All the primary characters in Carl Barks' comic book stories have their share of bad luck from time to time, but can you remember just one single story in which Donald Duck participates, where the duckster does not experience at least a touch of bad luck? Hardly! This very special ability reserves him a dominating place on this page that takes up the subject of Donald's bad luck in a few of its diverse forms.
But don't feel sorry for Donald. Whatever hardships he has to endure, he always pops up again just like a cork in the water - ready for his next stroke of bad luck! We could learn a lot from him...




Donald is mostly besieged by bad luck because of his alarming lack of common sense. He seems to get into most avoidably bad situations out of pure thickheadedness.

WDCS149 'Flipism'
Lets Coin Tosses Decide his Actions

FC0456 Something Fishy Here
A Joke on Scrooge Backfires

WDCS161 'The Fix-It Shop'
Overpowered by His Own Lack of Skills

WDCS146 'Omelet'
Over His Head in Chickens and Eggs

WDCS178 'The Noise Duel'
Peaceful Neighbours - Bellicose Donald

WDCS248 The Terrible Tourist
Takes No Notice of a Rejection

WDCS204 'The Nose Job'
A Simple Cleaning Job Screwed Up

WDCS276 Beach Boy
Up Against the Perfect JW Hound

FC0223 Lost in the Andes

Brings Home Two Roosters for Breeding


Donald is also equipped with an Ego that sometimes defies normal common sense. He likes to brag about his self-appointed know-it-all abilities, which always backfire. Here are some of the results.

WDCS192 'The Salmon Hatchery'
Fish Culture Expert

WDCS042 Kite Weather
Master Kite Flyer

WDCS059 'The Wild Colt'
Outstanding Colt Tamer

DD60 The Water Ski Race

Champion Water Skier

WDCS035 'Dude Ranch'
Born Pathfinder

WDCS066 'The Elusive Fish'
Unparalleled Ice Fisherman

WDCS189 'Working the Backyard'
Gardening Specialist

WDCS055 'The Cow-Puncher'
Greatest Cowboy in the World

WDCS132 'The JW Merit Badges'
Excellent Boy Scout


Much of Donald's bad luck comes from the fact that he seems to attract it much like a magnet attracts metal. But in some cases he is hardly to blame; he is merely the victim of circumstances.

WDCS086 'Volunteer Fireman'
Best Intentions = Multiple Disasters

WDCS142 'Houseboat Vacation'
Holiday Goes Astray

WDCS201 'The Powerful Dye'
Accidental Mix-Up

WDCS129 'Swimming Pool Garden'
Unforeseen Invasions

WDCS251 Duck Luck

Stricken by Repeated Bad Luck

WDCS164 'Flour Salesman'
Just a New Brand of Flour

WDCS222 'Master Mover'
All's Well - Apart from the Mynah Bird...

WDCS239 The Village Blacksmith
A Minor Slip with Catastrophic Results

WDCS286 The Olympian Torch Bearer
Carrying a Torch


As we have seen, Donald seems to be fighting the whole world most of the time, but one adversary stands out - Gladstone Gander. Although he often seems to think he can, Donald really has no chance to compete with Gladstone's eternal good luck. It is said that opposites attract, and this is certainly true in this case - Gladstone gets all the breaks, Donald gets all the bad luck...

WDCS207 'Burro Catching Contest'
Efforts to No Avail

WDCS136 'Turkey Raffle'
One Ticket is Enough

WDCS143 'Gems in the Desert'
Gems are Pouring Down

WDCS163 'The Swami's Pearls'
Stuck with Fake Pearls

WDCS243 Turkey Trouble
Deals Going Bad

WDCS212 'The Rocket Race'
Another Competition Lost

WDCS147 'A Needy Person - Not!'
Forced to Spend Dinner

WDCS294 Duck Out of Luck
Skating Against the Odds

WDCS131 'A Day at the Golf Course'

Starts Good, Ends Bad


See also the natural counterpart page titled The Good Luck.   Date 2005-06-24