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Recap / Futurama S 3 E 2 Parasites Lost

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When Fry becomes infested with parasitic worms (after eating an egg salad sandwich from a truck-stop bathroom on another planet) that make him stronger and smarter, he finally finds the perfect way to profess his feelings to Leela. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew goes on a Fantastic Voyage-esque journey into Fry's body to eradicate the worms.


Tropes present:

  • Ass Shove:
    Zoidberg: We'll need to look inside you with this camera.
    (Fry opens his mouth)
    Zoidberg: Guess again. (Fry looks worried)
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  • Beneficial Disease: The parasitic worms actually improve Fry's body. The only reason he gets rid of them is to find out if Leela loved him or what he had actually become, a muscular and brilliant man.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Fry's been rejected by Leela, and gone back to being the lazy, slovenly idiot he was... but he's determined to keep trying, and even manages to briefly get the holophoner working at the end.
  • Body Horror: It's implied that this would have happened if the crew had succeeded in disturbing Fry's pelvic splanchnic ganglion, he would have crapped out practically his entire body, or at least his entire skeletal structure.
  • Chekhov's Gun: That the worms fixed Fry's ability to produce sperm, while a one-off gag here, will become very important later on in the series.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Amy comments on the state of Fry's rectum, probably (hopefully) having gotten a look back when they were dating.
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    • The suits used for controlling the mini-droids are the same the gang used to explore the internet.
    • Zoidberg briefly rides on one of Fry's sperm, the worms having fixed it up after Bender sterilized Fry back in "Fry and the Slurm Factory".
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Fry's performance on the holophoner for Leela looks very much like a Falling-In-Love Montage. They dance a Dance of Romance on a planet's ring, their faces appear kissing on the surface of the ocean, they swim together as seals, and end up dancing again in a pearl.
  • Fanservice:
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: The Planet Express tour Fry's own stomach and intestines to get rid of the worms.
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  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: After becoming smart and muscular thanks to the worms, Fry manages to attract Leela, but then starts to think that what Leela loves is not the true charmingly dimwitted Fry, but what the worms made him into. His fear is proven true when after getting rid of the worms, Leela rejects him.
  • Flowers of Romance: New-and-improved Fry spontaneously buys flowers for Leela whom he loves.
  • Heroic Host: Fry, with the worms, is much stronger, tougher and smarter than he would be normally.
  • Hidden Depths: Only a few people in the universe can play the holophoner, and they're not very good at it. At the very end, Fry, who has little to no experience with one, manages to play it for himself.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: The worms aimed to improve Fry's own physical body, which he uses against them and gets them to leave by force.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: Fry tries defending Leela against the truck-stop men's insults. It doesn't really work.
    Sal: She don't gots enough meat for a guy like me.
    Fry: She does too! She's loaded with meat! She's got more meat than a cow!
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Averted, in that Professor Farnsworth has the whole gang use motion-controlled miniature avatars (instead of just shrinking them) to go into Fry's unaware body. When asked why, Farnsworth explains that shrinking "would require very tiny atoms... and have you priced those lately? I'm not made of money. Leave me alone!"
  • It Came from the Fridge: The blackened egg sandwich Fry eats from another dispenser at a truck stop bathroom.
  • Nausea Dissonance: The rest of the Planet Express crew's reactions towards watching Zoidberg's analysis on Fry and discovering there's more worms in his intestines.
    Hermes: It's nauseatin', mon! (eats a handful of popcorn)
  • Not Helping Your Case:
    • Fry's attempts to defend Leela from Sal and the other trucks in the beginning are nowhere near successful.
    • After getting rid of the worms, Fry pleads for a chance to be romantic on his own. Leela's already dubious, but then Fry brings up that time he dated Amy, at which point Leela kicks him out.
  • Pass the Popcorn: See Nausea Dissonance above.
  • Physical God: Fry was actually this to the worms.
  • Puddle-Covering Chivalry: Fry does this for Leela on their date.
  • Running Gag: Bender crying "Abandon ship!" whenever their submarine is jostled. Or remotely near danger.
  • Shout-Out: The title of the episode is a Shout-Out to Paradise Lost
  • Smart Ball: Zoidberg finally gets something right about human anatomy. Hermes even points it out, though it turns out Zoidberg had learnt the information from a decongestant commercial. Seconds later he mixes up the heart and the stomach.
  • The Symbiote: The worms are in fact mutualist sybiotes, not parasites. They eat Fry's waste and give him a Healing Factor, Super Strength, and enhanced intellect and dexterity.
  • Take That!:
    • Truck stop sandwiches are a source of worms.
    • After Fry damages a few bits of his brain, the Worm King informs him that this is no worse than "a week of binge drinking or five minutes on a cell phone".
    • Before leaving, the Worm King informs Fry "one day you'll be eating a fast-food burger and BOOM! You'll be crawling with us again! Ever wonder what makes special sauce so "special"? Yo."
  • Tastes Like Feet: "There's a party in my mouth and everyone's throwing up."
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Fry purchases a sandwich from the truck-stop vending machine, and is asked whether this is a good idea.
    Fry: What's the worst thing that could happen? (beat) Ugh. It's like a party in my mouth, and everyone's throwing up!
    • The Professor keeps doing this during the journey through Fry. Such as telling no-one to make a smell. Fry then sniffs a rose, or hope nothing makes his heart beat faster. He and Leela touch hands.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Averted with Zoidberg.
    Farnsworth: Anyhoo, your net suits will let you experience Fry's worm-infested bowels as if you were actually wriggling through them.
    Zoidberg: There's no part of that sentence I didn't like.
  • Verbal Tic: Sal and his extra 's'. In this episodes it spreads to everys words he sayss.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Fry finally manages to impress Leela and earn her affections... only to throw all away deliberately, thus causing Leela to kick him to the curb.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Fry's worms are not parasites. Parasites cause harm. They're mutualists.

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