Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Futurama S 2 E 15 The Problem With Popplers

Go To
The crew discovers an irresistible source of food on a distant planet, and brings it back to Earth to be sold at the Fishy Joe's restaurant chain. The new food becomes a global phenomenom. But when it's discovered that the so-called "Popplers" are actually Omicronian babies, the Omicronians demand recompense — in the form of a live TV special in which Leela is eaten.


  • Accidental Truth: Bender attempts to drive a rival hot dog stand out of business by going up to it and asking the vendor "So, where do you want those rat droppings you ordered?" After everyone in line leaves, the vendor says "Wait a minute! You're not the guy who delivers the rat droppings!"
  • All for Nothing: Free Waterfall Jr. stops Lrrr from eating the orangutang, only for Ndnd to instead eat it herself to verify that it isn't Leela. And then he manages to get himself eaten for annoying Lrrr one time too many, even after Jrrr had managed to talk Lrrr out of eating anybody else.
  • And a Diet Coke: Lrr demands one human for every poppler eaten, and a small fries. Ndnd glowers at him, and he amends his request to a cottage cheese.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Free Waterfall Jr. is such a Soapbox Sadie that everyone cheers when Lrr eats him.
  • Advertisement:
  • Animal Wrongs Group: The mob headed by Free Waterfall Jr., called Mankind for Ethical Animal Treatment. They're against any animal eating meat, even carnivores—they taught a lion to eat tofu, and the poor thing is nearly starved to death.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: At the negotiations with the Omicronians, Zapp has a box of Popplers with him that he keeps eating. Afterward, he mentions that Lrr and Ndnd thought he was a "jabbering mental patient".
  • Better Than Sex: Fry exclaims upon tasting the new Ploppers they've discovered.
    Fry: Oh, they're great! They're like sex, except I'm having them!
  • Blind Without 'Em: The Omnicronians are almost fooled when Zapp Brannigan tries to substitute an ape for Leela. Leela at first thinks this is because they have a hard time telling any creatures other than their own species apart, but seeing as Lrrr did indeed only figure it out when he used his glasses to get a better look, it seems bad eyesight may be at least partially to blame.
  • Advertisement:
  • Carnivore Confusion: Quite a bit, but at the end, the Planet Express company decides that it's wrong to eat anything intelligent—which means a particularly stupid dolphin is up for grabs. They also consider eating pigs and parrots, despite those being intelligent.
  • Contemplating Your Hands: Lrr after eating Free Waterfall Jr.
    Lrr: Dude, my hands are huge. They can touch anything but themselves. (puts hands together) Oh, wait.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Free Waterfall Jr. threatens to have MEAT boycott Fishy Joe's if they don't stop selling Popplers. Leela promptly points out that they don't eat there as it is, seeing how they're all vegetarians.
    • Negotiating with the Omicronians, Zapp agrees to their initial demands to eat as many humans as the amount of Popples consumed, which comes to the tune of one hundred and ninety-eight billion. Kiff has to point out there aren't that many humans.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Lrr kills a waiter for bothering him with incessant details about what kind of salad he'd want with Leela.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: In-universe, Bender's attempt to deter customers from eating popplers comes out as a pretty persuasive pitch for them.
  • Eats Babies: Omnicronian babies, to be precise.
  • Foreshadowing: Early in the episode, Zoidberg compares Popplers to unguarded penguins nests. This comparison is far more accurate than anyone realises.
  • I Taste Delicious: Subverted. Fishy Joe states that the only reason we don't eat humans is that we taste lousy.
  • It Is Pronounced Tropay: Zapp's awful pronunciation of certain words returns, calling guacamole "gwackamole". Lrr's as incensed by that as he is Zapp eating Omicronian young in front of him.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The Popplers. But... (See above)
  • Intoxication Ensues: Lrr, after eating Free Waterfall, Jr.
    Lrr: Urghh, I think there was something in that hippie...
  • Is This Thing Still On?: After making his threat of retribution on Earth for the mass consumption of Popplers, Lrr, under the impression he's no longer on air, indulges in the need to scratch himself down there. He is not pleased to learn a few seconds later his every word is still being broadcast.
  • Karma Houdini: Fishy Joe isn't seen after the news broadcast where he deliberately crams his face full of Popplers even though he knows they're smart enough to talk, and he never interacts with the adult Omicronians.
  • Lame Comeback: From Leela.
    Zapp: I realize this may hurt our chances of consummating our relationship.
    Leela: Go consummate yourself.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Free Waterfall, Jr. and his fellow anti-meat advocates.
  • Oh, Crap!: Fishy Joe as soon as the Omicronians arrive just as he was Tempting Fate for someone to stop him eating poppers.
  • Opening Shout-Out: At the end of the Popplers jingle, the Planet Express ship crashes into a billboard, just as it does in the opening sequence.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: To save Leela, Zapp plans to have her replaced with a dolled-up orangutan. It almost works—mostly because Omnicronians have bad eyesight—but a certain hippie can't keep himself from butting in.
  • Planet of Hats: The episode begins with the crew coming back for a crappy visit to the Planet of the Moochers, who (surprise surprise) mooched them.
  • Product Placement: In-universe, and parodied when Linda the news anchor goes from sombrely reporting on Leela's impending execution to plug Fishy Joe's new Walrus Juice in her normal chipper tone.
  • Reality Ensues: The group of animal rights activists are protesting the consumption of animals. Leela accurately points out to them that animals eat other animals. One of the protesters tries to counter that saying they taught a lion to eat tofu. The camera then pans over to reveal an emaciated and sickly looking lion.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smart Ball: Zapp has some rare moments of competence in this episode, managing to negotiate the Omicronians down from wanting to eat 198 billion humans to just one, and then coming up with a plan to save Leela that would have worked if not for Free Waterfall Jr.'s interference.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Jrr saves Leela from being eaten by hopping into her mouth while she's in Lrr's. So if Lrr swallows her, Jrr gets eaten by both.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: "...and crap like I've never seen!"
  • Your Size May Vary: The size of the Omicronians tends to jump around a lot in this episode, particularly late on when Lrrr has Leela in his mouth.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: