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Recap / DuckTales (2017) S1 E13 "Beware the B.U.D.D.Y. System!"

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Call me Gizmoduck!

"Let's get dangerous!"

Launchpad finally gets his driver's license, but his celebration is short-lived when Mark Beaks unveils B.U.D.D.Y., a robot driver that threatens Launchpad's job. After Launchpad challenges the machine to a race, he turns to Gyro Gearloose's brilliant-but-clumsy intern Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera for help.


Tropes used in this episode

  • Absentee Actor: Dewey is the only one of the four kids to appear.
  • Adults Are Useless: Scrooge, Beaks and Gyro don't do themselves any favours with their actions in this episode. Averted for Launchpad and Fenton, though.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: After all his inventions with AI turned evil, Gyro is legitimately worried that B.U.D.D.Y. will do the same. After they find out that Beaks simply copied Lil' Bulb's technology and hasn't fixed the morality problem, one simple insult is enough to send B.U.D.D.Y. on a rampage.
  • Angrish: Gyro grumbles incoherently about vengeance when he tries to attack his intern Fenton before shrieking, "FIRED!!"
  • Atrocious Alias: Gyro definitely doesn't approve of the "Gizmoduck" name. Ironic, given that he came up with the name in the original series.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Gyro is furious that Fenton revealed his Lil' Bulb plans via an internet forum, which Beaks recreated to make B.U.D.D.Y., to the point Scrooge and Dewey have to restrain him from tearing Fenton apart.
    • B.U.D.D.Y. doesn't like to be called a "dumb robot", as Beaks finds out the hard way.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Launchpad says "Let's get dangerous!" during the climactic car chase.
  • The Bus Came Back: Manny, the no-longer Headless Manhorse from the pilot, is Gyro's new intern.
  • The Cameo: The episode begins with a Show Within a Show Cold Open of Darkwing Duck himself, along with Quackerjack, Megavolt, and Liquidator.
  • Canon Character All Along: In a sense. B.U.D.D.Y. is revealed to be a copy of Lil' Bulb that Mark Beaks built after Fenton posted the blueprint online.
  • Crushing Handshake: Launchpad gives B.U.D.D.Y. a friendly handshake after the race is announced. He did not account for B.U.D.D.Y.'s tight robotic grip.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Launchpad, who hadn't gotten a focus episode up to this point.
  • Deadly Dodging: Darkwing defeats Megavolt and Liquidator by dodging their attacks, making the villains to hit each other.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Launchpad executes a half-baked scheme, as usual. This time, he's so proud of himself for getting a driver's licence that he forwards it straight to Scrooge's mail. It's a miracle that Scrooge took it in stride that his chauffeur is allowed to drive by law only just now.
    • Since Gyro hit a wall trying to keep his inventions from turning on him, Fenton thought the best thing to do was post the tech on online forums and use the internet as a think tank. Making the schematics public not only allowed a rival company to copy it, but enrages Gyro into firing him on the spot.
    • Gyro's latest invention is a sound powered train. Unfortunately, he decided to set it's normal power level to humming.
    • When Gyro asks how Beaks prevented B.U.D.D.Y. from turning evil, specifically noting the morality circuits, Beaks says that he didn't really do anything. Cue B.U.D.D.Y. turning evil almost immediately.
  • Ditzy Genius: Gyro fails to realize the cardboard cutout of a police officer isn't a real officer.
  • Don't Think, Feel: According to Launchpad, "a hero thinks with his gut or not at all."
  • Dramatic Unmask: After Gyro recognizes how B.U.D.D.Y. performs under pressure during the car race, he removes the robot's head to reveal Lil' Bulb's head under it.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Putting Gyro's plans on the internet for anyone to see (and download) was hideously thought out, but Fenton has a point about trying to find some way to stop Gyro's inventions turning evil. Case in point: B.U.D.D.Y. turns evil about a minute after the ride starts.
  • Enemies Equals Greatness: After Mark unveils B.U.D.D.Y. to the public, Launchpad and Gyro immediately hate it.
    Mark: Whoa! Scrooge's driver and his chief inventor are threatened by my B.U.D.D.Y. here. Well, that is how you know it's a good product.
  • Exact Words: Scrooge never says he wants a B.U.D.D.Y. to be his personal driver, he just hopes to make some money off the product.
  • Fakeout Opening: The episode at first seems to be a new Darkwing Duck episode. Which turns out to be playing on Launchpad's TV.
  • Foreshadowing: B.U.D.D.Y. giving Launchpad a Crushing Handshake becomes this when it's revealed that it is really Lil' Bulb.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During Darkwing's aerial pursuit, he passes by a billboard advertising to "Join S.H.U.S.H.", complete with a portrait of Agent Grizzlikoff.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The B.U.D.D.Y. robot's name stands for "Beak's Unmanned Driver Drone, Yay!"
  • Funny Background Event: While Launchpad and Fenton mope on the hood of the limo, the WDDL MBL is driving wildly behind them.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Gyro asks Beaks how he can be sure about his robot not turning evil, this coming from someone who builds robots that go bad on a daily basis. He even laments the oddity of him saying it out loud.
  • I Have This Friend...: Launchpad tries to pull this on Gyro to get help for his race against B.U.D.D.Y.. Sadly, Launchpad isn't very good at it, at first calling his friend "Not Launchpad", which naturally leads him having another friend called... "Launchpad". Gyro never falls for it for a millisecond.
  • Homage: The opening scene is a spot-on recreation of the original Darkwing Duck, complete with two voice actors returning.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Launchpad is worried he is this when he makes a disparaging comment about robots, thinking Fenton is actually a robot.
    • Scrooge constantly goes on about purchasing a B.U.D.D.Y. robot or even several, failing to notice how much this bothers Launchpad even though he had no intention of replacing him.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Gyro is shown to a blatantly Mean Boss who belittles and insults Fenton at every turn, never referring to him by name and making him use a bathroom stall for his workspace. However, he has every right to be livid when he discovers Fenton went behind his back and posted the classified schematics for his inventions online in hopes of crowdsourcing a way to keep them from turning evil, allowing Beaks, a known competitor to McDuck Industries, to replicate the tech to make B.U.D.D.Y. Gyro may have gone a little too far by attempting to assault Fenton on the spot, but in the real world, the act of posting top-secret information where it can be seen by anyone on the web is completely justified grounds for firing someone.
    • Gyro's outrage is only further justified once we see what Lil' Bulb technology does when in inexperienced hands: because Beaks never did anything to alter the robot's morality circuitry and only focused on making it look cooler, B.U.D.D.Y. turns evil only seconds after Beaks offhandedly calls it a "dumb robot." Even if Fenton had good intentions in posting the bulbtech schematics on the net, Gyro was well within his rights to fire him for not considering what might come from someone using the easily-corruptible Lil' Blub tech.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, Beaks isn't wrong when he says he didn't do anything illegal to get the Lil' Bulb technology. The plans were posted to a public forum that anyone is allowed to download information from. It was actually a completely legal and savvy business move on his part.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Dewey's and Launchpad's conversation about the in-universe Darkwing Duck show is very much like a conversation between a contemporary child and a nostalgic adult about the real Darkwing Duck show.
    Dewey: What is this weird show?
    Launchpad: Whoa! What? Darkwing Duck? The greatest TV show of all time?
    Dewey: Ha! Maybe when you were a kid!
  • Left It In: In-Universe, Jim Starling is shown to have done this, as he did all his own stunts.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Launchpad co-opts the Trope Namer phrase when he sets out to save Scrooge and the others from B.U.D.D.Y..
  • Logic Bomb: Beaks proposes doing this to stop B.U.D.D.Y., but we donít see if it could work because Gyro shoots down his question for one of his own and then they start arguing.
  • Man Versus Machine: Launchpad challenges Beaks' robot driver to a race in order to defend his job.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Launchpad's license shows that he was born on September 18th, 1987. This was the premiere date of the original DuckTales series, where Launchpad first appeared.
    • Launchpad challenges B.U.D.D.Y. to a Man Versus Machine race, fearing that the robot will replace him, just like he did with Armstrong in the original series. Also, like Armstrong, B.U.D.D.Y. proves himself much more competent than Launchpad and wins the race, but he also turns evil, and Scrooge and company depend on Launchpad to save them. Plus, Armstrong was Gyro's creation, and even if B.U.D.D.Y. was build by Beaks, he used Gyro's designs, so B.U.D.D.Y. is, at least partially, a Gyro creation too.
      • The idea of racing a robot (that eventually goes rogue) also goes back to the TaleSpin episode From Here to Machinery.
    • Launchpad is a big fan of the old in-universe Darkwing Duck show, and even has a bobblehead Darkwing he puts on his dashboard. In the original Darkwing Duck show, Launchpad was his sidekick. Also, the first episode of that series, Darkly Dawns the Duck, established that Launchpad was a big fan of the feathered superhero.
    • The idea of Darkwing Duck's adventures being just a TV show was used in his own series, in Twitching Channels and A Star is Scorned.
  • No Stunt Double: In-Universe, Jim Starling did all of his own stunts for Darkwing Duck.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Mark Beaks proves himself to be this in the final scene, swearing to steal the Gizmoduck suit as ominous music plays.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Dewey when he finds out Launchpad just recently got his driver's licence in the Cold Open.
    • Gyro lets out a frantic Rapid-Fire "No!" upon realizing Mark Beaks not only didn't actually create any precautions against the Lil' Bulb robot turning evil, but called it a "dumb robot" right in front of it.
  • Only a Model: After Gyro's model of a sound-operated monorail breaks, Launchpad mentions that it was too small for anyone to pilot anyway.
  • Only Sane Man: Dewey. He tries to convince his great-uncle that Launchpad is a rightfully better driver than the BUDDY robot, to no avail. And when Scrooge, Beaks and Gyro start arguing and pointing fingers once Beaks' car gets hijacked by Lil' Bulb, Dewey gets fed up with the arrogant and/or greedy jerks and tells them to stuff it and at least try to do something useful, while he tries to get Launchpad's assistance.
  • Pet the Dog: In spite of his poor treatment of Fenton throughout the episode, Gyro decides against firing Fenton out of gratitude for saving him as Gizmoduck and allow him to remain the pilot of the Gizmoduck armor so as to ensure it won't turn evil like the rest of Gyro's inventions.
  • Plausible Deniability: Beaks didn't steal from Gyro, Li'l Bulb was on a public forum, and he wouldn't have known it was originally Gyro's invention, so by all counts Mark Beaks is blameless for the incident.
  • A Rare Sentence:
    Gyro Gearloose: How can you ensure that this machine won't turn evil? Huh. Never said that out loud before.
  • Role Reprisal: Both Jim Cummings and Michael Bell return, respectively, as Darkwing Duck and Quackerjack. Not the case with Megavolt, presumably because Dan Castellaneta was busy with The Simpsons, and is instead voiced by Keith Ferguson, who makes a pretty convincing impression of Castellaneta's voice.
  • Save the Villain: Beaks is as much of a victim as Dewey, Scrooge, and Gyro and ends up wanting his own Gizmoduck.
  • Secret Keeper: Dewey, Launchpad and Gyro agree to keep Gizmoduck's identity a secret.
  • Scale Model Destruction: Launchpad and Dewey find Scrooge with Gyro looking over a model of a sound-operated monorail. Gyro warns against making too much noise, and then Fenton's Motor Mouth causes the model to go haywire and crash into a water tank, ruining some of Gyro's blueprints.
  • Show Within a Show: Darkwing Duck is revealed to be this. Jim Starling did all his own stunts, too!
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: After seeing Gizmoduck without his helmet and realizing it's Fenton, Launchpad is convinced that Fenton is a robot. Fenton tries to explain that he's not, but is always interrupted.
  • Transformation Sequence: Played with; we don't get to see the full transformation as it inter-cuts with Dewey in danger.
  • Tuckerization: "Darkwing Duck" is played by actor Jim Starling, referencing his voice actor Jim Cummings and Sterling Holloway (a long-time Disney voice actors whose roles Cummings took over for).
  • Unknown Rival: Fenton thinks he and Manny the (formerly) Headless Manhorse are rival interns for Gyro and that they have to put aside their differences to save the day. Manny asks who is calling him.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Fenton for posting Gyro's Lil' Bulb blueprints to an internet forum for crowdsourcing a solution to it turning evil, which is how Beaks got his hands on them.
  • Wham Line: The duck referred to exclusively as Gyro's intern telling Manny, "It's me, Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera!" As in Gizmoduck's secret identity. Slightly lessened by the promos announcing it ahead of time.
  • Wham Shot: Mark Beaks is seen at the end, planning on stealing Gizmoduck's armor. The neutral nuisance to Scrooge is on the verge of becoming a full-time villain.
  • Wingding Eyes: Mark Beaks' eyes are alight with four-pointed stars when he meets Gizmoduck.
  • X-Ray Sparks: When Megavolt and Liquidator shoot each other with their respective powers, they both exhibit this trait.

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