Season 1 Episode 8

A Big Piece of Garbage

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM May 11, 1999 on Comedy Central
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Episode Summary

A big piece of garbage that was released a thousand years ago is now on the way to Earth to destroy it. After Fry, Leela and Bender fail to place a bomb on it, the city has to build another big piece of garbage; yet that may be a problem since trash doesn't exist in year 3000.moreless

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David Herman

David Herman

Dr. Ogden Wernstrom/Mayor C. Randall Poopenmeyer

Katey Sagal

Katey Sagal

Turanga Leela

Billy West

Billy West

Philip J. Fry/Professor Hubert Farnsworth/Dr. Zoidberg/Documentary Narrator/Neptunian

Lauren Tom

Lauren Tom

Additional Voices (credit only)

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Female Scientist/Mayor's Aide/Linda

Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

Hermes Conrad

Ron Popeil

Ron Popeil


Guest Star

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson Doll (Uncredited)

Guest Star

Byrne Offutt

Byrne Offutt

Ultility Player

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (19)

    • When Farnsworth is presenting his 'smelloscope' idea, at the science convention, the overhead projector is to one side of the stage in one shot and directly in front in another.

    • Around 5:32 when Farnsworth wipes his head with the napkin on stage, you can see that the legs for the projector are not colored in and are tranparent. In all the other shots they are opaque.

    • Fry finds a "Mr Spock Collector's Plate" with an image of Spock from Star Trek on it.

    • When Wernstrom is shaking his fist at Farnsworth at the end of the episode, you can see his five graduate students shaking their fists as well. Only two of the students are Chinese, even though Wernstrom asked for three.

    • This episode marks the first use of the internet in Futurama. The internet connection process changes majestically between this episode, and its next apperance in "A Bicyclops Built For Two".

    • The napkin Farnsworth drew the smelloscope on shouldn't have shown on the projector because it wasn't transparent and no one should have been able to see it. Who knows what advances technology has made in 1000 years

    • Opening theme promotion: MR. BENDER'S WARDROBE BY ROBOTANY 500.

    • A different ending theme ("We'll Meet Again") is used for this episode.

    • In the picture of the Professor at his science club, he had the same but smaller version of Fry's hair-do.

    • The size of the garbage ball is inconsistent. In the garbage movie it's big enough to just fill a barge, and to shoot into space. But when Fry, Leela and Bender land on it, it's as big as the moon. Then, when launching the new garbage ball, it's small enough to launch with a spacecraft, but is large enough to bounce the moon-sized ball into the sun.

    • The garbage ball in space is already burning, but Farnsworth says "ah, burning garbage" to signify that the ball went into the sun. Wouldn't it already have smelled like burning garbage?

    • Apparently they couldn't shoot a missile at the garbage ball because the missile would just pass through. Why couldn't they just launch a missile that exploded when it reached the middle of the ball?

    • When the crew first approaches the Smelloscope and we get a view from outside the window, the outlines of the windows' shadows appear on the floor inside. It's as if someone was supposed to color it in, but never did.

    • The buildings outside the Mayor's office change frequently.

    • The clock loses four seconds when Bender throws it at Leela, and another five seconds when he throws it into space. All in all, it goes from 00:19 to 00:00 in ten seconds.

    • In the scene where The Professor is showing his smudged bit of paper on the overhead projector, he pulls it off of the right side of it as we are looking at it but the image also moves off to the right hand side. This shouldn't happen. The image should have moved off to the left.

    • At about 10 1/2 minutes of the episode, the sandwich that was lying on the table, is missing for one cut.

    • It is revealed here that NY has been trash free for 500 years, yet in previous episodes there has been trash on the streets!

    • Professor Farnsworth is supposedly the oldest member of the science academy. Presumably Ron Popeil's head is also a member -- and a good 900+ years older than Farnsworth.

  • QUOTES (45)

    • Leela: Should we really be celebrating? I mean, what if the second garbage ball returns to Earth like the first one did?
      Fry: Who cares? That won't be for hundreds of years.
      Farnsworth: Exactly! It's none of our concern.
      Fry: That's the 20th century spirit!

    • Poopenmeyer: And, Fry, we owe you a tremendous debt as well. If not for your 20th century garbage-making skills, we'd all be buried under 20th century garbage.

    • Poopenmeyer: And so, on behalf of the entire city, I thank you, Professor Farnsworth. I now present you with the Academy prize, which we confiscated from Dr. Wernstrom after it became apparent that he was a jackass.

    • Poopenmeyer: Alright, places everyone. Prepare for launch.
      Farnsworth: Five, four, three, two, three, four, five, six...
      Leela: Just fire the damn thing.

    • Farnsworth: If my calculations are correct, this garbage ball will knock the other garbage ball directly into the sun.
      Wernstrom: And if my calculations are correct, we're all going to die horribly.

    • Fry: People of New New York, take a lesson from the 20th century. Stop all this pain-in-the-ass recycling and throw your garbage on the floor... Go ahead. Just chuck it any old place like I used to. Your city is counting on you.

    • Fry: Stand back and watch the master! This Slurm can. (He knocks it on the floor.) Now it's garbage. These papers. (He sweeps them off the desk with his hands.) Garbage. This picture of your wife. (He drops it on the floor and the frame smashes.) Pure garbage!

    • Poopenmeyer: This city's been garbage-free for 500 years!
      Fry: Then it's time to make some more.
      Poopenmeyer: Make garbage? But how?

    • Farnsworth: Wait! If we could build an object the exact size, density and consistency of the garbage ball, it might just knock the ball away without smashing it to bits.
      Leela: But where can we find a substance the exact density and consistency as garbage?
      Farnsworth: Alas, I don't know.
      Fry: Uh, what about garbage?

    • Poopenmeyer: It's time to take action... Stephanie, cancel the maid for today. Have her come tomorrow... Well, I'm out of ideas. Anyone?

    • Poopenmeyer: Dr. Wernstrom, can you save my city?
      Wernstrom: Of course. But it'll cost you. First I'll need tenure.
      Poopenmeyer: Done.
      Wernstrom: And a big research grant.
      Poopenmeyer: You got it.
      Wernstrom: Also, access to a lab and five graduate students, at least three of them Chinese.
      Poopenmeyer: Um, alright done. What's your plan?
      Wernstrom: What plan? I'm set for life! Au revoir, suckers!
      Leela: That rat! Do something!
      Poopenmeyer: I wish I could but he's got tenure!

    • Farnsworth: Wernstrom!
      Wernstrom: The very same.

    • Farnsworth: I'm a dried up husk of a scientist. This is all my fault.
      Fry: No, it's my fault too. I'm sure I threw out more than my share of that trash up there. Also, one month my toilet broke and it just went straight in the garbage can.

    • Morbo: In lighter news, the city of New New York is doomed. Blame rests with known human Professor Hubert Farnsworth and his tiny, inferior brain.

    • Leela: Hey, watch it! You'll put somebody's eye out!
      Bender: OK, OK, keep your space pants on.

    • Leela: (getting the bomb ready) Get ready to run. We've got 25 minutes... Uh, 15 minutes... 10 minutes... 5 minutes... "6-H" minutes?
      (Bender picks up the bomb and turns it upside-down.)
      Bender: Here's your problem: the professor put the counter on upside-down!
      Leela: That idiot! It wasn't set to go off for 25 minutes; it was programmed to go off for 52 seconds!
      Fry: (screams) WE'RE GONNA DIE!!! Right?
      Bender: Right.
      (Fry screams again.)

    • Farnsworth: Now here's the bomb I've prepared. Once you activate it, you'll have 25 minutes to get away.
      Leela: That's all? But-
      Farnsworth: Now, now, there'll be plenty of time to discuss your objections when and if you return.

    • Farnsworth: Now, you'll only have one chance to destroy the ball. After that, it will be so close to Earth that blowing it up would cause garbage to rain over the entire planet, killing billions.
      Bender: Oh, boo-hoo!

    • Linda: Next, New New York in crisis. Morbo?
      Morbo: Thanks, human female. Puny Earthlings were shocked today to learn that a ball of garbage will destroy their pathetic city of New New York.
      Linda: Makes me glad we live here in Los Angeles.
      Morbo: Morbo agrees!

    • Poopenmeyer: My God! The senile old man is right.
      Wernstrom: Do you mean him or me?

    • Wernstrom: That smell could be anything; a faulty stench coil, some cheese on the lens, who knows?

    • Farnsworth: So that's the situation. Due to the short-sightedness of Old New York, New New York is going to be destroyed by a giant ball of garbage.

    • (After watching an online movie on the solution to the garbage problem in New York)
      Fry: Wow. You got that off the internet? In my day, the internet was only used to download pornography.
      Farnsworth: Actually, that's still true.
      (In the movie)
      Female Scientist / Porn Star: Now that the garbage is in space, Doctor, perhaps you can help me with my sexual inhibitions?
      Male Scientist / Porn Star: With gusto.

    • Farnsworth: My God! Whatever it is, it's headed straight for us. With enough force to reduce this entire city to a stinky crater. We have less than 72 hours.
      Bender: Well, let's get looting!

    • Farnsworth: Remarkable! A stench so foul it's right off the Funk-o-Meter. I dare say Fry may have discovered the smelliest object in the known universe.
      Bender: Ooh! Ooh! Name it after me!

    • Farnsworth: Eureka!
      Fry: Did you build the Smellescope?
      Farnsworth: No, I remembered that I'd built one last year.

    • Farnsworth: Perhaps 149 is just too old to be a scientist.
      Bender: Yep!
      Fry: No, Professor, don't give up. There were plenty of times in my century when I was gonna give up but I never did. Never! Hey, are you even listening to me? Oh, I give up!

    • Popeil: And now for the presentation of the award. Listen, folks, I'm practically giving this prize away to Dr. Wernstrom, for his fish thingy.

    • Wernstrom: I've waited a hundred years for this, Farnsworth. I give your invention the worst grade imaginable: An A-minus-minus.

    • Farnsworth: Uh, yes, here I am, OK, now, hello there. Now, we all know telescopes allow us to see distant objects. But what if we want to smell distant objects? Well now we can! Thanks to my new invention ... the Smellescope.
      Man: Oh, I say!
      Farnsworth: The odour travels past this coffee stain here, around the olive pit and into this cigar burn. And this appears to be a doodle of myself as a cowboy... But the Smellescope is brilliant, I tell you! Think of the astronomical odours you'll smell thanks to me.

    • Popeil: Welcome to this year's Academy of Inventors Annual Symposium. I'm your host, Ron Popeil, inventor of Mr. Microphone, the spray-on toupee and, of course, the technology to keep human heads alive in jars.

    • Bender: I've been perusing your fortified wine list and I've selected the '71 Hobo's Delight, the '57 Chateau Parté and the '66 Thunder Chevitz.
      Waiter: Exquisite choices, sir.
      Bender: And mix them all together in a big jug.

    • Fry: Who's that jerk?
      Farnsworth: A hundred years ago he was my most promising student at Mars University. But then, after one fateful pop-quiz...

      Wernstrom: A-minus? No one gives Ogden Wernstrom an A-minus!
      Farnsworth: I'm sorry, but penmanship counts.
      Wernstrom: I swear I'll have my revenge even if it takes me a hundred years.
      Flashback ends

      Farnsworth: And here it is: Slightly over 99 years later and still no revenge. I'm essentially in the clear.

    • Farnsworth: Behold! The death clock. Simply jam your finger in the hole and this read-out tells you exactly how long you have left to live.
      Leela: Does it really work?
      Farnsworth: Well it's occasionally off by a few seconds. What with free will and all.
      Fry: Sounds like fun. How long do I have left to live?
      He puts his finger in the hole and the clock dings
      Bender: Ooh! Dibs on his CD player!

    • Farnsworth: It's the Academy of Inventors' annual symposium.
      Fry: Wow! I love symposia.
      Farnsworth: It's the event of the scientific season. Every member presents an invention and the best one wins the Academy prize.
      Bender: Sounds boring.
      Farnsworth: Oh, my, yes.

    • Farnsworth: Good news, everyone. Tomorrow you'll be making a delivery to Ebola 9, the virus planet.
      Hermes: Why can't they go today?
      Farnsworth: Because tonight's a special night and I want all of you to be alive.

    • (Bender pulls string on Bart Doll)
      Bart Doll: Eat my shorts!
      Bender: Ok! (eats Bart Doll's shorts) Mmmm...shorts.

    • Fry: Hey! You have no right to criticise the 20th century. We gave the world the lightbulb, the steamboat and the cotton gin.
      Leela: Those things are all from the 19th century.
      Fry: Yeah, well, they probably just copied us.

    • Leela: Fry, what the hell were you people thinking back then? How could you just throw your garbage away?
      Fry: Hey, hey, gimmie a break! What do you do with it?
      Leela: We recycle everything. Robots are made from old beer cans.
      Bender: Yeah! And this beer can is made outta old robots.
      Leela: And that sandwich you're eating is made of old discarded sandwiches. Nothing just gets thrown away.
      Fry: The future is disgusting!

    • Farnsworth: But suppose we send a crew to plant an explosive precisely on the fault line betwen this mass of coffee grounds and this deposit of America Online floppy disks.
      Military Man: In theory, it could work.
      Wernstrom: Uh, in theory, perhaps. But you'll never find a crew willing to take on a mission so suicidally dangerous.
      Bender: Oh crap!

    • Wernstrom: And what will you be presenting this evening, grandpa?
      Farnsworth: Let's just say it'll put you young whippersnappers in your place!
      Wernstrom: I just hope it's not as lame as that death clock you presented last year.
      Farnsworth: Uh, last year, you say?
      Wernstrom: That's right.
      Farnsworth: Oh, my! Did it put you young whippersnappers in your place?
      Wernstrom: Hardly! We laughed until our teeth fell out. Come along, Cinnamon.
      Farnsworth: Oh, dear, I'll have to invent something new in the next ten minutes. Perhaps some sort of death clock!

    • Newscaster: All in all, this is one day mittens the kitten won't soon forget hahaha.
      Morbo: Hahaha...kittens give Morbo gas.

    • Wernstrom: Face it, Farnsworth, you're over the hill. It's time to leave science to the hundred-twenty-year-olds.
      Farnsworth: You young turks think you know everything! I was inventing things when you were barely turning senile.
      Wernstrom: Haha! Go home before you embarrass yourself, old man! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a nap before the ceremonies.

    • Mayor: But garbage isn't something you just find lying on the streets of Manhattan!

    • Fry: Hey, as long as you don't make me smell Uranus. (laughs)
      Leela: I don't get it.
      Farnsworth: I'm sorry, Fry, but astronomers renamed Uranus in 2620 to end that stupid joke once and for all.
      Fry: Oh. What's it called now?
      Farnsworth: Urectum. Here, let me locate it for you.
      Fry: Hehe, no, no, I think I'll just smell around a bit over here.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Closing Credits:
      The song that played over the closing credits, "We'll Meet Again" by Vera Lynn, also played over the closing credits of Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

    • Red Dwarf
      The "Fun in the Sun" theme you hear is from none other than the British show Red Dwarf. Not to mention the way they get rid of the garbage ball is a play off of the Red Dwarf episode "White Hole" where Lister plays billiards with the planets.

    • Armageddon:
      The second act of this episode involves flying a crew up to, and planting explosives on, the ball of garbage. This is a spoof of the movie Armageddon. The concept, 'garbage meteorites' striking cities, the space suits and even the atmosphere of the ball of garbage all strongly resemble those in the film.

    • Bender: Mmm...shorts
      This is a reference to Homer Simpson from The Simpsons (yet another show by Matt Groening), who occasionally says, "Mmm....donuts!" Not to mention the reference of Bart Simpson dolls on the ball.

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