Futurama Fridays – S7E25 “Stench and Stenchibility”

Zoidberg, of all people, finds love.


Zoidberg (Billy West) has been online dating an alien woman named Zindy (Tress MacNeille). Fry, Bender, and Leela (West, John DiMaggio, and Katey Sagal) help Zoidberg clean out his dumpster and a bug bomb leads Bender to be discovered by Fry’s friend Randy (DiMaggio), who invites Bender to try tap dancing. Zoidberg buys some flowers for Zindy, but when she meets him, she can’t stand the way he smells and leaves him. Zoidberg tries to return the flowers to the florist, Marianne (Emilia Clarke), who reveals that she cannot give him a refund as she is broke. The pair are attacked by Roberto (David Herman), but Zoidberg’s stench drives him away. Marianne is impressed by his bravery, revealing she has no sense of smell, and the two begin to date. At the same time, Bender discovers that a six-year-old tap dancer with a heart condition named Tonya (Tara Strong) is his main rival. He attempts to defeat her through cheating, only for her to break his leg with a baton.

Ah, the traditional flower robbery.

Zoidberg is happy with Marianne, but she laments being unable to smell. Zoidberg agrees to give her a nose transplant after initially hiding it from her, even though it means that she will likely break up with him immediately. Bender asks for help with his broken leg, but Zoidberg is too busy prepping to do Marianne’s surgery. As Bender and Tonya try to compete, she mocks him mercilessly and ends up winning. In the middle of her award speech, she has a heart attack and dies. Bender dances on her corpse, but inadvertently revives her, causing the audience to love him. Marianne awakens and smells something horrible when Zoidberg brings her flowers, but she realizes that she hates the smell of the flowers, not Zoidberg. She points out that she loves the way Zoidberg smells, because she loves him. She becomes a garbage truck driver and they live happily ever after, I assume.

Skunks don’t actually smell bad if they don’t spray, but they can be ornery.


I genuinely love this episode because it finally gives Zoidberg the happy ending that he mostly deserves. It’s true that Zoidberg is sometimes a jerk, but most of the time he gets hit with a lot more than he has merited. He lives in a dumpster because he’s poor despite the fact that, according to Farnsworth, he’d be a great doctor if he was on any planet other than Earth. Even more, he’s only here because he’s friends with Farnsworth, despite the fact that Farnsworth doesn’t pay him enough to live indoors. It’s really sad when you think about it, particularly since we’ve had multiple episodes about Zoidberg being forever alone. This episode finally gives him happiness and does it in a genuinely sweet way, especially when you realize that he is willing to sacrifice his relationship to help the woman he loves. As the penultimate episode, this one gives us closure on Zoidberg and that just leaves Fry and Leela for the finale.

If you can’t smell, your sense of taste is muted, so I hope he went cheap on the wine, too.

I will also add that I think the subplot about Bender fighting a young tap dancer who Tonya Hardings him is hilarious. Bender, who is a vicious competitor and an outright criminal, still calls her a monster and, moreover, appears to be correct. It’s hilarious to watch Bender be outdone by a small child. It’s even funnier to watch him dance on the dead body of a small child and for him to be horrified that he accidentally resurrects her. It’s really among the lowest things Bender has ever done, although it does lead to their odd friendship and partnership. 

Two evil monsters.

Overall, solid episode. One more to go!


The bug bombs that they use to get rid of the roaches in Zoidberg’s dumpster are called “Hal’s Roach Bombs.” This is a reference to Hal Roach, the director of several Laurel and Hardy films, as well as the creator of the Our Gang series, better known now as The Little Rascals. The bug bomb’s slogan is, hilariously, “Kills the Little Rascals.” Look, if you can’t laugh at jokes about killing characters from the 1920s, what can you laugh at?

Bender might think it’s a bit uncouth.

See you next week, meatbags.

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Futurama Fridays: S7E24 “Murder on the Planet Express”

 The crew deals with a murderous shapeshifting alien.


The crew are all at odds. Fry (Billy West) and Bender (John DiMaggio) are fighting over Bender using his toothbrush to polish his ass, Hermes (Phil LaMarr) and Zoidbert (West) are fighting over lunch theft, and Amy (Lauren Tom) and Leela (Katey Sagal) fight over using each other’s sporting equipment. All of them secretly hide cameras, which reveal that, while most of the accusations were unfounded, the things that they were doing were actually worse than originally assumed. Because of all the fighting, the Professor (West) hires consultant Dan McMasters (David Herman) to host a teambuilding retreat. However, when McMasters tries to make a point about trust by picking up a hitchhiker, the hitchhiker is revealed to be a shapeshifter who eats him and begins stalking the crew after disabling multiple ship systems. While the Professor hides in the panic room, Fry and Bender work together to restart the engines, Amy and Leela get a steering wheel for the auxiliary control room, and Hermes and Zoidberg restore the airflow. The six find the monster again, but escape to the panic room.

Motivational speakers dress exactly the same in 1000 years, I guess.

With the ship running again, Farnsworth reveals that the entire monster scenario was actually a trust exercise. The teams celebrate, only for the monster to reveal that he was pretending to be Farnsworth and eat Hermes, Scruffy the janitor, and the Professor. The monster proceeds to slowly hunt down and eat all of the members of the crew until only Fry and Bender are left. The two then come clean about their actions towards each other, at which point Dan McMasters comes out and tells them that THIS was the real trust exercise and that the monster was really his partner. The two, believing him to be the monster, disintegrate him. It turns out that he was telling the truth and that the rest of the crew is fine. At the end of the episode, Fry and Bender are told that the police will offer one of them $2,000,000 and total immunity if they rat on the other. Fry and Bender both glance at the phone.

Bender denies being scared.


This was an interesting episode, because I definitely never expected this show to do a comedic parody of The Thing. As The Thing (the John Carpenter one) is one of my favorite horror movies, possibly even my favorite, I was impressed at how much they capitalized on the paranoia of a shapeshifting monster, much like the movie, but they actually kicked it up a notch by not having the monster actually duplicate a cast member until the third act. When he first appears, he’s just a hobo, but that doesn’t indicate that he can copy memories or mannerisms. It’s only when the crew feels safe that the creature reveals that it can become any of them. It makes for a very fast-paced third act, with several characters being eaten only moments apart. It’s a great tribute to a great film, and the reveal that Fry and Bender’s paranoia grows to the point that they murder an innocent person (much like MacReady does in the original film) is somehow hilarious.

They went pretty bold on the designs, too.

The other thing that I think the episode does well is explore the physics of the Planet Express ship. Since the ship routinely had insane rooms or functions added for gags throughout the series, this episode just takes that to the point of even more absurdity by having the ship have a giant network of air vents and even a basement. It makes this episode kind of a send-off to the Planet Express ship “Bessie,” and that really works with this being the final season. 

Somehow it all fits in this framework, too.

Overall, a pretty solid episode, but not the best of the show.


I love the timing on the scene in which they try to arm up to confront the monster. Bender says they can’t give everyone guns because one of them could be the creature: “Fry. Leela. Amy. Zoidberg… Zoidberg.” At this point, you see two Zoidbergs, one of which says “one of us must be the bad creature.” The other goes “is it me maybe?” only to be eaten. Zoidberg can only sadly say “aw” as he’s devoured. It’s just a completely ridiculous interaction, but it works.

See you next week, meatbags.

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Futurama Fridays – S7E21 ”Assie Come Home”

So it’s come to this: An episode about Bender’s backside.


Farnsworth (Billy West) sends the crew on a weapons delivery to the gang planet Peoples α. Fry (West) and Leela (Katey Segal) sabotage the guns, surviving a gang war between the Blips and the Cruds, only to find that thieves have stolen Bender’s (John DiMaggio) body while they were gone. Now he’s just eyes and a mouth. Bender’s tracking system takes them to a chop shop, who provides a list of all of the people who bought Bender’s body parts. The crew proceeds to work on tracking them down, including finding a card shark cheating at poker with Bender’s arms and that Hedonismbot used Bender’s antenna for unspeakable acts that don’t really seem to bother Bender all that much. The only part they can’t find is Bender’s ass plate. 

These are the blips. Or the cruds. Either way, they got eaten by spiders.

It turns out Bender’s backside was on a spaceship that crashed against an asteroid in the Sargaseous Sea (which is actually a nebula). The cloud is so dense that ships usually can’t navigate it. Leela manages to find the nebula’s failing lighthouse, whose keeper, Tarquin (David Herman), assists the crew in recovering the ass plate. They soon discover that Bender’s ass is so shiny that it’s the only thing that can illuminate the nebula. Pointing out that it’ll save countless lives, Bender leaves his butt behind. While Bender starts to move on, the plate, which has a hindbrain, decides to return to Bender. The two are happily brought back together. 

Can we show this on television?


This is literally an episode about finding Bender’s shiny metal ass. I admit that some of the gags, mostly about finding Bender’s other body parts, are pretty funny, but overall I think it was going to be hard to make a good episode that seems to be entirely built around a title pun. It really hit home when, as the ass is (somehow) flying through space, it saves little Timmy (actually Johnny) who is caught in a gravity well, leading someone to actually say “thank you, Assie.” It hurt me on the inside parts.

Maybe put a grate over the gravity well?

This episode probably came about because this seemed like the time that the show was really going to end, so they wanted to do an episode about each of the characters. Since Bender has been the focus of so many episodes prior to this, they likely didn’t have anything else they really wanted to explore, so they were stuck doing an episode based on “bite my shiny metal ass,” revealing that Bender’s ass is the shiniest thing in the universe. Of course, this stands in direct contrast to the literal first response to that phrase “it doesn’t seem that shiny,” as well as a number of other episodes, but whatever. 

Asteroids are not ever this close.

Overall, I think this was my least favorite of the episodes remaining, so it’s all good now.


Here are three, only because I don’t like any of them enough to make them the winner:

3) Hedonismbot is a Senator

When they recover Bender’s antenna, Leela addresses Hedonismbot as Senator, revealing that a robot who lives to engage in debauchery is electable. Of course, reality told us this already.

2) Bender is a monster

When recovering his legs, Bender discovers that they’ve been given to Tinny Tim, the orphan robot, to replace his missing ones. Bender then not only steals his legs back, but also steals the skateboard that Tim used to get around.

1) I think of robot eels

The name of Tarquin’s boat is “Flotsam and Jetson,” a combination of the terms “Flotsam and Jetsam” (debris that was lost accidentally and debris that was intentionally thrown overboard) and the Jetsons. However, Flotsam and Jetsam were the names of the eels used by Ursula in The Little Mermaid, so this pun always makes me think of robot eels, which would indeed be electric eels.

See you next week, meatbags.

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Futurama Fridays – S7E17 “Fry and Leela’s Big Fling”

Fry and Leela take a vacation… with sexy results.


Fry and Leela (Billy West and Katey Sagal) have been secretly trying to rekindle their relationship, but they keep getting interrupted by various things and people, whether it’s Bender (John DiMaggio) mugging them or Zoidberg (West) being their incompetent busboy. Even at Leela’s apartment, they can’t avoid Nibbler (Frank Welker). Leela gets a targeted advertisement for a resort that boasts total isolation and Leela gets a discount because she took a trip there before with her ex-boyfriend Sean (to Fry’s annoyance) (David Herman). When they arrive, they find that the previous people are still there, and that one of them is actually Sean, who interrupts them trying to be intimate. Leela tries to catch up with Sean, angering Fry, but it becomes clear she finds Sean uninteresting now. Fry picks a fight with Sean until Sean’s wife, Darlene (Tress MacNeille), pulls them apart and leaves with Sean. 

This. This is the ex she couldn’t get over for a decade. Yikes.

Meanwhile, Amy (Lauren Tom), Zoidberg, and Bender are sent to Simian 7, the planet of the apes, where humans are outlawed (Amy wears marmoset pajamas to pass). When they arrive, they run into Guenter (MacNeille) from Mars University, who takes them on a tour of the city. They eventually end up at the local Zoo where they discover that Fry and Leela’s resort is actually a zoo exhibit of humans. They visit the zoo director, revealed to be the Creationist professor Doctor Banjo (David Herman). He explains that the resort is how they keep humans on display without cruelty, driving his point home by showing them video of Fry and Leela mocking their coworkers. Banjo also sounds the alarm on Amy, who he recognizes, and the crew flee to try and save Fry and Leela before being eaten by a moon worm. A week later, they pass through the worm’s intestines, just in time to see Fry and Leela leave. When they arrive home, they plan on not telling Fry and Leela that they’d been a display until Fry and Leela start to mock them, leading Bender to tell them they were in a zoo.


This episode has one of my favorite endings, where Amy says “let ‘er rip” and the screen cuts to black, only to cut back to Bender shouting “YOU WERE IN A ZOO!” It’s a great fake-out that you’re not going to see the actual revelation and pretty much unique in the series. As to the actual plot, this is the start of what I feel like is the final push to wrap up the plotlines of the show, so it’s all about getting Fry and Leela back to the place where they could get a happy ending. It also finally shows us that Leela actually is over her oft-mentioned ex-boyfriend Sean, meaning that she really is ready to become serious with Fry and after he finally starts to get over his jealousy and immaturity, that Fry is ready to become serious with her. 

The romantic dinner was cute, to be fair.

The planet of the apes in this episode is a great gag. I like the reference to the movie, but the concept of a planet populated by the abused test monkeys that scientists have experimented on is what really sells it. Given how many times the Professor alone has alluded to killing or mutating monkeys (to the point that he can no longer notice the smell of burning rhesus monkey), this seems like a planet that was inevitable. It is interesting that some monkeys and apes appear to have naturally evolved to be sentient and capable of talking and that others were artificially enhanced (like Guenter). I appreciate that, regardless of how it happened, the planet actually has a more considerate zoo than Earth.

And this is the best boardroom ever.

Overall, solid episode, and it’s a good set-up for the finale.


I hate everything about myself for what I am about to say, but it’s the advertisement on Simian 7 that says “BLUE ASS GROUP.” I love how many shots that this show has taken towards the Blue Man Group, but this parody is probably my favorite reference. It’s a group of Mandrills, meaning that they could easily have called it “BLUE MANDRILL GROUP” for the same joke, but they just ignored the pun and went straight for a big old picture of ape butts. Beautiful.

It’s… just so beautiful.

See you next week, meatbags.

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Futurama Fridays – S7E10 “Near-Death Wish”

It’s Season 7, time for a retirement home!


Fry (Billy West) wins the Delivery Boy of the Year Award and is angry when the Professor (West) doesn’t care. The crew realize that the Professor’s parents, Ned and Velma (David Herman and Estelle Harris) are still alive at the Near-Death Star, the place where all old people go to die. It turns out that the old people are kept in a Matrix-like Virtual Reality, and Fry, Leela, and Bender (Katey Sagal and John DiMaggio) meet them in a virtual retirement community. Fry enjoys spending time with them, but ends up deciding to take them with him. On Earth, the Professor is angry at the pair and refuses to talk to them as they interact with Fry. It turns out that when he was young, they never played with him or paid attention to his science. They even moved to a farm and limited his ability to study science until he ran away. 

Apparently “Trop Vieux” means “too old”

When finally confronted, Ned and Velma explain that they moved to a farm because they were worried that they would lose the Professor like his older brother. They explain that he was a scientist and a nutjob who they ended up having to commit to an institution. Unfortunately, it turns out that they are talking about the Professor. They thought he was their second son, Floyd, who the Professor had never met (and who may have come by years earlier only to be kicked out by Bender). Ned and Velma go back to the Near-Death Star, but the Professor joins them to play in Virtual Reality. 

Combined age is like 600 years old.


This is a pretty middle-of-the-road episode of Futurama, but that’s still pretty entertaining. It fleshes out the Professor’s backstory, something that, due to his excessive age, has had a lot of parts to it, but we’ve never gone back this far. It’s both funny and sweet that his parents reveal how much they had done for him while thinking that he was their other son. I’ll admit the reveal that the newly-discovered brother, Floyd, is probably dead somewhere was pretty dark, the fact that no one seems to care saves it. Also, they do a great job of making the Professor’s parents mirror his mannerisms in a way that make it seem like they’re family.

And therefore a little bit like Fry.

The best part of the episode is the shots they take at The Matrix. The crew, when going into the Near-Death Star, pull apart the central premise of the film, that robots use people as a power source, by saying that it actually works, despite the logical flaws. It’s one of the more biting shots at other science-fiction works in the show’s run and I can only assume it came about because someone really couldn’t look past the stupidity of the “human batteries” premise and enjoy the gun fights. 

I want the Potato Matrix – The Tatrix.

Overall, like I said, it’s not a top-tier episode, but it’s not the bottom of the barrel either.


As much as I love the shots the show takes at The Matrix, my favorite joke is still when chasing after the Professor as he heads back to the family farm where Bender shouts “Faster! Faster! Okay, Stop Short!” which leads to Fry being shot forward from Ned’s scooter. The reason why this works is because earlier we see Ned and Velma on parallel scooters. Velma is voiced by Estelle Harris, who played George’s mother on Seinfeld. During one episode, Estelle reveals that her husband, Frank, has a move called the “stop short,” which is when you slam on the breaks so you can reach your hand out to stop the other person from flying forward and potentially feel them up. This episode subverts it by revealing that now Velma is nowhere near them and instead Fry is the one who goes flying.  Still, it’s a neat reference. 

It’s Jerry Stiller’s “Move”

See you next week, meatbags.

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Futurama Fridays: S7E5 “Zapp Dingbat”

Zapp Brannigan decides to date his ex’s mom.


Leela (Katey Sagal) hosts a party for her parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, as Leela talks about their lives, her mother, Munda (Tress MacNeille) becomes angry at her husband, Morris (David Herman), for never taking her into outer space. She’d always dreamed of seeing the universe, going so far as to get a degree in alien languages, while Morris just wanted to surf the sewers. This leads them to divorce quickly. Leela takes her mother out with Fry and Bender (Billy West and John DiMaggio) where they run into Zapp Brannigan (West), with whom Leela had a one-night-stand. Twice. Zapp almost starts an intergalactic war, but Munda’s knowledge of languages saves him. They soon begin dating, infuriating Leela. Zapp even hires Munda as his translator so they can travel the universe together. Morris goes on a surfing trip with Bender and Fry in order to cope with the divorce.

Surfing a tide of sewage. That’s a metaphor, probably.

Leela attempts to break up Zapp and Munda by seducing him, but he rejects her and proposes to Munda, who accepts. Fry convinces Leela to accept Munda’s decision and support her, but when Zapp reveals that he is planning to massacre a peace summit, Munda calls off the wedding. Unfortunately, she tells the aliens what Zapp intended, so they start shooting up the ship. The Nimbus’s controls are disabled, but Morris arrives and uses his surfing skills to help the ship ride the aliens’ energy wave attacks. Morris and Munda then remarry. 

This was an awkward moment on many levels.


This episode has one of the strangest title choices in the show’s entire run. “Zapp Dingbat” is a reference to Zapf Dingbats, a wingdings-like font composed entirely of symbols, as well as a reference to the fact that Zapp is an idiot. I’m thinking that the fact that it’s about a font relates to Munda’s study of alien language like the symbolic languages that the show used, but I still find it a bizarre choice. The working title of the episode was “Blue Munda,” which, honestly, is a much better choice. Blue Munda would be a reference to Blue Monday, a day in January which is considered the most depressing day of the year, which would reference the fact that Munda is depressed and wants change. It was also a song by New Order that contains multiple lines that could reference this episode. It’s like they had a solid idea then went with a bizarre pun instead. 

Although, she wasn’t the sad one in the divorce.

The idea of one of your exes, even just a person you had a brief fling with, dating a parent is probably horrifying to almost everyone. This episode combines that with a story about parents splitting up due to their differences. The former plotline feels a little forced, particularly since everyone in Leela’s circle of friends is aware that Zapp is an incompetent idiot and Munda doesn’t seem to be a fool herself. However, the latter actually makes a decent amount of sense. Munda has been dreaming of getting out of the sewers for most of her life, whereas Morris always seems to be happiest at home or with his friends. That’s been apparent since the reveal of their characters and throughout the series since. 

His negotiation with the shark people is also an example of his idiocy.

Overall, though, it’s an okay episode. 


While I don’t think there are a lot of great stand-outs in this episode, I will say I always chuckle when Leela says “I don’t want to put a rat in your face cage, or whatever you kids say nowadays…” to her father. First, referring to her father, who is going through a midlife crisis as a kid is pretty funny, particularly since he just asked if he could call her “dude.” Second, Leela, who is herself not that old, using the phrase “whatever you kids say nowadays,” is ridiculous. Lastly, though, “rat in your face-cage,” which has never been an expression, is a reference to one of the most infamous scenes in George Orwell’s 1984, in which Winston Smith is threatened with having rats put in a cage around his cage which ends up breaking him of his independent worldview. Given that she wants her father to quit his new lifestyle and return to his previous state with Munda, this is an apt expression.

See you next week, meatbags.

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Futurama Fridays – S6E24 “Cold Warriors”

Fry dooms humanity to die in a plague. This is timely.


Fry (Billy West) catches a cold from an ice fishing trip, recalling the time that he fell through the ice when fishing with his father Yancy (John DiMaggio) and got sick. However, it turns out that the common cold had been eliminated several centuries prior, meaning that humanity has now lost all immunities to the disease. The Planet Express building is quarantined as everyone gets sick and Bender (DiMaggio) is asked to take care of the crew. He quickly gets fed up with feeding people and breaks out of the quarantine, infecting the surrounding EMTs, medical staff, and police. It quickly starts to infect everyone in New New York and everyone blames Fry for it. Richard Nixon (West) orders that the entire island of Manhattan be shrink-wrapped and thrown into the Sun in order to eliminate the virus completely. Farnsworth (West) reveals that he can make a vaccine, but they’ll have to find an unmutated strain of the virus, which only exists in Fry. In order to get it from him, the Professor will have to grind Fry into a paste.\

Tissue Walrus is an endangered species.

Flashing back to when he was getting over a cold as a kid, it’s revealed that Fry, having been put down by his father, decided to try and win the Science Fair and defeat his rival, Josh Gedgie (David Herman). The winner’s experiment would be sent into space. Fry tried to train his guinea pig to be an astronaut while Gedgie ended up winning by doing a study on virus propagation. 

The guinea pig unfortunately did not survive Buzz Aldrin.

Fry realizes there’s a sample of the virus on the Nerd Search satellite containing the science fair winners and the crew busts out of containment to find it. They find it on the moon Enceladus and discover that Gedgie’s virus was so well-preserved that it is still viable. Farnsworth successfully makes the vaccine. The episode ends on a flashback to ice fishing with Fry and his father and a sincere moment of bonding between them.


This is one of those Futurama episodes that kind of sucker-punches you with the emotional finale. It’s particularly surprising since Fry’s father, Yancy, has always been such a hard-ass towards his son. This episode recontextualizes all of the times he seemed to abandon Fry to his future as Yancy really just having faith that Fry will be okay.  I sometimes feel like this was part of the Comedy Central run’s attempts to rectify the more harsh parts of Fry’s backstory the way that “Bender’s Big Score” tried to soften the impact of Seymour’s fate. This would come up again in the next season towards the final run of the show with “Game of Tones,” where Fry gets to try and fix his relationship with his mom. 

It’s a cute moment.

As for the future plot, I didn’t find it to be one of the funnier episodes, but the concept was actually pretty solid. There’s no advantage to developing antibodies if you aren’t exposed to disease, meaning that mothers won’t transfer antibodies to their children, so eventually resistance would break down. It’s a little ridiculous that there wouldn’t be any saved vaccines archived somewhere, but after a few centuries, particularly with the implied periods of Earth being overthrown by aliens, it’s not the craziest proposal. 

Wow, you mean a government can respond effectively to a virus?… bullsh*t.

Overall, I have a soft spot for this episode. 


Fry’s experiment in the past was to try and make his guinea pig into an astronaut. During his attempts, we see a montage of Fry subjecting the pet to a number of simulations of NASA training exercises. First, he’s bounced into the air via trampoline and given a tiny parachute to land. Then, he’s shot into the air in a shampoo bottle. Then he’s spun around on top of a record player at high speed. During this montage, the song “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” keeps playing. At the end, the record that the guinea pig is riding is revealed to be the soundtrack to Mannequin, the film for which the song was written by Starship, the band that spun off of Jefferson Starship. So, the guinea pig’s space training montage is set to Starship, which I just find hilarious.

This was hard to screenshot.

See you next week, meatbags.

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NEXT – Episode 101: Overclockwise

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Futurama Fridays – S6E23 “All the President’s Heads”

It’s another time-travel episode, but this time we kill George Washington.


Fry (Billy West) gets a night job at the Head Museum, feeding the heads of the former US Presidents. He invites the crew over to the museum for a party, but when they drink the liquid around the heads, they find themselves transported back in time. Farnsworth (West) hypothesizes that the opal used to make the head fluid keeps the heads trapped in a temporal bubble. After learning from George Washington’s head (Maurice LaMarche) that one of his ancestors was a traitor to the US, Farnsworth, Fry, Leela (Katey Sagal), and Bender (John DiMaggio) travel back to stop him from betraying the revolution. The four encounter Ben Franklin (LaMarche), who tells them that Farnsworth’s ancestor, David Farnsworth (David Herman), is working as a counterfeiter and they discover that he’s at Paul Revere’s smithy in Boston. They capture David and destroy his counterfeits, but in the process Fry grabs a lantern from the Old North Church just as they are pulled back to the future.

Chester Z. Arthur will be elected in 2520 and impeached for eyebrow in 2521.

They emerge on an Earth that is now British. All of North America is now West Britannia, due to the UK winning the Revolutionary War. It turns out that Fry taking the lantern led to Revere warning of the British coming by land, instead of sea, leading to a swift defeat. David Farnsworth was knighted for killing George Washington, making Farnsworth a lord and a rich man. However, upon finding out he’s also the consort to the horrible queen of England, Farnsworth steals her opal and uses it to go back and change history again. This time, he almost kills David Farnsworth, leading to the name being cleared, and Bender being on a flag. 

Oh, you have to have sex with a British woman in exchange for a mansion. How terrible.


This episode would be completely forgettable if it weren’t for Ben Franklin. Yes, the man too interesting to be allowed into the play Hamilton somehow saved an episode of Futurama. That’s because he somehow got some of the only memorable lines in it, or was the subject of others.

Not wearing bifocals, though.

First, when asked if Franklin is in Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson responds “When he’s not in Charlotte, or Maribel, or Louisa!” Fry doesn’t get it. When they arrive at Franklin’s house, Louisa answers the door, leading Fry to finally say “Now I get it!” This is a reference to Franklin’s legendary womanizing, which is SO MUCH more than you would think. Second, he invented the “Franklinator,” a club with a badger tied to it. I have been trying to incorporate that device into a fantasy setting ever since this episode. I’m thinking it’d be a combination of bludgeoning damage with a bite bonus. Also, randomly you get the one with the chipmunk that does nothing. Last, he’s the only one who got to call our leads “sh*theads” on television, by mocking the ambiguous printing of S in the 1770s. Since it looked like f, Franklin gets away with mocking their ignorance by saying they’re “ftupid fhitheads.” 

Franklinator? It’s probably Milhouse.

Aside from those moments, most of this episode was just unimpressive. It’s not bad, but it’s not great either. 


Aside from the Franklin jokes, I have two other things I like in the episode. First, there’s a short cartoon in the intro featuring Zoich, the mascot for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Zoich, as you might guess from looking below, was based on the Hypnotoad from Futurama. I like the fact that the show acknowledged they had some real-world impact. The other thing that amused me was the part where FDR’s head says “The only thing we have to fear… is running out of beer.” This would make running out of beer equivalent to fear itself, which… yeah, tracks.

All Glory to Zoich

See you next week, meatbags.

PREVIOUS – Episode 98: Fry am the Egg Man

NEXT – Episode 100: Cold Warriors

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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Futurama Fridays – S6E20 “Neutopia”

Let’s destroy gender stereotypes by embracing gender stereotypes! Wait…


Planet Express faces foreclosure due to mismanagement. The crew brainstorms ways to save it and Leela (Katey Sagal) suggests they do commercial airfare using the ship. This is shot down in favor of a nude calendar, which features Leela, Amy (Lauren Tom), and LaBarbara Conrad (Dawnn Lewis). Unfortunately, with only three women the project fails, so they finally try the airline idea (without giving Leela credit). Hermes (Phil LaMarr) and Fry (Billy West) are made pilots while the girls are made stewardesses, despite the fact that only Leela can fly a ship. The flight goes awry and they crash on a barren rocky planet. The passengers and crew total 16, eight men and eight women, and they immediately become divided over who should lead. 

This is a Star Trek reference.

The fight is interrupted by a rock alien (David Herman) who asks to speak with the leader, then becomes fascinated by the concept of gender. It decides to pose a series of tests to decide which gender is better, but ultimately decides to test their ability to reach shelter as the planet becomes uninhabitable. Both groups fail miserably at reaching the cave, but each realize that they can use Bender and the fembot refrigerator to avoid dying. Hermes and LaBarbara try to steal parts from each other, but end up having angry sex. When they awaken, the planet is burning, so both groups are about to die until they’re saved by the rock monster. Because of their failure, he lost a bet to another alien, so he uses his powers to make everyone gender neuter. 

While at first the crew and passengers work better without their sexual characteristics, eventually they miss screwing, so they demand their genitals back. The alien obliges, but ends up reversing everyone’s genders. Zapp Brannigan (West) then kills it. When they get home, both sides try to adjust to their new bodies, and the former men now pose for the remaining pages of the calendar. The calendar does well and the company is saved. A meteor crashes into the building and another alien, the Borax Kid (Maurice LaMarche) arrives to fix their bodies. Everyone is put right… except Scruffy, the Janitor. 


This episode is interesting in that it plays up sexism a lot in its characters in order to deconstruct sexism. The problem is that A) the jokes aren’t super funny and B) they had already done this back in “Amazon Women in the Mood.” For example, jokes about the inferiority of women countered by the fact that Leela and Amy are among the most competent characters in the show. What’s crazy is that they could probably have done a better job by playing up the gender swap subplot of the episode, but it ends up being a very short part of the episode. Even worse, most of the stuff in the gender swapped act is not particularly funny, like LaBarbara saying she needs to get up 5 times a night to play Xbox. However, I do admit that Hermes screaming “your manwich” when his wife makes love to him is pretty funny. 

At least it’s good to know their love isn’t just physical.

The one part of this episode that does tend to stand out is the Rock Monster’s ridiculous competition between the two parties. It’s completely random, starting out with who can drink the most sulfur, then going into a number of very pointed questions like “which is larger, and Italian size 4 or an American Apparel medium” or “name any twelve of the Desperate Housewives,” followed by the hilariously vague “how was your day.” They’re still sexist, but at least these are so farcical they’re funny. 

I also love the design of the Borax Kid.

Overall, the episode is okay, but it really just retreads something that the show already did better. 


Well, my favorite joke is definitely Hermes shouting “Your Manwich!” when LaBarbara takes him in a manly fashion, but I already used that one. So, instead, I think I’ll say it’s the nude calendar. First, many of the images are references to famous pin-ups, ranging from Fry as Barbarella to Farnsworth as Farrah Fawcett. Naturally, all of these are slightly unnerving because of the subjects, which makes for a fun parody if you know the source material. Second, the episode states that they need eleven million dollars in order to stay afloat and they have a single day of sales in which to generate it. They pull it off, somehow. Since a Google search tells me that most 12-image nude calendars are under 20 dollars and the world of Futurama has a similar rate of exchange to ours, that means that they had to sell over half a million calendars in a day. Leela thanks the fans for being such huge perverts. This is a swipe at the Futurama fandom, which another Google search tells me is, indeed, full of people who are dedicated to making a lot of porn of the characters. 

See you next week, meatbags.

PREVIOUS – Episode 95: Ghost in the Machines

NEXT – Episode 97: Yo Leela Leela

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.

Futurama Fridays – S6E16 “Law and Oracle”

Welcome to Future Crime, where the computers use hand motions and the deaths don’t matter.


Fry (Billy West) is sent on a prank delivery to the cryogenics lab, something that he apparently has had happen dozens of times. He becomes depressed about his perpetual status as a delivery boy, but then he witnesses NNYPD officers Smitty and Url (West and John DiMaggio) bust Roberto (David Herman). This inspires him to quit Planet Express and enroll in the police academy. He ends up graduating and is partnered with Url. After working the streets for a while, Fry and Url are promoted to the Future Crimes Division by Chief O’Mannahan (Tress MacNeille). Meanwhile, Leela and Bender (DiMaggio and Katey Sagal) try to do the deliveries, but find each other too grating without Fry as a buffer.

Bender and Leela go to a 3D planet. How, I don’t know.

In Future Crimes, Fry and Url are introduced to the cybernetic oracle, Pickles (Herman), a human-robot hybrid whose brain is programmed with the brain cells of all of humanity’s greatest detectives. Pickles’ mind can predict crimes before they happen, a la Minority Report. Fry helps prevent a murder, but then, when alone in the department, Fry sees a future vision of Bender burgling Hedonism Bot’s (Maurice LaMarche) cellar for a priceless bottle of liquor. During the vision, Fry shoots Bender. Trying to avoid this, Fry tells Bender not to do it, but ends up inspiring him to do the crime. Fry then sees what happens if he doesn’t shoot Bender: Bender shares the booze with the Planet Express crew, but they all die due to the potency of the alcohol, meaning if Fry doesn’t shoot him, everyone dies.

It’s really easy to get into Hedonismbot’s cellar… or anywhere.

Bender does the heist as envisioned and Fry arrives, but Bender decides not to steal anything. Fry claims that he changed the future, only for Pickles to arrive and reveal that this was all a ploy to steal the liquor himself so that he could drink it and kill his human brain. Fry attempts to shoot Pickles, but that ends up hitting Bender. Pickles then shoots Fry and drinks the liquor, killing his brain. The Chief and Url reveal themselves and Fry and Bender show that they’re wearing protective vests. Fry had realized that Pickles was lying to him because Bender would never share alcohol. Fry is fired for warning Bender about the crime and heads back to Planet Express, where he is promoted to “executive delivery boy,” a meaningless title. 


This episode is one of the better parodies in the series. It’s based on the story and movie Minority Report and manages to mock a number of the goofy things that were featured in that film, from the use of balls as a way to indicate pre-crime to the psychic floating in a bath to the weird hand-waving computers. Much like that movie, the end of this episode actually points out that most of pre-crime is pointless, because once someone becomes aware of the future, they can choose to change it, but the show does it in a ridiculous way. I always appreciate when the parody and the original prove the same themes.

Although, having the precognitive party be the villain is a nice twist.

The part that doesn’t age well, particularly as I write this during some nationwide riots against police in 2020, is how the episode makes jokes about the ease of getting through the police academy and the expectation of police violence. A particularly cringe-worthy line, at least at present, is when Url tells Fry not to stay up too late, because “We gotta lotta people to shoot tomorrow.” Yikes.

Robot Cop shooting people… I’ve seen that movie.

Overall, though, the episode makes me laugh. Some of the jokes are a little too dated, particularly the whole Avatar parody subplot, but you can enjoy the pre-crime story even if you don’t know Minority Report.


Look, it was always going to be the joke about Erwin Schrodinger going on a police chase. It’s the least subtle physics joke that the show ever made, because it focuses on the famous “Schrodinger’s cat” thought experiment, which supposedly invalidated the Copenhagen model of quantum mechanics. Schrodinger says that he has a cat, some poison, and a caesium atom, which means that the cat is in a superposition of alive and dead until you collapse the wave function. However, the reason I actually find it hilarious is because after the cat attacks Fry, URL looks in the box and says “there’s also a lotta drugs in there.” It’s that final touch of realism that makes the absurdity so much better for me.

Guess that cat’s out of the ba… box.

See you next week, meatbags.

PREVIOUS – Episode 91: Mobius Dick

NEXT – Episode 93: Benderama

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.