Season 4 Episode 11

The 30% Iron Chef

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 14, 2002 on Comedy Central

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
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  • 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.