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Recap / Futurama S 3 E 11 Insane In The Mainframe

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Fry and Bender are accused of robbing a bank. Unwilling to rat out the real criminal and get shanked, the two plead insanity and are sentenced to three months in an insane asylum for robotsnote  While Bender enjoys himself, Fry is "cured" of his delusions of being human.

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Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Assuming Roberto's Freak Out is any indication, his "mother" welded him to the wall frequently. However, we found out later in Bender's Game that he was designed to be insane and probably had abusive memories that led to his insanity installed.
  • Affably Evil: Roberto is always either this, Laughably Evil or both at once.
  • Asshole Victim: Dr. Perceptron, who falsely diagnosed Fry as an insane robot, is later killed by Roberto.
  • Bait-and-Switch: As Fry pleads with the Planet Express crew to free him, the Professor responds that he once spent a nightmarish time in a robot asylum... but now it's nearly over.
  • Bank Robbery: The plot starts when Roberto robs a bank and frames Fry and Bender for it.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Roberto bursts the laser-proof pane at the bank with his fist and tries to stab the police officers behind it.
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  • Beautiful Dreamer: The group watches Fry sleeping after his binge.
    Amy: Ahhh, he looks like a little insane drunken angel.
  • Bedlam House: The HAL Institute is this for Fry, probably not for the robots.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Saying one is what usually gets Malfunctioning Eddie to explode.
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": During his robotic delusion, Fry calls Leela a "bossy meat creature".
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Fry-the-"robot" throws Leela's wrench away and tries to work on the ship himself, he puts oil under his armpits and then tucks the oil can into his jacket pocket. This later saves his life when Roberto tries to stab him in the heart and the oil can absorbs the blow.
  • Circling Birdies: Invoked with the birds flying around the sculpture in front of the HAL Institute.
  • Convenient Escape Boat: During their escape, Roberto and Bender come across a boat parked by the river. Their attempt to board it tuns into an Epic Fail though.
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  • Conveniently Cellmates: At the asylum, Fry ends up in one cell with Roberto.
  • Defensive "What?": Said by Bender when the rest of Planet Express reacts in disgust after he reveals he carries a human heart inside him.
  • Destination Defenestration: Roberto throws himself out of a window when attacked by "battle-droid" Fry.
  • Dressed to Heal: In response to Fry's robotic delusion, Zoidberg notes that imagining being a doctor doesn't make him one. His white lab coat does.
  • Electric Torture: Dr. Perceptron administers electroshocks to Fry at his office in order to "relax" him. It may actually work on robots but for Fry it's a painful experience.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Fry tries to assist Hermes with his work. He immediately asks Hermes what a plus sign is.
    • Bender and Roberto go into a barn, steal a plane, fly the plane out the barn, make a loop, and crash it into the same barn.
    • The police try to stop Roberto with a laser-proof glass. Roberto easily smashes through it with his knife, after which the police shoot at him. Naturally, their lasers bounce right off.
  • Funny X-Ray: The gamma-ray scan at the asylum shows a bat flying around in Bender's torso and gastric acid building up in Fry's stomach.
  • Gaslighting: Fry starts to think he's a robot after weeks of being convinced he was one in the aslyum.
  • Go Among Mad People: Fry and Bender are still sane when they get institutionalized and meet all the mad robots.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The robot asylum wanted to make Fry stop thinking he was a human. They succeeded.
  • Hanging Judge: Judge Whitey, who presides Bender and Fry's trial, at one point filled the human mental asylum by ruling that poverty was a mental illness, and wanted to pronounce the pair guilty simply because he had a ham and mayonnaise sandwich waiting for him in his mansion.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Leela attempts to cure Fry of his robot delusions "the way only a woman can": by giving him a long kiss on the lips. As Fry slowly smiles, Leela smiles back, clearly thinking it worked...and then Fry just says "Beep", to her exasperation.
    • When Dr. Perceptron opens the cell door and announces "You are released", Fry is overjoyed but then it turns it was his cellmate Malfunctioning Eddie who got released.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Fry defeats Roberto because his attacks don't phase him, which ultimately starts to freak him out.
  • Hostage Situation: Roberto takes the heroes hostage. Fry comes to their rescue.
  • Improvised Weapon: Roberto uses the laser-proof glass pane from the bank to shield himself against in-coming police fire.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • Judge Whitey's amendment that poverty is a mental illness.
    • Why the doctor at the robot asylum refuses to listen to Fry's insistence that he's human — if he was a human, why is he in an asylum for robots?
  • Insanity Defense: The Hyper-Chicken uses it for Fry and Bender, using the fact that they hired an incompetent lawyer like him to defend them.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Roberto calls out for his mommy when "battle-droid" Fry prepares to wipe the floor with him (or so he thinks).
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: While Roberto managed to get away with robbery the first time by framing Fry and Bender, he is later forced to go the asylum since he didn't have anyone to hide behind. That didn't make Fry's situation any less comforting though...
    • He later gets his comeuppance again when Fry scares him and gets Roberto arrested again.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fry, in an effort to be helpful, throws Hermes' calculator, a gift from his wife, into the incinerator, as well as a wrench Leela was using.
  • Kissed Keepsake: Parodied at the end. After Leela kisses Fry's cheek, he declares, "I'm gonna continue never washing this cheek again."
  • Knife Nut: Roberto, who can't seem to go more than a few seconds without trying to stab someone or something.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When Fry comes to believe he is a battle-droid and goes after Roberto who took his friends hostage.
  • Manipulative Editing: The surveillance camera footage from the bank presented at court only shows Roberto sharing his loot with Bender and Fry, and ignores all that came before.
  • Marshmallow Hell: At one point Leela presses Fry's face into her chest which makes his "robotic" heart pound faster.
  • Mood-Swinger: Roberto, being as he is completely insane, can go from calm and genial to psychotically mad at the drop of a hat.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Roberto presumably kills Dr. Perceptron in order to escape the asylum in his outfit.
  • Napoleon Delusion: One of the things Bender does while in the Robot Asylum. According to him, there's a ratio of two Lincolns for every Napoleon.
  • No Sympathy: Only one person shows any real regard for Fry's well-being in the asylum, and that's Leela.
    • The worst offender is of course Bender, who never once tries to help Fry when they’re both stuck in the asylum even though it’s clear that the facility is incredibly dangerous for the latter and is close to starvation.
  • Not Helping Your Case: The Hyper-Chicken accidentally presents evidence against his own clients. He even explicitly notes it.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Even Zoidberg won't eat sandwiches from Fry's... "compartment".
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Fry and Bender are sent away to the asylum in a carboard box that's rolled vertically out of the room.
    Fry: Ow, my head! Ow, my feet! Ow, my head! Ow, my feet!
    Prof. Farnsworth: Keep your chin up.
    Fry: Ow, my chin!
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Roberto is among the audience at court, disguised only with a fake beard.
  • Pocket Protector: Fry survives being stabbed because the knife hit an oil can inside his jacket. The oil leaking out makes Roberto think that Fry really is a robot.
  • Police Are Useless: Zigzagged. The police don't manage to catch Roberto the first time he robs the bank, but they do the second time. Then, the third time, they fail to catch him despite knowing he was going to rob it and waiting for him. So Police Are Useless When They're On-Screen.
  • Robotic Psychopath: Roberto is a dangerously insane robotic serial killer, although he insists he's just not user friendly.
  • Sanity Slippage: Fry, due to his time in the asylum. This is in part due to him essentially being given electroshock therapynote  and him being forced to share a cramped room first with Malfunctioning Eddie, and then with Roberto. He eventually snaps completely and becomes convinced that he is a robot after all.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smooch of Victory: Leela kisses Fry on the cheek as thanks for him saving the rest of the crew from Roberto. He regards said cheek as a Kissed Keepsake.
  • Split Personality: A robot Abraham Lincoln is in the HAL Institute because he has multiple personalities... all of them Lincoln.
    Lincoln Robot: I was born in 200 log cabins.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Bender claims to be under its effect to get in Roberto's good side.
  • Stock Money Bag: During the first Bank Robbery, the clerks hand out money to Roberto in medium-sized sacks.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Malfunctioning Eddie has developed an exploding problem. And he's Fry's roommate.
  • Take Me Instead: Averted for laughs, and currently provides the page quote.
    Leela: Take me first!
    Bender: Yes! Take her first!
  • Toilet Humour: During the bank robbery, Roberto finds Fry hiding behind a potted plant, and tells him to stop watering it.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Malfunctioning Eddie explodes several times in this episode. Of course, he is a robot, so it's likely he just gets rebuilt.
  • Unrobotic Reveal: Fry comes to his senses from his robotic delusion after seeing the blood on his arm.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Judge Whitey is so ludicrously upper class and out of touch he needs to have the concept of a bank explained to him by his caddy-chauffeur.
  • Villain Ball: Roberto robs the same bank three times. The first time was apparently just to case the joint and rob it a little.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Roberto undergoes one when he's attacked by Fry.
  • Wrongfully Committed: A more extreme example. After pleading insane, Fry is sentenced to the human mental asylum. But after hearing they're full, the judge sends Fry to the robot mental asylum.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Fry, when he believes he's a robot, keeps saying "ye". Hermes calls him on it.
    Hermes: Robots don't say "ye". Quit thinking you're a robot!
    Fry: I'll show ye...

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