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Recap / Futurama S 1 E 9 "Hell Is Other Robots"

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After a Beastie Boys concert, an old friend of Bender's introduces him to "jacking on" with electricity. Bender quickly becomes addicted, but his secret is exposed after he is welded to the Planet Express ship during a delivery through a lightning storm in space. Looking for a better way, Bender finds religion, which turns his life around but he gets to the point where his friends find the new change too extreme, prompting Fry and Leela to lead him back to his sinful ways. It doesn't take long, but Bender soon discovers that his new religion has an Easy Road to Hell after he is kidnapped by the Robot Devil.


Tropes present:

  • Abandoned Area: Robot Hell is situated inside the closed Funland park.
  • Abstract Scale: While at the Beastie Boys concert, Leela uses her wrist device to measure the performance.
    Leela: Impressive! They're laying down mad rhymes with an 80% success rate.
    Bender: I believe that qualifies as "ill", at least from a technical standpoint.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Bender stands before Starky's Den and turns to see the neon sign of the church, he proclaims "Maybe there's another way". Cut to him hooking onto the neon sign's power source.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: At the end of the episode, Fry and Leela get Bender back, and he vows to be neither too good or too evil again. When Leela asks if he can't just be less evil than he was, Bender asks if she can survive a six hundred foot fall.
    Fry: Good old Bender.
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  • Beelzebub: Leela derisively calls the Robot Devil "Beelzebot".
  • Circles of Hell: The Devil's musical numbers sees him narrate the various tortures Bender will go through in the robotic, Inferno-esque "levels" of Hell. Circles include those for smoking, gambling, and digital piracy.
  • Cutting the Knot: When it's Leela's turn to play the golden fiddle, she uses it to beat up the Robot Devil instead.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: One of Bender's sins mentioned in the "Robot Hell" song was selling bootleg tapes.
    Robot Devil: (singing) Selling bootleg tapes is wrong, musicians need that income to survive!
    Beastie Boys: (singing) Hey, Bender, gonna make some noise with your hard drive scratched by the Beastie Boys! (Ad-Rock scratches Bender's hard drive) That's whatcha, whatcha, whatcha get on Level Five!
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Leela finds Bender in the bathroom and asks, "Bender, are you jacking on in there?", in reference to drug addiction and/or masturbation.
  • Easy Road to Hell: The religion Bender joins will tolerate absolutely no sin. Do it once, and it's off to Robot Hell. It might have more to do with Bender outright tearing off their symbol and hocking it into the trash, as it start sending out the signal to send him to hell, after that, but not when he actually sinned.
  • Evil Laugh: Bender after turning the backburners of the shuttle so it would steer them it straight into the electric field.
  • Fantastic Drug: Electricity, but only for robots.
  • Faux Horrific: "They're tormenting me with up-tempo singing and dancing!"
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The Robot Hell is full of fire and devil-looking robots that torture robots for vices like drinking and gambling.
  • For the Evulz: The Robot Devil threatens to kill Fry for no real reason if he wins the fiddle contest.
  • Hellevator: There's also a slide.
  • Hollywood Density: A lampshade gets hung on this when Fry and Leela are going to have a fiddle contest with the Robot Devil where the prizes are Bender's soul and a solid gold fiddle. When Fry (of all people) asks "Wouldn't a solid gold fiddle weigh hundreds of pounds and sound crummy?" the Robot Devil admits that it's mostly for show, then (being a robot) takes it and plays a complicated piece on it.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: There's actually a literal example seen at one point. Hookerbot 5000, who apparently has a heart of solid gold.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Upon "jacking on" for the first time, Fender warns Bender to not get hooked on electricity. Bender says that he doesn't have an addictive personality, but after smoking and drinking some alcohol, he goes back to "jacking on".
  • Ironic Hell: During the "Robot Hell" song, Bender is put through different ironic punishments for the various sins he'd committed. For example:
    Robot Devil: (singing) Cigars are evil/you won't miss them./We'll find ways to simulate that smell./What a sorry fella,/rolled up and smoked like a Panatella,/here on Level One of Robot Hell!
  • Joisey: Fry isn't surprised to find out that there is a Hell and that it's in New Jersey.
  • Lampshade Hanging: See Hollywood Density above.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Robot Devil comes after Bender when he's successfully seducing a group of young and naïve fembots.
  • The Last Straw: As Leela put it, the rest of Planet Express were willing to put up with Bender's other vices, his electricity addiction nearly got Fry and Leela killed.
  • Literary Allusion Title: "Hell is other people" is a famous quote by Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The crew when they see just how good the Robot Devil is with the fiddle.
    Bender: Well, we're boned.
  • Mushroom Samba: When Bender first tries jacking on with electricity.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Bender, when he tries jacking on from a church sign.
  • Never My Fault: "Ah, don't blame me, blame my upbringing!"
  • Physical Hell: For robots anyway.
    Leela: Who would've thought hell would actually exist... and that it would be in New Jersey?
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: From Leela; "Time for the drum solo."
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: The Robot Devil. Several times.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title is a reference to the Jean-Paul Sartre play Huis Clos (No Exit), which contains the line "Hell is other people".
    • The theme park ride that lies above Robot Hell is called "The Inferno," the title for the canticle of The Divine Comedy dealing with Hell.
  • Status Quo Is God: Bender starts jacking on and gets worse about the habit. He finds religion and it makes him a better person. He decides to screw the religion and becomes more evil than he was before. The experiences in Robot Hell eventually lead him to adopt his original, slightly-jerkish personality without much changing from the events.
  • Stealing from the Hotel: Fry infers that Bender did not leave the hotel room on his own terms because the ashtray was still there.
  • Take That!: Atlantic City, where the crew trick Bender into going to so as to get him sinning again, is depicted as a terrible place. Not only that, but apparently New Jersey is where Hell is located.
  • That Man Is Dead: Bender tells Leela at the restaurant that the old Bender is gone.
  • Title Drop: Seen on a pamphlet given to Bender by the Robot Devil.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Fry and Leela. Bender turns his life around from an addicting habit that nearly got his friend killed and even stopped his other bad habits such as stealing and slacking off at work. The only problems caused by his new ways are that he becomes over-friendly at times. For this, Bender becomes an object of scorn for his co-workers, who then try to pressure him into leaving his religion. Even when he pleads with them to leave him alone and states he's found inner peace, they merely scoff and ridicule him further.
  • Villain Song: The "Robot Hell" song by the Robot Devil.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: The crew, especially Leela and Fry, with Bender once he finds religion.
  • Your Mom: Bender after insulting the Preacherbot.
    Fry: Who was that guy?
    Bender: Your mama! Now shut up and drive me to work!


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