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Author Topic: Futurama Cliches  (Read 1480 times)
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j_ohanley

Bending Unit
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« on: 04-14-2005 18:26 »

What are some things you can almost always count on seeing in the episodes?

A joke involving a character stating something, only to be immediately contradicted, by themselves or someone else.

A "fake" ending in which everything seems to unexpectedly resolve itself, only for things to get much worse than before a few seconds later.

A "tour" scene, in which either the Planet Express Crew walk around a strange new locale.

ADD MORE!  mad
Harry Sach

Bending Unit
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« Reply #1 on: 04-14-2005 18:33 »

A robot drinking beer
waffy

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #2 on: 04-14-2005 18:37 »

"Good news, everyone!"
Leela In Chains

Bending Unit
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« Reply #3 on: 04-14-2005 18:47 »

A sultry, one-eyed, purple-ponytailed female starship captain kicking someone's ass.
Harry Sach

Bending Unit
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« Reply #4 on: 04-14-2005 18:50 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Leela In Chains:
A sultry, one-eyed, purple-ponytailed female starship captain kicking someone's ass.
Don't forget sexay!
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #5 on: 04-14-2005 22:20 »

A 20th Century pizza delivery boy turned time traveler turned savior of idiots turned grandfather turned savior of the universe delivery boy.
Wooter

Urban Legend
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« Reply #6 on: 04-14-2005 23:59 »

Running away, and courtroom scenes.
Polymorph

Bending Unit
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« Reply #7 on: 04-15-2005 00:18 »

A Planet Express ship crashing into a sign.
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #8 on: 04-15-2005 02:13 »

I always love when robot heads explode.
Rhodan

Bending Unit
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« Reply #9 on: 04-15-2005 03:15 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by j_ohanley:
What are some things you can almost always count on seeing in the episodes?

A joke involving a character stating something, only to be immediately contradicted, by themselves or someone else.

A "fake" ending in which everything seems to unexpectedly resolve itself, only for things to get much worse than before a few seconds later.

A "tour" scene, in which either the Planet Express Crew walk around a strange new locale.

ADD MORE!   mad

These are basically "The Simpsons" episode cliches too, arenīt they?
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #10 on: 04-15-2005 03:37 »

I don't think so, maybe the one about joke structure (starting to say something, contradicted).  Different shows, generally different cliches.  The "tour" one is actually pretty well observed; lots of episode seem to start with them touring somewhere and having things explained to them.  There's lots of "plot driving questions" in the dialogue as well, often from Fry.

The biggest cliche I've noticed is an overuse early on of having the crew go on a delivery, having something go wrong, and then have them escape in a chase sequence.  Seriously, like half of season one ends that way at least.  As the show evolved, though, it thankfully dropped this and chases would only happen on occasion.
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #11 on: 04-15-2005 11:08 »

Of course, that also meant they went on hardly any actual missions toward the end of the show.  I guess the writers realized that seeing characters at work gets boring, no matter what they do.

Anyway, I can't believe no one's mentioned candid shots of a character randomly scratching his ass.
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #12 on: 04-15-2005 14:56 »

A certain delivery boy mentioning the 20th Century.
j_ohanley

Bending Unit
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« Reply #13 on: 04-15-2005 21:18 »

Two more that came to my attention.

There's many jokes that involve an extreme close-up on a character, followed by a quick zoom out that reveals something unusual. I don't know about you, but this seems like a really cheap joke, and the third and fourth season virtually drops it. I'm thankful.

Most episodes have the same structure. The first act is usually devoted to the crew visiting some kind of mundane area that has been given a futuristic twist (e.g. A baseball game, the beach, a pet show). While there a character laments a particular problem that they are are having, (Bender feels robots are treated as inferiors, Fry watches too much TV, Leela thinks Nibbler is stupid). Towards the end of Act I, the main plotline, which affects everyone, not just the one character, kicks in (An ill-fated delivery on a planet inhabited by angry robots, an invasion of Omicronians, the attack of the Brainspawn). At some point during Act II, that character's particular problem comes into play, and eventually has an outcome on the main storyline itself (Bender joins the robots, Fry's TV watching saves the day, Nibbler helps to defeat the brains). I know Futurama didn't pioneer this sort of storytelling, but it's used a lot better than some of the "Connect the Dots" storylines of some of the Simpsons episodes.
Y_L_B

Professor
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« Reply #14 on: 04-15-2005 21:53 »
« Last Edit on: 04-15-2005 21:53 »

Chicks in skimpy/no clopthing, or shirts/bathing suits with holes in them is a recurring trend throughout the series, not that I'm complaining.   wink Especially in the comics. Naked guys, too, for that matter.
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #15 on: 04-15-2005 22:45 »

A Jamacian culture reference.

They start off the episode with something entirely unrelated to the plot. For example, Fry and Bender playing that golf video game in "The Sting" and the Beastie Boys concert in "Hell is Other Robots". They have almost no addition to the plot, but look good anyway.

And to that, the beginning usually has Bender and Fry doing something.

Fry involved in a sex-type joke. Example: Fry reforming in "The Sting"; "Spanish Fry";
Leela: I have an idea! Let's do everything Fry ever wanted to do today.
Fry: Everything?
Leela: Not that---A Dated A Robot
Zoidberg227

Space Pope
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« Reply #16 on: 04-15-2005 23:34 »

As much as I hate Nerd-o, I have to agree a good Futurama cliche is candid ass-scratching.  Also, you can bet that if someone (other than Fry) needs to be declared dead, Fry will be the one to do it.  The only instance where I can think otherwise is in 'The Sting'.
Javier Lopez

Urban Legend
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« Reply #17 on: 04-16-2005 10:06 »

everytime thay win money they loose all of it hell fast of "a mague" steals it misteriously for the next episode (when Fry wins millions in "a fishfull fo dollars" only to get it stolen by the hell allready rich mom - in the pooplers, if they got 2$ per dozen if you look at the numbers of pooplers sold they should be hell rich, and so on)
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #18 on: 04-16-2005 14:08 »

Aww...Z227, what'd I ever do to you?

Let's not forget Leela's passive-aggressive tendencies - used to devastating effect on one-off characters as well as Fry and Bender - and everybody's alcoholism.

"Could an old man down on his luck get another Tequila Slammer?"
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #19 on: 04-16-2005 17:01 »

Them traveling to future cities on Earth.
HomeOwner

Crustacean
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« Reply #20 on: 05-09-2005 08:49 »

Characters with "lobster-like tenacity"
Venus

Urban Legend
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« Reply #21 on: 05-09-2005 09:01 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nerd-o-rama:

Let's not forget Leela's passive-aggressive tendencies - used to devastating effect on one-off characters as well as Fry and Bender


Devastating effect? when? Examples!
Shiny

Professor
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« Reply #22 on: 05-10-2005 20:43 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Venus:
 
Devastating effect? when? Examples!

[Scruffy] Second.  [/Scruffy]


IamBender

Bending Unit
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« Reply #23 on: 06-06-2005 20:47 »

Bender: Whatcha  talkin' bout Fry?
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #24 on: 06-07-2005 00:55 »
« Last Edit on: 06-07-2005 00:55 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Venus:
 
Devastating effect? when? Examples!
Hmm...off the top of my head, actual violence occurs in a few places, including TLOTE, regarding the underpants drawer, and TKOS, regarding Fry's "time proof shelter."  Also smaller things like dumping them off the couch.

What I was mainly thinking of was the various threats of violence and carelessness, especially in season one:

"He might not have a case, but I'm genuinely not human."

"...and I guess I'll kill one of you...umm...him."
"We'll do it."

There are better examples, I've just forgotten them.  And I shouldn't have to mention all the various one-off/minor characters that have faced her wrath, starting with Smitty and continuing through every guy that's tried to date or hit on her, among others.
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #25 on: 06-07-2005 01:10 »

What about Leela wanging Bender in the head with a telephone in "The Cryonic Woman"?  She also grabbed Fry by the collar in a violent manner in "Less Than Hero" prior to explaining the importance of secret identities.  Or how about when she pushed him down the manhole in "ISTE"?
Venus

Urban Legend
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« Reply #26 on: 06-07-2005 01:24 »

i still wouldn't consider that 'devastating effect'. It's not devastating unless there's hospital time.
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #27 on: 06-07-2005 01:30 »

See, the doc has a (Thunder)point.  I just haven't had a chance to watch much TV lately, so I couldn't come up with the good examples.

And yeah, maybe I like using big words.  So what?
TheGlob

Starship Captain
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« Reply #28 on: 06-07-2005 01:33 »

A crazy lobster




Daves Not Here Man...
dr.bender nye

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #29 on: 06-07-2005 01:36 »

some mad scientist that dosen't know what hes doing
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #30 on: 06-08-2005 17:38 »

Bender profiting or gaining something through Fry's or other characters' misfortunes.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #31 on: 06-08-2005 19:03 »
« Last Edit on: 06-08-2005 19:03 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by DotheBartman:The biggest cliche I've noticed is an overuse early on of having the crew go on a delivery, having something go wrong, and then have them escape in a chase sequence.  Seriously, like half of season one ends that way at least.  As the show evolved, though, it thankfully dropped this and chases would only happen on occasion.

I actually decided to mentally list all of the season one episodes that end in something like a chase scene (I have waaaay too much free time on my hands), and here's what I came up with...

1.) Space Pilot 3000
2.) Episode Two: The Series Has Landed
3.) Love's Labours Lost in Space
4.) Fear of a Bot Planet
5.) My Three Suns
6.) Hell is Other Robots
7.) A Flight To Remember
8.) Fry and The Slurm Factory

Eight episodes. Yeah, I guess that's a lot. But, you know, I think that's just a sort of sci-fi cliche in general. I mean, you travel through space, meet up with a hostile alien race, try to beat 'em up, realize you can't, then run away screaming in terror, like all great sci-fi protagonists. And, like you said, they stopped using this cliche as the series progressed.

Oh yeah, and that was a nice summing up of the basic structure of an average Futurama episode, j_ohanley. I must say, I always thought that Futurama did a better job of linear storytelling than certain episodes of The Simpsons did (not to say that said episodes of The Simpsons weren't good, it's just that, in some instances, the plot doesn't even kick in until act three). In Futurama, however, even some crazy happening in act one will affect what happens in act three (such as Fry's TV watching ultimately saving the day in "When Aliens Attack" ).
Zoidypoo

Bending Unit
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« Reply #32 on: 06-08-2005 20:02 »

 "Bite my shiny metal ass"
IamBender

Bending Unit
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« Reply #33 on: 06-08-2005 23:28 »

"Good news everyone"
Shiny

Professor
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« Reply #34 on: 06-08-2005 23:53 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nerd-o-rama:
   
Quote
Originally posted by Venus:
    quote:Originally posted by Nerd-o-rama:

   
Quote
Originally posted by Nerd-o-rama: Let's not forget Leela's passive-aggressive tendencies - used to devastating effect on one-off characters as well as Fry and Bender

Devastating effect? when? Examples!

...actual violence occurs in a few places, including TLOTE, regarding the underpants drawer, and TKOS, regarding Fry's "time proof shelter."  Also smaller things like dumping them off the couch....

"He might not have a case, but I'm genuinely not human."

"...and I guess I'll kill one of you...umm...him."
"We'll do it."

...all the various one-off/minor characters that have faced her wrath, starting with Smitty and continuing through every guy that's tried to date or hit on her, among others.

Dude, that's not passive-aggressive, it's just plain aggressive.  For which I say: go Leela!  Whoo!

Passive aggressive is more like Amy's little digs at Leela's appearance, clearly motivated by the fact that Amy may be cute, but Leela's a babe, and Amy feels threatened by that, and by Leela's brains and skill (not that I hate Amy - I see her more as suffering from single-child syndrome, not knowing how to deal with sibling-type jealousy).

Futurama cliche #87: making you think they're going to do something that's cliche on other cartoons and then putting a surreal and/or disturbing twist on it.

IamBender

Bending Unit
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« Reply #35 on: 06-14-2005 14:45 »

Fry's "Swish".
KimVette

Poppler
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« Reply #36 on: 06-15-2005 14:50 »

You can always count on Fry to be a moron and say something stupid.

Poor Fry.  frown

 big grin
IamBender

Bending Unit
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« Reply #37 on: 06-15-2005 14:51 »

not to mention DO something stupid.
fryfan001

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #38 on: 06-15-2005 21:53 »

Crash landings seem to be very popular on Futurama.

Fry getting burnt is also repeated many times
IamBender

Bending Unit
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« Reply #39 on: 06-15-2005 21:56 »

Zoidberg referring to/eating garbage also.
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