Season 2 Episode 20

Anthology of Interest I

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM May 21, 2000 on Comedy Central



  • Trivia

    • Gary Gygax died during the making of the third Futurama direct to DVD movie Bender's Game which spoofed Dungeons and Dragons. After a dedication credit, a clip from this episode is shown of Gygax saying "Anyone want to play Dungeons and Dragons for the next Quadrillion years?"

    • After Fry falls and bumps his head on the freezer door, he gets up and the table he was sat at is now a lot further away from the freezer than it was when he fell.

    • When giant Bender rips Shea Stadium from its foundations, a sign indicates that the Mets were the World Series Champions in 1969 and 1986, which means that they won't win between now and the year 3000! This is further stated in the episode "A Leela of Her Own".

    • Bender: I wanna ask it a question! As a robot living among humans, I've never really felt accepted at parties or nude beaches. So I've always secretly wondered: What if I was 500 feet tall?

      At first it seems as though Bender is going to ask what it would be like if he were human, but instead he changes it. This foreshadows future events because in the sequel, Anthology of Interest 2, this time Bender does ask the What If machine what it would be like if he were human.

    • Two songs played during the Bender's segment are Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" and Hanson's "MmmBop".

    • The finglonger that Farnsworth said would be impossible to invent was used in The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz episode.

    • The reason for Fry's missing the freezing tube was probably because he fell by himself. Had he been blown in by either Nibbler or himself, he most likely would have fallen in.

    • Scruffy reappears, although his moustache is now brown, not white like it was when he appeared in A Fishful Of Dollars.

    • The What If machine isn't meant to run more than one "What If" at a time. Since most of the episode's based inside a "What If" scenario, the "What if" questions posed to the machine that the What If machine generated wouldn't be very accurate. And as time goes on, the original "What If" environment could be degraded.

    • Why do Bender, Leela and Zoidberg appear together in Fry's "What if'? If it wasn't for him, they wouldn't have met each other.

    • When Fry creates a rip in time and space by not being frozen, the future we saw could have been the one that originally existed; thus explaining Leela and Bender's presence. The second time we see the hole, when just Bender appears, could be from the time lines, which are not being altered by Fry not being frozen.

      RESPONSE: This doesn't make sense, because Bender remembers having already seen Fry in the earlier hole.

    • In Space Pilot 3000, Fry wipes the condensation off one of the tubes and we see a man - without glasses. in this episode, when Fry does the same thing, the man is wearing glasses.

    • Scruffy's moustache and hat keep changing colors throughout the episode.

    • Al Gore called Nichelle Nichols Commander Uhura, but she only had 1 gold braid which indicates the rank of Lieutenant.

    • The jet on Bender's butt disappears after a few scenes.

    • In the scene where Fry falls back in his chair he was drinking a soda but when he gets up the can isn't in his hand or on the floor.

  • Quotes

    • Farnsworth: That story was preposterous. Stephen Hawking in a pizzeria! This thing isn't worth the gold it's made of.

    • Nichols: Eternity with nerds. It's the Pasadena Star Trek convention all over again.
      Gygax: Anyone wanna play Dungeons & Dragons for the next quadrillion years?
      Fry: Sure.
      Hawking: I guess.
      IBM Deep Blue: Pawn to rook 8.
      Al Gore: Sure! I'm a level 10 vice-president.

    • Hawking: Great. The entire universe was destroyed.
      Fry: Destroyed? Then where are we now?
      Gore: I don't know. But I can darn well tell you where we're not: The universe.

    • Nichols: Wait. I'm getting an idea. What if Fry was supposed to get frozen?
      Hawking: Yes. Shove him in the tube. It was my idea.

    • Nichols: Something's wrong. Murder isn't working and that's all we're good at.

    • Fry: So then my chair tilted back and I almost fell into this freezer thingy.
      Hawking: I call it a "Hawking Chamber".
      Fry: But instead of falling in and getting frozen, I missed and wanged my head.
      Gore: Well it's obvious what should have happened: That wang to the head should have killed you.
      Fry: Uh, what?
      Nichols: Let's finish the job.

    • Gygax: Mr. Fry, the time disruption indicates that some of that was supposed to happen but didn't, due to a quantum fluctuation.
      Nichols: That's why we had to beat you with tennis rackets.

    • Fry: So what do you nerds want?
      Nichols: It's about that rip in space-time that you saw.
      Hawking: I call it a "Hawking Hole".
      Fry: No fair! I saw it first!
      Hawking: Who is The Journal of Quantum Physics going to believe?

    • Fry: Where am I, anyway?
      Nichols: You're travelling in a specially-equipped terrestrial transport module.
      Gygax: A school bus!

    • Deep Blue: Bishop to knight 4.
      Gore: Not all missions can be solved with chess, Deep Blue. Someday you'll understand that.

    • Nichols: Incoming transmission from MCI "One Rate" department. It sounds like a limited-time offer.
      Gore: Tell them I'm in the tub!

    • Fry: Let me ask you something: Has anyone ever discovered a hole in nothing with monsters in it? 'Cause if I'm the first, I want them to call it "a Fry Hole".

    • Fry: Hey! Stephen Hawking! Aren't you that physicist that invented gravity?
      Hawking: Sure. Why not?

    • Panucci: Hey! The usual, Professor Hawking?
      Hawking: No. Today I'd like something good.
      Panucci: Hawking, you're alright! I'll make you the usual!

    • Fry: You believe me about the monsters, right, Mr. Panucci?
      Panucci: There's only three real monsters, kid: Dracula, Blacula and Son of Kong. Now quit picking your nose and knead that dough!

    • Leela: What is it?
      Farnsworth: It appears that the very fabric of space-time has ripped.
      Bender: Hey, look! An ugly scared guy! Boo!
      Fry: Who are you monsters? Is one of you Icy Wiener?
      Zoidberg: If that's his pizza, then I'm icy whatever!

    • Fry: Then... then... it was you!
      Leela: I don't know what came over me. I killed one person on impulse. Then I had to kill another. And another.
      Fry: Well, that covers the first three killings.

    • Fry: Y'know, I think I finally figured out what's behind all these mysterious deaths.
      Leela: Really?
      Fry: Was Planet Express built on an Indian graveyard?

    • Zoidberg: So, it's just as I suspected all along. The crime is unsolvable! What's this? A letter from Bender, my good friend. Dear Dr. Jerkberg, if you're reading this, I'm already dead. The person who killed me was... was... My God! It can't be! The murderer, it was-
      Fry: I'm bored. You're boring, Zoidberg. I'm gonna go watch TV.

    • Zoidberg: My next clue came at 4.15, when the clock stopped. And another came two hours later at 4.15, when I discovered the murdered body of Amy's dead, deceased corpse.

    • Zoidberg: Quiet, please. I've called you all here to the parlour to watch as I gradually solve the crime. One of the people in this room... is a big murderer! You see, the killer left one fatal clue: This boot print on the Professor's lab coat.
      Leela: Uh, couldn't be me. I never wear boots. (She unzips her boots and lifts her feet onto the table) See?
      Fry: Ew! What smells like boot feet?

    • Leela: Who are you?
      Scruffy: Scruffy, the janitor.
      Leela: I've never seen you before.
      Scruffy: I've never seen you before neither.

    • Amy: Wow! Sporty go-cart, Leela! So hip and sexy. Not like you at all.

    • Leela: OK, that's it. No more killing! Next time you feel like killing just have a stick of gum.

    • Leela: I'm sorry, I couldn't stop- W-Wait. Don't you care that I murdered Hermes?
      Bender: Not even a little. There's nothing wrong with murder, just so long as you let Bender wet his beak.

    • Bender: Sure is shocking about the Professor, huh?. And now Hermes is mysteriously missing. Anyhow, it doesn't affect me, Bender. Hey, what's this? Hermes' dreadlocks? And his arm? Leela, I'm shocked. Food goes in the disposal, hair and flesh go in the trash!

    • Hermes: What are you hacking off? Is it my torso? It is! My precious torso!
      Zoidberg: Hermes, quiet! I'm deducing things.

    • Zoidberg: Alright, anteater number one, who are you protecting? Is it anteater number two? Don't stick your tongue out at me. I need a name! (An anteater makes a noise) What? How do you spell that?

    • Hermes: Perhaps the Professor's files can clear things up. "Citation for public nudity", "Conspiracy to commit public nudity"... Aha! A new will! Naming... you as his sole heir.
      Leela: That doesn't prove I killed him.
      Hermes: It's a video will. It shows you killing him.

    • Zoidberg: Police? Bah! Nosy meddlers! It so happens I have mail order degrees in Murderology and Murderonomy.

    • Hermes: Sweet giant anteater of Saint Anita! The Professor's been eaten by giant anteaters!
      Zoidberg: What?
      Hermes: If y'ask me, it's mighty suspicious! I'm gonna call the police... right after I flush some things.

    • Leela: OK, just try to be nonchalant.
      Zoidberg: Alright, so you're nonchalant. Quit rubbing our noses in it.

    • Farnsworth: I can't live forever and I need an heir. Someone to spend my vast riches and take care of my man-eating anteaters when I'm gone. The others simply aren't level-headed enough. They're too impulsive. Not like you. Not like old, predictable, dull-as-dishwater Leela.
      Leela: Hello? New boots!
      Farnsworth: That's why I've made you my sole heir. The day I die, you'll be a very wealthy woman. Oh, my, yes. Incredibly wealthy. The day I die. Because you're so unimpulsive.

    • Farnsworth: Well, Leela, care to give the What-If machine a whirl?
      Leela: Maybe later. I-I mean, I don't know what to ask about.
      Hermes: Come on, woman! Just pick something.
      Fry: Yeah, be more impulsive. Like this.
      He picks up a box of Admiral Crunch, tips the contents on his head and pours milk over it
      Bender: Go, man! Go!
      Fry eats the cereal from his head
      Leela: I can be really impulsive. It just takes me a while.
      Fry chops a banana onto his head

    • Fry: Nooo! Are you people satisfied? This gentle visitor is dying! And we'll never even know why he came.
      Bender: I'll tell you... with my final breath.

    • Bender: Hey, I called this city! Quit touching my stuff!
      Zoidberg: Tell it to claw.
      Bender: Bite my colossal metal ass!

    • Zoidberg: What's this? Two meals in one week?

    • Hermes: We're jerked! Nothing can stop a monster that big.
      Farnsworth: Nothing except an even equally big monster. This is chance to try out my experimental enlarging ray. But we'll need a guinea pig.

    • Amy: Well, there goes the neighbourhood... There goes another neighbourhood.

    • Fry: Who are you?
      Bender: I'm a big robot and I want a big cereal!
      Fry: You too? Will you be my friend?
      Bender: Put it there, pal! (Fry shakes his finger) I meant your wallet.

    • Bender: I wanna aks it a question! As a robot living among humans, I've never really felt accepted at parties or nude beaches. So I've always secretly wondered: What if I was 500-feet tall?

    • Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! I've invented a device that allows you to operate equipment from great distances. I call it "the fing-longer". Observe. (He aims the fing-longer at a button on a tv screen) And, here we go. (The TV screen, turns on) There!
      Fry: Ooh!
      Amy: Wow!
      Zoidberg: Ah!
      Farnsworth: Pretty long, eh?
      Fry: Yeah, it's really long. But what did you just turn on with it?
      Farnsworth: Oh, that's just the What-If machine I invented. You pose it a What-If question and it generates a video simulation of what would happen.
      Fry: Does it really work?
      Farnsworth: Of course it works! It's just not very long...

    • Farnsworth: So that's what would have happened if I'd invented the Finglonger. Quite impossible of course. A man can dream though... a man can dream...

    • Zoidberg: Friends! Help! A guinea pig tricked me!

    • Farnsworth: We're not watching it again, ask something less stupid!
      Fry: Oh alright, how about this... what if I never fell into that freezer-doodle and came to the future-jiggy?
      Farnsworth: That question is less stupid, though you asked it in a profoundly stupid way.

    • Bender: Blackmail is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion, the x makes it sound cool.

    • Fry: Uh, I have a question! What if Bender was really giant?

      Leela: You idiot! We already saw that.

      Fry: I know. I liked it. I wanna see it again.

    • Al Gore: You fool! You foolish fool!

    • Bender: I came here with a simple dream. A dream of killing all humans. And this is how it must end? Who's the real 7 billion ton robot monster here? Not I, not I...

      Fry: Good night, sweet prince.

    • Leela: Hey, guys! Look what I bought on a wild impulse: New boots! They're like my old ones but with a crazy green stripe! Whoo! Never know what I'm gonna do next!

    • Fry: Who are you people?

      Al Gore: I'm Al Gore. And these are my vice presidential action rangers. A group of top-nerds, whose sole duty is to prevent disruptions in the space-time continuum.

      Fry: I thought your sole duty was to cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

      Al Gore: That, and protect the space-time continuum. Read the Constitution.

    • Al Gore: If we don't go back there and make the event happen, the entire universe will be destroyed. And as an environmentalist, I'm against that.

    • Farnsworth: You've killed me! You've killed me!
      Leela: Oh, no! What have I done?
      Farnsworth: I just told you - You've killed me!

  • Notes

    • This episode is one of the four best episodes of Futurama, according to Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. It is also on the Futurama Monster Robot Maniac Fun collection DVD.

    • In an amusing bit of continuity, the cereal Fry eats off of his head is Admiral Crunch, presumably the "descendent" of the currently existing Captain Crunch cereal manufactured by the Quaker Oats company.

    • First appearance of the Accusing Parlor.

    • The cover of the Monster Manual at the end of the third segment is exactly the same as the original Monster Manual from Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st editon from the late 1970s. This particular book was, of course, written by Gygax.

    • An alternate title is "Tales of Interest".

    • Alien code: When Bender and Zoidberg start fighting in the streets, one of the apartments has a green sign in Alien Code #1. It reads "Rent A Human".

    • When Fry's chair falls this time, Nibbler's and Future Fry's shadow are gone for the only time when this is shown. In the first episode, Nibbler is there and in Jurassic Bark, both Nibbler and Fry are there.

    • Al Gore is voiced by himself, making it his first appearance in any TV series of any kind. It is also one of the very rare times that a politician appears as himself on a show. Usually only famous relatives of politicians make appearances on television shows, such a few years ago when John F. Kennedy Jr. appeared as himself on Murphy Brown, as well as Roger Clinton (Bill Clinton's brother) has appeared as himself a few times on The Nanny.

    • This episode follows the line of the popular Halloween episodes of The Simpsons.

  • Allusions

    • Monty Python's Flying Circus

      The scene where Leela kills people when the lights are turned off is an allusion to a sketch in the episode "The Royal Philharmonic goes to the bathroom"

    • Star Trek

      Nichelle Nichols appears as Uhura from Star Trek: The Original Series (1966).

    • Under Impulse
      The idea of someone killing a person and then killing more people to cover up his first murder is an extract from the movie "Under Impulse".

    • WHAT IF... Vol. 1, Issue 9

      Marvel Comics has had success in the past with a comic title known as What If... (one series from 1977-1984, the other from '89-'98--they now publish each one as a one-shot instead of as an ongoing series), which is a title they created that shows what would have happened to certain storylines in their comics had the story taken a different path (for example: "What If Spider-Man Joined the Fantastic Four?", "What If the Hulk Had the Brain of Bruce Banner?"). On the whole, the formula used in this show is similar to the ones used in this episode.

      A specific issue sticks out in my mind, however. Usually, the What If... comics are hosted by the Watcher--a cosmic being who can see into alternate realities. However, one issue--What If... Vol. 1, Issue 9 (or "What If the Avengers Had Fought Evil During the 1950's?")--is told in a different way. Iron Man calls four of the other Avengers (Captain America, Thor, the Vision, and Beast, for those of you who are interested) into a meeting only to reveal a machine he has created which can show them alternate realities--namely, that reality which answers the question What if the Avengers had been formed during the 1950's. All five of the Avengers go on to watch on a view-screen what would have happened.

    • Empire State Building:
      This marks the "second" time that a creature was destroyed at the site of this edifice: King Kong and Giant Bender!

    • Deep Blue:
      One of members of the Vice-Presidental Action Rangers is Deep Blue which was a computer made by IBM that beat world chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997.

    • Amityville Horror:
      Fry asks, "Was Planet Express Built on an Indian Graveyard?", a reference to the horror movie based on ghosts controlling and killing all that live in that story's home.

    • Fry: Good night, sweet prince
      This is a direct and well-known quote from the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare; these words are spoken by Horatio as Hamlet dies. This quote has also become a widely used internet "meme".

    • Dungeons & Dragons
      Aside from having Gygex in Gore's party, there are several references about D&D made, including rolling dice to decide what to do, and holding a +1 mace!

    • Sherlock Holmes
      Zoidberg wears the famous hat of the great detective Sherlock Holmes, and "The Accusing Parlor" looks a lot like his home in London from the books.

    • Zoidberg: Ah, the famed Apollo Theater. Boo me off stage on open mike night!
      The Apollo Theater in New York is a place where many legends have been discovered, and many people get booed off stage on a regular basis.

    • Bender: I'm a big robot, and I want a big cereal!
      This is a modified line from the old Honey Comb commercials.

    • The Iron Giant
      The story of a giant robot coming to earth and making friends with a lonely kid is a parody of the story behind The Iron Giant which was made into an animated film in 1999.