Season 4 Episode 11

The 30% Iron Chef

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 14, 2002 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
249 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Bender attempts to become a chef, and is quickly rejected by the Planet Express crew. He then turns to the chef that inspired him, Elzar, who also rejects him. Bender soon makes friends with some space hobos and, coincidentally, one of them is Helmut Spargel, formerly the world's greatest chef. Helmut takes Bender under his wing and trains him to be a master chef by giving him a secret weapon — a crystal vial containing "the pure essence of flavor". A now confident Bender challenges Elzar to a competition in the televised kitchen coliseum known as the "Iron Cook" show.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • ggreat episode

    This episode was very entertaining as Bender's dream of becoming a chef is ruined (it's a good thing the crew didn't drink that liquid though). The ending is terrific with Professor Farnsworth declaring that the secret ingredient was merely water... with LSD or "confidence" as Bender prefers the term to be.The checklist that Bender has is also great and his chef training, including chopping up his arm and accidentally killing his trainer, Helmut.The B story of Zoidberg framing Fry for breaking the Professor's ship and the obvious clues such as "Fry Confesses" on a pad labelled "From the desk of Zoidberg" and "I hate bottles" on Fry's shirt. The return of the accusing parlour to show that it wasn't a "what if we had an accusing parlour" question was good since it was randomly put in on Anthology of Interest.Both stories were good but I preferred Zoidberg's.moreless
  • Another one of my favortie episodes!!!!

    Bender aspires to be a cook for the Planet Express crew, but the meals he produces are awful. One day he cooks brunch for the crew but uses disgusting ingredients: a pony for Amy and at least two containers of salt in each meal (which, according to Bender, is 10% less than the deadly dose). Bender accidentally overhears Fry complaining about the meal and after the whole crew agrees with him Bender starts to cry and runs away, dropping his drinks (which have mop water in them), making an acidic hole in the floor. Also, Zoidberg destroys the scale replica of the world's largest ship-in-a-bottle that Professor Farnsworth has just made. He frames Fry for the damage and the Professor demands that Fry pay $10 for the material cost. Fry repays him with ease, not having the wherewithal to defend himself. Because Zoidberg is so poor, he sees $10 as a huge sum of money and is riddled with guilt.

    After running away, Bender hopes Elzar will teach him how to cook, but Elzar refuses. Bender then finds two hoboes who take him with them on the spacerails. Bender and the hoboes end up in the biggest hobo joint in the universe, "not Eugene, Oregon" according to Bender. There, Bender meets Helmut Spargel-a legendary cook who lost his TV show when a young, upcoming Elzar replaced him. Spargel begins to train Bender how to cook in order to get revenge on Elzar.

    Once Bender is finished with his training, Spargel gives Bender the final test: whether he can cook an edible meal for Spargel. Spargel eats the food and tells Bender that it is acceptable. As a result of eating the food, his stomach explodes, and he dies. With his last, dying breath, Spargel reveals the secret to perfect cooking and gives him a vial of unknown liquid to use whenever he needs to spice up a food.

    Bender challenges Elzar to a cook-off on Iron Cook. The main ingredient used in this cook-off is Soylent green. Bender prepares terrible looking food, but he applies the liquid that Spargel gave him and somehow wins. As Elzar scrubs dishes, Bender declines the title of Iron Cook and takes the lesser title of Zinc Saucier, which he made up at that moment, stating that it also comes with double prize money. After the contest, Zoidberg becomes remorseful for framing Fry (when Fry is unable to pay for a $10 commemorative turkey baster, having forgotten to bring spending money with him). Zoidberg publicly apologizes before trying to commit seppuku honorably using a ceremonial Wakizashi, only to damage the $5000 sword (seemingly having forgotten his body is a hard shell); and before running away, he falsely says it was Fry who did it.

    When the Professor examines the liquid in the bottle Spargel gave Bender, it turns out the liquid was ordinary water. Fry says that all Spargel gave him was confidence, the confidence to beat Elzar-after which the Professor mentions that the water was laced with LSD. The episode closes with Bender proposing a meal for his co-workers. The characters are unsure, but when Bender adds that the meal will include plenty of "confidence", they joyfully accept.moreless
  • Bender is determine to become a great chef.

    Bender once again makes another attempt at cooking for the crew, but as usual his food is totally unedible. Bender overhears everybody talking about how bad the meal was.

    Determined to become a great chef, Bender pleads his case to Elzar asking him to teach him how to cook. But Elzar rejects him.

    We see the devious side of Zoidberg as he takes a leaf out of Benders book and frames Fry for an act he committed. But unlike Bender, Dr Zoidberg feels guilt for what he has done. Bender stumbles across Helmet Spragel, the man who Elzar replaced on TV and it is he who agrees to teach Bender how to cook.

    The cooking show that Bender battles Elzar on is a funny spoof of the Japanese Show Iron Chef.moreless
  • This is a sweet episode.

    This is a really funny episode. Bender actually learns how to cook.

    Bender cooks breakfast for everyone, but since he doesn't have the sence of taste, so he makes terrible food. Bender overhears everyone talking about how bad it was, so he runs away. He tries to get Elzar to teach him to cook, but Elzar doesn't help him. Bender is mad. Then he meets someone who was really good at cooking. He also hate Elzar for ruining his dream. He teaches Bender how to cook. Then he dies. Right before he dies, he gives Bender a bottle of pure taste. One drop will turn anything tasty. Bender challenges Elzar to a cook off. Bender wins it with his pure taste. He cooks for the crew all the time now, with his pure taste of course. The professor does a test on it and it turns out that it's just water and LSD.

    I give this episode a 9.6 out of 10.moreless
  • Bender learns how to cook.

    When Bender agrees to cook for Planet Express, the others get scared of his cooking. They try to escape but Bender catches them at last minute. He makes them sit at the table and eat his food the he made for them. Everyone is saying that Bender is a terrible cook, and that they should pretend to like it anyway. They later on talk about how gross the cooking was, but Bender over heard it, and cried, then ran away.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Zoidberg is playing with the Professor's ship in a bottle, when he accidentally breaks it. While trying to fix it, he makes an even bigger mess. He then later on blames it on Fry so he wouldn't get in trouble.

    He then goes to the cheif that inspeired him to cook, Elzar, but he also turned him down, so then he runs away for good. He then finds some hobos that lead him to the only person who can help him out, Helmut Spragel. He helps him get to the top, but when he tried one of Bender's meals he dies. But, before he died, he gave him a secret ingredient to use.

    Then Bender challanges Elzar to the Iron Cook. During the making of the foods, Elzar looks like he's in for the gold, while Bender looked like he didn't know what he was doing. Towards the end of the episode, Bender didn't looked to hot, but when the judges tasted his foods, they loved it! So Bender turned out to be the Iron Cook.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Zoidberg is playing with the Professor's ship in a bottle, when he accidentally breaks it. While trying to fix it, he makes an even bigger mess. He then later on blames it on Fry so he wouldn't get in trouble. At the cook off, Zoidberg counldn't take the pressure of blaming Fry. So he tried to kill himself. But instead he broke the sword.

    Later on, after the cook off, we got to see what the secret ingredent was. It was water.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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

  • QUOTES (58)

    • Bender: But the true Zen of flavour is not found in a coliseum. It is found in a small kitchen, with friends. That is why I decline the title of Iron Cook and accept only the lesser title of "Zinc Saucier", which I just made up. Also, it comes with double prize money.

    • Bender: Chairman-san, I came here with one goal: To humiliate Elzar in a large stadium. I believe I've done that.
      Elzar: No question.

    • Bender: Master Spargle, if you can hear me up there in that ditch where I left you, this is for you.

    • Man: Commemorative turkey basters. Get your commemorative turkey basters.
      Fry: Yo, hook me up. My turkey is dry and I've tried everything.

    • Hiroki: Let's meet today's celebrity judges: Captain of the Harlem Globetrotters, Ethan Bubblegum Tate.
      Tate: Konnichiwa, brother!
      Hiroki: TV anchor-monster, Morbo.
      Morbo: Greetings, pathetic host.
      Hiroki: And a woman who ended a thousand-year galactic war with her apple dandies, Martha Stewart's head.
      Stewart: The secret is fresh pork.

    • Elzar: Very well. We'll meet on the ancient televised battleground of Kitchen Coliseum. Whosever meal is best will claim the title of Iron Cook.
      Bender: Iron Cook, eh? I can't lose. I'm 30% iron! You're going down! Uh, also I had a reservation for one, under "Dr. Bender".

    • Bender: Helmut Spargel has a message for you. He says "Ooh, I'm dead!"
      Elzar: Spargel, huh? What he do, bland himself to death?
      Bender: No. He was eating some food I made; and by a crazy coincidence, his stomach exploded. Now I'm here to avenge him.
      Elzar: OK, but it seems like you're the one who killed him.
      Bender: Maybe, so but you are his sworn enemy.

    • Bender: I'll avenge you, master. I swear, in the presence of these drunken bums, that I shall defeat Elzar!
      Gus: Oh, I'm not drunk, I'm mentally ill. But I likes what what you said!

    • Bender: Yahoo! Another thing I'm great at! Wait. Why'd you stop eating, master?
      Spargel: Because... my stomach is about to explode.

    • Spargel: Your training is complete, little dessert spoon. Now, just as the man who wishes to be world chess champion must win at least one game of chess, so must you serve at least one edible meal.

    • Fry: Well, I don't remember any of that but I don't have the wherewithal to defend myself.
      Farnsworth: Then I have no choice but to charge you the full cost of the materials: $10.
      Fry: There you go.
      Zoidberg: What have I done?

    • Spargel: You don't understand. Without the distraction of taste, your mind is free to touch the Zen of pure flavour. You could become the greatest chef ever.
      Bender: I could?
      Spargel: Yes. Just as Beethoven was a great composer because he was deaf.
      Bender: Or like how Rembrandt was blind and had wooden hands.

    • Spargel: Elzar had been seduced by the dark side of cooking. Cilantro, mango salsa, raspberry vinaigrette!
      Bender: That drizzler!

    • Bender: Wait. A pie with hobo-lifting aroma? Who baked it?
      Gus: Helmut Spargel. He used to be the greatest chef ever.
      Hobo: His restaurant was so high-toned, the only way to get reservations was to create a parallel universe where you already had reservations.
      Gus: Yep. I once ate there back when I what was a senator.

    • Gus: Welcome to Bumbase Alpha, the biggest hobo jungle in the quadrant.
      Bender: I've seen bigger. Oh, wait, I'm thinking of Eugene, Oregon.

    • Zoidberg: Aw, I'll never recombobulate this ship! When the Professor finds out, he'll tear me a new cloaca. Wait! What would the robot do?... Frame someone!

    • Bender: Aw, who am I kidding? It was stupid of me to ever dream of becoming a chef. I don't have what it takes and nothing can change that... Then it's settled! Elzar will teach me to cook!
      Elzar: Absolutely not.

    • Zoidberg: Casual hello. It's me, Zoidberg. Act naturally.

    • Bender: The pie is ready. You guys like swarms of things, right?

    • Hermes: This is terrible!
      Farnsworth: Good thing I secretly installed this wormhole in the table.
      He presses a button and the wormhole opens in the middle of the table. He scrapes his food into it
      Amy: Where does the other end come out?
      Farnsworth: You know, I'm not quite sure. (He peers into the wormhole. The food falls from above and onto his head) Oh, dear me!

    • Bender: Come on! Eat! I slaved all day over a filthy stove.

    • Bender: In that case brunch is served! Let's go! Move it out! Stop crying, Leela!

    • Bender: Fleeing somewhere?
      Fry: With you blocking the only escape route? Don't be silly.

    • Fry: Brace yourselves. Bender is making us brunch.
      Zoidberg: Oh, boy!
      Farnsworth: Oh, God! My tract!

    • Farnsworth: Yes, it's a perfect scale model of the universe's largest bottle. I put a tiny spaceship inside to keep it from being boring.

    • Bender: Meantime, I'm cooking up a tasty Sunday brunch for my best friends.
      Fry: Brunch. Right. I'd better warn- tell- warntell the others!
      Bender: Okey-dokey!

    • Morbo: And now, extend a formulaic greeting to master chef Elzar. So, uh, Elzar, what will you be cooking for Morbo to devour with his mighty jaws?
      Elzar: Morbo, I'm gonna whip you up a nice, unnameable horror from beyond, with mango chutney.
      Morbo: Pathetic humans, prepare to write down the recipe!

    • Morbo: Welcome back. Our next guest has been teaching the world to cook for over 20 years. But apparently my, uh, wife hasn't been listening.
      Linda: Oh, funny!
      Morbo: I will destroy her!

    • Bender: Now, who wants brunch? Cooked with plenty of confidence"?
      Leela: I'm in!
      Farnsworth: I do!

    • Bender: The important thing is, by my standards, I won fair and square.

    • (Bender turns off the TV)
      Bender: And that's how I defeated Elzar, thanks to Spargel's magic liquid.
      Leela: Yes, we were there. And we just finished watching it again on TV.

    • Zoidberg: Wait! Everyone must know, I broke the Professor's bottled ship. (The audience gasps) And what is worse, I framed my dearest friend, Fry! (crying) I can never repay him his ten dollars, so I must take the only honourable path. What the killing myself. (He takes Koji's sword and rips his shirt open. More gasps) Here I go, already. (He stabs himself but the sword crumples as it hits his shell) Huh?
      Koji: Oh! That sword cost 5000 dollars!
      (Zoidberg drops the sword)
      Zoidberg: Fry did it!

    • Tate: This food looks kind of funky, but it tastes kind of fun-kay!

    • Martha Stewart: I'm swimming in my own soylent waste. It's a good thing.

    • Hiroki: Aki, what's Elzar making?
      Aki: Well, Hiroki-san, when I asked him, he asked what business it was of mine and conjectured that my mother was a prostitute.

    • Hiroki: Look at Bender roll that dough!
      Tate: I've never seen such confident, powerful strokes of the ass!

    • Martha Stewart: In the English countryside many prostitutes decorate their rooms with festive gourds.

    • Bender: (quietly) If it's chicken, chicken à la king. If it's fish, fish à la king. If it's turkey, fish à la king.

    • Elzar: Very well. We'll meet on the ancient televised battleground of Kitchen Coliseum.

    • Bender: Elzar, I'm a walking pile of your unfinished business!

    • Farnsworth: Certain clues suggest that the culprit is none other than our own ... Philip J. Fry!
      (Everyone gasps. Fry uncrosses his arms revealing his "I Hate Bottles" T-shirt underneath)
      Fry: What?!
      Farnsworth: Oh, it was a brilliant scheme. But you made one fatal mistake ... leaving this confession note.

    • Farnsworth: I've gathered you all here in the accusing parlour because one of you is a miniature ship wrecker.
      (Zoidberg gasps)
      Zoidberg: I'm acting astonished.

    • Spargle: Bender, hear me well. I shall train you. But first, you must forget everything you know about cooking.
      (Bender presses a button on his body and he beeps)
      Bender: Done.

    • Bender: It's so unfair! I have eight other senses, but I'd trade them all, even smision, to be able to taste.

    • Spargel: As for me, I went temporarily insane and vound up here, making pies out of shoes.
      Bender: My story's a lot like yours only more interesting 'cause it involves robots.

    • Gus: Get ready. We's gonna jump off at that switching prism up ahead.
      Hobo: We're going nearly the speed of light so, uh, roll when you land.

    • Bender: (crying) It's over! My dream of being a chef is deader than the cat I'm sitting on!

    • Elzar: I owe you nothing! For starter's, your antenna's in my crotch. Also, I hate you. Finally, you can't cook for squat.
      (Bender cries)
      Bender: What was the first one again?
      Elzar: I hate you.
      Bender: I thought that was number two.
      Elzar: I knocked it up a notch. Bam!

    • Bender: Hey, check out the palm tree! It only gets sick when I cook brunch! How's that for a coincidence, Professor? With all your precious science!

    • Zoidberg: Oh, no! Professor will hit me. But if Zoidberg fixes it, then perhaps gifts!

    • Fry: He's so proud of his awful cooking. If we don't eat it he'll be crushed.
      Leela: Alright, don't panic. If we can get to the ship, we can fly north and hide under the polar icecaps for a few weeks.
      Fry: Hurry!
      Farnsworth: Good idea!
      Zoidberg: What's the hold-up?
      (Bender opens the door)
      Bender: Fleeing somewhere?

    • Farnsworth: For the last time, Zoidberg, look with your eyes, not with your claws.

    • Fry: I don't want to hurt Bender's feelings, but this food actually tastes better as vomit.
      Leela: Its unbearable. How much do you think it would cost to get my tongue removed?

    • Farnsworth: Hmm. Let me see that vial, Bender. Good Lord! According to the spectrolizer, Spargel's magic ingredient was... water. Ordinary water!
      Hermes: No!
      Fry: Ah, so the real gift Spargel gave you was confidence. The confidence to be your best.
      Farnsworth: Yes, ordinary water. Laced with nothing more than a few spoonfuls of LSD.

    • Iron Cook Host: Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

    • Fry: What's with all the pots and pans? Are you building a wife?
      Bender: Part of one.

    • Hobo 1: Let's give a friendly welcome to this new robo.
      Bender: What did you call me?!
      Hobo 2: A Robo. You know... a robot hobo.
      Bender: Oh, ok, I thought you said romo.

    • Bender: Today, I've personalized each of your meals. For example, Amy, you're cute. So I've baked you a pony.

  • NOTES (3)

    • By the end of the series, Bender claims to be 30% iron, 40% titanium, and 40% dolemite.

    • Alien code: When watching Iron cook, the title of the show keeps appearing written in both English and in Alien Code #2. As usual, it reads: "Iron Cook."

    • Alien code: After Bender runs away and is walking down the street, you see a sign with Alien Code #1 written on it. When translated it reads: "Used Human Probes."

  • ALLUSIONS (16)