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Creator / Don Rosa

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Keno Don Hugo Rosa (born June 29, 1951) is a big fan of Carl Barks who eventually got promoted to write the official Donald Duck stories in the spirit of The Good Duck Artist. He is a writer who has managed to make an excessive use of Continuity Porn into great stories, and is widely regarded as one of the best things that ever happened to Disney comics.

Up until his retirement, he had executive power over the Duck family canon, and brought the world some seriously great Arc Welding in the process.

He grew up as a fan of the Donald Duck comics made by Carl Barks. When he grew older he submitted self drawn comics to Donald Duck fanzines, as well as letters to some debates. He even corresponded with Carl Barks from time to time. Eventually he quit being a hardcore fan, but he never quit being a fan of Carl Barks. Years later a new Donald Duck publication arrived, and Don Rosa applied for the job as an artist. He wrote a letter there he told how much he wanted to be the artist, that he would write the stories in the spirit of Carl Barks and that he was born to make it. (Indeed, in the 1970s and 80s Rosa had done two comics for newspapers in his hometown of Louisville, The Pertwillaby Papers and The Adventures of Captain Kentucky. He later reused several Pertwillaby storylines for his Scrooge stories.)


He got the job, and he created Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck comics from 1987 to 2005. Because he was a great fan of The Good Duck Artist, he created what can be considered an Expanded Universe based on the Duck-master's works. That is to say, he used Continuity Porn, lots of Continuity Porn. Even Carl Barks told him he did too much Continuity Porn, but he didn't listen. He even dedicated all his comics to Carl Barks by hiding the word D.U.C.K. (Dedicated to Uncle Carl from Keno), usually on the first page of each story.

Rosa is known for his quirky drawing style and epic storylines, best exemplified by The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Since Uncle Scrooge is his favorite character, Rosa's longest and best stories deal with the complex elder duck. His drawing style stems from his education in architecture and technical drawing, with no formal education in art.


For those who consider Disney comics childish stories for five-year-olds, Rosa's style of making comics may be a surprise. The artist is known for doing ridiculously extensive research, basing much of his adventure stories on real historical factlets and making sure all the possible science in his comics is valid. In Life and Times, he drops famous people from the late 19th and early 20th century to Scrooge's life here and there, but always makes sure they were around that area around that time.

Another notable feature of Rosa's work is his unveiling of the Duck Family Tree, based on random Remember the New Guy? characters from Barks' stories.

As of 2009, due to fading eyesight, and after years of disagreements over low pay and never getting any royalties from publishers, Rosa is more or less retired from comics. Here's his own words on the end of his career.

Rosa also wrote two TaleSpin episodes, "I Only Have Ice for You" and "It Came from Beneath the Sea Duck".

    List of Works 
  • The Son of the Sun
  • Nobody's Business
  • Mythological Menagerie
  • Recalled Wreck
  • Cash Flow
  • Fit to be pied
  • Fir-Tree Fracas
  • Oolated Luck
  • The Paper Chase
  • Last Sled to Dawson
  • Rocket Reverie
  • Fiscal Fitness
  • Metaphorically Spanking
  • The Crocodile Collector
  • Fortune on the Rocks
  • Return to Plain Awful
  • The Curse of Nostrildamus
  • His Majesty, McDuck
  • Forget me not
  • Give Unto Others
  • On a Silver Platter
  • Making the Grade
  • Leaky Luck
  • The Pied Piper of Duckburg
  • Back in Time for a Dime! (his one and only DuckTales (1987) comic)
  • The Money Pit
  • The Master Landscapist
  • On Stolen Time
  • Treasure Under Glass
  • Return to Xanadu
  • The Duck Who Fell to Earth
  • Incident at McDuck Tower
  • The Island at the Edge of Time
  • War of the Wendigo
  • Super Snooper Strikes Again
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck 1: The Last of the Clan McDuck
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 2: The Master of the Mississippi
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 3: The Buckaroo of the Badlands
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 4: Raider of the Copper Hill
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 5: The New Laird of Castle McDuck
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 6: The Terror of the Transvaal
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 7: Dreamtime Duck of the Never-Never
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 8: King of the Klondike
  • Guardians of the Lost Library
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 9: The Billionaire of Dismal Downs
  • From Duckburg to Lillehammer
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 10: The Invader of Fort Duckburg
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 11: The Empire-Builder from Calisota
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 12: The Richest Duck in the World
  • The Duck Who Never Was (Donald's 60th Anniversary Special)
  • The Treasury of Croesus
  • The Universal Solvent
  • Of Ducks, Dimes and Destinies (Secondary story tie-in to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck)
  • Hearts of the Yukon (Secondary story tie-in to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck)
  • The Incredible Shrinking Tightwad
  • Gyro's Beagletrap
  • The Lost Charts of Columbus
  • The Once and Future Duck
  • The Treasure of the Ten Avatars
  • A Matter of Some Gravity
  • The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff(Secondary story tie-in to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck)
  • An Eye for Detail
  • A Little Something Special (Don Rosa's personal favorite, 50th Anniversary Special for Scrooge McDuck)
  • Attack of the Hideous Space-Varmints
  • W.H.A.D.A.L.O.T.T.A.J.A.R.G.O.N. (60th Anniversary Special for Huey, Dewey & Louie)
  • The Annual Speedskating Race of the Burg of Ducks
  • The Sign of the Triple Distelfink
  • The Last Lord of Eldorado
  • The Black Knight
  • The Cowboy Captain of the Cutty Sark (Secondary story tie-in to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck)
  • The Dutchman's Secret (Secondary story tie-in to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck)
  • Escape from Forbidden Valley
  • The Coin
  • The Quest for Kalevala
  • Attaaack!
  • The Three Caballeros Ride Again
  • The Sharpie of the Culebra Cut (Secondary story tie-in to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck)
  • The Beagle Boys vs. the Money Bin (Beagle Boys 50th Anniversary Special)
  • The Crown of the Crusader Kings
  • Forget it!
  • Gyro's First Invention (50th Anniversary Special for Gyro Gearloose)
  • The Dream of a Lifetime (Secondary story tie-in to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck)
  • Trash or Treasure
  • A Letter from Home
  • The Black Knight Glorps Again!
  • The Magnificent Seven (Minus 4) Caballeros
  • The Prisoner of White Agony Creek (Secondary story tie-in to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck)

Tropes used:

  • Acting Unnatural: In "A Little Something Special", a Beagle Boy disguised as one of Donald's nephews (thanks to a spell by Magica) attempts to make Donald buy his disguise by talking "how cute lil' ducks talk".
    Beagle Boy disguised as Dewey: (with doe eyes and feminine body language) We sowwy we talk naughty, unca ducky! Oo give-um big hug?
    Donald: Saaay... did somebody slip these kids some silly-pills down at that party?
  • All Animals Are Dogs: There are at least three stories in which Scrooge or Donald at some point wags their tail when they're happy.
  • And This Is for...: Scrooge to BlackHeart Beagle in the above mentioned story: "Take that for 1880! And 1882! And 1902! And for Christmas 1947!"
  • Arc Welding: Life and Times as a work.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Started out as a fan of the Disney Ducks Comic Universe written by Carl Barks, and went on to become an author for them himself. And not just any author, but one who largely built his career out of writing sequels to Barks stories or expanding upon Noodle Incidents mentioned in Barks' stories. In fact, he literally wrote so much "Barks-originated" stuff that Carl Barks himself thought Rosa was overdoing it with the Barksian Continuity Porn.
  • As You Know: Lampshade hung in The Last Lord of Eldorado.
  • Author Appeal: Don Rosa wrote his Ducks comics to feature all of the things he personally most loved, and he elaborates on all of the things he loves in his personal commentary throughout the "Don Rosa Library" collection-books that gather his stories. His specific appeals:
    • The vision of the Ducks universe held by Carl Barks.
    • Continuity Porn, especially in the form of Carl Barks references.
    • The "Good Old Days" of the 1950s, as that was the era in which he was reading Disney Ducks comics as a child and it best matches the original timeline for Scrooge's history created by Carl Barks. This is why all Rosa stories are set in a "Present" of the 1950s.
    • Historical fantasy, hence the abundance of "the Ducks find famous real-world lost treasures or get involved with real-world historical figures" stories.
    • Extensive and accurate research.
    • Rosa's love of classic Hollywood movies pops up in quotes and other forms of tribute from time to time.
    • Rosa is an avid fan of Disney's The Three Caballeros, and thinks it's the best thing the animation studio ever did with Donald Duck. He loved it so much he used the trio in two stories ("The Three Caballeros Ride Again!" and "The Magnificent Seven (Minus 4) Caballeros!") making them the few non-Barks Disney characters he's used in his stories.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: At the end of Nobody's Business, having realized that Gladstone's luck means he will always lose if they compete in business, but still wanting to live up to his promise, Scrooge gives Gladstone control over a business in the one industry that Scrooge would never compete in — because he doesn't believe there is any profit in it. What's that business? A comic book company!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The last panel of The Island at the Edge of Time has Scrooge telling the narrator to shut up.
  • Bungling Inventor: Gyro Gearloose.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Some of Don's Hidden Mickeys refer to Mickey's real-life status as a fictional character, while the Ducks are "real" people. Take into account that Donald started off as Mickey's co-star in the cartoons, and you see how this fits.
  • Butt-Monkey/The Chew Toy: Take a wild guess?
  • Comic-Book Time: Averted, Rosa set all of his stories (at least, the ones in the "present") sometime in the '40s or '50s, to be consistent with Barks' stories. He's even stated that the time line of his stories isn't the same as the order he wrote them.
  • Continuity Porn: Oh yeah! While he did write stories other than direct sequels to Carl Barks stories, though he still wrote plenty of the latter, even the stories that were truly original were full of verbal or visual references to events, treasures and characters from Carl Barks stories.
    • Carl Barks himself thought that Don Rosa made too much Continuity Porn, and he encouraged Keno to write original stories without the influence of his stories that were made in the 50s. One of the main reasons behind this is that Carl Barks m.o. was to make all his stories original, and that he was ashamed of reusing elements from earlier stories, even if those stories turned out to be great.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The first Black Knight story uses this to an extent at the finale; Arpin is defeated after a rug is pulled from under him and he falls to Scrooge's diamond stockpile a few stories below. Not only does he not hit any employees on the way, but this was also only possible because the vault just happened to be directly under Scrooge's office to stop Arpin from falling directly to the earth's core. It's arguably a justified example, as In-Universe it's treated as a lucky last-effort Indy Ploy.
  • Cool Old Guy: Scrooge, all the way.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • "W.H.A.D.A.L.O.T.A.J.A.R.G.O.N":
    • The man exiting the comic book shop is Rosa's editor, Byron Erickson.
    • The creators of Huey, Dewey and Louie, Ted Osborne and Al Taliaferro, appear as original members of the Junior Woodchucks.
    • Rosa appears with his wife in The Dutchman's Secret, as they've taken hiking trips in the region of the story in real life.
  • Creator Insignia: "D.U.C.K.", which stands for "Dear Unca Carl from Keno", Keno being his real first name. He wrote this more or less in plain sight in one of his earliest stories. Disney removed it, as they decided it went against their policy of not allowing artist signatures. Later, Don Rosa began hiding it in the covers and opening panels.
  • Creepy Twins: Phishkisser brothers, the owners of "Oolated Squigs" fish company, whose heads are fish-shaped, with big lips, dog-ears resembling pelvic fins, and remains of hair resembling dorsal and tail fins.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Scrooge. Donald and the nephews have their moments as well.
  • Death Trap:
  • Deconstruction: Although Rosa is a massive fan of Carl Barks, he has several times used this trope in his sequels.
    • The premise of Barks's "The Golden Helmet" (considered one of his best works) the MacGuffin has, due to an old law, theoretically power over all of North America. It is an Artifact of Attraction that turns everyone who carries it long enough into a greedy and power-hungry egomaniac. It even corrupts Donald and (very briefly) Huey. It's even scarier than the One Ring, as there is nothing supernatural in it - its creator had no idea how dangerous it could be, and basically the idea that one who wears it rules America is enough to drive anyone into a Face–Heel Turn. The story doesn't end until it's tossed into the ocean. In Rosa's "The Lost Charts Of Columbus", the Helmet is rediscovered, and this time Donald fails to get rid of it before the media gets to see it. Yet in that story, it's turned from the Ring before the Ring into just another artifact museums are full of. Basically, the plot boils down to the Ducks deconstructing the law itself, arguing that it is the most insane example of Western imperialism in history. Eventually, older and older artifacts are found, until UN eventually declares all the artifacts worthless in determining who rules America, and United States, Canada and Mexico keep their independence. The Duckburg Museum eventually manages to buy all the artifacts and their associated stuff. Basically, the sequel made the characters' actions original story out be completely pointless.
    • In The Once and Future Duck Donald and nephews travel back in time and meet King Arthur, the legendary knight in shining armor! Except it's not Arthur, it's the barbarian warlord Arturius, who the legend was based on, who promptly tries to kill them all.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Magica in at least two stories.
    • In "Of Ducks, Dimes and Destinies", Magica travels back to the day Scrooge earned his #1 Dime because she thinks it'll be easier to steal it back then. As she's about to depart back to present time, she realizes that taking the dime with her from the past will prevent it from having the power that makes her want it in the first place.
    • In "A Little Something Special", Magica teams up with the Beagle Boys and Flintheart Glomgold because she sees no overlap in their goals: she wants Scrooge's #1 Dime; the Beagle Boys want the rest of his money; and Flintheart Glomgold just wants to drive Scrooge into poverty and steal his title as the world's richest duck. As Scrooge later points out, his first dime will be of no use for Magica once he's broke.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Don Rosa openly dislikes the idea of Scrooge's Number One Dime being some kind of magical good luck charm that enables him to gather his riches, and from his pen Scrooge himself several times dismisses that as nonsense. It is "only" an important memento for Scrooge and a symbol of his drive to become what he is through hard work. However, losing the Dime may in some cases have a severe psychological effect on Scrooge to the point where his entire financial empire would eventually slip through his fingers.
    • At the same time, none of this diminishes Magica deSpell trying to get her hands on the Dime. In several stories Don Rosa also plays with Magica's spell literally requiring the first earned coin of the world's richest person, which may not be Scrooge at any given moment. For two examples, see the above entry. In a third, Scrooge discovered the riches of Croesus complete with his own Number One Drakhma. Scrooge promptly handed that over to Magica to use in her spell, figuring it was a win-win situation: If the spell is successful, she will stop hounding Scrooge. If not, it proves he is richer than Croesus.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Thunderbolts often have a knack for showing up at the most opportune time
  • Durable Deathtrap: Whenever Scrooge and the other ducks go after an ancient treasure, boobytraps are likely to still be functioning. The best examples are the Death Course in "The Treasure of the Ten Avatars", and the concealed doorway blade in "A Letter from Home".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Magica deSpell in "A Little Something Special" is the only one who speaks up when Blackheart reveals that not only does he plan to steal Scrooge's money, but at the same time he'll also wipe out half of Duckburg's fondation with explosives. Although she quickly gets over it.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Mocked.
  • Extreme Omni-Goat: Averted. Goats eating things that they shouldn't never appears in his stories.
  • Fiction 500: Scrooge McDuck, of course. What else can you call somebody with an entire trophy room full of valuable finds and a personal vault holding three cubic acres of cash?
  • Foreigner for a Day: In one of the stories, "His Majesty, Mcduck", Scrooge McDuck finds an old copper plaque that makes the Money Bin hill its own kingdom. He declares independence to evade taxes, but it backfires when the scheming Akers Maccovet teams up with the Beagle Boys to invade and conquer "McDuckland".
  • Funetik Aksent: Scrooge's family in Life and Times as well as Arpin Lusene.
  • Funny Background Event: In the spirit of Barks.
  • Furry Confusion: In "The Magnificent Seven (Minus 4) Caballeros", Josè, the anthropomorphic parrot, is at one point seen communicating with a normal parrot.
    • Similarily, many stories will show regular chickens existing in Rosa's universe. Donald's other friend, Panchito, is an anthropomorphic rooster.
  • Genre Savvy: When the Ducks are pursued by a hungry Spinosaurus in Escape From Forbidden Valley, Uncle Scrooge suggests taking a shortcut over a cliff across an old wooden log. His nephews immediately dismiss the idea and snark that the last movie their uncle has watched was probably at a 1904 science expo.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Rosa has this to say in the "Making Of" section for Of Ducks, Dimes and Destinies:
    "Often I put scenes in my stories that I know will not get past Egmont editor Bryon Erickson, just to give him a chuckle... or heart failure later on if he doesn't spot my mischief."
  • Gray-and-Grey Morality: A lot less so than Barks (for one thing irredeemably evil villains are the norm), but a lot of Rosa's stories have no antagonists and deal with the flaws of the protagonists themselves.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook. This is lampshaded and explained.
  • Green Aesop: "War Of The Wendigo" was actually commissioned to provide An Aesop about the dangers of acid rain and deforestation. Rosa was happy to accept, especially as it gave him a chance to bring back the Peeweegah, the Pygmy Indians of Carl Barks.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: In the first The Three Caballeros comic Rosa did, he changed the lyrics of the eponymous song to remove the verse "the three gay caballeros". In the second one, the line is intact. You could almost swear there's a guy giving them a knowing gaze as they sing it that time...
  • Historical In-Joke: Naturally, as a lover of historical adventure fiction, Rosa squeezes as many history-based in-jokes into his stories as he can fit, although many are, as he admits, less than evident to somebody without a keen knowledge of history.
  • Homage: The two stories with The Three Caballeros. Complete with them performing the theme song.
  • Irony: Don Rosa most loved the historical fantasy aspect of Scrooge comics, with tales of Scrooge interacting with famous historical figures or discovering legendary real-world treasures like El Dorado or King Solomon's Diamond Mines being his favorite stories to write. But, in a very real sense, he was directly responsible for the end of such stories; by the time his career was over, he'd basically had Scrooge find every real-world lost treasure imaginable, from Xanadu to the Treasury of Croesus to the Lost Dutchman Mine and the Vault of the Templars!
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: The Duck Who Never Was does this to Donald.
  • Jail Bake: The Beagle Boys visit their grandfather in prison, to celebrate the birthday of their gang. They bring a huge elaborate cake, of which not much was left after the security removed all sort of tools hidden inside. Including a flamethrower.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: This well-known panel (bottom left), for instance.
  • Mega-Microbes: In "The Incredible Shrinking Tightwad", Scrooge and Donald are eventually shrunk down to microscopic size due to the effects of a malfunctioning shrinking ray, and are menaced by a horde of microbes.
  • Mistaken for Badass: This is the Running Gag in both his stories about the Three Caballeros: Donald suffers some kind of slapstick accident and José and Panchito mistake it for an act of bravery.
  • Money Fetish: Scrooge swims in it.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Scrooge and Greed.
  • Mundane Utility: In "A Letter from Home" the villains are two Templars who are in possession of the Philosopher's Stone from an earlier story. They mainly use it to turn locks and chains into gold so they can break them easily.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: In "Dream of a Lifetime", the Dalton brothers whine about the Beagle Boys stealing the horses that they themselves had stolen the other day.
  • #1 Dime: Just don't call it "lucky".
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Scrooge to several members of his Rogues Gallery.
  • Older Than They Look: Lots of characters in Rosa's timeline seem to have extraordinarily long lifespans, with Scrooge living up to the noble age of 100 and half of the characters he met in his youth still being in fine shape in the "present" (1950's), but one particularly outstanding example would be Blackheart Beagle, who back in 1880 already had sons who were old enough to wear moustaches.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: In "The Duck Who Never Was", Donald has such bad luck on his birthday that he wishes he were never born after running into a Genie in a Bottle. After seeing that virtually everyone is worse off without him and that Duckburg has become a hellhole, he corrects his mistake by wishing everything back. He wakes up in the normal world and assumes it was all a dream, but after he leaves the museum the genie mumbles from inside its bottle that Donald seems like quite the nutcase.
  • Pooled Funds: Scrooge, of course.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: In the second story featuring the Three Caballeros, Donald becomes especially depressed and Huey, Dewey and Louie decide to reunite the Three Caballeros in the hopes that it will cheer Donald up.
  • Rebus Bubble: Famously in the story "A Little Something Special", when a bored Scrooge notices that the shadow being cast by Duckburg's mayor is that of Flintheart Glomgold, leading to a Rebus Bubble where the mayor plus Glomgold's shadow equals Glomgold plus magic, which equals Magica, which equals Glomgold plus Magica, which equals five exclamation marks.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In The Treasury of Croesus, Donald calls out both his Uncle Scrooge and Magica de Spell for their greed.
    Donald: I've had a bellyful of both you eternal fools! Year in, year out, you bring grief on yourselves all for the sake of getting rich, staying rich, or getting richer still! You'll never be happy, because you always worry about what you'll do next to complicate your own greedy lives!
  • Required Secondary Powers: Deconstructed in "Super Snooper Strikes Again!". Donald briefly becomes a Flying Brick after chugging down some Applied Phlebotinum, and makes several attempts to impress his nephews with his new powers. He tries to travel around the world in an instant, but realizes that he still perceives the passage of time normally despite everyone else effectively being frozen in time while he's moving around at Super Speed, so the task could take him several months or even years to complete, and nobody would notice anyway. He also tries to use his Super Strength to lift both a mountain and a sunken cruise ship, but the mountain starts falling apart at the base and the ship breaks in two due to years of rust decay to the hull.
  • Running Gag:
    • In The Sign of the Triple Distelfink, something implausibly unlucky for Gladstone happens, prompting a character to say "What are the odds of that?", to which Gladstone becomes increasingly more annoyed.
    • In "The Dream of a Lifetime", whenever Uncle Scrooge sees Donald in one of his dreams, he says "Nephew, what the &#*% are you doing here?!"
  • Scenery Porn: One of the reasons Rosa was a relatively slow comics artist were the luscious, researched and detailed backgrounds that helped make his work so interesting. Probably no other artist in the Duck Comic Universe has been so good at the painstakingly beautiful scenes in the ducks' adventures.
  • Self-Made Man: Scrooge. The point being that the "making" was more important to him than "getting made" in the first place.
  • The Shadow Knows: In "A Little Something Special", Magica DeSpell gives Flintheart Glomgold a magical disguise but his shadow clues the heroes to his real identity.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Scrooge, as he is unable to become a Junior Woodchuck and legally get his hands on a copy of their famous guidebook, goes hunting for the remains of the Library of Alexandria in an attempt to obtain something that can rival it in knowledge. That Junior Woodchuck guidebook? Yeah, it's what the contents of the Library eventually got turned into... After chasing the library the world over, his goal ends up being the only book in the world he can't obtain.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rosa never wrote any Mickey Mouse stories, but that doesn't keep him from littering various Hidden Mickeys within his stories.
    • Monty Python and the Holy Grail gets quoted at least twice.
    • Citizen Kane is referenced three times.
    • "The Three Caballeros Ride Again":
      José Carioca: "It's a great joke played on us by fate or greed or whatever you prefer, but whoever or whatever played it certainly had a good sense of humor!"
    • Gold Hat keeps quoting from Blazing Saddles as a Running Gag:
      "Bandages? I ain't got no bandages... I don't need no stinkin' bandages!"
    • "Escape From Forbidden Valley" is ridden with shout outs to King Kong.
    • The final showdown in "A Little Something Special" mirrors the ending of Saboteur as Scrooge and the villain end up on top of the giant statue of Cornelius Coot, complete with saving the villain from falling by grabbing his sleeve, only for the stitches of the sleeve to start tearing...
  • Shown Their Work: Don Rosa recounted a tale about him doing background research for the chapter of Life and Times which takes place in Australia: He talked to an expert in Aboriginal Australian Myths and asked what would be a suitable name for a certain kind of mythological being. The expert told him it didn't really matter, as Don Rosa was at a point where maybe half dozen people in the entire United States would notice anything was off. He still decided to not slack off there.
  • The Stinger: An extra page for The Quest for Sampo, in which the guardian of the Underworld swings by Scrooge's office to return Scrooge's hat at Vainmoinen's behest.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Played with in "Escape from Forbbiden Valley", where Donald finds himself abducted by a large female dinosaur mistaking him for her baby. Despite not having appreciated her... unusual treatment of him, he feels very sorry for her seeing how sad she is when he gets saved, and makes sure to give her a real dinosaur egg to care for (while also allowing our heroes their escape).
  • Stock Scream: Goofy Holler is used when Donald falls horizontally along the street and crashes to a wall in "A Matter Of Some Gravity".
  • Stranded Invader: In "The Quest for Kalevala", the witch Louhi summons the monster Iku-Turso to once again lay waste to Finland. However, once they arrive in Helsinki, the two are confused by the 20th-century city they find, having expected a bunch of frightened villagers living in huts. Donald, who hitched a ride, steals Louhi's magic harp and lures Iku-Turso back into the sea, leaving the witch stranded and being forced to panhandle for food.
  • Take a Third Option: Rosa had a bit of trouble with naming the star of Guardians of the Lost Library. It starts with Donald and the nephews, but then once Scrooge comes in, the plot follows him, leaving Donald behind. So was it a Donald story or a Scrooge story? He decided to go with Scrooge, but when other countries labelled it as a Huey, Dewey and Louie/Junior Woodchucks story, he realized that made perfect sense yet never considered that as an option.
  • Take That!:
    • Don Rosa is not a fan of superhero comics, and expressed that viewpoint in "Super Snooper Strikes Again!" on several levels: the titular Show Within a Show superhero is described as a mindlessly violent character whose feats consist of pummeling opponents with increasingly oversized and exaggerated things, which leads to Donald scorning him and suggesting that the nephews read "Marvin Monkey", which is clearly a pastiche of a Mickey Mouse comic, instead, which the nephews initially deride as childish — but are shown reading at the story's end and being enthralled, admitting that it's less violent but far more intelligent and charming. The story's main plot deconstructs the superhero archetype through the use of Required Secondary Powers, showing Donald's attempts at showing off superpowers as pointless and unworkable, and ends with the nephews proclaiming Donald himself is a far better hero than Super Snooper, since he puts himself through all kinds of misery and strife to ensure that Huey, Dewey and Louie are given a comfortable life.
      • Made explicit in Don Rosa's commentary on the story in volume 3 of the Don Rosa Library, a collection of the Scrooge & Donald stories that he wrote. He denounces superhero comics as meaningless, lowbrow, violent dribble, which are only popular in North America and earn nothing but a pittance in comparison to the other styles of comic story published in other countries, and praises the intelligence of himself and other Disney comic fans for valuing the "morally superior" Disney comics instead.
    • Downplayed/subverted in "Back in Time for a Dime!", his one and only DuckTales (1987) comic. In his commentary on it in volume 2 of the Don Rosa Library, he states plainly that he does not like the show, considering it an inferior rendition of the original Carl Barks stories, but he does not harp on about his dislike and the story itself treats the characters fairly respectfully.
    • One of his hidden Mickeys is a statue of said mouse in a museum. The plaque beneath the statue says "Ancient Demon Worship".
  • This Is Reality: In several stories, the characters will dismiss fantastical plans or suggestions by declaring such ideas "only belong in comic books".
  • This Way to Certain Death: In the Scrooge McDuck story The Treasure of the Ten Avatars, Scrooge and Donald are exploring an ancient Indian city to finds the treasure stored away in the lower levels. Several thousand years ago Alexander's Greek Hoplites tried the same thing but failed to get past all the traps. The Ducks keep finding evidence of the soldiers' unfortunate deaths: armor left behind because whoever was carrying it was eaten, armour with holes pierced through them, armour squished like a pancake, etc.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: He did this to Donald in The Duck Who Never Was, The Three Caballeros Ride Again and The Magnificent Seven (Minus Four) Caballeros.
  • Time-Freeze Trolling Spree: In one Scrooge McDuck story written by Don Rosa, the Beagle Boys steal a stopwatch from Gyro Gearloose that freezes time anywhere outside a ten-foot radius of the device. Naturally, they use it to rob Scrooge blind, but also to mess with him by for instance, sticking a hundred "thank you" cards to his body while time has been stopped.
  • Time Stands Still: On Stolen Time; played with in Super Snooper Strikes Back.
  • Title Drop: In "A Little Something Special", the one telling Scrooge in the end she has "a little something special" for him is Goldie.
  • Toxic, Inc.: The evil boss of the logging company in the Don Rosa Scrooge McDuck story "War of the Wendigo" goes really over the top with this when the Pygmy Indians and their natural allies storm the building to stop him cutting down all the trees. He orders his workers to pump out lethal gasses to kill the bats nestled in the exhaust pipes, dumps acid in the drainage to boil the frogs clogging up the sewer, and when his employees decide Screw This, I'm Outta Here! he goes completely Ax-Crazy with a flamethrower to burn the whole forest down.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Twice in A Matter Of Some Gravity.
  • Villain Team-Up: A Little Something Special, the 50th Anniversary Special for Scrooge McDuck, revolves around a team-up betwee Flintheart Glomgold, Magica DeSpell, and the Beagle Boys, all organized by a mysterious mastermind: Blackheart Beagle.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The second generation of Beagle Boys, last seen at the end of chapter ten of Life and Times when Blackheart Beagle tells them to get married and start families so there would be more Beagle Boys. The next time Scrooge meets Beagle family is forty-five years later in chapter twelve, when it's already Blackheart plus his grandsons. The middle generation is never mentioned again.
    • Donald's parents (his mother being Hortense McDuck, Scrooge's sister) as well as his sister (the mother of Huey, Dewey and Louie) are last shown in chapter eleven, with no further appearances or mentions about what happened to them. We do see Scrooge's other sister Matilda in A Letter from Home living in their ancestral castle. Don Rosa had wanted to use Hortense in her place, but an editorial mandate stated Donald's mother is not to appear in a present-day story.
  • You Are Number 6: According to The Beagle Boys vs The Money Bin, the Beagle Boys themselves have no idea what their names are, as their parents would only refer to them by numbers. If you wanted to know your own name, they could be persuaded. Say, for two hundred bucks.

Alternative Title(s): Keno Don Rosa