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Recap / DuckTales S1 E17 "Launchpad's First Crash"

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After yet another crash, Scrooge and Launchpad remember the time they first met and their first mission together.

This episode contains the following tropes:

  • The Alleged Car: Launchpad's Sun Chaser appears to be an "alleged plane". A wing falls off while the glue is drying. However, it actually holds up very well.
  • The Bait: A matriarchal tribe hunts giant crabs using their diminutive men as a bait. When Scrooge and Launchpad arrive, all the men have just had it and left, thus the Amazons use Scrooge and Launchpad. In the end Grunta tells them that the men and women reconciled with each other and now take turns as bait.
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  • Don't Wake the Sleeper: The men warn that the giant bats wake up if they hear loud noises.
  • Dreadful Musician: Scrooge hates Launchpad's harmonica playing, claiming it broke something in his head. Luckily, the bats don't like it either (it messes up their radar).
  • Emergency Cargo Dump: Launchpad informs Scrooge they'll have to jettison some of the cargo to take off. Scrooge tries to jettison anything but the diamonds, including Launchpad! However, he eventually realizes the necessity and dumps all but one diamond (which fortunately is still enough for him to "turn a profit.")
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The men and the women don't agree, but they are willing to team up when they hear that the bats have captured Grunta.
    • Subverted earlier when Scrooge and Launchpad are captured by the men. Hearing the giant bats are their enemies, they think any enemy of them is a friend. Unfortunately, upon waking them, they find that the bats are nobody's friends.
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  • Giant Squid: While escaping from the Amazons, Scrooge and Launchpad are attacked by a squid living in the boiling lake. Launchpad drives it away by throwing diamonds in its mouth.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When the Amazons kill the giant crab, the camera only shows them throwing the spears. We don't see the spears hit home or the aftermath of what the crab looked like.
  • Hidden Depths: According to Launchpad, Scrooge is actually a pretty good cook. He did spend a lot of time out in the Klondike...
  • Indy Ploy: When a lightning strike sets off the dynamite, threatening to blow up him and Scrooge, Launchpad comes up with a spur-of-the-moment plan to use the wing of their broken plane as an impromptu hang-glider.
  • Light Is Not Good: The giant bats which are the antagonists are white.
  • Nerves of Steel: Discussed; Scrooge says he's looking for a pilot with "nerves of steel."
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  • Nitro Express: At the beginning of the story, Scrooge and Launchpad are transporting some dynamite to Scrooge's copper mines. Scrooge is nervous even before the crash, and things only get worse when the dynamite gets scattered around them, meaning it could blow them up if lightning hits it.
  • Security Cling: Launchpad and Scrooge cling to each other when the dynamite begins going off.
  • Shout-Out: At one point, Scrooge says, "diamonds are a babuta's best friend."
  • Take a Third Option: While the men and women are willing to cooperate with one another to rescue Grunta, they spend some time arguing over whether the head woman or the head man should lead the expedition. Launchpad proposes a third option which everyone agrees with — he'll lead the rescue mission.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The Amazons are huge while the men of the tribe are midgets.
  • We Do the Impossible: A third-person variation occurs at the end; Scrooge tells Launchpad he is the only pilot he knows capable of pulling off the impossible things necessary on his missions.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Almost the whole episode is Scrooge and Launchpad remembering their first meeting.

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