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Recap / Futurama S 4 E 2 Leelas Homeworld

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It's like "HEE HAW" with lasers

Leela is sad because she has no idea where she came from after receiving an award from the Orphanarium. But when Bender's sewer-dumping service attracts the ire of the mutants, she finds that the secret to her origin may be closer than she thinks...


  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Leela: Bender, stop that! First of all, the sewer mutants will be mad, and second, everything else that's horribly wrong with what you're doing!
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • After Leela dives into the lake, it looks like she emerges with a purple octopus for a head. Then she pulls it off and it turns out she’s just fine; the octopus was just stuck there (and used to be a little blonde girl named Virginia).
    • Fry has the Professor analyze the letter from Leela's parents, which is translated in what appears to be an alien language. It turns out that even analyzed, the letter was just gibberish; the real clue that Leela's parents were mutants was the fact that the paper used for the note was a type of recycled toilet paper only used in the sewers.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Fry comes in just in time to stop Leela from killing her own parents.
  • Butt-Monkey: The nameless leg mutant who gets brought up as an example of how much life sucks for the sewer mutants.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Leela tells Fry that all she's ever wanted was for someone to hold and love her, Fry quickly offers to fill the need, adding that he also does spanking.
    Leela: That's not even close to what I had in mind.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Bender smashes Fry through a window of a random building, which is the exact place Leela's parents where hanging pictures of her.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Leela is the least mutated mutant ever born. Knowing she could pass for an alien, Leela's parents abandoned her so she could have a better life than that of a mutant in the sewers.
  • Dramatic Irony: The audience learns about Leela's parents at the end of the first act.
  • Especially Zoidberg: Poor Leg Mutant is singled out twice as an example of just how miserable and degrading life as a mutant is. Especially for him.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: One of the ways Hermes figures out that the Professor's new glow-in-the-dark nose maker is producing toxic waste. Though in his words, the toxic waste is more of an aftertaste to the main flavor of fig pudding.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Leela asks her parents if she's the mutant's messiah, Morris starts to agree before Munda silences him. In the post-revival episode "The Mutants are Revolting", Leela would start a revolution which ended with mutants finally being given their rights.
    • In one particular shot where Leela shouts "Who the hell are you?" to two hooded and robed mutants, and one female mutant shouts back "No one. And watch your language, young lady!", her lips are visibly shown, looking exactly like Leela's own.
  • Funny Background Event: As Leela is giving her speech at Cookieville, Warden Vogel is struggling to put the picture of her on the wall. Then later, when the news crew is taking a picture of Leela with her picture, we see one of the distinguished alumni, the one who is often seen in the background of sporting events, jump into the background.
  • Greenwashed Villainy: Bender opens an industrial waste disposal business. It dumps the toxic waste into New New York's sewer system, annoying the mutants who live down there (by providing enough of a glow for their mutated features to be visible at all times).
  • Jerkass:
    • The Professor makes a machine that mainly produces glow-in-the-dark noses, at the cost of massive amounts of toxic runoff, which he is entirely unapologetic about.
    • Bender, even worse than usual, with his constantly dumping toxic runoff into the sewers, not to mention ruining Violet's wedding dress, then taunting her about it. And he gets off without any punishment for it.
  • Mistaken for Own Murderer: Leela thinks the mutants who spied on her killed her parents, when in fact they were her parents. Her parents are so desperate to protect her from the stigma of being a mutant that they tell her she's right, prepared to die rather than let her know the Awful Truth.
  • Never My Fault: Bender's reaction to being abducted by the mutants.
    Bender: What did I do to deserve this?!
  • Never Trust a Title: The title of the episode implies we'll learn about Leela's alien heritage. While we do learn about her parents, they aren't aliens — "Leela's Homeworld" was Earth All Along.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: The Professor's nose-making machine, which can apparently translate alienese and perform substance analysis. Lampshaded for all it's worth.
    Fry: Isn't that the machine that makes noses?
    The Professor: It can do other things! Why shouldn't it?!
  • Oh, Crap!: Bender does this at first, until he realises that, as a robot, he doesn't have DNA that can be mutated. He swiftly resumes it when the mutants state they're going to beat him up afterwards.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Both Leela's bracelet and the Alienese letter she was left with as a baby.
  • Please Kill Me if It Satisfies You: Leela's parents are perfectly willing to be killed by her hands and let her believe that they're her parents' murderers if it means she doesn't have to learn the Awful Truth about herself.
  • Radiation-Immune Mutants: Leela isn't mutated by the mutagen lake in the sewer, which is how she realizes she's a mutant.
  • The Reveal: Leela isn't an alien, she's a mutant.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: The note from Leela's parents is analyzed by Farnsworth's machine to decipher the alien language it's written on. It fails, but it does reveal that the note is written on recycled toilet paper, found only in the sewers, which is how they discover that Leela's parents were mutants.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: In the United Kingdom, Futurama is usually rated PG or 12, depending on how strong the violence, offensive language, sexual content, criminal behavior, and overall adult content is in the episode. This episode, however, was rated U (which means the content is suitable for all audiences), despite some threatening/dubious content, like Fry and Leela talking about spankings; Bender dumping toxic waste in the sewers; the mutants attacking Fry, Leela, and Bender; Leela freaking out over the hooded strangers possibly being her parents' murderers and prepping to shoot them point blank; and the tear-jerker ending where Leela discovers that the hooded strangers whom Leela thought killed her parents are her parents and the three tearfully reunite, followed by the montage showing that Leela's parents were always with her, even if they couldn't show their face above ground.
  • Series Continuity Error: Despite the Cookieville Minimum Security Orphanarium being renamed to "Bender B. Rodriquez Orphanarium" in "The Cyber House Rules", in this episode, the Orphanarium reverted back to its original name with no explanation.
    • Then again, this is Bender we're talking about; is it that hard to imagine he did something in the intervening time that prompted the Orphanarium to sever all official ties to him?
  • Shout-Out: Bender is hired to clean up garbage from the third Free Willy film set (an orca corpse).
  • Stalker Shrine: The Leela-themed shrine Leela finds in the sewers. It's less creepy because her parents made it as a means of keeping track of their daughter.
  • Take That!: Leela, on finding the aforementioned shrine, asks if she's an "even more boring version of The Truman Show."
  • Tempting Fate: Bender doesn't fear retribution from the mutants, because the mutants are forbidden from going street-level. The pavement then gives way under his feet.
  • Was Once a Man: Leela takes a plunge into the mutagenic lake, fully expecting it to mutate her; she emerges with what appears to be an octopus head, only for her to immediately turn out to be fine, just confused.
    Leela: Hey, the lake didn't mutate me. What is going on here?
    Octopus: (in gruff voice) It worked for me. I used to be a little blonde girl named Virginia.
  • Wham Episode: Leela finally finds out who she is, and we meet her parents.
  • Wham Shot: Leela is wondering if her parents are looking down on her from some distant planet. The camera pans upward to the night sky... then quickly pans down again, past Leela and Fry, to settle on a man and a woman with purple hair and one eye identical to Leela's looking up at her from a sewer grate.