‘Bite My Shiny Metal Ass’: 15 Trivia Tidbits About Bender

‘Bite My Shiny Metal Ass’: 15 Trivia Tidbits About Bender

Bender Bending Rodriguez, he of shiny metal ass that just wants someone to bite it, was born circa 2996 when he was manufactured in Tijuana, Mexico, as a beer-loving tyke. The manbot, with his penchant for crime, cigars and bending things, is one of Futurama’s most iconic characters as he plays both the antihero and also the robot-equivalent of Man’s Best Friend — that man being Fry, and Fry only. He generally despises humans, but the hostile robot also has a softer side, and one can argue that he’s simply a product of his own programming. 

Read on to see what we mean by that and how we almost got less Bender and more of his twin brother, Flexo...

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The Origins Behind His Microchip

In the first season, we learn that Bender has a primitive 6502 microprocessor from an Apple II in his noggin. Executive producer David Cohen said he was the one who decided that Bender should be a Mac. “When I was in high school, I spent many of my teen years until five in the morning programming video games of my own invention, so I became extremely and intimately familiar with this chip,” Cohen explained. “It ran at 1 MHz — we’re used to hearing GHz nowadays — and so you had to be a nimble programmer to get it to do what you wanted it to do.” 

He also explained why Bender’s brain is not bound to his head and can rotate throughout his body as needed: “We refer to that as his spine brain, like he has a little brain somewhere at the base of his spine, like a dinosaur. That’s the theory.”

He Is, Like, Super Old

It’s nearly impossible to try and calculate Bender’s exact age given that he’s time traveled more than any other character in FuturamaIt’s believed that the booze-loving maniac is at least a million years old, which makes Bender the most optimistic Old ever. 

His John Hughes Connection

Matt Groening named Bender as a homage to John Hughes’ 1985 comedy, The Breakfast Club — the movie that features Judd Nelson’s famous character, John Bender. 

His Grandmother Was a Bulldozer

In the 2008 film Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs, Bender reveals that his grandmother was a bulldozer, a revelation that comically suggests that Bender comes from a long line of strong machines as opposed to, say, McDonald’s ice cream machines.

He Was Almost Replaced By His Twin

Just like Jerry was replaced by a different Jerry in Season Two of Rick and Morty, Bender would’ve been switched with his identical twin brother, Flexo. In “Bender Gets Made,” the grouchy manbot’s serial number reads 3370318, but according to the DVD commentary, it was going to be 2716057, the number of Flexo. The idea was ultimately scrapped because it would’ve made future Flexo episodes too confusing and probably annoyed the crap out of the show’s nerd fans.

A Fan Built a Bender Beer Brewer


A New Zealand inventor named Simon Jansen took one look at Bender and thought, “I want to make beer in that shiny metal ass.” Jansen described his self-brewing Bender beer as not “totally unpleasant. It tastes very green, but it had a fair amount of body. Yeasty with maybe just a hint of Mom’s Old-Fashioned Robot Oil.”

His First Look

Bender’s first draft was different from the capsule-headed shape we know him to have today. He started off with a square head as the creators thought it would best resemble robot heads in the year 3000, but Matt Groening changed it to illustrate the character’s rebel side. “‘We initially gave him antennas where he would have ears, but we decided it was more effective to make him more streamlined,” Groening further explained. “He’s not streamlined as a personality, and that’s part of what makes him funny.’”

His Voice Could Easily Have Been the Voice of Another Character

When the voice of Bender, John DiMaggio, auditioned for Futurama, he read for a couple of characters, including Professor Farnsworth and URL, the police robot. DiMaggio revealed in the DVD commentary of “Space Pilot 3000” that he used Bender’s voice for both the other two characters, and now we can’t stop imagining how hilarious Farnsworth would’ve sounded with that slightly high-pitched husky tone.

How Strong Is He Really?

Bender can lift a frozen woolly mammoth, casually push a giant sandstone up a rump in full run and supposedly bend the unbendable. Given that a woolly mammoth can weigh between six and eight tons, this reportedly puts him in the same weight class as superheroes like Deadpool, Black Panther and Captain America, but that’s only because we don’t know how much strength is needed to bend the unbendable.

The Fan Theory About the ‘Unbendable’ Girder

In “Bendless Love,” Bender ends up working at a factory where he gets to bend girders. He meets and falls in love with Angleyne, his co-worker and Flexo’s ex-wife. At one point, the Robot Mafia drops an “unbendable” girder on Flexo, and Bender ends up bending it to save Flexo’s life. A Reddit fan of the show theorizes that the girder wasn’t actually unbendable and that the word was only displayed on the metal to key a robot’s programming and render them incapable of bending the actual bendable girder. This would explain why Flexo couldn’t bend it, but Bender could, since the subversive manbot isn’t coded like other robots and frequently challenges his own instincts — like self-destructing.

His Biggest Weakness

Bender is as much a lover of life as he is of booze, but the first time our antihero was introduced in Futurama, he was not so jolly about the prospects of continuing his existence.

Bender might be super strong and able to withstand many an actual killing, but he’s also mortal because, unlike other robots, he doesn’t have a backup copy. This is why, despite his frequent portrayals of bravado, we see him fear for his life at times of great peril. It’s his biggest weakness and explains why he’d rather end his existence using his own free will.

His Voice Is Based on a Sausage Lover

DiMaggio once explained that Bender’s voice is a mix of “the drunk at the end of any bar on the Eastern coast of the United States,” Blazing Saddles actor Slim Pickens and a character his college pal used to call “Charlie the Sausage Lover,” which was just a guy named Charlie who had a soft spot for sausages. Watch DiMaggio doing the different voices below.

More Than Just a Unit Number

Mathematician Ken Keeler was the one who came up with Bender’s unit number, 1729, which hardcore fans probably know has some layers of significance to it. In an interview, Keeler explained, “We needed a number for plot reasons, and David Cohen asked if I could think of an interesting one, and the Hardy-Ramanujan sum-of-two-cubes story leapt to mind. Afterward, David sort of went to town with the idea whenever we needed a serial number.” 

The Hardy-Ramanujan number refers to the time when British mathematician G.H. Hardy visited his fellow math wizard, Srinivasa Ramanujan, in hospital. As told by Hardy, “I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.’”

The Theory That Could Explain His Lust for Crime

In “The Bird-Bot of Icecatraz,” we find out that Bender’s programming reboots according to his surroundings. That is why the narcissistic goofball ends up rebooting with penguin software.

redditor was the first to theorize that when Bender was rebooted in the criminal section of the head museum, he must have acquired his criminal software. 

DiMaggio Used to Relate to Bender, A Lot

“When I first started Futurama, I had a lot of Bender-like tendencies,” DiMaggio said in an interview about the show’s brand-new 11th season. “Now, I feel like I’m the dad of that guy. It’s been such a long, wonderful trip with this character, and I love it.”

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