The Venture Bros. episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 4
Directed by Jackson Publick
Written by Jackson Publick
Original air date June 23, 2013
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"SPHINX Rising"
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"O.S.I. Love You"
List of The Venture Bros. episodes

Spanakopita! is the fourth episode of Season 5 and the overall fifty-ninth episode of The Venture Bros.


Dr. Venture decides to take Sergeant Hatred, Pete White, and Billy Quizboy to an obscure festival on a small Greek island he discovered as a small boy, and has been attending for the last twenty years. The festival, supposedly called "Spanakopita", is unknown to everyone but Rusty, who himself seems oblivious to the fact that the name of the festival is in fact a common pastry made of spinach and filo. Pete and Billy agree to accompany Rusty as both Hank and Dean are busy with their own affairs and cannot attend. The pair argue over whether or not to go since Pete is terrified of the Mediterranean sun. Eventually he is convinced to go, although he is seem debarking the X-1 covered from head to toe, wearing heavy sunblock and carrying a parasol, even as Billy explains that Greece is essentially on the same latitude as Virginia.

The vacationers arrive and are warmly greeted by the locals, led by local innkeeper Giorgios, who call out "Spanakopita!" to Rusty as he passes through the village, which he calls out in return. They are surprised to see the X-2 parked offshore. Expecting to see Jonas Jr, there, they are surprised to find Augustus St. Cloud, Billy and Pete's arch-nemesis (and one of Rusty's most valued customers) has come to arch Billy and ruin their fun. Having their much-better hotel room stolen by St. Cloud and seeing the locals pretend to kidnap Dr. Venture, (which Rusty insists is just part of the festivities) Hatred becomes more suspicious of this highly obscure holiday. Hatred contacts Brock, who tells Hatred to relax and let Dr. Venture enjoy himself.

The Spanakopita celebration includes various competitions, judged by Giorgios, which Rusty has won every year for the last 20. Rusty is goaded into a bet with St Cloud as to who will win this year's events, St. Cloud wagering 10 million dollars against Rusty's wager of the X-1. St Cloud, Billy and Rusty all compete in the various events to win drachmas - whoever wins the most drachmas is crowned "king" of Spanakopita. St. Cloud cheats in every event - he has his albino manservant Pei Wie carry him piggyback through the 'running of the goats' race while he leaps from building to building; he has Pei Wei help again by gathering a net full of sponges & awaiting underwater using scuba gear during the sponge dive, and contacts George Lucas to create & overnight deliver a life size replica of the famous Han Solo encased in carbonite prop from The Empire Strikes Back made out of pumice stone for the sculpting competition.

Billy and Pete attempt to confound St. Cloud's likely victory by stealing the money he carried with him on the X-2 (no one on the island takes credit cards or checks), but are caught and captured. The same night, Hatred follows the sound of gunfire to a basement where he finds the locals playing video games (the source of the gunfire sounds) on a large flat screen television and counting the large amounts of cash they have secured from Venture and St. Cloud. When Hatred accuses them of doing something probably but not clearly nefarious, they explain the origins of Spanakopita: when Jonas Venture Sr and Team Venture visited Greece in 1968 for the wedding of Jacqueline Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis, the islanders unintentionally abduct young Rusty and decide to hold him for ransom when they find him in a trunk which they had looted from the X-2, and also as a political protest against the income inequality in Greece personified by the celebrity wedding. Unfortunately, Dr Venture Sr fails to even notice Rusty has been kidnapped, and three days pass before he realizes his son is missing. Rusty's kidnappers feel so badly for him being ignored while his father drinks and carouses for three days, and fights a battle to thwart adversary L. Ron Hubbard, they create the Spanakopita holiday to entertain and console young Rusty. When Rusty returned for the "festival" as an adult twenty years later, the locals decided to maintain the farce to make money off the Ventures. Hatred remains silent about the ruse, as he (and as Brock also did when he discovered the truth) realizes that his trip to Spanakopita is one of the few times Rusty is truly happy.

Pete and Billy awake naked and chained to the floor of an open air amphitheater with the dawn sun about to cross the lip of the space, which will set Pete's albino skin on fire. Billy struggles to free himself, but they are rescued by Pei Wei in the nick of time, an act Pete attributes to the 'code of the albino', a bond even stronger than Pei Wei has for his master. Billy drags Pete back to the hotel that served as the base for the competitions, and is declared the victor of Spanakopita by Giorgios when he presents the bag of drachmas he stole from St. Cloud's safe.

In the post credits scene, a flashback to 1968 shows Jonas Venture Sr. & Team Venture collecting Rusty from his now repentant kidnappers, where everyone involved seems amenable and in good spirits. However, after Kano leads Rusty away, Colonel Gentleman, the Action Man, and Jonas Venture lock the door and deliver a savage, violent beating to the islanders for the kidnapping, costing Giorgios his right eye. He swears Dr. Venture will pay for this, and is next seen many years older, sporting an eye patch, happily counting the money he has made off Venture and St. Cloud.

Episode Cast

First Appearances

Connections to Other Episodes

Now Museum-Now You Don't

Arrears in Science

The Saphrax Protocol

Cultural References

Apollo 7 (1968)

  • In the flashback Dr. Venture Sr. and his team are shown fighting a robot controlled by L. Ron Hubbard, who threatens the splashdown of the Apollo 7.

Clash of the Titans (1981)

E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982)

Goldfinger (1964)

Greek mythology


Onassis-Kennedy Wedding (1968)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Ray Harryhausen

  • Augustus St. Cloud arrogantly claims Ray Harryhausen to be a personal friend.

Running of the Bulls


  • In the fight against L. Ron Hubbard, The Action Man is hit with a weapon that subjects him to engrams, a Scientology term used to describe detailed mental images or memories of traumatic events from the past that occurred when an individual is partially or fully unconscious.

Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (1973-1975)


  • Spanakopita is a Greek savory pastry also known as spinach pie.

SS Andrea Doria (1951-1956)

  • Amongst Augustus St. Cloud's massive pop culture collection stored on the X-2 is the first-class bank safe from the SS Andrea Doria, an Italian ocean liner that famously sank in 1956. The safe was salvaged in 1981 by diver/filmmaker Peter Gimbel and opened on live television in 1984, revealing thousands of American silver certificates, Canadian bank notes, American Express travellers checks, and Italian bank notes contained within.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The Dark Crystal (1982)

The Fly (1986)

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

Visa Inc.

  • Billy quotes a famous line from Visa's 1990s "It's everywhere you want to be." television advertising campaign when he tells Pete White "On this island, they don't take checks, and they don't take American Express".

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 Spanakopita! the credit reads Kimson "Slim Jim Fizz" Albert.


  • While discussing whether or not White and Billy can tag along, Rusty makes more of his horrible mixed drinks known as "Doctails". In this episode, Rusty has made Billy a "Hot Mummy" and Pete White a "Slim Jim Fizz", presumably a variation on a sloe gin fizz, which includes a piece of the eponymous meat by-product as a garnish. (White does not look happy with his drink.)
  • When Hatred calls Brock on his wrist communicator, Brock sees two women in the background carrying small blond children who bear a striking resemblance to him. Rather than elaborating on what's going on and quelling Hatred's concerns, Brock feigns an emergency to avoid speaking to the women and cuts off the communication.
  • In Billy's dream sequence, St. Cloud and Dr. Venture are animated in stop-motion as a Kraken and a Medusa, respectively. The stop-motion animation was provided by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the animation company for another Adult Swim show, Robot Chicken.
  • At the conclusion of the post credits epilogue a present day Giorgios is counting money out loud saying, "2002, 2003, 2004". The Venture Bros. was greenlight by Adult Swim in the year 2002, the original pilot, The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay, first aired in 2003, and the series proper debuted in 2004.

Preceded by:
"SPHINX Rising"
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
June 23rd, 2013
Followed by:
"O.S.I. Love You"
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