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Futurama Episode Capsule

[1ACV03] I, Roommate

Futurama Capsules are meant as complete guidelines for the episodes. These documents are produced by Futurama fans for Futurama fans. Feel free to contribute if you see missing things in any of the capsules.
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General Episode Data
Title: I, Roommate
First aired: 04/06/99
Production Code: 1ACV03
Written by Eric Horsted
Directed by Bret Haaland
Opening theme promotion: AS SEEN ON TV
Opening theme cartoon: "Baby Bottleneck"

Fry is such a slob that he is forced to move out of the Planet Express offices. But friendship makes for strange bedfellows when he moves in with Bender and discovers the nuts and bolts of living with a robot.

Voice Credits
  • Billy West (Fry, Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Smitty, underwater landlord)
  • Katey Sagal (Leela)
  • John DiMaggio (Bender, URL, Randy)
Guest Starring
  • Tress MacNeille ("Bachelor Chow" lady, Monique, Hattie, "fatass")
  • Lauren Tom (Amy)
  • Phil LaMarr (Hermes, New Jersey landlord)
  • Maurice LaMarche (AMC announcer, Calculon, AMC priest)

Did You Notice...
  • Amy is rooting for Calculon's evil twin? {DH}
  • Amy only has three lines in this episode? {DH}
  • Bender has a lighter built into his left hand? {DH}
  • Bender slams his chest plate shut before running out of the room? {DH}
  • Bender sweats oil under his armpits? {DH}
  • Fry "knew" where the closet is in the new apartment? {DH}
  • Fry eats his Bachelor Chow cold while the commercial appears to be showing steam emanating from it? {DH}
  • anyone can shutdown the rocket ship's engines from the outside? {DH}
  • it took a [robot] soap opera to get Fry and Bender back together? {DH}
  • that Fry snores? {DH}
  • that instead of pigeons or rats the city is over-run with owls? {DH}
  • that the chart shown on the viewing screen is not computer generated but rather a picture of a chart? {DH}
  • the cop holds Bender's antenna with pinky extended? {DH}
  • the token human in the Robot soap opera? {DH}
  • The United States has still not fully implemented the metric system. {HL}
  • there is still a choice between cable and satellite TV service? {HL}
  • that the apartment numbers in Robot Arms Apartments are written in binary and Bender's one being 36 (decimal) which in ASCII is "$"? {JD}
  • that Amy must have crawled out of the apartment after slipping a second time? {JK}
  • the monster truck wrestling ring has red, white, and blue ropes? {JK}
  • the owls in the alley Bender is in? {JK}
  • Fry not wearing Nike shoes anymore? {MP}
  • heptopi inhabit the sea? [{SH} explains: "The squid has 7 tentacles, being somewhat appropriate in a world where humans have four fingers.] {MP}
  • Bender drinks the entire 6-pack he went to get on the way home? {RdB}
  • Calculon's autograph is stolen from 'Mary'? {RdB}
  • both times Amy slips, you can see the banana peel fly into the air briefly? {SH}
  • that Hermes says water consumption has tripled, but the chart shows it has only doubled? {SH}
  • that we've seen more nudity so far on Fry than Leela? Boo! {SH}
  • Bender is sitting on their home-made beanbag chair later in the episode?
  • Bender's chest cavity hangs open while he goes on his "non-bender," which may symbolize his dishevelment?
  • Dr. Zoidberg claps by snapping his claws open and closed?
  • Fry has apparently gotten fatter throughout this episode, as we can see the bottom of his belly sticking out of his shirt?
  • Leela tells Bender to look her in the _eye_?
  • New Jersey is still a bad place to live in?
  • people are sitting and eating off of the very same table fry slept on?
  • rent control still exists?
  • the antennae is supposedly a robot's equivalent of his 'manhood.' Strange how they're openly displayed on the tops of their heads like that. (Do robots reproduce with their antennae?)
  • the landlady's eyes are slightly misaligned, i.e. not looking in _exactly_ the same direction?
  • Bender has an extra button to erase parts of his memory? {f}
  • This is the third episode in a row in which Bender has done his "flame belch"? {JB}

External references
  • 57 Channels (and Nothin' On) (song)
    • Fry says "40,00 channels and only 150 of them have anything good on." which is a reference to this Bruce Springsteen song. {DJ}
  • All My Children (TV Series)
    • "All My Circuits" is obviously a parody on this popular ABC soap opera out of the 70s. {RJ}
  • Andy Warhol
    • Someone is copying this artist's style and applying it to cans of Slurm in the next millennium. Or Andy's Head is still around.
  • Bigfoot (monster truck)
    • One of the monster truck wrestlers. {JK}
  • Flight of the Phoenix (movie)
    • "As this shocking graph indicates, our water consumption has tripled in the last month." {MP}
  • Happy Days (TV series)
    • Fry saying "aay" like the Fonz. {HL}
    • fixing the TV with a hit. {RdB}
  • Isaac Asimov (author)
    • Do Robots dream? Yes they do, of killing humans. I have to wonder if that wasn't a tribute to Asimov where energy of killing a human is processed through dreams. Very clever. {DT}
    • Title "I, Roommate" is a reference to the novel "I, Robot".
  • Lost weekend (movie)
    • Bender, going through withdrawal, is assaulted on all sides by neon images of "Boring Lecture Tonight" and "Church Revival." (See Freeze Frame Fun for a complete list.) This is a reference to the movie "Lost Weekend" from 1945. Of course, Ray Milland was tempted by neon signs of "Beer" and "Bar" and "Tavern" while trying to stay sober. {JK}
  • Red Dwarf (TV show)
    • In the episode "Kryten," the robot Kryten is a sanitation droid who only finds happiness in cleaning dishes and washing clothes, except his secret passion is watching the soap opera "Androids." It is a lot like "All My Circuits" in the way that it is a parody of a real, 20th century soap opera ("Neighbours") and the way that all the plots are similar to 20th century soap operas except they are given a robot twist. {PE}
  • Relativity (lithograph)
    • It's not the first time a Groening comic spoofs this picture. 'The Big Book of Hell' shows Bongo falling up and down the stairs. {KS}
    • The physics-defying room full of staircases that the crew see on their apartment hunt is similar to this famous picture by M.C. Escher.
  • Secret (antiperspirant)
    • Their slogan is "Made by a woman, for a woman." Replace "woman" with "robot" and you have the RoboFresh slogan.
  • Star Trek (movies/TV series)
    • When the lady closed her cell phone, it made the Star Trek 'communicator' sound. {NZ}
  • The Odd Couple (TV series/movie)
    • Fry and Bender loosely reenact the show's theme with the same music and add a twist to the 'cigarette-on-the-floor' bit.
  • The Persistence of Memory (painting)
    • Bender bends an alarm clock as a nod to the melted clocks of this painting by Salvador Dali.
  • The Wizard of Oz (movie)
    • Remark about Bender's heart. {HL}
    • His 'dream', 'and you were there' type statement.
  • WWE
    • Monstertruck wrestling announcer sounded suspiciously like Vince McMahon from the World Wrestling Federation WWE. {RdB}

Futurama references
  • 1ACV01 - Space Pilot 3000
    • Fry and Bender meet in a confined space. {HL}
    • Olde Fortran malt liquor returns. {RdB}
    • Underground mutants idea.
  • 1ACV02 - The Series Has Landed
    • Bender's fantasy of killing all humans. {RdB}
    • Amy is shown to be a klutz when slipping on a banana peel. (recurring theme) {f}

Freeze Frame Fun
Fry's breakfast:
RAA apartment numbers:
    Bender: 00100100           (36)
    Across the hall: 00100001  (33)
    To the right: ??100100     (??)
    To the left: 00111001      (87)
Newspaper ads:
                         at its Finest
      Must See
     to Believe.
Autographed picture from Calculon
     To [Mary]      <-- "Mary" is crossed out
     My biggest fan!
Sign inside the new apartment
    10 HOME
    20 SWEET
    30 GOTO 10
Bender's itinerary for the night:
    NO LIQUOR                        PUBLIC
     LICENSE                         [book]
    STUDY                            BORING
    2NITE                               G
      WATER                             O
    FOUNTAIN                            G
        :                               Y
    : .                              LECTURE

Animation, continuity, and other goofs...
  • Bender's cigar doesn't appear in the wide inter. shot of Food-O-Mat. {DH}
  • If Bender's antenna can retract why couldn't he simply retract it while he's in the apartment? Not good enough? {DH}
  • One of those magical vacant chairs materializes next to Prof. Farnsworth. {DH}
  • The Planet Express ship changes directions during the morning meeting. {DH}
  • The curtain that hangs over the wall TV in the new apartment vanishes during the home warming party. {DH}
  • The emergency shut down button open only appears when Leela pushes it. {DH}
  • The front side of Planet Express looks different than from 1ACV02 (window direction, street light, height). {DH}
  • The jerk sitting behind Bender at the Food-O-Mat did not show up until Bender's jerk speech. {DH}
  • The table that Fry slept on changes shape and size during the meeting; it even spouts that "thingy" in the middle. {DH}
  • How could each robot have its own "closet" if the rooms are so close to each other? {JMG}
  • In Bender's closet, you'll notice a half-open door in the right wall. It seems to be a sliding door (possibly an automatic one) that looks like the entrance to a small closet. My question is, "Why is there a closet in the closet?" I mean, there's no real reason for this if the room is intended to be a closet. {JTC}
  • Fry says Bender got carpeting, but there is none at the end of the episode. {SH}
  • In the other rooms on Fry's floor, the TVs go out while Bender is on that floor, but in Fry's room, the TV only goes out when Bender enters the room. {SH}
  • Bender's shadow shouldn't be projected on the inner wall of his 'apartment' if he's standing on the other side of the light bulb.
  • The basic code seen does not produce "Home Sweet Home", but rather "Home Sweet Home Sweet Home Sweet Home ..." as the goto in line 30 is unconditional. It's partly the joke though.
  • The numbering of the Robot Arms Apartments is in 8 bit binary. That would allow for a maximum of 256 apartments. Either they go up with the bits as needed or got some extra coding for the story, because it sure looks like there should be more than 256 apartments in this huge building.
  • Hermes does not move his lips when he says "we'll bill you for the couch". (DVD commentary reveals that this line was added at the last moment.) {f}

Comments and other Observations...
  • "All My Circuits" ... amazing that All My Children changed its name like that. Also, soap operas being alive in the year 3000, I am amazed that through 2 alien attacks and the destruction of society shows like that could survive. Well, at least no one was named Erika Kane. {DT}
  • Although not all that imaginative, the name "Calculon" might come from "The Cyberiad" by Stanislaw Lem. (ISBN 0-380-0517-4), Page 181: "In terror all the courtiers, degenerals and medical assistants rushed out to find some way to rejuvenate the royal person; at last they summoned the great Calculon himself, a sage of infinite wisdom. He came before the King and asked: 'What is it that Your Royal Highness wishes?'" {D}
  • Did anyone pick up the line about the female robot being Metric? Could Robot society have different social/religious branches being made up of metric and nonmetric? Sort of like today with the push towards the metric system. {DT}
  • On rent control: Rent control is a system of regulating the rent of an apartment. This system was found in New York from World War II to 1997. It was dropped due to the idea that it had actually caused a real estate crisis in New York City. Under the old rent control system, the apartment rent would stay at the current price for the next owner. Now, when people move out of an apartment now, prices are regulated by free market guideline. Apparently, New New York has developed a new rent control system. {YD}
  • On New Jersey: New Jersey must still be unattractive to most people. I guess after 1,000 years it is still a pain to get to New York by mass personal tube transit or hover car from New Jersey. {YD}
  • Leela sounded too much like Peggy Bundy in this episode. Especially when she was telling Fry what to do. It wasn't just her voice but how she said it that I kept expecting her to say Al. Please let them not turn Leela into Peggy Bundy. {DT}
  • I'm not sure, but I think when the robots are digging in the field for Bender's antenna is a reference to when the police were searching for John Wayne Bobbit's 'missing piece.' {MD}
  • When the police look for Bender's antenna, and the human picks it up, the other (robot) policeman says in a bit of a black-guy kind of voice, "You call that an antenna?" Perhaps making fun of the common perception about how endowed various ethnic groups are. {MP}
  • Opening theme promotion AS SEEN ON TV is removed from DVD release. Wierd censorship. {d}

{D} Darwin
{DH} Dave Hall
{DJ} Darrel Jones
{DT} Daniel Tropea
{HL} Haynes Lee
{JB} Jesse Barboza
{JD} James Dean
{JK} Joe Klemm
{JMG} Jeremy Michael Gallen
{JTC} Justin Thomas Cass
{KS} Krishna Sethuraman
{MD} Mike DeMers
{MP} Mark Poyser
{NZ} Nick Zielinski
{PE} Pete Escott
{RJ} Regular Joe
{RdB} Reznic de Bergerac
{SH} Steev Hayes
{YD} Yuri Dieujuste
{d} digitalk
{f} fo0bar

Original Capsule Author: Futurama Chronicles, compiled by Jordan Eisenberg


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