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Recap / Futurama S3 E18 "Anthology of Interest II"

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"All right. It's Saturday night. I have no date, a two-liter bottle of Shasta and my all-Rush mix tape. Let's rock."

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The Professor has fine-tuned his What-If machine, giving the crew a chance to ask another round of hypothetical questions. Bender sees what life would be like if he were a human, Fry's video gaming skills are put to the test against an invasion of Earth, and Leela goes on a The Wizard of Oz-style journey to find her true home.


  • Abusive Parents: Mom, as per usual.
    Mom: Fly, my stupids! Fly out and get them!
    Igner: But, Mommy! You promised us you'd bake monkey-cake today.
    Mom: By "monkey cake", I meant your ass! (slaps all three at once)
  • Actor Allusion: Tress MacNeille actually did voice the Wicked Witch in the short-lived The Wizard of Oz animated series from 1990. It should come as no surprise that one of her Futurama characters (namely Mom) would be in the role.
  • All Just a Dream: Leela's What-If isn't from the machine; instead, the lever hits her on the head and knocks her out. In fact, it's never shown what her scenario was.
  • And You Were There: Spoofed at the end of Leela's What-If.
    Leela: I was having the most wonderful dream... except (points at Fry) you were there, (points at Bender) and you were there!
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Lrrr and the other Space Invaders successfully take over Earth. Their demand?
  • Bait-and-Switch: Mom orders her monkey-sons to kidnap Leela... so she can adopt her. Leela gets the chance to return home instead, but...
    Leela: There's no place like Iwannabeawitch!
  • Dead All Along: Human Bender turns out to have died when the party at the end of his segment started.
    Wernstrom: But he just said "Whoo"!
    Farnsworth: No, that's just air escaping the folds of his fat.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Leela forgot how easily Mom-Witch was killed a few moments before.
  • Dies Wide Open: Human Bender's eyes are still open when he dies at the start of the party, which is why nobody realized he was gone until after the party was over. The reason for his frequent "WOO's" were due to the air escaping his excess fat.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: In-universe during the Space Invaders segment. Fry is unable to hit the last enemy because it's moving too fast (he always had to get his brother Yancy to finish it off), and when Lrrr lands and defeats him, he gives him a lesson in leading the target.
  • Downer Ending: For the first What If?: after becoming human, Bender's hedonistic lifestyle catches up with him and he dies of obesity and massive organ failure.
  • Fan Disservice: Human Bender is quite the looker, but his overindulgence does him no favors. His extreme obesity at the end of his life is especially horrifying.
  • Faux Horrific: Tremble, as Fry fires at the space invaders through his own shield!
    Bender: He's a madman! A maaaaaaaadmaaaaaaaaaan!
  • Foreshadowing: Leela still thinks she's an alien, so instead of the What-If machine showing her the scenario, she dreams it. The What-If machine would have revealed she's a mutant human, not an alien.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Courtesy of Mario.
    Mario: Mama mia! The cruel meatball of war has rolled onto our laps and ruined our white pants of peace!
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Leela murders the Cute Witch of the North for making a disparaging comment about her foot size.
  • Happily Adopted: What Leela would have been in her What-If, had Bender not opened that champagne bottle onto Mom.
  • The Hedonist: Bender turns the whole Nobel Prize committee into this.
  • Historical In-Joke: The competition between arcades and laundromats for quarters was a fierce one back in The '80s and The '90s.
  • Homage Derailment: The third and final segment of "Anthology of Interest II" is a Whole-Plot Reference to The Wizard of Oz, with Leela and the Planet Express crew as stand-ins for Dorothy and the film cast. At the very end though, where Leela's supposed to wish to go home, she instead wishes to become the new Wicked Witch and turns the rest of the cast into toads (until Zoidberg splashes her with overflowing toilet water and she melts).
  • Huge Holographic Head: Farnsworth as the Wizard at first appears to be this, but then he steps from behind the curtain and his head is really that size.
  • Humanity Ensues: Bender is transformed into a human for the first segment.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: The point of Fry's What-If where life was like a video game. His gaming skills in a Space Invaders style battle are put to the test. Skilled as he is, he loses in the end.
  • I Was Having Such a Nice Dream:
    Leela: "Except you were there, you were there, and you were there!"
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: General Pac-Man's last words.
  • Informed Flaw:
    • Played for Laughs: Bender kicks off the first segment by claiming that as a robot, he doesn't have emotions, "and sometimes, that makes me very sad."
    • Due to how truncated the third segment is, the flaws of its version of the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion don't exactly get time to be established. Leela simply guesses that Fry doesn't have a brain, Bender's needing a heart is more literal (he needs to pump a lot of blood out of his basement), and Zoidberg forgoes any kind of introduction in favor of pulling up in a taxi and announcing he doesn't have enough courage.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Word of God says that Human Bender is exactly like John DiMaggio in looks and personality—except DiMaggio has red hair, while Bender is blond.
  • Instant Taste Addiction: Bender is turned into a human and tries his first food, which is some nachos. He almost immediately gets addicted to overindulging in junk food and booze and eats more or less nonstop until he dies.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Oh, who'd have thought a small amount of liquid would ever fall on me!"
  • Large Ham:
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: While Fry and Bender show up as the Scarecrow and Tin Man in Leela's What-If, Zoidberg just appears as the "other guy" ("Courage, not enough of it. Need some from Whatshisname."); he's still Zoidberg, not Zoidberg re-imagined as the Cowardly Lion.
  • Lead the Target: Lampshaded by Lrrr, who wins his Space Invaders battle against Fry and points out that Fry should've been doing this. Poor sap could never get that final alien as a kid.
  • Mood Whiplash: Bender's death by overeating has the Professor briefly eulogizing him, then saying "Let's get him out of here. He's starting to stink up the joint."
  • Mundane Solution: Lrrr and the other invaders just need quarters for laundry — as does Earth. The solution? Just share the laundry in the same machine.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Of course, it happens to the Trope Namer:
    [Walt, Larry and Igner swoop down and grab Leela, Fry and Bender, leaving Zoidberg alone.]
    Zoidberg: [indignant] What, do I smell or something? [smells own armpit] Awwwww.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero/Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Bender killing the Wicked Witch of the West (Mom) could be interpreted as either one of these.
  • Off to See the Wizard: Leela's What-If ends up being as much a parody of these as of The Wizard of Oz itself; about half of the jokes are dedicated to just how overdone it is.
  • Organ Theft: The Professor even has a box set out for Leela's organs.
  • Pac Man Fever: Fry asks the What-If Machine to show a world that resembles the video games he loves. Even though Fry is originally from 1999 and would have grown up in the home console and computer game era, apparently his favourites are all arcade games from twenty years earlier, including Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lrrr gives Fry a lesson in leading the target when Fry is unable to shoot down the rapidly-moving final alien and win.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Fry shoots upward through his own shields to hit the aliens, considered poor strategy by Space Invaders players.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Blatantly played for laughs when the Professor asks for someone to ask the What-If Machine a question, including Katrina the fairy, and Xanthor, both of whom the audience has never heard of before, and never see again.
  • Retirony: General Pac-Man really shouldn't have said his retirement started tomorrow.
  • Sense Freak: For Bender, tasting food, beer, and other things is such a shock that he can't stop, and quickly becomes an oversized blob.
  • Sequel Episode: To the first "Anthology of Interest".
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Frycrow tries scaring crows by reading Christine at them (supposedly, though the passage he's reading doesn't match anything from the book).
    • Everything in the second segment, as it is filled with references to classic video games.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The first segment details what would happen if a human tried to follow Bender's "diet" of alcohol and cigars. When Bender becomes human and continues to indulge without restraint, he quickly becomes morbidly obese and dies about a week later.
  • Tin Man: Bender wants to see what it would be like if he became human because as a robot, he doesn't have any emotions and that sometimes makes him very sad. Hilariously averted in the third segment where he's literally the Tin Man, but only needs a human heart to pump out all the blood in his basement.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Human Bender's idea of a good time is to overindulge in every vice he can think of, which is the exact opposite of what he should be doing when he's become the opposite of a robot who's virtually immortal (as long as they're maintained regularly) and needs booze as opposed to being negatively affected by it. No wonder he dies of morbid obesity.
  • Unscientific Science: Farnsworth's entire concept of "reverse fossilization" is based on taking fossilization (where organic matter is replaced by minerals) and reversing the process. This can turn a robot into a fully organic living human, or a toaster into a raccoon (with a working toaster in its back somehow).
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: An in-universe example; when Fry loses his Space Invaders battle, he's asked to enter his initials. He can't resist the opportunity to input "ASS".
  • Weight Taller: In addition to the enormous weight gain, Human Bender somehow grows several feet taller after his over-indulgence binge.
  • What If?: Just like the first "Anthology of Interest", the segments in this episode show What-If scenarios, namely "What if Bender were human?" and "What if life were more like a video game?" The third segment averts this: Leela asks "What if I found my true home?", but she's knocked unconscious when the lever hits her on the head and she instead has a dream parodying The Wizard of Oz.


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Said by Hermes when someone steals his manwich that he is about to eat.

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