Season 3 Episode 1

The Honking

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 05, 2000 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
281 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When Bender inherits a spooky castle from his deceased uncle, he finds himself being pursued by a terrifying, driverless car.

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  • A good way to start the third season.

    This was a very good way to start the third season of the unique and hilarious show, Futurama. Another Bender episode, hooray! Episodes about Bender are usually great, and this episode lived up to that standard of greatness. Bender, as always, had jokes that were spot on every single time, with an interesting sub plot about Fry and Bender's friendship, with Bender supposed to kill his best friend, and attempting to kill Leela instead of Fry.

    Bender becomes a were-car after inheriting his late uncle's mansion. Then, the Planet Express crew has to search for the head were-car, with a final showdown for the ending.moreless
  • great episode

    After receiving news that his Uncle Vladamir has passed away Bender is summoned to the family castle to hear the reading of the will. Bender is to inherit the castle on the provision that he spends one night within its walls. While there Bender is stalked and hunted down by a driverless car and unknown to him passes on the were-car curse to him. Returning to the city Bender is afraid that the car has followed him to New New York as the attacks continue and Bender soon realises that it is infact he who is committing the crimes. With help from Fry and Leela they discover they must hunt down and kill the original were-car if Bender is to be savedmoreless
  • Bender becomes a werecar.

    It seems that Bender had a rich relative who left him a mansion on the condition that he spend one night there. Bender thinks it's going to be a snap. While everyone is there, some strange things start to happen. Robot ghost start appearing and Bender runs off. While he is outside, he is run over by a mysterious evil car. The Professor finds the apparatus that was causing the ghostly appearances and they go to try and find Bender. They find him and wonder where the tire tracks had come from. They go back to the office and later that night...moreless
  • Season three getting started off right!!! A great episode to say the least.

    After spending a terrifying night in his late Uncle Vladimir's castle, Bender is run down by one of the most feared of robot monsters, a "were-car" (the robot equivalent of a werewolf)-in truth, the "were-car" is a red-and-white 1958 Plymouth Fury, a clear reference to Stephen King's Christine. Back at Planet Express, Bender begins to have nightmares about cars running people over, and starts to have blackouts. Seeking advice, the group consults "professional help", a circus fortune-teller machine. She tells him that he has become a were-car himself, and that he is fated to kill his closest friend. The only known way to break the curse is to destroy the original were-car. She gains this information from an ancient read-me file, a text book called "Curse Of The Werecar for Windows 98".

    That night, a restrained Bender breaks out of confinement, transforms into a Cadillac-like sedan, and almost kills Leela, angering Fry, who had thought that he was Bender's best friend. This causes Fry to hate Bender, and they are no longer friends. The next morning, Fry, Leela, and Bender set out to track down the original were-car. After returning to the castle, an old cursed bird watcher robot sends them to follow a trail of infected robots, which leads to an igloo in the Arctic, and then to the All My Circuits soundstage. There, Calculon tells them that a thousand years ago, scientists built the most evil car out of parts from other evil cars. It consists of the steering wheel from Adolf Hitler's Mercedes Benz, the left-turn signal from Charles Manson's VW bus, and the "windshield wipers from that car that played Knight Rider" (known on the show as KITT). The were-car infects Calculon, who was a simpler automotive arm-machine at the time. Acting on Calculon's information, the crew heads off to find Project Satan, the most evil vehicle ever made. When they arrive at the abandoned automotive plant, they confront Project Satan, but the clock strikes midnight, and Bender takes on his were-car form. After being given the choice of whom to kill, Bender goes for Fry, ending Fry's grudge with him. While trying to kill Leela, Project Satan accidentally skids into a giant furnace and is killed, dissolving the curse.

    Unfortunately, though, it is lifted at an inconvenient time, as Fry was in were-car Bender's driver's seat. Bender reverts to normal, but thinks he killed Fry as his last act. However, Bender's stomach hatch opens, revealing a squished Fry, who jumps out and enjoys Bender's last beer, causing Bender to once again try to kill him.moreless
  • Another rather unspectacular Bender episode kicks off the slightly inconsistent third series.

    Another rather unspectacular Bender episode kicks off the slightly inconsistent third series, although it is very funny and even spooky in places. I liked the ghosts at the castle and the Professor's nonsensical explanation, and the fortune teller at the circus was pure genius ("Sure you can die! You want to die!?"). There was an excellent little subplot about Fry feeling jealous that Bender tried to kill Leela instead of him, which worked very well and added some emotion. The section where the crew went through a list of were-cars was rather strange and pointless, but I liked the final showdown.moreless
David Herman

David Herman

Thermostadt Villagers / Tandy / Vladimir’s Ghost / Project Satan

Katey Sagal

Katey Sagal

Turanga Leela

Billy West

Billy West

Philip J. Fry / Professor Hubert Farnsworth / Dr. Zoidberg / Solicitorbot / You There / Vandal #1 / Yokelbot

Lauren Tom

Lauren Tom

Amy Wong

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Gypsybot / Inuitbot

Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

Hermes Conrad / Reverend Preacherbot

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (14)

    • The name of the city "Thermostadt" is not actually Hungarian (as the city is supposed to be), but it's rather German, translating in Thermo-City. The City itself also looks very much like a small German town from the 18th or 19th century.

    • Bender's bumper sticker reads "If You Can Read This, I'll Kill You".

    • The term "werewolf" in Old Germanic means "man wolf". The term "werecar" is applied incorrectly because Bender is not human.

    • After Bender is welded to the wall, both Leela and Fry leave the apartment; but Fry lives with Bender. Even though he obviously couldn't stay with Bender, where exactly was he going?

      Response: this is a plot hole which occurred because a scene was deleted. After having nailed Bender to the wall, Fry explains that he wants to listen to some homeless guy, because he makes some really good points. This scene explains why Fry is leaving his own apartment. It can be found on Futurama Season 2 DVD4.

    • Bender cannot have an uncle because he was made in MOM's factory nor could he have a family castle.


    • It's kind of strange that there should be an old world European villiage inhabited entirely by robots. Unless the villiage was originally a tourist attraction and it's citizens are animatrons who later learned to break their programming.

    • LOOK HARD: For cheap foreshadowing, when Leela welds Bender to the wall of his apartment, all the pictures on the walls are pictures of cars.

    • LOOK HARD: When the gang is sitting around the dining table at the castle, look at the name on the painting with the moving eyes. It's COMMODORE LXIV (64)

    • On the book that the fortune teller has, it says "Curse of the Were Car for Windows 98".

    • The fortune teller robot has round pupils. This is unusual, because all other robots have square pupils.

    • Leela's Newspaper suddenly changes its name from "New New York Post" to "Your Daily News."

    • Despite Fry explaining the concept to them in a previous episode, the Planet Express crew still do not know what wheels are.

    • Hermes says in Insane In the Mainframe that Robots don't say Yee, but here they do.

  • QUOTES (52)

    • Fry: Hey Project Satan, over here! I'm a blind pedestrian! 20 points!

    • Fry: You didn't hurt me at all. But I know you wanted to, and that's what matters. Here's to you.
      Bender: Hey, that's my last beer, you bastard. I'll kill you!
      Fry: I'll kill you too, buddy. I'll kill you too!
      (Bender starts choking Fry)

    • Fry: Yes! He chose me! He's trying to kill me! Leela, I'm so happy!

    • Bender: Oh, boy! I feel like a car in a candy store!

    • Leela: Oh, no! There's no exhaust pipe!
      Project Satan: That's right! Thanks to Ed Begley Jr.'s electric motor, the most evil propulsion system ever conceived!

    • Leela: It looks so unhappy. Excuse me? Are you Project Satan? Don't be afraid. We know what you are.
      Project Satan: You do?
      Leela: Would you like us to... put you out of your misery?
      Project Satan: Misery? What misery? I love killing people! Squishing them till their organs squirt out like chunky mustard.

    • Leela: You guys distract the were-car and I'll kill it by plugging its exhaust pipe with this silver potato.

    • Leela: So what happened to Project Satan?
      Calculon: It's either in Paris, or much more likely... still in the abandoned automotive lab.

    • Calculon: I was working on Project Satan... a savage, intelligent military vehicle built from the most evil parts of the most evil cars in all the world. The steering wheel from Hitler's staff car, the left-turn signal from Charles Manson's VW, the windshield wipers from that car that played Knight Rider.
      Fry: Knight Rider wasn't evil.
      Calculon: His windshield wipers were. It didn't come up much in the show though.

    • Calculon: No, wait, let me explain. It all began one fateful night a thousand years ago.
      Bender: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! You're a thousand years old? Your bio says you're 27!
      Calculon: Lies! I change my identity and upgrade my appearance every few decades to avoid suspicion. I was all of history's great acting robots: Acting Unit 0.8, Thespo-mat, David Duchovny!
      Fry: Look, are you the original were-car or not?
      Calculon: No, but you are nearing the end of your search. For, you see, I was attacked by the original were-car.
      Bender: Give us a name, MacButt!

    • Calculon: Oh, fate most cruel, would that my boundless acting skills would avail me a sword with which to slay this wretched curse.
      Bender: Let's kick him some more.

    • Inuitbot: Yes, it's true. I ran over that bird-watching jerk and a hundred others. Even my best friend from aromatherapy school.
      Fry: I once had a best friend who liked to smell things with me.

    • Yokelbot: I was attacked by a vicious, motorised sled. The natives called it "The Abominable Snowmobile".

    • Yokelbot: Get ye to your houses, ye ignorant villagers.
      Leela: We are not ignorant villagers, we're sophisticated New New Yorkers. Whup his butt!

    • Leela: The tracks lead here.
      Fry: Thanks, eagle eye.
      Leela: Now it's daylight, so he should be in robot form. But be careful: Many robots are stupid and violent.
      Bender: I wish I was stupid and violent.

    • Bender: Fry, it doesn't mean anything. I have love enough for two.
      Fry: Words. Nothing but sweet, sweet words that turn into bitter, orange wax in my ears.

    • Bender: Oh, God! Fry, I'm so glad to see you. I didn't hurt you, did I?
      Fry: Not physically. But why don't you ask your new best friend, Leela?
      Bender: I tried to run you over?
      Leela: It was very sweet of you, Bender.

    • Fry: I can't believe this! Bender is supposed to murder his closest friend, which I thought was me. But he went straight for you. He didn't even try to second-degree murder me.
      Leela: Could you give me some help? I think Bender crushed my foot.
      Fry: Stop rubbing it in!

    • Fry: You jerk. I thought I was your best friend. What kind of two-timing kill-mobile are you?

    • Leela: Well, goodnight. I'm gonna go make my dinners for the next month and freeze them.

    • Gypsy: Then live on, forever cursed. Each night, your attacks will become more gruesome until, one dark night, you are doomed to kill your dearest friend.
      Fry: I wouldn't wanna be me right now.

    • Leela: Just relax, Bender. Tomorrow we'll pry you down, have a nice breakfast and then go hunt down and slaughter that ancient evil.
      Fry: It'll be a rich, full day.

    • Leela: There. No rampaging for you tonight.
      Bender: Wouldn't it make sense to weld everyone except me to the wall?

    • Gypsy: According to this ancient read-me file, your only hope is to destroy the original were-car.
      Bender: I'm with you.
      Gypsy: In its death throes, the dread car will beam out the virus's uninstall program, thus ridding you of the curse.
      Bender: And otherwise I can never die?
      Gypsy: Who said that? Sure you can die.
      (Pulls out laser gun)
      Gypsy: You want to die?
      Bender: No! I wanna live! There's still too many things I don't own!

    • Gypsy: For, you see, you are a were-car.
      Bender: A were-car?
      Gypsy: The car that ran you down on the moors was also a were-car. It beamed a virus to you through its demonic headlights.
      Leela: That's crazy!
      Gypsy: Yes. So crazy that it must be true! Each midnight, when your clock resets to zero, your hardware reconfigures into a murderous, four-wheeled car.
      Bender: I can't keep running people over. I'm not famous enough to get away with it.

    • Gypsy: My friend, you have nothing to worry about. Except a nightmare-ish life of unremitting horror!
      Bender: Phew!

    • Bender: I passed out around midnight, which is much earlier that usual, and when I woke up I found these in my chest cabinet.
      He pulls out some fluffy dice
      Fry: Aw, relax, buddy. You were probably just shooting some big, fuzzy craps.

    • Sal: Gets outta here, yous lousy bum!
      Bender: Please, I'm scared.
      Sal: We're all scared, it's the human condition. Why do you thinks I put on this tough-guy facade?

    • Vandal #1: I don't know which I like more: Smashing cars or smashing faces.
      Vandal #2: Well, lucky you don't gotta decide tonight. Now come on, we got church tomorrow.

    • Hermes: Bender, mon, no one's trying to run you over. Stop being a big, hallucinating baby.
      Bender: Yeah? Could a big, hallucinating baby do this? (crying) I'm scared!

    • Leela: Look at this. They found those same rubbery tracks right here in New New York. There was a hit-and-run by the robot porno theatre.
      Bender: Robot porno theatre? I was in that... general area last night.

    • Zoidberg: Bender, you look awful. I prescribe make-up. Here. It just so happens I have my Mary Kay sample case!
      Bender: Ah, I just need sleep. I had nightmares all night about cars running people over.
      Zoidberg: Many people dream of a fresh, new look. And Mary Kay can make those dreams come true.

    • Amy: Maybe he has. Look at these tracks.
      Bender screams
      Leela: I think Bender may be telling the truth.
      The others scream

    • Bender: Somebody tried to run me over. And not with a normal hover-car. It crept along the ground on round, rubber feet, like a wolf!

    • Fry: Bender, wake up!... He's OK! Quick, does anyone have any liquor?

    • Farnsworth: Just as I suspected. These robots were buried in improperly-shielded coffins. Their programming leaked into the castles wiring through this old, abandoned modem allowing them to project themselves as holograms.
      Hermes: Of course! It was so obvious!
      Farnsworth: Yes, that sequence of words I said made perfect sense.

    • Vladimir-Ghost: Come, Bender. You'll like being dead!
      Bender: That's what they said about being alive!

    • Bender: No doubt about it, this place is haunted.
      Hermes: Don't be silly, mon. The last ghost died over 200 years ago.
      Bender: The last human ghost. But robot ghosts?

    • Bender: That painting, the eyes are watching me!
      Farnsworth: Hmm... It has motor eye sensors attached to motion detectors.
      Bender: So does my butt, but I don't frame it and put it on the wall! Although...

    • Bender: Ah! I got a good vibe from this place: Nice long dinner table, quiet, well-behaved spiders, graveyard-adjacent.

    • Solicitorbot: To my loyal butler, You There, for his decades of service, I leave a pittance, to be paid in 20 equal instalments of one-twentieth of a pittance each.

    • Preacherbot: I now commend Vladimir's remains to the earth. Filings to filings; rust to rust.

    • Robot #2: Mumbo, perhaps. Jumbo, perhaps not! With all your modern science are you any closer to understanding the mystery of how a robot walks or talks?
      Farnsworth: Yes, you idiot. The circuit diagram is right here on the inside of your case.
      Robot #2: I choose to believe what I was programmed to believe.

    • Bender: Uh, pardon me, my good simpleton. Could you take us to yon castle?
      Robot #1: Some say unholy things happen up there.
      Robot #2: For example: All of us say that.
      Farnsworth: Fuf! Superstitious robot mumbo-jumbo.
      Robot #2: Mumbo, perhaps. Jumbo, perhaps not!

    • Bender: Oh, no! My uncle Vladimir.
      Fry: Oh, I'm sorry, Bender. When's the funeral?
      Bender: Tomorrow, at the family castle. Followed by the reading of his will. Well, I'm rich. Goodbye, losers, whom I've always hated!... C'mon, it'll be fun!

    • Hermes: And for Bender- Uh-oh! A black-bordered envelope.
      Amy: Oh, no! Someone you know must've died.
      Bender: I hope it was one of my enemies; those guys suck!

    • Hermes: Mail call! Amy, here's your designer lingerie catalogue. Fry, Sadie's Bra Parade and, Leela, Bulk Underpants Outlet.
      Leela: You buy one pound of underwear and you're on their list forever.

    • Doctorbot: Notify his survivors.

    • Lawyer: And to my spoiled son Tandy, who never learned the value of a dollar, I live my entire $100,000,000 fortune.
      Tandy: Is that a lot?

    • Village Robot: Do ye think me be he?
      Bender: Si
      Village Robot: Nee, I mean no!

    • Lawyer: And to my loving nephew Bender, assuming he's not responsible for my death, I leave my castle.
      Bender: Alright! Let's stay there tonight!
      Lawyer: On condition he spends one night within its walls.
      Bender: Aw, there's always a catch!

    • Fry: Bender, you've been drinking too much, or not enough. I forget how it works with you. The point is, you haven't been drinking the exact right amount.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The numbers that drench in blood on the wall have actual meaning. 0101100101 is jiberish, it just stands for the number 357. But 1010011010 actually stands for 666, the sign of the beast.

    • This episode was pre-empted in the Eastern and Central time zones due to extended NFL coverage. These time zones were treated to this episode joined in progress at 20 minutes after the hour.

      (This happened so often that by the time Futurama was cancelled, there was a whole season's worth of unshown episodes, hence five seasons instead of four.)

  • ALLUSIONS (23)

    • Werewolf

      The second part of the episode reminds of the 80's tv series Werewolf where a young boy is bitten by a Werewolf and is cursed to turn into a werewolf himself forever unless he finds the source of the original bloodline and kills him in order get freed from the curse.

    • MacBeth

      Bender calls Calculon "MacButt" - a bad attempt at a pun on the Shakespeare character, MacBeth.

    • Frankenstein:
      The original were-car was built by assembling parts from various evil cars, an allusion to Frankenstein's monster, built from various body parts, some of them from criminals.

    • Dracula:
      The early sequences of the superstitious villagers and the coachman who will go no further are references to Dracula.

    • One of the tombstones in the castle cemetery reads "The Red LeBaron", a punning reference to the Red Baron and the Chrysler LeBaron, foreshadowing the were-car plot.

    • Uncle Vladimir's spoiled son Tandy is named for the Tandy Corporation (now the RadioShack Corporation). On his torso is written "Euro-TRaSh-80", a reference to Tandy's TRS-80 personal computer, also called the "Trash-80".

    • The line spoken by a Thermostadt villager, "Mumbo, perhaps. Jumbo, perhaps not," is a parody of a line from the 1934 horror film The Black Cat: "Superstitious, perhaps. Baloney, perhaps not."

    • The Silver Potato
      Leela tries to destroy the first werecar with a silver potato, because it is known that a werewolf can be killed with silver.

    • Anti-Chrysler
      The old Chrysler building where the Project Satan is in, has "anti" painted before it. Making it an anti-Chrysler car, which is mimicking the anti-Christ.

    • Visual: Bender's Transformation
      In the transformation sequence where bender was strapped to the wall, this looks just like the transformation sequence from the '80s cartoon Turbo Teen.

    • Commodore LXIV
      On one of the walls of the dining room inside the castle that Bender inherits there's a picture of one of his "ancestors" - it is labeled "Commodore LXIV", which is an obvious reference to the Commodore 64 computer (with Roman numerals), a home computer that was sold in millions during the 1980s.

    • After Dark screensaver:
      Bender is chased in the castle by ghosts: the Windows Logo and the Flying Toasters from the well-known After Dark screensaver.

    • Fry: Hey, Project Satan! Over here, I'm a blind pedestrian. 20 points.

      This may also be a reference to the late 90's video game Carmageddon, where the player would score points by killing pedestrians (in later versions, they were replaced by zombies)

    • Knight Rider
      The mentioning of K.I.T.T., the Pontiac Trans Am with an electronic brain that was the transport and sidekick to David Hasselhoff as they fought crimes in this 1980s sci-fi action series. IIRC, didn't they do an episode where K.I.T.T. had an evil prototype?

      Yes. The evil prototype was called K.A.R.R., and he/it was driven by Michael's evil brother, Garth Knight (played by David Hasslehoff sporting a mustache!)

    • The Car

      A number of references were also taken out of the movie The Car.

    • Star Trek
      Finding the evil car is a parody of when Kirk and Crew discover a man who is 5000 years old, and who had been (among others) Methuselah, Alexander the Great, Brahms, and Da Vinci.

    • Foundation: by Isaac Asimov
      Calculon's claim of being much older than he really is, as well as having been all the great acting robots of history, is similar to the long-lived robot R. Daneel Olivaw in "Foundation."

    • Fry: Hey, Project Satan! Over here, I'm a blind pedestrian. 20 points.

      This is most likely a reference to the movie Death Race 2000 (1975). Drivers raced around the country and racked up points for killed innocent people.

    • Stephen King's Christine
      In the book/movie, "Christine" is a murderous demon-car. At the end of the book/movie the car attacks the hero and the heroine. As part of the chase the heroine manages to escape a certain attack of the car by jumping up and holding herself on a meal pipe as the car passes under her and crashes into a heap of garbage. The heroine's foot is broken in the final chase, and the car is disabled with the use of a heavy construction vehicle just like in this episode.

    • The Shining
      Bender: Hwaaa, 1010011010, Ahhhhhhh!!!
      Another obvious horror movie reference is the binary code message written in blood on the wall which was a take off of the book and movie 'The Shining' where 'redrum' was written in blood on the door and when read backwards reads 'murder'.

    • Backgroud music: Robot Ghosts
      Whilst staying in the seemingly haunted castle instead of hearing rattling chains and other typical ghost noises you keep hearing the startup music from Windows 98.

    • The Haunting/The Howling
      This episodes title parodies two horror film titles. The first act of this episode is similar to the 1963 film The Haunting while the rest of the episode parodies werewolf films so the title could also be interpreted as a spoof of the werewolf film The Howling.

    • An American Werewolf In London

      There are subtle elements in this episode that are reminiscent of the 1981 film An American Werewolf in London. First, Bender getting attacked by a werecar in a flat grassy area is similar to the beginning of the film when the two main characters are attacked by a werewolf on the moors.
      Secondly, the way Bender morphs into a werecar inside the room by spreading all fours on the floor and the aerial camera angle also resemble a scene from the movie when the main character morphs into werewolf inside the apartment.