The stories feature the adventures of the titular character, Richie $ Rich (yes, his middle name is indeed a dollar sign), the world's richest boy. Born into a fantastically wealthy family, Richie lives in a lavish mansion and owns at least two of everything that money can buy. Despite this, he's generally depicted as a generous and good-hearted person.
Derivative works include two Animated Series. The first, produced by Hanna-Barbera, marked the voice acting debut of Nancy Cartwright as Gloria Glad, and the second series was produced by Film Roman. Later, Warner Bros. released a 1994 feature film. The film cast Macaulay Culkin as Richie and Stephi Lineburg as Gloria. The film initially only earned $38,087,756 in the United States market. It was the 37th most successful film of its year, but just barely covering its budget, until coming out on VHS and making an additional $125 million in rentals and sales. Just before the movie was released, the Richie Rich comics temporarily stopped being published.
A direct-to-video sequel to the movie was later released, Richie Rich's Christmas Wish (1998). It cast David Gallagher as Richie and Michelle Trachtenberg as Gloria.
In 2011, Ape Entertainment published a short-lived revival series which featured Richie and his friends going on globetrotting adventures.
A live-action Richie Rich series premiered on Netflix in February 2015. There's no Cadbury, no Dollar, no Mrs. Rich, no Gloria, or any other characters from the comics but Irona and Mr. Rich. Richie made his money by, according to the intro, taking all of the vegetables he refused to eat, figuring out how to make a new energy source from them and sold the process for a trillion dollars. He has a sister who seems to hate him, Irona the robot maid who looks like a teenage girl in a French maid's outfit, two friends (Murray, the money manager and Darcy, his money-spending friend who's a girl) and a father who seems developmentally stunted.
In 2019, he returned to television with an appearance on the season 2 finale of Harvey Street Kids. He became a main character in Season 3, which premiered later that year.
Richie Rich contains the following tropes:
- Agent Scully: Richie always writes off any adventures or meetings he has with Casper the Friendly Ghost as dreams.
- Alliterative Name: Names with alliteration in the given name and surname appear often.
- Richie Rich
- Gloria Glad
- Freckles Friendly
- Jackie Jokers
- Mayda Munny.
- Always Identical Twins: Upon learning of a poor country where kids can legally get married, Mayda Munny lures Richie there under the pretense of making a movie to help them. Her plan fails because the Justice of Peace, having a real marriage to officiate when Mayda had her "fake" one to Richie, sent his twin brother to perform his role in the "movie".
- Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Both the Rich family and Rich Enterprises have an endless supply of money. They are supposed to be the wealthiest people on the planet.
- Ascended Extra: Richie started as a supporting character in Little Dot.
- Battle Butler: Cadbury. He knows enough fighting skill at times to help Richie in the comics (The Other Wiki notes, "When need demands, however, he becomes a tough, gun-toting man of action"). Butler Cadbury has a lot of other skills which come in handy. One of Richie's uncles, the athletic Olympus Van Sporting, thinks glumly, "With that butler around, who needs me?" (One of Cadbury's skills involved mountain climbing... without gear, in his butler uniform. He'd also given Olympus a Crushing Handshake, where out of earshot, Olympus dismissed him as a "sissy butler".)
- Big Fancy House: The Rich Mansion is so big, Richie's father had to call long distance to get in touch with his wife in another part of the house. In another case, a team of traffic controllers were hired to make sure people who visited didn't get lost inside it.
- Breath Weapon: The Onion, a recurring villain, has onion breath so bad it can destroy walls.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: A short story has Cadbury in the next room telling some very old and clichéd jokes, and in his usual stuffy British style of speaking. Gloria is puzzled when she hears laughter, but then Richie takes her into the room and shows her that the laughter is emanating from a "laugh box" that he got for Cadbury so that at least someone would find his jokes funny.
- Cast Full of Rich People: Richard $ Rich, Junior, is the son of stupendously wealthy parents, and lives in a sprawling mansion where even the household staff qualify as millionaires. Richie's chief rivals are Reginald Van Dough and Mayda Munny, likewise very wealthy, but also spoiled rotten. As part of Richie's Pet the Dog personality, he keeps company with working-class Free-Range Children Freckles and Pee-Wee.
- Crazy-Prepared: Richie seems to have a gadget or gizmo up his sleeve to deal with any contingency, more prevalent in the cartoon adaptation. (Most of them invented by Dr. Keenbean.) In one cartoon, when he and Reggie are held hostage by two thugs who searched and disarmed him, he improvises and uses Reggie's practical joke equipment to subdue them.
- Criminal Amnesiac: One issue had Richie suffer a blow to the head while trying to stop a Parisian street gang from mugging a kid, and loses his memories, becoming a surprisingly strong Enfant Terrible. Richie then joins the gang and helps in a robbery on himself. Fortunately, he is restored to normal after suffering yet another blow to the head.
- Depending on the Writer: Throughout the comic's run, the name of Richie's hometown was never set in stone. In his appearances in the Little Dot comics, Richie lived in Bonnie Dell. In the later years of the comic, the town is either called Richville or Harveyville. The adaptations tend to go with Richville.
- Early Installment Character Design Difference:
- During the early years of the comic, Richie's mom, Regina Rich had platinum blond hair. But in the later years of the comic, Regina is now a pure blond.
- When Irona first appeared in issue #100, she had a completely different design. In said issue, Irona looked more robotic and lacked her maid outfit.
- Fembot: Female robot Irona, Richie's robot maid.
- Flintstone Theming: This universe offers many money-related Punny Names and they appear repeatedly for as many jokes as it can get away with.
- Fiction 500: Wealth that seems to break the laws of reality. The Rich family is on sixth place of 2012's Forbes Fictional 15, just below Tony Stark.
- Flat Joy: In a one-page gag, Richie Rich tells Cadbury a joke which he [Richie] thinks is funny. Cadbury, however, fails to laugh, and even when he goes outside to take a walk, he simply lets out a faint "haw".
- Gem-Encrusted: Richie's mother, in the comic book. She doesn't load herself down with too many jewels, but she collects them — fully cut, faceted and polished emeralds, diamonds, rubies, aquamarines the size of baseballs — and displays them on her dresser like Fabergé eggs.
- Gold Tooth: Richie Rich had his dog, Dollar, fitted with gold braces to correct an overbite problem that he had, which were so shiny that it blinded would-be robbers and assailants. It also attracts the attention of a female dog, which made Dollar refuse having his braces removed until he was passed over for another male dog.
- Grade-School C.E.O.: Richie, in the film version. He's just a kid but has substantial power within his parents' company.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Mayda Munny, point blank. She loathes Gloria with a passion simply because Gloria has the one thing she wants most of all but hasn't ever been able to get: Richie's heart.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Blonde-haired Richie is undoubtedly the nicest boy you have ever met.
- Iconic Outfit: Richie's black tuxedo and red bow tie is instantly recognisable to readers of this comic book and comic book fans.
- Literal-Minded: In a comic story, Mayda orders her driver to take her to her private plane and "step on it". The driver assumes Mayda wants him to "step on her private plane".
- Lucky Charms Title: Ri¢hie Ri¢h. Symbol for cent instead of the letter C, yet again pointing to Richie's wealth.
- Mama Bear: Whenever Richie's in a tight situation and he uses his signal watch, in the 1980's animated version, this instinct will cause Irona the robot maid to put her chores aside and fight any baddies that threaten Richie.
- Money Fetish: Aunt Noovo just loves to swim in her wealth, though she mostly does this for show as she is a very charitable person.
- Not with Them for the Money: Gloria Glad is notorious for always turning down the luxurious gifts Richie offers her. She has lost her temper more than once at Richie's more outrageous stunts with his wealth and he seems unable to remember how much they annoy her. In one story, when she suddenly starts accepting his gifts greedily, it sets off alarm bells with Richie who investigates and learns he is dealing with an impostor who has kidnapped the real Gloria in order to con him out of money. It's probably important to remember that Richie never means to "show off" with his wealth. He just likes Gloria so much, he often wants to express it by buying her expensive gifts. In one story, Mayda Munny secretly gives her rival, Gloria Glad, gifts that supposedly came from Richie Rich, starting off with an expensive doll, to which Gloria says it's a perfect gift — Mayda not knowing that all those gifts Gloria received were going to be given to charity.
- Pedestrian Crushes Car: In one story, Irona the robot maid (female design) is on a date with Steelo, a male-design robot, when a car tries to run the red light while they are crossing and in the way. No effect on the robots. The car is comprehensively totaled. This being a kid's comic book, the driver is merely stunned.
- Protagonist Title: Richie Rich. The comic book is named after its title character.
- Rip Van Winkle: In one story, Richie dreams of waking up years in the future, wearing a Time-Passage Beard, to star in a Jackie Jokers version of "This Is Your Life" where he sees all his friends, family members, and even enemies as older people.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: The Rich family are the wealthiest people on the planet, yet they also seem to have the greatest moral compass when it comes to being overall decent.
- Serious Business: In one story, the Riches watch a cooking show hosted by someone who claims to be the world's greatest chef. Chef Pierre is so angry, he actually charges down to the studio and challenges the other chef to a Cooking Duel (Pierre wins).
- Spoiled Brat:
- Richie's cousin Reggie, who is often seen as being self-centered, rude to his servants, and plays mean pranks.
- Mayda Munny is shown to be rather vain, selfish, and will scheme to get what she wants.
- Superdickery: While Richie's a nice boy in canon, a lot of comic covers portray him blatantly flaunting his wealth over the less fortunate. Occupy Richie Rich takes this and runs with it.
- Talking Lightbulb: The villain Dr. N-R-Gee is a human being with a lightbulb for a head. In his origin story, he was a scientist who was trying out an electric head scratcher with an experimental power generator that somehow electrocuted him, and when he came to, he found out that his head has been replaced with a head-sized lightbulb.
- Time-Passage Beard: In once story, Richie has a Rip Van Winkle dream where he wakes up years in the future wearing a beard.
- Triang Relations: Richie has two admirers. Gloria's a sweet, kind, middle-class girl. Mayda Munny's a vain, selfish, foul-tempered, wealthy girl. Richie only has eyes for Gloria.
- Undying Loyalty: Try to bribe Cadbury and you're entering Bullying a Dragon territory. Emphasized in one story where a foreign government did it to test him because they wanted to offer him a position as Prime Minister; he turned down the offer because he felt the test only showed he was needed in his current job.
- The Voiceless: Peewee doesn't talk. He has thought balloons or his "word" balloons might have "?" or "!". More often than not, his actions speak for him.
- Wealth's in a Name: Nomen est omen. Wealthy people have names that hint at their financial status.
- Richie Rich just screams that this kid comes from money.
- Richie has a dog named Dollar. He's a pampered pet.
- Richie's snobby cousin named Reggie van Dough (as in slang for cash). As extremely wealthy as Richie's family branch.
- A Rich Bitch friend named Mayda Munny ("made of money").
- Writers Cannot Do Math: In a one-page comic, Reggie donates $5 to an orphanage, while Richie does the "penny doubled for 30 days" trick as his donation. According to the story, the final doubling amounts to $3,368,699.12, although the actual amount is $5,368,709.12 for the 30th day alone. If he contributed for each previous day as well, then the total contributed becomes $10,737,418.23.