The Deep South

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The Lost City of Atlanta

Production Number: 2ACV12
Title Caption: A Stern Warning of Things To Come
First Aired: April 16, 2000
Title Reference: The geographic area where Atlanta was originally situated, combined with a spoof on the current (31st century) location on the ocean floor

The Story

Act I: Sweet Zombie Jesus! It's huge!

Hermes has requisitioned a pet license for Nibbler, but there has been a mixup and he got a fishing license instead - a mandatory one, too. Thus the crew is forced to go fishing, and they all take the Planet Express Ship and travel to the exact center of the Atlantic Ocean, where the ship stays in hover mode and everyone is using different methods to attract and catch fish. Fry and Hermes stick with old-fashioned fishing rods, while Bender uses a laser-guided one. Leela aims higher with a harpoon, and the Professor experiments with Fish Pheromone which makes him immensely popular with Zoidberg. As Bender does not catch anything, he bends a parasol to get a giant hook and attaches it to the ships Diamond-Filament Tether. As the sun sets, they all pull in their lines and prepare to return home, but Bender's giant hook has attracted a Colossal-Mouth Bass which pulls the PE ship under the waves despite Zoidbergs best efforts to cut the unbreakable tether.

Act II: A mermaid!

The bass pulls the ship to the ocean floor, about three miles deep, then gets rid of the hook. The crew works to bring the ship back to working order, but the engines will not work under water and there is no food. Leela divides the crew in two teams - she and the Professor will work on the ship's drives, while Zoidberg and Bender will look for food as they can both survive at this depth. Fry wants to go with the forage party, which is made possible by the Professor's experimental Anti-Pressure Pill. While collecting food, Zoidberg gets hold of an enormous shell which he adopts as his new home. Fry, in the mean time, sees a mermaid, but no one believes him. During the night, the mermaid returns and knocks on the bulleye of the crew's quarters, and Fry goes outside to meet her. She gives Fry a device which makes it possible to breathe and talk under water and introduces herself as Umbriel. She and Fry adjourn to a volcanic vent, where Umbriel asks Fry to tell her of the bizarre landie world he comes from. The two of them fall in love and travel around on the ocean floor. Meanwhile, the ship is ready to depart, but the crew notices Fry's absence and goes looking for him. They find the remains of an ancient city sitting on the bottom of the sea, the legendary lost city of Atlanta, inhabited by an all-merfolk population.

Act III: Yes, I suppose we all miss our loved ones and gases

The crew is invited inside the city, where they find Fry in the company of Umbriel and her father, The Colonel. They learn that Atlanta was once a land-locked city, but chose to move off-shore for the sake of improved commerce. When the city became overcrowded and overweight, it started to sink and many of the inhabitants left, but most remained and in time, when the city had settled on the ocean floor, evolved into merfolk with the jelp of the caffeine from the Coca-Cola bottling plant. Fry choses to remain in Atlanta as he has fallen in love with Umbriel, and the rest of the crew return to the ship, where they find Zoidberg's shell home mysteriously burned down by one of Bender's cigars. However, when Fry and Umbriel try to make love, it turns out their anatomy is not quite compatible any more and Fry leaves in a hurry. The ship is just about to take off as he catches up, but Fry is able to grab the giant hook and is pulled after the ship. Just then, the Colossal Mouth Bass reappears and swallows both Fry and the hook. Later, we see the caught bass at the harbour of New New York, and Bender is about to receive a check for $1000 because he has broken the record for the heaviest fish ever caught. The dead fish then releases both Fry and Hermes' Manwich, and although Bender is happy to have Fry back, the bass is now no longer heavy enough to break the record, leaving Bender without the check and Fry in an all-too-tight hug with the angry robot. Zoidberg seems to have adopted the inside of the bass as his new home.

Additional Info


  • A line of dialogue was edited for an airing on Adult Swim. Professor Farnsworth's exclamation "Sweet Zombie Jesus!" had the word "Jesus" removed from the audio track, although the animation for the dialogue is left intact.


  • Leela: The sun, the sea air, good friends...
    Bender: Leela's right. Fishing blows.
  • Leela: (after throwing her harpoon) Bingo! Whatever it is, it's twenty times heavier than a boot! (pulls a box labeled "Boots - 10 pair" out of the water) Aaw!
    Professor: You will never catch anything with this primitive technology! What you need is this Fish Pheromone, the most potent aphrodisiac known to fishkind. (aims spray at hook, sprays his own head instead) Uh oh. (A dozen fish spring from the water on his head, he scares them away frantically)
    Zoidberg: (sniffs the Professor's head) I'm so into you. (licks the Professor's bald head with his mouth flaps)
    Professor: Oh, my.
  • Bender (has bent the parasol into an enormous hook) There. Like most of life's problems, this one can be solved with bending.
  • Hermes: My Manwich!
  • Hermes: (hearing the news that there is no food) The important thing is that we don't panic! There are rules for situations like this! (holds up a brochure labeled "Code of Conduct for Canibalism") Now, the first order of business is lunch. I suggest a nice Lobster Zoidberg. I mean, Lobster Newburg. I mean - Doctor Zoidberg.
  • Hermes: Fry, no! The pressure will crush you like a green snake under a sugarcane truck!
    Professor: Not necessarily! This is a chance for Fry to test out my experimental anti-pressure pill. (opens a bottle and takes out a black pill the size of a goose egg)
    Fry: I can't swallow that!
    Professor: Well then, good news - it's a suppository!
  • Zoidberg: (has acquired an enormous shell) Look at me, I'm Dr. Zoidberg! Homeowner!
  • Fry: What's so far-fetsched about mermaids? There's all kinds of weird sea creatures here in the future, like Dr. Zoidberg!
  • Fry: You know what I like best about you, Umbriel? You find me fascinating even if I'm not claiming to be a jewel thief or a lion tamer.
    Umbriel: Lions? There are sea lions on the land?
    Fry: Yep - we call them land sea lions. I tame them.
  • Professor: You've all taken your pressure pills, right?
    Amy: Yes! Stop asking!
  • Leela: Fry, are you all right? What happened?
    Amy: What about Umbriel?
    Fry: Well it turns out I loved her, but I wasn't in love with her.
    Amy: (whispers to Leela) Trouble in bed.
    Leela: (nods sagely)

Inside References

  • This is the first time we see the interior of the crews quarters on board of the Planet Express Ship, the second time is in Love and Rocket. Various items from past episodes appear, like a model of the space ship Titanic, a pennant from Mars University, the Doop helmet Fry wore in When Aliens Attack (looking suspiciously like a Rebel Alliance pilot's helmet from Star Wars), a sword Bender probably nicked from Alcazar and what looks like the tutu of the Gender Bender from Raging Bender.

Outside References

  • The crew encounter a great variety of marine lifeforms on the ocean floor, including a sea horse, an electric eel (much to the pleasure of Bender), an angler fish and a coelacanth.
  • The concept of this episode is a play on the idea of the Lost City of Atlantis.
  • Umbriel's name is a reference to Ariel, the main character in Disney's animated motion picture The Little Mermaid. Ariel and Umbriel, are both moons orbiting Uranus, named for two of the sylphs in Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock.
  • The unbreakable diamond filament is a reference to Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise, where diamond is used as a building material for a space elevator.
  • Umbriel's father "The Colonel" is likely a reference to Colonel Sanders, as is his suit.
  • There is a reference to the 1972 film Deliverance when Bender hums the opening notes to "Dueling Banjos" upon arriving in Atlanta.
  • The song Atlantis by episode guest star Donovan is played early in the episode and the later narration of the history of Atlanta is a parody of this song.
  • In the story of Atlanta a Ted Turner statue is shown being mounted above a SeaNN sign, a parody of CNN.
  • The concept of mermaids not having the same reproductive functions as humans is a reference to the mermaid problem. When Fry wishes that Umbriel could've been the mermaid with "the fish part on top and the lady part on the bottom", this is a jab at an episode of Night Gallery called "Lindermann's Catch", about a fisherman who wants to give a mermaid he's fallen in love with legs, but his wish backfires when her fish half becomes her human half and her human half (her head) becomes the fish part.
  • Umbriel and Fry watch a whale and a giant squid wrestle, a reference to the Squid and Sperm Whale panoramic at the American Museum of Natural History.

Fast Forward


  • The high pressure under water would not allow Fry to carry his oxygen with him in a sack, as shown in the episode - the sack would be instantly crushed.


Episode Credits