How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back

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Season 2 episode
How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back
How Hermes Requisitioned his Groove Back.jpg
Production number2ACV11
Written byBill Odenkirk
Directed byMark Ervin
Title captionAs foretold by Nostradamus
First air date2 April, 2000
Broadcast numberS02E14
Title referenceHow Stella Got Her Groove Back
Opening cartoonFelix the Cat Trifles with Time (1925)
Special guest(s)Nora Dunn


Season 2
  1. I Second that Emotion
  2. Brannigan, Begin Again
  3. A Head in the Polls
  4. Xmas Story
  5. Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?
  6. The Lesser of Two Evils
  7. Put Your Head on My Shoulders
  8. Raging Bender
  9. A Bicyclops Built for Two
  10. A Clone of My Own
  11. How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back
  12. The Deep South
  13. Bender Gets Made
  14. Mother's Day
  15. The Problem with Popplers
  16. Anthology of Interest I
  17. War Is the H-Word
  18. The Honking
  19. The Cryonic Woman
← Season 1Season 3 →

"How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back" is the twenty-fourth episode of Futurama, the eleventh of the second production season and the fourteenth of the second broadcast season. It aired on 2 April, 2000, on Fox. It guest-stars Nora Dunn as Morgan Proctor. When an inspection by the Central Bureaucracy results in a demotion for Hermes, he attempts to kill himself, but is persuaded to instead take a paid vacation on Spa 5. Meanwhile his replacement, bureaucrat Morgan Proctor, enters into a secret relationship with Fry.

The Story

Act I: "I only gamble with chumps"

As Hermes finishes his work for the day he receives a letter from the Central Bureaucracy. He's happy to learn that there will be an inspection on the following day, giving him the opportunity to be promoted from grade 36 to grade 35.

That evening, Leela invites Fry and Bender to a poker game she's having with her former co-workers from Applied Cryogenics. Zoidberg invites himself. As the guests arrive Ipji informs Leela that she's fired for being over a year late for work. The Applied Cryogenics staff realise that Bender is using x-ray glasses to cheat, and beat him up in Hermes' office, destroying the office in the process.

On arriving for work the next day, Hermes is horrified by the mess, which he cannot clean up before the arrival of the Inspector. When the Inspector, Morgan Proctor, arrives, Hermes threatens to kill himself by jumping off the Planet Express building. Bender recommends that he do a flip.

Act II: "Mr. Bender, about last night..."

Hermes is talked out of suicide, and Zoidberg suggests he visit Spa 5 to recover. LaBarbara and Hermes learn, too late, that Spa 5 is actually a forced labour camp.

Morgan assigns herself as the serving bureaucrat at Planet Express in Hermes' absence. After inspecting Fry's locker, she realises that Fry is a "dirty, filthy slob", and throws herself at him, declaring that being around "neat-freaks" all the time means there's nothing kinkier to her than a slob. She swears him to secrecy about their relationship. Morgan then demotes Leela to co-pilot, under the autopilot, and assigns Bender as co-ordinator of the the Professor's bodily functions - a full-time job. At the same time, to the annoyance of the rest of the crew, she promotes Fry to Executive Delivery Boy, with his own office next to hers, and the pair continue their clandestine affair. When Morgan comes to Fry and Bender's apartment to have sex with Fry, however, Bender catches them in bed together. The next day he tries to blackmail her, but Morgan downloads Bender's brain onto a disk, and sends it to the Central Bureaucracy for filing.

Act III: "Stop hogging that healthy liver!"

Fry, Leela, Amy and the Professor head off to recover Bender's brain at the Central Bureacracy, and are confronted by a huge queue, which they circumvent by pretending that they are delivering Bender to the offices. Using Leela's wristlojackimator, they find their way to the Central Bureaucracy's filing room, where they are met by Morgan. After Fry ends their relationship, Morgan gloats that it will be impossible to find the disk within the master "in" pile.

Meanwhile, Hermes has reorganised the forced labour camp so efficiently that all the physical labour is now carried out by a single Australian man, and he has been brought to the Central Bureaucracy by Zoidberg. Hermes petitions the head of the Bureaucracy, Number 1.0, for an 'emergency sort-and-file', and Number 1.0 grants him four minutes to sort the pile, or face having his bureaucratic licence revoked. Launching into a song, Hermes files all the messages in the pile, finishing by reuniting Bender with his brain. However, he completes the task with two seconds to spare, and since a good bureacrat never finishes early, he is demoted to grade 38.

When Morgan points out that she is still acting bureaucrat at Planet Express, and proposes firing Fry, Hermes reveals that Morgan once failed to stamp a document the requisite five times. Number 1.0 rewards him by promoting him to grade 37, and the Professor gives him back his job - at severely reduced pay. The episode ends with Zoidberg being cut short as he tries to sing his own song.

Additional Info

Bureaucrat song lyrics

See List of song performances#Even If It's Not A Good Idea (The Bureaucrat Song).


  • The forced labour camp's sign reads "Spa 5 Fitness camp: recommended by Dr. Zoidberg". This, as well as the Australian slave's admission, suggests that most of the workers were provided by Zoidberg, who openly admits that he gets a free bucket of krill for every person he sends there.
  • Grade 1.0 seems to have been used in order to leave a possibility for higher ranks with lower decimals, though the dialogue in the episode contradicts this; Hermes says he "will finally be promoted to grade 35, the 35th highest grade there is".
  • Fry's "outer space potato man" quote may be a reference to the Sontarans in Doctor Who.
    • While possible, considering that the Sontarans were first seen in 1973, references to them being potato-like are from the revived series of Doctor Who, which makes the reference unlikely.
  • When playing poker. Zoidberg refers to a card of a king giving himself brain surgery. This is an allusion to the King of Hearts who is often depicted with a hand stabbing a sword into his head, even though it is often depicted not being his own hand.



  • The floating head is based on a creature from Dungeons and Dragons, a so-called Beholder.
  • The filing cabinet lined walls of the central bureaucracy are a nod to the Terry Gilliam film 'Brazil', which is set in an inefficient bureaucracy. (picture)
  • When Hermes mentions "Stampytown", it's a reference to "Funkytown."
  • The plot of Bender's brain being removed and the crew having to retrieve it are smiliar to the events in the TOS episode "Spock's Brain" (considered one of the least-liked episodes of the original Star Trek series). Both Bender and Spock walk mindlessly (literally) with the crew. At one point, Spock bumps into a bush; Bender bumps into a door and walks right through it.


    Fry: Jamaican? I thought you were some kinda outer-space potato man.

    Hermes: [On top of the Planet Express Building.] I'm going to jump!
    Planet Express Crew: No! Don't do it!
    Bender: Do a flip!

    Hermes: I wasn't cut out to be a bureaucrat anyway! I'm only anal 78.36% of the time!

    Morgan: Why is there yogurt in this cap?
    Fry: Uh, I can explain that. See, it used to be milk and, well, time makes fools of us all.

    Farnsworth: You can't just waltz into the Central Bureaucracy. It's a tangled web of red tape and regulations. I've never been, but a friend of mine went completely mad trying to find the washroom there.
    Leela: Then we'll need a guide. Someone who's been there before.
    Farnsworth: Oh, I've been there. Lots of times! [He laughs maniacally.]

    Hermes: When push comes to shove, you gotta do what you love, even if it's not a good idea!


  • Fry is surprised to learn of Hermes' Jamaican heritage in this episode, but in "Xmas Story" Hermes declared his profound admiration for the "legendary" Jamaican bobsledders of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Fry's presence.
    • It's not out of the question that Fry has forgotten since then.
  • The hover-car and Number 1.0's plane screech to a halt. Which shouldn't be the case as they are hovering, and do not touch the ground.
  • Hermes' badge number occasionally fluctuates incorrectly.
  • It is shown in this episode that Bender's mind and memories can be downloaded into a disk inserted in the neck of any Bending Units. In "Lethal Inspection", however, Bending Unit minds are saved daily into a backup body, which Bender was made without.
    • A manual backup and an automated backup are two different processes. One just requires a portable backup device into which the data can be copied, the other requires a piece of hardware to allow automatic, wireless backup to a server in an undisclosed location.
  • Aside from the man waiting for his birth certificate, there is a sequence of 16 different people repeated at least 4 times in the line, including the Number 9 Man, the The Hip Joint Janitor and Scruffy.
  • When the line is first shown, the people in front of the crew are the old man, Nine, a girl with purple pants, an Indian girl, a yellow vested Indian man and so on. But when the scene shifts the order and people change to the old man, a yellow coated Indian man, a Jewish man, Nine, and a man with a ripped yellow shirt.
  • Nearly all of the other Bureaucrats badges are blank at Central Filing

When Bender gives everybody cards they are all shown to have five, despite Bender only gave them two cards each.


(In alphabetic order)

Episode Credits