The Maltese Monkey is a "Zillion Dollar Adventures" segment in the Richie Rich animated series. It first aired 6 November 1982 as part of the seventh episode of The Pac-Man/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show.
Richie and Gloria were enjoying an afternoon of skiing in the summer, using a motorized ski slope with artificial snow. Richie praised Gloria's form, and Dollar imagined being a Winter Olympics champion, and decided to make his bold attempt at downhill skiing to show off. Richie, Gloria and Dollar ended up in a giant snowball, which rolled toward the mansion, and landed in the office of Richard Rich, Sr. While Richie apologized for intruding, Mr. Rich showed no hard feelings and introduced the kids to some of his guests - a man with a Texas accent named Tex Starbuck, and a chocolate maker with a Russian accent, along with a museum curator named Professor Thomas Stone, the last of whom said he was selling a jade statue known as the Maltese Monkey in an auction because the museum needed the money. Mr. Rich had offered to purchase the statue and donate it back to the museum. The statue is placed in a burglarproof vault, which is locked until 9 a.m.
Meanwhile, a suspect had attempted to open the vault, which set off the alarm. Richie and the men peeked outside their bedroom doors wondering about the activity, but Mr. Rich informed that the vault cannot open until 9 a.m. and told them to go back to bed.
The next day, at 9 a.m., Mr. Rich had opened the vault, and discovered that the statue was missing. The police were notified, and then Thomas Stone accused Mr. Rich of theft, but he denied it. The police notified Mr. Rich and the other men that nobody was to leave the mansion until the case is resolved.
Richie and Gloria later decided to hunt down the suspects, and discovered two of the men hiding out in a small shack. Using one of Professor Keenbean's inventions, a device that can be lowered and act as a hook, Richie grabbed the statue and retrieved it, but during a rainstorm, the statue started to bubble and was a replica made of soap.
Back at the mansion, Richie and Gloria were about to look for fingerprints, but then discovered that the floor was clean. Richie sent a message to Irona, but she was apparently in the area doing her usual housecleaning duties. Richie asked Irona whether there were any fingerprints or evidence in the vault, but Irona said that the particles are sucked up by an air vent on the ceiling. That gave Richie an idea on how to solve the mystery.
The group gathered around the vault, and explained the mystery in detail. Mr. Rich was shocked that Richie had smashed an Egyptian statue, but then Richie declared it was a fake made in Japan. He then showed that the statue held in the vault was actually a fake made of chocolate, and Dollar carried the real statue in a basket held in his mouth to Mr. Rich. Richie declared that Professor Stone, the so-called curator, and the chocolate maker, were actually robbers. The two thugs tried to escape, but Richie used one of Keenbean's inventions to throw a sack over Stone to capture him. The police took the thieves to jail, and Tex praised Richie on a job well done, and informed Mr. Rich that he could give the statue back to the museum, and Richie then added "as long as Dollar doesn't go near it."
- Later rebroadcast 26 November 1983, during the fourth season of the series, as part of The Monchhichis/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show.
- Dollar imagined himself being a gold medalist skier in the Winter Olympics. Coincidentally, this episode was rebroadcast on February 25, 1984, which was 6 days after the Sarajevo Winter Olympics had their closing ceremonies.
- This episode was an original story used in the animated series, but never used in the comic book series.
- This may be the only Zillion Dollar Adventures segment that is reminiscent of a Scooby-Doo style plot. Richie's method of solving the crime was in the same fashion as Velma Dinkley from the Scooby-Doo series.
- This episode may be loosely based on the classic movie The Maltese Falcon.
- This was the only Zillion Dollar Adventures segment that took place mostly in the Rich mansion.
- This was the only episode where Mr. Rich addressed Gloria by her first name.
- When this episode was aired in Season 3, it was paired with "The Irate Pirates" from The Little Rascals, and when rebroadcast in Season 4, it was paired with the Rascals episode "Cap'n Spanky's Showboat". Both those Rascals cartoons feature a barefoot Darla Hood.
- This episode was featured on the VHS compilation "Richie Rich: A Dog's Best Friend", released around 1997. It was supposedly the first segment in the compilation.
- "The Maltese Monkey" was also the title of an episode of the live-action children's comedy series The Ghost Busters.