"Hate Floats" is the second episode in the second season of The Venture Bros.
The uncostumed #21 (also known as Gary) is sitting at his computer when the phone rings. Answering it with "Atomic Comic Collection Connection", he finds that it is #24 calling. Before the two get a chance to talk, The Monarch
calls, and 21 puts him on three-way
. The Monarch, who is sitting in the sideways-standing charred remains of the Cocoon, instructs the two to gather the others and meet at the cocoon. The henchmen reply that everyone else had joined Monstroso and that they are the last two remaining henchmen. In a heated speech, the Monarch demands that the cocoon be fully operational and fully manned by the time he finishes with his shower. While the episode's soundtrack swells with "Mars, the Bringer of War
" by Gustav Holst
(with #21 and #24 "singing" along with the song), 21 dons his old Monarch henching uniform while 24 arrives to pick him up. Their dramatic moment is spoiled by the family dog jumping into the car as well.
At the Venture compound, the clones of Dean and Hank are awoken for the first time, and are told that it's their sixteenth birthday despite the date inconsistency on their ID cards. Meanwhile, #21 and #24 are out advertising the "sexy, action-packed lifestyle of the professional henchman" in an urban area when several gangstas and thugs show up, attracted by 21's promises of weapons and rides (the Flying Cocoon). The newly recruited henchmen arrive at the Cocoon while #21 and #24 manage to get it functional and floating. The Monarch is shocked to learn that his henchmen displayed some level of competency and actually did what he told them to do. He reveals his new plan, "Operation: Get Back Dr. Girlfriend" to his new henchmen, who appear indifferent to the Monarch’s plight.
At the mall, Dr. Venture takes Dean to get his surprise birthday present. Much to Dean’s dismay, the present turns out be a jumpsuit, which Dr. Venture insists is a "speedsuit", clothing for the "science-minded man who knows both comfort and ease and demands them from his clothing." Incidentally, Phantom Limb and Dr. Girlfriend happen to be shopping at the very same mall, with the Monarch’s cocoon tailing them in the parking lot. Limb prepares for a dinner party, to which Dr. Girlfriend appears apathetic and leaves to get a snack.
As Dr. Girlfriend leaves the food court, she is confronted by The Monarch, who attempts to convince her to return with him. As the two talk, he receives a transmission from #24, who just spotted Brock and Hank shopping together. Angered that the Monarch spends more time with his henchmen and plotting against Dr. Venture than with her, Dr. Girlfriend starts to leave. When Phantom Limb arrives at the scene and charges at the two, the Monarch panics and tranquilizes Dr. Girlfriend, then spreads his wings and takes flight with her in tow.
Elsewhere, the Monarch's new henchmen arrive to ambush the Venture family. A fight breaks out, causing Dr. Venture's right eyeball to be knocked out of its socket, resulting in globe luxation. The fight escalates until Brock is shot by one of the henchmen. Meanwhile, the commotion causes the Monarch to falter and drop Dr. Girlfriend (who lands on Hank and Dean). Mall cops arrive on the scene, forcing the Monarch and his henchmen to retreat with Dr. Venture in tow. Phantom Limb arrives in time to see the Monarch retreating and swears vengeance, but then sees the severely bleeding Brock lying on the ground.
Brock awakes in the Lair of the Phantom in bandages. Phantom Limb gives an impassioned and dramatic "Welcome to Hell" speech to Brock, revealing his mistaken impression that the Monarch has kidnapped both Dr. Girlfriend and the Venture family. With a common enemy, the two of them agree to team up, even developing a mutual grudging admiration of sorts.
At the Cocoon, the Monarch is lecturing his henchmen about being "hotshot upstarts" and using real guns. However, when he tries to force them to relinquish their guns the henchmen mutiny, imprisoning the Monarch, #21, #24 and Dr. Venture.
Back at the mall, Dr. Girlfriend hotwires Brock's Charger and orders Hank to drive, saying that she doesn’t drive mad. The Venture brothers are surprised that Dr. Girlfriend knows their names, as well as Brock, and Dean asks if she is their mother. This claim angers Dr. Girlfriend, but she does not deny it at first.
At the Lair of the Phantom, Phantom Limb uses a muscle growth accelerator to restore Brock's muscles. He warns Brock that what they are doing is to be kept secret, as if word of it were leaked to the Guild he would be kicked out.
In jail, #21 reveals that he has a secret cache of weapons in his room, which coincidentally happens to be directly above. Using an air duct and WD-40, the four manage to climb over up into the room. They survey 21's "weapon stash", which consists mainly of toys and collector’s items, including a The Lord of the Rings sword (mint condition, still in box), a Captain America shield, Magneto's helmet, Hulk noise-making gloves and a Spider-Man uniform, among other things.
Back at the Lair of the Phantom, Phantom Limb and Brock equip themselves for the upcoming fight while they argue about the masculinity of Dr. Girlfriend. The two strap on backpack helicopters and take off.
Dr. Girlfriend instructs Hank on where to go, following a tracer that she implanted on the Monarch when the two dated. Hank remains shocked at the fact that he is driving, while Dean persists in asking if Dr. Girlfriend is their mother.
Meanwhile, Brock and Phantom Limb have landed in the cocoon and swap stories, techniques, and moves as they take out the guards. The two take joy in their work, the only common ground the two of them seem to share. Suddenly, Dr. Girlfriend and the boys burst through the side of the cocoon in the car, landing to find Brock, Limb, and several injured henchmen.
In the adjacent room, the Monarch and others prepare for the big breakout, with the Monarch armed with the Hulk punching gloves, Dr. Venture with the Magneto helmet and a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards, #24 with the Lord of the Rings sword (which is still in its original package) and #21 with the Captain America shield. The four rush out of the room weapons swinging only to meet Brock, Limb, and the others.
After the credits, the Monarch (the first one to leave the room) is shown savagely beaten, presumably by Brock and Phantom Limb. Dr. Girlfriend convinces Limb to neither kill nor press charges on the barely breathing Monarch, saying he only did it out of love for her. Brock makes another comment about Dr. Girlfriend, and Limb quickly fells him with a tranquilizer dart, despite the working together and friendly admiration built up through the entire episode. When everyone else looks at him, Limb defensively explains, 'What? I'm a Supervillain.'.
- The title to this episode is an allusion to the 1998 Sandra Bullock movie Hope Floats.
- 21's t-shirt, which says "Porkchop Sandwiches" is a reference to the seventh in the series of G.I. Joe Public Service Announcement parodies by Eric Fensler's Fensler Films.
- 21's costume change is a parody of the Batman Forever suit-change sequence. He and 24 sing Mars from Holst's The Planets.
- The Monarch sings part of "Been Around The World" by Lisa Stansfield.
- As the Monarch carries the drugged Dr. Girlfriend through the air over the food court, he recites lyrics to "Can You Read My Mind?" in his mind, just as Lois Lane did when being carried by Superman on their "date" in Superman.
- Hank quotes from the ABC Afterschool Special called The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon.
- When Phantom Limb propositions Brock that they work together, Brock mocks him by comparing the two of them to "Scully and Mulder" from The X-Files.
- When Hank mentions 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock when placing his hands on the steering wheel, this is taken directly from the pilot episode of Miami Vice (as well as every driver's ed class). This becomes a running gag for the show.
- While berating his new urban henchmen on their lack of subtlety, he mockingly labels them a bunch of "hotshot, Young Turk 182s". Turk 182 was a 1985 movie starring Timothy Hutton as an injured firefighter's brother seeking justice by spraying graffiti around the city. Voice actor James Urbaniak was also an extra in the film. The Young Turks were political radicals in the late 19th and early 20th Century Ottoman Empire.
- The Monarch enters into the climactic battle wearing a pair of Hulk Hands.
- Dr. Venture wears a helmet similar to that of Magneto, a prominent villain in the X-Men storylines. He's also given a hand of Magic: The Gathering cards as a weapon by Henchman #21 ("You can Fozzie them at their heads. They catch a corner of one of these, they're gonna know what hit 'em.").
- The end of the episode is a parody of the ending of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Connections to other episodes
- This is the first episode where The Monarch's wings are shown to be functional rather than just a part of his costume. In the season finale, it was shown that all of the henchmen's wings are functional. In the third season premier, it is revealed that Dr. Girlfriend actually designed and built the wings for him.
- Phantom Limb confirms at least one element of his purported origin scenarios mentioned later in "Victor. Echo. November.", that he gained his invisible limbs and touch of death from a botched experiment that made him evil. The "muscle growth accelerator" he uses in this episode is also identical to the one seen in The Monarch's flashback to his version of Phantom Limb's origin story in "Victor. Echo. November."
- Several background characters seen in the mall are caricatures of the cast and crew.
- The Wilhelm scream can be heard when The Monarch, Dr. Venture and the henchmen come out of the door just before the closing credits.
- This is the first episode to have the new opening for the second season. It is notably different than the first season's opening in that it does not list stars or supporting characters, and The Monarch replaces Baron Ünderbheit as becoming the skull logo.
- Doc Hammer has confirmed that Dr. Girlfriend said "I never drive MAD," not "I never drive MEN." This is also confirmed on the Season 2 DVD's subtitles.
- 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 "Hate Floats" the credit reads Kimson "Nice Onesie" Albert.
- According to the Season 2 DVD commentary for this episode, Wizards of the Coast, the company responsible for Magic: The Gathering sent Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer free products in return for the mentioning of the game in the episode.
- Every character improperly identifies the name of Dr. Venture's outfit: While Dr. Venture is correct that there is in fact an article of men's clothing known as a "speedsuit," it is actually a vinyl bodysuit. The store clerk refers to it as a jumpsuit, but such outfits do not have belts. The proper name of the article of clothing Venture wears is boilersuit or coveralls.
- During the scene in the Hank and Dean's bedroom, Brock's hair repeatedly switches between his usual mullet and the short haircut that he wears during this episode.
- In the beginning when #24 is picking up #21 in his Stanza, #24 isn't wearing his costume wings; however, when #21 gets into the car, #24 has his wings on, also #21 is putting on his costume and has one of his gloves in his teeth but he seems to have both gloves on.
- Immediately prior to the Monarch, Dr. Venture and the henchmen charging out of #21's room, the sound of a sword being drawn can be heard. However, the next scene shows that #24 never took it out of the box.
- The Arch Enemy and Batman posters in #24's wardrobe change places every time the door appears in the scene.