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Recap / Duck Tales S 1 E 20 Down And Out In Duckburg

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Scrooge loses his fortune to Fritter O'Way, a fox, thanks to a years-old debt. Can the world's richest duck win his dollars back?

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Name Change: Fritter O'Way and his ancestor Diddle O'Way are respectively known in the comics as Chisel McSue and Swindle McSue.
  • Adapted Out: Fritter's counterpart from the comic book story this episode is based on had an accomplice while trying to prevent Scrooge from fulfilling the contract. Fritter doesn't have anyone helping him.
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  • Adopted to the House: Discussed but ultimately averted. When Mrs. Beakley says they need to find a place to stay after night falls, the nephews suggest asking Launchpad or Gyro for lodging. However, Scrooge shoots down that idea, saying that Launchpad and Gyro will treat him the way he treated poor people before he lost his fortune.
  • Broke Episode: Even the Richest Duck in the World can't buy his way out of this trope. Scrooge McDuck loses all his possessions on a technicality, leaving him and his family to eke out a living on the streets. Scrooge even has a nightmare about a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous parody covering his dire straits. Fortunately, Scrooge manages to get his assets back by the end of the episode by fulfilling the contract that had cost him his fortune.
  • Cardboard Box Home: An Imagine Spot that happens during an episode where, long story short, Uncle Scrooge was broke, he imagines a parody of 'Lifestyles of the Rich And Famous' which focused on him living on the street and his cardboard house, which his butler tried to maintain spick-and-span (and an Overly Long Gag of him continuously answering to the reporter, in a somewhat-exasperated tone, that there was nothing else but cardboard involved in the house's construction).
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  • Fair Weather Friends: After the group walks out of the mansion, fed up with Fritter O'Way, the triplets propose that they should ask Launchpad or Gyro if they can stay with them. Scrooge refuses, saying that Launchpad and Gyro will treat him like he treated the regular citizens of Duckburg when he was wealthy. Of course, given either's characters, this trope is never demonstrated to have any basis in fact.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The episode is filled with so many you don't even know where to start, but the most noteworthy example occurs at the end when Fritty complains that if "[he] scrape[s] any more paint, [he's] going to lose [his] marbles."
  • Informed Attribute: Scrooge claims that Launchpad and Gyro would not care to help him and his family once he is poor, and the two never get a chance to confirm or deny it during the episode because this belief keeps Scrooge from approaching them. This claim is rather baffling since neither Gyro nor Launchpad are ever shown to judge people by their wealth or refuse help because of a lack of money in the series. Indeed in most later instances Scrooge temporarily loses his fortune, Launchpad is one of the first to come to his aid.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
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    • Scrooge starts the episode acting far more miserlier than usual - raising a tailor's rent, refusing to give boat-repair money to a sea captain, and refusing to donate to a member of a Salvation Army Expy (unless she had change for $100). Then Fritter O'Way, the Villain of the Week, shows up and claims that Scrooge's fortune now belongs to him, because of a long-forgotten debt involving their ancestors and a delivery of marbles, and he throws Scrooge out of the house. This is where karma steps in for Scrooge - the tailor whose rent he raised earlier can't give him a job, because the money that would have been used to hire help is now going towards paying the rent, and when he decides to try to resolve the debt himself by delivering the marbles, the sea captain's boat (which he borrowed) starts leaking because the captain couldn't afford to repair it. Luckily, Scrooge gets his fortune back, and takes a level in kindness at the same time.
    • When Scrooge regains his fortune, he employs Fritter to undo all the renovations he made to Scrooge's mansion.
  • Meaningful Name: Fritter O'Way spends money like it's going out of style. It's even lampshaded.
    Scrooge: I'd better get my fortune back before Fritter O'Way lives up to his name!
  • Never Mess with Granny: Mrs. Beakley dives into waters infested with Threatening Sharks to save Scrooge from drowning.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • This episode is based on a comic book story where Scrooge must recover a case of horseradish instead of marbles. Marbles are more likely to survive sea water and years of time than horseradish is.
    • In the original comic story, Scrooge is told about the debt he owes from Fritter/Chisel a few days before it's officially supposed to be paid up, giving it a Race Against the Clock subplot where Scrooge and the others are working to make sure he doesn't lose his fortune. In the television episode, the debt is now past due and Scrooge loses everything; his journey to make sure his ancestor's delivery is completed is now to make sure his wealth is recovered as a result rather than keep it from being lost. That said, a Race Against the Clock element is subtly alluded to, as due to Fritter's spendthrift ways Scrooge is trying to complete the delivery as fast as possible to make sure he still has money left to get back.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Not exactly sins, but because of the failure of Scrooge's ancestor to deliver the marbles of Fritter's ancestor, the deal they made resulted in Fritter taking possession of Scrooge's wealth. The only way to make it right is to find the marbles and make the delivery.
  • Work Off the Debt: When Scrooge temporarily loses all of his wealth due to a years-old contract, he and the group (Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webbigail, etc.) eat at a high-end restaurant where they were regulars anyway, saying to put the charge on his account. The contract-holder says the account is his as well, and Scrooge says to "Put it on his account." The owner doesn't approve of this and puts them to work in the kitchen washing dishes.
  • Would Rather Suffer: At the beginning, Scrooge is looking forward to a new episode of Lifestyles of the Filthy Rich. Duckworth says he's anticipating it too...the way he would anticipate being hit by a bus.
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