Captain Planet and the Planeteers Wiki
A Formula for Hate
Season 3, Episode 11
Air date November 21, 1992
Episode guide
Hog Tide
If It's Doomsday This Must Be Belfast

A Formula for Hate is the eleventh episode in the third season of Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

Main Characters[]

The main characters featured in this episode are:

Plot Synopsis[]

Verminous Skumm breaks into a doctor's office and searches through medical files. He discovers that a basketball player named Todd Andrews (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris) has been diagnosed as being HIV-positive, and Skumm starts spreading rumours that Todd has AIDS, turning his classmates and the townspeople against him.

The Planeteers see posters Skumm has made about Todd plastered on walls all over town. The townspeople then wreck Todd's mother's vegetable stand. The Planeteers arrive to drive the angry mob away, but Todd then disappears, fleeing to an old shack. After having a nightmare where his girlfriend, mother, brother, best friend, and coach all tell him of their disappointment in him, Todd decides to go back, only to find that the boat he used to reach the shack is gone, leaving him stranded.

Ma-Ti uses his Heart Ring's power to pinpoint Todd's location, and the Planeteers summon Captain Planet, who brings Todd back. When the crowd, with Skumm among them, react angrily to Todd's presence at the school's basketball game, Captain Planet and Todd's coach set the record straight with Captain Planet telling the crowd that they have been led astray by lies, and the coach tells them they can't get AIDS by casual contact. While the crowd cheer Todd, Skumm and his hench rat try to sneak off, only to be intercepted by Captain Planet, who delays them long enough for the police to arrive and arrest them.

Episode Summary[]

Skumm encourages fear and panic in a small town when a local teen contracts HIV/AIDS.

Planeteer Alerts[]

First Planeteer Alert

Gaia: AIDS is a terrible epidemic plaguing our world, but two things make it even worse: ignorance and fear. You cannot catch AIDS from hugging or playing or eating in the same cafeteria with someone. Learn the facts about AIDS. Talk to your parents, your school nurse, counselor, or your teacher.
Captain Planet: So protect yourself and others with knowledge. Remember, the power is yours.

Second Planeteer Alert

Captain Planet: The health of our planet relies on the health of its people.
Wheeler: To reach the highest heights...
Linka: ...and win the fight to save our planet...
Ma-Ti: ...we must have strength...
Kwame: ...endurance...
Gi: ... and courage!
Wheeler: Our minds...
Linka: ...and our bodies must be in shape!
Commander Clash: Stay fit!
Captain Planet: The power is yours!

Significant Moments and Facts[]

  • The events of the episode were based on the real-life case of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who contracted HIV from contaminated blood used to treat his hemophilia. When he was diagnosed in 1984, AIDS was not well understood by the public and, like Todd Andrews in this episode, White has faced ostracism and harassment from his community.
  • Skumm is assisted by another rat mutant throughout the episode. The other rat's name is never mentioned.
  • Todd's mother was voiced by Elizabeth Taylor, who was a well-known activist in the fight against AIDS.
  • Like with Mind Pollution Captain Planet does not insult the villain with puns and/or jokes like normal. Instead, along with Todd's coach, he delivers an impassioned speech about AIDS and tells the people Skumm has fed them a pack of lies.
  • HIV is called the "HIV virus" in this episode. However, the "V" in "HIV" already stands for virus.
  • This is the first time Neil Patrick Harris voice-acted a character in animation before becoming more prevalent in other animated roles [i.e. Nightwing in Batman: Under the Hood]


  • Skumm: AIDS is the best thing to come along since the Black Plague.
  • Gi: (seeing the posters Skumm has made about Todd) This is low even for Skumm!
  • Skumm: Have you heard? whispers to girl Don't touch him or you could be next.
  • Ma-Ti: (seeing one of Skumm's posters) I cannot believe this! Listen. (reading) "The disease is here. Protect your children. Get rid of AIDS in your town".
    Wheeler: Skumm's posters! It's disgusting!
  • Captain Planet: This is supposed to be a school, but I think these people need a little education about the HIV virus. (turns to address the crowd) May I have your attention, please! A lot of you are worried about AIDS, and there's a rat in your midst who's been spreading lies! Give 'em the facts, Coach.
    Coach: (to the crowd) You can't get AIDS from casual contact. Hugging, touching, they're okay. You can use the same water fountain or even the same cafeteria. It's safe.
    Captain Planet: You've been led astray by lies! Todd hasn't changed.
    Coach: That's right! He's the same kid who played his heart for you right here on this court last week!
    Captain Planet: Deal with the real, people! Get the facts! If Todd had any other disease, you'd be cheering him on! Right now, Todd needs your support! The power is yours!
    Coach: So what are you gonna do?! Turn your back on him or give him the chance he deserves?!
    The crowd begins to cheer and chant Todd's name.
    Skumm: No! Get him outta here!
    Student: Take a hike, ratface!


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