"THE PROBLEM WITH POPPLERS"
Patric M. Verrone
Transcribed by Dave, The Neutral Planet
[Advertisement: Fry, Bender and Leela appear in an oval.]
(voice-over) Futurama is brought to
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[Opening Credits. Caption: For External Use Only.]
[Ship's Cockpit. The Planet Express ship flies away from a dark
brown world surrounded by green clouds. Fry and Leela talk.]
I hate the Planet of the Moochers. They
take you out for a drink, but when the
check comes, their wallet's always in
their other pants - which they borrowed
[He is indeed only wearing his underwear on his lower half. Bender
climbs up the ladder from the galley wearing his chef's hat and
an apron which says "Heil To The Chef".]
Nah, those lousy Moochers cleaned out
our pantry. All they left was baking
soda and capers. And here it is!
[He holds up a plate piled high with the stuff.]
Ugh! Great. We're two days from Earth
with no food.
Problem solved: You two fight to the
death and I'll cook the loser. (whispering
to Leela) Work his gut; I like it tender.
Maybe that planet over there has a
drive-thru. A Burger Jerk or a Fishy
Joe's or a Chizzler or something.
Ah, don't get your hopes up. We're a
billion miles from nowhere.
Yeah. It's probably only got a Howard
[Planet Surface. The ship flies over the planet's lush forests
which are covered by an orange-brown haze. It lands in a clearing.]
[Time Lapse. Leela scans the area. Fry walks off into the woods.]
Well, it's a type-M planet, so it should
at least have Roddenberries.
I'm experienced at foraging. I used
to find edible mushrooms on my bath
[Bender arrives with a sack over his shoulder.]
I found some rocks. You guys eat rocks,
(tempting) Not even if they're sautéed
in a little mud?
[He bounces a bucket of mud up and down. Fry pushes some leaves
Here's something. It looks like a ditch
full of fried shrimp.
What are you, blind? It looks more like
a hole full of fried prawns.
[Leela picks it up and scans it with her armband. It makes a
noise like a truck.]
Hm. This thing I wear on my wrist says
they're not poisonous.
[She puts it in her mouth and starts chewing.]
Well? How are they? Oh, they're great!
They're like sex! Except I'm having
[Bender sniffs one.]
You know what these would go great with?
Look! Here's more!
The planet's covered with 'em.
Let's bring back a couple of pocketfuls.
No, a whole Bender-ful!
[He opens his chest door and starts filling his cabinet.]
No. Only what we need. Stuff the ship.
[Outside Planet Express. The ships comes in ready to land. There
is a crate strapped to the roof. The hangar roof opens.]
[Cut to: Planet Express: Hangar. Hermes stands at a control panel
wearing earphones and a mic.]
Planet Express ship, you are cleared
[The ship lands.]
[Planet Express: Lounge. The whole crew are gathered around the
table eating the things.]
Oh, man, I'm inhaling these things!
You guys scored some primo stuff here.
[Zoidberg eats some.]
They're tastier than an unguarded penguin
nest. What do you call them?
We haven't thought of a name yet.
They're tasty, right? Let's call 'em
We can't call them that.
It sounds too much like those frozen
rocky mountain oysters on a stick. You
[Hermes types something on a computer.]
According to government records, the
only names not yet trademarked are "Popplers"
I know, we'll call them Popplers!
Oh, yeah, why not?
You sure picked it.
[Zoidberg crams some more into his mouth.]
Call them what you want. I call them
a free meal.
[Bender grabs his claw.]
Whoa, whoa, slow down there, Sigmund.
I can't stand idly by while poor people
get free food. We gotta sell these things!
Bender's a genius.
[New New York City Street. Fry and Bender have set up a hover-cart
selling fresh Popplers. They sell a bag to a guy and Fry holds
Hey, business is great.
Ah, great is OK, but amazing would be
[They look across the street and see a queue forming at a hot
Please, don't push, there's hot dogs
[Bender grumbles and crosses the road. The vendor hands a man
a hot dog.]
Hey, Mac, where do you want those rat
droppings you ordered?
[The man throws his hot dog down and the people in the queue
cross the road to the popplers stand.]
Wait a minute. You're not the guy who
delivers the rat droppings.
[Bender chuckles and walks back across the road. A short man
with stubble is talking to Fry.]
What are you selling? Popplers? Never
heard of 'em.
Eat it or beat it.
[Fry hands the man a bag and he eats some.]
Mmm, these are great. Boys, this is
your lucky day. I'm Joe Gillman.
[He points at a Fishy Joe's sign where he is dressed as a pirate
and eating a sandwich with an entire fish in it.]
Wow! You're some guy who eats at Fishy
Hell, no. I am Fishy Joe! I've got a
fast-food franchise on every planet
in the known universe. Uh, except McPluto.
Hey, Fishy. I've been meaning to write
you about your in-store kiddie parks.
The slides won't support an adult robot.
Good point, not interested. But these
Popplers, these are great. How much
you sell 'em for?
A dollar a dozen.
You'll never make money that way. You
supply 'em to me and I'll sell 'em for
two bucks a dozen at my restaurants.
I'll even pay you a dollar a dozen.
Yes! I'm gonna be rich. You too but
it's hard to get excited about that.
How do we sign?
[Montage Scene. The Popplers popularity starts to grow. An Over
X Popplers Served sign is placed outside Fishy Joe's. It turns
to one. Fry and Bender record an advertising jingle.]
FRY AND BENDER
(singing) Pop a Poppler in your mouth
When you come to Fishy Joe's
What they're made of is a mystery
Where they come from no-one knows
You can pick 'em
You can lick 'em
You can chew 'em
You can stick 'em
If you promise not to sue us
You can shove one up your nose.
[In space, Bender paints "Poppler" on the ships tail and scrubs
out "Planet", making it Poppler Express. The ship speeds through
space carrying a crate of live Popplers. The sign turns over
to over one million sold. People buy Popplers from tube-thru
window. Zoidberg arrives and turns his pockets inside out.]
I can't pay.
[Behind him, people shake their fists at him.]
Move it, man. Come on!
[The ship flies out into space and comes back to Earth with a
U-Yank trailer. It flies over the city and crashes into a billboard
which says "Fishy Joe's. Over 3.8 x 10^10 Popplers Served".]
[Cut to: Ship's Cockpit.]
Leela! That's the second billboard you've
crashed into this week!
Sorry. I was distracted by those protesters
outside our building.
[Outside Planet Express. The ship and U-Yank trailer land inside
while a crowd of hippies congregate outside with placards saying
"Stopp Before You Popp", "Eating Is Murder" and "Popplers Are
You should be ashamed!
[Farnsworth leans out of the lounge window.]
(shouting) Hey! Unless this is a nude
love-in, get the hell off my property!
[The leader, a guy called Free Waterfall Jr., laughs.]
You can't own property, man!
I can, but that's because I'm not a
[Leela, Fry and Bender arrive at the window.]
(shouting) What do you people want?
(shouting) We're with Mankind for Ethical
Animal Treatment. Popplers are living
creatures. You gotta stop harvesting
them for food!
(shouting) Or what?
(shouting) Or we'll boycott Fishy Joe's.
You're vegetarians, who cares what you
Animals eat other animals. It's nature.
No, it isn't. We taught a lion to eat
tofu. The point is, you shouldn't eat
things that feel pain.
[Bender throws a brick at him and he clutches his head.]
(shouting) OK, we won't eat you.
I'll go get some more bricks.
[Cut to: Planet Express: Lounge. Leela walks over to the table
and picks up some Fishy Joe's buckets.]
Fry, I wish you'd throw out these week-old
Popplers. They're getting big and scaly.
Ooh, there's one left.
[She picks it up. It uncurls itself. It has eyes and a mouth.]
[Leela gasps and lets go of it. It lands in some honey mustard
sauce, laughs, and swims around in it. She clasps her hands to
her mouth and licks her fingers.]
[Time Lapse. Leela runs into the lounge later where the rest
of the crew are eating Popplers.]
Stop! Stop eating Popplers!
[She throws Fry's, Zoidberg's and Farnsworth's buckets off the
table and smacks them out of Hermes' and Amy's hands.]
[Leela smashes Bender's beer.]
Popplers are intelligent. This one called
[She has the Poppler wrapped in a Tender 'n' Juicy napkin.]
Congratulations. I assume Amy is the
Popplers can't talk. Leela must be hallucinating
from not eating enough Popplers. Here,
eat some now.
[He picks up a bucket. Leela turns away.]
[Bender squeezes her mouth open and tips some Popplers into her
I said "eat"! Come on, mange!
[Leela throws the bucket into a bin, gasps and runs over to it.]
[She puts it on the table.]
Leela, maybe you should lie down.
Yes, listen to the father.
I'm telling you, it spoke to me. Come
on, little Poppler, say "mama".
[She tickles it. Fry tuts and leans back in his chair.]
Look, Leela, even if you heard one talk,
that doesn't mean it's intelligent.
I mean, parrots talk and we eat them,
Yeah. Maybe it just learned to talk
as a parlour trick. Like Fry.
Like Fry! Like Fry!
There's one way, and only one way, to
determine if an animal is intelligent.
Dissect its brain!
[The Poppler reaches out to Leela.]
No, mama. Stop grandpa!
[Everyone but Farnsworth, who is sharpening a knife, gasps.]
Enough chit-chat. Restrain the specimen!
[Fishy Joe's. Diners fill up on Popplers.]
Give me some of that special sauce.
[A Horrible Gelatinous Blob eats some Popplers and the fat guy
from the Titanic reaches inside him and takes a Poppler. The
Horrible Gelatinous Blob growls, grabs the man and eats him.]
[Cut to: Outside Fishy Joe's. Leela wears a "Free The Popplers!"
(shouting) Stop eating Popplers! They
[A man dressed as a Poppler and holding a tray of free samples
walks up behind her.]
(shouting) Don't stop to talk! Eat Popplers!
[A man takes a Poppler and eats it.]
Hey, cut it out!
(shouting) Take a coupon, cut it out!
[He falls over and some dogs eat the Popplers on the floor.]
[Time Lapse. Fry handcuffs himself to the Fishy Joe's door.]
People, I won't let you enter. Popplers
are as intelligent as you or me.
[A smartly-dressed man pushes him aside.]
[The door Fry cuffed himself to is a revolving door. The door
drags him around and around.]
[Time Lapse. Bender rings his head like a town crier's bell.]
Hear me, hear me! Stop eating Popplers!
Stop eating them with honey mustard
sauce......stop eating them with tangy
sweet and sour sauce. Stop eating the
new fiesta Poppler salad. Stop taking
advantage of the money-saving 12-pack.
Stop enjoying Popplers on the patio,
in the car, or on the boat. Wherever
good times are had! Ow!
[The bomb opens a little flag that says "Please Don't Eat Popplers"
[Planet Express: Lounge. Everyone except Leela sits around the
TV to watch Datenight, presented by Linda.]
Tonight on Datenight: Popplers. Eating
them. Is it alright to? We have with
us the CEO of Fishy Joe's, Mr. "Fishy"
Joseph Gillman......Noted anti-eating
activist, Free Waterfall Jr......And
the discoverer of Popplers, Captain
[Leela appears on the screen.]
That's her name, Philip.
Fishy Joe, is it wrong to eat intelligent
Absolutely not, Linda. I don't think
anyone's here to make that claim.
...we're talking about a snack...
...that's low in fat...
...and high in profit.
You're crazy, man. He is crazy.
There's not even any strong evidence
that these Popplers are intelligent.
Shut up shut up shut up shut up shut
That's not true. I have one right here
that can talk.
Come on, say "mama".
OK, we'll have to bleep that.
Look, I'm saying eating meat is wrong...
I don't think anyone's here to make
But eating an intelligent animal is
Shut up shut up shut up shut up shut
Oh, don't force your tired philosophy
on us. I mean, the only reason we don't
eat people is because it tastes lousy.
You're all nuts. Shut up, let me talk.
You shut up, please.
No, you shut up, please.
Popplers are no smarter than any other
animal I've served. And that includes
[Another rectangle forces itself in behind Linda. The Poppler
is in it.]
Ca-ca head. Mean, old ca-ca head.
Sir, I'm making a point. If these gutter-mouthed
creatures are so smart, why don't they
defend themselves, eh?
[He grabs a bucket of Popplers and starts eating.]
I call murder on that.
Look, I'm willing to grant that it's
murder. The real issue is: Who's gonna
[He laughs. There is a crash and the studio starts shaking.]
[Cut to: New New York City Street. Shadows creep over buildings
and nine Omicronian saucers descend from the sky.]
[Cut to: Planet Express: Lounge.]
We seem to be experiencing technical
difficulties. And, crap like I've never
[The screen cuts to static and then to Lrrr, standing behind
his old-fashioned microphone.]
People of Earth, I am Lrrr of the planet
Omicron Persei 8. Turn down that TV,
Dear Lord, they're back!
[Bender takes a breath.]
Now then, the creatures you call "Popplers"
come from a nursery planet in our sector
[Nd-Nd grabs the mic.]
You monsters have been eating our babies!
[Cut to: Datenight Studio. Leela, Waterfall and Gillman watch
the Omicronians on a TV.]
[Gillman spits out half a Poppler and puts the mush on the other
half he is holding.]
We demand justice. As you ate our children,
so shall you be eaten by us!
We will begin with the firemen, then
the math teachers, and so on in that
fashion until everyone is eaten. Transmission
over! Well, that went OK. I tell you,
when you know you can't scratch, that's
when you really have to, huh? Oh, yeah,
oh, that feels a lot better. What? It's
[He growls and the TV cuts to static.]
[DOOP Headquaters: Secret Conference Room. Outside, a sign has
been change from "Democratic Order Of Planets United Against
The Omicronian Menace" to "Democratic Order Of Planets Welcomes
The Omicronian Menace". In the small room, Zapp Brannigan sits
across a table from Lrrr and Nd-Nd. Omicronians and Kif stand
As chief negotiator, I speak for all
of Earth when I mourn the regrettable
loss of the Omicronian young. We share
your pain. Mmm. If we could undo the
damage... These would be great with
(shouting) Stop eating our young! And
it's pronounced guacamole!
Alright, I'm putting them away. Now,
uh, what is it you want?
We demand - We demand to eat one human
for each Omicronian that was eaten.
[Zapp cleans his teeth with a toothpick.]
Fair enough. How many is that?
[Kif taps him on the shoulder.]
198 billion, sir.
Very well. You will provide us with
198 billion humans. And, uh, small fries.
Oh, alright, cottage cheese!
Sir? (whispering) There aren't that
many human beings.
A though occurs: There aren't that many
We're willing to wait a few weeks while
you shore up the numbers.
Hmm. 198 billion babies in a few weeks.
We'll need an army of super-virile men
scoring 'round the clock! I'll do my
part. Kif, clear my schedule.
[Kif takes out an Etch-A-Sketch and shakes it.]
[DOOP Headquarters: Main Room. Hundreds of people sit waiting
for the negotiations to end. Fry is slumped in a chair.]
I wish they'd just wipe out humanity
and get it over with. It's the waiting
I can't stand.
[The door to the secret conference room opens. Zapp, Kif, Lrrr
and Nd-Nd walk out. Everyone cheers and Zapp waves.]
My fellow Earthlings, we have reached
an agreement. Using the twin guns of
grace and tact, I blasted our worthless
enemies with a fair compromise. They
will not eat everyone on Earth.
I filled up on nuts at the negotiation.
[Nd-Nd shakes her head.]
Instead, they will eat only a single
human of their choice.
We choose to eat the first Earthling
who ate our offspring. Here is the
culprit, as photographed by our nanny-cam
satellite. She must be sacrificed,
but the rest of you shall be spared.
[Everyone cheers, except Leela, who boos.]
[Madison Cube Garden. The sign outside reads "Slurm Concert Series
Present: An Evening With A Human-Eating Monster". Inside, the
crowds murmur. There a is a stage in the middle of the room with
a table and chairs on it. Linda presents the TV coverage from
a commentary box.]
Tonight, the world watches in horror
as an earthling is eaten alive on network
television. This grim scene of unimaginable
carnage is brought to you - by Fishy
Joe's! Try our new Extreme Walrus Juice!
100% fresh-squeezed walrus. Ride the
[A spotlight shines onto a door on the stage.]
Ladies and gentlemen. The Omicronians!
[The door opens. Lrrr, Nd-Nd and some other Omicronians walk
out, waving. Nd-Nd sits at the table and the other Omicronians
sit down behind her. Lrrr stands at a mic.]
Greetings, Earth morsels.
[The crowd boos.]
(shouting) You suck!
Get a job!
[Backstage, Bender peeps through the curtain and then turns around.]
I'll miss you, Leela. I know you're
just a carbon-based life form but I'll
always think of you as a big pile of
[He sobs. Fry puts his arm around him.]
What Bender means is, you're really
brave, and smart, and beautiful, and
a great friend.
(crying) Just like titanium!
[He cries into Fry's lap.]
This is all a big load. I was the one
trying to save the Popplers. You were
sucking them down like the fat hog you
are and you were stepping on them for
fun. You both should be in here instead
(whispering to Fry) Someone's acting
Leela, my sweet, I've come to save you.
I have a devious plan!
Oh, great, Captain Moron has a plan.
Why don't you tell it to Wingus and
[Zapp turns to Fry and Bender.]
Wingus? Dingus? Listen up. We're gonna
give the aliens the old switcheroo!
You mean -
Correct. I found a giant hideous ape
that looks exactly like Leela.
[Kif wheels in a cage holding an orang-utan that is wearing a
white tank top, black trousers and boots like Leela's.]
It doesn't look anything like me. The
hair is all wrong.
Don't worry. Kif is an expert stylist,
as you can plainly see. Mmm!
[Kif groans and walks into the cage. He puts a sheet around the
orang-utan, squirts some shampoo onto its head and starts rubbing
You know, this might actually work.
The Omicronians seem to have trouble
telling one person from another.
True. At the negotiations, they thought
Kif here was the statesman and I was
a jabbering mental patient. Isn't that
Please, I'm creating. Voila!
[The orang-utan grabs a banana, eats it and scratches itself.]
I'm seeing double!
[On the other side of the curtain, Lrrr sits at a table.]
I grow hungry! Bring on the one called
[A waiter fills his wine glass.]
That comes with salad or soup.
Ranch or vinaigrette?
Balsamic or raspberry?
[Lrrr picks up a laser from under the table and vapourises the
waiter. Zapp pulls on the cage with the Leela-ape inside. Nd-Nd
takes it out and puts it on the table. The crowd sees and murmurs.]
(murmuring) What's going on here? It's
[Zapp whispers into the microphone.]
(whispering) People of Earth: Shh!
(murmuring) Oh, I get it.
(murmuring) I understand.
[Lrrr looks back and forth between a photo of Leela and the orang-utan.
They are both sat in the same pose.]
Hmm. Yes, this is one. Definitely. I
recognise her slumping posture and hairy
[Leela is taken aback and looks at her own knuckles. Lrrr puts
a lot of salt on the orang-utan.]
(sarcastic) Would you like some human
with your salt?
[Lrrr picks up the orang-utan and opens his mouth.]
This is it. If the aliens fall for Zapp's
ploy, the Earth will be saved. Brought
to you by Fishy Joe's. Ride the walrus.
[Lrrr is about to eat the orang-utan when some idiot shouts from
Wait, stop! It's a trick! That's not
[The crowd boos and Lrrr puts the orang-utan back on the table.
Waterfall Jr. runs onto the stage.]
W-What's happening? I'm losing the crowd.
It's an orang-utan. One of Mother Earth's
most precious creatures.
[He hugs the orang-utan and it starts to scratch his hair and
eat his fleas. Lrrr puts on a pair of glasses. Zapp grabs Waterfall
Jr. by the hair and drags him away.]
Why'd you open your bong hole you smelly
hippie? You'd sacrifice a beautiful
woman to save a moderately-attractive
monkey? You must've smoked some bad
The one called "Smelly Hippie" is right.
This is a monkey!
[Nd-Nd eats it whole.]
Where is the real female?
I'll never tell.
[He crosses his arms and Lrrr points a laser to his head.]
Where is the real female?
I'll get her for you.
[He runs off.]
[Time Lapse. Zapp pushes Leela's cage out onto the stage.]
I realise this may hurt our chances
of consummating our relationship again.
Go consummate yourself.
Stop talking, you're getting cold.
[He reaches into the cage and grabs Leela around the waist.]
Please! I just paid off my car!
I can't look!
[He takes his eyes out, puts them in his chest cabinet and looks
back towards Leela. Lrrr puts Leela in his mouth.]
Stop! People of Earth. I am Jrrr of
the planet Omicron Persei 8. Could someone
lower this thing for me? Now then,
if Leela gets eaten, I get eaten.
[The Omicronians gasp.]
Little one, get out of there. I'm going
to count to blorks!
But elder one -
[Nd-Nd starts counting off her fingers.]
Flingle. Glorg. Glorg and a gloob.
Hear me out. There are many good reasons
to eat. Hunger, boredom, wanting to
be the world's fattest man. But not
revenge. Are we no better than they?
Besides, Leela's my friend.
(mumbling) Is this true, Earthling?
(mumbling) Yeah, it is.
[He takes her out of his mouth.]
Leela's garbled words have opened my
[The crowd cheers and Leela spits out and pokes Jrrr, who giggles.
Waterfall Jr. holds the mic and strokes his hair.]
OK, that's a start. That's very Earth-friendly.
Now everyone join hands. Join hands,
please. I'd like to lead you all in
some swaying. Come on, pay attention.
I said do it! Yeah...
Is he your friend too?
[Lrrr eats Waterfall Jr. He pokes his head out of Lrrr's mouth.]
This is not happening.
[Lrrr swallows him and everyone cheers and applauds. Lrrr clutches
I think there was something funny in
Thank you, Jrrr. I hope you'll always
think of me as your mom.
When my species grows up, we eat our
[She tosses Jrrr to Nd-Nd.]
People of Earth - oh, that hippie's
starting to kick in - we've all learned
a valuable lesson today, I realise now
that - dude! My hand are huge! The
can touch anything but themselves.
[She pulls her cape across her and she and the other Omicronians
walk off. A heavily stoned Lrrr stares at his cape and feels
[Nd-Nd pushes him off the stage.]
[Outside Madison Cube Garden. Four Omicronian ships head off
into space and another follows, weaving around the sky.]
Whoa, I feel like I'm flying!
[Planet Express: Meeting Room. The crew sit around the table
and Bender puts a plate with a cover on the table.]
A toast to Leela. She showed us it's
wrong to eat certain things.
Let's get drunk!
Aww, thanks, guys. Pass the veal, please.
Here you go.
[He passes a plate over.]
Mmm, let me get some of that suckling
[Amy passes it to him. Bender holds up a plate.]
Who wants dolphin?
Dolphin? But dolphins are intelligent.
Not this one. He blew all his money
on instant lottery tickets.
Pass the blowhole.
Can I have a fluke?
Hey, quit hogging the bottle-nose.
Toss me the speech centre of the brain!
The Problem With Popplers
Writers : Patric M. Verrone
Genres : Animation Comedy