Three Hundred Big Boys
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|Season 4 episode|
Broadcast season 5 episode
|Three Hundred Big Boys|
|Written by||Eric Kaplan|
|Directed by||Swinton O. Scott III|
|Title caption||Voted "Best"|
|First air date||15 June, 2003|
|Opening cartoon||Flop Goes the Weasel (1943)|
|Special guest(s)||Roseanne Barr|
"Three Hundred Big Boys" is the seventieth episode of Futurama, the sixteenth of the fourth production season and the eleventh of the fifth broadcast season. It aired on 15 June, 2003, on Fox. It guest-stars Roseanne Barr as a hologram of herself. When each Earthican recieves a three hundred-dollar government refund, the Planet Express crew members pursue their respective dreams and desires.
Act I: "I've sent you each 300 buckaroos in the form of a Tricky Dick Fun Bill! Knock yourselves out!"
Zapp Brannigan has led Earth forces to victory over the 'weak and woman-like' Spiderians of Tarantulon 6 and seized plenty of spoils: one trillion dollars in silk and treasure. Richard Nixon's head decides to refund the surplus to the taxpayers, meaning that every citizen of Earth gets three hundred dollars. The crew have already acquired their shiny new $300 bills and now wonder what to do with them. Leela decides to swim with a whale, while Scruffy gets a $300 haircut as his current one has lost its "pizzazz." Zoidberg wants to live like a rich man, while Fry decides to blow it all on a hundred cups of coffee. Brannigan calls to invite the crew to a special reception and display of the National Silk Surplus. All of New New York is celebrating the newly acquired riches, while Kif and Amy enjoy a ride on a paddle plane Kif rented with his tax rebate. Amy has spent her money on a talking tattoo on her upper right arm. Meanwhile, Professor Farnsworth visits GeneWorks, S.K.G. to acquire one pound of stem cells to fight his ageing process, but the effects will be temporary. At the same time, Bender visits Hacking Jack's Fine Smokables in search of the ultimate smoke and feasts his eyes on the Le Grand Cigar. Unfortunately it costs $10.000, so Bender gets a few burglar's tools for $300 instead for later use. Hermes has bought his son Dwight a set of Bamboo Boogie Boots, a kind of powered stilts, which Dwight is not too happy with. Hermes demonstrates them and loses control. Dwight tries to save his father but is stuck up the stilts with him, resulting in the two of them roaming the city completely out of control.
The Professor leaves GeneWorks looking somewhat younger and instantly falls for a young lady dressed in leather, while Zoidberg is looking into diamonds but can't understand what people like in shiny pebbles. Leela has reached the aquarium and is booking a swim with Mushu, the pygmy sperm whale, while Fry is on his second cup of coffee (whale size) at Starfishbucks Coffee. Kif presents Amy with a special gift, a watch that has two sets of hands to show the time wherever Kif and Amy are. As she leans to greet Fry and Leela she sees passing underneath, the paddle plane swerves out of control and the watch falls into the pool of Mushu, who swallows it.
Act II: "Come on, Mushu! Barf! Barf like a freshman!"
Kif is down in the dumps, but Leela and Scruffy have an idea to recover the watch. Fry, Leela, Kif and Amy visit Elzar's Fine Cuisine (Fry being at cup #31), and Leela sneaks into the kitchen and pulls the plug of Elzar's fresh fish freezer. At the same time, the Professor and his newly aquired love share a table at the same restaurant (she believes he's 25), and Zoidberg is not happy with Paté de Foie Gras and caviar and refuses to pay. Meanwhile, Bender is breaking into Hacking Jack's to steal the Grand Cigar, but is spotted by a surveilance camera and Smitty and URL take up the hunt. The next morning, Elzar disposes of the now rotten fish into the nearest dumpster, where it is eagerly awaited by Leela, Amy and Kif. Bender is now hanging out at Guadalajara Brown Drip Gourmet Coffee with Fry (now at cup #52), who is showing strong signs of caffeine intoxication. Bender intends to save his new illegally acquired stoagie for the party that night, as it's too fine to blow its smoke in just anyone's face. Leela is having her meeting with Mushu and has stuffed her swimsuit full of rotten fish to make Mushu first eat it and then barf, freeing Amy's watch. Everything goes as planned, but as Mushu turns out to be rather hungry, Leela ends up minus a swimsuit and has to acquire a makeshift dress made from a warning banner. Zoidberg is trying to play golf like rich people do, but finds it unsatisfactory, partly because the golf clubs can't resist his claws and the golf balls are tasteless. Leela's plan works out and Mushu barfs bigtime, releasing both the watch and Leela's swimsuit. Kif dives into the pool and gets covered all in whale vomit, but retrieves the watch. However, the Whale Biologist sends Smitty and URL to arrest him because he has got aquarium property, which works in Bender's favour by allowing him to escape, as Smitty and URL were after him for the cigar heist.
Act III: "The loot! The loot!! The loot is on fire!!"
The reception at the presentation of the National Silk Surplus is going quite well. All of the high society attendees, including Richard Nixon's head, Zapp Brannigan, Mom and her sons, Mayor Poopenmeyer and a lot of other celebrities and important persons.
Zoidberg tries to aquire one of the tapestries, but finds it overpriced at $1 billion. He realizes that even with $300 he is still desperately poor and that money brought him no happiness. Fry has arrived at cup #99 and is shaking uncontrollably, and Bender deems the time has come for the lighting of the Grand Cigar. Amy is sad because Kif is in jail, and Scruffy is trying to comfort her. Meanwhile, in Commander Riker's Island Jail, Kif is told that he is not imprisoned for taking the watch but for being covered in ambergris, a precious substance found in the digestive tract of the sperm whale and used to make perfume. As he is covered in the stuff, Kif sheds his skin and rushes to join the reception. He even brings Amy a flagon full of ambergris, which she embraces at once.
The Professor's stem cells lose their youthesizing power, and he reverts to an old man. He finds that his love has used her tax rebate to enhance her looks a bit too; in reality she is (in his words) "fat as the queen of sea cows". The two of them resume making out, as they now know the other's true looks. Hermes and Dwight, still on the Bamboo Boogie Boots, stagger in through a window and knock the Grand Cigar from Bender's hand onto a tapestry of Zapp's conquest, ultimately setting all the silks ablaze.
Everyone is in mortal danger, but Fry doesn't notice as all he can think about is coffee. He drinks his 100th cup and enters an enlightened state in which time seems to slow to a crawl while he moves normally. Moving at incredible speed, he calmly carries everyone out of danger and extinguishes the fire. Leela attributes the rescue to an "orange blur."
Outside, Zoidberg has joined a few hobos and found out how money could make him happy: by buying a meal for his new friends. Everyone joins them, and Hermes gives the penny left from the purchase of the Boogie Boots to Dwight, who decides to invest it in five shares of Amazon.com (which Hermes considers to be a risky investment, to his joy). Richard Nixon's head is angry because the entire surplus has burned away, but everyone else is happy because the tax rebate at least resulted in a few mildly interesting stories. Bender, a bit disappointed that his story "petered out at the end," is finally seized by URL and Smitty and beaten up, giving his story the closure he craved.
- See Earthican $300 Bill to know how each character spent their $300.
- If the Spiderians' treasure was $1 trillion, and every taxpayer on Earth received $300, this means that Earth has about 3 billion taxpayers in the year 3003.
- The idea for this episode came from George W. Bush announcing that he would give all Americans a $300 tax refund. However, one week later the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened. The story was forgotten by most, except the Futurama staff who wrote this episode.
- As Fry drinks more and more coffee, the effects of the caffeine make him more and more agitated until the 100th, when he relaxes into a calm Zen-like state, albeit moving at several hundred times normal speed. When the cup counter appears, the zeroes in 100 are connected, forming an infinity symbol, possibly to indicate his transition to the hyper-caffeinated Zen state.
There are several possible science-fiction inspirations for this scene:
- Frank Herbert's novel Dune, where Paul-Muad'Dib consumes ever greater quantities of Spice until he finally takes the water of life and time and space comes together. In the TV series of the same name we even see the same glowing light effects and distortions of time and space. The character Miles Teg in Dune also has a genetically inherited trait that allows him to move so quickly he nearly freezes time. However, after using this power he needs to consume immense amounts of food and ages considerably.
- The classic sci-fi story The New Accelerator by H.G. Wells, the accelerator being a formula allowing the user to stretch minutes into hours of personal time perception.
- The original-series Star Trek episode "Wink of an Eye".
- The 2002 film Clockstoppers, which in turn was based on The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything.
- The hummingbird he sees is particularly reminiscent to a time-slowing scene in Star Trek: Insurrection.
- The presence of the whale biologist is a possible reference to Dr. Gillian Taylor, the assertive whale biologist in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
- Nixon's line "The Loot, the loot, the loot is on fire!" was a parody of the 1985 dance hit "The Roof is on Fire" by Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three. The song's chorus includes the frequently referenced line, "The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire."
- The lab name and the sign reading Geneworks S.K.G. are a parody of the famous movie company Dreamworks.
- Zapp Brannigan's attack on Tarantulon 6 is taken from Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers and the subsequent film.
- Nixon's consultation of Voodoo economists is a reference to Reagan-era fiscal policy derided by critics as Voodoo Economics.
- The scene in which Bender steals the cigar is based on Mission Impossible.
- Roseanne Barr appears/guest stars as a holographic encyclopedia.
- At one point in the episode, Professor Farnsworth takes his leave, saying, "... gotta go, fight club." This references the movie Fight Club. However, it is also contradictory to the first and second rules of the club, which both forbid talking about fight club.
- This episode marks one of several times in which Leela does her 'karate cry' while performing a simple task - in this case, pulling the plug on Elzar's freezer.
- Kif offers to make Amy a perfume from the ambergris made of lilac, jasmine and frankenberry. Franken Berry is a cereal in General Mills' monster line.
- URL says "grand theft tobacco" when he sees Bender stealing the cigar — a parody of "grand theft auto", cop-talk for stealing cars.
- Apparently, Amy had her "obscene tattoo" from the episode "A Fishful of Dollars" removed, because it seems to no longer be on her arm when she gets her new talking one on her other arm with her tax refund.
- Gus describes himself and his friend, Dandy Jim, as "hungry, hungry hobos". This is a reference to the children's tabletop game Hungry Hungry Hippos.
- When Bender sneaks past the police at the whale show, he is humming Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal."
- Dwight says he's going to use his single penny to buy five shares of Amazon.com, and Hermes calls him a risk taker. This is a reference to frequent complaints by stockholders, before and around the time the episode was written, that Amazon.com was not becoming profitable fast enough. However, Amazon.com would announce its first profit in January 2002, one and a half years before the episode aired.
- Kif is wearing a pair of underwear under his skin somehow.
- Mushu the whale is a reference to both the dragon from "Mulan" and the Sea World Orca Shamu.
- Likely not a reference to Mulan, since having the same name is not automatically a reference, especially without any other similarities between characters.
- When Kif and Amy are flying the paddle plane, Amy's new tattoo call Kif "Gordon Gekko", which is a reference to the character from "Wall Street" and the fact that Kif can climb walls because his hands can stick to things, even though a gecko is a reptile, not an amphibian like Kif.
- The scene right after Bender steals the cigar proves the point that El Chupanibre did escape the sub-sewers and is back in the normal sewers terrorizing the mutants once again. He was also seen 4 episode earlier in "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles"
- The Whale Biologist tells Leela that one of several reasons that whales kill is 'for the sheer fun of it.' This is a likely reference to either the fact that wild Orcas sometimes seem to play with their prey or that captive Orcas have sometimes seemingly deliberately killed their handlers (albeit that Orcas are not true whales and Mushu does not look like an Orca).
Bender: What to do, what to do? One $300 hookerbot or three hundred $1 hookerbots?
Amy: I'm slightly richer!
Morbo: [As his wife adjusts his tie.] Stop it, stop it. It's fine! I will destroy you!
Hermes: [Referring to the Bamboo Boogie Boots.] With a warning label this big, you know they gotta be fun!
Dwight: [While clinging to Hermes' back as they careen around town on the Bamboo Boogie Boots.] Waaaah! I wish I had two mommies!
Whale Biologist: Well, you asked the right guy, I'm the whale biologist. Though, personally, I hate whales, Especially Mushu.
Leela: Then why'd you become a whale biologist?
Whale Biologist: I don't know you well enough to get into that. $300 please.
URL: [Watching Mushu vomit.] It just keeps comin' and comin'... [Bender sneaks past him and Smitty.]
Zoidberg: What? It's not even scratch and sniff? But if rich people think it's good, I'll buy it. One art, please!
- When Farnsworth runs out of the royal pyjamas, he makes 'panting' sounds even though his mouth is closed.
- When Roseanne is laughing at the end of the episode, the movements of her mouth don't match how she laughs.
- When April shows her true weight her belly button doesn't appear.
- Professor Farnsworth goes to a stem-cell clinic in order to decrease his age, however in Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles (only 3 episodes prior) he goes to great lengths to increase his age after it has been artificially reduced.
- Debut: Amy's talking tattoo
- Debut: April
- Ben Beeler
- Debut: Coffee Guy
- Crack Addict
- Debut: Crack Mansion Butler
- Dandy Jim
- El Chupanibre
- Debut: Fawn
- Debut: GeneWorks Receptionist
- Debut: Golf Caddy
- Debut: Hacking Jack
- Hattie McDoogal (deleted scene)
- Leg Mutant
- Mayor C. Randall Poopenmeyer
- Michelle (cameo)
- Randy Munchnik
- Richard Nixon's head
- Ron Whitey
- Debut: Roseanne Barr's hologram
- Debut: Voodoo Economists
- Warden Vogel
- Debut: Whale Biologist
- Yuri (deleted scene)
- Zapp Brannigan