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|Season 4 episode|
Broadcast season 5 episode
|Written by||Michael Rowe|
|Directed by||James Purdum|
|Title caption||Too hot for radio|
|First air date||20 July, 2003|
|Title reference||A play on "Bender" / Ben Hur|
|Opening cartoon||Naughty But Mice (1947)|
"Bend Her" is the sixty-seventh episode of Futurama, the thirteenth of the fourth production season and the thirteenth of the fifth broadcast season. It aired on 20 July, 2003, on Fox. To win the fembot Olympic event, Bender changes genders, but finds his new female self in a romantic relationship with Calculon.
- 1 The Story
- 2 Additional Info
- 3 Episode Credits
Act I: "Sweden? I don't think so!"
The crew attend to the 3004 Olympic Games. Hermes competes in the Men's 500 meter Limbo contest, as the rest of the Jamaican team have been detained at the airport because of "other interests". Since he is a bit out of shape, Hermes relies on his body-shaping spandex suit the Professor gave him in order to uphold Jamaica's honour and beat his bitter rival Barbados Slim. He almost succeeds, but the suit bursts shortly before he reaches the finish line and Hermes loses. Meanwhile Bender is dreaming of winning a few medals in the bending contests for himself, but as he sees no chance of beating the ultra-powerful manbots, he disguises himself as a fembot and enrols under the name "Coilette from Robonia". He wins five medals, but in order to pass the gender check afterwards, he undergoes a sex change operation/oil change the Professor gives him. The operation is a success and Bender gets to keep his medals, however, he is now female.
Act II: "Maybe she's right about the lipstick!"
As the winner of five gold medals, "Coilette" is an instant celebrity and is invited to Late Night with Humorbot 5.0. She decides to stay female for the time being, although it endangers her ability to change back. At the Late Night show, she meets Calculon who instantly falls in love with her. They go on a date, while Leela and Amy start worrying together with the rest of the crew. Coilette undergoes wild mood swings that are connected with the sex change. Shortly thereafter, Calculon asks Coilette to marry him and she accepts.
Act III: "If I help you with this, do you promise to get out of my gender and stay out?"
Coilette wants to make the wedding a scam to get at Calculon's money, but then realizes she truly loves him and can't bring herself to hurt him. The crew rush to her aid to create a proper ending for the liason which Calculon can deal with: a Soap Opera Death. At the wedding, Leela, Fry, Hermes and Zoidberg stage an elaborate and very stylish death for Coilette so Calculon can accept the loss. Afterwards, the Professor changes Coilette back into Bender, much to the relief of Leela and Amy.
- The plot of the episode bears an unusual similarity to the story of Bruce Jenner's transition into Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner and Bender have similar names (and oddly their names combined would make "Jender/Gender"), and both win Olympic medals. They both marry into rich families (Kardashians and Calculon) and have gender reassignment surgery. Their motives however are hugely different, as Caitlyn Jenner is legitimately a transgender woman while Bender simply did it for personal gain.
- When Calculon is professing his love for "Coilette" (Bender), he says "I can't sleep at night, although as a robot I don't do that anyway." This implies that robots don't sleep, but there are many instances where Bender is seen sleeping.
Nations participating in the 3004 Earth Olympiad
- Devil's Island
- Nation of Joe
- Republic of French Stereotypes
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
Bender/Coilette: [singing] Hail, hail, Robonia - a land I didn't make up.
Calculon: I've always said many things.
Amy: You're making us look like jerks in front of the other genders!
Bender/Coilette: Is it trampy to go on a first date nude?
Bender/Coilette: Perfect! [strips off]
Bender/Coilette: Why don't all of you back off? Can't a girl enjoy herself without being judged? [Bender/Coilette walks off.]
Professor Farnsworth: Oh, dear. Her mood swings are getting wilder. She's becoming a slave to her emotions. Just like all women. Particularly you, Leela. [Leela slaps the Professor.]
Leela: I'm worried about him too, Professor.
Bender/Coilette: Nice try sister. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to meet with my wedding planner. (Shouting) Zoidberg. (Talking) Zoidypoo, please tell me frilly is in this year.
Zoidberg: I saw a frilly cake in here you'll remember all your life. I know I will. Late at night it haunts me with its frosted beauty. Order the cake, damnit!
- In a previous flashback showing Hermes at the Olympics, he was competing for Earth, not for Jamaica. However there may be both an Earth Olympics and an interplanetary Olympics.
- During all scenes with Bender wearing the five medals, the colours of some of the straps change every time the scene shifts back to Bender. Originally one medal with red straps and the rest with blue, and then afterwards alternates between another medal having one red and one blue strap, one with a completely red strap, or back to four blues and one red.
- When Bender and Calculon walk down the aisle together, Monique is first shown to be in the front of the crowd. However, in the shot immediately afterward, she is in the back of the crowd.
- While waving the small Chile flag in the Olympic audience, the backside of the flag is fixed on the wrong side.
- When Coilette comes out of her sex change operation, she speaks to the two Olympic employees who are robots, "I'm ready for my test now, boys." However, the one with breasts, a feminine hair cut, and gold earrings is clearly a woman.
- This may be just an expression.
- At the wedding, the robot priest identifies himself to the people in attendance as looking to be in a movie. Later, in the scene where Calculon's movie about Coilette is playing, he is seen playing the priest of the wedding.
- Femmzoil is a portmanteau of the word "female" and "Pennzoil", the name of an American oil company.
- Near the end of the episode, the Professor shouts "Turn off that crap-o-rama!", a possible reference to the show itself.
- Hermes mentions that the Jamaican team got detained at the airport due to their "other interests"; one of many allusions to the stereotype of Jamaicans' extensive marijuana use.
- The unbendable girder makes its second appearance.
- Humorbot 5.0 (last seen on "That's Lobstertainment!" as a stand-up comic) now has his own talk show.
- Bender's use of the phrase "stick a potato in his tailpipe" may be a reference to Calculon's former status as a were-car, a robotic creature whose weaknesses include a silver potato shoved in its exhaust pipe.
- It is also a known prank (albeit a very harsh and mean one) to jam a potato in the tailpipe of a car, causing exhaust to built up and subsequent engine damage, thus stopping the car. We know from "Crimes of the Hot" that all robots have an exhaust pipe or vent of some kind, so aside from being a metaphor for stopping Calculon's advances, sticking a potato in his tailpipe would literally stop him.
- Debut: Barbados Slim
- Boxy Robot
- Debut: Coilette
- Professor Farnsworth
- Fat-bot (cameo, unknown moment)
- Hedonism Bot
- Humorbot 5.0
- Debut: Joe
- LaBarbara Conrad
- Masked Unit (cameo, unknown moment)
- Monique (cameo, unknown moment)
- Reverend Lionel Preacherbot