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Recap / Futurama S4E18 "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings"

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The last episode of the fourth season of Futurama and the series finale for the show's FOX run.

Fry continues his quest to win Leela's heart by playing the Holophonor (which he hasn't played since "Parasite's Lost"), and makes a deal with The Robot Devil to master it — only to learn that, as in every Deal with the Devil story, the ultimate price Fry must pay is something near and dear to him (in this case, it's Leela, not his soul).

It should be noted that this episode is currently the number one choice on the Futurama Best Episode Crowner.


  • Abusive Parents: One of the parents at Fry's recital admits they hit their child "fairly hard" while watching him perform. Bender approves.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of classical and romantic opera.
  • All Part of the Show: The Robot Devil interrupts Fry's opera, but the music is still playing and the main characters sing along with it. Notably, the audience applauds after Fry's solo lamenting Leela's own deal, and Hedonism Bot is rather impressed with the sudden change of pace.
  • Ascended Extra: Hedonism Bot, previously a one-off joke in "Crimes of the Hot", gets a larger role here.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Hedonism Bot would consider any opera that keeps his attention through the overture a rousing success. He later exclaims that Fry and Leela's battle with the Devil, despite the emotional situation for everyone involved, is losing his interest.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Downplayed, but the Robot Devil definitely gets what he wants (his hands back). However, he doesn't manage to kill Fry and Leela's love for each other, as the final scene shows.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the beginning, when the wheel of robot hands is spun, it's set up to look as if the wheel will land on Bender.... Only for it to land on Robot Devil instead.
  • Big "NO!": When Bender realizes he sold his ass plate to the Robot Devil.
    Bender: Oh, yeah? Well bite my shiny metal... OH NOOOOOOO!!
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Robot Devil gets his hands back from Fry, meaning Fry can no longer play the Holophonor very well, but Fry and Leela's love for each other has been strengthened by their ordeal.
  • Brick Joke:
    Zoidberg: Only $14.99 for a two-record set. Two records! Oh, Zoidberg, at last you're becoming a crafty consumer! [dials the phone] Hello? I'll take eight.
    Tinny Tim: Extra! Extra! Greatest opera of all time sucks!
    Zoidberg: I'll take eight!
  • Call-Back:
    • Fry's motivation, which is a reference to "Parasites Lost", when, by the worm's influence, he managed to play the Holophonor and (temporarily) win Leela's heart.
    • Leela also mentions her ex-boyfriend Sean, this time more in-depth.
  • Cartoon Juggling: When Fry first introduces Planet Express to his new hands, he juggles parts of Bender's body to prove his skill with them.
    Bender: (after it's over) Where'd I go just now?
  • Cleavage Window: Leela's dress to the opera has a cut out for her cleavage and another for her belly button.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When we first see Robot Hell, the Robot Devil is playing an instrumental version of the song he played back in "Hell is Other Robots".
    • The Wheel of Robots includes the name of every robot seen in the show.
    • Leela is seen eating a buggalo leg at one point.
    • The flashcards Leela uses to emote at the opera use the Hardhat Guy.
  • Complexity Addiction: The Robot Devil takes Bender's ass plate when just giving him the airhorn with one use would have been enough for the rest of the plan. Also the overly-complicated plan to get his hands back in the first place.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Three deals, in fact. The Robot Devil gives robot hands for Fry, gives Bender an airhorn in exchange for his ass plate and Leela Calculon's ears to restore her hearing (after Bender destroyed it with his new airhorn) in exchange for her hand, which he later clarifies is her hand in marriage. The first one bit the Robot Devil in the ass, however, when he has to exchange his own hands with Fry; the later deals are part of his "ridiculously circuitous" plan to get them back.
    • When they travel to meet the Robot Devil, he states Hell is filled with ten-year-olds who tried to make deals with him.
    • Also, the one Calculon made with him for his UNHOLY. ACTING. TALENT.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: The Robot Devil is capable of ridiculously circuitous planning, but when his initial one goes belly-up he's reduced to frantically begging Fry for his hands back. Also, he has to take a bus from New Jersey to Planet Express, rather than something more impressive.
  • Dirty Coward: Bender is played as such in the opera.
    Bender's actor: ♫Leela, Leela, Leela. Save him, Save Fry, save Fry. Godzilla will devour him. As for me, I must be off, to have my doctor check this cough. (coughs) Goodbye!♫
    • Bender cheerfully admits that if they had ever fought Godzilla, he so would have ran off like that.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Almost literal example, when the Robot Devil makes a run for it, and takes a confused Richard Nixon's head with him.
  • Droste Image: The TV has this as the Couch Gag.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Downplayed since it became a Series Fauxnale, but even after the Robot Devil makes Fry give up the hands he used to play the Holophonor, Fry's final scene manages to win Leela over, or at least implies they're both willing to give it a shot.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Regardless of Bender's usual Jerkass attitude, when he learns that he's accidentally deafened Leela before Fry's concert he's outraged at what the Robot Devil basically tricked him into doing, as he just wanted to annoy Leela but deafening her like that is just mean.
  • Evil Hand: The first thing the Robot Devil's hands do when they are implanted on Fry is to choke him, which the Devil says will wear off after a couple of days. Later, the Robot Devil complains that Fry's hands are "always touching places!"
  • Evil Laugh: Robot Devil has it.
  • Gambit Roulette: The Robot Devil's "ridiculously circuitous" plan to get his hands back involve successfully predicting what Bender will request in his Deal with the Devil, and that it will lead to Leela making a Deal with the Devil, and that will put Fry in a position where he'll need his original hands back.
  • Grand Finale: This episode served as the finale for the original FOX run, concluding the subplot of Fry and Leela's romance with the Robot Devil as a suitably threatening antagonist.
  • The Hedonist: "Surgery? In an opera? How wonderfully decadent! And just as I was beginning to lose interest!"
  • Hidden Depths: Fry, Fry, manages to write an opera, and while the Robot Devil does provide the hands he needs to play it, the opera itself has some gorgeous sounding music (the plot itself, on the other hand, is a little suspect).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Bender, dissatisfied with his deal, tells the Robot Devil to bite his shiny metal ass, only he can't, because the deal involved selling his ass.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The Robot Devil criticizes Fry's play for having characters announce how they feel, only to immediately announce how he feels in the very next sentence.
    Robot Devil: You can't just have your characters announce how they feel! That makes me feel angry!
  • Irony: Erroneously used by the Robot Devil. Though correctly used by Bender.
    Bender: That's not ironic, that's just coincidental!
    Bender: ♫The use of words expressing something other than their literal intention — now that IS irony!♫
  • Lampshade Hanging: Zoidberg's contribution to the singing.
    ''♫ I can't believe everybody's just ad-liiiiibing!♫
  • The Magic Was Inside You All Along: Zoidberg encourages Fry to continue playing even after losing the Devil's hands because "the beauty came from your heart, not your hands." Subverted when Fry plays lousy and Zoidberg yells "Your music is bad, and you should feel bad!"
  • Metaphorgotten: Bender says that Fry may have to make a metaphorical "deal with the Devil." And by "metaphorical," he means "get your coat."
  • Musical Episode: Almost all of the third act is this.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: That's the way how it ends. Did you like it, Leela?
  • Parental Substitute: Bender attending Fry's holophonor recital.
    Bender: Fine, I'll go already. You know, sometimes I wish your real parents were still alive! ...Not often though. (He hugs Fry.)
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "You evil! Metal! Doooooooooooorkkkk!"
  • Read the Fine Print: Leela agrees to give the Robot Devil her hand, and didn't bother to check the fine print saying it was her hand in marriage.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Once the Robot Devil arrives all the singing is adlibbed but all rhymes perfectly even across multiple people's contributions.
  • Running Gag: The Robot Devil can't use the word "irony" correctly, mistaking it for being mean or coincidental. It's not until the finale at the opera that it finally gets used correctly.
    Bender: "The use of words expressing something other than their literal intention". Now that is irony.
  • Sadistic Choice: Fry has to choose between losing Leela forever, or losing the operatic skill that has nearly won her heart. He chooses saving Leela.
  • Serious Business: After he sells his crotch-plate, Bender makes a huge deal out of the fact that he can no longer tell people to "bite my shiny metal ass!" The camera even does a dramatic zoom-in on the void where said shiny metal ass used to be!
  • Series Fauxnale: This episode was originally the conclusion of Futurama, but that changed when a series of direct-to-DVD films were made that subsequently led to Comedy Central renewing the series for more episodes.
  • Smoke Out: Continuing the episode's running theme of Beelzebot being less impressive than he seems, he does this after regaining his hands. As the audience gasps in alarm, we see him rushing up the theatre aisle.
  • Snap Back: The episode ends with Leela deafened and having to wear Calculon's ears to restore her hearing as well as Bender losing his ass, both developments being completely ignored starting with the direct-to-DVD movie era. In Bender's case, it could be justified by the fact that the Robot Devil simply threw Bender's ass in the trash and it was possibly recovered after the events of the episode.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: As both episodes feature the Holophonor, this serves as one to Parasites Lost. In the prior episode, Leela only loved the Fry that the worms had made, leading to his improved musical abilities. In this episode, upon seeing the lengths Fry goes to win her heart and how he ultimately gave up the hands that made him a prodigy player, she's genuinely moved and listens to his performance he performs the best he naturally can.
  • Spoiled by the Format: Anyone able to see the title could figure out that Fry was going to get the Robot Devil's hands.
  • Take That!: "Well, it's back to Hell for me!! Come on, Nixon!!".
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: The Trope Namer. The Robot Devil calls Fry out on this in his play writing, only to fall victim to it himself:
    Robot Devil: Your lyrics lack subtlety! You can't just have your characters announce how they feel! That makes me feel angry!
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • Zoidberg finally has some money. Too bad he keeps wasting it.
    • After spending half of season three and most of season four chasing after Leela, the ending is the first sign that Fry's persistence has paid off.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Fry is inspired to write an opera about Leela while she's messily eating barbequed buggalo legs.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Fry uses his play to mock the Robot Devil for losing his hands to him, even giving him a "The Villain Sucks" Song about how stupid he is. This angers the Robot Devil into making his gambit on stage (though not before giving him critique about his unsubtle writing).
  • Walking Out on the Show: Everybody (except Leela) does this to Fry's opera after he's forced to un-swap hands with the Robot Devil.
  • Wheel of Decisions: The Robot Devil uses a giant wheel with every robot's name on it to see whose hands will be exchanged for Fry's. Unfortunately for the Robot Devil, it lands on his name.


That Makes Me Feel Angry

The Robot Devil criticizes the writing for Fry's play.

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (64 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThatMakesMeFeelAngry

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