The Venture Bros. episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 45
Directed by Jackson Publick and Jon Schnepp
Written by Jackson Publick
Original air date November 23, 2009
Guest Stars

John Hodgman as Dale Hale
Seth Green as Lance Hale & Mrs. Z
Patton Oswalt as Wonder Boy
Brendon Small as Action Johnny

Episode Chronology
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"The Revenge Society"
Next →
"The Better Man"
List of The Venture Bros. episodes

Self-Medication is the 45th episode of the The Venture Bros.


This episode begins with Dr. Venture fleeing The Venture Compound from The Monarch and his flying cocoon. Dr Venture makes it to the roof, but falls off to his doom. He is caught by several ropes shooting out from a giant robotic hand ("The Scarionette") on the cocoon. The Monarch treats Dr. Venture as a puppet, using the ropes to control his limbs and make him dance. As it seems the Monarch finally has Dr. Venture, an alarm goes off. Dr. Venture checks his watch and tells the Monarch that he has a therapy session. The Monarch checks the new Mental Health Clause of The Guild of Calamitous Intent's rules, which Dr. Girlfriend conveniently has on hand, and confirms that a villain must release his arch if they have to receive psychiatric help. The Monarch calls off his henchmen, and they release the Venture Brothers and Sergeant Hatred. 21 tells Sgt. Hatred that he got lucky this time, and that he owes him one. The next scene flashes back to when Dr. (Rusty) Venture was a child seemingly talking to a therapist. He talks about how he can't make friends his own age, that he's always around adults who want to kidnap him, and that he doesn't even want to be a super scientist. As he speaks his father Dr. Jonas Venture (acting as his therapist) sneaks back into the room and pretends as if he had been there the whole time. He criticizes Rusty for blaming all his problems on his father. The scene fades into the present where Dr. Venture is talking to a real therapist. Apparently he is in a group therapy session for former “Boy Adventurers”. Among them are Action Johnny (Brendon Small), a former aged Wonder Boy (Patton Oswalt), two former boy detectives Lance & Dale Hale (Seth Green and John Hodgman) (parodies of The Hardy Boys with elements of Lyle and Erik Menendez), and a robot named Ro-Boy (a parody of Rusty the Boy Robot and Astro Boy). They each introduce themselves to Dr. Venture and talk about their problems. Meanwhile Sgt. Hatred, the Venture Brothers, and the Monarch's henchmen go to see a movie. Sgt. Hatred notices that there are many young children in the theatre and starts to worry about his "dirty little weakness". At discovering the movie involves elves that are eternally in the bodies of androgynous 13-year-old boys, Hatred asks "What, did Henry Darger write this?" Meanwhile Hank complains about the henchmen's butterfly wings being in the way of the movie.

The therapist is using puppet therapy on Action Johnny to help him deal with his issues. When Dr. Venture walks up for his turn the Therapist seemingly gets a charlie horse, but then spasms to the floor and dies. As they inspect the body, a viper slithers out of the Therapist's pants (Johnny says it's an Vietnamese Two-Step Viper, but the others say its an urban legend, confirming via googling it on a PDA). The snake then attacks Dr. Venture, who is holding the doctor's coffee cup, which contains snake pheromone. He spills it on Wonder Boy, who runs around the room, pursued by the snake. The snake passes over the deactivated Ro-Boy, making contact with his activation button and waking him up, whereupon Ro-Boy kills the snake with his laser eyes.

The therapy group decides to try and solve the Therapist's murder, finding a matchbook that Johnny recognizes. They travel to the bar, where Johnny notices a former henchman of Dr. Z. After the group gets involved in a bar brawl, they then travel to Dr. Z's home, and Johnny confronts him believing he killed their therapist, but Dr. Z denies it. Dr. Z's wife invites everyone to dinner. Dr. Zin tells them they need to grow up and to stop living in the past. He and his wife (Seth Green) lament that they were unable to have children, but Ro-Boy asks them if they would be willing to adopt him. Dr. Venture thanks them for helping him to realize he doesn't need therapy, having moved on from his unhappy childhood.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Hatred has left the movie due to running out of Nomolestol, a drug from the OSI that helps curb his compulsion to molest children. He has returned to the Venture Compound and locked himself in the panic room. Dean and Hank try to convince him to come out, but he refuses. Hank gets an idea to dress like Princess Tinyfeet to lure Hatred out of the panic room. Hatred comes out of the panic room only to be tranquilized by #21 and his squad. 21 thanks Hank for giving him a shot at Hatred, referring to 21's earlier comment at the beginning of the episode.

In the post credits sequence, at the Monarch's cocoon, 21 talks to 24's skull about the movie he just saw when the Monarch visits him in his room. 21 covers the skull with his boot and the Monarch asks if he was alone. 21 responds by saying he was pod-blogging...casting...diary and they briefly discuss the movie. Before the Monarch leaves, he inquires if 21's mission was a success. Their conversation reveals the Monarch and 21 are responsible for the Therapist's death (allowing him to continue arching Dr. Venture without any possible interference).

Connection to other episodesEdit

  • Henchmen 86 and 87 can be seen leaving the Venture Compound when told to retreat. This is the first time two Henchmen are seen in more than one episode besides 21 and 24.
  • It is revealed it was Sgt. Hatred's love for Princess Tinyfeet that controlled his pedophiliac urges before the OSI chemical treatments.
  • The character Wonder Boy in the episode, is the ex-sidekick of Captain Sunshine (a character who appears in Handsome Ransom). He was apparently abandoned by Sunshine after he turned 18 (a reference to Sunshine's alleged pederasty).
  • Action Johnny returns and is shown to be more emotionally balanced and further along on his recovery from drug addiction. However has clearly not gotten over it yet, as he was stealing the therapist's prescription pad after he was killed.
  • The fight scene with Dr. Venture and his therapy group takes place at Nightingales, the same strip club where Rusty first fell prey to Dr. Girlfriend, in the guise of "Charlene", in "Mid-Life Chrysalis", and where Hunter Gathers used to work, as seen in "The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I)".
  • Dr. Z, a former antagonist of Action Johnny, returns from his appearance in "The Buddy System". Despite appearing to be retired, it is still very probable that he is a member of the Guild's Council of 13, as one of their silhouetted members bears a striking resemblance to him and has a very similar voice - displayed at the beginning of Pomp & Circuitry. In Bot Seeks Bot, it is confirmed that Dr. Z is a member of The Council of 13.
  • Action Johnny talks to Dr. Venture about encounters with Daphne and Velma and mentions that he caught herpes from the latter.
  • The Therapist in this episode first appeared in "Powerless in the Face of Death", but his hair and beard are grayer.
  • 21 is once again seen talking to the charred skull of 24 in his room.
  • The Monarch has used a venomous snake as an implement of (attempted) murder before, as seen in the stinger of "The Doctor is Sin".
  • Dean uses the Net Launcher, which Phantom Limb gave to Brock in "Hate Floats", to restrain Sergeant Hatred.
  • One of the things that falls out of Sgt. Hatred's pockets is the cat Shrinky-Dink made by Dean shown in "Perchance to Dean".
  • Dr. Venture loses his shoe while running through the autowalk halls in his compound, as General Manhowers does in "The Doctor is Sin".
  • The pregnant raver Sky from Powerless in the Face of Death makes a return, no longer pregnant.
  • The ex-Wonderboy appears again in a photo of him as a child in the episode Every Which Way But Zeus

Cultural referencesEdit

  • The use of Snake Pheromones to use a snake to kill someone is a reference to Snakes on a Plane.
  • Ro-Boy is a parody of Astro Boy, though his design resembles Mega Man and Rusty from Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot.
  • The location of Ro-Boy's power button is a reference to Chi of Chobits
  • The ex-Wonder Boy uses the word "Holy" at the beginning of his sentences, this is a reference to Robin from the 1960s Batman TV series.
  • Another Batman reference takes place in the bar during the fight, when several actions are followed by animated captions containing words like "Pow!", "Crash!" and in one particular moment "Torn Meniscus!"
  • The ex-Wonder Boy mentions being unable to achieve arousal unless he has a bomb strapped to his chest, another reference to a frequent peril of Batman's sidekick Robin.
  • Ex-Wonder Boy's mask and curly hair bear a striking resemblance to an overweight Johnny Duncan, who played Robin in the 1949 serial "Batman and Robin".
  • It is implied that the movie the henchmen and Venture brothers watched was referenced in Showdown at Cremation Creek and is based on the Lord Of The Rings and Chronicles of Narnia. The reference 21 makes to the golden boat with all of the previous characters mirrors the ending of the Narnia series.
  • When Action Johnny states that the snake is "no old light house keeper in a rubber mask", is a reference to Scooby Doo.
  • In the group therapy scene after the therapist is killed by the snake, Dr. Venture refers to Lance Hale as "Encyclopedia Brown-noser," a reference to boy detective Encyclopedia Brown.
  • After the bar fight, in which Rusty was kicked in the groin, Action Johny asks him how his testicles are feeling. Rusty's answer, that Spirit is up and running but Opportunity isn't online yet, is a reference to the twin NASA Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
  • The Hale Brothers (Lance & Dale) are parodies of The Hardy Boys with elements of Lyle and Erik Menendez.
  • In the movie theater, Sgt. Hatred compares the film's transgenderist theme to the work of novelist Henry Darger, while the overall structure of the movie series, as well as its alluded plot and title ("Rings of the Realm"), resembles that of the Peter Jackson adaptations of The Lord of the Rings
  • When Sgt. Hatred complains about the paid advertisements which are run before the trailers, Dean specifically mentions his disgust of "the Kid Rock one about the Army". This is a reference to a U.S. Army National Guard recruitment video featuring Kid Rock which aired in theaters across the country throughout 2008 and 2009.
  • When Sgt. Hatred is in the Panic Room, he expresses his desire to go to Thailand and buy a "beautiful little brown boy-girl", and mentions that Gary Glitter told him where to find one. This is a reference to British pop star Gary Glitter, who was convicted in 1999 of possessing child pornography as well as being suspected to have sex with children in Thailand.
  • The therapist's office where Dr. Venture seeks treatment bears resemblance to the office used by Dr. Melfi on The Sopranos.
  • Hale constantly uses the search engine Google.
  • The Monarch mentions to 21 that he read a review of the movie on Ain't It Cool News.
  • Dr. Z's monologue about Mrs. Z is similar to a monologue from Raising Arizona.


  • In the scene where the Therapist drops to floor after being bitten by the snake, he drops his coffee mug and the contents are clearly spilled from it, however a few moments later Rusty realizes it is the snake pheromones that are attracting the snake to him, so he splashes the liquid in the cup onto the ex-Wonder Boy.

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 "Self-Medication" the credit reads Kimson "Beep-Boop" Albert.

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