"The Diving Bell Vs. The Butter-Glider"
The Venture Bros. episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 48
Directed by Jackson Publick
Written by Jackson Publick
Original air date September 12, 2010
Episode Chronology
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List of The Venture Bros. episodes

"The Diving Bell Vs. The Butter-Glider" is the 48th episode of the American animated television series The Venture Bros. Doctor Thaddeus Venture is seriously ill in the show's opening moments, so Sergeant Hatred reunites Dean and Hank Venture with Brock Samson, Master Billy Quizboy, Pete White, and the S.P.H.I.N.X. organization in an attempt to save his life. In a parody of the 1966 science fiction film Fantastic Voyage,[1] the Venture team is shrunk to microscopic size and injected into Dr. Venture's body to repair the damage done to him. In a subplot, Dr. Venture's villainous nemesis, The Monarch, purchases a new butterfly-themed personal flying device. His love for the device drives an emotional wedge between himself and his wife, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.

The title of the episode is a parody of the 1997 book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a memoir by the French journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby.[2] The book, in part, describes Bauby's life after suffering a stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome (a condition in which a patient is aware and awake but cannot move or communicate due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for the eyes).[3]

This episode first aired in the United States on September 12, 2010.[4] It resumed the fourth season after a nine-month interruption.[4][5]


The episode begins with a cold open which depicts Sgt. Hatred driving a Jeep-like vehicle at high speed down a sinuous mountain road, Dean Venture in the front along side him, Dr. Thaddeus Venture lying prone in the rear, and Hank Venture shooting a tripod-mounted machine gun at the Cocoon headquarters of The Monarch, who is in hot pursuit. Although the Venture team appears to be escaping, the audience is shown that #21 is in control of the cocoon. The cocoon comes close to the ground, the base opens, and Tim-Tom and Kevin (dressed in their "Pupa Twins" costumes) are ejected from the cocoon—riding butterfly-themed motorcycles and firing machine guns. Hank runs out of ammunition, and Hatred drives the vehicle off the cliff and down the rock-strewn hill below. Tim-Tom and Kevin, realizing they cannot take the cliff on their motorcycles, skid and lose control of their vehicles. Both men and the motorcycles fly off the cliff, falling through the air. Suddenly, the Pupa Twins shed their costumes to reveal Monarch Henchmen uniforms beneath. They use their wings to descend gently to the ground, where they see that Hatred has guided the automobile to a hospital. Hatred skids to a stop in front of the hospital's emergency room, and Hank falls to the ground. The hospital personnel try to aid Hank while Hatred picks up Dr. Venture and rushes him inside. Tim-Tom and Kevin request to continue inside, but 21 denies the action, as it is a Catholic hospital, which he considers hallowed ground.

A very minimal three-second title sequence is seen, accompanied by a musical cue. After the title sequence, the show opens with The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch attending a party for King Gorilla, who has been released from prison and is clearly in poor health (it is assumed he is suffering from stage 4 lung cancer, due to the reaction the party-goers have to the Monarchs' gift: a carton of cigarettes). When the headquarters cocoon arrives in the neighborhood, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch goes to debrief the henchmen after their first solo mission, while The Monarch stays behind to explain that nobody had told him of King Gorilla's condition. Back at the cocoon, #21 voices the anger of the henchmen at their lack of better weaponry and armor while Dr. Mrs. The Monarch tries to raise more mundane, minor issues such as using too much of the cocoon's bandwidth for personal reasons. #21 proposes a major upgrade in the henchmen's weapons and armor (complete with audio-visual presentation on the control room's giant television screen), but Dr. Mrs. The Monarch dismisses his proposal as too costly, as well as some of the items not actually existing. Just then, The Monarch flies into the control room atop his new Butter-Glider, a wedge-shaped, smoke-emitting flying device which looks like a stylized golden butterfly (similar to the Green Goblin's Goblin Glider). He boasts about its exorbitant cost, to the anger of the departing henchmen and the disgust of Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.

Back at the Venture compound, Dr. Venture lies comatose on a table in the lab, his right shoulder injured. Master Billy Quizboy and Pete White are summoned to help. They arrive in their new Conjectural Technologies motorcycle with sidecar, a high-technology vehicle which they purchased with their insurance money. Sgt. Hatred explains that Dr. Venture suddenly just became paralyzed, which is why they rushed him to the hospital. The hospital personnel ran an MRI scan of Dr. Venture, but metal inside his body caused damage to the MRI scanner and to Venture's shoulder. The hospital also refused further help due to Dr. Venture being uninsured, and Sgt. Hatred's Diners Club credit card was denied as a means of payment. White asks Billy if perhaps the cause was the metal pins Billy used to re-attach Venture's arm, but Billy quickly changes the subject. Billy suggests that they shrink down Hatred and the boys inside a submarine, and inject the craft into Venture's body to determine what is wrong with him. Billy and White argue over which motion picture trope this best represents. While the two are talking in the bar, The Monarch flies across the countryside, singing a song about how much he loves his Butter-Glider.

Hank and Dean offer the X-3, the Venture submarine. But when the group goes to the compound's indoor submarine pen, they discover the X-3 is gone. Suddenly, a S.P.H.I.N.X. submersible rises from the water and Brock Samson exits (leading three captives).

The Venture team and Samson go the secret S.P.H.I.N.X. headquarters on the Venture compound, where they meet with Col. Hunter Gathers. Gathers initially refuses to loan the group his submersible, and instead demands that Brock mind-wipe the group. Brock refuses, saying that the Venture boys discover their secret lair every other week and the constant mind-wiping is making the boys buggy. He makes Hank and Dean demonstrate, and the boys display paraphasia (substituting words for what they intend to say; for example, "Wednesday" instead of "pink"). Gathers allows use of the S.P.H.I.N.X. sub, but Hatred demands that he lead the mission. Brock Samson reasons with him, arguing that, since Hatred is Venture's bodyguard, he should stay behind to guard Venture and everybody inside of him. Hatred agrees.

Brock, Shore Leave, and the boys enter the submarine and Billy uses Venture's hand-held shrink ray gun to get the vehicle down to size. The now-tiny sub is injected into Venture's neck. The boys and Shore Leave joke about their mission, comparing it to the electronic board game Operation (to Brock's annoyance). Billy and White bet as to whether it is a blood clot or a tumor. A series of jump cuts moves the action between several scenes. Inside the body of Dr. Venture, the submersible comes upon a large blockage in a blood vessel. Back at The Monarch's cocoon, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch discovers the Butter-Glider in bed with The Monarch. She refuses to sleep next to the machine, and The Monarch (reacting as if the Butter-Glider were a lover) accuses her of jealousy. She leaves the bedroom angrily. Brock, Hank, and Dean exit the craft to remove it with laser-beam guns. They quickly discover that something metallic is beneath the fleshy blockage. Inside Venture's body, Brock and the boys discover the X-3, the skeletons of what appear to be Hank and Dean (identifiable by the clothes they are wearing) at the controls.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch has gone to the bar within the cocoon. To her surprise, she immediately is given a vodka and tonic, her cocktail of choice. She sees #21 sitting in a booth, and goes to sit with him. #21 is sitting with the skull and ghost of Henchman #24, who says he ordered the drink for her and that she is going to flirt with #21. #21 expresses his disbelief, as #24 can't interact with anything or be seen by anyone but him. Throughout the conversation #21 has with Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, #24 keeps asserting that she is flirting with #21. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch says that #21's idea for improved armor and weapons is a good one, but she has to convince The Monarch first. She also expresses her disgust for the Butter-Glider. #21 offhandedly says that the henchmen are so angry, they might go on strike. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch expresses surprise, and then says that might be a good idea.

Hank and Dean conclude that someone stole the X-3 and dressed up skeletons in their clothes. Brock does not disabuse the boys of this (as he has worked through many previous episodes to prevent the boys from learning they are clones and knows that these are a missing set of clones, "the Sevens"). Brock and Shore Leave pilot the X-3 and S.P.H.I.N.X. submarine toward Venture's eye, to exit from a tear duct

Suddenly, an alarm alerts Hatred, Billy, and White to intruders. Hatred goes outside to meet them, and discovers a large group of The Monarch's henchmen, led by #21 at the entrance to the main building. He tells them that a medical emergency has triggered a rule of the Guild of Calamitous Intent that prevents any "arching" (a villainous attack). #21 removes his eye goggles, and announces that the henchmen are not operating under Guild rules. A horrified Hatred flees indoors, triggering an alarm that encloses the building's entryways and windows in steel shutters. The henchmen fire butterfly-shaped tranquilizer darts, and Hatred barely makes it inside. Hatred rushes into the laboratory, where he injects his chest with adrenalin to counteract the drugs (and possibly to alleviate an oncoming heart attack).

Meanwhile, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch has returned to the bedroom, and contacts The Monarch via her communicator. She reveals that #21 has threaten to quit and left half-cocked to kill Dr. Venture. She lies and tells The Monarch that he feels that he is not man enough to do so himself. This outrages The Monarch, who leaps on his Butter-Glider and heads for the Venture compound. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch closes her communicator, and in an aside reminds herself that she must be ruthless.

After a jump cut, the audience is shown that Henchmen 21 has captured H.E.L.P.eR., the Venture robot (newly re-assembled with parts from Dr. Venture's "walking eye"). After the jump cut, the audience is shown H.E.L.P.eR. breaking into the security system, as #21 holds the robot's own torn-off turret to his head. H.E.L.P.eR.'s actions open the steel shutters, to Hatred's shock and dismay.

Just then, The Monarch arrives on his Butter-Glider. His loathing of Dr. Venture has restored his true sense of purpose, just as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch said it would, and #21 shows obeisance to him. Hatred attempts to get Venture's comatose body into the panic room, but Billy and White refuse to allow him to do so for fear it would destroy the submersibles still inside Venture's body. The Monarch bursts into the lab aboard his Butter-Glider, and renders Billy, Hatred and White unconscious. But Brock and the boys, aboard the X-3, become lost inside Venture's brain. The X-3 accidentally crashes into a part of Venture's brain, causing his hand to rise up and slap The Monarch (even though Venture remains comatose). The Monarch assumes Venture is conscious. Another blunder by the X-3 causes Venture to sit upright. The Monarch ensnares Venture with bolas, and flies out of the laboratory window with Venture in tow.

As The Monarch laughs maniacally, Sgt. Hatred wakes and rushes out onto the balcony. He aims the shrink ray gun, switches it to "Grow," and fires. Behind the Butter-Glider, Dr. Venture's body begins to grow to enormous proportions. Suddenly several hundred feet in length, Venture's weight proves too much for the Butter-Glider to carry and the body and glider crash to earth. A stunned Monarch sits next to his smashed glider, wondering what happened. Above him, the S.P.H.I.N.X. submersible (now full-size) teeters at the edge of Dr. Venture's eye. It falls off Venture's face and onto a stunned Monarch.

After the closing credits run, a post-credits scene depicts Billy and White arguing about where the X-3 can be inside Venture's body, while Shore-Leave sits calmly to one side. Hank and Dean try to describe where they are, their paraphasia causing them to describe the things they see inaccurately. By interpreting the boys' description and using a metal detector, Billy discovers that the X-3 is lodged in Venture's prostate. White asks how it will be removed. Billy lays a medical glove, a bottle of personal lubricant, and a pornographic magazine on the table, and White expresses his dismay.


Reviewer Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode an "A-," lauding the tight writing, the absence of "structural trickery", "great pop culture nods and one-liners", and "the mortality theme" in the subplot about the Butter-Glider.[6] However, the show (and series) came in for light criticism for containing too many in-universe jokes and too much self-referencing.[6] He called the show one of the funniest on television.[6] Kevin Fitzpatrick, reviewing for UGO Networks, asserted that the episode made the case for The Venture Bros. as "one of the best animated shows airing."[7] Fitzpatrick praised the episode for attempting to "re-establish character dynamics and re-assert the trademark wit", for being rife with self-awareness and pop culture references, and for its ever-present in-universe self-referencing.[7]

Cultural referencesEdit

Reviewer Scott Thill of called the series "hilarious, smart and subversive" and Season 4.0 "transgressive".[8] Regarding the show's penchant for embedding large numbers of pop cultural references in each episode, he wrote, "Shows like these -- of which there are few (see our short list of cult television classics for more) -- fully warrant their own annotated companions."[8] Liz Ohanesian of LA Weekly declared the show's pop culture references (along with its relatability, satire, and toilet humor) one of its critical elements.[9]

Among the cultural references included in this episode are the following:

  • When Tim Tom and Kevin inform Henchman #21 of Team Venture entering a Catholic hospital, #21 belays any order of attack because it is "hallowed ground," which may be a reference to the Highlander films and television series. It may also be a reference to the common trope in vampire stories that bars these creatures from entering holy ground.[10] This "hallow ground is sacred" rule is also mentioned by Brock Samson in the episode "Past Tense", when he observes Baron Ünderbheit will not attack the Venture family during Mike Sorayama's funeral.
  • During the discussion with Dr. Mrs. The Monarch regarding upgrades to the Henchman's uniforms, Henchman #21 yells "Pistole!" in order to get the attention of the other henchman. This is a direct reference to the 1981 motion picture Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Marion Ravenwood shouts the same word during a drinking game to get the attention of the Nepalese.[citation needed]
  • The Monarch explains the villain-henchman relationship as one of total fealty, stating that "you say jump and they say, 'which shark?'" This is a reference to the pop-culture expression "jumping the shark," commonly known as the episode where a TV show goes too far and begins to decline in popularity. Publick and Hammer had wondered aloud during a Comicon appearance whether Dermot's appearance on the show in the episode "The Buddy System" was such an event for this series.[citation needed]
  • The Monarch's Butter-Glider song and the visual sequence which accompanies it is remarkably similar to and parodies the "A Whole New World" song and visual sequence from the 1992 Walt Disney Pictures film, Aladdin.[11]
  • The episode is a parody of the 1966 science fiction film Fantastic Voyage,[1] a fact which is explicitly mentioned by Billy Quizboy and Pete White. In that film, a submersible is shrunk to microscopic size so that it can be injected into a comatose man's body. The crew of the sub are tasked with finding a blood clot in the man's brain, exiting the sub, repairing the clot, and exiting the body through the man's tear ducts.
  • Billy Quizboy and Pete White argue over whether sending a miniaturized submarine into Dr. Venture's innards is more like the movie Fantastic Voyage or the 1987 science fiction/comedy film Innerspace. In the film Innerspace, a United States Navy pilot is miniaturized inside a submarine. When spies try to seize the secret of the miniaturization process, the submarine is accidentally injected into a mild-mannered grocery store clerk, who now must outwit and out-fight the spies in a series of adventures.[12] Ironically, White loses the debate. But by the episode's conclusion, the X-3's interaction with Dr. Venture's brain causes Venture to ward off one of The Monarch's attacks, similar to the plot of Innerspace. Innerspace co-starred actor Kevin McCarthy, who died the day before this episode aired.[13]
  • The Monarch's "Butter-Glider" personal flying machine is remarkably similar to the Goblin Glider devised and utilized by the Marvel Comics supervillain, the Green Goblin.[14] The manner in which he drags Dr. Venture behind him is a parody of the Green Goblin's attack on Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #39, a famed issue in the character's history.[15]
  • The title of the episode is a parody of the 1997 book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby.[2] In the book, the diving bell referred to the physical body and the butterfly Bauby's mind. These terms are given physical manifestation in this episode, with the diving bell referring to the submarine and the butterfly the Butter-Glider.
  • Hank and Dean Venture, as well as Shore Leave, recite lines from a 1970s television commercial for the electronic board game Operation, in which players attempt to extract plastic representations of various body parts and organs from metal cups placed inside a cartoonish-looking patient without the metal tweezers they are using touching the sides of the cup (and triggering the buzzer).[16][17]
  • This episode depicts #21's misguided desire for stronger weapons and armor rather than better planning. His animated video presentation of his proposal may be similar to the way the United States armed forces have been accused of over-reliance on PowerPoint, a problem described as "dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control..."[18]
  • While inside the S.P.H.I.N.X. submarine inside Dr. Venture's body, Shore Leave says that his "Sonar's lighting up like Tony Manero's gonna dance on it!" He's referring to Tony Manero, the main character and excellent dancer in the 1977 disco-themed motion picture Saturday Night Fever.[19] The dance floor featured in the film has multi-colored lights underneath, which are illuminated in different patterns as the characters dance.
  • The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch discuss King Gorilla's precipitous decline in health by observing that he "looks like a gorilla suit with nobody in it...wearing David Byrne's Stop Making Sense suit." This is a reference to the oversized suit musician David Byrne wore in the rock concert film, Stop Making Sense.[20]
  • At one point, #24 sarcastically replies, "I also told you to look for my real murderers. How's that going for ya, O.J.?" He is making a reference to a 1998 claim by O. J. Simpson that he would dedicate the remainder of his life to finding his wife's murderer(s), a claim met with widespread scepticism.[21] (In 1995, Simpson had been tried and found innocent of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, at Brown's home.)[22]
  • The ghost of #24 claims to have ordered a drink for Dr. Mrs. The Monarch in the bar, and #21 expresses disbelief—telling #24 that no one can see him except #21, and that he should not be able to affect corporeal things. #21 then wonders if he is losing his mind. This sequence echoes numerous scenes in the television series Battlestar Galactica, which aired from 2004 to 2009. During the series, Gaius Baltar repeatedly sees what he believes is the noncorporeal representation of the humanoid Cylon Number Six. He is unsure if this is a manifestation generated by technology or simply a product of his own crazed mind, and he is further confused when, at several points in the series, Number Six appears able to alter the real world by picking up, hitting, or moving objects.[23]
  • Upon discovering the remains of Hank and Dean in the X-3, Brock comments "So that's what happened to the Sevens," implying that the discovery closed a heretofore unresolved mystery regarding the disappearance of the seventh set of Dean and Hank clones. In light of the above-mentioned nod to Battlestar Galactica, this can be seen as a reference to the mystery regarding the Cylon Number Sevens as well. Some uncertainty regarding the ultimate fate of the Sevens was introduced in the final season of Battlestar Galactica, leading to widespread speculation among fans about where the Sevens would turn up.
  • Billy Quizboy and Pete White's Conjectural Technologies motorcycle is reminiscent of a similar vehicle used in the 1985 ABC television series Street Hawk.[24] That show revolved a high-tech, crime-fighting motorcycle designed to fight urban crime, and it co-starred an actor named Richard Venture.[24]
  • Sgt. Hatred accuses Brock Sampson of "pulling a Palin" when he gave up his post as the Venture bodyguard in reference to Sarah Palin's resignation from the office of Governor of Alaska 18 months before the completion of her term.
  • When Pete, Billy, Sgt. Hatred, and the Venture brothers are trying to figure out why Dr. Venture suddenly and mysteriously collapsed, Billy leads what he calls "the differential diagnosis." This is a medical technique used to diagnose disease in a patient. It is commonly depicted on the television series House, and Pete White later directly references the show by saying he and Billy are addicted to it.
  • Billy Quizboy's exclamation of "We got one!" is a reference to the film Ghostbusters. In that motion picture, the character of Janine Melnitz shouts the same phrase when the team receives their first call to capture a ghost.
  • The Mohegan Sun which Sgt. Hatred says he was kicked out of is a real Native American casino resort in Uncasville, Connecticut which is about two and half hours from New York City where The Venture Brothers is produced.
  • When #21 asks why they don't rob a bank or ransom the moon to finance his powered armor, his statement is similar to plot of the movie Despicable Me, in which the villain Gru (played by Steve Carrell) plans to steal the moon to hold it for ransom.
  • Hank's claim that Thaddeus Venture was a robot built by Jonas Venture is similar to the origin of Astro Boy, whose creator built him to replace his son, who died in a terrible accident.
  • Hunter Gathers states he doesn't want his submarine to be used to fight the Cavity Creeps. The Cavity Creeps were villains who made dental cavities in teeth, and who were featured in a series of animated television commercials promoting Crest toothpaste.[25] The character designer and storyboardist for the commercials was legendary Marvel Comics artist Jack Kirby (whose work for Marvel is commonly referenced on The Venture Bros.).[26]
  • How Pete and Billy were called with a large search light is an obvious parody to the Bat-Signal from the Batman comic book series.
  • The image of the anthropomorphic gorilla getting a "boot" out of prison on the banner at King Gorilla's homecoming party is remarkably similar to the "Get Out of Jail Free" card that a player can win by landing on the Chance square in the board game Monopoly.[27]
  • Referring to the wound to Dr. Venture's body, Sgt. Hatred says that Venture "went all Jiffy Pop" when the MRI scanner was used on him. This is a reference to Jiffy Pop popcorn, a product which combines unpopped popcorn kernels and oil with an aluminum pan and folded aluminum foil lid. As the pan is heated, the popping corn causes the foil to unfold and puff up.

Connections to previous episodesEdit

  • The Tim-Tom and Kevin first appeared as the Pupa Twins in the third season episode "Tears of a Sea Cow." Prior to this episode, they only appear in their "Murderous Moppets" or "Pupa Twins" costumes. This marks their first appearance in full Monarch henchmen uniforms.
  • One of the missiles to be deployed in #21's Mark V Monarch suit is named "The Viceroy." In Season 3, #21 uses Viceroy as a pseudonym when contemplating taking over the Monarch's villainy.
  • The fact that Monarch henchmen wings actually provide flight was first identified in the season two finale, "Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part II)".
  • Metal pins from the surgery Billy performed to reattach Dr. Venture's arm in "Victor. Echo. November." are mentioned as a possible reason for the damage done to the hospital MRI scanner and the current condition of Venture's shoulder. However, Venture had his left arm reattached in that episode, while his right shoulder is injured here.
  • The shrink ray used in this episode was initially seen in the first season episode "Tag Sale – You're It!," again in the second season episode "Escape to the House of Mummies Part II," and again in "Handsome Ransom."
  • The panic room Hatred tries to get Venture into was initially seen in the first season episode "Home Insecurity."
  • The "walking eye" was introduced in the second season episode "Fallen Arches," while H.E.L.P.eR.'s original body was destroyed in the third season finale, "The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II)." Dr. Venture was shown reconstructing his body in the fourth season premiere, "Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel."
  • When Brock, Dean, Hank and Shore Leave approach the clot, Dean asks "Are we going to find another uncle?" referencing the events involving Jonas Venture Jr in "Return to Spider Skull Island."
  • When Brock, Dean, and Hank encounter the X-3 inside Dr. Venture's bloodstream, Brock notices "So that's what happened to the sevens...", implying another mysterious death of previous Venture brothers clones unknown to Brock and Dr. Venture. Audiences saw a number of these deaths depicted on screen in the second season premiere "Powerless in the Face of Death," and another death in the second season episode "¡Viva los Muertos!"
  • The Monarch recognizes Pete White from college, and mentions that White used to have a college radio show named "The White Room." Audiences first learned that White and The Monarch attended college with Dr. Venture (and some of Venture's other nemeses) and about White's radio show in the first season episode "Past Tense."
  • Billy and White mention that they bought their high-tech motorcycle and sidecar with insurance money. This is a reference to the $10 million in insurance money they received in the fourth season episode "Handsome Ransom."
  • King Gorilla was first seen in the first season episode "Return to Spider-Skull Island." He played a major role in the second season premiere episode "Powerless in the Face of Death," where he first attempted to anally rape The Monarch and later assisted him in escaping the penitentiary so that The Monarch could reunite with Dr. Girlfriend. This latter act may explain why The Monarch has a soft spot for King Gorilla and wished to stay at the party.
  • This episode depicts #21's desire for stronger weapons and armor rather than better planning, a problem first identified in the second season episode "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills."
  • This episode marks the first appearance of the X-3, Dr. Venture's submarine. The X-1, their supersonic aircraft, was first mentioned in the series pilot, "The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay." The X-2, their high-technology hydrofoil, initially appeared in the first season episode "Ghosts of the Sargasso," and given to Dr. Jonas Venture, Jr. in the second season episode "Powerless in the Face of Death."
  • Hank Venture's diagnosis that Dr. Venture's paralysis is caused by "another new uncle" refers to the incidents described in the first season finale episode "Return to Spider-Skull Island." Throughout the first season, Dr. Venture had nightmares of being attacked by a twin in the womb. In "Return to Spider-Skull Island," the audience learns that Venture did have a twin, and consumed him whole in utero. The twin, Dr. Jonas Venture, Jr., subsequently was removed from Thaddeus Venture's body.
  • The mind-wiping of Hank and Dean Venture was first performed by S.P.H.I.N.X. in the previous episode, "Pinstripes & Poltergeists." Brock Samson's admission that the boys' mind-wiping has occurred many times since helps to locate this episode in the in-universe chronology as occurring several months after "Pinstripes & Poltergeists."
  • The whiteboard on which Billy Quizboy has listed Dr. Venture's patient characteristics, symptoms, and possible diagnoses lists "pops pills" as one patient characteristic. Dr. Venture was first seen ingesting diet pills in the season one episode "Careers in Science." Other characters in the show have also assumed that Venture is addicted to diet pills, as noted by Roy Brisby in "The Incredible Mr. Brisby" and Professor Richard Impossible in "Ice Station – Impossible!"
  • When the X-3 is discovered missing, Pete White sarcastically claims that Dr. Venture probably sold it. This is probably a reference to the episode "Tag Sale—You're It!", whose plot revolves around Venture selling off large quantities of his father's inventions to raise much-needed cash.
  • Princess Tinyfeet's cameo at King Gorilla's party marks only the second time this character has appeared on screen, despite being mentioned a large number of times by Sgt. Hatred. Her first appearance was in the second season episode "Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part I)." Hatred and Dr. Venture see her through a window in "Return to Malice," but she is never seen by the audience.

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 "The Diving Bell Vs. The Butter-Glider" the credit reads Kimson "Pistolé" Albert.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Slifkin, VideoHound's Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era, 2004, p. 177-178.
  2. 2.0 2.1 See, generally: Bauby, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death, 1997.
  3. Dolce and Sazbon, The Post-Traumatic Vegetative State, 2002, p. 36.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gillin, "On TV This Weekend," St. Petersburg Times, September 10, 2010.
  5. Jackson Publick (2010-03-27). "A Bold New Day Dawns...". Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Handlen, "The Venture Bros.: 'The Diving Bell Vs. The Butter Glider',", September 13, 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Fitzpatrick, "The Venture Bros: 'The Diving Bell' Butter-Glides Into Our Hearts,", September 13, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Thill, "Taking the Pulse of Pop Culture," September 10, 2010.
  9. Ohanesian, "Doc Hammer, Jackson Publick and the Cult of 'The Venture Bros.'," LA Weekly, September 9, 2010.
  10. Hamilton, Vampires, 2007, p. 12.
  11. Degli-Esposti, Postmodernism in the Cinema, 1998, p. 53.
  12. Griffin and Masters, Hit and Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood, 1997, p. 128.
  13. Gates, "Kevin McCarthy, Actor, Dies at 96," New York Times, September 12, 2010.
  14. Couper-Smartt, The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Vol. 4: Spider-Man, 2006, p. 45-46.
  15. "'How Green Was My Goblin!' The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #39." Marvel Database Project. No date. Accessed 2010-09-13.
  16. Walsh, Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them, 2005, p. 162-163.
  17. Classic TV Commercial for Operation from Milton Bradley
  18. Buhmiller, "We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint," New York Times, April 26, 2010.
  19. Mansour, From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century, 2005, p. 492.
  20. Gittins, Talking Heads: Once in a Lifetime: The Stories Behind Every Song, 2004, p. 90.
  21. Abrahamson, "Simpson Expands on Slaying Remark," Los Angeles Times, January 16, 1998; Farber, "Whistling In The Dark," Esquire, February 1998.
  22. See, generally: Hunt, O.J. Simpson Facts and Fictions: News Rituals in the Construction of Reality, 1999.
  23. Porter Lavery, and Robson, Finding Battlestar Galactica: An Unauthorized Guide, 2008, p. 119-123.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Terrace, Crime Fighting Heroes of Television: Over 10,000 Facts From 151 shows, 1949-2001, 2002, p. 164-165.
  25. Schneider, Children's Television: The Art, the Business, and How It Works, 1987, p. 59-61.
  26. Kirby and Morrow, The Collected Jack Kirby Collector, 2004, p. 180.
  27. Orbanes, The MONOPOLY Companion: The Players' Guide, 2007, p. 41.