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Recap / Futurama S 4 E 5 A Taste Of Freedom

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It's Freedom Day, the day when everyone on Earth celebrates their freedom by doing whatever they feel like. (Like how Bender does every day.) However, Zoidberg goes a little too far and eats Earth's flag, becoming the most hated being on the planet!

Tropes

  • Abusive Parent: Zoidberg's mother (or mother figure, considering how Decapodian mating works) browbeat him into giving up his dreams of being a comedian in favor of a doctor.
    • And then she berates him for giving up on his dreams of being a comedian when goes to medical school.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Bender notes that court can be this when it's not his ass on the line.
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  • Affably Evil: The Pain Monster, a large, clawed monster of some kind, who people who don't pay their taxes have to spend time with, is a pretty cheerful sounding monster, who looks forward to seeing his victims after April 15th.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Every Decapodian we see acts like this.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Nixon mentions sex-monitoring chips are implanted in peoples' hands. But they have the freedom to choose which hand.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Old Man Waterfall's Straw Feminist great-granddaughter who comes to his aid after he's crushed will have quite a big role later.
  • Child Soldiers: Linda mentions that the Freedom Day parade has men, women and children in uniform.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Neutral Planet embassy appears. Fittingly, it's a dull grey block.
    • As does the Harlem Globetrotters. Two of its staff are practicing outside.
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    • Zoidberg mentions "2 of my 3 hearts are having attacks!" in court. He had four, but it was removed during the crews trip to Roswell.
  • Cool Old Guy: Old Man Waterfall, a veteran of two-dozen wars, and lawyer. He's also a Satanist and a bisexual polygamist, neither of which endear him to the citizens of Earth.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The Clinton and Washington Monuments. The Clinton one is much larger than Washington's. Word of God is that this is a deliberate one.
    • Also, the Clinton Monument gets its tip cut off by the Decopodians (who are Ambiguously Jewish) during their invasion.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Subverted: the Decopodians conquer Earth easily, but after their invasion fleet is dismissed for the Mobile Oppression Palace, Earth regains its freedom when the MOP is destroyed.
  • Exact Words: In the 31st century, people are free not to pay their taxes... but if they don't, they have to spend a weekend with the Pain Monster.
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  • Fanservice: Naked Amy and Leela and nude hot-tubbing. As Fry so ably puts it, that's all he needs to know about Freedom Day.
  • Here We Go Again!: At the end of the episode, Zoidberg wonders what the Shroud of Turin tastes like...
  • Hugh Mann: The trope namer infiltrates the Nimbus. Zapp Brannigan, of course, fails to see through the ruse.
  • Hypocritical Humor: A man graffiting "Earth sucks" on a mailbox immediately and angrily recognizes Zoidberg as the guy who desecrated the Earthican flag.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: The thing that pushes Zoidberg to betray the Decopodians is them crushing Old Man Waterfall and saying "you're welcome".
  • Monumental Damage: The Clinton Monument (located adjacent to the Washington Monument) gets cut in half by the Decapodian Fleet.
  • Noodle Incident: Old Man Waterfall mentions numerous military conflicts he took part in, like taking back Haley's Comet.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • Whatever it is that's under Morbo's shirt is enough for the normally unflappable Linda to scream in horror.
    • What it is the Pain Monster does to people who choose not to pay their taxes.
  • Ow, My Body Part!: A less physical example:
    Old Man Waterfall: Do your worst, you sea devils! I'll make my stand with Ol' Freebie! You can crush me, but you can't crush my spirit! [Gets crushed] My spirit!
  • Product Placement: In-universe, Nixon's Freedom Day speech is littered with it, such as Shankman's Rubbing Lotion and Charleston Chew candy (the latter of which is a real candy).
  • Running Gag: Old Man Waterfall being increasingly booed by people.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While running from the angry mob, Zoidberg passes by a Klingon Embassy. And yet it's bright pink and frilly (the reason being is because it was originally going to be the Barbie Dreamhouse Embassy, but Mattel didn't want them to use the reference).
    • A subverted one to Independence Day, when Leela declares "today is the day we fight back", only for Bender to inform her it's almost midnight. She amends her statement to "tomorrow is the day we fight back".
  • Skewed Priorities: Zoidberg complains about the lack of marshmallows at the embassy.
  • Take That!: President Nixon knows a place where the Earth Constitution "doesn't mean squat"-the Supreme Court.
  • Tempting Fate: Zoidberg in court after he refuses to make a public apology.
    Zoidberg: Do your worst, because no punishment could be worse than denying me my freedom!
    Chief Justice Myrtle Fu: You are hereby sentenced to death.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Old Man gets crushed by the Mobile Oppression Palace. His granddaughter Frieda appears briefly to mourn his death, continuing the tradition.
  • Values Dissonance: In-Universe: The crowd boos Old Man Waterfall having a boyfriend just as hard as him being polygamous and a satanist.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The Pain Monster sounds surprisingly human. And good-natured.

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