Season 3 Episode 9

The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 04, 2001 on Comedy Central



  • Trivia

    • The initials of "Penguins Unlimited" spells "P.U.", which indicates something smelly.

    • Opening theme promotion: NOW WITH CHUCKLELIN

    • A penguin actually bites Bender's shiny metal ass.

    • One of the penguin hunters laughing is Scruffy the janitor.

    • How did Fry pilot the ship backwards. It only has one engine, facing backwards, so how is it flying backwards?

      Response: In "A Clone of My Own", Cubert discovers that the Professor designed the ship in a way that the universe actually moves around it, while the ship stays stationary. Therefore, it wouldn't matter where the engines are located.

    • The Fing-Longer makes a return in this episode, however it was a fantasy of the 'What-If Machine' during Anthology of Interest I. The Professor probably got around to making it.

    • The planet Pluto was referred to as 'McPluto' in the episode The Problem With Popplers, although in this episode, there is no McDonald's on the planet. McPluto could therefore be another planet entirely.

  • Quotes

    • Bender: Guys, it's me! Your lovable dictator!

    • Leela: Well, at least it'll help reduce their population.
      Bender: Yeah, life is hilariously cruel.

    • Leela: Look, I don't know if shooting penguins will help the environment or not. But I do know the decision shouldn't be in the hands of people who just wanna kill for fun.
      Waterfall Sr.: Leela, you may just be farming some free-range truth there. On the other hand, we already made up 200 pounds of batter for penguin tempura.

    • Waterfall Sr.: Why aren't you firing randomly into those birds, little lady? Don't you wanna help 'em?
      Leela: Not this way.
      Waterfall Sr.: What? Why you're not a tree-hugging kook at all!

    • Bender: I don't know why but when I look down at their little faces, it makes me wanna puke! In a good way!

    • Leela: Alright, this is for their own good. Don't leave orphans. Gotta kill entire families. But they're so cute. No! You can do this. It's just like murdering a little butler.

    • Leela: I'm sorry, but if it's fun in any way it's not environmentalism.
      Waterfall Sr.: Oh, really? How 'bout blowing up dams?
      Leela: Yeah... that is fun.

    • Waterfall Sr.: Now surely you agree that a quick, semi-painless death is a damn sight better than weeks of starvation.
      Leela: Well, I suppose... But- I mean- I joined Penguins Unlimited to love penguins, not to hunt them.
      Waterfall Sr.: This time the two are one and the same! Now are you with us or are you gonna let innocent penguins suffer?

    • Leela: You can't shoot penguins. Isn't there some way to keep them from breeding?
      Waterfall Sr.: Cold showers don't work on Antarctic creatures.

    • Waterfall Sr.: If the birds keep multiplying there'll soon be too many to count. Before long the penguins will exhaust their food supply and starve to death.
      Leela: Oh, if only we hadn't flown penguins to Pluto and dumped oil on them, this might never have happened. Can't we stop them from multiplying?
      Waterfall Sr.: Yes, I reckon it is our responsibility. And thankfully we have a plan.
      Leela: What is it? We'll do anything.
      Waterfall Sr.: Everyone, grab your guns. I declare penguin hunting season officially open.

    • Waterfall Sr.: Folks, it's worse than we thought. Seems dark matter is nature's sex drug. It's like a perverted trail mix of penguin oestrogen, penguin Viagra and Spanish penguin fly. Why, it's making them ultra-fertile.
      Leela: How ultra?
      Waterfall Sr.: Well your garden variety penguin lays one egg a year. Since the spill our penguins have been laying six eggs every 15 minutes. (crowd gasps) Also, the eggs hatch in only 12 hours. (crowd gasps again) Also, the males are laying eggs. (crowd gasps again and a man faints)
      Doctor: This man is over-gasped.

    • Zoidberg: Captain, I don't think we're on Pluto any longer. In fact, we may have left space as we know it.
      Fry: Then where are we? You said you knew how to navigate.
      Zoidberg: Stop yelling at me!

    • Fry: Wait. Let me. Bender and I have our disagreements, but we're still friends and I'm gonna show him what that means. To the ship.
      Leela: Why don't you just walk? He was only about 20 yards from here.
      Fry: Madam, I am in command now.

    • Fry: So, where's Captain Bender? Off catastrophising some other planet?
      Zoidberg: Damnit, Fry! He may have done wrong, but he's still your captain.

    • Leela: Hey, why weren't you Kong donkeys outside cleaning up?
      Zoidberg: They sent us inside for doing an unsatisfactory job... And eating penguin eggs.
      Fry: You ate most of them.

    • Leela: Has anyone seen Bender? Bender? Here robot, robot, robot.

    • Waterfall Sr.: Good work, everyone. I suggest you all go get some sleep. Me, well, I'm gonna stay up all night singing songs about penguins in a fine, piercing tenor.

    • URL: Aw, man! He got away!
      Smitty: I guess this is why Chief says no hugging.

    • Hyper-Chicken: Son, as your lawyer, I declare y'all are in a 12-piece bucket o' trouble. But I done struck you a deal: Five hours of community service cleanin' up that ol' mess you caused.
      Bender: Five hours? Aw, man! Couldn't you just got me the death penalty?
      Hyper-Chicken: I'd have done better but it's plum hard pleadin' a case while awaitin' trial for that there incompetence!
      Bender: Yeah, uh, good luck with that.

    • Smitty: Are they black with white feathers or white with black feathers?
      URL: It don't matter, baby, they're all beautiful!

    • Morbo: At the time of the crash, the tanker captain had an alcohol level of .08 percent - well below the legal limit for robots.

    • Fry: What's happening?
      Zoidberg: All 6,000 hulls have been breached!
      Fry: Oh, the fools! If only they'd built it with 6,001 hulls! When will they learn?

    • Leela: Bender's flying too low! And he's upside-down!
      Protestor: He must be talking on a cell phone!

    • Zoidberg: Captain, please, have some liquor. You robots need alcohol to function.
      Bender: Gah! I once knew a guy... you look like him. But he wasn't either. I'm a good captain.
      Zoidberg: Please, sir, I love you like a father!

    • Fry: Being captain is obviously more important to you than being my friend. I'm going.
      Bender: Going? But a captain can't drink without his first mate.
      Zoidberg: You can drink with me maybe?
      Bender: I don't feel like drinking.
      Zoidberg: Then, if you'll excuse me, I see some ravioli that only has two shoe prints on it.

    • Fry: If I were in charge I wouldn't treat you like this. You're nothing but a big blowhard.
      Bender: Sir, you forget yourself! Shut up!

    • Bender: Wiggles, weren't you about to propose a toast to your gallant captain?
      Fry: Fine, I've got a toast. To Captain Bender, he's the best... at being a big jerk who's stupid and his big, ugly face is as dumb as a butt.
      Bender: Eh, I've heard better.

    • Bender: But I suppose it's this medal I'm most proud of, Wiggles. I won it for saving the children of Earth from a giant kangaroo. It was on the Australian news, you probably didn't see it.
      Zoidberg: Brilliant!
      Fry: Would you cram a sock in it, Bender? Those aren't even medals, they're bottle-caps and pepperoni slices!

    • Waterfall Sr.: This here is our penguin preserve.
      Leela: Aw! They're so cute! They're like if puppies and kittens could have babies!

    • Leela: When you were planning this peace ring, didn't you realise spaceships can move in three dimensions?
      Waterfall Sr.: No, I did not.

    • Waterfall Sr.: Our peace ring has 'em trapped like a tiger in a washing machine!

    • Bender: And what's Peter Parrot's first rule of captaining?
      Fry: Always respect the chain o' command... captain.
      Bender: Correct, Wiggles. You've just earned an invitation to the captain's table.
      Zoidberg: The captain's table! What an honour!

    • Bender: Aye! We're hitched up tighter than Davy Jones' U-Haul! At ease, men.
      Fry: I am at ease.
      Bender: Mr. Fry, I like to give my first mate an informal nickname. From now on you will be known as... Wiggles!

    • Waterfall Sr.: Now, folks, it's time to stop that tanker with a non-violent human circle.
      Leela: Why do we have to resort to non-violence? Can't we just kick their asses?
      Waterfall Sr.: Now, little lady, those people's asses are living things too.

    • Waterfall Sr.: Greetings, Econauts. I'm Free Waterfall Sr., founder of Penguins Unlimited... Whoa! No, no! No applause. Every time you clap your hands you kill thousands of spores that'll some day form a nutritious fungus. Just show your approval with a mould-friendly thumbs up... Please hold your thumbs until the end.

    • Bender: Fry, the title of captain may inflate the human ego, but it's beneath the notice of my mighty robo-logic. Now look spry, men! We launch at six bells!

    • Fry: No fair! Leela was training me to be captain. She even let me sit in her lap and steer... in this comic I drew.

    • Farnsworth: Well, Fry, or should I say Captain Fry? No, I shouldn't. Because Bender is the new captain!
      Fry: Bender?
      Farnsworth: That's right. Being captain is about intuition and heart. A good captain can't have either one. That's why cold, logical Bender is perfect for the job.
      Bender: Well, I do think of human life as expendable.

    • Leela: Look, Professor, I can't participate in this mission.
      Farnsworth: What are you yapping about?
      Leela: This time it's your reckless disregard for the environment. In fact, I'm gonna go join those protestors.
      Farnsworth: This is an outrage! I demand you hand over your captain's jacket.
      Leela: This is my normal jacket. I've had it for 10 years.
      Farnsworth: I said hand it over!

    • Fry: OK, she's all restocked with emergency jam. Let's get going.
      Leela: At the risk of sounding negative: No!

    • Farnsworth: For this highly controversial mission you'll be towing the Juan Valdez, an orbiting supertanker full of rich Columbian dark matter.
      Leela: Dark matter oil? What if we hit something? The tanker could leak.
      Farnsworth: Impossible! The tanker has 6,000 hulls. So, unlike me, it's entirely leak-proof. Now, once you've hauled the tanker past the protestors-
      Leela: Protestors?
      Farnsworth: Correct. 6,000 hulls.
      Leela: Why do we have to fly within three feet of this penguin preserve on Pluto?
      Farnsworth: To avoid the tollbooth.

    • Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! I'm sending you on an extremely controversial mission.
      Fry: Controversial?
      Farnsworth: Oh, my, no.

    • Leela: Fry, I know those cookies are fresh-a-licious but they produce an awful lot of trash.
      Bender: Ah!
      Leela: And, Bender, that aerosol head spray makes your antenna smell nice-
      Bender: Thank you.
      Leela: But it's doing long-term damage to the planet.
      Bender: So? It's not like it's the only one we've got.

    • Zoidberg: Captain, I don't think we're in Pluto any longer.

    • Leela: And with windchill it's 20 degrees below absolute zero.

    • Bender: It's like I told them: 'If it ain't black and white, peck, scratch, and bite!'"

    • Free Waterfall, Sr.: Look, nobody enjoys shooting penguins. But if you have to shoot penguins, well, you might as well enjoy it.

    • Free Waterfall, Sr.: Good way to avoid frostbite, folks. Put your hands between your buttocks. That's nature's pocket!
      Leela: Uh, I think I'll go check on Bender.
      Free Waterfall, Sr.: Watch that he doesn't pick your pocket!

    • Free Waterfall, Sr.: If you're cold, rub your bodies with permafrost: its nature's long johns. If rubbin' frozen dirt in your crotch is wrong, hey, I don't want to be right.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • The sign 'Think intergalactically, act interplanetarily' is an update of the present day environmentalist message 'Thing globally, act locally.'

    • The episode makes a number of references to the Puffin Penguins.

    • Bender's hat is made to look like Napoleon's hat.

    • Listen out for the quote about the ship being upside down, the reply about him being on a cell phone is a tip-of-the-hat to an article about the fact that most road accidents are caused by people talking on their cellphones.

    • Leela: Hey! Why aren't you two Kong Donkeys cleaning up?

      Kong Donkeys is a reference to Donkey Kong, a popular video game character that made Nintendo what it is today.

    • Roadkill Bill
      Right before this episode first aired, a comic strip that featured two months of "Pissed-Off Penguins," a flock that's armed and angry over environmental issues.

    • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

      Bender getting mangled by a killer whale and ejected on the shore is a takeoff of the similar scene involving R2D2. Bender even makes an R2D2 sound during it.

    • Birdman of Alcatraz

      The title of the episode is a tribute to the 1962 movie "Birdman of Alcatraz", based on the 1955 book by Thomas E. Gaddis.

    • Exxon Valdez
      The spilling of the oil is a reference to the 1990 Exxon Valdez spill. In the real incident, the captain was drunk, where in this episode Bender is sober, resulting in the same ending.
      The ship was also called, "The Juan Valdez", which is also the name of a coffee industry character.

    • Bender: We shall fight them on the beaches! We shall fight them on the glaciers!
      Loveable penguin dictator Bender's words are of course a reference to Winston Churchill's famous speech of 1940, where he sparked British will to fight the Germans with "We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!"

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