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Recap / DuckTales (2017) S1 E16 "Day of the Only Child!"

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When Dewey invents a holiday that allows the triplets to be only children for a day, each realizes they need their brothers more than they thought.


This episode contains examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: The episode focuses entirely on the kids, with no appearance of Scrooge, Donald, or Beakley (other than in the form of cardboard cut-outs as the "audience" of Dewey's talk show pitch). Launchpad makes a brief appearance as the Junior Woodchuck scout master.
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  • Adaptational Jerkass: Verging on Adaptational Villainy. In addition to being a spoiled brat, this version of Doofus Drake is also dangerously and creepily insane. Beyond his general look and his name, he doesn't have anything in common with the Doofus from the previous series.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Huey sacrificed earning his cartography badge to avoid certain death but would hang out with the Beagle Boys for a cooking badge. To be fair, Huey rated working with the Beagle Boys to earn his badge as only "possible death."
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The security bot. It doesn’t help that Webby essentially stripped it of its inner workings so that she could fit inside, depriving it of its ability to accurately judge a given situation.
  • An Aesop: Having siblings is a great thing that should not be taken for granted. At the same time, it's important for kids to spend some time apart from their siblings so they can explore their individual interests.
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  • Be Careful What You Wish For: At the start of his segment, Huey wishes to himself that he had brothers who 'blindly listened to him'. By the end of his segment, he immediately regrets it.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The fact that Huey treats “Tim and Timbo” a.k.a Burger and Bouncer so much better than Bigtime makes them decide to forgo kidnapping him and instead keep hanging out with him.
  • Berserk Button: When Louie almost damages the picture of Doofus' grandmother, who gave him the money as inheritance, Doofus has a prolonged Freak Out!.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Doofus initially acts kind (if a little quirky) to Louie, but quickly shows his true colors.
  • Book-Ends: Once the triplets reunite at the end of the episode, Webby calls back to the alternate dimension theory she had during the Cold Opening. Likewise, the episode both begins and ends with Huey and Dewey arguing about Only Child Day and pulling an unwilling Louie into the middle - but at the end the "argument" is entirely playful and no longer heated, and Louie just brushes it off.
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  • Breather Episode: After the Darker and Edgier "Jaw$!" and the action-packed "Golden Lagoon of White Agony Plains!"
  • Call-Back:
    • We don't see him, but Louie refers to a "ghost butler," calling back to Duckworth from "McMystery at McDuck McManor." The security robot is manufactured by DT-87, the same company that made McDuck Manor's security system from the same episode.
    • One of the photographs that Dewey looks through is from the aftermath of Webby's playtime from "Daytrip of Doom!".
  • Casting Gag: Doofus' parents are voiced by Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt, who are married in real life.
  • Chubby Mama, Skinny Papa: Doofus's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Drake act as his butler and maid respectfully. Mr. Drake is lean and is clearly the weaker-willed of the two, while Mrs. Drake is bigger and while she doesn't stand up to their son, she does show clear disgust towards her husband's willingness to sell out Louie to save his own skin.
  • Companion Cube: For his talk show pitch video, Dewey makes dummies of his brothers (a toy robot with a red cap for Huey, a lamp with a green shirt and a face drawn on the shade for Louie) and talks for them. It gets Lampshaded later when Dewey is hiding from the security drone and asks the dummy brothers for help, only for "them" to respond that they're just him and can't help.
  • Cringe Comedy: Much of the Doofus Drake subplot is about him forcing Louie and his parents into embarrassing and painful situations, which is partly Played for Laughs.
  • Death Glare: Right at the end, Webby starts singing the theme from Dewey's improvised talk show. Dewey responds to the perceived teasing with this.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Dewey realizes that he drove off both of the potential guests he could have had, and spends much of his talk show being awkward and alone, having to pretend a toy robot and a lamp are his brothers to keep things interesting.
    • Webby rips a bunch of wires out of the security robot, including some of it’s processing circuts, so she could ride around inside of it. Unsurprisingly, as soon as she's not controlling the robot, it goes haywire and mistakes her and Dewey for being intruders.
    • Huey teaching the Beagle Boys scout skills. One, they can be much more competent foes now. Two, they blindly follow his orders - with disastrous results.
  • Dirty Coward: When Louie tries to team up with Mr. and Mrs. Drake to escape from Doofus, Mr. Drake immediately sells him out. Mrs. Drake just reacts to her husband in complete disgust.
  • Do Wrong, Right: The Beagle Boys' traps to catch Huey are poorly constructed, so Huey decides to help them make better traps, reasoning that if he's going to get captured, he might as well be captured properly.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: When Dewey tells Webby he doesn't know who Huey and Louie are and that he's an only child, she assumes he's an evil Doppelgänger from an alternate dimension, which in this universe is actually a strong possibility.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: While Doofus is a Jerkass who mistreats and intimidates his own parents, he will snap at the mere thought of anyone damaging his late grandma's portrait. Justified as she made him the sole heir of her fortune, implying that they were very close back when Doofus Used to Be a Sweet Kid.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even if the Beagle Boys are villains who constantly try to kidnap the kids, Huey is shocked at how Bouncer and Burger tie Bigtime to a high tree branch with the possibility of falling to his death.
  • Evil Twin: When Dewey tells Webby that he's an only child, without first informing her about Only Child Day, she assumes he's an evil Doppelgänger from an alternate dimension, then attacks him and demands to know where the real Dewey is.
  • Fat Bastard: Doofus is just as overweight as his original counterpart, but instead of a bumbling Fat Comic Relief, he's a Creepy Child and a Spoiled Brat.
  • Friendship Trinket: Doofus gives Louie a gold friendship bracelet. It turns into a Restraining Bolt later that locks him to a cement block so he can't leave.
  • Gentle Giant: Bouncer Beagle reveals a surprisingly soft side as he and Burger bond with Huey.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: As Doofus decides that Louie should be his friend, he reaches down his own pantsnote . He's just pulling out a friendship bracelet, but Louie is understandably freaked out.
  • Hate Sink: Doofus is intentionally written as an extremely unpleasant character - a foil to Louie with all of his negative traits exaggerated and positive traits completely ditched.
  • Hidden Depths: Bouncer Beagle makes some "Junkyard Stew" when with Huey, and while the result looks terrible (to the point it contains a tin can), Huey ultimately likes the taste of it, indicating that Bouncer has some pretty good cooking skills.
  • In Name Only: Doofus Drake was a bumbling, but friendly, Junior Woodchuck in the 1987 series. This series' incarnation is a completely spoiled Creepy Child, and unambiguously an antagonist.
  • It's All About Me: All three of the triplets (even Huey, who initially wants to keep the trio together), leading to the Aesop that they need each other even if they have their own wants.
  • Karma Houdini: Aside from getting shot at by a laser and losing his "friend present", Doofus receives no comeuppance for his behavior and enslaving his parents.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When the triplet's paths converge at Doofus Drake's mansion, along with their respective antagonists that can only be overcome by one of the others.
    Huey: Beagle Boys.
    Louie: Psycho rich kid.
    Dewey: Haywire robot.
    Huey, Louie and Dewey: [in unison] Brothers again? Brothers again. Triple threat!
  • Lighter and Softer: Is a Breather Episode when compared to the two episodes preceding it.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Doofus is the wealthiest child in Duckburg, inheriting a massive fortune from his deceased grandmother. He's also completely friendless, treating his own parents as servants, and his idea of befriending Louie is turning him into a slave.
  • Mythology Gag: Launchpad is a Junior Woodchuck scout master just like he was in the original show, which has not mentioned until this episode.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The previews implied that reality actually had somehow changed to make the trio no longer brothers. In the actual episode, it's just the kids spending the days separately and pretending to not have siblings, with only Webby briefly believing they are in an alternative reality when she's surprised by their behavior.
    • Also, Dewey's "secret" was made out to be something big and related to his falling out with Huey and Louie, possibly regarding their mother. As it turns out, he just wants to host a talk show pitch.
  • Noodle Implements: We never learn how Doofus would've used an umbrella and walnuts to torture Louie.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Huey's reaction to finding out the lengths the Beagles are willing to go to to "protect" him.
    • Louie has this reaction when he figures out what Doofus Drake is really like.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Beagle Boys don't make very convincing Junior Woodchucks. Launchpad still falls for their disguise.
    Huey: Launchpad! Those are the Beagle Boys in disguise!
    Launchpad: Junior Woodchuck Rule #413: Never speak ill of a fellow Woodchuck! Unless you don't want that badge.
    Huey: (gasps, then whispers to himself) Possible death...definite badge. Possible death...definite badge. Yeah, definite badge! Definite badge!
  • Priceless Ming Vase: Doofus has an entire room full of these - which he intentionally wrecks for stress release.
  • Pushover Parents: Doofus Drake's parents are so spineless that their son forced them into servitude, making them dress like a butler and a maid and follow his every order without question. They are utterly terrified of their own son to the point his father rats out Louie for even suggesting the three unite against Doofus.
  • Saying Too Much: When Dewey gets cornered by Scrooge's security bot, it's intruder warning starts to get a little too specific...
    "Bot": Hello intruder, you are cornered. Perhaps you shouldn't have pushed your brothers away. Maybe appreciate that fact, because certain people would do anything to have siblings. No one you know. Certain...hypothetical people.
    Dewey: (Face Palm) Webby, you can come out. [Webby opens up the bot's hatch and nervously chuckles]
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sibling Rivalry:
    • Dewey comes up with the whole idea for the "Only Child Day" so that he can have all the attention without competing with his siblings.
    • This is also the Beagle Boys' shtick. Louie convinces them at the end of the episode is that fighting among each other is what makes them the Beagle Boys.
  • Skewed Priorities: Huey knows the Beagle Brothers are posing as Woodchucks and plan on kidnapping him... but he sticks with them anyways in order to get a badge.
  • Slapstick: Bigtime Beagle's attempts to kidnap Huey always end in him falling into the traps his brothers built.
  • Spoiled Brat: Doofus Drake. Incredibly rich and so selfish that he treats his own parents like servants.
  • Treehouse of Fun: Doofus' mansion is a giant, elaborate treehouse.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Doofus was apparently a nice kid before he inherited his grandmother's fortune.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Huey at first is glad that "Tim" and "Timbo" are actually listening to him, and the two really come to like him because he isn't treating them like garbage. After they decide to kidnap and almost kill Big Time, constantly bungling up Huey's orders along the way, Huey wishes they would stop being so blindly obedient.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Dewey lashes out at Webby for her stunt with the security bot and trying to ruin his personal time.

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