Plucky Duck is a cartoon character from the Warner Bros. animated television series, Tiny Toon Adventures. He is arguably the third main character on the show after Buster and Babs Bunny. Plucky is voiced by Joe Alaskey (who also voices Daffy Duck in future appearances). |}
Plucky is a young, green male duck, who wears a white tank top. He attends Acme Looniversity and lives in Acme Acres. Plucky's mentor and favorite teacher is Daffy Duck and he resembles his egotistical hero in many ways. One such similarity Plucky has with Daffy is the classic gag from the "Hunter Trilogy." In the trilogy, Daffy's bill keeps coming off; in Tiny Toon Adventures, Plucky's bill keeps coming off as a running gag in many episodes.
Plucky lives with his parents in a small wooden home in the middle of a swamp near Acme Looniversity. He has many relatives and neighbors, including a pair of female ducks named Gladys and Gracie, alligators and other animals that live in or near the swamp.
Plucky is a hyper-active and egocentric young duck. He's lovable due to his innate wackiness and his tragic and comic flaws. Plucky is driven by blind ambition. He has big dreams of wealth, fame and power, but he's so desperate to get them that he always falls victim to his own wild schemes. Plucky has the uncensored mind of a child; he's all selfishness and irrational imagination. Plucky always thinks that he knows best or thinks that he is the best. He always has an angle; always has a scheme to dodge work or responsibility. He rarely studies and finishes his homework five minutes before the bell, if at all. He is easily frustrated and quick to give up. He can be paranoid, thinking everybody's out to get him. He's insanely jealous, both of Buster's coolness and of Monty's bank account.
Plucky thinks he's just as smart as Buster, or even smarter, but while Buster wins out in every situation, Plucky inevitably screws up. However, Plucky never gives up because he is devoid of any objective self-knowledge. He's a smorgasbord of emotions, all of them beyond his control. He is jealous, excitable, miserable, vengeful...all in a kaleidoscopic way, without a beat between conflicting emotions.
Plucky envisions himself as a crusader for what's good; that is, what's good for Plucky Duck. He wants to be a star and would do anything to take over Buster's hosting chores. He often stars in movie and television parodies when he's not acting as the "Toxic Revenger" or cajoling his pal, Hamton, into some lame-brained scheme. Plucky imagines himself to be brilliantly adept at everything, yet he constantly overestimates his own abilities and falls flat on his bill.
Whenever Plucky is attacked or in an explosion, his beak is rearranged on his head. A strong sneeze can also send his beak flying. Feathers fly when he's furious and when his temper explodes, he breaks into wild "quacking fits." Plucky is a fast talker, but the only character he can con is the often gullible Hamton. Buster is wise to Plucky, but will sometimes play along just to turn the tables. Invariably, Plucky ends up as the victim of his own con.
Plucky often engages in various schemes with the goal of either personal glory or satisfying some personal whim. These schemes range from inventing a time machine, to delay doing his own homework and to traveling to Hollywood, California in an ill-fated attempt at selling his life story as a movie. His schemes often fail because his ego gets in the way or because a guilty conscience gets the better of him (as is the case when he attempts to cheat on a test and subsequently goes insane as he broods over the morality of his actions). Babs once aptly describes him as "the silly green duck with an ego the size of Cleveland."
Similar to Daffy's relationship with Bugs Bunny, Plucky also sometimes found himself at odds with the two main stars of Tiny Toon Adventures, Buster Bunny and Babs Bunny, though the three managed to remain friends (the rabbits are generally indifferent to Plucky's egotism when not using it to their advantage) and Plucky occasionally displays a sense of loyalty to them. Ironically, even though Plucky gripes about how he deserves to have as much or more air-time on the show than Buster and Babs, a massive chunk of the series' episodes usually revolve around him in some manner.
Plucky's best friend is Hamton J. Pig, a mild-mannered pig and Plucky's opposite, much as Porky Pig is the opposite of Daffy. Plucky often takes advantage of Hamton. Plucky's romantic interest is Shirley the Loon.
Some episodes feature Plucky, a comic book enthusiast, parodying various heroic characters, much like Daffy's roles of Duck Dodgers and The Scarlet Pumpernickel. These include The Toxic Revenger (See below), James T. Duck (a parody of Captain Kirk in Star Trek), Bat-Duck (a parody of Batman, with Hamton in Robin's red-and-green outfit as "Decoy, the Pig Hostage") and Pluck Hyerdahl of the Kon-Ducki (in a parody of Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki).
- Plucky occasionally signs off with the Romeo and Juliet line, "Parting is such sweet sorrow!"
- "Give me a break!"
- "Why me?"
- "Just my luck!"
- "Sidekick, no way! I am no sidekick! Hamton's a sidekick type; he has all the ear marks of a sidekick!"
- "I'd say that this is another example of species stereotype and I'd like a rebuttal!" (what Buster thinks Plucky's opinion might be on Ruffee's animal song)
Among the more notable of the Plucky-centric Tiny Toons shorts feature "Little Plucky," a look back at Plucky's diaper-clad toddler days (which sometimes feature "Little Babs" as well). Little Plucky is characterized by a higher-pitched voice and stilted "baby-talk" diction ("Is no your turn to push the button, is my turn to push the button!"), and wears nothing except a diaper. When asked if he wants to do something and he does or he is corrected, he always answers, "Yes, sir," regardless whether it is his father or his mother that he is responding to. He is also full of the wholly (or at least mostly) innocent mischief for which toddlers are known. Little Plucky can easily be considered a not-so-subtle parody of the genre of re-imagining established characters as younger versions of themselves; Tiny Toons was often accused by critics of jumping on the bandwagon of that genre. Little Plucky is voiced by Nathan Ruegger (the son of writer/producer, Tom Ruegger, and the future voice of Skippy Squirrel on Animaniacs and Froggo on Histeria!).
In the Henny Youngman Day episode segment, The Potty Years, Little Plucky discovers that items in the toilet bowl disappear when the toilet is flushed ("Water go down the hoooOOolle.") and proceeds to flush various items simply to watch them vanish, not realizing until far too late that he was clogging the plumbing. In the What Makes Toons Tick episode segment, Going Up, Little Plucky and his mother (who is heard, but only shown from the neck down, similar to the appearances of Nanny on the animated series, Muppet Babies, and the characters of Mom and Dad from Cow and Chicken) visit a shopping mall and Plucky's obsession with an elevator ("Wanna go on the el-a-lator. Wanna push the button.") leads him to cross paths with and eventually foil Mr. Hitcher trying to make a getaway.
The Sports Shorts episode segment, Minister Golf, has Little Plucky and his father (also seen only from the neck down) playing miniature golf, in which Plucky manages to infuriate his father by either hitting the golf ball too lightly or hitting it so hard that it bounces off things and injures Plucky's dad, once striking him in the groin (as his father replies, "Congratulations, son. You're going to be an only child," in a wavering voice). On the last hole, Little Plucky wins one thousand free games of miniature golf (with which is father is none too thrilled about) as thousands of golf balls pour out on top of them in celebration of the victory. In these episodes, his catchphrase becomes, "(Insert item here) go down the hole."
Little Plucky also has several guest appearances in Animaniacs (normally as a background cameo), whereas when other Tiny Toons characters have cameos, they would be shown in their proper age. An example is the cartoon, Survey Ladies, where Fifi is her normal age while he is a baby. Little Plucky also appears in the Slappy Squirrel segment, Guardin' The Garden.
In 1992, Plucky got his own show in the form of The Plucky Duck Show. The show is composed of recycled shorts starring Plucky from Tiny Toon Adventures in episode format, with only the first episode (The Return of Batduck) being original to the show. The show only lasted 13 episodes.
- Little Plucky's end tag credit is him sucking his thumb, then pulling it out to say, "I wanna flush it again!," then sucking his thumb again.
- In four cartoons, Plucky plays an ecology-themed superhero who fights against polluters:
- Strange Tales of Weird Science episode segment, "Duck in the Muck": Plucky, as the heroic Toxic Revenger (whose name is a parody of The Toxic Avenger), attempts to keep Montana Max from disposing of toxic sludge in Plucky's pond.
- You Asked for It, Part II episode segment, "The Return of the Toxic Revenger": Plucky plays The Toxic Revenger and shuts down Montana Max's air-polluting "donut hole factory," which produces portable holes.
- Looking Out for the Little Guy episode segment, "The Re-Return of the Toxic Revenger": Plucky fights Max again, this time stopping him from draining the swamp in which Plucky and his neighbors live.
- Pollution Solution episode segment, "No Deposit, No Return of the Trash Bag Dispenser": Plucky, in a new costume and calling himself The Trash Bag Dispenser, tries to educate Elmyra Duff about recycling so that she will stop throwing away empty cans in the forest.
- The Toxic Revenger also appears as a boss in Buster's Hidden Treasure for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, trying to take down Dr. Gene Splicer before Buster can. In the game, he continually denies his true identity.
- Of interesting note, in the credits to the episode featuring Elmyra's version of The Name Game the line appears, "Name inadvertently left out of The Name Game: Plucky." Of course, Plucky is intentionally left out because if the song is sung with his name, it includes an expletive.
Appearances in Video Games
- Tiny Toon Adventures for NES: Plucky appears as one of Buster's three sidekicks. His special ability is flying short distances.
- Plucky is playable in several other Tiny Toon Adventures video games, notably sports titles.
- Buster's Hidden Treasure for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive: He is a boss in the game, where you have to fight him two times; the first time, he is brainwashed by Dr. Gene Splicer, and the second time, he is trying to take him down as his alter-ego, The Toxic Revenger. This is one of two games where he is depicted as a boss.
- Buster Busts Loose for the SNES: He plays the role of Duck Vader, who serves as the final boss of the game. This is one of two games where he is depicted as a boss. He is also in Plucky's Go-Go Bingo bonus round, where he calls out the characters who will be chosen on the bingo card.
- McDonald's Happy Meal toys
- Playskool plush
- Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
- Just Toys 4.75 inch bendy figure
- More coming soon
References in Other Published Encyclopedias
- Plucky Duck is referenced in The Encyclopedia of Hell and The Rocklopedia Fakebandica.