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Recap / DuckTales (2017) S2 E1 "The Most Dangerous Game...Night!"

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Louie: What about a quiet movie night in? Or Make-Your-Own-Pizza Night? Ooh, how about Game Night?
Scrooge: Game Night...? GAME NIGHT! GAME NIGHT! GAME NIGHT! GAME NIGHT!!!
Beakley and Duckworth: Oh, no....

Louie starts to get tired of adventuring because he feels he has no useful skills and is just a drag-along that keeps getting into mortal peril. To get some rest, he convinces Scrooge to spend the following night playing games. But the game night is anything but relaxing, as Gyro Gearloose shows up with his latest invention, a shrink ray, and encounters a barbaric civilization of miniature people living on the floor of McDuck Manor. Meanwhile, the rest of the family cannot enjoy the game either due to Scrooge's unhealthy level of competitiveness.

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Tropes:

  • Action Girl: At least two of the Gyropuddlian warriors we see are female.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Happens while Louie and Huey discuss the risks of adventures. Louie points out that their mother, an experienced adventurer in her own right, was lost in space while Huey points out said incident happened because she went alone.
  • Breather Episode: After the action/drama bomb that was "The Shadow War", this episode is mostly pretty lighthearted. This also allows new watchers to catch up with events without having the stakes be too high.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Louie is starting to have this reaction to all their adventures, to the point of being Genre Savvy to what's about to happen in the opening. He even guesses what will happen with Gyro when shrunk, with Huey noting that it apparently happened twice last month.
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  • Can't Catch Up: Louie worries over this happening to him. He notes that the others have useful skills on adventures while he can only try talking his way out of it and worries it won't be enough one day.
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: At the end, Louie believes that Scrooge is going to punish him for his role in what happened with the Gyropuddlians. Instead, Scrooge commends him on his ability to analyze and react to a situation, snapping him out of his adventure-related funk.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Louie says that this (constant adventuring) needs to stop. And Scrooge replies (about Dewey and Webby): "I've tried, but they really do enjoy harmonizing".
  • Competition Freak: Scrooge is one, to the point that he brings out games that are clearly rigged in his favor to play. He also threatens to write Donald out of his will if they lose.
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  • Continuity Nod: Louie still carries around a jeweller's loupe on his person, last seen in "The Secret(s) of Castle McDuck" being used to find a solid gold key; here he uses it to be able to see Scrooge and the gang once the Gyropuddlians shrink them onto the Scroogopoly board.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Huey lists what he, Dewey, and Webby bring to adventures, and then merely acknowledges to Louie that "you're there, too!"
  • Failed a Spot Check: Louie is so out of it, he walks straight into a spider web in the opening of the episode.
  • Genre Savvy: Louie starts becoming pretty aware how their adventures usually go, with always finding an ancient treasure and escaping the booby trap / curse / monster protecting it.
  • Guile Hero: Louie's role as this gets deconstructed. Compared to his brothers and Webby who have more overtly applicable skills he notes that all he can do is "talk his way out of it" and worries that he'll one day get into trouble where he can't do that. It also gets reconstructed when Scrooge points out that being clever isn't the same as being smart and that Louie can think on his feet and pick up on all the angles involved quickly.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: From the Gyropuddlians' point of view, the Duck family are gigantic beings that destroy their settlements on a regular basis.
  • Immortality: Discussed by Louie, who thinks that Launchpad might be this because of how easily he survives all his crashes.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Gyro, Launchpad, and the entire family sans Huey and Louie get shrunk by Gyro's newest invention.
  • Indy Escape: Scrooge and the kids have to escape from a giant stone wheel after Dewey removes the idol.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Duckworth claims he has to deal with "ghost stuff" when Scrooge announces a game night. Beakley (who doesn't want to deal with Scrooge's competitive streak either) hates him for this.
  • Lilliputians: The Gyropuddlians, of course, as the name is a play on the originals.
  • The Load: Deconstructed; Louie is aware that he has this status on adventures, which leads to him losing his enthusiasm for them. By the end of the episode, he accepts that he actually has his own speciality.
  • Mighty Whitey: Gyro's plotline follows this narrative: a man from an advanced civilization visits a less civilized one, joins them and becomes their most revered member. To reduce the Unfortunate Implications that come with this trope, the Gyropuddlians decidedly don't look like Hollywood Natives, and Gyro eventually loses his status.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Gyro gains the fascination of the Gyropuddlians with the help of a penlight.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Ducks actually visit "The Lost City of Cibola". The resemblance to Raiders of the Lost Ark is no accident since George Lucas has admitted in interviews that he was inspired by the classic Carl Barks story "The Seven Cities of Cibola" to create the iconic Indiana Jones opening. They even use the same statue!
    • The dance choreography Huey comes up with to dodge the arrow trap resembles the dance the triplets perform in the intro of the 1987 cartoon, set to the beats of the theme song.
    • Scrooge mentions the little known "sharper than the sharpies" part of his Catch-Phrase, used by 10-year-old Scrooge in "The Last of the Clan McDuck."
    • "Barks Place" as a landmark on the Scroogeopoly board.
    • The treasure map looks a lot like the background in the end credits of the 1987 cartoon.
  • Non-Verbal Miscommunication: Webby gets "Scrooge McDuck" as her subject for charades, but despite how obvious her clues are (she even mimes Pooled Funds), Dewey can't guess. Conversely, years of adventuring together has given Scrooge the ability to understand Donald even without words, despite their bickering.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Nothing bad would've happened had Louie refrained from shrinking Gyro.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently Gyro was shrunken down and encountered a miniature civilization twice last month.
  • Power Trio: The episode makes it clear that the three triplets form one, each with one aspect of Scrooge's motto to success. Dewey is "tougher than the toughies", Huey is "smarter than the smarties", and Louie is "sharper than the sharpies".
  • Pulled from Your Day Off: A variation; Louie's feeling burned out from constant adventuring and convinces everyone to just have a relaxing night at home playing board games for once, but events gradually conspire to drag him and his family into an adventure anyway.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Louie doesn't view his guile as applicable to the skills of Webby or his brothers and it begins impacting his self-esteem. It also channels into his temporary disdain into adventuring.
    • Like many people who work well together but aren't necessarily 'friends' (e.g. the original Mythbusters often made it a point to mention that while they respect and trust each other, they aren't particularly close), Dewey and Webby's close relationship is pretty much built on their shared love of mystery and adventure. Outside of it, they don't have much in common.
  • Refusal of the Call: Gyro literally bursts into the house announcing adventure, and Louie does his best to prevent it from happening. He fails.
  • Running Gag: After all that's happened, Scrooge still isn't always confident as to which triplet is which. Dewey looks appropriately outraged by this.
  • Sanity Slippage: Huey obsesses over his sewing skills after Louie points out that the stripes on his Junior Woodchuck uniform are coming undone. He is seen slowly going insane as he tries to sew them back on.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Upon hearing of game night, Duckworth leaves for "ghost stuff" so he doesn't have to deal with Scrooge's over-competitiveness. When Launchpad is accidentally shrunk, Mrs. Beakley takes advantage of her game partner disappearing and opts out too.
  • Serious Business:
    • As far as Scrooge is concerned, prevailing at game night is on par with prevailing in any battle or death defying adventure.
    • Huey and Louie frantically trying to rebuild the fallen Jenga tower before weeping openly with uncontrollable tears of joy after receiving a phone call from Launchpad is seen by this by their bemused family members, who are clearly bewildered at why a lost game of Jenga and a phone call should elicit such an emotional response. Of course, since Launchpad and Gyro were shrunken to a microscopic size, were underneath the Jenga tower when it collapsed and could have been killed, it actually is serious business.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title refers to the short story The Most Dangerous Game.
    • Gyro names the tiny civilization "the Gyropuddlians", a clear reference to the Lilliputians from Gulliver's Travels.
    • During a guessing parlor game, the guesser fails to figure out that the answer is "Uncle Scrooge" — identical to a scene in A Christmas Carol. The only difference being that the story's guessing game is 20Q, while in the episode it's charades.
    • The second game, though unnamed, is clearly Jenga.
    • The final game of the night is Scrooge-opoly.
    • Huey tying up a Gyropuddlian made giant with thread is straight out of Brave Little Tailor.
  • Shrink Ray: Gyro's latest invention, which can also pick up on the quietest of voices.
  • Skewed Priorities: Gyro acts as if his device's ability to magnify sounds, like any microphone, is the main selling point. That it contains a functional Shrink Ray is an afterthought.
  • Squick: Two In-Universe examples:
    • Louie is disgusted when told that one of the Gyropuddlians' cities was a "floating island" in the toilet until Donald flushed it.
    • Earlier, Huey finds some "used gauze" whole cleaning out his bag and nearly loses his lunch.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: When playing charades, Dewey somehow decides that Webby is signing something to do with smoothies, and from then on every guess he makes is about smoothies somehow. Upon learning that Webby was trying to get him to say Scrooge, Dewey only replies "But Uncle Scrooge doesn't like smoothies."
  • Tempting Fate:
    • One can't help but get this impression when Dewey and Webby insist that they're a perfect team and totally in sync with each other. Naturally, they start bickering during the game night to the point that during the climax they suggest Donald and Scrooge take the lead because the two older ducks are clearly more in sync than they are.
    • Louie's insistence that the family will have a nice, quiet game night is, of course, the cue for Gyro to barge in with his latest invention.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The rhythm of the arrow trap Huey recites to himself is the opening beats to the theme song.
  • Toilet Humor: One of the Gyropuddlians' cities was built on something floating in a toilet, which then got destroyed when Donald finally flushed it.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Applied to a vehicle rather than a person. In "The Shadow War!", Donald's houseboat got completely destroyed by Magica's shadow minions, broken into tiny pieces and sunk into the sea. Yet, in this episode, it is in one piece again in Scrooge's swimming pool. Of course, it would be absolutely in character for Donald to fish out the boat's pieces one by one from the sea between the two episodes.
  • The Unintelligible: Exploited by Scrooge, who uses his skills from decades of adventuring together with his nephew to nearly effortlessly guess what Donald is pantomiming during charades.

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