Comic Transcripts

Comic #45: Anthology of Interest II
Transcribed by Umbreon







The Professor stands pointing, wearing yellow gloves.


The crew is in the lab. The professor is wearing his Finglonger and is poking Bender right between the eyes.

BENDER: Yeah? What do you want me for?

PROFESSOR: I want you to help me test my new and improved WHAT-IF MACHINE.

HERMES: What makes it "new and improved"?

The professor turns and Fry ducks to avoid being hit in the face.

PROFESSOR: It's "IMPROVED" in that it no longer gives off toxic nerve gas...

He points and jabs Hermes in the eye.

PROFESSOR: ... and it's "NEW" because it has a starburst taped to it that says so.

HERMES: My eye and eye!

PROFESSOR: Ask the machine a hypothetical question, Bender, and it will depict the answer. In color!

The professor crosses his arms and the Finglonger goes up Fry's nose.

BENDER: Okay. It's inevitable, so let's see a preview: "what if I ruled the world?"

The What-If Machine's display turns to wavy blue static as everyone watches, but nothing other than that happens.

PROFESSOR: Hmm. It's not responding.

BENDER: What if I hit it with a hammer?

The professor shoves Bender away as a picture starts to form.

PROFESSOR: No, don't! It's working!

BENDER: Then lets watch, shall we?

A scene fades in of Bender in a tuxedo being sworn in by Judge Whitey.

BENDER: ... And will, to the best of my ability, preserve protect, and defend the stuff you just said. So help me God...

He pulls his hand away amid loud applause.

BENDER: Yeah, yeah, I don't need help. I'm Bender.

Bender turns and leans toward a fembot next to him.

BENDER: Stick around, baby. I hear there'll be some inaugural balling tonight.

FEMBOT: Ooh! Mr. President!

FRY: (points) Bender, the microphone's on.

BENDER: Then I better make a speech.

He walks up to the podium.

BENDER: My fellow Earthicans... Ask not what your bending robot can do for you but what YOU can do for your bending robot! Speak softly and bend a big stick! With malice towards none and bending for all... we have nothing to bend but bend itself...

He frowns and looks through a book titled "The big book of presidential quotes".

BENDER: And by that I mean... FREE MONEY!!!

He tosses out handfuls of money and everyone claps.

PROFESSOR: He certainly gives the people what they want... eh, Mr. Vice President?

The professor turns to the Robot Devil, who is wearing a red top hat.

ROBOT DEVIL: He certainly does.

Later, there's two women in bikinis playing volleyball on the White House lawn.

VOICE: (from inside) Polls show your popularity at unprecedented levels, Mr. President.

Bender is inside the Oval Office with Calculon.

BENDER: And why not? With a press secretary like you Calculon... this calls for a CELEBRATION!

CALCULON: But you've been celebrating for 99 of your first 100 days in office.

VOICE: Then we are falling behind!

Hedonismbot is in the office too, and Bender is sitting on the couch-like part of his body.

HEDONISMBOT: Huzzah! As Secretary of State--State of Pleasure, that is--I declare a new Earth holiday!

BENDER: Brilliant idea! We'll call it "Bender Day!"

CALCULON: But, sir, that's what you renamed Xmas.

BENDER: You're right. The burdens of office are indeed terrible... *he looks down* Sometimes I even regret being called "Mr. President." Which is why I much prefer "Your Royal Highness."

Bender sits in a large throne, surrounded by treasure and holding a gold scepter.

HEDONISMBOT: As you wish, Highnee!

Billionairebot runs into the room holding a bill.

BILLIONAIREBOT: The free money cannons have devastated the value of Earth currency, Mr. President!

HEDONISMBOT: Tut tut "Your Royal Highness" to you, Mr. Secretary of Treasury.

Billionairebot holds out a hundred dollar bill with Bender's face on it.

BILLIONAIREBOT: The Earth Bendollar is now worth less than the Martian peso or the Venutian bernanke.

BENDER: Wanton greed has economic consequences? Who knew?

BILLIONAIREBOT: It's the worst economic crisis since the early 21st century. And we can't just solve THIS one with a JERRY LEWIS TELETHON.

BENDER: Then I'll use my tremendous popularity and ability to use presidential catchphrases.

CALCULON: (holds up a folder) I wouldn't count on it. Your polls are now in negative numbers.

BENDER: They're falling?

CALCULON: No, they're NEGATIVE. You have high disapproval ratings among people who don't even exist.

BILLIONAIREBOT: (looks through the folder) I've never seen numbers like these. And I've been reviewing polling reports for nearly a minute!

BENDER: Then it's time for every world leader's solution to bad economic news: WAR! Everyone loves war, right?

The next scene is an overhead shot of the Pentagon.

VOICE: A war to end all wars, you say?

Bender is inside the building talking to Zapp Brannigan. Kif is in an apron slicing up a pineapple.

BENDER: No, just one that will make me popular again.

ZAPP: Without a defined enemy, my suggestion is to shoot randomly in all directions. Kif, bring me another pentagoña colada. The umbrella in this one is wilted.

Kif sighs.

From space, there is a shot of multiple pink rays flying out from Earth.

Soon after...

A pink ray is headed for a planet with a green, swirling atmosphere.

CAPTION BOX: Omicron Persei 8, powered by Google Space.

Inside, Lrrr and Ndnd are on the couch watching tv.

LRRR: If Michael is going to continue to engage in such indiscretions, why does he not devour the tv cameras when no one is looking?

There is a large explosion and Lrrr jumps out of the way.

LRRR: Okay, now I'm mad. Fire up the transmitter.

Back on Earth...

Lrrr is on a large screen talking to Bender, Zapp, and Kif.

LRRR: People of Earth! I am Lrrr of the planet OMICRON PERSEI 8! Prepare for an invasion unlike any you've ever seen... except our last three invasions.

BENDER: We have to fight back! We'll call it "self-offence!"

ZAPP: We can't. All our swords were beaten into plowshares, and all our bullets were melted down into presidential bling.

Bender looks down at his necklace made of gold bullets.

BENDER: Well, if you're gonna get boned, you might as well look good.

ZAPP: Kif, do Omicronians permit torture?

KIF: Not only do they PERMIT it, they PERFECT it.

BENDER: What do I have to do to end this terrible nightmare? Wait, I know! I'll just wake up!

Bender sits up in bed.

BENDER: Phew! It was just a dream!

He turns and sees Lrrr is in the bed with him, still holding his laser pistol.

LRRR: No it wasn't.

BENDER: Yipes! Now what do I do?

They both turn and see that Zapp is there as well. He holds out a green lightsaber.

ZAPP: There's always the modern warrior's way out. Electro-kamikaze.

BENDER: Good idea! Goodbye cruel world...

Bender opens his chest and reaches for his on/off switch.

BENDER: ... ruled by me.

The scene pulls out to the professor and Bender watching the 'what-if' story.

PROFESSOR: Or you could just look away from the screen and unplug the What-If Machine.

BENDER: Also a good idea.

The screen goes to static again. Zoidberg raises his claw while Bender grabs the What-If Machine's plug and saps the electricity.

ZOIDBERG: And now, perhaps, yet another good idea: Zoidberg gets his chance to--

HERMES: ... watch ME ask MY "what-if" question.


HERMES: It's every bureaucrat's desire to have the world perfectly organized. So... "what if the world was perfectly organized?" *he crosses his arms* And don't give me some "Twilight Zone"-y crap where I learn to regret my wish!

PROFESSOR: (cranks a handle) Yes, yes. Just watch...

The What-If Machine fades in with Hermes in his office.

HERMES: Looks like everything in my office is in perfect order. But that's to be expected.

He walks into Zoidberg's office.

HERMES: Now this IS a surprise. Zoidberg's office is neater than a green snake on a sugar cane washboard.

He looks out the window and sees a flock of birds in a V formation.

HERMES: Praise Ja! The birds are all properly organized.

He moves to the lounge and begins brushing the carpet with a comb.

HERMES: And the carpet fibers all appear to be pointed in the right direction!

Hermes sits at the conference table with his feet up.

HERMES: This is what I call a bureaucrat's paradise. I'm gonna experience it to the fullest!

He sits at the table happily for a few beats and the scene fades out. Fry stands in front of the What-If Machine.

FRY: Sorry, Hermes, that was boring. But link the video on your MyFace page, and I'll catch it later.

HERMES: Boring? I'LL show you boring.

He walks over and sits at the conference table, putting his feet up.

ZOIDBERG: If you're concerned about being boring, pay attention now to Zoidberg and MY "what-if" question--

PROFESSOR: You say your "what-if" question concerns being boring, Zoidberg?

The professor points with the Finglonger and jabs in Fry's ear.

PROFESSOR: Then perhaps Fry as a better one?


FRY: What if there was a machine that could grant wishes and I wished for a What-If Machine that showed what it would be like if... *he turns to Leela* ... I asked it "what if Leela fell in love with me?"

LEELA: Oh, lord.

The professor gets a remote control and presses a button. The screen of the What-If Machine reads, 'What if Bender ruled the world?', 'What if the world was perfectly organized?', and 'What if Leela fell in love with Fry?'

The scene fades in with Fry, Zoidberg, Leela, and Amy in the Planet Express showers. Black bars cover certain parts of everyone's bodies, as well as one over Zoidberg's mouth.

FRY: (singing) I'm walking on sunshine! Woo-hoo! I'm walking on sunshine! Hoo wooooo... this water's too cold!

ZOIDBERG: Smmumph shmmph tlmph Scrmpph.

LEELA: Zoidberg's right. Someone SHOULD tell Scruffy.

Amy turns to Scruffy, who is showering next to her with his hat still on.

AMY: The water is too cold.

SCRUFFY: I'll get right on it, whoever you are.

LEELA: Thanks, Fry. With my extra layers of mutant skin I can't always tell when things are cold or... *she takes a better look at Fry* ... hot.

FRY: You're welcome.

LEELA: (turns to Amy) Amy, do you notice anything different about Fry? Anything... new and improved?

Amy thinks for a second.

AMY: Well, he's not giving off toxic nerve gas, but I don't see a starburst.

LEELA: Never mind.

Later, Fry and Leela are in the locker room and fully dressed.

FRY: Leela, I know it's probably futile to ask you out on a date. Why should your 4,829th answer be any different than your 4,828th answer? I thought I'd ask anyway, since maybe somewhere in the mid-five thousands you might change your mind, and the only way I'll ever get that answer...

Leela drifts off into her own thoughts.

LEELA: (thinking) IS Fry new and improved? ARE we meant for each other? or AM I just trapped in a Roy Lichtenstein print?

She snaps out of it and grabs Fry's shoulders, shaking him.

LEELA: Yes, Fry! Yes, I'll go out with you!

FRY: T-t-h-h-at's g-g-r-r-eat!!

Later that night, the two of them are dressed up and looking at menus at Elzar's.

LEELA: What do you recommend tonight?

ELZAR: For two lovebirds like you, I'd recommend... two lovebirds. Each.

FRY: That sounds good. Although I'm still a little queasy from all that shaking.

Once Elzar is gone, they reach over the table and hold hands.

LEELA: Fry, I don't know that's come over me. I have feelings for you that I've never experienced before.

FRY: Leela, this isn't like you... you would much rather do cool, futuristic sci-fi stuff than mushy romance.

LEELA: Maybe we can do both.

Somehow they end up inside a high tower. Leela is swinging down on a line while Fry is holding on to her shoulders.

LEELA: Hang on Fry, we'll get to that movie on time.

Later, they're standing in the middle of a ring of energy.

FRY: This is fun! Although my DNA is starting to hurt.

After that, they are in some sort of alien cave surrounded by egg-like sacs. Leela holds Fry up with one arm and has a rifle in the other.

FRY: What's the rush?

LEELA: I have to get this gun back to the rental place.

At the end of the night, they get out of a taxi outside Leela's apartment building.

LEELA: I had fun tonight, Fry. And I'm glad we didn't die.

FRY: Me, too.

They both lean in for a kiss, but the building behind them blows up before that can happen. The Omicronians walk out of what's left.

LEELA: Hey! That was my house!

LRRR: Give us Earth president Bender, and we will let you live in the rubble!

The scene changes back to the crew watching the What-If Machine.

FRY: Hey! That was MY fantasy!

Bender blows smoke in Fry's face.

BENDER: Can I help it if a war story kicks a love story's ass?

PROFESSOR: No, Bender, of course you can't. Now it's time for someone who hasn't had a turn yet. Zoidberg...


The professor swings the Finglonger and pushes Zoidberg out of the way.

PROFESSOR: ... please get out of the way, so Amy can have her turn.


AMY: I don't have a "what-if" request, since I get everything I want anyway.

ZOIDBERG: (raises his claw) Then today is Zoidberg's lucky day after all!

PROFESSOR: Bull pops! If the Finglonger points at Amy, it's Amy's turn!

Zoidberg snaps his claw and cuts the Finglonger in half.

ZOIDBERG: Damn the Finglonger!

Leela and Fry gasp.

ZOIDBERG: For just minute, imagine if all of you were poor, stinking lobsters...

AMY: Hey, that's a good idea: "What if we were ALL poor stinking lobsters for just a minute?"

The professor puts a coin into the What-If Machine.

PROFESSOR: What if we all were poor stinking lobsters for just a minute?


The What-If Machine fades in to a scene of Leela, Fry, and Amy sitting on the couch in the lounge. They look like themselves, with the addition of red skin, claws, and mouth tendrils.

LEELA: So, what should we do for a whole minute?

FRY: I'm hungry. Let's root through a dumpster for food.

AMY: Sounds like fun!

They pass a lobster-Professor, who has the pointer from the Finglonger on his face.

PROFESSOR: Hold on, you three. That dumpster is crawling with parasites!

FRY: So?

PROFESSOR: So... don't forget me!

LEELA: Wait, we can't forget Hermes. He'd have a blast organizing the dumpster.

AMY: No worries. He's having a great time as it is.

The scene quickly changes to lobster-Hermes sitting with his feet up on the conference table. Outside, they find a lobster-like Bender in the dumpster with a beer bottle in his claw.

BENDER: Hey, guys, this dumpster's a waste of time. I got invited to a free dinner over at Elzar's.

FRY: What are we waiting for?

At Elzar's, the professor, Amy, Leela, and Fry are in a hot tub in the middle of the floor.

AMY: This is the life. To be a poor, stinking lobster for just a minute.

LEELA: What smells so good?

Behind them, a purple lobster-Elzar is handing Bender money.

ELZAR: Here ya go.


The scene fades out.

PROFESSOR: How ridiculous. Can you imagine such a thing as a TENDRILONGER?

AMY: Thank goodness it only lasted a minute. I don't think I could have stood much more of it.

The professor holds up a large clock.

PROFESSOR: Well, it looks like we only have time for one more question.

Everyone looks expectantly at the others, while Zoidberg looks downcast. Then he raises his claw.

ZOIDBERG: What if...

LEELA: Well, since everyone else had a turn, I guess I'll go.


LEELA: As an orphaned mutant, I have to ask: "What if I had had a normal childhood?"

The professor pulls a small walkie-talkie from the What-If Machine.

PROFESSOR: That's a big 10-4, good buddy.

The scene fades in with a teenage Leela outside a large house.

LEELA: Hey, this looks pretty normal. I'm living above ground... in a house that isn't made out of sewage... with a two hovercar garage.

MUNDA: (from inside) Leela! Time for dinner.

LEELA: Oh boy! Dinner! I can't wait to eat some normal food.

Inside the kitchen, Munda is setting the table.

LEELA: What's for dinner, mom?

MUNDA: Your favorite: meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole.

LEELA: (sits) Sounds normal... I mean, DELICIOUS.

MORRIS: (walks in) Honey, I'm home!

MUNDA: Sit down at the table, Morris, and tell us about your day at work.

MORRIS: Oh, it was just a normal day. How was your day at home, Munda?

MUNDA: Same as ever: normal. How was school today, Leela?

LEELA: Well, it was--hey, wait a minute... *she stands* I get it! If everything is so normal it'll become boring, and I'll be grateful for the life I actually lived! Well, I won't fall for it. I LIKE this existence, no matter HOW normal it is!

MORRIS: Does she sound normal to you?

MUNDA: No...

LEELA: Oh, I'm perfectly normal.

The doorbell rings.

MUNDA: Someone's at the door? How unusual.

MORRIS: I'll get it.

Morris opens the door and sees Smitty and URL.

MORRIS: Can I help you, officers?

SMITTY: Our report was right. There ARE sewer mutants living above the surface.

URL: Righteous!

MORRIS: Well, you see, officers, we have a very unusual set of circumstances, here...

LEELA: No we don't. There's nothing unusual here. We're a perfectly normal family living a perfectly normal life...

SMITTY: What'd the kid say?

Morris pulls Leela to the side.

MORRIS: Be quiet, honey! You know OUR KIND are not allowed to live on the surface since it was outlawed by President Bender.

LEELA: President Bender?!

Leela looks down at herself as she's suddenly grown.

LEELA: Bender's not president during my childhood. He wasn't even BUILT yet. And why am I my real age again?

Fry shows up from inside the house.

FRY: Hey, Leela, let's finish that kiss to prove you love me.

LEELA: I don't love you in MY "what-if" scenario, that's from YOUR what-if scenario. Is THAT where we are?

Fry keeps waiting for a kiss when lobster-Amy shows up.

AMY: No, because I'M here, too.

LEELA: If Bender is president, and Fry wants me to kiss him, and you're a stinking lobster, that means Hermes is...

The scene changes to Planet Express, where Hermes is still sitting with his feet up on the conference table. Fry, Leela, and lobster-Amy are suddenly in the war room with Bender and Zapp.

ZAPP: Leela! This Earth invasion just got 100% sexier... possibly 130%.

LEELA: Okay, now I'm REALLY confused. Professor! Help!

Lrrr walks up holding the professor and Ndnd is next to him with the What-If Machine.

LRRR: Here is your puny "Professor."

Zapp jumps behind Leela.

ZAPP: Hide me.

LEELA: Great, that's no help.

BENDER: (turns to Lrrr) What do you guys want?

LRRR: People of Earth! I am LRRR of the planet OMICRON PERSEI 8!

NDND: You don't need to shout. They're right next to you.

LRRR: Stop undercutting me! It's called "commanding respect."

NDND: No, it's called "compounding insecurities."

BENDER: Great. An Omicronian stand-off.

LRRR: Very well. Who is in charge here?

LEELA: Well, I was, but then Fry showed up...

AMY: I was only in charge for a minute...

FRY: I just wanted Leela to love me...

While everyone is talking, Zapp starts sneaking away.

BENDER: It is I, Bender. It was my desire to rule the world, and now I must take responsibility.

LRRR: First, this is for firing at our planet.

He fires a laser clean through Bender's chest.

BENDER: Ow. Okay, I deserved that.

LRRR: Second, we asked this machine "what if Omicronians took over Earth?" but this puny old Earthling can't remember how to turn it on.

BENDER: Oh, I can help you with that. I can help you with that GOOD.

Bender advances on the What-If Machine with a hammer and begins bashing it.

BENDER: Stop... working... you... son of a--

He knocks the 'new' sticker off the machine and keeps swinging, even with his chest suddenly intact.

BENDER: Start... working... you... son of a-- Wait a minute! Hey! I'm my normal, hole-free, non-lobster, handsome self. You mean this whole story was just the answer to my "what if I hit it with a hammer?" question?

PROFESSOR: So it would seem. It's a pretty responsive machine.


He tosses the hammer and hits Zoidberg in the head.


The professor gets the What-If Machine and begins to put it away in a cardboard box.

PROFESSOR: Well, it's time to put the What-If Machine away for another year...

LEELA: Wait a minute, Professor. Dr. Zoidberg hasn't had a turn.


BENDER: Give the stinking lobster a turn already.

PROFESSOR: Capital idea!

He pulls out the machine again, then looks around.

PROFESSOR: Hmmm. What's that smell?

Everyone except Zoidberg begins stumbling around dizzily and Fry is already on the ground.

PROFESSOR: What if I didn't fix that toxic nerve gas problem?

Everyone passes out in a heap.


Zoidberg walks up to the What-If Machine and leans down.

ZOIDBERG: What if... I'm immune?

The What-If Machine sprays Zoidberg in the face with the nerve gas. Because he's immune, he just lies down on top of the pile of people.


The End