"A Little Piece of Home" is the fifth episode of the first season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the fifth of the overall series. It depicts Lex Luthor's discovery of Kryptonite and its effects on Superman. Although Luthor now has the perfect weapon against him, Superman must continue to foil his plans.
As Lex Luthor introduces his new Museum of Natural History to a group of reporters, a couple of small time criminals break in and go for a rather large jewel. Clark Kent, who is amongst the reporters, hears their entry and takes off to become Superman. Inside, Superman's attempts to stop the criminals are progressing nicely until he comes near a display of minerals. He sinks to the ground in pain, allowing the criminals to escape.
Luthor discovers the phenomenon and has the display analyzed to discover what happened to Superman. He learns that one of the rocks is from an foreign solar system and realizes that he now has the perfect weapon against Superman. Determined to make sure that his discovery is indeed genuine, Luthor hires a thug named Joey to pull off a heist, which will attract Superman and lead him into a trap.
Meanwhile, Clark meets Lois at a diner and instantly starts to feel the damaging effects of the alien rock. Lois explains that she obtained a slither of Luthor's rock from a contact at LexLabs, Professor Peterson, the head researcher of the new rock, and is taking it to Professor Hamilton at S.T.A.R. Labs for analysis. Lois gives Clark a peak of the rock but immediately drops it from the pain, causing Lois to think he's getting sick.
Near the diner, Luthor's hired thug and two henchmen steal hundred dollar printing plates from Commissioner Jones and flee with jet packs. Superman goes after them and captures the henchmen, but is unable to stop the leader from reaching his destination, a parking garage. Joey fakes his surrender and lures Superman towards the middle of the complex where the rock hanging from the ceiling. Superman, weakened, is then pummeled by the Joey. Fortunately for Superman, Joey becomes overconfident and takes the fight too far away from the rock. With a small amount of strength back, Superman tosses himself and Joey over the edge and into a stream below where he is able to apprehend him.
After his confrontation with the thug, Superman confronts Luthor, who proposes that if Superman leaves him alone, he'll be allowed to live. Superman refuses and later follows Lois to S.T.A.R. Labs where she is meeting with Hamilton. Hamilton explains that the rock is likely a fragment of Krypton and coins the phrase "Kryptonite". He also explains that the radiation can be shielded with lead. Lois receives a call from Peterson who tells her to meet him in the new museum. However, it is revealed that Peterson was threatened by Luthor into calling Lois. Luthor then orders Mercy to "deal" with Peterson.
Lois and Superman go to the museum only to find that they have walked into a trap. The exits are sealed and a mechanical Tyrannosaurus activates and attacks the duo. Superman tries to confront the robot monster, but finds that the Kryptonite was left in its mouth. The dinosaur pummels Superman until he informs Lois that some cups displayed in the museum are made of lead. Lois manages to get the kryptonite into the cups and Superman defeats the dinosaur. After their escape, Superman disposes of the Kryptonite by throwing it into outer space. Luthor, in the meantime, has commissioned further expeditions to find more Kryptonite on Earth.
Tim Daly as Kal-El/Superman/Clark Kent
Dana Delany as Lois Lane
Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor
Brad Garrett as Bibbo and Nito Corali (uncredited)
Lisa Edelstein as Mercy Graves
Victor Brandt as Professor Hamilton
Tress MacNeille as Tour Guide, Waitress and Old woman at museum (both uncredited)
John Rubinstein as Professor Peterson
John Garry as Hanes and Commissioner Jones (uncredited)
Thomas F. Wilson as Joey
Scott Valentine as Sam Corali
Yuji Okomoto as Security Guard
Home video releases
Superman: A Little Piece of Home
Superman: The Animated Series, Volume One
Superman: The Complete Animated Series
Superman and Friends
(Nito and Sam steal a diamond) Sam: What do you think we'll get for it, Nito?
Superman: I'd say five to ten, with time off for good behavior.
Sam: You know, he don't look so hot. Maybe we should help him.
Nito: Sure, we'll send him a chicken soup. Come on!
Luthor: Well, next time you see one of my museums being robbed, call someone who can do something about it, like the police!
Luthor: You work for me, Peterson, don't forget that! There shouldn't be an opinion in your head that I haven't put there!
(Clark stands in front of some rocks he thinks to be Kryptonite) Clark: Nothing's happening.
Old Lady: You were expecting them to dance for you?
Luthor: Actually I'm glad you came. I have a deal for you.
Superman: I'm listening.
Luthor: As long as I have the rock, you can't stop me, but it is bothersome to have you always trying. So, the deal is this: you leave me and my operations alone, and I and my little green rock will leave you alone.
Superman: I don't make deals with criminals.
Luthor: I control everything in this town, Superman. Your cooperation is not really necessary. The offer was merely a courtesy.
Superman: You will never control me, Luthor. Never! (takes off)
Luthor: Well then, I guess I'll have to kill you.
Professor Hamilton: The fact that your body chemistry absorbs the radiations so readily, leads me to believe that you share with it a point of origin.
Superman: You mean it came from Krypton?
Professor Hamilton: More than likely it is Krypton, or rather a small piece of it. 'Kryptonite' if you will.
Luthor: Ah, Professor, Mercy will see you safely home now, won't you my dear?
Professor Peterson: Please, no! I-I-I mean, I can see myself home, really!
Luthor: But I insist. Metropolis can be such a dangerous city, Peterson. I'd hate to wake up tomorrow and find out that something terrible had happened to you...
The producers considered having Superman give the giant dinosaur to Batman, as a nod to the giant dinosaur that stands in the Batcave. They ultimately decided not to.
On Superman: The Animated Series, Volume One (DVD), this episode comes with pop-up notes with factoids about the series. It incorrectly refers to Lisa Edelstein as "Linda Edelstein", and mentions Teen Titans as part of the DCAU, which it is not.
Commissioner Jones tells Joey that, upon hearing the fire alarm, all the exists, entrances, stairs and elevators were shut down. This would trap all people inside the building (or on its roof); not a wise thing to do when there's a fire.
When Mercy is at the third checkpoint observing Superman pursue Joey, the sign for the LexCorp Waterfront Towers says "LexCord" instead of LexCorp.