Hell Is Other Robots
|Navigation in production order
|Season 1 episode
|Hell Is Other Robots
|Condemned by the Space Pope
|First air date
|18 May, 1999
|The line "Hell is other people" from the play No Exit
|"Betty Boop and Grampy"
- "9" redirects here. For the character, see Nine.
"Hell Is Other Robots" is the ninth episode of Futurama, the ninth of the first production season and the ninth and last of the first broadcast season. It aired on 18 May, 1999, on Fox. It guest-stars Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "King Ad-Rock" Horovitz from the Beastie Boys as themselves in jars, as well as Dan Castellaneta as the Robot Devil. Bender becomes obsessed with electricity, abusing it like a drug. After discontent from his friends, he joins Robotology to purify himself, but his new extremes of sanctity grow into a major irritation for his friends, who decide to make him sin and return to his old self. Quitting Robotology causes him to end up in Robot Hell, and he has to be rescued.
Act I: I've been waiting a thousand years to see a Beastie Boys show!
Fry, Leela and Bender go to a Beastie Boys concert at Madison Cube Garden. Bender runs into Fender, an old friend who is now working for the band. After Fender gets Bender and company back-stage, he takes Bender to a party where robots are abusing electricity, or "jacking on." Bender quickly becomes addicted, and although his coworkers notice his strange behaviour, they can't identify the cause.
However, on a delivery, Bender begins to suffer withdrawal, and takes advantage of a nearby electrical storm in space to get a hit; as a result, the ship is destroyed, and his addiction is exposed. Confronted with the severity of his problem, Bender takes to wandering the streets, until he finds a Temple of Robotology that inspires him to give up his sinful ways.
Act II: And as a further cost-cutting measure, I have eliminated the salt water cooler
Bender comes to work whistling a happy tune, and tells his friends about his new-found religion. Everyone is shocked and suspicious, but it quickly becomes apparent that Bender is being sincere. At first they support his decision, but his new personality soon becomes irritating: he drags them to his baptism, utters long-winded prayers over dinner, and lets his religion take over every aspect of his life.
In an attempt to return Bender to his old self, Fry and Leela take him to Atlantic City and tempt him with liquor, robbery, and cheap Hookerbots. His resistance to temptation quickly fails, and he abandons his religion for his former debauchery. But the same night, while he seduces a group of fembots in a Jacuzzi at the Trump Trapezoid Hotel, the Robot Devil arrives and takes him to Robot Hell.
Act III: What in Hell happened to Bender?
Fry and Leela find Bender missing, but luckily Nibbler finds and then follows his trail. It leads to an abandoned amusement park called Reckless Ted's Funland in New Jersey, where a fun house mirror is a doorway into an "actual, factual Robot Hell." Meanwhile, the Robot Devil explains to Bender that punishment for sin is something he accepted when he was baptized, and now he must face the consequences, which are all demonstrated for him in an elaborate musical tour of the different levels of hell. When Fry and Leela find them, they have one chance: the Fairness in Hell Act of 2275 states that they can reclaim Bender's soul if they best the Robot Devil in a fiddle contest. Leela volunteers for the contest, but having no musical ability to compete with the Robot Devil's incredible talent, she simply beats him with the gold fiddle. As the three of them escape, Bender steals a pair of wings and is shot with a golden halo, becoming an angel to save his friends' lives, and resolving from then on to always be himself.
- This is one among few Futurama media featuring its title.
- During the musical scene, Bender is strapped to a roulette wheel with different methods of cooking on it, intended to simulate the smell of cigars. Various spaces on the wheel say Parboil, Fricassee, Sauté, Pleasant Massage, Deep-Fry, Bake.
- The golden fiddle is a reference to the song The Devil Went Down to Georgia.
- The song the Robot Devil plays on the golden fiddle is "The Dance of the Goblins" by Antonio Bazzini.
- Preacherbot's cleric bears a strong resemblance to Humorbot 5.0, who appears a couple seasons later.
- You can actually see a crate with the label "Robot Legs and Thighs" beside the meeting table after Bender was unstuck from the ship.
- The rear airlock of the Planet Express Ship has an outer 'suicide door'.
- The jokes poking fun at New Jersey in the episode are due to the fact that co-creator David X. Cohen and voice actor John DiMaggio both grew up there.
- According to the song, there are at least 6 levels of hell (though they aren't visited in order), because after the 5th level, they took the elevator down once more. The song was written to include all levels, but was cut down for time, thus skipping two levels. Hell having several levels is a reference to the 9 circles of hell in the Divine Comedy by Dante.
- Dan Castellaneta has his own head in a jar in this episode, in reference to the fact that he guest stars as the Robot Devil.
- This episode is one of four featured in the Monster Robot Maniac Fun Collection, reflecting its popularity with both fans and the creators of Futurama.
- There are 3 points in this episode where Bender appears golden (just like his parallel self): once when he opens the door to reveal the Robot Devil, and twice during the song performance in Robot Hell.
- Ad-Rock says to Fry that, by 3000, the Beastie Boys had seven albums (the five pre-2000 albums owned by Fry - Licensed to Ill, Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty - , plus two more released after). This line has been disproven in real life, as they have surpassed that mark with their eighth album, 2011's Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2.
- In 2009, the Beastie Boys released a song called "Too Many Rappers". In the song, there is a line where it is said that they will be rapping "until the year 3000 and beyond". (Click here for the lyrics.) This is likely a reference to Futurama.
- The symbol for the Church of Robotology welded onto Bender is the schematic for a resistor - presumably a reminder to "resist" the temptations of sin. The symbol also translates as the letter "G" in AL1
- The waiter that serves the crew when Bender takes them out to lunch has a beard similar to that of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.
- Bender is not dead when he is taken to Robot Hell and he is able to escape.
- Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.
- The episode's name is a reference to a line in the famous French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre's one-act play No Exit: "l'enfer, c'est les autres", which is usually translated to hell is other people.
- When the crew travel to Sicily 8, the mob planet, Fry receives the kiss of death. This is a reference to The Godfather Part II
- The Robotology preacher, who has his first appearance in this episode, is modelled after the reverend Jesse Jackson.
- Above the altar in Bender's baptism ceremony, there is a sign that reads: '10 SIN, 20 GOTO HELL' (image). This is a reference to the syntax used in the programming language BASIC, where you put a line number on the left and a line of code on the right. In other words, it's a very basic script that says that if you sin, you go to Hell.
- Professor Farnsworth refers to Oprahism as a current mainstream religion. This is a clear allusion to Oprah Winfrey, the TV superstar and richest woman in the world.
- Hookerbot 5000 is a reference to Late Night with Conan O'Brien's Pimpbot5000. Pimpbot5000 is described as "combining the classic styling of a 1950s robot with the dynamic flair of a 1970s street pimp".
- In Atlantic City, Bender stays in a hotel called Trump Trapezoid (image). This is an allusion to the Trump Organization and its famous hotels.
- Fry's line "Tonight, we're gonna party like its 1999" is from the Prince song 1999.
- When Fry and Leela open the door to Robot Hell, in the bottom right side of the screen there is a heart with an arrow through etched on the wall, reading "H.S 4 M.B", meaning Homer Simpson 4 Marge Bouvier, from The Simpsons (image).
- When Fry talks about seeing an "actual, factual" Hell. In the Berenstain Bears books and series there is an Actual Factual Bear who dispenses educational titbits
- Robot Hell is reminiscent of the robot holding area in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi when C-3PO and R2-D2 are in Jabba's palace and see several droids being tortured.
- The part where Bender is forced to sit in the Comfy Chair and take pleasant massages is a play on the Spanish Inquisition skit from Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- The style of the song and the visuals accompanying it reflect the old Betty Boop cartoons that featured swing numbers by Cab Calloway, with demonic imagery flying behind him.
- Robot Hell having several levels is a reference to the 9 circles of hell in the Divine Comedy by Dante.
- The golden fiddle contest is a reference to the country song "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." In it, the song's subject must beat the devil in a golden fiddle contest, or lose his soul.
- The winged robots that attack Bender, Fry and Leela in Robot Hell are iron butterflies, referring to the psychedelic rock band Iron Butterfly.
- The hornets that shoot rings of lasers at the escaping Bender, Fry, and Leela are very similar to the robotic hornets located in the Asteroid Belt of Star Fox 64.
- The "Hallelujah" chorus is played during the crew's escape from Robot Hell.
- Bender rising from hell with a halo carrying Fry and Leela mirrors the final scene from the movie Barbarella, where the blind angel Pygar carries Barbarella and the Tyrant.
- A reference is made to the Coalsack Nebula, a nebula often mentioned in Star Trek.
- The Beastie Boys singing "That's what'cha, what'cha, whatch'a get on level 5" is likely a reference to their song "So What'cha Want".
- Fry's afro will appear again, although with a different look, in "Anthology of Interest I" as well as at the beginning of "Rebirth".
- Towards the end of the episode, Nibbler is left in Robot Hell while Fry, Bender and Leela escape. In the commentaries for the episode, David X. Cohen remarks that it is not until season 3 that the viewer learns how Nibbler escaped - it is hinted that he could escape by aid of the other Nibblonians or simply due to his intelligence that is revealed in later seasons.
- That or the Robot Devil threw him out for some reason, then Nibbler found his way home.
- Only Fry and Leela fell down the trap door into Robot Hell. Nibbler stays safely on ground level in The Inferno ride in Reckless Ted's Funland. So he didn't need to escape, only walk back home.
The Robot Hell Song
Bender: Oh, they're tormenting me with up-tempo singing and dancing!
Robot Devil: Sorry, but I hold all the cards here. There's nothing you can do. Now if you'll just sign this fiddle contest waiver...
Bender: Well, we're boned!
Bender: From now on, I'll just be me.
Leela: Umm, do you think you could be a little less evil than that?
Bender: I don't know. Do you think you could survive a seven hundred foot fall?
Fry: Heh heh, good ol' Bender.
Bender: Come on universe, you big mostly empty wuss, give me all the juice you got!
Leela: Bender, we didn't mind your drinking, or your kleptomania, or your pornography ring.
Zoidberg: In fact, that's why we loved you.
Leela: But this electricity abuse crossed the line. You almost killed us.
Fry: And you made me feel like a jerk for trusting you. Just like when my friend Richie swore he wasn't taking drugs, and then he sold me my mom's VCR, and then, later, I found out he was taking drugs. You make me ashamed to be your friend.
- When we first see the stage, there are three lights at the top: two to the left, one to the right. But after Fry says "these guys rock harder than ever", we see them again and there is one to the left and two to the right. Then the camera angle changes, and again we see two to the left and one to the right.
- Ad-Rock's 5-o'clock shadow disappears in his close-up.
- There seem to be many errors regarding the millennium clock outside Sparky's Den.
- "Millennium" is spelt wrong, with just one "n".
- It says it's 8:30 (and doesn't have a millennium count) when Bender says "I'll just be a minute"; four seconds later, it says it's 8:00 (and does have a millennium count). Fry also waits till 11:20.
- When Bender goes back to Sparky's Den that night, it says it's 7:25, and doesn't have a millennium count.
- It shows the Millennium indicator as being halfway between 3 and 4. If this were correct, this episode would take place around the year 3500, and not 3000 (depending how much the definition of "4th millennium" is nitpicked).
- Clocks can be wrong.
- When Bender is in the hot tub with the 3 fembots, you can see the green handles and faucet in the close up and they're all above Bender's "shoulders" but when it zooms out they're gone.
- From the back of the Robotology church, we see a door leading in to where the altar should be, but there is no door behind the altar.
- How can Bender label wine as "deliciously fortified" if he has no sense of taste?
- He may be able to sense and enjoy the higher alcohol content.
- There actually is no "Do Not Disturb" sign outside Bender's apartment (image). Either he's too drunk to realize this or someone outside swiped it off.
- When Bender bends the engines of the Planet Express ship, he bends it to the left, but when the ship is shown in the Planet Express building it is bent to the right.
- After Bender has redirected the ship into the electric storm, the engines are free to move again.
- Right after Bender hugs Fry, Amy doesn't have a hat. Earlier, she did, and she does again when they all cower (after Bender finishes his speech).
- Hermes is sitting next to Leela and Zoidberg at Elzar's Fine Cuisine, but when they all cower, he's sitting next to Amy and Fry.
- When we first see Bender at the Trump Trapezoid, the robot at his right has a towel hanging below her right arm; it disappears while the devil knocks the door. Also between these two shots, a beer can appears on the floor.
- When the devil knocks the door, there's a little refrigerator next to the door, with his door completely opened; when Bender goes to open the door of the room, the door of the refrigerator is a lot less opened, and its contents are slightly different; and they change again when the trident hits Bender.
- The Robot Devils wallet pocket is only seen once (when Bender steals from it) even when his backside is shown in before and after scenes.
- The robot preacher has to weld the Robotology symbol onto Bender's chest, but Bender later peels it off with no effort. This may be due to Bender's 'bending' skills.
- When Bender is putting the fish in the ship, he's on the fourth rung of the stair when Leela, Fry and Farnsworth approach him; but after a close-up of Leela, he's on the third.
- When the black-dressed guys take the heads and they start singing, we see two small speakers on the stage's floor that don't appear when the heads are getting carried to or out the stage.
- During the musical number, the Robot Devil pulls Bender's arm off and promptly kicks him down a hole. However when Bender lands his arm is still attached.
- Despite the battering it takes in the nebula, the ship is back in perfect shape in time for the trip to Atlantic City.
- Where did the diamond, cock and "indecent magazine" go? We see the elevator's floor when Bender is tossed out of it, and there's nothing there.
- The piece of land on which Leela and the Robot Devil perform their fiddle contest changes from a small platform to a huge valley.
- Hermes' electric bill graphic isn't exactly the same when we first see it and when he points to Zoidberg.
- The box with robot legs and arms is no longer there when Benders exits after saying "I'm a lost cause."
- Bender shows traits of which are uncharacteristic of a robot:
- He is ticklish.
- He crouches in the corner of the ship's cockpit biting his 'nails'.
- He also seems to have a 'scent' which Nibbler tracks.
- This 'scent' could be the alcohol and cigars that Bender uses. This would have been extinguished when he joined the Temple of Robotology, though probably gained back when he went to Atlantic City and the Trump Trapezoid. It states in the episode at that exact moment that it is the smell of "vodka and motor oil" so this isn't a goof.
- When Bender was rolled into a cigar, the animators didn't account for his body (image). The width of Bender's body versus his head is larger. But when in the cigar paper, his body (in the paper) was the same width as his head. This is mentioned in the second commentary.
- Bender gets a symbol welded on to his body. When he welds something on to the spaceship, the symbol disappears, but reappears in the next scene.
- When the Planet Express crew are talking to Bender about almost killing Fry and Leela, Fry isn't there in the room. A few seconds later, Fry has suddenly appeared to talk about how he found out his friend was taking drugs.
- When Fry, Bender and Leela are "assigned" to deliver a piece of wrapper to a mailbox, Leela takes Nibbler with her. A few seconds later, when Fry, Bender and Leela are in front of the robot strip joint, Nibbler is gone. Not even his leash is there.
- When Bender quit drinking in "I, Roommate" he developed a five o'clock rust, but here it has little effect on him. Though in "I, Roommate", Bender stopped drinking altogether, but in this episode, he had simply switched to mineral oil. Thus his alcohol level was maintained, just not in a 'sinful' way.
- The Robot Devil says Bender has a soul, but in "Xmas Story", we learn robots have no souls.
- When Leela and Fry are in Trump Trapezoid, the controls have swapped sides and there is one less button (image).
- In "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz" it is revealed that robots must keep their alcohol above a certain level, as they get arrested for not drinking enough. But here, Bender states he is quitting drinking. Isn't he worried he will malfunction and get arrested?
- He does refuse alcohol in favour of mineral oil at the meal at Elzar's, it is possible that mineral oil is used as an alcohol substitute for teetotal robots.
- After Fry and Leela slide down the slide there is one frame where Fry's eyes aren't colored in.
- For some reason, after Bender is deep-fried, he actually moves from Level 2 to Level 5, even though he had progressed from Level 1 to Level 2 initially.
- After he is smoked like a cigar and dropped down, that is the progression from level 1 to level 2. The missing two levels in between are due to cuts of the song to fit it into the episode.
- Near the end of the song, and while describing various tortures, the Robot Devil mentions electric slime. This really wouldn't work as a torture seeing as how Bender enjoys electricity.
- When the Robot Devil tries to persuade Fry and Leela to sign the fiddle contest waiver he is holding the waiver in his hand, but when the camera angle changes it has disappeared.
- Zoidberg is shown to be a salt water drinking animal when Hermes says, "I have also eliminated the salt water cooler," and Zoidberg replies, "This is a witch hunt!" However, he spat out salt water in "My Three Suns".
- In "My Three Suns", the salt water in question is actually "salt with water in it", as Bender made a dinner with extreme amounts of salt in that episode, so the water (made by Bender) would be unpalatable for anybody, even a salt water drinking Zoidberg.
- The episode says that Robotology regards drinking alcohol as a sin, but in "Xmas Story" Preacherbot is running the Liquor Kitchen.
- Preacherbot has often acted against the teachings of Robotology and even his own teachings, such as being a closeted robosexual and watching pornography.
- The "Good Book" (ver. 3.0) is on 3.5 floppy disk. In the present, Zip Disks are obsolete.
- Old technology does still get used, such as photographic film.
- Debut: Elzar's Fine Cuisine