Mr. Burns vs. Scrooge McDuck: Who is the Richer Cartoon Character?

The Simpsons’ resident tightwad, Mr. Burns appears to know very little about business. Instead, he relies on the help of aides to get the job done. Scrooge McDuck, on the other hand, is pretty business savvy. The fictional duck didn’t just make a lot of money, he made his money work for him. So, who has more money, the resident billionaire of Springfield or Ducktalesmysterious uncle?

Where did all of Scrooge McDuck’s money come from?

McDuck’s origin story is a little hard to pin down. What we do know is that the famed uncle has made a massive fortune, and he likes to keep that fortune locked up in a giant vault that he can dive into any time he wants. The famed Duck had an original origin story that pegged his wealth to rubber fields and taking advantage of the disenfranchised. It was later changed to suggest his massive wealth came from the gold rush.  

While Forbes suggests the famous poultry is worth about $65 billion, Every Geek believes Scrooge McDuck might have a net worth of around $1.2 trillion if you were to figure out roughly how much money was stashed in his vault. They did the math and blew Forbes’ estimate out of the water.

Mr. Burns has lost and regained his fortune more than once over the years

Mr. Burns’ fortune has never been a static thing. He’s lost it and restored it more than a couple of times over the Simpsons’ lengthy network run. He first lost all his money when it became clear that he didn’t know much about business. Lisa Simpson helped him regain it. He bet it all away again, then rebuilt his wealth, yet again.

Springfield's richest citizen, Mr. Burns
Mr. Burns from ‘The Simpsons’ | FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Regardless of his stumbles, Comic Vine, suggests the businessman is worth a staggering $16.8 billion. That places him ahead of several significant superheroes, including Iron Man and Batman. He’s got nothing on Scrooge McDuck, though. It seems like, no matter what, the ageless cartoon duck has a net worth that will outshine every other animated character for years to come.

How much would the characters be worth in real life?  

Sure, equating fictional cartoon characters to real people might seem a little crazy, but those characters have to be based on someone, right? Mr. Burns has made his fortune, primarily by owning a nuclear power plant. It’s hard to compare Mr. Burns to a real-life counterpart, but Mukesh Ambani, the owner of Reliance Industries, deals in petrochemicals, energy and natural resources. Ambani is worth an estimated $49.7 billion. Charles Koch, the owner of Koch Industries also deals in chemicals and energy among other industries. Koch’s net worth is valued at 42.4 billion, according to Forbes. It’s hard to compare the real-life moguls to Mr. Burns, after all, they are titans of industry, while Burns seems to be dealing in a much smaller pool.

Scrooge McDuck with Huey, Dewey, Louie and Donald Duck |
Scrooge McDuck with Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Donald Duck | Disney XD via Getty Images

As for Scrooge McDuck, it’s hard to figure out what his net worth would be in real dollars because the source of his wealth is pretty hard to pin down. Let’s say he did make his money during the gold rush. There is one man who seems to rival McDuck’s fictitious backstory, and that man is Samuel Brennon. Brennon, according to PBS made a massive profit during the gold rush by selling supplies out of his stores. At one point he was pulling in $5,000 each day in 1850. Adjusted for inflation, Brennon was making over $160,000 each day for the better part of a decade.

Brennon, however, squandered his money, but from his stores alone, he would have pulled in $584 million, if he were running that business today. Land investments and property likely would have made him a billionaire more than once over.