November 13, 2007
Robert Mittenthal and Michael Rubiner
"Mancation" is the 73rd episode of the series and the 11th(a) of Season 3 of Robotboy. In this episode, after Tommy got caught from General Yakitori and Robotboy defeats him while they land on their house, something strange happens to Robotboy that he cannot come back from his Superactivated mode to his normal mode. When Tommy wants to fix him instead he comes together with his dad and Donnie on a "manly" trip to the woods and Tommy asks to Robotboy not to follow him but he can't resist to protect him from danger.
The episode begins with Deb Turnbull unhappily looking down at her husband, Dwight, and oldest son, Donnie, as they pack for a camping trip. Donnie tells his dad that he's all set, but Dwight asks what all the supplies were for, to which Donnie replies that it's camping stuff for their camping vacation. Dwight is quick to correct that it's not a camping vacation, but a mancation. He then starts going off on how a mancation will help put hair on their knuckles and "make a man out of you." Dwight opens the back door of the car to show Donnie that all he's packed- along with the canoe- was a length of rope, a hatchet, and hot sauce, foolishly claiming, "That's how real men travel" and that those are all they'd need. Dwight wants to get an early start on the mancation so they could start the "manly" activities. However, they can't leave yet because Tommy isn't around.
Dwight asks where his youngest son is and Donnie just says, "Probably playing with that stupid doll, again", referring to Robotboy. The scene then shifts into outer space, where a Superactivated Robotboy is being attacked by a mecha controlled by General Yakitori. The mech is firing a laser at Ro, who doesn't seem to be affected much by it. Then the mech activates two mirrors, which aims the light from the sun at Ro in an attempt to blind him or obstruct his vision.
Meanwhile, Tommy, who is wearing a spacesuit, is strapped to a meteor that is headed for Earth. Robotboy continues to struggle against the mech as Yakitori laughs evilly and mockingly says, “You got nothing. Prepare to be destroyed” before his mech undergoes a transformation similar to Superactivating. Robotboy prepares to face off against the mech’s new form, which fires a energy beam at Ro. He blocks it with his fist, slowly pushing it back. Yakitori gets angry and activates a targeting laser followed by a series of missiles, all of which Robotboy also blocks.
As the meteor is closing in on Earth’s atmosphere, Tommy begins sweating from the heat and possibly fear. He screams for Robotoboy. His best friend hears him and looks down to see the meteor passing by below him. This prompts Ro to speed up his defense and then grab Yakitori’s mech by the leg, crushing it. Ro spins around before letting go, flinging the mech and Yakitori into the sun. The meteor breaks through the Earth’s atmosphere, becoming a meteorite. As Tommy screams, Robotboy arrives and attempts to stop the meteorite with his superstrength, but it’s going too fast for him to stop. With the ground rapidly closing in, Robotboy uses himself as a shield to protect Tommy as they finally crash land in Tommy’s backyard.
Robotboy picks Tommy up and sets him safely on the ground out of the impact crater before climbing out himself. Tommy takes off his helmet and throws it down in relief. Suddenly, they hear Donnie calling for Tommy, calling him a pipsqueak. This causes Robotboy to activate his wrist missile, but Tommy quickly ushers him behind the shed just as Donnie comes out the backdoor, yelling to his dad that he’s found Tommy. A hidden Robotboy watches Tommy pick up his helmet and rush towards Donnie, who angrily smacks the helmet out of his hands and demands for Tommy to “take off your baby astronaut costume and get in the car” before he kicks the helmet. Unbeknownst to Donnie, the helmet strikes Robotboy’s head. The robot angrily emerges out of his hiding spot and attempts to fire his missile at Donnie again for making fun of Tommy and kicking an object onto his head, but Tommy hurriedly stops him. Donnie almost turns around, thinking he’s heard something, but shrugs it off and goes back into the house.
Tommy berates Robotboy for almost shooting Donnie, but then wonders why Ro is still in his Superactivated mode. Robotboy looks down at him then at the camera before he attempts to change back into Activated mode. He’s only met with sparks, however. Tommy concludes that the reentry fried Ro’s circuits, making him become stuck in his most powerful mode. He wants to rewire him, but his father calls for him, forcing Tommy to decide on fixing his pal later. He orders Ro to hide in his room and to stay there until he returns. Robotboy nods.
The scene shifts to Tommy’s room, where Ro hurries to the window and looks out, seeing Deb taking to Dwight, who is in the car with Donnie and Tommy, about to leave. Dwight tells Deb that they’ll see her in a couple of days, jokingly adding, “if we make it out alive.” These words echo in Robotboy’s mind and he becomes fearful that he’ll never see Tommy again. As Dwight and the boys leave and Deb goes back into the house, Ro smashes through the window and flies after the car.
Dwight drives up to the toll-booth leading off of the Golden Gate Bridge and out of The Bay Area where he cheerfully greets the bored guard. The guard demands for the toll price, but Dwight had forgot his wallet at home-Deb had earlier reminded him not to-so he demands change from Tommy. Tommy gives him a bottlecap and a few coins. However, that’s not enough since the toll is $10. Dwight is outraged, saying that’s highway robbery. Robotboy, who was hiding in the canoe, overhears this and thinks Tommy is in trouble. He reveals himself to the guard and threatens to shoot him with his blaster. The guard, terrified, lets them through for free along with all the money he had. As Dwight drives off, the guard runs away in fear. Tommy watches him and looks up suspiciously. He then demands for his money back, but Dwight just gives him the bottlecap back, much to Tommy’s annoyance.
Later that evening, Robotboy is hidden in the trees watching Dwight approach Tommy and Donnie. They’re all dressed in stupid nature costumes because Dwight says they appeal to the ancient tree-spirit, Whataloadofbalogna. He then orders Tommy and Donnie to follow him to climb the highest rock formation in the area: Old Nick’s Toenail, saying whoever doesn’t make it to the top doesn’t get dinner. Tommy really doesn’t want to do this but follows anyways. In the next scene, Dwight is almost near the top with Tommy and Donnie not far below him. Donnie complains that his costume is too itchy. Tommy laughs, saying it’s because Dwight made it out of poison ivy. Donnie angrily tells him to shut up and shoves him away, making Tommy fall. Luckily he grabbed onto a branch but is now dangling helplessly a few hundred feet above the ground. He cries out for help, but Dwight tells him to be quiet so they wouldn’t anger Whataloadofbalogna and get struck by lightning. Meanwhile, Robotboy arrives, hidden in a pine-tree. He pokes his head out and is horrified to see his best friend in peril. Donnie accidentally kicks loose a large rock, which hits Tommy on the head and cause him to lose his grip. Robotboy quickly flies to his rescue, still hidden in the pine tree, and catches Tommy with it. Tommy is knocked unconscious and Robotboy flies him back to camp as Donnie and Dwight do a dance chanting, “Hihowareya” to make the fake tree-god happy again.
Robotboy gently lands back at the campsite with Tommy. He slides down the tree and remains unconscious until later that night, where he awakens from being so cold. Donnie and Dwight had returned and Dwight was attempting to light a fire as his boys shivered. Tommy wonders why he just doesn’t use the matches in the car, but Dwight admonishes him. Robotboy, who had been hiding in a tree nearby to keep an eye on Tommy, pops out and sees that Dwight is struggling with lighting a fire. He then sees Donnie and Tommy freezing, but is more focused and worried about Tommy. He activates his flamethrower and fires it just as Dwight strikes the rock with the hatchet again. A huge ball of fire explodes from the firepit, knocking Dwight into another tree. However, this burned up most of the ham that they were going eat for dinner. Dwight says it’s okay and that it just needs hot sauce. So as Donnie and Dwight are preoccupied with that, Tommy notices Robotboy vanishing into the air and realizes that he’d followed them. He runs into the woods, calling for Ro, who arrives and lands in front of his little friend.
Tommy says that he told Ro to stay home, but Ro just shrugs it off, indicating that wanted to protect Tommy. Tommy tells him that he’s not in any danger and orders him to go back home. Just like earlier, Ro nods. Tommy returns back to the campsite where Dwight is making him and Donnie initiate a dumb ritual to draw out Whataloadofbalogna so they could “apologize for all of Tommy’s whining.” Tommy isn’t amused. Dwight dons a wolfskin as Tommy and Donnie bangs drums with sticks. Dwight begins chanting, “OhwhatajerkIam!”. It’s then revealed that Robotboy disobeyed Tommy, again, and was hiding nearby. He sees and hears Dwight, not liking how he’s blaming Tommy and narrows his eyes. He then watches as Dwight picks Tommy up and starts dancing with him. Tommy looks uncomfortable and looks over, seeing Robotboy watching. Robotboy then aims at Dwight, who has his back turned to him, and blasts him with some kind of energy beam, knocking him far into the forest.
Donnie hurries after him as Tommy yells for Robotboy, this time angrily. He storms over to where Ro is hiding and demands for his overprotectiveness to stop before he ends up actually killing someone. Tommy then gets an idea and orders Ro to fly around the world as fast as he could 10 times before returning back to him. Robotboy agrees to this and takes off. In the meantime, Dwight comes back and apologizes to Tommy for his behavior and says that everything that happened had a logical explanation rather than being caused by a fictional spirit. Donnie arrives, saying he was attacked by a porcupine before a skunk sprays him, making him want to go home. In the distance, Robotboy lands in the forest, seen as a streak of light. Dwight sees this and thinks it’s Whataloadofbalogna and hurries after him. Tommy’s watch starts beeping, showing that Ro’s batteries are almost dead, so he follows his father along with Donnie so that he could find his buddy before them.
As Dwight is calling out to the spirit, Tommy catches sight of Ro up in a tree. Ro watches him until his vision goes black and he finally returns to Deactivated mode. Tommy catches him, happy to see his buddy deactivated. Dwight then suddenly runs into a bear and is excited, thinking he was the tree spirit. Donnie informs him that it was just a grizzly, but Dwight refuses to listen and doesn’t believe him until he pats the bear’s claws. The bear roars and Donnie and Dwight flees past Tommy, causing him to drop Ro. Donnie and Dwight escape in the car, not realizing that Tommy was left behind. In a panic, Tommy tries to reactivate Robotboy, but can’t because of his dead batteries. Back in the car, Dwight realizes that they forgot Tommy and drives back to get him, but he ends up picking up the grizzly instead. Tommy, who just looks absolutely done, sighs. The episode ends with the bear attacking Dwight and Donnie as they drive back home with him.
- This is the sixth episode in which Robotboy does not speak or say a single word. It is also the first and only episode in which he remains in Superactivated mode for almost the entire episode.
- The meteorite is shown landing in a hill behind Tommy's house, but Tommy and Robotboy are shown emerging out of a hole in their backyard. It's possible that there were two crashes: the impact with the hill from the meteorite and the one with Ro and Tommy landing in the backyard, which could have been obscured by the dust cloud. Robotboy could have freed Tommy and grabbed him before he jumped away from the meteorite before it slammed into the hill, and crashed into the backyard since he might have still been going too fast to stop.
- When Dwight says that the mancation will "make a man out of you", this could be a possible reference to the hit 1998 Disney film, Mulan, which has a popular song with a similar title, "I'll Make a Man Out of You".
- When Tommy was confronting Ro about following him, he said, "Now look. I know you think you're protecting me, but I'm not in any danger". He seemed to have forgotten about falling off a cliff just a couple hours ago, most likely because of shock from the fall or from blacking out when Ro saved him. In fact, he doesn't seem to recall that incident at all or wonder how he got back to camp.
- Laurence Bouvard (Robotboy) only gets two speaking lines in this episode ("Oh brother" and "Don't forget your wallet, Dwight", both said by Deb Turnbull, whom she also voiced). This is the least amount she's ever spoken in the entire series. In the other episodes where Ro doesn't speak, Lola or another character of Bouvard's appears, giving her more lines to say
- The name of the "ancient tree spirit" is Whataloadofbalogna and the phrases chanted are "Hihowareya" and "OhwhatajerkIam".
- Goof: Tommy isn't shown wearing the watch until after Dwight sees Robotboy (thinking he's Whataloadofbalogna) returning from flying around the world. It disappears after Dwight tells his sons to follow him into the woods then reappears again when Tommy desperately tries to reactivate Ro when the bear attacks.
- Goof: After the helmet landed on Robotboy's head, his left hand opened, showing that his fingers were segmented giving his hands the appearance they have in Activated mode.
- Goof: In the scene where Robotboy watches as Dwight approaches his sons after they arrive at the campsite, his shoulder blades are colored the same as his body instead of their usual dark blue.
- Goof: As Donnie is telling Dwight about the camping gear in the beginning, a shot of the stoop to Tommy's house is shown. It looked more like a ramp than stairs.
- Goof: When Robotboy saved Tommy by catching him on the pine tree, Tommy landed on his back, but when Ro returns to the campsite, Tommy is shown curled up on his side.
- Goof: When Tommy asks about the matches, the tree he was caught with is gone and isn't seen at all in the entire scene.
In other languages
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