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Recap / Futurama S 7 E 20 Calculon 2 Point 0

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Calculon (who died in "The Thief of Baghead" and lost to Langdon Cobb) is backed-up and put back into his old body so he can return to All My Circuits, only to learn that his over-the-top acting is over-the-hill.

Tropes

  • Call-Back: To "The Thief of Baghead", where Calculon killed himself in a failed attempt to win an acting competition by making a death scene more realistic a year prior.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Leela gives an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech to break Calculon's ego and have him act without the ham.
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  • The Diva: Even as a minor character, Calculon demands extravagant perks.
  • Dull Surprise: Compared to Calculon's Large Ham acting, Vaxtron's acting is more laid back and not as emotional.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Robot Devil can't stand Calculon's one-man show, which has been received poorly on Earth, and thinks that's too much for the robots suffering in Robot Hell.
    Calculon: So, what do you say, R.D.? Shall I dazzle the damned with a command performance of my one-man show?
    Robot Devil: (aghast) Oh, God! Haven't they suffered enough!?
  • Heel Realization: Calculon's scene parallels Calculon finding out what people really thought of him.
    Monique: Oh, Calculon, I wish you had never escaped from those brutal crab fishermen. I want you to know I didn't wait for you, not even for one day.
    Calculon: Then I suppose the honorable thing would be to kill myself. I thought I could just step back into my old life. But it seems the world got on fine without me. Maybe even a little bit better. The name Calculon used to mean something. Now it's a stain that will never wash clean. Farewell.
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  • Killed Off for Real: After being brought back to life and doing a spectacular job at acting out an All My Circuits scene where his long-lost character commits suicide, Calculon gets accidentally squished by the studio equipment.
  • Large Ham: Calculon's Kryptonite, along with his ego.
  • Magic from Technology: Downloading a robot's AI into its old body is disturbingly reminiscent of a necromancy ritual. It involves placing the body within a pentagram of wireless hubs, playing the installation disk backwards (which plays the message "Rise from the dead in the name of Satan") and taking a spare circuit board from a sacrificed robot goat. Hermes lampshades the entire process.
    Hermes: Seriously, this could not seem less scientific!
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Calculon's disguise as "Mr. Ben Derisgreat" only consists of a mustache and an extra robot ear.
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  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    Leela: I'm sorry, Calculon, but someone needs to remind you of the truth. You're a grade-B actor who died and was immediately forgotten... You're nothing but a pompous windbag who lost touch with genuine emotion years ago. The sad fact is, we should have left you dead, because you can't possibly do a scene like this.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Vaxtron is this for Calculon in All My Circuits.
  • Running Gag: Calculon's dramatic... PAUSE!
  • Seasonal Rot: In-universe, opinions are split on Vaxtron being introduced as Calculon's replacement. Leela likes Vaxtron's acting more than Calculon's, but Fry and Bender dislike him, saying that he is the reason the show is terrible now.
  • Shout-Out: Calculon's one man show is about the HAL-9000, in the style of Hal Holbrook's Mark Twain one man show.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Calculon's Heel Realization is that he wasn't that important in the grand scheme of things.
  • Tempting Fate: Calculon on his HAL-9000 one man show's reviews:
    Calculon: Oh, yeah, I get a good feeling about these. "Worst play in history." "Calculon dies for second time." "Theater to be demolished to remove stink of new show." "12 hospitalized for boredom at play." It says nine of them are gonna be okay. So they really didn't like it. They hated my acting. Not entirely. I mean, "Worst play in history"-- there's some ambiguity there.

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