|Season 1, Episode 5a|
|Air date||October 10, 1993|
|Written by|| George Maestri|
|Directed by||Stephen Hillenberg|
To Heck and Back
Power Trip is an episode of Rocko's Modern Life from the first season.
After pushing the green button, Rocko turns into his boss, Mr Smitty!
We start the episode within a “Really, Really Big Man” (RRBM) comic book that Rocko is reading while at work. In the comic, we see RRBM flying and carrying 3 large items that are zounds of times his own size and weight in his right arm (a skyscraper, a giant purple squid, and a giant missile); and a little, blue koala boy named Jimmy has tagged along and is in RRBM’s left arm. Jimmy asks RRBM: “Gee Really, Really Big Man, can you really save Megapolis from total destruction?” RRBM replies: “Sure, it’s easy for Really, Really Big Man: I’ll just toss this skyscraper back to the city [RRBM effortlessly throws the skyscraper back to into its place among other skyscrapers; although it gets slightly damaged upon hitting the ground], return this deadly sea creature to it’s natural habitat [he throws the giant squid into the ocean], and merely hurl the atomic warhead into the sun.” RRBM aims the giant missile at the sun and gears up to throw it, but absentmindedly throws Jimmy by mistake (and he screams in sheer horror as he’s sent to his fate)!! RRBM goes on, “See how easy that was Jimmy?”, but then realizes that Jimmy is gone and he is still holding the giant missile, and he frantically starts looking for Jimmy (not realizing what he had done to him).
We then shift to a later scene and a narrator tells us “To cover his expenses as a superhero, Really, Really Big Man disguises himself as a ‘Daily Orbit’ receptionist, Lois Lane” as we head into an office building for the said ‘Daily Orbit’ newspaper (an obvious parody of the “Daily Planet” from the superman comic series) and see RRBM plow through the door (ripping it out of the wall, frame and all) crossdressed as said alter ego, Lois Lane (another obvious parody from superman). RRBM walks by his boss (some kind of insect who’s male and middle aged), who’s quite enraged on his employee destroying his office, and he says good-morning. RRMB’s feet leaves carders in the floor as he walks to his desk; and when he sits down, his weight sends him though the floor and down though the other floors below until he reaches the ground! RRMB’s boss, fed up with the damages he constantly has to put up with, looks down through the floors and hollers to RRMB: “Lois, YOU’RE FIRED!”
We then leave the RRMB comic book that Rocko is reading while manning the counter at “Kind of a Lot o’ Comics”, and we see other patrons reading other comic books as well. Rocko’s boss, Mr. Smitty comes down from his upstairs office, dotting his usual clothing plus a hat and a suitcase in his hand; he walks up to the counter and notices all the patrons are reading the comics but not buying them, and he barks at one of the patrons (whilst putting on a crazed face): “BUY IT OR GET OUT!” The frightened patron tosses the comic book aside and runs away; Mr. Smitty glares at the other patrons, and they too run out (leaving behind the comic books they were reading). Mr. Smitty then turns his attention to Rocko (sticking his face on Rocko’s) and tells him that he’s going out of town to get a hair implant and that Rocko is in charge until he comes back, and he also instructs Rocko to hire an assistant to help out; just before leaving, he gives his employee the keys to his office and gives him a strict warning (again, sticking his face in Rocko’s): “and whatever you do, don’t touch the green button [though he doesn’t state where it is, what it is, or what it does]!” Just after his boss is gone, Rocko mumbles to himself in spite: “Smoldering old toad!”
Rocko then puts the "Help Wanted" sign in the window, and a large group of people promptly get in line outside; Rocko then proceeds to interview each one until he finds the right person. Rocky’s first candidate is a purple male rhinoceros; he asks him what his last job was, and he replies “Vital organ delivery boy” as he takes a sample organ out of a box he brought along. We then cut to Rocky's next candidate, a purple rabbit with braces and peeling skin around his lips, and also dotting a chef’s hat; he responds “fry cook” to Rocko's first question. We cut to Rocko's next candidate (a greenish-blue dog), who we only see pan a toy rocket though the air with his right hand and make rocket motor noises with his mouth; and we then immediately cut to Rocko's next candidate, a muscular and intimidating orange steer with a nose-ring, who’s recounting an experience he had with a customer he had served (with intimidating visual aids): “AND THEN I’M PUNCHIN’ HIM, AND I PUNCH, AND I PUNCH, AND I’M PUNCHIN’ HIM; AND I SAYS ‘WHAT D’ YA’ MEAN I AIN’T GIVE YA’ THE RIGHT CHANGE!?” We then fast forward though 8 other candidates (most of which are rather unusual beings such as a giant hovering “eggs and bacon”, and a giant pair of dentures) without giving us time to hear them say anything until we stop at non other than Rocko’s close friend, Filburt Turtle; Filburt asks Rocko: “So have you seen the new issue of Really, Really Big Man? ‘Big Man’ finally captures Nuclear Swan.” Rocko replies: “No Filburt, I haven’t; now listen: Do you feel we can work as a team and make this shop a success?” Filburt rebuttals in determination: “Comic books, are my life [and he puts his right hand on his chest and points his left pointer finger in the air]!”
Rocko hires his friend and we fast forward to later on as an excited Filburt is admiring his new job and his name tag: “Wow! This can’t be happening to me!” Rocko tells Filburt: “Filburt, why don’t you mind the cash register while I go check on the office.” Filburt replies: “Okay partner [and he gives his friend a thumbs up]!” Rocko then goes upstairs to examine Mr. Smitty’s office, which we find is unusually spacious to fit within the small 2 story building the comic book store is in; the office is also quite luxurious and upscale, adorned with marble floor tiles, expensive statuary, and indoor plants. Rocko doesn’t take much notice of the luxury and upscaleness and walks right up to the desk and sits in Mr. Smitty’s large office chair; he notices a lever on the chair’s left armrest, fiddles with it, and finds that it tilts the chair (and he adjusts it to a position in which he is comfortable). Rocko then finds that the chair has motorized wheels, and he makes it go all over the office (including up to the ceiling) before bringing it back to the desk. He then notices a red button on the left armrest next to the lever and pushes it; this makes the chair pop out 2 large speakers form behind it, which play relaxing music, and it also makes pink bubbles emerge from beneath the chair. A delighted Rocko presses the button again and the chair puts it’s speakers away and stops the bubbles; Rocks then notices “The Green Button” on the chair’s right armrest, and suddenly recalls his boss’s warning: “Don’t touch the green button!” Rocko tries very hard to heed his boss’s warning as it continues to repeatedly echo in his mind, but Rocko’s curious but torturing temptation proves to be too strong and Rocko ends up hesitantly pressing it! At first, nothing happens; but after a brief pause, the chair begins to wiggle and massage Rocko. This feature cajoles Rocko and he literally sinks deep into the chair; but Rocko is too late to realize that it also has an enchanting side effect which puts Rocko under a spell that slowly begins to transform him into the kind of mean, smoldering tyrant Mr. Smitty is!
We fast forward to later on, with Rocko still upstairs in the office and Filburt still manning the front counter; one of the patrons (a green, male lizard) asks out loud: “Hey, where’s the new issue of ‘Really, Really Big Man’?” Rocko then calls Filburt over the store’s loudspeaker and Filburt races upstairs, hollering in reply: “Coming boss!” Filburt races up the stars, goes into the office and dashes up to Rocko at the desk; Rocko still looks pretty much the same, but his eyes are now bloodshot red, liver spots have appeared on his head, and he now sounds similar to Mr. Smitty. Peaking at Filburt from behind a computer screen, Rocko orders his friend in an intimidating way: “Filburt, you haven’t sold any ‘Big Man’ comics today; now get down there and start pushing some pulp!” Filburt doesn’t yet notice what’s happening to his friend, but is intimidated and nervously replies whilst saluting: “Right boss.” Filburt rushes downstairs and back to the front counter; the same patron from earlier asks Filburt: “Hey, you got the new issue of ‘Big Man’?” Filburt, under pressure, nervously shakes his head as to say no; the patron replies: “No ‘Big Man’?” Another patron (a purple, male elephant dotting sunglasses) comes into the scene and adds in (getting Filburt even more pressured): “What!? He doesn’t have it!?” Rocko again calls Filburt over the loudspeaker and he again rushes back up Rocko; Rocko (the same as he was before, but now smoking a cigar) twiddles his thumbs and tells Filburt: “I thought I told you to sell those ‘BIG MAN’ COMICS!? How are you supposed to do that STANDING AROUND IN MY OFFICE!?” A pressured Filburt still doesn’t notice what’s happening to Rocko and only replies nervously “Right Boss!” and runs back up front. The customers start to pile up at the front counter and demand the newest issue of “Really, Really Big Man” that they all want; Filburt (getting even more nervous and pressured) tries to settle everyone down, but is again summoned by Rocko over the loudspeaker. Filburt again goes upstairs and goes into the office; but he promptly comes back out and rushes back down before we get a chance to see what Rocko says or does to him. The patrons all start chanting “We want ‘Big Man’! We want ‘Big Man’!”, and the cycle of Filburt being summoned upstairs and coming back downstairs repeats two more times before the patrons (offscreen) tie Filburt up and vandalize the store in rage, all as Rocko continues to yell Filburt’s name onto the loudspeaker!
When FIlburt doesn’t show up, Rocko switches the computer monitor to a camera view of the store, and we see that the store is now vandalized and deserted; Rocko pans the camera until Filburt, now tied up and on the floor, comes into view. Rocko yells Filburts name and Filburt hears and replies “Yes boss?”; Rocko states “I want to see you in my office IMMEDIATELY!” and Filburt replies “Yes boss!” and uses his teeth to slowly drag himself upstairs and up to Rocko at the desk. Rocko (who has now grown much taller) turns himself and the chair away from Filburt as he arrives; as soon as Filburt gets his head up on the desk, Rocko begins calmly and slowly: “Supply and demand, Filburt; supply and demand. People demand ‘Big Man’ comics, and we supply them. If you, Filburt can’t supply ‘Big Man’, the system breaks down. Do you follow me Filburt!?” Filburt stutters for a brief moment and nervously replies “Yes sir.” Rocko (who shakes off some ash from a cigar he’s smoking) goes on: “If the system breaks down, I DON’T MAKE A PROFIT! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS!!?” Filburt nervously replies “No.” Rocko then turns around and faces Filburt threateningly, and we see that he’s not only dotting liver sorts on his head, bloodshot eyes and Mr. Smitty’s demeanor, but now also Mr. Smitty’s clothing and build and is also smoking 3 cigars (one in his mouth and 2 in his right hand), all from the heinous spell that the chair put on Rocko!! Filburt at last realizes too late that his close friend and partner has been transformed into something he’s not and is frightened (“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”)! Before a horrified Filburt can think of anything else, Rocko barks loudly at him “YOU’RE FIRED!!!!” and his own breath blows the tied up Filburt out of the office, down the stairs, though the broken shop window, and out onto the street outside (a “Really, Really Big Man” comic also lands on his face)!
A flabbergasted Filburt realizes that his close friend is under a terrible spell and needs help; but as he thinks of what to do, vehicles begin to run over him (though he stays in the same place)! Filburt concurs that both he and Rocko need a hero, and he decides to call the real Really, Really Big Man by shouting: “WHERE ARE YOU REALLY, REALLY BIG MAN?” After echoing throughout the city, RRBM hears Filburts call and rapidly flies (looking like a comet) out of the evening sky and crashes into the office of “Kind of a Lot o’ Comics” where the transformed Rocko is still sitting at the desk. RRMB pulls himself out of the pile of debris and rubble he created whilst crash landing and walks up to Rocko at the desk; Rocko, in awe and at a near lost for words, says “You’re, you’re really, really…” RRMB interjects: “That’s right; I’m Really, Really Big Man. I’m here to discuss a matter concerning an old friend of yours: Look into my magic chest-hairs.” RRBM grabs the front of his suit and tears it, exposing his chest; his said magic chest hairs begin to project a vision before Rocko’s eyes: They show Filburt still tied up and in the middle of the road, getting run over by various other things (including a marching parade, a ship, and a rolling meteorite). Rocko points out that it’s Filburt that he sees and RRMB says that he’s in his predicament thanks to Rocko; Rocko begins to feel guilty. RRMB then instructs Rocko “Look still deeper into my muscular bosom to view the relationship that you and Filburt once had” and he grabs Rocko and stuffs him head first into his chest; RRBM’s chest projects a vision from Rocko and Filburt’s childhood where a young Rocko is pushing a young Filburt on a swing, and the young Filburt is repeating his trademarked catch-phrase out loud “I’m nauseous, I’m nauseous”. RRBM then stiffens his chest and ejects Rocko back into the chair; he then instructs Rocko “And now, see where you’re headed Rocko; look into the nipples of the future” and his said nipples are launched (still attached to RRBM’s chest) into Rocko’s eyes, which project yet another vision. In this vision, Rocko sees that he’s become the boss of “Kind of a Lot o’ Comics” and not unlike Mr. Smitty; he sees himself walk up to a patron reading a comic book and barks “BUY IT OR GET OUT!” at him (in the same way we saw Mr. Smitty do it at the start of the episode), frightening him away. Rocko then walks offscreen, and his employee manning the counter, a green male bird, mumbles to himself: “Smoldering old toad!”
Rocko is immediately shocked and horrified as he realizes he’s been transformed into the sort of mean, smoldering tyrant he’s not (“NO! NO! NO!!!”); this revelation breaks the wicked spell Rocko was put under and he regains his usual clothing, build, and kind and friendly demeanor. With his mind full of shock, his heart full of guilt and horror, and his eyes full of tears, Rocko states to RRMB: “I’ll change Really, Really Big Man; I’ll change!! I’ve been such a fool! How can I make up for the error of my life!?” RRMB replies (as he puts his nipples away) “Well, I think there’s someone here to see you” and he points at the office door; Filburt walks in, no longer tied up, but now bandaged up as he’s been seriously injured whilst being run over. Filburt is joyed to see that RRBM saved Rocko, and both he and Rocko embrace each other and Rocko says he’s sorry; RRBM is touched to see Rocko and Filburt making up and proceeds to share his joy by hugging the two (a little too hard) and tells them whilst sobbing “I love you guys! I love you!” Filburt then points out that the store is ruined, but Rocko states that he has a really big idea. We fast forward to later on, and we see the Rocko and Filburt have set up an event at the store where the patrons can meet the real ‘Really, Really Big Man’ and get his autograph; the event brings in a long line of patrons as everyone wishes to meet RRBM, though RRMB unintentionally rips each patron’s arms off as he grabs the comic book he/she is holding so he can autograph it (though they’re too overjoyed to feel any sort of pain). The event also brings in a ton of business for the store as everyone who doesn’t have a conic for RRMB to sign wants one; Rocko and Filburt frantically sell comic after comic to the excited crowd of patrons and bring in revenue like never before (so much that the cash register literally explodes). When the event is at last over, Rocko thanks RRBM and points out: “We’ve all been touched by your bigness.” As RRMB takes off into the sky, he tells the two: “So long little guys, and remember: BIG IS GOOD!”
Filbert and Rocko spend the rest of Mr. Smitty’s absence running the store together as equal and successful partners, and we fast forward to later in, where we see that the RRBM event had generated stacks and bagfuls of money for Mr. Smitty and the store (so much that it’s piled along the wall). We then see Mr. Smitty returning from his trip and dotting brand new red hair follicles, but otherwise looking like his usual grouchy self; Mr. Smitty walks past Rock and Filburt doesn’t take much notice of them, nor the very huge profit Rocko and Filburt generated for him. Mr. Smitty then stops and shouts “ROCKO!?” Rocko dashes up to him and replies “Yes sir?” Mr. Smitty asks: “What is that Turtle doing here?” Rocko explains that Filburt is the assistant that Mr. Smitty asked him to hire; Mr. Smitty then shockingly replies (as he apparently didn’t intend to keep a second employee after he had gotten back): “FIRE HIM!” Rocko rebuttals: “What!?” and Mr. Smitty reiterates himself: “You heard me, FIRE HIM!” But after what Rocko had done to Filburt whilst under the spell, and after the success they achieved as a team defends Filburt and refuses to fire him: “But we’re a team. Look at all the money we made, I will not fire my best friend!” Mr. Smitty glares at Rocko with a sarcastic smile on his face and states: “Well then: If you’re such a good team, I guess you should just stick together then, huh?” Mr. Smitty pauses and glares at Rocko sarcastically (and Rocko smiles), but then takes off his happy face and outbursts “YOU’RE BOTH FIRED!” Mr. Smitty’s outburst launches his implanted red hair follicles out of his head and smoke pulls out of the craters in his head they left behind; Rocko however, now feeling he has nothing else to loose, stands up to his boss and tells him: “Oh yeah? Well you’re just a smothering old toad [Mr. Smitty is shocked to hear Rocko say that]!”
We then fast forward to later on and we see both Rocko and Filburt waiting in line to apply for Unemployment Benefits; Rocko tells Filburt not to worry and that it will take a big man to fill their shoes. We then immediately cut into “Kind of a Lot o’ Comics” and find that a bag man had in fact replaced them: Really, Really Big Man crossdressed as his alter ego, “Lois Lane”. RRBM admires his new job and his name tag much like how Fiburt did earlier: “Wow! This can’t be happening to me!” Mr. Smitty than walks up to RRBM and hands him a set of keys, telling him to lock up before he leaves. RRBM replies “sure thing boss”; but as he grans the keys, he also accidentally rips Mr. Smitty’s hand and wrist off (much like he did with the comics earlier). RRMB blushes at what he did and then glares and winks at the audience, and the episode then irises out and ends.
- Really Really Big Man debuts in this episode.
- This is the first episode to introduce Filburt as a main character, after previously seen as a miscellaneous background character.
- Rocko's eyes turn red after being filled with hate and anger after pressing the green button, but when Big Man crashes into his office his eyes change back to his normal color (even when he is cruel to his customers).
- This episode has been known to scare younger viewers, due to Rocko's red eyes and his appearance during the scene where he fires Filburt.
- This episode is perceived by some as non-canon, as Rocko has his job back in later episodes.
- In the theme song for this episode, the last two shots, instead of no transition, has a group of 1990s Nickelodeon idents logos covering the screen and then uncover it after the shot changes. This was the case with a few other episodes.
- Goof: Rocko and Filburt are childhood friends in this episode. In the show, Rocko moved from his home in Australia to O-Town USA after high school as a young adult.
Note: Episodes are in broadcast order, not necessarily production order.