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Recap / Futurama S 3 E 13 Bendin In The Wind

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Paralyzed in a can-opening accident, Bender finds he can use his mangled body as a washboard and joins Beck's band. He becomes a voice for broken robots everywhere. Meanwhile, Fry discovers an antique 1960s VW van and takes Leela, Amy and Zoidberg on a road trip following Bender, becoming hippies in the process.

Tropes

  • Adam Westing: Beck insisted that the writers pull no punches when writing his cartoon persona, shown here as a shallow hipster who doesn't even understand his own music.
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  • Animation Bump: Bender's dance at the end of "My Broken Friend" has more frames and looks a lot bouncier, all to emphasize how not-broken he is.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After Bender's catapulted into the sky, the scene switches to a fat guy and a thin woman at a souvenir stand. We hear Bender plummeting, he screams for "someone fat" to be in his way... and he lands on the woman, who gets back up right after he's hit by Beck's van.
  • Bathos: The moment when Bender is cut open by the can opener and starts to sing as he begins to glitch is played seriously in universe, but also for laughs given how ridiculous the results are, especially as Zoidberg finds it catchy.
    Zoidberg: It's toe-tappingly tragic!
  • Bowel-Breaking Bricks: Among the various 20th-century finds that Fry and Bender discover in the beginning of the episode, one of them is a bag of Olestra chips. Notorious for their tendency to induce loose stools, they cause Bender to poop literal bricks.
  • Continuity Nod
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    • Bender's dream of being a folk singer dates back to the second episode of the series ("The Series Has Landed"), and had been alluded to multiple times since then.
    • Bender also mentions the time the magnetic can opener nearly cut his head off.
  • Fanservice/Fan Disservice: Both during the laundromat scene with the group wash their dress. Amy and Leela are in lingerie (Leela wear a shirt instead of a bra) while Zoidberg is without his shell.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The map of the 30th century America, with places such as Nukevada, Highcal and Lowcal.
    • During the climactic chase, five hubcaps fall off the minivan.
  • Future Imperfect: Upon seeing the VW minibus, characters ask "Is that one of those Led Zeppelins/Jefferson Starships I've heard so much about?"
  • Gag Boobs: The female robot who asks Bender to sign her chest. Lampshaded in the commentary, when Billy West asks who exactly designs a robot with mammaries.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: When Farnsworth asks Fry if the VW van has a device that can slow down and speed up time, Fry holds up a bong, prompting a shocked look from Hermes. According to DVD commentary, the reason the censors didn't object to the scene was because the script referred to the bong as a "strange bottle."
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  • Hippie Van: The VW minibus that the rest of the crew use to follow Bender around on tour. Unfortunately a vehicle from the 60s isn't built to operate in a future where every car can hover and bridges don't need to have actual road surfaces.
  • Info Dump: Bender's lengthy exclamation on meeting Beck, explaining to viewers who he is.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Bender, up until he heals.
  • Meaningful Name: "Bend-Aid," the charity concert Bender and Beck arrange, is not only a take off on similar real-life concerts like Farm Aid or Live Aid, but it also sounds like "bandaid," appropriate when the charitable cause helping is broken robots. It also works as a Stealth Insult towards charity concerts which only help the superficial aspects of these causes: all they do is "put a bandaid on the problem."
  • Oh, Crap!: The group try to flee across the Golden Gate Bridge.
    Bender: Oh crap! I forgot this is a hover-bridge!
    Leela: And I forgot this isn't a hovercar!
    Fry: Is any of that a problem?
    Zoidberg: Not if you've lived a life without regret. [screams in terror]
  • Post-Peak Oil: Leela points out that oil reserves dried out in 2050, and whale oil is used instead.
  • Red Sock Ruins the Laundry: Fry, Leela, and Amy all end up with tie-dyed clothes after Zoidberg, during a stop at a laundromat, puts his shell in the same washimg machine as their clothes.
  • Shout-Out: Taco Bell, with Taco Bellevue Hospital.
  • Skewed Priorities: As Bender puts it, robots shouldn't be melted down... when they're in the middle of kissing his ass.
  • Take That!: "How can I sing about broken robots when I'm not? That's like Christina Aguilera singing in Spanish."
  • Travel Montage: Significant as it shows all the humorous new names for states (and a few new states) in the 31st Century.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Parodied when Beck talks to Bender about what he was feeling when he wrote "Devil's Haircut," before realizing that even he doesn't know what that song is about.
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