"The Better Man"
The Venture Bros. episode
Cthulhu vs The Outrider.png
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 7
Directed by Jackson Publick and Jon Schnepp
Written by Doc Hammer
Original air date December 6, 2009
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List of The Venture Bros. episodes

The Better Man is the seventh episode of Season 4 and the overall forty-sixth episode of The Venture Bros.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The episode begins with the Order of the Triad attempting to stop the supervillain Torrid from opening a gate to the Second World (Hell). In the process, Torrid accidentally releases a demon from another world which quickly disposes of him. The Triad, despite their fears, attack the demon but are no match for it. Jefferson Twilight is killed and just as The Alchemist and Dr. Orpheus think they've lost, a mysterious stranger riding a flaming black horse flies through the gate. The stranger easily defeats the demon and brings Jefferson Twilight back to life. As he flies back through the portal Dr. Orpheus begrudgingly reveals that the man who saved them was none other than The Outrider, his former student and the man who stole his wife.

In the next scene, Hank asks Dean why he is putting on a suit. Dean wants to look nice for Triana Orpheus, who is outside with her father, but Hank convinces him that she isn't his girlfriend and that he should give up trying to impress her. Meanwhile, Jefferson, in an attempt to make up for being defeated, trains with cardboard monsters, though he laments that between Orpheus and the Alchemist's magical powers, he will always be the one vulnerable to magical attacks.

In the front yard of the Venture Compound, Dr. Orpheus attempts to open a portal to the Second World with camping equipment. After failing, Orpheus enters a portal within his daughter's closet to seek advice from the shape-shifting Master, who appears in the form of his very attractive ex-wife. The Master encourages Orpheus to kill The Outrider. The Triad go back to the original portal to the Second World to find The Outrider chasing Torrid who, after witnessing the Second World, begs for The Outrider to put him out of his misery. As The Outrider is about to mercifully kill Torrid, Torrid pounces on him and says incantations that send The Outrider's soul to the Second World. Orpheus, seeing that The Outrider is noble, decides he is good and is therefore determined to save his soul from the Second World. The Triad enlist Billy Quizboy to perform brain surgery on The Outrider, discovering an amulet of the "Eye of Osiris" in The Outrider's brain, which allowed him to travel to and from the Second World with ease. Orpheus and the Alchemist enter the Second World, only to have The Outrider inform them that they cannot return without the help of someone in both worlds. Luckily, Jefferson is found to be the link they need to help escape, and is thrilled to find that he has some magical abilities after all.

Meanwhile, Triana stumbles into her closet and meets the Master, appearing as an older, neurotic, balding Dean Venture as her potential future husband. He convinces her to break things off with Dean and to go live with her mother and train to become a sorceress. Bolstered by the Master's support and realizing that she has the talent to become a sorceress, Triana goes to speak to her father about going to go live with her mother.

After the credits, Dr. Orpheus and the Triad see Triana off as she prepares to leave with The Outrider. Dean approaches Triana and tries to break off their "relationship," citing that a long-distance relationship would be too much work. Triana happily agrees and kisses him. Surprised, Dean then tries to say that they could try a long distance relationship after all, but Triana gently rebukes him with the comment that she couldn't keep him all to herself, thereby sparing Dean's feelings and apparently ending their relationship in good terms and remain friends (Although this feelings didn't last long during their falling out in season's finale).

Episode Cast[edit | edit source]

First Appearances[edit | edit source]

Connection to Other Episodes[edit | edit source]

Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!

Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean

Powerless in the Face of Death

Hate Floats

  • Hank and Dean revisit the shopping mall from Hate Floats, where Dr. Venture was beaten and kidnapped by The Monarch's henchmen. One of the very same henchman can be seen in the center of the background for an extended period of time.

Escape to the House of Mummies Part II

  • Triana's suspicion of her father and the Order being in her room is the effect of Orpheus' use of his magic to wipe her memory of the fact her closet is a portal to the Necropolis, as per Escape to the House of Mummies Part II.
  • It is revealed Orpheus' marriage broke up most likely due to the fact he was a workaholic who focused too much on becoming a necromancer. In Escape to the House of Mummies Part II, Orpheus insisted to his Master that his wife left because of the persistence of The Outrider, which is only half the truth.

Twenty Years to Midnight

Tears of a Sea Cow


  • As Dean, Dermott, and Hank are talking in the parking lot, a poster for Rings of the Realm can be seen behind them. This is the movie the brothers and Sgt. Hatred saw in the previous episode.

Operation P.R.O.M.

  • Dean comments on Hank having a crush on the mail lady, whom he asks to their prom in the season finale.
  • Despite parting on amicable terms, Dean's jealousy of Triana's boyfriend at the prom causes him to ruin their friendship, which serves as the breaking point for his frustrations as a Venture Brother.

Cultural References[edit | edit source]

10 (1979)



  • Dr. Orpheus calls on Amaymon while trying to open the portal to the Second World, the demon king of Southern Hell.

Andrew Eldritch

Applehead dolls


Bernie Goetz

Black Lightning




Dracula (1931)

Hook (1991)

  • Dean, on "mussing up" his hair at Hank's request, comments that he looks like Rufio, the de facto leader of the Lost Boys from the film Hook, to which Hank responds, "you are the Pan."

Jurassic Park

  • When The Outrider's ear falls off, The Alchemist refers to this as "dino-damage," a reference to the Jurassic Park toy line by Kenner. Certain dinosaur toys featured "dino-damage"—removable skin and flesh which simulated wounds.

Matthew Lesko

  • One of the cardboard cut-outs on Jefferson Twilight's training course is that of Matthew Lesko, an American author known for his publications and infomercials on federal grant funding. Jefferson explains that he mistook Lesko for a villain because his suit "is covered in punctuation", like that worn by the Batman villain The Riddler.

McGruff the Crime Dog

  • When Hank takes Dean to the mall to meet girls, he encourages the latter by telling him to "take a bite outta crime". This is a catchphrase used by McGruff the Crime Dog.

Mystery (The Pickup Artist)



  • One of the cardboard cut-outs on Jefferson Twilight's training course is that of Matthew Lesko. Jefferson explains that he mistook Lesko for a villain because his suit "is covered in punctuation", like that worn by the Batman villain The Riddler.

The Fly (1986)

The Lord of the Rings (films)

  • As Dean, Dermott, and Hank are talking in the parking lot, a poster for Rings of the Realm can be seen behind them. Rings of the Realm is a parody of The Lord of the Rings.

The Wolf Man (1941)


  • The Outrider reaches the Second World through the process of trepanning, which involves drilling a hole through the human skull, and inserting a magical amulet known as the "Eye of Osiris" into his head.

Tylenol PM

Production Notes[edit | edit source]

  • 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 Better Man the credit reads Kimson "Dingus" Albert.

Preceded by:
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
December 6th, 2009
Followed by:
"Pinstripes & Poltergeists"
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