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YMMV / The Mighty Ducks

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The films:

  • Awesome Music: Queen's "We Are the Champions" at the end of D2.
  • Designated Villain: Of the three rival teams the Ducks had to overcome in the trilogy, Team Iceland is the least dickish to them. Unlike the Hawks and the Varsity team, we never see the Ducks interact with the Iceland players off the ice. True that the Iceland players were anything but nice to the Ducks during the games but then again, they're playing hockey. Aggression is all apart of the game and even their taunting could be viewed as their competitive nature shining through. The one thing that cements Team Iceland's status in this trope is that fact that they are the only team to have the decency to go back on the ice and congratulate the Ducks on a game well played.
    • Even Wolf Stansson, Team Iceland's coach isn't that much of a villain. He's just a damn good coach who did everything he could to make sure his boys were ready to take on the world. Yeah, he was an arrogant Jerkass that talked a lot of trash but could be translated as him being confident in his team. And just like his team, Stansson, after losing the big game to Ducks at the end, was humble enough to shake Gordon's hand afterwards and congratulate him on the win.
      • Sportsmanship aside it was still a dick move on Stansson's part to clip Gordon's injured leg the moment he was on the losing end of their one on one contest.
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    • In D3 Banks is looked at as a traitor for being a member of the Varsity team despite the fact that the team jump was the coaches' decision and beyond his control. While he does hang around the Varsity team at school, you could tell it was out of reluctance and peer pressure than pure spite. He didn't even take part in the Varsity's locker room and restaurant pranks against the Ducks and only found out about them after the fact. The Ducks on the other hand are quick to treat Banks no differently than any of the other varsity members.
    • While Varsity was viewed as the antagonist in D3 they haven't really done anything outright malicious towards The Ducks. The worst they did was making them pay for the dinner they treated them but even that was out of retaliation of being on the receiving end of one too many pranks the Ducks committed.
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  • Designated Hero: The Mighty Ducks have usually been considered the lovable underdogs in parts I & II of the trilogy but come part III they were dangerously close to losing the lovable aspect. Granted the Varsity were dicks to them, but when Banks got promoted to the Varsity team he became a victim of The Ducks' pranks without any provocation on his part. And when The Ducks failed to meet the academy's standards they had to use Bombay to bully their way into staying at the school. And even though it's clear that most of the school board never wanted The Ducks there in the first place, it wasn't like they were purposely trying to sabotage them either.
  • Even Better Sequel: Specifically, D2. It's more engrained into pop culture than the original — especially considering its popular new characters that replaced the old ones — to the point that when the cast of kids reunited to celebrate a 20th anniversary, it was in regards to the sequel's anniversary.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Towards the end of the first movie, Gordon takes the Ducks to an NHL game between the hometown Minnesota North Stars and visiting Hartford Whalers. Within a few years of the movie's release, both teams relocated (to Dallas and Raleigh, NC (renamed the Hurricanes), respectively). Somewhat downplayed in Minnesota's case, as they would eventually get a new team, the Wild.
    • The bit in the first movie where Bombay teaches the kids how to fake injuries became this in 2019, when Terry Hall's actor, Jussie Smollett, was arrested for filing a false police report after claiming he was the victim of an anti-black assault. As it turns out, the assault was actually carried out by two Nigerian men— not white, as Smollett had claimed— who he had hired to commit the deed.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Emilio Estevez's character is obsessed with winning in the first film. Nearly twenty years later, his brother Charlie Sheen began using "Winning" as one of his catch phrases.
    • In the third film Fulton realizes that he doesn't want to play hockey his whole life and wants to get a good education. He grows up to be a lawyer.
    • In the second film, Team Iceland is led by a coach whose nickname is "The Dentist" (because he often knocked other players' teeth out). Decades later during the 2016 Euro and 2018 World Cup soccer tournaments, Iceland's national team was managed by Heimir Hallgrímsson, who actually works as a part-time dentist.
  • Ho Yay: Averman appeared a little too into seeing Dean stripteasing while in the penalty box in D3.
  • Memetic Badass: Gordon Bombay and the team have become this to hockey fans. A lot of people joke about how if Bombay were an NHL coach, the Mighty Ducks would win every season. Indeed, when Emilio Estevez tweeted his support for the Anaheim Ducks against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Western Conference Final, and Anaheim went on to win that game (and was even spotted in a Flying-V formation), his popularity boomed.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Reilly, the Hawks' Coach is just a smug jerk for most of D1, but he crosses the line when he has McGill check Adam Banks (who had been playing for him until a few weeks ago and was only a Duck because Bombay took advantage of a change in the district boundaries to have him play for his team) into the net so hard that he had to leave the game due to injury.
    • McGill also crosses the line checking Adam into the net, forcing him out of the game.
  • Narm: Everyone seems to pay a little too much attention to a pee-wee hockey team in the first movie. Entire front-page news articles about a bunch of 10-year olds in a Minneapolis youth league? Guess that pee-wee league is Serious Business to someone. Slightly forgivable in the second movie, since Gordon Bombay is apparently a celebrity or something, but even so, the entire country gets behind a youth hockey team when said country can barely get anyone to care about international youth sports in general.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Charlie was played by Joshua Jackson, who went on to Dawson's Creek and Fringe.
    • Elden Henson has had a very respectable career as a character actor, popping up in everything from She's All That to Daredevil (2015).
    • Russ Tyler was played by Kenan Thompson — the same one who was on All That, Kenan & Kel, and is currently a cast member on Saturday Night Live (notable as the first one to be born after SNL premiered in 1975 and the first one to be a child star and perform in more family-friendly fare [specifically this movie and the two aforementioned Nickelodeon shows] before moving on to fare that's more adult).
    • Julie Gaffney was played by Colombe Jacobsen, who eventually became a chef and competed in the 2007 season of The Next Food Network Star.
  • Rooting for the Empire: One wouldn't blame those who felt Varsity should have beaten The Ducks. Especially, after a series of taking levels of jerkass The Ducks provide.
  • Sequelitis: D3.
  • Toy Ship: Connie and Guy.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Most of the Ducks, but especially Charlie, in D3. While the Varsity team were hostile to the Ducks from day 1, Coach Orion doesn't act like a jerk to them and is just stricter with them than Bombay was. In spite of this, the team initially doesn't show him any respect and act like a bunch of entitled, arrogant brats who expect him to cater to them just because of their past success. Charlie in particular not only constantly disrespects Orion, but comes off as unreasonably angry for most of the film, lashing out at anyone that tries to reason with him- including the (unbeknownst to him) dying Hans. We're supposed to sympathize with him because his whole world has been thrown into upheaval, but he just comes off as a colossal jerk until Gordon returns to set him straight.
  • The Woobie: Bombay, believe it or not. Missing a penalty shot to lose the district championships as a child costs him his passion for the game, although he's very skilled. He makes a comeback as an adult, tears up the minors and seems to be on the fast track to the NHL when a cheap shot to the knee by a frustrated opponent ends his career for good.

The animated series:

  • Awesome Music: The glorious theme song(with vocals by Mickey Thomas of Jefferson Starship):
    Just try and stop the Mighty Ducks, and you're gonna pay the price!
    Here come the Mighty Ducks, fightin' for the gold!
    Let's hear it for the Mighty Ducks: Time to rock n' roll!
  • Evil Is Cool: Which team would you rather be on? The anthropomorphic ducks who play hockey, or the sinister Magitek fire-breathing dragon team of Tim Curry, Tony Jay, Clancy Brown, and Frank Welker?
  • Evil Is Sexy: Lucretia Decoy also has a nice fanbase for this very reason.
  • Ham and Cheese: You have Tim Curry as the Big Bad and Tony Jay as one of his henchmen. What more needs to be said?
  • Harsher in Hindsight: There's a scene in "Beak to the Future" where the ducks shoot down one of Dragonus's ships and it crashes into a tower and explodes, which can't help but invoke 9/11 today, that scene may be the reason why that particular episode was not aired in syndication for very long.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Tanya's Omnitool might make modern viewers wonder if Commander Shepard is working with the Ducks, nevermind the fact that her teammate is Fem!Shep, herself right down to being a redheaded Action Girl.
  • In Name Only: The title is just about the only thing connecting this to the movie it was allegedly based on.
  • Narm Charm: Let's be completely honest here, the premise is astoundingly stupid and makes no sense whatsoever: But the fact that they played the underlying plot 100% seriously (including a rather shocking aversion of Disney Death) turned it from forgettably stupid into kind of amazing. Plus, the bad guys are awesome.
  • Out of Order: Many of the series episodes were originally aired out of order, including the series finale. (Presumably this was due to airing on ABC and syndication at the same time.)
  • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: The Aerowing toy is a lot smaller, and can only hold one Duck (as opposed to the entire crew in the show); it also has puck launchers as opposed to the show's lasers.
  • Snark Bait: It's hard not to make fun of the series for its In Name Only connection to the movie it was allegedly based upon. Plus just read the premise; you'll be laughing along with the rest pretty fast.
  • So Bad, It's Good: In a weird way, you can't not love that premise.
  • Tear Jerker: The Disney Death of Canard Thunderbeak was very shocking for the little kids of the '90s who weren't used to that sort of thing from a Saturday Morning cartoon.
    • Also the fact that Chameleon took advantage of it being a Disney Death to trick Wildwing later on, pretending to be Canard. Ouch.
  • Vindicated by History: Initially dismissed as yet another Ninja Turtles knockoff, the show has developed a cult following. Many say that it's a decent show as long you judge it by its own merits.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Adapting Underdogs Never Lose sports movie about a little-league hockey team called "the Mighty Ducks" into a cartoon about a race of actual, anthropomorphic alien ducks who fight evil through hockey-themed superpowers and weapons? What?


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