Futurama/Insane in the Mainframe

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Insane in the Mainframe
Insane In The Mainframe
Season 3, Episode 12
Airdate April 8, 2001
Production Number 3ACV11
Writer(s) Bill Odenkirk
Director(s) Peter Avanzino
← 3x11
The Cyber House Rules
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Bendin' in the Wind
FuturamaSeason Three

Insane in the Mainframe is the twelfth episode of the third season of Futurama, and the forty-first episode overall. When Fry and Bender are mistakenly fingered as accomplises for a bank robbery, they're sentanced to a robot mental asylum for the criminally insane. Eventually, Fry is convinced that he is actually a robot, but when the real bank robber takes Planet Express hostage, it's up to Robo-Fry to save the day.

Guest Stars: Dave Herman (Roberto), Phil LaMarr (Hermes, Unit 2013), Lauren Tom (Amy)


Plot Overview

At Planet Express, the crew is celebrating Zoidberg's 10th year working for the company. He finds that he has nothing waiting for him in his pension because he hasn't paid into it. But, he's not alone because Fry hasn't either. In order to build up his retirement fund, Fry takes his saved up 100 dollars and blows it all on scratch off tickets. With his last 6 dollars, he sets up an account at the back which requires a 10 dollar start up fee, putting him in debt. After he starts up the account, he and Bender are roped into helping Roberto rob the bank. However, he escapes while Fry and Bender are caught holding the bags of money. At court, Fry is threatened by Roberto from the courtroom and is eventually sentenced to the Asylum for Criminally Insane Robots with Bender.

At the asylum, no one believes Fry when he claims to be human because the place is run entirely by robots. He's shoved into a tiny cell with Malfunctioning Eddie when his physical and mental exams are complete. In the lobby, Fry is given the tour of the asylum by Unit 2013, who also believe he's a human. When Malfunctioning Eddie is released, it's revealed that Roberto was caught and is Fry's new cellmate, who quickly drives Fry insane. He is released soon after when he claims that he really is a robot.

Back at the asylum, Roberto and Bender escape from the asylum disguised as a doctor and his patient. Meanwhile, Fry attempts to figure out what kind of robot he is. Among his attempts, he tries to be a calcutron and a toolbot. Bender and Roberto decide to rob what's left of the bank's money and hide out at Planet Express. Roberto holds the crew hostage but Fry claims to be a battle droid who will save the crew. When Roberto stabs Fry and sees that he's bleeding oil, he freaks out and jumps out a window. Fry comes to realize that he's actually human when he sees blood.


Alien Language Sightings

  • No alien language letters appear in this episode.



  • 1x03 - I, Roommate: Bender tells Fry that he has the heart of a robot in this previous episode.


The Show

  • Opening Caption: Bender's Humor by Microsoft Joke
  • Cold Opening: The show opens with an advertisement for Thompson's Teeth.
  • First Appearance: This episode marks the first appearance of Roberto, the criminally insane stabbing robot.

Behind the Scenes

  • Homeless Lady: The homeless woman who walks by the bank is based off of a real homeless woman who was often seen outside of the studio where Futurama was created.
  • Fry's Fighting: The method of fighting Roberto by swinging his arms in a circle was inspired by how David X. Cohen used to fight with his sister.
  • Alternate Ending: The episode originally ended with Bender playing banjo and singing about Fry being a robot.

Allusions and References

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Much of the robot insane asylum segments are parodys of and are references from the novel/movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, this particularly includes Nurse Ratchet.
  • Insane in the Membrane: The title of the episode is a parody of the Cypress Hill song "Insane in the Membrane."

Memorable Moments

  • Fry's physical examination at the robot asylum.
  • Fry's tour of the robot asylum.
  • Roberto holding the Planet Express employees hostage.


  • Fry: Help me! For god's sake! Help me!
    Prof. Farnsworth: Oh don't worry Fry. I too once spent a nightmarish time in a robot asylum, but now it's nearly over. So long!


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