The Bots and the Bees
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|Season 7 episode|
Broadcast season 9 episode
|The Bots and the Bees|
|Written by||Eric Horsted|
|Directed by||Stephen Sandoval|
|Title caption||"Not sure if new episode or just rerun of episode I watched drunk"|
|First air date||20 June, 2012|
|Title reference||The phrase "the birds and the bees"|
|Special guest(s)||Wanda Sykes|
"The Bots and the Bees" is the one hundred and fifteenth episode of Futurama, the first of the seventh production season and the first of the ninth broadcast season. It aired on 20 June, 2012, on Comedy Central. It guest-stars Wanda Sykes as Bev. Planet Express gets a new soda machine and Bender impregnates it.
Act I: "You have the nerve to call yourself a beverage machine?"
Professor Farnsworth sends a signal to the Planet Express crew, and they all rush to the Planet Express building - including Fry, Leela and Bender, who are on the ship being attacked by a giant space spider. After all of the crew have arrived, Farnsworth announces that the company has acquired a new soda machine. The crew are all overjoyed at this, and Fry quickly seizes the opportunity to purchase large amounts of Slurm Loco. Bender asks the machine, who is sentient, if any alcohol is available. When she explains to Bender that people are not supposed to drink alcohol at work, Bender mocks her. Introducing herself as Bev, she takes the opportunity to mock him back. Later that day, Fry continues to drink large amounts of Slurm Loco, announcing that his urine has turned green. Meanwhile, Bender and Bev continue to trade insults, culminating in Bev criticizing his "shriveled up antenna."
Later that night, Bender is drinking at the Hip Joint, where he picks up Ruth and Esther. They attempt to have an orgy later at the Planet Express building, but are disturbed by Fry, who due to drinking too much Slurm Loco, is glowing green. Bender then kicks Fry out. Ruth and Esther ask for some drinks, but Bev refuses to make them anything. The two then mock Bev, angering her and causing her to spray soda water over them. When Bender does nothing but take photographs of them being sprayed, Ruth and Esther promptly leave. Angry that his hookers have left, Bev and Bender begin to fight with each other. However, when Bev starts to repeatedly push him against the wall, the fighting turns into sex.
The next day, Bev is pouring some Slurm Loco into Fry's cup when a baby falls out. The crew inspect the baby and discover that it resembles Bender. Bender flatly denies that he is the father of the child, until the baby utters "Wipe my tiny metal ass!"
Act II: "I'm gonna call him Ben. After the first half of me, Bender!"
As Bev nurtures the child, Bender worries over his new fatherhood. When he questions how he became a father, Amy asks if his mother ever taught him about robot reproduction. When Bender reveals that his mother never taught him about robot reproduction due to her religious fundamentalism (also she had no mouth), the crew take Bender to The Rosie D. and Robbie T. Robot Teen Center "to learn about the bots and the bees". At the center, he and some teen robots watch the sex educational film Pants Full of Shame. When Bender continues to worry, Leela assures him that Bev will gain custody of the child and that all will be back to normal. Back at the Planet Express building, Bender presents Bev with a certificate of abandonment. Bev, however, refuses to take the child, stressed out over her responsibilities as a mother. She leaves Bender with the child and takes off.
Later that night at Apartment 00100100, Bender stresses himself out trying to take care of the child. When he bends a lamp post in frustration, however, he realizes the child takes delight in seeing him bend. Forming a bond over their mutual like of bending, Bender decides to name the child Ben. They spend some father-and-son time together through a series of robberies. At the Planet Express building, Bender continues to bend things for Ben, who has noticeably aged. When Bender gives Ben some "training girders", however, Ben fails to bend them. Bender, however, assures Ben that he will be able to bend. Bender reveals that the reason he is so skilled at bending is because he inherited his arm control software from his mother. This dismays Ben, as he realizes that his mother had no arms, so he has no software to inherit. Bender's second suggestion of having a bending card installed is quickly turned down after Farnsworth, upon inspecting Ben's head, discovers that there are no additional expansion slots for the bending card. Bender, however, is still convinced that his son will learn to bend somehow.
At the Temple of Robotology, Ben, who is now 13 days old, is about to be upgraded to a Manbot. Ben gives a speech, where he thanks his father and expresses his dreams of "becoming a bender" just like him. The ceremony, however, is interrupted when Bev shows up to reclaim her son.
Act III: "I'd sacrifice any four of you if it would help him bend even a little!"
Bender refuses to give custody of Ben to Bev, pointing out that she is an unfit parent who abandoned her child. Bev, however, points out that Bender tried to abandon Ben first, showing the certificate of abandonment that Bender gave her earlier, and promptly whisks Ben away. At the Planet Express building, Bender laments that Ben is gone, and that all he has to remember him is a box of his toys. He asks Fry to help him move the box, but Fry's radioactive skin accidentally causes the box and its contents to crumble to dust. The crew shun him and tell him to get out until he becomes useful.
Later that night, Bender arrives to rescue Ben from Bev's trailer at Basura Blanca Trailer Estates. However, they later find themselves being chased by Smitty and URL on the grounds of kidnapping. Bender attempts to bend the blades of their chopper to let him and his son escape, but he fails and instead finds his arms badly mangled and unable to bend anything. They come across a dead end at a dam, but can escape if Ben can bend a nearby set of steel bars. Ben agonizingly tries to bend the bars, but still fails. Smitty and URL catch up with the two, and Bender is handcuffed. Later, Leela and Bev show up at the scene. Leela scolds Bev for her cruel behavior, and buys a drink from her so that she can throw it in her face. When the drink is being poured out, however, another baby falls out. This baby resembles URL, and Leela realizes that Bev must have had sex with URL while he and Smitty were looking for Ben. Bev decides to allow Bender to keep Ben, as she is content with having URL's child to neglect.
At the Planet Express building, Bender throws a "welcome home" party for Ben, but Ben is still disappointed that he is unable to bend. Bender ponders over how Ben can bend, and Farnsworth offers a suggestion - installing a bending card into Ben. For this to happen, however, Ben must have his memory card removed, and consequently lose all his memories of Bender. At Ben's surgery, a tearful Bender asks Ben a final time if he really wants to bend, and Ben replies affirmatively. Bender allows the surgery to go on, wanting Ben to be happy. After the surgery, Ben is finally able to bend - but he has lost all his memories of Bender and the times he had with him. Ben states his desire to enroll at the Bending State University, Santa Cruz, but they have only one hour to enroll before registration closes. The crew rush to get Ben to the university, but during their trip extremely thick fog gets in their way, and they are unable to navigate. Fry, however, comes to the rescue, and the crew uses his glowing body to navigate across the fog. Fry gets struck by lightning during the trip, and Ben and Bender share a laugh together as they head to the university.
On 20 December 2011, Volume 6 was released and, with it, a part of the animatic for the "The Bots and the Bees" was also released, hinting that "The Bots and the Bees" was 7ACV01. In 2012, a few revelations concerning the episode were made. On 25 January, Eric Rogers revealed that the episode would air in June. On the next day, he revealed that the production team had just seen the first full-color animation for the episode, calling it, "Un. Be. Lievable." On the day after that, Aimee Steinberger revealed that the full-color animation had been screened on the Fox lot, that it received "lots of yays", that she could not go due to her work on "7ACV14", that she watched it nonetheless and that she found it "lovely". On 18 February, Eric Rogers revealed that the episode "Probably" was titled "The Bots and the Bees". On 29 February, CGEF confirmed that it was and revealed its writer to be Eric Horsted and its director to be Stephen Sandoval. On 25 April, MSN TV revealed the episode's air date. On 3 May, Aimee Steinberger revealed that the episode was one of those which she had worked on.
In May, Countdown to Futurama began releasing promotional material for the episode. It has so far released ten items: A version of the part of the animatic for the episode released with Volume 6 in color, but smaller and with different music, on 1 May, two character designs for the new character Bev on 2 May, a character design for an alien pet on 3 May, two promotional pictures on 4 May, two more character designs, the first for an aging Ben and the second for both Bender and Ben, on 5 May, part of the storyboard showing the portion of the part of the animatic for the episode released with Volume 6 where Bender helps Ben rob the Bank of NNY on 6 May and part of the storyboard showing Fry and Bender cheer up Ben on 7 May.
Comedy Central's website released two other promotional pictures, the first showing Bender and Ben in a scene from the animatic and the second showing Bev, Bender and Ben in the Planet Express employee lounge.
South Coast Today published an article about the Futurama season premiere on 16 June, revealing certain details about the episode. Entertainment Weekly released another preview clip of the episode on 18 June.
In 2012, the episode was praised twice. On 30 January, Eric Rogers revealed that his favourite episode from the ninth broadcast season was either this one, "A Farewell to Arms" or "31st Century Fox". On 3 May, Aimee Steinberger said that Wanda Sykes - who Countdown to Futurama, on the previous day, revealed would voice Bev - "[had done] a great job on Bev's voice". Talking about the casting of Sykes, David X. Cohen stated: "We needed somebody who had kind of a, uh, forceful personality, who is very funny but also kind of forceful to stand up to Bender in their love scenes." Brittany Frederick of Starpulse gave the episode a positive review, writing: "This may be one of Futurama's best episodes, because it's another episode that is as moving as it is funny. The show has the ability to be both hilarious and genuinely affecting, such as in the tear-jerking story of Seymour, Fry's dog, in "Jurassic Bark". Likewise, your eyes won't be dry at the end of 'The Bots and the Bees.' If you don't get choked up by what happens to Ben, you should check yourself for a pulse."
- The word "headquarters" was not used for referring to the headquarters of Planet Express until this episode. (It was, however, used in an Easter egg in Volume One.)
- BoozMart, the market which Bender and Ben rob, was originally called "Liquors" - according to the animatic. Its final name was first seen in the video released by Countdown to Futurama.
- During the premiere, Wanda Sykes was not credited. Also, despite having his name in the credits, Maurice LaMarche did not provide any character voices for this episode.
- Bender denying that he is Ben's father and Ben saying Bender's catchphrase is similar to the Family Guy episode "Quagmire's Baby", where Peter doubts that the baby left on Quagmire's doorstep is his and then she says, "Giggity".
- This marks the first time that Preacherbot is referred to by name on the show, not counting the deleted scene in "Xmas Story".
- The name he is referred to is "Preacher-bot," the only time he is referred to as "Lionel" is in the deleted scene.
- "Basura Blanca" is Spanish for "White Trash".
- The robot arm seen in the sex-ed video looks so much like Bender's mother, it might be her.
- This episode marks the second time Fry has gained superpowers by drinking too much of a cheap beverage - the first time being when he gained super-speed after drinking a hundred coffees in "Three Hundred Big Boys".
- The question raised by the writers of where so many seemingly useless robots were coming from has been answered. They do indeed create new robots, even ones that now have no actual job.
- On Netflix, as of 18 August, 2014, the cropped standard definition version of this episode is only available for streaming.
- Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.
- The episode's title is a reference to the phrase "the birds and the bees".
- The caption is a reference to the Fry internet meme, which was also used in the promos for the new season.
- Slurm Loco may be a parody on the real drink Four Loko.
- Bev calls herself a "coal grinder's daughter". This is a reference to the Loretta Lynn song "Coal Miner's Daughter".
- Leela tells Fry that he is "glowing like the Human Torch on prom night." The Human Torch is a superhero who can engulf his entire body in flames.
- Amy compares Fry to a lighthouse by asking him if he shouldn't be standing on a rocky coast somewhere preventing shipwrecks, which is an allusion to the They Might Be Giants song Birdhouse in Your Soul.
- Fry's lighting up the fog at the end of the episode is an allusion to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
- The sign at the Temple of Robotology wishes a "Happy ln(bΩmer)." Replacing "ln()" with "log" and "Ω" with "ohm", this is an allusion to the Jewish holiday Lag BaOmer.
- Fry's line "Shut up and give me a Slurm Loco" is a reference to another internet meme which originates from a similar line from "Attack of the Killer App".
- Fry urinating in green color due to excessive drinking of Slurm Loco is possibly a reference to 2008 film Role Models, starring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott, where the two main characters were seen urinating in green color due to extreme intake of an energy drink they were advertising in multiple schools.
Farnsworth: I hate to crush a boy's dreams, but... [upbeat] What the heck!
Bender: Awh, I'm gonna call him Ben, after the first half of me, Bender!
[Ben lets out a small, flaming burp.]
Bender: That's my bastard!
Farnsworth: He has only one expansion slot, and it holds his memory card! This robot will never bend.
Bender: Don't tell my son what he can and can't do. You may know what's in his head, but you don't know what's in his heart!
[The Professor opens Ben's chest compartment and looks inside.]
Farnsworth: There's no slot in there either.
Bender: I said shut up!
Hermes: That's it, Fry! For a guy who's not too bright, you're too damn bright!
Bender: There's a dam!
Bender: There's a grate!
- In this episode, it is apparent that Bender does not know how "robot reproduction" works. However, in The Beast with a Billion Backs, Bender makes a deal with the Robot Devil, trading his own first born for the devil's Army of the Damned. Additionally, he was shown having sex with the satellite dish in "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela". Indeed, he seems to be completely unaware of robot sex in the first place, even though he's dealt with many a hookerbot before, and in "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?", he states that human reproduction (or, as he calls it, "shooting DNA at each other to make babies") is disgusting.
- It is possible that Bender meant he does not know how robot babies are 'born'. As with humans, being able to have sex doesn't necessarily yield any knowledge of reproduction. As for the first-born son that Bender took to the Robot Devil, that may have been just a random kid-bot who thought Bender was his long-lost father and Bender was evil enough to play along with it.
- Once again, Hermes' shirt buttons disappear at one point.
- Fry's glowing causes him to burn objects, and melt metal, but it doesn't burn the ropes that hold him to the ship or damage the floor, his couch, or even his clothes.
- It's possible that these effects of drinking too much Slurm Loco are only temporary. The glowing seems to be the main side effect.
- That still doesn't explain why it doesn't burn his clothes, which he was wearing when the side effect was occuring.
- Tinny Tim is seen at the robot teen club, but he has previously been refered to as a child, not a teenager.
- He is intended to be around the same age as his friends Cubert and Dwight, roughly 13. In most cultures teenagers are seen as children, particularly those in their early teens.
- When being attacked by the space spider, the ship is wrecked, when they get back to Planet Express, it's back to normal.
- In this episode, to make Ben bend objects, his memory card is removed and replaced with another card. However, in "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", it is revealed that a robot's brain, including his memory, is on a floppy disk in the back of his head. The memory card in robots may be used as an alternative to the brain, or a backup.
- Ben can either have a memory card or a bending card, and according to the ending he opts for the bending card. Without a memory card, how does he make memories from that point forward?
- Debut: Alien pet
- Barbados Slim
- Debut: Ben
- Bender's mother (mentioned in speech only)
- Debut: Bev
- Debut: Bev and URL's child
- C-3PO look-alike (cameo, unknown moment)
- Calculon (as All My Circuits counterpart)
- Documentary narrator
- Professor Farnsworth
- Debut: Francine
- Debut: Francine and Gerald's child
- Debut: Gerald
- Debut: Giant space spider
- Masked Unit
- Monique (as All My Circuits counterpart)
- Promiscuous Ladybot
- Queen of Yonkers
- Randy Munchnik
- Reverend Lionel Preacherbot
- Spotty Teen Robot
- Tinny Tim
- ^ a b Matt Tobey (01 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Here’s Your First Look at the Season Premiere! (Video). (Comedy Central Insider.) Retrieved on 01 May 2012.
- ^ 20th Century Fox (25 December 2011). Futurama Bots and The Bees Sneak Preview. (YouTube.) Retrieved on 01 March 2012.
- ^ Eric Rogers (25 January 2012). Kitchelfilms. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 26 January 2012.
- ^ Eric Rogers (26 January 2012). Kitchelfilms. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 26 January 2012.
- ^ Aimee Steinberger (27 January 2012). aimeekitty. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 27 January 2012.
- ^ Aimee Steinberger (27 January 2012). aimeekitty. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 27 January 2012.
- ^ Eric Rogers (18 February 2012). Kitchelfilms. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 18 February 2012.
- ^ Episode Guide: 7 ACV. (CGEF.) 29 February 2012. Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ "Just Fan" (29 February 2012). "Futurama: Futurama News (pre-season 7)". (PEEL.) Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ Futurama - Episode Guide. (MSN TV.) Retrieved on 26 April 2012.
- ^ a b Aimee Steinberger (03 May 2012). aimeekitty. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 03 May 2012.
- ^ a b Matt Tobey (02 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Bev Character Design. (Comedy Centrl [sic].) Retrieved on 02 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (03 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Alien Pet Design. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 03 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (04 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Glowing Fry and Wrecked Cockpit Stills. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 04 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (05 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Ben Aging and Bender Bike Sketches. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 05 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (06 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Ben and the Bank Storyboard. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 06 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (07 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama Bonus: Cheering Up Ben Storyboard. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 07 May 2012.
- ^ Michelle Rosenblatt. Comedy Central Press | Futurama. (Comedy Central.) Retrieved on 05 June 2012.
- ^ DeArruda, James (16 June 2023). Spoiler alert!: Season premiere of 'Futurama' delivers just what the doctor ordered. Retrieved on 19 June 2023.
- ^ Snierson, Dan (18 June 2023). "'Futurama': Bender impregnates a soda machine! -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO". EW.com. Retrieved on 18 June 2023.
- ^ Eric Rogers (30 January 2012). Kitchelfilms. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 31 January 2012.
- ^ Comedy Central (06 May 2011). iTunes - Podcasts - Futurama: Countdown to Futurama by Comedy Central. (iTunes Store.) Retrieved on 10 May 2011.
- ^ Frederick, Brittany (13 June 2011). "'Futurama' Season 7 Premiere Advance Review: Is Bender The Father?". Starpulse. Retrieved on 14 June 2011.