Archive Panic: We're talkin' about a character who has appeared in a considerable quantity of video games, thousands of newspaper strips, a hell of a lot in animation, and an absolutely monstrous amount in comic book stories, which have been released on a non-stop basis since 1934 and are unlikely to ever stop as long as The Walt Disney Company operates.
Designated Villain: There are some shorts where he comes across as this, such as the shorts where he's terrorized by a mischievous animal. While Donald's Jerkass tendencies often make him an ideal target for Laser-Guided Karma, there are also shorts where he actually does nothing to provoke characters like Chip and Dale or Huey, Dewey and Louie, who decide to attack him for no better reason than he happens to be there.
"Who's got the sweetest disposition?" Listen to it here!
The preceding theme used to introduce his shorts from 1941-1947 is also catchy.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and the Nordic countries, Donald Duck is more popular than Mickey Mouse. And thanks to Italian and Nordic comics being translated, he is also very popular in Germany and France.
Hilarious in Hindsight: The wartime Donald Duck cartoon Commando Duck had an anti-Japanese sentiment, decades later after the Second World War, Donald would later be a supporting character in the ironically Japanese-collaborated Disney video game franchise Kingdom Hearts. Also, Donald would also have a Japanese-influenced alter ego as Cold Shadow in another video game Donald in Maui Mallard.
Jerkass Woobie: Donald isn't always the nicest person around, but with all the crud he takes, it's no wonder.
Memetic Badass: It's a bit of a running joke on 4chan's /co/ that Donald can basically win in any fight, up to and including destroying the Death Star single-handedly.
Screenshots from Der Fuehrer's Face are very popular on the internet mainly because a lot of people find it hilarious and shocking to see a beloved children's cartoon character in a Nazi uniform. Granted in the actual film it was all just a nightmare Donald was having and it was made clear he hated being a Nazi.
Moral Event Horizon: In "Donald's Happy Birthday" Donald sees his nephews buying a box of cigars and wrongfully thinks that they want to smoke, when they actually bought them as a present for him. He becomes furious and decides to punish his nephews by forcing them to smoke the entire box of cigars at once in their tiny treehouse and even increases the smoke with a bellows. Even when they pass out all sick and exhausted Donald triumphantly yells for the boys to "have another cigar!" While Donald is usually able to retain some sympathy despite being a jerk, here he is downright cruel. And then he feels bad when he learns the cigars were meant to be a gift for him.
My Real Daddy: Donald Duck was a beloved creation by Walt Disney and his animators, but if you ask most of his comics fans, it was Carl Barks in stories like "Lost in the Andes" and "Vacation Time" that really codified him into a three-dimensional character, someone who was unlucky but persistent and hard-working, hot-headed and flawed but also heroic when the chips were down, and who because of his love for his nephews and dedication to them, is somewhat of a tragic and lovable hero.
Older Than They Think: The name Donald Duck first appeared in a written poem, More Hoozoo in 1931. (However, the illustrated duck did not resemble the character as we know him.)
Unpopular Popular Character: One of the most famous enforced examples. Disney always ensures that Donald In-Universe is portrayed as second banana to Mickey and that in his adventures with Mickey and Goofy, he's often The Load who gets into trouble (while Mickey and Goofy are portrayed as more collegial), and he's often invoked as the sourpuss and unlikable one. Outside Disney's corporate brand image politics however, Donald is easily more popular and beloved than Mickey Mouse and Goofy, a character who has been reinterpreted time and time again for multiple generations, and who still finds new audiences around the world. He's a far more consistent and in-demand moneymaker than Mickey and Goofy ever were.
In Donald's Happy Birthday, Huey, Dewy, and Louie are able to go into a store and buy a box of cigars for their uncle for his birthday. Today, it's highly unlikely that any store would allow children to buy cigars, regardless of whether it's for them or an adult relative. Donald then misinterprets and thinks he's caught the boys smoking, punishing them by having them smoke the whole box until the ordeal makes them sick, what was seen as a fair form of discipline and repellent from the habit in such a day is now considered harmful child abuse.
Donald's Diary is full of this, in which Donald breaks up with Daisy after having a nightmare of what their married life would be like because in it she wants him to do the housework. In today's age where it's often expected for the couples to share the household chores, the whole attitude of the short of comes off as incredibly sexist.
We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: In computer.don, Donald is depicted as being pathetically behind the times (having a rotary phone and an old fashioned ice box that Goofy stops by to refill), and is repeatedly labeled a dweeb because of it.