|Navigation in production order
|Navigation in broadcast order
|Season 2 episode
Broadcast season 3 episode
|Smell-O-Vision Users Insert Nose Tubes Now
|First air date
|5 November, 2000
|The Haunting and The Howling
|"Bold King Cole"
"The Honking" is the thirty-first episode of Futurama, the eighteenth of the second production season and the first of the third broadcast season. It aired on 5 November, 2000, on Fox. Bender becomes cursed to become a were-car and the crew must find the original were-car to cure him.
Act I: "Pardon me, my good simpleton..."
When Bender's Uncle Vladimir dies, the Planet Express crew go to the funeral at his castle in Thermostadt. Vladimir has left Bender the castle in his will, stipulating that he spend the night before receiving the castle. The castle is haunted by robot ghosts. After Bender runs scared from the castle, the Professor finds a logical explanation for the ghosts. Before Bender can be told this, he is run over by a car.
Act II: "You are a were-car!"
Bender has nightmares about the car. A car is seen chasing down some squatters. The next day, Bender awakens in Impound Lot 136 with no memory of the previous night and covered in transmission fluid. Bender seeks advice on the situation from the Gypsy and learns that he is now a were-car, doomed to become a car each night and eventually kill his best friend. He must kill the original were-car to remove the curse. Hoping to confine him, Leela and Fry weld Bender to the wall of his apartment then leave, Bender transforms and chases Leela. This upsets Fry, who takes it as a sign that Bender does not consider him his best friend (as the Gypsy warned them that Bender would ultimately kill his best friend under the curse).
Act III: "Many robots are stupid and violent."
Bender returns to normal and Fry tells him that he hurt his feelings. They attempt to track down the original were-car, with Fry still upset he's not Bender's best friend, and reach Calculon, who reveals his past as a construction robot in 2019 and tells them where to find the car, Project Satan. At the automotive lab, Bender transforms and tries to kill Fry, which cheers Fry up. Project Satan falls into an incinerator and melts to death, curing Bender.
- Headstones in the graveyard read:
- Blimf Hovermayor of Thermostadt "I Will Rise Again"
- THE RED LeBARON (a mixture of the WWI German pilot and the Chrysler produced automobile)
- Vladimir 2790-3001 Efficient Husband and Father.
- The numbers on the wall, 0101100101, equal the number 357 in binary. But in the mirror we see 1010011010, which is 666, which could mean Bender has Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, fear of the number 666. It should be noted that 666 is commonly referred to as the Number of the Beast and is associated with Satan.
- Calculon is over a thousand years old. He has been Acting Unit 0.8, Thespa-mat, David Duchovny, Calculon 1.0 (a robot construction arm) and others.
- This is the first time that Bender says "butt" instead of "ass". He uses it in a pun targeted at Calculon. He calls him Mac-butt (Very likely an allusion to Macbeth).
- For some reason, the airing of this episode on 20 October, 2012 on Sky1 had the subtitles for "Bender's Big Score Part 1". These subtitles disappeared during the first part of the episode, and returned during one of the adverts before Part Two of the episode. Then they disappeared again, returning and disappearing again during Part 2. The audio description was correct though, despite the Sky Guide listing for the episode noting that subtitles and audio description were not available for the showing of this episode. Online listings state that "Bender's Big Score Part 1" should have aired in this slot, Part 2 of the film in the next "Futurama slot", which was filled in with "Attack of the Killer App", and Part 3 and 4 of the film in the 7pm and 7:30pm slots, which were filled in with The Simpsons episodes "To Surveil With Love" and "The Squirt and the Whale" respectively.
- Bender's Werecar form is styled after the car from the 1977 Movie "The Car ".
- The uninstall code transmitted by Project Satan is the message "TO YOU" encoded via RTTY at 45.45 baud.
- The car that runs Bender over and turns him into a werecar is a 58 Plymouth Fury. This car to some people is know by Christine which was the title of a novel by Stephen King about an evil car.
- The concept of robots turning into ghosts is next seen in "Ghost in the Machines".
Fry: Bender's supposed to murder his closest friend, which I thought was me. But he went straight for you! He didn't even try to second-degree murder me!
Leela: Could you give me some help? I think Bender crushed my foot.
Fry: Stop rubbing it in!
Gypsy: You have nothing to worry about. Except a nightmarish life of unremitting horror.
Execu-Tor: And to my loving nephew Bender, assuming he's not responsible for my death, I leave my castle.
Bender: Yes! Let's stay there tonight!
Execu-Tor: On condition that he spend one night within its walls.
Bender: Aw, man, there's always a catch!
Farnsworth: Just as I suspected. These robots were buried in improperly-shielded coffins. Their programming leaked into the castles wiring through this old, abandoned modem allowing them to project themselves as holograms.
Hermes: Of course! It was so obvious!
Farnsworth: Yes, that sequence of words I said made perfect sense.
Sal: We're all scared, it's the human condition. Why do you think I put on this tough guy facade?
Leela: The tracks lead here.
Fry: Thanks, eagle eye.
- The painting with moving eyes is of Commodore LXIV, a reference to the Commodore 64 computers.
- Likewise Tandy's shirt "Euro TRaSh-80" is in reference to the TRS-80 known by users as the Trash-80.
- Ghosts seen in the castle includes the Windows logo and a flying toaster from the After Dark screen savers.
- The sound heard when laughing starts and when the binary written blood appears is the Windows 98 The Microsoft Sound.
- The idea of a message on a wall that only makes sense when viewed in a mirror is a reference to the novel and movie, The Shining.
- When Bender turns into his were-car form, he resembles The Car from The Car.
- The "anti-Chrysler" building is a reference to the biblical antichrist.
- Trying to entice Project Satan to attack him, Fry refers to himself as a "Blind Pedestrian [worth] 20 points!". This is a reference to Carmageddon.
- In the last scene, Bender chokes Fry in the same manner that Homer Simpson chokes Bart.
- The line spoken by a Thermostadt villager, "Mumbo, perhaps. Jumbo, perhaps not," is an allusion to a line from the 1934 horror film The Black Cat, where Dr. Vitus Werdegast, played by Bela Lugosi, says: "Supernatural, perhaps. Baloney, perhaps not."
- Calculon claims to have been David Duchovny, but his head can be seen in a jar in the pilot episode. Additionally, the third comic, which was released after this episode aired, features an advertisement selling heads in jars including that of Duchovny.
- The Calculon-Duchovny problem is explained on another page, and comics are non-canon.
- Calculon didn't say he was THE David Duchovny. Only that he had that name.
- For a few seconds when the Planet Express crew is seen searching Paris for Project Satan, the Eiffel Tower is seen stationary. However, usually, the tower is seen hovering.
- When the crew return from Thermostadt to New New York they pass the Statue of Liberty, holding a torch, while in the pilot episode she held a tube for the city transport system.
- When Leela holds up the newspaper, its from the New New York Post, but when she puts it down it changes to Your Daily News and the picture of officer Smitty changes as well as other parts.
- When Fry and Leela take Bender to see the Gypsy, she threatens to kill Bender by pointing a gun at him. The gun passes through the front of the box, but, later, when she points, her finger impacts glass that should've stopped the gun.
- After Leela and Fry have welded Bender to the wall of his apartment, they leave the building, say goodbye for the night and walk away in different directions, apparently to their homes. But Fry would not have to leave, since he and Bender are roommates.
- In a deleted scene, Fry explains why he's leaving the apartment. For a split second, however, you can see Fry's mouth move before that portion is cut out.
- Despite running on an electric motor, Project Satan still makes the sound of an internal combustion engine when it drives.
- The motorized service arm (Calculon) grabs the car window from the in- and outside of the car, this seems impossible because the car has a roof.
- Debut: Acting Unit 0.8 (mentioned in speech only)
- Debut: Abominable Snow Mobile
- David Duchovny (mentioned in speech only)
- Debut: Gypsy
- Debut: Robo-Hungarian Robot Farmer
- Debut: Robo-Hungarian Robots
- Debut: Mourning Fembot
- Prof. Farnsworth
- Debut: Project Satan
- Debut: Street Thugs
- Debut: Tandy
- Debut: Thespa-mat (mentioned in speech only)
- Debut: Uncle Vladimir
- Debut: Vladimir's doctor
- Debut: Execu-Tor
- Debut: You There
- Debut: The Squatterly
- Debut: Curse of the Were-Car