(Opening shot: the city skyline at night.)
Narrator: The city of Townsville. But enough about that.
(Cut to a house in a subdivision. This structure is a rather plain, boxy affair, with a large corner window on the first floor and three round ones on the second. A garage sits off to one side; the front door is bright red.)
Narrator: Here, at the Powerpuff Girls’ suburban home, is where our story begins.
(A scream shatters the calm; inside, Bubbles is flying down the hall, doing her best to keep ahead of a cockroach scurrying after her. The camera follows her, but she gradually pulls ahead of it.)
Bubbles: Get away, get away, get away, get away, get away, get away, get away, get away, get away! (Buttercup approaches from behind.)
Buttercup: I’ll get it!
(She throws a punch at the wall, knocking a hole in it but missing the roach. Pan to Bubbles, hovering nearby.)
Bubbles: Did you get it?
(The roach moves into view, and she becomes so scared that her pigtails stand up straight.)
Bubbles: NOOOOOOOO! (She flies o.c..)
(Buttercup flies up and fires her eye lasers at the wall; she burns up the paint but misses again. She flies o.c. after the roach, and Blossom flies up to inspect the damage.)
Blossom: Uh-oh. (flying o.c.) Girls!
(Cut to the chase: Bubbles fleeing from the roach and screaming, with Buttercup in hot pursuit.)
Bubbles: Squish it, squish it, squish, it, squish it, squish it! (Blossom catches up.)
Blossom: Buttercup, no! It’s just a cockroach!
Buttercup: Shut up, Blossom! It’s gross!
Blossom: It is not!
Bubbles: Is too! (flying o.c., the roach following) Squish it, squish it, squish it, squish it, squish it!
Buttercup: You got it, Bubbles. One squished roach coming up! (She pulls ahead and flies o.c.)
(Blossom stops briefly and groans in disgust, then flies o.c. after her sisters, rounding a corner.)
Blossom: Girls, no… (stopping) …ewwwwww, gross!
(Close-up of a man in a white lab coat, with pens in its pocket. He wears a shirt and tie, and his head is impossibly rectangular with carefully parted black hair and thick eyebrows. Blossom addresses herself to him; he has the roach on his palm.)
Blossom: (from o.c.) Professor, you’re touching it! (Pull back; the other two girls are next to him. Blossom lands by them.)
Buttercup: Oh, not gross. Hmmm?
Blossom: It’s not. I just wouldn’t want to touch it. Blecch!
(The Professor’s voice is deep and thoughtful, exactly the sort you might expect from am eminent scientist and/or a father figure in a 1950s TV show.)
Professor: Actually, girls, to him—well, you’re pretty gross yourselves, with your big heads, large eyes, little bodies...
Girls: (irritated) Okay.
(Zoom in slowly on the roach as the Professor continues.)
Professor: You see, the Blatta odea, or more commonly known as the cockroach, may be ugly and disgusting, but— (Close-up of the roach; he continues o.c.) well, they’re also strong and focused creatures and are very important to the balance of nature.
[Note: Blatta odea is a slight corruption of Blattodea, the Latin name for the cockroach.]
(Around the insect, the scene dissolves to a patch of ground. It begins to run along as the Professor continues.)
Professor: (voice over) The cockroach has been on earth for more than two hundred fifty million years. (Pull back.) And in that time, they’ve been squished, squashed, stomped, smushed, smashed, and even stepped on.
(On each of these words, the background scenery advances through the ages and the roach is crushed by a different foot. The order: a dinosaur in prehistoric time, a simian in the caveman era, a sandal-clad man in ancient Greece, a knight in the Middle Ages, a Pilgrim in colonial times, and a businessman in a city of today. This last foot stays in place.)
Professor: (voice over) But even after centuries of being underfoot— (The foot is removed; zoom in on the roach, very battered.) —the adaptable cockroach will probably outlive us all. For they are the only creature capable of surviving the effects of…radiation.
(The pest instantly revives. Fade to red. During the next line, a post-apocalyptic cityscape fades into view on top of this; the camera pans slowly along it.)
Professor: (voice over) So after the world as we know it is no more, the kooky cockroach will be there to start a new race.
(Pan quickly to a towering insect beast with four arms. It screeches and waves in the air.)
Professor: (voice over, almost raving) A race of bug people! With a million eyes, sixteen legs, exoskeletons, feelers, and—
(Back to the hall. He has gotten a little carried away with his vision.)
Blossom: Professor! (He regains his composure.)
Professor: Sorry. But remember, girls. (kneeling to them) It’s not right to harm an insect just because it’s yucky on the outside. It’s the insect inside that’s important. (Blossom nods; he holds the roach out.) Now who wants to touch it?
(This offer causes the girls to recoil in horror and leap screaming into the air; Bubbles’ pigtails again try to flee the scene themselves. He straightens up.)
Professor: (chuckling, walking o.c.) I’ll get a jar.
(Wipe to the exterior of the house; the front door is open. Close-up of the Professor on the front step, holding a jar with the roach inside, on the next line.)
Professor: Okay, little guy—
(He lowers the jar and turns it upside down; camera turns down to follow the movement. The girls are around his legs, with Bubbles huddling in fear behind him.)
Professor: —you’re free to go.
(He shakes the jar, and the bug drops out. It squeaks and twitches its antennae. The girls look after it.)
Professor: Come on, girls, it’s time for bed.
(The roach sits on the front step as the door is closed.)
Narrator: All right, little guy. (It heads toward the street.) You heard the Professor. Now scurry on home.
(It gets to the middle of the street and stops. The purring of a car engine grows from the distance, and the vehicle approaches from over the hill. Just as the front wheels are about to flatten the roach, it leaps high into the air and lands on the roof. The car rolls off toward Townsville.)
Narrator: Hmmm…something bugs me about that roach. (Cut to the city skyline.) The city of Towns—oh, I said that already. Sorry.
(Turn down quickly to the street. The car rolls past, and the roach jumps down to the sidewalk. It looks up, and the camera follows its gaze; in front of it is an elegant high-rise with lights in all the windows but one on the floor below the top. Inside, the roach scuttles across a well-appointed lobby—the front desk on the left betrays this as a hotel—and toward an elevator. The floor indicator clicks to indicate an arriving car; inside this, the roach stands among a group of well-dressed people and goes completely unnoticed. Cut to a hallway, where the elevator doors open and it scurries out. Now it squeezes itself under a door.)
(Cut to inside a room that is completely bare of furnishings, with the plaster falling away from the walls. A man stands at the far end, looking out a window. The roach rises into view near the camera, which then zooms in on the man. He is a fat, ugly, disgusting slob, wearing a dirty undershirt and old shorts. His voice is low, gravelly, and dripping with contempt.)
Slob: Stupid people. Look at ’em. (His perspective, looking down at the busy street.) What incompetent, unorganized, filthy, dirty creatures.
(Cut to outside the window. He peeks around the side of the frame; the top of his head tapers to a point, and he has two long hairs growing from here.)
Slob: They’ve been infesting this planet for too long. (leaning out, enraged) YOU HEAR ME, PEOPLE? YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED! PREPARE FOR THE COMING OF EARTH’S TRUE MASTERS!
(Quickly pull back to ground level, where a man and a woman look on.)
Slob: (muted, from great distance) THE REALITY OF YOUR EXTINCTION IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME!
Man 1: (looking at watch, calling back) It’s eight o’clock!
[Animation goof: In this shot, the window has moved up to the top floor.]
(Back to the room; the slob shakes his fist and mutters angrily for a few moments, but the squeaking of the roach draws his attention. He brightens.)
Slob: Skippy! (leaning down to it) What can you report?
(It squeaks into his ear briefly, after which he leaps into the air ecstatically.)
Slob: Yahoo! (saluting) We must call in the troops!
(He raises a whistle to his lips and blows, producing a high-pitched, almost inaudible tone. Cockroaches swarm out of a kitchen drawer, a pizza box, a toilet, and all over the walls and floors of Townsville. They consolidate into a single huge flood of household pests that charges toward the slob. Zoom in to an extreme close-up of his face.)
(The noise of stampeding roaches stops. He looks from side to side; pull back as he begins to pace the room, addressing the group.)
Slob: In the past, I’ve felt the one thing that might stand in the way of our complete success is those supercharged heroines, the Powerpuff Girls. (running to Skippy) But thanks to the brave efforts of Cadet Skippy, we are in possession of what I consider the most vital information to the success of our cause. It seems the Powerpuff Girls think you’re— (leaning down to roaches) —icky, gross, disgusting. They’re afraid of you. They won’t touch you. And most importantly—they won’t squish you! (standing up) And with them doing nothing to stop us, all we gotta do is scurry in and smash those disgusting bipeds. And then together, you and I, Roach Coach, will rule the world!
(He laughs madly as the roaches begin to swarm over every part of his body. The laughter echoes through Townsville. Fade to black.)
(Snap to the skyline in the morning.)
Narrator: It’s a beautiful day in Townsville.
(Cut to a man waling jauntily down the street. He approaches a hot dog cart; he and the vendor sing the next four lines.)
Man 2: (stopping) ♫ Hmm, looks good. I’d like to buy a dog. ♫
Vendor: ♫ Mmm, it should. It’s made from beef and hog. ♫ (fixing one up) ♫ So, my pal, here’s your dog, enjoy. ♫
Man 2: (taking it) ♫ Oh, I shall. Oh boy, oh, boy, oh boy! ♫
(He bites into the hot dog and chews happily. A sudden crunch causes him to stop short—should hot dogs sound like that?—and his eyes bug out in mixed disbelief and disgust. When he opens his mouth to scream, roaches pour from it and swarm all over his hand. More of them emerge from inside the cart, and the vendor screams as well. Now both men are covered with the pests, as is the car of a man driving along. He crashes into a fire hydrant as the infestation covers the streets and buildings of Townsville. Pan down the block as other people find themselves covered in roaches—even the Narrator is repulsed, and he yells in shock.)
Narrator: Gross! Gross! GROSS! Get ’em off! Aw, man, this is disgusting! (The camera passes a policeman who is shooting at the bugs.) All of Townsville is being infested with roaches!
(On the end of this, stop on the slob, Roach Coach. He is watching from inside his room and rubbing his hands in delight, and he chuckles to himself.)
(Cut to the city skyline, with bugs crawling all over it. A scatterbrained-sounding voice speaks.)
Voice: Oh! Oh! Oh my! Roaches are encroaching on my town!
(They swarm over the camera lens; pull back to show the view framed in an office window. The speaker—the Mayor of Townsville—screams in terror. He is not the big, fat, silly-looking oaf we saw in “Meat Fuzzy Lumkins”; now he is a short old fellow with a fringe of white hair around a bald scalp and a thick mustache. He wears a monocle and a small top hat that floats just above his head. This is his office.)
Mayor: What to do? What to do?
(A tall, shapely woman with a great deal of curly red-orange hair steps into view. She wears a red suit; nothing can be said of her face or shoes, however, as her head and feet are cut off by the edges of the screen. Her voice is throaty, alluring, and quite unruffled.)
Woman in red: Excuse me, Mr. Mayor. Don’t you think you should make…the call?
Mayor: Oh, yes, yes. Good thinking, Ms. Sara Bellum. Call…the exterminator! (Long silence.)
Woman in red (Ms. Bellum): No, sir.
(Pull back quickly; in the foreground sits a telephone with a happy face where its dial or keypad would be. Its nose is a big red light. Now we see that Ms. Bellum’s high heels match her suit; her face, however, remains out of frame.)
Ms. Bellum: The other call.
(Cut to the exterior of Pokey Oaks Kindergarten. Inside, a matching phone starts to buzz, its red light flashing, and Bubbles answers—it is a direct hotline to them. This is its debut appearance, if “Insect Inside” is considered the first episode of the series.)
(The Mayor is on the other end; roaches continue to run free outside.)
Mayor: Powerpuff Girls?
Bubbles: Bye. (She hangs up.)
(The Mayor stares at the now-silent phone; he and Ms. Bellum are interrupted by the breaking of the window, and the bugs pour in. The hotline at school goes off, and Bubbles answers it again.)
(Now Ms. Bellum is tap-dancing around all the roaches on the floor. The Mayor yells in shock.)
Bubbles: Bye. (She hangs up; it instantly goes off again, and she answers.) Hi.
(Both adults are covered with roaches.)
Mayor: Get downtown!
Bubbles: Bye. (She hangs up.)
(She looks cheerfully at the hotline, but it stays quiet now. She looks away from it; pull back to show her sisters on that side, both glaring angrily at her. A chastened expression comes over her face when she sees their displeasure. In the office, the pests have accumulated to such a depth that the Mayor can barely reach out of them to press the button on the hotline’s face. Ms. Bellum is upside down, her legs sticking out. When the buzzer goes off this time, Blossom picks up the call while Buttercup keeps one hand clamped over Bubbles’ mouth.)
Blossom: Yes, Mayor? (Excited talking over the line.) What?…Gross!…Do we have to?… (resignedly) Okay. (She hangs up.) Something’s bugging the town! Let’s roll! (The girls take off.)
(Cut to them in flight. They get some distance into the city before stopping short and realizing the magnitude of the problem facing them.)
Buttercup: Man, this is disgusting! These bugs gotta go! (She flies o.c.)
Blossom: Buttercup, no! (She flies o.c. as well.)
(Buttercup charges through the infested streets, but is brought up short by Blossom. The latter takes on the self-righteous “goody-goody” tone that kids sometimes use when trying to kiss up.)
Blossom: Stop! Don’t you remember what the Professor told us? (Buttercup looks away, bored.) He said, and I quote, “It’s not right to harm an insect just ’cause it’s yucky on the outside. It’s the insect inside that’s important.”
Buttercup: (sarcastically) Oh? Like what are you gonna do, put ’em in a giant jar?
(Blossom thinks about this, then smiles and takes off.)
Buttercup: (calling after her) Hey!
Roach Coach: That’s right, fly away! Fly away scared, you stinkin’ Powerpuffs! (surprised) Huh?
(Cut to Blossom in flight; she is carrying…)
Narrator: A giant jar?! That’s crazy!
Roach Coach: NOOOOOOOO!
(She flies through the city, scooping up all the roaches with the jar, as the Narrator speaks. Everyone is swept clean of the insects.)
Narrator: And so, with her lightning-fast speed and her knowledge of where to get giant jars, Blossom makes quick work of cleaning up the town.
(One woman screams for a moment even after she has been cleared of roaches. Finally she stops and takes notice of her new situation.)
Woman: I’m bug-free! (Pan across a cheering crowd.)
Narrator: That you are, lady. And so is the rest of the town! So give it up for… (Stop on the girls, standing on the now-sealed jar.) …the Powerpuff Girls! Yes!
(Buttercup looks a bit miffed that her dig at Blossom turned out to be a good move. Roach Coach runs up to the front of the crowd.)
Roach Coach: No fair! How dare you trick my army of roaches with a giant jar?
Blossom: So you’re responsible for this mess!
Roach Coach: That I am! I am Roach Coach! I am sick of you human scum infesting the planet! I…am here…to… (Close-up of the whistle in his hand; he continues o.c.) …EXTERMINATE!
(Pull back as he lifts it to his lips and blows. The jar begins to shake back and forth, making it hard for the girls to keep their footing on the lid.)
Blossom: W-W-What’s happening?
(The jar explodes into shards of glass, freeing the horde of roaches; this is seen from three different camera angles, after which the insects swarm toward their master.)
Roach Coach: That’s it, boys! Come to papa!
(Again they cover every part of him, and he laughs insanely. They form into the shapes of various insect body parts; the girls look up in stunned silence as a gargantuan shadow falls over them.)
Girls: (softly) Uh-oh.
(They are facing a king-sized cockroach composed of the thousands of bugs that Blossom packed up in her jar.)
Girls: Not so fast, Roach Coach!
(They charge toward the giant head; Roach Coach, inside, addresses them.)
Roach Coach: Annoying Powerpuffs!
(He opens his mouth wide. Outside, the jaws do likewise and close on the girls. Overhead view of them inside the beast. They are surrounded by squirming roaches on all sides. Zoom in slowly.)
Bubbles: Gross, gross, gross, gross, gross, gross… (She continues under the next two lines.)
Buttercup: Please, can we squish them now? Please? (Zoom in on Blossom.)
Blossom: (deliberately) Now, Buttercup. (Bubbles falls silent.) Remember, the Professor said not to harm an insect just because it’s yucky on the outside, but…THIS ONE’S YUCKY ON THE INSIDE!
(The girls explode out of the giant roach, splitting it in half.)
Roach Coach: Hey! You’re not allowed to harm my roaches!
(They do a sharp U-turn and close in.)
Roach Coach: Uh-oh.
(They plow completely through the body and go to work, kicking and punching the bugs into mush and breaking off a few appendages for good measure. Their final blow knocks Roach Coach loose; overhead view of him as he tumbles toward the street, yelling in anger.)
Roach Coach: (voice fading, drawn-out) Curse you, Powerpuff Girls!
(He falls far enough to disappear from sight, and a metallic crash is heard—as if a bucket of spare parts had been dumped onto the pavement. The girls are panic-stricken.)
Blossom: Oh, no! I definitely know it’s not okay to squish a person!
Buttercup: No matter how yucky they are on the inside!
Bubbles: (pointing down o.c.) Wait! Look!
(Zoom in on the crash site to the sound of beeping and sparking electricity. What is spread across the street is a mess of smashed body parts with wires and motors protruding. Blossom and Buttercup land beside this lot; the fingers of one hand twitch a bit.)
Buttercup: (in awe) Whoa. (Pan slowly across the wreckage, putting them out of view.)
Blossom: (from o.c.) He’s a robot! (Stop on the head; Bubbles is beside it.)
Bubbles: And look!
(Her perspective, looking down at the head. A chunk has been smashed away, revealing a roach sitting in a tiny control room within.)
Bubbles: There’s an insect inside! (Zoom in on it.)
Roach: (insect voice, angrily) I am not just an insect! I am Roach Coach! I am the future ruler of this planet, you stupid biped! (Its perspective of Bubbles.)
Bubbles: Who you calling a biped— (raising foot to stomp it) —you little— (Her sisters stop her.)
Blossom: Bubbles, no! Don’t squish him! He’s a criminal. And everything has a place in this world— (The girls’ perspective of the roach.) —even criminals.
(Around the insect, the scene dissolves to a bare gray room. It is now held captive within a jar and beating its tiny fists against the inner wall. Pull back to show that the jar bears a label—”JAIL”—and sits in a full-sized jail cell. The girls and the Professor stand outside, as do the Mayor and Ms. Bellum.)
Mayor: Well, girls, thanks again for, uh… (He trails off.)
Ms. Bellum: Saving the day, sir.
Mayor: No, no, no. For saving the day.
Blossom: No problem, Mayor.
(Close-up of the Professor as a spider descends into view in front of him. He eyes it warily.)
Blossom: (from o.c.) It’s all in a day’s work. It doesn’t bug us.
(Pull back to bring the whole group into view; the spider meets its end between the Professor’s hands. The Mayor jumps up and grabs Ms. Bellum at hip level.)
Blossom: Professor! You just squished that spider! Oh, I get it. Better safe than sorry, right?
Professor: No, spiders just creep me out. (Everybody laughs.)
[Animation goof: His eyebrows disappear during this line.]
Narrator: (laughing) Oh, Professor! What are we gonna do with you? (He laughs again.)
(The standard end shot comes up.)
Narrator: So once again the day is saved—thanks to the Powerpuff Girls! (laughing) “Spiders just creep me out,” he says. Oh, jiminy.