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Recap / Duck Tales S 1 E 26 The Golden Fleecing

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Scrooge, realizing that Launchpad's supposed hallucinations of harpies fit in with the story in one of his books, goes on a trip to find the golden fleece. However, Scrooge's long-held desire for the fleece quickly gets out of control. How far is the world's richest duck willing to go to possess the treasure?

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: One of the harpies falls in love with Launchpad, even begging the others to spare him the fate they usually give guests so she can marry him. He doesn't return the sentiments.
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  • Anything but That!: At the end of the episode, Launchpad thanks the harpy smitten with him for saving his life and asks if there's anything he can do to show to his appreciation.
    Harpy: Marry me!
    Launchpad: Uh, anything except that!
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: For unknown reasons, the writers changed the way Scrooge tries to obtain the fleece from judging a cooking contest to having Launchpad act as "the big deipno"note  and get the fleece's location out of the harpies so Scrooge and the boys can find it. Additionally, the ending is changed from Scrooge losing interest in the fleece because it's too cold to serve as a replacement for his old coat from to giving it up to save Launchpad from being roasted or eaten alive by the fleece's guardian.
  • An Aesop: Do not let Greed tempt you into doing the wrong thing.
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  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite all the weird things he has seen, Scrooge doesn't believe Launchpad's account of harpies crashing his plane until his nephews mention he told them the same story.
  • Assurance Backfire: One of the triplets tells Scrooge that "Launchpad taught us everything he knows about flying." Scrooge retorts, "Now I'm worried."
  • Bookends: The story begins and ends with Launchpad in Dr. Ludwig Von Drake's office.
  • Bridal Carry: A female-on-male example; the harpy who falls in love with Launchpad carries him in her arms while she's fleeing from the dragon.
  • The Cameo: Ludwig von Drake makes a couple of brief appearances as Launchpad's psychologist.
  • Chased Off into the Sunset: Near the end of the episode, Launchpad is pursued by the lovestruck Harpy.
  • Dropping the Bombshell: Early in the episode, Scrooge reads the myth of the golden fleece to his nephews. One of them casually remarks that Launchpad told them the same story, but better. Hearing this, Scrooge decides that maybe Launchpad was telling the truth and the golden fleece actually exists.
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  • Easily Forgiven: Strangely, Launchpad doesn't seem to be too angry at either the harpies or Scrooge after they collectively almost got him eaten by the dragon.
  • Fattening the Victim: Double Subverted. When the harpies kidnap Launchpad, he thinks that they're planning to eat him. They respond that, no, they just want him to stay for dinner. However, they didn't tell him that they were feeding him so a dragon could eat him.
  • Fed to the Beast: Launchpad narrowly avoids being munched by a dragon. Periodically feeding someone to it is apparently how the harpies keep it calm.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Scrooge twice has to make a decision between saving Launchpad and successfully taking the fleece. The first time, he ditches his friend in an attempt to escape with the treasure, but ultimately he can't sit by and watch Launchpad be killed.
  • Furry Confusion: Launchpad finds himself the unwilling object of affection for a harpy. The harpies were birds with human heads, so we got to see a bird with some human features fawning over a human with some bird features.
  • Gold Fever: Scrooge has wished he could somehow find the Golden Fleece since he heard about it as a child, and when he realizes that it may actually be real, he immediately goes after it. Unfortunately, his lust for the fleece blinds him to all else, despite his nephews' calling out over his behavior.
  • Hold Up Your Score: The triplets pull out three scoreboards after Launchpad's latest crash (caused when he freaked out over the harpies swarming the plane).
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: When Launchpad asks the harpy smitten with him where the golden fleece was, she replies that it's a secret and that her leader would kill her if she told anyone that the fleece was in the Hall of Echoes.
  • I See Them, Too: At the end of the episode, upon seeing the smitten harpy in the window, Von Drake tells Launchpad to move over on the couch as "We're both going cuckoo!".
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Launchpad namedrops the phrase when he's telling Ludwig how the harpies crashed his plane in the beginning of the episode.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Yes, the harpies don't really want to feed people to the dragon, but they've been doing it for years and...they get a rest from the dragon's roaring.
    • Scrooge essentially winds up this way as well. While he doesn't get the Fleece, he doesn't really end the episode any worse off than he began it, despite being guilty of (at least) reckless endangerment.
  • Karmic Death: Discussed by the characters. The nephews express relief that Scrooge is all right after they saw him fall from their makeshift helicopter while trying to escape with the fleece, saying they "thought [he] was a goner." Scrooge retorts that it would have served him right for "abandoning a friend over a silly piece of wool."
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Launchpad agrees to be the harpies' dinner guest to help Scrooge get the fleece because he wants his boss/friend to be happy. He nearly dies because of it.
  • Nothing Personal: While the harpies almost get Launchpad killed, they don't show any malice towards him; they just need to feed the dragon. One of them even namedrops the trope.
  • Prestige Peril: Launchpad becomes "the big deipno", a position which involves lots of positive attention, followed by being fed to a dragon.
  • Pun: Scrooge says that his greed "pull[ed] the wool over his eyes" as he drops the fleece over the dragon's eyes.
  • Saved by the Platform Below: Scrooge is wrestling to keep ahold of the titular treasure as the harpies try to grab it from him and falls off the makeshift helicopter the triplets are flying as a result. Fortunately, he lands on a spot not far down — the head of the dragon that normally guards the fleece. (Even more fortunately for Scrooge, the dragon doesn't notice him as it's focused on someone else.)
  • The Sleepless: The Sleepless Dragon which guards the Golden Fleece. When Scrooge covers its eyes with the fleece, it falls asleep for the first time in a millenium.
  • Theme Naming: All the harpies whose names are revealed have names beginning with "A".
  • Vertical Kidnapping: The group has just crash-landed on the island (possibly due to the harpies swarming them) and are trying to figure out what to do next. Then the harpies grab and carry off Launchpad, forcing the others to build a makeshift helicopter to follow them.
  • What Have I Done: Scrooge obsessively ignores all his nephews' protests about his behavior, but when he's confronted up close and personal with the fact that his lust for the Golden Fleece will cost Launchpad his life, he is horrified and immediately repents.
    Launchpad: Mr. McDee, help, please!
    Scrooge: What have I done? Nobody's life is worth this! I let my greed pull the wool over my eyes.