"Pomp and Circuitry"
The Venture Bros. episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 10
Written by Jackson Publick
Original air date September 19th, 2010
Episode Chronology
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Pomp and Circuitry is the tenth episode of Season 4 and the overall forty ninth episode of the Venture Bros.


Dean and Hank Venture are surprised that they have finally "graduated" from their educational sleeping beds, and must decide whether they should go to college. Dean meekly accompanies his father, Dr. Venture to his father's alma mater, State University. But Hank who did not receive his diploma decides to join the secret paramilitary organization S.P.H.I.N.X.. Despite showing great skills as a potential agent (even managing to avoid having his memory wiped), he is still rejected by the agency. Brock Samson comforts Hank, encouraging him to give up on trying to be a spy and wait until he gets his high school diploma. Immediately afterward, Hank bangs his head on his learning bed and his diploma (which had been caught in a paper jam) comes out. Hank happily shows it to Brock before the latter quickly tells him he has to be eighteen to join the S.PH.I.N.X, dashing Hank's hopes again and he hits his head on the bed once more.

In a subplot, the disgraced supervillain Phantom Limb escapes from prison and recruits a depressed Professor Impossible to help him recover his lost limbs so that he might wreak revenge on the Guild. At the end of the episode, Phantom Limb's body parts are restored and Richard has decided to join him as a villain though he has difficulty trying to find a good villain name. The two are soon joined by a dethroned Baron Werner Ünderbheit who says "Excuse me, I want to join up with you guys"

Connections to Other EpisodesEdit

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • During Hank's S.P.H.I.N.X montage, he can be seen training with a robot resembling the fighter robot from Dune.
  • Billy Quizboy describes the information imparted to Hank and Dean via their learning beds as "more dated than Funk & Wagnalls," a reference to the now out-of-print Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedia.
  • Dr. Venture says the boys "have been around the globe more times than Gaëtan Dugas," Dugas was a flight attendant that was incorrectly regarded as the "patient zero" of AIDS.
  • Brock complains that the S.P.H.I.N.X. operative he is working with at the Vatican is a graduate of the Albert Merrill School. The Albert Merrill School was a vocational-technical high school located in New York City which offered computer, electrical, and engineering training to individuals without a high school diploma. The school's television advertisements (which featured Jimmy Randolph) were almost ubiquitous on New York City television stations. The school was successfully sued for admitting students it knew could never pass its courses (such as those who did not speak English)
  • Hunter Gathers references Honeycomb cereal when he says "this isn't the Honeycomb fucking Hideout". He also calls Hank Chachi, a reference to the Happy Days show. Chachi is the much less popular younger cousin of Fonzi, the popular character on the show.
  • The gorillas Brock Sampson fights are dressed like the Swiss Guard, the Pope's guards at the Vatican since the 15th century.
  • When The Phantom Limb dons the sunglasses he steals from the guard before meeting Professor Impossible, they share a great resemblance to Agent Smith's sunglasses in the Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions films.
  • Professor Impossible’s dark room with his limb stretched around as if it were paper, along with the glasses of urine, his disheveled appearance, and his mysophobia are all references to Howard Hughes' later years, as dramatized in the 2004 film The Aviator.
  • The title of the episode is a reference to the English composer Elgar's' Pomp and Circumstance Marches, a series of orchestral pieces written for graduation ceremonies and military parades. The most famous of which is March No. 1, also known as Land of Hope and Glory, which plays while the certificate is being printed.