Season 5 Episode 4

A Taste of Freedom

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 22, 2002 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
265 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Dr. Zoidberg is accused of flag desecration when, at a Washington D.C. celebration, he cannot restrain himself from eating a large flag. After Zoidberg is sentenced to death, his people send an invasion force to enslave the people of Earth and teach them the meaning of freedom.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • oh, Zoidberg

    This episode is easily one of the funniest episodes, if not just for that Waterfall character that dies near the end. He makes this a funny episode.

    Zoidberg eats an American Flag on Freedom Day, where people have freedom to do whatever they want. But he eats a flag and everyone hates him. So him and the Decapodians enslave humanity to teach them a thing or two about freedom.

    This is a series classic, and this is one of the episodes that makes Zoidberg my favorite character. He is absolutely hilarious and is used quite well in this episode. A+ for suremoreless
  • hillarious episode

    This episode was funny on so many accounts. The first is the fact that it pokes fun at the flag burning controversy. The second is the fact that it continues to show how rediculous Zoidberg and his whole species is. I especially enjoy the part where his mother critizies his choice to become a comedian and tells him about becoming a doctor, and then he becomes a doctor and she asks what happened to his dream of becoming a comedian. I also loved the lawyer who represented Zoidberg. He lead a rediculous life. He had several wives a husband and was purely crazy. He exercized his freedoms to the extreme. This goes on the list of my all time favorite episodes.moreless
  • A hilarious episode as Zoidberg goes through US law the hard way.

    The crew celebrates Freedom Day, a day where you can do anything you want, regardless of the consequences. Dr. Zoidberg seems affectionate about the holiday, as he loves the idea of freedom, something he did not have on his home planet Decapod 10. At the big Freedom Day celebration in Washington, D.C., Earth President Richard Nixon's head unveils the Earth flag ("Old Freebie") to celebrate the spirit of the holiday but the flag is eaten by Zoidberg. Zoidberg feels this is an expression of his freedom on Freedom Day; however, the rest of the crowd sees him as a traitor. Zoidberg is chased around town and takes cover in his planet's embassy.

    Zoidberg is put on trial and the crew hires lawyer Old Man Waterfall to represent him. Zoidberg, however, is found guilty and sentenced to death when he refuses to apologize publicly. After Earth's army storms the Decapodian embassy to seize Zoidberg (which constitutes an act of war, since the embassy is technically on Decapodian mud), the Decapodian ambassador to Earth summons the Decapodian military to retaliate. The Decapodian army easily defeats Earth's defense forces (thanks in no small part to Zapp Brannigan's incompetence, after he hands over the activation codes for the entire global defense network to a thinly disguised Decapodian operative named "Hugh Man") and Earth is enslaved by the crustacean extraterrestrials.

    Zoidberg does nothing to help his former coworkers, claiming that Earth didn't deserve its freedom. Later, Fry, Bender, Leela, Zapp, and Kif find a heat-seeking missile and launch it toward the Decopodians' newly-constructed Mobile Oppression Palace (a gigantic vehicle left behind by the Decapodians to keep the people of Earth subjugated, as it is much cheaper than an occupation force and just as effective). However, the palace is "cold-blooded," like the Decapodians themselves, and the palace continues its destructive rampage. It eventually crushes Old Man Waterfall for standing in its way, whom Zoidberg respected for defending him when no one else would. Zoidberg then lights a flag on fire and throws it toward the Mobile Oppression Palace, attracting the missile and thus destroying the palace. Zoidberg is declared a hero and is honored by Nixon at a ceremony, where he unveils a new Earth flag, out of which Zoidberg is allowed to take a bite. Zoidberg concludes that Earth, not Decapod 10, is now his true home planet.moreless
  • Zoidberg eats a flag and is sentenced to death.

    During Freedom Day, a day where all citizens are free to do as they please to celebrate the freedom Earth has to offer, Dr Zoidberg eats an Earth flag. Everybody is incensed at his actions and he is put on trial and sentenced to death.

    Hearing of Zoidbergs plight, the Decapodians send ships to Earth to enslave the planet to teach them the real meaning of freedom. Zoidberg is unsure what his people are doing is the right thing and assists Fry and Leela to take back the planet. He is hailed a hero for his actions in saving the planet.moreless
  • This is a sweet episode.

    This is one of my favorite episodes. This episode is all about Zoidberg. It's super funny.

    There is a new holiday. It's called freedom day. You can do whatever you want. Since you can do whatever you want, Zoidberg eats the earth flag. Everyone gets really mad at him. He goes to court. There was only one person who defneded him. He wasn't guilty. Zoidberg's people inslave the human race. They get the power codes and turn off all of the power. They get everyone to build a huge mobile palace. Fry has an idea. They go to a museum and steal a heat seeking missile. They fire in, but the modile palace is cold blooded. Zoidberg realizes what he's done and he burns an earth flag. He throws it at the palace and the missile hits the palace and it blows up. He gets a medal for saving earth.

    I give this episode a 9.7 out of 10.moreless
David Herman

David Herman

Mayor Poopenmayer, Professor Ogden Wernstrum, Scruffy, Toronga Morris, Larry, Dwayne, Various

Katey Sagal

Katey Sagal

Turanga Leela, Various

Billy West

Billy West

Philip J. Fry, Professor Hubert Farnsworth, Dr. John Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, Leo Wong, Various

Lauren Tom

Lauren Tom

Amy Wong, Inez Wong, Various

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Mom, Linda the Newscaster, Various

Frank Welker

Frank Welker

Nibbler, Various

Phil Hendrie

Phil Hendrie

Old Man Waterfall

Guest Star

Byrne Offutt

Byrne Offutt

Ultility Player

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (16)

    • Goof:
      When Zoidberg sets fire to the Earth flag, shouldn't the heat seeking missile go after Zoidberg because he had a fiery flag and it should go after Bender because of his cigar?
      It could depend on the strength of the heat signal

    • Lady Justice's scale is weighed down on one side by a bag of money. She is also lacking her sword.

    • After the opening sequence, Bender along with others is having a can of beer, but when he goes to put on his hat, his Beer dissappears. Right after that Fry's beer dissappears. I say dissappears because there is no way they could set it on the railing, and when the shot zooms out for the opening for the Hot Tub, you can see that they have not been set on the ground.

    • Abe Vigoda and Snoop Dogg have become members of Supreme Court. Other familar members of the Supreme Court include Sandra Day O'Connor, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. All but Abe Vigoda and Snoop Dogg were associated justices of the U.S. Supreme Court when this episode was made.

    • Alien code: A truck with the words Earthican Flag Company is seen with Alien Code #2 below it. When translated it reads: "A Venusian Corporation."

    • LOOK HARD: Museum Sign; Nuns & Nunchuks: Mother Teresa's Secret Arsenal.

    • Washington Post Headlines: Lobster Trial Nears, Mobster Trial Nears, Handsome Invaders Defeat Earth, Post Names New Editor.

    • Earth went to war over the ownership of Haley's Comet.

    • Old Man Waterfall appears to be the (so far) oldest of the Waterfall clan we see on the show. Free Waterfall Jr was the "smelly hippie" in Popplers; Free Waterfall Sr was the animal rights activist in Birdbot of Ice-catraz. All three were incidentally voiced by Phil Hendrie.

      He was also the P.U. member from Pluto that yelled out that he would avenge Free Waterfall Srs. death.

    • Opening theme promotion: OR IS IT?

    • During the trial Zoidberg say 2 of his 3 hearts are having heart attacks. Normally, Decapodans have 4 hearts, but Zoidberg lost one of his in "Roswell That Ends Well."

    • If the heat-seeking missle was unable to target the cold-blooded "Mobile Opression Palace", it wouldn't keep circling it. Instead, the missle would target the nearest availible heat source, probably the nearby crowd of humans?

    • Not only that, if you die after mating how can his mother talk to him?
      (Edit) She's not his genetic mother. Note how the woman said "if you want your parents to roll over in their graves." She's the third person refered to in "That's Lobstertainment" who raised Zoidberg.
      This drives home the point that not all of Zoidberg's species mate at the Frenzy. Some choose to live on to raise the children spawned from it and teach them the ways of their civilization.

    • Didn't all of Zoidberg's species who mated die in WMIBACIL? If that is so, how come they can invade Earth? I don't think the new crabs would have grown up that fast?

      (Response) It's true that his species dies after mating, but not all of them mated. If Zoidberg didn't mate, than there were more than likely many others that didn't as well, either by choice or the fact they weren't mating material.

    • Zoidberg named three parents when he tried to remind Harold Zoid which nephew he was.

    • Fry discovers what Freedom Day is. It is now 3003, so this would be his 4th Freedom Day (after 3000, 3001 and 3002) - yet Fry still doesn't know what Freedom Day is?

  • QUOTES (30)

    • Dr. Zoidberg: I wonder what the Shroud of Turin tastes like.

    • Chief Justice: Also, in a rare Double-Whammy decision, the court finds polygamy constitutional.
      Old Man Waterfall: I can't wait to tell my husband.
      (Spectators boo louder)

    • Leela: Zoidberg you set us free! I feel like I could stand to hug you! I can't but you know what I'm trying to say.

    • Old Man Waterfall: I request a Satanic funeral.

    • Fry: You haven't won yet Moyvan! You wouldn't expect us to even go to a museum, much less steal this ancient heat-seeking missile!
      Moyvan: I don't even know you!

    • Fry: Back in my day, we didn't have your fancy all-digital weapons. We still managed to kill each other just fine.

    • Bender: Ah the crossbow. A pitiless, elegant killing machine. The Bender of the 15th century.

    • Zapp: All our modern technology is useless.
      Bender: I know I am!

    • Leela: This can't go on. Today is the day we fight back!
      Bender: It's already 10 o'clock!
      Leela: Oh right. Tomorrow is the day we fight back!

    • Fry: I'm no good at being a slave. I'm thinking about Graduate School. Y'know? To become a barber?

    • Zoidberg: Bah! Your planet doesn't deserve freedom until it learns what it is to not have freedom! It's a lesson I say.

    • Zoidberg: Deny my freedom will you? Well we'll do to you what we did the the Squash Men of the Squash Planet! Squish them!

    • Zoidberg: Me? Apologise? Never! I came to this planet to learn the meaning of freedom. But I say it's you who should get a nice lesson! So do your worst. Because no punishment could be worse than denying my freedom.
      Chief Justice: You are hereby sentenced to death.
      Zoidberg: Wait, let me finish!

    • Bender: Court's kinda fun when it's not my ass on the line!

    • Chief Justice: Counsel you may address the court on behalf of Earth, if you're ready.
      Hyper-Chicken: I was hatched ready!

    • Old Man Waterfall: I don't condone what Dr Zoidberg did but I'll fight tooth and nail for his freedom to do it. Or I would if I hadn't lost my teeth and nails on Mars and Saturn respectively.

    • Old Man Waterfall: Sir to me a robot's just a garbage can with sparks comin' out it!
      Bender: The sparks keep me warm.

    • Old Man Waterfall: I'm a veteran of three dozen Waterfall's. Name any part of the planet, I've taken a bullet in it, on it. All to keep our flag flying free.
      Bender: And you wanna defend Zoidberg? Are you familiar with the old robot saying Does Not Compute?

    • Old Man Waterfall: Name's Old Man Waterfall! But most folks just call me "Old Man."
      Fry: I'll never remember that!

    • Leela: Cool your jells Nixon. You wouldn't like it that Dr Zoidberg desecrated the flag. You might even find the image of it festering in his bowels offensive...

    • Zoidberg: I thought I understood this world. I thought I was fitting in. But I guess I don't belong on here anymore than I belong on our crappy home planet. Oops, sorry.
      Decapodian Man: What sorry? Our planet stinks, we all know it!

    • Nixon: In our darkest hour, we can stand erect, with proud upthrust bosoms!
      Fry: Anyone who laughs is a Communist!

    • Nixon: My fellow Earthicans, we enjoy so much freedom it's almost sickening. We're free to choose which hand our sex monitoring chip is implanted in. And if we don't want to pay our taxes, why, we're free to spend a weekend with the pain monster.
      Pain Monster: See you April 15th!

    • Fry: Wow! Nude hot-tubbing? That's all I need to hear about Freedom Day!
      Zoidberg: Then consider the following lecture a bonus!

    • Fry: So, what is Freedom Day? Sounds like some kind of feminine hygiene product.
      Zoidberg: No, it's a fabulous, crabulous day!
      Amy: If you wanna do something, you do it! And to splick with the consequences!
      Bender: Y'know, like how I live every day!

    • Fry: Hey, wait! I'm having one of those things. You know, a headache with pictures.
      Leela: An idea?
      Fry: (nodding) Mm, hmmm, hmmm.

    • Brannigan: Let's show these freaks what a bloated, runaway military budget can do!

    • Head of the ACLU: You can eat my dog, you can eat my truck, but you eat my flag and you're out of luck! She's waving proud around the world from Dallas to Fort Worth. Let me say it again: Don't mess with Earth!

    • Zoidberg: That's why I love Earth. You can do what you want, and no one makes you feel guilty, because no one cares.
      Fry: We're not listening!
      Zoidberg: That's what I'm talking about!

    • Fry: They really hate Doctor Zoidberg.
      Bender: Pfft. Posers. I was hating Zoidberg before it was cool!

  • NOTES (2)

    • The design for the Klingon embassy was originally for the Barbie homeworld embassy. But the writers got tired of the joke and changed it.

    • Several scenes were removed from the show for time, including the nude pool. You can find them on the Season 4 DVD.

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • Welcome Back, Kotter

      Washington DC is rededicated in 2475 to Washington the Sweathog. The Sweathogs were a group of unruly remedial students on the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter and Freddy "Boom Boom" Washington, played by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, was the hip, African-American, basketball enthusiast.

    • The speech made by the chicken lawyer against Zoidberg's defense speech refers to a very famous Bible verse (Matthew 15:11): "What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him."

    • Voltaire
      Old Man Waterfall paraphrases the oft-misquoted Voltaire line "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

    • Visual: Flag
      The design of the flag cleverly references the totalitarian Nazi (the colours) and Soviet (the hammer) flags.

    • Inherit The Wind
      The trial, and many of the things done during it are a parody of the famous play (and later movie) Inherit The Wind.

    • Parade: The Fighting Dukaki.
      A quick and funny reference to 1988 Presidential candidate, Michael Dukakis. The comical image of Michael Dukakis riding in a tank was one of many things that led to him losing to George Bush.

    • Spear: Circa 2256
      A quick reference to Albert Einstein's thoughts after seeing what his bomb had done at the end of World War II. Quote: "I do not know which weapons World War III will be fought with, but World War IV will be fought with stones and sticks."

    • Leela: Today is the day we fight back.

      A cheap stab at the over-quoted line from Independence Day.

    • Nixon: Sock it to him.

      A funny reference to Nixon's appearance on the NBC sketch show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.

    • V
      The flags from Zoidberg's home world, as well as the of invasion is a parody of the show V