Comic Book: The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck

"The quality of your lives depends on what you make of them! The only limits to adventure are the limits of your imagination!"
Scrooge McDuck, The Richest Duck in the World

Keno Don Rosa's Magnum Opus, The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck was the ultimate Arc Welding project by the Carl Barks Promoted Fanboy already famous for his Continuity Porn. Defying Comic-Book Time, Don Rosa's 12-part epic takes every (reasonably possible) Noodle Incident, adventure, and reference from Scrooge McDuck's life in Barks' comics and organizes them into a coherent, plausible timeline.

The saga begins when Scrooge is ten years old in 1877 and ends with meeting his nephew Donald Duck at the time of his premiere story in Christmas 1947. In-between, the series tells the story of how a poor lad from Scotland traveled the globe building up a fortune and financial empire by being smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies to become the richest man in the world, having every possible adventure a Badass Self-Made Man could find. The series gives us our best look at Scrooge's family — his parents, uncles, and sisters — and shows how he met enemies like Flintheart Glomgold and the Beagle Boys, friends like Theodore Roosevelt, and Mentors like Howard Rockerduck that helped mold him into the Anti-Hero Jerk with a Heart of Gold we've known him as. The epic is packed with Character Development, adventure, Continuity Nods, Leaning on the Fourth Wall, a miraculous amount of violence and innuendo that got past the radar, and of course Don Rosa's trademark Scenery Porn and insane amount of historical, geographical, and cultural research.

The 12 original chapters were released in issues of Uncle Scrooge from April 1994 through February 1996. They were published together in an anthology in June 2005. In the spirit of Disney's love of midquels, in September 2006, Gemstone released The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion, which turned 7 of Don Rosa's previously published Uncle Scrooge stories (and 1 brand new story) into Midquels since they were Flashbacks about more adventures from Scrooge's glory days... essentially Arc Welding within Arc Welding. Most of the midquels use a Framing Device of Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie unearthing Scrooge's trunk of memorabilia in his money bin and asking questions about the stories behind its contents, prompting said flashbacks.

Most of the stories (including the midquels) were released in Europe before appearing in the American Uncle Scrooge series; for example, the original twelve chapters appeared in countries including Denmark, Germany, and Norway in 1992. The release dates given below give the first publication and then its American equivalent.

This work earned Don Rosa the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in 1995 for "Best Serialized Story".

A concept album based on the book by Tuomas Holopainen, simply titled Music Inspired By The Life and Times of Scrooge, was released in April 2014.

All together, in chronological order in-universe (including Midquels and Prequels), the series consists of:

  • Chapter 0: "Of Ducks, Dimes, and Destinies"
  • Chapter 1: "The Last of the Clan McDuck"
  • Chapter 2: "The Master of the Mississippi"
  • Chapter 3: "The Buckaroo of the Badlands"
    • Chapter 3 B: "The Cowboy Captain of the Cutty Sark"
  • Chapter 4: "The Raider of the Copper Hill"
  • Chapter 5: "The New Laird of Castle McDuck"
  • Chapter 6: "The Terror of the Transvaal"
    • Chapter 6 B: "The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff"
  • Chapter 7: "The Dreamtime Duck of the Never-Never"
  • Chapter 8: "The King of the Klondike"
    • Chapter 8 B: "The Prisoner of White Agony Creek"
    • Chapter 8 C: "Hearts of the Yukon"
    • "Last Sled to Dawson"
  • Chapter 9: "The Billionaire of Dismal Downs"
  • Chapter 10: "The Invader of Fort Duckburg"
    • Chapter 10 B: "The Sharpie of the Culebra Cut"
  • Chapter 11: "The Empire Builder From Calisota"
  • Chapter 12: "The Richest Duck in the World"
  • "The Dream of a Lifetime"

    In general 

  • All There in the Manual: Between each chapter, Rosa explains which "Barksian facts" he used to create it.
  • Arc Welding
  • Badass: Scrooge.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Scrooge, naturally
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Scrooge and Goldie. Hortense and Quackmore as well.
  • Beta Couple: Fergus McDuck/Downy O'Drake and ESPECIALLY Quackmore Duck/Hortense McDuck for Alpha Couple Scrooge McDuck/Glittering Goldie.
  • Blue Blood: The Clan McDuck.
  • Book Ends: The series starts and ends with Scrooge going through his money and memories. Don lampshades this trope, saying, "It's just the sort of corny thing we writers and artists do."
  • Bowdlerize: The series' frequent Symbol Swearing is removed in many translations to not include swearing at all.
  • Continuity Porn: And not just Barks' continuity of Scrooge, either. Barks did his best to have the real people featured in his stories be in that location at that time at least somewhat plausibly.
  • Cool Horse: Hortense, Scrooge's mare.
    Scrooge: "I'll get Hortense later, cap'n! She's stretching her legs!"
    Sailor on the mast: "Blimey! There's a bloomin' 'orse on the tops'l yardarm!"
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Goldie — not that she'd ever let Scrooge know that...
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Which as adamant and vocal a Scrooge/Goldie shipper as Don Rosa is, deserves major credit for maintaining.
  • Fiery Redhead: Hortense McDuck
  • Funetik Aksent: All Scottish characters (including Scrooge in his youth) speak with a funetik aksent.
    "Ah'm Fergus McDuck and ah cannae trespass on me own land?!"
  • Genre-Busting: It's a Funny Animals comic book that follows all the conventions of the classic Epic — a truly modern epic.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Has its own page.
  • Gold Fever: Kicks in for Scrooge at the end of The New Laird of Castle McDuck
  • Hear Me The Money: A talent of Scrooge McDuck's.
  • The Hero's Journey
  • Historical In Jokes in spades, of course
  • Historical Person Punchline: The series is rife with famous historical persons, but their identities generally get revealed right away. There are exceptions though:
    • In The Buckaroo of the Badlands, Scrooge befriends a young man who chose to become a cowboy instead of continuing his political career. Scrooge inspires him to go back into politics. The story's last panel reveals this fellow's initials to be T. R..
    • In The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff, Scrooge meets a lot of legends of The Wild West: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, P. T. Barnum, and the Daltons. And a Native American who escaped from his reservation and now performs in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He is in the end revealed to be none other than Geronimo, the famous Apache leader. (He does mention his name well before the reveal though. But it is not the name he became famous with, and therefore a Genius Bonus. Scrooge, by the way, recognizes this name immediately.)
  • Horse of a Different Color: Scrooge McDuck has established his Badass credentials several times with these. When he was left for dead in the South African Savanna, he went berserk against all the animals trying to eat or kill him and cowed a lion into becoming his steed. In Australia, he encountered an Emu and used it instead, at least until it ran off from an approaching flood. In the Klondike, he has used moose for transport on more than one occasion. In Hearts of the Yukon, we also briefly see a rider arrive into Dawson City on a bear—but even he's scared of Samuel Steele.
  • Idea Bulb: Parodied in both The Vigilante Of Pizen Bluff and Hearts of the Yukon, where an oil lamp being turned on by hand appears as a substitute, even though Scrooge already had an encounter with an actual lightbulb in Raider Of The Copper Hill.
  • Identical Grandson: Gyro Gearloose looks like his grandfather Ratchet.
  • In the Blood: Greed is in the McDuck blood.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: Scrooge's sister Matilda made a scrapbook of letters, artifacts, and newspaper clippings from all his adventures, which appears on the first page of the original chapters and which the boys are looking at in the midquels.
  • Jerkass Fašade: Both Scrooge and Goldie, which is why they never get together.
  • Last of His Kind: Scrooge is the last of the McDuck clan.
  • Literal Ass Kicking: Notably during the end of The Empire Builder From Calisota, where young Donald Duck delivers a kick to Scrooge's ass. At the conclusion of The Richest Duck in the World, Scrooge recalls this and kicks Donald's ass in return, solidifying his Adrenaline Makeover.
  • Love Hurts: Scrooge and Goldie, no matter how much they both try to deny it.
  • Meaningful Name: Why else would Scrooge's eventual love interest be named Goldie?
  • Media Watchdog: Several illustrations with guns were altered because Disney only permitted guns to be shown if they weren't pointed at people.
  • Noodle Incident: Taking every Carl Barks Noodle Incident ever and... un-noodling them.
  • Oh, Crap: Once an Episode right before every Moment Of Awesome where Scrooge kicks ass and takes names.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Scrooge is just a scrawny duck who, by the time he reaches his prime, is capable of taking out fifty or some enemies with his bare hands.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: The entire series captures Scrooge's development through life, how his experiences and hardships shaped him from an optimistic youth to the money-hungry villain he was in his debut, and his eventual redemption. If you pay particular attention to the portraits of the main albums, he gets progressively meaner with each portrait until he ends up a broken old man.
  • Real After All: The ghosts of Castle McDuck
  • Scenery Porn
  • Scotland: Chapters 1, 5, and 9
  • Shipper on Deck : Donald Duck and the boys to Scrooge and Goldie.
  • Shown Their Work
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Scrooge and Goldie; plus, Hortense and Quackmore Duck.
  • Spiritual Successor: Don Rosa and fans consider A Letter From Home, where Scrooge returns to Castle McDuck, reconciles with Matilda, and finds a message his father left for him before he died as a sequel/conclusion to the series. (It's also a much better Templar treasure hunt than The Da Vinci Code. And it's only 34 pages long!)
    • It is also a sequel to Crown Of The Crusader Kings, which is itself a sequel to The Fabulous Philosopher's Stone.
  • Symbol Swearing: Even printed on a newspaper at the end of "The Sharpie of the Culebra Cut" and a sign during "The Richest Duck in the World". Not present in "Of Ducks, Dimes, and Destinies" or "The Last of the Clan McDuck".
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Hortense and Matilda McDuck
  • Trigger Happy: Annie Oakley in The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff, Goldie, and Scrooge to an extent
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Most of the chapter titles are titles applied to Scrooge.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As Scrooge's portaits above show.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Don't make Scrooge angry... or Hortense, while we're at it (Donald got his temper from both sides of the family!)
  • We Named the Monkey Jack: Scrooge's horse Hortense
  • The Wild West: Chapters 3, 4, and 6B.

Individual Chapters:

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    Chapter 0: Of Ducks, Dimes, and Destinies 
Released: Denmark -June 1995, United States - April 1996
Dates: 1877

The last story Don Rosa completed before the 12-part series proper, later included as a sort of Time Travel prequel. Inspired by hearing Scrooge relate the story of earning his Number One Dime to his grand-nephews while she's spying on him, Magica de Spell uses a Time Travel candle to go back in time to the day Scrooge earned the dime so she can get it before he ever owns it. After some hijinks with Scrooge's father and Howard Rockerduck, she succeeds, and it's while waiting for the return trip to start that she realizes the implications — by preventing Scrooge from ever owning the dime, it's no longer the first coin owned by the richest duck in the world, therefore it's worthless to her, and she's forced to give it back to him and return to the future empty-handed, causing a net difference of zero. Tough luck, but You Can't Fight Fate.

This chapter provides examples of:

  • Episode 0: The Beginning: Made after the series concluded, but given the "Chapter 0" moniker because it was a retelling of the first chapter detailing Magica's involvement during her time travel.
  • Generation Xerox: Not only the justifications mentioned in Time Travel Tense Trouble and Uncanny Family Resemblance but also, Fergus chased Magica for the dime and she admitted she'd feel disappointed if he didn't since he's Scrooge's father.
  • No More for Me: In the background, a man with a bottle of beer in hand sees Magica disguising herself with magic, and as she leaves the alley, his arm can be seen pouring his beer on the floor.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: According to the Word of God aversion of Stable Time Loop. Magica does change the original timeline by buying the dime from the ditch digger, but then she undoes the effects by giving Scrooge the dime anyway, therefore undoing all the changes she already made, therefore undoing her Time Travel altogether. Confused? All right — A Witch Did It!
  • Time Travel Tense Trouble:
    Magica: This is like all the times in the past that Scrooge himself has chased me in the future. I mean... what am I talking about?
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Magica briefly mistakes Scrooge's father Fergus as Scroogey himself.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Tired of running away, Magica pointed out to Fergus she's a woman, (mistakenly) believing that's be enough to keep him from hitting her. She didn't know Scrooge's greed was a family trait.

    Chapter 1: The Last of the Clan McDuck 
Released: Denmark- August 1992, United States-April 1994
Dates: 1877-1880

Chapter One, of course, tells how a 10-year-old Scrooge first went into business with a shoeshining kit his father made him for his birthday and earned his Number One Dime — an American dime that was worthless to him in Scotland and made him vow to be "sharper than the sharpies and tougher than the toughies" so that he would never be cheated again. After three years of shining shoes, selling firewood and peat, and protecting the McDuck ancestral castle from the McDucks' rival clan the Whiskervilles, 13-year-old Scrooge leaves home to seek his fortune in America.

This chapter provides examples of:

  • Badass Creed: Scrooge's promise to be tougher than the toughies, smarter than the smarties and to make his fortune fair and square.
  • Call Forward: The Whiskervilles were about to uncover Sir Swamphole McDuck's alternate entrance to the castle's dungeons, which would chronologically later be discovered by Huey, Dewey, and Louie in "The Old Castle's Secret".
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Pay attention at the feet of young Scrooge's castle guide. You'll notice said guide is missing his shadow, which hints on his true nature of a ghost. Said ghost is one of Scrooge's ancestors.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Scrooge was told his family doesn't fear anyone except tax collectors.
  • Scarecrow Solution: Scrooge scares the Whiskervilles away by making a fake ghost.
  • Shout-Out: Sir Quackly's line "McDucks sailed forth in fear o' no man born o' woman..." alludes to a rather famous play centered on Scotland.
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: The Hound that originally drove away the McDucks from their land were the Whiskerville's in disguise, in an attempt to get the land. They've kept the hoax up for centuries for the day when the McDucks finally fail to pay the taxes on the land and they can buy it.
  • Title Drop:
    Sir Quackly: After all, you are the Last of the Clan McDuck!
    Scrooge: Last, but not least! Not from now on!

    Chapter 2: The Master of the Mississippi 
Released: Denmark- August 1992, United States- June 1994
Dates: 1880-1882

Scrooge's first American venture is with his Uncle Angus "Pothole" McDuck on his riverboat in New Orleans. The two of them go on Scrooge's first treasure hunt for a sunken ship in the Mississippi, the Drennan Whyte, with some help from Gyro Gearloose's grandfather, Ratchet Gearloose. In the process, Scrooge meets (and names) his first generation of Beagle Boys. Their next meeting two years later ends with the destruction of the riverboat Scrooge bought from his uncle. Out of options in the riverboat business and still no profit to show for it, 15-year-old Scrooge moves West. (Meanwhile, his Uncle Pothole goes into the dime store novel business.)

This chapter provides examples of:

    Chapter 3: The Buckaroo of the Badlands 
Released: Denmark- November 1992, United States-August 1994
Dates: 1882

After a short encounter with Jesse James, Scrooge finds himself a cowboy in Montana protecting a prize steer from cattle rustlers, the McVipers. He hopes to gain his fortune as the manager of a ranch in the future, but for now, he gains the nickname Buck McDuck, a friend whom he recommends go back into politics, and a tough but ornery horse he names after his similar-tempered sister, Hortense, who will be around for a few chapters.

This chapter provides examples of:

  • Cattle Baron: Scrooge meets one immediatly after falling off the train, and would end up spending the next few years learning the cattle trade.
  • Fingore: Scrooge tricks Jesse James into thinking there's a treasure hidden in his dentures. When Jesse tries to reveal it... *TUMP*
  • Naked People Are Funny: While riding Hortense, Scrooge loses all of his clothes as she jumps. Three times. Luckily, he doesn't fall off because his belt gets stuck on the saddle.

    Chapter 3 B: The Cowboy Captain of the Cutty Sark 
Released: Sweden - December 1998, United States - February 1999
Dates: 1883

During his stint as a Montana cowboy, Scrooge takes a trip on the famous Cutty Sark clipper to deliver two longhorn bulls to the sultan of Djokja in Java for an annual bullteam race. When Scrooge's bulls are stolen, his efforts to get them back results in "a Scottish cowboy steam[ing] into port on a run-aground ship"... and subsequently losing all the money from his sale in paying fees, fines, and bills for the damages caused on this adventure. (Apparently, this was in the days before Hero Insurance.)

This chapter provides examples of:

  • Off Model: One panel is colored so that Scrooge is wearing his trademark red coat, even though he doesn't get it until The Billionaire Of Dismal Downs.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: For Captain Moore — throughout the story, he asks his crew for his camera, and when they finally get it out for a photo opportunity, it gets busted right before he could take a picture.
    • Also for Scrooge himself - The enormous stampede Scrooge led into town caused enough damage to warrant hefty fines. The authorities had no claim on the protocar either, as Scrooge had plunged the only prototype into the harbor.
  • The Stoic: Captain Moore, until the last panel he appears in. Even his assistant is caught by surprise by the sudden change of expression.
  • Un Sound Effect: Literally. Complete with an editor's note explaining exactly why.

    Chapter 4: The Raider of the Copper Hill 
Released: Denmark- January 1993, United States- October 1994
Dates: 1884-1885

The end of the cattle boom in The Wild West means yet another career change for Scrooge: prospecting. He likes his chances with copper mining since he strikes his claim just when some new-fangled invention called electricity causes a demand for copper. While working his homestead near the Anaconda Hill Copper Works ("the richest hill on Earth"), he meets millionaire Self-Made Man Howard Rockerduck, who, to the disdain of his wife and Spoiled Brat son (one John D. Rockerduck) who have forgotten his humble beginnings, teaches him the art of prospecting. But Wait, There's More!

Rockerduck: This man has a homestead on land where the Anaconda copper vein is only five feet deep! The Law of Apex of 1849 says that whoever owns the land where an ore vein is closest to the surface owns the entire vein! Scrooge McDuck owns the Anaconda Copper Mine!

After a wild fight with claim jumpers (the first of many in his life), Scrooge believes he's finally found the key to his fortune, until he gets a telegram from home urgently asking him to bring money to help with a crisis. Unable to wait to turn a limitless profit from the copper mine, he sells it back to the original owners and returns to his family with the money, taking away one important lesson from his experience:

"Get lost, Mr. Big-Shot-Copper-King!"
Scrooge: They were my friends! What did I do?
Rockerduck: You got rich, son. Best get used to it like -sigh I did. You'll have their respect, but no longer their love.

This chapter provides examples of:

  • Green-Eyed Monster: All of Scrooge's friends in the town immediately turn on him for striking it rich. It's one of many bitter lessons Scrooge will have to learn.
  • One-Duck Army
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After being shocked by a live wire Scrooge was swinging on, faithful steed Hortense has this thought before marching off in a huff.
    Hortense: (Thinking) I quit! Effective immediately!
  • Spoiled Brat: Rockerduck's son, John. Little does Scrooge know that the annoying little twerp will one day become his Nr 2 rival, though unlike Glomgold, they remain business rivals only, rather than bitter enemies.
  • Telegraph Gag STOP
    "Son - Terrible crisis for the clan McDuck stop need cash stop come home at once stop don't stop stop"

    Chapter 5: The New Laird of Castle McDuck 
Released: Denmark- March 1993, United States- December 1994
Dates: 1885

Scrooge arrives back in Dismal Downs just as his family is about to lose their land and castle if they don't pay the back taxes from falling behind in the payments (the clan has struggled to maintain ownership of the castle even if the demon hound has made it too dangerous to live there). Scrooge's bank draft from the sale of his copper mine saves the castle, his destiny to become "the cheapest, stingiest, most miserly, turnip-squeezingest, penny-pinching tightwad on Earth" saves his life (the dead should not interfere in the land of the living), and the ghosts of Scrooge's ancestors save him when he's nearly killed in a duel with the Whiskervilles. No Big Deal. Now the McDucks can move back into the castle, and Scrooge can move on with making his fortune... this time, in gold.

This chapter provides examples of:

    Chapter 6: The Terror of the Transvaal 
Released: Denmark- May 1993, United States- February 1995
Dates: 1887-1889

Scrooge's first attempt at gold prospecting takes him to South Africa, where he meets a Boer also on his way to the Johannesburg goldfields who offers to be his guide. Scrooge awakens the next morning to find his new "friend" has vanished, stolen his supplies, and left him to perish out on the rand. Furious at being double-crossed, he makes his way to civilization in his typical Badass fashion, finds the scoundrel, vents his anger in a Humiliation Conga, and throws him in jail. He doesn't strike it rich in the low-grade Transvaal soil and eventually packs up and leaves with the vow never to trust anybody again, thanks to a lesson from his least noble enemy yet, whatever-his-name-was note .

This chapter provides examples of:

  • The Beast Master: Scrooge pressgangs a lion into serving as an emergency transport back to civilization.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. Scrooge fires exactly twelve shots from his two six shooters, and is clearly seen reloading afterwards.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday
  • Continuity Nod: The Kaffir de Gaffir gold mine opened during the episode. That was the gold mine Scrooge and Glomgold tried to outbid each other for in Carl Barks story "So Far and no Safari".
  • Et Tu, Glomgold?
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Glomgold steals all of Scrooge's supplies and abandoned him even after Scrooge saved his life. The trope is even lampshaded:
    Scrooge: I saved his life and shared my food with him, and this is how he repays me! What a... a viper!
  • Freudian Excuse: Glomgold is the reason Scrooge decided not to trust anybody. Until then, Scrooge never had an enemy who pretended to be a friend.
  • Humiliation Conga
  • I'm Your Worst Nightmare: Scrooge says this to Glomgold before he calls him out, guns ablazing.
  • Save the Villain: When Glomgold runs into the lion Scrooge rode into town, Scrooge laments, "Drat the luck! Now I gotta save his hide rather than tan it!"
  • Start of Darkness: Glomgold was a thief and a jerk even before running into Scrooge for the first time, but this encounter is what set him on the path to become the monstrous Corrupt Corporate Executive that will remain Scrooge's bitter enemy for the rest of their lives.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Even after Scrooge saves his life, Glomgold betrays him the first chance he gets.
  • Unknown Rival: Glomgold is determined in the end to get revenge on Scrooge for humiliating him, but Scrooge just casually leaves him in jail without even bothering to learn his name.
  • We Will Meet Again

    Chapter 6 B: The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff 
Released: Sweden- December 1996, United States- October 1997
Dates: 1890

A prequel to the Carl Barks comic Return to Pizen Bluff. Scrooge reunites with his Uncle Pothole, who has become famous thanks to his novels about his adventures saving his nephew Scrooge... but anyway, the two McDucks join forces with P.T. Barnum, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and a Native American guy named Gokhlayeh to track down the Dalton Gang when they rob Barnum's wild west show. Before the posse bids good-bye, lamenting the impending death of The Wild West, Scrooge has them all autograph one of the show's handbills, which Matilda McDuck later pasted into her scrapbook... and which the triplets determine contains a map to the Lost Dutchman's Mine on the back. Oh, Crap!

This chapter provides examples of:

  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Provides the page picture.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Uncle Pothole says while watching Scrooge's brawl, "That would never get past the censors." Of course, he was getting inspiration for his dime novels from the whole fight...
  • Imagine Spot: When Uncle Pothole and Buffalo Bill enter an abandoned building with the Daltons hiding behind a doorway for an ambush, Dalton clones suddenly spring out from elsewhere and Pothole and Bill fight them off, with Bill's hair noticably turning darker. Cut to the Daltons still standing near the doorway with dumbfounded expressions, and back in the chaos, Uncle Pothole has suddenly become ridiculously muscular, while Buffalo Bill is decorated with honors and his hair is completely black. Everything suddenly returns to normal, where it is revealed that Pothole was just writing a dime novel draft on the fly. Especially noteworthy, since it depicts Pothole writing Marty Stu versions of himself and Bill in-story.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Uncle Pothole's idea for a new kind of magazine with "adventures told in a series of drawings, and the dialogue written into some kinda bubbles!"
  • Oh, Crap:
    • Uncle Pothole's reaction once he learned the Native-American he's been insulting was Gokhlayeh aka Geronimo.
    • In present day, Scrooge has this reaction when he realizes that the old playbill he kept as a souvenir and is now glued to the scrapbook really IS the map to the Lost Dutchman Mine. This is a lead in to a later Don Rosa story.
  • The Reveal: Scrooge knew all along, but towards the end of the story, it's revealed that the old Indian warrior is actually Geronimo
  • Super Window Jump
  • Twilight of the Old West
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?:
    Scrooge: No one would be interested in reading the adventures of a rough and tumble prospector like me.

    Chapter 7: The Dreamtime Duck of the Never-Never 
Released: Denmark- June 1993, United States- April 1995
Dates: 1893-1896

From Darkest Africa to Pizen Bluff to Kalgoorlie, Australia, Scrooge continues his quest for gold. But first, he saves an Aborigine wiseman from a bandit, and hears the legend of the Dreamtime. The wiseman also shows him the cave with the Dreamtime story painted and carved into its walls, along with a sacred opal the size of a melon. Scrooge then has to stop the bandit from stealing the relic, losing his Number One Dime in the process, and eventually gets a chance to steal the opal himself as the cave collapses so that no one would even discover the theft for a hundred years. After making his choice, he's rewarded by the miraculous return of his dime and inspiration from the last segment of the legend with pictures that look like the aurora borealis in the Yukon...

This chapter provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Scrooge says a throwaway line, "Great! Now I'm John Philip Sousa!", causing his Aborigine companion to call him "Jonflip Zooza" for the rest of the story (Scrooge never corrects him).
    • Averted in the Portuguese edition. He's called Benny Goodman (who was known as the King of Swing). That happens to be a rather awkward anachronism, though, as Benny Goodman wasn't even born in the timeframe of this story.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Continued from Chapter 5.
  • Call Forward: After Scrooge leaves for the Yukon, attention was drawn to the Dreamtale's depictions of the Goose Egg Nugget, the money bin, and Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
    Jabiru Kapirigi: The great platypus finds a yellow egg? He builds a mighty nest? And what are these other figures? How confusing! What have they to do with an out-of-luck fossicker like poor Jonflip?
  • Kangaroo Pouch Ride: Scrooge uses a Kangaroo for transportation in order to get fast enough to the gold fields to grab a good claim. He is nevertheless too late though.
  • Land Down Under
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Scrooge's aborigine companion actually believed Scrooge was "Jonflip".
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!
  • What You Are in the Dark: Nobody would know for a hundred years if you returned the opal or stole it. I would.

    Chapter 8: The King of the Klondike 
Released: Denmark- July 1993, United States- June 1995
Dates: 1896-1897

The beginning of Scrooge's glory days as a sourdough in the Klondike Gold Rush. "His exploits before this time were the dues he paid to make it this far," as Don Rosa puts it. "His past adventures each taught him lessons about work and endurance (and people) and were all preparations for this moment, when he would finally get rich from nothing but his own hard work, perseverance and know-how." But before Scrooge strikes it rich with his unearthing of the Goose Egg Nugget (another monetary memento he'll never spend) on his claim at White Agony Creek, he faces a minor setback when he's kidnapped by Soapy Slick and a bunch of thugs who push him towards his scariest Crowning Moment of Awesome faster than you can say "What a bunch of idiots!" One destroyed river barge and one thrown grand piano later, Scrooge is a legend in the Yukon...

... and this is only "The Beginning".

This chapter provides examples of:

    Chapter 8 B: The Prisoner of White Agony Creek 
Released: Finland- May 2006, United States- September 2006
Dates: 1897

In his last comic ever, only found (in English) in the Companion anthology, Don Rosa answers the question Carl Barks didn't even want to ask: What exactly happened between Scrooge McDuck and Glittering Goldie during the month they lived together on White Agony Creek? Oh, just some innuendo, constant fighting and insults, Unresolved Sexual Tension, denial, a visit from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, an incident with an Inevitable Waterfall, and getting rid of an Unwanted Rescue attempt, culminating in a night of wild, violent, destructive hatesex that makes Scrooge fearfully realize how vulnerable he is to his feelings for Goldie. The next morning, he sends her back to Dawson, sure that the woman with the coldest heart in the Yukon could never care about him anyway, both of them too proud to admit the truth.

This chapter provides examples of:

    Chapter 8 C: Hearts of the Yukon 
Released: United States- September 1995. No previous publication.
Dates: 1898

Desperately wanting to see Scrooge again but not wanting to admit she loves him, Goldie decides there's only one logical thing to do: take advantage of the town's hatred for Scrooge and press charges against him for kidnapping her with the newly arrived Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (Anyone could press charges against him but she was the only one who wasn't afraid of hitting Scrooge's Berserk Button) Scrooge makes the dangerous journey back to town in a storm as a wildfire burns out of control and almost meets up with Goldie in the burning Blackjack Saloon before a fire hose knocks him unconscious. Thanks to some help from his friend Casey Coot, and Goldie tricking the RCMP into thinking he saved her from the fire instead of the other way around, Scrooge clears his name, gets his gold claim reinstated, and heads back to White Agony Creek. On the way, a mountie delivers a letter to him from Goldie... which he refuses to open, preferring "to pretend that there's one person in this sorry world that I might... that I can..." Love Hurts, and pride conquers all.

This chapter provides examples of:

    Last Sled to Dawson 
Released: United States-June 1988. No previous publication.
Dates: 1898

An excerpt from Don Rosa's first story to feature Glittering Goldie. After depositing one million dollars from his gold claim into the bank in Whitehorse, Alaska, Scrooge buys some land from Casey Coot, packs up a sled of supplies, and bids good-bye to White Agony Creek forever, planning to... do something (or meet someone) in Dawson and then settle down for good. Losing his sled and supplies (and almost his life) in a blizzard on Mooseneck Glacier, however, convinces him he's on the wrong track. Giving up his plan to settle down, Scrooge buys the Whitehorse Bank and begins his life as a businessman, from now on giving his heart to nothing except money.

  • Aborted Declaration of Love: It's heavily implied that the letter Scrooge lost in the ice was a love declaration or a marriage proposal to Goldie. Scrooge took the loss as a sign to focus entirely on his business ventures instead.
  • Villain Decay: Soapy Slick is still stuck in Dawson some 40 years after Scrooge left the area, and has been reduced to running a riverboat tour of the old gold rush territory. He's still a Jerkass of the highest order, but no longer possesses the resources to utilize it, and with the gold rush long over, his primary business is gone.

    Chapter 9: The Billionaire of Dismal Downs 
Released: Sweden- November 1993, United States- August 1995
Dates: 1898-1902

After his various businesses in Whitehorse turn him from a millionaire into a billionaire, Scrooge finally returns home to his father and sisters (now living in Castle McDuck) to make his ancestral Scotland the home base for his planned worldwide financial empire. Two days among the locals, their customs, and their games, however, make Scrooge feel so out of place that he doesn't think he could ever prosper here. He tells his family about the land he bought in some settlement called Duckburg and asks them to move with him to America. His sisters are only too eager to go, but his father claims he's too old to move again. He agrees Scrooge has outgrown the life they knew in Dismal Downs but tells his children to go start a new life in America without him. The next morning, the McDuck siblings unknowingly wave good-bye to the spirits of their parents before they go to eternal rest in an ending Don Rosa was surprised got past the radar.

This chapter provides examples of:

    Chapter 10: The Invader of Fort Duckburg 
Released: Iceland- March 1994, United States- October 1995
Dates: 1902

Waiting for Scrooge in Duckburg, Calisota is an unwelcome reunion with the Beagle Boys and a little scuffle with Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders before convincing them he's not a foreign invader. Eventually, he secures his land on Killmotor Hill (formerly Killmule Hill) and begins construction of his money bin. Meanwhile, Hortense hits it off with the only person in the world who can match her temper, Quackmore Duck.

Don Rosa thought this chapter turned out the best because it only had to cover a timespan of a few days and thus had the best pacing in the series.

This chapter provides examples of:

    Chapter 10 B: The Sharpie of the Culebra Cut 
Released: France- February 2001, United States- August 2004
Dates: 1906

Scrooge tells Donald and the triplets about the "worst bargain I ever made!" He happens to try excavating for gold in Panama at the same time the Panama Canal is under construction. Unfortunately for world progress, Scrooge owns the mountain right in the Canal's path and refuses to sell, even to his old friend President Roosevelt, for anything short of the U.S. Treasury. One avoided international incident and several series of steam-shoveling hijinks later, Scrooge ends up unconscious while he and Teddy are supposed to be making the deal for his mountain, so his sisters make it for him: they trade Scrooge's gold claim for a teddy bear.

Donald is thrilled to hear how his mother got the best of Scrooge. His ecstasy quickly ends when the boys realize Scrooge doesn't own just any old teddy bear but the first teddy bear ever made... the "world's most valuable toy." Even when Scrooge McDuck loses, he wins.

This chapter provides examples of:

    Chapter 11: The Empire Builder From Calisota 
Released: Iceland- April 1994, United States- December 1995
Dates: 1909-1930

This is the chapter where Don Rosa had to address a Noodle Incident most Scrooge fans try to ignore: the story from Voodoo Hoodoo about how Scrooge hired a band of thugs to chase an African tribe off their land so he could use it for a rubber plantation — a blatantly criminal, despicable, completely unjustifiable act not at all in sync with making money "square." Don Rosa considered ignoring this story altogether, dismissing it on the grounds of Characterization Marches On. Instead, he decided to make it the turning point in Scrooge's life — the trigger that set him down the road of greed and cynicism toward becoming the hardened, villainous character he was when Barks first introduced him to the world. After crossing the line he swore never to cross since he earned his Number One Dime, Scrooge avoids Duckburg and his sisters for 23 years. When he returns, he has achieved his dream of becoming the richest man in the world, but loses his family in the process, after meeting his nephew for the first and last time for 17 years.

Don Rosa was double burdened by having to cover the longest timespan of any chapter along with portraying his hero as an unscrupulous robber baron. You can read what the experience was like for him here.

This chapter provides examples of:

  • Bittersweet Ending: Although Scrooge finally becomes the richest duck in the world, he also loses his family. It could just as well be interpreted as a Downer Ending, as the story makes it quite clear that Scrooge has lost everything that really meant something to him at one time and has become utterly consumed by material gain. His victory laugh reads less like a moment of joy and more as a mad cackle.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Scrooge acted as one in this story.
  • Covers Always Lie: This chapter's cover shows Scrooge escaping from the sinking Titanic by carefully stepping on floating pieces of iceberg. What happened in the story is much less awesome - he escaped in one of the lifeboats.
  • Darkest Hour
  • Evil Pays Better: Scrooge begins to wonder if it does.
    Scrooge: Why should I have to be the only honest man in this cockeyed world?
  • Floating Advice Reminders
  • Ignored Epiphany: The end of Scrooge's arc to full-on villain concludes with several fleeting moments where he realizes how badly he screwed up with his family in his quest for riches. If only the "Roster of the Rich" (revealing that he is now the wealthiest person on the planet) hadn't caught his eye and made him forget all about it.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope
  • Literal Ass Kicking: Child-aged Donald to Scrooge upon their first meeting. (Scrooge gets the chance to return the favor in the next chapter, though.)
  • Lonely at the Top: The ending. Scrooge doesn't realize it yet, but Hortense knows all too well that all her brother is now left with is his money.
  • My God, What Have I Done?
  • My Greatest Failure
  • No Endor Holocaust: The sinking of the RMS Titanic is presented mainly as the background to one of the zombie's chases after Scrooge, not looking like tragic disaster which killed 1503 people at all. Even the casual way Scrooge found himself a place in a lifeboat, even though he was neither a woman nor a child, makes the whole thing less tragic.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Albeit an important one and an in-story justification for Characterization Marches On.
  • Retcon: The only major one in the series; in Voodoo Hoodoo Scrooge claimed he was in Africa in 1879 ("70 years ago") to make his second billion. Don Rosa just ignored the date.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Scrooge has adopted this philosophy by now.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Scrooge has developed into one -and even a borderline Villain Protagonist- by this story. His life experiences have hardened him to the point that he's become a corrupt robber baron, he hates his family, and only derives joy from getting even richer. He remains a good guy only because of his brief but ignored epiphany moments.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It's implied that Scrooge is indirectly responsible for the sinking of the Titanic, as the iceberg just so happened to be the same piece of Arctic ice Bombie the Zombie fell into several years prior, and the Voodoo curse continually pulled him to Scrooge's location, which just so happened to be the Titanic.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Hortense's and Matilda's letter after they leave Scrooge.

    Chapter 12: The Richest Duck in the World 
Released: Iceland- May 1994, United States- February 1996
Dates: Christmas 1947

The conclusion of TLaToSM picks up right before the end of Barks' Christmas on Bear Mountain, when Donald Duck and his nephews meet their Uncle Scrooge for the first time. At first, they don't believe the legends about his worldwide adventures or a bin full of three cubic acres of money, so Scrooge opens the bin up for the first time in five years and shows them his fortune, along with his famous Lucky—er, Number One Dime. ("'Lucky dime!' How @#*% insulting!") The tour is interrupted by a new generation of Beagle Boys, giving Scrooge the perfect chance to show Donald and the boys what he's really made of.

Even after the Beagle Boys are caught and arrested, Scrooge (very rightly) doesn't believe for a minute that he's seen the last of them this time. He looks forward to many future adventures with his new family. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are as excited at the thought as Scrooge, but Donald doesn't see anything interesting about going "on a trek to some dusty warehouse to look for a long-lost ledger." Good thing you won't be doing any of that, then...

This chapter provides examples of:

  • Adrenaline Makeover: Scrooge
    Donald: You see what you've done? You li'l squirts have this poor old man all agitated!
    Scrooge: I do seem to recall a li'l squirt who agitated part of me some years ago...
    Donald: WAK!
    Scrooge: Thank you, nephew! I almost feel like... like me again!
    Donald: Don't mention it.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: In addition to the literal example to Donald, Scrooge taking down the Beagle Boys as they attempt to relieve him of most of his wealth is certainly applicable.
  • Back for the Finale: Blackheart Beagle returns some 40 years after Scrooge last saw him during the invasion of Fort Duckburg by Teddy Roosevelt, and he's brought his grandsons with him as the new Beagle Boys.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Scrooge regains his passion for life and adventure, and is able to start again with something he never had before - his family at his side.
  • Homage: The beginning is a homage to Citizen Kane.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Addressing the Number One Dime's Flanderization into a lucky charm
  • Parental Abandonment: Lampshaded
  • Recursive Canon: See Self-Deprecation.
  • Retired Badass: Scrooge at the beginning
  • Retcon: Scrooge starts out very tired and bitter, contradicting his joyful and excited behavior he was in from the end of the Bear Mountain story after witnessing the events at his cabin. In his commentary for the chapter, Don Rosa handwaves it as the long car ride home from the cabin and resulting lack of sleep that caused his brief relapse in attitude.
  • Rule of Funny: In his commentary Don Rosa admits that he was uneasy about putting the Will Eisner award among Scrooge's trophies as it was from 1995, far after where the story was set. He then says that he's overthinking such a small throwaway gag, and compares it to Roger Rabbit slipping his hand out of Handcuffs. He says he's trying to make his story as historically accurate as possible, but will let slip a few gags for humors sake.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    Donald: Let's just humor him! All this hokey junk proves he's... well... eccentric! (points to a portrait of Scrooge from 1897) See? One of those gag photos they make for tourists! Wotta phony scene!
    Dewey: Hm. Looks real to me!
    (Donald turns to a display holding the Will Eisner Comics Industry Award for The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck)
    Donald: Ha! Then how do you explain this?! Obviously all fakes!
  • Take That:
    Scrooge: "Lucky" dime?! What thimble-headed gherkin invented that supreme bit of absolute balderdash?!
    Donald: Oh, everybody says it, Unk!
    Scrooge: Well, everybody is a nincompoop!
  • Uncanny Atmosphere: On the way to the money bin, the ducks notice and comment on the oddity of the presence of sidewalk Santas, even though there aren't many shoppers on Christmas Day. They turn out to be the Beagle Boys in disguise, who were following them under suspicion of the truth about the bin having three cubic acres of cash.

    The Dream of a Lifetime 
Released: Norway- December 2002, United States- May 2004
Dates: Present

A Mental Time Travel epilogue. The Beagle Boys use an invention of Gyro's to infiltrate Scrooge's mind while he's dreaming to find the combination to his money bin. Donald has to go into Scrooge's dreams to try to stop them and ends up on a fast-paced ride through Scrooge's favorite memories of his life. To the Beagles' frustration, there's no money in them! Even in his sleep, Scrooge McDuck is an unquenchable adrenaline junkie.

This chapter provides examples of:

  • As You Know: Justified because the Beagle Boys are dumb enough to forget the plan in the middle of putting it into action.
  • Bedtime Brainwashing: Huey, Dewey and Louie try to influence Scrooge's dreams to give him and Donald an advantage (like using coffee mugs to mimic the sound of hooves so horses appear). Each attempt backfires (like making it rain coffee mugs instead).
  • Bullying a Dragon: When the last remaining Beagle Boy still inside Scrooge's mind gets sick of trying to trick Scrooge into revealing the codes to his vault, and tries to use brute force instead. Unfortunately, at that point they're in Scrooge's dream about the events of Hearts Of The Yukon, and as Donald points out, THIS Scrooge isnt an 80 year old business man, he's The King Of Klondike, the man who tamed White Agony Creek, and took out a riverboat full of claim jumpers by himself. Cue Oh, Crap moment from the Beagle Boy just as Scrooge is turning red from fury.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Scrooge can't not answer the Beagle Boys when they ask for his code. The explanation for this is that asking someone a question in their dream makes them think of the answer, and since the dream is what they're thinking...
  • Crashing Dreams: They try to take advantage of this in order to help Donald and Scrooge fight the Beagle boys, with several funny results.
  • Fighting Down Memory Lane
  • In Spite of a Nail: Scrooge has the same dream many times, right as he's about to confront Goldie in a burning building only to be knocked out, thus never letting them get together. Each time, he does something different, trying to save her without getting knocked out, but it always ends the same way until Donald changes it, and Scrooge gets to talk to Goldie for the first time. After leaving that dream, Donald realizes the importance of the moment and convinces the nephews not to interrupt it by waking up the old man. As Donald, Gyro and the nephews leave the room, several tears roll down the smiling Scrooge's cheeks.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: What happens to the last Beagle Boy after he pisses off Scrooge in the Klondike dream. Cue him crying like a pussy afterwards about how he cant pick on someone TOUGHER than him, and that it's unfair to bullies.
  • Running Gag: "Nephew?! What the @*%# are you doing here?!"
    • Also: "Nightmare?"
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Donald's reaction when he finds out that one of Scrooge's dreams is taking place on the Titanic.

Alternative Title(s):

Uncle Scrooge, The Life And Times Of Scrooge Mc Duck