Ep.28: The Problem with Popplers (Notes)

  • Planet of the Moochers: a thing, apparently. Near the Omicron territory.
  • In the Future, trademarks have reached such an epidemic that the only two names which weren’t trademarked were “Popplers” and “Zitsels”. This raises some linguistic questions as neither of these names are exactly common (or “real”).
  • It is Bender who out of a hatred for Zoidberg and poor people, who thinks of the idea to tell Popplers; this is the most prominent thread in the episode as it indicates consumerism and unhealthy eating habits as the driving force behind the mass-murder of the Omicron Persei young. Though, an interesting question is raised by the Omicronians who settle on eating just one human as a ritualistic bargain; humans couldn’t reproduce quickly enough to satisfy the first deal (a failure of the heteronormative regime but also human exceptionalism to provide 198 billion newborns), so this secondary deal was reached. Said deal takes place within a coliseum like arena with circus characteristics, betraying the serious nature of the event by pointing out the absurdity.
  • Fishy Joe says that he has a restaurant on every planet in the known universe, except McPluto, so does this mean the planet where Popplers originate are McPluto? Or is the planet unknown to humanity in general?
  • First episode where Leela crashing into the billboard from the beginning is recognized, thus, Leela, canonically speaking, crashes into one billboard per week; connects back to her poor eyesight.
  • Mankind for Ethical Animal Treatment (MEAT): an obvious parody of PETA. Though they are represented as Hippies and an annoying cast, endangering Leela’s life later, they are also the first group who believes Popplers to be meat, which raises the question of how they knew. Morale of the story says that it is wrong to eat intelligent animals but, of course, this says nothing about animals in general and so still retains a specieist mindset (by what measure can we gauge “intelligence”?).
  • During the protesting montage, Bender is so immersed in a capitalistic mindset that even when protesting, he can’t pull away from the advertising psychology.
  • The Omicronian idea of justice involves treating others as they treat others, so it is a very rudimentary understanding of goodness. Additionally, their progression of people to eat is odd (Fireman, then math teachers, and so on in that order; what order?).
  • When the hippie is eaten, Lrrr gets high. This suggests that Omicronians are extremely sensitive to human intoxicants as it can affect their bodies through mere secondary absorption. Trace amounts can affect them which means a full dosage is likely lethal.
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