Obsolete Bender and his Obsolete Gang
|Episode no.||Season four
|Directed by||Dwayne Carey-Hill|
|Written by||Dan Vebber|
|Original air date||July 27, 2003|
|Opening caption||"You can't prove it won't happen"|
|Opening cartoon||"Much Ado About Mutton" (1947)|
|Season four episodes|
|List of all Futurama episodes|
"Obsoletely Fabulous" is the fourteenth episode of the fourth production season of Futurama.
At a robot expo, Mom's Friendly Robot Co. introduces a new, more advanced robot: Robot 1-X. Feeling unwanted after Professor Farnsworth buys one to help out around the office, Bender decides to get a personality upgrade so he can be compatible with Robot 1-X. During his upgrade however, Bender changes his mind and leaps out the window.
Too scared to get the upgrade but unable to face the others without it, he bends a "Boating prohibited" sign into a boat and heads out to sea, only to wash up on an uncharted island. At first he is in desperate need of alcohol to recharge, and goes to great lengths to find an energy source for the blender he has brought to make "yam Schnapps" to refuel himself.
Bender wakes one morning to find four outdated robots are living on the island and befriends them. After living with the outdated robots, Bender realizes he does not need technology anymore. He then orders his companions to "downgrade" his metal robotics with a wooden body. Bender leads his friends to New New York in a wooden submarine, where they wage war on technology. The band of five are surprisingly successful, but Bender reveals there is one more thing they need to destroy: Robot 1-X.
They head to Planet Express and, after destroying the power lines, Bender breaks into the hangar where he confronts his technologically-stricken former crew. Bender has his robotic friends throw large boulders at Robot 1-X, but they miss and hit the Planet Express ship, which falls and pins the crew down to the floor. A candle falls onto the leaking fuel from the ship, causing a ring of fire to form around the crew. Bender tries to reach for the extinguisher, but his wooden body is eaten by termites. Failing to save his friends himself, Bender orders Robot 1-X to save the crew. This allows Bender to seem like a hero and, when the plan succeeds, he accepts the new robot.
At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Bender's adventure was just a vision he was experiencing during the upgrade (which the robot that was next to Bender in line — Fatbot, from "Mars University" — fears will happen to him). Amazed at how real the vision was, Bender begins wondering if life itself is just the product of his or someone else's imagination, but comes to the conclusion that "Reality is what you make of it", and walks off into a fantasy world with unicorns and cigar-lighting fairies.
Broadcast and reception
A scene during the robot upgrade was cut featuring Mom brainwashing the robots. There was also an extra scene at the convention cut. Those scenes, and others are available on the DVD with the special features.
John DiMaggio (the voice of Bender) did Bender's dialogue in the scene where he dances to "I'm Alright" before the crew had the song available. The music for the scene when the obsolete robots rampage the city was written by Christopher Tyng and not licensed. The sound effect for Bender's arms falling off were meant to be temporary but it was kept because it was funnier than any of the later attempts at the sounds.
- The title of the episode is a reference to the British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.
- The robot Sinclair 2K based on Timex Sinclair which had 2K of memory. His design was based on Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet.
- The female robot Lisa was named after the Apple Lisa.
- The design for Robot I-X was initially inspired by the iMac.
- When Bender brings out eight music records that he has kept in case he is ever stranded on a desert island, this is a reference to Desert Island Discs, a long-running British radio show which invites guests to imagine themselves on a desert island with only eight pieces of music to listen to.
- "Nielsen ratings: July 21-27. (Programming).(Illustration)". Broadcasting & Cable (Reed Business Information). 2003-08-04. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
- Cohen, David X. (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Obsoletely Fabulous" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- LaMarche, Maurice (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Obsoletely Fabulous" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Moore, Rich (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Obsoletely Fabulous" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
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