"Now quit scratching your axe hole and get out there"
Leela to Bender

"Raging Bender" is the 12th. episode in Season 2 of Futurama. It originally aired in North America on February 27, 2000.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

At the morning Planet Express meeting, the Planet Express Crew discovers Hermes has been assimilated by the brain slugs. To avoid Hermes' slack-jawed stare and being assimilated themselves, the rest of the staff takes off for the movies.

While watching All My Circuits: The Movie, Bender picks a fight with a robot that turns out to be Ultimate Robot Fighting champion The Masked Unit. The Masked Unit trips on Bender's oil-soaked popcorn and is knocked out by the fall. Coincidentally, the commissioner of Ultimate Robot Fighting, Abner Doubledeal is at the movie and hires Bender on the spot.

After training with Leela, Bender has his first fight against a chainsaw-equipped robot called Clearcutter. By a stroke of luck, Bender defeats his opponent, causing The Clearcutter to explode into a pile of parts. However, Bender runs into the robot backstage and the commissioner reveals that Ultimate Robot Fighting is fixed, as well as that the most popular robot always wins.

Bender spurns further training from Leela and proceeds to win several fights, but eventually his popularity wanes and he is told that he can either take a dive in his new role as 'The Gender Bender', or be killed by his giant opponent, Destructor. Bender asks Leela for help, but she initially refuses. When she discovers that Destructor is being trained by Arcturan Kung Fu Master Fnog, she changes her mind. The male chauvinist and genderist Master Fnog had ruined Leela's dream of competing in the Arcturan Kung Fu junior championships years ago and Leela still holds a grudge.

While Bender is being thrashed by Destructor, Bender asks Fry to throw in the towel but he finds out that Fry has a Brain Slug on his head. Leela discovers that Destructor is being controlled remotely using motion capture and virtual reality by Fnog. They proceed to fight, but just as Fnog is winning, Leela uses Fnog's own fist to force Destructor to punch him, knocking them both out. Destructor, however, fell on and flattened Bender, thus winning the match anyway. After the fight, Fry and Leela roll up the flattened Bender and carry him home

Debut Appearances[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The title is a parody of the 1980 movie Raging Bull and a reference to an alcohol-induced headache, as well as a tongue-in-cheek joke on "raging boner."
  • The Ultimate Robot Fighting is a reference to the UFC in name, although the actual product is much more similar to professional wrestling, given the characters, ring, merchandising, character changes and predetermined outcomes that are shown. It is also a parody of BattleBots.
  • The commissioner of the Ultimate Robot Fighting League is a parody of Vince McMahon. He has also appeared as the owner of the New New York Mets and as a sleazy Hollywood producer.
  • The referee is a stripe-painted alien that is the same species as Kif Kroker. Besides the obvious physical resemblance, he also announces the beginning of the first fight, "Ladies, Gentlemen, and Smizmars!" which seems to indicate a link to that people. Note: a Smizmar is not an alien race; it is a love interest.
  • The characters who serve as Bender's opponents are typical of many pro wrestling characters that have appeared over time on World Wrestling Entertainment. For instance, Billionaire Bot is a parody of The Million Dollar Man, while The Foreigner is a jab at such personified racial stereotypes as The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff.
  • "RobotMania XXII" is a parody of WrestleMania and possibly a reference to the Super Bowl's use of Roman numerals in its annual titles.
  • The Masked Unit's line, "I'm gonna open a file of whoop-ass on you!", is a parody of wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  • There is another reference to Stone Cold Steve Austin in the Bender 3:16 shirt worn by a person in the crowd. It is a parody of t-shirts created by the WWE based on Austin's 3:16 speech after winning the King of the Ring PPV in 1996.
  • Bender references boxing announcer Michael Buffer's most famous line: "Let's get ready to rumble!"
  • When the crew goes to the movies they see movie posters and Marquee listings for a variety of movies, mostly parodies of other films:
  • Planet of the Clams is a reference to Planet of the Apes about "an upside down world where lobster is slave to clam": the reference to lobsters may imply it is a film from Decapod 10, home of Zoidberg's lobster-like race.
  • Galaxy Wars is a historical documentary, the title is a reference to Star Wars.
  • Quizblorg, Quizblorg, a foreign film with subtitles, possibly a reference to the fictional foreign film "Rochelle, Rochelle" from Seinfeld.
  • When a Man Loves a Smizmar, a reference to When a Man Loves a Woman. Also, a Smizmar is a term used in "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch" to describe the person who caused the feelings of love allowing a male of Kif's species to become pregnant.
  • The opening to All My Circuits, The Movie is a parody of James Bond films, in particular The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo from Mystery Science Theater 3000 appear in silhouette in the movie theater as they normally do on their TV show. Crow's harsh demand that Fry not talk during the movie is an ironic statement since the entire crux of their show is to talk during the movie. Neither Joel Robinson nor Mike Nelson can be seen though and Crow is not voiced by either Trace Beaulieu nor Bill Corbett. Furthermore, Fry's comment of 'Oh, this is SO futuristic' is a reference to MST3k's brand of making fun of various problems in the B-movies that the show often reviews.
  • The ad announcing Bender's persona change to "The Gender Bender" starts with Bender standing on the planet Earth with the Earth flag waving behind him. This pose is identical to the George Reeves Superman pose at the start of each episode of the 1950s television series Adventures of Superman.
  • The Loews theater the crew goes to is called the ()PLEX, a reference to the first aleph number, the least infinite cardinal number and dubbed on the commentary for the episode as the nerdiest joke ever on television.
  • Hermes' brain slug could be an indirect reference to the slug-like young ceti eels that Khan uses on Chekov and Terrell in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (although in that case, they enter through the ear, but still affected the brain). Hermes first encountered a brain slug in an earlier episode, "A Head in the Polls".
  • Master Funog is a parody of sensei Miyagi from the Karate Kid series of movies.
  • When the fight rages out in the middle of the theater, Hattie McDoogal shouts "let's all go to the lobby!". This is a reference to the 1953 animated snipe, "Let's All Go to the Lobby".
  • Bender's line, "Float like a float bot, sting like an automated stinging machine." parodies Muhammad Ali's famous quote, "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Bender also references how he is going to be the greatest and Ali's nickname was "The Greatest."
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