Duck Dodgers is assigned to locate the rack-and-pinion molecule needed for yo-yo polish. Dodgers and his assistant, Eager Young Space Cadet, crash their spaceship into a giant egg-shell, where they find Marvin the Martian, who is, as usual, scheming to destroy Earth, in an attempt to solve the "fuel problem". Marvin asks Dodgers to visit the boudoir of Gossamer, a giant, hairy monster in sneakers, and the frightened Dodgers flees. Porky uses electronic clippers to literally haircut Gossamer into nothingness. Dodgers, furious of his assistant's all too literal interpretations of his commands, repeatedly fires his ray gun at Porky's rear. During the chase, when Porky asks what the people on Earth will do without the rack-and-pinion molecule, Dodgers simply says, "Let 'em eat cake!"
- It is the sequel of "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century". It was the first Daffy and Porky cartoon since 1965.
- This cartoon first aired an animated TV special called Daffy Duck's Thanks-for-Giving Special with scenes that would later be cut when this cartoon was reformatted as a short.
- This is the first cartoon where Gossamer is named. He was not named in "Hair-Raising Hare", and named Rudolf in "Water, Water Every Hare".
- This cartoon reuses music cues from The Bugs Bunny Road-Runner Movie.
- This cartoon reveals that Gossamer consists entirely of hair, hence once his fur is shaved he becomes completely invisible. This is even referenced in one of Cartoon Network's The Bugs & Daffy Show bumpers during the "Powerhouse" era when Bugs Bunny gives Gossamer a haircut.
- K-9 was in the original storyboard by Michael Maltese, but did not appear in the finished cartoon.
- This short was to be shown before Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, but was not included in its theatrical release.
- This short was considered for an Academy Award in 1980, but was not nominated.
- This is the last televised cartoon made for Looney Tunes before it resumed making theatrical shorts in 1987.
- The beginning of the short was referenced in Cartoon Network's Toonami promos, which feature a similar pan-through of the Absolution.
The following scenes were cut when this cartoon was reformatted as an individual animated short:
- Dodgers telling Marvin he's under arrest.
- Dodgers referring to several locations in New York City that he’ll miss after Marvin tells him of his plan to blow up the Earth.
- Porky using a straitjacket gun to capture Marvin the Martian.
- The real ending where Marvin (still wrapped in the straitjacket) aims his missile at Earth and fires it, then tells the viewers that the missile will take three days to reach Earth, giving everyone time to get their affairs in order before everyone gets annihilated, which explains the "That's All Folks!" ending card where Marvin the Martin says, "Don't worry, folks. After all, it's only a cartoon".
- The Nickelodeon version of this cartoon cuts out the "That's All Folks!" ending card where Marvin the Martin says, "Don't worry, folks. After all, it's only a cartoon," along with ABC's edits made to it when it was reformatted as a cartoon short.
The reformatted version of this cartoon has aired on ABC, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, MeTV, and even in such home media releases as the "Marvin the Martian and K-9: 50 Years on Earth" VHS tape, the Marvin the Martian: Space Tunes (reissue) VHS tape, the Bugs and Friends Japanese LaserDisc set (as well as its European VHS tape), the DVD release of Daffy Duck's Quackbusters, and on the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 1 DVD/Blu-ray set.
Daffy Duck's Thanks-for-Giving Special contains the full, uncut version.
- Graphics: Don Foster
- Associate Producer & Production Manager: Mary Roscoe
- Main article: Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century/Gallery
- “The Return of Duck Dodgers” Storyboard by Michael Maltese – Part 1 on cartoonresearch.com
- “The Return of Duck Dodgers” Storyboard by Michael Maltese – Part 2 on cartoonresearch.com