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Recap / Futurama S 2 E 18 The Honking

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While staying the night at his dead Uncle Vlad's castle, Bender is run down by a mysterious machine on wheels. When he gets back to New New York, reports start coming in about how people are also being attacked by a wheeled machine. Could Bender's attacker have followed him back? Or is there something darker going on?

Tropes

  • Composite Character: Project Satan is a literal version of this, since he incorporates parts from Hitler's armoured car, Charles Manson's VW minibus, Ed Begley Jr's propulsion system and the windshield wipers of the car that played "Knight Rider".
  • Death Notification: The episode begins with Bender getting a letter about his uncle Vladimir dying. The team attend the will reading, which sets off the rest of the plot.
    Hermes: and for Bender... Uh, oh! A black-bordered envelope.
    Amy: Oh, no! Someone you know must have died.
    Bender: I hope it was one of my enemies. Those guys suck.
  • Evil Feels Good: After suffering through most of his affliction, Bender starts to enjoy his final transformation. Thankfully he seems to snap out of it once he is cured.
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  • Exact Words: Vlad leaves his "spoiled son Tandy, who never learned the value of a dollar" his entire fortune of $10 million. Tandy then asks his girlfriend if said fortune is a lot.
  • For Science!: Exactly why the scientists of Project Satan wanted to create an evil car isn't clear, nor is what they expected to gain from it.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Played for laughs with Project Satan. Somehow, the people involved in building a car from pieces of the most evil cars in history are surprised that it turned out evil.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The plot at first seems to be about robot ghosts haunting a castle Bender inherited, but that threat is easily explained and dealt with; it's mainly just a reason to get Bender running around outside where he's hit by the Werecar.
  • Haunted House: Bender inherits a castle and finds it's haunted by robot ghosts. The haunting is stopped when they find that it was caused by improperly shielded cables from the robot cemetery. Still it led to this great exchange:
    Uncle: Come to us, Bender. You'll like being dead!
    Bender: That's what they said about being alive.
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  • Hey, You!: Vlad's Butler is named in his will as You There.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After being confronted by the former werecar, Leela claims she, Bender and Fry are "sophisticated New New Yorkers". She then commands Fry and Bender to "whup his butt."
  • Jerkass: The former Abominable Snowmobile isn't exactly sorry about running over one of his victims, and pretty casually admits running over hundreds of others.
  • Julius Beethoven da Vinci: Calculon was all of history's greatest robot actors: Acting Unit 0.8. Thespo-mat. David Duchovny.
  • Kill It with Fire: Project Satan falls into an open furnace, and melts to death on screen.
  • Lost Common Knowledge:
    • The Robo-Hungarian villagers don't know how a robot works. Despite being robots. And having their circuit diagrams on the inside of their cases.
    • The werecars roll on wheels instead of hovering. Bender describes them as "round rubber feet, like a wolf".
  • Made of Evil: Project Satan is made from the most evil parts of the most evil cars in all the world: The steering wheel of Hitler's staff car, the left turn signal of Charles Manson's VW, the electric motor of Ed Begley, Jr's car and, uh, Knight Rider's windscreen wipers.
    Fry: Knight Rider wasn't evil!
    Calculon: His windshield wipers were, but it didn't come up much in the show.
  • Number of the Beast: Bender freaks out over the binary code 1010011010, which is the binary equivalent of 666. Arguably doubles as Bilingual Bonus.
  • Older Than They Look: Calculon turns out to be 1000 years old, and not 27 as he claims. He's been changing his identity every few years to avoid suspicion.
  • On One Condition: Bender gets Vlad castle... but only if he stays the night there. Bender actually wants to spend the night before the condition is announced, but once it is he grumbles about it.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: According to Hermes ghosts don't exist anymore, since the last one died out long ago. Bender rebuts that was the last human ghost, not a robot one.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different:
    • Robots that turn into murderous cars at midnight. That is all.
    • They apparently lack the healing abilities common to were-beings. The gypsy-robot informs Bender he can die, and even offers to help Bender with that one.
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: At first it appears to be the case with Uncle Vladimir's portrait, but it turns out it has motorized sensors.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Famous!: Mentioned by Bender when he says "I can't keep running people over. I'm not famous enough to get away with it."
  • Shaped Like Itself: Vladimir's will states that his loyal butler You There shall receive "a pittance, to be paid in 20 equal installments of 1/20th of a pittance each."
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silly Will: Besides Bender, Vlad's will also leaves to his human butler You There... a pittance, to be paid in twenty equal payments of 1/20th of a pittance each. He bursts into tears upon hearing it. There's also the fact Vlad stipulated Bender only inherits the castle if he wasn't responsible for Vlad's death. Which, given that we're talking about Bender, is actually pretty sensible.
  • Technobabble: The professor explains the robot ghosts as the dead robot's programming leaking into the castle's modem, allowing them to project themselves as holograms within its walls. Lampshaded immediately thereafter.
    Hermes: Of course, it's all so obvious!
    Professor: Yes, that sequence of words I said made perfect sense.
  • This Is as Far as I Go: The villager who takes the Planet Express team to Vladimir's castle says it... after driving them to the front door.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Fry spends the later half of the episode sulking because Bender isn't trying to kill him, because the legend says the werecar will kill its best friend. When it finally does happen, he's overjoyed.
    • Note that there is no indication that Bender wouldn't try to kill him later. Fry really is just that dumb.

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