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Fantastic Four

Season 1 Episode 4

Hard Knocks

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Sep 23, 2006 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Hard Knocks
Fellow scientist and friend Bruce Banner comes to Reed looking for help. But his dark secret is soon revealed - he's the Incredible Hulk! When Banner reverts to his giant green alter-ego and goes on a rampage across New York City, the Fantastic Four must stop him.moreless

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  • Fantastic Four vs. Hulk Nuff' said.

    There was an issue(s) of Fantastic Four like this.


    General Ross recruits the Fantastic Four to fight and defeat the Hulk, who is thought to be disrupting military operations in the desert. The Thing is eager to go and can't wait to match his strength against that of the Hulk. Once in the desert, the four meet Bruce Banner and his young friend Rick Jones. Banner defends the Hulk because he is the Hulk's alter-ego and doesn't recall destroying any missiles. The Wrecker, who is, in actuality, a Communist attempting to sabotage the American military, kidnaps Rick Jones and will only release him once the Fantastic Four are driven from the area. The Fantastic Four set out through an underground tunnel in search of Rick, but they encounter the Hulk. The Hulk attacks the Thing, but admits that it was like punching a stone wall. The combatants resurface, but it is not long until the Hulk knocks out Reed, Sue, and Johnny by clapping his hands together with such great force that he creates a sonic boom. But the Thing is unfazed and continues to do battle with the Hulk. The battle is cut short, however, with the appearance of the a giant mecha controlled by the Wrecker. The Hulk is knocked out by an odd ray gun, but Ben quickly disposes of the mecha. Ben and Sue encounter Karl Kort, the Wrecker, who threatens Ben with the ray that fell the Hulk. Sue invisibly disarms Kort and the Hulk is exonerated. As General Ross, Bruce Banner, and Rick Jones bid farewell to the Fantastic Four, Reed gives Bruce a knowing look, which leads Bruce to believe that Reed may have deduced his secret identity. The story ends as the Fantasticar flies home and the Hulk muses that he may just see those four again someday.moreless
Brian Dobson

Brian Dobson

Benjamin Grimm/The Thing

Christopher Jacot

Christopher Jacot

Johnny Storm/Human Torch

Hiro Kanagawa

Hiro Kanagawa

Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic

Lara Gilchrist

Lara Gilchrist

Susan Storm/Invisible Woman

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Johnny mentions in conversation with Bruce Banner that the Fantastic Four have defeated the Mole Man, despite the fact that the Mole Man has yet to appear in this series as it was originally aired, out of production order.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Bruce: You must be Ben.
      Ben: No use of kissing up now, chump. Come on, go green. Let's settle this.

    • Ben: This oughta do it. No Hulking-out there now. I just polished her. On second thought... Hulk-out all you want, it's Johnny's car.

    • Hulk: Stone Face too small!
      Johnny: Not exactly quick about yourself, big guy!
      Hulk: Fireman made fun of Hulk! No one laughs at Hulk! Where Fireman go?

    • Hulk: Rubberman made Hulk angry!
      Reed: No, I'm sorry.

    • Hulk: Hulk smash stupid orange Rockman. No one is stronger than Hulk!
      Ben: Is that a fact? Well, let's see about that.

    • Hulk: Hulk knows you. Stupid man in black should leave Hulk alone!
      Agent Pratt: Okay.

    • Ben: (to Pratt's agents) Hey, this is a white zone! There's no abducting huge green monsters in a white zone!

    • Ben: (about the Hulk) I coulda taken him... if I wanted to.
      Johnny: How? By breaking his fists with your face?
      Ben: Thing smash!

    • Ben: Someday, you and me are gonna finish this.
      Hulk: Grrr!
      Ben: Not like that! I got two words for ya: arm wrestlin'!

    • Bruce: You think you're a monster? Ben Grimm is... a hero, a role model, a celebrity! The Hulk is a force of nature; he's pure rage and destruction that cannot be stopped! The Hulk is the real monster...

    • Ben: What are you doing, you numbskull? Not me, them! Attack them!
      Hulk: Rock Man made fun of Hulk's mama!

    • Sue: How could you bring the Hulk into our home and not tell us? Now we're responsible for demolishing half the city!
      Reed: It was only a few blocks, actually.
      Sue: We put our trust in you every day. Why can't you do the same with us?
      Johnny: (laughs) Sorry. I'm just glad she's not mad at me for once.

    • Johnny: Now when I said "Bigfoot" before, I wasn't trying to suggest that you're a hairy, ugly, smelly...
      Hulk: Fire Man talk too much!
      Johnny: Yeah, I get that a lot.

    • Johnny: The Hulk. He's real. I thought he was like Bigfoot or something.
      Ben: His breath's real enough!

    • (to a woman he rescued)
      Johnny: So, what's your name…?
      Ben: Johnny!
      Johnny: Call me.

    • Reed: What happened? Where's Bruce?
      Sue: Reed, I'm sorry, but I think the Hulk ate your friend.

    • Johnny: Hey, far be it from me to complain about property damage, but maybe we should leave some of the city standing?

    • Bruce Banner: My anger triggers the transformation. I shouldn't have let my frustration get the best of me.
      Johnny: Wait, are you saying you Hulk out when you get angry. So… I don't really think you're a nerd. I call everyone that. Like a term of affection.

    • Johnny: I don't know what kind of lame-o bad guys you deal with, Hulk-o. But we're the Fantastic Four.

    • Johnny: You guys might give the Hulk a hard time, but I've fought Dr. Doom!

    • Johnny: How are we going to find them? They've got a head start, and rocket engines.
      Reed: "Rocket engines"? You wound me. (hits the Fantasticar's super-accelerator)

    • Bruce: What? No, I can't just change. I have to get angry.
      Ben: Your pants are out of style. You've got a bad haircut.
      Bruce: What?
      Ben: Your mama's so ugly…
      Bruce: Ben. It's not going to work.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Agent Pratt
      In the comics he was introduced in Incredible Hulk (Vol. 3) #40. An agent of "Home Base" a clandestine group, he posed as an FBI agent, captured Bruce Banner and stole a sample of the Hulk's blood, injecting himself with it. He grew so large he exploded, but thanks to "H section" programming, he regenerated his whole body. That version of Pratt was black and bald, while the one featured in this episode was white, with purple hair.

    • The title of this episode comes from the 2004 comic book mini-series, "Hulk & Thing: Hard Knocks."

    • The Hulk
      Dr. Bruce Banner, AKA The Hulk, first appeared in the Marvel universe in Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962). The Hulk was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The Hulk was created when Dr. Banner was caught in the blast of a gamma bomb. After the gamma exposure, when Dr. Banner became upset, he transformed into the mindless and destructive Hulk.


    • Army General
      The General at the end is General "Thunderbolt" Ross from the comics. Ross was a major character and antagonist in the original "Incredible Hulk" comic series and eventually became Bruce Banner's father-in-law when Bruce married his daughter, Betsy.

    • Ben: Say goodnight, Jolly Green!
      A reference to one of the Hulk's common nicknames in the comics, but also to the Jolly Green Giant, the advertising icon of Green Giant food company.

    • Johnny: Yeah, well, you're not exactly Quicksilver yourself, pal.
      A reference to fellow Marvel superhero Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff. Quicksilver's main power is his mutant super speed and is considered to be one of the fastest characters in the Marvel universe. He is also the son of major X-Men villain Magneto.