- “First, let’s get one thing straight: I’m not crying. I’m just sweating through my eyes. Second, I lost Biff!”
- ―Buford Van Stomm
“Voyage to the Bottom of Buford” is the second half of the 19th episode of the first season of the American television animation Phineas and Ferb. It originally aired on Disney Channel in the United States on June 7, 2008. It was story by Bobby Gaylor and Martin Olson, written and storyboard by Antoine Guilbaud and Chong Lee, and directed by Zac Moncrief.
After Buford loses his goldfish, Phineas and Ferb help him search for it. An accidental good deed causes Dr. Doofenshmirtz endless trouble.
Phineas and Ferb are at the beach along with Isabella and Baljeet. They have just finished building giant sand Eiffel Tower and are enjoying their day, but then Phineas hears someone crying. He discovers that it is Buford who is crying. He asks Buford why he’s crying, to which Buford replies that he’s not crying, he sweating through his eyeballs and that he has lost his beloved pet goldfish Biff while swimming in the ocean.
Buford then tells them he used to be a “wimp” like Phineas and Ferb. Then one day he was drawn to a game at the carnival and won a goldfish, which he named Biff after his mother. He loved Biff and did everything with Biff at his side. Then one day the local bully stole Biff and was about to eat him. The young Buford knew he had to defend his only friend, so he attacked the bully, hung him up onto a clothes wire and got Biff back, thus becoming the bully himself and growing to fear nothing but giant squids because they’re all “suction-cuppy and beaky.” He then catches up to the present by relating how they went for a swim (with Biff still in his goldfish bowl) and after a while, Buford could no longer hear Biff and panicked once finding that he was gone, leaving him in this sorry state. Phineas is desperate to stop Buford’s crying, saying that “this is more annoying than when he was bullying us” and decides to help Buford find his goldfish. He and Ferb agree to build a submarine to start searching, and once hearing the news, Buford tries to get Phineas to hug him. Phineas politely turns it down. But Buford is persistent, and still wants Phineas to “Let Buford hug you!” Phineas then wonders where Perry is...and Buford still wants a hug.
Candace and Stacy are shopping for sunglasses nearby when Stacy points out a submarine being air-lifted into the water. Candace sees the boys and decides to bust them with photographic evidence. She grabs a disposable camera and makes to run out of the store but is stopped because she forgot to pay for it. Meanwhile, Perry rides a wave through a pipe and enters his lair. Major Monogram tells him that Heinz Doofenshmirtz had just appeared on the news saving a falling kitten and has evidently defected to the good side. Perry is to deliver a Standard Welcome Package to him.
When Perry arrives at the building, he rings Doofenshmirtz’s doorbell. Doofenshmirtz opens it, sees that Perry has come with a gift basket, and removes the door chain, inviting Perry in. Doofenshmirtz reads the card that came with the gift basket; it congratulates him on becoming good. He vehemently protests, saying that he is still evil and that saving the kitten had been a mere accident. He tells Perry that he was walking out of the Inventors Emporium when he tripped and the kitten fell into his bag. Unfortunately for him, everyone thought he has purposely saved the kitten. He gripes about how this one accident is ruining his reputation and destroying his evil credibility and that now the evil scientist community will “cut his benefits.” Perry is unconcerned with Doofenshmirtz’s troubles; he looks at his watch and attempts to leave, but Doofenshmirtz does not take lightly to being walked out on and traps Perry in a metal sphere with spider-like legs. He then shows Perry the Media-Erase-inator, a device the can delete any bit of media, like the news cast of him saving the kitten. As he prepares to operate the machine, Perry spots the remote in his pocket and thrusts his head so that his hat is flung towards the remote, knocking it out of his pocket and smashing it on the floor. Perry breaks out of the sphere and catches his hat like a boomerang, then knocks Doofenshmirtz into the machine.
Phineas and Ferb are well on their way to find Biff, thanks to Ferb’s ability to talk to dolphins. He communicates to them through the portholes. The dolphins quickly find Biff in an underwater cavern. Phineas, Ferb and Buford head out to get Biff; they don diving gear and ride their way to the cavern on the fins of the dolphins. They reach the cavern and find that Biff is just floating there all alone. Buford eagerly puts him back into his fishbowl (Biff makes no attempt to resist) and the gang rides the dolphins back to the sub. As they disappear off-screen, tentacles emerge from the cavern and follow them menacingly.
After the boys re-join the submarine, it heads back to the surface (most likely to replenish the oxygen levels in the cabin). Phineas, Ferb, and Buford are all standing on the surface of the submarine. Although Buford has regained his friend, he is still not himself; he keeps thanking Phineas profusely, asking for hugs, and crying. Then two giant tentacles emerge from the water and wrap themselves around Phineas and Ferb, lifting them into the air. The owner of the tentacles, a giant squid, surfaces and reaches a third tentacle for Buford. Buford flees from the giant squid and heads inside the submarine. Isabella and Baljeet both greet him, but are cut off when kidnapped by the squid. Buford (still holding Biff's fishbowl) curls up into a corner and cowers, sniveling, but the squid takes Biff right out from under his nose.
Meanwhile, Phineas, Ferb, Isabella, and Baljeet are still in the clutches of the squid and are contemplating the odds of Them vs. Giant Squid (with all bets on the squid except Isabella who bet on their survival). The squid brings Biff over for inspection and decides that he looks like a really good meal. Just as it is about to drop Biff into its beak-mouth, Buford emerges from the submarine and commands the squid to “drop the fish”, because, as Buford says to it, “You and me are gonna dance.” Evidently, Buford has decided to face his worst (and only) fear. He storms over to where the squid is at the far end of the submarine, making the whole thing rock to and fro in the process, and challenges the squid head-on. The giant squid grimly places Biff back into the fishbowl and prepares to tangle with him. Buford marches up to the squid until he is right in its face and delivers a single punch right in the beak, felling it and causing it to drop everyone. Once their ordeal is over, they pile back into the submarine. Phineas compliments Buford on his bravery, but this only makes Buford angry. He asks Phineas menacingly if he’d thought Buford had been weak before. Baljeet answers, saying no, but he had been a lot more sensitive. Buford stalks over to Baljeet, grabs him by the collar, and gives him a Wet Willy.
Candace has been catching everything on camera, but when she tries to get back inside the door, she discovers with horror that it is locked and she is trapped out of the submarine. What’s worse, it is re-submerging. She somehow manages to swim to land and staggers over to a bike rental. She tries to ride off, forgetting to pay again, and so has to return and pay for it first. The Media-Erase-inator is shooting “all willy-nilly” through the town and erasing every media image it hits. Candace is riding home on her bike, exclaiming that she can’t wait to show the photos to her mother. The Media-Erase-inator hits a stop sign, causing a car accident involving a semi skidding off of the road and hitting a water tower. The tower collapses, releasing all the water it held. Candace has just arrived home and is standing on the doorstep, about to show her mother, when the water comes, thoroughly soaking her and ruining the camera.
The Media-Erase-inator is going haywire. Agent P recognizes the danger, pries a piece of metal siding off of the machine, and uses it as a makeshift hang-glider to evacuate the building. The machine explodes. Doofenshmirtz survives and is left standing in the middle of his ruined apartment. Then, out of nowhere, a cat falls out of the sky and lands in the doctors hands. All he can do is exclaim “Oh, come on!”. As Linda Flynn is vacuuming the floor, Candace opens the door with a sour expression on her face. Linda asks why she is all wet and if she is okay. As Candace stammers out the events of the day, Linda assumes she is just being overly-dramatic and walks off, telling Candace to dry herself off before she comes in. Phineas and Ferb walk in right under her nose, with Phineas asking her if she’d had a good swim. Candace growls in frustration.
The last verse of Fish Out of Water (song).
The “Too Young” Line
Ferb: Yes, it usually takes us at least a montage.
Perry’s entrance to his lair
Perry surfs on a surfboard into a tube.
Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated!
Phineas: Wow, this is more annoying than when he was bullying us. I think we should get his fish back.
Buford: Really? You guys would do that? How ‘bout a hug!
Phineas: Maybe later.
Buford: Let Buford hug you!
Phineas: Hey, where’s Perry?
Buford: No! I’m just cryin’!
Ferb lands on top of him while climbing into the submarine
Baljeet: My money is on the squid.
Buford: What’s that supposed to mean? Buford grabs Phineas by shirt collar You think I was a wimp before?
Baljeet: No, not really, but you were a lot more sensitive.
Buford: What did you say?!
Buford drops Phineas, goes over to Baljeet, and gives him a Wet Willie
- This episode explain how Buford became a bully in the first place.
- Ferb breaks the fourth wall saying “Yes, it usually takes us at least a montage.”
- Buford's bully looks like a younger version of the guy who started the wave in “I Was a Middle Aged Robot.”
- This is the second time Phineas and Ferb build a submarine. (“Journey to the Center of Candace”)
- A billboard with the Love Handel logo is erased when Doofenshmirtz’s machine goes willy-nilly.
- Buford's encounter with the giant squid is later mentioned in “The Lemonade Stand.”
- Buford said he was only scared of giant squids, but in "One Good Scare Ought to Do It!" Buford said he is scared of Little Suzy Johnson.
- In Dr. Doof's flashback, things fell out of his bag while he "tripped." In the news report, nothing flew out of his bag.
- At the very end of the episode, when Linda says "I don't have time for these games" she has four fingers and a thumb on her hand. Normally she, like every character on the show, has three fingers and a thumb.
- For unknown reasons, Phineas and Ferb are left with their friends at the beach.
- In the last scene of Buford and Biff's montage, Buford and Biff are sleeping and Biff's eyes are closed. This is unrealistic, because fish have no eyelids.
- On the news Dr. Doofenshmirtz is seen falling on the sidewalk, but in his flashback he falls on the road.
- Several times, mostly at the beginning of the episode, Phineas' hi-top shoes are short and he has white socks up to the point on his ankle where the top of his shoe should be.
- Biff must be some sort of super goldfish, as he seems to be at home in both fresh and sea water. The only non-goldfish behavior he exhibits (instead of just blankly swimming around) is when he "sleeps" with Buford in his bed.
- In the first scene when Stacy is shopping with Candace, Stacy doesn't have her bracelets on her arm. In the next scene, after she spots Phineas and Ferb and their submarine, bracelets appear.
- Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - The title of the episode is a spoof of the old sci-fi fantasy movie/TV series, “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.” Coincidentally, it also is structurally similar to “Journey to the Center of Candace,” which was based on Journey to the Center of the Earth.
- Back to the Future - The name of the goldfish “Biff” was also the name of the Biff Tannen, the main antagonist of the first two Back to the Future movies. (Note that Buford shares his name with Buford Tannen, the antagonist of Back to the Future III.)
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - The giant squid is an allusion to the giant squid in the 1954 Disney film, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
- Sobre las Olas - The music at the carnival is this instrumental composition by Juventino Rosas, otherwise known as “Over the Waves”, often associated with circuses and fun-fairs.
- SNES - During Buford's flashbacks, you see them playing a game system which looks like a SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System).
- The Wizard of Oz - The music played as Candace stalks Phineas and Ferb and rides back home on a bicycle is similar to the theme music of the bicycle-riding Miss Gulch (aka The Wicked Witch of the West) from the 1939 classic film, The Wizard of Oz.
- Vincent Martella as Phineas
- Ashley Tisdale as Candace
- Thomas Sangster as Ferb
- Caroline Rhea as Mom
- Alyson Stoner as Isabella
- Dan Povenmire as Dr. Doofenshmirtz
- Jeff “Swampy” Marsh as Major Monogram
- Richard O'Brien as Dad
- Dee Bradley Baker as Perry, Additional Voices
- Mitchel Musso as Jeremy
- Maulik Pancholy as Baljeet, Additional Voices
- Kelly Hu as Stacy
- Bobby Gaylor as Buford, Additional Voices
- Tyler Mann as Carl
- Additional voices: Jeff Bennett, John DiMaggio, April Winchell
- ♦ designates a character that did not appear in this episode
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