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Comic Book / Disney Ducks Comic Universe

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From the Disney Comics centering around Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck. The major works were by Carl Barks and Don Rosa. This also includes the DuckTales franchise.

This is a key part of the Disney Mouse and Duck Comics, which is a Modular Franchise that's formed when this Verse is used in tandem with the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe.

See Carl Barks and Don Rosa for Tropes specific to their stories. Numerous other authors in both America and Europe have written stories set in this universe with some of the more notable and popular ones being Al Taliaferro, Romano Scarpa, Marco Rota, Tony Strobl, Vicar, Daan Jippes, William Van Horn, Fecchi and Silvia Ziche. As such, there's a LOT of diversity between stories depending on who wrote them.

Stories set in the Duckburg universe with their own pages:


Disney Ducks Comic Universe is the Trope Namer for:


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  • #1 Dime: Trope Namer, with Scrooge treasuring the very first dime he ever made for an honest day's work. Because of Magica de Spell's avid pursuit of it to make an amulet that would grant her fortune, it often becomes exaggerated into being the actual source of Scrooge's wealth. Don Rosa hated this interpretation of the #1 Dime.
  • Abandoned Mine: The third (and last) Carl Barks story featuring Flintheart Glomgold was about an abandoned gold mine being put for auction in Africa. Both Scrooge and Flintheart believed the mine to still have gold and Glomgold tried to prevent Scrooge from attending the auction. The story had an open ending as we never get to know who won the auction or if the mine had enough gold to be worth the trouble.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Carl Barks' comic book adaptation of the Donald Duck short "Trick or Treat" expands a bit on why Donald is so mean to his nephews (he hates Halloween because of trick-or-treaters interrupting his privacy), and adds a few extra gags (like Witch Hazel disguising herself as an attractive lady duck, and later summoning a monster to steal Donald's candy).
  • All Just a Dream:
    • A dream ending was hastily written into the Barks story "The Firebug" where Donald becomes a Pyromaniac but is pardoned when he catches a more dangerous person who was starting similar fires. In the original ending, Donald sets the judge's waste basket on fire and is thrown in jail as well, but in the altered ending Donald is woken up by one of his nephews instead.
    • There's an Italian comic by Marco Rota where Donald takes a nap on a bed in Gyro Gearloose's workplace, but accidentally activates a dream device by releasing a nightmare potion. The rest of the comic features freaky scenes such as the Beagle Boys running the police force and pursuing Donald, Uncle Scrooge dying when he activates his Money Bin's self-destruct before turning into a giant coin-monster, and Little Helper becoming a robotic Mad Scientist by switching places with Gyro. At the end Donald wakes up back in Gyro's workplace and realizes it was all a dream.
    • This is the conclusion that Donald comes to at the end of The Duck Who Never Was, after wishing that he was never born and having a genie (Who happens to live in an urn instead of the typical vase) he met in the Duckburg Museum grant said wish. After Donald runs off and leaves the museum however the Genie's voice is seen emanating from the urn in which he lives, proving that it really did happen. This is partially revisited in the later story Treasury of Croesus. When Donald, along with his uncle and nephews, once again visits the museum he sees the same urn from the previous story and is then the only one to notice the lid of the urn being lifted up by a hand from inside the urn, which looks to be in greeting to Donald.
    • Also shown to be the case at the conclusion to Barks' The Money Stairs. Dealing with Donald and Scrooge competing to see whether there are some things that Scrooge's money can't accomplish, it ends with Donald waking up and telling his nephews that he realized it was a dream after Scrooge offered to buy him a soda. In retrospect, the events being a dream make sense, as the story features Scrooge being fairly carefree with spending his money to beat Donald. One panel survives from an aborted non-dream ending that Barks drew at first but scrapped—he went with the dream ending because the "money stairs" of the title, a mountain-size stairway built out of coins, seemed too impossible to be real.
    • In the story "Paperino e l'incubo dello zione" Uncle Scrooge is seemingly visited by characters from his recurring nightmares, then Donald discovers it's all a plot by the Beagle Boys to rob Scrooge. Scrooge then promises that he'll reward Donald with half of his entire riches. At this point it's revealed that the entire story was just Donald's happy dream.
    • Used in an unusual way in "Cave of Ali Baba" (March, 1962) by Carl Barks. Scrooge and his nephews are in the deserts of Iran, inspecting oil pipelines. They start wondering about lost cities and civilizations of the area. The five of them meet traveling entertainers who perform for them, but then mysteriously vanish. Shortly after, the Ducks meet a mysterious archaeologist who is in search of the Cave of Ali Baba and needs partners. The Ducks jump at the opportunity of another treasure hunt, and follow him through several cryptic clues and dangers. When they do find the Cave and its treasures, they awake and find themselves back in the oil pipelines. They realize that their last real memories were the entertainers, who somehow hypnotized them and stole their wallets. The archaeologist and all subsequent events were dreams, as the Ducks slept for quite some time.
  • Alternate Universe: In Paperinik... un eroe dell'altro mondo, Paperinik accidentally travels to another dimension via Gyro's invention where he meets an alternate universe Donald Duck, who has not become a crime-fighting superhero like he did.
  • Always Identical Twins:
    • Huey, Dewey and Louie naturally. It is especially evident in many of the comics storylines, as a lot of the time instead of their trademark red, blue and green the three of them wear identical black shirts, making it impossible to tell apart whenever they're not wearing their hats.
    • And April, May, and June Duck, Daisy's identical triplet nieces. In more recent decades, some artists have attempted to give them distinctive hairstyles to tell them apart.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Once and Future Duck puts Camelot at Cadbury Castle, which isn't a problem in itself (it's one of several hypotheses that are unlikely to be discredited)... but the characters easily get back and forth between it and Stonehenge, in less than a day, on foot. Stonehenge and Cadbury Castle are about forty miles apart.
  • Another Story for Another Time: In Barks' The Lost Crown of Genghis Khan features Donald asking Scrooge just how his agents found the titular Crown. Scrooge responds with these exact words. Years later Don Rosa would cover that other story during the events of Return to Xanadu.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Pops up every now and again, such as in The Fabulous Philosopher's Stone, where both Scrooge and Donald are fully willing to believe in and search after the stone, but for some reason find the idea of the Labyrinth in Crete to be nothing more than a myth when Huey, Dewey, and Louie suggest going there.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Scrooge of course.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Scrooge McDuck has several different enemies competing for the title. He often combats the Beagle Boys, though Blackheart Beagle, the oldest member and their founder, is the only one whom Scrooge has a personal vendetta with. His business rivals Flintheart Glomgold and John Rockerduck sometimes function as his own personal arch enemy(ies) too, given their status as Evil Counterparts of Scrooge. However, his most dangerous opponent is the witch Magica Despell, who threatens to steal his lucky dime and melt it in the Vesuvius volcano. One could also add Arpin Lusene, a Gentleman Thief who holds the distinction of being Scrooge's only Worthy Opponent.
    • Donald Duck considers both Gladstone Gander and Neighbour Jones his personal arch enemies, though these are of the sitcom variety.
  • Artifact of Doom: An Italian story center around a mysterious item from outer space that did absolutely nothing, but was still more an Artifact of Doom than a MacGuffin. It was so absolutely and completely useless that anything done with it was automatically a waste of time and amounted to nothing. It was in the possession of Scrooge McDuck first, so he naturally tried to make money out of it, but his every attempt merely broke even, until he managed to sell it to Rockerduck (at zero profit). As time went on, the sheer uselessness of the item made it hold a peculiar fascination to people, and news of it apparently spread globally. Everyone was in fact so affected by the uselessness that they began to turn apathetic and think nothing was worth doing because it was useless, or were inspired to start doing completely useless things themselves. A researcher then came to the conclusion that the item could cause The End of the World as We Know It unless it was launched back into space to remove its effect on the collective psyche. But when they did this, the story subverted its own premise, because the item saved the entire planet; it was picked up by an alien armada of doom, whose leader consequently decided attacking the Earth would be pointless, and decided not to bother. Perhaps a True Neutral equivalent of the default evil Artifact of Doom.
  • Artistic License – Astronomy: In one comic, Earth appeared improbably big in the sky of Mars.
  • As You Know: Used all the time in Donald Duck comics, usually clumsily as anything; lampshaded in Don Rosa's The Last Lord of Eldorado.
  • Bandit Clan: The Beagle Boys are a family of thieves.
  • Badge Gag: One comic has a "doctor" get Donald out of a difficult situation with Daisy by flashing his card. As Daisy points out in the very same panel he shows it, it's a subway ticket, but by then the man is already gone, taking Donald with him.
  • Bankruptcy Barrel:
    • "Barrel Bargains" has Donald bid for a barrel at an auction. He wins the auction, but doesn't have the money to pay, so he puts his own sailor suit up for bid and storms off while wearing the barrel.
    • The Danish story "A Stitch in Time" has Donald and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie discover a meteorite that turns out to have alien moths inside, which end up eating the clothes of everyone in Duckburg, forcing the denizens to start wearing barrels until they can find a way to get rid of the alien moths.
    • The daily comic strip edition also had examples of wearing barrels.
      • The June 7, 1941 strip has Donald pick up Daisy for a party while wearing a barrel.
      • The August 30, 1947 strip has Donald notice a human woman in the water at the beach. Thinking she's naked, he rushes over to provide a barrel for her to wear, only to get hit on the head with the barrel when the woman turns out to have a swimsuit on that just wasn't visible above her shoulders.
      • The October 10, 1947 strip had one of Donald's nephews coming home from school wearing a small barrel and looking embarrassed. The remaining panels show Donald going to the school with a ladder and retrieving the nephew's gym shorts from the top of a pole vault bar. Made even funnier when you realize that normally, the ducks never wear pants in the first place.
  • Barefoot Sage: One of the issues of "Donald Duck & Co", released by Egmont, featured a wise old sea king called Saltomon who was always barefoot.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: In the 2002 story The Dream of a Lifetime, Donald has to fight the Beagle Boys in Uncle Scrooge's dreams before the Boys find out the combination to Scrooge's vault.
  • Beneath the Earth: It's revealed in the aptly titled Land Beneath the Ground that the entire Duck Earth is apparently filled with two races, the Terries and the Fermies, with the world they live in being referred to as Terry Fermy by these residents. They are the ones responsible for causing earthquakes.
  • Becoming the Mask: Has happened with Magica De Spell at least twice, each time under a relatively unknown author. A Gal for Gladstone (sometimes known as A Girl for Gladstone), by Carol & Pat McGreal, has her hex away Gladstone Gander's luck and then pretend to be an ordinary girl in order to get a shot at Scrooge's #1 Dime — she ends up sufficiently touched by Gladstone's sincere devotion to her that she ends up forfeiting the dime so she can save his life. Handled better, in some people's opinion, in Kari Korhonen's Date with a Munchkin, in which she kidnaps Daisy, takes on her shape, and pretends to be her, ending up chosing to stay at a Duckburg ball with Donald rather than go along with her original plan, willingly dispelling the illusion and leaving Donald because she can't bear to hurt Daisy by keeping him, and wondering to herself if what she got to feel during the facade actually makes up for the fact she still didn't get the dime.
  • Breakout Character: Scrooge McDuck started off as a supporting character / antagonist in a one-off Donald Duck story written by Carl Barks as a clear pastiche of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Fifty years later Donald Duck has shown trouble keeping his own title in publication, while Scrooge is the star of one of the two longest-running classic Walt Disney comic properties (along with the anthology Walt Disney's Comics and Stories).
  • Brick Joke: One that stands out is in Barks' "The Money Well", in which a Running Gag of Scrooge repeatedly having mishaps because of his worn-out old eyeglasses, later results in catastrophe that causes Scrooge to nearly lose all his money, just because of his refusal to pay a few dollars to buy new eyeglasses.
  • Bungling Inventor: Gyro Gearloose sometimes, though his inventions do tend to work perfectly — when problems arise, it's usually due to some detail Gyro has failed to consider, or simply due to unfortunate circumstances. However, it doesn't help that he often follows Scrooge's instructions in the literal sense (at least in Duck Tales).
  • Cannibal Tribe: These always show up in jungle or tropical island settings, especially in the older stories.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Some of Don's Hidden Mickeys refer to Mickey's real-life status as a fictional character, while the Ducks are "real" people. Take into account that Donald started off as Mickey's co-star in the cartoons, and you see how this fits.
  • Chased Off into the Sunset: Frequently pops up in the European Scrooge McDuck stories, usually with Donald or Scrooge chasing after various characters. When one of many plans to make more money fails, rather than accept responsibility, Scrooge blames Donald Duck. The story then ends with an angry Scrooge chasing after Donald, often carrying a big club or mace. Huey, Dewey, and Louie usually look on, sometimes with indifference but sometimes chortling with amusement, unless it was Donald's plan in the first place, in which case their uncle chases them twig in hand. And sometimes both happen at the same time, Donald being simultaneously the chaser and the chased. Other characters might appear depending on the story.
  • Clark Kenting:
    • In Italian comics, Donald has a superhero / Anti-Hero alter ego called Paperinik, who is Donald with a costume based on Fantomius with a domino mask and Donald's signature hat, yet nobody notices in spite of people knowing their resemblance. It's explained, as in the previous case, due to a combination of people not wanting to believe the lazy Donald is the city's idol and scariest person, Donald and Paperinik having appeared before people at the same time (due either robots taking Donald's place or volunteers replacing Paperinik), and Paperinik being a Master of Disguise who has disguised himself as Donald multiple times (or, in one memorable occasion, as a monster disguised as Paperinik disguised as John Rockerduck disguised as Paperinik). The rather obscure video game adaptation, PK: Out of the Shadows, reinforces the difference by adding the fact that, as Paperinik, Donald uses a voice modulator to disguise his voice (while Donald is still voiced by Tony Anselmo, Paperinik's voice is done by Rob Paulsen).
      • The only people who saw through Paperinik's disguise and couldn't be fooled into thinking it was an error are Everett Ducklair, Lyla Lay and the Griffin, all from Paperinik New Adventures, and bypass Paperinik's usual tricks: Everett has Psychic Powers and read it out of Paperinik's mind, while Lyla and the Griffin have technology that allows to see through Latex Perfection, and saw that Paperinik doesn't wear a Donald mask with a domino mask on it but only the domino mask (at which point it was easy).
      • In the first story it was even worse, as Paperinik only wore Fantomius' costume with his trademark hat and no kind of mask. It was actually a colouring error, as Paperinik was supposed to wear Fantomius whole costume (that includes a blue silk mask covering the whole face except the beak), but the colourist missed it and depicted Paperinik's face white (the novelization of the story Retcons it away as showing that Donald had considered wearing Fantomius' mask but in the end opted for the domino mask). Due the second story having Paperinik acting disguised as Fantomius (he had to infiltrate a costume party in Gladstone's place, with Gladstone planning to enter disguised as Fantomius), it wouldn't be until the third story that the domino mask debuted, by which time Paperinik was already The Dreaded.
      • Speaking of the third story... most of Duckburg actually suspected Donald of being Paperinik, but after the police inspected Donald's car (that doubled as Paperinik's ride) and failed to find Paperinik's devices (that had been removed beforehand in expectation of this inspection), the issue was dropped. The story ended with the first instance of Donald being seen in public at the same time as Paperinik (with Paperinik actually being a flying robot).
      • The greatest example of people being fooled into believing Donald isn't Paperinik is the 2014 story "Raceworld", in which, due the peculiar circumstances, Donald's heroic side takes Paperinik's form... and Mickey, who in Italian stories is depicted as a great detective, quips that, until then, he had believed that Donald was Paperinik. Apparently he had guessed the bots and replacements, and it took the real Paperinik appearing at the same time as the real Donald to fool him.
    • Daisy has her own superhero alter ego, Paperinika, who is a female and Straw Feminist counterpart to Paperinik. Despite this, the two don't actually like to work together and neither knows the other's secret identity. Which is fine... except that in the American translations, Paperinika is renamed "Super Daisy", but the stories are otherwise translated straight. This has the effect of making Donald look like a complete moron since he can't figure out who she really is, unless you've read Paperinika's original story: Donald's reaction to seeing Paperinika the first time was to ask Daisy why she was dressed that ridiculous way, and only got convinced it's not Daisy due to her acting much coldly and keeping a cool head in situations where Daisy would usually lose it (she was really pissed at the time. She later became an actress good enough to pull Paperinika's personality on purpose). It's also implied that Donald is the reason Paperinika's disguise works: if Daisy's fiancee, who is known to be able to recognize identical triplets from near-invisible details, says she's not Paperinika and has a very vocal dislike for the latter, most people capable of recognizing Daisy through her costume will think it's just a casual resemblance.
    • Another example is when Paperoga (Fethry Duck) becoming the debatably useful superhero Bat-Paperoga (or "Red Bat" in other countries). It's an obvious spoof of Batman and it doesn't even try to hide the actual identity. It's Played for Laughs, and the identity is kept by a combination of the Red Bat's outfit giving actual cover and the Red Bat being seen as awesome (in his first story he humiliated the Beagle Boys with the help of a headless gorilla) instead that the lucky Fake Ultimate Hero he is.
    • And taken even further with José Carioca's alter-ego Morcego Verde (Green Bat), another Batman spoof:note  His costume is less concealing than Fethry's (despite him wearing a beat-up Batman cowl/cape combination) and while he's wearing it his friends still call him "Zé" or, at their most secretive, "Hey Zé... I mean, Morcego!" In this case there's no justification, only Rule of Funny.
    • The Beagle Boys once robbed a jewelry shop and avoided recognition by not wearing their masks despite being otherwise dressed in full Beagle Boy regalia. Also played straight by Don Rosa in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: when Scrooge first met them in his youth, the Beagle Boys (the original outfit composed by Grampa Beagle and his sons) were wanted criminals who couldn't show their faces in public, and started wearing the masks to hide their identities on suggestion of their employer Porker Hogg. It worked: they were even tricking the river police into leaving when Scrooge unmasked one of them, at which point the police recognized them and proceeded to arrest them.
  • Comic-Book Time: Most apparent with Scrooge's history in the Klondike, which was perfectly plausible when Carl Barks introduced it in the comics but would've meant Scrooge was over a hundred by the time of DuckTales. Some Italian stories play with it to imply that he is effectively immortal. For example, a story with Scrooge celebrating the New Year of 2000 has a brief flashback with him celebrating the New Year of 1900.
  • Continuity Nod: Don Rosa pretty much shaped his entire career working with the Duck Family around this. Nearly all, if not all, of his stories reference a previous one or one of Carl Barks stories in some shape or form. The greatest contribution to this might be Scrooge's trophy room inside his Money Bin, which Rosa features in a few of his stories, such as Return to Xanadu. It allows for the display of various treasures and items that Scrooge and his nephews have collected on their previous adventures, such as the golden fleece (From Barks The Golden Fleecing), the goose egg nugget (From Barks Back to the Klondike), and the crown of Genghis Khan (From Barks The Lost Crown of Genghis Khan).
    • Besides just things like the treasure room Rosa would often include throwaway lines into his stories which would include references. For example, from Return to Xanadu
    Donald to Scrooge: First Plain Awful and now here! Uncle Scrooge we can't take you anywhere
    • Plain Awful of course is from the Carl Barks story Lost in the Andes and was revisited in the Don Rosa story Return to Plain Awful, and it's the second visit Donald is referring to.
    • The Quest for Kalevala has Scrooge himself make a few comments on his previous adventures.
    Scrooge to his Donald: You seem to forget, nephew, that I've had some success with "wacky legends"—like Jason's golden fleece, the philosopher's stone, king solomon's mines, vulcan's hammer, and plenty more!
  • Contemporary Caveman: The Danish comics had a recurring female caveman who was brought into the present by Donald and his nephews. Of course, she had super strength—which got her into a lot of trouble, with people blaming Donald for her actions.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: A recurring theme. In Pool Sharks by Barks, Donald lets a couple of kids use his brand new swimming pool. This leads to dozens of kids getting wind of it, using and ruining the pool, which leads to their parents getting worked up about accidents happening to their kids, which leads to Donald closing the pool without ever having gotten to use it, which leads to everyone hating Donald. To be frank, the people of Duckburg are dicks.
  • Cool Old Guy: Scrooge, once Character Development brings him out of being the crusty, skinflint, gouging, near-heartless old miser that he is when Carl Barks first introduces him to the Ducks Universe, anyway.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: A Letter from Home's alternate title "The Old Castle's Other Secret" is a reference to Carl Barks story "The Old Castle's Secret".
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Donald is the most prominent example of this, most notably when he changes into the Duck Avenger, though he has plenty of badass moments even when he's just himself.
    • Fethry is a less prominent version of the trope, as he usually succeeds by accident, but he has his moments of this as well. (He has a superhero identity as well, the Red Bat, but one that's more of an Idiot Hero compared to the Duck Avenger's badass)
    • Even the Beagle Boys will, Depending on the Writer, sometimes display surprising competence and appear as a credible threat to Scrooge.
  • Cultural Translation: The comics are this all over the world, which makes things more varied and interesting. Though in some (fortunately few) cases it crosses over to bad Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • There's quite a few characters that only appear in stories by some authors whose existences are ignored by others, including cousin Fethry, Birgita McBridge, Donald's superhero alter ago, Paperinik, Scrooge's butler Battista, Scrooge's half-brother Rumpus McFowl, Scrooge's actual brother Gideon McDuck, John D. Rockerduck for most American authors, Flintheart Glomgold for most Italian ones, etc.
    • One other thing that's wildly inconsistent between authors is the 'verse's relation to the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe. Some authors have them share a universe, but have the Mouse stories set in a different town called Mouseton, whereas others have both set in Duckburg, like the Duck stories. Some authors seem to set the stories in separate continuities. As noted under Celebrity Paradox, Don Rosa has an odd take on this: Mickey Mouse seems to exist within his stories... as a cartoon character.
    • The Italian-produced comics view the characters through a completely different cultural lens: most evident with Scrooge, who tends to be less of a crafty Self-Made Man and more of a cross between Corrupt Corporate Executive and Cloudcuckoolander. It's not rare to see him cross the line from Anti-Hero to straight-up Villain Protagonist, or be used as the villain against Donald (who isn't much better).
    • Is the money bin actually all of Scrooge's money? Don Rosa and most of the European comics establish that Scrooge has untold billions in banks from his businesses and investments, while the money bin is simply all the money Scrooge ever made personally. Other writers go the Ducktales route and have Scrooge instantly become penniless every time the bin gets stolen.
    • On a lesser note, most writers draw the mayor of Duckburg as a pig. Don Rosa, on the other hand, draws him as a human/dog/whatever humanoids with black noses are.
  • Detectives Follow Footprints: The comics get a lot of mileage out of this trope. For instance, they have a whole subtrope for characters exploiting the trope, knowing they are being followed, manipulating the footprints to mislead the pursuers.
  • Dirty Cop: There have been at least two stories where the Beagle Boys were shown to be in charge of the Duckburg police force. In the first, it was part of an Alternate History where they changed occupation because Scrooge had already lost his fortune, and in the second it was just part of a weird-ass nightmare that Donald was having. Also, in the former example they said Donald could buy his way out of a ticket.
  • Dragons Versus Knights: In a story where one of Gyro Gearloose's inventions allows creatures and characters from imagination to enter reality, a fairytale dragon is amongst the newly real beasts roaming around Duckburg. He makes it very clear that he does not like knights errant, which he considers to be dragons' worst enemies, and pointedly questions Huwey, Dewey and Louie as to whether any of them plans to become a knight errant when he grows up.
  • Dramatic Thunder: In one of the chapters of the classic The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Scrooge fights a duel with swords against the scion of the Whiskervilles — ancestral enemies of the McDuck clan, while a thunderstorm rolls across the Scottish Highlands. The thunderstorm, as it turns out, plays a key role in the end of the duel...
  • Dogfaces: Your average person off the streets of Duckburg has a black button nose, may have unusually shaped ears and something of a snout but doesn't really resemble any known animal. Some stories by Barks have actual realistically drawn humans which makes things more confusing. The story is that Barks for a while tried to incorporate realistic human characters into his stories against the prescriptions of the company, because he felt they were of higher artistic value than funny animals (and also enabled him to draw more "sexy" female characters). After a while his editor caught on and made him stop. It can get even weirder when characters appear who are basically humans with a beak! (In fact, Gyro Gearloose comes very close to this; he even has human feet.) Occasionally some colourist even has the gall to give such a character a human skin tone, instead of white feathers.
  • Double Standard: Violence, Child on Adult: Subverted in one particularly egregious story revolved around a child psychologist selling Donald on the idea that beating the kids up was evil, and that he had been stifling their creativity and should let them do as they please; Huey, Dewey and Louie abuse the situation to extreme levels, and act like whimsical, irresponsible brats. Once Donald catches on, he invites said psychologist at home for dinner and a chat, and, while he pompously lectures Donald, the kids blow fireworks under his armchair. His clothes singed, his face a mask of fury, he leaps at the kids, ready to beat the crap out of them, while Donald looks on, a smug grin on his face.
  • Durable Deathtrap: Donald and his uncle Scrooge McDuck along with their nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, often run into these.


  • Easy Amnesia: This happens to Scrooge, his nephews, and the Beagle Boys at the conclusion to Carl Barks' Seven Cities of Cibola. All of them wake up in a pile of rubble not remembering how they got there and proceed to return to Duckburg afterwards. They therefore never discover that all the treasure of the titular cities is buried beneath them and the world at large never learns of the amazing discovery either. This isn't the first time that Scrooge loses a treasure, but it is the one time where he doesn't even remember having found it.
  • Eastward Endeavor:
    • This trope backfired in Carl Barks' classic "Tralla La" story. Uncle Scrooge is so stressed by his money-centric life that he tries to escape it for a while, searching for a place without a monetary system to relax. He and his nephews discover Tralla La, hidden in the Himalayas. However, Scrooge brings his troubles with him, accidentally making bottle caps the new money of Tralla La and ruining the paradise he was looking for.
    • A sequel by Don Rosa has the ducks searching for the mythical city of Xanadu and discovering it's actually Tralla La. The bottle cap situation was solved while they weren't there and Tralla La was back to being an utopia. Scrooge and co. start to enjoy it again until they accidentally flood the city. They actually solve that problem (ironically with the help of the bottle caps, forged into saws to access the floodgate) and leave the city for good.
  • Eerie Arctic Research Station: There's a comic (by William Van Horn, a Canadian writer) where Donald joins a shady company during a Heat Wave in Duckburg so he can get a job at an arctic mining station. Sure enough, it turns out that it's actually part of a smuggling operation which Donald has to dismantle.
  • Eleventy Zillion:
  • Elseworld: There are way too many examples to count where the Ducks are plucked out of Duckburg and put into wildly different settings. For example, a prominent Italian one by Marco Rota has Donald Duck as a down-on-his-luck Caledonian warlord trying to repel a Viking invasion.
  • Enemy Mine: One story features the Beagle Boys hosting a family reunion where Beagles from the whole world will pick a rich target in Duckburg to rob. Scrooge McDuck, Flintheart Glomgoldnote  and John D. Rockerduck set their differences aside to make a mutual defense pact since each one knows how to defeat the Beagle Boys the other billionaires never faced before. After being defeated, the other Beagle Boys team up with a rival criminal family for another raid at the Money Bin but it lasts less than five minutes because Glomgold and Rockerduck tricked them into thinking each family betrayed the other.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: One Carl Barks comic strip had Donald Duck walking around with a necklace that brings good luck. When he hears that a dangerous gorilla escaped he decides to turn the giant ape in, believing that he will be prevented by his Lucky device. Of course, it doesn't work.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In "An Eye For Detail", the Beagle Boys, of all people, call Scrooge a villain for overworking Donald.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: In the Don Rosa story "Guardians of the Lost Library", Donald watches a succession of television shows that repeatedly feature the hero's transport catching on fire, be it a car, a speedboat, or even a horse. In a sci-fi version of that show, even the comet the hero is riding bursts into flame. Or possibly not, as, to use Donald's words "It's kinda hard to tell with comets."
  • Extreme Omni-Goat: Scrooge once bought a goat to guard his money bin in the comics. Unfortunately, it both guarded and ate the money so Scrooge sold it back to the previous owner.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Huey, Dewey, and Louie are often scripted like this.
    —Since they're—
    —pretty much—
    —one character!
    • Lampshaded in at least two Rosa stories where, when Scrooge mentions how alike they are, they immediately protest... saying the exact same words, perfectly synchronized, and even making the same facial expressions.
  • Funetik Aksent: Scrooge and his family.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Woodchuck titles. The story W.H.A.D.A.L.O.T.T.A.J.A.R.G.O.N. is particularly full of this.
  • Fiction 500: Scrooge, Flintheart Glomgold and John D. Rockerduck are all ridiculously wealthy. Scrooge is so rich that he's effectively got infinite funds, while Glomgold and Rockerduck are still richer than most real-life billionaires. Famously, in the Carl Barks story "The Magic Hourglass", Scrooge laments that if he loses a billion dollars a minute, he'll go broke in 600 years. That adds up to 315 quadrillion dollars. You could remove three zeros from that and Scrooge would still have more money than currently exists in the world.
  • Fictional Country: There have been loads of these over the years as they're often disposable. Special mention must go to Barks for injecting real-world political satire into them, such as with Brutopia (a parody of the Soviet Union) or Unsteadystan.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Despite Perpetual Poverty being one of Donald's major characteristics, he maintains residence in a nice two-story house in the suburbs. Some stories Hand Wave this by saying it is Scrooge who really owns the property and Donald has to pay next to no rent because of this.
  • Funny Animal: What the average citizen tends to fall into. Some stories however, such as Barks' Dangerous Disguise, will actually feature regular humans instead.
  • Funny Background Event: In the spirit of Barks, who often included humorous incidents in the background of most of his stories. The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck is especially rich in these.
  • Game Between Heirs: The story "Family of Fore" features Scrooge McDuck and Flintheart Glomgold learning they're distantly related and must play a golf match against each other for a treasure left behind by a relative named Bogey McDivot. After Scrooge wins, both competitors are dismayed to learn the "treasure" is the golf course.
  • Gamebooks: There have been a few "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories, for instance one where Donald and his nephews go on a holiday and meet various obstacles where they have to make a decision that will effect the rest of the story (like whether to give a traveling Scrooge a lift, or whether to make a detour through the countryside or not). Endings varied from good (for the Ducks) to mediocre to straight-up bad.
  • Gentleman Thief: Arpin Lusene. Or rather, his friend the Black Knight.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook. This is lampshaded and explained.
  • Green Aesop: Barks' Land of the Pygmy Indians and the sequel by Don Rosa, War of the Wendigo both have Scrooge learning one of these. The first ends with him declaring part of the land he owns, which the titular Indians live on, a nature preserve and the second has him promising the same group, after one of his plant manager's devastates a forest in the north, to plant two trees for every one that he cuts down.
  • Good Luck Charm: A recurring theme in Barks stories and also later writers.
    • "The Magic Hourglass" by Barks deals with a hourglass that enriches the people who hold it, and gives bad luck to the people who lose it. By the time the hourglass is activated, the meaning of luck changes dramatically for the cast.
    • A later story "The Backdated Lucky Charm" published by Egmont was about Donald creating a lucky charm by following instructions from a book. The lucky charm is a special one that enchants and preserves happy moments so that they can last as long as the wearer wishes. When Donald wishes that a particularly good evening for dinner never ends, the entire evening falls into a pattern of eternal repitition, with Donald the only one noticing something's wrong. He had wished that moment never ended, so at the point at which the moment should end, it repeats itself. As Donald realizes later: That's not a lucky charm! (He finally cancels the curse by wishing that the event never happened, which makes the entire plot All Just a Dream).
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The story "Again and Again..." (Donald Duck 336, 2006), Donald is forced to relive the same day over and over until he discovers what he did "wrong" on that day. The story spoofs elements of both Groundhog Day and The Hudsucker Proxy—with mouse-eared "Daddy Time" (i. e. Moses) being wise to the time loop, and a Phil-like character reliving a similar time loop in a movie on Donald's TV.
  • Have a Gay Old Time:
    • In the first The Three Caballeros comic Rosa did, he changed the lyrics of the eponymous song to remove the verse "the three gay caballeros". In the second one, the line is intact. Aside 
    • In the Barks story "The Case of the Sticky Money" Scrooge stops the Beagle Boys from siphoning his money out through a hole in the bin...and they lament "this ends our glory hole!"
  • Heads or Tails?: In "Flip Decision", Donald is conned by a charlatan into believing in Flipism: the idea that all of life's choices can be made on the flip of a coin. Hilarity Ensues, of course, though the coin does show uncanny predictive power.
  • Homage: The two stories with The Three Caballeros. Complete with them performing the theme song.
  • Hollow World: As revealed in Land Beneath the Ground, the entire planet has another land beneath it, which is home to the Terries and the Fermies who clam that their land "extends all over the inner crust of the world!".
  • How Do I Shot Web?:
    • Paperinik (Donald superhero alter-ego) sometimes has troubles with his gadgets, both in PKNA and non-PKNA stories. It's downplayed in PKNA, given he has One to help him with those (but still doesn't know how to use the full potential of his Extransformer shield, and when One gets deactivated he finds out he has no idea how to fuel the PKar... Or what the fuel is), but in non-PKNA stories he has some added problems because Gyro either forgets to explain how they work or gives him a gigantic user manual he cannot possibly read.
      • Actually Invoked in the non-PKNA story in which the Beagle Boys stole his 313-X car and some of his weapons... Only to get repeteadly humiliated because Paperinik knows how to use them and they don't (the paralizing pistol, for example, is single-shot).
    • In her debut, Paperinika (Daisy superhero alter-ego) had some serious problems at using her skating boots, and the first attempt ended with a ridiculous pratfall. Averted for the other gadgets, as her supplier has the common sense to explain how to use the things and provide sensibly-sized user manuals... Or simply provides gadgets that are based on something she already knows how to use (such as her bike).
    • This happens rather often in The Amazing Adventures of Fantomius: Gentleman Thief, the prequel dedicated to the duck that would inspire Donald into becoming Paperinik: Fantomius' Gadgeteer Genius is a relative of Gyro and just as much as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander as him, and sometimes forgets to tell him something-or to include working brakes. Fantomius himself still has to figure how to dodge rose bushes.
  • Humanity on Trial: In a Donald Duck comic, Donald is taken by Sufficiently Advanced Aliens (who mistake him for a sports champion who happened to be in Donald's vicinity) to represent Earth in an intergalactic tournament that will determine whether or not Earth will become part of their collection of miniaturized planets. He keeps losing each part of the competition horribly to the other champions, which include much stronger, faster, and intelligent aliens and robots. The way he eventually wins is ingenious: He claims that no form of life can sleep longer than him, which the other contestants challenge by going into hibernation for centuries or millennia. The judges angrily revoke the contest and send Donald back to his home world when they realize that they'll have to wait 50,000 years before they can declare the winner.
  • Humanlike Hand Anatomy: Donald Duck and the rest of the more Funny Animal bodied ducks have human-like arms and hands, but webbed feet.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Whether or not Scrooge views Donald as this tends to vary across multiple stories. Some Heir Over the Rainbow, written in 1953, had Scrooge declare Huey, Dewey, and Louie his heirs, due to viewing Donald as this because of how he spent $1,000 that Scrooge secretely gave him, Gladstone, and the triplets. Notably, that story features Scrooge even considering Gladstone to be a better successor than Donald. However, Race to the South Seas, from 1949, had Scrooge declare Donald as his heir at that story's end. 1956 had the story Two is Company where Scrooge is again trying to decide between Donald and Gladstone as to who will inherit his business. Then, 1961's Bongo on the Congo has Scrooge trying to teach Donald how to be a chief because he will inherit his business empire one day, and no mention is even made of the nephews doing so. So there are some stories showing the triplets being Scrooge's heirs and others showing that Donald is.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Italian stories like this. There's a story where Scrooge is continuously hit by lightning because he's "at the top of the world", a story where Scrooge moves in with a group of fishmen on the bottom of the sea to learn to handle deep sea pressure so he can cope with the pressure of being the world's richest, and a story where bureaucratic red tape is the perfect retardant for a makeshift explosive because it's the slowest-moving anything in the universe. The stories just tend to handwave it off and ask you to pretend it makes sense.
  • Insanely International Ancestry: By force of Continuity Drift and Depending on the Writer, Donald and Uncle Scrooge's ancestors include two Egyptian pharaohs, various Ancient Roman characters, Native Americans, French noblemen, Italian merchants, Spanish Conquistadors, the Scottish McDuck clan, and more. In the 1970's, a special comic arc that ran over twelve issues in Italy attempted to Justify it by showing how the family line had moved across the world for various reasons, but later writers couldn't keep that timeline straight and by now it raises more questions than it answers note 
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: In one story Magica DeSpell steals Scrooge's #1 Dime but he finds and stops her before she can complete her ritual. This results in them being sucked into a giant maze-like challenge, where Scrooge has to scale a mountain filled with all sorts of bizarre Alice in Wonderland-type sceneries before moonlight hits the top or Magica wins.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot:
    • Don Rosa did a story about Donald Duck, "The Duck Who Never Was", based on this trope to celebrate his 60th birthday. Donald, who's been feeling down on his luck even for him, spends his birthday trying to get a job at a museum; he's immediately laid off for exceeding the retirement age due to a nearsighted curator misreading his application. As he leaves, he bumps into an urn and releases the "birthday genie," a powerful spirit that grant one wish to a person if that person releases him on their birthday. Donald gets upset and wishes that he'd never been born, and the birthday genie grants his request—and Duckburg instantly transforms into a miserable, graffiti-riddled hellhole. Nearly everyone Donald knows is worse off. Because Donald didn't get kidnapped by a talking wolf, Gyro Gearloose accidentally blasted himself with his own intelligence-reducing ray, robbing him of his inventing skills and forcing him to become a miserable farmer. He bought said farm from Grandma Duck, who had to give up the property because Gus never came to work for her. Instead, Grandma works as Daisy's secretary; Daisy herself has become a successful romance novelist, but she only writes her books to make up for her horrible loveless life, and spends all of her time shut away in Scrooge's (former) Money Bin, which she's turned into her printing plant, hating the world and drinking heavily (the latter is implied through some empty bottles she throws at Donald). Gus, meanwhile, is a skinny, broke loser living on the streets—without Donald to become Scrooge's heir, the billionaire was forced to hire Gus, who lost the legendary Number One Dime to Magica DeSpell on his first day on the job. This broke Scrooge's spirit and led him to lose everything to Flintheart Glomgold, who's slowly draining Duckburg of its resources through a combination of naturally large taxes (which the Duck family once paid) and outsourcing to Africa. The only person who's still rich and successful (much to Donald's chagrin) is the impossibly lucky Gladstone Gander, who continues to win sweepstakes and prizes on an hourly basis—the trouble is that Huey, Dewey, and Louie had to go to live with him without Donald to care for them. As a result of Gladstone's lazy attitudes, overindulgence, and philosophy of Hard Work Hardly Works, the boys have become massively obese couch potatoes who think that any sort of movement besides eating takes too much effort. Finally, the Beagle Boys, who lost their motivation for robbery when Scrooge went broke, have become dirty cops in the extreme, and one brother is even the mayor. Donald rushes back to the museum and begs for the birthday genie to reverse the spell; he does so, and the now-enlightened duck returns home to find a surprise party waiting for him.
    • There was another Donald story with a similar premise, but only in the loosest of terms. For one thing, the story takes the Good Angel, Bad Angel trope and turns it Up to Eleven, with the two actually being depicted as (magical?) creatures living in Donald's brain. The bad angel, fed up with how the good angel seems to always influence Donald, beats him up and ties him into a closet, then disguises himself as the good angel. What does this have to do with this trope? Well, the angels' recent conflicts inside Donald's brain have resulted in Donald demonstrating bipolar disorder-like behavior, so all his friends and family (plus Gladstone) hold a meeting which Donald eavesdrops on and thinks is about how much he sucks as a person. Furious, he wishes that he was never born, and the bad angel (disguised as the good angel) shows him what life would be like without him... and everybody's happier (i.e. Daisy is Happily Married to Gladstone, Huey, Dewey and Louie are in Scrooge's custody). Just as this little tour ends, the good angel breaks free, beats up the bad angel in return, and shows Donald what would really result (Daisy leads an empty life married to Gladstone; Gladstone thinks that Daisy is way too controlling; Scrooge is contemplating putting Huey, Dewey, and Louie in juvenile hall, etc.). And before you ask, no, this was not a fanfiction.
    • Huey, Dewey and Louie are preparing dinner for New Year's Eve in a geriatric care home using money provided by the Junior Woodchucks. They send Donald with the money to buy food, but he loses the purse. Donald decides Duckburg would be better off without him and seems to prepare to commit suicide, but is interrupted by his guardian angel (not the angel from the previous story, by the way). The guardian angel shows him how a new year's eve in Duckburg would be without him: Huey, Dewey and Louie live in an orphanage, are constantly bullied by their peers and are unable to celebrate new year's eve in peace. Daisy is dating Gladstone (again), but is unhappy with how Gladstone takes her to a horse racetrack rather than a restaurant and feels Gladstone doesn't really care about her. Scrooge has no friends or family and when he decides to invite his staff to a dinner party, he finds that none of them is willing to spend more time than necessary with him.
    • And another time (Donald Duck comics will ruminate any trope to infinity) there was an inversion where Donald made the wish that he were alone without all his friends who were annoying him. No points for guessing he didn't like it when the wish came true, though there was more to the plot than that.
    • And one more: Donald gets to see what Duckburg would be with his hypothetical twin brother existing instead of him. Since the twin is randomly a clichéd Big Brother Is Watching dictator, this makes him feel better about being who he is. It's like the story changes clichés mid-swing.
  • Jail Bake: The Beagle Boys tend to use these to escape from prison. For example, when they visit Grandpa Beagle in jail for his birthday they bring him a pie which contains a ludicrous amount of objects such as a file, the key to his cell, and a chainsaw.
  • Just Like Robin Hood
    • The motivation for Fantomius, a Gentleman Thief who Paperinik is a sort-of Legacy Character to (his equipment is based on Fantomius' designs, updated from the roaring 20s and he has access to Fantomius' old Elaborate Underground Bases). This trait is more marked in Danish stories: Italian Paperinik stories, including the one where Paperinik debuted and first mentioned Fantomius, make clear that Fantomius stole from the riches only out of a personal vendetta (as they called him a good for nothing just because of his British nationality, much like Donald Duck became Paperinik due having enough of being called called a lazy good for nothing in spite of all his efforts), and as much as he'd give to charity any cash he stole he usually grabbed jewels and other rare and valuable things.
    • Also, in some newer Danish Paperinik stories, the motivation of immortal Classy Cat-Burglar Ireyon (who used to just steal for herself until she fell in love with Fantomius).
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Duck superheroes are persecuted by this:
    • Paperinik, alias Donald Duck, suffers greatly from the contrast between the lack of respect he gets in his civilian identity and the admiration, or at least grudging respect, he receives as Paperinik, especially because he fully understands the Irony in having become Paperinik to take revenge for the disrespect and finally getting respected only in his masked identity while said identity sometimes making things worse for him, as he'll miss important engagements due his superhero duties and cannot explain why. In the "classic" stories (outside the Paperinik New Adventures continuity) he even lacks a confident, as his identity is that important-to the point Gyro reacted to being told about his identity for this purpose by wiping his memory of it on the spot.
    • Paperinika, alias Daisy, goes through the same problem with balancing superhero work and civilian identity. Thankfully, her Gadgeteer Genius did not wipe her memory of her identity, so she has a confidante.
    • The infamous Belligerent Sexual Tension between Paperinik and Paperinika is only made worse by the fact they hate each other as superheroes (or at least try) and are loyal to their respective significant others... who just happen to be each other.
    • The Red Bat, alias Fethry, shares the same trouble with the different treatment his identities get as Paperinik. Differently from him he can take it in stride thanks to a more optimistic character and knowing he's treated that way because he's a terrifying Klutz.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Scrooge barely averts getting himself hit by this in Barks' classic "The Money Well", stubbornly refusing to replace his old eyeglasses just because he absolutely refuses to pay $10 for a new pair, despite his old glasses causing him to repeatedly suffer Brick Joke mishaps. This bites back on him really hard when he nearly loses ALL of his money to the Beagle Boys just because Scrooge's old glasses made him misread the numbers on a map. Declaring himself "licked", he finally buys new glasses which enable Scrooge to successfully pull off a plan to outfox the Beagles and get his money back.
  • Literal Money Metaphor: One comic has Scrooge being forced to pay Donald "a thousand thanks". Initially Donald wanted it as money, but when it was brought to court, it was ultimately ruled that Scrooge had to thank Donald a thousand times.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The dog-nosed but otherwise human supporting cast.
  • Long-Runner Tech Marches On: With the notable exception of Don Rosa, most Duck-writers let their stories take place in the present. Thus, while none of the characters has aged a day, the technology since the times of Carl Barks has marched on.
  • Love Triangle: Averted. Despite the fact that Brigitta Mac Bridge and Glittering Goldie love the same man, Scrooge McDuck, these two quite different ladies have never been in conflict in the rare comic stories where they both appear. In Scarpa's story Arriva Paperetta Yè-Yè ("The Arrival of Dickie Duck"), Brigitta feels really sad when she sees Scrooge and Goldie together for a brief moment, but then Goldie comforts her and says that she assumes Brigitta loves Scrooge's stinginess more than himself and Brigitta thanks for Goldie's "kind" words and calls her "my friend".
  • Lovecraft Lite: You could call Land beneath the Ground a Barksian version of H. P. Lovecraft, surprisingly enough - just read it. And while you're at it, check out Ancient Persia ... The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, anyone? None of these are gloomy enough to count as real Cosmic Horror Stories, of course. Except for the obscure Danish story The Call of C'Russo, which is straight lovecraftian horror.



  • Magical Native American: The Peeweegah, a tribe of long-nosed pygmy Indians with the power to communicate with animals. First appeared in the Carl Barks story Land of the Pygmy Indians, they then reappeared in the Don Rosa story War of the Wendigo.
  • Mechanical Horse: In a Paperinik (classic) story, Gyro Gearloose creates one for the eponymous hero after Scrooge McDuck confiscates Donald's car.
  • Men Are Uncultured: Daisy is forever trying to make Donald take an interest in the finer things in life instead of being a lazy slob. On the other hand, other stories has Donald show (or at least affect) a great regard for things like art and fine cooking - usually when trying to force his nephews to imbibe some culture.
  • The Men in Black:
    • Recent European-produced stories sometimes include the half-parodic T.N.T (Tamers of Nonhuman Threats), of which Donald and Fethry are freelance agents, dealing with supernatural or alien threats to humanity while trying to hide their existence to the common public. Unlike many examples of this trope, the T.N.T. are unmistakable good guys and do not wear shades.
    • In one T.N.T story, Donald got tired of the Boring, but Practical janitor-like uniforms and tried invoking a more traditional MIB look by dressing himself and Fethry up in stylish black tuxedoes and Cool Shades. This phase lasted for exactly two pages, and was abandoned when Donald and Fethry discovered that the Cool Shades were too dark for them to see anything, and they walked straight out into a trafficked road. The results were Amusing Injuries and ruined tuxedoes.
  • Mind-Control Device:
    • Actually kind of subverted in a Donald Duck story The Hypno Gun by Carl Barks. The titular hypno gun is in fact just a harmless toy gun that Huey, Dewey and Louie pretend to hypnotize one another with... however, Donald, overhearing them, thinks that it's a real hypno gun. Donald is, in fact so convinced that the hypno gun works that it actually does work on him, even if it doesn't work on anyone else.
    • Another, old comicnote  had Donald buy a pair of hypnotic glasses to try and get his nephews to obey him.
  • Mirror Universe: In a comic, Paperinik ends up going into an alternate universe where Uncle Scrooge is poor, Gladstone Gander is unlucky, policemen are criminals, criminals are good, and Paperinik himself is evil.
  • Moby Schtick: The Italian Disney comics did their own version of Moby Dick with Scrooge McDuck as Captain Ahab.
  • Monumental Theft: In his first incarnation Paperinik (Donald Duck's superhero-avenger of himself alter ego) steals huge amounts at once.
    • He stole Scrooge's money-filled bed while he was sleeping on it in the very first story.
    • In one story he faked a Face–Heel Turn caused by a supposed amnesia and stole half of Duckburg piece by piece (at that point the police just gave up and started playing with flowers), and gave it back once he had dismantled the criminal organization he had set to infiltrate.
  • Multilayer Façade: Paperinik (the superhero alter-ego of Donald Duck]]) has to involuntarily do this in one story. At one point he decides to demonstrate (for no reason and to no-one in particular) how his masks work, and too late realizes that he's out of the spray that would let him take the sticky mask off. Since the mask he is trying on is one of a caricatural alien, he is forced to wear a new mask on top of this one. (Later on, however, he manages to avoid having his secret identity exposed because he is wearing this additional mask).
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Scrooge and Greed.
  • Nephewism:
    • The relation between Donald and the triplets is a contender for the Trope Maker. Donald himself also spends a lot of time with his own uncle Scrooge. And Scrooge is eventually revealed to have left Scotland at a young age to live with his own uncle Pothole (though only briefly). You'd think it was a family tradition.
    • Gladstone and Fethry both have nephews, Shamrock and Dugan, who basically play for the triplets the same role their uncles play for Scrooge. So does Gyro, come to think of it.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Hungry crocodiles have shown up from time to time to chase the Ducks, or as part of a Shark Pool. Probably the most effective moment is in a Don Rosa story where Donald and his nephews are searching the Nile for unique crocodiles with a hieroglyph mark on their backs. They enter a quiet subterranean temple altar, only to realize far too late that the entire room is filled with sleeping crocodiles.
  • New Year's Resolution: A few stories have this theme.
    • In one, Daisy Duck suggested him to promise he'd no longer get angry. When he suggested she make a similar promise, the result was a mixture of Hypocritical Humor and Double Standard. Donald's nephews then abused the resolution until Daisy reminded Donald he doesn't need to be angry to hit nephews as punishment. Having overheard that conversation, the nephews wrote a resolution to be good boys so he'd no longer have a reason to hit them. It didn't work.
    • In another one, Huey, Dewey and Louie promised they'd always make it on time to school and that they'd do the dishes for a whole month as punishment if they break the promise. Donald promised he'd no longer lose his temper. Growing tired of washing dishes, Donald tricked the nephews into being late for school. Wanting to get out of that, they tricked Donald into agreeing they'd have their meals in paper plates. Then they spent the rest of the story trying to enrage him. It was Gone Horribly Right.
    • In yet another one, Donald and the nephews agreed he'd do the dishes if he breaks his resolution before they break theirs and they'll do the dishes if they break their resolution before he breaks his. In order to avoid trickery, they kept their resolution secret and wrote them inside envelopes. Donald promised to only prepare desserts until they have any and the nephews promised not to have desserts. A few days later, Donald decided to figure out their promise and found a way to open the envelope without leaving signs. He then changed his resolution. The next day, one of the nephews asked Donald to pose for a photograph and he agreed. Later on, he tricked them into having dessert so he could punish them. While wondering how he knew what their resolution was, they asked him what his was. He then revealed he promised not to wear a hat inside the house. They then pointed out he was breaking his resolution but he claimed they broke theirs first. None of them remembered Donald wearing his hat inside the house before they broke their resolution until the nephew who took the photograph produced it as evidence Donald was the first resolution breaker among them. That nephew then confided to the others he had seen Donald's papers at the table and, using a Sherlock Holmes trick, had figured out Donald's new resolution and took the photo for that purpose.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Scrooge is wealthy, but is most certainly not idle due to how often he goes on adventures to find more treasures to increase his profits.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Huey, Dewey and Louie have remained children for as long as the comic keeps going.
  • Not This One, That One: The gag of the crappy choice being what was picked rather than the one everyone finds ideal happens a lot in stories where Scrooge McDuck takes his nephew(s) on a trip - mostly with ships for a reason.
  • The Nudifier: The Danish story "A Stitch in Time" has Donald and his nephews find a meteoritie containing alien moths, which proceed to devour the clothes of everyone in Duckburg, forcing them to wear barrels.
  • Old Beggar Test:
    • Used in one story with Donald Duck. In this story, Donald is a highly respected food critic who goes to restaurants to judge their food and determine if they deserve a star or not. In one restaurant, he first goes as himself, and after being treated like a king by the staff, he remarks that he might award them a fourth star (which would make the restaurant extremely prestigious), but needs to think about it. He then leaves, and comes back a moment later disguised as a beggar. He attempts to receive the same kind of treatment like a regular customer, but the staff scoffs him, relentlessly mocking him and suggesting that he should eat out of a bowl like a dog. Upon this outrageous treatment, Donald reveals himself and removes one of the stars, as a punishment for the staff for not treating all of their customers equally. Downplayed, for Donald was just a food critic, and not a powerful entity.
    • Donald is just as likely to do the same mistakes himself, though. In another comic, he works as the head waiter at a prestigious restaurant and is warned that a food critic is going to show up. He quickly identifies the critic as the well-dressed man who keeps fussing over the cutlery, and spoils him massively while disregarding and unknowingly mistreating another, ordinary-looking customer (seating him in the back by the kitchen door, giving him the wrong entrees and drinks, stealing his tablecloth because it was cleaner than the critic's). Predictably, the mistreated customer turns out to be the critic, and is livid over his horrid treatment... whereas the well-dressed man turns out to be a silver-polish salesman who wants to give Donald a deal on something to clean up their filthy cutlery with.
  • On One Condition:
    • One Carl Barks Donald Duck story featured Donald learning he's going to inherit one thousand dollars from a relative he never heard about before if he earns another thousand dollars. However, it was a plot by Scrooge McDuck. Donald had previously located a sunken yacht belonging to Scrooge and offered to salvage it for fifty thousand dollars but Scrooge refused to pay more than two thousand dollars for it. After Scrooge sabotaged Donald's other attempts to earn that money, Donald accepted Scrooge's proposition. To further antagonize Donald, Scrooge saw to it that all conventional means to salvage the yacht would cost Donald three thousand dollars. Donald and his nephews then tried to outsmart Scrooge by buying several golf balls to float the yacht back to the surface. When Donald collected the inheritance, he also learned that it came from Scrooge. For a while, Donald believed he would keep the three thousand dollars but the company that manufactured the golf balls collected the money as payment for them and the collector told them that the company belongs to Scrooge.
    • In another Carl Barks story, Scrooge had a pocket watch that happened to be a family heirloom. When one of his relatives died, he was required to present the pocket watch when claiming the inheritance. Scrooge then took it to Gyro Gearloose for repairs (The terms of the will also stated that the pocket watch must be working perfectly when presented to the executors of the will). Gyro noticed that a small stone that used to be encrusted to the watch seemed to be missing but it didn't worry Scrooge, who was used to the empty spot. The inheritance consisted solely of the stone.
    • An Italian Donald Duck story revolves around Donald Duck, Fethry Duck and Gladstone Gander recieving an inheritance from a distant uncle, who has a secret condition to determine who will be given his estate, which will be revealed after spending the night in his old castle. Donald and Fethry agree to team up and share the estate to try and offset Gladstone's infuriating luck. After several misadventures during the night, the executor of the will reveals that the uncle wanted his inheritor to be like him; lazy and plagued with bad luck. Donald has bad luck, but works hard. Gladstone is lazy but is extremely lucky. So the inheritance goes to Fethry, who is both lazy and has bad luck. Unfortunately for Fethry and Donald, the estate consists mostly of a massive debt, which won't be covered by selling off its assets, meaning that Gladstone's luck saved him by having him lose the inheritance.
    • In Die 13 Trilliarden Erbschaft, Scrooge has been missing for so long he's been declared dead. As soon as Donald and Gladstone are informed Scrooge left his fortune to them, they hurry to spend it without listening to the rest of the will. Huey, Dewey and Louie read it and find out Scrooge, not wanting his nephews to squander his fortune, set a condition preventing them from inheriting his estate until they add one million dollars to it. By the time Donald and Gladstone are informed of that condition, they've already spent nearly that amount. Gladstone decides to earn that money by selling lottery tickets, offering Scrooge's fortune as the first prize and buying a ticket so he can win. He does win but Scrooge turns out to be alive and is upset that the extra money caused the money bin to collapse. He's entertaining the idea of changing the will to include Huey, Dewey and Louie as beneficiaries.
  • Pacing a Trench: Whenever Scrooge McDuck is in a rough situation, he goes to the Worry Room. He had often paced so much in that room that he's in at least a few feet inside the floor. In one extreme case, only his hat was visible above the floor.
  • Paying in Coins: In Zio Paperone e il segreto di Cuordipietra, Flintheart Glomgold abducts Huey, Dewey and Louie, takes them to an artificial island and demands a cubic hectare of money from Scrooge as ransom. Scrooge pays the ransom in coins and it does more than merely annoying Glomgold. The cubic hectare's weight is so much the island sinks with it. Scrooge already has a special submarine to reclaim the coins.
  • Polluted Wasteland: In "Be Leery of Lake Eerie", (Walt Disney Comics #655, April 2005), Huey, Dewey, Louie and their Junior Woodchuck teammates attempt to go swimming in Lake Eerie, only to jump back out when they forgot to apply axle grease. The Junior Woodchucks discover mutant catfish that eat garbage and a dragon that lives off of the lake's refuse; unfortunately, the dragon can't live in water diluted down to a level of 98% impure.
  • Pooled Funds: In what is probably the most popular case, Scrooge has an entire pool of money where he dives when he's in a good mood.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: In the second story featuring the Three Caballeros, Donald becomes especially depressed and Huey, Dewey and Louie decide to reunite the Three Caballeros in the hopes that it will cheer Donald up.


  • Real After All: There's a Donald Duck story where Donald and Daisy have to seek shelter at a spooky castle whose owner turns out to be a vampire. This is revealed to be part of an elaborate commercial that was being shot at the castle, but when Donald asks him how he managed all those crazy "tricks" for the camera like floating in mid-air, the count states that they weren't tricks. Donald takes this to be a joke, but the last panel shows that he really wasn't kidding.
  • Rebus Bubble
  • Reduced to Dust: An early Donald Duck story by Carl Barks, entitled In Ancient Persian saw Donald and his nephews discovering a lost Persia city whose nobility had used a special radium compound to turn themselves into fine dust — on purpose, as the dust could be regenerated back into a living body at any time in the future. The story's main antagonist, an Omnicidal Maniac Mad Scientist is trying to seize control of the dehydrating formula to spread it throughout the planet and destroy the reviving formulas, thus becoming the last man on Earth. (Eventually, he suffers a Karmic Death of being dried-up himself, with his dust quickly getting mingled with the sand.)
  • Reformed Criminal: The Beagle Boys actually tried to genuinely reform their criminal ways at least once, when they were offered parole in exchange for getting into an honest-job program. The problems only start when one of them begins an Office Romance, except the girl turns out to be a crazy All Girls Want Bad Boys-type who pressures him to help her commit a bank robbery to get out of her boring life.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • A lot of characters have been introduced over the years, and several of them (especially the ones created by Carl Barks and Romano Scarpa) tend to be treated as if they've always been around, just not on-page. Barks rarely set out to create recurring characters; rather, he would see potential in characters he created for the sake of one story and re-use them. A particularly noticeable example is the Beagle Boys, who in their first story only make a silent cameo appearance on the very last panel... after Scrooge has spent the entire story worrying about them.
    • One notable aversion is Magica De Spell, whose first appearance is a proper introduction story, as she and Scrooge are meeting for the first time. This was because Barks conceived her as a recurring villain from the start.
    • This approach is also used by Italian authors: Brigitta McBridge is stated in her debut story to have known Scrooge since at least 1898 (back when Scrooge had moved to Whitehorse and became a businessman), with a later story showing their first encounter actually dates to when Scrooge was a prospector and had just struck rich; Jubal Pomp debuts as a recurring annoyance of Scrooge, and a later story actually puts their first meeting at the same time as the one between Scrooge and Brigitta; and Gideon McDuck was presented as Scrooge's younger brother (this was many years before The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck was published. Nowadays Gideon appears from time to time, but his relation to Scrooge is left out).
  • Retro Universe: Depending on the Artist to which degree. (Although considering that the iconic outfits of Scrooge and other characters have been consistently used by everyone...)
  • Same-Sex Triplets: Huey, Dewey and Louie as a male example. April, May and June as a female example.
  • Supreme Chef: In some stories, Donald's cooking skills are only surpassed by Grandma Duck. In an Egyptian issue (#592, 4th June 2015) celebrating his 81st birthday, it is explicitly stated among 24 other character traits that describe him.
  • The Scapegoat: There's an Italian comic in which Uncle Scrooge goes to a mountain country to buy a literal scapegoat so everyone who complains to him can do so to the goat. However, eventually the goat gets so fed up with being blamed for everything that he goes ballistic and wrecks Scrooge's money bin.
  • Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: It may stretch the definition of "science fiction", but the Duck Universe still has a scale problem when it comes to Scrooge's Money Bin. Scrooge's favourite descriptor of the amount of money in the bin is "three cubic acres", a term that makes no sense, since an acre is a unit of area, not distance, so a cubic acre would be a hyperdimensional construct. That aside, assuming that a "cubic acre" means "a cube with a side length equal to the side length of an acre", then the total amount of gold in Scrooge's money bin is 772,321 cubic metres, which is nearly 100 times the amount of gold ever mined in the history of the world.
  • The Scrooge: Guess who. His salaries to Donald and his closest workers are usually in pennies, and he'll do basically everything to not pay any service.
  • Sea Serpents: The titular "varmint" in Carl Barks' 1951 story No Such Varmint, which fortunately for Donald turns out to be susceptible to his newfound snake charming talents.
  • Secret Ingredient: In one comic, Donald insists on putting ketchup on all of Daisy's cooking, much to her annoyance, because it just doesn't taste as good as Grandma Duck's food. When Daisy checks with Grandma, it turns out the old lady's secret ingredient is...ketchup, which she puts in everything.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: There's a story written by Don Rosa where the Beagle Boys are the main characters and decide to break into Scrooge McDuck's money bin once again after stealing the building's original architectural plans. They carry out the scheme while the building is closed at night, but they all gradually end up trapping themselves in various situations with the remaining Beagle Boys deciding to come back for them once they've successfully carried out the heist. The comic ends with the Beagle Boys discovered by a mightily surprised Scrooge and Grandpa Beagle hearing the cops talk about this from his jail cell and muttering that his grandsons can't even beat an inanimate building.
  • Self-Made Man: Scrooge. The point being that the "making" was more important to him than "getting made" in the first place.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: There's a comic story where an ancient talisman worn by Donald causes the Seven Deadly Sins's personifications to emerge in Donald's shape and escape into Duckburg (except Sloth, who obviously didn't even bother to run). Donald and his nephews have Gotta Catch Them All in time before the Sins will remerge into a single monster and destroy the world.
  • Sexy Secretary: A Brazilian story has two female duck characters, Simone (Carla in French) and Olga, who are Scrooge's attractive secretaries. One is a seductive criminal, the other is a judo-karate champ. Donald and Fethry fall for them.
  • Shades of Conflict: Frequently it enters Black-and-White Morality, with clear cut (and Card Carrying) villains. But many times Scrooge and\or Donald are firmly into gray territories (Scrooge against his billionaire rivals is usually either Grey-and-Gray Morality or Black-and-Gray Morality).
  • Shark Pool: In one of the Italian stories Donald wins a holiday vacation but is mistaken by an international thief for one of her rivals because he keeps throwing his name around (which just so happens to also be the name of a lemonade brand that Donald likes), who threatens to throw him into a pool filled with sharks.
  • Shoe Shine, Mister?: Scrooge famously won his Number One Dime shining shoes.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rosa never wrote any Mickey Mouse stories, but that doesn't keep him from littering various Hidden Mickeys within his stories.
    • The D.U.C.K. dedication also counts.
    • Monty Python and the Holy Grail gets quoted at least twice.
    • Arpin Lusene is an obvious nod to Arsène Lupin.
    • Another one from Arpin : at one point, he refers to Scrooge as "Ze chipskate! Ze picsou!'. Now, "picsou" is not a French word for "cheapskate". It is, however, Scrooge's name in the French version of his stories (Balthazar Picsou).
    • The afterwords for each chapter in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck actually list all the Shout Outs. Citizen Kane was a popular one.
    • Italian authors have got a penchant for reference jokes in later years. References to things like How I Met Your Mother or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are a common sight nowadays.
    • When Donald drives his car — with Scrooge and the boys along — off a cliff, Scrooge's only reaction is to comment, "The resale value on this car is going to be nil."
    • While searching for a special type of crocodile in Africa, Donald and the boys end up renting an old boat named "African Queen", and then Donald has to wade through swamps and pull the boat along.
    • In "Back to Xanadu", when the Ducks are about to meet the High Lama of Tralla-La, Donald jokes if he's called "Rama Lama Ding Dong". His name is "Tsam Tjaffe", like the actor who played the High Lama in Lost Horizon.
  • Simple, yet Opulent: Scrooge does have expensive things, like his limo and mansion, but he's not flashy about it.
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: The comics by Carl Barks and many other writers are Level 1 (Negative Continuity). Don Rosa's stories, however, are Level 2 (Status Quo).
  • Snap Back: Notorious for this. No matter how extreme the events in a story, they're nearly always somehow undone at the end and never referred to in any later tale. The protagonists may be run out of town, Duckburg may be the victim of a natural disaster, but all of the events have been magically undone. The most obvious example is Uncle Scrooge's money bin, which is completely destroyed multiple times (or in one case, forced to move elsewhere due to the city planning construction that would have to go through it, only to of course be back in its typical spot next story). Some things seem to be unalterable, though — while Scrooge may lose his money bin, the Beagle Boys never seem to be able to steal his money (except, ironically, in their very first appearance).
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: My Bonnie lies over the ocean...
  • Spinoff Babies: Paperino Paperotto, a Italy comic book series starring the life and childhood of Donald Duck and his friends in stories. Young Donald, lives in Quacktown, a country village on the outskirts of Duckburg located where there is the farm of Grandma Duck with the little goat Billy. This representation of childhood Donald is easily compatible with versions of other authors, in accordance with the genealogy of Don Rosa.
    • Another unrelated comic series is titled Young Donald Duck which was created by Francesco Artibani and focus the lives of Donald and his friends as teenagers going to middle school.
  • Springtime for Hitler: The billionaire's club in Duckburg holds a contest awarding chess sets made of diamond, gold, or silver to the three most succesful businessmen of the year, and a worthless wooden pawn to the worst one. For some reason Scrooge actually wants the consolation prize, and gets Donald to replace him as head of his business empire in the hopes that he'll ruin his profits for the year while Scrooge goes off on a holiday. Near the deadline he is livid to find out that Donald has actually been acting responsibly and his profits have shot through the roof. Then it's subverted when a stock market crash in the last minute makes Scrooge the biggest loser in the contest in one swoop. Oh, and the reason why he wanted the wooden piece was because it would have completed an invaluable chess set that Scrooge already owned and kept hidden in a vault.
  • Status Quo Is God: As well as Negative Continuity, due to the numerous different writers who have written these stories with little to no regard for each other..
    • Though the series in many ways is also great for aversions. As Scrooge is already the richest duck in the world, any treasures he finds will usually be a drop in the bucket. And so success or failure isn't as guaranteed as with other characters.
  • The Stinger: An extra page for The Quest for Sampo.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: In the Carl Barks-penned Scrooge McDuck story "Back to the Klondike", saloon owner Glittering Goldie manages to steal Scrooge's Goose Egg gold nugget after putting a drug in his coffee and dumping him outside of town after going through his pockets. He immediately went back and roughed up everyone in the place before retrieving his record-size nugget, getting an I.O.U. out of Goldie for losing the rest of his gold in a card game, and kidnapping her to work on his claim in the mountains.
  • Teach Him Anger: One story features Donald Duck earning a living by teaching people anger. His Uncle Scrooge hires him to teach an actor to be angry so the actor can better perform his role in a soap-opera Scrooge is sponsoring. Scrooge says he's already spent so much money promoting the actor that hiring a replacement is out of question. Donald's lessons turned out to be a case of Gone Horribly Right because the actor became angry enough to demand his payment to be tripled.
  • Tightrope Walking: A variation of this trope happens when Daisy Duck is on a building site and walks out onto a bouncy, springboard-like plank to retrieve a hammer left near one edge where it could fall on someone. She points out that (in this story) she's a ballet teacher and such perfect balance is nothing special for her.
  • Time Dilation Field: The "Reginella" arc, by Giorgio Cavazzano, features Queen Reginella's planet where a second is worth a day on Earth. It makes its inhabitants getting old in a few minutes when they venture onto Earth.
  • Time Stands Still: On Stolen Time by Rosa, where the Beagle Boys use a stopwatch created by Gyro Gearloose for this effect.
  • Treasure Room:
    • Scrooge's Money Bin and Flintheart's Money Bin both qualify. In many Barks stories, such as No Such Varmint, Scrooge would also be shown to have his office filled with money, to the point that it often came up to his waist.
    • There are tons of other examples as well since Scrooge moonlights as an Adventurer Archaeologist. He's discovered massive treasure hoards such as the Seven Cities of Cibola, the Aztec gold, the collective Mesoamerican riches hidden in Panama, the treasure of the Knight Templars, and the Amazonian City of Gold. A noticeable one that the Ducks missed is the treasure collected by the Mongol hordes in Xanadu, which lies underneath Tralla La.
  • Tsundere: Daisy Duck is one of the more iconic western examples, type A towards Donald. Considering it's Donald, most people consider her mood swings justified.
  • Twist Ending: The last page of Don Rosa's Return to Xanadu reveals that the treasure Scrooge spent the story looking for was at the bottom of the lake of Xanadu the entire time, which is where one of Scrooge's own treasures, The Crown of Genghis Khan, then ends up.
  • Villain Protagonist: There are some stories that feature the Beagle Boys, Magica DeSpell, or any of the Ducks' other enemies as the main characters as they try to figure out new schemes to best the Ducks. Some writers may even treat Scrooge himself as a villain whenever they have him play the Corrupt Corporate Executive part straight.
  • Wacky Racing: The italian 4-part story "La Grande Corsa" (The Big Race) has a time controlling midget steals Scrooge's dime and makes him participate in a rally (in the Duckburg from past, present and future) against his opponents, and with the help of his friends and family, in order to take it back.
  • Wealth's in a Name:
    • Scrooge McDuck's name plays on the character of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, i.e. a rich miser.
    • One of Scrooge's recurring nemeses is Flintheart Glomgold, a greedy miser. Gold, of course, is a precious metal, and "glom" is a slang term for "hoard" or "seize."
    • No less than four separate other business rivals of Scrooge are called "Gotrocks" note .
  • Wham Shot: The ending of "Back to Xanadu" by Don Rosa. The Ducks spend the whole story searching for the lost Mongol treasure, discover that Tralla La is the mythical Xanadu, but end up losing the crown of Kublai Khan that Scrooge had obtained in a previous story after narrowly saving the city from a disaster that the Ducks themselves created. The chief is then given the crown by a villager and curses the Mongol legacy before throwing it in the giant whirlpool beneath the city, which is shown to contain the entire treasure of the Golden Horde.
  • What If?:
  • Whole Plot Reference: Some select stories homage other works in their entirety. For instance, one Italian one was based on Fahrenheit 451, just with the Ducks living in a dystopia where all music is forbidden. There's also a Danish one based on The Shining, though obviously with less ax-murder.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: In the Tony Strobl and Carl Barks story, "King Scrooge the First", the reason the immortal King Khan Khan wants to find the lost treasure of Sagbad so badly is because it contains the antidote to the immortality potion he took when he raided the city centuries ago. He has grown tired of endlessly outliving everything and everyone dear to him, and after getting his hands on it, gladly eats it and wanders into the desert to join the dust that is all that is left of his civilisation.
  • Win Her a Prize: One of the stock themes. It's always about Donald attempting to make Daisy impressed and/or favourable, and the super lucky Gladstone is often included as a depressingly successful, sometimes highly unsportsmanlike, rival.
  • Worse with Context: In the story "Gyro's First Invention", Donald and Scrooge explain the events of "Christmas for Shacktown" to Gyro and how it will take 272 years, 11 months, three weeks, and four days to get all of Scrooge's money out of the hole it's trapped in (all umpteen fantasticatillion, three multiplujillion, nine obsquatumatillion, six hundred and twenty-three dollars and sixteen cents of it), culminating with this exchange:
    Gyro: (smiling) No, Mr. McDuck! You miscalculated! It'll take six months...
    Scrooge: (cheering up) Really! Not 272 years? Oh, joy! Oh, rapture!
    Gyro: No, no! You had the years correct! Just a tad off on the months!
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks:
    • Played with at the conclusion of Carl Barks' Twenty-Four Carat Moon. Scrooge ends up getting to the second moon, which as the story's title suggest is made out of solid gold before any other Earthling, only to find an alien who claims to have arrived there some time ago, making the golden moon his. The alien agrees to trade the moon to earth for some dirt, which Scrooge naturally agrees to. However, the alien places the dirt in a machine he has, which turns it into an entirely new planet, with continents and oceans, that is capable of supporting life! The alien then flies off on the planet, completely satisfied, as he had come to place less value on the gold than he originally did when he came to the moon. This leaves Scrooge with possession of a moon made entirely out of gold, which is more than likely more than he's ever had previously, yet wondering whether or not he really got the better end of the deal.
    • Also occurs in A Financial Fable. Scrooge's money is carried off by a cyclone, causing it to land all around the country, where various other characters pick it up. Scrooge, unusually, isn't worried by this and assures Huey, Dewey, and Louie that he will be able to get the money back just by continuing to work on his farm. While characters like Donald and Gladstone are happy at their newfound wealth at first, they quickly realize the problem with everyone in the country being handed a fortune: No one wants to work anymore and there is then no one around to do mundane tasks, such as supply gas or cook food for people who wish to spend their new money. Everyone has instead taken their money and "gone to see the world", only to find that there is nowhere to go, since bus drivers have also gone to do the same. Scrooge is eventually proven right when he and the triplets end up as the only people who continued to work and therefore as the only people with food to provide, for which Scrooge charges outlandish prices, such as $2 million for cabbages.
    • Another example in Return to Xanadu. There is no precious metals (or really metals at all) in Xanadu, except for one secret room containing a great wealth of metal brought there by a stranger long ago. Scrooge gets giddy, thinking this is the treasures of the Golden Horde. His reaction when he realizes it's his own bottle caps is priceless. As HD&L point out, this is actually far better since gold would be too soft to make tools out of.

Alternative Title(s): Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge


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