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Recap / DuckTales S1E2 "Armstrong"

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Scrooge is thrilled with Gyro's new invention — a robot that can do anything. He quickly replaces most of his employees. But might this metallic man turn into a menace?

This episode includes the following tropes:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Armstrong goes rogue and plans world domination.
  • Ankle Drag: Armstrong grabs Launchpad by his foot as the pilot tries to get into his plane and begins pulling him down. Only being soaked in the water Launchpad uses when he's helping Duckburg's fire department stops him.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: When Launchpad says his helicopter is too badly damaged to fly to Armstrong's base, one of the nephews points out that Armstrong can take control of any machine with electronics anyway. Launchpad remembers that his "joyrider" biplane has no electronics at all, and is therefore safe to use. Not only does it get them to the base, but its fire-extinguishing compartment proves crucial in defeating the robot.
  • Brick Joke: Armstrong puts only one marshmallow in the boys' hot chocolate to make the household more efficient, which they protest as going too far. At the end, Scrooge asks Duckworth why his hot chocolate has no marshmallows, and Duckworth claims it's inefficient.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Louie almost charges Armstrong when he uses a laser to melt the front of the triplets' bikes. He quickly gives up the idea when Armstrong launches a follow-up laser at them.
  • Checkers: Scrooge plays a very odd variant with a 5 by 5 board, where stones are on both black and white tiles, and stones can capture both diagonally and sideways. No wonder the nephews keep losing.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Launchpad is first seen dumping water from his airplane tank on a fire. His pulling the water lever dumps water on Armstrong and shorts him out.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: A dejected Launchpad arrives from the race only to find the nephews have gone back inside and are distracted by Armstrong's prowess. He doesn't know that they'd spent ages before waiting outside worried sick about him and only came in when Duckworth insisted due to the growing darkness.
  • Force-Field Door: Armstrong sticks Scrooge and Gyro in a closet, behind a force field.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The eponymous robot's eyes shine when it becomes clear that he's turned on Scrooge. It stands out even more because they're in the darkened Money Bin at the moment.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Launchpad gets a little competitive around Armstrong, though rightfully so as he risks usurping his job.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: Armstrong. He quickly puts Launchpad and most of Scrooge's other employees out of a job... Until he goes crazy and takes over Scrooge's money bin. However, the triplets bring in Launchpad to stop him.
  • Kick the Dog: Armstrong, noticing Launchpad's heartbroken expression when the triplets calls his robotic nemesis "the best friend a kid could ever have", says "I am Armstrong; I am your friend" and shoots Launchpad a nasty look, for no apparent reason other than to twist the knife even further.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Scrooge fires most of his staff to save expenses when it turns out Armstrong can do all their jobs by himself. Then Armstrong decides he'd rather be giving the orders than taking them, and Scrooge winds up locked in a closet and rescued thanks to one of the first employees he let go.
  • Nothing Can Save Us Now: After being captured and stuck in a closet, Scrooge angrily declares that "No tin-plated dictator's going to tell me what to do!", attempts to storm out, and gets shocked by the force field in front of the door. Gyro responds that nobody can stop Armstrong. Shortly thereafter, Launchpad crashes his Joyrider on the roof, and, with the help of some luck, he manages to turn the tables.
  • No Water Proofing In The Future: Armstrong is luckily not water-proofed, and when he tries to pull Launchpad off his Joyrider, the pilot grabs hold of the lever he uses to drop water when he's helping Duckburg's fire department. Armstrong falls apart.
  • Obligatory Joke: While Launchpad is helping the fire department, Scrooge calls. Launchpad asks what's up and then quips, "Besides me, of course!" and chuckles at his own pun.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: The triplets suspect something when Gyro (actually Armstrong) is snappish with them.
  • Steam Never Dies: The most incongruous example in the series, where Gyro's newly invented robot clears a rockslide from in front of Scrooge's gold train (pulled by a steam locomotive). The episode later features such modern technology as automatic garage door openers, computers and satellites!
  • Take Over the World: What Armstrong eventually sets out to do. After taking over Gyro's lab, he sets up a system that hooks into surveillance satellites and electrical grids, which not only allows him to monitor practically everything, but operate anything electrical by remote control. It's only by Launchpad crash landing on his broadcasting satellites that his plans are ruined.
  • Tin Man: Similar to a villainous version of the Trope Namer, Armstrong seems to have a good grasp of emotions (mostly anger, nasty amusement, and malice) despite being a robot and implicitly denying that he has them.
    Armstrong: If I were human, I might find this amusing. [robotic laugh]
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Armstrong turns on Scrooge. He then planned a revolution of all the world's machines.
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite no longer being Scrooge's pilot and having seen Armstrong's power firsthand, Launchpad quickly agrees to help when the triplets tell him they believe Armstrong has captured their uncle and Gyro.
  • Verbal Business Card: "I am Armstrong. I am your friend."
  • Voice Changeling: Armstrong perfectly imitates Gyro's voice to deter the triplets from coming to investigate. Unfortunately for him, he didn't imitate Gyro's personality nearly as well, which tipped them off.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: A variant. The triplets ask themselves who would be crazy enough to help them combat Armstrong. The three realize at the exact same moment and quickly race for Launchpad's house.


Video Example(s):


Armstrong's Defeat

Launchpad inadvertently stops the rogue robot Armstrong by pulling on the dump lever of his bi-plane's water tank.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoWaterProofingInTheFuture

Media sources: