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Recap / Darkwing Duck S 1 E 33 Life The Negaverse And Everything

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As the Fearsome Five divide the loot after a caper, Quackerjack asks Negaduck why he never hangs out with them after their crimes. Negaduck claims that he has better things to do than spend time with losers like them, but the Liquidator and Megavolt deduce the true reason: Negaduck has a secret hideout. When Bushroot asks if they can join him there, Negaduck explains that part of the purpose of having a secret hideout is to get away from "the geek squad". His offended partners in crime decide to follow him to his hideout.

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Meanwhile, an unwilling Drake has taken Gosalyn to Honker Muddlefoot's Pelican's Island-themed birthday party while Launchpad collects the birthday cake. As Launchpad leaves the bakery, Negaduck arrives, followed by the rest of the Fearsome Five; though they do not recognise Launchpad, he recognises them, and rushes back to the Muddlefoots' house to alert Drake. Eager for an excuse to leave the party, Drake trips Tank into the cake and heads to the bakery under the pretense of getting a replacement. Back at the bakery, Negaduck is staring into a portal in a giant birthday cake when the other criminals arrive; he is furious that they have followed him and even more furious to find that Darkwing Duck has followed them. Sick of Negaduck's abuse, the other villains rush Darkwing and throw him into the portal; an enraged Negaduck tells them that they've just thrown Darkwing into his secret hideout, the Negaverse. The four crooks beat a hasty retreat as Negaduck jumps into the portal after Darkwing.

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Darkwing emerges in a decaying, abandoned bakery to find St. Canard's streets deserted and the air thick with pollution. Unaware he is in an Alternate Universe, he heads back to his house moments before Negaduck arrives behind him. He is annoyed to find the house filthy and the electricity knocked out, but is confused when a dress-clad Gosalyn appears, acting far more feminine than usual, and even more confused when a denim-clad Launchpad arrives with a sack of confiscated toys and an uprooted rose bush. Before Darkwing can process his housemates' sudden personality changes, Negaduck appears on television to order the citizens of St. Canard to look out for Darkwing and shoot, skin, and burn him on sight. Launchpad draws a rocket launcher on a startled Darkwing, who grabs a delighted Gosalyn and flees to the dilapidated house next door, in which he finds an unusually well-dressed and polite Tank Muddlefoot. Tank explains to a now thoroughly baffled Darkwing that he is now in the Negaverse, where everything is the opposite to how things are in his universe, and where Negaduck reigns supreme. Darkwing dismisses the idea, but has no time to argue before a black leather-clad Herb and Binkie arrive. As Tank sends Gosalyn to get help, his parents initially mistake Darkwing for Negaduck and bring him in front of a very bloodthirsty Honker, who identifies him as Darkwing. As the Muddlefoots lower him onto a giant barbeque, Darkwing mutters that he prefers the usual, tacky Muddlefoots, but he is knocked out by a familiar-looking bolt of electricity.

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When he comes to, Darkwing is stunned to find himself facing Megavolt, Bushroot, Quackerjack, and the Liquidator, but they tell him that they are opponents of Negaduck, not his lackeys, and that they rescued him from the Muddlefoots in their capacity as the Friendly Four. After unsuccessfully trying to wake himself from his "dream", Darkwing decides to simply leave the Negaverse and go back home, despite the pleas of the Friendly Four for help in their fight against Negaduck... until he sees Gosalyn again, and Bushroot tells him that her guardian is Negaduck. Distraught at the idea that the Negaverse's St. Canard has never had a protector and Gosalyn has never had a father, he decides to stay. Cue a Training Montage during which Quackerjack develops a clown doll that hides axe-wielding arms; however, Negaduck arrives at their hideout with Launchpad, Herb, Binkie, and Honker before they can move against him, and he has the Friendly Four, Tank, and Gosalyn imprisoned in a glass cylinder while Darkwing is tied to a table with a huge hammer poised to squash him flat.

Fortunately, Quackerjack's clown doll is able to free the heroes, and Megavolt, the Liquidator, and Bushroot proceed to restore St. Canard's electricity supply, water supply, and plant life. Incensed that "his" St. Canard has been ruined by Darkwing, Negaduck decides to head through the portal to wreak havoc in Darkwing's universe, but when he arrives at the bakery, he finds the Friendly Four waiting for him, now calling themselves "Darkwing's Ducks" and wearing matching masks, hats, and capes. As Negaduck and Darkwing fight each other, the Liquidator and Quackerjack quickly dispatch Launchpad, Herb, and Binkie, while Megavolt and Bushroot defeat Honker, but Tank notices Negaduck escape in the confusion. Darkwing is hesitant to leave Gosalyn until she points out that she now has four Darkwings (i.e., the Friendly Four) to look after her, while he has a Gosalyn in his own universe who needs him. They share a goodbye hug before Darkwing pursues Negaduck through the portal. As they fight, Darkwing accidentally pulls the universal plug, threatening to suck both of them into oblivion; Darkwing is able to escape back to his dimension using the plug as an anchor while Negaduck disappears into the vortex, vowing revenge. Darkwing returns to Honker's birthday party with a new cake and a new appreciation for his tacky yet harmless next-door neighbours.


This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: When the Negaverse counterparts of Megavolt, Bushroot, Quackerjack, and the Liquidator introduce themselves as the Friendly Four, Darkwing decides that he must be having a bad dream brought on by eating too many of Herb Muddlefoot's coconut burgers. However, the failure of his attempt to wake himself from his "dream" soon convinces him otherwise.
  • Alternate Universe: The Negaverse is a Mirror Universe in which everyone's personality is reversed. Gosalyn is sweet and obedient instead of a rebellious tomboy, Launchpad is efficient and violent instead of clumsy but harmless, the Muddlefoots are black leather-wearing psychopaths instead of amiable nerds - except for Tank, who is polite and helpful rather than a selfish bullynote  - and the Fearsome Four are the Friendly Four, eager but ineffective superheroes who oppose Negaduck rather than eager but ineffective supervillains who support Negaduck.
  • Ash Face: During the Training Montage, Bushroot is dressed in a lab coat and pours a chemical from a test tube into a bowl containing another chemical. The contents of the bowl promptly explode, leaving his face covered in soot.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Nega-Honker cheers with absolute delight at the prospect of having Darkwing roasted over an open fire, while his parents are equally gleeful in their granting of his birthday "wish".
    • Even in the Negaverse, Quackerjack wears a gleeful smile as he designs a clown doll that hides giant axe-wielding arms. Fortunately for Darkwing, he uses his gadgetry to fight crime rather than commit it in this dimension.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Rather than simply killing Darkwing and his allies, Negaduck has the Friendly Four, Tank, and Gosalyn imprisoned in a glass cylinder while Darkwing is strapped to a Death Trap; Negaduck leaves before the trap finishes activating, and within seconds, Quackerjack's clown doll has smashed the glass cylinder and cut the ropes binding Darkwing.
  • Catchphrase: The Negaverse residents have the same catchphrases as their "original" universe counterparts; Quackerjack's battle cry is still "It's play time!", while Gosalyn's preferred phrase to express fascination with or approval of something is still "Keen gear!"
  • Death Trap: After Negaduck and his followers have captured Darkwing, Gosalyn, Tank, and the Friendly Four, Darkwing is strapped to a table over which is suspended a giant hammer, tied to the wall with a rope that is slowly being cut by a sharpened pendulum. In a display of Bond Villain Stupidity, Negaduck leaves before the rope is cut, and Darkwing is freed when Quackerjack's axe-wielding clown doll cuts the ropes tying him down seconds before the hammer falls.
  • Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment: Darkwing finds himself in an alternate universe. He immediately becomes as fiercely protective of Nega-Gosalyn as he is of his own.
  • Eureka Moment: As the Friendly Four are feeling sorry for themselves while Darkwing is strapped to Negaduck's Death Trap, Quackerjack notes that at least he still has his clown doll. Darkwing realises that the clown doll's axe-wielding appendages might be able to free them, and tells Quackerjack to activate the doll, which smashes the glass imprisoning the Friendly Four, Gosalyn, and Tank. Though Darkwing has a moment of doubt when the doll uses its axes to climb onto the table like a spider, it cuts the ropes rather than cutting Darkwing himself.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: Zigzagged. At first, Darkwing was uninterested in helping the Negaverse, focusing more on returning to his own universe. However, after learning the Negaduck is Gosalyn's guardian, he changes his mind and resolves to help for her sake.
  • Gale-Force Sound: At the beginning of the episode, Drake is napping on the sofa when Gosalyn shouts at him through a megaphone; Drake's retaliation is so loud that it blows Gosalyn's hair back.
    Gosalyn: (through megaphone) Attention Drake Mallard! It is time for Honker's birthday party!
    Drake: (glares at Gosalyn and grabs the megaphone, then yells through it) I'm not going! (Gosalyn's hair is blown back and she nearly falls off the back of the sofa) I hate the Muddlefoots, and I hate their parties! (Gosalyn's hair is blown back again; she grimaces and puts her hands over her ears)
  • Heel Realization: Darkwing initially rejects the pleas of the Friendly Four to join them in their fight against Negaduck, deciding he just wants to go back to his own universe. But when he runs into Nega-Gosalyn again and Nega-Bushroot tells him that her guardian in the Negaverse is Negaduck, Darkwing realises that in the Negaverse, there hasn't been a Darkwing Duck to guard St. Canard, and, worse, there hasn't been a Drake Mallard to be a father to Gosalyn. He decides to stay for her sake.
  • Human Knot: In this case, duck/plant hybrid knot; when Bushroot asks if the other Fearsome Five members can share Negaduck's secret hideout with him, an irritated Negaduck grabs him and ties his limbs into a giant knot as he snarls that if he told them where his secret hideout was, it wouldn't be a secret anymore.
  • Idea Bulb: When Megavolt deduces that Negaduck never sticks around after a caper because he has a secret hideout, he holds a lightbulb over his head and uses his power to light it.
  • Mirror Universe: In the Negaverse, characters who are good in Darkwing's universe - Darkwing himself (viewing Negaduck as his evil opposite), Launchpad, and Herb, Binkie, and Honker Muddlefoot - are violent criminals who rule the city with an iron fist, while characters who are evil (or at worst, selfish) in Darkwing's universe - Tank Muddlefoot, Megavolt, Bushroot, Quackerjack, and the Liquidator - fight for the common good. The only character whose alignment is the same in both universes is Gosalyn, whose Negaverse counterpart is delighted to discover that Darkwing Duck is real, and believes with absolute sincerity in his ability to bring down Negaduck.
  • Negative Continuity: Negaduck appears to be sucked into oblivion at the end of this episode (although an animation error makes it appear as though he emerges from the giant birthday cake in Darkwing's world just before Darkwing himself appears from it), but he is back again, none the worse for wear, in later episodes.
  • Oh, Crap!: Darkwing has this reaction when Megavolt rallies Bushroot, Quackerjack, and the Liquidator to prove to Negaduck that they're not losers by saying "C'mon guys, let's fry some duck!" seconds before the four villains rush the unfortunate vigilante.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After he arrives in the Negaverse, Darkwing is unaware that it is an Alternate Universe, and he simply thinks St. Canard went downhill fast while he was unconscious. But when he gets back to his house, Gosalyn skips up to him, with a dress and hairstyle reminiscent of a young Shirley Temple and declaring she dirtied the kitchen "like [he] wanted". His first assumption is that she's up to something, but then Launchpad arrives dressed like a biker gang member with a bag of confiscated toys and a rose bush, the latter of which he chops into mulch with an axe, confusing Darkwing further (Gosalyn and Launchpad, for their part, are puzzled by the change in Darkwing's behaviour, as they initially assume he is Negaduck). The last straw comes when Launchpad draws a rocket launcher on Darkwing, and the hero flees with Gosalyn to the Muddlefoots' house, where he finds Tank, dressed smartly and sporting combed hair and glasses and asking "May I be of assistance?"
    Darkwing: Okay. Gosalyn's sweet, Launchpad's insane, and Tank's polite!? What's going on around here?!
  • Pinch Me: When Darkwing is rescued by the good counterparts of Megavolt, Bushroot, Quackerjack, and the Liquidator, who introduce themselves as the Friendly Four, he decides that he must be dreaming, and simply has to wake up to return to life as he understands it. He proceeds to bash his head against the wall, to no avail.
    Darkwing: Okay. Now I get it. Heh. This is all just a... a bad dream, brought on by too many of Herb's coconut burgers. (chuckles) All I have to do is wake myself up and I'll be home sweet home! (chuckles again)
    (Darkwing bashes his head repeatedly against a giant steel panel, causing it to crack and causing the Friendly Four to look utterly confused)
    Darkwing: (staggers back from the panel, dazed) Okay, it's... it's not a dream. This is the Negaverse.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The episode's title is a nod to Life, the Universe and Everything, the third book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams.
  • The Reveal: This episode reveals where Negaduck came from, being a Mirror Universe counterpart of Darkwing.
  • Shout-Out:
    • This episode features one of the more explicit depictions of Pelican's Island as the in-universe equivalent of Gilligan's Island, as Herb Muddlefoot is dressed in similar clothes to Alan Hale as the Skipper, while Drake is put in similar clothes to Bob Denver as Gilligan. Herb also refers to the other partygoers as "little buddies", and has themed the menu around coconuts.
    • One of the toys in Nega-Launchpad's sack of confiscated goods is a Zummi Bear doll, a tribute to Adventures of the Gummi Bears.note 
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the final portion of the episode, the Friendly Four finally becomes effective, first by restoring Nega St. Canard, then by defeating Negaduck's entourage.
  • Training Montage: When Darkwing agrees to stay in the Negaverse, he declares that the Friendly Four need to be whipped into shape. They need to be strong (cue the Liquidator rhythmically punching a punching bag), smart (cue Megavolt entering numbers into a calculator and reading the printout), and inventive (cue Bushroot pouring chemicals into a bowl - which promptly explode - and Quackerjack developing an axe-wielding clown doll).
  • We Need a Distraction: When Launchpad tells Drake that he has just seen the Fearsome Five at the Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice Bakery, Drake tells Launchpad to create a distraction. Launchpad offers to die from exhaustion,note  but Drake dismisses the idea as too subtle; instead, as Tank Muddlefoot runs toward his brother's birthday cake, Drake sticks out a foot and trips him, causing him to land in the cake face first. Drake immediately volunteers to get a replacement from the bakery.
  • X-Ray Sparks: When Nega-Honker swings a chain at Nega-Megavolt and Nega-Bushroot, Megavolt grabs the chain and sticks it into the outlet on his chest, electrocuting Honker and intermittently rendering his skeleton visible.

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