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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.


This episode contains examples of:

  • 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.
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  • 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 it or appreciate the work it takes to get there.
  • 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 majority of the world's resources and infrastructure (including the 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).
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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.
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dark Comedy: Della talks about how she had a staring contest with herself that lasted for 3 weeks and that she can't look at her own reflection.
  • 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, including staying on to train her replacement.
  • 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. Surprisingly, Della didn't object to this. 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.
  • 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.
  • Humble Pie: The Bombie curse seems to activate when someone 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. Once the magical defenses are cut, there is one giant monster on the loose.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
      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.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Done by 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.)
  • Seen It All: Upon seeing the Bombie in Duckburg, Scrooge's reaction is to exclaim "Him again?"
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Bombie is largely based on Solomon Grundy from the Batman comics, being a Revenant Zombie with hulking physique, grey skin and scars.
    • The Bombie's facial features are similar to those of Jake the Dog, particularly the black eyes.
    • The animal guest star for the space-themed episode of Dewey Dew-Night is a raccoon.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Be humble and don't brag about being the richest... or an unstoppable giant undead monster will come after you.
  • 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!?
  • 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: 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" 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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