The Meal Moocher
The Meal Moocher is the 59th episode of the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! series. In this episode, King Dedede once again grows tired of the mediocre food of his court, and after seeing Kirby receiving free meals from the people of Cappy Town, he decides to get in on that action by hosting a new show on Channel DDD where he barges in to peoples' houses and reviews the food, offering massive cash prizes to those he finds worthy. After several meals, Escargoon worries that Dedede will empty the treasury by doing this, so he sabotages the crab dinner served by Buttercup, but gets caught in the act. Still hankering for some crab, King Dedede heads back to Castle Dedede and orders a giant Crab Monster from Night Mare Enterprises, but the monster catches Dedede and threatens to kill him. In exchange for King Dedede stopping his indulgent television show, Tiff sends Kirby in to defeat the Crab Monster using the Cook Copy Ability and roasts it alive. Seeing this, King Dedede decides he does not want crab anymore and goes back to his old food choices.
The following characters appear in this episode:
|Cast of "The Meal Moocher"|
|"Kani!"||This is the Japanese word for "crab". Kirby says this word even in the 4Kids version.|
|"I WANT NEW FOOD AND I WANT IT NOW!!"|
|"Just look at 'im! That pink pan-handler hustled three dinners out of those Cappies in one night!"|
|"Oh, we'll begin with the miso soup! It's from an old Japanese recipe I found. The second course will be sushi! There are twelve different varieties! We also have a medley of spring vegetables - many from outside Dream Land - all steamed to perfection and sprinkled with the special egg soy sauce! Next, comes a new dish I just invented: turkey tempura! There's also a special treat: broiled eel and onions! Those are just the appetizers! Now, for the main course!"|
|"He'll flip for my fish!"|
|"Hmph! We need help."|
|"You're right! It's tough to find good puke-fish!"|
|"Hi, Kirby! You wanna join us for a bite?"|
|"I could retire with that kind of dough-re-mi!"||This particular pun was previously used by Chief Bookem in the episode Abusement Park.|
|"Well, guess I better get cookin'."|
|"How about some ladyfingers?"|
|"You came just in time! I'm about to serve dinner! Would you like to come join us?"|
|"They're so lucky! I wish King Dedede would come to our house and have dinner with all of us!"|
|"Quickly!"||Honey's father has proper lines only in the Japanese version, so this line is translated from that version.|
|"That looks real good."|
|"Oh, we might be next!"||This is the first line of dialogue Iro's father has had in the 4Kids dub.|
|"It would be nice to win that money."|
|"We can do better than that!"|
|"I might have something that fits the bill. What size do you have in mind?"|
|"Maybe I should get in on this. Learning how to cook can't be that hard."|
|"I better get to the grocery store!"|
|"Oh dear, we're above that sort of thing!"|
|"Can we eat?"|
|"The King puts his moolah where his mouth is!"|
|"With that money, we could build ourselves a castle!"|
|"Maybe they'll all just get sick of feeding the King. Just you don't get mixed up in this, Kirby!"|
|"Look at all that food!"|
|"Hey Kirby! Can I borrow your stomach?"|
The episode begins at Castle Dedede, where King Dedede is once again complaining about the lack of quality food at court. Seeing only three options on the menu, King Dedede demands a greater variety of food that very instant. The next day, outside of Kawasaki's, Chef Kawasaki is premiering a new food dish using a gas stove, and only Kirby is excited about it. As Tiff tries to talk Kawasaki out of it, he is suddenly abducted by King Dedede's soldiers and taken to the castle. Captain Waddle Doo then tells the abducted chef that he and his crew need help preparing new dishes for the King, and Chef Kawasaki agrees to try. After serving King Dedede his pineapple and "puke fish" special, Dedede becomes so outraged that he tosses Chef Kawasaki into the castle moat. Out of other options, King Dedede decides he will spy on the Cappies to see what they prepare at home, hopeful to find at least one good recipe from them.
That evening, Hana invites Kirby to come eat with her family at their home, and the dinner is spied on by King Dedede using the trusty Grasshopper Eavesdropper robot. Later that night, Kirby is treated again when Tuggle asks him to eat his leftover food, and a third time when Chief Bookem invites him to dinner as well. Watching all of this, King Dedede and Escargoon grow intensely jealous of Kirby's good fortune. In order to get in on the Cappies' generosity as well, the two hatch a plan by announcing the next day on Channel DDD a new game show where King Dedede heads to each household in Cappy Town to "review" their cooking and give them a rating. The winners of the game are promised a cash prize, which gets many of the viewers' attention. On the show, King Dedede then announces that he will start with Sir Ebrum's family, leading them to quickly prep their home for the cameras and then send the kids to get a steak to prepare.
That evening, King Dedede and Escargoon barge in to Sir Ebrum's flat with their film crew for dinner, as Kirby and the kids are left to watch on the couch. While King Dedede is having the steak, he specifically taunts Kirby by showing the food off to the camera. After finishing several stacks of plates, King Dedede gives Sir Ebrum's family a five star rating, and announces they have won five million dede-dollars, which gives everyone else watching hope that they could win a similar prize, and gives Chef Kawasaki reason to despair. Later that night, Tiff bemoans what may end up happening as a result and tries to get Kirby to stay out of it, but he seems to have other ideas. The next day, King Dedede and his crew have their second dinner at Spikehead's house, where the family has gone to great pains to prepare a lavish banquet. As King Dedede eats, he taunts Kirby once again by telling him he cannot join in, which causes Kirby to salivate while groaning. After finishing the meal, King Dedede gives it four stars and award Spikehead's family four million "smackeroni", saving the fifth star because the dessert was "a little too fruity".
The next house is Honey's, though the family was not actively prepared and leaves King Dedede with nothing but an opened can of "mystery meat". Tiff starts to see this show for what it is and complains that King Dedede is bullying the town for a good meal. Later on, Tuggle serves King Dedede a big plate of noodles at his grocery store, but Escargoon discovers that the food in question was from packages that had expired. Tuggle explains that he normally has Kirby take care of this for him, but King Dedede does not mind too much, and gives Tuggle one star for the effort, as Kirby continues to watch and despair at his lack of food. As the show goes on, Escargoon realizes that there is not enough money left to offer up prizes or even to pay his salary, but King Dedede brushes him off. The next day, they visit Mayor Len's villa for the next episode as Escargoon's mood has noticeably soured. King Dedede decides to give Mayor Len's dinner zero stars despite the Mayor claiming it to be the finest lamb in the kingdom. Seeing this, the rest of Cappy Town becomes even more anxious to please King Dedede with a good meal.
From there, King Dedede heads over to Chief Bookem's, where Buttercup has prepared the most elaborate dinner and setting to date. After struggling with the chopsticks, King Dedede substitutes for a spoon and digs in, and Escargoon worries that if Dedede gives them a good rating, his salary will be gone. To prevent this, he sabotages the main course crab by discretely adding copious amounts of red pepper into it. This ends up working, but Buttercup assumes foul play and demands to see the footage. Escargoon is forced to comply and shows the video of him doctoring the dinner, leading King Dedede to chase him down and force him to swallow some red pepper spice as punishment. From there, King Dedede decides to order some unspoiled crab from Night Mare Enterprises, but naturally, they send Dedede a giant Crab Monster which proceeds to attack him instead. After King Dedede gets caught by the monster, Tiff forces him to cancel the show in exchange for Kirby's help and he agrees, so Tiff tosses Kirby a frying pan so he can gain the Cook Copy Ability. Using this ability, Kirby places his giant frying pan onto the Night Mare Enterprises Teleporter to heat it up, and then - gathering hitherto unknown strength - tosses the giant crab monster into the frying pan to cook it. Seeing the product, King Dedede decides he does not want crab anymore and walks off, leaving Escargoon trapped in the crab's roasted claw. The episode ends as Tiff quips that not even Kirby could eat a monster that big, but Kirby proceeds to prove her wrong by inhaling it.
Differences between versions
- In the Japanese version, an arrangement of the Candy Mountain theme plays as Cabinet Minister Pāmu and his family prepare to have King Dedede for dinner.
- In the Japanese version, there are a few extra shots of Cabinet Minister Pāmu and Lady Mēmu preparing the dinner, including picking the right wine to serve. There is also an extra scene where King Dedede comments on the wine during the dinner.
- In the Japanese version, several of the food items are named more appropriately to their appearance. Several of the dishes that do not explicitly appear on screen are also named as different things.
- In the Japanese version, King Dedede takes a star off of Iro's family because he does not like pickled dishes.
- During the introductory title segment for Channel DDD's new show, there is an animation mistake where the flash meant to show only on the television screen also shows outside of it on the background wall.
- In the scene where Tuggle and Gus are commenting on the four star rating received by Spikehead's family, the DDD bath soap commercial from Un-Reality TV plays on the television.
- Despite paying huge sums of money to several families as their cash prize for the cooking show, it is unclear what became of that money, and none of those families appear any richer in subsequent episodes.
Names in other languages
||Smash Hit Program! Direct Hit! Dinnertime|