The correct answer to, “Which The Venture Bros. episodes should I watch?” is “all of them.” None are bad, most are at least very good, and a select few are some of the funniest episodes of any television show in recent memory.
But in case you don’t have time to binge the entire series before season six premieres on Jan. 31 — which, again, you should; real life can’t compete with Princess Tinyfeet — here are eight episodes you should for sure watch.
They’re not necessarily the best episodes of the series (otherwise the list would be season-two top-heavy), but eight that showcase the many stories Venture Bros. can tell with gusto. Here they are, in chronological order.
“Tag Sale – You’re It!” (season one)
Like most comedies, The Venture Bros. didn’t find its groove immediately. It took a few episodes. The initial “this show is something special” moment came during “Tag Sale – You’re It!”, in which Dr. Venture sells some junk around the compound to raise funds. It’s a low concept, but clever way of having gobs of previously introduced heroes and super villains alike in one location, with familiar, character-based humor, like when Master Billy Quizboy and Pete White discuss why Dr. Girlfriend sounds like a construction worker (they suspect it has something to do with a baboon uterus). This is the first episode curious Venture Bros. newcomers should watch.
“Twenty Years to Midnight” (season two)
“Twenty Years to Midnight” takes a familiar trope — a task must be completed in a certain amount of time, or else — and adds a Venture Bros. spin to it. In this case, there’s Dr. Venture’s father telling his son that his “greatest invention” must be finished by tomorrow. Simple enough, relatively speaking, until you add the reappearance of a fake ghost pirate, a tweaked-out Jonny Quest, Stephen Colbert as Richard Impossible (a spoof of the Fantastic Four‘s Mister Fantastic), and best of all, a humanity-judging robot named the Grand Galactic Inquisitor. But don’t worry, IGNORE HIM.