"Grudge Match" is the twenty-third episode of Kim Possible.
Kim, Ron, and Monique are waiting in line to see a movie at the local megaplex, although Ron's having a harder time waiting than the other two. During the wait, Ron mentions that the least favorite part of going to the movies is dealing with a ticket counter taker named Lamar, who's notorious for being slow and having clammy wet hands. Instead the ticket taker is an attractive young Hispanic girl named Zita Flores, and Ron immediately becomes tongue-tied over her.
After the movie, Kim, Ron, & Monique attend Bueno Nacho, and discuss Ron's trouble with girls. Much of the discussion (as well as the episode) is centered around his attempts to comply with The Rules. During the discussion, Wade reports a hit on her website from her father, who needs her to find an important robot that was stolen from the Middleton Institute of Technology.
At the lab, James Possible explains that the robot that was stolen had artificial intelligence, which is necessary for a proposed Jupiter project. The same Jupiter project involves a large electromagnet that swiped Ron's pants. One of his co-workers who works in the robotics department is named Dr. Fen (Tom Kenny). It is uncertain how he received this position, as he is actually a rather incompetent roboticist. All the robots he makes on his own attack him or try to hurt him. In his own dream for credit and fame, he claimed a robot he made was stolen (when in reality he had never even built it) and blamed this on an ex-lab assistant, Vivian Porter.
Vivian was Dr. Fen's former lab partner, but he fired her, claiming that she "couldn't keep up". However, according to Dr. Possible, Vivian quit after she had enough of Fen. Vivian is a fan of a local underground robot fighting club, known as the "Robot Rumble". Kim's nerdy cousin Larry (see "Monkey Fist Strikes") is also a member of the club, and helps Kim and Ron infiltrate it in hopes of finding Vivian. The Robot Rumble is accessed through a series of freight elevators, mining cars, and underground tunnels. Larry warns them not to get on the bad side of her boyfriend Oliver, who he believes established the club to begin with.
At the rumble, Kim introduces herself to Vivian (Shawnee Smith), who's quite pleased to meet another member of the Possible family, until she mentions that she's working for Fen, and turns on her. Oliver and Vivian insist that Kim challenges her to a duel in the makeshift arena, but Kim doesn't have a robot on her. When she contacts Wade about it, he suggests using the Kimmunicator, causing the whole club to laugh at the three of them. The Kimmunicator does surprisingly well for such a small device, but in the end gets destroyed. During the battle, Kim realizes that her robot has artificial intelligence, and insinuates that she may have got it at the space center. Oliver stands up to defend Vivian, and as her robot returns her crushed Kimmunicator, Kim, Ron, and Larry are expelled, with the rest of the nerds angrily demanding that they leave!
Ron resumes attending movies in hopes of meeting Zita, who he originally thinks is named Annie, because the theater didn't get her own name tag for her uniform. In the process of trying to meet her, he ends up seeing every movie, or at least buying tickets for every movie the theater has to offer. Ron ends up watching a sappy teen romance movie, that he finds implausible, when suddenly Wade interrupts the movie to summon Ron on one of Kim's missions. In a spoof of John Hughes movies, the rest of the theater patrons interpret this as a romantic moment, and applaud wildly thinking Kim is his waiting girlfriend.
On the way out of the theater, Ron tries to avoid being seen with Kim, so that Zita doesn't think they're dating. When he explains this to Kim, she finds the whole notion that they could ever go on a date to be quite amusing. After this, however, she's all business. Though they succeed in breaking into the underground arena, and are able to get the Robot for Fen, Ron accidentally sets off a trap and falls into the pit. Kim manages to help him get out, but both end up being chased through the tunnels by one of the robots from the arena. During the chase, the Kimmunicator gets knocked out of Kim's hands and winds up in front of the cart. When Ron & Rufus try to retrieve it, they get knocked off the cart, leaving Kim to fight the robot alone. To make matters worse, a train appears to be heading their way. The robot retreats, and we find that fortunately, this "train" is actually Ron & Rufus on a hand-pump car using the Kimmunicator flashing a huge spotlight and a bullhorn to increase the train sound coming from the Kimmunicator to scare the robot away.
After snatching the robot for Fen, Kim returns home, but something about the caper seems to rub her the wrong way. While there, she finds that Jim and Tim have made their own robot for the rumble, and Mr. Dr. Possible is quite impressed. That is until it starts wrecking the furniture and grabbing the tweebs, which reminds the Possible patriarch of his co-worker Dr. Fen. Kim's high level of common sense and alertness allowed her to realize that Dr. Fen was a fraud, Just then Wade signals Kim to let her know that Fen doesn't have a single scholarly article on robotics, and somebody named "V.F. Porter" has them instead. Before Kim and Ron arrive to confront Fen, Oliver accuses him of stealing the robot, and almost attacks him, until Vivian stops him. Kim finally enters the lab to tell him she knows he's the thief, but Fen insists that he doesn't care, because he's got the reputation as the expert. He then threatens to destroy Oliver's robot if Kim didn't let him go, but a clever use of the same electromagnet from the Jupiter project saved the robot. In the process, Oliver also gets caught in the magnet and we find out Oliver was also a robot.
As Dr. Possible arrives with police escorts, Kim explained that she figured out who the real genius was and pointed out Fen as the fraud. It turns out that V.F Porter stood for Vivian Francis Porter. The beautiful blonde is an expert in robotics who was framed by Dr. Fen so that he could steal her artificial intelligence robot to hide the fact he wasn't a good enough scientist to build one himself. Presumably, he had been stealing others' ideas for a while, but in the end, Fen was arrested. Vivian had left because of Fen, but also because she had gotten tired of her colleges not taking her seriously as a scientist just because she looks like a supermodel. Vivian was awarded Fen's position in the robotics lab, and she was more than enthusiastic to take the job.
Ron finally thinks he has a chance to ask Zita out at the movie theater, but ends up meeting the dreaded Lamar at the ticket window this time. But just when all hope seems lost, he finds out as he sits down to watch the movie that Zita is sitting right next to him. Both enjoy each other's company, and the same sappy movie that Ron was watching previously. And Rufus enjoys every sappy minute of seeing them together.
- The twenty-forth episode in chronological and production order.
- First appearance of Zita Flores, she would appear again in the episode "Virtu-Ron".
- Second appearance of Kim's cousin, Larry.
- Many have mistakenly referred to the villain as "Phen", but a Kim Possible game's collector card refers to him as Dr. Fen.
- Among the nerds at the Robot Rumble are Ned from "Bueno Nacho" and Justine Flanner from "Partners". However the latter episode and name will be seen later.
- When we first see that the subway train is actually Ron and Rufus with the Kimmunicator, it shows that the light is coming out of the center of the bullhorn. Later, the light is being beamed out of the Kimmunicator screen.
- Larry picks up the helmet-thingy from the curb before he goes in to the Robot Rumble, but it wasn't there in the wide shot as Larry, Kim, and Ron pull up to that area.
- When Ron and Kim walk out of the elevator, the bottom of Ron's shirt turns red.
- Where was Rufus' skeleton when Ron passed through the X-ray machine?
- The elevator for the underground tunnels Cousin Larry leads Kim & Ron to is at an intersection similar to the Edward Hopper classic painting Nighthawks.
- The robot fighting thing is a reference to the TV show "Battle Bots". A show which features robot fighting.
- When Mr. Dr. Possible talks about an artificial intelligence for a top-secret Jupiter mission, this is a reference the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL-9000 is the intelligent computer aboard a spacecraft headed for Jupiter. While the mission is not top secret, the true purpose is.
- "My Little Puppy 2; Puppy's Pride" is a combined reference of My Little Pony and Pound Puppies, two cartoons based on toy-lines from the 1980s.
- The running gag of Ron losing his pants continues in this episode. This time a super magnet at the Space Center where Dr. James Possible works, pulls off Ron's belt, causing him to lose his pants.
- Another running gag, which is sometimes used, is Dr. James Possible leaning on some piece of equipment, setting it off. In this episode it is the super magnet, which takes Ron's belt.
Home video releases
- Kim Possible: The Complete Second Season