The Curious Similarities Between the Casts of Wings and Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers

For years now, I have been bringing up the uncanny similarities between the cast of Wings and that of Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers. This may actually be the only truly original observation I’ve ever made about popular culture, but no one is interested in it, because this particular culture isn’t really all that popular. Some people have watched an episode or two of Wings, other people vaguely remember CNDRR, but very few people (in fact, I have yet to meet a single one) spent enough time watching both programs to appreciate my great observation. But somehow, I desperately need an excited gasp of recognition from somebody about this, so I’ve been bringing it up over and over again through the years. I bring it up all the time. And let me tell you? It’s no easy thing casually working a conversation around to Wings or CNDRR. These shows never come up. But I bring them up. All the time. I bring them up mostly late into a drunken evening with friends, but also, whenever a television is on, whenever I’m sitting side-by-side with someone and we’re both on our laptops, over breakfast in the mornings, on long car trips, on first dates, while the previews are playing at the movies. Everyone who knows me has at one time or another reacted with disappointing perplexity to my introduction of this grand observation, and still, I can’t stop bringing it up. Some needle in my brain skipped its groove and keeps tracking over this idea, again and again and again, and I need someone – anyone! – to acknowledge that I am not crazy, that the characters on these two shows are, in fact, very similar. I am seeking a “Huh!” An “OMG, you’re so right! I never noticed it before, but yes!” I need to connect over this. I don’t know why. I don’t know why it’s so important.

But look:

On Wings, the main characters are a pair of brothers, Joe and Brian Hackett.

Joe Hackett is the responsible Hackett brother. He is sort of uptight. He often argues with Brian, who is an irresponsible man-child who is always making jokes and playing pranks. Brian often wears Hawaiian shirts to better emphasize his personality, whereas Joe usually wears a bomber jacket. Here are the two of them, in representative attire:

(via)

Can you think of another pair of brothers, one responsible and one a joker, who wear, respectively, a bomber jacket and a Hawaiian shirt?

(via)

On Wings, we also have Helen Chapel, and on CNDRR, we have Gadget. Now, Helen is a waitress/cellist and Gadget is a mechanic, but the main thing is, they both have long blond hair that comes to a point in the back, and they’re both women, who often express frustration with the bickering brothers in their lives.

Here’s Helen standing by a plane holding coffees:

(via)

And here’s Gadget standing by a plane holding tools:

(via)

I mean, come on! Right?

Finally, on Wings, we have Roy Biggins, a big, fat grump with a little mustache who everyone alternately hates and feels sorry for. And on CNDRR? Monterey Jack! Big fat mouse with a moustache! Okay, okay, granted, the two characters are really nothing alike, but just look at them:

(via)

(via)

Right? I think I’ve made my point. And yeah, I know, there are a bunch of Wings characters that don’t have obvious parallels in CNDRR. I guess you can argue that Zipper is similar to Tony Shaloub or something. But my point is, there are a lot of parallels, don’t you agree?

Say you agree. Just give me this one. I really care about it, for some reason.

34 Comments

  1. Posky says:

    Thanks for blowing my mind today at lunch. You may be the only person on earth that is doing this important research. Please never stop.

    Like

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Thank YOU! It’s crazy, right????

      Like

    2. Megan says:

      Oh my God I googled the comparison today while watching CADRR with my toddler and I can’t believe there are others out there that see it too!! Carry on kind stranger, forward the cause!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elizabeth says:

        There are dozens of us!

        Like

  2. jary says:

    Let me know if you ever think of a real-person version ducktales!

    Like

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Hmmm….how many Trump kids are there?

      Like

  3. Duncan says:

    OMG, you’re so right! I never noticed it before, but yes!

    Like

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Aah, thank you. Catharsis!

      Like

  4. TheSim says:

    I believe there is a newly discovered Shakespearean play that involves THESE VERY SAME CHARACTERS. This is some new Da Vinci Code shit, right here.

    Like

    1. Elizabeth says:

      I think so, too! I’ve been getting all sorts of death threats since posting this, and I think the government might have tapped my phones, but I’m not taking it down. This information is too important – the people need to know.

      Like

  5. I’ve always thought that too!!!
    And the Fly is Lowell!! ha ha ha!!!!

    Like

  6. hs says:

    yes! me too! i finally googled the correlation to see if one show was based off of the other! and, like jackie o yeah, i’ve thought of lowell as the fly!!!

    Like

  7. Anonymous says:

    I also googled this after finally wanting to know if anyone else had noticed. Great job! You’ve shed much more light on the subject. Also, my wife doesn’t think its such a stretch anymore after viewing your photos. Long live these very entertaining shows.

    Like

  8. zandyring says:

    I’m way late to the game here, but I used to be obsessed with both these shows at different points in my life, and I’m incredibly disappointed in myself for not drawing this obvious parallel. Amazing!

    Like

  9. I was watching a bad Tim daly movie and googled “chip and dales rescue rangers wings” and stumbled upon your post. I’m glad I’m not the only one who obsessed about this for years!!

    Like

  10. Brett says:

    i’ve been saying this for years! nobody else ever seemed to care

    Like

  11. robotdangerkitty says:

    I kid you not–I am watching Wings AT THIS VERY MOMENT!

    Like

  12. JimH says:

    Definitely have thought about this for years. Thanks for validating it on the net!

    I also think that “Tailspin” was based off Cheers (post-Dianne era).

    Like

    1. Bo says:

      Actually TaleSpin is based on ‘The Tale of Golden Monkey’ … an old Bellisario series trying to pick up on the success of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’.

      Just FYI

      Like

  13. Anonymous says:

    omg i have said this for years and no one knew what i was talking about. so today i just decided to google it to see if Any One else noticed it. and Finally here it is!

    Like

  14. Franklin Slaton says:

    Basically ditto what everyone else already said. Thought it for years, Googled to see if I was the only one, wound up here. In fact, had already right-click-saved the EXACT SAME PHOTOS you used in order to make a brain-exploding Facebook post…and now I know it’s already been done. Oh well, nothing new under the sun. PS – I’m equally annoyed as you that the Biggins/Monterrey Jack & Lowell/Zipper characters don’t line up better.

    Like

  15. Zipper says:

    I made an ancient Geocities website about this way back in 2002 or 2003 I believe http://www.geocities.ws/cowbloop/. I just looked it up out of idle boredom to see if it still existed (which it somehow does) and found your page as well. I’m just happy to know there are other people out there who feel the same way about these characters 🙂

    Like

  16. Loved finding this and Zipper’s Geocities post. I’ve believed in the Chip/Joe Dale/Brian connection for years but never thought of the shows as a whole mirroring each other. I like this larger comparison, especially considering a description of Rescue Rangers on its Wiki is specifically: “The pint-sized detectives deal with crimes that are often ‘too small’ for the police to handle…” What is Sandpiper Air if not an airline that handles the jobs “too small” for bigger businesses?

    However, I would claim Roy Biggins’ mirror is not Monterey Jack, but actually Fat Cat. Both are basically the antagonists of their respective shows and, besides the obvious similarities in appearances, are usually attempting to foil the brothers in some fashion. Monty is more akin to Antonio (Tony Shaloub): both are slightly out-of-their-element foreigners with strictly platonic relationships to the other main characters, but strong romances to outsiders. E.g., Helen married Antonio but only to keep him from being deported; Gadget viewed Monty as a father figure. A lot of Antonio’s plot lines involve potential romantic interests that aren’t within the main cast while Monty was (of course) obsessed with cheese to the point that it could be considered a love affair.

    Like

    1. Bo says:

      Absolutely agree that Roy Biggins is Fat Cat; the figure, the suit, the moustache and the antagonistic role. It is almost stronger than the Gadget and Helen.

      Zipper is hard to place of course and Monterey Jack I think is too original to compare.

      I also think Lowell was partially absorbed into Gadget as the “mechanic/inventor”.

      Like

  17. James says:

    Just showing my kids Rescue Rangers and noticed the same similarities to Wings. Thanks for digging up pictures to support the theory! I’ll have to watch for a Faye or Lowell.

    Like

  18. Angela says:

    I have literally *always* thought this! Your essay is on point and also mde me giggle. 😁

    Like

    1. mhatter106 says:

      I have thought about this all the time since the early 90s and now am just wondering why I never typed it into Google in the last 9 years to find this writeup. Bravo.

      Like

  19. zaraza26 says:

    I agree. Perhaps is a coincidence, but I think that author of Wings love this characters from Chip and Dale.

    Like

  20. KendraN says:

    Yes!!! I was googling this very thing because my husband and i talk about it a lot more than people in their 40s should. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Stogie says:

    I noticed this back in the ninety’s but there was no google and nothing on the net to validate my claim except for my brothers opinion Which was validation enough at the time

    Like

  22. Anonymous says:

    YES YES YES. I have been saying this all along!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Felina says:

    Yes!!! I’ve thought this for years too!! I never bring it up to anyone because who would care. I’m So glad I’m not the only one!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Matt says:

    I’m glad to have come across someone who’s made the same connection. Growing up I watched pretty much every episode of both shows and noticed the same similarities even back then. The shows were both on the air around the same time. It seems hard to believe it’s just a coincidence, though I guess you could say both shows themselves were borrowing from the odd couple dynamic and there’s only so many ways you can go with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Nick says:

    Thank you for this! After watching the new live action version of chip and dale I just off handedly said to my wife (who had never seen the cartoon but loves Wings) “Well you know wings totally got their characters from chip and dale.” It was just something I always had in my head as 100% truth. She then made me do a bit of google research. Glad I found some people that see the similarities. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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