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Game of Tones

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Game of Tones
Image 3
Episode 137
Season 10
Air date August 14, 2013
Directed By Edmund Fong
Written By Michael Rowe
Guests Seth MacFarlane
Sarah Silverman
Preceded by Leela and the Genestalk
Followed by Murder on the Planet Express

Game of Tones is the 10th episode of Season 10 (broadcast) and the 23rd episode of Season 7.


Fry walks into his dream to search for a specific tone to save planet Earth.


An alien ship approaches a distant planet, blasting a repetitive tune over the course of several days, eventually blasting the planet to pieces. The ship soon goes to Earth and broadcasts the same tone across the planet, which Professor Farnsworth believes is an attempt to communicate. Fry, on the other hand, remarks that the music sounds familiar. The Professor analyzes his brain as they hear the music and determines that Fry had heard it on December 31st, 1999, the day he got frozen and came to the future. Nibbler says he was also there that day to ensure that Fry would be frozen but recalls no such music.

With two weeks before the spaceship arrives, Fry is set up is a contraption so he can relive his last day in the past and find the source of the music. Upon waking in his old apartment, he remarks on all his old stuff, including his then-girlfriend Michelle, who takes offense at being called old. Fry then figures that he wouldn't be cheating on Leela by sleeping with dream-Michelle, but Leela orders him to get going. Fry then walks around Old New York City, trying to figure out where he heard the music, even consulting his old break dancing gang. He then decides to go into the nearby strip club, having never been in there before, only to find the inside to be full of white nothingness. Farnsworth reminds him that he never went into the club, so he can't remember the inside. A defeated Fry walks and recalls that at this point he was nearly run over by an ice cream truck, which it nearly does.

Fry then wakes up, only to learn that he was asleep for thirteen and a half days. The UFO has gotten closer and Earth is shaking from the repetition of the deafening music. Fry is then put back into his dream, despite his protests that it was the worst day of his life. But upon arriving at his old family home and embracing Seymour, he realizes that he only hated his old life because he never got to see his family. Instead of looking for the melody, he decides to spend his remaining time on Earth with his family, or at least his mind's representation of them. But as they get to the point where Fry has to go to his pizza delivery job and thereby go to the future, Fry refuses to go and tries to tell his mother that she will never see him again. But his crewmates enter his dream, along with President Nixon and Vice-President Agnew, to remind him of his mission. Fry's father acknowledges Nixon as their "country's greatest president". Nixon tells Mr. Fry that he requires his son for a "far out musical quest". Everyone then drags Fry out the door and despite his attempts to get in and talk to his mother, Farnsworth reminds him that he never came back home after 10:00 PM, as Fry finds it another blank memory.

Consenting to finding the music once more, Fry takes everyone back through the last hours of his 20th century life. Reaching the part where he says farewell to Seymour, he realizes that his dog can simply shrink down and hop into his pocket. Everyone then follows him on rickshaw cart pulled by Zoidberg. Then meeting Michelle dumping him for another man, Leela gets insulted and shouts that only she gets to dump Fry.

Arriving at Applied Cryogenics, as Fry falls into the cryogenic tube, he hears the music. Everyone then wakes up in the real universe, Fry explaining that there also additional notes in the music. They then go to Mount Shushmore, where Fry plays the extra notes, which the UFO acknowledges and lands, (this seen is modeled after the landing scene in the movie: Close Encounters of the Third Kind) revealing that it's actually very small and piloted by a Nibblonian, whom Nibbler identifies as Digby. When everyone asks why Digby was doing, he insists that destroying Earth was not his goal. He asks Nibbler if he remembers. When it appears that he doesn't, Digby explains that over a thousand years ago, he was Nibbler's chauffeur, transporting him to Earth so he could freeze Fry. Just as he knocked Fry into the cryo tube, Digby then remembered he forgot to lock their spaceship and used the remote control to do so, the control's ringtone being heard by Fry. Nibbler and Digby then went out and celebrated at O'Grady's Pub, where they got drunk and accidentally lost the keys to their ship in a storm drain. This sparks Nibbler's memory, as he says that they had to take a cab to their base on Vergon 6. Digby finishes that his boss gave him a new spaceship and keys and went throughout the universe in search of his lost ship, but was unaware of how loud his new remote's ringtone was. Fry then brings everyone to the rooftop of Applied Cryogenics, where the ruined Nibblonian spaceship is waiting. After recharging the engine with Bender as a makeshift charger, Digby flies off. Nibbler thanks Fry for assisting the Nibblonian people once more and promises to repay him, though Fry doubts it.

Fry then dreams arriving home and finding his mother watching a football game. But then he realizes that the game she's watching happened after he was frozen and becomes confused. Nibbler appears and explains that Fry is experiencing his mother's dream back in the past, as a means of repaying his debt. Fry then expresses his love for his mother with a hug. In the past, Mrs. Fry wakes up and smiles at a picture of her youngest son.

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