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Recap / Duck Tales S 1 E 19 Duck To The Future

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Scrooge is sent by Magica DeSpell to a future where his absence enabled her to take over the world.

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: The boys say they spent all their allowances on materials for the lemonade stand.
    Scrooge: Boys, if you spend $6 but only make 56 cents, what does that tell you?
    Huey: Uh, we need bigger allowances?
  • Artistic License – Economics: The entire economy in the future is reversed, with employees paying the business they worked at. This could mean two things: since Magica was involved, we could just say, A Witch Did It; or taxes have been raised so high, such as "The Privilege of Working for Magica McDuck Enterprises Tax," that getting a paycheck is practically a moot point since all your money gets taken out.
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  • Bad Future: The future shown in the episode has Magica having taken over and the triplets having become Corrupt Corporate Executives. Luckily, it's all wiped away when Scrooge returns to the present.
  • Broken Pedestal: Downplayed; while Doofus and Launchpad are still on good terms, the future Doofus has a greater recognition of his mentor's flaws than during his childhood.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Seeing them run a lemonade stand, Scrooge gave the boys advice about how cutting costs can increase profits. He suggested cutting down on waste (like using smaller glasses), but it didn't occur to him that they'd cut costs by making an outright inferior product but telling the customers otherwise.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite having become ruthless CEOs in the time since Scrooge disappeared, Huey, Dewey and Louie are still attached to their uncle, to the point where Magica revealing that the guy they're chasing is Scrooge himself and that she was responsible for his disappearance makes them turn on her.
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  • Everyone Has Standards:
    Scrooge: Where did you boys learn such bad business practices?
    Huey: From you, Uncle Scrooge.
    Scrooge: I never taught you to cheat people. Making money at the expense of others is no bargain.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Doofus's future counterpart is shown to be married to Webby, who has blonde hair as an adult.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Scrooge gives the nephews advice on cutting costs so they can get better at making a profit. After being sent by Magica DeSpell to the Bad Future where they're grown up, he discovers that their idea of cutting costs was to cheat their customers and rip their own employees off for everything they're worth. As you can expect, he was not happy with the results.
  • Gone to the Future: By going 40 years into the future, Scrooge disappeared for 40 years (which Magica was perfectly aware would happen).
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  • Heel–Face Turn: Scrooge's evil adult nephews turn on Magica when they learn that she sent him into the future so she could take over his business.
  • Just Whistle: Doofus, Webby, and Scrooge are thrown into Magica's dungeon partway through the episode. Luckily, Doofus reveals he has something to call Launchpad in case he's ever in trouble.
  • Lemonade Stand Plot: This episode begins with Huey, Dewey, and Louie starting their own lemonade stand. The boys spend six dollars to buy supplies to build the stand, but only make fifty-six cents in profits. Scrooge is unimpressed, and gives the boys advice on cutting costs so they can get better at making a profit, getting the main plot underway.
  • Married in the Future: In the future, Scrooge encounters a shapely Webbigail and a slimmed down Doofus who tell him they've gotten married. When he gets back to his own time, he tells Doofus to take care of Webby, which causes her to have a disgusted reaction.
  • Mrs. Hypothetical: Magica takes over McDuck Enterprises and renames it "Magica McDuck Enterprises." The implications do not seem lost on Scrooge ("Don't tell me...!").
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Magica tells the nephews that she caused Scrooge to disappear, so they turn on her.
  • Off-Model: Doofus can be seen mouthing Louie's "Great idea huh?" line near the end of the episode.
  • One Phone Call: Scrooge demands a phone call, which the police robot lets him have. However, he can't pay the money necessary to speak to his nephews.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: In the future, everyday tasks such as taking a bus ride or making a collect phone call cost 100 times more than they do in Scrooge's time.
  • She's All Grown Up: A variation; Scrooge describes Webbigail as having "changed into Cinderella" when he sees the woman she's grown up to be (complete with blond hair). He's not attracted to her himself, but as Webby's Honorary Uncle, he can't help remarking that she grew up beautiful.
  • Ship Tease: Doofus and Webby are married in the future Scrooge visits, and although the future has been averted by the end of the episode, Scrooge still tells Doofus to take care of Webby and invite him to the wedding, and Doofus, unlike Webby, actually doesn't seem to mind the idea of them being a couple.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title is presumably referring to Back to the Future.
    • One of Magica's guardbots says that "the great sorceress sees nobody, not no one, not no how", a reference to The Wizard of Oz. Magica appearing as a giant floating head and using thunder and lightning effects is also a reference to this film.
    • When Scrooge makes his phone call, the operator sings, "Reach out and crush someone", a reference to an AT&T ad jingle.
    • The robot inside the entrance door is similar to the one in Jabba's Palace in Return of the Jedi.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The implications of the effect Scrooge's sudden disappearance for forty years had on his nephews' psychological well-being are dark. In addition to becoming stubborn, insensitive, and corrupt businessmen, see the way Dewey and Louie grab Magica and pull her back roughly from her plane seat when they realize she was the reason for Scrooge's disappearance, while Huey grabs the helm and shouts in horrified rage.
    Huey: You can't do that to OUR Uncle Scrooge!
  • Villains Want Mercy: Even with everything she's done to him all episode, when Magica runs out of time-warping magic sand on a soon-to-explode airship, she still begs Scrooge to let her come along.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After returning to his time, Scrooge calls his nephews out for the corrupt business decisions they made in an attempt to follow Scrooge's advice about finding a way to cut costs.
  • Widely Spaced Jail Bars: Scrooge is placed in a jail cell with these.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: To get to Magica Scrooge disguises himself as a salesman (and ditches the Scottish accent to complete it).
  • You Fool!: Magica when Scrooge's first attempt to return to the present sends them both to Ancient Rome instead.