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Episode Recap: Holiday Spectacular

The Planet Express crew learns the true meaning of X-mas, Robanukah, and Kwanzaa. 


It's the Futurama Holiday Spectacular... brought to you by Gunderson's Unshelled Nuts!

XMAS! After eating some Gunderson's Unshelled Nuts, Robot Santa arrives and, amid the carnage, sings an Xmas song in which he tells the humans that the true spirit of Xmas requires a pine tree. However, pine trees have been extinct for 800 years, so the Planet Express crew goes to Norway, where the last pine seeds on Earth are in a seed vault... which happens to be directly next door to a germ warfare repository whose window is wide open. They take a seed home and plant it, and a year later at Xmas, there's a small tree whose branches are still pretty bare. President Nixon sees it and is ordered by Vice President Cheney to steal it. He does, and there is a tree lighting service at the White House – sponsored by Gunderson's Nuts – at which the tree is still small but now fully green. Suddenly, the tree begins growing and growing. It seems the seed was cross-pollinated with a weaponized virus. The tree becomes huge and begins spitting out pine cones, which immediately grow into full-grown trees spitting out their own pine cones. In a very short time, the entire world is covered in pine trees, which have displaced all the human buildings. The world has reverted to a primeval state. All the pine trees are restoring the oxygen to the atmosphere, combating global warming, much to Al Gore's satisfaction – though he wishes he had lungs. However, the trees produce too much oxygen. As Bender lights a cigar, he ignites the atmosphere. The entire Earth is consumed in a gigantic fireball, killing everybody in the world.

ROBANUKAH! Part of the Gunderson's Nuts Holiday Spectacular (featuring Futurama)! At Planet Express, Bender is upset that they never celebrate Robanukah, the six-and-a-half-week robot holiday. The others don't believe the holiday exists. Bender just made it up to get out of work. Bender improvises a song explaining the holiday, which includes rigged "droidels" and fembots wrestling in petroleum oil. However, there's only enough oil to cover four and a half weeks of wrestling, not the full six and a half. They go to Mombil for more oil, only to find the only options are whale and squirrel oil, neither of which are kosher for Robanukah. Bender insists on petroleum oil, but Earth ran out of petroleum oil years ago. Al Gore says he tried to warn them, then fills up on free, limitless solar power. Bender wants to make more petroleum oil, but the Professor explains that it only forms when organic matter is compressed for millions of years. There may be a minute quantity of petroleum oil left, but it would be insanely deep under the Earth, where the pressures are dangerously high. Bender insists on going, so the Planet Express crew tunnels deep, deep into the ground. At Bender's behest, they tunnel so deep that the ship collapses in on itself, crushing the entire human crew. 500 million years later, Bender finds that his friends have turned into petroleum oil. He goes back to the surface and strides through the ruined landscape to the former Planet Express headquarters... where he finds the fembots still wrestling in the little bit of oil they were left with, which has lasted for 500 million years. It's a Robanukah miracle!

KWANZAA! Time to enjoy Gunderson's Unshelled Nuts (except lot #34B)! The Planet Express crew, Ethan "Bugglegum" Tate of the Harlem Globetrotters and Barbados Slim visit Hermes' family for Kwanzaa dinner. Kwanzaa's traditions are quite ancient, dating back over a thousand years. Kwanzaabot arrives to musically explain said traditions, including self-determination and unity... and, most importantly, seven candles made of beeswax. However, the Conrads' candles are made of regular wax, so Hermes is asked to fetch beeswax candles before Kwanzaa ends. Which is today. Probably. They go to a bee farm, but find that all the bees in the world are suffering from colony collapse syndrome due to parasites. This could be the year without a Kwanzaa... just like every year before 1966! Fry suggests getting beeswax from the giant space bees who swore they'd kill them if they ever went back there. Time to go back there! However, they discover that the giant space bees are suffering from the same affliction, flying into and destroying each other. The Queen says all her bees are talking smack to each other, fighting each other instead of working together. Hermes says it's time to African-Americanize these honeybees, and tells them that it's Kwanzaa, time for unity. The bees set aside their differences, and the spirit of Kwanzaa kills the parasites. The Queen thanks them for restoring the hive mind... and the swarm moves in on the humans, coating them in beeswax and transforming them into Kwanzaa candles.

The curtain falls on the Holiday special, and Al Gore tells a clapping crowd not to worry – the whole gang will be back next year with new episodes featuring himself, Al Gore, as Captain Lance Starman. From everyone at Gunderson's Nuts, happy holidays!