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Recap / Futurama S 1 E 11 "Mars University"

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The Planet Express crew's latest mission is to deliver a crate to Professor Farnsworth's office at Mars University. While touring the campus, Bender comes across a chapter of his old fraternity, Epsilon Rho Rho (Err) and Fry enrolls in college so he can drop out and gain the kudos of being of a college drop-out.

This episode contains the following tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Hermes and Zoidberg do not appear in this episode.
  • Affectionate Parody: Animal House.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: While there's no college in or near Coney Island, let alone a chintzy ride resembling one, it is close to Kingsborough Community College, an actual New York State university.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Guenter's parents after Fry sets them free. They're normal monkeys, and behave as normal (agitated) monkeys do.
  • Big Eater: One of the frats in Robot House, Fat Bot, eats whenever he gets nervous. Unfortunately, among the things he eats are Dean Vernon's model ship and portrait.
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  • Big "NO!": When Professor Farnsworth realizes his pet monkey wants to be only moderately smart and get a degree in business, instead of a being a genius.
  • Big "WHY?!": Farnsworth again, after learning that Guenter has escaped.
    Prof. Farnsworth: Why? Why? Why didn't I break his legs?!
  • Break the Haughty: Poor Guenter.
  • Crying Critters: Lampshaded when Guenter cries over not being happy despite gaining super-intelligence.
    Leela: I didn't know monkeys could cry.
    Guenter: They can't. It's all the hat. (continues sobbing)
  • Dance Party Ending: The episode ends with a party at Robot House, with everyone dancing. There is an epilogue shown in the style of frat movies with captions explaining that Fry successfully dropped out of college and returned to Planet Express, Guenter went to business school to get his MBA and became The FOX Network's latest CEO, Fat-Bot caught a virus in Tijuana and had to be rebooted, Leela went on a date with Dean Vernon (and Vernon never called her again) and Bender stole everything of value from Robot House and ran off.
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  • Dean Bitterman: Dean Vernon. Rooobooot Hooooooouse!
  • Dumb Is Good:
    • When Guenter wears the bowler hat that Professor Farnsworth invented that makes him super-intelligent, he's a snobbish know-it-all, especially towards Fry. However, it also makes him unhappy since his super-intelligent self isn't his true self. Later, when Guenter's hat is damaged and only gives him average intelligence, he finds that he's much happier that way and decides to attend business school, much to Farnsworth's ire.
    • Mars University also parodies this trope with its motto, "knowledge brings fear."
  • Dung Fu: when Fry releases Guenter the intelligent monkey's parents on a fancy party:
    Farnsworth: What's that they're flinging at us?
    (splat noises are heard off-camera)
    Guenter: Oh dear lord! All over the dean!
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: Guenter's parents ruin the parents reception party.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Done at the end of the song "Shout!"
  • Fanservice Faux Fight: There is a pillow fight at the sorority house.
  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: Subverted. Guenter decides he's unhappy being smart, and throws the hat away. Then he realizes he doesn't like not being sapient either. When the hat becomes damaged, he decides he likes it that way as it bestows a moderate amount of intelligence.
    Guenter: When I had [super intelligence] there was too much pressure to use it. All I want out of life is to be a monkey of moderate intelligence who wears a suit. That's why I've decided to transfer to Business School.
    Farnsworth: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
  • Future Imperfect: When Fry mentions jungles on Earth, the Professor starts laughing.
  • Genius Serum: The Professor invents a hat designed to give genius intellect to a monkey named Guenter. After several Break the Haughty moments, Guenter snaps and runs away, stating he was miserable as a genius and hates being dumb when he's a regular monkey. When the hat gets damaged, it gives him moderate intellect, which he's okay with.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Fry cheers the Coney Island University team, the Whitefish. "Whitefish" is a slang for a condom that washed up on the beach.
  • Grade System Snark: Fry, Amy, and Guenter participate in a class on 20th century history. Not only is the professor in charge of the class thick on the sarcasm, but every seat in his lecture hall is rigged to electrocute any student who makes a snide remark, calls out of turn, or answers incorrectly.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: Spoofed. Mars U's library has the largest collection of literature in the Western universe — on two disks (Fiction and Nonfiction).
  • Homage: Bender's B-Plot is based directly on Animal House, though it mixes in various parodies of the 80's era college frat film genre as a whole.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: When Leela mention that Gunther's father was in the punch bowl, Fry, who was drinking punch, does a Spit Take.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Bender's shortcut leads his team to a waterfall. And he drags Fry, Leela and the Professor into the calamity.
  • Insufferable Genius: Guenter — til the hat works at half power, giving him moderate intelligence.
  • Literal Metaphor: Guenter finally decides he wants a corporate job, wearing a suit. Yes, a literal monkey suit.
  • Noodle Implements: When the nerdy bots at ERR beg Bender to teach them how to be cool:
    Bender: Hmm... okay, but I'll need ten kegs of beer, a continuous tape of "Louie, Louie", and a regulation two-story panty-raid ladder.
  • Noodle Incident:
    Dean Vernon: You robots are a disgrace to this university. Whenever a fire alarm is pulled, it's Robot House. Whenever the campus liquor store is looted, Robot House! Whenever a human corpse is desecrated-!
    Bender: Now I Can Explain THAT!
    • The members of Robot House reference one of Bender's when they learn who he is.
    Oily: Bender from Bending State Bender? Wow, you're a legend around here!
    Fat-bot: I heard that in one single night you drank a whole keg, streaked across campus and crammed 58 humans into a phone booth.
    Bender: [modest] Yeah, well, a lot of 'em were children.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bender's reaction to finding out that the new members of his fraternity are nerds.
    "Uh oh! NERDS!"
  • Only in It for the Money: The Professor doesn't care which Nobel Prize he is gonna win with his monkey hat invention. They all pay the same.
  • Powersuit Monkey: Guenter's intelligence is controlled by his hat, causing a Type 3 rivalry between him and Fry.
  • Secret Handshake: Bender proves he was part of the Epsilon Rho Rho Fraternity with this. His version is described as "close enough" — and he accidentally tears one of the other guy's fingers off.
  • Short Cuts Make Long Delays: Subverted. It looks like Bender's idea to take a shortcut via the waterfall is a failure but then their boat emerges on the finish line before the competition.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skyward Scream:
    • The Professor, first when Guenter escapes from class into the jungle and then when he learns that Guenter wants to go to business school.
    • "ROBOT HOUSE!!!"
  • Smart People Play Chess: "Mate in 143 moves." "Ah, pooh! You win again!"
  • Surfer Dude: If you expected Snooty House to have posh British accents, they don't. They look like snooty Englishmen, dress like snooty Englishmen, have I Am Very British dialogue, and talk like Californian surfers.
  • Take That!:
    Farnsworth: Please Fry, I don't know how to teach. I'm a professor!
    • Guenter becoming the FOX Network's latest executive after his hat gets crushed giving him moderate intelligence.
    • Utah being described as a desolate wasteland.
  • Terraform: Leela explains that Mars has been terraformed by the planted traditional college foliage.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Subverted.
    Leela: What we should do is... (Leela, Fry, and Farnsworth all lean in while she covers her mouth and whispers.)
    Farnsworth: (puts his hand to his ear) What?
    Leela: I said, we'll go to the jungle and let Guenter decide once and for all.
    Farnsworth: (puts his hand to his ear) What?
  • Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: All over the place, needless to say, in Bender's Animal House-parody subplot.
  • What We Now Know to Be True: When talking about Guenter.
    Fry: Is he genetically engineered?
    Professor: Oh please, that's preposterous science-fiction mumbo-jumbo. Guenther's intelligence actually lies in his electronium hat, which harnesses the power of sunspots to produce cognitive radiation.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Fry successfully drops out of college just like he wanted in the first place, Guenter becomes the FOX network's latest executive, Leela dates the Dean (who doesn't call her back afterward), Fatbot (the nerdy robot with the beanie) gets a virus in Tijuana and has to be rebooted, and Bender robs Robot House and flees.
  • Worthless Foreign Degree: Leela and Professor Farnsworth explain that being a college dropout in Fry's pre-freezing days is the academic equivalent to being a high school dropout in the current time period. Wanting the same respect he believes college dropouts have, he enrolled at Mars University just to drop out. He even took it as a compliment when Leela told him he wouldn't last two weeks.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race:
    Fry: My roommate's a monkey?
    Guenter: Brilliant deduction. You are a credit to your species.


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