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  • Acceptable Religious Targets:
    • Shore-Leave was posing as a fundamentalist Christian who believes that praying is more effective than jumping into the water and helping a friend in need.
    "The power of prayer can move mountains, Hank!"
    • Otto Aquarius. Jehovah's Witnesses get the treatment they usually get in American pop culture. He has some pamphlets if you're interested. That said, in spite of the Jehovah's Witnesses jokes, he's one of the few members of the original Team Venture who's not a total jackass.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
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    • There's a good argument that the real stars of the show is Rusty and Monarch, especially given the revelation of the series finale that they are half-brothers.
    • The sheer jackassery of Rusty Venture has caused some people to believe he is a Villain Protagonist. Dr. Killinger believed this as well and tried to help him become an Evil Scientist. The episode in question ends with Rusty, while rejecting Killinger, earnestly asking Brock about whether or not he's a bad guy and Brock being reluctant to answer. Although there's an alternate interpretation there since Rusty was kind of naked at the time.
      • It's also entirely possible that Dr. Killinger gave Rusty that Heel Realization simply SO he would back away from it. Dr. Killinger seems to be the least villainous villain in the series (Much more of a morally ambivalent self-help guru who wants to help people achieve their potential, regardless of what it is) so it's within reason that Killinger wanted to help stop Rusty's slow slide into villainy. It doesn't work.
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    • Both the boys are subject to this, but as of season 4 its particularly applicable to Hank. The Load? Or a serious case of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass who's constantly held back because everyone underestimates him, and refuses to give him any degree of responsibility.
      • The fact that he once rescued the family while doped up on caffeine supports the latter theory.
    • Alternatively: Brock is well aware Hank is competent later in the show, he's simply unwilling to put him at risk.
    • Another option: Brock knows Hank is capable, but also knows he's undisciplined and could easily turn into a Wild Card in dangerous situations.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Gary doesn't show any particular angst over the death of all his fellow henchmen, despite the fact he bulked up and trained his fellow henchmen after 24's death to prevent more henchman deaths.
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  • Archive Panic: The show isn't into Long Runner territory just yet, but so many characters undergo so much development, and so many changes happen to everyone, that starting to watch the show in its latest episodes and understanding what's going on will prove nigh impossible. Continuity Lockout plays into this. The creators even discussed how self-referential the show had become in the commentary for the season 4 finale Operation P.R.O.M.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Some viewers found the twist that Col. Hunter Gathers only had a sex change for the purpose of gaining membership into Molotov Cocktease's all-girl hitman squad and quickly had said surgery reversed when Molotov began to suspect that he was spying on her to be this. Downplayed, however, as he later reveals he misses being female, claiming "somewhere inside me there's a woman screaming to get out", and reversed his sex change for unclear reasons.
    • Hank and Dean getting shot down in the season 1 finale. A literal one is Rusty getting crushed by a giant disco ball in the penultimate episode of season 5.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Some fans were dissatisfied with Season 6 due to the many plot points that were Left Hanging in the previous season, some recurring characters being shockingly absent, the shorter episode count (8 episodes in total, not counting the 2015 special), and the season finale ultimately having No Ending. Season 7 were quick to fix all these problems. Leftover plot threads like Dermott finding out that Rusty is his father and the status of the Order of the Triad were brought back, the episode count was raised to 10, the Blue Morpho arc ended in a satisfying three-parter and the season had an actual finale.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Sgt. Hatred is either a sympathetic and likable portrayal of a recovering pedophile who had a really good Heel–Face Turn character arc, or else he's a creepy old guy who underwent a massive Badass Decay as the show went on. Fans are very divided on his character.
  • Better on DVD: When the episodes are watched all-together, the jokes layer on top of each other, the epic stuff gets more epic, and the "aren't we pathetic" stuff gets time to breathe. Additionally, watching on DVD allows viewers to have a better chance of catching the Brick Jokes, and the creator commentary fleshes out several details that fell through the cracks of the show's "show-don't-tell" storytelling.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Monarch's little...tribute to his Butterglider serves no other purpose than to show how deeply in love he is with the thing.
    • A great example is the Bear in "Bright Lights, Dean City". During the Revenge Society's recruitment drive a man in a very creepy bear suit that shows no features of the person within at all and looks scarily realistic shows up. He has no registration forms, says no lines, is soaked in blood and carries a large knife with blood dripping off it. He is never mentioned again and was presumably just there to make us wet our pants (and to make a movie reference). He is reused later on to reveal to Hank that his girlfriend is cheating on him with his brother.
    • The late 24 calling upon the spirits of Speedy and Woodrow Wilson during Pinstripes And Poltergeists. And what is 21 supposed to do for them? Showing off his ability to recall celebrity signature perfumes. It makes more sense later when it turns out that Gary is hallucinating 24 and he simply is imagining a scenario where his nerdy knowledge is handy. Also it's implied that he knows said knowledge because of the perfume advertisements in comic books, so it fits his character.
    • Almost any episode/scene in which General Treister appears has a tendency to lapse into this, whether it's his grandstanding at the O.S.I./Guild summit and naming the delegates after pop culture figures, challenging Hunter Gathers to a wrestling bout in lieu of "negotiation" for a prisoner, or piloting the O.S.I. hoverquarters clothed only in a toga made from the American flag. That these events are not lampshaded in any way is a testament to the bizarre nature of the Venture Bros' universe.
  • Catharsis Factor: After getting away with his dickishness in almost every previous appearance, "The Bellicose Proxy" finally gives St. Cloud the treatment he deserves, where he proves he's a completely incompetent villain and gets an off-screen ass-kicking from Rose.
    • Rusty giving the GCI and OSI "The Reason You Suck" Speech. After all the childish and murderous actions of the two groups throwing Rusty's already shitty life into chaos, it's amazing that he can call them out on all their bullshit, force them to make a deal, and finally surpass his asshole father for once.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: Avoided. The writers have stated that they don't plan anything, but they're usually pretty good at introducing and then tying up plot points. They've described their writing style as coming up with stuff on the fly, then writing future plots to remain consistent with what has been written while expanding on any detail that looks interesting. Notable questions they have answered include "Who is the Sovereign?/Is he really David Bowie?" and "What actually happened to Jonas Venture?" The question "Who are the Investors?" hasn't been fully answered, but All This and Gargantua 2 gave us a bunch of extra clues and information about them. While they've blatantly told the audience that there will likely never be an answer to "Why does Monarch hate Venture so much?", The Morphic Trilogy did give us some clues.
  • Complete Monster: Dr. Jonas Venture is the self-absorbed and abusive father of Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture who masquerades as a noble and beloved adventurer and scientist. Taking Rusty on dangerous adventures since he was three years old, Jonas allowed him to be trapped, tortured and put in harm's way, to allow himself the excitement of "rescuing" Rusty as the hero. When working on scientific inventions, Jonas frequently grew bored of his works with dire consequences, in one instance leaving a group of orphans to suffer drug-induced nightmares after an A.I. he created ran rampant, much to Jonas's apathy. His own team meaning nothing to him, Jonas viewed his bodyguard as property, taking him from his "best friend" Blue Morpho as "payment", and turned another into a violent Blood Knight by forcing him to use dangerous drugs. Ruining Morpho's life, Jonas coerces the happily married man into an orgy, then blackmails Morpho with the knowledge and forces him to do his dirty work, and later resurrects Morpho into a cyborg slave, which earned the disgust of his team. After spending several decades in a mostly-dead state, Jonas attempts to have the cyborg Morpho killed so that he may steal his body for himself, and then flies into a rage and tries to do it himself once this order is refused. Killing any villains he grows bored of, Jonas proves under the exterior of grand heroics he paints himself with to be an utterly despicable Psychopathic Manchild.
  • Crazy Is Cool:
    • General Treister, on top of being a general badass, launched himself into space, wearing an American flag as a toga, frozen in a salute with gritted teeth and a post-it note stuck to his external pacemaker that says "Fix It". The best part? It worked!
    • Orpheus' Master takes on the form of Santa Claus and uses a Spirit Bomb to nuke a zombie outbreak to kingdom come.
    • Phantom Limb when he becomes "Revenge." Completely insane, thinks a toaster, a high heel shoe, and a coffee cup are his allies, and manages to use them amazingly well. Despite being insane, he manages to completely put the screws to the Council.
  • Creator's Pet: Oddly, Billy and White were a mild case of this (minus the Character Shilling) early on. The fans didn't like them and the producers wanted them gone after season 1... possibly because they're a lot like 21 and 24 in terms of mostly talking about bullshit, but with worse enunciation. But Hammer and Publick kept giving them screentime, so they got a chance to come into their own and now they're pretty popular. So it worked!
    Jackson Publick: People don't love White and Billy as much as we do [...] ["The Invisible Hand of Fate"] was us beginning to re-embrace them, after being scared off. Or it was just us being jerks and going, "You don't want White and Billy? We're gonna hit you with a lotta White and Billy!"
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Sgt. Hatred's attraction to young boys, even having molested the Venture Bros. at one point before his introduction.
    • The way The Monarch frequently kills his own henchmen.
    • The conversation that named Powered by a Forsaken Child crosses the line so many times.
    • In the second season premiere, we find out the boys have been killed and then cloned back to life fourteen times. Cue a montage of them dying in increasingly violent, bizarre ways, occasionally cutting back to Doc and Brock laughing over silly minor details vaguely related to them, like the time they both grew mustaches. Even Dr. Orpheus is shocked and horrified. Then the episode uses still shots of the various murders for the credits sequence.
    Dr. Venture: When you have death-prone children, you keep a few clones in the lab!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: An interesting note about this show is that due to the incredibly large amount of interesting side characters. There's bound to be a few whom gain a following.
    • Triana's friend Kim appears in two episodes, one of which she was featured in, the other she had all of a minute of screen time with two lines. May have something to do with her attitude, her potential to become a supervillain, and her possible ships with the boys and Dermott. Fans have been requesting a return ever since.
    • The Grand Galactic Inquisitor only appears in one episode, but proved to be very popular by hammily shouting "IGNORE ME!" after every sentence.
    • Dr. Dugong. He brings peace and love, one gentle cuttlefish at a time. A good chunk of fans were quite relieved and happy that he survived the Monarch's Arching.
    • Dr. Killinger has only had three major appearances, but is incredibly memorable, probably because he's basically the Mary Poppins of Evil, seemingly a very helpful and friendly dude, and one hell of a Magnificent Bastard to boot.
    • Warriana is starting to get popular because she's an Affectionate Parody of Wonder Woman and because of her growing relationship with Brock.
    • Shore-Leave started out as a shallow Village People joke in a flashback. But across more appearances, his endearing utterly camp personality, snarkiness, combined with his complete badassery that almost puts him to be on the same level as Brock. Morphed him into a quick fan favorite, and Sixth Ranger. To the point that some straight male and female fans have admitted to be attracted to him.
    • Despite only one appearance in Season 6, the fanbase adores Red Death. His happy home life, affable nature and ability to go full on nightmare Game Face endeared him to viewers almost instantly. And of course being voiced by Clancy Brown helped. He has since made several appearances in Season 7.
    • The Groovy Gang, a group of minor antagonists who only appeared in a major role in one episode. They were a dark parody of Mystery Incorporated, with each member being based off of an infamous figure from the 20th century in addition to their Scooby Doo counterpart. Fans generally agree that they had a lot of potential as funny and interesting recurring villains, but they are quickly dispatched by Brock Sampson before the end of the episode. However, Ted and Sonny are seen again later as zombies as part of Venturestein's army.
    • Henchman #1. He teams up with agents 21 and 24 for one episode, and the audience loved how he was completely competent and professional in contrast to the duo. He spends the entire episode arguing with them about how he's not going to die to Brock Sampson. And then he dies to Brock Sampson... a whole 3 seasons later! Making him one of the few badasses that survived his first encounter with Brock.
    • Brick Frog, for the virtue of being an ordinary guy dressed in a frog costume, who's entire shtick appears to just be throwing bricks at people.
    • General Triester, because he's a an awesome Boisterous Bruiser with the voice of Cotton Hill.
    • Scare Bear is one as well despite just (seemly) being a normal, silent serial killer in a blooded bear costume with a knife. He appears in a brief, but memorable scene where he scares the absolute crap out of Phantom Limb, Doctor Incorrigible, and Baron Underbeit by just mysteriously wandering his way into the Revenge Society's interview session. He then briefly appears in a Blink-and-You-Miss-It scene with the Legion of Doom expy. Then saves Hank's life and reveals that Dean has been having sex with Hank's girlfriend. All the while he just stands around and breaths heavily. Fans are clamoring that he and Brock have a fight despite them (seemly) having no reason to fight each other. One theory is that he he's a future version of Hank who became a supervillain and that he ensured his own turn to evil by showing his past self that his girlfriend cheated on him. Amusing, but still just a theory.
  • Fanon: It's a relatively common interpretation that Dr. Quymn, Rusty's childhood friend/crush and almost one-night stand, is actually his paternal half-sister, based off the fact that they share similar facial features and that her mother and Jonas Sr. were involved.
  • Foe Yay:
    • The Monarch's obsessive hatred for Doctor Venture has recently hit very weird levels... like his having sex with a robot that has Venture's face. (To give it chlamydia, sure, but... Yeah. This gets pretty awkward with the reveal that he and Venture are blood relatives.
    • He taunted Captain Sunshine with a Hannibal Lecture in which he claimed, at length, that Sunshine would really enjoy having sex with him.
    • Also, when Dr. Girlfriend seduced Rusty for him, he looked like he was about to masturbate while watching the proceedings. The only other time he watched Dr. Girlfriend have sex with someone else just ended up... Awkwardly.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The Sovereign being unceremoniously killed by Headshot becomes this now that David Bowie has passed on, even though it wasn't really Bowie. The timing (within a year) is eerie.
    • Michael Sinterniklaas voices Dean, who died repeatedly and kept getting replaced with clones. However, here it was mainly played for (very dark) laughs. The next time he played a role like that, it would be shown in a much more serious light.
    • The Blue Morpho tricking Dr. Z into having sex by him by disguising himself as Billie Jean King is Played for Laughs in Season 6. Come Season 7, it doesn't seem so funny anymore once you realise that Jonas Venture was blackmailing the Blue Morpho into doing it among other dirty deeds, essentially committing Rape by Proxy on both Dr. Z and Blue Morpho.
  • Growing the Beard: Arguably season two had peach fuzz, season three had stubble, season four is when the beard really came in.
    • You can even see the beard starting to come in at the end of season 1, particularly with the episodes The Trial of the Monarch and Return to Spider-Skull Island. It was with these that the show began its move away from "Jonny Quest Parody" to something deeper. Come season 2, the move was in full swing.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • After hired killer Le Tueur is killed by Brock with his own sword, Brock asks the boys to call the cleaner and tell them "they have a Damien Hirst" on their hands. Damien Hirst is a well known conceptual artist who frequently uses large amounts of splattered animal blood on his art pieces. More specifically, it refers to the Damien Hirst piece "Mother and Child (Divided)" - the preserved bodies of a cow and calf, each split in two lengthwise - in the same way that Brock bisected Le Tueur.
    • On one of the commentary tracks, the creators have said they do so much research for the show that a lot of it flies over some viewers heads or gets left on the cutting room floor for time.
    • The Hand of Osiris and the Eye of Osiris have shown up as mystical artifacts and MacGuffins. This may be a reference to how in Egyptian Mythology, Osiris was cut into pieces which were scattered across the land.
    • While at the same time referencing the Dungeons & Dragons artifacts the Hand of Vecna and the Eye of Vecna, another god with a connection to death.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In "The Lepidopterists", 21 and 24 spend the episode lampshading their borderline-unnatural tendency to escape certain death, predicting that the well-prepared and evidently competent "Henchman #1" won't even last the mission (he doesn't). Only three episodes later, 24 is suddenly Killed Off for Real. And to add insult to injury, Scott Hall, a.k.a Henchman #1, a.k.a Zero, was revealed in season 4 to have survived his encounter with Brock.
    • Hank's heartwarming scenes in Season 6 and early Season 7 with his new girlfriend Sirena become a lot harder to watch after Sirena cheats on him with Dean near the end of Season 7.
    • In "Past Tense", all the way back in Season 1, The Action Man threatens Dr. Orpheus, who uses his magic to look into his future and says "two years and seventeen days... by a stroke" somewhat smugly. Cut forward two years and seventeen days In-Universe to Season 7's "Arrears in Science" and The Action Man actually has a near-fatal stroke, which Orpheus regards with quiet horror.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Any which way but Zeus", Doc Venture wants desperately to be kidnapped by the mystery villain and says this:
      Dr. Venture: Soon this guy will want a "Rusty Venture" on his mantleplace
    • Dermott's posturing and sass during his first onscreen appearance becomes slightly funnier when we realize he was back-talking the man he thought was his father.
    • Dr. Orpheus being mistaken for a "Dracula" is even funnier after Hotel Transylvania was released, centering around the actual Dracula as a Large Ham single dad protecting his Perky Goth short-haired daughter from her dorky love interest. It even earned the nickname "Dr. Orpheus: The Movie" from some fans.
    • Fans had been crossing over Team Fortress 2 with Venture Bros. for a couple of years due to their similar art style and humor. Now there's VB Cosplay items in TF2, and an ad for the game even ran at the end of S5E1. Perhaps as a coincidence, that episode revealed that Sgt. Hatred's real name is Courtney, while TF2's resident Drill Sergeant Nasty also has a feminine name: Jane.
    • In season five's third episode, Shore Leave in a fit of exasperation yells "That's So Raven!" becomes funnier when the actress herself, Raven Symone, came out on twitter
    • "Well, did you dab?" "What?" "Dab. Did you dab?" "Uh...no?" "I dab." "Well, I don't." "You should dab." "Stop saying dab!"
    • One episode has Expies of the Scooby gang break in to the Venture compound to hunt a ghost they believe is there. It...does not end well for them when they go after the boys. Luckily, the gang's next encounter with Dean and his brother goes much more pleasantly for them.
    • Speaking of which, said series also has their Dean go through a montage where he ends up dying in increasingly darkly comic ways.
    • Professor Impossible's turn to villainy, spurned in part by rejection from his longtime romantic partner Mrs. Impossible, happened months before the same thing happened to the Mr. Fantastic and Susan Storm of the Ultimate Marvel setting.
    • The whole "Dr. Venture cloning Dean and Hank to keep them alive" thing, given a similar thing ends up being a plot point in explaining resurrections in Jonathan Hickman's X-Men.
    • The episode "¡Viva los Muertos!" features Expy characters based on the Scooby-Doo gang crossed with infamous American criminals, including a cross between the show's Fred Jones and the serial killer Ted Bundy. In 2019 and 2020, Zac Efron would appear in two films where he played first Ted Bundy and then Fred Jones. Evidently the resemblance between the two goes beyond the imagination of this show's writers.
  • Ho Yay: One Deleted scene between Dean and Jared absolutely drip with this, to the point that Sgt. Hatred gets the wrong idea bout them.
    • A rather bizarre example occurs in the episode "Guess Who's Coming to State Dinner?": After Lincoln's Ghost possessed Dean, the first thing he does is trying to kiss Hank.
      Lincoln's Ghost: Like you boys never experimented.
    • Billy and Pete, just pretty much all the time. They act Like an Old Married Couple in almost every possible way. Spanakopita even has them sharing a bed and accidentally getting all half-naked touchy-feely when Billy has a weird dream. Billy's mother and her friends all end up assuming they're actually a couple and they don't bother to correct her.
    • The pilot suggests Rusty just straight-up has an unrequited crush on Brock. He acts like he's desperate for his attention, even though Brock ignores him, and gets massively disappointed when Brock (half-naked at the time) dodges his attempt to pat at him. Pete White even says he thinks something's "going on there" since Rusty and Brock are always together... to Billy, who he's always with.
    • The Monarch and 21 in later seasons. Moreso from Dr Mrs The Monarch's perspective, though, since the only reason they tango with each other and pretend they went out on a date is to hide from her what they're really up to. (Considering the fact the Monarch and Dr Mrs swing and have previously expressed that it's no big deal that 21 and Dr Mrs kissed, it's not surprising that she barely even raises an eyebrow at it.) But the Monarch admiring 21's "beefy" physique and running his hand suggestively down 21's stomach... that's just because he wants to.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture, who knows he hasn't even come close to amounting to his father's success which was constantly beating him in the face as a child. To quote This Very Wiki at several points, "it's a miracle he can even function as poorly as he does".
  • LGBT Fanbase: The series is decently popular among the LGBTQ+ crowd thanks to having some pretty great represantation. The Alchemist and Shore Leave are both campy and very effeminate homosexuals yet also incredibly hilarious and badass. Shore Leave especially as he's practically the only one that could keep up with Brock.
    • Colonel Hunter Gathers is also loved for being a pretty great transexual character.
  • Magnificent Bastard: It's a testament to the writing that enough characters qualify to need a separate page.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The Grand Galactic Inquisitor's shouting at the top of his lungs to "IGNORE ME!!!" at the end of every sentence.
    • The reoccurring background villain Brick Frog became this for how amusingly lame his gimmick is.
    • A "Rusty Venture" has become one as well. note 
    • MECHA-SHIVA!note 
    • Eat the pennies. note 
    • The term "Brock Freakin' Samson". note 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Many of Dr. Venture's actions are examples of the sort that would normally qualify him for crossing it. He's the star of a Black Comedy, however, so it's more funny than repulsive thanks to much Refuge in Audacity.
    • It's pretty much telegraphed that Tim-Tom and Kevin killed 24.
    • Limb releases The Monarch's prison mates just so that he can hunt them down like animals.
    • Molotov Cocktease crosses this twice: first at the end of season three, where she puts a bounty out on Brock Samson's head and tricks him into thinking OSI was the one responsible. Manipulating Brock just to further her career was more impressive than it was unforgivable... but in Operation P.R.O.M., she went and not only chose someone else (Monstroso) over Brock after long acknowledging his affections for her, but was also willing to die with him. Then, just as a final "screw you" to Brock, she told him if she were to die, the Blackhearts were ordered to kill all of Brock's friends. They only survived because Dr. Venture used mutant Spanish Fly on them. Which turned them into mutant Spanish flies.
    • The senior Dr. Venture has done several things that may qualify.
      • His actions once caused a group of orphaned children to wander below his home for over 20 years. One wonders if this is probably worse that his son's machine that was powered by the heart of an orphan.
      • On a more intimate level: acting as Rusty's therapist so that he could belittle his own son and tell him how ungrateful he was for not enjoying a life of constant danger, kidnapping, and isolation from his peers. If you didn't already think he was worse than Rusty, this about clinches it.
      • Creating an AI with full access to a nuclear silo was a pretty idiotic move to begin with. Not to mention he trapped the miniscule Dr Entmann in her control room for decades as well.
      • His worst moment was probably screwing over his friend the Blue Morpho for years which consisted of setting it up to sleep with his friend's wife under the guise of providing help with fertility, forcing him to hand over his sidekick Kano as payment for said help, blackmailing him with a sex tape of him cheating on his wife to essentially gain a black ops agent, and rebuilding him as a cyborg after a plane crash killed him. When called on all of this by the Blue Morpho he has the audacity to act like the Morpho is being an Ungrateful Bastard and claims that he's been helping him all this time. Then he tries to set it up to have his brain put into the Morpho's cybernetic body at the cost of Morpho's life and when he can't manipulate anyone else into helping him he just tries to do it by force.
      • And while trying to take over Blue Morpho's body, he almost kills his own son Rusty. It probably wasn't intentional, but neither were all the other times he put him in danger.
    • Dr. Impossible using his ex-brother-in-law, The Human Torch a failed experiment who is constantly on fire (and screaming in pain) when awake as a green energy source to power his skyscraper. It says something about him when he thinks being green makes it morally acceptable. The Phantom Limb says it's basically the most deliciously evil thing he's ever seen.
    • Monarch's had several, but they usually don't take with fans. Most notably, his forcing a prostitute to run a dangerous gauntlet inside the cocoon after they have sex was supposed to be one, but the sequence's Red Dragon homage and Monarch revealing that he stole the polar bear from Lost to serve as a guard-bear, made fans laugh at it instead.
    • The Sovereign crosses it in All This and Gargantua-2 where he initiates a Kill 'Em All plan which includes the purging most of the Council of 13, luring the OSI into a trap that will blow them all up, and finally having Phantom Limb destroy Gargantua-2 just so he could renege on his deal with The Investors, even if it would kill hundreds of innocents on board. Oh yeah, and he's not the real David Bowie.
    • Copycat crosses this in Season 7 when he sets up the villains under his leadership as decoys, so he can make off with Dr. Venture's teleporters for himself while leaving them at the nonexistent mercy of Brock Samson.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The nameless...villain(?) known as "Scare Bear". He has thirty seconds of screen time in one episode, and does nothing in that single scene except for wear a bloody bear costume and stand there holding a knife, but he proved a big enough hit with fans to return with a plot-critical role in an episode three seasons later and has inspired a huge amount of varyingly crazy fan theories about his motivations and origins.
  • One True Threesome: Doc/Sheila/Malcolm is a natural OT3 with Doc's attraction to Sheila (and they get along great when Doc isn't being his usual self), Sheila and Malcom as an official couple and Doc being the only person in Malcolm's life that might be more important to him than Shella.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The Monarch and Doctor Girlfriend are supposed to be the villains, but many viewers root for them not only because they are cool but also because they are often much more likable than Rusty.
  • Replacement Scrappy: At least some fans consider Hatred to be Brock's Replacement Scrappy, when he takes over the bodyguard role in season 4. Unlike with other examples, however, Brock still makes regular appearances on the show, just not every episode.
  • The Scrappy:
    • The Murderous Moppets/Pupa Twins, get this due to their extreme hostility and overall creepiness. Doesn't help that they're strongly implied to be the ones who killed 24. What does help is that the Monarch also views them as such.
    • Dermott isn't seen as a very likable character. But isn't that the point? He just isn't really supposed to be a Hate Sink either.
    • Augustus St. Cloud is probably supposed to be the guy you Love to Hate but he's just flat-out irritating to some. Others Love to Hate him because he isn't as awesome or entertaining as the other villains, so they don't have to hold back about him.
  • Seasonal Rot: "Rot" might be too strong a word, but season 5 could qualify, even though many of the issues are just the natural result of a shorter season. The Monarch has a much reduced role, and while this season gave us major changes,note  everyone seemed to end Season 5 in more or less the same place they were at when it started.
    • Season 6 is also this for some fans. Not counting the TV movie that aired in Fall of 2015, fans had to wait almost THREE YEARS after Season 5 for a new, reduced season of 8 episodes (Word of God says the TV movie counted as a few episodes, explaining the reduction). Despite an interesting premise of Rusty inheriting his dead brother's company and now being a millionaire super scientist in New York City, the season ultimately floundered around introducing and killing off new, interesting villains and building plot threads like Dr. Mrs. The Monarch taking down Blue Morpho/The Monarch and Rusty running his brother's business into the ground that were left unresolved by the end of the season. It didn't help that characters like Dr. Orpheus or Dermott (whose new found knowledge of Rusty being his father still has yet to be explored) were nowhere to be found. The fact that fans will probably have to wait a few more years for more episodes and any type of resolution raises the question of whether or not the wait is worth it.
  • Signature Scene: Ask any fan and they'll say that the most defining and memorable scene in the entire series would be the ending of "Operation PROM". Where Brock makes a mad dash back at the compound before Molotov's Black Hearts massacre Rusty and his friends while "Like A Friend" by Pulp plays in the background.
  • Squick:
    • One of the deleted scenes in the second season is a fully-animated sequence of Orpheus's master having sex as Catherine the Great's horse and giving Orpheus direction and advice in between grunts as he nears climax. It's pretty easy to see how even Adult Swim wouldn't let that fly.
    • The real story behind Dermott's birth. Dermott's true origin. Rusty had sex with the 15 year old head of his fanclub and was forced into giving the family money and staying away. The girl's mother then raised Dermott as her own son and passed his real mom off as his sister and Brock as his dad. And Hank found all of this out AFTER sleeping with Dermott's real mom. You can't really blame Hank for throwing up after that.
      • Or intentionally getting a memory wipe.
      • It gets even worse as the situation plays out in reverse years later, with now adult Nicki sleeping with the underage Hank. Due to the Double Standard everyone treats Hank like this is some major accomplishment but it's still statutory rape. When he learns the truth, Hank himself is so disgusted that he chooses to erase his own memory of it.)
      • A quick scene in Season 5 shows that she is still trying to make a go at Hank.
    • Dermott's thought that Triana will "cream herself". Oh and the fact he was shirtless during part of Operation P.R.O.M.
    • Myra implying that she breastfeeds her own cats and almost breastfeeding her own 16 year old "sons".
      • In "Momma's Boys", she almost shoved Dean up her lady parts in an attempt to give "birth" to him. Even before that, there was also some one-sided Incest Subtext between her and Dean when she tells him to get undressed and show her "that handsome new body."
    • Post-Op Colonel Gathers' encounter with Brock at a strip club.
    • Basically any dialogue from Sgt. Hatred involving young boys.
    • Any of the descriptions of the sex act known as a "Rusty Venture."
      • Accordingly to Shore Leave, a "Rusty Venture" is where two men 69 each other to the point of climax and then spin around, and cum in each other's mouths. Which is shot down by The Alchemist as a Snake Venom.
      • According to The Alchemist, a "Rusty Venture" is a finger-rimjob on a man while jacking him off into your mouth. Currently not debunked.
      • According to Colonel Gentleman and Tennesee Williams (aprocryphal), a "Rusty Venture" is where you take an old-school scuba tank and gear, shove one end of the tube up your ass, and squeeze the other over your dick, then work the pump on your dick and ass simultaneously until you cum. Debunked by Shore Leave as a "Double Frogman."
      • According to Watch of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, a "Rusty Venture" is where you reach up someone's ass with your your fist. That's the 'Rusty.' The Venture part is where you grab whatever you can and pull out. Debunked by Ward.
      • According to Ward of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, a "Rusty Venture" is specifically a straight move: where you take a woman out to dinner, get her to eat as much as she can, then don't let her shit, then have anal then pull out and blow shit/cum all over her back. And that is a Rusty. The Venture is where you eat it all off her back. Not currently debunked.
      • According "in universe" to www.urbandictionary.com, Triana Orpheus, and Dean's reaction afterward, a "Rusty Venture" is something involving feces and a handjob, among other things then when one person finds the turkey-baster, you eat your way out of the tub.
      • Officially defined by murderist extraordinaire and ladies' man, Brock Samson, as jerking off as hard as possible until your dick is all red and raw. Because Brock knows this. (SPHINX HAS NO SECRETS!) And he knows Rusty.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: In "Perchance to Dean", Rusty introduces Dean to progressive rock. The music very clearly pastiches Yes' songs "Close to the Edge" and "Roundabout", even though the band's identity is only hinted at in dialogue. The sleeve of the record Rusty puts on looks more like an Asia album, while Yes' album Fragile can be clearly seen in the record crate (along with King Crimson's debut.)
  • Take That, Scrappy!: The Monarch delivers a rather chilling low-key one to the Murderous Moppets. He tells them in no uncertain terms that if they ever defy his command he will kill them and feed them to dogs.
    • St.Cloud not being let in the nightclub for supervillains in "Bot Seeks Bot" for no real reason.
    • As noted under Catharsis Factor, "The Bellicose Proxy" devotes its plot to humiliating St. Cloud under The Monarch's tutelage.
  • Tear Jerker: Despite the series tone most of the time. It's main theme of being Failure, means that there are times that can make the viewer feel rather saddened. Has its own page.
    • The truth of Dermott's father; it turns out that Dr. Venture unknowingly impregnated 15-year old Nikki Fitchell, the actual mother of Dermott who she raised to think of him as a sister and his grandmother as his mother. The sheer raw emotion and overall discomfort of it all really makes one tear up. Especially considering it was one of the few times Dr. Venture tried to do the right thing only to be browbeaten and threatened into taking the easy way out.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The Grand Galactic Inquisitor gets axed after one episode, despite being one of the funniest characters yet. Similarly the G.I. Joe parody characters (Sphinx Commander and his gang and the unique OSI operatives seen in "O.S.I. Love You") get barely any screen time and mostly serve as Cannon Fodder.
    • The quite brilliant Andy Warhol/Lex Luthor pastiche Doom Factory are all slain in the episode they are introduced.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • "The Lepidopterists" episode. Imagine: a season-long arc of the Monarch arching Dr. Venture, Jr. with many adventures in-between, and Dr. (Rusty) Venture playing second fiddle. This all culminates into the Batman Gambit of the Monarch finally getting his true arch back, like he did in that episode. So much potential.
    • "The Revenge Society", anyone? This episode features the return of Phantom Limb and David Bowie, a callback to "ORB", a Guild assault on the Venture compound with only Sgt. Hatred and Hank to defend it, and the revelation that Brian Eno, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper are members of The Guild of Calamitous Intent. And it all proceeds to add up to an episode where nothing happens for a good 2/3s of the ep, with little jokes in the interim, with an ending that comes out of nowhere. Definitely should be a record there for most plot wasted in a single episode.
    • To be fair, the show creators REALLY like to play with this trope. While there have been a few genuinely epic moments in the series, major plot points are just as likely to be resolved in mundane, boring, or off-screen ways. It all ties into the whole "failure" thing.
    • Dean's changes in season 5 had a lot of potential. But with his extreme lack of focus and more focus on Hank, only a few episodes touched on his new attitude.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Brock falls into it a lot during the first season.
    • The floating head hologram the Sovereign uses, see Nightmare Fuel.
  • Villain Decay: Richard Impossible in season three. This is probably intentional considering the breakup with his wife. Baron Ünderbheit and Phantom Limb were pretty damn scary, but both eventually succumbed to inevitable embarrassing failures endemic to the Venture universe.
    • In his first appearances, St. Cloud is a low-tier but still sinister and threatening villain who comes close to beating or killing Billy and Pete a couple of times. When he comes back in "The Bellicose Proxy," he is a whiny, spoilt manchild who gets his ass kicked by Billy's mom.
  • What an Idiot!: In "Hansome Ransom", the Monarch corners Captain Sunshine in Sunshine's own base, coolly informing him that he knows that Captain Sunshine's powers don't work at night. So what does he use to attack the solar powered superhero? A special ray gun built to emit sunbeams identical to the kind Captain Sunshine uses. Predictably, his attempt at sentencing Cap to Death by Irony just ends up repowering the superhero.
    • Then, there's Phantom Limb, Underbheit, and Dr. Impossible's plan to capture Rusty in "Bright Lights, Dean City." They get Underbheit to dress up as a cabbie, in order to gas Rusty while he's in the cab by sealing the partition between the front and the back, and emitting knockout gas... with the emitter located in the front of the cab. Underbheit's first reaction to then sums up the situation pretty well: "Vhat ze hell vas that shit out zhere?!"
    • See Stupid Good above.
    • The season three opener "Shadowman 9 - In The Cradle Of Destiny" has Phantom Limb find The Monarch with Queen Etheria (in a flashback). Limb asks for Monarch's name, to which he responds "The Mighty M...Manotaur!" and is then put on Limb's "Shit List".
      You'd Think: When they meet, Phantom Limb would see that Manotaurnote , who retired from villainy years ago, neither looks nor sounds anything like the man that slept with his partner so many years ago, and leave him alone.
      Instead: With a cry of "Nobody retires from the Phantom Limb's shit list!", Limb kills Manotaur, still failing to realize that Dr. Girlfriend ended up marrying Monarch, let alone that Monarch was ever one of his henchmen. This is even lampshaded by Dr. Girlfriend, who doesn't think Limb could possibly have been that thickheaded.
    • In Season 7's episode "The Forecast Manufacturer", a massive (man-made) blizzard has struck New York City. Hank, worried for Sirena's safety after numerous failed attempts to contact her, decides to brave the snowstorm to rescue her.
      You'd Expect: For Hank to remain focused on his mission to see if Sirena is safe, and not get distracted.
      Instead: Hank, being Hank, decides to have an impromptu football game with himself. He dives into a snowbank for a touchdown, only to knock himself out by hitting his head on a lamppost (the base being hidden by said snowbank). He's narrowly saved by the Scare Bear.
  • The Woobie:
    • Jonas Venture Jr, who despite achieving more in about a month than his brother did in his entire life, never met his father (though that might be for the best) and spent over forty years trapped inside Rusty's body. And then he gets cancer and has to sacrifice himself in a massive explosion.
    • The Monarch, whose parents died in a plane crash when he was a kid and he doesn't remember playing with Dr. Venture in his childhood, where they were apparently friends.
    • 21/Gary, who was kidnapped as a child and inducted into supervillainy, witnessed his best friend die in an explosion, left the Monarch to work for SPHINX, only for them to leave him the following episode, and spent the next few episodes after SPHINX was blown up just prowling around the Venture Compound before finally crawling back to his old boss.
    • Dean Venture, whose girlfriend (kinda) dumped him right before he found out that he has died about fourteen times in the past and is only a copy of his true self.
    • Sgt. Hatred, whose wife left him before he went to work for Venture Industries, where the boys don't really respect him as they did their old bodyguard.
    • Cody Impossible. His exposure to cosmic rays gave him the power to spontaneously combust whenever he has contact with oxygen. What it didn't give him was immunity to fire.
    • Don't forget Hank who is considered the unfavorite to Rusty and usually over looked in favor of Dean. Then Brock, his only his father figure (that actually gives him support) leaves him with no goodbye or contact for at least a year (give or take) and then is replaced with a guy who he hates for molesting(?) him. Then when he goes out for his dream job as a spy at SPHINX, he passes all their tests only to be rejected just because they didn't want him. Afterward, his first time having sex is with his half-brother's birth mom which traumatizes him so much he has to have that memory erased. Season 7 adds to this; he and Serena get together and are pretty happy, however he’s so obsessive and clingy that he pushes her away and she sleeps with Dean. After discovering this he falls into a coma where it’s implied his godfather died. This combined with the emotional neglect of his father encourages Hank to run away by the end of the season.
    • The Original Blue Morpho - one of very few people that was tormented anywhere near as much as Rusty. Not only did the fanatical loyalty detailed by Dr. Z stem from Jonas Sr. blackmailing him with a sex tape into doing terrible things such as murdering Jonas' arches and seducing Dr. Z, but Jonas seduced his wife. Then, when he died in a plane crash, Jonas Sr. rebuilt him as a borderline brainless cyborg to serve as a glorified butler, eventually threw him in the trash, and then planned to steal his robot body.
    • And of course the hydrocephalic Billy Quizboy, whose simple desire to be liked and respected by Doctor Venture is consistently rewarded with humiliation.

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