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Recap / Futurama S 3 E 17 A Pharaoh To Remember

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Bender fears that he will not be remembered when he dies, and schemes to ensure his legacy. When the PE crew are enslaved on the Ancient Egyptian-like Osiris-4, Bender quickly scams his way into the pharaoh's throne, starting a reign of terror that will likely not be forgotten.


  • 0% Approval Rating: By the end of his reign, Bender was so hated by the people that his "unexpected demise" caused the entire crowd to start cheering.
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  • Ancient Astronauts: The Osirians visited Earth sometime during the height of ancient Egyptian culture and based their entire civilization on them, in something of an inversion of how the trope usually plays. (They even learned space travel from the Egyptians, however that works outinvoked.)
  • Arkham's Razor: The most logical explanation for the pyramids is that the Egyptians built them. The less logical one is Ancient Astronauts. The least logical one is that the Ancient Astronauts learned how to build pyramids from the Egyptians—so of course, that's the one they go with.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: The Planet Express staff throw Bender a mock funeral to show them how much they would miss him when he dies. But Bender is unsatisfied with their tributes, no matter how heartfelt, and only convinced him to keep living "by showing me how much my funeral will suck."
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  • Bad Boss: Once he becomes pharaoh, Bender really gets into this territory. Consider the below exchange (which takes place while he's sat on a throne Fry and Leela have to carry on their backs:
    Bender: Lowly slave! Why aren't you working?!
    First slave: I am.
    Bender: I meant yourself to death!
    Second slave: Mighty pharaoh, it hurts when I breathe.
    Bender: Well, what do you think you should stop doing?! Crawl, pigs! [Whips Fry and Leela to get them moving]
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Bender's reign of terror doesn't last very long, and the statue he erected to preserve his legacy is destroyed, but he also ensures that his tyranny will be remembered by the Osirians forever.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: A hilarious example of this appears when the Osirian priests consult the Wall of Prophecy regarding the new pharaoh.
    High Priest: Great Wall of Prophecy! Reveal to us God's will that we may blindly obey!
    Priests: Free us from thought and responsibility.
    High Priest: We shall read things off you!
    Priests: Then do them.
    High Priest: Your words guide us!
    Priests: We're dumb.
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  • Butt-Monkey: The Australian man returns, having now been enslaved on Osiris-4 somehow.
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: "Ladies and gentlemen, the pharaoh ... suddenly died."
  • Creepy Monotone: The junior priests speak in one when praying to the Wall of Prophecy.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Bender even gives the slave drivers pointers on how to whip the slaves properly.
    Bender: You call that motivating me?!
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even the slave-driving Osirians find Bender too much, hence why they depose him so quickly.
  • Evil Is Petty: Bender robs the lockers at a swimming pool to make his mark for just one day.
  • Fanservice: Amy and Leela at Bender's "funeral."
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": The Planet Express staff decides to throw Bender a surprise funeral to cheer him up. The whole thing is pretty hilarious.
  • Funny Background Event: The third act opens with one slave talking to a man advertising a way to lose weight. The man at the desk puts it bluntly: "What we do is we starve ya to death."
  • Glory Seeker: This is what drives Bender's actions throughout the episode. He's concerned that he won't be remembered when he's gone.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The plot of the episode hinges on Bender's fears of being forgotten and trying to make a name for himself, eventually driving him to take over Osiris-4 and force the inhabitants to build a giant statue of him.
  • Insufficiently Advanced Alien: Played for laughs in a brief gag, where it's revealed that, in an inversion of the usual conspiracy theory, the people of Osiris-4 were taught by the Egyptians how to build pyramids and fly through space.
  • It's All About Me: This is Bender at his most selfish. The crux of the episode is that he falls into depression because he doesn't think anyone will remember him after he dies (simply because a heist of his was incorrectly attributed to a human criminal), and goes so far as to become a slave-driving tyrant of an entire planet just to make a name for himself.
  • Karma Houdini: After all he's done to all the slaves and his friends, Bender goes back to his job in Planet Express after securing the legacy he sought so hard to achieve.
  • Kick the Dog: Once he's pharaoh, Bender treats Fry and Leela just as badly as the other slaves, and in one way even worse, demanding they be buried alive in his pyramid.
  • Legacy Seeker: Bender's motivation in the episode is to be remembered after he's gone. When the crew is enslaved by an alien civilization based on ancient Egypt, Bender manipulates himself into becoming their new Pharaoh, and commissions a gigantic statue of himself. Unfortunately, he is betrayed by his followers for being... well, himself, and is buried alive under the statue. Fry and Leela help him escape, but only after they make him apologize for his behavior, and sacrifice the statue during their rescue.
  • Little Black Dress: Amy wears one to Bender's "funeral".
  • Only Sane Man: With Bender being either self-absorbed or busy glorifying the Osirian culture, and Fry being even dumber than usual, Leela once again falls into this role.
  • Planet of Hats: Osiris-4, a planet with a culture like that of ancient Egypt ... or, rather, The Theme Park Version of ancient Egypt.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The pharaoh of Osiris-4 plans to free all the slaves, but because of Bender's impatience he never manages to get the words out.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Bender gives one to Zoidberg after he starts singing "Danny Boy" at Bender's funeral.
    Bender: "Danny Boy"? You're at my funeral, singing about some dead stiff named Danny Boy?! You really are a massive bonehead!
    Zoidberg: I'm expressing my sorrow!
    Bender: Get lost! I'd say don't quit your day job, but you suck at that too!
  • Rule of Three: When describing the famous pharaohs he remembers, Bender lists two, but on the third he's forgotten the guy's name. He still somberly adds that "Whatshisname" was the greatest of all.
  • Shoot the Television: When Morbo identifies the pool robber as a Caucasian human male, Bender throws Fry's beer bottle at the TV in a fit of rage.
    Fry: Hey! Now what am I supposed to watch and drink all day?
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Osirians learnt many things from the Egyptians, including how to prepare their dead so as to scare Abbott and Costello.
    • The pianist playing at the pharaoh's funeral looks and sounds suspiciously like Elton John.
    • One to Raiders of the Lost Ark in Bender's tomb, where he points out nothing can get in or out of the pyramid, "except millions of snakes". Fry and Leela promptly freak out as they see snakes slithering in through holes in the eyes of paintings of Bender along the walls like the Well of Souls.
  • Shown Their Work: The line the Professor gives about Bender having "a .04% nickel impurity" isn't there for no reason—osmium is usually found as a byproduct of nickel mining and refinement.
  • Signs of Disrepair: Bender paints graffiti on the side of a building that reads "Bender lives large and kicks butt", along with a picture of himself. Moments later, the building is demolished, and the pieces fall in such a way that the graffiti now reads "Bender licks butt", while the picture of Bender becomes a butt.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Leela expresses this view after the Osirians crown Bender as the new pharaoh.
    Leela: This society is a bunch of idiots.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When Leela realises Bender's managed to dupe the Osirians, she sums up the situation easily.
    Leela: Oh, Lord...
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Even by Bender's low standards, this episode probably shows him at the most antagonistic of the original run.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Bender, who replaces the old tyranny with his own.
    Bender: Citizens of me! The cruelty of the old pharaoh is a thing of the past. Let a whole new wave of cruelty wash over this lazy land!
  • X Days Since: Fry nails his hand to the "Days Since Last Accident" sign while changing the number.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Happens several times to Bender at the beginning of the episode when he tries to be remembered.