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Tear Jerker / DuckTales (1987)

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  • The heartbroken look Launchpad has when Huey, Dewey, and Louie call Armstrong "the best friend a kid could ever have", feeling he's been replaced. And this was right after he'd just received a humiliating loss to the robot in their helicopter race! It doesn't help that, despite his normally happy-go-lucky demeanor and imposing stature, Launchpad does a very good kicked puppy expression.
    • What makes it worse is that the triplets do not know Launchpad is there. Armstrong, however, does, and his Verbal Business Card, "I am Armstrong. I am your friend" and the look he gives the pilot heavily imply that he's trying to further twist the knife. It works, as Launchpad slouches off in absolute defeat without saying a word.
    • This is even more tragic since the triplets had in fact been waiting all night to make sure Launchpad was okay; the only reason he returned to that scene was that they were finally advised to come in out of the cold and got caught up in awe at Armstrong's capabilities in the meantime.

Nothing to Fear

Top Duck

  • While it ultimately works out well, Launchpad's mistaken belief that his family was ashamed of him led to none of them seeing one another for years.note 

Down and Out in Duckburg

  • If you think about it too much, Scrooge's shut-down of the triplets' suggestion that they stay with Launchpad or Gyro. Scrooge declares that Launchpad and Gyro "were my friends when I was rich", and now that he's no longer rich, "they'll treat me like I treat poor people." Combining this with his worst nightmare from "Nothing to Fear" (that Huey, Dewey, and Louie secretly can't stand him and only want his money), it seems Scrooge has trouble believing anyone thinks he's worth anything unless it's through his net worth. This is especially bad for the viewers, who are well aware that both Gyro and Launchpad could care less about how much money Scrooge has and would gladly offer them all the help they need, but Scrooge's pride and fixation on money means he won't even ask.

Hero for Hire

  • When Scrooge thinks Launchpad has been killed, Scrooge actually yells his name in anguish, his devastation clear in his body language. Then when the police fish out the Webbed Wonder costume, Scrooge hugs it as he cries.
    Scrooge: Poor Launchpad — It's all my fault!

Duckman of Aquatraz

  • The triplets dive into the river to save the painting that would prove their Uncle Scrooge's innocence. This moment qualifies as both heartwarming and heartbreaking. When they uncover it, they emotionally gaze at the family portrait that was meant to hang in their home, but then the paint begins to bleed into the water, and the painting slowly becomes unrecognizable. An interesting way to direct a scene where the fear that their family will be broken is a real looming danger.
  • Then there's Mad Dog, Scrooge's cellmate. He looks like a generic brute at first, but after Scrooge's family comes to visit the billionaire, Mad Dog becomes moved and starts crying, explaining to Scrooge that he never got a visit from his mother, who lives far away and is just too poor to come to the prison. Scrooge resultantly uses a few ties to arrange a visit.

Time is Money

  • The "Time is Money" multi-parter that introduces Bubba.
    • The cave duck spends the first three episodes being hated or dumped on by Scrooge, and this culminates in the fourth episode where he accidentally gets Scrooge locked out of the Money Bin by the Beagle Boys, leading Scrooge to chew him out and completely reject him. The two meet up again when they're both tossed in prison for different reasons (Bubba accidentally caused some property damage; Scrooge was framed by the Beagle Boys). Bubba then gives Scrooge a coin he found earlier in the episode to say he's sorry for what happened earlier. Since Scrooge has mellowed out a bit since last time and also had a chewing out of his own thanks to his own conscience, Bubba's action moves him so much he starts crying.
    • Bubba desperately missing his friends after returning to his own time. It's especially depressing if you notice that there are no other cave ducks around so Bubba HAS no one else except his pet dinosaur. Eventually, he uses Gyro's time machine to try and find his way back, but he doesn't know how to properly use the machine and finds himself adrift in time with limited fuel, eventually breaking down and crying in despair.
    Bubba: Scrooge... Bubba lost...forever...

Super DuckTales

  • Scrooge crossing the Despair Event Horizon near the end. It's only a few minutes, but seeing him just give up and resign himself to being thrown into the boiling grease by the robots is nothing short of soul-crushing.

My Mother the Psychic

  • Fenton keeps trying to get his mother’s attention but she just keeps ignoring him, to the point where he decides to never come back. When M’ma realizes this, she breaks out into tears.

The Golden Goose

  • The beginning where Scrooge discovers that Huey, Dewey, and Louie have all been turned into golden statues, causing him to go into a nasty Heroic BSoD. And unlike a lot of the more comical ones he's gone into regarding his wealth, this one isn't played for laughs.
  • Crossed with Nightmare Fuel; the fact that practically the entire Earth gets overrun by gold before the goose undoes it. Scrooge ultimately has to throw the goose because he can't get to the fountain in time. Everyone the viewer has been getting to know and love throughout the show was effectively dead, whether for several hours or a few seconds.

The Movie


  • The fact that a number of people associated with the show have died. As of the 2017 reboot, Alan Young (Scrooge McDuck), June Foray (Magica Despell and Ma Beagle), Joan Gerber (Mrs. Beakley), Hal Smith (Gyro Gearloose and Flintheart Glomgold), Hamilton Camp (Fenton Crackshell), Chuck McCann (Duckworth/Bouncer Beagle/Burger Beagle), and Russi Taylor (Huey/Dewey/Louie/Webby) had all passed on, leaving only two survivors from the main cast: Frank Welker (Big Time Beagle/Baggy Beagle/Bubba Duck) and Terrence McGovern (Launchpad McQuack).


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