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  • Acceptable Political Targets: The Republican Party is raked over the coals on various occasions, and shamelessly so.
    Duckman: What's the Republican Party got to do with cancer?
    Roland Thompson: Nothing really: they just go where the evil is.
  • Adaptation Displacement: It was actually based on a miniseries that ran in Dark Horse Presents back in the mid 80s.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Duckman really as awful and depraved as the show portrays him to be, or does he engage in his hedonistic tendencies to cope with the guilt of accidentally killing his not actually deceased wife?
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    • Cornfed is usually portrayed as the nicest, most reliable character in the show, however the final episode reveals that Cornfed knew Beatrice was alive the entire time, casting a ton of doubt on just how good he actually is.
    • Bernice and Duckman antagonize each other on a regular basis. Is it because they truly don't like each other or because they actually do and are trying to hide it?
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Occasionally, such as Gecko briefly gaining the ability to speak and smoke a pipe in "The Amazing Colossal Duckman".
  • Critical Research Failure: 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.)
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  • Crosses the Line Twice: Too many instances to count.
  • Cult Classic: Still a highly respected show by those who remember it. This show predated South Park by over three years, and Family Guy by five, and it's not farfetched to say that the seeds for those shows can be seen in Duckman. It was never a huge sensation when it originally aired, but Jason Alexander chalks it up to the fact that it was so far ahead of its time and was on a network no one really knew about.
  • Ear Worm: The theme song, as they often are.
    • "We're Off on the Road to Dendron".
  • Foe Yay: 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.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Lampshaded in "Bev Takes a Holiday". Charles and Mambo ask Bernice how she plans to have enough energy to be a mom and a Congresswoman. Bernice replies that she'll take power naps in the bathroom like Strom Thurmond. Immediately, a disclaimer appears on the screen, stating to disregard the joke if Strom Thurmond has died around the time of the episode's premiere (or rerun).
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    • Doubly funny as this episode was rerun on Comedy Central the day after Strom Thurman died. Possibly done so deliberately.
    • Before he died, Jim Varney voiced Walt Evergreen, president of a tobacco company. Varney died of lung cancer in 2000.
    • The fake-out opening to "America the Beautiful", which is revealed to be a video game that Ajax is playing. In said game, a group of fashion show contestants get into a fight with each other until one of them pulls out an Uzi and kills everyone. May have been darkly funny at one time, but with the rise in mass shootings, this scene is deeply uncomfortable to watch nowadays, even if it is fiction In-Universe.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Cellar Beware", Duckman mumbles in his sleep, "Sssh, Hillary, not so loud. What if Bill hears you?" Considering the Lewinsky scandal three years later, I don't think it's Hillary we have to worry about having an affair...
    • "Sperms of Endearment" features a gag about Cornfed being contractually guaranteed at least 10 seconds of screen-time per episode. When the show finally ended, Gregg Berger did miss a couple episodes, but he still appeared more than any other character besides Duckman.
      • This was actually lampshaded in "Ebony, Baby". The first scene is a farewell dinner for Cornfed, who's going on "my first vacation in 11 years"; he has absolutely nothing to do with the plot and isn't even seen again until the credits. What makes this especially hilarious is that this episode came after both "In The Nam of the Father" and "A Clear And Presidente Danger".
    • "Das Sub" features a Shout-Out to Comedy Central's Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, with Duckman saying, "They look at you and see what they wanna watch. They look at me and know it's the wrong channel." After Duckman ended, though, reruns turned up on Comedy Central.
    • "Ride the High School" sees Duckman pass out after getting repeatedly beaten up. When he comes to, he sees three Bernices. Pretty funny after Beverly (the third sibling) was introduced in Season 4. On a similar note, Bernice remarks in "From Brad to Worse" that she's fresh out of sisters.
    • Fluffy and Uranus are cute looking creatures who suffer horrific deaths... sound familiar?
  • Jerkass Woobie: Duckman's behavior and antisocial attitude stems from the fact he still misses his wife, and that she was the only person who could keep him in line.
  • Retroactive Recognition: In one episode, a very young Mae Whitman, the daughter of series regular Pat Musick, made her voice acting debut years before her famous voice roles as Little Suzy and Katara.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • "Joking the Chicken" featured a take-off of "Also sprach Zarathustra" which played, appropriately enough, during a 2001: A Space Odyssey parody.
    • "The Gripes of Wrath" has a musical parody of the song "Holiday for Strings", aka the theme to "The Red Skeleton Show".
    • During a couple episodes of season 4, Bernice was accompanied by a brief Leitmotif which sounded very similar to the Wicked Witch of the West's theme from The Wizard of Oz.
    • And the Friends theme was parodied in "With Friends Like These".
    • The music heard during the "groups who benefit from cancer" video in "They Craved Duckman's Brain!" is a soundalike to "Sirius" by The Alan Parsons Project.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Fluffy and Uranus are deliberately this as to annoy Duckman. Also counts as the In-Universe versions of The Scrappy.
    • The ending song to "America, The Beautiful" can be this or Narm Charm, depending on the viewer.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Harry Metfly, an unempoyed TV critic and the main antagonist of the episode "Clip Job", the Only Sane Man who tried to get Duckman cancelled. Metfly vowed to return and become a recurring villain if people got tired of King Chicken, but while King Chicken continued to make appearances, Metfly, however, didn't make any more appearances, not even in the series finale.
  • What an Idiot!: Invoked 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.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The show was made by the nice people who brought us Rugrats, and despite having offensive language, politically-incorrect subject matter, rampant female fanservice, and sex-related jokes that could've easily given the show a TV-14 rating, it somehow got a TV-PG rating. With that said, Duckman is one of the few Klasky Csupo works that isn't kid friendly and the intro makes it obvious that this is an adult cartoon.
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