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Recap / DuckTales (2017) S2 E23 "The Richest Duck in the World!"

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Louie, Scrooge and Owlson must escape from an unstoppable monster cursed to hunt down and destroy the richest duck in the world.

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In the Cold Opening, it's 1960 in Mozambeak. And Scrooge is selling a new material to one Mr. Zee. Haveyouseenium, a material from Insubstansia, which when molded into a cloth, turns you totally invisible. Impressed, Mr. Zee agrees to buy the entire mine from Scrooge, promising to make Scrooge a very rich man. But Scrooge quickly corrects him. This is the moment that Scrooge became The RICHEST DUCK IN THE WORLD!!

Of course, the moment that happens, a pink pulse of magic comes out from the building, and Mr. Zee starts laughing. Because now that Scrooge is richest, there's a curse that comes to the richest being on earth.

"He cannot be bought,
He cannot be fought,
Though riches you've got,
Your life will be fraught,
Until you have earned the one thing you have not!

Probing a bit closer, Mr. Zee gives a name: The Bombie! Then he flees using the haveyouseenium. Scrooge for his part dismisses this at first, then hears...something down below. Looking over the side of the roof, he gasps...Cue theme song!

Cut to the present, where Scrooge is coming down for breakfast at the manor, only to run into Louie, Manny and Owlson on the other side of the table. Apparently, after the cliffhanger last episode, everyone went home, and Louie never made a decision on whether to give back McDuck Enterprises and Glomgold Industries after tricking Glomgold out of both. To this, Louie brings up that Scrooge once said he'd be a bigger billionaire than him someday and is a a day. So he wants to keep it as the new richest duck in the world. Everyone cringes at first, anticipating Scrooge's rage at this thievery, only to see Scrooge laughing at the idea.
Scrooge: Oh sure! It's just a complex international conglomeration! You love hard work. (chuckles) Have fun. I'll be waiting here when you're ready to give my fortune back. (leaves)
Owlson: That went..far better than expected.

However, Louie doesn't seem to believe Scrooge, and immediately replaces Manny's head with one of his own made of gold. Saying it's time to get down to the business of being CRAZY RICH! Declaring himself truly the richest duck in the world, a magic pulse comes out from Louie secretly.

Meanwhile, Della is seemingly living on Donald's boat right now, sending a message out to Pennumbra from it, wondering where the moonlanders are. She even takes the time to introduce Huey, Dewey and Webby to Penny on camera. Della tries to explain to Huey that this is a return signal to her friend on the moon, just like the messages she sent to them. Which...Huey explains they didn't actually get. Which was highly frustrating, but Della tries to let it go.

Dewey then accidentally knocks over Della's camera equipment, causing Della to lament that she doesn't have proper video equipment to send these messages anymore. Dewey promptly freezes screeching in delight. While Della is confused at first, the other kids roll their eyes at this, saying it's too late to stop him now. And thus, cut to Dewey Dew-night: Space edition!

Meanwhile, at the money bin, Owlson is trying to create a smooth transition between Scrooge and Louie as leader of Mcduck Enterprises, going over some existing appointments Scrooge had for today. But Louie simply doesn't care, and instead sets about enriching his own pleasure and reputation. It starts with him painting over the dollar sign on the bin to be a pound sign (L), then he goes swimming in the money bin with an emerald crusted bathing suit. And after that, he goes for this big thing: The Ottoman Empire show had been in chaos since Randy left Johnny on the show. So, Louie brings them back together...and then offers them 100 MILLION dollars to get back together to make HIM an emerald ottoman. The brothers immediately accept. While thinking now is simply a time to chill, Louie is brought back to reality by Owlson bringing up that the vulture board of directors needs to have a talk with their new CEO.

Scrooge meanwhile decides that if Louie's going to do his job, then he'll take on Louie's persona and just take a day off. Of course, then he sees the ottomans working at HIS office, talking about how much they enjoy doing work. And Scrooge, ever driven as before, instead decides to spend the off time doing what he did originally: making money by shining shoes.

At the board meeting, Bradford and the others aren't pleased at all by Louie's spending. Mentioning that the money spent on the ottoman has to come from somewhere since Scrooge's fortune is so tied to his company. Louie, unwilling to own up to his decision, says that the board knows their stuff, so perhaps they could figure out how to make it work. So, Bradford offers to cut some magical defenses to make up the gap. Louie gives a wave of agreement, they take out a remote, and press it, powering down the magic...elsewhere in the world. At which point, Owlson bursts in saying that a hidden island has just gotten an alert which needs Louie's attention.

This episode contains examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: When Louie decides to keep his uncle's fortune and company, Scrooge decides to make the most of his retirement, however long or short it will be until Louie decides to give him back his company.
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  • Absentee Actor: Donald and Mrs. Beakley don't appear in this episode.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Sort of. In the original Carl Barks story "Voodoo Hoodoo", Scrooge got the Bombie curse by cheating an African tribe and destroying their village. Even in Don Rosa's updated version of the same story this is treated as Scrooge's lowest point and the first time he did not earn his money square. Here, he got the curse by becoming the richest duck in the world through legitimate means (by selling a special mine to the previous richest person in the world) and learning that whoever owns the title also owns the curse as well. Also in the original, Scrooge is pretty happy that curse got transferred to Donald while here he helps out Louie to overcome it.
  • Adaptational Species Change: In the Carl Barks story, the Bombie is a racial caricature. Here, he is an anthropomorphic dog, specifically a bulldog.
  • An Aesop:
    • Part of becoming successful is knowing when you’re ready and admitting when you’re wrong.
    • Taking a short cut to get a lot of money doesn't make you ready to handle the responsibility it brings.
  • And Then What?: Louie clearly did not think ahead for what would happen after he got his fortune. He finds out that McDuck Enterprises controls a large portion of the world's resources and infrastructure (including satellites vital for Earth's defense), and that demands huge responsibility to manage.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: During her "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Owlson lists off the Duckburg billionaires she was forced to work with: reckless thrill-seekers (Scrooge), madmen with the minds of children (Glomgold), and actual children (Louie; though he is actually the more serious example given that she was talking about billionaires).
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  • As You Know: Louie reminds Scrooge about winning both bets and becoming the richest duck in the world. Scrooge dryly replies that he remembers, since it was only yesterday.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Parodied when Scrooge tries to gain his fortune back by going back to his roots as a shoe shiner, only to realize that almost nobody in Duckburg actually wears shoes.
  • "Begone" Bribe: Louie attempts to get rid of the Bombie by offering him money. It just makes the monster angrier. He cannot be bought indeed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Louie admits that he isn't ready to be the richest duck in the world yet, so he gives McDuck Enterprises back to Scrooge. Louie and Scrooge's unwitting display of humility breaks the curse, freeing them and the Bombie from the endless pursuit. Having reached her limit with the Duckburg's eccentric billionaires, Zan Owlson gives her two weeks notice and decides to become a billionaire herself. Della also gets a message from Penumbra, who explicitly calls Della her friend. Unfortunately, Louie's shut down of the satellite network has disabled Earth's defensive network, leading Lunaris to decide the Earth is ready for invasion, and he's going to start by targeting Clan McDuck.
  • Black Comedy: Della talks about how she had a staring contest with herself that lasted for 3 weeks and that as a result she has...issues looking at her reflection. Then she smashes her coffee mug because she can see herself in the coffee in it.
  • Call-Back:
    • Della tries sending Penumbra video transmissions like she sent her family back on the moon. Della then learns her sons never received those transmissions and she almost has a mental breakdown over the fruitless venture.
    • Scrooge having a huge magical defense budget was mentioned way back in "The Great Dime Chase." This episode shows one big reason why that budget exists: when Louie cuts the funding to pay for his custom ottoman, the Bombie is unleashed.
  • The Cameo: Gavin, the Bigfoot from "The Other Bin of Scrooge McDuck!", makes a brief appearance in a scene where Scrooge is shining his big shoes.
  • Character Development: After one day as the Richest Duck in the World, Louie finally understands wealth doesn't turn your life into one big party, and that it takes just as much work to maintain a successful business as it does to build one. He decides to start the slow and steady journey to becoming an entrepreneur, for real this time, so he can handle success once he's earned it.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Scrooge's failed attempt to restart his shoe shine business comes back when Louie shines Bombie's shoes to prove that he’s become more humble.
  • Continuity Nod: In the Cold Open, Scrooge is wearing the same brown jacket, turtleneck sweater and bowler hat that he wore in the flashback scenes in "From the Confidential Case Files of Agent 22!", indicating that the two events happened around the same time period.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Basically, what Louie thinks the whole point of being the richest duck in the world is. From now on, he wants everyone to wear emeralds.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Experiencing Humble Pie is the only way for the world's richest person to get the Bombie to stop chasing them, first shown by Louie admitting that he shouldn't be the richest duck in the world stopping the Bombie mid-strike. Louie not only learns his lesson by the end, but the normally overconfident and crafty Scrooge admiringly tells him that he did something Scrooge's own ego wouldn't even let him consider; as a result, both of them are saved from the curse, and the Bombie walks away, at peace for what might be the first time ever.
  • Didn't See That Coming: After Louie declares he's keeping everything he won to become the richest duck in the world, he and his employees recoil expecting Scrooge would become furious at that...only to become surprised that he just laughs it off instead.
  • Distant Prologue: The episode begins with a flashback in the Cold Open with Scrooge in Mozambeak, Africa in the year 1960.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Scrooge says the damage Louie has caused as the RDITW isn't so bad and everything should be fine. Said damage involved destroying the company's satellite defenses, leaving the Earth more vulnerable to Lunaris's invasion.
    • Dewey playfully grills Della in front of the camera about how Penumbra probably hated her guts and wanted to get rid of her, which makes Della sadly doubt their friendship. Little does Dewey know, he was right about Penumbra hating Della when they were on the moon together, and littler still does he know that Penumbra came to view Della as a friend just as she left.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: When Buzzard asks Louie how the Ottoman benefits the company and reminds him that money has to come from somewhere, Louie tells him he should be able to figure that out because that's what they're paid to do. Louie got him right there, only for him to miss the point by a second and decide to cut funding on magical defenses.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Though Zan Owlson was not happy with Louie's poor business practices, she does try to save him when he falls out of the plane, and this was after she chewed him out. She also gives 2 weeks notice when quitting, intending to stay on to train her replacement, because she's a professional.
  • Exact Words: The terms of the bet were that the loser had to give up his assets to the richest duck in the world by the end of the year. Technically speaking, both Glomgold and Scrooge lost the bet, so Louie wasn't unreasonable or completely wrong in deciding to keep his uncle's company and fortune. Still a jerk move, though, not to mention terribly short-sighted.
  • From Bad to Worse: Louie dropping the satellites to stop Bombie left the planet even more vulnerable to the invasion Lunaris has been planning.
  • Funny Background Event: More like Funny Foreground Event. While Della and Huey are talking about Della's space logs, Dewey is busy mugging for the camera.
  • Graceful Loser: Scrooge fully honors Louie’s victory due to the latter fulfilling all the terms of the bet. Getting a good laugh out of it and seeing how long Louie can handle it before he gives up was a consolation prize for him.
  • Grade-School C.E.O.: Deconstructed. As Louie is both lazy and doesn't possess the business acumen needed to run a multinational conglomerate, he makes several poor decisions that hurt not only the company, but everyone that depends on it.
  • Ground Punch: Bombie uses this tactic against Louie at one point, cracking the ground with his fists, resulting in a giant billboard falling down and almost crushing Louie.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Played with. Louie steps behind a dressing screen to change from wearing shorts and no top to wearing a hoodie and no bottom.
  • History Repeats: Scrooge decides to start a new fortune all over by going back to where it all began: as a shoe-shiner.
  • Humble Pie: The Bombie curse seems to activate when someone (correctly) declares themselves the richest duck in the world. It's only after showing humility that the Bombie curse abates.
  • Implacable Man: The Bombie curse's rhyme even says that he cannot be fought or bought, and he certainly lives up to it.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Dewey gets so caught up in making himself look cool in front of the Moonlanders that he makes Della doubt her friendship with Penumbra by making her think she envied her, which might not be entirely inaccurate.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Cold Open has Scrooge give Mr. Z a sheet made out of "haveyouseenium" that turns anyone invisible.
  • Isle of Giant Horrors: The Bombie is imprisoned inside a magically-protected bin on a deserted island removed from all maps and satellite images. Once the magical defenses are cut, there is one giant monster on the loose. Bonus points for having the island's rock formations based on the Giant's Causeway in Ireland.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: During the initial "let the good times roll" montage, Owlson interrupts it by shoving it out of the way.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Owlson mentions graduating from Mouseton, the hometown of Mickey Mouse.
    • The "implacable monster comes after Scrooge's family and is stopped by an act of humility" plot resembles the original series episode "Raiders of the Lost Harp", where a minotaur statue follows Scrooge to Duckburg after he steals a magical harp. The minotaur even shows some physical resemblance to the Bombie, being a grey, hulking giant.
    • Scrooge received the Bombie curse in Africa, where Bombie originated in the comics. The Bombie is also gigantic that he tries to stomp on Louie at one point, alluding to the original Carl Banks story where he carried a curse that would shrink Scrooge to the size of a mouse.
    • The Bombie is seen rising from the sea covered in seaweed following the richest duck on the sea floor, as he had done in Chapter 11 of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Louie crashing the satellites to try and beat the Bombie unknowingly to him lowered the Earth's defenses for Lunaris' invasion.
  • Noodle Incident: Exactly how Scrooge got the Bombie trapped on Falcon Island isn't explained.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: It's quite telling how much of a threat the Bombie is since Scrooge had to trap the monster with magical properties. Scrooge strongly opposes using magic.
  • Orbital Bombardment: Louie made all of the McDuck satellites crash into the Bombie.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In the Carl Barks story "Voodoo Hoodoo" Bombie resembles a fairly racist caricature of a black person. Here he is given a completely non-human appearance to avoid any Unfortunate Implications.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Louie is absolutely crushed when he feels being wealthy is more of a punishment than a reward, and to the point that he's lost even if he seemingly won. However, Uncle Scrooge tells him not to think of it like that, but rather as a life lesson; if he's willing to put in dedication and hard work, it will feel more rewarding over time, and Louie decide's he's ready to at least put in hard work towards being wealthy.
  • Rascally Raccoon: Huey and Webby bring a raccoon to Dewey Dew-Night as an animal guest, but the procyonid is proven to be too wild.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Being a billionaire? Fun. Managing a company? Never-ending work, all of it boring and hard as hell, especially for a kid. As Louie prioritizes squandering money on frivolities, McDuck Enterprises, his employees, and the world suffer.
    • Scrooge only bet his company, not his full assets (probably reasoning that he'd like to still have a mansion to live in if he loses). He isn't too concerned because he can live indefinitely on his personal bank account — but this is also why Louie has to spend company money on personal purchases and then justify these as business expenses. He doesn't have any assets outside the company to draw on.
      Bradford Buzzard: This is a business, not a bank account! That money has to come from somewhere.
    • When Owlson quits, she immediately declares she's putting in her two week's notice. She might be tired of the antics of Duckburg's billionaires, but she's a professional; she's not leaving her former boss, be it Scrooge or Louie, without a replacement.
    • Scrooge decides to go back to how he started by opening a shoe shining business. The problem is that he set up shop in Duckburg, where the majority are barefoot, meaning he gets little to no business.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Done by Zan Owlson when she gets fed up with the antics of the billionaires she worked with.
    Owlson: ENOUGH! I was at the top of my class at Mouseton, ran several successful businesses, but none of that prepared me for you Duckburg billionaires! Reckless thrill-seekers! Madmen with the minds of children! Actual children! I tried to keep you people humble, but all you care about is money and power! Well, I'm DONE trying to make you better! I'm going to become a better billionaire myself! I QUIT!
  • Reimagining the Artifact: The storyline revolving around Bombie in the comics was that Scrooge was cursed by the chief of an African village that he had cheated out of its land and part of the curse was that Bombie would relentlessly chase Scrooge. Most of this would not pass in today's culture (Scrooge's robber baron actions, the depiction of the tribe as savages, etc.) so the show instead reworks Bombie as the product of an unrelenting curse but one that exists naturally to plague the world's richest duck/bird/person.
  • The Reveal: The Cold Open shows how Scrooge became the richest duck in the world, by offering an Invisibility Cloak and the mine from which the cloak's elements came from to the previous richest person.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Dewey is mostly showing off for the camera when he lists all the ways Penumbra might not have liked Della, but he's right on the money on each point. (Though the viewer knows Penumbra grew to view Della as a friend anyway.)
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Mr. Zee makes a break for it (while wrapping the invisibility cloak around him) after his title as wealthiest person is given to Scrooge, since the Bombie curse is now Scrooge's problem and he doesn't want him to cancel the deal.
  • Seen It All: Upon seeing the Bombie in Duckburg, Scrooge's reaction is to exclaim "Him again?"
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Although Mr. Zee is never identified by species, the shape of his bill, crest and tail, his coloration and his home country (Mozambeak) all point at him being a go-away-bird. Which is also a Stealth Pun, as he wants the Bombie curse to go away, and the first thing he does when he's finally free of the curse is going away so that Scrooge can't cancel the deal.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Regarding the Bombie:
      • He is largely based on Solomon Grundy from the Batman comics, being a Revenant Zombie with hulking physique, grey skin and scars.
      • His facial features are similar to those of Jake the Dog, particularly the black inverted eyes.
    • The animal guest star for the space-themed episode of Dewey Dew-Night is a raccoon.
  • Shrine to Self: Louie replaces portraits of Scrooge, which are mostly mementoes of past adventures, with images of himself just surrounded by wealth, replaces Manny's marble Scrooge head with a golden Louie head, and even has the $ removed from the money bin and replaced by a £ (the dollar sign is often used as the "S" in Scrooge's name, the pound sign is a stylised "L", so "$crooge" becomes "£ouie").
  • So Proud of You: After the Bombie leaves peacefully, Scrooge tells Louie that he was a better billionaire than himself by learning humility in a day.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Be humble and don't brag about being the richest... or an unstoppable giant undead monster will come after you.
  • Squee!: Dewey's reaction upon realizing he can use Dewey Dew-Night! to help Della send her message to Penumbra.
  • Stealth Pun: Why does it take a long time for Scrooge to shine Gavin's shoe? Because he's a Bigfoot.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: As Scrooge settles in to watch some TV, he happens to tune in to the Louie-funded Ottoman Empire reunion show.
    Scrooge: Maybe a bit of the old boob tube will help me keep my mind off... IS THAT MY OFFICE!?
  • Superior Successor: While Louie is in over his head when it comes to actually running a billionare dollar corporation, he ends up breaking the curse that Scrooge was never able to by being willing to show humility.
  • Swapped Roles: Scrooge briefly considers being as lazy as Louie while his nephew tries to take his place. He couldn't stand being so inactive for so long.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Owlson gets fed up with the antics of the Duckburg billionaires (with the Bombie incident being The Last Straw) and quits so she can be one on her own, but promises to stay long enough to train her replacement.
  • Touché: Scrooge first dismisses the Bombie backing off when Louie displays Humble Pie as fear of facing Scrooge, only for the Bombie to roar in his face.
    Scrooge: Sentimental hogwash! He's obviously afraid of facing Scrooge Mc—!
    (the Bombie angrily roars at him)
    Scrooge: Fair point.
  • Tragic Monster: Bombie is forced to hunt down whoever the richest duck in the world is, and is never given a moment's rest. One of Louie’s first acts of humility is to acknowledge that this whole situation is hard on Bombie too.
  • Trauma Button: Della's time on the moon remains this for her. During Dewey Dew-Night, Dewey asks her for a funny story from her time there. Della relates how she started a staring contest with the mirror and was so desperate for human contact that before she knew it three weeks had passed. She then explains, in a monotone, that to this day she can no longer look at a mirror for fear of seeing her and follows up with smashing her coffee cup on the desk.
  • The Unintelligible: Manny the Headless Manhorse tries to warn Louie, Launchpad and Owlson that maybe the remote bin was trying to keep something in. Nobody seemed to understand him, even after it was repeated.
  • Unobtainium: Scrooge selling a mine of "haveyouseenium" (apparently, a mineral used in the creation of an Invisibility Cloak) is what finally makes him the richest duck in the world.
  • Wham Line: As Della is disconnecting the radio equipment, she receives a message:
    "This is Lieutenant Penumbra for her friend, Della Duck. All your defense satellites just went down for some reason! Lunaris is bringing an army to destroy Earth! Della, he's coming for your family!"
  • Your Television Hates You: Scrooge decides to be like Louie and just veg out in front of the TV. He happens to catch The Ottoman Empire, where the Ottoman brothers talk about how they love hard work, and that they wouldn't know what to do with themselves without it. Scrooge then decides to get off the couch and go earn himself a new fortune.


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