The strange relationship between Hermes Conrad and Dr. John A. Zoidberg is an occasional theme on Futurama. Hermes shows hatred to Zoidberg for no real reason at bizarre times. For example, after witnessing a temporarily blind Leela destroying the ceiling of Planet Express, Hermes turned to Zoidberg and said "That's coming out of your pay!", which brought Zoidberg to tears. Also, when Fry suggested Zoidberg had a parasite, Hermes followed up with "Maybe he is a parasite!". Plus in the episode "The Deep South" when the Planet Express Ship is underwater, Hermes made a suggestion to eat Dr. Zoidberg. However, he secretly thinks that Zoidberg is "pathetic but lovable".
When Bender and Fry tie in their competition for the most Twitcher followers, Hermes turns to Zoidberg and happily explains that because no one lost, no one has to jump into the pool of goat stuff.
- At a staff meeting, Hermes announces, "Due to budget cutbacks, we will no longer be offering free squid guts in the kitchen." This affects only Zoidberg.
- Harking back to the homoerotic overtones of "Spanish Fry", a drunk Hermes shows Zoidberg a photograph of his penis.
After Zoidberg dismembers and otherwise harms most of the crew, Fry demands Zoidberg's execution. Hermes, although he himself is one of Zoidberg's victims, urges restraint. Only after his own body collapses in a heap of separate parts does his head finally insist, "Death to the crab!" He goes along with the mob when they tone their demand down to firing rather than executing him. But when Zoidberg addresses the mob as "friends", Hermes responds, "We're not your friends! We're your victims!" Hermes seems to be disowning Zoidberg, but we know from experience that while Hermes often lashes out rather savagely for no reason, they stay, for the most part, on very friendly terms. When the crew finally forgive Zoidberg, Hermes participates.
The relationship between Hermes and Zoidberg is a central theme in this episode. Hermes is occasionally unpleasant to Zoidberg, but Zoidberg believes this behavior to be friendly and ironic banter. He believes that he and Hermes are friends, in spite of the crew's comments to the contrary. He becomes worried when the progressively more mechanical Hermes becomes progressively less hostile. Zoidberg saves Hermes' discarded body parts and has sewn them all back together, Frankenstein-style. When Robot Hermes finally decides to have his human brain removed, Zoidberg supplies Hermes' body, ready to resume as Hermes when Zoidberg reinstalls his brain. La Barbara encourages Hermes to thank Zoidberg. When he tells her that he hates Zoidberg, she responds, "We all do." This general hatred of Zoidberg is new, first appearing in "The Tip of the Zoidberg". Hermes is convinced to be fair, and he thanks Zoidberg politely. Zoidberg takes it as more banter, and once again believes that he and Hermes are friends.
Hermes and Zoidberg share a joke and a laugh about the age of Farnsworth's parents.
Hermes is reluctant to pair up with Zoidberg while harvesting Omicronian herbs.
Hermes suspects Zoidberg of stealing his lunch, referring to him as a "tainted oyster". Later, perhaps still angry, Hermes brings the staff meeting to order with, "Alright, people," then looking at Zoidberg and adding, "and other things." After the two have a harrowing mini-adventure in space, they seem to resume their normal rapport.