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"Perchance to Dean"
The Venture Bros. episode
Perchance to Dean.png
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 3
Directed by Jackson Publick and Jon Schnepp
Written by Jackson Publick
Production code 4-42
Original air date November 1, 2009
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"Handsome Ransom"
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"Return to Malice"
List of The Venture Bros. episodes

Perchance to Dean is the third episode of Season 4 and the overall forty-second episode of The Venture Bros.


Hank has been grounded for being rude to his father in front of guests. Meanwhile, Dean - showing signs of a developing mustache - appears to have become the golden child of the Venture family. Rusty continues to push an interest in super-science within Dean by rewarding him with his own lab (based in the Venture compound's panic room), a chemistry set, and an introduction to his muse, which turns out to be Progressive Rock.

But all is not well in the house of Venture. A deformed "clone slug" apparently survived an abortion attempt during Brock's first days at the Compound, and has been living in the attic ever since, growing more and more resentful of the blessed existence of Hank and Dean. He is attempting to gain the affection of Dr. Venture, or at least of an apparition of him, by constructing a suit out of the skins of the various iterations of Dean that have died over the years. The slug, codenamed D-19, needs just one more piece to complete his suit.

A Black UPS delivery man delivers the explosives Sergeant Hatred has ordered so that he can booby trap the Venture compound with explosive Dr. Venture decoys. When Hank sees the delivery man he asks if he can hear his thoughts (a reference to The Shining) which Dr. Venture mocks him for. Venture then realizes that he had forgotten about Dean listening to his records and rushes to his rescue with Hatred. After reviving Dean with a tub of ice water, Dean shouts that he's had a breakthrough and gets to work.

While Hank is still doing chores Dermott shows up. When he sees that one of Hank's chores is to wash the car he suggests that they should go and give the car a reason for being washed. They go out and take it for a joyride through the Venture Compound. Dermott comments that he wanted to hotwire the car, but Hank stopped him because Hank already had the keys. Meanwhile, D-19 is digging up the mass grave of dead Hank and Dean clones (where Brock has buried them all these years, greatly expanded after the slaughter in the season 3 finale) in order to get the last piece for his suit. While dragging Dean's corpse away, Hank drives up in the car and hits the already dead Dean clone. Thinking he's killed his brother he freaks out as Dermott eggs him on by telling him how horrible jail will be.

The UPS delivery man, who apparently does have the Shining, receives a premonition and calls the cops to tell them that something horrible is going to happen at the Venture Compound. The police arrive and are creeped out by the explosive Dr. Venture statues which they think are real people who have been brainwashed. They send an officer in to scout the area who finds the mass grave of dead clones so the police prepare to raid the compound.

Frustrated at his failure to secure the final piece needed to complete his "Dean suit", D-19 goes back to his room and speaks to a hallucination of his father who reminds him that there is still one Dean left...the currently alive one. D-19 goes down to the kitchen to collect a weapon and knocks out Sergeant Hatred. When Dean rushes in to check on his experiment (which he had left in the oven) D-19 attacks. Dean, believing that he accidentally created D-19 with his experiment to regrow his hair, flees and the two accidentally set Dean's lab in the panic room on fire. Sensing the fire, the automated system drops Dr. Venture towards the panic room (normally the safest place in the compound), but he manages to stop himself from falling into the flames. The sprinkler system awakens Hatred who goes to help when the police raid begins.

Hank, thinking that the police have come for him, realizes that he has to flee. After Dermott says he can't take the car, since it was the murder weapon, he decides to take the people mover from The Buddy System. The police arrest Dr. Venture and Hatred. As Hank and Dermott flee past them in the people mover, they give chase.

Meanwhile, Dean is still running from D-19. He manages to collect his hover boots and tries to use them to flee, but D-19 grabs onto him and they rocket together into the air.

While passing a trailer park, Dermott tells Hank to stop and gets out of the people mover. He tells Hank that he can't go with him to Mexico, as he has a curfew, but he gives Hank a roll of bills. Hank continues on, the police still chasing him.

Dean and D-19 have crashed back onto the Venture Compound grounds. When D-19 goes to attack Dean again, he's stopped by the hallucination of the father who tells him that he never needed the Dean suit, he just needed a father's love. The hallucination tells D-19 to hug him and when he does, he explodes. The hallucination was actually one of the explosive Dr. Venture statues. Witnessing the explosion from the front doors, the real Dr. Venture wonders who that person (D-19) was.

After the credits, Hank is seen relaxing on the beach and sipping a drink while tropical music plays. This is quickly interrupted by Dr. Venture—it was a fantasy brought on by listening to one of Hatred's Jimmy Buffet records in the egg chair—who blames him for all the episode's troubles, including the things that Dean actually did.

Episode Cast[]

First Appearances[]

Connections to Other Episodes[]

Assassinanny 911

  • The woman who serves Hank a drink in his beach fantasy resembles the island girl that Brock rendezvoused with in Assassinanny 911.

Dia de Los Dangerous!

Eeney, Meeney, Miney...Magic!

Past Tense

  • In the flashback at the beginning of the episode, Thaddeus talks to Brock as if he barely knows him ("Don't talk much, do you?") and sarcastically insults him, despite having been his roommate in college, as revealed in Past Tense. However, in that episode it was revealed that the two had such wildly different schedules that they met only twice, explaining why they would know little about one another. Additionally, in their last encounter Brock had bluntly informed Thaddeus that his father was dead, and thus as an adult Venture may have harbored a grudge against him, explaining his hostility. (In this opening scene, Brock, indeed, does not speak at all. Patrick Warburton's voice is not in this episode.)

The Buddy System

  • Dermott is revealed to live in a trailer park in the hills above the Venture Compound with his mother (who is apparently voiced using re-used audio of her last appearance).
  • Dermott also claims that Dean "cheap shotted" him when they fought, further claiming to have been sick at the time.

The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I)

  • Dean's stuffed giraffe toy, "Mister Reachy", finds its way into the hands of D-19; it had previously been taken from Dean's bed, slashed and cast aside by the Murderous Moppets in The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I). D-19 most likely retrieved and stitched it up afterward since the compound was mostly empty during this episode.

Cultural References[]

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

  • When Dean first begins listening to prog rock, his hallucinations end with a sequence similar to the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey.


  • Upon regaining consciousness from his "Floyd hole" in the bathtub, Dean exclaims "Eureka!" which is a reference to the well known anecdote of the Golden Crown, in which Archimedes, while in a bath, discovers how to use water to measure density, and upon his discovery, also exclaims "Eureka!"


  • Dr. Venture tells Dean that he'd usually introduce Dean to Progressive Rock with something more accessible like Asia.

Bill Nye the Science Guy

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

  • While arguing with his father in the bathroom, as the shot pans through the ventilation pipe, Hank can be heard shouting, "Attica! Attica!" This is a reference to Dog Day Afternoon, in which the character played by Al Pacino uses the same cry against police brutality (the chant itself references the Attica Prison riot).

Dunkin' Donuts

  • When Hank and Dermot are doing donuts in Dr. Venture's car, Hank exclaims, "Time to make the donuts!", a reference to a famous ad campaign for Dunkin' Donuts.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)


Elmo in Grouchland (1999)

  • Dermott claims that he snuck into the theater to watch Fight Club, which seems unlikely since Fight Club was released in 1999 and Dermott would have been a small child at the time; however, he mentions that he was originally taken to see Elmo in Grouchland, a far more child-friendly film, by his mother.

Fight Club (1999)

  • Dermott claims that he snuck into the theater to watch Fight Club, which seems unlikely since Fight Club was released in 1999 and Dermott would have been a small child at the time; however, he mentions that he was originally taken to see Elmo in Grouchland, a far more child-friendly film, by his mother.


  • The title is a reference to a line from William Shakespeare's tragedy, Hamlet, in which the hero compares dying to drifting into a dreamy slumber: "To sleep, perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub." Notably, in the episode Dean undergoes several dreams and lapses into a death-like coma which Dr. Venture awakens him from; additionally, the clone of Dean suffers a similar situation to Hamlet himself, being told by a hallucination of his father to kill what he sees as an usurper.

Heaven's Gate (1997)

  • The delivery man sees Dean flying overhead and claims "it's the comet these poor fools think they're gonna fly away to heaven on", a reference to the suicide cult Heaven's Gate.

Heavy Metal (1981)

  • Part of Dean's prog rock influenced hallucination is an homage to the 1981 film Heavy Metal.


  • Dermott tells Hank he has to remove his fingerprints so INTERPOL can't track him.

Jacob's Ladder (1990)

  • Dr. Venture revives Dean from his "Floyd hole" by dumping him in a bath full of ice water. This may be a reference to a similar scene in the movie Jacob's Ladder.

Jimmy Buffett

  • Sgt. Hatred gets mad at Hank for borrowing his Jimmy Buffett album without asking.

King Crimson


Ovalia Egg Chair

  • The chair Dean sits in while listening to prog rock is an Ovalia Egg Chair. It was designed by Danish industrial designer Henrik Thor-Larsen and first displayed in 1968. The Ovalia Egg Chair resembles Eero Aarnio's Ball Chair, but has narrower proportions.

Pink Floyd

Prog rock

Psycho (1960)

Pulp Fiction (1994)

  • Dermott claims that he used to be called "The Wolf" in reference to his previous experience getting rid of dead bodies. This is a reference to Harvey Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction, whose specialty was cleaning up evidence of murders.

Roger Dean

  • Dr. Venture reveals Dean was named in honor of renowned album cover artist Roger Dean, whom Rusty cites as the "greatest artist of our generation".
  • The dinosaur that Dean is riding during his second dream sequence is a direct reference to Roger Dean's artwork for the album Not Necessarily Acoustic, by Steve Howe.


Shrinky Dinks

  • Dr. Venture tells Dean that making Shrinky Dinks doesn't count as practicing science.

Spanish fly

  • Dermott gives Hank a roll of bills as he flees for Mexico, telling him to get him "some fireworks and Spanish fly", which is a Mexican folk aphrodisiac.


  • The idea of a disfigured, failed clone observing Dean from a distance resembles the Clone Saga of the Spider-Man series, where Kaine, the first Spider-clone created by the Jackal, watches his counterparts from afar. Dean resembles Peter Parker, and is often seen wearing Spider-Man pajamas.

Stan Lee

The Shining (1980)

  • The black delivery man is based on Scatman Crothers and Dr. Venture tells Hank that just because he's black, doesn't mean that he has "The Shining".
  • The telephone conversation between the delivery man and the sheriff is analogous to one between Holloway (Scatman Crothers) and a forest ranger from the Stanley Kubrick film version of The Shining, using virtually the same dialogue.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

United Parcel Service

  • Dr. Venture makes reference to the UPS slogan: "What Can Brown Do For You."

Vitruvian Man

Waco Siege (1993)

  • When the police further investigate the Venture compound, the sheriff's presumptions lead him to think whatever may be happening inside will be a repeat of the Waco Siege of 1993.


  • The songs played during Dean's hallucinations are all based heavily off of the Yes songs Machine Messiah, Yours Is No Disgrace, Roundabout, and Your Move (the first half of I've Seen All Good People) respectively. After Dean is revived in the tub, the musical cue again references Roundabout, in a pastiche of the last several seconds of the track.
  • Dr. Venture warns Dean not to air drum along to the Yes album he is listening to; lest his wrists snap trying to keep up with the constant rhythmic shifts of drummer Bill Bruford. Dean is seen later grabbing his wrists in pain when attempting to air drum.
  • Fragile by Yes is one of the albums lying on the floor when Dean goes into a "Floyd hole".

Production Notes[]

  • 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 Perchance to Dean the credit reads Kimson "Screamin' Hot Stop-It" Albert.


  • In the scene where Dr. Venture shows Brock the clone lab, their clothes and hair styles indicate that the action is taking place at some point in the very late 1980s or early 1990s.
  • By record D-19 was the longest living clone of Dean.
  • When Hatred mentions to the police that anything they find on his hard drive is "100% computer generated" it is another reference to his attraction to young boys, implying possession of faked images of young boys.
  • When D-19 jumps to avoid being run over by Hank, he yells, "Super runaway!" which Dean typically cries when scared.


Perchance To Dean received positive Reviews. Dan Phillips of IGN gave it a 9.4/10, calling it "a great episode."[1]


  1. Phillips, Dan (November 4, 2009). "Perchance To Dean Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 

Preceded by:
"Handsome Ransom"
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
November 1, 2009
Followed by:
"Return to Malice"