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Richie Rich (stylized as Ri¢hie Ri¢h) was the 1994 film version of the classic Harvey Comics character of the same name, starring Macaulay Culkin in his last official role as a "child actor". It is directed by Donald Petrie, with the screenplay by Tom S. Parker and Jim Jennewein.

Richard "Richie" Rich Jr. (Culkin) is the 13-year-old son of the world's richest man, billionaire business magnate and investor Richard Rich Sr. (Edward Herrmann). While the caring, jovial Richard Sr. and Richie's mother Regina (Christine Ebersole) are dedicated parents who have always provided him with the best of everything, his sheltered upbringing has cut him off from some of life's simplest pleasures — other than his loyal butler, Herbert Cadbury (Jonathan Hyde), Richie's only friends are the spoiled children of other billionaires, who have little interest in down-to-earth pursuits like his passion for baseball. When Cadbury arranges for the local children of blue-collar factory workers to come play at the Rich estate, Richie is overjoyed.... until the news breaks that his parents are missing and presumed dead following a plane crash.

Unbeknownst to Richie, the Riches' plane was bombed by their greedy Rich Industries CFO Lawrence Van Dough (John Larroquette), who seeks to gain control of their empire, plunder their famed family vault and inherit their vast fortune, with the help of Ferguson (Chelcie Ross), the Rich family's traitorous head of security. Van Dough's plan, however, immediately hits three snags: first, Richie's parents survived the crash and are merely lost at sea; secondly, he learns too late that the vault has been sealed by a voice-activation lock which requires the presence of the lost parents to open it; and lastly, Richie himself (who was originally supposed to be aboard the same plane) has decided to step up and run the Rich business empire until his parents are found, with Cadbury serving as his legal guardian.

Richie immediately proves to be a business dynamo, achieving even more fame and fortune while bringing in his young friends as "research consultants" on the company's various kid-targeted products. The tide shifts again though, when Van Dough and Ferguson frame Cadbury for the bombing, removing the underage Richie's by-proxy authority over the company and essentially leaving him a prisoner in his own mansion after Van Dough takes over legal guardianship of him, and uses Cadbury's arrest to fire all of the other family servants en masse, leaving Ferguson and Van Dough's own personal security forces to take over and refuse to allow Richie to leave the estate grounds or his friends to see him.

Richie's only hope of getting his butler, his parents, his family business and his life back ends up being his live-in research scientist, Professor Keenbean (Mike McShane), who devises a way to spring Cadbury from prison and attempt to locate the Riches' liferaft. Richie and his friends must then infiltrate the now highly-secured Rich manor, but meanwhile, Van Dough and Ferguson learn that the Rich parents are actually still alive and are attempting to retrieve Richard and Regina in order to coerce them to bypass the voiceprint lock to their legendary family vault...

A sequel, Richie Rich's Christmas Wish, was released to Direct to Video in 1998.

This film contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion:
    • A sideways one: When Ferguson blasts the nose off Regina's likeness on Mount Richmore, she reacts by exclaiming, "I look like Michael Jackson!" You wonder how Macaulay Culkin reacted to that line before it was shot...
    • It's not the first time Macaulay Culkin used nifty gimmicks and gadgets to eject unscrupulous ruffians from his family's property. More like the third.
    • This isn't the first time Edward Herrmann played a wealthy man, and it wouldn't be the last.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • In the comics, Gloria's last name is Glad. In the film, her last name is Pazinski.
    • Reginald Van Dough Sr. from the comics is named Laurence Van Dough here.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In the comics, Richie and Gloria were boyfriend and girlfriend. In the film, they're Just Friends...or likely Implied Love Interests.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Richie's mom, Regina Rich, is slim in the movie while plump in the comics. Downplayed, since his mom was not portrayed in the comics as unattractive for being on the fat side, but rather her figure was likely used as shorthand for "prosperous matron" and the movie just makes her more conventionally attractive in modern terms. The reverse is true for Professor Keenbean, who goes from a more stock "reedy scientist" type to a Big Fun portly guy, though he remains balding and bearded. Also he no longer needs glasses, while Richard Rich Sr. now does.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Gloria was changed from a girly-girl in the comics to a tomboy in the movie.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Van Dough's namesake in the comics is Richie's uncle and Reggie's father (Reginald Sr.), who was a jerk but not outright evil. Here, Van Dough actively plots the deaths of the entire Rich family, including having the senior Riches' plane blown up and shooting Richie.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Cadbury in the comics can usually hold his own against criminals, but here he certainly has trouble fighting out a criminal that tries to harm him in prison. In spite of him manging to get the upper hand on the assailant, he has trouble doing the same to Ferguson in the final battle.
  • Adapted Out: Of the Rich household, Irona the Robot Maid is dropped from the movie. Though, this is justified as Professor Keenbean probably didn't create her yet.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Gloria's mother Diane tries to shorten Cadbury's first name to "Herb", which he immediately shoots down, claiming "I'm not a seasoning".
  • Age Lift:
    • Richie is a teenager played by Macaulay Culkin instead of a prepubescent boy.
    • Cadbury is made a little younger and gets a Love Interest.
  • Agony of the Feet: Professor Keenbean suffered from this trope after inadvertently dropping a bowling ball on his foot.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: While being tangled upside down from Mt. Richmore Richard's nose, Van Dough pleads for the Rich family to help him, even accepts being fired.
  • All for Nothing: Van Dough schemed to get his hands on the Rich treasure vault, only to find it contains no actual monetary wealth, just mementoes of the Rich family's happy times together. This causes his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Alliterative Name: Richie Rich, Richard Rich, and Regina Rich.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Averted. Regina says Richard has 70 billion dollars, which even after almost thirty years of inflationnote , is still an incredibly large amount of money that would keep him in strong contention for the title of world's richest person, which the film explicitly states him to be. For context, Bill Gates' net worth as the richest tycoon in the world of 1994 was "only" around $9 billion.
  • Artistic License – Prison: The scene where Cadbury breaks out of jail has all sorts of issues. First, the prisoners are sent into a bathroom area without a guard watching them. Such areas don't exist in prisons, and if they did, they would certainly be guarded. Second, a huge prisoner enters wearing Badass Biker garb, which would never be allowed. Third, the toothpaste and card that Richie gave to Cadbury would certainly have been inspected before they got to him, which would have shown that the toothpaste was a metal-dissolving agent created by Professor Keenbean, and the card had an explanation of how to escape. Cadbury screams for help after the biker attacks him, yet nobody shows up. Aside from the aforesaid problems with the room being unguarded, fights in prison are usually over quickly because everything the prisoners do is monitored at all times. Finally, Cadbury escapes out the window of the prison, and nobody ever notices that one of their prisoners is missing. Presumably, everything got cleared up off-screen, but the fact that no one came looking for Cadbury is relatively suspect.
  • Badass Boast: When Ferguson roughly steers Richie away for his "protection", Cadbury warns him that if he touches him again, "you'll be the one needing protecting." Cadbury does more than boast later in the movie.
  • Bad Boss: Van Dough becomes this after he takes the helm. Not that he was much better before that, mind.
  • Battle Butler: Cadbury, as seen during the scene where he busts out of prison after making quick work of the assassin sent to kill him. He also bests Ferguson during the final battle.
    Cadbury: Never mess with a man with sensitive teeth!
  • Battle Discretion Shot: When one of Van Dough's thugs tries to off Cadbury in a prison bathroom, the fight takes place just off-screen. Of course, as mentioned with the trope above, just because Cadbury is a butler doesn't mean he can't handle himself in a fight.
  • Beef Bandage: Gloria's mother gives Cadbury one after she sees his injuries from being in prison. He originally didn't want one, but thanks her anyway.
  • Benevolent Boss: Richard Rich Sr.; later Richie. Rich Sr. claims to have never fired anybody in his life. He makes an exception with the Big Bad and The Dragon, after they try to murder him, his family, and his son's friends.
  • Beta Couple: Cadbury and Diane form one over the course of the movie, and get together at the end.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Richie is one of the nicest rich kids in the world. Van Dough made the mistake of trying to kill his family and take over Rich Industries.
  • Big Eater:
    • Richard Rich does love his chocolates, claiming to be on a diet but trying to sneak some when Regina isn't looking when they're flying to the UK.
    • Professor Keenbean. One scene shows him ordering multiple Quarter Pounders and boxes of fries from Richie's personal McDonald's, and sheepishly claiming he's working on analyzing the Secret Sauce.
    • Pee-wee entirely lacks any personality traits aside from his eating habits.
    • One of Van Dough's henchmen, Nash, might be one.
      "Those Twinkies are starting to rot his brain."
  • Big Fancy House: The Rich Mansion. The entire estate is so big, that is has a Mt. Rushmore-esque monument called Mt. Richmore in the backyard. It's also got enough room for Richie and his new friends to ride around on ATVs, be launched from a "kid-apult" several hundred feet into an airbag, and ride on a roller coaster. It's joked when the normal kids arrive that "the place has probably got its own zip code" because of how large it is.
  • Book Ends:
    • At the beginning after growing up, Richie is seen playing baseball. At the end of the film, he is playing baseball again, this time, with his new friends and with Cadbury as coach.
    • The movie opens with a giant green vault door opening and ends with it closing again.
  • Bowdlerize:
    • On ABC Family, Regina's line "I look like Michael Jackson!" is cut. Possibly out of respect after his death in 2009.
    • Richie Rich has Claudia Schiffer for an aerobics teacher. One scene shows Richie and Cadbury behind her, obediently following along with her instructions and mirroring her movements until she bends over to touch the floor, at which point Richie and Cadbury both stop and stare. This scene is cut from the TV version.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Reginald, who promotes lying about a corporate takeover and verbally abuses a butler for getting him the wrong coffee.
  • Brick Joke: Earlier in the film, Professor Keenbean was demonstrating an invention that converts garbage into useful items. With Keenbean hoping that a bedpan could made from the machine. After saving the kids and getting stuck by his own invention, his machine finally makes a bedpan after it only made bowling balls.
  • Broken Ace: As the son of a richest man on Earth, Richie has wealth, power, education, and fame. However, he has almost no close friendships, is burnt out by the lack of free time in his life, and the kids he wants to be friends with marginalize him at first just because he's a rich kid.
  • Broken Aesop: The movie briefly attempts to teach that money can't buy friendship, when that's effectively what happens when Cadbury pays off some local kids to visit Richie at his mansion and eventually befriend him.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Keenbean's impervious spray turns any clothing into this, as well as making it dirtproof, stainproof, and waterproof. And it's more effective than any modern bullet-proof vest - Richie suffers no pain or even much of a response at all when he gets shot in the chest at point-blank range.
  • The Butler Did It: The villains make it appear as if Cadbury bombed the Riches' private jet. He had nothing to do with it, but it requires Richie to break Cadbury out of jail using one of Keenbean's inventions.
  • Casting Gag: The climax involves the protagonist (played by Culkin) breaking into his own home instead of defending it from the inside, though with the same goal of driving out thieves.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Every single one of Keenbean's inventions, except for the Molecular Reorganizer, which would instead be used by the villains. Which, by extension, makes Keenbean a Chekhov's Gunman and his lab a Chekhov's Armoury.
    • Mount Richmore is actually the family vault.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Cadbury knowing Latin.
    • Richie briefly puts his fencing skills to good use against Van Dough.
  • Coincidental Dodge: Nash, the officer patrolling the Rich estate ducks down to check something, making the manure bag Richie and his friends launch at him miss, forcing them to load another.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Yes, a movie based on a comic book was turned into a comic book. It was also published by Marvel Comics, who through their Star Comics imprint published their own Richie Rich Expy comic book title named Royal Roy. The comic book adaptation naturally featured the movie cast on the cover, but surprisingly the interior art (by a veteran Harvey artist) feels nigh-indistinguishable from the regular series, not attempting to draw the actors and instead using most of the classic designs despite the tweaks in characterizations, and Irona the Robot Maid even appears as a background character.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: The hopper that begins to feed Richie and his friends into Keenbean's molecular reorganizer.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Lawrence Van Dough. He wasn't a good employee to begin with, but then he tries to actively murder his boss and his family just on the off-chance that it'd make him even wealthier.
  • Curse Cut Short: Nash lets out a "Shi-" before he gets knocked out by a thrown bag of manure.
  • Deconstruction: Of some aspects of the comics as relating to wealth. Richie really is a "Poor Little Rich Boy" because he craves friendship. The Rich family doesn't stuff their financial treasure in estate vaults, instead they keep treasured heirlooms and mementos which they treat as more important.
  • Defeat Means Menial Labor: After they're defeated, Van Dough and Ferguson are reduced to court-ordered groundskeeping for the Riches.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Reggie, who is Richie's cousin in the comics. Here, Reggie gets only two scenes to establish he's a Jerkass, then is never seen again.
    • Dollar the Dollarmatian doesn't really appear that much in the film. Considering that Dollar is portrayed by an actual dog.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Cadbury calls Diane "madam", which she doesn't like. She constantly tells him not to call her that, which becomes sort of her catch phrase.
  • The Dragon: Mr. Ferguson to Van Dough. Ferguson is a Psycho for Hire that's willing to kill the Rich family because he's being paid to do it.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • For Ferguson, it's when he roughly grabs Richie near the beginning and justifies it by saying "it's my job to protect him." Cadbury gets his own immediately after - see Papa Wolf.
    • Van Dough when he fires his Chauffeur, for parking in a puddle he could have easily stepped over.
    • Reginald gets one when he promotes financial fraud as a solution to an impending dismissal while being fitted with a suit, demonstrating he is a pompous little snob.
    • Richie gets one in the beginning, when he's getting a haircut and manicure and is nothing but polite to Cadbury when he brings him a milkshake. Likewise, Richard Sr. gets one when he's shown playing catch with Richie in the office.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Richard has a personal rule that he never fires anyone. Van Dough's multiple attempted murders on him and his family and friends to steal their wealth however results in him making an exception for him and his co-conspirators.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Van Dough has this in spades:
    • He is incredulous that Richard would willingly help the employees of a local tool factory, rather than downsize them in the name of the bottom line. He even bemoans the idea of charitable contributions as a waste of money.
    • Van Dough can't believe that the Riches consider family more important than money; while he plays the family affection to his advantage by taking Richie's parents hostage, when he finds that their actual wealth is just mementos of their happy times he is disgusted and decides to just kill them, though it's justified since he expected more money.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Ferguson gets frustrated trying to shoot the Rich family with the laser cannon, so he dials the power beyond safe limits, and the previously precise beam now becomes a wild lightning bolt that tears through Mt. Richmore.
  • Expospeak Gag: The Smellmaster determines that one of the presents on the Riches' private jet contains "trinitrotoluene". It takes Mr. and Mrs. Rich a moment to realize that it's a disguised bomb, as "trinitrotoluene" is the long form of "TNT".
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: For a family movie, having Van Dough shoot a 12-year-old multiple times in the chest was pretty intense - even if he was wearing a Bulletproof Vest.
  • Fantasy Landmark Equivalent: Mount Richmore, a look-alike of Mount Rushmore that has the faces of the Rich family carved into it.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Lawrence Van Dough acts calm and amiable, but he completely loses his cool once his plans start to unravel.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Van Dough gets out of a limo and steps into a puddle.
  • Fictional Pinball Game: The "Richie Rich" pinball, complete with gold-plated pieces and pictures of the Rich family. In reality, it was a modified version of Data East's The Who's Tommy. Pity.
  • Fiery Redhead: Gloria is the one who gets quickest to anger among Richie's new friends, frequently yelling at everyone else. Especially if she thinks someone's being rude.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When Van Dough forces Mr. and Mrs. Rich to open their family vault, they reveal the vocal recognition code is their duetting the Broadway song "Side By Side", which in context is about two people who love each other despite being dirt poor and having next to nothing. Moments later, when the vault opens, it's revealed that, instead of the endless cash, gold, and jewelry that Van Dough had imagined was kept inside, it instead contains mementos, keepsakes, and family heirlooms that are only of sentimental value, and that the Riches' money is either gathering interest in banks, or working through investments such as the stock market and real estate. The contents of the vault bring it and its vocal code into perfect context with each other, and this shows that while the Riches do value money (mostly for business, charity, and perks), they don't treasure it, instead saving the treasuring for their family and the good memories of their lives.
  • Five-Token Band: Richie's friends, with Richie filling out the rich kid quota.
  • First-Name Basis: Gloria's mom Diane prefers that Cadbury refer to her by her first name instead of "madam" because she doesn't "like the formalities".
  • Frame-Up: Van Dough and Ferguson frame Cadbury for blowing up Mr. and Mrs. Rich's private plane.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's possible that Ferguson became Van Dough's Dragon because he felt unappreciated by the Riches for whatever reason, as implied by his "employee of the month" comment to Cadbury.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Prof. Keenbean, whose inventions are truly world-changing, from a spray-on nanofluid that renders any material completely bulletproof to a prototype of an early Matter Replicator that rearranges the molecules of garbage into useful everyday items.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Van Dough pours himself a bottle of wine once he thinks he's gotten rid of the Riches.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Many gold-plated versions of everyday objects turn up throughout the film, from rattles and pacifiers to a set of socket wrenches presented to the Riches by a tool and die factory whom they saved from bankruptcy.
  • Good Capitalism, Evil Capitalism: Both sides are shown in the movie.
    • The Riches embody "good" capitalism: employees are given excellent wages and job security, large amounts of money are donated to charity, and Rich Industries under Keenbean produces all kinds of wonderful and silly innovations.
    • Van Dough embodies "evil" capitalism: very big on downsizing, slashing wages, mistreating employees, and having rivals and threats killed.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Richard isn't just a Benevolent Boss out of the goodness of his heart; happy workers are more productive workers. When Richie continues his father's policies, he is able to bring in record profits, much to Van Dough's consternation.
  • Good Parents: Richard and Regina make sure they spend time with their son, even as they are working. Part of the opening montage of Richard Rich is tossing a baseball to and from Richie while in his office on the phone.
  • Grade-School C.E.O.: Richie takes over the company with Cadbury's backing after his parents' plane crash. This lasts one highly successful montage, until Cadbury is framed for the Riches' murder.
  • Happily Married: Richie's parents, very much so. Even when they're stranded in a liferaft with dwindling rations they remain completely at ease with each other and positive about their prospects.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: When Richie sees his new personal trainer he realizes it’s a blonde bombshell Claudia Schiffer and looks at her with a swooning expression and replies “Yikes!”
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Cadbury ends up as this after he's framed for the murder of the Riches by Van Dough and cronies. He's even sent to jail for murder. No longer the case when Van Dough was exposed.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A rare non-villain example: Keenbean falls into a trap he set for Ferguson involving his super-strength adhesive, with near-disastrous results for Richie and his friends since they're all locked in the sub-atomic molecular reorganizer, and Keenbean can't reach the emergency shut-off switch. However, Keenbean uses the Robo-Bee to sting Ferguson, launching him into the button to turn it off.
  • "Home Alone" Antics: The movie turned into this near the end, as the house's traps were used against the bad guys. This time it was a group of kids using them. This example might be an Actor Allusion too, since Macaulay Culkin starred as Richie as well as the first two Home Alone movies.
  • Honest Advisor: Apparently, Richard keeps Van Dough around despite his self-centered nature because Richard sees him as a serious man devoted to the bottom line.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Richard Rich Sr. has never fired anyone in his life, and seems to be a decent guy all around.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Being the Benevolent Boss he is, Richie's dad is this way at first when it comes to Van Dough; if not entirely unaware of the problem, he was at least hesitant at first to fire him.
    Regina: Oh Richard, wake up and smell the seaweed!
  • Humiliation Conga: Both villains get one. Ferguson has a towel superglued to his face, is knocked out, and gets stung in the ass by a robotic bee. Van Dough is left hanging for dear life on a sheer rock face, is fired by a 12-year-old boy, whose father has never fired anyone in his life, and gets punched in the face by the mother who hates his guts. And then both are reduced to blue-collar groundskeepers as part of their work-release from prison.
  • Idiot Ball: Van Dough holds onto this for the entire movie, for his honest belief that the richest family on Earth would hoard all their money in a sealed vault rather than invest most/some of it in banks, stocks and real estate.
  • Implied Love Interest: In the comics, Richie and Gloria were boyfriend and girlfriend. In the film, they're likely being built up to that, though the vagueness could lend itself to Just Friends. See Adaptation Relationship Overhaul.
  • Ironic Echo:
    Reginald: (pokes Ellsworth in the butt with his saber) Watch your rear, Ellsworth. First rule of defense. (a servant gives him his drink) This is a cappuccino! I asked for a decaf café latté, you incompetent imbecile! If you can't do this job—
    (Richie pokes Reginald in the butt with his saber, causing him to spill his drink on himself)
    Richie: First rule of defense, Reginald: Always watch your rear.
    (Reginald leaves in a huff.)
    • Later, when Richie Jr. mentions how Van Dough feels about shooting people, Van Dough mentions he'll make an exception before open firing at Richie. Later, when Van Dough is left dangling on Mount Richmore, Richie Jr. states his father's reluctance to fire people. His father also makes an exception.
  • Irony: Van Dough mocks one of Keenbean's inventions, the one that can smell anything. Richard Sr. is able to identify the bomb before it can blow up the plane entirely, saving the Rich Parent's lives, although leaving them stranded at sea since the explosion clips the plane's tail.
  • The Jeeves: Herbert Cadbury plays this trope to its full hilt. Even when he's temporarily put in jail, he still acts very upper-class and proper.
  • Jerkass:
    • Ferguson isn't especially nice to anyone, not even Richie, who he's supposed to be protecting. It then is barely a surprise that he is a mole in service of Van Dough.
    • Reginald, who has no problem with belittling one of his servants and proposing a pump and dump scheme.
  • Karma Houdini: Invoked by Reggie during a business school lesson. He's given a hypothetical scenario and asked what he would do, and his response is a pump-and-dump scheme. When the teacher informs him that it's both unethical and illegal, Reggie states that he's only twelve and can't be held legally responsible. The teacher concedes his point.
  • Kick the Dog: Lawrence Van Dough asks the Board of Directors to have a moment of silence for the "passing" of Mr. and Mrs. Rich. Barely a moment pass, Van Dough gets down to business.
  • The Lancer: Cadbury is Richie's loyal "gentleman's gentleman... or, as you Americans would say, his butler". Not only does Cadbury help Richie do everything that he needs to do, but he never once waivers in his support of the Rich family in general, even willing to put his own life on the line for them.
  • Large Ham: Regina Rich.
    Regina: "Oh my god, my nose! I look like Michael Jackson!"
  • Line in the Sand: Downplayed; Right before Richie, his friends, Diane, and Cadbury break into the Rich estate to get to the Dad Link, Richie mentions then is the time to turn back, but no one takes it.
  • Lonely at the Top: The movie is quick to point out that money doesn't buy happiness and the only thing that Richie doesn't have are real friends; even the classmates he's close to make excuses to not hang out. Though it's hinted they mean nothing malicious, and are mainly adhering to their grooming for eventually running their families' businesses. It's also funny that the kids he does become friends with had to be bribed by Cadbury to hang out with him in the first place. They do quickly become genuine friends with him though, after spending a day with him at his house and realizing that he's actually a sweet kid, instead of a Spoiled Brat as they had first assumed.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Richie has all the money in the world and is stated to be the richest kid, but he's a nice boy who longs to have real friends.
  • Lucky Charms Title: Ri¢hie Ri¢h.
  • Magic Countdown: When Richie's Computer does this counting down from 11.
  • Majority-Share Dictator: Despite being a minor, Richie is able to gain by-proxy control of his parents' company after their apparent deaths due to owning 51% of the company's stock, with the backing of his legal guardian Cadbury, who otherwise would have held it until Richie came of age. This lasts until Cadbury is framed and arrested for bombing the Riches' plane and (seemingly) causing their deaths, and Van Dough takes over Richie's legal guardianship, and revokes his by-proxy privileges.
  • Male Gaze: Richie Rich has Claudia Schiffer for an aerobics teacher. One scene shows Richie and Cadbury behind her, obediently following along with her instructions and mirroring her movements until she bends over to touch the floor, at which point Richie and Cadbury both stop and stare...note 
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The Rich family is the richest family in the world.
    • Van Dough, a guy who's after the Rich's money.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The beginning of the film starts with the birth of Richie, all the way up to his current age.
  • Mistaken for Suicidal: Van Dough and Ferguson plan to have Cadbury killed and make it look like a suicide.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Well, actually, Cadbury was the one being attacked but at the end of the fight he swaps out his prison garbs for the mugger's clothes so he can immediately escape from prison without being detected in public as an escapee.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • During the film's opening sequence, we see a young Richie wearing a tuxedo with a red bow tie. This is a reference to his main outfit in the comics.
    • At Richie's school, there is a very snooty student named Reginald. This is a nod to Richie's bratty cousin, Reggie Van Dough.
  • Never Found the Body: Discussed when Richie showed Cadbury the newspaper about his parents' plane being found. It says they found no bodies or life rafts, which proves Richie right that they're alive.
  • Nice to the Waiter:
    • Richie and his parents's relationship with Cadbury and the other Rich staff shows what good people they are. As such, after Van Dough takes legal guardianship of him after framing Cadbury for bombing the Rich family's plane and causing his parents' presumed deaths, Richie is clearly distraught when Van Dough uses the arrest as grounds to fire all of the other staff en masse under the "suspicion" of them potentially being Cadbury's "accomplices" in the crime. Thankfully, by the end of the film, after Van Dough's downfall and Richie's parents return, the servants have all been re-hired.
    • Van Dough, meanwhile, fires his chauffeur over a petty accident and takes his anger over Richie's success out on his secretary, showing he's not a good person.
    • Richie's spoiled classmate Reginald screams at a servant who brought him the wrong kind of coffee, irritating Richie who causes him to spill said coffee all over his fencing uniform. The servant can't help but giggle at Reginald's misfortune.
  • Not His Sled: After hearing about the "Rich Family Vault", Van Dough decides to gain access in order to steal the family's fortune. Turns out the Riches didn't get rich by locking up all their wealth in a private, zero-interest vault, which contains nothing but family heirlooms of only sentimental value. Their actual money is in banks and other investments. Notably, it was the opposite of the comics, where the Rich family really did stash cash, gold and jewels in numerous vaults on the estate.
  • Obvious Judas: Lampshaded by Regina, who knew Van Dough would be the only one nefarious enough to hurt the Rich family long before Rich Sr. ever picked up on it.
  • Obviously Evil: Van Dough is greedy, fires his driver over a petty mistake, Richie and Regina dislike him, and gushes about downsizing. It is any surprise he's the Big Bad? Even Regina comments on how rotten he is.
  • Office Golf: Ellsworth does this in school. His annoyed teacher tells him to go sit down.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Richie, Cadbury, Gloria and Diane, when the power to the Dadlink has been cut off, and the realization that Van Dough now knows Richard and Regina are alive.
    • Both for Keenbean and for Richie and his friends when Keenbean gets stuck in his own superglue while trying to rescue them from Ferguson.
    • Richie's parents on the plane when they realize what "trinitrotoluene" is. TNT for short.
  • One of the Boys: Gloria hangs out with the boys in playing alleyway baseball.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Played for laughs. The artist in charge of sculpting Mount Richmore speaks with Regina over the phone in a thick accent then yells up to a crew member in normal English.
  • Papa Wolf: Cadbury when Ferguson manhandles Richie towards the beginning of the movie.
    Ferguson: It's my job to protect him.
    Cadbury: Very well, Mr. Ferguson, but grab him like that again and YOU will need protection.
  • Parental Substitute: Subverted: While Richie has loving parents, Cadbury is a second father to him subbing in whenever his parents can't be there. Played straight when they disappear and Cadbury becomes his legal guardian.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Aside from being an evil asshole, it is implied Van Dough isn't that good at business. His ideas aren't unethical but would damage the bottom line in the long term. Hell, he was stupid enough to think Richard would hide his family's wealth in a private vault.
  • Precision F-Strike
    Van Dough: (after his gun jams at a critical moment) Shit!
  • Product Placement: "You have your own McDonald's?!" Apparently, the Rich family does. Professor Keenbean even tries to do an analysis on the secret sauce to find out what's in it.
  • Psycho for Hire: Ferguson is normally pretty calm, but when backed into a corner by the Rich family, he really loses it. When Keenbean sticks a towel to his face with a super-sticky solvent, Feguson just cuts it off of his face with a knife, complete with blood and scarring. In the movie's climax, he undergoes a Villainous Breakdown where he blasts the faces on Mount Richmore. Not for any practical reason, but because he just wants some petty vengeance.
  • Punny Name: Laurence Van Dough, Professor Keenbean.
  • Repetitive Name: Richie Rich... and his father, Richard Rich Sr. Kind of makes sense when you're the richest people on the planet.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Van Dough asks Professor Keenbean as he's being roughed up for information, "Do you think I'm enjoying this?"
    Professor Keenbean: (while being strangled) Yes!
  • Rich Language, Poor Language: Richie's sandlot friends — all children of workers at United Tool — speak with streetwise accents, while Richie's business school friends speak with Prep accents.
  • The Rich Want to Be Richer: Van Dough was already the well-paid CFO of Rich Industries, but he tries to actively murder his boss and his family just so he can take control of their company and steal their family fortune so he can become even more wealthy. When he tries to take over, he proves to be very keen on downsizing and slashing wages to make money.
  • Running Gag: Keenbean's inability (and eventual success) in making a bedpan with his machine. He is also a Big Eater.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Professor Keenbean and the street kids were completely absent during the climatic scene where Richie and his parents are trapped on Mt. Richmore and trying to avoid Van Dough.
  • Shout-Out: Richie's answer to Van Dough's suggestion that he (Van Dough) should be placed in charge of the company.
    • The scene where most of the good characters were almost sent through the molecular reorganizer is strongly reminiscent of the climactic scene of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in terms of the villain's behavior and the background music (and the same composer, Alan Silvestri, provided both scores)
    • The climax of the film sees the family on a Mount Rushmore replica, a tribute to North By Northwest. It's also foreshadowed earlier in the film when we see a security guard watching the movie on a little TV.
    • Cadbury tells Richie in Latin that he has the power of his father inside him to which Richie interprets as "Trust the force, Luke".
    • Professor Keenbean telling Van Dough, "You're despicable."
  • Skewed Priorities: As Ferguson is blasting Mt. Richmore, Regina is briefly more concerned that her likeness looks like Michael Jackson than her family's safety. It takes Richie shouting "Mom!" to get her to focus.
  • Slumming It: Mentioned by Diane when she sees Cadbury dressed in street clothes, but otherwise averted.
  • Smart People Know Latin: Cadbury is seen to be skilled in reading Latin. Richie himself apparently knows enough Latin to send him a secret message in a greeting card. Doubles as a Chekhov's Skill.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Gloria is the only girl in a whole group of boys.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: "Side by Side" in duet, requiring both Mr. and Mrs. Rich to sing it to open the vault.
  • Spanner in the Works: Van Dough's attempt on the Rich family were spoiled by two different spanners. Cadbury's suggestion that Richie stay home instead of joining his family's business trips foiled Van Dough attempt on Richie's life while Keenbean's Scent-Analyzer device helps mitigate the damage of the explosion on the parent's plane.
    • However the latter example is arguably zigzagged since Van Dough's ultimate goal was to gain access to the 'wealth' of the Rich family vault; but the catch was that the vault was sealed with a voice lock that requires the Rich parents to open it. The fact that Van Dough's assassination attempt was largely foiled by Keenbean's 'spanner' prevented the possibility that the vault would be rendered largely inaccessible to him.
  • Spoiled Brat: Reginald. Though he only shows up in one scene, he treats everybody like crap.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Richie, much like his comics counterpart, is a fairly well-adjusted kid. He doesn't look down on the normal kids for having less money than he does, invites them over to hang out with no pretenses, and genuinely seems to want to help people (as evidenced by his decision as CEO of Rich Enterprises and keeping United Tool open despite doing it at a loss). It's a sharp contrast to other kids of a similar wealth to him, who are Spoiled Brats that can't quite comprehend how ordinary people live, even if they're not being actively malicious.
  • Stupid Evil: Van Dough is implied to not merely be ruthless but terrible at actually running a business. His contempt for both working conditions and charity implies that he lacks an understanding of the importance of goodwill. The fact that he expected the Riches to hoard their wealth in a single vault earns him no small amount of contempt from Richard, who spells out to him that all their money is invested in banks and real estate.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Van Dough spends the entire movie trying to break into the Rich family vault to steal their money. But when he finally gets inside, he finds the Riches only use it to store family heirlooms of low monetary worth. Their actual money is in banks, stocks, and real estate.
  • Take That!: At one point, Richard Rich Sr. is having a sit-down with the U.S. President, who is genuinely surprised to hear Rich explain "You see, Mr. President, when a country spends more than it earns, it goes into debt." The implicit joke is quite obvious. Of course, it's actually more complicated than that; debt isn't always a bad thing for a country. Since they can print their own currency, it's just another economic tool.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Ferguson's attempt to blast the Rich family with a giant laser cannon, which does plenty of damage to Mount Richmore, but none to the Riches themselves.
  • Tomboy: Gloria definitely counts as one; she has no interest in any girly stuff and plays sports with a bunch of boys she hangs out with.
  • Transformation Ray: The sub-atomic molecular reorganizer that Keenbean invents can transform anything into anything else. It transforms useless garbage into bowling balls and bedpans in the times it's shown to the audience. It almost does it to Richie and his allies when Ferguson traps them in the machine's cage, but Keenbean engineers the machine's stoppage before that happens.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: What Van Dough does with Rich Industries after his assassination attempt on Richie's parents. In fact, one of the first things he does is cut many of the charitable ventures the Riches' were widely known for, including shutting down the United Tool factory (which Richard Sr. intended to remodel and modernize before turning over control to the employees), which Richie's new friends' parents were depending on to make a living. This inspires Richie, after learning of the shutdown from Gloria, to take over control of his family business, with backing from Cadbury, his legal guardian.
  • Undying Loyalty: All employees of the Rich family, but Cadbury and Professor Keenbean are the prime examples.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: Reginald is Richie's cousin in the comics. Here, there's no indication that they're related, Reggie is merely Richie's rival.
    • Likewise (no pun intended), there's no indication that Lawrence Van Dough is related to the Riches either.
  • Ultimate Job Security: What Rich Industries employees enjoy thanks to Richie's father - unless, of course, you try to kill his family and take over the company.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Though the Riches are decent people, they are a bit naive about how the other half lives. When Gloria and her friends ask for a ten-dollar bet, he thinks they mean 10,000 dollars.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Lawrence Van Dough, after he frames Cadbury for the Riches' disappearance, sweet talks the press about how his main concern is Richie's best interests. Fortunately, by the end of the film, his scheme and true colors are more than likely finally exposed to the public, courtesy of the Riches.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Van Dough learns for himself that the Riches don't even keep the money he is after in the vault, he decides to go out for their blood instead.
    Van Dough: The money? Where is the money?!
    Mr. Rich: (in a 'like he's talking to an idiot child' voice) In banks, where else? Oh! And the stock market, real estate...
    Van Dough: Is this some kind of joke? You mean to tell me that there isn't a single solitary gold bar, or emerald, or thousand dollar bill in this entire mountain?!
    Mr. Rich: Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you Lawrence, but that's not what we treasure.
  • We Have Ways of Making You Talk: "How would you like to spend the rest of your life as a bedpan?"
  • Wham Line: "It's your parents, Richie."
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: The Rich family vault contains only heirlooms that are precious to them, but not valuable to anyone else. This, of course, leads to Van Dough's Villainous Breakdown, as he had failed to realize that the Riches did not get to be the richest family in the world by keeping all their money in a vault instead of productively investing it.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The villains are more than willing to shoot children, turn them into bedpans, blast them with a laser, etc., especially after they learn of the Worthless Treasure Twist.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Van Dough refuses to believe Keenbean doesn't know the vault's location. Keenbean's further elaboration that the vault is voice-activated (requiring the Rich parents' to be alive and present) gets them off his back since he could (and does) get the location by interrogating the parents for the vault location after. However, the fact that Keenbean knows the vault has that feature does implies that Van Dough was right to be skeptical about Keenbean's feigned ignorance since the voice-activated security is very high-tech and Keenbean is the Rich family's trusted Gadgeteer Genius. And since Van Dough still believed the Rich parents are dead, he demands Keenbean to find another way to get him into the vault.


Video Example(s):


McDonald's As Featured In Meal

McDonald's is so ubiquitous in pop culture that they can make commercials consisting of nothing but references to, parodies of, and product placements for the fast food corporation and its products. This August 2023 commercial is for their limited-time "As Featured In" meal based on these references and also serves as a cross-promotion with Loki's second season (note the "Streaming October 6 on Disney+" message) as well as Palace Skateboards, who started a collaboration with McDonald's at the same time. (Palace doesn't have a TV Tropes page; we don't cover lifestyle brands.) Note that, as of the uploading of this video, the 30 Rock episode "St. Valentine's Day" does not have a Recap page here yet. Also, the commercial doesn't mention the episode title for The Office (US) episode used in the ad ("Hot Girl").

How well does it match the trope?

5 (24 votes)

Example of:

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