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Recap / Futurama S 4 E 3 Love And Rocket

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Planet Express gets a contract with Romanticorp, and Fry decides to find the perfect expression of his feelings for Leela amid the thousands of tiny, candy hearts. Meanwhile, Bender starts dating the Planet Express ship's autopilot once it gets a female voice setting. When he grows bored and dumps her, the ship takes the breakup a bit too hard...


  • Bad Boss: The Professor takes a cattle-prod to the Romanticorp meeting, to make sure the crew, or more accurately Leela, don't scupper things. He even uses it on her twice.
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  • Blatant Lies:
    Planet Express Ship: I saw you last night with those two ladies of the evening, Explain that!
    Bender: Ok, I like a challenge. (Stops to think) Um... no... no... ah, I got it. I'm going to be completely honest with you, Planet Express Ship. Those women you saw me with were my accountants.
    PES: Your accountants...? Oh, I would dearly love to belive that were true.... so I do.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The woman testing the wire dummies. She's seen taking one out on a Valentine's Day date at the end.
    • The baby tapirs.
  • The Burlesque of Venus: Bender criticizes the ship's A.I.'s conservative opinions towards nudity by asking if he would censor the Venus de Venus, a painting depicting a Horrible Gelatinous Blob as Venus in a similar pose as from the Florencian painting, while being named after the sculpture Venus de Milo. The ship does not care much for it.
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  • The Bus Came Back: Lucy Liu has apparently been in Bender's chest the whole time.note 
  • Culture Clash: Lrr and Ndnd are utterly confused by Friends, wondering why Ross, as the largest, doesn't eat the others. Ndnd wonders if they're just saving that for Sweeps.
  • Cutting the Knot: By the end of the episode, Leela opts to just dump the candy heart cargo out into space instead of cleaning it up.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Teddy Bear "Hospital". Note that the quote marks are in the episode itself.
  • Epic Fail: The crew deliver candy hearts to the Omicronians on behalf of Earth as a sign of peace. The candy's taste and misspelled words cause the Omicronians to attack them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Bender and The Professor are visibly disturbed when they find out how the The Lovely Bears are made, while Amy thinks its adorable.
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  • Fanservice: Amy washes the ship... in a bikini!
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: When Fry tries to wash the ship, Bender shoves him away, but when Amy does it in a bikini, they watch approvingly.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Fry gives up his oxygen when he sees that Leela's has run out. She's able to resuscitate him afterward.
  • Hypocrite: Bender grumbles about Ship lying about her age to him. This is well after he's cheated on her.
  • It's All About Me: Bender refuses to risk merging programming with Ship because it might alter his programming.
    • Also when Leela assures Ship he's taking the breakup just as hard, cue a Gilligan Cut to Bender lying in his bunk, singing a song about how great he is.
  • Lemony Narrator: Zoidberg at the ending, why not?
  • Merger of Souls: Ship successfully merges her programming with Bender's in the end. Bender is unaware, and Fry and Leela have no intention of telling him.
  • Moment Killer: Doctor Zoidberg's gotten really good at this.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Bender times his dumping Ship perfectly (namely doing it when the Omicronions are trying to blow them all to bits). Making it worse is that Bender did it on purpose (apparently he likes dumping someone to be as memorable as possible).
    • Leela's attempts at advice are what prompts Ship to fly all three into a quasar.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Thanks to the big Romanticorp contract, the Professor is finally able to bring Planet Express Ship up to government standards, like fixing the cracks in the dark matter reactor, or caging up that lion that'd been running loose.
  • Not His Sled: When the episode recreates the "HAL reading lips" scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey, one key difference rears its head:
    Planet Express Ship: Oh, if only I could read lips.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Leela, to Fry, as he's trying to point out she's almost out of oxygen.
  • Older Than They Look: Bender angrily notes, on beginning the programming merge with Ship, that she's got tubes in her circuit board, having lied to him about her age.
  • Planet of Hats: Zoidberg mentions two gangster planets and a cowboy world as those vaporised by the candy hearts.
  • Poorly Timed Confession: Bender decides to break up with the ship while the crew is trying to escape from angry Omnicronians. The ship is so distraught she gets hit, leaving the crew stranded in space. Later, Bender said "the moment seemed right" and he likes his break-ups to be as devastating as possible.
  • Power of Love: Spoofed; When Leela dumps thousands of candy hearts into a quasar, it causes a 'love radiation' that destroys many planets, but inspires romance on Earth.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Ship, once she starts getting "a bit less rational" and devolves into Hulk Speech.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Bender's eyes flicker red when Ship starts speaking through him at the end.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Lovey Bears. A set of adorable stuffed animal toys, made by genetically engineering super-adorable little bears, raising them in a cutesy, loving environment, and then on their first birthday, finding the cutest, murdering them, and stuffing them full of fire-retardant fluff. Even Bender actually looks unnerved after learning this.
  • Shout-Out:
    • As they're fleeing the angry Omnicronians, Fry notes the shields are at "maximum yarnell." For those who don't get it, it's a reference to a husband/wife mime team, Robert Shields and Lorene Yarnell. You can read all about the duo here
    • The episode stops just short of being a Whole Plot Reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey but includes Tapirs merely for the reference, Bender and the Planet Express ship singing Daisy Bell, and the process for deactivating the Planet Express ship's autopilot is very similar to deactivating HAL.
      • A major difference from the film is when the trio hide in the ship's showers. We see them describing their plan inaudibly, with Ship watching, only for her to lament she can't tell what they're saying. The plan in 2001 went sour because Hal could read the crew's lips.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: The owners of Romanticorp are a married couple. The Professor has to repeatedly zap Leela with a cattle-prod to keep her from expressing her revulsion.
  • Smash Cut: After upsetting the Omicronians, the scene cuts to Fry, Bender and Leela escaping their fleet in the ship.
  • Stepford Smiler: Enforced by the Professor, who tells the crew that in order to get the Romanticorp contract they'll have to prove they're not "bitter husks of humanity who long ago abandoned hope of finding love in this lifetime", before expressly telling Leela she'll have to act.
  • Take That!:
    • Lrr and Ndn complain about Friends, and only bother seeing Planet Express because the episode they're watching is Joey-heavy.
    • On tasting the candy hearts, Lrr and Ndnd start gagging, declaring them "chalky and unpleasant".
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Ship gets increasingly irrational as Leela deactivates her.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At the end of the episode, Ship merges with Bender and walks away happily... which is never brought up again.
  • What Is This Emotion You Humans Call Wuv?:
    Lrr: Surely you mean "love"?
    Ndnd: No, "wuv", with an Earth "w". Behold!
    Lrr: This concept of wuv both confuses and infuriates us!!
  • Yandere: The ship goes a bit nuts when Bender breaks up with her. And by that we mean, "Flies the ship towards a quasar in order to be fused with Bender" nuts.


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