Venture Brothers Wiki
Venture Brothers Wiki
The Venture Bros. episode
Episode no. Season 4
Series 4-45
Episode 6
Directed by Jackson Publick and Jon Schnepp
Written by Jackson Publick
Original air date November 23rd, 2009
Guest Stars
Episode Chronology
← Previous
"The Revenge Society"
Next →
"The Better Man"
List of The Venture Bros. episodes

Self-Medication is the sixth episode of Season 4 and the overall forty-fifth episode of The Venture Bros.


During the opening of the episode, Dr. Venture runs down his hallway, being chased by The Monarch. Chased outside onto the rooftop, Rusty can see that the compound has been surrounded with The Monarch's henchmen, who are all chasing Dean and Hank. In the meantime, Henchman 21 and Sergeant Hatred are fighting each other. Rusty is captured by "The Scarionette", a robotic arm holding a marionette's rig which The Monarch uses to make Dr. Venture dance on strings like a puppet. Just as it seems The Monarch finally has Dr. Venture where he wants him, an alarm goes off. Dr. Venture refers to 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, a former aged Wonder Boy, two former boy detectives Lance & Dale Hale, and a robot named Ro-Boy. They each introduce themselves to Dr. Venture and talk about their problems.

HankDean, and Sergeant Hatred all go to a movie for their night off, not realizing this theater was the same one The Monarch's henchmen choose. 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?" Hank complains about the henchmen's butterfly wings being in the way of his view of the movie.

During the session everyone take turns introducing themselves. Wonder Boy say he is no longer with Captain Sunshine after aging out by turning eighteen and he is legally unable to call himself by the Wonder Boy title while his lawsuit against Captain Sunshine is pending. The Hale Brothers quit being junior detectives after their wealthy parents' deaths despite inheriting far less of the family fortune than anticipated, leaving the younger Dale still guilt-ridden over everything while the older Lance bitterly urges them to move on. Action Johnny, whom Rusty knows from childhood, discusses having some trouble with the police aka Johnny Law. Ro-Boy tries to move on with his life even though he is a robot that can never age.

The therapist uses 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. A naively confused Ro-Boy attempts to "reboot" the therapist by poking his pelvis, asking why the therapist doesn't have a button like the one Ro-Boy has in his crotch. He presses it and falls over, unconscious, as his system reboots itself.

As the group inspect the therapist's 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 by Lance Hale via googling it on his BlackBerry. The snake attacks Dr. Venture, who is holding the doctor's coffee cup, which he realizes 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.

Wondering who would want to take out the therapist, the therapy group decides to solve the Therapist's murder. The group begins looking through the therapist's patient flies, eventually finding a matchbook that Johnny recognizes from Nightin' Ale's bar.

At the theater, Sergeant Hatred has an episode of pedophilic temptation when he sees a male elf with a young boy's face. This leads to a panic attack where he runs out of the theater and into the restroom, only to be confronted by a semi-clothed boy cosplaying as an elf, and locks himself in the stall to avoid temptation. When this proves inadequate he runs out of the building and back to the Venture compound, leaving the boys behind still watching the movie.

On the hunt for the killer, the therapy group travels to Nighin' Ale's bar, where Johnny notices a former henchman of his old archenemy Dr. Z. After the group gets involved in a bar brawl, they then travel to Dr. Z's home. An aged Dr. Z initially mistakes the group for trick-or-treaters and offers them Halloween candy, which Wonder Boy II gladly accepts. An undeterred Action Johnny confronts Dr. Z, believing he killed their therapist, but Dr. Z denies it, claiming the Vietnamese Two-Step Viper doesn't exist. Dr. Z's wife invites everyone to stay for dinner.

Outside the theater, Hank and Dean wonder what happened to Sergeant Hatred only to find out that he locked himself in the Panic Room back at the compound to keep himself away from the boys. He entirely ran out of Nomolestol, the drug from the OSI that helps curb his compulsion to molest children. With no ride to get home, the boys ask Henchman 21 for a ride. Once they arrive home Dean and Hank try to convince Hatred to come out of the Panic Room, but he refuses, saying he's out of Nomolestol--the only thing that ever curbed his desires other than Princess Tinyfeet, his estranged wife.. Hank gets the 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 Henchman 21 and his Fluttering Horde squad. 21 thanks Hank for giving him a shot at Hatred, referring to 21's earlier comment at the beginning of the episode.

Back at Dr. Z's house, Venture and the group are welcomed by Z and his wife. They relate their situation with their murdered therapist. Dr. Z tells them they need to grow up and stop living in the past. He says he wasted too many years chasing Johnny instead of finding happiness earlier with his beloved wife. He and his wife only lament that they were unable to have children, but Ro-Boy asks them if they would be willing to adopt him, to which they joyfully agree. Dr. Venture thanks them for helping him to realize he doesn't need therapy, having moved on from his unhappy childhood. He states he may have issues but he's not like them and decides to get on with his life and go home to his sons.

In the post credits sequence, at the Monarch's cocoon, 21 talks to 24's skull about the Rings of the Realm 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 The Monarch to continue arching Dr. Venture without any possible interference.

Episode Cast

First Appearances

Connections to Other Episodes

Mid-Life Chrysalis

Return to Spider-Skull Island

Powerless in the Face of Death

Hate Floats

Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part I)

The Doctor is Sin

The Buddy System

Now Museum-Now You Don't 

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

Handsome Ransom

  • The character Wonder Boy in the episode is the ex-sidekick of Captain Sunshine, a character who first appeared in Handsome Ransom. He was apparently abandoned by Sunshine after he turned 18, a reference to Sunshine's emotional immaturity and rumored pederasty.

Perchance to Dean

Pomp & Circuitry

  • Despite appearing to be retired, it is still very probable that Dr. Z 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.

Any Which Way But Zeus

Bot Seeks Bot

Cultural References

Ain't It Cool News

Astro Boy (1952-1968)

  • Ro-Boy is a parody of the titular character from the Japanese manga series Astro Boy.

Batman (1966-1968)

  • Wonder Boy II uses the word "Holy" at the beginning of his sentences, 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!"

Batman and Robin (1949)

Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot (1995)


  • Lance Hale is practically addicted to using his BlackBerry mobile phone.


  • The location of Ro-Boy's power button is a reference to Chi from the Japanese manga series Chobits.

Encyclopedia Brown

  • 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.

Gary Glitter

  • 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 of having sex with children in Thailand.


  • Lance Hale constantly uses the search engine Google via his BlackBerry mobile phone.

Hale and hardy

Henry Darger

  • In the movie theater, Sgt. Hatred compares the film's transgressive fantasy themes to the works of outsider artist and novelist Henry Darger, which incorporate both idyllic fantasy scenes and horrifying sequences of innocent children being tortured or massacred. The film's title, Rings of the Realm, is also similar to the title of Darger's magnum opus, the 15,000+ page work In the Realms of the Unreal.


John Hodgman

  • Dale Hale's schlubbiness and his brother's seeming addiction to using his BlackBerry smartphone is likely a nod to his voice-actor, John Hodgman, having become (in his own words) "an extremely minor celebrity" after he appeared in television advertisements for Apple™ products, including the first version of the iPhone®...and in which he never portrayed the notionally cooler Apple product.

Jonny Quest (1964-1965)

Kid Rock

  • When Sgt. Hatred complains about the paid advertisements which are run before the trailers, Dean specifically mentions his disgust with "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.

Lyle and Erik Menendez

  • The Hale Brothers (Lance & Dale) are parodies of Lyle and Erik Menendez, two brothers from Beverly Hills who were convicted of murdering their wealthy parents to receive their inheritance earlier.

Mars rovers

  • After the bar fight, in which Rusty was kicked in the groin, Action Johnny 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 (2004-2010) and Opportunity (2004-present).

Mega Man

Raising Arizona (1987)

  • Dr. Z's monologue about Mrs. Z is similar to a monologue from Raising Arizona.

Robin (Batman's sidekick)

  • Wonder Boy II mentions being unable to achieve arousal unless he has a bomb strapped to his chest, a reference to a frequent peril of Batman's sidekick Robin.


Shrinky Dinks

  • One of the things that falls out of Sgt. Hatred's pockets is the cat Shrinky Dink made by Dean.

Snakes on a Plane (2006)

  • The use of Snake Pheromones to use a snake to kill someone is a reference to Snakes on a Plane.

Tenacious D

The Chronicles of Narnia

  • The Rings of the Realm, the movie The Monarch's henchmen and the Venture brothers watched, was partially based on the Chronicles of Narnia films. The reference 21 makes to the golden boat with all of the previous characters mirrors the ending of the Narnia series.

The Hardy Boys

  • The Hale Brothers (Lance & Dale) are parodies of The Hardy Boys, a pair of mystery-solving brothers from twentieth century young adult fiction.

The Kinks

The Lord Of The Rings

The Sopranos (1999-2007)

  • The therapist's office where Dr. Venture seeks treatment bears resemblance to the office used by Dr. Melfi on The Sopranos.

Yellow Peril

  • The food Mrs. Z provides—mounds of fried rice and large egg-rolls—is stereotypical "American-Chinese" restaurant food. Both are in Chinese cuisine, but their appearance is not typical of original Chinese cuisine. This may be a comment on Dr. and Mrs. Z, like Dr. Z's model 'Doctor Zin' from Jonny Quest, being more of an American "Yellow Peril" stereotype than actual Chinese people. Caucasian actors in "yellow face" portraying villains were once routine in Hollywood movies and this is likely satirization of that practice.
  • Mrs. Z's implication that Dr. Z was gay (by saying that she was his "beard") might be a reference to the effeminacy typical of "Oriental" villains in older Hollywood movies, Ming the Merciless in the Flash Gordon serials being a prime example.

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



  • 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.
  • In the scene in which Hank and Dean look for Sgt. Hatred in the theater lobby, a poster on the wall advertises "Rings of the Realm II". 21 earlier implies, however, that they are viewing the third film of a trilogy.

Preceded by:
"The Revenge Society"
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
November 23rd, 2009
Followed by:
"The Better Man"