Thanks to the flexible nature of its sci-fi/comedy universe, Futurama was able to bend the laws of reality for comedy and plot purposes across seven seasons. This even included killing the main cast a handful of times for a joke, with no one suffering more deaths in the show than perhaps the sardonic robot Bender. It’s impossible to count the exact amount of times Bender’s died or nearly died, but here are the key moments Bender’s lost his life on Futurama.
Anthology of Interest
The non-canon “Anthology of Interest” episodes introduced possible timelines for the Futurama cast, so it was common for characters to die in the shorts. The Season 2 “Anthology of Interest” shorts “Terror at 500 Feet,” where a colossal Bender is killed in battle with a giant Zoidberg, and “Dial L For Leela,” where Leela exposes him to microwave radiation, which short-circuits his body, both end in Bender’s demise. Plus, he’s destroyed in the shattering of reality caused in “The Un-Freeze of a Lifetime,” and in Season 3’s “Anthology of Interest II,” Bender was turned human in “I, Meatbag,” only to quickly kill himself with his unhealthy habits.
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Bender’s Big Score
Due to the time-spanning events of Season 5’s “Bender’s Big Score,” Bender was shifted back in time on multiple occasions. This resulted in time-paradox duplicates, each of which were doomed by an over-correcting universe, so numerous copies of Bender were killed. A notable one was so conflicted over his programmed mission to kill Fry that he even set off his self-destruct sequence. Although he’s frozen cryogenically, he’s eventually used by Lars — secretly a time-paradox copy of Fry — to destroy the last of the villainous Scammers. The other time-paradox Benders from across history also exploded, with the ensuing energy briefly ripping a hole in the universe.
The Robot Mafia
Bender spends the early part of Season 5’s “Into the Wild Green Yonder” romantically pursuing the Don Bot’s wife. Bender is ultimately found out by the criminal, resulting in Bender and the wife being led into the deserts of Mars to be executed in a hail of bullets. However, a despondent Planet Express Crew quickly find them, with the pair revealing their robotic forms allowed them to brush off the attack. The Robot Mafia attempted to kill Bender again in Season 6, Episode 14, “The Silence of the Clamps,” for being a witness in Don Bot’s trial, but this was actually a different Bending Unit, and Bender was safe on Earth.
In Season 6’s premiere episode “Rebirth,” Bender and the rest of the Planet Express Crew were killed in a crash, but Professor Farnsworth was able to use his scientific knowledge to restore everyone to with new bodies. A few episodes later, “The Late Philip J. Fry” saw Bender, Fry and Farnsworth traveling further into the timeline, seeing the universe end and be born again. Returning to the new version of their original timeline due to a cyclical loop of death and rebirth, the trio accidentally kills their other selves by crushing them with their time machine and promptly taking their place in the new timeline.
Bender has had multiple encounters with the Robot Devil, who rules Robot Hell. In Season 1, Episode 9, “Hell Is Other Robots,” Bender briefly converted to the robot religion, but after giving back into vice, the Robot Devil dragged him to Robot Hell. Luckily, Fry and Leela were able to help Bender escape. Later in Season 6, Episode 19, “Ghost in the Machines,” Bender was killed by a vengeful ex-girlfriend. Although his spirit was taken to Robot Hell, the Robot Devil gave Bender the chance to restore his body by killing Fry. Unable to go through with it, Bender earned a place in Robot Heaven, only to beat up Robot God until he was allowed to return to Earth.
In “Benderama,” Bender used a duplication machine crafted by the Professor to get out of work, creating an army of mini-Benders. Eventually threatening to consume all matter and wipe out all other life on Earth, the Planet Express Crew tried to murder all the copies, but when a giant attacked Earth, Bender defended the planet. Creating a giant new form out of his various copies, Bender ultimately lost the fight and seemingly perished as a result, only for the mini-Benders to kill the giant, converting him into more copies and restoring Bender.
Forty Percent Leadbelly
Bender’s desire to become a musician himself was a long-running subplot of Futurama. In Season 7, Episode 14, “Forty Percent Leadbelly,” Bender got closer than ever to achieving that dream. After being connected to a device that allowed him to make copies of anything he conceived of, Bender was able to create a guitar, as well as a storyline for him to become a true blues singer. However, this resulted in Bender being killed by a railroad robot for sleeping with his wife. In reality, this was a copy of Bender, with the real Bender watching from the sidelines and conducting a song about his apparent death.
Futurama the Video Game
The Futurama game for the Playstation 2 was a non-canon adventure for the Planet Express Crew, but it was written by the writers on the show, and the main cast provided vocal performances in the game, giving it an authentic connection to the original series. After Mom gained control of Planet Express and a majority holding of all of Earth, the Planet Express Crew tried to stop her. Each time they were killed, they’re revived by the Professor’s newest invention, which created perfect copies of anyone who died. The game ended with Bender, Fry and Leela all seemingly killed one last time as part of a time-loop, setting up the events of the game in the first place while offing off Bender once again.
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