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|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Susie Dietter|
|Written by||Ken Keeler|
|Original air date||November 5, 2000|
|Opening caption||Smell-O-Vision Users Insert Nostril Tubes Now|
|Opening cartoon||"Bold King Cole" (1936)|
"The Honking" is the eighteenth episode in the second season of the American animated television series Futurama. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 5, 2000. The title references the 1981 film The Howling. The episode is also a reference to the 1977 film "The Car".
As part of his late uncle Vladimir's last will, Bender must spend the night in his family's sinister old castle near Thermostadt, the capital of the Robo-Hungarian Empire, in order to inherit it. However, the castle's holographic "robot ghosts" cause him to flee out into the night, where he is run over by a mysterious non-hover car.
After returning to New New York, Bender begins to experience nightmares and blackouts, and believes that the car has followed him home. In the city, mysterious tire tracks are discovered at places where Bender has been. Worried, he seeks "professional help" from a coin-operated Gypsy Bot machine. It informs him that he was run over by a "werecar", the robotic equivalent of a werewolf, and has thus become one himself. He is cursed to keep running people over and eventually kill his best friend. The only thing that can lift the curse is the destruction of the original werecar. That night, Bender indeed turns into a sedan and goes after Leela. This angers Fry, who takes it as a sign that Bender does not consider him to be his best friend.
After narrowly surviving Bender's nocturnal rampage, the crew returns to the village near Vladimir's castle. From there, they follow a trail of various bizarre werecars, until they ultimately find the original werecar: Project Satan, a demonic car built a thousand years earlier from parts of the most evil cars in history.
Bender once again transforms, and this time goes after Fry, which overjoys him as he sees it as proof that he is Bender's best friend after all. Project Satan accidentally drives into a large furnace, destroying himself and lifting the curse. A back to normal Bender grieves upon apparently killing Fry, but is relieved when Fry emerges from his compartment alive and admits he is grateful for their friendship. However, Bender strangles Fry for taking his last beer.
In Doug Pratt's DVD Pratt noted that this episode had an "extremely witty plot turn".[full citation needed] Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+, stating, "There are plenty of nifty ideas in 'The Honking.' I was especially fond of the ultimate source of the were-car problem, a murderous vehicle built by a group of scientists for Project Satan. Only thing is, Project Satan doesn’t become relevant until the last five minutes or so of the episode, which is a problem throughout; all the cleverness keeps things moving, but the end result is something that’s no more (but no less) than the sum of its various parts."
- David X. Cohen confirms this Star Trek reference in the DVD commentary.
- Pratt, Douglas. Doug Pratt's DVD: Movies, Television, Music, Art, Adult, and More!. p. 474.[full citation needed]
- Handlen, Zack "Futurama: Futurama: "The Honking"/ "The Cryonic Woman"". The A.V. Club. March 19, 2015. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
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