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YMMV / Darkwing Duck

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  • Acceptable Targets: Jambalya Jake is basically a ginormous hillbilly stereotype.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Negaduck a completely evil entity with nothing even resembling a redeeming feature or is he just the opposite of Darkwing and so must have a few good points since DW has some bad ones?
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Gosalyn is quite chipper for a little kid whose granddad was murdered before the first episode. Even weirder in issue #4 of the comic book when everyone confronts Taurus Bulba and she doesn't even mention her grandpa's death, only that Bulba kidnapped her for the code to his Ramrod machine. You'd think it might come up.
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    • In the "Campaign Carnage" arc from the comics, Cattankerous splits the Thunderquack in half when Launchpad rams him with it after he grabs Darkwing. Given that the plane is Launchpad's brainchild, one would think he'd be upset over it being damaged to the point of needing ground-up rebuilding, but it never comes up.
  • Author's Saving Throw: In the "Campaign Carnage" story arc of the comic book series, Mortimer L. Marquand, also known as Cat-Tankerous, came off as a very creepy Stalker with a Crush due to obsessing over Gosalyn even when she wasn't interested in interacting with him in any way whatsoever. Aaron Sparrow changed it in the revision for the Joe Books omnibus by making it so that Mortimer was instead a bullied student that Gosalyn befriended and he became Cat-Tankerous because of a misguided attempt to follow her example and defend the defenseless.
  • Awesome Ego: Darkwing himself, as well as Tuskernini and Steelbeak.
    • Negaduck! There are some people who dislike DW for his ego, but totally adores Negaduck, even though his ego is just as huge as Darkwing's.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The theme song. Not just an awesome theme song, but probably one of the best pieces of New Jack Swing ever written.
    • New Jack Swing that includes a friggin' Theremin in the second verse! It really does have everything.
  • Badass Decay: All the members of the Fearsome Five, sans Negaduck, are never as much of a threat when they appear together. Alone they can be enough of a threat to carry an episode, but when they are part of the team they typically act as little more than henchmen for Negaduck. Liquidator got it by far the worst since in his debut episode he was more of a threat on his own than the entire team was in later appearances, but the writers had to stop using most of his powers because it was too hard to come up with ways to defeat him.
  • Broken Base:
    • The general sentiment regarding the fact that the omnibus published by Joe Books will have the first 16 issues and the two annual stories rewritten by original editor Aaron Sparrow with the last two issues being omitted. You are either okay with the changes or are quick to accuse the Joe Books collection of They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. Not helped by the fact that Ian Brill and Christopher Burns don't approve their work being rewritten without their blessing, even requesting that their names be removed from the omnibus.
    • Comic!Quackerjack's new darker characterization. Some fans like it and point out this was how Tad Stones wanted the character anyway but Moral Guardians Disney shot it down. Others hate it and want the original more goofy and lighthearted Quackerjack back, arguing the creators should have realized that ship had sailed and derailing a beloved villain for What Could Have Been was selfish and short-sighted.
  • Canon Fodder: Darkwing Duck has one of the largest amounts of fanfiction of a show from The Disney Afternoon and part of this is probably because of all the interesting concepts and ideas it brought up but then didn't always fully explain. Fanfic writers love answering questions like, 'How does the Negaverse work?', 'What was Morgana's life like growing up with her mortal hating family?' and 'What would happen if more characters crossed over from DuckTales (1987)?' to name a few.
  • Complete Monster (includes the sequel comic's original run): Taurus Bulba, Darkwing's smartest and most-feared adversary, is introduced serving a 99-year sentence at a high-security prison for several crimes, including the murder of Gosalyn's grandfather. Once he breaks out and destroys the prison he was contained in, Taurus schemes to activate the Waddlemeyer Ramrod in order to destroy buildings and rob banks. To gain the code, Taurus threatens to drop Gosalyn off a building if Darkwing didn't activate the Ramrod, remarking that she'd "make a nasty stain on the street". Once Darkwing activates the Ramrod, Taurus drops Gosalyn anyways, looking over it with a smug grin. When the Ramrod is damaged, Taurus grabs Darkwing so they will both die in the explosion. After he was resurrected by F.O.W.L. as a cyborg, Taurus shows his gratitude by destroying their base and going to work on his own. Returning in the comic, Taurus secretly founds the corporation Quackwerks, creating crimebots to violently stamp out all crime, however minor, in St. Canard and leaving him the secret ruler of the city. Taurus forces his prisoners to guess the code to the Gizmoduck Suit so he can use it, and threatens to make Gosalyn his slave when she gets the suit. After Darkwing interferes, Taurus unleashes weapons on the Quackwerks HQ in order to destroy St. Canard. With no comedic quirks and with no regard for whom he hurts, Taurus Bulba was Darkwing's most feared adversary for a reason.
  • Creepy Awesome: Paddywhack from "The Haunting of Mr. Banana Brain". How can an ancient demon-clown not be creepy and with Paddywhack's dynamic presence and terrifying sense of humor not awesome as well?
  • Death of the Author: Tad Stones has officially said that DuckTales (1987) and Darkwing Duck were intended to be alternate universe stories. Some fans disregard the explanation, despite its source, arguing that, given the way the Darkwing Duck show and both shows' spin-off comics seem to reference each other, it doesn't make sense. It doesn't help that certain moments in the comics all but blatantly state it's a single universe.
  • Designated Hero: The dinosaur scientists in "Extinct Possibility" are meant to be Darkwing's allies for the episode, but they off-handedly imply committing genocide against humanity's prehistoric predecessors without a shred of remorse and leave Darkwing to his fate after they accidentally encase him in amber.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Just pick any member of the Fearsome Five (except maybe Liquidator) and you'll find fans who'd love to see them redeemed and insist they're not all that bad really:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Megavolt was one of the most popular characters of the show. It's no wonder why he was in more episodes than any other villain.
    • Liquidator was far, far more popular than his episode count (one solo appearance) would suggest. Of course that's part of why he was selected for the Fearsome Five.
    • Dark Warrior Duck. When he appeared in the comics, people got really excited. And there're major hints that he'll have a main role in the near future, which itself is something to gushing about.
    • Negaduck, his popularity turning him into the show's Breakout Villain and arguably its most popular character.
  • Evil Is Cool: Tarus Bulba and Negaduck.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Morgana and Neptunia before their Heel–Face Turn, and the Bugmaster a.k.a. news reporter Bianca Beakley.
    • Splatter Phoenix if some of the fanart is anything to go by.
  • Fanon:
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
  • Foe Yay: In spades.
    • Yes, and mixing this trope with a Love Potion is a disturbing combination...
    • On a less 'mortal enemies' note, Darkwing and Grizzlikoff have some of this.
    • Darkwing and Neptunia had some of this in her debut episode. They spend most of the episode fighting because Neptunia has attacked St. Canard to protect water creatures and Darkwing isn't into acknowledging gray areas. However, she kisses him on the cheek at the end.
    • Darkwing and Isis "Icy" Vanderchill, though not by Darkwing's choice. Isis flirts heavily with him and they even go on a date, but Darkwing maintains an utter disgust for her the whole time.
    • In one episode Darkwing almost marries Tuskernini, which is shortly followed by him trying to seduce him as a nurse. (They were affected by a spray that makes people act the way they are dressed.)
  • Fridge Brilliance: That Splatter Phoenix wasn't very freaked out at being melted into a puddle by turpentine suggest she was aware that she's a cartoon character.
  • Friendly Fandoms: The series understandably shares many fans with DuckTales (1987), given that both are popular Disney cartoons starring anthropomorphic ducks that share two characters (Launchpad McQuack and Gizmoduck).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In Negaduck's first appearance, he fires a shotgun in a movie theater. In 1991, it's audaciously funny. After the 2012 The Dark Knight Rises theater shooting, it's horrifying.
  • Genius Bonus: Taurus Bulba is a reference to the short story Taras Bulba written by Nikolai Gogol.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show was incredibly popular in 1990's Russia (thanks to, among other factors, a very creative dub), is still fondly remembered and subject to much Memetic Mutation.
  • Growing the Beard: The show went through a few phases, notably starting out as a spy show parody since that's what the early episodes were designed as before some changes in the show's direction mid production.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The fact that Gosalyn was an orphan before Darkwing took her in becomes this since the abrupt retirement of Christine Cavanaugh, her actress, was rumored to be caused by her retaining custody of her children after her divorce. (The real reason according to Cavanaugh's obituary was to live a quieter life away from the spotlight).
    • The last arc of the revival comic's second volume before being abruptly cancelled by Joe Books was a Bushroot-centric story. A few months after the last issue was released Bushroot's voice actor Tino Insana passed away.
    • Negatron Nega Duck bringing a gun in a movie theather became a lot harsher after the tragic event involving a gunman in a movie theather.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: In "Toys Czar Us", Launchpad tells Darkwing that if anything were to happen to him, he would raise Gosalyn like his own daughter. Some episodes later, in "Dead Duck", Darkwing tells Launchpad to "take care of Gosalyn" as he says a final goodbye (which didn't turn out to be so final).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A comic has a Mr. Fantastic Captain Ersatz attempt to enforce a Super Registration Act. The Darkwing Duck comic came first.
    • In "Easy Come, Easy Grows", a passing joke is made where a now rich Darkwing has incorporated himself to protect the city. Silly until recently when a back from the dead Batman decides to do the same thing!
    • During the first team-up of the Justice Ducks, super-strong but not-too-bright Stegmutt deals with the green Sissy Villain Bushroot via Metronomic Man Mashing. Two decades later, Loki, the Big Bad of The Avengers, pisses off the Incredible Hulk, and proves himself a "Puny God". Now, mix it up!
    • One of the alternate Darkwings from the Boom Comics story arc "Crisis on Infinite Darkwings" is a golden Captain Ersatz of the Silver Surfer. It's funny to look back on now that Disney owns Marvel Comics.
    • In the episode "Extinct Possibility", the villains are a trio of dinosaur bikers, one of which is named Throttle, who wears a leather vest and a bandanna around his neck. About a year after Darkwing Duck ended, a cartoon called Biker Mice from Mars began, and the titular characters are a trio of bikers, one of them also being named Throttle and clad in a leather vest and a bandanna.
    • In "Comic Book Capers" Darkwing is dissatisfied with low quality of his comics and forces the producer to re-write them. Much later this happened to actual Darkwing Duck comics made by Boom! Studios in Darkwing Duck: The Definitively Dangerous Edition.
    • The German voice actor of Jambalaya Jake was Michael Habeck, who would later voice Hugo for a while. Both characters were diminutive and dressed the same.
    • The animation error of Darkwing switching to Negaduck's colors in "Life The Negaverse And Everything" ends predicting an event from episode of DuckTales (2017) titled "The Duck Knight Returns!" when Jim Starling's Darkwing costume switched to Negaduck's colors.
    • Darkwing's massive problems with rip-proof capes constantly snagging and getting him in trouble in "Bad Luck Duck" feels like a predecessor to Edna Mode's "No capes!" rant in The Incredibles.
    • Another intelligent female character would be named "Sarah Bellum" in another cartoon that aired seven years later.
  • Ho Yay:
    • DW and Launchpad. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
    • Quackerjack and Megavolt too.
    • Liquidator and Bushroot, though not quite as common as Quackerjack and Megavolt.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Because of his power to store and release electricity from himself (as well as being more than a little crazy), Megavolt was sometimes considered less than human (er, less than a rat, or a mole, or... well, you get the idea). One comic story in the Disney Adventures magazine recounted various criminal organizations trying to capture Megavolt and treating him as a slave. One of the gangsters even ominously told Megavolt that he planned on "converting his energy" (by essentially turning him into a living generator with mush for brains).
    • Darkwarrior Duck, a Future Me Scares Me version of Darkwing made evil by love. See Unintentionally Sympathetic.
    • Darkwing Duck himself. He's an Attention Whore eager to grab the spotlight and frequently buts heads with others because of his massive ego and never seems to learn his lesson. But he's also saved St. Canard multiple times and gets no respect for it or his other heroic deeds.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "I AM [a thing] THAT [does something unpleasant]!" (Ex.: "I am a can of tuna that has been expired!")
    • "Put out the Darkwing, put out the Darkwing!"
  • Misblamed: Disney buying Marvel Comics isn't to blame for the cancellation of the comics, at least not entirely. Boom made Dangerous Currency without Disney's permission or approval, when the license had either expired or was set to. Either way, the action ensured that Disney wouldn't even want work with them again. It's quite telling that when it was announced for a revival, Marvel wasn't the one in charge of it.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Taurus Bulba when he has Gosalyn's grandfather murdered. Also, when he threatens to drop Gosalyn and doing it anyway even after he obtained what he wanted.
    • In "Just us Justice Ducks" when Negaduck decided to pull the switch in a case of Taking You with Me but when even after the heroes backed down, he decides to do it anyway, simply out of pure spite.
    • Flarg, the leader of the evil faction of the Brainteasers. Initially, viewers saw him as a fallen alien dictator who was only interesting in leaving "that backwater planet", Earth. He mind-controlled hosts and took control over their bodies toward that goal. When he realized the "primitive bipeds have nukes", he decided to take control of Earth before retaking his empire and ordered "a few cities atomized to give him credibility". When he's out for revenge later, he plans to destroy several star systems with a Doomsday Device and put the blame on Honker. When he loses, he decides he would rather destroy the entire galaxy than surrender.
    • How about Doctor Gary and Doctor Larson, the scientists who bullied Bushroot? They were an unpleasant sort who treated him like crap, starting with playing around his potato before the former stepped on it, and then sabotaged Bushroot's experiment about people feeding on sunlight for kicks. What ultimately made them cross it however, was taunting him with lines such as "Reggie's a veggie!" after seeing him mutated as a half-duck, half-plant creature. This leads Bushroot to finally deciding that it would be in his best interests if they had "an accident", and that was the end for Doctor Gary and Larson.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The Darkwing Duck game for the NES was basically a short Mega Man clone (not surprising, considering they're made by the same people) with a couple new mechanics added. It was actually quite popular - the player review average score on Gamefaqs is about 7.8 out of 10. On the other hand, the TurboGrafx-16 version (yes, there was one) completely embodies The Problem with Licensed Games.
  • Older Than They Think: The series has nigh-uncountable Shout Outs to superhero comics, cartoons and films, so the impressive number of tropes they did first often has to be stated:
  • Paranoia Fuel: Having an evil double for a nemesis who could potentially know everything about your life because they lived a version of it themselves.
  • Popular with Furries: Being one of the most popular Disney cartoons of the era and starring birds, this was inevitable.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The Little Lost Bunnies are this intentionally. So much so that their mere existence is a Berserk Button for Negaduck.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: How some fans feel about Quackerjack's new much darker and more psychopathic characterization in the comics.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • A few of the villains like Lilliput or Bugmaster with interesting powers that only made one or two appearances.
    • Negaduck is strangely absent from the NES game, even though the rest of the Fearsome Five are included as boss fights. Not helping matters is how a completely original character called Wolfduck is featured.
    • Tarus Bulba is brought back as a cyborg by F.O.W.L, and he makes no further appearances in the cartoon afterwords.
    • Stegmutt and Neptunia, if you think about it. They're set up to possibly be major allies of Darkwing going forward, and yet both practically vanish off the face of the Earth following "Just Us, Justice Ducks".
    • Quite a few fans have also mentioned wanting to see more of the Friendly Four, as well.
    • Rhoda Dendron, in a way too. She is a major part of Bushroot's backstory and, following "Beauty and the Beet", is never seen or mentioned again.
    • Due to the comic getting Screwed by the Network, this also applies to some comic characters, most notably Quackerjack's girlfriend Claire and Duane, the storyteller for the "Dawn of the Day of the Return of the Living Spud" arc (who also appeared in "Night of the Living Spud") who's flat-out stated to work for the government, (presumably S.H.U.S.H. or some other secret agency).
    • Blob and Ray, the two germs that helped Darkwing get Lilliput sick in "Getting Antsy", are never seen again after the episode. To be fair, there probably wasn't much story opportunities for them to appear. However, you'd think giant germs that helped beat a supervillain one time would be mentioned.
    • Ham String and his girlfriend (later wife) Preena Lott are the two bullies who arranged the "accident" which mutated Megavolt. And he hates them enough to seek revenge years later. Yet they are barely depicted as characters.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Two words: The Negaverse. No wonder there's so much fanfiction about it and so much hope the new comics will return there.
    • How Negaduck first appeared is never explained. He's just introduced and everybody already knows who he is.
    • Neither Bushroot taking one of the alien cabbages in "Twin Beaks" or him wanting to befriend Darkwing at the end of "Slime Okay, You're Okay" is ever brought up again.
    • In "Star-Crossed Circuits", Darkwing gains a mechanical Stalker with a Crush. Given that he already has a girlfriend (who knows magic), one would think it would at least come up, even if it didn't turn into a Woman vs. Machine battle over Darkwing's affections.
  • Toy Ship: Some fans like to romantically pair off Gosalyn and Honker.
    • Alien criminal Wacko (from "When Aliens Collide") sarcastically calling Honker Gosalyn's boyfriend, with Gosalyn getting all angry and defensive and Honker smiling proudly and saying nothing to deny it, may have added somewhat...
    • Gosalyn kissing Honker on the cheek when they are at the museum tracking down Stegmutt in "Jurassic Jumble".
    • There's another instance where Gosalyn hugged Honker after she freed him from Flarg, the Brainteaser.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Dark Warrior Duck. If Gosalyn hadn't disappeared, he wouldn't have became a Knight Templar in the first place. Slightly undercut by Quiverwing Darkwing, who also lost his Gosalyn, and, rather than go nuts as Darkwarrior did, took up her Quiverwing Quack hero persona to honor her instead. He later fights (and quickly defeats) Dark Warrior Duck.
  • What an Idiot!: F.O.W.L decides to rebuild Tarus Bulba as a cyborg, and they don't think to take any measures in case he rebels.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: In "Days of Blunder", Mr. Meekles attempts to commit suicide by drowning himself.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: "Paint Misbehavin'". An anthropomorphic ferret befriends a man who's got a gloved hand for a head.
  • The Woobie:
    • Gosalyn, very effectively, in "Darkly Dawns the Duck", while she's still an orphan that feels unwanted. In later episodes she doesn't have that problem, and characterization in general is more shallow anyway.
    • Fenton keeps his woobiehood going since his last appearance when we find that, despite his seemingly endless confidence as Gizmoduck, deep down he still doesn't think he's worth anything without the suit.
      Gizmoduck: "Without this suit, I'm nothing..."
    • Bushroot, anyone? A sweet and timid scientist constantly bullied by his Jerkass colleagues then turned into a mutant half plant half duck after the funding for his research was cut and he got desperate enough to try a dangerous experiment on himself. No wonder he snapped and got his Start of Darkness after going through all that.
    • The alternate Launchpad from "Time and Punishment" undergoes quite a Break the Cutie experience. He loses Gosalyn; his friend Darkwing lapses into catatonia and all his efforts to help do absolutely nothing. Then Darkwing snaps and becomes a villain as bad as any they've ever faced. Again, his efforts to fix things have absolutely no effect, other than to make Darkwarrior hate him so much that even being in his presence is a capital crime. What's worse is that Darkwarrior's appearance in the comics means that that world still exists — it wasn't fixed when Gosalyn got back to where she belonged.

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