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Recap / DuckTales (2017) S1 E9 "The Impossible Summit of Mt. Neverrest!"

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I will NOT be the Neverrest Ninny for another 75 years!
Scrooge and Huey are determined to be the first to set foot atop an impossible summit, but the snow-capped mountain holds a treacherous secret that tests both their will power and survival skills.


  • Absentee Actor: Donald and Mrs. Beakley are absent once again.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Scrooge offers a couple in the episode.
    Scrooge: But now that smug stack of stalagmites has to deal with Scrooge McDuck!
    Scrooge: Don't worry, kids! It's take more than a pompous pile of pebbles to slow your old Uncle Scrooge down.
    Scrooge: Mallardy mocked me mercilessly.
    Scrooge: A mountain protecting its peak with portals!
    Dewey: We're at the top of a magical mystery mountain!
  • Armor-Piercing Response:
    Scrooge: I will NOT be the Neverest Ninny for another 75 years!
    Huey: Nobody has used the word "Ninny" in 75 years! Junior Woodchuck Rule #727: Sometimes the bravest thing an explorer can do, is walk away!
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: While one doesn't actually show up, Launchpad mistakes a large, hairy pig guy for a yeti during his blind wander through the hot spring spa. One monster that is likely to be a yeti also appears on the map that Huey gets at the tourist resort.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Scrooge never succeeds at getting to the peak of Mount Neverrest, and is forced to give up, but has made it further than anyone else who has tried, and while they never make it to the top of the mountain themselves, Huey's map makes it to the peak thanks to blowing through a wormhole in the town, leaving a sign that they made it that far.
  • Black Comedy:
    Scrooge: If I had a nickel for every person who cursed me with their dying breath I'd be twice as rich as I already am.
  • Blind Mistake: With his goggles fogged up, Launchpad has no idea that he's slid down the mountain and is wandering through a hot spring spa, thinking all the time that he's suffering the effects of "Ice Fever".
  • Bullying a Dragon: George Mallardy was hired by Scrooge to help him navigate the mountain. Regardless of how rich Scrooge was at the time, he's still a formidable adrenaline junkie with family-inherited rage and stamina. So Mallardy was either really brave, ignorant or reckless when cutting Scrooge's safety line to get to higher ground.
  • Call-Back: Sort of, considering this episode came earlier in production order, but Huey had mentioned wormholes before in "Terror of the Terra-Firmians!" as a plausible justification for things disappearing.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Huey hits his Rage Breaking Point when Scrooge wants to reach the top with limited supplies, in freezing weather that would kill them, and navigate dangerous terrain. He calls him out for risking their lives recklessly.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The sled that Webby buys ends up saving the ducks in the end.
  • Christmas Episode: If the exchange between Louie and Scrooge at the beginning is any indication, this is one. It was indeed pushed back from its intended spot as the third episode to later in the season to provide Disney XD something Xmas-esque for their holiday lineup.
  • Closed Circle: The wormholes near the summit of Mt. Neverrest have a tendency to lead people in circles. Not to mention that several wormholes one can encounter going up the mountain can deposit you further down... and ones encountered going down can deposit you further up.
  • Con Man: The guy who sold Launchpad all of his expensive gear is one, lying about a deadly disease called "Ice Fever" in order to get him to do so. Ironically, a lot of the fake symptoms are actual symptoms of snow blindness and hypothermia, two real risks of mountaineering.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: The episode takes place at Christmas time, which is only mentioned at the beginning when Louie complains about spending it on a perilous expedition instead of the mansion.
  • Doomed Predecessor: Scrooge and the triplets find the skeleton of famed mountaineer George Mallardy in a cave on the titular mountain with "Curse you McDuck!" scrawled on the wall next to him. Leading Scrooge to reveal that he'd made a previous attempt to scale the mountain and hired Mallardy as his guide, and who had cut him loose halfway up the first cliff. Scrooge is understandably bitter about that and emphatically steps over Mallardy's remains to show that he made it further up than him.
  • Due to the Dead: Averted. Scrooge has nothing but contempt for Mallardy, even deliberately stepping over his corpse to symbolically show he has gone even further up Mount Neverrest than the "Greatest Mountaineer of the 20th Century". Considering Scrooge generally takes contracts very, very seriously, Mallardy cutting the rope and sending Scrooge plummeting down the mountain would've constituted an unforgivable breach of trust. Not to mention that the act slapped Scrooge with the humiliating moniker 'Neverrest Ninny' for seventy five years, since people assumed he'd chickened out and Mallardy had to save him. Even if Scrooge wasn't prideful to the point of Fatal Flaw at times, that would've stung pretty hard.
  • Eldritch Location: The reason nobody has succeeded in reaching the top of Mt. Neverrest is that the entire top of the mountain is riddled with wormholes which take people in circles for ever. The reason for the wormholes is never addressed.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Louie tricks the vendor who conned Launchpad into admitting that "Ice Fever" is made up, right in front of his latest (now dissatisfied) customers.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The title about the Impossible Summit of Mt. Neverrest is apt. The peak is truly impossible by natural means to reach, the wormholes that surround the mountain keep rerouting and looping people away from the top, and the wormhole that actually reaches it so obscure and remote as to be invisible.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Scrooge seems particularly bitter about George Mallardy and the Neverrest Ninny, even though he seemingly has never heard of the two and frequently dismissed them as a myth. Naturally, Scrooge himself turns out to be the Neverrest Ninny.
    • Scrooge's insistence on minimal equipment and later trying to toss what they did bring might seem like his usual seasoned adventurer experience at work but it serves to show how his last effort at this went.
    • The carvings of the three climbers the ducks find in Mallardy's cave (with the bodies on one side with the necks sticking into odd shapes and the heads on another with the heads sticking out of similar shapes) foreshadows the reveal that Mount Neverrest is infested with wormholes.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Three of Webby's life goals listed in her notebook are "pilot airplane", "sledding" (which she crosses out), and "high-five a Brontosaurus".
  • Fun T-Shirt: The corpse of George Mallardy is found wearing a shirt that reads "I didn't survive Mt. Neverrest". In the end, Scrooge gives Huey a similar shirt, which he edits to read "I survived Mt. Neverrest".
  • Gave Up Too Soon: Scrooge's expedition bows out once they see that Mt. Neverrest is insurmountable by natural physical means, with the very peak being inaccessible since the wormholes that surround it at the lower step keep rerouting and looping back to the starting point. The wormhole to the peak is in fact at the town at the mountain's base, slightly above the ceilings of some of the houses, and more or less indecipherable and indistinguishable from the surroundings and totally inaccessible.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: The ending proves this. No one will ever likely be able to reach the top of Mt. Neverrest again, so no one will see Huey's map stuck atop the peak.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Upon learning that the resort town vendor has tricked Launchpad into thinking "Ice Fever" exists and the only way to stop it is by buying a lot of merchandise.
    Louie: Nobody cons my family but me!
  • If I Had a Nickel: When Huey, Dewey, and Webby find the body of George Mallardy and the ominous inscription "CURSE YOU, MCDUCK!", Scrooge replies "If I had a nickel for every time someone cursed me with their dying breath, I'd be twice as rich as I already am!"
  • Impossible Task Instantly Accomplished: Zig-Zagged. While the characters make it up to the near top of the mountain in the span of an afternoon, making it even further than George Mallardy, there's almost no conceivable way to reach the top of Mount Neverrest, thanks to the wormholes; Scrooge has to give up just short of the top, because the wormholes simply won't let him get there and continuing to try only destabilizes the mountain. And then once they leave, Huey's map is accidentally blown through a wormhole that deposits it right at the summit.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: The wormholes are just there, no explanation given (beyond them being "mystical" in nature).
  • It's the Journey That Counts: Ultimately Huey and Scrooge come to this conclusion. While Huey initially wanted to map Neverrest to earn a Woodchuck pass, he's satisfied on seeing how far they did come and learning about the wornholes. Rather than keep the map he made, he tucks it into the map stand for future explorers to find. Scrooge finally gets some sense knocked into him when Huey points out that no one cares that Scrooge was the Neverrest Ninny. Plus he knows that he has made it the farthest up the mountain.
  • Jerkass: George Mallardy was apparently one. When Scrooge turned up loaded with gear (with a backpack twice the size of Mallardy's), Mallardy mocked him relentlessly about it despite Scrooge being his employer. Later still, when the two of them are hanging over a sheer drop and Scrooge refuses to lighten his load, Mallardy pulls out a knife and cuts the rope tying the two together, sending Scrooge plummeting to his doom. He even laughs as Scrooge falls. When he gets trapped on the mountain not long after, he blames it all on Scrooge. Then again, Scrooge himself is telling the story so Unreliable Narrator may be in play.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Louie is understandably annoyed that Scrooge takes them on a spontaneous family adventure on Christmas, that has no extrinsic award aside from Scrooge getting the satisfaction of being the first to climb a mountain. He was expecting a warm evening by a fire with presents to open, not climbing up a death-defying mountain and risking his life for no reason. The other kids eventually get fed up with the hike and even Scrooge admits at the end Louie's decision to stay behind at the sauna and drink hot cocoa was a wise one.
    • Scrooge is bitterly petty about George Mallardy, wants to outdo his success out of spite and mocks his skeleton, but does point out to the kids that he was cut loose so Mallardy could keep going and wound up with an undeserved reputation, and nearly died into the bargain.
  • Karmic Death: Mallardy kind of got what he had coming after cutting Scrooge loose.
  • Kilroy Was Here: Huey writes "Huey was here" in his novelty map of Mt. Neverrest, pointing out the spot where the expedition ends. Then the map serendipitously ends up on the summit anyway.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: One of the main themes of the episode. By the time that the group has made it to the top, they've had to give up all their survival necessities, and Huey stops caring about the badge he was trying to earn at this point because of how dangerous the mountain is getting, and has to convince Scrooge that he's just going to have to accept he came short of the top of Neverrest and move on before it kills them.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After cutting Scrooge loose, Mallardy apparently became disoriented by the wormholes, eventually dying of hunger, exposure or exhaustion as he was unable to find his way back down. Huey even points out that the mountain took Scrooge's revenge for him.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Huey criticizes his novelty map of Mt. Neverrest of featuring a mountain goat which he claims are not native to the region they're in. And he does have a point, given the episode's Himalayan setting.note 
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: Huey finds a rabbit shaped rock formation and names it Bunny Rock. The snow falls off of the rock, revealing a demonic horned face instead. Huey decides to call it Bunny Rock anyway.
  • Morality Pet: Launchpad for Louie. Louie on seeing that the family pilot was conned goes to the Snake Oil Salesman and makes him confess that he's a fraud.
  • Never Live It Down: Invoked but downplayed. Scrooge seventy-five years ago tried to climb Mount Neverrest, hiring George Mallardy to guide him. Mallardy proceeded to nearly kill him so as to not be weighed down, and the story got spun that the Neverrest Ninny made Mallardy disappear. With that said, however, no one knew that the Ninny was Scrooge, but he takes it personally.
  • Never My Fault: George Mallardy blames Scrooge for his death on the mountain, seemingly forgetting that because of cutting Scrooge loose, he lost a lot of integral survival gear.
  • No Antagonist: The most malevolent character who appears in the episode is a Con Man who sells some junk to Launchpad, then gets out-conned by Louie, but he has no involvement in the main conflict of the episode, which is caused by Scrooge's own pride.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: George Mallardy is based on George Mallory, who took part in the first three British expeditions of Mount Everest. The two even share a similar fate (disappearing while climbing the mountain only for their bodies to turn up many years later). The historical Mallory was for many years considered the one who got closest to conquering Mount Everest, with many contemporaries believing he must've made it. Likewise, Mallardy is considered the one who got the furthest up Mount Neverrest.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Scrooge has some sort of enmity against Santa Claus.
    Scrooge: "That man is not allowed in my home! He knows what he did."
  • Not So Remote: Scrooge talks about how remote Mt. Neverrest is, but is then surprised to find a resort town at its base.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Not the portals, although it initially seems this way, but when Louie learns there's no treasure, he gets over to the cafe far quicker than he should have at the pace he was walking.
  • Old Shame; Invoked. While no one knew that Scrooge was the Neverrest Ninny, he still takes it personally how he was a laughingstock seventy-five years ago.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Louie proves to have been correct all along in his wisdom to just sit back and lounge around the base town and drink hot cocoa on the sidewalks. Scrooge himself admits at the end that he should drink some.
    • At the peak, Huey is the one to knock some sense into Scrooge that the survival of the expedition is more important than continuing an endeavor that is only proving more fruitless and dangerous by the moment.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Scrooge in his previous adventures prioritized the kids' safety over his need to accomplish his goals. Here, Huey calls him out for tossing most of their supplies, navigating through rocky terrain that's crumbling beneath them, and not knowing when to turn back. Scrooge to his credit promises that he will keep the kids safe, but it's obvious the need to conquer the mountain is battling with his common sense.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: These ones are invisible portals to other parts of the mountain. And the only one giving access to the peak is located about a hundred feet in the air over the town.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Scrooge lets Louie stay behind at the town when his nephew learns there's no treasure at the top of the mountain. It shows that despite Scrooge's grudge against Santa Claus that he has some empathy for his nephew's displeasure.
  • Reality Ensues: Remember that shouting at the top of your lungs on a high mountain pass can cause a deadly avalanche.
  • The Reveal:
    • Scrooge is the "Neverrest Ninny", and he didn't fall by accident; his partner cut him down.
    • At the end, Huey's map is blown through a wormhole located over the town...that leads straight to the top of Neverrest.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment:
    • Scrooge is an old Romantic adventurer who thinks that modern equipment and gadgets to climb insurmountable stuff takes the glamour out of it, while Huey has a more practical, scientific, and cautious approach. Huey proves to be right since he logically and correctly deduces the true nature of Mount Neverrest while Scrooge keeps ignoring telltale signs of the weirdness of the location.
    • Ironically in the flashback Scrooge was on the Enlightenment side of this. He opted to carry a ton of extra gear compared to Mallardy, who mocked him for it.
  • Running Gag:
    • Webby asking if it was time to use her sled, and Dewey responding with some variant of "Not yet."
    • Scrooge and the kids being sent right back to Bunny Rock.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Scrooge tells the group that they'll be climbing all the way to the mountaintop (and that there's no treasure involved), Louie tells them he's sitting this one out and goes to relax at the local coffee shop instead.
  • Shout-Out: The sequence where Dewey and Webby traipse around the mountain through the wormholes is quite similar in principle to Portal.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    Scrooge: I won't be the "Neverrest Ninny" for another 75 years!
    Huey: No one has used the word "ninny" in 75 years!
  • Snake Oil Salesman: One shopkeeper at the tourist resort convinces Launchpad about a made-up disease called "Ice Fever", and sells him a lot of junk that is supposed to protect him from said disease.
  • Squee!: Dewey and Webby's reactions when they realise they're surrounded by wormholes. Also, their reaction to heading towards "certain death".
  • Stealth Pun: Scrooges goal in the episode is to be the first to reach the top; as he risks all their lives and disregards Huey's warnings in order to achieve said goal, it could be said that he will Never Rest until he reaches the summit of Mount Neverrest.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: After Louie finally takes off Launchpad's goggles:
    Launchpad: You saved me! You carried me down the mountain single-handedly and cured me of ice fever!
    Louie: Sure, yeah, why not?
  • Tele-Frag: The implied fate of three climbers the ducks find drawings of inside a cave, their headless bodies on one side, the heads on another.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After everything they went through to get to the top ultimately to fail within sight of their goal, Huey's map ends up blowing through the right wormhole to reach the peak after he leaves it in the town map stand.
  • Too Dumb to Live: George Mallardy was hired by Scrooge, aka the duck who would become a trillionare, and mocked him for overpacking supplies. Then he cut his employer's safety line so as to climb higher and leave him behind. Even if Mallardy had survived the mountain, he wouldn't have survived Scrooge's wrath, or gotten his paycheck.
  • Tourist Trap: The town at Mount Neverrest's base has shades of one.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Huey and Dewey are unimpressed with Scrooge's petty show of stepping over George Mallardy's corpse and mockingly saying that now he's the man who made it the second furthest up Mount Neverrest.
    Huey: I think the mountain got even for you!
  • What You Are in the Dark: A negative example; Scrooge has never forgiven himself or George Mallardy for the Neverrest Ninny incident. No one knows who the Ninny was, or why Mallardy cut his line, except for Scrooge. The elder Duck still wants to climb the mountain, to get the satisfaction of reaching the top. Huey has to point out that no one cares that Scrooge failed or that he was the Ninny.