"Eeeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!"
The Venture Bros. episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 5
Directed by Jackson Publick
Written by Doc Hammer
Production code 1-04
Original air date 4 September 2004
Episode Chronology
← Previous
"The Incredible Mr. Brisby"
Next →
"Ghosts of the Sargasso"

"Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!" is the fifth episode in the first season of The Venture Bros.


A booth-like machine in Dr. Venture's Lab opens, from which ominous green light and smoke pour. A figure silhouetted by the light comes into view from the depths of the gadget. H.E.L.P.eR. moves towards the newcomer, beeping and waving its arms, but is subdued with an arcane gesture. In the compound's living room, Hank Venture and Dean Venture are playing with an Ouija board. Dean asks if he will find true love and the indicator moves by its own power to indicate "YES". Immediately afterwards, a strange grey-haired and bearded man silently enters the room. Before the boys can react, the stranger renders them unconscious with a twitch of his fingers.

The next morning, Dean wakes his father to tell him about the previous night's events. Dr. Venture explains to Dean that the stranger is merely renting out space in the compound because Venture Industries could use the money. He takes Dean to see the man, who introduces himself as Dr. Byron Orpheus, a sorcerer. When Orpheus's teen-aged daughter, Triana, arrives Dean is immediately smitten with her. Dr. Orpheus sends the younger duo off to eat breakfast while he and Venture discuss the difficulties of being single parents.

Meanwhile, Hank wakes Team Venture's bodyguard Brock Samson from a nightmare concerning a dead football player named Tommy, and Hank is nearly strangled to death as a result. After some discussion Brock and Hank head to the lab to repair H.E.L.P.eR. When Hank spots the booth, he is entranced, walking towards it in a dazed state. He sees a blissful vision of his father offering to play catch as his mother (heard but not seen) offers them grilled cheese sandwiches. Brock notices Hank's near-hypnosis and forcibly stops him from entering the booth; he glances towards the machine, however, and walks into it in the same trance-like manner.

Dean and Triana make small-talk while eating breakfast, Triana remaining cool while smitten Dean approaches incoherence. Meanwhile, Orpheus and Venture arrive in the lab, discussing the new invention. Orpheus trips over Hank, still prone on the floor after being tackled by Brock. Hank tells them that Brock is now inside the booth, which has no controls on the outside, as the locking mechanism is on the inside.). As Dean fantasizes in his room about saving Triana from a dangerous situation, Hank intrudes and explains that Brock is trapped inside the booth and that they have to save him.

Orpheus learns that the machine probes the user's brain to manufacture hallucinations of his or her deepest desires, or as Venture puts it, it's a "Joy Can" primarily intended for masturbatory uses (hence the lock is on the inside of the machine). Questioning Dr. Venture further, Orpheus disgustedly demands to know if the booth is powered by the heart of an orphan (which Dr. Orpheus refers to as a "forsaken child") to which Dr. Venture replies "Well, maybe, kind of, I mean, I didn't use the whole thing!" Inside the booth, Brock fulfills his dreams, first by receiving forgiveness from Tommy whom we saw during his nightmare, who is revealed to be a team-mate Brock accidentally killed during college football practice. Tommy then disappears, as Brock's clothing becomes that of a Native American warrior, and ninjas begin to rain down from the sky while Brock is assaulted by cowboys, dinosaurs, and polar bears driving cars mounted with machine guns. Brock proceeds to kill them all brutally; his garb then changes to a tuxedo, and a bed materializes, when Molotov Cocktease appears from nowhere to finally consummate their relationship.

While the two doctors are arguing, the boys manage to get inside the machine wearing tinfoil hats. Thinking quickly, they wrap a urine-soaked shirt around Brock's head to block the machine's effects; it works, but they can not find a way to open the machine. Outside the booth, Dr. Orpheus has concluded that true love is the key to opening the machine, but is fruitless at inspiring it. Triana enters the lab, looking for her father. When her voice penetrates the booth, Dean's feelings of love open the doors at once. With Venture's reluctant agreement, Orpheus destroys the foul machine with arcane bolts.

Episode CastEdit

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • Dean Venture wears a Burger King crown in his fantasy of being Triana Orpheus's hero.
  • Triana sarcastically calls Dean "David Koresh" in a reference to the word "compound" when Dean says "So, I'll see you around the compound?"
  • When asked about the skull and crossbones on her shirt, Triana replies that she is going for a "retro Adam and the Ants kind of thing", referring to the new romantic band of the same name.
  • Dean apparently watches reruns of Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
  • The brothers wrap Dean's shirt around Brock's head after peeing on it. This is a reference to the movie Total Recall where a character wrapped a wet towel around his head to disrupt a tracking device.
  • When Hank is shuffling through a box of Brock Samson's cassette tapes, he finds the Led Zeppelin album "In Through the Out Door" and ask if he and Brock can listen to it, but Brock refuses stating that "Zep sold out on that one", and the album brings back memories of the only woman he ever loved (most likely Molotov Cocktease).
  • The beds in the boys' room are nearly identical to the hibernation pods used in the movie Alien.
  • Dean's statement that "penguins have an organ above their eyes that converts seawater into freshwater," apparently learned in his subliminal learning bed, is quoted directly from Snapple Fact #131.
  • Dr. Orpheus is loosely based off of the Marvel Comics character Dr. Strange.
  • Dr. Orpheus resides in the advanced arachnid research centre, a reference to the Spider-Man comics.[citation needed].
  • Dr. Orpheus's cat, Simba, is named after the main character from the movie The Lion King.
  • The machine that is powered by a heart of an orphan was a reference to the movie Arcade, where the villain is a video arcade machine that is powered by a dead little boy's brain cells.
  • Dr. Venture begins a scene dictating sternly at the Joy Can, "Hank, you get out of there!" Dr. Orpheus urges him, "Be cross with them!", and he shouts, "Boys, this is your father, you come here this instant!" This is mostly likely a reference to Poltergeist, parallel to how the spirit medium Tangina instructs Carol Anne's father to call her back from the rift in the closet.

Connections to Other EpisodesEdit

  • This episode sees the introduction of the characters Doctor Byron Orpheus, Triana Orpheus, and Simba, as well as the Joy Can. Tommy is seen for the first time, but only in a nightmare and a hologram. Orpheus also mentions the loss of his wife Tatyana, to his rival the Outrider, though he names neither of them at this point.
  • Hank and Dean see Scamp, their pet dog from the pilot episode The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay, when they are inside the machine.[1]
  • Tommy the football player seen dead here is revealed to be Tommy the deaf quarterback in Past Tense. Brock Samson accidentally killed him during a practice session in his freshman year of college, which led to a revocation of Brock's scholarship and his enrollment in the military.[2]
  • Brock refuses to listen to one of Led Zeppelin albums because of the strong memories of Molotov Cocktease it brings back. In The Incredible Mr. Brisby, the two of them speak of an encounter they had in Akron, Ohio at a Laser Zeppelin show.
  • Dean Venture brags about Brock killing a guy to Triana, yet in Past Tense he refuses to believe when Hank Venture says that Brock kills bad guys.
  • Dean mentions to Triana that they were kidnapped by pirate ghosts, which actually happens the following episode. It is either a continuity error, Dean is making the story up, or the episode wasn't the first time they have been held captive by pirates.

Production NotesEdit

  • One of the animation directors (Kimson Albert) has a "nickname" inserted into his credits. The nickname is an unusual line or word from the preceding episode. For this episode, the credit reads Kimson "In Twain" Albert.
  • The live-action actor, credited as Tom Vollette, who translates Tommy's speech into American Sign Language is stated in the episode commentary as still learning ASL, and the film was rotated, which might account for the actor's "frantic" tone, as he seemed to have balance problems.
  • The American Sign Language translation is largely accurate, though when Tommy says "It was my fault not wanting to give you the football", the actor signs a muddled "My fault not want/give football." It should also be noted that football is signed differently than the interpreter would have been used to seeing it, but which may just be regional differences.
  • In the credits, for some reason, Hank Venture's name is listed as "Hank VentureCol.", an unusual typo.
  • Mia Barron is not credited for her voice acting of Molotov Cocktease in the credits, probably due to mistake.

Preceded by:
"The Incredible Mr. Brisby"
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
September 4, 2004
Followed by:
"Ghosts of the Sargasso"


External LinksEdit

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