Fry teaches Germany the true meaning of Oktoberfest

Illustration for article titled Fry teaches Germany the true meaning of Oktoberfest

I can't believe that Futurama took this long to make fun of Germany. At last — at long, long, last — the time has come. Don't let the Fry and Leela relationship element of this episode put you off. This is a great one.

"Fun on a Bun," is exactly what it promises to be. The gang heads over to Oktoberfest, launching a series of delightful jokes at Germany's expense. It starts with the sign for Oktoberfest, "Lulling Other Nations Into a False Sense of Security Since 1810," winds through a bunch of comedy signs at the festival, and winds up with hearing a German refer to the woolly mammoth as "Schnoofleoopugus." Fry comes ready to party, but in the last thousand years, Oktoberfest has morphed into a celebration of the refinement and taste of German culture. It comes complete with tiny sips of artisan beer that are meant to be sampled and spit out, elegant table manners, and gourmet sausages.

Bender's cooking instinct prompts him to enter a sausage competition, and he searches out a mammoth frozen in a glacier to put in his sausage. An accident makes it look like Fry got caught in the sausage maker, and Leela mistakenly ate her own boyfriend. Actually Fry was thrown clear and discovered a lost world of Neanderthals beneath the ice, where they hid because the homo sapiens were aggressive and didn't want to breed together to form a combined species. A hit to head gives Fry amnesia and deforms his forehead, and so he figures that he's a Neanderthal, too. After all, he says, "I have vague memories of people refusing to breed with me."


Meanwhile, Leela, deranged by the idea that she ate the man she loved, goes to a clinic that severs, but doesn't destroy, all the memories she has of Fry. This puts the rest of the crew in the exquisitely awkward position of never mentioning their dead colleague or anything that might remind her of him. When Bender's sausage places in a competition and sends them back to Oktoberfest, and Fry decides to lead an assault on the human world, the two are on the path to meet again. At that point, there's only about three minutes left in the episode, so everyone knows what will happen when they see each other.

This episode was so much fun, all the way through. I've mentioned Futurama's sight gags before. Not everyone likes them, but I think they're inventive. This episode, though, had one that's perfect. Little bits of information are set up throughout the episode, a prominent placing of an object here, a mentioning of it there, so that when it happens it has the effect of a perfect punchline. I watched it over and over again, and it was funny every time. Especially in slow motion. This is definitely one to watch.

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"Don't let the Fry and Leela relationship element of this episode put you off. This is a great one."

What? Part of the magic of this show is the Fry and Leela dynamic. Parasites Lost, Time Keeps on Slippin', The Late Philip J. Fry, The Sting, etc are some of the best Futurama episodes ever. And to dismiss the dynamic as something that was just around in a great episode makes me wonder which show you've been watching all these years. I'm not trying to pick a fight. I just never thought I'd see someone dismiss the Fry/Leela relationship outright like this.