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Recap / Duck Tales S 1 E 53 Hero For Hire

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The Beagle Boys take advantage of Launchpad's "hero for hire" business to get the gullible pilot to rob banks for them. Can Launchpad set things right again?

This episode includes the following tropes:

  • Anger Born of Worry: Scrooge's joy that Launchpad was only Faking the Dead soon becomes rage.
    Scrooge: Launchpad, you're alive! I'm going to kill you!
  • The Atoner:
    • When Scrooge sees Launchpad's photo in the paper as "the Webbed Wonder", he blames himself for sending his former pilot off the rails and makes up his mind to get to him before the police can lock him up.
    • After realizing he's been duped and other people will suffer for it, Launchpad goes after the Beagle Boys to get back the money they tricked him into stealing and to rescue Doofus.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Played with. Launchpad yells to the cops that "you'll never take me alive!", but he's really setting up a fake death so that they'll stop chasing him.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: When Launchpad tells Ma Beagle (who he believes is a sweet old lady) that he's looking for the Beagle Boys, she says, "Ooh, they sound cute!"
  • Cat Up a Tree: One of Launchpad's first "heroic" acts is trying to get a cat out of a tree. He falls out of the tree.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After finding out that he'd been tricked into robbing banks, Launchpad moaned that not only was he a crook, but his movie career was over.
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: Launchpad and Doofus escape from the Beagle Boys when one of the Beagles inadvertently lets a Jail Bake item fall. Launchpad takes advantage of the stunning effect to grab Doofus and bolt out of the house.
  • Cradle of Loneliness: After the police recover the Webbed Wonder suit from the bay, seemingly confirming that Launchpad was killed, Scrooge hugs it as he cries.
  • Crisis Catch And Carry: The Beagle Boys, while attempting to keep Launchpad and Doofus from getting away, stun themselves with one of their own weapons. Launchpad quickly picks up Doofus and bolts to the car.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Subverted. The Webbed Wonder suit is seen floating in the bay, but Launchpad is still alive.
  • Disney Death: Launchpad seemingly commits suicide by crashing his helicopter into a bridge. (The Beagle Boys had set him up to look like a criminal and had taken Doofus hostage to blackmail him into not revealing the truth. However, he had actually set it on the automatic pilot, as he wanted to fake his death so the Beagle Boys would assume he was dead and that way he could rescue Doofus on his own.)
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: The Beagle Boys torture Doofus into telling them Launchpad went to the police by eating his pancakes. Both he and Launchpad find it Serious Business.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Launchpad gets a lightbulb over his head when he says that he can't make things better if he's locked up for life. Cue the pilot faking a fatal crash to get the police off his back.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: While reading the newspaper, Launchpad reads an article that tells how the Webbed Wonder robbed a bank. A Delayed Reaction combined with a Spit Take follows.
  • Faking the Dead: To get the police off his tail so he could find the Beagle Boys and get the stolen money back, Launchpad did this by placing his costume in his Webbed Wonder helicopter and setting it to automatic pilot before allowing it to crash into a bridge.
    Launchpad: Boy, the automatic pilot crashes almost as good as I do!
  • Film Felons: The episode has the Beagle Boys pose as a movie crew and trick Launchpad McQuack into burglarizing Duckburg's banks as "The Webbed Wonder".
  • Friendship Moment: Despite his anger at Launchpad for wrecking the bank, Scrooge does everything possible to save him from a lifetime behind bars and Launchpad's apparent death causes him to break down publicly.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: After faking his death to escape the police, Launchpad walks off to go after the Beagle Boys, talking out loud to the absent Doofus about how he's coming for him. Then he stops midway through and covers himself, commenting that he'll get arrested if he doesn't replace his clothes. (Oddly, he's still wearing long underwear, meaning that he's already more dressed than most people in the show.)
  • Heroic BSoD: Scrooge's run as he tries to keep up with proceedings slows to a walk and then a stop as he watches Launchpad's copter crash into the bridge and then sink into the bay. Until his ex-pilot reappears unharmed after fixing his mistake, the older duck remains in a state of melancholy.
  • He Will Come for Me: A hero-to-hero example; the first thing Doofus says to Launchpad after being saved from the Beagle Boys is that he knew Launchpad would come to rescue him.
  • Hollywood Law: At the end of the episode, Launchpad thanks Scrooge for not pressing charges over his (ignorant) thievery, which is presumably intended to explain why the pilot wasn't punished. In real life, one of the involved parties pressing charges or not may be irrelevant as to whether the lawbreaker gets penalized.
  • I Have Your Wife: The Beagle Boys kidnap Doofus as a hostage to manipulate Launchpad, heavily implying that they'll kill him if the pilot attempts to clear his name. This forces Launchpad to come up with another plan.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Subverted. At one point Launchpad rushes to save a suicide jumper. The guy is a window washer, and is not appreciative of Launchpad's efforts to talk him down.
  • It's All My Fault: Scrooge believes that his firing Launchpad drove him to becoming a bank robber and he is devastated when the pilot seemingly crashes and kills himself.
  • Jail Bake: Ma Beagle bakes a number of items with break-out items in them.
  • Manly Tears: Scrooge, believing that he drove Launchpad into a life of crime and having just (apparently) watched him die, sobs as he hugs the pilot's Webbed Wonder costume.
  • Mistaken for Suicidal: Doofus notices a man standing on the edge of a building and assumes he's a jumper. Launchpad dashes to talk him out of it, only for the guy (a window washer) to tell him to get lost.
  • Never Found the Body: The police only find the Webbed Wonder's costume, not the body, after a supposedly fatal crash. This raises no one's suspicions.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • Two examples from the Beagle Boys; on one occasion, one tells Launchpad that he must "be at the studio in ten minutes or [Doofus] is gonna be a pancake!" and the second time, the same one tells Doofus to keep his mouth shut "or [Launchpad] gets it!"
    • Averted and played for laughs at the end. When Scrooge sees that Launchpad is alive, he spends a moment in joy and astonishment before lunging at the pilot, yelling, "I'm going to kill you!" By that same token, when Scrooge fires him at the beginning, Launchpad bemoans how he almost killed himself for crashing into the bank during its grand opening trying to (mistakenly) save it.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Launchpad's helicopter crashes and sinks into the bay, seemingly while he's piloting it. Both Scrooge and the cops on the scene immediately assume he died, despite the absence of the body.
  • Out of Job, into the Plot: The episode begins with Scrooge firing Launchpad, seemingly permanently, sending the pilot into a BSOD as he laments the loss of his career and wonders how he's going to get another. The Beagle Boys pose as movie makers and claim they want Launchpad as the lead in a new superhero film. In reality, they want him to rob banks for them (though they claim they're "money rescues" because the bank is unsafe).
  • Protector Behind Bars: Defied; Launchpad fakes a fatal crash so that he can avoid getting sent to prison and being unable to rescue Doofus.
  • Protected by a Child: An inadvertent example; Doofus accidentally Group Hugs Launchpad and Scrooge because Scrooge was in the middle of laying hands on the pilot for his "faked death" scheme.
  • Razor Apples: An unintentional example; when Launchpad comes by the house, Ma Beagle, pretending to be a sweet old lady, gives him one of the Jail Bake pastries she prepared for her sons. Launchpad bites into it and finds a file (thankfully flat). She expresses complete ignorance as to how it got in there.
  • Recognizable by Sound: Scrooge, hearing the motor of Launchpad's helicopter, exclaims that he would recognize the sound anywhere.
  • Say My Name: When Launchpad appears to have crashed fatally, Scrooge shouts, "Launchpad!"
  • Trash Landing: Launchpad lands in the trash twice while trying to commit heroic acts.
  • Tuck and Cover: When the huckleberry hand grenade cake goes off, Launchpad shields Doofus with his own body. It turns out to be unnecessary, as the effect is more dazing than dangerous, and the Beagle Boys get the worst of it.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Launchpad comes up with a spur-of-the-moment plan to get away from the cops and go after the Beagles to save Doofus and Scrooge's fortune. He doesn't have anyone in-universe to explain to, and the viewer only sees the "Eureka!" Moment that triggers the plan. It works like a charm.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Beagle Boys (the villains of the episode) are not supernaturally powered; they're just ordinary crooks. However, they're ordinary crooks that don't have a problem with hurting others to get what they want, including children — which is regrettably Truth in Television, so it's very much played dramatically when Launchpad gets a call from them, letting him know they've kidnapped Doofus and heavily implying that they'll kill him if the pilot doesn't do as they say.
  • Wrong Assumption: Launchpad assumes he's new talent who's been discovered and is going to be a big-time actor. He's actually the Fall Guy who's been duped by the villains. Fortunately, halfway through, he realizes what's actually going on and makes another role switch into the episode's hero — to the surprise of the Beagle Boys, who had made the false assumption that Launchpad was too dumb to pose a threat and hence missed the transition.