Cute:
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Dale in Kiwi’s Big Adventure; while it is wrong that he lies about his toe being broken, he is not really being a complete jerk either. Chip on the other hand gets super jealous about Dale getting attention from Gadget.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Chip is meant to be the more sensible of the titular duo and, indeed, the brains of the entire Rangers operation. Most of that sensibility comes in the form of impatience and even insensitivity, and he tends to dole out far more physical abuse to Dale than deserved.
  • Values Dissonance: The show has a disturbing amount of Yellow Peril, first with the siamese cats whom Fat Cat meets in Chinatown in the "To the Rescue" five-parter, who are only slightly less offensive than Si and Am, and again with Chow Li and Genghis Cat from "Puffed Rangers," the latter of which was deemed so racist that many scenes from the episode have been permanently edited out.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: Raise your hand if you had no idea that Chip and Dale's wardrobes were based on Indiana Jones and Magnum, P.I., respectively, until you were well into your adult years.
  • The Woobie:
    • Gadget can have amazing Woobie appeal when she loses confidence in her piloting or inventing skills, such as in "To the Rescue" and "The Case of the Cola Cult".
    • Dale counts considering how much he's made fun of, and is hurt in the process. Hes gets hit with this in "Double O Chipmunk" and gets hit with it even harder in "Le Purrfect Crime" where Chip scolds him to the point where he's in tears.
    • Pity poor Sparky the lab rat. He genuinely believes his owner Professor Nimnul is a good guy, only wants to use science to help people, develops a crush on Gadget... and has no memory of the awful things he does while under Nimnul's control. He's pretty horrified when he sees the results of his actions, and although it's played mostly for laughs, in hindsight it must pain him deeply to learn he's been used for evil purposes and that the man he admired was evil.
    • Zipper in some episodes, especially in "Zipper Come Home".
    • Flash The Wonder Dog. He's a skittish and neurotic animal actor who gets framed for awful crimes just because of his species.
    • The unnamed bear from the "Bearing Up Baby" episode. He's just a sweet and lonely bear who wants a friend but throughout the episode, he's a Badly Battered Babysitter who ends up getting chased by a bunch of angry, armed hunters who see him as a legit threat. The tears that poor bear sheds when he has to give up the baby just makes you want to give the guy a hug.
    • Ku-Ku the gorilla from the episode "Gorilla My Dreams" spends most of the episode crying over her missing kitten and committing robberies for Fat Cat so he won't hurt Dale.
    • Tom, the titular "Robocat". All he wants is fur and someone to love him. But his trusting and naïve nature get him tricked and brainwashed by Fat Cat.

The Games

  • Anticlimax Boss: While the first game as a whole isn't too hard, a number of the bosses (including Fat Cat) barely move at all, and are highly predictable.
  • Even Better Sequel: The second game isn't as well known due to being released so late in the NES's lifespan, but it improved on the first in nearly every way possible, from graphics, to gameplay, to having a story that would not be out of place in a multi-part TV episode.
  • Game-Breaker: In the second game, proper use of the fastball special makes most bosses incredibly easy.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Both games are held in high regard as classic co-op platformers.
  • That One Level: The final level of the first game greatly cranks up the difficulty. Most of the level takes place on conveyor belts that mess with your character's speed and make it difficult to move, which is especially troublesome during points where you have to make some difficult jumps with your moment hampered. There are no stone blocks for you to carry around constantly to protect yourself with. Not to mention that the enemies in the second half of the level have the ability to fire projectile weapons, and if they do they can destroy your boxes if you attempt to hide in them, which will leave you defenseless. Be prepared to die at least a couple of times before you finally reach Fat Cat.

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