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Recap / Futurama S 3 E 4 The Luck Of The Fryrish

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Broadcast Simultaneously One Year In The Future

During his youth, Fry found a seven-leaf clover which brought him luck. In the 31st century, Fry has a string of bad luck which induces him to reclaim it.


  • Arc Symbol: The Breakfast Club soundtrack, if only because of one certain song...
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: For all their fighting and bickering, Yancy loved and missed his little brother. He even named his son after Philip.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • When we are shown Fry's old house in Old New York, it's thoroughly wrecked, with the roof having caved in, and even Bender laments that the house has seen better days and that Father Time had took a bat to it. We then cut to the past, where it looks exactly the same.
    • For most of the episode we're shown flashbacks of Yancy's jealousy of Fry, as he steals his ideas and repeatedly tries to take his seven-leaf clover, up to his discovery of the clover's hiding spot sometime after Fry was frozen, leading both Fry and the audience to believe Yancy took it a step further and stole Fry's name. The final flashback shows that Yancy decided not to use the clover at all, but instead passed it down to his son, Philip.
      • Likewise, when Yancy was poking through Fry's belongings for something to play at his wedding reception, he stumbles across a drawing Fry had made at age 20, depicting himself as an astronaut ... which Yancy proceeds to tuck into his suit discreetly. It's revealed in the last flashback that he took that drawing for himself.
  • Big Brother Bully: Yancy was this to Fry before the latter got frozen. Afterwards when it seemed like his brother was dead, he came to deeply regret how he treated him, and named his first born son after Fry in his honor.
  • Bookends: The first and last flashback involve a Yancy Fry and an unnamed woman giving birth to a Philip J. Fry.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Averted, as Bender gets away with rigging one of the horse races.
  • Chekhov's Gag: When listing off the names of family members who've taken the name Yancy, Yancy Fry Senior names his grandfather, and great-grandfather, but specifically does not note his own father.
  • The Chew Toy: Fry's search for the clover is inspired after a bad day at the races, wherein all his picks lose, his last dollar gets blown onto a power line, and in trying to retrieve it, Fry is electrocuted twice, falls into a trashcan, and gets crud dumped on him.
  • The Constant: Spoofed with Fry's childhood home. In the 31st Century it looks suitably run down ("Boy, Father Time sure took a bat to this place", according to Bender), but a flashback to the 20th Century shows it in the exact same state of disrepair.
  • Cutting the Knot: While Bender had to use vibrational frequencies to pop open the record vaultnote , all Yancy had to do was roll up some Doh-Doh and use a lighter.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Yancy names his son after Fry some years after Fry's disappearance and presumed death.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Fry thinks his brother Yancy took his name and led the life he should have led, when in fact it was actually Yancy's son, named in Fry's honor.
  • Decoy Backstory: Fry goes looking for a lucky seven-leaf clover he had as a kid. Flashbacks show that Fry had an older brother named Yancy who was jealous of his luck, so when Fry discovers a statue for a Phillip J. Fry with his clover, he (and the audience) assume that Yancy took the clover, assumed his identity, and lived the life Fry should have had. He goes to his grave with the intent of recovering his clover, but then he discovers that Phillip was actually Yancy's son. One last flashback shows that Yancy named him after Fry, "whom I miss every day", and gave him the clover so that he may continue his legacy.
  • Fan of the Past: Leela's wrist computer has Tetris.
  • Fixing the Game: Bender cheats at the races, and not subtly, by drugging all the horses but one.
  • Flashback B-Plot: The episode has Fry track down his lucky seven-leaf clover from when he was a child, while also flashing back to his life growing up with his brother Yancy who he suspects stole his clover and identity.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The album Fry chose to hide the seven-leaf clover was the soundtrack for The Breakfast Club. For those who don't know, one of the most well-known songs off of the soundtrack is "Don't You (Forget About Me)"...
    • Upon discovering the seven-leaf clover after it falls out of The Breakfast Club album, the look on Yancy's face is one of sadness. Not something you'd expect from the guy who supposedly stole Fry's life, right?
  • Good Luck Charm: Exaggerated with Fry's seven-leaf clover - its new owner made a fortune off of an oil well he discovered inside the mansion he won in a lottery, then proceeded to score a string of number one hits and became the first man on Mars.
  • "Good Luck" Gesture: Fry crosses his fingers intensely when he hopes to win money in the horse race.
  • Grave Robbing: Angry that his brother Yancy apparently stole his clover and his name, Fry decides to rob his grave, and gets Leela and Bender to come along.
    Bender: I'll grab my kit!
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Yancy was motivated by an intense jealousy of Fry, starting from the fact Fry got the relatively "normal" name Philip when he was born. Throughout their childhood Yancy frequently copied Fry to the point that Fry finally told Yancy "Find your own life and live it!" After Fry disappeared, it's implied Yancy finally got over this and deeply regretted how he treated his brother.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Subverted. While it looks like the Fry parents are dismissive and ignore their kids, we finally see that each is just a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and they miss their son.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong:
    • Fry pulls out his last dollar and remarks, "This one I'm holding on to!" It then flies out of his hand.
    • Starting down a sewer to find his old clover, Fry remarks that his bad luck will finally be over. He then falls down the sewer.
  • Legacy Character: It turns out that the Philip J. Fry of fame is actually Yancy's son, named after his missing uncle.
  • Look Both Ways: Fry decides that he can jaywalk in the abandoned ruins of Old New York. He gets trampled by a giant lizard.
  • Match Cut: Young Yancy throwing the rocket from Fry's crib out the window transitions to a similar shot of the Planet Express rocket flying through space.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name:
    Bender: Bending's my middle name.
    Fry: It is?
  • My Greatest Failure: It's not outright said, but it's clear in the last flashback that Yancy really regrets how his relationship with Fry was before he disappeared.
    Yancy: (to his newly born son) Son, I'm naming you Philip J. Fry in honor of my little brother... (sadly) who I miss every day. I love you, Philip. (sniff) And I always will.
  • Out Giving Birth, Back in Two Minutes: The Screaming Birth is subverted when Fry's mother turns out to be screaming at the sports game on the radio.
  • Paper Destruction of Anger: Farnsworth and Fry both angrily tear their tickets when their horses don't win the race and they lose the bet.
    Farnsworth: (when it's revealed his horse lost to a quantum finish) No fair! You changed the outcome by measuring it!
    (2 races later)
    Fry: (after watching the rigged race) That's it! You can only take my money for so long before you take it all, and I say enough.
  • Poke the Poodle: At the abandoned ruins of old New York City, Fry decides to do all the things he always wanted to do. Like shout "Howard Stern is overrated!" in the middle of Times Square, unhook the receiver of a public telephone, and jaywalk.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Somehow, Fry's house managed to survive into the 31st century intact... despite being wrecked.
  • Real-Place Background: If you can believe it, the Fry home is an actual house in Brooklyn, where writer Eric Kaplan once lived.
  • Red Herring: Throughout the flashbacks, its implied that Yancy stole Philip's seven-leaf clover and name out of jealousy after Philip got frozen, from him first wanting to be called Philip to stealing a newborn Philip's rocket toy proclaiming it to be his, to a flashback involving him stealing Fry's entire dance routine. It's only in the last flashback that we learn that the astronaut Philip J. Fry was in fact the son of Yancy, who named him out of regret with how his relationship with Fry was before he disappeared.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Scruffy is introduced here as a member of the Planet Express crew, and Fry's closest confidant. But Fry still didn't tell him where he hid the clover. In this instance, the trope is being Played for Laughs.
    • Fry just happens to share a name with the first man on Mars, and apparently no-one ever felt this worth commenting upon. Possibly lampshaded by Hermes' remark about Fry's nephew being "that" Philip J. Fry.
    • This is the first time we've actually seen or heard of Yancy, Fry's older brother.
  • The Reveal: The last flashback. Yancy did not steal Fry's name and his fate, but he named his son after him to carry on his spirit.
  • Shatterpoint Tap: Bender tries to open the Ronco record vault by vibrating to a certain frequency. The vibrations are strong enough to shake the house and dislodge Bender's head, but it's the head hitting the vault as it falls that causes it to open.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sibling Rivalry: Fry had this with his older brother Yancy, who was always taking Fry's ideas for his own.
  • Skewed Priorities: Fry's mom seemed a little fixated on a football game she was listening too while giving birth at the hospital. (Slightly justified, seeing as she was being sedated with morphine.)
  • Stealth Pun: As he tries to recover his dollar bill from the power line, Fry starts saying "If you think bad luck can defeat me, then you don't know my name isn't Philip J. ...", then he gets electrocuted — or fried, if you will.
  • St. Patrick's Day Episode: Fry has a string of bad luck which induces him to reclaim a lucky seven-leaf clover from his youth. Although St. Patrick's Day is neither mentioned nor referenced, this episode originally aired on March 11, 2001, the week before St. Patrick's Day.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The younger Philip J. Fry is identical to his father Yancy (our Fry's brother), which drives Fry's belief that his brother Yancy stole his identity. Fry doesn't even notice a difference when watching the historical documentary on his nephew.
  • Take That!:
  • Too Dumb to Live: Fry tries to recover his dollar from a power line... with a metal rake.
  • Tragic Keepsake: As we see in the last flashback, not only did Yancy keep the seven-leaf clover (before passing it on to his son), but he also kept Fry's rocket ship drawing.
  • Trash Landing: While attempting to retrieve his dollar, Fry falls headfirst into a garbage can, and then has a bucket of slop dumped on him.
  • Virtual Assistant Blunder: Professor Farnsworth's computer overhears the cast's conversation and helpfully pulls up a plot-relevant documentary, but also does two irrelevant actions:
    Professor Farnsworth: Shut up, friends. My Internet browser heard us saying the word "Fry" and it found a movie about Philip J. Fry for us. It also opened my calendar to Friday and ordered me some French fries.
  • Wham Line: "Here lies Philip J. Fry, named after his uncle, to carry on his spirit," revealing that the one who goes by Philip J. Fry isn't Yancy himself, but his son.

Alternative Title(s): Futurama S 3 E 4 Luck Of The Fryish