Bender Could Be One of the Oldest Characters in Fiction

Bender is one of the main characters of Futurama, with his do-anything attitude and abilities making him an almost unstoppable force of chaotic fun. Despite his generally crass and short-sighted actions, Bender actually has far more experience in life than almost any living being in his reality -- or for that matter, any reality. Bender is the oldest being in the entirety of Futurama and is so long-lived that he might be one of the oldest characters in modern fiction.

At the start of Futurama Bender Bending Rodriguez is a relatively young Bending Unit. Constructed in Tijuana, Bender should have technically been scrapped while in his youngest form. However, a Mom's Robot Company Quality Control Inspector -- secretly Hermes Conrad -- took pity on Bender and allowed him to survive, as revealed in Season 6, Episode 6, "Lethal Inspection."

He was promptly turned into his current form and appearance, and he was given a full education digitally at Bending State University to serve as a construction robot. After learning he'd been primarily used to craft suicide booths, Bender attempted to use one on himself. Saved by a fortuitous meeting with Fry in Season 1, Episode 1, "Space Pilot 3000," Bender ended up being given free will due to a short circuit and proceeded to join Fry as a member of the Planet Express Crew.

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Thanks to his time with Planet Express, Bender ended up being exposed to a series of increasingly bizarre and monumentally important events. This included a venture into the past in Season 3, Episode 19, "Roswell That Ends Well." After being briefly trapped in 1947, the Planet Express Crew was able to figure out how to return to their own time, but in the process, Bender's disconnected head fell back to Earth and was left behind.

Eventually visiting the former site of Roswell in the 31st century, Fry was able to find Bender -- still active and alive. Without his body, Bender apparently didn't need to refuel himself with alcohol on a regular basis and was able to be restored. This also means Bender gained an additional thousand-plus years of life, essentially keeping himself entertained in the desert.

Season 5's "Bender's Big Score" then saw Bender become one of the chief targets of the Scammers. Utilizing the recently discovered "time code," the Scammers could use Bender to travel into the past and steal the most valuable pieces of artifacts in history -- making the Scammers unbelievably wealthy in the present day. Thanks to his ability to last for centuries with little wear and tear, Bender would then just remain in the past after using the one-way time-code, finally emerging in the 31st century. Bender did this multiple times -- adding untold additional centuries to his age. While most of the time duplicate Benders created in this process were destroyed, Bender seemingly retained his memory of all those adventures -- including the time he destroyed New York City.

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All of this makes Bender positively ancient, even before the events of Season 6, Episode 7, "The Late Philip J. Fry." In that episode, Fry and Bender worked alongside Professor Farnsworth to test his newly constructed time machine that could only move forward in the timeline. The trio was sent too far into the future while testing it, resulting in them being separated from their loved ones by centuries.

With little else to do, the trio decided to ultimately go forward to the end of the universe so they could witness the end of all things, but afterwards, the three were shocked to learn that the universe operates on a cyclical loop -- with the Big Crunch producing the Big Bang, which recreated the universe. After being forced to loop around again after Farnsworth messed up their landing back in the 31st century, the three made it home.

This means all three -- Fry, Bender and Farnsworth -- are technically some of the oldest beings in existence. They even are technically older than Nibbler and his species, which actually predate the Big Bang. While all of them are secretly ancient, Bender's additional eons traveling through history in an inert state make him even older than the rest. In truth, Bender might actually be one of the oldest characters in all of fiction.

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Brandon Zachary (4234 Articles Published)

Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through [email protected].

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