Attack of the Killer App
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|Season 6 episode|
Broadcast season 7 episode
|Attack of the Killer App|
|Written by||Patric M. Verrone|
|Directed by||Stephen Sandoval|
|Title caption||There Will Be a Test|
|First air date||1 July, 2010|
|Title reference||Attack of the Killer Tomatoes|
|Special guest(s)||Craig Ferguson|
"Attack of the Killer App" is the ninety-first episode of Futurama, the third of the sixth production season and the third of the seventh broadcast season. It aired on 1 July, 2010, on Comedy Central. It guest-stars Craig Ferguson as Susan. After Mom launches the new eyePhone, Fry and Bender race to getting a million followers on the Twit app.
Act I: "Good news, nobodies!"
At the New New York annual e-Waste event, Mayor Poopenmeyer announces the importance of throwing out dated e-waste. The Planet Express crew is there to throw out their old electronics, such as doomsday devices, Japanese toilets and evidence. When asked where all the waste goes, Poopenmeyer says they get some "minimum-wage nobodies" to fly it off to the third world. This cues Farnsworth to announce to his crew that they are the nobodies.
The third world turns out to be the Third World of the Antares system, where all e-waste is dumped and burnt, turning it into ash and releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere. While the lead alien explains the process to the crew, the other aliens partially dismantle the ship and Bender. Leela is horrified by the devastation caused by e-waste polution, and decides that the crew should avoid throwing out electronics just because it is dated, and takes back her old phone.
Her noble actions are short-lived: when an ad for the new eyePhone appears on television, the crew immediately throw out their current phones and head for the queue, which stretches across town. After a day of waiting, the crew begins to suspect that they are nothing but consumer zombies. Luckily, Dr. Ben Beeler is there to relieve them of their worries, as the eyePhone have all the apps you need.
Upon finally arriving at the Mom Store, a giant screen with Mom announces that the eyePhones are in short supply, which spreads panic among the shoppers. The short supply line is revealed to be a method for increasing demand. Despite being told that the eyePhone has no choice of carrier, can't change the battery and more, Fry becomes impatient and demands the man at the counter to take his money. Fry is about to ask why the device is called an 'eyePhone' when the salesman installs it directly in Fry's eye.
Act II: "Did you know these eyePhones are phones too?"
Soon all the crew members are addicts to their eyePhones and especially the extra service, Twit, which allows them to send small video messages to everyone who wishes to see it. Bender becomes obsessed with the popularity he can easily gain from sending out videos and increasing his amount of followers. Fry, on the other hand, is not doing so well in numbers of followers, but decides to accept a challenge from Bender about who can first reach one million followers. The loser of the bet must bathe in a pool filled with puke and diarrhea from a two-headed goat.
Meanwhile, Mom is very pleased with the sale of her eyePhones, because they are a much more efficient way of sucking information out of people than her "old-fashioned methods like spybots and Infosquitoes". With Twitcher, people are apparently willing to post everything they do, which all eyePhones record and Mom can see all this information. In addition, she is pleased to learn that Bender and Fry are holding their million follower-Twit challenge, because when one person reaches one million followers, she can initiate her Twit-worm, what she calls the true killer app of the eyePhone, but never fully explains what it does.
Back at Planet Express, Bender's follower numbers are rising fast, while Fry is still in the two digits. Fry learns about Leela's horrible secret, that she has a bisexual singing boil on her right butt cheek that she calls Susan, an obvious pun on Susan Boyle. In discovering it, his eyePhone also films it. Leela begs Fry not to upload it, even though it will increase the number of his Twit followers. Desperate not to lose, Fry uploads it anyway.
Act III: "Impending news, everyone!"
The video is a huge success, and Leela is devastated when she discovers that Fry lied to her. Walking through the streets of New New York, Leela feels she has become a freak show and desperately wants to hide her shame.
The video results in Fry and Bender reaching one million followers at the same time; with no loser, no one has to swim in the pool. Mom is even more pleased with the results, as she now has two million people she can infect with the Twit-worm. In front of the Planet Express headquarters, Leela finds Fry, who reveals that, to show his remorse, he published a video of himself diving into the pool. But Leela has discovered that her boil is already yesterday's news, and nobody cares about it any more.
Meanwhile, around them, swarms of people walk zombie-like towards the Mom Store, where they are going to be the first to purchase the new eyePhone 2.0.
The plot of "Attack of the Killer App" was among the plots mentioned at the Futurama panel at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con. And Craig Ferguson was among the first guest actors of the production season to come to the recording studio. During Comedy Central Insider's Countdown to Futurama, a storyboard was released showing Farnsworth and Hermes throwing out dangerous doomsday devices.
Robert Canning of IGN in his review gave the episode an 8.5 calling it "Great" and also stated in his review ""Attack of the Killer App" had more than enough great laughs to outweigh this weak bit", in reference to the Susan Boyle joke. He also praised the references to iPhone and Twitter jokes. A.V. Club reviewer Zack Helden gave the episode a B saying "This was funny, generally, and I'm glad the series hasn't lost its teeth. It's just, I miss the writers' habit of biting off just a little more than they could chew." He also found the Susan Boyle jokes to be "mean-spirited" but clever and so "bizarre that it worked". Darren Franich of EW Popwatch said the episode was "as good as anything the show produced in its prime" particularly commenting on the speed of the episode and the precision of its satire. He also noted that the episode benefited from good timing, coming right on the heels of recent iPad and iPhone releases which kept the episode from feeling "outdated".
Comedy Central removed mention of the "eyePhone" in their online video previews, resulting in an awkward reaction to nothing by the characters. By this point, neither Comedy Central nor Apple Inc. have made a comment on why the line was removed, but Mac|Life holds that only one company could be interested in removing it.
- As in "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela", the opening sequence was abridged in this episode. Consequently, there is no opening cartoon.
- The title of the episode is a reference to the cult film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
- 6 August, 1991 is the date Tim Berners-Lee announced the World Wide Web project and software on the alt.hypertext newsgroup.
- In his first two appearances, Scoop Chang was voiced by David Herman. In this episode, however, he is voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
- For reasons unknown, Leela wears her full costume from Applied Cryogenics during the first part of the episode.
- Fry's line, "Shut up and take my money!", is currently a popular Internet meme, commonly used to show appreciation for something, and said person's willingness to buy it.
- Among the zombies infected with the twitt-worm are two who bear a strong resemblance to Fry and Leela's replacements from "When Aliens Attack". There is a zombie character resembling Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons.
- Fry asks if the store has any eyePhones left, to which the salesman replies "there might be one," he reaches back to reveal thousands of eyePhones. This is almost identical to a joke in The Simpsons episode "Radio Bart" where Homer tries to order a Mr. Microphone-style portable radio and microphone set and the warehouse supervisor tells Homer that there may be one left, despite there being a full warehouse.
- The crew (other than Fry, Bender and Leela) become zombies.
- The chair shown during the Infosquito gag is the same one used in the Star Trek episode "Dagger of the Mind".
- The worm only affects the between 1 and 2 million people, because Mom did not stop to think some people might be following Fry and Bender. And, when the crew had lunch at the pizza place across the street, Leela mentioned she had unsubscribed from Fry's Twit feed the day before, and was implied not to be a follower of Bender when Bender tweeted and no beeps were heard in the room.
- Some of this episode may have taken place at the same time as the very next episode "Proposition Infinity", as Amy happily lets Bender film her in a bikini (or Amy could have agreed to it to help him get more Internet followers and because Amy is a sexually open character).
- The shell phone Zoidberg throws away debuted in The Beast with a Billion Backs.
- The cell phone Amy throws away was first seen in "Amazon Women in the Mood".
- The episode seemed to show the last of Flexo before his death, presuming he didn't escape afterwards.
- The hinges of Bender's chest cavity door are on the wrong side after the Antarians strip him halfway down.
- Right after every crew member tosses their phones in the garbage, Zoidberg's pants are white instead of aqua.
- Zoidberg is very poor, yet he is able to afford an eyePhone.
- It could have been a gift from someone.
- When the eyePhone salesman that Fry talks to opens the eyePhone box, the Mom Store logo is properly oriented, but, once the box is opened and the camera angle changes, the logo is flipped upside-down, thus again properly oriented in relation to the camera. Also, after he reaches for the eyePhone, his hand grabs more than one copy. Strangely, in the very next scene, he has only one to give to Fry.
- When Leela is talking to Fry after discovering the eyePhone functions as a phone, she is flying through space, as shown by the stars flashing by through the window. However, in the next second, she crashes the ship into the Planet Express building.
- The ship moves at 99% the speed of light (4ACV09), so it is possible that it was in space one second, and landing at Planet Express in the next second.
- The sitting arrangement changes when Leela crashes the ship.
- Before: Fry - Amy - Empty - Zoidberg - Bender - Hermes - Empty - Empty
- After: Fry - Amy - Zoidberg - Bender - Empty - Hermes - Empty
- Note that there is one chair missing. Interestingly, the first sitting arrangement is the same as the one in "The Late Philip J. Fry".
- Bender should be seated where Hermes was seated so the angle of the video he posted would be accurate.
- The eyePhone records everything, so Bender might have a way to grab the footage from Hermes's eyePhone.
- In the final scene where everyone turns into a zombie, Fry and Leela are unaffected, even though both have eyePhones. Arguably, Fry could be unaffected because he is the worm carrier, or because of his unique brain, but there is no explanation as to Leela.
- She states in the pizzeria that she unsubscribed Fry's tweets, and she may have simply not subscribed to Bender at all.
- The second time Fry and Leela hug, Fry has 4 legs.
- On Bender's video of Leela crash-landing the ship into the Planet Express headquarters, her eyePhone display isn't projected in front of her face - when she crash-landed, however, it was projected in front of her face.
- One of the Third World alien babies has a red pacifier like Maggie does on The Simpsons
- Fry refers to Mr. Chunks as a puke-me-poop-you, possibly his species name, but surely a play on the two-headed pushmi-pullyu from the classic children’s series Dr. Dolittle.
- Susan Boil is a parody of Scottish Internet singing sensation Susan Boyle.
- eyePhones are parodies of iPhones.
- Twitcher is a parody of the popular social networking site Twitter.
- The scene of Leela exiting Elzar's Fine Cuisine is a parody of the famous scene of Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch.
- The floating screens that come out of an eyePhone user's eyes are just like the hoverchair screens from WALL-E.
Bender: Flexo, what are you doing in a hazardous waste bin?
Flexo: Haven't you heard? Us Bending Units are dangerously outdated. We overheat, we're radioactive, we cause erectile dysfunc— [Bender shuts e-wastebin.]
Professor Farnsworth: Bender, who were you talking to?
Bender: No one? Your mama? Shut up? Take your pick.
Scoop Chang: Isn't all this e-waste dangerous?
Mayor Poopenmeyer: Not at all, Scoop! Not after it's hauled off to the Third World by a team of expendable, minimum wage nobodies!
Professor Farnsworth: [Turns to the crew.] Good news, nobodies!
Professor Farnsworth: These old doomsday devices are dangerously unstable. I'll rest easier not knowing where they are.
Alien on Third World: We burn your e-waste down to the usable metals, safely releasing the toxics into our air and drinking water.
- Debut: Antarians
- Ben Beeler
- Debut: Ben Beeler's wife (deleted scene)
- Bolt Rolands
- Scoop Chang
- Debut: Mr. Chunks
- Professor Farnsworth
- Debut: Infosquito
- Debut: Japanese toilet
- Mayor Poopenmeyer
- Neutral President (cameo, unknown moment)
- Debut: Susan the boil
- Unnamed Clown
- ^ Perkis, Ed (25 July 2009). "Comic Con: Futurama Ignores Controversy, Promises To Take On Twitter". Cinema Blend. Retrieved on 26 July 2009.
- ^ Tobey, Matt (20 May 2010). "Countdown to Futurama: Doomsday Devices Storyboard". Comedy Central Insider. Retrieved on 20 May 2010.
- ^ Seidman, Robert (02 July 2010). Thursday Cable Ratings: USA's Royal Pains & Burn Notice lead Thursday cable pack; Bethenny lags Futurama. Retrieved on 03 July 2010.
- ^ a b Baldwin, Roberto (02 July 2010). "Why Did Comedy Central Remove EyePhone Reference from Futurama Online Clip?". Mac|Life. Retrieved on 03 July 2010.
- ^ Chen, Jason (02 July 2010). "Futurama Weirdly Removes EyePhone Reference From Online Clip". Gizmodo Australia. Retrieved on 03 July 2010.