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Recap / Futurama S 4 E 14 Obsoletely Fabulous

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When Bender proves to be incompatible with the 1-X Robot Professor Farnsworth bought, he's sent in to be upgraded. But rather than have his mind changed, Bender breaks out, and ends up on an island with other obsolete robots.


  • Always Someone Better: Bender becomes envious of the new Robot 1-X, as it does all the tasks in the Planet Express swimmingly.
    Bender: I could've taken out the trash if you'd asked me!
    Leela: I asked you 5 minutes ago.
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  • All Just a Dream: Everything that happened after Bender was put in the upgrade machine was just a dream. Bender starts to wonder if anything in life is real.
  • Face of a Thug: Farnsworth and Wernstrom's Killbots.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: From the outside, the upgrade that makes the older robots like the new 1-X robot looks like this.
  • Hypocritical Humour:
    • Bender refuses to use the robot scratching post because he has "some dignity", as he's wearing robot dealie-boppers. Later on, he turns out to have uses the scratching post anyway.
    • Bender also criticizes watching snails crawl as the dumbest thing he's ever heard. Cut to Bender excitedly doing just that.
  • Irony: Farnsworth and Wernstrom's Killbots are disgusted by their creator's hatred, and leave them to go take a paddleboat ride.
  • Large Ham: Lisa the water-wheel robot gets utterly panicked when she thinks her water wheel has run out.
    I'll never make it this time! This is the end!
    No! I want to live!
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  • Late to the Punchline:
    Announcer: And now, the woman who "Mom"-opolizes the robot industry...
    Fry: I get it!
    Announcer: Mom!
    Fry: Oh... now I get it!
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The upgrade is actually one of these, meant to show robots who receive it how the 1-X robot can help them.
  • Mind Screw: The ending.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Trope name come from this episode's dialogue.
    Bender: Save all of my friends! And Zoidberg!
  • No Indoor Voice: The robot nanny, mixed with being deep and evil.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: "CURSE YOU, MERCIFUL POSEIDON!"
  • Reality Ensues: Bender tries to put a fire out, but being made of wood, he's instantly set on fire and burns to pieces.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The waterwheel robot is named LISA. Word of God says that she's not named after that Lisa, but rather the Lisa computer by Apple. The dumb robot is called Sinclair, after the Sinclair ZX computer, which had incredibly limited memory (especially by modern standards).
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    • The title is a reference to British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.
  • The Soulless: A soul detector at the robot expo doesn't react when Bender, or any other robot, going through it.
  • Tempting Fate: Bender, talking about Robot 1-X, says it made him "look like a pile of crap". The Professor agrees.
    Professor: Indeed, that's why I bought one to help around the office.
    Bender: Eep!
    • Another example while Bender is sailing into the distance:
    Bender: Oh merciful Poseidon, have pity on this mechanical mariner! (storm clouds gather and thunder rumbles) Oh jeez.

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