Keno Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck was the ultimate Arc Welding project of the Promoted Fanboy of Carl Barks already famous for his Continuity Porn. Defying Comic-Book Time, Don Rosa's 12-part epic takes every (reasonably possible) Noodle Incident, adventure, and reference from Scrooge McDuck's life in Barks' comics and organizes them into a coherent, plausible timeline.
The saga begins when Scrooge is ten years old in 1877 and ends with meeting his nephew Donald Duck at the time of his premiere story in Christmas 1947. In-between, the series tells the story of how a poor lad from Scotland traveled the globe building up a fortune and financial empire by being smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies to become the richest man in the world, having every possible adventure a Self-Made Man could find. The series gives us our best look at Scrooge's family — his parents, uncles, and sisters — and shows how he met enemies like Flintheart Glomgold and the Beagle Boys, friends like Theodore Roosevelt, and Mentors like Howard Rockerduck that helped mold him into the Anti-Hero Jerk with a Heart of Gold we've known him as. The epic is packed with Character Development, adventure, Continuity Nods, Leaning on the Fourth Wall, a miraculous amount of violence and innuendo that got past the radar, and of course Don Rosa's trademark Scenery Porn and insane amount of historical, geographical, and cultural research.
The 12 original chapters were released in issues of Uncle Scrooge from April 1994 through February 1996. They were published together in an anthology in June 2005. In the spirit of Disney's love of midquels, in September 2006, Gemstone released The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion, which turned 7 of Don Rosa's previously published Uncle Scrooge stories (and 1 brand new story) into Midquels since they were Flashbacks about more adventures from Scrooge's glory days... essentially Arc Welding within Arc Welding. Most of the midquels use a Framing Device of Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie unearthing Scrooge's trunk of memorabilia in his money bin and asking questions about the stories behind its contents, prompting said flashbacks.
Most of the stories (including the midquels) were released in Europe before appearing in the American Uncle Scrooge series; for example, the original twelve chapters appeared in countries including Denmark, Germany, and Norway in 1992. The release dates given below give the first publication and then its American equivalent.
This work earned Don Rosa the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in 1995 for "Best Serialized Story".
- Chapter 0: "Of Ducks, Dimes, and Destinies"
- Chapter 1: "The Last of the Clan McDuck"
- Chapter 2: "The Master of the Mississippi"
- Chapter 3: "The Buckaroo of the Badlands"
- Chapter 3 B: "The Cowboy Captain of the Cutty Sark"
- Chapter 4: "The Raider of the Copper Hill"
- Chapter 5: "The New Laird of Castle McDuck"
- Chapter 6: "The Terror of the Transvaal"
- Chapter 6 B: "The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff"
- Chapter 7: "The Dreamtime Duck of the Never-Never"
- Chapter 8: "The King of the Klondike"
- Chapter 8 B: "The Prisoner of White Agony Creek"
- Chapter 8 C: "Hearts of the Yukon"
- "Last Sled to Dawson"
- Chapter 9: "The Billionaire of Dismal Downs"
- Chapter 10: "The Invader of Fort Duckburg"
- Chapter 10 B: "The Sharpie of the Culebra Cut"
- Chapter 11: "The Empire Builder From Calisota"
- Chapter 12: "The Richest Duck in the World"
- "The Dream of a Lifetime"
- All There in the Manual: Between each chapter, Rosa explains which "Barksian facts" he used to create it.
- An Aesop: Hard work and perseverance pays off! Don Rosa himself was shocked and touched to receive letters from people who would tell him that reading Life and Times inspired them in Real Life to work hard for their dreams and to not be afraid of failure. Not bad for a (technically) children's comic about an anthropomorphic duck.
- Arc Welding: Of Scrooge McDuck's life.
- Been There, Shaped History: Scrooge meets many real historical figures and unwittingly causes the sinking of the Titanic.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Scrooge and Goldie. Hortense and Quackmore as well.
- Beta Couple: Quackmore Duck/Hortense McDuck for Alpha Couple Scrooge McDuck/Glittering Goldie. They come together over the course of several late stories but are never the focus.
- Blue Blood: The Clan McDuck.
- Bookends: The series starts and ends with Scrooge going through his money and memories. Don lampshades this trope, saying, "It's just the sort of corny thing we writers and artists do."
- Bowdlerize: The series' frequent Symbol Swearing is removed in many translations to not include swearing at all.
- Continuity Porn: Don Rosa attempts to explain every reference that Cark Barks had Scrooge make to his life before coming into contact with his nephews. The series therefore provides references and call backs to numerous stories written by Carl Barks. For example, the end of the first story, The Last of the Clan McDuck, has Scrooge's father give him a watch and a set of golden teeth. The watch had shown up years previously in Carl Barks' Heirloom Watch. That same story also references Barks' Whiskervilles, The Horseradish Story, and The Old Castle's Secret. He even managed to take some stories into account that he did not personally enjoy too much, such as Voodoo Hoodoo, in which Scrooge McDuck, who is touted as having made his entire fortune square, fondly remembers the time he cheated an African tribe out of their land. Other stories are outright ignored, such as The Magic Hourglass, which implied that the titular hourglass was responsible for Scrooge's wealth through luck.
- Cool Horse: Hortense, Scrooge's mare.Scrooge: "I'll get Hortense later, cap'n! She's stretching her legs!"Sailor on the mast: "Blimey! There's a bloomin' 'orse on the tops'l yardarm!"
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Goldie — not that she'd ever let Scrooge know that...
- Did Not Get the Girl: Which as adamant and vocal a Scrooge/Goldie shipper as Don Rosa is, deserves major credit for maintaining.
- Fiery Redhead: Hortense McDuck. She has a hair-trigger temper and at one point scares off a regiment.
- Funetik Aksent: All Scottish characters (including Scrooge in his youth) speak with a funetik aksent."Ah'm Fergus McDuck and ah cannae trespass on me own land?!"
- Funny Background Event: Happens all the time thanks to Don Rosa's attention to details. Scrooge may be doing one thing with a minor repercussion shown in the background of the next panel.
- Genre-Busting: It's a Funny Animals comic book that follows all the conventions of the classic Epic — a truly modern epic.
- Gold Fever: Kicks in for Scrooge at the end of The New Laird of Castle McDuck
- Hear Me the Money: A talent of Scrooge McDuck's.
- He's Back!: The Richest Duck In The World, Christmas Day 1947. The Beagle Boys have locked the Ducks in Scrooges old storage closet, and Donald picks up an old pickaxe and says rich Uncle Scrooge wouldnt know how to use such a thing. Scrooge finally snaps, straightens up, shrugs off his dressing gown, grabs the pick breaks the door down himself and sets off to catch the Beagles. The King Of The Klondike is back.
- Historical In Jokes: Involving the various historical figures and events which Scrooge encounters throughout the story.
- Historical Person Punchline: The series is rife with famous historical persons, but their identities generally get revealed right away. There are exceptions though:
- In The Buckaroo of the Badlands, Scrooge befriends a young man who chose to become a cowboy instead of continuing his political career. Scrooge inspires him to go back into politics. The story's last panel reveals this fellow's initials to be T. R..
- In The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff, Scrooge meets a lot of legends of The Wild West: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, P. T. Barnum, and the Daltons. And an elderly Native American who escaped from his reservation and now performs in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He is Gokhlayeh, which well-read readers might recognise as the native name of Geronimo, the famous Apache leader.
- Horse of a Different Color: Scrooge McDuck has established his badass credentials several times with these. When he was left for dead in the South African Savanna, he went berserk against all the animals trying to eat or kill him and cowed a lion into becoming his steed. In Australia, he encountered an Emu and used it instead, at least until it ran off from an approaching flood. In the Klondike, he has used moose for transport on more than one occasion. In Hearts of the Yukon, we also briefly see a rider arrive into Dawson City on a bear—but even he's scared of Samuel Steele.
- Humans Are Bastards: A running theme is that people who will be perfectly nice to you when you're both poor will, the second you become rich, start to resent you like crazy. And try to mooch off of you at best, outright rob you at worst.
- Idea Bulb: Parodied in both The Vigilante Of Pizen Bluff and Hearts of the Yukon, where an oil lamp being turned on by hand appears as a substitute, even though Scrooge already had an encounter with an actual lightbulb in Raider Of The Copper Hill.
- Identical Grandson: Gyro Gearloose looks like his grandfather Ratchet.
- In the Blood: Greed is in the McDuck blood.
- I See Dead People: As a young lad, Scrooge was the only one the ghosts of the McDuck clan would reveal themselves to, particularly Quackly.
- I Should Write a Book About This: Scrooge's sister Matilda made a scrapbook of letters, artifacts, and newspaper clippings from all his adventures, which appears on the first page of the original chapters and which the boys are looking at in the midquels.
- Last of His Kind: Scrooge is the last of the McDuck clan.
- Literal Ass-Kicking: Notably during the end of The Empire Builder From Calisota, where young Donald Duck delivers a kick to Scrooge's ass. At the conclusion of The Richest Duck in the World, Scrooge recalls this and kicks Donald's ass in return, solidifying his Adrenaline Makeover.
- Love Hurts: Scrooge and Goldie, no matter how much they both try to deny it.
- Meaningful Name: Why else would Scrooge's eventual love interest be named Goldie?
- Media Watchdog: Several illustrations with guns were altered because Disney only permitted guns to be shown if they weren't pointed at people.
- Noodle Incident: Taking every Carl Barks Noodle Incident ever and... un-noodling them, so to speak.
- Oh, Crap!: Once an Episode right before the climax, not always by Scrooge.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Scrooge is just a scrawny duck who, by the time he reaches his prime, is capable of taking out fifty or some enemies with his bare hands.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: The entire series captures Scrooge's development through life, how his experiences and hardships shaped him from an optimistic youth to the money-hungry villain he was in his debut, and his eventual redemption. If you pay particular attention to the portraits of the main albums, he gets progressively meaner with each portrait until he ends up a broken old man.
- Rags to Riches: The series depicts Scrooge's ascension from a poor boy from Glasgow to the planet's richest duck.
- Real After All: The ghosts of Castle McDuck
- Red Baron: Scrooge earns himself the titles the Master of the Mississippi, the Buckaroo of the Badlands, the Pizen of Pizen Bluff, the King of the Klondike and finally, The Richest Duck In The World.
- Retcon: While generally very faithful to the Carl Barks stories, some aspects are changed:
- In Voodoo Hoodoo, Scrooge looked like Donald Duck when Bombie the Zombie first went after him because that was his natural youthful appearance. Here, it was just a disguise, including the flattened sideburns, which are never visible in other pictures of him with Bombie. He also changed the year the story took place, since Barks' year simply couldn't work with Rosa's timeline.
- Any claims that Scrooge's #1 Dime is "lucky"note are just rumors spread by an ignorant public. (Which makes the Carl Barks story where Scrooge began losing his fortune as soon as he lost his dime, which Don referenced numerous times, into Canon Discontinuity.)
- Goldie wasn't really kidnapped. She was acting in order to get Scrooge to lower his guard and reveal where he'd hidden the deed to his claim to her.
- The Seven Western Plots: The comic is an empire story chronicling Scrooge McDuck's rise to becoming the richest duck in the world, and much of the early story is actually set in the old west where Scrooge works on a riverboat in Louisville, as a cowboy in Montana, and in copper mining when the cattle boom ends.
- Scotland: Chapters 1, 5, and 9
- Shipper on Deck: Donald Duck and the boys to Scrooge and Goldie.
- Shown Their Work: In addition to the many Carl Barks in-jokes, Don Rosa packed a lot of historical anecdotes into the stories.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Scrooge and Goldie; plus, Hortense and Quackmore Duck.
- Spiritual Successor: Don Rosa and fans consider A Letter from Home, where Scrooge returns to Castle McDuck, reconciles with Matilda, and finds a message his father left for him before he died as a sequel/conclusion to the series. (It's also a much better Templar treasure hunt than The Da Vinci Code. And it's only 34 pages long!)
- It is also a sequel to Crown Of The Crusader Kings, which is itself a sequel to The Fabulous Philosopher's Stone.
- Symbol Swearing: Even printed on a newspaper at the end of "The Sharpie of the Culebra Cut" and a sign during "The Richest Duck in the World". Not present in "Of Ducks, Dimes, and Destinies" or "The Last of the Clan McDuck".
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Hortense and Matilda McDuck, Scrooge's younger sisters. Hortense is easily angered and fights ferociously, Matilda is gentle and worries for her brother when he is abroad. Curiously, Matilda (the middle child) is the only one of the siblings who lacks a nasty temper.
- Trigger Happy: Annie Oakley in The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff, Goldie, and Scrooge to an extent
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Most of the chapter titles are titles applied to Scrooge.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As Scrooge's portaits above show.
- Violent Glaswegian: Don't make Scrooge angry... or Hortense, while we're at it (Donald got his temper from both sides of the family!)
- Voodoo Zombie: Bombie the Zombie was enchanted by African voodoo priest Foola Zoola to get revenge on Scrooge McDuck for attacking his tribe and stealing his land. Scrooge, who strongly resembled his future nephew Donald, changed his appearance back just enough to confuse Bombie to leave him be. However, Bombie continued to pursue Scrooge for years as the curse was never lifted, and eventually went after Donald in Carl Barks's original story. (In the original story, Bombie is incapable of understanding that Scrooge has aged since they last met, and goes after the person that most closely resembles a younger Scrooge.)
- Was It Really Worth It?: Scrooge's quest for riches is accompanied with many losses, which at the end raises the question of if becoming the richest duck in the world had any sense after all. Lampshaded, as his quest for the position of "world's richest duck" alienated him from his beloved sisters and his extended family, left him friendless, and essentially alone. In 1947, the 80-year-old Scrooge has money, but lives a solidary life and seems to have lost his hopes and ambitions.
- We Named the Monkey "Jack": Scrooge's horse Hortense, named after his equally fiery sister.
- The Wild West: Chapters 3, 4, and 6B.
The last story Don Rosa completed before the 12-part series proper, later included as a sort of Time Travel prequel. Inspired by hearing Scrooge relate the story of earning his #1 Dime to his grand-nephews while she's spying on him, Magica de Spell uses a Time Travel candle to go back in time to the day Scrooge earned the dime so she can get it before he ever owns it. After some hijinks with Scrooge's father and Howard Rockerduck, she succeeds, and it's while waiting for the return trip to start that she realizes the implications — by preventing Scrooge from ever owning the dime, it's no longer the first coin owned by the richest duck in the world, therefore it's worthless to her, and she's forced to give it back to him and return to the future empty-handed, causing a net difference of zero. Tough luck, but You Can't Fight Fate.
This chapter provides examples of:
- Early-Bird Cameo: Howard Rockerduck, who would return for an important role in "The Robber of the Copper Hill."
- Episode 0: The Beginning: Made after the series concluded, but given the "Chapter 0" moniker because it was a retelling of the first chapter detailing Magica's involvement during her time travel.
- Generation Xerox: Not only the justifications mentioned in Time-Travel Tense Trouble and Uncanny Family Resemblance but also, Fergus chased Magica for the dime and she admitted she'd feel disappointed if he didn't since he's Scrooge's father.
- No More for Me: In the background, a man with a bottle of beer in hand sees Magica disguising herself with magic, and as she leaves the alley, his arm can be seen pouring his beer on the floor.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: According to the Word of God aversion of Stable Time Loop. Magica does change the original timeline by buying the dime from the ditch digger, but then she undoes the effects by giving Scrooge the dime anyway, therefore undoing all the changes she already made, therefore undoing her Time Travel altogether. Confused? All right — A Witch Did It!
- Time-Travel Tense Trouble:Magica: This is like all the times in the past that Scrooge himself has chased me in the future. I mean... what am I talking about?
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Magica briefly mistakes Scrooge's father Fergus for Scrooge himself.
- Would Hit a Girl: Tired of running away, Magica points out to Fergus she's a woman, (mistakenly) believing that's be enough to keep him from laying hands on her. Fergus just shrugs this off and proceeds to grab her by the ankles, turn her upside down and then shake her into the dime drops out of her pocket. She fail to account for Scrooge's greed being a family trait.
Chapter One, of course, tells how a 10-year-old Scrooge first went into business with a shoeshining kit his father made him for his birthday and earned his #1 Dime — an American dime that was worthless to him in Scotland and made him vow to be "sharper than the sharpies and tougher than the toughies" so that he would never be cheated again. After three years of shining shoes, selling firewood and peat, and protecting the McDuck ancestral castle from the McDucks' rival clan the Whiskervilles, 13-year-old Scrooge leaves home to seek his fortune in America.
This chapter provides examples of:
- Badass Creed: Scrooge's promise to be tougher than the toughies, smarter than the smarties and to make his fortune square.
- Call-Forward: The Whiskervilles were about to uncover Sir Swamphole McDuck's alternate entrance to the castle's dungeons, as well as Scrooge's ancestors discussing if Sir Quackly should have shown him the hidden treasure, which would be discovered by Scrooge and his nephews in the Barks story The Old Castle's Secret, about 70 years later.
- Dead All Along: The kind duck who presents the McDuck's history to Scrooge is actually the ghost of Quackly McDuck.
- Didn't Think This Through: Quackly McDuck sealed himself into a wall with the Templars' treasure in his eagerness to hide it.
- Feuding Families: The McDuck against the Whiskervilles.
- Gone Horribly Right: Fergus planned Scrooge getting his Dime to teach him to be more careful with his money. Given what Scrooge will become, this ploy has been 1000% successful. In fact, When young Scrooge begins demanding receipts for the money he gives his family to report on the taxes, Fergus remarks, "Hoots, mon! I may have overinspired the lad!"
- Haunted Castle: The McDuck's ancestral castle is haunted by the ghosts of said ancestors.
- Hell Hound: The Hound of Whiskerville, a direct lift from The Hound of the Baskervilles.
- Identity Denial: Quackly's ghost denies being a McDuck, because there are only 6 surviving McDucks at this point in time (Fergus, Jake, Angus, Scrooge, Matilda, and Hortense). He could not explain that he is part of the Clan, but no longer among the living.
- Impoverished Patrician: The McDuck clan is an empoverished clan of Scottish nobles.
- Intimidating Revenue Service: Scrooge was told that his family doesn't fear anyone, except the tax collectors.
- It Runs in the Family: All the McDuck were incredibly stingy. Scrooge is and will be no exception.
- A Lesson in Defeat: Fergus sets up his son to be given an American (thus worthless in Scotland) dime after hard work, so that he learns to not be too trusting. It actually inspires Scrooge's Badass Creed.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: The McDuck were all runts, but fearsome warriors too. Being very small when armor wasn't designed to let you see below you was a nice bonus.
- Post-Victory Collapse: Scrooge has to clean a pair of boots so dirty, it takes him half an hour and he nearly faints afterward from the effort. Note that Scrooge is only 10-years-old at this point, and is nowhere near as athletic as he would become as an adult.
- Quicksand Sucks: The highlands contain quicksands, but the Whiskervilles, frightened by the fake ghost of Quackly McDuck, run too fast to even notice them.
- Riches to Rags: After the McDuck were driven out of their castle, Seafoam McDuck lost the family's fortune because of the disatrous sinking of a trading ship. (Reference to The Horseradish Story (1953) where Seafoam had put his own fortune as a guarantee that the ship's cargo would reach its destination.)
- Scarecrow Solution: Scrooge scares the Whiskervilles away by making a fake ghost.
- Shoe Shine, Mister?: For his tenth birthday, Scrooge gets a shoeshine kit from his father, and cleaning dirty boots becomes Scrooge's first job.
- Shout-Out: Sir Quackly's line "McDucks sailed forth in fear o' no man born o' woman..." alludes to a rather famous play centered on Scotland. Also an in-joke in this case. Quackly's backstory is that he was a loyalist supporter of the historical King Macbeth (reigned 1040-1057) during an 11th-century Scottish civil war.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The Hound that originally drove away the McDucks from their land were the Whiskervilles in disguise, in an attempt to get the land. They have kept the hoax up for centuries for the day when the McDucks finally fail to pay the taxes on the land and they can buy it.
- Scrooge also drives the Whiskervilles away from the castle by making his own hoax. He loads the armor of Sir Quackie with peat and lights it on fire, pretending that the flaming ghost of Quackly is angered by the Whiskervilles' presence.
- The Shadow Knows: Pay attention to the feet of the castle caretaker. Even in direct sunlight, he never casts a shadow.
- Title Drop:Sir Quackly: After all, you are the Last of the Clan McDuck!
Scrooge: Last, but not least! Not from now on!
- Violent Glaswegian: Everyone here is Scottish, and ready for a fight with the rival family.
- Young Future Famous People: Scrooge, the future Living Legend and richest duck in the world is featured as a 10 years old duck.
Scrooge's first American venture is with his Uncle Angus "Pothole" McDuck on his riverboat inLouisville, Kentucky. The two of them go on Scrooge's first treasure hunt for a sunken ship in the Mississippi, the Drennan Whyte, with some help from Gyro Gearloose's grandfather, Ratchet Gearloose. In the process, Scrooge meets (and names) his first generation of Beagle Boys. Their next meeting two years later ends with the destruction of the riverboat Scrooge bought from his uncle. Out of options in the riverboat business and still no profit to show for it, 15-year-old Scrooge moves West. (Meanwhile, his Uncle Pothole goes into the dime store novel business.)
This chapter provides examples of:
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: A town called Monkey's Eyebrow actually exists in Kentucky. Note that Don Rosa actually is from Kentucky, and included references to the geography of his homestate in the story.
- Arson, Murder, and JaywalkingThose pirates are guilty of stealing gold, demolishing a riverboat without a permit and dressing up in women's clothing.
- The fisherman stating "I bin ta three state fairs, two rodeos, an'a picnic, but that was the dangdest thang I ever seed!" His companion also reacts to "picnic" being on his list.
- Call-Forward: Angus chastises Scrooge for keeping a coin just for sentimental value, joking that he would end up with a bin full of coins. It is a reference to, and inspires Scrooge's future money bin.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Sawyer, trees trapped at the bottom of the Mississipi and which can violently spring out of the water, are introduced early and of course have some use at the end of the story.
- Contrived Coincidence: Scrooge encounters a member of the Gearloose family and the Beagle Boys in Louisville. Later he winds up living alongside them in Duckburg, all three parties having decided to settle there completely independently of each other. The in-story explanation is that Scrooge purchased land in Duckburg during his Klondike days (without having a particular goal in mind), the Beagle Boys migrated west at some point between the 880s and 1900s, and Duckburg attracted a lot of new arrivals after Scrooge's arrival, to the many available jobs in his companies.
- Cool Uncle: Angus McDuck is this to Scrooge. An aging riverboat captain, gambler, and amateur treasure hunter, that gives Scrooge his first taste in adventuring. Subverted in that he pays his nephew a meager 30 cents a day (About 8 dollars adjusting for inflation).
- Creator Provincialism: Why does Scrooge go to Louisville? Because that's where Don Rosa's from, so why not? That, and it really was one of the major ports of the Ohio river at the time.
- Dramatic Unmask: Parodied, Scrooge exposes the Beagle Boys as wanted felons by taking off the masks that only covers the area around their eyes.
- "Eureka!" Moment: Ratchet manages to save himself and Scrooge from a boiler explosion by having the idea of hiding inside another boiler and using cotton to cushion themselves.
- Epic Fail: In their second encounter with Scrooge, the Beagle Boys trap Scrooge and Ratcher in the boiler room after breaking the safety valve, planning that the explosion will cover up the gold theft. Unmanned, the riverboat goes ashore and crashes into the Beagles' shack, and then explodes.Blackheart: You nitwits! You was follered by a whole riverboat!
- Even Evil Has Standards: Porker Hoggs is an antagonist but doesn't welsh on a deal. The Beagle Boys do. However, even the Beagle Boys disapprove of Angus when he seemingly is ready to let his nephew die for another treasure. Blackheart points out that he too would let his kin die if he could get rich, though.
- Eviler Than Thou: The Beagle Boys to Porker Hogg. For added fun, the Beagles dispose of Porker immediately after Porker reveals his redeeming trait of never going back on a deal.
- Face Framed in Shadow: The Beagle Boys, before they get their masks.
- Five-Aces Cheater: The poker game between Pothole and Porker, in which Porker lays down a full house of three kings and two aces, and Pothole responds with another full house of three aces... and two more aces. It turns out the "ace dispenser" up Porker's sleeve broke. Pothole then tells Scrooge that they were playing by "riverboat captain rules", in which not trying to cheat is an insult to the other players.
- Foreshadowing: Pothole tells Scrooge he'll pay him 30 cents a day to work at his boat. Scrooge's reaction is to get an entertained look on his face and ponder "A man paying his own nephew only 30 cents a day to help him hunt treasure! Frugal... very frugal!" Donald apparently has Pothole to blame for his low salaries working with his uncle.
- Generation Xerox: Uncles hiring their nephews as sidekicks for dangerous, exciting adventures must be a McDuck family tradition.
- Gold Fever: Scrooge and Angus seek out a stash of government gold worth 100,000$.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The future Beagle Boys are looking for a new gang name, but it is Scrooge who unwittingly baptizes them by calling them "Beagle Boys", a name which the thugs like.
- Inevitable Waterfall: A waterfall is situated near Louisville.
- I Should Write a Book About This: Angus decides to become a writer, relating his adventures on the Mississipi.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Scrooge meets Angus but takes some time to reveal that he is Angus' nephew. Since Angus migrated to the United States decades ago, he has never met his nephew.
- The Magic Poker Equation: Subverted, Angus deliberately cheats in a very important hand of poker, and better than his opponent Porker Hoggs by having five aces in his hand.
- Mucking in the Mud: The Mississipi and by extension the sunken ship hiding the treasure, are very muddy.
- Naïve Newcomer: The young Scrooge is this, being inexperienced enough that the first man he meets in Louisville manages steal Scrooge's luggage.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: When Scrooge and Angus find the treasure, Scrooge is a little disappointed to have become rich so rapidly and through luck rather than work. He doesn't keep the treasure for long.
- Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Averted, as Porker Hog and Uncle Pothole's game demonstrates, cheating is not only commonplace, but it is considered rude not to cheat. When Pothole beats him at cards (having 5 aces), Porker is more angry that his trick card device got jammed, and everyone just has a laugh at his expense.
- No Honor Among Thieves: The Beagles turn on Porker after reaching the (Apparent) site of the treasure, and Angus cackles at the "Honor among thieves" when Porker makes his way to shore.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: The Beagle Boys surprise Scrooge by disguising as old ladies. Scrooge remarks that the moustache should have tipped him off.
- Riches to Rags: Scrooge temporarily manages a lucrative business, before the Beagle Boys manage to ruin him. Scrooge now only has his family heirlooms and a few dollars to his name.
- Running Gag: Pothole describing how muddy the Mississippi river is.
- Tempting Fate: The Beagle Boys hoping that they will never have to experience Scrooge stopping them from stealing money again. Scrooge will more than once express a wish to never see them again either. Naturally in present-day stories, they are Scrooge's most persistent and ever-present foes.
- Treasure Hunt Episode: This entry focuses on Scrooge looking for a treasure, instead of building his fortune with business. Scrooge himself isn't too thrilled to become rich like this.
- Underground Boat: The Drennan Whyte was in fact hidden underground, and not at the bottom of the river.
- Underwater Ruins: The Beagle Boys witness the ruins of a ghost town lying at the bottom of the Mississipi.
- Villain Ball: The Beagle Boys try to kill Scrooge by locking him inside a boat and making the boiler blow up, giving him time to escape.
- Wretched Hive: Louisville is this. The city is depicted as full of thieves, gamblers, river pirates, and other unsavory types.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The second Porker Hog no longer has anything to offer the Beagle Boys, they renege on their deal with him, and toss him overboard to take the Dilly Dollar Treasure for themselves.
After a short encounter with Jesse James, Scrooge finds himself a cowboy in Montana, protecting a prize steer from cattle rustlers, the McVipers. He hopes to gain his fortune as the manager of a ranch in the future, but for now, he gains the nickname Buck McDuck, a friend whom he recommends should go back into politics, and a tough but ornery horse he names after his similar-tempered sister, Hortense, who will be around for a few chapters.
This chapter provides examples of:
- And I'm the Queen of Sheba: While on a train, Scrooge meets a fellow who has some "Square Eggs" on him. Unbelieving, Scrooge crows, "If this is a square egg, then I'm the chicken that laid it."
- Bears Are Bad News: Scrooge and Roosevelt are cornered by a brown bear.
- Bizarre Seasons: When it rains in the Rocky Mountains, trouts can swim in it.
- Cattle Baron: Scrooge meets Scottish-born cattle baron Murdo MacKenzie (1850-1939) immediatly after falling off the train, and would end up spending the next few years learning the cattle trade.
- Chase Scene: A hilarious one where everything chases everyone at the same time, namely a bison wearing a frightening dinosaur skull chases horrified Indians, a bear chases the McVipers, and Scrooge is trying to rein in his bull.
- Cowboy: The working type, those who guard and guide cattle. Scrooge becomes one in this chapter.
- Cowboy Episode: One of the few chapters featuring the Wild West and genuine cow boys.
- Fingore: Scrooge tricks Jesse James into thinking there's a treasure hidden in his dentures. When Jesse tries to reveal it... *TUMP*
- Eldritch Location: The Dakota Badlands.
- Flyover Country: Scrooge travels to the Great Plains, and marvels at the unhindered view of the aptly named "Sea of Grass".
- Good Samaritan: Scrooge takes the time to save a stranger in the badlands, who turns out to be a young Theodore Roosevelt.
- Hollywood Darkness: Averted, Scrooge wanders around in a moonless night and doesn't see anything beyond his beak. He hilariously finds himself atop his own herd of cows.
- Instantly Proven Wrong: While on a train, Scrooge meets a fellow who has some "Square Eggs" on him. Unbelieving, Scrooge crows, "If this is a square egg, then I'm the chicken that laid it." A stray bullet cracks the egg, leaving Scrooge covered in square egg yolk.
- Meaningful Rename: Scrooge renames his horse "Hortense" in honor of his little sister, as they share the same bad temper.
- Moody Mount: Scrooge is given a temperamental horse named "Widow Maker".
- Foreshadowing: The square eggs the travelling scientist shows Scrooge are from Plain Awful, an isolated valley in the Andes, originally introduced by Barks in the 1949 story "Lost In the Andes", and eventually visited by Scrooge himself in "Return To Plain Awful" by Rosa.
- Naked People Are Funny: While riding Hortense, Scrooge loses all of his clothes as she jumps. Three times. Luckily, he doesn't fall off because his belt gets stuck on the saddle.
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: A dinosaur fossil startles Scrooge, who proceeds to try to wrestle it.
- Rousing Speech: Roosevelt delivers one to a down-on-his-luck Scrooge, who had been feeling down by repeated failure. He reassures Scrooge's valour and rekindles the ambition within him.
- The Rustler: The McVipers try to steal a prized bull who was guarded by Scrooge.
- They Have the Scent!: Wandering Indians advise Scrooge to follow the McVipers through their foul odor.
- Train Job: Jesse James and his gang try to rob the train in which Scrooge is travelling. It doesn't take long for Scrooge to disable them and force them to flee.
During his stint as a Montana cowboy, Scrooge takes a trip on the famous Cutty Sark clipper to deliver two longhorn bulls to the sultan of Djokja in Java for an annual bullteam race. When Scrooge's bulls are stolen, his efforts to get them back results in "a Scottish cowboy steam[ing] into port on a run-aground ship"... and subsequently losing all the money from his sale in paying fees, fines, and bills for the damages caused on this adventure. (Apparently, this was in the days before Hero Insurance.)
This chapter provides examples of:
- The Bus Came Back: Scrooge runs into Ratchet again, who is trying to use geothermic energy to power his latest invention, a prototype car.
- Not So Stoic: Captain Moore treats every incredible thing that happens around him with the same dour expression, until the last panel he appears in when he smiles from ear to ear. Even his assistant is caught by surprise by the sudden change of expression.
- Off-Model: One panel is colored so that Scrooge is wearing his trademark red coat, even though he doesn't get it until The Billionaire Of Dismal Downs.
- Pre-Explosion Buildup: Scrooge is part of the Cutty Sark's crew when they become witness to the eruption of the island of Krakatoa in 1883. At first, everyone on deck just sees an exploding island with no sound; Gyro Gearloose's father points out that light travels faster. Luckily enough, this gives them enough time to prepare for the coming sound burst, heat wave, tsunami, and discharge of volcanic rock that follow.
- Rage Breaking Point: Scrooge reactions after losing all his money for paying multiple fees, fines and bills based on Ratchet's picture at the end of the story.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story:
- For Captain Moore — throughout the story, he asks his crew for his camera, and when they finally get it out for a photo opportunity, it gets busted right before he could take a picture.
- Also for Scrooge himself - The enormous stampede Scrooge led into town caused enough damage to warrant hefty fines, making him broke again. The authorities had no claim on the protocar either, as Scrooge had plunged the only prototype into the harbor.
- Un Sound Effect: Literally. Complete with an editor's note explaining exactly why.
The end of the cattle boom in The Wild West means yet another career change for Scrooge: prospecting. He likes his chances with copper mining since he strikes his claim just when some new-fangled invention called electricity causes a demand for copper. While working his homestead near the Anaconda Hill Copper Works ("the richest hill on Earth"), he meets millionaire Self-Made Man Howard Rockerduck, who, to the disdain of his wife and Spoiled Brat son (one John D. Rockerduck) who have forgotten his humble beginnings, teaches him the art of prospecting. But Wait, There's More!
After a wild fight with claim jumpers (the first of many in his life), Scrooge believes he has finally found the key to his fortune, until he gets a telegram from home urgently asking him to bring money to help with a crisis. Unable to wait to turn a limitless profit from the copper mine, he sells it back to the original owners and returns to his family with the money, taking away one important lesson from his experience:
Scrooge: They were my friends! What did I do?
Rockerduck: You got rich, son. Best get used to it like -sigh I did. You'll have their respect, but no longer their love.
This chapter provides examples of:
- Amusing Injuries: Scrooge is sent to cut off barbed wires off-screen, but when he appears, he is covered in sharp barbed wires. Although Scrooge explicitely says it hurts like hell, it is Played for Laughs. Another instance is Scrooge getting electrocuted.
- Easily Overheard Conversation: Everyone in town somehow overhears Howard saying to Scrooge that he needs to put the claim on his land to get rich.
- End of an Age: The age of migrating great cow herds has ended as more people have claimed for themselves the lands on which cows feed.
- Most people believe that the day of the mineral rushes is over as well, but as this story will show, those days aren't quite over just yet.
- Foreshadowing: Scrooge isn't that choked up that his (Brief) ownership of the Anaconda Mine has cost his friendship with the other prospectors, hinting that his quest for money will embitter him towards his family...
- Green-Eyed Monster: All of Scrooge's friends in the town immediately turn on him for striking it rich. It is one of many bitter lessons that Scrooge will have to learn.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Scrooge works hard to mine for copper, but with no skill or luck, his attempts at finding copper are unsuccessful. Howard Rockerduck later notes that Scrooge lacks training, and offers the younger man some tips.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: John Roderduck is a spoiled and unpleasant brat, no wonder the prospect of his father whipping him with a horsewhip comes off as hilarious, instead of shocking.
- Idle Rich: Howard Roderduck's wife and son are this. They actually look down on him for daring to *gasp*, work with his hands. Having apparently forgotten that he earned his fortune in this way.
- Loophole Abuse: Howard tries to get Scrooge a claim to a very rich copper vein, due to an obscure rule stipulating that the person who owns land where the vein is closest to the surface gets the whole vein.
- Mentor Archetype: Howard Roderduck becomes a mining teacher to Scrooge, and teaches him everything down to how to swing his pickaxe the good way.
- One-Duck Army: Scrooge proves himself worthy of this trope, by fighting hundreds of miners to the last.
- Sadistic Choice: Scrooge is offered 10,000$ for his copper vein, a ridiculoously low price. However a telegraph from his family urging him to come back home forces him to either abandon his family to get rich in the long term or take the 10,000$ he needs to travel right now, at the cost of his future fortune. Scrooge chooses the 10,000$.
- Schmuck Bait: Scrooge baits a bunch of miners who want his claim into his cabin by taunting them from seemingly inside. They are all trapped inside by Scrooge, who kicks the cabin into a nearby river.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After being shocked by a live wire Scrooge was swinging on, faithful steed Hortense has this thought before marching off in a huff.Hortense: (Thinking) I quit! Effective immediately!
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: After literally having to fight off an army of people, Scrooge must abandon his claim to wealth and return to Scotland because his family needs him at the moment.
- Spoiled Brat: Rockerduck's son, John. Little does Scrooge know that the annoying little twerp will one day become his Nr 2 rival, though unlike Glomgold, they remain business rivals only, rather than bitter enemies.
- Telegraph Gag STOP"Son - Terrible crisis for the clan McDuck stop need cash stop come home at once stop don't stop stop"
- Vine Swing: Scrooge tries to go ahead of a mob of people by swinging above them with an electrical wire.
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: In this case, Scrooge discovering copper is at first treated with contempt. However the news about electricity and the subsequent explosion in copper's value triggers a town-wide copper rush.
Scrooge arrives back in Dismal Downs just as his family is about to lose their land and castle if they don't pay the back taxes from falling behind in the payments (the clan has struggled to maintain ownership of the castle even if the demon hound has made it too dangerous to live there). Scrooge's bank draft from the sale of his copper mine saves the castle, his destiny to become "the cheapest, stingiest, most miserly, turnip-squeezingest, penny-pinching tightwad on Earth" saves his life (the dead should not interfere in the land of the living), and the ghosts of Scrooge's ancestors save him when he is nearly killed in a duel with the Whiskervilles. No big deal. Now the McDucks can move back into the castle, and Scrooge can move on with making his fortune... this time, in gold.
This chapter provides examples of:
- Armored Coffins: When Scrooge falls into a pond with his armor, it becomes a weight pulling him to the bottom of the water and almost results in Scrooge dying.
- Back from the Dead: Scrooge. The 18-year-old Scrooge drowns in the moat of the ancestral castle, and enters in the afterlife. But his ancestors resurrect him, giving him a chance to escape his watery grave, breath oxygen again, and win the duel.
- Badass Boast: Scrooge utterly dominates his duel with Argus, and brags about how his previous adventures taught him everything there is at asskicking.
- Because Destiny Says So: First time Scrooge is pretty much prophesied to become The Richest Duck in the World.
- Blind Alley: Argus tries to run away from his duel with Scrooge, and while pursued, turns around a corner and poses as an armor to escape Scrooge's wrath.
- Blind Without 'Em: Downplayed; After 4 chapters where Scrooge apparently had perfect vision, Scrooge now has to wear glasses to read. He predicts that his work will force him to wear them at all time.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: Scrooge with the ancestral armors of the family for his duel with Argus.
- Broomstick Quarterstaff: Hortense chases off three Whiskervilles out of her castle with a broom.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Hortense McDuck as she is chasing off the Whiskervilles.
- Chekhov's Gun: Averted; Scrooge mentions a cream cheese sandwich early in the story, but it doesn't serve anything. However Scrooge's number 1 dime does save him from drowning.
- Corrupt Cop: The sheriff Wenton Whiskerville tries to steal 10,000 from the McDuck and then to murder Scrooge. But seeing the ghosts of the McDucks frightens him away.
- Death by Gluttony: Sir Roast ate himself to death after raiding William the Lion's pantry.
- Dramatic Thunder: When Scrooge reappears in front of Argus, thunder and lightning accompany his return to make him look badass. Since Argus thought Scrooge dead, seeing him return was already intimidating.
- Duel to the Death: Argus Whiskerville challenges Scrooge to a duel because of the humiliation of having been frightened by a fake ghost, engineered by the latter. Thus both don armor and take up their swords and battle.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: The McDuck clan's dead ancestors seem to all reside in it. They also play golf in here.
- The Gloves Come Off: When Scrooge goes on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, he monologues about cutting himself loose and trash-talks the animals of the savanna he fights his way through.
- Glove Slap: One of the Whiskervilles challenges young Scrooge to a duel with a metal glove, appropriated from a suit of armor. Poor Scrooge is seeing Circling Stars after that one, but he recovers pretty quickly.
- Harmless Electrocution: Scrooge, in a moment of idiocy, points his sword upward in the middle of a storm, and gets hit by lightning. He comes out rather unharmed.
- Haunted Castle: The McDuck castle.
- Impact Silhouette: When the Whiskerville are frightened away by the many ghosts of the McDuck clan, they crash through a door and leave their silhouette on the door, which is several inches thick of hard wood.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Or rather, to everything but that last one. Fergus and Scrooge are very upset to be called "liars" and "cowards," but they don't mind "tightwads."
- It Runs in the Family: Scrooge confronts some of his ancestors, and avarice seems to be also an ancestral trait.
- Locked into Strangeness: Seeing a ghost whitened the Whiskervilles' hair. Seeing the ghost of all the ancestors renders them bald.
- Near-Death Experience: Scrooge seemingly dies, and is sent to Heaven. Quackly McDuck is appalled that such a promising young lad would die like this and works to send him back.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Sir Quackley tries to help Scrooge by handing him his sword, which gets the living McDuck struck by lightning. In fact, the other McDuck ancestors determine that if Quackley hadn't interfered, the lightning would have distracted Whiskerville, allowing Scrooge to win the duel anyway.
- The Nose Knows: Scrooge learned from his meeting with Indians and tracks Argus by his scent.
- Not Too Dead to Save the Day: When the Whiskervilles plan on down right murdering Scrooge for getting the best of them, the ghosts of Scrooge's ancestors appears on the walls around them to scare them off for good.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The ancestors are very judgemental toward Scrooge, mentioning his every failure, including future ones. Quackly however, retorts back with all the ancestors' own shortcomings. For example, the brave Eider McDuck, who died while fighting alone in battle, is revealed to have actually doomed himself. He underpaid his soldiers and made budget cuts to their equipment, to the point that everyone abandoned him.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Quackly was supposed to not interfere with the living, but restoring the glory of the McDuck Clan was more important to him.
- Shout-Out: Scrooge's ending line "There's always another rainbow!" refers to Barks' oil painting Always Another Rainbow of Scrooge as a gold digger (which is the prospect Scrooge decides to pursue next).
- Stay in the Kitchen: Fergus McDuck tells his brother to take "the women" home for their safety... including Hortense, who was shown to be their best fighter one page ago.
Scrooge's first attempt at gold prospecting takes him to South Africa, where he meets a Boer also on his way to the Johannesburg goldfields who offers to be his guide. Scrooge awakens the next morning to find his new "friend" has vanished, stolen his supplies, and left him to perish out on the rand. Furious at being double-crossed, he makes his way to civilization in his typical badass fashion, finds the scoundrel, vents his anger in a Humiliation Conga, and throws him in jail. He doesn't strike it rich in the low-grade Transvaal soil and eventually packs up and leaves with the vow never to trust anybody again, thanks to a lesson from his least noble enemy yet, whatever-his-name-was note .
This chapter provides examples of:
- Amoral Afrikaner: The thief who steals Scrooge's cart and abandons him in the middle of the savanna. And all this after Scrooge had saved the thief's life and shared his supplies with the thief.
- The Beast Master: Scrooge pressgangs a lion into serving as an emergency transport back to civilization.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Flintheart pretends to be an innocent duck, stranded in the middle of the savanna as he plans to steal Scrooge's cart and abandon him in the middle of the savanna.
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted. Scrooge fires exactly twelve shots from his two six shooters, and is clearly seen reloading afterwards.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Scrooge will soon forget the young, ruthless Boer. He is neither the first, nor the last thief Scrooge meets. But the humiliations inflicted on him, convince the thief to start seeking power, to ensure that no one humiliates him again. A young Flintheart will never forget Scrooge, as he tries to make his own way to the top.
- Continuity Nod: The Kaffir de Gaffir gold mine opened during the episode. That was the gold mine Scrooge and Glomgold tried to outbid each other for in Carl Barks story So Far and no Safari (1966).
- Cynicism Catalyst: This is the first confrontation from which Scrooge actually comes out worse than before. The betrayal he felt from someone who was pretending to be a friend, turns Scrooge into a more distrustful and cold person. Illustrated by this line below:Scrooge: Villains of a more noble ilk than you made me cautious and resourceful and scrappy...but you...you just made me mean!
- Does Not Like Guns: Scrooge uses guns, but doesn't want to shoot anyone, even someone who stole from him.
- Downer Ending: A mild one, but Scrooge's adventure in South Africa doesn't even result in getting money, and his encounter with Flintheart made him more jaded than optimistic.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Scrooge feels all the more betrayed because, until then, all of his enemies were antagonistic from the start or neutral towards him. This is the first time someone pretended to be his friend to take advantage of him. His misplaced trust on a "friend" hurts more than the encounters with unashamed villains.
- The Farmer and the Viper: Glomgold steals all of Scrooge's supplies and abandons him, even after Scrooge saved his life. The trope is even mentioned:Scrooge: I saved his life and shared my food with him, and this is how he repays me! What a... a viper!
- Freudian Excuse: Glomgold is the reason Scrooge decided not to trust anybody. Until then, Scrooge never had an enemy who pretended to be a friend.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: A talentless anonymous thief swears revenge on Scrooge, and in several years, will become one of Scrooge's archenemies.
- Good Samaritan: Scrooge stops to help an Afrikaner tied to a bull, but soon sees how much his trust was rewarded.
- Humiliation Conga: Scrooge's way of taking revenge on the thief who left him in the middle of the savanna before throwing him in prison.
- I'm Your Worst Nightmare: Scrooge says this to Glomgold before he calls him out, guns ablazing.
- King of Beasts: Scrooge uses a lion as a mount after outroaring it.
- Never Be Hurt Again: After Scrooge humiliates and arrests Flintheart Glomgold, Glomgold vows to become rich enough to avoid being humiliated again.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Scrooge tries to rescue Flintheart only to be betrayed, because Flintheart is still a thief.
- Save the Villain: When Glomgold runs into the lion Scrooge rode into town, Scrooge laments, "Drat the luck! Now I gotta save his hide rather than tan it!"
- Spit Take: Flintheart spits out his soda when Scrooge reappears in town. He thought he had gotten away with murder, when his enraged victim arrives and seeks revenge.
- Start of Darkness:
- Glomgold was a thief and a jerk even before running into Scrooge for the first time, but this encounter is what set him on the path to become the monstrous Corrupt Corporate Executive that will remain Scrooge's bitter enemy for the rest of their lives.
- Scrooge's failed attempt to befriend someone, also teaches him to distrust everyone. Turning him into a loner. A few decades later, Scrooge no longer trusts anyone, including his own sisters and loyal employees (suspecting them of embezzlement for no obvious reason, other than his own paranoia). By the time Scrooge and Flintheart meet again (in 1956), they have become nearly identical in thought process.
- Taught by Experience: Scrooge is proud to have learned his ways in the field. After being betrayed by Flintheart, Scrooge doesn't even want to discuss it with him.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Even after Scrooge saves his life, Glomgold betrays him the first chance he gets.
- Unknown Rival: Glomgold is determined in the end to get revenge on Scrooge for humiliating him, but Scrooge just casually leaves him in jail without even bothering to learn his name...for now...
- We Will Meet Again: The nameless thief (a younger Flintheart Glomgold) swears that he will get back at Scrooge for his Humiliation Conga one day.
- Woolseyism: In the original, the thief calls himself a Boer (Dutch-South-African), which Scrooge mistakes as him calling himself a bore. In the Norwegian translation, Scrooge's answer is "Oh? Well, we all have to live somewhere", since "Bo" in Norwegian means Inhabit or Live (...in a place).
A prequel to the Carl Barks comic Return to Pizen Bluff. Scrooge reunites with his Uncle Pothole, who has become famous thanks to his novels about his adventures saving his nephew Scrooge... but anyway, the two McDucks join forces with P.T. Barnum, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and a Native American guy named Gokhlayeh to track down the Dalton Gang when they rob Barnum's wild west show. Before the posse bids good-bye, lamenting the impending death of The Wild West, Scrooge has them all autograph one of the show's handbills, which Matilda McDuck later pasted into her scrapbook... and which the triplets determine contains a map to the Lost Dutchman's Mine on the back. Oh, Crap!!
This chapter provides examples of:
- Battle Discretion Shot: Uncle Pothole says while watching Scrooge's brawl, "That would never get past the censors." Of course, he was getting inspiration for his dime novels from the whole fight...
- Exactly What I Aimed At: A Dalton goon mocks Scrooge when he seems to miss a shot, right before being hit by a banner loosened by Scrooge's bullet.
- Imagine Spot: When Uncle Pothole and Buffalo Bill enter an abandoned building with the Daltons hiding behind a doorway for an ambush, Dalton clones suddenly spring out from elsewhere and Pothole and Bill fight them off, with Bill's hair noticably turning darker. Cut to the Daltons still standing near the doorway with dumbfounded expressions, and back in the chaos, Uncle Pothole has suddenly become ridiculously muscular, while Buffalo Bill is decorated with honors and his hair is completely black. Everything suddenly returns to normal, where it is revealed that Pothole was just writing a dime novel draft on the fly. Especially noteworthy, since it depicts Pothole writing Marty Stu versions of himself and Bill In-Universe.
- It Will Never Catch On: Uncle Pothole's idea for a new kind of magazine with "adventures told in a series of drawings, and the dialogue written into some kinda bubbles!"
- Oh, Crap!:
- Uncle Pothole's reaction once he learns the identity of the Native-American he's been disparaging.
- In present day, Scrooge has this reaction when he realizes that the old playbill he kept as a souvenir and is now glued to the scrapbook really IS the map to the Lost Dutchman Mine. This is a lead in to a later Don Rosa story.
- The Reveal: Scrooge knew all along, but towards the end of the story, it's revealed that Gokhlayeh is better known as Geronimo.
- Super Window Jump: By Scrooge, riding on a horse, no less, to get the drop on the Daltons.
- Twilight of the Old West: Brought up towards the end, as the heroes talk of how their era is passing, while Pothole suggesting it could live on in fiction.
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?:Scrooge: No one would be interested in reading the adventures of a rough and tumble prospector like me.
From Darkest Africa to Pizen Bluff to Kalgoorlie, Australia, Scrooge continues his quest for gold. But first, he saves an Aborigine wiseman from a bandit, and hears the legend of the Dreamtime. The wiseman also shows him the cave with the Dreamtime story painted and carved into its walls, along with a sacred opal the size of a melon. Scrooge then has to stop the bandit from stealing the relic, losing his #1 Dime in the process, and eventually gets a chance to steal the opal himself as the cave collapses so that no one would even discover the theft for a hundred years. After making his choice, he is rewarded by the miraculous return of his dime and inspiration from the last segment of the legend, with pictures that look like the aurora borealis in the Yukon...
This chapter provides examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming:
- Scrooge says a throwaway line, "Great! Now I'm John Philip Sousa!", causing his Aborigine companion to call him "Jonflip Zooza" for the rest of the story (Scrooge never corrects him).
- Averted in the Portuguese edition. He is called Benny Goodman (who was known as the King of Swing). That happens to be a rather awkward anachronism, though, as Benny Goodman wasn't even born in the timeframe of this story.
- Animal Stereotypes: One legend narrates the tale of a sly dingo stealing an egg and a courageous platypus pursuing him.
- Battle Boomerang: Scrooge gets to use one once to disarm a bandit.
- Because Destiny Says So: Continued from Chapter 5, Scrooge's destiny of becoming the richest duck in the world is confirmed by an Aborigin legend. Images in the Australian cave have already predicted his adventures in Yukon, his Money Bin in Duckburg, and the birth of his nephews.
- Bottomless Pits: In the dream cave there is a seemingly bottomless pit, so deep Scrooge doubts that all the rope in Sydney would help reach the bottom.
- Call-Forward: After Scrooge leaves for the Yukon, attention was drawn to the Dreamtale's depictions of the Goose Egg Nugget, the money bin, and Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.Jabiru Kapirigi: The great platypus finds a yellow egg? He builds a mighty nest? And what are these other figures? How confusing! What have they to do with an out-of-luck fossicker like poor Jonflip?
- Celestial Deadline: Every century, an Aborigen "dream cave" reveals itself to narrate a legend.
- Chekhov's Gun: The didjeridoo, which Scrooge uses to summon the dream cave, is also used as an emu call to permit his escape from said cave.
- Chekhovs Legend: The legend painted into the walls of the dream cave is actually a retelling of Scrooge's own misadventure. Moreover several other paintings basically describe his future life as the richest duck in the world.
- Foreboding Fleeing Flock: A fleeing horde of kangaroos warns Scrooge of an incoming flood.
- Giant Wall of Watery Doom: A flash flood coming from the nearby mountains threatens to drown Scrooge, and the wave is not only several times higher than Scrooge, it is also remarkable in that it covers the whole desert.
- Kangaroo Pouch Ride: Scrooge uses a Kangaroo for transportation in order to get fast enough to the gold fields to grab a good claim. He is nevertheless too late though.
- Kangaroos Represent Australia: Kangaroos of course make several appearances in the course of the story.
- Horse of a Different Color: That is beside him riding a camel and an emu at different points in the story.
- Land Down Under: Set in Australia.
- Magical Native American: Jabiru plays the Australian Aboriginal variant straight, introducing Scrooge to mysticism and Dreamtime (and inspiring Scrooge's passion for history).
- Men Are Uncultured: Scrooge is this at first, because he is only interested in getting rich and doesn't see the interest of archaeology. That the legend he happens to read actually comes true convinces him that there is value in history. This sets up his path to becoming a Cultured Badass. Note that Barks' Scrooge is an amateur archaeologist who habitually seeks the truth behind legendary narratives.
- Power Crystal: Jabiru's crystal can help him see the way, and indeed shows Scrooge the way to wealth, by making him see Alaska's Northern Lights.
- Sarcasm-Blind: Scrooge's aborigine companion actually believed Scrooge was "Jonflip". He also doesn't realize that the bushwhacker is intentionally stranding them.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Scrooge returning the opal.
- Time Abyss: The dream cave's last visitor came 100 years ago, respecting a rigorous cycle, and marks on the wall indicate that there were hundreds of visitors over time, making the cave paintings at least 20,000 years old, predating almost all of civilization. Even Scrooge is speechless at the ancienty of this tradition.
- What You Are in the Dark: Nobody would know for a hundred years if you returned the opal or stole it. Scrooge returned it. note
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: An unusual version: the giant opal is revered by the aborigines, but not for its enormous value (which would have been worthless to them before the Europeans showed up anyway) but because they consider it a sacred relic of the Dreamtime, and keep it on a pedestal in the cave.
The beginning of Scrooge's glory days as a sourdough in the Klondike Gold Rush. "His exploits before this time were the dues he paid to make it this far," as Don Rosa puts it. "His past adventures each taught him lessons about work and endurance (and people) and were all preparations for this moment, when he would finally get rich from nothing but his own hard work, perseverance and know-how." But before Scrooge strikes it rich with his unearthing of the Goose Egg Nugget (another monetary memento he'll never spend) on his claim at White Agony Creek, he faces a minor setback when he's kidnapped by Soapy Slick and a bunch of thugs. One destroyed river barge and one thrown grand piano later, Scrooge is a legend in the Yukon...
... and this is only "The Beginning".
This chapter provides examples of:
- Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption:Scrooge: I have a hunch I'll be repaying you before you can say...
Random townfolk: GOLD!
- Awesomeness by Analysis: As soon as Scrooge arrives in White Agony Valley, he proceeds to investigate for traces of gold and finds the core vein easily.
- Bar Brawl: At the beginning of the story, Wyatt Earp begins a brawl with another thug in a saloon. Scrooge doesn't participate but ends up paying for the damage anyway, since Earp introduced Scrooge as his "friend".
- Battle Discretion Shot: We only see the consequences of Scrooge's rampage.
- Bears Are Bad News: Inverted, Scrooge is bad news for bears.
- Big "YES!": Scrooge ponders what he will do if the big, muddy "rock" he found is gold: "Will clean air smell any sweeter? Will sunny days shine any brighter? Will starry nights hold any more wonder? Or will I lose all that? Do I really want to be... rich? (beat) YES!!!"
- Breaking the Bonds: Scrooge doesn't simply break the chains - he pulls them so hard that the ship's chimneys, which is he is chained to are torn apart, though the scene is told as if it might not truly be what happened there, as the incident is both denied and embellished through history.
- According to Scrooge himself during the events of Hearts of the Yukon, the chimneys collapsed due to a timely boiler explosion, and he took out Soapy and his gang in the resulting commotion. Whether he is just trying to downplay the events or not is left to the viewer.
- Corrupt Loan Shark: Soapy Slick is one of the few villains, alongside Flintheart, who has NO scruples or morals whatsoever, and even Glomgold would probably hesitate about mocking Scrooge for his mother's recent death.
- Call-Forward: Goldie mentions that with all the "sourdoughs and their gold dust, I expect to be glittering by spring!" Her future nickname is "Glittering Goldie".
- The Cameo: Goldie, showing up as early as page 7◊.
- Death Glare: A truly disturbing one by Scrooge, accompained by a "creeEEAAkkk" sound effect as he pulls his chains and colored either normally or with a fiery palette. His beak isn't completely shown, so his full expression is ambiguous.
- Disaster Dominoes: "Six hours and many miles back down the trail later, in Skagway —"
- The Dreaded: When Wyatt Earp realizes who he tried to bully into submission, he is utterly scared and starts listing Scrooge's terrifying nicknames. Scrooge then lists a few others, that he has earned outside the United States and remarks that Earp has traveled very little.
- And how Scrooge earns another terrifying nickname 'The King of Klondike' in this chapter.
- The End of the Beginning: This chapter marks the end of Scrooge's quest to become rich, but readers know that there is much more to come.
- Experienced Protagonist: Scrooge isn't the naive young duckling of the early chapters, but a certified badass and survivalist who doesn't take crap from no one. By this chapter, Scrooge is 30-years-old, in his physical prime, and has traveled and adventured in several continents.
- Fantastic Racism: Goldie's saloon doesn't serve moose.
- Fate Worse than Death: "I need more cash, but I can't waste any more time earning it! I must resort to desperate and shameful means! I need to (*shudder*) get a loan!"
- Flash Forward: Dawson City is introduced this way, contrasting the large city it would become later in the story from the two-building area it was at the dawn of the gold rush.
- Gate Guardian: The locals of Dawson City fear a monster supposedly guarding the way to a hidden valley, but Scrooge discovers that it is only the preserved corpse of a mammoth. It is standing thanks to the glacier around it.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Scrooge has them in one version instead of Red Eyes, Take Warning. Made even more effective as in the next panel, the only source of light is Scrooge's petawatt Death Glare.
- Grim Up North: The Yukon Territory is so cold even fires freeze, but Scrooge can take it.
- In Harmony with Nature: Subverted; Scrooge lives well with the surrounding nature, but already plans to replace it with lumber mills, mines and dams, such is his greed.
- Kick the Dog: Soapy Slick mocks Scrooge about his dead mother, a particularly low blow from any villain featured so far.
- Killed Offscreen: Downy O'Drake, Scrooge's mother, dies of an unspecified illness in this chapter. Scrooge (and Soapy Slick) learn it through reading correspondence from Scotland, and Downy's previous letters mention her increasingly poor health. Her death serves to fuel Scrooge's anger. At this point in the story, Scrooge had not seen either of his parents in 12 years, and had not regularly interacted with them in 17 years. Scrooge weeps when he learns of her illness, but is purely enraged when her death is treated as a joke by Slick and his thugs.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": ... Which leads to Soapy Slick and his goons give that reaction◊ upon noticing Scrooge's looks.Soapy: ...Oops.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Toyed with, in the depiction of Goldie. Scrooge enters Dawson City, with an enraged expression on his face, dragging Soapy Slick's broken body behind him. The entire population of the city gets the impression that Scooge is out for blood, and they hide from him in terror. Everyone except Goldie, who observes Scrooge unnoticed, seems very impressed with him, and smiles happily. While they have briefly met each other before, at this point they are strangers and her infamous theft of his gold has not happened yet. She seems attracted to his death glares.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: One of Soapy Slick's goon calls Scrooge a sissy because of the Scottish tradition of wearing kilts.
- Read the Fine Print: Soapy Slick doesn't use fine print to sucker Scrooge into a bad loan — He just leaves enough room on the contract to turn a 10% interest rate into 100%! While Scrooge could have easily contested this obvious fraud, Soapy flees to Canada with the contract. It isn't until after Soapy is deported back that the contract is restored to its original terms.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The most impressive appearance of the glare Scrooge would later hang on the walls of his money bin.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Against Soapy Slick.
- Scenery Porn: White Agony Valley is a piece of gorgeous untampered nature, with surrounding mountains, rivers and creeks that are equally breathtaking.
- Shrouded in Myth: The narration makes it clear that no one in Dawson fully knows what happened to Soapy's riverboat during Scrooge's epic rampage. "The whole incident was probably exaggerated in the many retellings that followed. Possibly, it didn't actually happen at all!"
- Strolling Through the Chaos: Scrooge doesn't care much for all the nonsense in Dawson.◊ Amusingly enough, Scrooge later crosses a completely silent Dawson, for he has just torn a steamboat apart and is dragging a body around. Even the police are afraid!
- Tap on the Head: How Soapy abducts Scrooge.
- Tranquil Fury: After his outrage, this is more or less Scrooge's mood as he brings Soapy Slick to justice.
- Unstoppable Rage: What happens if you push Scrooge's Berserk Button hard. Soapy Slick and his goons learn the hard way when Soapy mocks Scrooge's dead mother.
In his last comic ever, only found (in English) in the Companion anthology, Don Rosa answers the question Carl Barks didn't even want to ask: What exactly happened between Scrooge McDuck and Glittering Goldie during the month they lived together on White Agony Creek? Oh, just some innuendo, constant fighting and insults, Unresolved Sexual Tension, denial, a visit from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, an incident with an Inevitable Waterfall, and getting rid of an Unwanted Rescue attempt, culminating in a night of wild, violent, destructive hatesex that makes Scrooge fearfully realize how vulnerable he is to his feelings for Goldie. The next morning, he sends her back to Dawson, sure that the woman with the coldest heart in the Yukon could never care about him anyway, both of them too proud to admit the truth.
This chapter provides examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: While the whole series is basically this for Carl Barks' invention and stories of Scrooge, Don Rosa in particular felt how, no matter how much he loved the story "Back to the Klondike" where Goldie and Scrooge's past relationship to her is introduced, it wasn't quite explained how they went from fighting and mistreating each other to acting like they had been lovers when meeting again as old people. Don Rosa used that unanswered question as inspiration for this story.
- Anachronic Order: This chapter was written a whole ten years after Hearts of the Yukon. In fact, it's the last story Don Rosa wrote, as mentioned above.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Scrooge and Goldie.
- Black Comedy: Judge Roy Bean really wants to hang someone.
- Bowdlerize: The "Between the legs!" part has been watered down in some translations. In the Norwegian, for example, said line is kept, but Scrooge's wavering at his next line (realizing what he said) is removed, giving the indication that only Goldie got a suggestive meaning out of it, not Scrooge.
- Distracted by the Sexy: In the intro, Huey, Dewey, and Louie are discussing what happened after Scrooge found the Goose Egg Nugget (Goldie drugged him and stole the nugget), and comment how strange was that Scrooge was for some reason so trusting of Goldie that day. Cut to Donald giggling "Yeah, for some reason". Clearly Donald (and adult readers) can see what was going on.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Inverted. When Goldie finds the piece of paper containing something Scrooge had been admiring every night, she excitedly opens it, only to find that it's "only a stupid lock of someone's—". She then pauses in shock, realizing the lock of hair is hers.
- Freudian Slip: After kissing Scrooge in order to distract him so Bat Masterson can knock him out, Goldie mentions how "I've been waiting to do that for a month! Uh... see him knocked cold, I mean!"
- Friend to All Living Things: Scrooge of all ducks is one in this chapter. When Goldie asks why he's living on beans and sourdough bread when the valley is full of game he could shoot, Scrooge explains he has an "agreement" with the animals: they don't eat him, so he doesn't eat them.
- Hanging Judge: Judge Roy Bean.
- Important Haircut: Goldie loses a lock of her hair when Scrooge saves her from a bear. Scrooge secretly keeps the lock and still has it 50 years later.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Don Rosa tries to soften Scrooge's kidnapping of Goldie by showing she could have easily escaped (not to mention killed him) but let him take her so she could find his hidden gold claim and get a better opportunity to rob him blind.
- Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Judge Roy Bean wisely decides they do not want to interrupt "what's going on in that cabin."
- The Masochism Tango: Goldie and Scrooge.
- A Match Made in Stockholm: Scrooge had kidnapped Goldie, even if she had let him do it.
- Oh, Crap!: Hilariously, both present-day Donald and Scrooge have this reaction to the boys asking Scrooge "what exactly happened" the month he and Goldie spent together at the cabin. Even as he couldn't know, Donald likely figured that a young Scrooge spending a month alone with a woman in said cabin probably wasn't all innocent...
- Post-Kiss Catatonia: Goldie kisses Scrooge, and his shocked state gives the opportunity for Bat Masterson to knock him out. Cue him turning to Goldie to congratulate her, only to find her in the same state as well.
- Previously On : Pages 12◊ and 23◊.
- Retcon: In Carl Bark's story "Back to the Klondike", the flashback of Scrooge having tea with Goldie shows Scrooge looking at her with suspicion. When Don Rosa recreated the same flashback for this story, Scrooge is smiling at her instead. While this is being told, Donald is also seen in the background, giggling at how Scrooge was trusting of her "for some reason". In a nice touch, the original (scowling) Scrooge was Scrooges own retelling, while the smiling Scrooge is in the retelling of one of the nephews, indicating an Unreliable Narrator may be at play. Just who is unreliable is an exercise for the reader.
- Save the Villain: Subverted (in the correct use of the term) after Scrooge saves Goldie from going over the Inevitable Waterfall. She tells him he has to go back to save "them", too... not the villains but the villains' sled dogs.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: If it really happened there's no way Don Rosa could have shown so in a Disney comic anyway, hence the cut to a lasting view of the cabin.
- Shout-Out: To Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.Sundance: Butch! We're goin' over the edge! I can't swim!!
Butch: Hahaha! What're ya, crazy? The fall will prob'ly kill ya'!
- Lampshaded in the very next panel: "Whoah! Deja vu!"
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Scrooge and Goldie eventually let out all their pent-up anger at each other before the famous implication that they end up having sex. They even provide the trope image.
- Sleeping Single: This is established rather unnecessarily clearly early on — and apparently lasts until the last page.
- Stalking Is Love: Goldie finds the fact that Scrooge has been spending every night for the last few weeks swooning over a lock of her hair that he keeps in a strongbox enough incentive to return when she had the perfect chance to escape with his gold and the deed to his claim.
- That Came Out Wrong: When escorting Goldie to his claim, Scrooge tells her "Between the legs!◊" When she indigantly replies "I beg your pardon?", he realizes what he said and hastily clarifies.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Played for comedy with Judge Roy Bean who always has the same Comically Serious grumpy expression on his face, but says things like "I'm so happy I may weep" completely deadpan.
Desperately wanting to see Scrooge again, Goldie decides there's only one logical thing to do: take advantage of the town's hatred for Scrooge and press charges against him for kidnapping her with the newly arrived Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Anyone could press charges against him but she was the only one who wasn't afraid of hitting Scrooge's Berserk Button). Scrooge makes the dangerous journey back to town in a storm as a wildfire burns out of control and almost meets up with Goldie in the burning Blackjack Saloon before a fire hose knocks him unconscious. Thanks to some help from his friend Casey Coot, and Goldie tricking the RCMP into thinking he saved her from the fire instead of the other way around, Scrooge clears his name, gets his gold claim reinstated, and heads back to White Agony Creek. On the way, a mountie delivers a letter to him from Goldie... which he refuses to open, preferring "to pretend that there's one person in this sorry world that I might... that I can..." Love Hurts, and pride conquers all.
This chapter provides examples of:
- The Ace: Samuel Steele.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:Colonel Sam Steele: Halt, McDuck! It won't do to add jaywalking to your already prodigious list of civil violations!
- Bait-and-Switch: Scrooge enters town and sees everyone run away at the mention that "Steele" is coming. Scrooge then meets a giant thug at a bar, riding a bear, speaking only in manly roars, eating his food with a bowie knife and so on. Suddenly the brute leaves, causing Scrooge to question this, to which the brute gets a terrified look and says "Didn't you hear? Steele's coming!"
- Bulletproof Fashion Plate:Colonel Sam Steele: A superintendent of the North-Western Mounted Police does not get... 'Muddy'.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Essentially the driving force of the plot.
- Convection Schmonvection: The climax is Scrooge and Goldie staring each other down in a burning building. Granted, Goldie eventually ends up fainting... only to quickly reveal she was just faking.
- Delicious Distraction: When Scrooge finally gets to Dawson, he's prepared to fight off the local toughs, per the norm. When the claim-jumpers learn that Scrooge arrived on a shipment of food, the starving men instantly forget about the duck.
- Downer Ending: Leaves most readers wishing Don Rosa could have dismissed 'canon' and just let Scrooge and Goldie get together, dammit!
- The Dreaded: The mere mention of the name "Steele" is enough to make any Yukon resident involved in anything shady flee in terror.
- Fluffy the Terrible: The brute with a bear for a mount apparently calls it "Petunia Blossom".
- For Want of a Nail: Because of a random ice block to his head, Scrooge is knocked out cold and misses his opportunity to reunite with Goldie. One can only guess if his life might have turned out very different if not for that. Used to great Tear Jerker-effect in "The Dream of a Lifetime".
- Furry Confusion: A group of men are shown fighting over bacon in the same chapter that has an anthropomorphic pig. There's also Soapy Slick.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: Samuel Steele was certainly an exemplary officer of the RCMP who re-established order in the lawless Yukon during the Gold Rush, but Rosa tops this by making him The Ace. The meanest, orneriest prospector imaginable rides into town on a friggin' bear, but is so scared of Steele that he rushes off before the man arrives. In fact, Steele is SO badass that explosions can't even hurt him.
- Large Ham: Steele. Goes with the territory of being The Ace. As his introduction to the comic shows someone arriving to town: a Brute with the Beard of Barbarism, BFG, and a bear for the mount. Pretty badass? Actually he's somebody else afraid of Steele and running away. That's how epic Steele is.
- The Masochism Tango: Goldie and Scrooge, again.
- Poor Communication Kills: Scrooge, why couldn't you just read the letter, you idiot?!note
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Steele, while bombastic, isn't completely unreasonable. After Casey Coot puts in a good word and Goldie has Scrooge Framed for Heroism, Steele withdraws the charges and lets Scrooge have his claim back.
- Tap on the Head: The ice block knocking Scrooge out.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Goldie and Scrooge.
- Who Will Bell the Cat?: The toughs get an idea to turn Scrooge and Steele against each other by accusing Scrooge of misdeeds, but Steele insists that someone has to step forward to make an official statement. And almost no one in Dawson wants to get on Scrooge's bad side if the plan flops. Except Goldie, who seeks an excuse to meet Scrooge again.
An excerpt from Don Rosa's first story to feature Glittering Goldie. After depositing one million dollars from his gold claim into the bank in Whitehorse, Alaska, Scrooge buys some land from Casey Coot, packs up a sled of supplies, and bids good-bye to White Agony Creek forever, planning to... do something (or meet someone) in Dawson and then settle down for good. Losing his sled and supplies (and almost his life) in a blizzard on Mooseneck Glacier, however, convinces him he's on the wrong track. Giving up his plan to settle down, Scrooge buys the Whitehorse Bank and begins his life as a businessman, from now on giving his heart to nothing except money.
- Aborted Declaration of Love: It's heavily implied that the letter Scrooge lost in the ice was a love declaration or a marriage proposal to Goldie. Scrooge took the loss as a sign to focus entirely on his business ventures instead.
- Anachronic Order: Written several years before any of the main Life and Times chapters.
- Continuity Nod: Goldie mentions that she rebuilt the Black Jack ballroom into a tourist hotel with money she "came into a while back", a nod to Carl Barks' first ever story where she is introduced: "Back to the Klondike". In it, Scrooge eventually challenges Goldie to a digging contest to see who can find gold first, and (despite his claims) purposefully loses by leading Goldie to a spot where he buried nuggets 50 years ago.
- For Want of a Nail: Scrooge was actually planning to settle down after making his first million. However, the loss of his dogsled convinced him that he should keep making money. In the present, the Nephews wonder What Could Have Been if Scrooge hadn't lost that sled.
- Villain Decay: Soapy Slick is still stuck in Dawson some 40 years after Scrooge left the area, and has been reduced to running a riverboat tour of the old gold rush territory. He's still a Jerkass of the highest order, but no longer possesses the resources to utilize it, and with the gold rush long over, his primary business is gone.
- Worthless Treasure Twist: Scrooge lost his dogsled while leaving White Agony creek, which soon became frozen in the ice. However, he marked the spot so he could go back and retrieve it someday. Soapy spent the last 40 years waiting for the chance to steal it, assuming that the dogsled had something valuable on it. At the end, we learn that it was just a change of clothes, some prospecting gear, and a box of chocolates, though they're of great sentimental value to Scrooge.
After his various businesses in Whitehorse turn him from a millionaire into a billionaire, Scrooge finally returns home to his father and sisters (now living in Castle McDuck) to make his ancestral Scotland the home base for his planned worldwide financial empire. Two days among the locals, their customs, and their games, however, make Scrooge feel so out of place that he doesn't think he could ever prosper here. He tells his family about the land he bought in some settlement called Duckburg and asks them to move with him to America. His sisters are only too eager to go, but his father claims he's too old to move again. He agrees Scrooge has outgrown the life they knew in Dismal Downs but tells his children to go start a new life in America without him. The next morning, the McDuck siblings unknowingly wave good-bye to the spirits of their parents before they go to eternal rest in an ending Don Rosa was surprised got past the radar.
This chapter provides examples of:
- Bullying a Dragon: Soapy Slick refuses to sign a receipt to prove that Scrooge's debt has been paid for, and insults him in the process, forgetting that he is talking to the "King of the Klondike". One punch to the stomach latter, and the receipt is signed.
- Continuity Nod: Related to the above; Scrooge buries a cache of nuggets in the ground before leaving his claim "in case of emergency", the cache that Goldie would find in the first story featuring her by Carl Barks.
- Covered in Mud: Scrooge jumps into a quicksand bog to retrieve a two shilling golf ball.
- Died Happily Ever After: Fergus dies peacefully in his sleep, on the day Scrooge and his sisters set out to Duckburg. His spirit, along with their mother, sees the siblings off before happily departing to the afterlife.
- Eat the Rich: The people of Dismal Downs antagonize Scrooge because of their jealousy of his wealth and a perceived slight from his part.
- Face Fault: A truly epic example◊ that involves a triple backflip.
- Freudian Slippery Slope: Scrooge's sisters find the lock of Goldie's hair that Scrooge has kept, and start teasing him about it; while he tries to talk about his property in America:Matilda and Hortense: Scroogey's got a gir-ruhl! Scroogey's got a gir-ruhl!Scrooge: The girl — I mean, the land — is in the state of Goldiesota — I mean Calisota — in a small settlement called Goldieburg — I mean Duckburg! Drat!
- Ghost Reunion Ending: At the end of the chapter "The Billionaire of Dismal Downs", the spirits of Scrooge's parents look at him as Scrooge and his sisters leave their ancestral home, and they reunite with one of their ancestors before passing on.
- Grave-Marking Scene: Upon returning to the McDuck ancestral castle with his father and sisters, Scrooge takes a quiet moment to visit his mother's grave.
- Hypocrite: The people of Dismal Downs somehow complain about Scrooge having a bad temper, when they started the argument first.
- Iconic Outfit: Scrooge obtains his famous red coat in a hilariously low key Inversion of the Suit-Up of Destiny. A cheapstake salesman offers him 5 British pounds and the red coat for a fancy suit he got for free, of course Scrooge takes the quids.
- Loan Shark: Downplayed, Scrooge's prices for a loan are outrageously high (half of one's gold in a claim) but he is honest about it, and actually makes sure that when someone asks for a loan, his employees will be paid fairly.
- Never Accepted in His Hometown: The Townspeople resent Scrooge for his newfound wealth, and Scrooge in turn comes to despise them for their hostility. Since Scrooge was raised in Glasgow and has spend most of his life outside Scotland, he does not seem to have any friends among them.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Scrooge participates in a sheep clipping contest, where his long-time enemy Argus Whiskerville is holding the sheep. Scrooge plays the overeager contestant part, in order to shave not only the sheep, but also Argus' beard and hair and get away with it.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: When Soapy refuses to sign Scrooge's receipt for completing his loan payments, Scrooge punches him with the gold nuggets stored in his wooly glove. Soapy relents before a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown will ensue.
- Pooled Funds: Scrooge decides to indulge in it and brings barrels of money wherever he goes. His family thinks he is eccentric at best, a loon at worst.
- Self-Made Man: After striking it rich thanks to his efforts and brains, Scrooge becomes a millionaire by tackling several businesses at the same time.
- Shout-Out: Right after a Scottish man has insulted Scrooge, he responds with "grumble Peasant!"
- The commentary directly states that the end scene was inspired by The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.
- Stranger in a Familiar Land: Although Scrooge spent his time in Scotland, a lifetime of tribulations around the world changed him too much to fit in his native town.
- Suckiness Is Painful: In the Highland Games, singing good poetry is one way to gather points, but Scrooge's song is so bad (and implied to be extremely explicit), that the female judges faint. In-story, the judges seem to be rather prudish Victorian ladies, and Scrooge chooses to sing lyrics from songs that were popular in Klondike saloons. He is again forgetting that this is not Dawson City, and he is not surrounded by miners and saloon girls.
- Together in Death: It turns out that Scrooge's father had passed away in the night, and it was his spirit bidding him goodbye from the window. He is reunited with Scrooge's mother, who had died five years before (in 1897).
- Town Contest Episode: Scrooge participates in the Highland Games to try to fit in.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Scrooge's physical prowess could make him win the Highland Games by a landslide, but unfortunately for him, there are rules and the contest also requires skill in areas Scrooge never trained. For instance, a fishing competition requires the use of a rod whereas Scrooge uses his hands alone.
- Wham Shot: Two within the last two pages.
- The first comes when Scrooge and his sisters unknowingly ride by Scottie, revealing he's not the second figure standing with Fergus.
- The second comes right at the end, as it shows what is clearly Fergus' lifeless body underneath his bedsheets, cementing that he has passed away and revealing the one shown in the last two pages is his ghost.
Waiting for Scrooge in Duckburg, Calisota is an unwelcome reunion with the Beagle Boys and a little scuffle with Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders before convincing them he's not a foreign invader. Eventually, he secures his land on Killmotor Hill (formerly Killmule Hill) and begins construction of his money bin. Meanwhile, Hortense hits it off with the only person in the world who can match her temper, Quackmore Duck.
Don Rosa thought this chapter turned out the best because it only had to cover a timespan of a few days and thus had the best pacing in the series.
This chapter provides examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: Scrooge repeatedly gets the Junior Woodchucks' name wrong (until he finally and surprisingly gets it right)."It's the Midget Gophers!"
"And you Runt Chipmunks can stay away!"
"Not Microbe Moles or Beagle Boys or even the president can push me around!"
- The Alleged Car: Scrooge is introduced having bought a car, but he refused to buy trivial options such as brakes. He comes to regret this decision when said car begins to slide down from a hill.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Not only is Roosevelt the President of the United States, he acts like a Frontline General and shrugs off a fortification falling on him.
- Birds of a Feather: Quackmore and Hortense quickly fall in love because they realize that they are equally foul-tempered. In fact, their very first interaction is a heated argument that almost immediately turns into a Love at First Sight experience for them both.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Hortense and Quackmore.
- Broomstick Quarterstaff: Hortense frightens away all the Rough Riders with her broom.
- Bucket Booby-Trap: When Scrooge, Matilda, and Hortense first approach Fort Duckburg, Scrooge warns the girls that there may be deadly traps ahead. He dramatically searches for danger... and then falls into a Bucket Booby-Trap, courtesy of the Junior Woodchucks. Hortense teases him about the seriousness of this trap.
- Call-Forward: Hortense and Quackmore are not married yet, and their children were born 18 years later (in 1920). But the story ends with them discussing baby names, and Hortense protesting against the silly name "Donald". Their future son is Donald Duck.
- Chance Meeting Between Antagonists: Scrooge just happens to stumble upon the Beagle Boys.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Theodore Roosevelt and his army vs. Scrooge McDuck and his moldy wooden fort.
- Extremely Short Time Span: This story takes place over the course of a day.
- Foreshadowing: The Junior Woodchucks appear as a small trio of boy-scouts, and they mention having to find a way to reduce their Guidebook's size.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: The Junior Woodchucks, evicted from their fort by who they think is an enemy agent from Scotland, send a telegraph to the authorities for help. At the other end of their message is Theodore Roosevelt, who immediately goes to Duckburg with an army to repel the foreign invader.
- I Want Grandkids: A subplot of the episode. The Beagle Boys at this point have only four members (a father and his three sons), and feel that they lack the strength in numbers to pose much of a threat to Scrooge and his allies. So Blackheart Beagle announces to his sons that he wants them to get married and have kids, because it is the only way for the gang to get larger. (About time too. Scooge is 35-years-old here, all 3 of Blackheart's sons are older than Scrooge, and they still live with their parents.)
- Impact Silhouette: When Scrooge's car crashes into a corn field, it cuts a distinct silhouette amongst the plants.
- Improbable Weapon User: Scrooge uses parts of his own fort as projectile to repel the Rough Riders. Overlaps with Abnormal Ammo.
- Instantly Proven Wrong: When Scrooge unwittingly finds the Beagle Boys, they deny having stolen one given animal from neighbouring farmers, only for said animal to cry.
- Lamarck Was Right: We see Gladstone's mother and it looks like he inherited his good luck from his mother. Likewise, Hortense meets the equally irascible Quackmore, and their future romance will result in Donald Duck.
- Oddly Small Organization: Played for laughs here. In Barks' stories, the Junior Woodchucks are an international scouting organization, with numerous members across the globe. The 1902 version of the organization depicted here, acts as if they are an international organization ... but it only has 3 members.
- The Siege: Scrooge's fort at the top of Killmotor Hill is assieged by the United States army.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Initially Hortense and Quackmore spit fire at each other for two minutes straight. Then spent another five looking longingly at each other's eyes. In the last panel, Hortense is throwing a fit over baby names, while Quackmore watches her serenely.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: The Beagle Boys absolutely didn't steal that animal!
- There's No Kill Like Overkill: Theodore calls in for a naval bombardment to bring down a moldy wooden fort.
Scrooge tells Donald and the triplets about the "worst bargain I ever made!" He happens to try excavating for gold in Panama at the same time the Panama Canal is under construction. Unfortunately for world progress, Scrooge owns the mountain right in the Canal's path and refuses to sell, even to his old friend President Roosevelt, for anything short of the U.S. Treasury. After avoiding international incident and several series of steam-shoveling hijinks, Scrooge ends up unconscious after Scrooge drinks a Chicha (a gift from an Indian they met) when he and Teddy are supposed to be making the deal for his mountain, so his sisters make it for him: they trade Scrooge's gold claim for a teddy bear.
Donald is thrilled to hear how his mother got the best of Scrooge. His ecstasy quickly ends when the boys realize Scrooge doesn't own just any old teddy bear but the first teddy bear ever made... the "world's most valuable toy." Even when Scrooge McDuck loses, he wins.
This chapter provides examples of:
But He Sounds Handsome: Scrooge while pretending to be Theodore in order to make a deal with the indian chief.The chief: (after Scrooge accidentally points at the wrong place at a map) Hm... ten miles out into the pacific ocean? [Scrooge] is way off, but he must have good lungs!
Scrooge: (as Theodore) Er... yes! Quite a remarkable fellow! Handsome, too!
- Funny Background Event: While Scrooge and Theodore Roosevelt are discussing, Hortense and Matilda can be seen chasing two cowboys in the background, including chopping down the tree they try to hide in.
- Mayincatec: Literally — an Aztec-designed jaguar statue, built by Incas, and the writing is Mayan.
- My Greatest Failure: Scrooge thinks his deal with Roosevelt was this, but it turned out it wasn't... making this is a Subverted Trope in the correct use of the term.
- Serial Romeo: Hortense, Matilda and their obsession with cowboys.
- Show Some Leg: Matilda and Hortense try this, until Hortense blows their cover with a Groin Attack when the guard mentions a certain "holy terror" he once met in Duckburg.
- Spice Up the Subtitles: See here.
- Symbol Swearing: The newspaper in the end with Donald's Death Glare picture:"Nephew says @#%*@! And you may quote me!"
This is the chapter where Don Rosa had to address a Noodle Incident most Scrooge fans try to ignore: the story◊ from Voodoo Hoodoo about how Scrooge hired a band of thugs to chase an African tribe off their land so he could use it for a rubber plantation — a blatantly criminal, despicable, completely unjustifiable act not at all in sync with making money "square." Don Rosa initially considered just ignoring this story altogether, dismissing it on the grounds of Characterization Marches On (and its somewhat controversial racial content). But after closer consideration, he instead decided to make it the turning point in Scrooge's life — the trigger that set him down the road of greed and cynicism toward becoming the hardened, villainous character he was when Barks first introduced him to the world. After crossing the line he swore never to cross since he earned his #1 Dime, Scrooge avoids Duckburg and his sisters for 27 years. When he returns, he has achieved his dream of becoming the richest man in the world, but loses his family in the process, after meeting his nephew for the first and last time for 17 years.
Don Rosa was double burdened by having to cover the longest timespan of any chapter along with portraying his hero as an unscrupulous robber baron. You can read what the experience was like for him here.
This chapter provides examples of:
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Scrooge takes 20 years to go back to Duckburg and reconciliate with his family because he smells business oportunities everywhere.
- Chairman of the Brawl: Scrooge uses a wooden chair to fight Copperhead McViper and his gang.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Scrooge acted as one in this story. It drives his honest family away from him.
- Covers Always Lie: This chapter's cover shows Scrooge escaping from the sinking Titanic by carefully stepping on floating pieces of iceberg. What happened in the story is much less awesome - he escaped in one of the lifeboats.
- Darkest Africa: Scrooge journeys there to con native tribes into selling their lands for pennies. It's very fitting that Scrooge experiences his Darkest Hour in the inhospitable jungles.
- Darkest Hour: One of the darkest days of the story is when Scrooge decides to take something he wants illegally and by force, driving a whole village away from their rightful land. And his main motivation here isn't greed. Foola Zoola, the local chieftain, denied Scrooge's efforts to buy the land, criticized Scrooge's lack of morals, and kicked him out in a humiliating fashion. Scrooge seeks a misguided revenge, fueled by anger and a hurt pride. He is also under the impression that the villainous actions will regain for him the respect of his sisters, while they end up driving them away.
- Downer Ending: Although Scrooge finally becomes the richest duck in the world, he lost everything that once meant something to him in the process. He breaks with his family and becomes a lonely miser. His final victory laugh reads less like a moment of joy and more as a mad cackle.
- Evil Pays Better: Scrooge begins to wonder if it does.Scrooge: Why should I have to be the only honest man in this cockeyed world?
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: When Bombie catches up to Scrooge while the latter is onboard an "ocean liner", the panel showing the zombie climbing aboard the ship is at a Dutch Angle... only for the next panel to reveal an iceburg. As it turns out, the angle wasn't for aethetic purposes, but rather because the ship is beginning to sink...
- Floating Advice Reminders: Scrooge struggles with his younger selves for the justification of his odious acts. An image of his dead father reminds him that self-respect should be what drives him to act, not greed.
- Historical Rapsheet: It turns out that Bombie the Zombie is responsible for sinking the Titanic. Back in 1909, Scrooge ran into Bombie at the North Pole, who then fell into an ice crevasse. Three years later, Foola's curse draws Bombie back to Scrooge during one of his travels across the North Atlantic, dragging the iceberg with him.
- Ignored Epiphany: The end of Scrooge's arc to full-on villain concludes with several fleeting moments where he realizes how badly he screwed up with his family in his quest for riches. If only the "Roster of the Rich" (revealing that he is now the wealthiest person on the planet) hadn't caught his eye and made him forget all about it.
- Implacable Man: Bombie the Zombie is told to follow Scrooge forever until he is killed; not even having to cross entire oceans stops him.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Scrooge becomes meaner and more obsessed by money the richer he gets, to the point that when he has a change of heart and tries to reconciliate with his family, his newly discovered status as richest man in the world distracts him away from his family for 20 years.
- Knight of Cerebus: Bombie is a good deal more sinister than he was in his debut story, where Scrooge basically laughed off the old curse. Here, it's a direct threat to his life whenever he appears, and Bombie just keeps showing up at random moments.
- Land of Tulips and Windmills: During a Travel Montage showing Scrooge's business dealings around the world, there's a panel where he's in the Netherlands with a windmill in the background. Somehow he managed to sell the locals wind.
- Literal Ass-Kicking: Child-aged Donald to Scrooge upon their first meeting. (Scrooge gets the chance to return the favor in the next chapter, though.)
- Lonely at the Top: The ending. Scrooge doesn't realize it yet, but Hortense knows all too well that all her brother is now left with is his money.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Shouted word by word when Scrooge repents from having driven a village of autochtones away from their lands.
- My Greatest Failure: Scrooges is not the least bit proud of the one time he gained something in a villainous way.
- No Endor Holocaust: The sinking of the RMS Titanic is presented mainly as the background to one of the zombie's chases after Scrooge, not looking like the tragic disaster which killed 1503 people at all. Even the casual way Scrooge found himself a place in a lifeboat, even though he was neither a woman nor a child, makes the whole thing less tragic.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Albeit an important one and an in-story justification for Characterization Marches On.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Scrooge tricks the village shaman and later Bombie the Zombie to think he's someone else by hiding his whiskers and removing his glasses.
- Retcon: The only major one in the series: in Voodoo Hoodoo Scrooge claimed he was in Africa in 1879 ("70 years ago") to make his second billion. Don Rosa just ignored the date. Carl Barks wrote the original story in 1949, and it predated Scrooge's two main origin stories Only a Poor Old Man (1952) and Back to the Klondike (1953), which both established that Scrooge became rich in the Klondike Gold Rush (1896-1899). Although he was a Jerkass in his first appearances, a robber-baron Scrooge in the 1870s does not fit with his later characterization by Barks.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: His newfound attitude. Early in the story, Scrooge uses con-artist tactics to buy choice lands for absurdly small prices. Then he employs cut-throats and mercenaries, and simply steals the land from its owners.
- The leader of the African tribe shouts "M'gawa niktimba!", a phrase lifted from the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films where it was a made-up exotic phrase used on several different occasions to mean whatever was needed for the script. Here it apparently means roughly "Grab him, stick him into the most embarrassing getup you can think of and then throw him out."
- Matilda says "He has money and all that money can buy", which is a line spoken by Mr. Scratch in The Devil and Daniel Webster.
- Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Deconstructed: Upon having his epiphany over what his quest for money has caused him to do, Scrooge proceeds to race back to Duckburg in order to make amends with Hortense and Matilda... only he kept getting distracted by other venturesnote to the point where, when he did finally get home, 27 years had passed, and he had become so harden and jaded that he blew off both of his homecoming celebrations, just so he could return to monitoring his finances.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Scrooge has adopted this philosophy by now.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: As commented on by Hortense.Hortense: Getting richer and richer, and meaner and ornerier! That's all you do.
- Tricked into Signing: During Scrooge's darkest hour as a robber baron in Darkest Africa, he tricked the voodoo priest Foola Zoola into signing away his tribe's land to him for a pittance by disguising himself. Foola Zoola puts a curse on Scrooge in revenge, sending Bombie the Zombie after him.
- Unscrupulous Hero: Scrooge has developed into one — and even a borderline Villain Protagonist — by this story. His life experiences have hardened him to the point that he has become a corrupt robber baron, he mistreats his family, and only derives joy from getting even richer. He remains a good guy only because of his brief but ignored epiphany moments.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It is implied that Scrooge is indirectly responsible for the sinking of the Titanic. The iceberg just so happened to be the same piece of Arctic ice Bombie the Zombie fell into several years prior, and the Voodoo curse continually pulled him to Scrooge's location. Which just so happened to be the Titanic.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Hortense's and Matilda's letter after they leave Scrooge.
Dates: Christmas 1947
The conclusion of TLaToSM picks up right before the end of Barks' Christmas on Bear Mountain, when Donald Duck and his nephews meet their Uncle Scrooge for the first time. At first, they don't believe the legends about his worldwide adventures or a bin full of three cubic acres of money, so Scrooge opens the bin up for the first time in five years and shows them his fortune, along with his famous Lucky—er, #1 Dime. ("'Lucky dime!' How @#*% insulting!") The tour is interrupted by a new generation of Beagle Boys, giving Scrooge the perfect chance to show Donald and the boys what he's really made of.
Even after the Beagle Boys are caught and arrested, Scrooge (very rightly) doesn't believe for a minute that he has seen the last of them this time. But thanks to Huey, Dewey, and Louie's agitating words, Scrooge reignites his passion and looks forward to many future adventures with his new family. Donald's nephews are as excited at the thought as Scrooge, but Donald doesn't see anything interesting about going "on a trek to some dusty warehouse to look for a long-lost ledger." Good thing you won't be doing any of that, then...
This chapter provides examples of:
- Adrenaline Makeover: ScroogeDonald: You see what you've done? You li'l squirts have this poor old man all agitated!
Scrooge: I do seem to recall a li'l squirt who agitated part of me some years ago...
Scrooge: Thank you, nephew! I almost feel like... like me again!
Donald: Don't mention it.
- An Ass-Kicking Christmas: In addition to the literal example to Donald, Scrooge taking down the Beagle Boys as they attempt to relieve him of most of his wealth is certainly applicable.
- Armed with Canon: The story states that the Number One Dime is not in any way a lucky charm, contradicting many other stories, including the one that introduced Scrooge.
- Back for the Finale: Blackheart Beagle returns 45 years after Scrooge last saw him, during the invasion of Fort Duckburg by Teddy Roosevelt, and he has brought his grandsons with him as the new Beagle Boys.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Scrooge regains his passion for life and adventure, and is able to start again with something he never had before - his family at his side.
- Homage: The beginning is a homage to Citizen Kane.
- Parental Abandonment: Lampshade Scrooge recalls that his family abandoned him, and Huey, Louie, and Dewey sadly reply that they already know that feeling. The kids are referring to their parents.
- Retcon: Scrooge starts out very tired and bitter, contradicting his joyful and excited behavior he was in from the end of the Bear Mountain story after witnessing the events at his cabin. In his commentary for the chapter, Don Rosa handwaves it as the long car ride home from the cabin and resulting lack of sleep that caused his brief relapse in attitude.
- Retired Badass: Scrooge at the beginning. Scrooge's adventures have ended, and he shut down most of his companies around the world in 1942. He retired, and he lives in isolation in a luxurious mansion. His only company are a handful of servants, and the memories of his former life.
- Rule of Funny: In his commentary Don Rosa admits that he was uneasy about putting the Will Eisner award among Scrooge's trophies as it was from 1995, far after where the story was set. He then says that he is overthinking such a small throwaway gag, and compares it to Roger Rabbit slipping his hand out of Handcuffs. He says he is trying to make his story as historically accurate as possible, but will let slip a few gags for humors sake.
- Sarcastic Title: While Scrooge McDuck is in fact the literal richest duck in the world at that point, he's a sad, broken old man.
- Self-Deprecation:Donald: Let's just humor him! All this hokey junk proves he's... well... eccentric! (points to a portrait of Scrooge from 1897) See? One of those gag photos they make for tourists! Wotta phony scene!
Dewey: Hm. Looks real to me!
(Donald turns to a display holding the Will Eisner Comics Industry Award for The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck)
Donald: Ha! Then how do you explain this?! Obviously all fakes!
- Loads to Citizen Kane:
- Right at the start of the story there is a black and white television report about Scrooge modeled after the one in Citizen Kane.
- Scrooge is shown holding a snow globe depicting a scene from Yukon as he mutters "Goldie".
- While digging through Scrooge's storage room, Donald comes across Rosebud itself.
- Scrooge tells Donald "If you'll just lean forward a bit, I can crack you on the skull with this cane", which is a line spoken by Waldo Lydecker in Laura.
- Scrooge calls the goose egg nugget "the rock that dreams are made of", which is what Sam Spade said about the eponymous treasure in The Maltese Falcon.
- The "Thimble-headed gherkin" insult Scrooge uses below is what Professor Fate calls Max in The Great Race.
- Loads to Citizen Kane:
- Take That!:Scrooge: "Lucky" dime?! What thimble-headed gherkin invented that supreme bit of absolute balderdash?!
Donald: Oh, everybody says it, Unk!
Scrooge: Well, everybody is a nincompoop!
- Uncanny Atmosphere: On the way to the money bin, the ducks notice and comment on the oddity of the presence of sidewalk Santas, even though there aren't many shoppers on Christmas Day. They turn out to be the Beagle Boys in disguise, who were following them under suspicion of the truth about the bin having three cubic acres of cash.
A Mental Time Travel epilogue. The Beagle Boys use an invention of Gyro's to infiltrate Scrooge's mind while he's dreaming to find the combination to his money bin. Donald has to go into Scrooge's dreams to try to stop them and ends up on a fast-paced ride through Scrooge's favorite memories of his life. To the Beagles' frustration, there's no money in them! Even in his sleep, Scrooge McDuck is an unquenchable adrenaline junkie.
This chapter provides examples of:
- As You Know...: Justified because the Beagle Boys are dumb enough to forget the plan in the middle of putting it into action.
- Bedtime Brainwashing: Huey, Dewey and Louie try to influence Scrooge's dreams to give him and Donald an advantage (like using coffee mugs to mimic the sound of hooves so horses appear). Each attempt backfires (like making it rain coffee mugs instead)... Until the smell of the Goose Egg Nugget gets him to dream about his time in Klondike.
- Bullying a Dragon: When the last remaining Beagle Boy still inside Scrooge's mind gets sick of trying to trick Scrooge into revealing the codes to his vault, and tries to use brute force instead. Unfortunately, at that point they're in Scrooge's dream about the events of Hearts of the Yukon, and as Donald points out, THIS Scrooge isn't an 80 year old business man; he's the King of the Klondike, the man who tamed White Agony Creek, and took out a riverboat full of claim jumpers by himself. Cue Oh, Crap! moment from the Beagle Boy just as Scrooge is turning red from fury.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Scrooge can't not answer the Beagle Boys when they ask for his code. The explanation for this is that asking someone a question in their dream makes them think of the answer, and since the dream is what they're thinking...
- Crashing Dreams: They try to take advantage of this in order to help Donald and Scrooge fight the Beagle boys, with several funny results.
- Dream Emergency Exit: Donald must pry the Beagle Boys out of Scrooge's dream by getting them to fall off the "edge" of the dream.
- Fighting Down Memory Lane: A mental battle while Scrooge dreams about his past.
- For Want of a Nail: Scrooge has had the same dream many times, right as he's about to confront Goldie in the burning Dawson Saloon, only to be knocked out, thus never letting them get together (which is what happened in real life); it always ends the same way, realistically, until Donald accidentally changes it, and Scrooge gets to talk to Goldie for the first time. After leaving that dream, Donald realizes the importance of the moment and convinces the nephews not to interrupt it by waking up the old man. As Donald, Gyro and the nephews leave the room, several tears roll down the smiling Scrooge's cheeks.
- Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Hilariously, Scrooge and Dream!Goldie invoke this themselves when they finally reunite in Scrooge's Klondike dream only to both realize Donald's still around; Donald insist of watching them with great interest. Dream!Goldie points out a lever to Scrooge to which he pulls while giving his nephew a stare that either says "Leave us the @%*# alone!" or "Get the @%*# out of my dream too!", kicking Donald out of his dream.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: What happens to the last Beagle Boy after he pisses off Scrooge in the Klondike dream. Cue him crying afterwards about how he can't pick on someone TOUGHER than him, and that it's unfair to bullies.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Get—Out—Of—My—Dream!"
- Running Gag: "Nephew?! What the @*%# are you doing here?!"
- Also: "Nightmare?"
- Tears of Joy: Scrooge cries these when he finally dreams about his and Goldie's reunion.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Donald's reaction when he finds out that one of Scrooge's dreams is taking place on the Titanic.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: According to Gyro, you appear in the dream as "your mental image of yourself." So when Scrooge is dreaming about something that happened when he was 10-years-old, he has the strength and skills of a 10-year-old boy (despite retaining all his memories). Hence why, to enable Scrooge to beat the Beagle Boys, the kids had to get him to dream about a time when he was the unbeatable King of the Klondike — physical rules shouldn't apply, but Scrooge can't be at his toughest unless he dreams of himself while he was at his toughest in reality.