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Recap / Futurama S 3 E 20 Godfellas

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A battle with Space Pirates ends with Bender being shot into space. While Fry does everything in his power to find his lost friend, Bender becomes the subject of worship from a species of tiny organisms that start to grow on his body.


Tropes:

  • An Aesop: If you do too much for others, they become overly reliant on you, and if you do too little people lose hope. "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."
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  • Astronomic Zoom: The episode ends with one zooming out from Earth to the god-like entity in outer space.
  • Being God Is Hard: Bender's seemingly simple request for beer led to the micro sized aliens having many hardships. And then they waged religious war against the other micro alien colony on Bender that couldn't see him and didn't believe he existed. And then everyone died. Later in the episode Bender met an entity that may or may not be the real God, and shared notes. Conclusion reached:
    Entity: Bender, being God isn't easy. If you do too much, people get dependent on you. And if you do nothing, they lose hope. You have to use a light touch, like a safecracker or a pickpocket.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Fry's prayer to find Bender just happens to reach the God-entity, who happens to have Bender nearby and decides to throw him back to Earth.
    Leela: This is, by a wide margin, the least likely thing that has ever happened.
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  • Dressed to Plunder: The Space Pirate captain dresses like a stereotypical sea pirate from the olden days: bicorne hat, ruffled shirt, eye patches over two of his three eyes, wooden pegs replacing three of his four legs, and parrots on three of his four shoulders.
  • Eating Shoes: After three days locked in the laundry room the monks cook their shoes and eat them.
  • Emergency Cargo Dump: Bender tries to slow down his drifting through space by dumping excess weight. So he starts throwing off the swag he picked up from the Space Pirates.
  • Genius Loci: God is a sentient galaxy.
  • A God Am I: Bender gets to have this experience.
  • God Guise: Bender ends up drifting in space, where he becomes God to the Shrimpkins, a race of miniature people who end up settling on his body.
  • Godly Sidestep: Godfellas is this trope in compact-episode form. Bender becomes a god, fails horribly, meets something that might be (or have been) God, and then proceeds to learn the ultimate godly lesson:
    Entity: When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
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  • Happiness Realized Too Late: Played for Laughs. Following the Space Pirates' attack on the Planet Express Ship, the pirate captain has an epiphany and states, "Too late I realize my children are my only real treasures", right before his ship explodes.
  • Hidden Depths/Pet the Dog: Bender tries very hard to be compassionate and merciful towards his Shrimpkin followers, in stark contrast to how he usually treats people. Unfortunately his thoughtlessness in attempting to perform miracles leads to the Shrimpkin getting wiped out.
  • Ignoring by Singing:
    Fry: You can't give up hope just because it's hopeless. You gotta hope even more and cover your ears and go, "Blah blah blah blah!"
  • Kill 'Em All: Those poor Shrimpkins.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Malachi's son.
    Son: Look, daddy! I'm hugging God! Maybe if I hug him real hard he'll save us from-[radioactive shockwave vaporizes them]
  • Kindness Ball: This is easily the most sympathetic Bender has been in any episode. He takes no malicious action, regrets even thing that accidentally harm others, and at the end goes out of his way to help some people he never even met.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Leela's line under Contrived Coincidence, which the DVD Commentary admits was their way of side-stepping the unlikeliness of it (and Matt Groening calls "hanging a lantern").
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: This is how the God-entity Bender meets operates.
  • Not Quite the Almighty: Discussed by Bender and the Galactic Entity on whether the Entity is God, or a god-like being that was the result of a probe colliding with God. The Galactic Entity admits both are possible.
  • Nuke 'em: The Shrimpkins gain access to Bender's nuclear stockpile. Their society goes downhill really quickly after that.
    Malachi: The time has come to convert the unbelievers!
    Bender: Convert them?
    Malachi: To radioactive vapor!
  • Panspermia: The Shrimpkins land on Bender via a meteor chunk he crashed into.
  • Physical God: Bender is this to the Shrimpkins.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The episode title is a pun on GoodFellas.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: The Gypsy Fortune Teller does this at one point.
  • Replacement Goldfish: The crew tries to cheer Fry up by giving him a replacement Robot Buddy for missing Bender called "Helper". It doesn't work.
  • Rope Bridge: Subverted. It turns out that the rope bridge to the monastery is actually a moving walkway.
  • Script Wank: The aesop is repeated at the end.
  • Seadog Peg Leg: Space Pirates are featured in the episode. Their captain is a four-legged alien dressed in typical pirate attire, including peg legs for three of his legs.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Bender ultimately fails to provide proper guidance to the Shrimpkins, and they die out in a nuclear war.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Bender drifting through space while the soundtrack plays Also sprach Zarathustra is a nod to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    • The idea that "God" might have been "the remains of a space probe that collided with God" is very likely a callout to the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Changeling", which focused on a space probe that collided with an alien craft and became a near-godlike entity.
    • The monks who search the universe for signs of a creator from a facility in a remote mountain calls to mind The Listeners.
  • Single-Precept Religion: When Bender is being worshiped by tiny aliens, he issues only one Commandment: God Needs Booze.
  • Space Friction: Bender slows himself down in space by spinning.
  • Space Pirates. They're pirates, but, you know, in space.


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