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  • That statue that Drake Mallard pounds on to start his chairs flipping, sending him and his allies to Darkwing Tower? It's Basil from The Great Mouse Detective. Character designer Toby Shelton helped designed the casts of both.
    • Not only that, the idea of a statue opening a Secret Passage to a superhero's headquarters is a reference to the William Shakespeare bust that opened the Batcave passage in the 1960's Batman series.
  • DW's costume is a dead ringer for DC Comics's Crimson Avenger, one of the first costumed heroes, or perhaps to the (first) Sandman, another DC hero with a similar costume (at first) and a gas gun.
  • The phrase "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it" appears in the pilot. It's a shout-out to a previous animated avian adventurer, Super Chicken.
  • The episode "Aduckiphopia" (besides referencing the movie Arachnophobia) had DW grow four extra arms (something that once happened to Spider-Man) and had him take the new identity of 'Arachno-Duck' (wearing a variation of Spider-Woman's costume.)
  • The episode "Planet of the Capes" was a shout-out to Normalman.
  • "Stressed To Kill" has a "How To Relax" segment in the style of the classic Goofy "How To _____" Disney shorts.
  • "Going Nowhere Fast" (where DW gains Super Speed) features a pair of scientists named Dr. Allen and Dr. Garrick-the last names of the Silver Age and Golden Age Flashes
  • "Film Flam" in addition to all the classic film references (being a Tuskerninny episode, after all) also has this exchange:

 Gosalyn: "Look dad! It's Mongol from Mars!"

Darkwing: "Yeah, right! And I'm Donald-" (sees the Martian monster about to attack) "-DUCK!"

  • There were also at least two references to The Far Side. "Beauty and the Beet" had Dr. Bushroot's fellow scientists Dr. Gary and Dr. Larson, while "Twin Beaks" featured a group of alien cows from the planet Larson. ("On The Far Side of the galaxy.")
  • Not to mention that "Twin Beaks" was an episode-long Shout-Out/Affectionate Parody of Twin Peaks.
  • Let us not forget "The Dark Warrior Duck". Yes, a Shout-Out to Frank Miller in a Disney Cartoon. [1]
    • And the first arc of the comic revival is called "The Duck Knight Returns."
    • And one of the alternate covers for the first issue is of Darkwing getting spooked by the lightning bolt that was on the Cover for The DKR.
  • Upon being knocked dazed and stupid from a nasty fall, Darkwing proceeds to sing Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson."
  • An averted shout-out: In the original drafts of the show, Darkwing was a spy (the series was conceived as a James Bond parody) and all the villains were members of the FOWL organization. In the actual series, only a couple of them are. The FOWL Mooks are called "Eggmen," and originally their commander was meant to be Tuskernini, who is a walrus. In the final show, Tuskernini is not a FOWL agent, so the eggmen and the walrus never meet.
  • The very first villain is named after Taras Bulba, a Russian novel and movie starring Yul Brynner. This is quite possibly the most obscure reference in the Disney Animated Canon.
  • The episode "Merchant of Menace" featured a villain named Weasel Loman.
  • Pelican's Island is a Gilligans Island parody.
  • How about Tuskernini? They probably just chose the name for the "tusk" pun, but he is Wicked Cultured nonetheless. The name's a Shout-Out to Arturo Toscanini, an Italian orchestral conductor known for intensity and perfectionism.
  • Two of the hat aliens in the "Brainteasers" episodes are named are named Barada and Nikto. "Battle of the Brainteasers" also features a reference to "Gallifreyian digit wrestling".
  • In "Disguise the Limit", Dr. Sara Bellum says "I'm a doctor, not a duck-picker."
  • In "Hot Spells" Beelzebub is briefly seen ordering around a pair of walking brooms from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice".
  • In "Just Us Justice Ducks", as Negaduck pulls out a chainsaw to use on the heroes, he recites, "Now it's time to say goodbye to all our company!" from the Mickey Mouse Club theme song.
  • "Fluffy's Reign of Terror", a comic story in Disney Adventures, has a scene of Drake and Launchpad watching The Simpsons.
  • The ending of the episode "Dead Duck", from the moment when DW on his knees promises to Death "to be good" begging for a second chance and especially after his wake-up, with his joyful cries "There's my couch, there's my chair. There's that rug I always trip over, I love that rug!", is a quite clear allusion to Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

The Comic Book.

James Silvani is having way too much fun with this trope.


  1. It wasn't the first one: The DuckTales episode "The Masked Mallard" is an Affectionate Parody of The Dark Knight Returns.
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