will be making changes to the Private Message system the week of Jan 26, 2015. For more information click here


Season 5 Episode 9

The Sting

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jun 01, 2003 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
420 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After arriving at an asteroid field in deep space, Fry, Leela and Bender attempt to collect honey produced by vicious space bees. Leela decides to take a baby queen bee that incidentally kills Fry! While at Fry's funeral, guilt-ridden Leela has a romantic dream that causes her to believe that Fry is still alive. As Leela's bizarre dreams continue to develop, she sinks into a much stranger sleep.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • A superb, emotional, and funny episode, IMO.

    PLOT: Fry, Bender, and Leela are sent to collect space honey from space bees that can kill somebody instantly if stung. Leela takes a baby queen bee with her, and it kills Fry while he was trying to protect Leela from it. Leela believes that it is her fault, and she starts having dreams that make her believe that Fry is alive. She keeps having them, too. She tells the others, but they don't believe her about Fry being alive somewhere. At the end, it's revealed that the stinger went through Fry and Leela got all the poison. Leela was in the hospital for 2 weeks, and Fry never left her side for a minute.

    This was a superb episode that developed Fry and Leela's relationship excellently, IMO. It also had its funny moments, too, like Bender saying, "I'm not allowed to sing. Court order.", and Bender being on fire, then the others put him out. Bender says, "That's better.", and then lights a cigar and smokes it. One more funny thing is Leela hallucinating that the characters have swapped voices. The plot is great. I liked how they developed Fry and Leela's relationship, and some of those developing relationship moments made me almost cry. Overall, a superb episode that had great romance, comedy, character development, and a great plot.


  • On a mission to collect bee honey, Leela got stung, leaving her in a coma for 2 weeks. This episodes is of her battle in her mind trying to survive and return to reality.moreless

    My favourite episode! It has the a mixture of action during the climatic escalation in the beginning, and also different emotions such as melancholy, when Fry risks his life trying to save Leela from the Bee sting. The main bulk of this episode is featured in Leela's mind as she deciphers what is reality from imagination. Thinking that Fry has died in his valiant efforts, the episode tricks us - an exciting and exhilarating feeling . Furthermore, in Leela's mind, her love for Fry, albeit platonic or passionate, is accentuated when she too wants to 'dream' (euphoria for die) to be in Fry's presence. With parallelism to Romeo and Juliet, romance junkies would enjoy this episode. The ending was golden. In Leela's dreams under her coma, she consistently travels back and forth dimensions of her dreams, stimulated by Fry's "just wake up." Transcends into Leela waking up to present day reality, with Fry by her side. He never left her side for 2 weeks. If that ain't love, i don't know what is.moreless
  • Fry and Leela get stung by a space bee and Leela lapses into a 2 week coma.

    This episode is EXTREMELY well done AND acted. We forget that voices can communicate emotion independent of the animation. Katey Sagal and Billy West give a top notch emotional weight to the episode. I also love how the hallucinations get more and more intense as the episode unfolds mimicking the deeper Leela is descending into her coma. It is a flawless episode and my favorite of the series. Definitely worthy of a "10". I get choked up each time I watch it, but then again, I am a pretty emotional/romantic guy so maybe I am just an easy sell. Peace.moreless
  • Maybe I am being a little to critical, but I thought that this episode was wierd and not funny at all...

    After arriving at an asteroid field in deep space, Fry, Leela and Bender attempt to collect honey produced by vicious space bees. Leela decides to take a baby queen bee that incidentally kills Fry! While at Fry's funeral, guilt-ridden Leela has a romantic dream that causes her to believe that Fry is still alive. As Leela's bizarre dreams continue to develop, she sinks into a much stranger sleep. Probably the worst 30 minutes I have ever spent watching TV... I know that the writers can do better. Not at all funny witty or smart just without a doubt horrible in every way, shape and form...moreless
  • My favourite episode!

    The Sting

    Grade: A*

    This episode is amazing! It does pretty much everything right, it gives a good balance of humour and emotion, and nevertheless has some nice twists and turns. Obviously, because there were more episodes you will guess something must be fixed, but how will make you wonder without any spoilers.

    The story begins with Farnsworth annoucing to the crew that they are not good enough to go on their next mission, claiming it to have killed their last crew. Leela nevertheless forces them to do it, and its to collect space honey from killer bees.

    To get the honey, Bender is costumed to be a bee and therefore are able to collect the space honey. Leela finds a baby queen and takes it so that they can make more at home. Bender insults the queen and the bees chase them. When they have escaped, the baby queen awakes and attempts to sting Leela, but Fry sacrifices himself to protect her, and is killed in the process.

    At the funeral, Leela is left with guilt, and during the night has a dream in which Fry is seemingly alive. Everyone thinks she is going crazy, and as time goes by she starts missing him more and more. She wakes up with Fry's coat on her, but when she shows it to the others, its her own instead.

    Leela gets depressed and starts to eat space honey to ease the pain, but she knocks the honey on the floor and Fry is seemingly regenerated back to his original form. However, this is short lived, as he tells her to "wake up". The next morning, for no apparent reason, the crew sings "Don't Worry, Be Happy" but Leela is assumed to have imagined it.

    To prove she is not crazy, Leela attempts to find Fry's body in space and keep it with her to proof he's really dead. When she gets to the coffin and open it, she is transported into another room with everyone claiming she killed Fry. Leela ends up in her room, not being able to cope with the loss of Fry anymore. She takes space honey and it takes 3 to sleep forever. Just as she almost takes the 3rd dose, a picture of Fry next to her talks to her, and in an emotional way Leela just doesn't know what to do anymore, and Fry simply tells her to "just wake up" and begins to cry.

    The next scene reveals to everyone that Leela was in a coma and Fry wasn't actually hurt, saying that she got all the poison. They hug each other and say they both need a shower.

    Nevertheless, one of my all time favourites, in fact it might be my all-time favourite Futurama episode. Don't listen to the bad reviews here, it is a weird episode, but done brilliantly. Both the characters of Fry and Leela in this episode are amazingly written and even after you know what happens, you still want to go back to it a couple of times. Fantastic!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

Dawnn Lewis

Dawnn Lewis

LaBarbara Conrad

Recurring Role

Byrne Offutt

Byrne Offutt

Ultility Player

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (17)

    • Not only is the squishy toy from the "Swedish novelty shop" on Leela's bedside table in the hospital, but on the wall is a landscape picture of a frozen ice planet, similar (the same) to the one in Leela's coma. Hermes also mentions the ice planet.

    • Opening theme promotion: A BY-PRODUCT OF THE TV INDUSTRY.

    • If you notice very carefully near Fry's coffin, you'll see Fry's fossilized dog, Seymour.

    • In Leela's coma-dream, Bees are responsible for killing six of the seven main characters - first Fry, then later on everybody else. Leela is the only main character who doesn't die.

    • When Leela had the spoon with Fry on it, LOOK CLOSELY. The picture of Fry is the same one from the episode My Three Suns.

    • In Leela's coma-dream, right after Fry's funeral, Leela is on her bed. She tears a piece of paper in half and puts it on her night-table. The camera zooms in, then out; and the paper is gone. Where did it go?

    • All of the errors between Leela getting stung and awakening in the hospital can be explained. Leela was delusional during her coma. Plus, since she was grieving Fry's death, she wouldn't have noticed the mistakes of her memory.

    • In Mars University, Guenter's hat was crushed, making him have moderate intelligence while wearing it, and he keeps it that way. Yet, in this episode, Guenter's hat is fine.

      RESPONSE: Perhaps this is an untold story. A lot could have happened with Guenter in the 3 years since he last appeared.

    • Leela got a squez-e cyclops in her coma but when she wakes up into the real state it is on the tabletop besides Leela's hospital bed.

    • At Fry's funeral, we are shown all of the women Fry slept with at some point in the series (including 'that radiator woman from the radiator planet'), and one of them was his date from S02E10: Put your head on my shoulder. In that episode, she left before their date was over, so he never actually slept with her (he wasn't on his own body anyway!)

    • Black Boxes also usually have some form of armoring to protect them from impact. Also, this seems to be only a circa 1980s tape recorder. Wouldn't they have more likely moved on to digital recorders?

      RE: The same can be said of a lot of the technology used in the show (i.e. Dot-Matrix Printers)

    • Fry and Leela are stung by a baby queen bee, then the stinger breaks off. Queen bees do not lose their stinger after they sting. A worker is killed by stinging, since the stinger is barbed and is ripped from the bee's body. Queens have less-barbed stingers and do not have them ripped free. A queen may sting multiple times without being injured.

      Response: But, these are Space bees, with possibly different physiology than Earth bees.

    • In the scene where Leela opens Fry's coffin, notice that the hinges have suddenly changed position. Now the casket opens from right to left, instead of opposite, regular left to right.

    • When Bender jumps into the virtual lake to fetch a golf ball, the Prof. enters and gives the news. In the next scene, Bender is out of the water and on the fairway.

    • We see Seymour near the wreaths at the funeral, then when we next see them Seymour has disappeared.

    • The Amazonian who says Fry did "good snu-snu" actually snu-snued Zapp Brannigan, not Fry, in 3ACV01 Amazon Women In The Mood.

    • In Space Pilot 3000 the Professor shook his previous crew's career chips out of an envelope marked "CONTENTS OF SPACE WASP'S STOMACH", yet in this episode they were killed by bees. Bees and wasps are markedly different animals.

  • QUOTES (36)

    • Leela: Fry! You-you're alive!
      Fry: Leela! You're awake!
      Leela: Of course I'm awake. You wouldn't stop waking me. Where am I?
      Fry: In the hospital. The ambulance took you here right after the bee stung you.
      Leela: But the bee stung you. It barely touched me.
      Fry: Stinger went right through me and you got all the poison. My new spleen came from a guy who liked to motorcycle.

    • Farnsworth: Incredible! According to the gizmometer, Fry touched the royal jelly in the space hive, leaving an imprint of his DNA and brainwaves. Then, when it spilled on the couch, it recombined with trace amounts of Fry's hair and skin -
      Bender: And blood! Don't forget about Fry's blood!
      Farnsworth: Yes Bender, thank you. In short, the various fluids Fry left in the couch caused the royal jelly to regenerate his entire being!
      Fry: Neat!

    • Fry: Hi Leela! I'm just gonna keep talking, even if you can't hear me. Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah.
      Leela: Shut up, I can hear you. The Professor says you're just a dream.
      Fry: Oh yeah? Could a dream take you dancing in an Venusian garden?
      Leela: Well yes, technically.

    • Leela: Are you saying I'm going crazy?
      Farnsworth: No no, no one's saying that! But I'm certainly thinking it loudly.

    • Farnsworth: Well I suppose there's a slim - I don't believe it!
      Leela: What is it? Is Fry alive in some other dimension or something?
      Farnsworth: No. According to this gizmometer, Fry is dead and nothing can bring him back! Remarkable.

    • Farnsworth: Lay down here and we'll do some tests. If Fry is out there then Leela's brain could be acting as a five pound ouija board.
      Leela: Is this some sort of brain scanner?
      Farnsworth: Some sort yes. In France it's called a "guillotine."

    • Bender: Well, I feel better now. Pawning all the stuff in Fry's locker helped give me closure.
      Leela: Was there anything in there that might have been a gift for me?
      Bender: No. Nothing. Not at all. No way jose! Here it is.
      Leela: You took this from Fry's locker?
      Bender: Hey the guy's dead! There's no law against grave robbing!

    • Leela: In my dream Fry said he hid a gift for me in my locker. If it's true then he must still exist in some form.
      Farnsworth: Oh course he still exists. As a frozen corpse in outer space! [He laughs then sighs.] Oh, I made myself sad.

    • Farnsworth: This makes me the oldest member of my family. (sobs loudly on Bender's shoulder)

    • Priest: I barely knew Philip, but as a clergyman I have no problem telling his most intimate friends all about him.
      Hermes: Soothe us with sweet lies.
      Priest: It may comfort you to know that Fry's death took only 15 seconds. Yet the pain was so intense that it felt to him like 15 years. And it goes without saying that it caused him to empty his bowels.

    • Leela: (crying) It was all my fault! He died because of me!
      Farnsworth: No no no no no no no. (loudly to Bender) I'm lying to make her feel better!

    • Labarbara: Husband, can't you go anywhere without lighting something up?
      Hermes: It's an old Jamaican accounting tradition. We burn his timecard. That way his zombie doesn't come back looking for his final paycheque.

    • Fry: Hey what's this goop?
      Leela: Royal jelly. They feed it to the queen.
      Fry: Bees make honey and jelly? Huh. How come nothing humans make taste good?

    • Leela: It'll take more than deadly deadly bees to keep us from doing our job. Come on boys!
      Fry: But Leela we're no good!
      Leela: Listen, I'm scared too. But I'm more scared of disappointing myself.
      Fry: I'm not scared of that at all!

    • Farnsworth: These bees are larger than most Buicks and twice as ugly!
      Fry: Larger than an American sedan? How big is the honey comb?
      Hermes: Honey comb's big. Yeah yeah yeah.
      Bender: It's not small?
      Hermes: No no no.

    • Farnsworth: It's produced by vicious space bees. A single sting of their hideous neuro-toxin can cause instant death!
      Hermes: And that's if you're not allergic! You don't wanna know what happens then, oh no no, God no!
      Farnsworth: Your insides will boil out of your eye sockets like a science fair volcano!
      Hermes: I didn't want to know!

    • Leela: We're just as good as any of those crews you sent to their deaths. What's the mission?
      Farnsworth: Collecting honey. Ordinary honey.
      Leela: That doesn't sound so dangerous.
      Farnsworth: This is no ordinary honey!

    • Farnsworth: Bad news everyone. You're not good enough to go on your next mission.
      Fry: Hooray!
      Bender: Not good enough!
      Leela: Why? Says who?
      Farnsworth: Because. And says me. It's an extremely dangerous mission that killed my last crew. And you're not nearly as good as them.
      Fry: Woohoo!
      Bender: We live to suck another day!

    • (Leela opens her gift from Fry, finding a squeez-e toy and squeezes it twice.)
      Leela: That proves it! Fry is alive somewhere and he's reaching me in my dreams!
      Farnsworth: BULL PIES!

    • Bender: Pick up the pace, lady! (Unknowingly dancing the bee language.) I'm sick of shaking my booty for these fat jerks.
      (Bees start looking angrily at him.)
      Bender: Uh...I didn't mean you're all fat. (dancing) Just fatso there. (pointing at the queen bee)

    • Leela: I'll find Fry's coffin, get his corpse, and keep it under my mattress to remind me that he's really dead. That'll prove I'm not insane.

    • Leela: I'm cracking up. In my dreams, I'm happy because Fry is alive, but when I'm awake, my mind plays tricks on me.
      Hermes: Oh, take it easy, Leela.
      Amy: In every life, we have some trouble...
      Bender: ...but when you worry, you make it double.
      Amy and Bender: (both singing) Don't worry. Be happy.
      (Everybody else breaks out into song.)
      Farsworth: The landlords say your rent is late.
      Hermes: You may have to litigate.
      All: Don't worry.
      (Bender opens up his chamber, letting a cartoonish bee out, stinging Farsworth.)
      Bee: Bee...
      Farnsworth: Happy. (His head inflates and explodes.)
      Zoidberg: Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style.
      Ladies vomit when I smile,
      But does Zoidberg worry? Feh! You wish!

      Bee (stings Zoidberg) Bee...
      Zoidberg: Happy. (Inflates and explodes.)
      Hermes: Don't worry now, Amy!
      (Bee flies in, stings Hermes, and Hermes explodes.)
      Amy: Okay, I'm happy! (Bee stings Amy, and Amy explodes.)
      Bender: Take us home, Bender! Don't worry...
      Bee (stings Bender) Bee...
      Bender: Happy! (Bender explodes, sending off fireworks exploding into a cloud of dust. Then, everything goes back to the way it was, with everybody sitting down at the table.)
      Leela: Uh, were you just singing?
      Bender: No. I was tellin' you not to worry. I'm not allowed to sing. Court order.

    • Leela: You call that a wound? That's a boo-boo tops. But thanks for trying to save me, Fry. Fry? (gasps) He's-- He's dead.
      Bender: Oh, who will make Bender waffles just the way he likes them now?

    • Leela: Now, bees communicate by dancing.
      Fry: Like my parents! Oh, wait. That was hitting.
      Leela: So this language cartridge will let you distract them.
      Bender: Ah, good. I often have thoughts and feelings that can only be expressed through dance.
      Bender: (dancing) You stink. Bender's great. Deal with it.

    • Fry: Why am I sticky and naked? Did I miss something fun?

    • Bender: This is great! My buddy's alive and his credit cards are valid again. Let's go get hammered!
      (Everybody but Leela and Fry cheers and walks out the room.)
      Zoidberg: I should warn you...I'm a mean drunk.

    • Bender: Hey! What if Fry wasn't actually dead when we buried him? You know, like Julia Roberts?

    • Cryogenic Worker: Farewell from the world of tomorrow!

    • Hermes: Sweet three-toed sloth of ice planet Hoth! She's awake!
      Bender: You were in the best coma I've ever seen!
      Amy: The doctors said you would never wake up.
      Leela: How long was I out?
      Amy: Two weeks. Fry never left your side for a minute.
      Zoidberg: And he talked non-stop! Like a parrot of the sea, he was.
      Fry: I thought that maybe if you heard a familiar voice, it might help keep your mind together. But who knows if it really got through.
      Leela: It got through, Fry. It got through.
      (Screen goes black)
      Leela: You could really use a shower.
      Fry: You too!

    • Hermes: You're under a lot of guilt stress, Leela. (Hands Leela the squeez-e toy) Here, work it out.
      Leela: I'm am not under stress, damn it! (Rapidly squeezes the toy until the eye bursts out liquid.)

    • Leela: Activate emergency high-speed self-contained escape pack crisis response units quick.

    • Bee: He insulted our fat queen!
      Queen: You try keeping your figure after 10,000 kids!

    • Bender: You're screwier than my aunt Rita. And she's a screw.

    • Fry: Leela, no! Listen to me, you don't wanna lie in bed like a vegetable and do nothing for the rest of your life. I've tried it--bedsores hurt!

    • Fry: Help! I can't swim in jelly as far as I know!

    • Bender: All those times I said "kill all humans,' I'd always whispered 'except one." Fry was that one. And I never told him so!

  • NOTES (13)

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Aliens

      The queen bee being killed by getting sucked out of the airlock is reminiscent of how the Alien queen dies in Aliens.

    • Star Wars

      When Hermes is saying "Sweet three-toed sloth of ice planet Hoth!", he is referring to the planet on which the Rebel Alliance has its base in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Although, of course, Star Wars does not mention a three-toed sloth.

    • In Leela's coma-dream, Fry dies. Traditionally, funerals are held three days after passing. But on the night of Fry's funeral, Fry comes back to life and reveals himself to Leela. The Fry is portrayed as a Jesus-figure because he comes back to life on the third day, and shows himself to the Leela, who is portrayed as a Mary Magdalene figure.

    • Leela: They say a spoonful of honey helps to ease the pain.

      This is a take on the song lyric, "just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down" from Disney's film, Mary Poppins.

    • Amy: He's walking on sunshine now.

      This is a reference to the episode Jurassic Bark upon which Fry and his dog Seymour sung "I'm Walking on Sunshine," as well as a few other occasions where Fry is seen singing/humming the song.

    • Hermes: Honeycomb's big, yeah yeah yeah!
      The line and the Honeycomb Hideout reference are from the breakfast cereal commercials for Honeycomb Cereal.

    • The Others
      The plot mainly. Leela thinks Fry is dead while he was alive and she was in a coma. And the 'wake up' echoed through the episode sounded similar to "stop breathing" line from the film The Others (2001).

    • Title: The Sting

      Aside from the title being taken from the 1973 film, Bender's outfit in the beginning is the same as Robert Redford's.

    • Star Trek
      A number of references to get out of the way. In the episode "Frame Of Mind" commander Riker is caught in a situation much like Leela's. He's rendered unconscious by alíens, and in a dream that's becoming increasingly weird, he start to question his own sanity, as nothing is what it appears to be. In the episode "Night Terrors" counselor Troi find herself floating in outer space (much like Leela) in one of her dreams. Slowly the recurring dream take it's toll on her mental health. In the end it turns out the "nightmares" was caused by aliens atempting to communicate with her. In the episode "Demon" the Voyager crew discover a biologic substance that can make replicas of humans/aliens based on a few strands of DNA. Much like the Fry replica in Leela's dream. And finally the tradition from most every Star Trek series, the body being put in a torpedo and shot into space.

    • Fry: Hi Leela! I'm just going to keep talking, even if you can't hear me!
      When Leela has the second dream, Fry appears in a similar way to the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland - as a smile hanging in the air - only he's got his unmistakable red hair, too.

    • 2001: A Space Odyssey
      This episode featured a few references to Stanley Kubrick's revolutionary film 2001: A Space Odyssey (based on the story "The Sentinel" by Arthur C. Clarke). Fry's coffin floating in space resembled the film's third mysterious monolith floating near Jupiter. What happens when Leelah opens Fry's coffin, right down to the reflections off of her helmet and the multi-colored shots of her eye, is the same thing that happens towards the end of the film when Mission Commander Dave Bowman encounters the floating monolith.

  • 7:20 pm
    The Blacklist Luther Braxton
  • 8:50 pm
    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon