The series takes place in the Middle Ages (albeit a strangely modernized version), and centers on a powerful yet cowardly barbarian named Dave who lives in the fictitious land of Udrogoth along with his older sister Candy and younger sister Fang. His parents, Throktar and Glimia, are the King and Queen, but are away "fighting evil" across the world (though they sometimes communicate via a magic crystal ball or cauldron), and have left Candy in charge of the kingdom as Princess Regent while Dave is supposed to defend the kingdom (since he is the biggest). Together the three siblings, along with their "wizard" uncle Oswidge, are left to run and protect the kingdom.There is a Narrator, referred to either as "the Narrator" or "the Storyteller." He is able to talk to the characters of the show, and vice versa, which breaks the fourth wall. In fact, he was once captured by The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy, and was forced to tell the story from his kidnapper's commands.
The show was created and written by Doug Langdale. After premiering on Disney in 2004, it began broadcasting on Toon Disney a year later. In Latin America, the show is broadcast on Jetix.Much like its predecessors Hagar the Horrible, The Flintstones and the short-lived The Roman Holidays, Dave the Barbarian juxtaposes both the ancient and modern. Candy, for example, shops in the local mall and uses the crystal ball for online shopping sprees. Occasionally, the series even breaks the fourth wall with a character directly addressing the audience or even communicating to the narrator.
- Dave (voiced by Danny Cooksey) - The middle child and only brother of the three siblings. Dave is a huge, muscular barbarian war-prince who is very sensitive to pain and would rather knit and cook than fight evil. He is also afraid of many things and at least once an episode, he will be frightened somehow and shriek his high-pitched, effeminate scream. He is also allergic to many things. According to Fang, Dave wanted to be a barbarian when he was young, but thought a barbarian was a librarian who cut hair. Dave's catchphrases are "Bajabbers" and "Please don't hurt me!"
- Fang (voiced by Tress MacNeille) - The youngest of the three siblings. Fang is a very rambunctious and uncivilized girl who loves to smash things. She has long orange hair in a ponytail. She resembles a cross between both Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm of The Flintstones. She is the butt of a running joke in which she is often mistaken for a monkey, hence her catchphrase, "Not a monkey!" However, she frequently acts and appears to look like a monkey and during one episode she finds a tribe of monkeys that exactly resemble her. She is too small to fight most of the time and resents Dave (who is very strong) because of his cowardice. Although she aspires to be a tough bararian princess (ala Xena), she secretly likes to play with dolls. Fang wields a spear in combat.
- Candy (voiced by Erica Luttrell) - The eldest of the three siblings. Left in charge while the king and queen are away, Candy has a contemporary "valley girl" attitude and would rather shop and hang out than rule a kingdom. Candy's main ability is her martial arts skills. She is the kingdom's most beautiful girl and she's rather selfish, but gets over that in a small way while helping Hamwise and his wife defeat the nefarious Invisigoths. Candy has used the quote "Don't mess with the princess" on a number of occasions and has referred to herself also as a Barbarian. She has displayed the most strength out of the family often when it comes to monsters destroying a shop or so; whether or not she is stronger than Dave remains unseen but out of the two, she is the one willing to use it.
- Oswidge (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) - Dave, Fang and Candy's uncle. A rather clumsy sorcerer who usually wreaks havoc with his spells rather than being useful. It was revealed in the episode Sorceror Material that he never really went to sorcerer school, he just worked in the cafeteria. Uncle Oswidge loves to eat and presents a rather unkempt appearance. Like his niece Fang, he secretly likes to play with dolls. His favorite foods are ham and "Nut Logs" and cannot resist them. His knowledge of magic and magical items, and most other things, surpasses the rest of the family.
- Faffy (voiced by Frank Welker) - The family's dumb pig-shaped pet dragon. Unlike most dragons, he breathes lightning and is domesticated, plus he does not have a tail. He does possess a wild streak that can be revealed when around other dragons, particularly evil ones with rebellious attitudes. It is mentioned in the show that Faffy has a one digit IQ.
- Lula (voiced by Estelle Harris) - Dave's shrill, impatient, sarcastic enchanted sword. Her main ability is shooting a lightning discharge from the tip of her blade. She was once the sword of Argon the Ageless, but was used by Argon as the nose of a snowman, and left there for centuries.