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|“||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.
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, of course) 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 pocketwatch 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, 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.
First verse and first chorus of A Brave New World.
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: I've got a bottlecap and a brass nail.
Ferb: Personally I'm looking forward to cheese in aerosol cans.
Isabella: Hi, Phineas, whatcha doin'?
Phineas: We're lookin' for stuff with Dad's steam-powered metal detector.
Hey, where's Swerry?/Oh, there you are, Swerry!
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 Swerry?
Swerry's entrance to his lair
None, he goes behind a barn and opens a zoetrope.
(Sung by a barbershop quartet)
Doofenshmirtz...Doofenshmirtz...Doofenshmirtz...Doofenshmirtz...Doofenshmirtz Evil Amalgamated
Buford: Man, that pet of yours gives me the creeps.
Phineas: Oh, come on, Buford. You know swans don't do much.
Von Doofenshmirtz: Swerry the Swan, how completely unforeseen is your presence. And by that, I mean, completely foreseen!
Swerry: squawks at Von-Doofenshmirtz
Candace: Is that a steam-powered chore doing device? You are so going ot get it! Get back here, you steam-punks!
Pnorman: Sir, I found your coin!
Von Doofenshmirtz: That's not a coin, that's my daughter, you dolt!
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.
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?
- Eleventh episode that has a one-word title. ("Rollercoaster", "S'Winter", "Atlantis", "Canderemy, "Bullseye!, "Excaliferb", "Doofapus", "Blackout!", "Sidetracked", "Druselsteinoween")
- Fourth time Isabella wears her hair in a ponytail or pigtails ("Jerk De Soleil", "My Fair Goalie", "Troy Story").
- 1903 Phineas and Ferb's outfits worn when back in time closely resemble their pioneer outfits from "She's the Mayor".
- Fifth episode to take place in a time other than the present ("The Monster of Phineas-n-Ferbenstein", "Tri-Stone Area", "Doof Dynasty", "Excaliferb", "Phineas and Ferb and the Temple of Juatchadoon") and the third to be framed by having a character tell about it in the present. ("The Monster of Phineas-n-Ferbenstein", "Excaliferb")
- 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 the Farmer says to his Wife, "You never believed in me." ("Suddenly Suzy")
- Fourth time Isabella almost reveals her crush on Phineas ("Comet Kermillian", "Phineas and Ferb Summer Belongs to You!", "Troy Story")
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Panama Canal - Buford suggest that they should go to Panama and start digging the canal after they had finished their chores.
- Vincent Martella as Phineas (present and 1903), Additional Voices
- Ashley Tisdale as Candace (1903)
- Thomas Sangster as Ferb (present and 1903)
- Caroline Rhea as Mom (1903)
- Richard O'Brien as Dad (present and 1903)
- Dan Povenmire as Dr. Doofenshmirtz/Professor Von Doofenshmirtz, Additional Voices
- Jeff "Swampy" Marsh as Major Monogram/Megaburns, Additional Voices
- Tyler Mann as Carl (1903)
- John Viener as Pnorman, Additional Voices
- Maulik Pancholy as Baljeet (present and 1903)
- Bobby Gaylor as Buford (present and 1903), Additional Voices
- Alyson Stoner as Isabella (present and 1903), Additional Voices
- Olivia Olson as Vanessa ♣
- Jack McBrayer as Irving ♦, Additional Voices
- Ariel Winter as Gretchen ♣
- Isabella Murad as Milly ♦
- Michaela Zee as Ginger ♣
- Diamond White as Holly ♣
- Paul Alborough as Professor Elemental
- Corey Burton as the Farmer
- Jennifer L. Hughes as the Farmer's Wife
- Dee Bradley Baker as Perry, Swerry the Swan (uncredited)
- Additional voices: Pamela Adlon
- ♦ designates a character that did not appear in this episode
- ♣ designates a character who appears but does not speak in this episode
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