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Recap / Futurama S 2 E 3 "A Head in the Polls"

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From the makers of Futurama

When titanium prices skyrocket, Bender makes a small fortune pawning his 40% titanium body. But when he decides to get it back, things get sticky as Richard Nixon's Head is using it to run for office!


  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Fry speaks of how he spent his teen years giving his body tough love, before Leela elbow jabs him in the stomach.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • The episode begins with the collapse of a titanium mine, trapping all the robot workers inside (some of whom are seen pinned in the entrance, still twitching). The proposed rescue plan is to "pave over the area and get on with our lives."
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    • The Brain Slug party representatives. Soon after, Hermes.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Bender finds out that Nixon has his body:
    Bender: That dirty double-crossing bastard! How dare he run off with Richard Nixon?
  • Brick Joke: At the voter registration, Fry talks to the Brain Slug Party. A few minutes later, Hermes turns up and has been Brain Slugged.
  • Caught on Tape: Bender manages to convince Nixon to give back his body after recording Nixon's rant about his plans for when he became President again.
  • Combat Tentacles: The bed device "Magic Tentacles" is implied to be of a sexual nature, but ends up tossing Fry around and clubbing him into the wall.
  • Death by Irony: The Scary Door segment, parodying The Twilight Zone (1959), has a man walk into a post-apocalyptic library declaring he can now read all the books he wants... at which his glasses slip off his face and break. Initially, he reacts angrily, but then he realizes he can still read large print. Then his eyes slip out of their sockets. Then he notes that he can read braille, prompting his hands to fall off. At that point, he starts screaming, and then his body falls apart. Somehow, Bender's conclusion from this is that he was "cursed by his own hubris."
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  • Death Glare: Leela shoots an absolutely furious glare at Fry when he activates the Magic Tentacles and wakes Nixon.
  • Decided by One Vote:
    • Nixon wins the election for Earth President by a single vote—and only because Fry and Leela forgot to vote. Bender didn't participate because, as he explained to Fry early on in the episode, he's not allowed to vote because of his criminal record.
    • The first robot president, John Quincy Adding Machine, was also elected by one vote.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Bender has a nightmare where he sees "1s and 0s everywhere, and I thought I just saw a 2!" If you pay attention, you can actually see said "2" during the aforementioned Dream Sequence.
  • Funny Background Event: Some of the booths at the voting registration market, such as a Bull Moose Party booth manned by Bullwinkle.
  • Get a Room!: Bender tells this to a couple he spots through a window at the Watergate.
    Guy: We're in a room!
    Bender: Well, then lose some weight!
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  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Oh, expletive deleted!" Doubles as a Genius Bonus to the Nixon Tapes.
  • Historical In-Joke: When the subject of voting comes up, Gerald Ford's head states he never considered voting essential, something Nixon agrees on.note 
  • Hypocritical Humour:
    • Despite stating that "all humans are vermin", Morbo considers Nixon a friend.
    • Leela forgot to vote, despite making a big deal about the importance of voting to Fry.
  • Humongous Mecha: After giving back Bender's body, Nixion gets a gigantic new robot body, which results in him getting the majority of robot vote.
  • Large Ham: Nixon's head.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Earth Constitution states that nobody can be elected president more than twice—but Nixon's head is eligible as it's on Bender's body.
  • Low Count Gag: The TV news describes the election results for the Earth presidential campaign:
    Linda: The sheer drama of this election has driven voter turnout to its highest level in centuries. Six percent!
  • Naked People Are Funny: The pawn shop owner offers to buy Fry from Bender for fifty bucks. An angered Fry objects that his clothes are worth that much. The pawn shop owner takes him up on that, and the scene cuts to Fry and Bender back at Planet Express, with Fry completely naked.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description:
    Amy: Only weirdos and mutants join third parties!
    Zoidberg: (apprehensive) Really? I'd better keep an eye out at the next meeting.
  • Politicians Kiss Babies: When the head of Richard Nixon runs for President of Earth wearing Bender's body, he pulls a baby out of Bender's chest compartment, kisses it, and puts it back in.
    Bender's Head: Great. First he steals my body, now he's touching my stuff.
  • President Evil:
    • The first robot President, John Quincy Adding Machine, struck a chord with voters when he vowed not to go on a killing spree. But, like so many elected officials, he promised more than he could deliver...
    • Also, as of the end of the episode, Richard Nixon (or rather, his head), which requires no explanation to people familiar with actual American history.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Somebody Else's Problem: The owners of the titanium mines, faced with the fact that if they don't act within 200 years their trapped workers (who're all robots) will die, decide to just pave over the entire area and get on with their lives.
  • Stoners Are Funny: The head of the Dudes To Legalize Hemp party.
  • Take That!: In the establishing shot of the Presidential Debate broadcast, the sign changes to "Tomorrow: Vice Presidential "Yo' Mama So Fat" Contest".
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
    Bender: Not so fast, Nixon! Are you familiar with audiotape?
    Nixon: Uh-oh, I don't like where this is heading.
  • Urine Trouble: Shortly after pawning his body, Bender gets peed on by a dog, which he unsuccessfully tried to bribe into not doing so.
  • Villain Has a Point: While Bender repeatedly says Nixon stole his body, Nixon corrects him by pointing out he simply bought it from the pawn shop Bender sold it to.
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: Bender certainly doesn't think so, as he pawns his off for a quick buck. "Bodies are for hookers and fat people!" Eventually he misses it and tries to buy it back, but finds that it has been sold to Nixon.
  • You Were Trying Too Hard: The Apathy party only accepts members who don't care about voting.
    Fry: Now this is a party I can get excited about! Sign me up!
    Recruiter: Not with that attitude.
    Fry: Oh, well screw it then.
    Recruiter: Welcome aboard, brother!
    Fry: All right!
    Recruiter: You're out.