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Futurama/Luck of the Fryrish
Luck of the Fryrish is the tenth episode of the third season of Futurama, and the thirty-ninth episode overall. This is the first of the two episodes which focus mainly on Fry's life in the past and make use of extensive flashbacks (the other being Jurassic Bark). It's widely regarded as one of the saddest episodes of Futurama and is the standard at which the show's best episodes are regarded.
The episode opens in the past at a hospital where Philip J. Fry is being born and begins to set up his rivalry with his brother Yancy. In the present, the crew is at a horse track, gambling on the race. Bender drugs all of the horses in the stable except for the one he's betting on, leading to Fry declaring that the horse track will not get his last dollar... until it blows away. Fry chases the dollar to an electrical pole where he's electricuted and struck by lightning. Flash back to the past where Fry and Yancy are playing basketball and Fry discovers a seven leaf clover that makes him better at basketball. Back in the present, Fry comments on how if he still had the clover, he wouldn't be so horrendously unlucky. He decides to go look for the clover in the ruins of Old New York with Leela and Bender.
In the ruins of Old New York, Fry begins his search after deciding to do everything he couldn't do in his time. After being trampled by a mutant lizard in the ruins, Fry flashes back again to a scene where he breakdances to get in good with a crew of street urchins who want to win a pair of parachute pants. Once again, the clover gives him incredible skill when he pulls off the Septuple Headspin. Back in the present, Bender acts as a makeshift subway car to get to Fry's old neighborhood. In the past again, Fry hides his clover in a Breakfast Club soundtrack LP in a Ronco Record Vault. And,once again in the present, Bender breaks into the safe by shaking it (and most of the house) apart, only for Fry to discover that the clover is missing. The three walk off back towards the surface and find a statue of Fry, escribed as the first person on Mars.
Back at Planet Express, the statue has been moved inside and the professor has uncovered a documentry video about who exactly Philip J. Fry is. When the video shows that Yancy is buried in the national cemetary, Fry decides to go grave robbing and take his clover back once and forall. Flash to the past, where Yancy is getting ready for his wedding and discovers the clover. In the future once again, the three find Fry's brother's grave and start to dig it up when Fry uncovers more on the tombstone. He finds that Philip J. Fry is actually his nephew, not Yancy stealing his legacy as he previously assumed. The episode ends with Fry kneeling over the open grave while the camera zooms out of Orbiting Meadows.
Alien Language Sightings
- Insider Track Ad: "Not Without My Egg Case - Tonight On Lifetime"
- Fry: A great deal of Fry's history is revealed in this episode through flashbacks. His relationship with his brother is particularly expressed.
- Opening Caption: Broadcast Simultaneously One Year In The Future
- Bender Bending Rodriguez: We find out Bender's middle name actually is "Bending" in this episode.
- Rose Bowl: The score that Fry's Mother recites from the Rose Bowl in 2000 is actually an accurate statistic. Wisconsin defeated Stanford 19-7 on January 1, 2000.
Behind the Scenes
- Annie Awards: Ron Weiner won the award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production at the 2001 Annie Awards, which was hosted by Futurama star Billy West.
- Color Coded Story Cards: When an episode's story is mapped out, color coded cards are used. For this episode, scenes that occurred in the past were a different color from those that occur in the present/future.
- Godfather 2: The idea of telling two stories at once in the episode was partially inspired by Godfather 2, which had dual stories about Michael Corelione's coping with his power as the Don and his father's rise to power.
- Horse Burger Man: The inspiration for the voice of the man in the Horse D'Oeuvres kiosk was Phil Riseuto.
- Beatboxing John: The reason why beatboxing was added into the breakdancing segment of the episode was because John Di Maggio used to beatbox as part of his stand-up comedy act. He once opened for KRS-One at the Apollo Theatre.
- Howard Stern: Fry shouts "Howard Stern is overrated" in the ruinos of Old New York. Billy West is a common fixture of the Howard Stern radio show.
- Fry's House: Fry's house is based on Eric Kaplan's actual home, as well as the subway station nearby.
- Cut Scene: Leela originally shot the record vault with a laser.
- O Brother, Where Art Thou?: Although Futurama is generally hailed for putting so much thought into the episodes with small clues towards future plot lines, the fact that Fry has a brother was not thought up until this episode.
Allusions and References
- The PJs: The PJs logo is on the manhole that Fry moves to get to Old New York. The show was a short lived claymation animated show on Fox created by Eddie Murphy. The show later put Fry's picture on a milk carton as an act of thanks.
- Tomb of the Unknown Comic: This double reference appears on a gravestone in the cemetary. Firstly, it references the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This reference is coupled with a reference to the Unknown Comic, a comedian from The Gong Show who wore a paper bag over his head.
- Simple Minds: The song "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds plays at the very end of the episode.
- Heisenberg's Law: The professor complains that they changed the outcome of the race by measuring it. This comment is actually a reference to a law in physics which states that you can not measure any quantity without affecting its value.
- Bender drugging all of the horses and a jockey.
- The incredibly creepy hair robot making an appearance.
- Fry meeting his mutated former neighbor.
- Bender shaking the Ronco Record Vault open.
- Fry's realization who the man in the grave really is.
- Fry: Wow! We've got Manhattan all to ourselves! I can finally do all the crazy stuff I always dreamed of doing! [shouting] Howard Stern is overrated!
- Fry: It's gone! The whole place has been cleaned out! Yancy stole my clover! That thief!
Leela: How do you know it didn't disintergrate?
Fry: Everything else in here held up OK.
Bender: Except Sports by Huey Lewis.
- Prof. Farnsworth: Shut up friends! My internet browser heard us saying the word Fry and it found a movie about Philip J. Fry for us. It also opened my calendar to Friday and ordered me some French fries.
- Leela: Uh, Bender, I think Fry needs a moment alone.
Bender: Alright, grab a shovel. I'm only one skull short of a Mouseketeer reunion.
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