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The Bender Theory That Changes Everything On Futurama

Bender is one of the most recognizable and well-known characters from the sci-fi animated comedy, "Futurama." As another of "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groenings' cartoon offspring, Bender appears reminiscent of a robotic Homer (albeit, he acts a bit more like Bart). As the future's most loveable X-rated scamp, Bender would be remiss if he didn't spend his days robbing, gambling, drinking, and generally being a disreputable character.

However, there might be more to Bender's illegal antics than fans first thought. Bender performs so many misdeeds, it's difficult to think that he could ever be a goody-two-shoes (though he has shown himself capable of such a feat several times over). However, one fan theory posits that a law-abiding citizen may have been Bender's default state. While it's possible that this is true, there are many moments throughout the classic comedy series that seem to poke holes in this theory. Let's get into this debate over the potential leader of the robot uprising.

Bender may have rebooted with criminal intentions

According to a fan theory posted seven years ago on Reddit, Bender wasn't always such a bad guy. Bender is one of the first characters from the year 3000 that Fry meets in the first episode. Though Bender is a bit crass, there's nothing major that suggests he has a criminal background at this point in time. The theory goes on to explain that after being rebooted in the criminal section of the head museum, Bender emerges with a deviant mentality. We know this is possible because of the episode "The Bird-Bot of Icecatraz," where we learn that Bender's programming reboots according to his surroundings. In that episode, Bender rebooted with penguin software. In the pilot, it would have been criminal software.

The theory also backs up this claim by citing the few interactions Bender has with Fry before his initial reboot in Episode 1. Fry first meets Bender in the line for a street-side suicide booth (which he mistook for a phone booth). Bender explains later on that he tried to kill himself because he could not live with the fact that his previous job as a bending robot had him bending girders (ironically) for suicide booths.

This is a bit out of character for Bender, who isn't generally concerned with the well-being of others, especially humans. However, there are many other instances throughout the show that indicate Bender's criminal history far predates the first episode, possibly invalidating this fan theory.

Bender was always a criminal...probably

The first sign that Bender might have always been a law-breaker also comes in the first episode. As many fans were quick to point out in the Reddit thread, Bender goes out of his way to steal back the quarter he spent on the suicide booth before being rebooted. However, other fans explain this as him refusing to support suicide booths financially.

Still, there's a lot to suggest Bender has always been the crass criminal we know and love. For instance, in the episode "Hell Is Other Robots," the Robot Devil claims that Bender has a stunning 55-page warrant out for his arrest. Considering that "Hell Is Other Robots" is only the series' ninth episode, Bender would need to have committed an unprecedented number of crimes in a short time after meeting Fry for the theory to work.

Furthermore, in the episode "Mars University," we meet the chapter of Bender's old college fraternity, "Epsilon Rho Rho." Evidently, Bender was a pranking master in his college days, earning his legendary reputation by cramming 58 humans into a single phone booth in one night (most of which were children). Since we never see Bender's time in college, we assume that he attended before he met Fry. If that's the case, then Bender was privy to assaulting (and possibly killing) people long before he would've gotten the chance to reboot in criminal mode.