“Unfair Science Fair” is the first half of the 23rd episode of Disney Channel original animated television series Phineas and Ferb, originally broadcast on Disney XD on February 17, 2009, and Disney Channel on March 20, 2009. It was story by Bobby Gaylor and Martin Olson, written and storyboarded by Elizabeth Ito and Aliki Theofilopoulos, and directed by Dan Povenmire and Zac Moncrief.
Baljeet is discouraged about his prospects at a science fair, so Phineas and Ferb decide to help him build a portal to Mars. Candace competes with Wendy for a job to be with Jeremy. Meanwhile, Dr. Doofenshmirtz seeks to overcome a past rival: a bicarbonate volcano.
Phineas says it sounds pretty serious, so the boys stop by Baljeet’s house, only to find him sitting in his messy room in total darkness. They ask him what's wrong and he says that he qualified for the science fair. They don’t see a reason to be despaired about that, so Baljeet tells them that he told his teacher, Mr. McGillicuddy, that he would make a portal to Mars for his science project, but Mr. McGillicuddy said that it is impossible to make such a thing, so he will only give Baljeet an A-. This would be the lowest grade Baljeet has ever gotten in his life. Baljeet, not being “mechanically inclined,” asks Phineas and Ferb to help build a portal to Mars for him, and they agree to help him. Phineas agrees, and then wonders where Perry is.
Perry is shown sneaking into a filing cabinet and landing in his lair, where he awaits instructions from Major Monogram. Major Monogram is caught dead in the embarrassing act of putting on a wig. He hurriedly puts it on lopsided and begins to fill in Perry on his mission, fixing it as he talks. It seems that Doofenshmirtz has purchased chicken-wire, 3 metric tons of baking soda, and lederhosen, and Perry is to figure out why.
Phineas, Ferb, and Baljeet begin construction on Baljeet’s Portal to Mars. Baljeet is shown to be completely clueless about building things; he hits nail with the wrong end of hammers or with wrenches, gets wrenches stuck on his nose, etc. Phineas and Ferb, meanwhile, finish the portal with ease and enjoyment, despite Baljeet. The next day, Baljeet is shown standing at the science fair with Phineas and Ferb with a huge smile on his face. He is already set up; he tells them that he has been waiting since midnight and he can’t stop smiling. Phineas shakes out his cheeks to loosen up the cramps, but soon the huge smile is back.
Meanwhile, Candace is seen using binoculars at Mr. Slushy Burger to spy on Jeremy. He spots her (she's sitting only about 2 yards away), so she tries to tell him that she bought them for her dad and was testing them to see if they worked. Then she sees the “Help Wanted” sign on the counter. Jeremy tells her that they are looking for another employee, and that she should apply; however, when Candace starts to accept the offer, another girl, Wendy, walks in front of Candace with a huge smile and perky, motivated attitude and says that she has come to take the job too. The manager comes over and tells them that they will have a competition to see who gets the job first. Wendy shows her uglier, competitive side towards Candace when she holds out her hand to shake for luck then snatches it away and announces that she’ll call Candace “Mo-lasses.”
Perry is shown tailing Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s truck with a jet pack. When they enter a parking garage, he jumps into the car. Doofenshmirtz immediately traps him into a baby’s car seat. He then treats Perry to a display of his hairy man-legs, claiming that can wear lederhosen because he’s “got the legs for it.” A car behind them honks and the driver shouts at them. Doofenshmirtz mistakes the person as a man, telling Perry that people must mistake her as a man all the time on the phone. Unfortunately, the woman had gotten out of her car and was standing right outside his window as he says this. He tries to roll up the window, but not in time to avoid getting a black eye.
While waiting in line for the science fair, Doofenshmirtz (pulling Perry and the car seat in a wagon) makes fun of a kid in front of him with a model of Pluto. He starts to ramble on about how Pluto isn’t considered to be a planet anymore. The kid’s older brother, who it seem was the real competitor, overhears him and punches Doofenshmirtz for insulting Pluto, leaving him with two black eyes.
Doofenshmirtz then relates to Perry why he is even bothering putting himself through all of this. He says that when he was young, his inventions, which he referred to as simply “Inator”, always lost to a baking soda volcano at the science fair. Even when he did poetry, he still lost to baking soda volcanoes. So he has decided to create the biggest baking soda volcano ever. At this point, they are called as next in line, so he hurries to check himself in. The check-in man says, “Aren’t you too old to be entering this science fair?”, to which Doofenshmirtz replies, “No, what makes you say that? I mean, come on, look at me – I’m wearing lederhosen!”. The man admits him into the science fair; evidently, this is the reason why he was wearing the lederhosen.
Meanwhile, Mr. McGillicuddy comes over and sees the portal to Mars that Phineas and Ferb built for Baljeet. He is a first skeptical that it could actually operate and function properly, so Baljeet fires it up. Through the portal, they can see an alien science fair, parallel to their own. Mr. McGillicuddy grows extremely excited, gives Baljeet an A+++, and runs off to show the judges what Baljeet has made.
Meanwhile, Doofenshmirtz is preparing his own project; there is apparently a light show that goes along with his huge volcano, so he goes and unplugs Baljeet’s project to make way for his own. Therefore, when the judges come over, Baljeet’s project does not operate, and the judges are now skeptical of Mr. McGillicuddy. Pushing Baljeet out of the way, he tries to pull the lever himself and it still won’t work. When he tries calling through the portal to the Martians, the judges glance at each other, look askance at him, and go for corn dogs. Meanwhile, he is still trying to operate the machine; he turns it up to high and tries to pull the lever again, with no results. Phineas says it's too bad Baljeet didn’t win the science fair, to which Baljeet replies that he never cared about winning, but about the grade, so they all walk out for corn dogs, leaving Mr. McGillicuddy with the machine.
Candace and Wendy prepare to compete for the job. The manager tells them to dress all the hotdogs in front of them and walks out, saying he will be back in a while to check their work. The girls face off Western-style, then pull out mustard and ketchup bottles and begin to furiously dress the dogs. Candace's ketchup runs out and she squeezes it, whining that it's out; it squirts out a huge blob of ketchup, which lands on Wendy. Wendy retaliates by squirting Candace with mustard, which shoots back a deluge of relish. Mandy puts a bottle of something that is either sour cream or mayonnaise on the table and slams a tray down on it, completely covering Candace. Candace throws a handful of pickle slices at her.
Mr. McGillicuddy finally notices that the machine is unplugged. He plugs it back into a high-voltage plug. Meanwhile, Perry escapes the car seat by jumping out of his pants (revealing that Perry wears green boxers with purple polka-dots). He runs over to where Doofenshmirtz is pouring vinegar into the volcano and jumps on top of him, knocking him over. Doofenshmirtz, now covered in vinegar, slips over the railing and lands in the volcano’s mouth. The pressure in the baking-soda volcano build until finally it erupts explosively and Doofenshmirtz flies through the air, just as Mr. McGillicuddy turns on the portal. The portal sucks him into itself and transports him to Mars, along with the rubble from the exploded volcano, and then it consumes itself. With the portal gone, Mr. McGillicuddy is left stammering for words.
A girl with mechanical arms on her back asks if it’s too late to enter the science fair. When she says she used the arms to build a baking soda volcano, the judges are impressed and award the volcano first prize. Part of the portal to Mars opens for just long enough for Doofenshmirtz to complain “Oh, come on!”.
Back at Mr. Slushy Burger, Candace and Wendy have both used up all the mustard, relish, and ketchup, which makes them both lose the job. Candace decides to call Wendy "snail", to which she replies that Candace is quick.
Meanwhile, Phineas, Ferb, Isabella, and Baljeet are eating corn dogs, when Isabella asks then that she couldn’t believe that they’d built a portal to Mars, but didn’t actually use it, and Phineas and Ferb reply by telling her that they did, but it’s another story. Not long later, Perry rejoins the group.
The "Too Young" Line
Man in the Fair: Aren't you a little old to be entering this Science Fair?
Dr. Doofenshmirtz: No, I'm not, I mean look at me, I'm wearing lederhosen.
He also appears to sing the word "pureéd" in the Baliwood song, along with Phineas and Baljeet.
Perry's entrance to his lair
Enters through the file cabinet in Baljeet's living room and falls into his chair, pieces of paper flying around him.
I know what we're gonna do today
Line in song
Phineas: I know what we're gonna do today, Ferb and I are on the case! We'll help you build your prototype, you won't be a disgrace!
Hey, where's Perry?
Line in song
Phineas: Wait- something just occurred to me! Where's Perry? Where's Perry?
Isabella: Hey, Phineas. You might wanna check up on Baljeet. I was walking by his house when I heard him scream, (uses fake Indian accent) "AIEEE! I AM DOOMED TO BE AN INCOMPETENT FLUNKEE FOREVER!" ...ever... ever... ever... (uses normal voice) I added the echo part.
Major Monogram: (startled by Perry's entrance because he's not wearing his wig) Oh! Agent P! (puts on wig) It appears that Doofenshmirtz has made some rather unusual purchases: chicken wire, three metric tons of baking soda, and lederhosen. You know, those leather windpipe shorts that make you look like a walking cuckoo clock? Man, he is one sick puppy.
Doofenshmirtz: So, Perry the Platypus, I bet you're wondering why I'm wearing lederhosen? What? I've got the legs for it. (shows Perry his legs) Huh, huh? (vehicle stops behind them) So, anyway, the answer will be clear enough when--
Woman: (man's voice) COME ON, HANSEL! MOVE IT!
Baljeet: Inside I am thanking you a thousand times, even though on the outside, I remain quite frugal.
Judge: Are those mechanical arms?
Girl: Why, yes. I used them to make this baking soda volcano.
Candace: Snail, I'll call you snail!
Wendy: Oh, you're quick.
- Ashley Tisdale (the voice of Candace) previously co-starred with guest stars Brenda Song (the voice of Wendy) and Brian Stepanek (the voice of the science teacher and the Mr. Slushy Burger manager) in The Suite Life Of Zack and Cody.
- In the Suite Life episode, "A Nugget of History," London Tipton (Song) tries to get a job at the Cluck Bucket fast food restaurant where Maddie Fitzpatrick (Tisdale) already works. The resulting mess that Maddie and London left at the Cluck Bucket strongly resembles the disaster that Candace and Wendy brought to the Mr. Slushy Burger.
- When Perry escapes some of his fur comes off revealing that he wears green boxer shorts with purple polka dots on them (This is the first time we see Perry in his underwear; the next is in "Perry Lays an Egg").
- Baljeet is clearly not at all "mechanically inclined", as demonstrated throughout the construction of the portal to Mars.
- This episode shows that Phineas, Ferb, and their main group of friends are not vegetarian (they are seen eating corn dogs at the end).
- Perry appears to not get embarrassed easily because after his fur came off revealing his underwear he ran off without covering up.
- First time Perry is trapped in something baby-related.
- First time Baljeet appears without Buford. This happens again in the succeeding episode.
- Doofenshmirtz says "Not one word, Perry the Platypus" in a way similar to the way the wife of the van company says "Not one word." ("Leave the Busting to Us!")
- The girl who wins is one of the dancers in Shimmy Jimmy.
- When Candace says "Let's walk and talk," Doofenshimrtz says the same thing in "Out to Launch."
- This episode shows Heinz Doofenshmirtz's first inator and explains why he has the name inator in all of his inventions.
- Doofenshmirtz's poem was originally written by storyboard artist/writer Aliki Theofilopoulos Grafft's father when she was a child.
- Episode description from a 2009 Disney XD Phineas and Ferb press release: Brian Stepanek ("Brian O'Brian" and "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody") and Brenda Song ("The Suite Life on Deck") guest star in an episode in which Phineas and Ferb must step in to help their neighbor, Baljeet, with his science project, a portal to Mars, while Dr. Doofenshmirtz also enters the fair in an attempt to redeem himself after an embarrassing loss years ago. Meanwhile, Candace competes with another girl (guest star Brenda Song) for a job at the Mr. Slushy Burger, where Jeremy works. Stepanek plays the hiring manager.
- This is a bonus episode on the The Daze of Summer DVD.
- This episode aired a week before the premiere on Disney XD.
- Brian Stepanek voices Mr. McGillicuddy and the Unnamed Mr. Slushy Burger Manager.
- January 23, 2009 (Disney Channel Germany)
- May 9, 2009 (Disney Channel Spain)
- The caption beneath Baljeet's forefathers reads "FOREFTATHERS".
- Baljeet's paper says that he got an A++, not an A+++ like Mr. McGillicuddy said he had.
- Perry is not shown in his car seat-trap after Doofenshmirtz gets punched by the unfortunately masculine woman.
- Candace and Wendy took the mayo, pickles, and relish out of nowhere; they only had ketchup and mustard.
- In "Rollercoaster", you can see that Baljeet's house is next to the Flynn-Fletcher house, but Phineas and Ferb have to ride their bicycle to get there. As well, when the camera zooms out to a bird's eye view, to go follow Candace in Unfair Science Fair Redux (Another Story), it appears that their houses are far away.
- When Baljeet, Ferb, and Phineas sing, "There's Perry!" Ferbs larger eye is in front of his little eye.
- Perry should not have been able to enter his lair, as he is at Baljeet's house (he is seen leaving the backyard with the boys), and in Unfair Science Fair Redux (Another Story), Candace is seen walking by Perry just before he enters his lair, but she is at the Flynn-Flecher house. However, It's possible that Perry simply went back to Phineas and Ferb's house.
- When Candace shows the binoculars to Jeremy it disappears after Jeremy talks to her about applying for the job.
- When Perry escapes from the trap, he removes his bottom fur and runs off in his underwear, but when he battles Doofenshmirtz, it is back on and his underwear isn't shown. He should have still been in his underwear.
- In the flashback, Doofenshmirtz has a beard in college but in the episode Crack That Whip he says that he has been unable to grow a beard since he was 15. Though the beard may have been fake.
- If the seat belt on the baby seat that Perry was sitting in was tight enough to rip off Perry's fur off his lower half, then it should have ripped the fur off his arms too considering the fact that Perry's arms were trapped too.
- After Isabella says that she added the echo part, her socks were missing.
- When the song starts, you can hear Phineas singing but his mouth is closed.
- In the flashback,at the second science fair the baking soda volcano had already erupted. This is strange because normally, baking soda volcanoes can't erupt very well the 2nd time.
- This episode most likely explains how Doofenshmirtz got a black eye in "Comet Kermillian", keeping in mind that Disney Channel airs the episodes out of production order.
Judges at the Danville Science Fair
- The white-haired judge with glasses that evaluated Baljeet's entry can be seen in one of the "smaller venues" that Love Händel played at. He was positioned behind Swampy.
Judges at a Science Fair in Drusselstein
From Dr. Doofenshmirtz's back story describing his childhood science fair experiences:
- The white-haired judge looks like J.B. from "Toy to the World".
- The brown-haired judge looks like the station manager from "Leave the Busting to Us!".
- Either both people originally lived in Drusselstein and later came to the United States, or it is coincidence that they look like J.B. and the station manager.
- Stargate - The Portal to Mars looks similar to the Stargate.
- Batman - At the beginning, the boys think of flying with bat wings like the DC comic book superhero.
- King of the Hill - When Phineas, Ferb and Baljeet are building the portal to Mars, they are carrying a large pole with Baljeet just hanging from the pole instead of helping them carry it. This directly mirrors a scene in the episode Old Glory where Hank, Dale and Bill are carrying a pole and Dale is the one goofing off.
- Looney Tunes - The fact that Perry has polka-dot boxer shorts under his fur is an allusion to several episodes of Looney Tunes (most of them star Sylvester).
- PRISE - During the song Baliwood, one of Baljeet's forefathers is seen in a portrait holding a piece of paper that says "1st A+ Prise" instead of "1st A+ Prize". This is most likely a spelling mistake or it could be referring to Harvard's PRISE program (Program for Research in Science and Engineering).
- Two And a Half Men - Candace stalks Jeremy like Rose stalks Charlie.
- Spider-Man - The girl who wins the blue ribbon has four metal arms attached to her back similar to Doctor Octopus, one of Spider-Man's enemies.
- The Suite Life of Zack & Cody - (Refer to Background Information)
- Meet the Robinsons - When Doofenshmirtz and Perry are waiting in line, the music resembles a similar scene at the science fair.
- Pinocchio - One of the kids in Doofenshmirtz's flashback bears an uncanny resemblance to the title character.
- Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior - Brenda Song's character name, Wendy, may refer to the title character she played in Warrior.
- Vincent Martella as Phineas
- Ashley Tisdale as Candace
- Thomas Sangster as Ferb
- Caroline Rhea as Mom ♦, Additional Voices
- Alyson Stoner as Isabella Garcia-Shapiro
- Dan Povenmire as Dr. Doofenshmirtz, Additional Voices
- Jeff "Swampy" Marsh as Major Monogram, Additional Voices
- Dee Bradley Baker as Perry, Additional Voices
- Mitchel Musso as Jeremy
- Maulik Pancholy as Baljeet
- Brian Stepanek as Mr. McGillicuddy, Mr. Slushy Dog manager, Additional Voices
- Brenda Song as Wendy
- Kelly Hu as Stacy ♦
- Kari Wahlgren as Baking soda volcano girl
- Additional voices by: Tom Kenny, Kevin Michael Richardson
- ♦ designates a character that did not appear in this episode
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