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Recap / Futurama M 3 Benders Game

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The third of the direct-to-home movies;

Bender starts playing Dungeons & Dragons after lamenting that he has no imagination, but the roleplaying game begins to mess with his head. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang become swept up in Professor Farnsworth's plans to stop Mom's monopoly of dark matter. And that's just the tip of the weirdness iceberg...

Tropes

  • Abusive Parents: Mom, surprise surprise. A flashback shows her using toddler Walt and Larry as human shields, then yelling at them to shut up when they cry. She also apparently flipped a coin at Igner's birth on whether to keep him or the afterbirth, and had no problem telling people this at Igner's graduation.
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  • Annoying Arrows: Leela tries to kill Zoidberg's Cornwood counterpart, but her arrows do nothing more than annoy him.
  • Anything That Moves: Amy's Cornwood counterpart, Gynecaladriel has the power to seduce anyone she wishes, this includes: a troll, a Morc, Greyfarn (Farnsworth), Titanius (Bender) and Leegolas (Leela).
    Gynecaladriel: The deed is done.
    Titanius: HOOOOOO!!!
  • Armor-Piercing Question: During his interview with Mom, Morbo notes that despite her claim of losing money on her Dark Matter franchise, she's boasting record-breaking profits. Mom distracts him by offering him cookies.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Momon succeeds in claiming the Die of Power and destroys Cornwood. However this just thrusts everyone back to their original reality, where Mom actually gets defeated.
  • Body Horror: What's left of the Dixie Chicks after their horrific matter-transporter accident, a deformed blob of flesh with their heads sticking out, in constant and horrible pain. It's also capable of absorbing other people.
  • Brick Joke:
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    • At the beginning, when the ship breaks down, a punk steals the Planet Express ship's hood ornament, causing Bender to angrily declare no-one will know they have the LX Package. Sure enough, this is what Sal taunts them about at the truckstop.
    • The Professor mentions he only created the Dark Matter crystals in an experiment to make a more durable harpsichord wax. When he's fired by Mom, Wernstrom taunts him that he's been "played like a cheap harpsichord".
  • The Bus Came Back: Rich Little's Head does the commentary for the truck rally.
  • The Caligula: The King of Wipe Castle, being Roberto's counterpart, is even more insane than he. Apparently he declared war on the scallops, tied his entire army to a single boulder and pushed it into the sea, killing them all.
  • Call-Back:
    • To the third episode, explaining just how Vergon-6 got filled with all that Dark Matter to begin with, and why Nibbler was on a planet about to explode to begin with.
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    • To "Mother's Day". The Professor handwaves his working for Mom in the flashback by mentioning he'd gone back to her after realizing she was evil. Twice, in fact.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Bender, on breaking into the Turanga's home, declares "prepare for a surprise attack!"
  • Canon Immigrant: Unless you count a deleted scene in season one, Killbots first appeared in the Video Game. Though they were mentioned in episode four.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Dark Matter Bender takes from Nibbler's litter box during his D&D insanity.
  • Delayed Reaction: It takes Nibbler a moment to realize the Planet Express crew aren't surprised to find he can talk.
  • Demoted to Extra: Weirdly, Bender, despite being the title character. He's a significant character in the first half, but once they enter his fantasy, he does very little and is more or less just there for gags. (Even odder, his fantasy persona in the "real world" seemed to be a Knight in Shining Armor, but once they're inside the fantasy proper, he's essentially just Bender in a fantasy world.)
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In a scene one orc-thing climbing a ladder while assaulting the castle catch sight of Gynecaladriel (Amy) taking off her top through a window. Cue abundant drooling, which happens to be acidic and burns through the ladder's steps, sending him falling.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Igner, after years of being mistreated by Mom, helps the Planet Express crew sabotage Mom's scheme when he learns his parentage.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Igner, on being found alone in the crap-farm, is asked if he's seen anyone.
    Igner: Me?
    Walt: Yes, you, you're the only one here.
    Igner: If I'm the only one here, then how could I see anyone?
    Larry: He's got a point, Walt.
    Walt: So does my knee! (kicks Larry)
  • Eye Scream: Doctor Perceptron decides to drill through Bender's eye to get to his imagination circuits, despite there being a perfectly good access panel.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Why is the Anti-Backwards Crystal a d12? Because it's the dual polyhedron of a d20, like the single non-local metaparticle
  • Genius Ditz: Amy's status as this gets a note, when the Professor delivers a piece of exposition, and Amy angrily demands he stop patronizing everyone.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: The alter-egos of Leela and Amy, Leegolas the Centaur and Gynecaladriel, the Queen of the Water Nymphos were making out because Leegolas saved Gynecaladriel's life, and Greyfarn and Titanius spare a moment from their task of saving the universe to watch.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Roberto discloses his origins, that he was built by a team of scientists looking to build an insane robot. He maintains they failed, and will knife anyone who says otherwise.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Fry accidentally gets a Grow power up from the die that turns him into a muscular giant. After beating the Tunneling Horror to death, he shrinks back, but makes him Drunk with Power and fall into Sanity Slippage.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Leela's temper is at its worst here, with her dragging everyone along to a derby just because of some insults from rednecks.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": When the Professor declares he's embarrassed just to be in the same genus as Mom's kids, the kids behind him chuckle at his choice of phrasing.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Double Subverted with the Cave of Hopelessness.
    Frydo: Mr. Wizard, why is this place called the Cave of Hopelessness?
    Greyfarn: Oh, fear not, lad. 'Tis named for its discoverer, Reginald Hopelessness...
    Frydo: Whew!
    Greyfarn: ...the first man to be eaten alive by the Tunneling Horror.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Titanius Anglesmith has his dwarf subjects cooked for no real reason. He prefers them mildly crispy.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Having knocked Bender out, Fry is assured by Zoidberg that he'll be fine with some help. Since this is Zoidberg we're talking about, it cuts to Bender screaming for help in the robot loony bin.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: An over-active robot imagination mixed with dark matter creates an entire universe.
  • Kick the Dog: Leela straight-up kills a service robot for no reason whatsoever.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: It turns out that Igner is Professor Farnsworth's son. Later on, Ignus revealing this to Grayfarb directly parodies the original version.
  • Macguffin: The Dark Matter Crystals.
  • Martial Pacifist: The centaur people are extremely precise, artistic archers who will not only not join the quest but declare that if violence be their intent, they will not be allowed to pass through the valley. It quickly becomes clear that in the face of someone like Leela/Leegola, they apparently have absolutely no way to enforce this. (Later, it's implied that Leegola leads them into war by physically beating their existing leader in what was put forward as "tedious debate".)
  • Mook Depletion: Despite her son wanting to leave a small group of guards behind, Momon angrily demands that all her forces be sent to invade Wipe Castle. Not only does it leave the Geysers of Gygax defenseless for Fry to sneak in, but thanks to a surprise attack by the centaurs, Momon's entire army is massacred.
  • Never My Fault: Following on from the example mentioned in Poor Communication Kills, Greyfarb berates Igner for starting a fight, even though he's the one who attacked first - Ignus is just defending himself.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Nibbler accidentally clued Mom in on the connection between Nibblonians and Dark Matter.
  • Off with His Head!: Zoidberg, in Cornwood, loses his head when Leela absently tosses her sword away.
    • Potentially subverted as this doesn't actually kill Cornwood!Zoidberg; he just becomes a small squid-like thing that walks around on smaller tentacles.
  • Only Sane Man: Fry, of all people, tells Leela to forget about the destruction derby. She ignores him.
  • Pinocchio Nose: In addition to shocking Leela whenever she gets angry, the shock collar also shocks her when she lies.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Ignus tries to help the group, only to get bogged down in a fight with Greyfarn. It's thoroughly lampshaded.
    Ignus: Please, I'm trying to help you!
    Greyfarn: Then why are you hitting me with a stick? How stupid are you that you think that's helping?
  • The Reveal: Igner is the Professor's son. Also, Walt and Larry are Wernstorm's kids.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Bender, courtesy of playing Dungeons & Dragons.
    • Fry, after his Growing Muscles Sequence convinces him the die is too good to ignore.
  • Sex Is Violence: Leela is forced to wear a shock collar to control her temper. Instead of becoming more docile, she ends up getting used to it and finding it pleasurable because she associates it with the fun of beating people up. In one fight in the movie she ends up on the ground writhing in pleasure.
  • Shout-Out:
    • On seeing Mom's sons bungling about, Fry declares they're hilarious. Amy and Leela think he's talking about The Three Stooges (they prefer Sex and the City).
    • Entering Mom's factory, the gang encounter a robot voiced in imitation of Scatman Crothers. It then turns into a parody of the Shaft theme song.
      Robot: Maintenance shaft seven, service-
      Professor: Shut yo mouth!
      Robot: I'm just talkin' 'bout the shaft!
    • The title is one to Ender's Game.
    • Bender's subplot in the first act - Bender trying out a fantasy roleplaying game and going mad with the delusion that it is all real - is similar to the plot of the Made-for-TV scare-flick Mazes and Monsters. When Farnsworth finds out about it, he tries convincing Fry to talk him out of it, remarking about an "after school special" based around the topic, so this reference may have been deliberate.
    • The "Geysers of Gygax" in Cornwood, named after Dungeons & Dragons creator (and Futurama guest voice alumnus) Gary Gygax, who passed away during production. The movie is dedicated in his honor.
    • The scene described under Distracted by the Sexy is a reference to Animal House.
    • After getting fixated on the die, Fry turns into a Gollum parody.
  • Shower Scene: One scene very early into the film takes place in a communal shower, where characters of both sexes shower together (Amy, Leela, Fry, Bender and Zoidberg). Glimpses of rears can be seen, however frontal nudity is obscured.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Fry tries murdering Titanius in his sleep, Titanius is distracted by the fact Fry's knife is made of stag horn (and not the cheaper manticore horn).
  • Take That!:
    • "When will people learn playing Dungeons & Dragons won't make you cool?" Though given the movie is also dedicated to the recently passed creator of D&D Gary Gygax, it's more like a friendly jab than an actual insult.
    • In the Cave of the Tunnelling Horror, the first threat the party encounters is a party of Morcs, which they violently slaughter. Fry asks if they might just go away if "we don't laugh at them" but Titanius assures him they won't.
    • Wipe Castle is a shot at the fast food chain White Castle. Gynecaladriel exclaims you can eat as much food as you want there, and not gain any weight "because of all the diarrhea".
  • Taxonomic Term Confusion:
    Ignus: (on a giant spider) Quick, jump on the magic bug!
    Greyfarn: That's not a magic bug, you dope! That's a magic arachnid! Can't you count the legs?
    Ignus: No.
    Greyfarn: Six, seven, eight. Not six. Eight! I'll kill you, you imbecile!
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Watching Peaches the Troll practice his nunchucking, Igner declares it's cool, but that he doesn't like what's going to come next - namely, Peaches beating them upside the head.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Zoidberg has never exactly been a staggering example of intelligence to begin with, but he's amazingly stupid and irritating in this film, trying to cut Leela's head open to get her skull out, and using a fork to clean himself of parasites at the dinner table.
  • Treants: In a direct parody of The Lord of the Rings, the fantasy quest featured a giant tree person called Treedledum. The fellowship ended up using him for firewood.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: The "humblest of all God's creatures", which stops an alien invasion in an episode of The Scary Door.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Nibbler returns despite eating himself to escape the universe in "Bender's Big Score".
  • Whole Plot Reference: Well, not whole, but halfway the story shifts into something like The Lord of the Rings, complete with Fry's transition into a Gollum-esque character.

Gary Gygax: Anyone wanna play Dungeons & Dragons for the next quadrillion years?
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