Rewatching DuckTales! Time for yet another clone saga in episode 82, “Dough Ray Me.”
Here’s what happens: Scrooge refuses to give his nephews a raise on their allowance, suggesting instead they get summer jobs. The three boys equip themselves with vacuum cleaners to become the “Dirtbusters.” When they try cleaning up Gyro’s place, he shows them his “multiphonic duplicator,” which makes a perfect copy of anything, including the boys’ pocket change. Under the pretense of testing the device, the boys make copies of food, toys, anything they want. Fenton borrows the device and runs off with it. When the boys use their duplicated money to buy ice cream, we see the money keeps duplicating on its own.
Fenton uses the duplicator to start his own magic act (!), revealing to Scrooge that the device is the source of his magic. When Scrooge sees his money duplicate on its own, he heads to Gyro’s place, where Gyro is having similar problems of everything self-duplicating. Things keep getting more and more out of hand, as the entire town is soon overflowing with duplicated money. It’s piled up on the street like snowbanks, and it’s causing prices to skyrocket.
In jail, the Beagle Boys learn of what’s happening and they start concocting a plan. Huey, Dewey, and Louie then deduce that the sound of bells is what’s making everything self-duplicate. With Gizmoduck’s help, they set out to silence all bells in the city. Gyro then calls to warn the boys that duplicated money is unstable. The Beagle Boys break out of jail and start collecting all the money in garbage trucks. Fenton’s plan is let them steal it all until the duplicated money becomes unstable. The Beagle Boys clean up the town, but take over the Money Bin. Instead of imploding, all the money implodes, back into its original coin. Scrooge then tells the boys there’s no such as easy money, and they’re put back to work cleaning the mansion to get their original dollar back.
Humbug: My thesis is that the series-long arc of DuckTales is Scrooge learning that his newfound family relationships are more important than his money. This episode begins with Scrooge refusing to give raises, and it ends with him being right to do so? I don’t know…
Junior woodchucks: Huey, Dewey, and Louie play a Beagle Boys video game, in which they try to steal money from a virtual Money Bin. Does Scrooge know about this game? Is he the one earning a profit from it?
Maid and maiden: Mrs. Beakeley’s subplot is her trying to clean the boys’ room when their toys keep duplicating out of control.
Great gadgeteer: Gyro’s tiny lightbulb-headed robot assistant Helper makes a return, after its early appearances in the series.
Pro-rata: The Beagle Boys think Ma Beagle busted them out of jail, but it was really Fenton. He did it in the hopes that they would clean up the town. Not very superhero-ish behavior, Fenton.
Foul fowls: The Beagle Boys in this episode are Big Time, Baggy, and Burger. It’s a rare combo that doesn’t include a big muscular Beagle in the trio.
Down in Duckburg: An entire scene plays out on the balcony of the Money Bin, overlooking the entire city. This is something I don’t recall seeing in other episodes.
Reference row: The boys as “Dirtbusters” is clearly a parody of 1984’s Ghostbusters. I wonder if this is leftover concept art from a never-made Ghostbusters-themed episode.
Thoughts on this viewing: This one introduces a far-out sci-fi element, but it’s so in a rush to get through the plot that this premise isn’t as well thought out as it could be. We’ve also entered the period of the show when coins were grey and not gold, making the series feel less bright and colorful.
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