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Recap / Duck Tales S 1 E 14 The Status Seekers

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Seeking respect from other members of Duckburg's elite, Scrooge hunts down a mask he gave away, while other people hunt him down.

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: In the original comic, Scrooge keeps the Candy-Striped Ruby as the gains of another successful treasure-hunting expedition. The episode has Scrooge throw away the mask that substituted for the ruby, and quit the Association of Status Seekers to remain true to himself and his lower-class but loyal friends and family.
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  • Adaptation Expansion: This episode is adapted from a comic book story that starts with Scrooge already entering the place where Duckburg's elite is having their meeting.
  • Adaptation Species Change: This episode features a dogfaced villain, Charles Upstuck III, instead of the anthropomorphic pig from the comic book version of the story, Porkman De Lardo.
  • Adipose Rex: The protagonists visit a remote island where the king is fat, perhaps because in their culture fatness is a status symbol. Various attempts to bribe him with Worthless Yellow Rocks fail, and then the boys think to ask him what is valued in their culture. After he tells them, Mrs. Beakley thinks of trying to bribe him with fattening processed foods instead (peanut butter, specifically), which proves much more successful.
  • Canon Foreigner: The Blueblood Beagles. There's no prior appearance of them in comics.
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  • Catchphrase: Charles Upstuck III continually calls Scrooge "old bean." It proves part of his undoing when it identifies him under disguise in the final act. He also attempts at least one to subvert it by suggesting he'll change from calling Scrooge "old bean" to "re-fried bean"... moments before he's about to have his stooges flash-fry them all.
  • Chekhov's Gun: All the things that his friends and family do that embarrass Scrooge during the episode come back to help him get the mask back from the villain in the end — his football games with Huey, Dewey, and Louie enable him to catch Charles Upstuck III; Mrs. Beakley hurls her "common" peanut butter treats in the Bluebloods' faces, blinding one and knocking him into a pillar, and Launchpad spritzes another in the face, causing him to fall overboard. Additionally, the episode was kicked off by the upstuck elites of Duckberg thinking down on Scrooge because he was playing football. Yet at the end he demonstrates those same skills in making an excellent tackle of Charles Upstuck III before he can escape.
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  • Comically Small Bribe: Played with; Scrooge and Charles Upstuck III are both trying to obtain a rare mask from a native tribe, and both are offering large bribes to try to get the chief to give them the mask. Scrooge's nephews, however, figure out that what's valued in this tribe is not money, but "a large belly," so Mrs. Beakley offers the chief a jar of high-fat, high-calorie peanut butter. The chief gives the mask to Scrooge on the spot.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Scrooge's treatment by his wealthy peers leads Scrooge (who never spends a cent if he can help it, let alone thousands of dollars on useless status symbols) to think he ought to "start acting rich." Unlike Barks' story, which ends as another successful treasure hunt, with Scrooge keeping the valuable artifact he finds, the episode ends with him deciding to ditch it (as it was just an ugly mask he didn't like anyway) and give up trying to fit In with the In Crowd this way.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Scrooge is surprised that, in spite of being the world's richest duck, he's not respected by Duckburg's other rich residents. His effort to gain their respect (and a new pool of customers) drives the plot.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: After deciding he doesn't want to be part of a "ungrateful pack of snobs", Scrooge throws away the mask (as he didn't like it anyway) and the status seekers dive into the water after it. Scrooge makes a quip at their expense, and the episode ends with him, the boys, and Mrs. Beakley and Launchpad all laughing at the joke.
  • French Cuisine Is Haughty: As part of his attempt to impress the other rich residents of Duckburg, Scrooge goes to a fancy and expensive restaurant for lunch. The waiter uses French, which is even associated with being "classy."
  • Hypocrite: Duckburg's wealthiest people refuse to do anything that involves getting their hands dirty and look down on anyone who does...but are quite willing to dive into the water and fight among themselves for an ugly mask.
  • Lean and Mean: Charles Upstuck III, the main antagonist, is a tall and thin dogface.
  • Loser Friend Puzzles Outsiders: Played with. The status seekers start the episode by saying derogatorily that Scrooge doesn't act rich. After he tries to do more conspicuously high-status things and gets back the mask of Kuthu-lulu, they accept him, even making him the president of the association. When Mrs. Beakley, Launchpad, and the boys turn up to congratulate him, they push him to give them the boot, because rich people don't have friends "like that." Scrooge wavers, but after his friends and family help him during the final battle with the villains (and the status seekers refuse to "get their hands dirty"), he calls out the status seekers and ditches them instead.
  • Moral Myopia: A downplayed example; after Launchpad spells out that Scrooge tried to shoo him, the boys, and Mrs. Beakley out because they're not good enough for him, Scrooge asserts that he needs to make a good impression on the Status Seekers and pleads in his defense that it's no fun to get laughed at — completely ignoring the fact that he's obviously hurting his current friends and family by throwing them out.
  • Persona Non Grata: Launchpad gets himself and Scrooge thrown out of a French restaurant when he panics upon seeing a flambe dish and grabs a bottle to extinguish the fire.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Scrooge gives a brief but blunt critical speech to the other members of Duckburg's elite after realizing they're not worth alienating his real friends.
  • Replacement Goldfish: The Blueblood Beagles look just like Big Time, Burger, and Bouncer, but with more manners.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The Blueblood Beagles, as part of their upper-class shtick, have a tendency to speak in bigger words than their lower-class cousins, the Beagle Boys.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: The main conflict of the episode; Scrooge keeps rejecting things that he used to do or that his friends and family do as not classy enough, in large part thanks to the members of the Association of Status Seekers, who have their own extremely high standards for what gives a person status.
  • Something Only They Would Say: In his last attempt to get the mask, Charles Upstuck III disguises himself as one of the Blueblood Beagles and robs the association with them. However, he gives himself away by calling Scrooge "old bean".
  • Undying Loyalty: Even though Scrooge tries to shoo them away in favor of keeping the good impression he's made on the Association, Mrs. Beakley and the triplets instantly step up to defend him when the Blueblood Beagles try to rob him and the other status seekers. While Launchpad initially has doubts about getting involved, they don't last long, and he's right behind Mrs. Beakley and the boys in dealing with the Bluebloods.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The elite still turn their noses up at Scrooge's friends and exclude them from their society, even after being saved from the Blueblood Beagles. They do the same to Scrooge when he calls them out on it.
  • Zerg Rush: As the Bluebloods are robbing him and the other members of the Association of Status Seekers, Scrooge suggests to his fellow elite that they can take them if they all run at them at once. This suggestion fails because the status seekers refuse to get their hands dirty, even to save their property.

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