"All modern American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn. All modern American animation comes from Duck Tales."
—Eric Wing (paraphrasing Chris Barat and Joe Torcivia), from an essay commemorating the series' 25th anniversary
DuckTales is the series that jumpstarted the trend of Disney television cartoons.note Although both The Wuzzles and Adventures of the Gummi Bears preceded it.Inspired ByCarl Barks' classic comics (and loosely adapting a few of his plots), the story centers on Scrooge McDuck, the billionaire uncle of famous Disney rage-a-holic Donald Duck. As the series begins, Donald ships out to sea with the Navy, and Scrooge comes into the guardianship of his mischievous triplet nephews — Huey, Dewey, and Louie — and gains the one thing he could never buy with his amazing wealth: family.Also in the cast:
Absentee Actor: Scrooge notably does not appear at all in three episodes of the series: "Superdoo!", "Sir Gyro de Gearloose", and "Launchpad's Civil War". Huey, Dewey, and Louie missed about 7-8 episodes total in the series.
In addition, there are episodes where Launchpad, Mrs. Beakley, and Webby are absent.
Scrooge: Now, keep your peepers peeled for priceless plunder. Launchpad: Personally, I'd prefer to protect my posterior from predators. ("A DuckTales Valentine")
Adipose Rex: In the episode "Status Seekers", the protagonists visit a remote island where the king is fat precisely because in their culture the fattest person is made king. Various attempts to bribe him with Worthless Yellow Rocks fail, and then Mrs. Beakley thinks of trying to bribe him with fattening processed foods instead.
In "Nothing to Fear", Magica DeSpell used real-life images of Uncle Scrooge & co.'s worst fears to descend upon them. For Uncle Scrooge, this took the form of being told by Huey, Dewey and Louie that they secretly couldn't stand him and they only wanted his money, for HD&L it was that unca Scrooge never loved them.
The same episode also previously has Scrooge facing the fear of being penniless and having custody of the nephews removed from him as a result.
Face Your Fears: In the end, the real Scrooge, HD&L band together to face their evil-magic versions. The nephews sling mud at Magica's "Scrooge" to turn him into a penny which vanishes, while Scrooge embraces the nephews. He then tells the "evil versions" of HD&L:
And as for you three kilt-nippers, my boys love me, therefore you're not my boys!!
Which cause the evil nephews to shrink and vanish.
Adaption Displacement: Its fairly easy to say that the episodes based on the original Carl Barks comics such as "The Land Of Tralala" or "Back to the Klondike" are far better known than the originals.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Scrooge hired Gyro to invent a security robot for his money bin that was so adamant about its job, it wouldn't even let Scrooge near it. This failure prompted Gyro to create the GizmoDuck suit for a person instead (since Scrooge wanted a security robot with "a brain").
Artistic License - Geography: Mount Vesuvius, Magica de Spell's lair, is represented like a solitary volcano amidst the sea - it's more similar to the volcanic islands north of Sicily, like Stromboli, than to real Vesuvius, which lies on southwestern coast of Italy. Since DuckTales usually uses fantasy landmarks, it's pretty jarring, especially if you're Italian.
Always Second Best: Flintheart Glomgold always plays second fiddle to Scrooge. As you can imagine, he's none too happy about it.
Always Someone Better: A rare subversion in that the Someone Better was the protagonist. FlintheartGlomgold is the one who's fanatically obsessed with beating Scrooge in the wealth game and becoming the World's Richest Duck.
And a Diet Coke: when Burger Beagle orders a (rather large) meal from Gizmo Duck (he's pretending to be the drive-thru robot speaker), he orders a diet cola as well.
Scrooge: Launchpad, you're alive! I'm going to kill you!
Animation Bump: Two main studios were responsible for the show's animation; TMS Entertainment did most of the first season, while Wang Film Productions took over for a lot of the later episodes. Fans generally agree that the TMS episodes are way better animated than the Wang episodes, though the later episodes are still pretty decent.
On top of that, there were two Stateside production teams as well; one headed up by Fred Wolf and Alan Zaslove, which worked on all the seasons, and one led by Bob Hathcock (who later directed The Movie), which also started working on the show in the second season after Wolf got involved with a certain other cartoon. The differences between the two American teams are less pronounced, though many feel that the Wolf/Zaslove team did a better job with action sequences, while Hathcock's episodes were visually richer and had more of a "Disney-esque" feel.
Also present within the episodes themselves. With certain scenes being better animated than others.
Animesque: Present in several of the TMS animated episodes.
Anti-Advice: In one episode, Scrooge teams up with Gladstone Gander, whose luck has been supernaturally cursed. Scrooge exploits this by asking Gladstone which direction to go, then heading the opposite way.
Badass Family: The McDuck/Duck family. Uncle Scrooge, Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie are all pretty badass in their own way (yes, even Donald can be badass when the chips are down...well in the episodes where he's present at least).
Badass Grandpa: Age has not affected Scrooge's spryness or spirit of adventure. The same can be said for El Capitan, who doesnt let the fact that he's apparently over 400 years old stop him from hunting his precious gold
In the end of "Till Nephews Do Us Part", the beagle boys actually succeed in robbing the bank.
Although, we never see them after they announce their robbing, and we never see them actually stealing any money, making it possible that they were captured offscreen.
Subverted with Glomgold. Whenever he enters a bet against Scrooge, he either loses at the last second, ends in a stalemate (thus preventing Glomgold from being richer then Scrooge) or his ill-gotten victory ultimately benefits Scrooge in the end.
Bag of Kidnapping: In the episode "My Mother The Psychic" the Beagle Boys kidnap Fenton Crackshell's mother this way after learning from Flintheart Glomgold that she's using her new gained ability to look into the future to make Scrooge's financial decisions which is making him a lot of money.
Balloon-Bursting Bird: The episode "The Big Flub" revolves around an invention called Flubble Gum, which is a bubble gum allowing bubble blowers to fly. When Fenton Crackshell is floating around in the air, Scrooge McDuck mounts an improbable rescue scheme. Scrooge throws lots of Flubble Gum into a trash compactor along with water, mixes it up, and uses an air pump to blow a giant-sized bubble, causing Fenton's trailer to float into the sky. The rescue is successful, but a passing bird pecks at the bubble, bursting it and sending the trailer crashing to the ground.
The Bermuda Triangle: When many of Scrooge McDuck's ships were disappearing in the Triangle, He sets out to locate his fleet and finally finds it, along with other ships, trapped in a huge mass of seaweed.
Berserk Button: Never try to steal Scrooge's number one dime under any circumstances.
The same goes for his money bin, or money in general. He didn't get this rich by giving up without a fight.
Beware the Nice Ones: Many characters qualify, but Scrooge's nephews and Webby especially stand out here.
Beyond the Impossible: The first plot arc featured a dog(?) who had been looking for the city of gold for centuries. When asked how he stayed alive that long, all he said was "Sheer willpower!"
Big Damn Heroes: Webby does this in "Back Out In The Outback", and it's epic.
Also Goldie does this in "Till Nephews Do Us Part", and it's amazing.
Big Eater: Doofus and Burger Beagle eat more than any of the others.
Bigger Stick: One time when the Beagle Boys try to break into Scrooge's Money Bin, Big Time wears a suit of armor and goes up against Scrooge driving a tank. He says the suit can withstand 80mm shells, and Scrooge tells him his tank uses 81mm shells.
Broken Pedestal: Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Doofus idol worship Captain Courage, hero of the TV show "Courage of the Cosmos." The boys go on the show and are blind to the fact that their hero is just a vain, egotistical actor. When they realize that they have really been launched into outer space and real aliens have captured them, Courage panics, and the boys see what a coward he really is ("real heroes just do their jobs!").
Although she doesn't so much remove his luck as invert it; everything now goes wrong for him, which Scrooge is able to use to defeat Magica. Still pretty karmic punishment for some of his behavior in the comics, although the animated version was much less of a Smug Snake.
Canon Immigrant: Dijon, an arabian thief from The Movie gets to team up with Flintheart and the Beagle Boys for a two-parter in the series.
Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Glomgold and the old captain attempt to kill Scrooge and his nephews to keep them from reaching the lost ship first. Then they discover their map being eaten by their donkey and hastily undo their attempt on Scrooge's life.
Captain Crash: Launchpad, to the point of needing to be the picture of this trope.
Cardboard Box Home: An Imagine Spot that happens during an episode where, long story short, Uncle Scrooge was broke, he imagines a parody of 'Lifestyles of the Rich And Famous' which focused on him living on the street and his cardboard house, which his butler tried to maintain spick-span (and an Overly Long Gag of him continuously answering to the reporter, in a somewhat-exasperated tone, that there was nothing else but cardboard involved in the house's construction).
Scrooge got the attention of Glittering Goldie, Millionara Vanderbucks, Magica De Spell, Mrs. Crackshell, and Ma Beagle. Even if he is the richest duck in the world, that's still quite an accomplishment.
Also Launchpad was pretty popular with the ladies considering he attracted Feathers Galore, Sensen, and many other girls along the way.
Chronically Crashed Car: The team's pilot would crash whatever he was provided with Once an Episode — including a living condor and a gadget plane that accidentally folded into a suitcase mid-flight.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Bubba the caveduck was introduced with much fanfare at the start of season two, only to vanish without a trace after a dozen or so episodes, mostly due to his unpopularity with the writers. He's never mentioned again.
Circle of Standing Stones: In one episode, some druids were found to have a bone to pick with the McDuck clan, since one of Scrooge's ancestors had built his castle on their land. Why? Because there was a ring of large stone pillars already there, which made building it faster...and cheaper. It runs in the family.
Clear Their Name: The nephews have to do this for Scrooge in the episode where Glomgold frames him for burglary.
Also the plot of "The Curse of Castle McDuck, where Scrooge's entire clan is accused of putting a curse on his hometown. It turns out the "curse" was in fact set up by a tribe of Druids as a Secret Test of Character for the McDucks.
Also includes a Shout-Out to Darkwing Duck, generally considered a Spin-Off to the series. In one comic where Scrooge's moon rock cufflinks lead to the group stranded on the moon and out of fuel for the rocket (long story), Launchpad mentions that the cufflinks, actually a cheaply synthesized artificial gem, can be picked up for a nickel in St. Canard. He then adds that he knows this "screwy duck and his daughter" over there.
Continuity Nod: In "Robot Robbers", Scrooge is outraged that Gyro built more giant robots, reminding him that his last robot nearly killed them all, which was the plot of the previous episode, "Armstrong".
Conscience Makes You Go Back: In the episode "The Golden Fleecing", Scrooge McDuck almost abandons Launchpad in danger over the Golden Fleece, but his friend's scream for help brings Scrooge to his senses.
Cool and Unusual Punishment: When Glomgold gets caught framing Scrooge, the judge orders him to always keep a portrait of the world's richest duck in his house. Thus, Glomgold has to put up with Scrooge grinning down at him constantly.
Cool Old Guy: Scrooge McDuck — he's done it all, and isn't afraid to be called to prove that he's done it.
Also El Capitan from the five episode pilot due to the fact that he's over 400 years old and has stayed alive solely on willpower and determination to find more treasure. Less cool is his psychotic obsession with the Treasure Of the Golden Suns.
Also Ma Beagle, who unlike her sons actually manages to evade the police most times she commits a crime.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Flintheart Glomgold is insanely jealous of Scrooge's status as the World's Richest Duck, and is willing to pull any kind of dirty trick he can think of to undermine his rival. That, and he's a conniving, thieving bastard in general...
Cousin Oliver: Most fans felt Bubba was an unnecessary addition to the series. Even the writers didn't know what to do with him most of the time so Bubba spent most episodes tagging along with Huey, Dewey and Louie and doing whatever they did (much like Bean from Muppet Babies).
Counting Bullets: Fenton does this. He has the ability to instantly count anything he sees. His first appearance includes counting how much buckshot Scrooge has shot into the ceiling.
Crisis Makes Perfect: In "Top Duck", Launchpad (unsurprisingly) crashes spectacularly the first time he attempts the "Treetop Bebop Tuck and Roll". At the episode's end, he manages it to save Scrooge and the Money Bin.
Same with Fenton Crackshell when he becomes Gizmo Duck.
Daddy's Girl: More like Grandpa's Girl, to describe the relationship between Uncle Scrooge and "my darlin' Webbigail."
Darker and Edgier: Duck Tales was mostly a light-hearted kids show, but it had a few dark episodes. The nephews were once turned into gold statues, and there also were several episodes, where a character nearly dies.
The alien robots in the episode "Money to burn" not only stole Scrooge's money bin, so they could melt down the coins to make new robots. But they also were really close to melting Scrooge and Launchpad into grease. Not to mention the Fridge Horror that these robots had probably killed off the alien race, who had once created them in the first place...
The mites in "The Attack of the Metal Mites" were played very seriously, despite the fact that they were tiny insects. After all, they were designed to eat metal! So they caused plenty of damage all over the city, and they even devoured Fenton's otherwise indestructible Gizmoduck suit.
Dartboard of Hate: Glomgold is shown to have one of Scrooge in his office in Ducks On the Lam. He even threw a tomahawk at it!
Descriptiveville: A series about anthropomorphic ducks takes place in a city called Duckburg.
Demoted to Extra: Donald was a major player in the original comics, but is just an occasional guest star in the show. Within the show itself, Launchpad and Doofus had drastically-reduced roles in the second season (Doofus only getting a non-speaking cameo in one episode). Uniquely, Bubba the Caveduck was Demoted to Extraimmediately after the five episodes that set him up as a main character.
Launchpad notably had reduced screentime, but wasn't almost entirely gone from the series. He was just moreso Out of Focus than anything else. On the other hand, this definitely counts for Magica (who was a recurring villain in season 1 but just appeared in one episode of season 2) and any Beagle Boy who wasn't Ma, Bouncer, Big-Time, Burger, or Baggy (never seen again outside of cameos during Super Ducktales)
Depending on the Artist: There were a few episodes in the first season where the hats of the nephews had black, instead of the commonly used darker colors.
Determinator: Scrooge and the Beagle Boys qualified for this and also El Capitan who refuses to die until he finds more treasure.
Do-Anything Robot: Gizmo Duck, whose suit is supposed to be able to do anything, but he didn't have time to read the instruction manual. This is played for laughs later, when he's more familiar with the suit, with him being prepared for more trivial and minor things (such as having a satellite dish so his mother can watch TV on his display panel) than for the more important things.
Doting Grandparent: Scrooge is this to the triplets, once Donald is his nephew and the triplets are Donald's nephews.
Drunk with Power: In one episode, Fenton Crackshell is obliged to impersonate Scrooge, who has gone missing, and soon starts acting like a caricature of Scrooge, with all his negative personality traits at full blast and none of the mitigating positive ones, even when he's alone with people who know about the impersonation.
Dumb Muscle: Bubba. Justified due to him being a prehistoric cave duck relying on primitive instincts.
Dunking The Bomb: In one episode, Doofus looks up in the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook how to disarm a Martian bomb inside of a rocket. The solution given is to douse it with water. Launchpad decides on Scrooge's pool.
Scrooge is voiced by Will Ryan, rather than Alan Young.
He has a (human) butler named "Jeeves".
Huey, Dewey, and Louie all wear red.
No Webby, Mrs. Beakley, or Launchpad.
The Beagle Boys don't have prison numbers on their shirts. They also wear orange and all look alike, making them appear closer to their comic counterparts
Gyro's brief appearance also has him look closer to his comic incarnation than the thinner design the TV show gave him.
In the show itself, in earlier episodes the Beagle Boys' relationship with Glomgold was a lot different, as they were enemies to him as much as Scrooge which force them into an Enemy Mine position in "Robot Robbers". This is a far cry from all later season one and season two episodes where the Beagle Boys are essentially thugs for hire for Glomgold.
Enemy Mine: There are times when Scrooge and/or his nephews are forced to work together with their enemies. First when they and the Beagle Boys wind up getting transported into the past due to a mishap with Gyro's time-stopper device, they had to work together to return to their own time. After that, Scrooge and Glomgold had to work together to stop the Beagle Boys and Ma from destroying the city with the giant construction robots. When Magica's shadow gains sentience and ejects her, she and Scrooge were forced to work together to stop the shadow as it was even more sinister than its host as it plotted to cover the world in eternal shadow. When the Beagle Boys abandon Ma Beagle after discovering stardom, she resorts to working with Scrooge to get them bombed and thus return back to her.
Slightly lesser extent with Glomgold in "Til Nephews Do Us Part", when Millionaira after her wedding to Scrooge failed, she immediately tries to hook up with Glomgold since he's the 2nd richest duck in the world. He immediately runs, following Scrooge's lead to get away from her
Millionaira: "Is there a Mrs. Second Richest Duck in the World?"
Glomgold: "Uh... well I... uh... WAIT FOR ME, MCDUCK!"
In the episode "Till Nephews Do Us Part", after Flintheart comforts Millionara, she starts flirting with him when she learns that he's the second richest duck in the world, and he immediately runs away for the sake of protecting his money.
In "The Good Muddahs" when the Beagle Babes think their criminal influence has rubbed off on sweet, innocent Webby they feel terrible.
In "My Mother the Psychic", Burger Beagle finds the idea of Fenton never visiting his mother again to be very vile.
Evil Counterpart: Scrooge is a tough, hard-beaked businessduck, but he's genuinely honest. His archnemesis Flintheart Glomgold has all of Scrooge's ambition and determination, but none of his morals or ethics.
Evil Debt Collector: Even Scrooge McDuck isn't immune to this trope. One episode had the protagonists suffering from their worst nightmares. Scrooge's worst fear is debt collectors taking away everything he owns, even to the point of trying to take away Huey, Dewey and Louie.
Webby is theorized to be a scandal-free stand-in for Dickie Duck, Scrooge's ex-girlfriend's granddaughter, or possibly a condensed version of Daisy's nieces.
Fenton is a definite stand-in for Donald. In the second season, whenever the plot is based on a Carl Barks comic, Fenton (at least when he's not Gizmoduck) fulfills Donald's role the way Launchpad did in the first season.
Fattening The Victim: Double Subverted. "The Golden Fleecing". When the harpies kidnap Launchpad, he thinks that they're planning to eat him. They respond that, no, they just want him to stay for dinner. However, they didn't tell him that they were feeding him so a dragon could eat him.
In an earlier episode, Scrooge is racing against a villain to gain the magical Pearl of Wisdom, which grants infinite wisdom for a moment in the morning. Huey, Duey, and Louie are surprised that the islanders seem unconcerned about the prospect of having their pearl stolen by the villain or Scrooge. The reason soon becomes clear: Scrooge and the villain both get their wisdom moment simultaneously, and in that instant realize that stealing the pearl would be wrong and put it back where they found it. The chief chuckles and says the same thing happens all the time. (It helps that the Pearl only activates on the shore of the island.)
In the episode "Superdoo!" Doofus finds an energy crystal from outer space that gives him super-abilities. Through his new powers he becomes the all-time Junior Woodchuck merit-badge-earning champion, but others dislike him even more than old laughable, clumsy and slow Doofus. He throws away the crystal, gives back his merit badges and later saves the camp without any superpowers, winning respect of others. Everyone is happy to have the old Doofus back, including Doofus himself.
Forgot the Call: Happened to Scrooge where a whack on the noggin causes him to lose his accent, start working at his own plant as a menial laborer, organize a labor strike protesting the unfair business practices he himself imposed, and begin a relationship with Fenton Crackshell's mother.
For the Evulz: Presumably the reason Glomgold framed Mad Dog in "Duckman of Aquatraz".
Friend or Idol Decision: In "The Golden Fleecing", Scrooge twice has to make a decision between saving Launchpad and successfully taking the fleece.
That's right, the busty and sexy beagle's measurements are also her prison number. Well done, Disney, well done.
In the episode "Sir Gyro De Gearloose", Gyro and the others defeat the dragon by blasting its mouth with wine until it is drunk and tipsily flies off into the distance. Also, Merloon's accent turns the phrase "Work, Work, Work!" into an accidental Precision F-Strike.
In "Once Upon A Dime", when Young Scrooge is in jail with the Beagle Boys, one of them sees Scrooge's kilt and calls it a nice skirt that his mother would kill to have, and that she has before.
Also the attempted G-Rated Sex scene between Feathers Galore and Launchpad in the episode "Double-O-Duck".
Or just the very fact that there was a parody of Pussy Galore from Goldfinger.
The animators hid naughty pin-ups in the background of several episodes. The one in "The Treasure of the Golden Suns" Part 2 was too visible, and the scene was trimmed to remove it when it was rerun on the Disney Channel.
In "Duckworth's Revolt", one of the aliens abducted by the plant aliens is an elephant-woman taking a bath, which, due to her bare chest lacking certain anatomical features, would be innocuous if it weren't for the alien elephant having a noticeable bust when she is fully clothed and inexplicably taking another bath when the plant aliens return their kidnapped victims to their home planets.
One of the Beagle Boys' hostages actually attempts to commit suicide by jumping out the window in "Full Metal Duck" to escape the Beagle Boys' torturing of their hostages by playing the bagpipes.
In "The Big Flub", Fenton asks Scrooge to shoot him with an arrow when he sees that demand for Pep has gone out of hand. Assisted suicide in a kid's cartoon!
Mrs. Beakley: If the sound of a horn can do that, what would a C above high C do?
Glowing Eyes of Doom: The eponymous robot's eyes shine in the episode "Armstrong", when it becomes clear that he's turned on Scrooge.
Godzilla Threshold: In the episode "The Uncrashable Hindentanic" revolves around Uncle Scrooge and his new airship. His sidekick and perennial crasher of aircraft Launchpad desperately wants to fly it but is told that Scrooge actually wants to keep the airship in one piece. When the events of the episode conspire against this Scrooge eventually relents and tells Launchpad to take the wheel. They crash, but Launchpad accidentally takes out the opposition while saving the passengers.
"If we are going to crash anyway, we may as well crash with style."
Gone Horribly Wrong: In "Duck to the Future," Scrooge gives the nephews advice on cutting costs so they can get better at making a profit. After being sent by Magica DeSpell to the Bad Future where they're grown up, he discovers that their idea of cutting costs was to cheat their customers and rip their own employees off for everything they're worth. As you can expect, he was not happy with the results.
Gone Horribly Right: Pretty much anytime Gyro Gearloose decides to follow Scrooge's instructions to a tee. Gizmoduck however, might actually be a rare positive example.
G-Rated Sex: This was attempted by Feathers Galore with Launchpad in the episode "Double-O-Duck".
Great Big Book of Everything: The Junior Woodchuck guidebook. Includes topics on building remote controlled shark fins, homing devices to be mounted on drone planes, and magical thunderstorms (though that's debatable).
Idiot Ball: Held by Huey, Dewey, and Louie for "A Case of Mistaken Secret Identity." Everything gets kicked off thanks to them being absolutely sure that Launchpad has to be Gizmo Duck's secret identity, claiming that they've never appeared together at the same time. This is in spite of the fact that they had previously seen the two side by side twice in the episodes "Money to Burn" and "Allowance Day." And that doesn't even take into consideration that, y'know, their beaks don't even look remotely the same.
Idiot Hero: Launchpad, who in many episodes, saves his friends, or even the whole world while remaining a certified idiot. He's even admitted it on more than one occasion. The smartest he gets is Genius Ditz.
Incredibly Lame Pun: Pretty much all of the characters' names (at least those who were introduced in this show, and even then, some who weren't).
If I Can't Have You: Robotica nearly kills Gandra and almost destroys the money bin to make sure Gizmo Duck would be hers alone.
Induced Hypochondria: In the episode "The Money Vanishes", the Beagle Boys steal Gyro's latest invention by convincing him he has Inventoritis from being too sedentary, and needs to start jogging... right this instant. He jogs away and they have the run of the laboratory.
Not to mention Fenton the accountant becoming Gizmo Duck, Duckburg's greatest super hero.
Also Scrooge's nephews and Webby when they wore the shrunken Gizmo suit.
Interspecies Romance: Played straight with Bubba who's a duck who falls in love with Julie who's a pig, but subverted by Scrooge who's a duck that's forced to be in a fake wedding with Ma Beagle who's a dog.
Ironic Echo: In "Where No Duck Has Gone Before", Scrooge obtains ownership of a studio that produces a show that Scrooge dislikes, and the star, Captain Courage, constantly reminds Scrooge that he has a five-year contract, especially after he accidentally blasts off into space with the nephews and upon finding out he really is in space, finds a way out and leaves them behind, refusing to come back for them. At the end, Scrooge turns the studio into a space museum, where Courage is forced to do humiliating work as a mascot, to which Scrooge reminds him of his fiveyear contract.
Ironic Echo Cut: In "Master of the Djinni", Huey, Dewey, and Louie comment that Scrooge could use a dip in the pool after seeing the genie relaxing in it. We then cut to Scrooge in the desert, having to race Glomgold over who becomes the genie's master, saying that he could use a dip in the pool.
One time, one of the guards got Genre Savvy enough to install an X Ray machine. Unfortunately, Ma Beagle apparently anticipated that and sent a cake that had nothing in it, but when Burger Beagle ate it, it gave him a case of the hiccups so bad, his brothers were able to use him as a jackhammer.
Karma Houdini: Megabyte Beagle in the "Super DuckTales" serial is a straight example crossed with What Happened to the Mouse?. This guy takes control of the Gizmosuit and makes Gizmoduck the Beagles' unwilling servant, but after Huey, Dewey, and Louie come to Gizmoduck's rescue, switching his remote with that of a toy, Megabyte drops out of the story.
One episode featured Flintheart Glomgold framing Scrooge McDuck with art theft and his only punishment was having to keep a portrait of Scrooge over his fireplace for fifteen years. And that's just to mention what's proven against him.
Ma Beagle got away with everything except forging evidence of being Scrooge's wife and being arrested with her sons at the end of "New Gizmo Kids on the Block."
Gandra Dee, Fenton Crackshell's love interest/girlfriend, only appeared in six episodes. But in two of them, she showed that she could be as ungrateful and cold-hearted towards Fenton as she pleased, and no one would call her out on her attitude.
In "Metal Attraction", Fenton goes overboard with paying Gandra too much attention. But not only does she refuse to give him a simple "thank you" for doing all these things for her, she also gets mad at him and pushes him away from her without even explaining what he did wrong. Of course, the episode had to end with him promising to change, while nobody has anything to say about what she did.
In "The Big Flub", Fenton has ended up in big trouble and asks for Gandra's help. But she refuses, even after he said "but I need you", claiming that he had ruined her precious reputation. And at the end of the episode, the poor guy still has to apologize to HER!
Subverted with Courage of the Cosmos. He has a heroic bill, but he's really a Dirty Coward.
Laser-Guided Karma: In "Down and Out in Duckberg", Scrooge starts the episode acting far more miserlier than usual - raising a tailor's rent, refusing to give boat-repair money to a sea captain, and refusing to donate to a member of a Salvation ArmyExpy. Then Fritter O'Way, the Villain of the Week, shows up and claims that Scrooge's fortune now belongs to him, because of a long-forgotten debt involving their ancestors and a delivery of marbles, and he throws Scrooge out of the house. This is where karma steps in for Scrooge - the tailor who's rent he raised earlier can't give him a job, because the money that would have been used to hire help is now going towards paying the rent, and when he decides to try to resolve the debt himself by delivering the marbles, the sea captain's boat (which he borrowed) starts leaking because the captain couldn't afford to repair it. Luckily, Scrooge gets his fortune back, and takes a level in kindness at the same time.
Last Name Basis: Many people don't know that Mrs. Beakley's first name is Bentina.
Layman's Terms: The multi-parter that introduced Gizmoduck has a Beagle Boy named Megabyte Beagle, who describes his plans in technical terms, which would confuse his cellmate and family members to the point that they would then request him to "Say it in Beagle talk!"
Leitmotif: Several: the villains' themes are more noticeable than others, however.
Lighter and Softer: Scrooge himself is this compared to his original comic counterpart; in the comics Scrooge tended to shift between Jerk with a Heart of Gold displaying a Jerkass Fašade and being a genuine Jerkass, who who could just as easily be the villain as the hero of a story. The Scrooge of DuckTales is much more jovial and less irritable, and can even be openly sentimental. Donald as well: in earlier incarnations, he loved cigars and really loved brawling while spitting out the Angrish. No more for DuckTales.
Literal Ass Kicking: "Nothing to Fear" ends with Magica DeSpell being chased off by her fear cloud, which zaps her in the backside with lightning. Scrooge also states how she "got it in the end."
Fenton Craskshell (Gizmo Duck) is literal-minded. Scrooge wants Fenton to liquidate his assets, except that he puts all of Scrooge's money in the lake.
Gyro Gearloose is one as well. In one episode, to increase the budget for a cheap sci-fi show as part of a way of reinventing it, Scrooge has Gyro build a new spaceship that he wants to be as realistic as possible. Gyro's response? Make it an actual working spaceship. He proceeds to do something like this again in the "Super Ducktales" 5-parter: after recovering his money from the above example with Fenton, Scrooge asks Gyro to build a security guard for his money bin that won't let anyone get to the bin. Gyro again takes him too literally and programs it to not let anybody get to the bin, Scrooge included.
Living Lie Detector: The magic harp from "Raiders of the Lost Harp." In singsong, "You are fibbing fibbing fibbing!"
Logic Bomb: Fenton Crackshell defeats the Master Electronic Leader in their counting contest in "Super DuckTales" by asking how many bolts are in a jar. He then drops the bomb on M.E.L.:
"Sorry, M.E.L.! These are nuts, not bolts! Trick question! You lose!"
The computer had earlier boasted to Fenton that it was the smartest one in the universe, and making such a silly mistake was all that was needed to invoke an explosive paradox.
Lord Error-Prone: Gizmo Duck has a rather capable mechanical suit of armor and he's a quick thinker. Unfortunately all of his plans are absurd overkill and have drawbacks he never thought of because he went too far.
Loud of War: During an escalating feud between Scrooge McDuck and his new neighbors, one of his assaults is to break out his favorite bagpipes and a speaker system. The neighbors' response? Accordion.
Married In The Future: Once when Magicka deSpell sent Scrooge into the future he encountered a shapely Webbigail and a slimmed down Doofus who tell him they've gotten married. When he gets back to his own time, he tells Doofus to take care of Webby, which causes her to have a disgusted reaction.
Miscarriage of Justice: In the episode "Duckman of Aquatraz," Scrooge McDuck is framed for theft by his rival Flintheart Glomgold and put into prison, where, conveniently, it turns out that his cellmate was also framed by Glomgold.
Mistaken for Badass: There was an episode where Launchpad was recruited to fill-in for an injured spy.
Mistaken for Dying: The "mechanic's report mistaken for doctor's diagnosis" premise was recycled in the episode "Scrooge's Last Adventure". Huey, Duey & Louie took Scrooge McDuck's grandfather clock to a mechanic after they accidentally broke it while playing inside. While at the same time, Scrooge was getting a checkup at the clinic. From there it turned into a parody of TRON.
Mythology Gag: The episode "Time Teasers" has two. One is that Pete appears in the episode as a peg-legged pirate named Captain Blackheart, which is a nod to the fact that Pete had a peg leg in the older Disney cartoons. The second one is that the birthday song Captain Blackheart sings to himself is sung to the tune of the Unbirthday song from Disney's adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.
Not Blood Siblings: Scrooge lets Webby call him "Uncle Scrooge" even though they're not biologically related.
Not Good with Rejection: Gyro invents a robotic maid to help take the strain off Scrooge's housekeepers. His first attempt is so emotionless, it creeps everyone else out. So he dials up the emotions, creating a robo-Yandere who instantly falls in love with Gizmoduck, who unbeknownst to her is just a normal duck in Powered Armor. When he tries to let her down gently by explaining, she interprets it as him having another lover, and literally explodes in a rage.
One Million BC: In the episode "Marking Time", Scrooge literally travels back to 1 million BC to find a land in which caveducks coexisted with dinosaurs. And yet, this is something of an aversion; after all, dinosaurs did coexist with seabirds. This would therefore imply that the Duck Universe takes place in the Paleocene, which would make sense, since that was a time dominated by six-foot birds.
Fenton's girlfriend Gandra Dee, a reference to actress Sandra Dee (of Gidget famenote The original movie, but not the TV series.). Also a reference to the fact that she's a goose (also known as a "gander").
Re Tool: Most of season 2 had episodes revolving around Duckberg and Scrooge's business ventures rather than more world exploration, they also centered around non-comic characters like Bubba and Gizmoduck.
Reset Button: In "Master of the Djinni", Flintheart Glomgold's lack of care with his wishes got him stranded in a desert island with Scrooge. Forgetting he still had a wish, he unwittingly used it to wish he had never seen the lamp. Because of that wish, the past was altered so the explosion that allowed Scrooge and Flintheart to enter the cave also caused the lamp to fall from its pedestal into a pile of rubble, where it remained unseen by everyone who entered the cave.
Genie:(still trapped in the lamp) Hello? Anybody out there? Anybody out there?!
Royals Who Actually Do Something: This show was pretty good about this. King Arty managed to temporarily hold off Lestred's invasion in the episode "Sir Gyro De Gearloose". Then Homer helps Scrooge and his nephews reclaim his kingdom of Ithaquack from Circe in "Home Sweet Homer". Also the true ruler of the kingdom Roy, after the mask is removed was able help Scrooge and his friends save his kingdom in the episode "The Duck In The Iron Mask".
Running Gag: There have been a couple of episodes where someone's name has been mispronounced, when they correct the crowd, they reply with "Whatever."
Another, from "Scrooge's Last Adventure": First, Huey, Dewey and Louie resort to Plan B when the clockmaker insists that he can't fix the grandfather clock they accidentally broke. Evidently, Plan B is throwing a tantrum until the clockmaker gives in. Later, Fenton Crackshell tries to get Scrooge to let him help in recovering his money from cyberspace. When Scrooge refuses, Fenton resorts to his Plan B, which is also throwing a tantrum until Scrooge gives in. Finally, Scrooge throws a tantrum after all he's been through and his grandnephews ask how he knew about Plan B.
Satellite Love Interest: Gandra Dee has no purpose on the show other than being Fenton's love interest/girlfriend, and YMMV on if she's even a good girlfriend. She only appeared in six episodes though.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Scrooge McDuck in a nutshell. He loves his money to an almost disturbing degree, but: "I made [my money] on the seas, and in the mines, and in the cattle wars of the old frontier! I made it by being tougher than the toughies, and smarter than the smarties! And I made it square!"
And he makes it very clear that as much as he loves his money, he loves his family more.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Flintheart Glomgold is essentially Scrooge's complete opposite (see Evil Counterpart above). He's a lying, cheating scoundrel who's more than willing to pull every dirty trick in the book to get what he wants.
Also, Magica's evil nightmare version of Scrooge: "I'm rich! I can do anything! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Also Bubba from the episode "Bubbeo And Juliet", which actually led to them becoming friends.
Super OCD: El Capitan in his obsession over the Treasure of the Lost Suns, to the point he remembers every single individual piece of gold. This is his underdoing in each of his attempts, since he refuses to lose so much as a single dime of treasure, leading him to be duped by the heroes or attempt to double cross his team mate who is intent on getting a share (see Villain Team-Up).
Scrooge's own money obsession borders this at times.
Take That: In "Bermuda Triangle Tangle", Scrooge is forced to work with an incompetent captain named Foghorn, whose name is most likely a jab at Looney Tunes character Foghorn Leghorn.
Took a Level in Badass: Fenton Crackshell when he became Gizmo Duck. Also adult Doofus and Webby in the episode "Duck To The Future". Then there's Scrooge when he becomes the "Masked Mallard".
Took a Level in Dumbass: Launchpad had his moments of this. Especially when he becomes the "Webbed Wonder", and is tricked into robbing banks for the Beagle Boys because they tell him it's for a movie.
Traveling Salesman: Filler Brushbill in "Much Ado About Scrooge." His valise has lots of items he either sells to people he runs into, or can use himself. (When he, Scrooge and the boys are surrounded by living trees, he scares the trees off with chainsaws from the valise. Scrooge then orders two dozen for his own lumber company.)
Also it runs in the family, as Scrooge's nephews join forces with Magica De Spell in the future during one episode.
Up to Eleven: You know about Scrooge's Money Bin, right? Gigantic building filled to the brim with cash? All that moolah is what Scrooge made himself. The rest of his fortune is spread throughout his businesses, industries, and resource operations.
And with plenty more to spare in the bank. Richest duck indeed.
Use Your Head: In "A Whale of a Bad Time," Donald finds the controls to Bluebottle's supersub, the Moby 2 (which was used to steal Scrooge's fortune at sea thanks to Bluebottle hired by Glomgold). When Donald asks what to do, Scrooge tells him this. Needless to say, Donald uses his head to bash in the controls, prompting Scrooge to go, "Sothat'show he exercises his mind."
Valley Girl: Launchpad's little sister Loopy is one of these.
Like, totally to the ma-ax!
The Vamp: Magica De Spell, Feathers Galore, Cinnamon Teal, Circe, and Boom-Boom Beagle.
Villain Team-Up: Done several times. It seems a standard plot that many villains in the series would prove effective working together, if not for nearly all of them having a Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and ultimately causing both their downfalls by trying to steal all the profit for themselves.
The Walls Are Closing In: An episode had Scrooge and his nephews trapped in an Egyptian tomb with a wall with spears closing in on them. They're saved by pressing a hidden button activating a trapdoor.
Also one of the rooms in the temple from "Bubba's Big Brainstorm".
"Well Done, Son" Guy: At the end of "Top Duck", Launchpad thinks that his parents are ashamed of him, and learns that his parents actually couldn't be prouder of him.
Wham Episode: It happens at the end of part 1 of the Golden Goose 2 parter. The first part of the episode ends when the Beagle Boys turn Huey, Dewey, and Louie into gold statues by the golden goose.
To get past Magica in "Duck to the Future" he disguises himself as a salesman (and ditches the Scottish accent to complete it).
"Blue Collar Scrooge" has him get hit with amnesia, and when he can't remember who he is, he asks "Any why am I talking with this accent?" in the normal voice of his VA, Alan Young. Without his glasses, accent, or even his famliar outfit, Scrooge shows up on Mrs. Crackshell's door, and she takes him in. He gets a job at McDuck Industries as "Pops," and is appalled at the conditions. "Pops" gets the workers to strike, just when Fenton arrives, having to impersonate Scrooge himself after days of Scrooge being missing. Once Scrooge recovers his memory, he also remembers what happened—though when he raises salaries by a dollar an hour, he faints. Mrs. Crackshell catches him, and he admits he's grateful for her helping him, too.
Witch with a Capital B: This will come to mind every time Scrooge calls Magica "You witch!" or "That witch!" Justified due to the fact that Magica is actually a witch.
Work Off the Debt: when Scrooge temporarily loses all of his wealth due to a years-old contract, he and the group (Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webigail, etc.) eat at a high-end restaurant where they were regulars anyway, saying to put the charge on his account. The contract-holder says the account is his as well, and Scrooge says to "Put it on his account." The owner doesn't approve of this and puts them to work in the kitchen washing dishes.
Yandere: Robotica at least until the end of "Metal Attraction".
You Just Had to Say It: During "Sweet Duck of Youth", Louie asks what they're going to do. One of his brothers says, "Follow [the ghost]". Louie comments that he "had to say it."
Your Worst Nightmare: "Nothing To Fear" starts by playing this for laughs before the nightmares suddenly become dark and heartbreaking. Not even Magica De Spell is spared this: once Scrooge and the boys face their fears, her own worst nightmare of one of her own spells coming back onto her comes true.