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Episode Recap: The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings

Fry makes a deal with the Robot Devil so he can become a skillful musician and win Leela’s heart.


In their shared apartment, Bender hears odd sounds coming from Fry’s room and enters to find Fry playing the holophoner, which produces music and holographic images. Fry has been secretly taking lessons in hopes that Leela will like him more if he can play the instrument. Fry performs badly at his holophoner recital and the teacher pronounces that he has "stupid hands" and is unteachable. Later at Planet Express, Leela fondly recalls an exboyfriend whose only redeeming quality was his ability to play the sax, increasing Fry’s frustration with his inability to play the holophoner. Bender arranges for Fry to make a deal with the Robot Devil, and Fry winds up trading his "stupid" hands for the deft hands of the satanic bot.

When the Robot Devil comes to beg for his hands back, Fry refuses, saying a deal’s a deal. His dexterous new hands allow Fry to become a renowned homophoner artist, producing recordings and giving sold out concerts. Hedonismbot commissions Fry to write an opera, and Fry agrees but only if he can make it about Leela, and refuses to let her hear the opera until it is finished. The Robot Devil returns and again asks Fry for his hands back, and Fry again refuses. The Robot Devil then gives Bender an aerosol air horn speaker as a nose in exchange for his crotchplate, which the Robot Devil promptly discards. Bender immediately runs into Leela in the hall and honks his air horn, deafening her. Now Leela will not be able to hear Fry’s opera.

At the premiere of "Leela: Orphan of the Stars" the whole audience, except deaf Leela is transfixed. During intermission, Leela promises the Robot Devil her left hand in return for robotic ears. In the second act the Robot Devil is depicted as a stupid idiot and the real Robot Devil, incensed, jumps on the stage. Real life becomes the opera, and the Robot Devil exclaims that if Fry will not give back his hands he will take Leela who has promised him, in the fine print, her hand in marriage. In an aria, Leela explains to Fry that she had gone deaf and was tricked into this deal with the Robot Devil so she could hear the opera. Fry can either keep the talented Devil Robot hands and send Leela to Hell, or loose his talents and save Leela. Fry chooses the latter and his opera continues, but without the Robot Devil’s hands it is very bad, and the audience leaves. Only Leela remains, insisting she wants to hear the end of the story, which shows a crude holophoner image of Fry and Leela kissing and walking off together.