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Futurama: Tropes O to S
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    O 
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • It's hinted that Amy might be doing this. She is an engineering student (though in one DVD commentary, the writers admitted that they'd completely forgotten that), so maybe she's a Genius Ditz. It was confirmed in "That Darn Katz". Amy came up with an idea to use the Earth's rotation to generate energy for her thesis so she could finally get her doctorate. She had spent the night before drinking and having sex with Kif and went into the exam in her underwear.
    • Nibbler, who hides his hyper-intelligence with a mask of ultra-stupidity and a tendency towards doing cute things.
  • Obstacle Ski Course: Prof. Farnsworth is seen skiing while fast asleep. By the time he arrives at the ski lodge and wakes up, he has apparently entered an Olympic skiing competition, and come third.
  • Oddly Small Organization: "We're the Robot Mafia. The entire Robot Mafia."
  • Official Couple:
    • Deconstructed in Fry and Leela. Especially in season 6 (see The Late Philip J Fry and Meanwhile from season 7)
    • Amy and Kif are (usually) a more straightforward example of this trope.
  • Oh Crap: From Bender's Game: "Methinks we be boned".
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Zoidberg, as he was introduced in "The Series Has Landed", was shown to be nothing more than an aloof, semi-incompetent staff physician who was desperately poor. In "That's Lobstertainment!", it was revealed that he moonlighted as a (very poor) stand-up comedian. Come season 7's "The Duh-Vinci Code", he was shown to have an extensive background in art. According to him, that is because his actual P.H.D. is in art history. This reaches its peak in season 8's "The Tip Of The Zoidberg", when, just prior to working at Planet Express, he was a surprisingly competent military surgeon under employment in Mom's Friendly Robot Company, and the reason for his Cloud Cuckoo Lander behavior is that his head was bitten by a yeti during a top-secret mission.
  • Once for Yes, Twice for No: Brannigan entirely fails to correctly interpret a paralyzed Fry when he does this. Though Fry wasn't actually paralyzed, he was using Captain Pike's chair from The Menagerie.
    Zapp: Two beeps? Double yes!
  • Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement: Roberto to Bender: "You ever killed a man with a sock? It ain't so hard..."
  • One-Hour Work Week: The crew is rarely actually seen performing deliveries. When it is shown, it's usually just after they've made it. Lampshaded in the sixth season episode 'The Duh-Vinci Code'.
    Hermes: Didn't we used to be a delivery company?
    • Also lampshaded in the 100th episode, where the crew celebrates its '100th delivery'... which, as they say, averages out to 'ten a year' (the show had been running at that stage for ten years).
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Ndnd declares in "Lrrreconcileable Ndndifferences" that she is the only one who may nag Lrrr.
  • Opening Shout-Out
  • Opposing Sports Team: The Butterfly Derby has The "Murderflies", an opposing sports team who cheat by using performance enhancing drugs.
  • Orphaned Punchline: A robot stand-up comedian in "That's Lobstertainment!": "So I said, "Super-collider? I just met her!" (audience laughs) And then they built the super collider."
    • Bender in "A Head in the Polls": "So then the hookerbot says, 'That's not my expansion slot!' And my friend says, 'That's not my gold-plated 25-pin connector!'"
  • Other Me Annoys Me: On several occasions.
  • Our Werecars Are Different
  • Out with a Bang: "DEATH BY SNU-SNU!" Also, Amy's suggestion on how to face the destruction of Earth via Death Sphere.
    Amy: Well I guess it's time to indulge in some end of the world debauchery. Who's up for an orgy?
    • When Decapodians mate, they will die soon after, like many real-life crustacean species. However, they can mate with Yivo and, apparently, with humans, as a certain incident involving Fry being in Zoidberg's body and Leela being in Farnsworth's proves, without dying.
  • Overly-Long Gag:
    • The Eviscerator
    • Literally, by the Neptunians in "A Big Piece of Garbage."
    • The numerous Shout-Out diseases that Zoidberg causes Fry to go through in "The Tip of the Zoidberg." For reference, Fry starts out with "Simpson's jaundice", then progresses to Garfield syndrome, to Muppet Gangrene, and, finally, an unnamed Smurfs disease, exhibiting characteristics of the main characters of each respective series.
    • "Kif, as the most attractive male, will be snu-snu'd by the most beautiful women of Amazonia, then the large women, then the petite women, then the large women again!"
  • Overly-Long Scream: Bender is quite fond of these:
    Leela: They're [the Omicronians] back!
    Bender: We're Doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo- [stops to inhale] -oooooooooooooooooooooooooomed!

    P 
  • Pac Man Fever: In "Rebirth", Fry is seen complaining about how the ship's Gameboy isn't working while holding a NES controller. Complete with sounds from the original Donkey Kong! OK, it's Fry, but you'd think if he has one area of expertise, it's video games.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: When the death satellite is on course for Earth, Bender mentions two TV shows that might make Earth a target, The Pimpsons and Assarama.
  • Parental Abandonment: Fry's parents went to get his dog pal at the cryogenics plant and didn't even realize he was frozen there. To be fair, they were hungover... and bad parents.
    • Fry's dad grew up without a father. Since Fry's dad's father turned out to be Fry himself, that's probably just as well.
    • Possibly averted in a later episode. Bender's Big Score shows a back-from-the-future Fry happily reuniting with his family. Until that moment, all the information showing the horrible neglect Fry grew up with came from an early, immature Fry and his even less mature girlfriend. Why would it be a waste of taxpayer money to have the police search for Fry? Because Fry's family had probably just seen him, and didn't feel like giving his horrible ex the time of day. Regardless, some evidence exists that Fry's feelings about his family are skewed, right down to his hatred for his older brother, who "always stole everything from him". Yancy Jr. and Fry just experienced normal sibling rivalry. Upon having a son, Yancy Jr. names the boy "Philip" for Fry; his wife treats the choice as a foregone conclusion, knowing how much Yancy Jr. loves his little brother.
  • Parody Sue: Barbados Slim. He's the only person to have Olympic Gold Medals in both Limboing and Sex!
  • Parrot Expo-what?: Spoofed.
    Fry: Can I use your bathroom?
    Bender: My what-room?
    Fry: Bathroom!
    Bender: The bath-what?
    Fry: Bathroom!
    Bender: The what-what? (goes back to sleep)
    Fry: Never mind.
  • Pass the Popcorn: During Fry's colonoscopy.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: When a bomb that cannot be deactivated is installed into Bender, the Professor programs in a password that Bender would never use in everyday conversation. Bender, of course, immediately tries (and succeeds) to guess "antiquing."
    • After having guessed "please," "thank you," "you're welcome," "I'm sorry" and "non-alcoholic."
  • Peace & Love Incorporated: Mom Corp plays this to the hilt, so much so that both "Mom" and "love" are registered trademarks in its name. The latest season has taken to portraying Mom Corp as the 31st Century's version of Apple. Considering they are very much a Truth in Television example of this trope, it's not too much of a stretch. No one would be surprised if they eventually revealed Mom to be a direct descendant of Steve Jobs (see the Wild Mass Guessing entry).
  • People Zoo: In "Fry and Leela's Big Fling", the ape planet Simian 7 has a zoo with a human habitat. The specimens (in this case, Fry and Leela) are completely unaware that they are in a zoo; to them, it's an exclusive private resort.
  • Percussive Maintenance: How the Professor upgrades his What-If Machine for "Anthology of Interest II".
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: "Intragnisent" Yup, he mispronounced intransigent, which leads to the Mob boss's quip: "From the context your meaning is clear".
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Bender pets a few things.
    • The writers towards Zoidberg in the first post-cancelation season. He finally gets treated like a human, by Cubert, no less.
    • Dr. Zoidberg receives a few of these courtesy of Robot Santa in Xmas Story. He chastises Fry and Leela for never thinking about Zoidberg's feelings, and he is also the only one in the entire world that is shown to be on Santa's nice list.
    • Kick the Dog: "Robopuppy mistreatment alert! Robopuppy mistreatment aleeert!"
  • Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: Positron shooters are apparently standard issue for DOOP soldiers. They play "Pop Goes The Weasel" as they're wound up.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: Fry finds out what really killed the dinosaurs. A giant brain.
  • Phlebotinum Muncher: Inverted; Nibblonians excrete starship fuel.
  • Phrase Catcher: Wernstrom!
  • Physical Hell: Robot hell of course! In New Jersey.
    Leela: Who would've thought hell would really exist... and that it would be in New Jersey!
    Fry: Actually...
  • Physical God: Sorta, in several ocassions.
    • Fry as the incarnation of the Known Universe could be this for the Parasites.
    • Bender is this to the Shrimpkins in Godfellas.
      • And then he meets the Galactic Entity, a real physical god.
      • Then Bender becomes an actual Physical God after an extreme overclocking. It doesn't last, thankfully.
    • Yivo must be this, being some sort of Eldritch Abomination.
    • And, of course, the mighty Encyclopod.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The whalers on the moon lampshade this. Bender does very little bending. Farnsworth doesn't really teach...also, at times Planet Express:
    Hermes: Didn't we used to be a Delivery Company?
  • Pity Sex: Ensues when Leela feels sorry for Zapp.
  • Planetary Nation: Played with in regards to Earth itself. Earth has its own overarching government (that is somehow also the American government and based on American governmental traditions), but other nations are shown to still exist with their own set of laws. And then its usually played straight when any other planets show up (which is normally Once an Episode).
  • Planet of Copyhats: Dr. Zoidberg's Yiddish accent turns out to be his entire species' accent.
  • Planet of Hats: Virtually a Running Gag — except for Earth, every planet has one (1) characteristic, as well as being named after it. Farnsworth's "good news, everyone!" Catch Phrase was originally used to refer to the planet he was sending them to next.
    Farnsworth: Tomorrow you'll be making a delivery to Ebola 9 — the Virus Planet!
    • This also showed up as Noodle Incidents before the start of episodes, with the crew coming back dishevelled after making a delivery to Cannibalon (At least the food was good, according to Bender), and the crew coming back from the Planet of the Moochers, with Fry not wearing any pants.
    Fry:They take you out for a drink, but when the check comes, their wallet's always in their other pants - which they borrowed from me!
    • The Neutral planet, robots, ancient Egyptians, and an entire cowboy universe.
    • The planet of spheres, the planet of mathematical geniuses, the nude beach planet and the Harlem Globetrotter planet...
    • The yarn people of Nylar 4.
    • There's Doohan 6, planet of borderline-incomprehensible Scottish sheep-herders...who are all named Angus.
    • The Mobster planet, where Fry received the Kiss of Death by a guy named Vinnie, but Fry thought he was gay.
  • Plot Archaeology: One of the major Story Arcs of the original run was Fry's status as the saviour of the universe and the revelation that his cryogenic freezing was engineered by the Nibblonians to bring him to the future. Barring a brief reference in the final movie, it didn't come up at all in the Comedy Central run until one of the final episodes, "Game of Tones".
  • Pluralses: Sal does this to emphasize his lower-classness.
  • Pocket Protector: Played with in "Benderama", also an example of Exactly What I Aimed At.
  • Poe's Law: Some will be surprised to learn that "I Dated a Robot" has an anti-piracy moral, not a parody of anti-piracy morals. This confusion can be attributed to the fantastic devices (copies of Lucy Liu) used to give the message, heavy handedness and the fact that show isn't one to play morals straight.
  • Portal Books: "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid"
  • Portmanteau: When Leela takes Fry and Bender to a farmer's market, Fry samples some genuine Amazonian maple syrup. When he compliments the girls on the syrup, they start coming onto him. Fry shows both his fear and anticipation.
    Fry: "I'm scareroused..."
  • Post Peak Oil: Fossil fuels ran out in the 2050s, forcing vehicles to run on whale oil. But for a while, vehicles ran on dark matter. Which is actually Nibblonian poop.
  • Potty Dance: Bender does it briefly in Bender's Big Score after drinking a bunch of beers, and then hangs a lampshade on the lunacy of a robot having to go to the bathroom.
  • Powersuit Monkey: Farnsworth comes up with a hat that makes a monkey intelligent. This results in a Type 3 rival for Fry.
  • Power Trio: The three dominant characters who appear in every episode, Fry, Bender, and Leela. They usually represent the ego, the id, and the super ego respectively.
  • The Precarious Ledge: In the first Christmas episode, Fry buys Leela a bird. It escapes its cage and flies off. He chases after it, ending up along a building edge, then dangling from the numbers of a gigantic digital clock.
  • Precrime Arrest: Futurama parodied Minority Report in an episode where Fry joined the police's Future Crimes division.
  • Promoted to Scapegoat: In the episode "A Flight to Remember" Zapp Brannigan, being the failure that he is, decides to needlessly go off course, through a field of comets. To get away from the field of comets he flies the ship toward a black hole. After realizing he has doomed the ship he: proclaims a captain must go down with his ship, promotes Kif to captain, congratulates Kif on his promotion, and takes an escape pod.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "Raging Bender".
  • The Pratfall: Amy in her klutzy mode would often perform these.
  • Precision F-Strike: Zoidberg at the end of the episode "The Silence Of The Clamps."
    Bender: "I'll just cut that—"
    Zoidberg: "You do and I'll *beep*ing gut you like a fish!"
    • Also another earlier in the episode, when he says "My name's Zoidberg. JOHN *beep*ING ZOIDBERG!!
    • In "Where No Fan Has Gone Before":
      Zapp: This court will now hear some very sensual testimony from this court's ex-lover, Turanga Leela.
      Leela: (sitting in a device that resembles Captain Pike's wheelchair) Go *beep* yourself.
  • Present Day Past: Fry was frozen on January 1, 2000, but in later episodes makes early 21st-century pop culture references that are current to the episode's air date, but that he would never have personally experienced. Of course, many of the other characters also make such references....
  • Pretend Prejudice: Bender's robot supremacism against humans.
  • Pretty in Mink:
    • When Bender is a fembot, and dating Calculon, the TV star, he gets a fur coat as one of many extravagant gifts.
    • In the fourth movie, Fanny is the wife of the leader of the Robot Mafia, and he held up Burlington Coat Factory to get her a white fur jacket. Bender had been having an affair with her and says, "Man, this is great! I always wanted to nail a dame in a fur coat, and now's my chance."
  • Psycho for Hire: Clamps, the Robot Mafia's clamp-happy enforcer.
  • The Public Domain Channel: A different old cartoon in every title sequence.
  • Pun: The show has plenty, but possibly none so great as when visiting the President's heads in season 6.
    Bender: Anyone seen Ulysses Grant? He owes me a cheroot.
    Leela: He's over there, pukin' in the Bushes.
    [Ulysses Grant prepares to vomit in the jars of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush]
    George H. W. Bush's head and George W. Bush's heads: No!
  • Punch Parry: Bender and Flexo.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Professor! Lava! Hot!"

    R 
  • Rapid Aging: Young robots grow the equivalent of one year for every day they are activated.
  • Rapid Hair Growth: Once, Zoidberg was so traumatized he grew hair just so it could turn white.
  • Razor Sharp Hand: Played for Laughs, when Bender makes his hand spin rapidly to mimic the function of a saw and cut a plank of wood. This is especially implausible considering that his three fingers are thick, cylindrical and wider at the ends, as poorly suited to cutting as anything imaginable.
  • Reading Is Cool Aesop: Sort of. In "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid" Fry's reading caused the Brainspawn unbearable pain, because thought is harmful to them.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Farnsworth when re-enacting the last episode of "Single Female Lawyer":
    Farnsworth: Miss McNeal, I'm afraid I must decline your offer of marriage. For, you see, I'm dying. Cough, then fall over dead.
    • Also Hermes when Zoidberg celebrates his 10th year at Planet Express:
      Hermes: I will now read the mandatory speech. "Dear employee: Has it really been five, 10 or 15 years? If not, please disregard this and get back to work. Distribute token of appreciation and applaud."
  • Reclining Reigner: Hedonism Bot takes this trope to its logical conclusion.
  • Recurring Extra: Number 9 Man
  • Recursive Creators: Bender becomes one in Benderama, eventually leading to Grey Goo.
  • Recursive Reality: At the end of "The Farnsworth Parabox", the Professors from both universes grab the other universe's box and end up with boxes containing their own universe.
  • Red Shirt:
    • Parodied in the Star Trek episode. Welshie, a stand-in for James Doohan, is killed by the energy being. Said energy being proceeds to zap the corpse out of frustration several times, eventually vaporizing it.
    • The troops seen under Brannigan's command are given standard issue red uniforms. Brannigan is also well known for his tactics of trying to jam the enemy's gun with corpses, or forcing the kill-bots to reach their pre-set kill limit...
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Refusing Paradise: In one episode Bender dies and spends most of the episode as a Virtual Ghost. At the end he's offered the opportunity to go to Robot Heaven, but says "screw this!" and comes back to "life".
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • "Rebirth" when Leela constructs a robot version of Fry after the original Fry's presumed death, who goes on to construct a robot version of Leela after her presumed death. It all works out, somehow.
    • Leela sees Cubert as this in "The Late Philip J. Fry".
  • The Reptilians: The Space Pope.
  • Reset Button:
    • Double Subverted on more than one occasion. In one episode, aliens cause untold devastation, and Fry comments that "At the end of the episode, everything is back to normal"... only to have the last shot be of all the devastation... which is promptly back to normal the next. Another one: Fry is fired from his job (for ruining Dr. Farnsworth's... everything), but Farnsworth was willing to forgive him because he couldn't even remember why he fired him. Then Bender reminds him exactly why, and Farnsworth tells him to get lost. He's back to working the next episode.
    • The series ends on one, in which Farnsworth says that everything will be restored to just before Farnsworth invented his 10 seconds time button. Leela and Fry had enjoyed a several decades long honeymoon thanks to Fry freezing time when he broke it. The final lines lampshade the trope.
  • Retcon: No one can really decide if the first movie did this or not. More generally the depiction of Fry's life in the 20th century has changed from a thoroughly miserable one to one that wasn't all that bad - he had a beloved pet dog, a brother who genuinely loved him (even if they fought a lot) and even his boss was pretty friendly despite his initial portrayal as abusive. He was 25 years old, lived with his parents, had a girlfriend that used him excessively when she wasn't dumping him, and had no prospects, but it wasn't the dank craphole the first episode portrayed.
    • It's really explained by this being a Time Travel clone of Fry who returned, and having learnt a few things from the future (like how Yancy really did care about him), turned his life around after getting back to the past in the first flick.
      • The best retcon of the movie was that Fry's dog DIDN'T actually live alone for thirteen years waiting for him; he lived happily with Time-Travel-Clone Fry for all those years, until he was flash-fossilized in the explosion in TTC-Fry's apparent assassination. Still sucks that the little guy died, but they found a way to rescind the earlier Tear Jerker moment into an odd Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when the audience realized the change.
    • However, another thing WAS retconned. In the first episode featuring the sewer mutants, the way the characters talk before entering the sewer, it seems that mutants have not yet been confirmed to live down there, and the crew were making a discovery by finding them. It was established in later episodes that they've been a known society for quite some time, and that there have been discriminatory laws set against them by New New York.
    • In a throwaway gag in "X-Mas Story", Leela says that nuclear winter cancelled out global warming, although in "Crimes of the Hot," global warming is a problem again, and has apparently been for centuries.
  • Retirony: In one of the Tales of Interest, General Colin Pac-Man was only one day from retirement when he was tragically gunned down by a space invader.
    • Played with with Smitty and URL in a later episode when Fry replaces Smitty as URL's partner.
    URL: (morosely) He was just a few days away from retirement.
    Fry: What happened?
    URL: He took an early retirement.
  • The Reveal: On numerous occasions.
  • Rewriting Reality: Fry writes the reality at the end of "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid", and he saves the Earth in the process.
    Brain: The big brain am winning again! I am the greetest! Now I am leaving Earth... for no raisin!
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Inverted in "Love's Labors Lost in Space" when Zapp delivers his captain's log at the end of the episode:
    Zapp: I did make it with a hot alien babe, and in the end, is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars? (beat) Kif, I'm asking you a question!
    • Played straight in "Obsoletely Fabulous":
      Bender: If that stuff wasn't real, how can I be sure anything is real? Is it not possible, nay, probable, that my entire existence is nothing but a figment of my or someone else's imagination?
      Technician: No, get out.
    • And in "The Beast With a Billion Backs":
      Farnsworth: I know the anomaly is scary, but as scientists, is it not our sworn duty to seek out knowledge, even if it means risking our very lives?
      Stephen Hawking: No.
    • And in "Attack of the Killer App":
      Fry: Since when is the Internet about robbing people of their privacy?
      Bender: August 6, 1991.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The robots, globviously.
  • Riding into the Sunset Ending: Except the sun in this case is a collapsed star.
  • Right on Queue: Played with with the queue for the Central Bureaucracy, which got longer every time someone had a baby in it and had an old man still waiting in line for his birth certificate.
    • The first episode had people waiting in line for a Suicide Booth.
  • Rip Van Tinkle: In the episode where Fry goes to work at the cryogenics building, there is a scene where he tells a man where the bathroom is first thing after waking him up. The man rushes off. Fry also mentions it was the first thing he needed after he was woken up.
  • Rip Van Winkle: Fry; later his ex-girlfriend and Pauly Shore.
  • Robosexual: The legalization of which being the plot of "Proposition Infinity". Fry and Bender were robosexuals already. (Not together: With a robot Lucy Liu and the original Lucy Liu.)
  • Rock Beats Laser: The Neanderthals defeat the military's spaceships and tanks in a Curbstomp Battle with spears, catapults, and prehistoric animals.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The professor is in his 170's, Zoidberg had already passed all his larval stages 80 years ago, which means he's centuries of age, and Nibbler is over a milennium of age.
    • Bender's head is about 1100 years old.
  • Relationship Upgrade: In the closing moments of Into The Wild Green Yonder when Leela officially returned Fry's feelings and kissed him. Appears to have stuck with the premiere of the new season.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Whatever Nibbler meant when he referred to Leela as "the Other" in The Why of Fry looks to never be answered.
  • Robbing the Dead: In "Luck Of The Fryrish", the cast goes to a graveyard intending to steal a seven leaf clover that belonged to Fry's nephew from his grave.
  • Robotic Torture Device: The Probulator.
  • Robotic Reveal: Poor Robot Fry...
  • Robotic Psychopath: Roberto, Bender plays this for laughs.
  • Robot Antennae: Mom builds all her robots this way. She says that most people think she does that for the aesthetic purpose, but she really does it so she can control all the robots she sells by remote control. This hasn't stopped the show from making several juvenile penis jokes about Bender's antenna.
  • Robot Hair: Any Fembot that appears tends to have some sort of hair-like structure on their head, notably Bender as Coilette.
  • Robot Kid: Tinny Tim.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Despite frequently averting this trope with great ingenuity, most of the cast are either human or humanoid - Zoidberg and Kif's species both have different stages of physical make-up, but for most of the time they're humanoid.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: the episode "The Tip of the Zoidberg" has the protagonists use one on the professor. Being a Rube Goldberg Device, it was not quick, allowing time for the execution to be interrupted.
  • Rule of Cool / Rule of Funny: Since the writers are keen to show their work (considering that most of them studied math and science in college), any unrealistic instances are most likely these tropes.
  • Running Gag:
    • In the original run of the show, every time Zap Brannigan appears Bender goes out of his way to remind Leela that she had sex with him.
    • Hermes will yell out an rhyming cry that combines both an animal with a place, such as "Sweet gorilla of Manila"!
    • Zapp's ship has a tendency to be neatly cross-sectioned in battle.
    • Another gag from the original was odd facts being brought up, most of them in response to Fry's nostalgia by bringing up how something went extinct.
    • "I'm forty percent [material]!"

    S 
  • Sacrificial Planet: When the Brains go on a rampage, Hermes points to each destroyed planet on a flat star map and notes that each planet forms a straight line that points directly toward the Earth; precisely the planet that the Brains attack next.
  • Sapient Ship: episode "Love and Rocket": the Planet Express Ship gets a new AI, which quickly falls in love with Bender.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Bev is implied to be one of these, which leads to Unfortunate Implications.
  • Say My Name:
    • WERNSTROM!!!!
    • PAZUZU, YOU WINGED FIEND!
  • Scavenged Punk: The sewer mutants build all of their world out of trash thrown into the sewers and toilets.
  • Schizo Tech: Leonardo da Vinci built a working clockwork spaceship.
  • Science Fiction
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Usually done intentionally for Rule of Funny.
  • Science Marches On: While it's pretty clear that they really take a lot of Artistic License on science, they actually add tons of accuracies in there. One that was intended to be at least somewhat accurate at the time was when the crew went to Pluto, and it was shown as having only one moon. As of 2012, five moons have actually been detected around Pluto, but around the time when the episode was made, only Charon was known.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Quite possibly the only time the trope was subverted. In the Scooby-Doo segment of their Saturday Morning Cartoon parody episode where Scooby (Bender) and Shaggy (Fry) run through one of the doors in the Scooby Doo Doors hallway and don't come out.
  • Screaming At Squick: Leela has pity sex with Zapp, and it takes a minute to sink in, and then she screams.
  • Seasonal Rot: In-universe - in the episode "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV," Fry comments that Everybody Loves Hypnotoad has been going downhill since its third season (though that could be because Fry was born without a delta brain wave from when he had sex with a woman who turned out to be his grandmother and became his own grandfather, not because the show's quality was waning).
  • Second Episode Introduction: The Planet Express crew (Amy Wong, Dr. Zoidberg, and Hermes Conrad) on "Episode 2: The Series Has Landed."
  • Second Face Smoke: In "Three Hundred Big Boys", Bender steals a fabulously expensive cigar expressly for the purpose of blowing its smoke into the faces of the "fantsy-pantses" at an upscale art gallery.
    Bender Zubans? They're the most expensive cigars in the universe! I could stink up a whole maternity ward with one of those!"
  • Second Law My Ass: Bender, obviously.
  • Secret Ingredient: In "The 30% Iron Chef", after Bender wins a cooking competition using drops from a crystal flask filled with "the essence of pure flavor", Professor Farnsworth runs a chemical analysis and announces the mystery liquid is "Water! Ordinary water!" Immediately after Fry concludes that all Bender needed to cook well was confidence, the professor adds, "Yes, ordinary water, laced with nothing more than a few spoonfuls of LSD."
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: In "Fun on a Bun", everyone thinks Fry has been ground up into sausage. He wasn't.
  • Seeker White Blood Cells: Avoided completely when the Planet Express crew go inside Fry's body with nanomachines and are never attacked by any part of his immune system. Though the sentient parasite worms that got there first and remodeled his body to their liking may have something to do with that. If so, Fridge Horror since they are forced to leave at the end of the episode....
  • Seldom Seen Species: In Love and Rocket, when Bender and the Planet Express ship visit a zoo, they come across tapirs with their young. Bender even calls himself a cuddly baby tapir after saying he is a lone wolf and a solitary eagle.
  • Self-Deprecation: In "The Butterjunk Effect", while on the moon Bender proclaims "With one-sixth gravity, you can work and be lazy at the same time! It's like being a voice actor!"
    • Fry thinks Billy West is a stupid phony made up name.
  • Sense Loss Sadness
  • Sequel Episode: "The Cryonic Woman" is this to the Pilot episode.
    • "The Why of Fry" is also a sequel to the pilot, but also ties into "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" and "Roswell That Ends Well".
    • "The Why of Fry" itself received a sequel with "Game of Tones".
  • Sequel Hook: The first movie ends with the Bender duplicates' explosion basically and literally ripping the universe a new one, hinting at a later continuation. Appopriately, the second movie picks up from that.
  • Sequential Symptom Syndrome: After trying to hide it for several decades, Prof. Hubert Farnsworth finally confesses to his employees in "The Tip of the Zoidberg" that he long ago contracted an illness known as Tritonian Hypermalaria. Amy reveals that she recognizes the disease as "the one that causes fever, insanity, spasms, coma and death", with Farnsworth acting out each symptom as it's said (save for death, which instead a Beat followed by "Yes, you moron!")
  • Sexposition: In-Universe in "A Big Piece of Garbage". The documentary the Planet Express gang downloads about the Garbage Ball is also porn.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot:
    • "The Late Phillip J. Fry": Bender makes out and has robotic sex with another female robot off-screen, which disturbs Fry.
    • "The Prisoner of Benda": Happens between Fry, who's in Zoidberg's body, and Leela, who's in Professor Farnworth's body, when both argue and do disgusting acts at each other when they're on a date, only to start making out on the table. Later, we see them in bed naked in the same bodies, after making love.
    • "Put Your Head On My Shoulder": Played with. After Amy's car runs out of gas on Mercury, she and Fry talk a bit, then look at each other seductively. Hours later (judging by the sunset), a tow driver wipes some condensation off the glass of Amy's car, revealing them... playing cards inside. Then, while the car is being towed:
    Amy: So while they're towing us, want to do it?
    Fry: Yeah! *they start making out, then duck out of view*
    • "Amazon Women in the Mood": The "Snu-Snu" scenes with Fry, Zapp and Kif.
    • "A Flight To Remember": One scene with Bender and the Countess parodies the sex scene from James Cameron's Titanic.
    • "A Biclops Built For Two": Happens between Leela and Alcazar after he tells her the history about their heritage.
    • "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back": Happens between Fry and Morgan Proctor in Bender's closet. Morgan sees Fry as she unbuttons her blouse before proceding to have sex with him. Cut to Bender walking with a candle he made for Fry, and then walking in on both Fry and Morgan naked under the sheets.
    • "Mother's Day": Happens between Professor Farnsworth and Mom when attempting to seduce her to get the robot controls from her bra only for Farnsworth to throw away the bra blinded by his lust for Mom. Later, the rest of the Planet Express crew barged in the house and after Fry opens the bedroom door, we see both Farnsworth and Mom in bed naked.
    • Used humorously (perhaps was even meant as a Lampshade of sorts) at the end of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela". The V-GINY says it will spare Earth but only if Zapp and Leela have sex. Leela forces Zapp into it and the deed is done offscreen. Unfortunately Fry has to watch and begs for the V-GINY to censor it (It doesn't).
  • Shaggy Dog Story: In the video game, the Stable Time Loop has Farnsworth selling Planet Express and getting his crew killed - because Mom tossed in a Nice Hat sombrero. No matter what happens.
  • Shoot The Television: Lrr does this when the season finale of "Single Female Lawyer" is knocked off the air and replaced with several cartoon shows.
  • Shorttank: Leela, in a rare non-anime example.
  • Shout-Out: In "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", it is revealed that Leela is turned on by musicians, no matter how gross and immature they were.
    • Loads of shout-outs to all science fiction, ever, but especially Star Trek note . Just from the new series, "V-Giny" in "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" is a parody of V-Ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Not to mention Janeway's Guide). And in "Proposition Infinity", the interracial couple are from the planet in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", which was destroyed by racial hatred. In the episode: "Where No Fan Has Gone Before," the Planet Express fitted with nacelles bear a striking resemblance of the stardrive section of the Enterprise seen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation movies.
    • The manhole cover from The PJs is seen. According to the DVD commentary, the writers put that reference in there as they loved The PJs and hated the fact it got Screwed by the Network.
    • In the episode "Law & Oracle", Fry can be seen using a computer that highly resembles the ARI from Heavy Rain. He even uses the exact same hand movements Agent Jayden uses to interface with the evidence.
      • Also, the general plot of the episode is an obvious shout-out to Minority Report.
    • The holophoner is a vanishingly rare example of a Shout-Out to Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels.
    • In "Decision 3012", during the Thundercrats Global Convention, several banners with shout-outs to locations in other popular media can be seen, such as Skyrim, Panem and R'lyeh.
      • The Reveal about Travers' origin may be a combined shout-out to Terminator (lone man sent back in time to prevent a robot uprising) and Serious Sam (said lone man is wearing bright red sneakers when he's sent back).
    • In "The Six Million Dollar Mon" the way Zoidberg says "Something wonderful" in reply to "What are you doing?" along with the music in the background is a shout out to 2010: The Year We Make Contact.
      • In the robot cemetery, there's a head stone for Helper.
    • In "Cold Warriors", Manhattan is enclosed, ripped out of the ground, and lifted off of the earth in a reference to the novel Manhattan Transfer.
    • In Zapp Dingbat, there's an obvious Shout-Out to the Wretched Hive Cantina from A New Hope, but it goes even more obscure as holophoners recreate the holographic lead dancing circus acrobat from The Star Wars Holiday Special. (George Takei yells, "Dance, slave, dance!")
    • In Bender's Big Score, the bunnies have one ear, much like Bongo the Rabbit.
    • The Neanderthal attack in Fun On A Bun is filled with clever visual references to Princess Mononoke
    • The Late Philip J. Fry includes a song that is a parody of In the Year 2525, with a longer timescale ("In the Year 252525").
    • Leela's name may be a reference to a former companion of The Doctor that had the same name.
    • The crew's shopping trip to pick out new uniforms in 31st Century Fox is an orgy of shout-outs to costumes from other Sci-Fi series and movies. It starts with the whole crew in stillsuits from the David Lynch version of Dune. Then we see Zoidberg in Imperial Stormtrooper armor, Fry in an Original Series redshirt, Amy in a PanAm space stewardess uniform, Leela in Barbarella's see-through spacesuit, and the Professor in Zed's horrific red bikini.
    • In Leela and the Genestalk the crew find Jake and Finn trapped in Mom's floating Genetics lab.
    Jake: What time is it?
    Bender: Time for you to shut up!
    • In "Bender's Game", during a flashback when Farnsworth was working for Mom, a reference is made to the famous clay pottery scene from Ghost.
    • In "Fry and the Slurm Factory" Fry guesses that the secret ingredient in Slurm may be humans. Leela says that's not possible, since there is already a soft drink with humans in it: Soylent Cola.
    • The big tear-jerker in Jurassic Bark may be completely inspired by Hachiko
    • In "All the Presidents' Heads", an establishing shot of the Planet Express building features a man with a long scarf and fedora note  getting off of a bus and running into a familiar blue box.
    • I know I'm going to be burnt at the stake for this, but I have to mention the Taxicab Numbers. They are the smallest possible numbers that are the sum of two different cubes in two different ways. And they are are everywhere in this show. The rank one Taxicab Number is 1729, look closely and you will see it a lot. It is on tons inconsequential little things, ship No.'s box universes, serial No.'s. They even show the rank two number, a sum of two different cubes in three different ways. 87539319 is actually used as a literal taxicab number. It is on the cab Fry gets out of to board a boat to get his whale back in th 2000's.
      • This is a shout out to Srinivasa Ramanujan, a famous mathematician renowned by many a staff member on the Futurama team.
    • In "31st Century Fox," Bender calls the store owner, Squidward Scissorhands.
    • The musical battle in "Hell is Other Robots" is a nod to the song The Devil went down to Georgia complete with a fiddle contest and a gold fiddle.
  • Show Within a Show: All My Circuits, The Scary Door, and let's not forget Everybody Loves Hypnotoad.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: By the time Zapp's done with his exposition on how he'll deal with Leela, the Planet Express Ship's already boarded his ship.
  • Silence, You Fool!: The robot elders.
  • Silly Will: In one episode, Bender is left a haunted castle on the condition that he spend one night in it. The will also contains the clause 'To my loyal butler, You There, for his decades of service, I leave a pittance, to be paid in 20 equal installments of one-twentieth of a pittance each.'
  • Similar Squad: The Parallel Universe of anti-coin tosses.
  • Simple Country Lawyer: The hyperchicken as well as Old Man Waterfall.
  • The Singularity: Mentioned and seen in "Overclockwise". Bender starts upgrading himself, and before anyone knows it, he's hop-scotched his way up to the level of Physical God. Of course, Mom sets him back to factory specs. But, he manages to write down Fry and Leela's future before-hand.
  • Slapstick Knows no Gender: In the commentary for I, Roommate, Matt Groening points out that unlike on The Simpsons, the female characters in this show are used for slapstick.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Leela's shirt.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: Several, apparently, while Fry is in suspended animation.
  • Slipped the Ropes: Bender does this briefly (and with no actual consequences) in "Amazon Women in the Mood".
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Futurama on a whole is down the middle. Several known species of animal are extinct, New York City has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, crack is readily available in vending machines, the universe is threatened on a regular basis, Richard Nixon is president again, the nation's military is commanded by a incompetent, womanizing Man Child who is more than willing to sacrifice his own men for unnecessary reasons, and is more than willing to start a war with a species just because he hates them; hell exists, and it is in New Jersey; racism exists in one form or another, human meat is implied to be legal to eat, and the world's leading manufacturer of robots, starship fuel, and electronics is an evil, abusive, amoral person. But there are episodes that show that some of the worst offenders (namely Bender) have a human side to them, that no love goes unrequited, even the most pathetic slob can make a difference, and that humanity can band together and make changes in their world, i.e. allowing mutants, who had been treated like vermin and subjected to shoddy conditions over the course of the series to finally be able to walk on the surface as equals, legalize robosexual marriage, and come to an equally satisfying consensus on controversial topics like the theory of evolution.
  • The Slow Path
  • Smart Ball
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Zapp Brannigan
  • Smash Cut: Pretty much the entire gag of "Time Keeps On Skipping", where due to a space-time continuum messup, chunks of time are randomly skipped.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Referenced in "Amazon Women in the Mood", known informally as "Snu-Snu".
  • Smoking Is Cool: According to I, Roommate, Bender smokes specifically because it looks cool. Even apart from Bender, smoking is fairly common in the show, so common that I Second That Emotion got a Black Lung Award for glamorizing smoking. (The writers pointed out in the commentary for I Second That Emotion that no one with lungs smokes in that episode.)
  • Snap Back: Fry is fired at the end of season 2, but returns at the start of season 3 with no explanation given.
  • Soap Within a Show: "All My Circuits", which is the Former Trope Namer.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: Prof. Wernstrom's plan to stop global warming is a giant mirror that reflects excess light away from the Earth. Then a small piece of space debris knocks it askew, and a beam of concentrated light slices through the city.
  • Soldiers at the Rear: Fry and Bender join the military purely for the benefits. Unfortunately for them, shortly afterwards, "war were declared" and they are shipped to the front lines.
  • Solid Gold Poop:
    • Nibbler's crap is the crew's starship fuel. Also there's Zoidberg's snot-pearl things.
    • In an episode spoofing ET The Extraterrestrial ("T: The Terrestrial"), Fry eats candy dropped on the ground, which turns out to be Omnicronian feces.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: At the end of "Assie Come Home," Bender's reunion with his ass-plate (after it abandons its lighthouse duty) is accompanied by a heartwarming orchestral piece...which continues playing as we cut back and see all the ships crashing around the now-defunct lighthouse.
  • Space Amish: Fry even joins them for a while!
  • Space Clothes
  • Space Is an Ocean + 2-D Space: Subverted. In one episode, protestors make a "peace ring" around an oil tanker-spaceship, planning to trap it. The spaceship moves 20 feet vertically, and then zooms off.
    Leela: "When you were designing this peace ring, did you realize spaceships could move in three dimensions?"
    Head Protestor: "No, I did not."
    • However, Space Is an Ocean is consistently played for laughs- see "Möbius Dick" and "Assie Come Home".
  • Spaceship Slingshot Stunt: In one of the Futurama comics Leela did this with the Planet Express ship to avoid being late to class, unfortunately destabilizing the star she sling-shot around.
  • Space Pirates: You know, pirates - but in space!
  • Space Suits Are Scuba Gear: Its space suits use the classic air tank-and-hose design.
  • Space Sailing: The Titanic
  • Space Whale: Leela goes after one in "Möbius Dick".
  • Space Whale Aesop: A rare literal example, also from "Mobius Dick".
  • El Spanish O: Bender's attempts to speak Spanish tend to turn out this way.
  • Sphere Eyes: A majority of characters, as with Matt Groening's other series, The Simpsons.
  • Spiritual Successor: Averted with extreme prejudice. Since the show is from the same creator as The Simpsons, many cynical critics expected Futurama to be "The Simpsons IN SPACE!," but the show has instead developed its own very distinct form of humor and storytelling, which in some ways is different from anything else on TV. There is certainly some overlap in style, but Matt Groening was very deliberate in making sure Futurama had its own distinct identity and did not simply ride the coattails of his other show.
    • Groening is very big on making sure each of his creations has its own vibe. Futurama's use of story arcs and absurdity is as different from The Simpsons as that show's style is from the nihilistic cynicism of Life in Hell.
  • Spit Take: Bender has one when he hears the government sends a small stipend of $100 a week to whoever adopts a child. He then refills his drink and spits it again.
  • Spoof Aesop: The Beast with a Billion Backs: Bender explains that love cannot be shared and it's not truly love if you're not jealous.
  • Sports Preemption: Occurred so often on Fox from about season 3 onward that it was actually a pleasant surprise when you got to see a new episode.
  • Squee: Done (rather disturbingly) by the Professor in "The Duh-Vinci Code".
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • Fry travelling back in time to become his own grandfather, the origin of the time code in Bender's Big Score.
    • In a stranger example, one episode indicates that time itself loops around naturally, with the end of the universe leading back to the Big Bang.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • The first post-revival episode had a somewhat...odd way of tying up the end of Into The Wild Green Yonder and bringing everyone's lives back to normal (except for Fry and Leela obviously), but they did...somehow. The Professor and Leela survived. Fry was reduced to a pile of dust saving Leela. Everyone else was dead from the neck down. Leela built a robot and loaded Fry's memories on it but then he electrocuted her and he lost his short term memory thinking he was the real Fry. Leela and the others are "reborn" but she is in a coma, causing Fry to make a robot version of her. Eventually she wakes up resulting in two Leelas before Robo-Fry realizes who he is before the real Fry is reborn. The two robots shed their human skins and leave the rest to move on with their lives. And then the less said about Bender's part of the story, the better.
    • Hilariously lampshaded in When Aliens Attack:
    Fry: It was just a matter of knowing the secret of all television. At the end of the episode, everything's always right back to normal (*as New New York crumbles and burns*).
    • Two examples in "Law and Oracle":
      • After Scruffy dies in the previous episode, his revival is lampshaded when Hermes states that "There'll be no promotions unless somebody dies. And even then, only if we can't bring them back as a zombie like Scruffy"
      • It seems Fry did a great job as a policeman without getting Bender in trouble, but of course he has to return to being a delivery boy. "I got my [detective's] shield for stopping Bender... But then I got fired for tipping off Bender." (Even though Bender wasn't the primary criminal and Fry's secret plan worked completely.
    • Subverted at the end of "Stench and Stenchibility," when Zoidberg's new girlfriend arrives at his dumpster in a garbage truck:
    Zoidberg: Marianne?
    Marianne: Yes. Listen. I've got a new job and...well, I'm going to have to dump you.
    Zoidberg: I'd like that!
    *Marianne literally dumps Zoidberg into the truck, right next to her, and they kiss*
  • Stealing from the Hotel: Bender steals from Calculon's dressing room (which looks like a hotel) in the episode "Bender should not be allowed on TV".
  • Stealth Pun: Leela's singing butt blemish is named Susan Boil.
    • This moment from "The Luck of the Fryish":
    Fry: I may not know much about horses, but I know a lot about doing anything for one dollar.
    (Fry struggles to reach for the dollar, leaning over the telephone pole)
    (Fry climbs back down the pole, climbing back up with a metal rake)
    Fry: If you think bad luck can defeat me, than you don't know my name is Phillip J.— (As the rake makes contact with the wire, Fry is electrocuted, and survives, with a trail of smoke billowing off of him)
    • This moment from the third episode:
    Calculon: I've been processing this for quite sometime, Monique, will you marry me?
    Monique: Oh, Calculon! Yes! (Calculon fits the ring on her finger) It fits! Then you must know I'm...
    Calculon: Metric? I've always known, but for you I'm willing to convert.
    • In "Benderama" a whole bunch of tiny Benders put so much alcohol in the water system that everyone on Earth experiences a huge...bender.
    • Instead of the subway, New New York has the tube(s).
  • Stock Audio Clip:
    • The show uses the exact same scream every time Amy falls over.
    • The opening of "Brannigan, Begin Again" uses a recording of the judge calmly saying "I'm going to allow this" several times, in increasingly odd circumstances.
  • Stock Yuck:Fry buys the last can of anchovies in existence to serve to his friends on a pizza. He enjoys them, but his friends (except Zoidberg) do not (which he puts down to them being an "acquired taste").
  • Stolen Good, Returned Better: Bender swaps Leela's engagement ring with a fake, but after examining the stolen ring, he realizes that the replacement he made is actually more valuable. He shrugs it off, considering it his gift to Leela.
  • Stomach of Holding: Most of the robots in Futurama have some sort of chest compartment. Bender's is the most blatant, reguarly played to be big enough for any joke, and once, fifteen robot clown midgets.
  • Straight Gay: Implied with Fry's grandfather Enos. In "Roswell That Ends Well," Enos asks Fry "You ever think you date girls only 'cause you're supposed ta?" and expresses interest in a photo of a big burly male model on a calendar.Turns out, he's not Fry's grandfather.
  • Straw Feminist/Animal Wrongs Group: The Feministas in Into the Wild Green Yonder who murder (most of) a human being, while struggling to save a vicious parasite worm. Especially Frida Waterfall, who injects gender into almost everything she says: "I will fem-cunicate your man-formation."
  • Strong Family Resemblance: All of Fry's relatives (Professor Fransworth when he was younger, Qbert, Fry's parents, etc.) share his distinctly spiky orange hair.
  • Strictly Formula: Parodied in When Aliens Attack.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The comic book Fry wrote in "Lrrreconciliable Nd-Ndifferences", and pretty much any book Fry writes.
    • The Bendy-Boo and the Mystery Crew segment in "Saturday Morning Fun Pit", a Scooby-Doo spoof that mercilessly mocks that show's Limited Animation, Strictly Formula plots, and use of a Laugh Track.
  • Sunken City: The Lost City of Atlanta.
  • Super Fun Happy Thing of Doom: Mom's friendly [x] company.
  • Superhero Episode: Fry and Leela get superpowers from a miracle cream in "Less Than Hero", and form a team with Bender. Parody ensues.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: The team in "Less Than Hero".
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Bender seems to have much more gadgetry than would be useful or even practical for a robot whose only purpose is to bend girders. It could be justified as he works for Professor Farnsworth, who would be more than likely to experiment on the robot.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The Professor is quite fond of this.
  • Swallowed Whole: In one of the earlier episodes, Fry delivers a package to an absurdly hot planet. Right when he's about to deliver the package (as well as heavily dehydrated), he finds a single bottle of (presumably) water sitting on a table. He drinks it, and it turns out to be the emperor of a race of gelatinous people.
  • Swan Boats: Spoofed. Fry mentions having finally mastered the swan boats, only to be told that they were real swans. "That would explain these boat eggs."
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Leela as "Lee Lemon" in "War is the H-Word".
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Zap, when Leela posed as a man in "War is the H-Word".
    Zap Brannigan: "That young man fills me with hope! Plus some other emotions which are weird and deeply confusing."


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