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Steampunx

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"Steampunx"
Conversing with the farmer
Phineas, Ferb, Isabella, Buford and Baljeet circa 1903 showing their steam-powered vehicle to a farmer.
Season: 4
Production code: 417a
Broadcast number: 204
Story by:
Dani Vetere
Written & Storyboarded by:
Bernie Petterson
Joshua Pruett
Directed by:
Robert F. Hughes
"Assistant Director":
Russell Calabrese
Broadcast Information
Disney Channel US Premiere:
November 15, 2013
Disney XD US Premiere:
November 23, 2013
International Debut:

See more...
Paired with
"It's No Picnic"
Merchandise
DVD Releases:
Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars (DVD)
Oh, yes. I've seen this before. It's a commemorative coin from the nineteen hundred and three Danville World's Fair. Many steam driven devices were introduced to the world back then. It must have been quite an event...

— Lawrence Fletcher

When Phineas and Ferb discover a commemorative coin from the 1903 Danville World’s Fair, Lawrence recounts the events of the festival to them, in which steam-driven devices were introduced and a set of kids, who were very much like them, were preparing for the highly anticipated event. Meanwhile, the kids' pet swan (Swearry), must stop Professor Von Doofenshmirtz from destroying the fair.

Episode Summary

The gang is in the backyard using Lawrence's steam-powered metal detector. However, all they can find are uninteresting things such as nails, bottle caps, and screws. Lawrence finds something. Buford digs it up. It turns out to be a commemorative coin from the 1903 Danville World's Fair, which Lawrence begins to regale about.

We flashback to the fair where Professor Elemental raps about all the steam-powered wonders of the supposed future. The steampunk counterparts of Phineas and Ferb leave the fair in amazement. They approach their father who is using his own metal detector and finding some coins from the Civil War. The steampunk counterpart of Candace is carrying two buckets of water (which, oblivious to her, have holes in them) and singing to herself, when she passes by her brothers just standing around. She chides them for not doing their chores ("milking the cows, mending the fences, shucking the corn, plowing the fields and milking the cows...again"). Phineas tells Candace his plan to invent something to help with the chores using steam. Candace says she would bust them except she has her own chores ("haul water, sweep the barn, collect eggs, spin a quilt and do whatever this is") to do. Isabella and Baljeet arrive wondering what the boys are doing. Phineas tells them they are about to invent something, when he wonders where his pet swan Swerry (the steampunk version of Perry the Platypus) is. Buford arrives and says he found him. Phineas, like his present-day counterpart, affirms that Swerry doesn't do much.

Swerry goes behind a barn and puts on his derby and takes out a pocket-watch with a zoetrope in it. Agent S gets his instructions from a limited-animated Major Megaburns that his nemesis Professor Von Doofenshmirtz is inventing something evil. Another zoetrope appears and a better animated Carl suggests taking his steam-powered jet pack. Megaburns is jealous that Carl's zoetrope is "cooler", but Carl insists that it only has more frames.

At Doofenshmirtz Evil Amalgamated, Von Doofenshmirtz gives Swerry the usual greeting, and gets trapped by his half-steam-engine and half-robotic sidekick Pneumatic Pnorman. Pnorman mistakes Swerry for a cucumber and asks if he should put him in a salad. Von Doofenshmirtz says no and informs Swerry that Pnorman has difficulty in identifying different objects. Von Doofenshmirtz then says that he will tie Swerry to the railroad tracks.

Meanwhile, Phineas and Ferb have completed their invention and begin to work on their chores. Candace complains about how long she has been carrying the buckets and how she's missing her date with Jeremy. She then sees the invention and runs off to bust them.

Professor Von Doofenshmirtz melodramatically ties Agent S to the railroad tracks, like he said he would and tells him of his plan. He says that it has to do with the World's Fair and shows him the commemorative coin. Swerry bites Von Doofenshmirtz's finger and Von Doofenshmirtz drops the coin. He instructs Pnorman to search for it. Von Doofenshmirtz unveils his device, a giant machine in the shape of a swan with three hammers and two steamstacks on them. Pnorman returns with what he thinks is the commemorative coin, but is actually Vanessa. Von Doofenshmirtz tries to make an evil speech, but the steam whistles are so loud, they drown out his entire speech until he talks about aerosol cheese.

In the house, Linda is doing...whatever this is (churning butter), when her daughter tells her about Phineas and Ferb's machine. Linda is intrigued by it, and says she'll finish when she's done doing...whatever this is.

Back at the fair, Von Doofenshmirtz's big hammery swan rampages. Back at the train tracks, the next train arrives on schedule. Swerry takes a sawing device from his derby to cut the ropes and free himself. Swerry then grabs onto the caboose. Meanwhile at the fair, Auguste and Louis Lumière, two French filmmakers, are showing their moving pictures, when they decide to film the big hammery swan. A silent film is then shown of Swerry arriving and pulling Von Doofenshmirtz's mustache.

Phineas is having a conversation with a farmer about the invention. Phineas declares that the chores are finished, so they leave the machine behind. Swerry jumps behind the driver's seat and powers it up, just in time for Candace and Linda to discover it isn't there. Swerry returns to the fair and fights Von Doofenshmirtz's swan. Swerry loads the mechanical swan with all the corn that was shucked. The machine is hurled into the air and explodes into time and space while Von Doofenshmirtz curses Swerry.

Back in the present, Lawrence concludes his story, but Phineas believes the swan is a little too unrealistic. Von Doofenshmirtz, now much older with white hair and a beard, lands in the backyard wondering how long he was up in the sky.

Transcript

For a full transcript of "Steampunx", click here.

Songs

End Credits

First verse and first chorus of "Professor Elemental Future Past".

Gallery

Steampunx title card
The image gallery for "Steampunx" may be viewed here.

Running Gags

I know what we're gonna do today

None.

The "Too Young" Line

(First man mimes that he can't hear anything.)
Title Card: "Can you hear what he's saying?"
(Second man hesitates)
Title Card 2: "No. No I can't."
Farmer: Aren't you a bit young to be industrial revolutionaries?
Phineas: Yes, yes we are.
Phineas: A giant steam-powered hammering swan? Come on, Dad, that sounds a little farfetched for the time period, doesn't it?
Lawrence: Oh, yes. Yes it does.

Ferb's Line

Ferb: I've got a bottlecap and a brass nail.
Ferb: Personally I'm looking forward to cheese in aerosol cans.

What'cha doin'?/Hey, where's Sweary?/Oh, there you are, Sweary!

Isabella: Hi, Phineas, whatcha doin'?
Phineas: We're lookin' for stuff with Dad's steam-powered metal detector.
Isabella: Hello, boys, we would like to inquire as to what you are doing at this moment.

Phineas: Well, as we were just telling Candace, we were just about to create a steam-powered machine that will help with our—Hey, where's Sweary?
Sweary: Honk honk!
Buford: Found 'im! Found 'im!

Phineas: Oh, there you are, Sweary the Swan!

Sweary's entrance to his lair

None, he goes behind a barn and opens a zoetrope.

Evil Jingle

(Sung by a barbershop quartet)
Doofenshmirtz...Doofenshmirtz...Doofenshmirtz...Doofenshmirtz...Doofenshmirtz Evil Amalgamated!

Memorable Quotes

Phineas: What've we got so far?

Ferb: I've got a bottle cap and a brass nail.
Buford: Two bottle caps and a nail.
Baljeet: A washer, a hinge and a nail.
Phineas: I've got a nickel and a piece of brass! No, wait it's a nail.
Lawrence: You never know what you're going to find.
Buford: I do, another nail.

Baljeet: Or a bottle cap.
Buford: Man, that pet of yours gives me the creeps.

Phineas: Oh, come on, Buford. You know swans don't do much.

Buford: Don't do much? The big bite on my butt begs to differ!
Von Doofenshmirtz: Swerry the Swan, how completely unforeseen is your presence. And by that, I mean, completely foreseen!

Swerry: squawks at Von-Doofenshmirtz
Von-Doofenshmirtz: Wow, do you preen your feathers with that mouth? They should call you Sw- Oh! Oh, I get it. Swear-y the Swan.

Candace: Is that a steam-powered chore doing device? You are so going to get it! Get back here, you steam-punks!
Phineas: Sorry Candace, it won't stop 'till we run out of coal

Pnorman: Sir, I found your coin!

Von Doofenshmirtz: That's not a coin, that's my daughter, you dolt!

Pnorman: No wonder she wouldn't fit in the gumball machine.
Von Doofenshmirtz: Hear that, Swerry the Swan? That is the sound of (WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!) aerosol cheese!
Farmer's Wife: I don't believe it! A fuzzy doll in the shape of a bear? It's the end of deceny!
Farmer: You didn't believe in me or anthropomorphism.
Phineas: All our chores are done and it's still light out. What else do you guys wanna do today?

Baljeet: We could drink lemonade and sit on the porch.
Buford: We can go to Panama and start diggin'.
Isabella: We could formally begin courting.
Phineas: What?

Isabella: Nothing.
Candace: But-but-but...
Linda: Candace, it's 1903! We do not use that word!
Von Doofenshmirtz: (dropping down into the present day backyard) Man, how long was I up there?

Background Information

  • 1903 Phineas and Ferb's outfits worn when back in time closely resemble their pioneer outfits from "She's the Mayor".
  • The actual 1903 World's Fair took place in Osaka, Japan.
  • The man from the coin from the Civil War's dialogue matches, in verbatim, the Wikipedia article for the Battle of Antietam
  • Auguste Lumière is a mustached caricature of Swampy Marsh. The man seen next to him in the moving picture is a mustached caricature of Dan Povenmire.
  • Second time Candace sings while she goes to get some water ("Excaliferb")
  • People were seen running out of the moving picture theater before the Evil Swan even came by to destroy it. This is a reference to how in the time period when moving pictures first came out, people would often times be very scared because of how gigantic people were moving around on screen, having not had much experience with giant pictures before.

Production Information

  • This is the longest an episode (along with "It's No Picnic") has had its segments air separately in the US.
  • This is the final episode to premiere in 2013.

International premieres

  • January 21, 2014 (Disney Channel Australia)
  • January 29, 2014 (Disney Channel Brazil & Latin America)
  • February 1, 2014 (Disney XD Germany)
  • February 8, 2014 (Disney XD Poland)
  • March 1, 2014 (Disney XD Canada)
  • March 12, 2014 (Disney XD UK)
  • March 16, 2014 (Disney Channel Asia)
  • May 13, 2014 (PlusPlus - Ukraine)
  • September 12, 2014 (Disney XD Latin America)
  • September 13, 2014 (Disney XD Spain)
  • September 27, 2014 (Disney Channel Spain)
  • October 25, 2014 (Disney Channel Portugal)
  • December 7, 2014 (RCTI Indonesia)
  • April 18, 2016 (Disney Channel Poland)

Errors

  • While the Lumière brothers were in fact the earliest pioneers in filmmaking, there is no historical evidence that they ever came to America, let alone Danville. But of course, this is all in the interest of comedy and is not meant to be taken seriously as a historical reference.
  • Pneumatic Pnorman states that he cannot bend over to pick up a coin without throwing his axles out of alignment, yet earlier in the episode he bent over to pick up Sweary the Swan.

Continuity

Allusions

  • Steampunk - The episode title is a play on this sub-genre of science-fiction involving Victorian-era steam-powered machines.
  • Ken Burns' The Civil War - The closeup on the coin, the period music, and the narration of it is a parody of this 1990 PBS mini-docuseries.
  • Melodramas - von Doofenshmirtz ties Swerry the Swan to the train tracks, which was a common plot device for early film melodramas, made (in)famous by the parodied version in the "Dudley Do-Right" segments of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Von Doofenshmirtz's costume also strongly resembles that worn by Snidely Whiplash in the same series.
  • Teddy Bear - The Farmer's Wife is angry at the Farmer for creating a doll in the shape of a bear. These bears, named after then President Theodore Roosevelt, made their debut at a toy fair in November 1903. The Farmer's bear actually has Roosevelt's face.
  • Panama Canal - Buford suggest that they should go to Panama and start digging the canal after they had finished their chores.
  • American Gothic - The design of the House of the Future, as well as the Farmer and Farmer's Wife's positions in front of it, mimic the oft-parodied Grant Wood painting.
  • The Wild Wild West - In the song "Professor Elemental Future Past", the rocket powered bicycle is similar to Artemus Gordon's motorcycle that was modified to fly later in the film.

Trivia

Cast

designates a character that did not appear in this episode
designates a character who appears but does not speak in this episode


Previous:
"Cheers for Fears"
Episodes Next:
"Just Our Luck"

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