Mother's Day (Futurama)
Bender and Comrade Greeting Card
|Episode no.||Season two
|Directed by||Brian Sheesley|
|Written by||Lewis Morton|
|Original air date||May 14, 2000|
|Opening caption||"Larva-Tested, Pupa-Approved"|
|Opening cartoon||"Bold King Cole" (1936)|
Every Mother's Day, robots made in Mom's Friendly Robot Company factories around the world give gifts, money and cards to the owner of the corporation, Mom. She, however--despite promoting the holiday extensively--actually hates the day, carelessly redirecting all gifts for some "hocus-pocus" philanthropic causes: a "cure" for cancer and "orphanage-grade" toilet paper.
Mom is in an even more bitter mood this year, remembering a romantic affair that had ended 70 years prior. Such doomed romance had been with a younger Professor Hubert Farnsworth, then an employee of Mom's Friendly Robot Company. When Mom insisted that the Professor's latest design, a children's toy named Q.T. (Cutie) McWhiskers, be changed to an eight-foot-tall death machine to be sold on the intergalactic arms market, the Professor, enraged, stormed out of the room, and they had not seen each other since.
In revenge, Mom attempts to become the "supreme overlord of Earth" for this Mother's Day ("This year everyone will hate it as much as I do"), ordering the entire robot population of the planet to rebel and overthrow humanity through a control that transmits to every robot's antenna.
Wishing to end the robot rebellion and save humanity, Mom's three sons, Walt, Larry, and Igner, cooperate with the Planet Express crew to obtain the robot control Mom keeps in her bra. Their plan is to bring Mom to her rustic cabin in the Bronx (though on the map provided it is actually in Queens), have the Professor seduce her (as this is thought to be the only way to make her happy again), remove her bra, and use the control to end the rebellion. They give the crew a valuable non-computer-drawn map to their destination. Because of the distance, and the complete dependence on hover technology, Fry designs and builds a wagon (with oval wheels) to carry the Professor but is then forced to pull it by himself to the cabin.
When the Professor and Mom do meet, however, their love is rekindled, and they erupt into sex. Amidst this, everyone else comes in to escape the robots, who have made their way to the Bronx, erupting into Mom's cabin. In order for their romantic evening not to be interrupted, Mom decides to finally call off the rebellion, but her bra is nowhere to be found. After searching, it is found to be hanging on a robotic fan which refuses to return it. Fortunately, Bender arrives and Mom asks him to recover her bra. While he initially refuses, when his greeting card states that in the post-rebellion "robot worker's paradise" there will be no liquor, Bender angrily tears up the card and fetches the bra from the fan.
Mom uses the remote control to stop the rebellion, but dumps the Professor after learning of their plot. Life is then returned to normal. In order for the Professor to remember Mom, he sends out his albino shouting gorillas to yell her name from the roof-tops.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2011)|
- The opening subtitle "Larva-Tested, Pupa-Approved" is reminiscent of the slogan for Kix cereal, "Kid-Tested, Mother-Approved!".
- The can of soup Fry tries to open says "Quantum Leek," which is a reference to the TV show titled Quantum Leap.
- The robot rebellion is a parody of communist revolution. This is particularly evident from the dialogs between Bender and the electronic greeting card in which common elements of the Marxist lexicon are uttered by the latter, notably comrade and bourgeoisie.
- The paper the cigarette dispenser-bot is burning is a punched card.
- The garbage can throwing itself through the window of Sal's Pizzeria is a reference to the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing.
- A later dialog between Bender & the Electronic Greeting Card brings up 'the boring peaceful kind of taking to the streets', and shouts 'in your face, Gandhi'. This is in reference to the non-violent independence movement initiated by Gandhi in India.
- When Walt is showing the map of the surrounding area, an area called "Cloakwood Forest" is visible. This is a reference to the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons.
- The flashback scene of Mom and Farnsworth riding a bicycle in happier times is a parody of a similar scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The scene also features a mock-up of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", which was featured in the original movie scene.
- One of the robots waiting for Mom is a Betamax video recorder.
- Mom's fatsuit retracts and disappears from view in a manner similar to various science fiction robotic mechanisms, such as the headpieces of the Horus Guards in Stargate or Transformers.
- Mom's universal robot remote control features the options 'Serve Man (Regular)' and 'Serve Man (Ironic)', a reference to To Serve Man.
- When the Planet Express crew is huddled around a fire in the office building Mom's three sons enter attempting to recruit Professor Farnsworth's assistance in stopping Mom's robot revolt. Hermes yells "outsiders!" Professor Farnsworth yells "protect the fire!" This is a reference to the book "Lord of the Flies," after the boys have devolved into a violent hunting based society intently focused on preserving the fire. Hermes' statement that they can steal fire from Pottery Barn is a reference to the same plot point in the book.
Broadcast and reception
This episode was rated TV-14 for suggestive dialogue (D), sexual situations (S), offensive language (L), and violence (V) on Fox. On Cartoon Network, this was also rated TV-14, but only for suggestive dialogue (D), on Comedy Central, this episode is rated TV-14 with no sub-ratings and on WGN America this episode is rated TV-14, for suggestive dialogue (D), offensive language (L), and sexual situations (S).
- "PEOPLE'S CHOICE.(broadcast TV network prime time ratings)(Statistical Data Included)". Broadcasting & Cable (Reed Business Information). 2000-05-22. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
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