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Skepchick Review: Bender’s Big Score

Futurama is always the best when it comes to getting in digs at pseudoscience while making viciously nerdy jokes. In the new movie Bender’s Big Score, not only do you get 90 minutes of awesome, but also extras like a fun math lecture titled “Bite My Shiny Metal X” and a full-length episode of Everybody Loves Hypnotoad, which includes a funny spoof on the homeopathic nonsense “Head-On.”

Of course, the movie version of a beloved TV show rarely lives up to the original. Bender’s Big Score does a fair job of it, but it’s not as full of awesome as, say, my three favorite episodes might be all strung together. (I know you’re wondering, so I’ll tell you: Hell is Other Robots [Robot Devil is my favorite character EVER), Luck of the Fry-ish [made me cry], and Three Hundred Big Ones [also made me cry from laughing so hard at the very end when Fry drinks his last cup of coffee].)

So, I’ll give Bender’s Big Score the following official ratings:

SKEPTICAL RATING: 5 out of 5

OVERALL RATING: 4 out of 5

Of course, you shouldn’t just buy Bender’s Big Score. You should go out and buy every season of Futurama on DVD, because it was one of the greatest television shows of our time. This is indisputable. They know their audience is made up of a bunch of smart geeks, and accordingly they take every opportunity to work in real science while eviscerating crap pseudoscience like homeopathy and astrology. Plus, it has the greatest theme song ever, and PLUS, Matt Groening is my hero. Therefore, I give Futurama the following official ratings:

SKEPTICAL RATING: 5 out of 5

OVERALL RATING: 6.022 x 10^23 out of 5

The remainder of the review will be random quotes from Bender’s Big Score. In the comments, please add your own favorite skeptical quotes from Futurama, and tell me what your favorite episodes are!

Professor Farnsworth: I’m sciencing as fast as I can!

Al Gore: Finally, I get to save the Earth with deadly laser blasts instead of deadly slide shows!

Professor Farnsworth: I can wire anything directly into anything! I am the Professor!

Bubblegum Tate: Man, that cube-root was a real buzzlebeater Clyde! (FYI: The Harlem Globetrotters are superstar physicists.)

Professor Farnsworth: Time travel is impossible!
Fry: But Professor, you time traveled yourself. Remember? When we went back to Roswell?
Professor Farnsworth: That proves nothing! And furthermore, you’d think I could remember a thing like that! Plus, who are you anyway?

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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46 Comments

  1. Favorite episodes now that’s hard I guess if I had to narrow them down.

    The Day the Earth Stood Stupid

    Roswell that Ends Well
    (how did Fry reproduce after Bender zapped his sperm with the Zray?)

    The Farnsworth Parabox

    Where no Fan has Gone Before.

  2. Here are some of my favorite lines from the show. I may be slightly off on the exact wording on a couple of these, but I’m sure I’ve preserved the essence of them.

    [b]Gary Gygax:[/b] “Hi! I’m … (*rolls dice, looks at them*) … pleased to meet you!”

    [b]Fry:[/b] “How will we know if there’s anything on this planet that’s edible?”
    [b]Lela:[/b] “It’s a Class M planet, so it’s certain to have roddenberries.”

    [b]Fry:[/b] “I’d like to buy this. Here’s my MasterCard.”
    [b]Store Clerk:[/b] “MasterCard went out of business 500 years ago.”
    [b]Fry:[/b] “Okay, here’s my Visa card.”
    [b]Clerk:[/b] “Visa went out of business 700 years ago.”
    [b]Fry:[/b] “Discover?”
    [b]Clerk:[/b] “We don’t take Discover.”

    ~Wordplayer

  3. Gahhhh! I hate it when I use the wrong formatting for a given forum! Sorry about that. Here’s what it should look like. (I hope. Any chance of getting a preview or edit function for this site anytime soon?)

    Here are some of my favorite lines from the show. I may be slightly off on the exact wording on a couple of these, but I’m sure I’ve preserved the essence of them.

    Gary Gygax: “Hi! I’m … (*rolls dice, looks at them*) … pleased to meet you!”

    Fry: “How will we know if there’s anything on this planet that’s edible?”
    Lela: “It’s a Class M planet, so it’s certain to have roddenberries.”

    Fry: “I’d like to buy this. Here’s my MasterCard.”
    Store Clerk: “MasterCard went out of business 500 years ago.”
    Fry: “Okay, here’s my Visa card.”
    Clerk: “Visa went out of business 700 years ago.”
    Fry: “Discover?”
    Clerk: “We don’t take Discover.”

    ~Wordplayer

  4. TeamBanzai: “Professor :
    “That’s not fair! You changed the outcome by observing it!”” Yes! Hilarious!

    Wordplayer: Yes, we have a preview function but it’s cleverly hidden behind the button labeled “preview” located just under the one labeled “submit.”

  5. Rebecca wrote:

    Wordplayer: Yes, we have a preview function but it’s cleverly hidden behind the button labeled “preview” located just under the one labeled “submit.”

    (*turns bright crimson*)

    Good grief. I am SO having one of those days.

    Please pay no attention to the mentally deficient poster, who now goes back to lurking mode until the blushing fades.

    ~Wordplayer

  6. From “A Clone of My Own”

    Farnsworth: These are the dark matter engine I invented. They allow my starship to travel between galaxies in mere hours.

    Cubert: That’s impossible. You can’t go faster than the speed of light.

    Farnsworth: Of course not. That’s why scientists increased the speed of light in 2208.

  7. My favorite skeptical Futurama quote was during “Crimes of the Hot” the global warming episode:

    Civil Defense Van: Calling all scientists, calling all scientists. Be advised there will be a worldwide conference on global warming in Kyoto, Japan.

    [A man runs to van waving diploma]

    Man: I’ve got a degree in homeopathic medicine!

    Van: You’ve got a degree in baloney!
    [the van sprays the “scientist” with water cannon]

  8. I think of this one every time my friend spouts off about her latest herbal supplement:
    Amy: You should try homeopathic medicine, Bender. Try some zinc.
    Bender: I am forty percent zinc.
    Amy: Then take some echinacea, or St. John’s Wort.
    Professor Farnsworth: Or a big, fat placebo. It’s all the same crap.

  9. You didn’t mention “Jurassic Bark”! That is the saddest episode of any TV show ever.

    It’s also the episode with dolemite – the tough black mineral that won’t cop out when there’s heat all about!

    (Professor is demonstrating the dangers of the nearby lava pit)
    “Observe the effect it has on this ice swan!”
    (gets an ice swan out of the fridge, which melts)
    “Of course that would have melted even at room temperature. I just wanted to get rid of it.”

  10. danwall88: I knew someone would bring up Jurassic Bark! I understand it’s a good episode, but not the best, and it never got me nearly as weepy as some of the others. I mean, there’s Luck of the Fry-ish and what about The Sting?

  11. After much trolling, the Futurama theme finally motivated me to put in my 2 cents… or 2 quotes in this case.

    “I’ll be in the angry dome!” – The Professor

    “Professor, don’t you remember what I just told you?!” – Leela. “NO!” – Professor.

    And because I can’t stop with just 2…

    From the immortal Zap Brannagan (whom I model my relationship advice from, though oddly without much success): “…and which one rocked your world last night?”

  12. I totally heart Futurama, but this movie totally didn’t do it for me. I think there was more plot than jokes, which is lame. I probably would have given it a 2/5, even though I’d agree the rest of the series is mooooollle/5.

  13. “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings” was a great episode.
    Bender: That’s not ironic! That’s a consequence!

    “Bender’s Big Score” had a convoluted time travel story line, but somehow it worked and came together at the end.

  14. Curse teambanzai for getting the quantum finish joke before me.
    So I’ll go for my fave Zoidberg quote, which I use whenever some minor detail has been patched at work: “Hooray! Now everything will be perfect forever!”

  15. Fansworth: What are those?

    Willy Wonka Slug Thing: Those are the Grunga Lungas.

    Farsworth: Tell them I hate them.
    ————————

    Fry: Bender, look, it’s that guy you are!

    ———————-

    Zapp: Kiff, I’ve made it with a woman, inform the men!”
    —————————————

    How could anyone resist a Futurama quote orgy?

  16. “Of course, you shouldn’t just buy Bender’s Big Score.”

    Yes I should.

    My favorite moment in Futurama remains visual:

    Giant Zoidberg grabbing the elevated and using as nunchuks!

  17. My favorite quote from the movie:

    Nibbler: “Everyone! Out of the universe!”
    [Nibbler proceeds to devour himself and disappears.]

    And just a few ones picked from random episodes:

    Fry: “My vision’s fading! I think I’m gonna die!”
    Bender: “There was nothing wrong with that food! The salt content was 10% less than a lethal dose!”

    Cubert: “Hey Leela, help me apply these flame decals I got in my cereal. They’ll make the ship go faster.”
    Leela: “And what’s your scientific basis for thinking that?”
    Cubert: “I’m twelve.”

    Also, Rebecca, I think Jurassic Bark affects the guys who had canine best friends when they were young more than other people. That’s just my guess anyway.

  18. BECK: “Bender, that was the best 2 hour wash board solo I’ve ever heard, and the parts of it when I was awake blew my mind.”
    &

    Bender: “Oh, Oh, there’s Big Foot over there!”
    Ranger Park: “Where!?”
    Bender: “He’s gone now, but he said keep wasting your life.”

  19. Bender: We pollute too much! We’re destroying the world and killing the turtles!
    Preacherbot: To Hell with the Turtles!
    Bender: No one insults the Turtles!

    Fry: Now he’s trapped in a book I wrote, a crummy world of spelling errors and plot holes.
    Giant brain: The big brain am winning again! I am the GREETEST! Now I am leaving Earth for NO RAISIN!

    Favorite episodes: The Day the Earth Stood Stupid, Crimes of the Hot, robot devil episodes, all other episodes :)

  20. Yes!

    I read all these comments before work today. At work I thought of a favorite skeptical-ish quote from Bender, but I was sure somebody would post it before I got home.

    I don’t remember the episode, but Bender sees something amazing and says:

    “Oh….your….God!”

    It’s one of the very few quotes from Futurama that I’ve actually remembered to use later when the right context came up.

    Of course it’s possible that Bender’s just referring to the fact that he’s a robot and God “belongs” to humans, but I prefer to look at it as a skeptical comment about religion in general.

  21. My favourite episode is the homage to the 80s business guy “Future Stock” best quote of the whole episode:

    That Guy: Let’s cut to the chase. There are two kinds of people sheep and sharks. Anyone who’s a sheep is fired. Who’s a sheep?

    Zoidberg: Uh, excuse me? Which is the one people like to hug?

    That Guy: Gutsy question. You’re a shark. Sharks are winners and they don’t look back ’cause they don’t have necks.

  22. I don’t remember the episode, but Bender sees something amazing and says:

    “Oh….your….God!”

    I’ll mix that up with my current favourite expostulation, the Monty Python/Communist Chinese “Oh My Lack Of God!”.

  23. danwall88: I knew someone would bring up Jurassic Bark! I understand it’s a good episode, but not the best, and it never got me nearly as weepy as some of the others.

    Not even when the dog drops dead from unrequited loneliness to the tune of Connie Francis’ “I Will Wait For You”? You must have a heart of dolomite, baby!

  24. I just have to say that I am so excited to find a place where people can appreciate Futurama the way that I do. I am always the odd one laughing at jokes in Futurama that most people don’t even notice.

    That said, I enjoy every scene involving Madison Cube Garden and blurnsball.

  25. There is a great quote in the deleted scenes from “Leela’s Homeworld” (from season 4) when they are about to get dunked in the sewer water to be mutated the mutants show them what it will be like first by dunking a rat. In the deleted scene the rat turns into a peacock (instead of the pig fish bat thing), the crew breathes a sigh of relief and then:

    Fry: I didn’t realise these mutations worked for the better

    Mutant: That was a fluke, it almost never happens, theres only a 1% chance of that happening

    Fry: In my experience there is a 100% chance of that happening

    Mutant: Your experience is statistically insignificant

    Fry: Thats a really mean thing to say

    Classic stuff!

  26. I don’t remember the episode: Proffesor Farnsworth insisted on driving the ship, and traffic is backed up for lightyears behind them.

    Leela: Professor, this ship will make .98 of light speed. Why are we going 35mph?

    Proffesor: ‘Cause I’m in a hurry, that’s why.

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