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Trivia: Futurama

Trivia tropes

  • Actor Allusion:
    • The episode "A Bicyclops Built for Two," in which Leela dates a male cyclops named Alcazar, has an entire sequence that plays out like an episode of Married... with Children (which Katey Sagal was famous for before her stint on Futurama), complete with Leela dressed in Peg's tacky housewife clothes and big red hair (which is dead on), Leela's whiny "Al...", and the barrage of Double Entendre met with the lewd hoots and hollers of Al's sleazy friends (similar to the way the Married... with Children studio audience reacted to those jokes).
    • In "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", Melllvar is handing out copies of his fan screenplay but he notes that he didn't print enough copies so 'George and Walter will have to share'. This is something that actually happened to both actors while working on the original Star Trek.
    • Mark Hamill voices Hanukkah Zombie, who flies around in a TIE Fighter with Stars of David on the solar panels. We see it when facing a bunch of solid gold Death Stars.
    • Fry has a few personality traits similar to Billy West's previous character, Doug Funnie. Not to mention Fry's brother's named Yancy, which is also Doug's middle name.
    • In "The Mutants Are Revolting", Hermes is the one who reads the inscription of the green ring that shoots lasers.
    • When Fry visits the deserted remains of Old New York, he shouts, "Howard Stern is overrated!". Billy West was a member of The Howard Stern Show for several years.
    • From "Silence of the Clamps," when Bender's friends are looking for him at a farm, and they find a Bending Unit whom they believe to be Bender:
    Fry: Bender, it's us, your friends. You can drop the hillbilly moron act.
    Bending Unit: Sorry mister, but I'm no Bender. I'm just a simple farmer. Name's Billy West!
    • In the segment of "Saturday Morning Fun Pit" that parodies Scooby-Doo, Fry is cast in the role of Shaggy. Billy West had previously provided Shaggy's voice for the film Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island.
    • Two in Leela and the Genestalk As Fry and Bender climb up Mom's tower, they see run into Adam West and Burt Ward, The former who has his head grafted onto a bat's body and the latter who robot bot is colored red. They also mention gruesome torture, a riff on how they end up in booby traps. The second allusion comes when Fry, Leela and Bender are making to escape and pass by Finn and Jake who're chained and hanging from a wall.
    Jake: (Weakly) What time is it?
    Bender: Time for you to shut up!note 
  • Channel Hop: Concerning first-run episodes, this show went from FOX to made-for-DVD to Comedy Central (and hopefully to another channel now that Comedy Central announced that Futurama wasn't going to air any more episodes). However, if one were to add the reruns, then the show went from FOX to Cartoon Network to made-for-DVD to Comedy Central (and hopefully to another channel now that Comedy Central announced that Futurama wasn't going to air any more episodes).
  • Defictionalization:
  • Edited for Syndication: A few examples:
    • The very first episode had a part where Fry is traveling through the transport tubes to "JFK Jr. Airport." Because of JFK Jr.'s mysterious death involving a plane crash, the destination was changed to "Radio City Mutant Hall" (this was even done on the DVD release, except for the animatic seen on the special features. If you live in the UK or Australia, the "JFK, Jr. Airport" line is used rather than "Radio City Mutant Hall").
    • Most of the imported FOX episodes that now air on Comedy Central have parts cut for time reasons rather than content (much like The Simpsons), though there was one odd case: On the episode "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV," after Hermes asks him, Cubert, and Dwight where they got the things for their swinging party, Tinny Tim's line, "From Bender, my good jerkward" was changed to "From Bender, my good meatbag."
    • The Comedy Central version of "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" had Bender's line "Hey, let's all join the Reform Party!" changed to "Hey, let's all join the Tea Party!". The Netflix streaming cut and the DVD has the Reform Party line.
    • On two episodes ("The Deep South" and "Bender Gets Made"), the Professor twice yells "Holy (or Sweet) Zombie Jesus!" This line was heard when it aired on FOX (if any viewer managed to see it on that channel), on Comedy Central, on the DVDs, and on Netflix. However, the former reruns on TBS' short-lived "Too Funny to Sleep" cartoon block and Cartoon Network's [adult swim] line-up mutes out the "Jesus" in "Holy (or Sweet) Zombie Jesus!" due to that hypocritical BS&P rule stating that "Oh my God" and its variants (i.e. "Oh God" or "Oh, dear God!" or even "Oh, Lord" and "Good Lord!") are okay, but "Oh, Jesus!" "Christ!" or "Jesus Christ!" is taboo.
    • Following the Norway terrorist attacks in July of 2011, the scene in "The Cryonic Woman" where Bender has an arm that used to belong to the Prime Minister of Norway was changed (on most syndicated free-TV airings) to once belonging to a chainsaw juggler. The Netflix American feed once had the "Prime Minister of Norway" cut of the episode, but when they added the last season of the show and rearranged the episodes by broadcast order, the "Chainsaw Juggler" version was used instead. The DVDs have the original "Prime Minister of Norway" screen
    • The Australian airing of the episode "The Cyber House Rules" cuts out the part where Bender stomps on a baby basket left outside Planet Express, thinking it's a real baby (it was actually a recorded invitation to the Cookieville Minimum Security Orphanarium Reunion).
    • PickTV in the UK and New Zealand edits out a lot of uses of the word, "bastard" and the episode "A Clone of My Own" was edited to remove Bender's line, "No we don't, you little bedwetter!" after Cubert tells Leela that robots are good at keeping secrets.
  • Executive Meddling: See "Uncanceled" below to learn of how badly this show has been screwed over.
  • Genius Bonus: In real life, Professor Philo Farnsworth was the inventor of cathode-ray video transmission, which brought us television, which brought us Futurama.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!: Plenty, for instance the sliding doors use the same sound as the ones in Star Trek.
    • The episode "A Clone of My Own" features the sound of the Scout Speeders from Return of the Jedi used in a chase scene.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
  • Life Imitates Art: Remember Amy's spray-on bikini? They're working on that.
  • Mutually Fictional: The Simpsons and Futurama play with this in the TV show, with Matt Groening's cameos on each being the creator of the other.
    • Also, in the Simpsons episode Mayored to the Mob, Üter wears a Futurama shirt (which was changed to a Star Wars shirt in reruns for reasons unknown). In an episode of Futuramanote , Bender eats the shorts off a Bart Simpson doll (an early 1990s one that had a blue shirt instead of an orange-red one).
  • Name's the Same: Mike Rowe and Josh Weinstein are members of the production crew. However, they aren't that Mike Rowe or that Josh Weinstein.
  • The Other Marty: A particularly tragic example: Zapp was originally created to be voiced by Phil Hartman, but he died after only recording a few lines, so the part went to Billy West.
  • Screwed by the Network: Resulting in an extended Take That in Bender's Big Score against the "Box Network".
    • Matt Groening unveils Futurella at Comic Con. Opening music starts, title appears, CANCELLED. Groening then comments on how Fox has streamlined the process.
  • Talking to Himself: Most of the main cast play multiple characters, though Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, and Tress MacNeille are the most frequent. In fact, the only voice actress who plays one character is Katey Sagal, who only plays Leela. She only counts if you include alternate universe Leelas in "The Farnsworth Parabox" and the robot Leela in "Rebirth".
  • Throw It In: The Hypnotoad's trademark droning sound was originally a placeholder, but it sounded so bizarrely wrong that they kept it.
  • Un-Cancelled: Once upon a time in 1999, FOX had been giving the show an inconsistent airing time after season one, and the show was frequently pre-empted by football games. Once, they didn't even bother with the football game and just ran commercials for 10 minutes where the first act should have been. For obvious reasons, this led to disappointing viewer turnout and ratings, despite the pilot episode ("Space Pilot 3000") being the highest rated premiere in the history of the FOX Network. Soon, it was announced that FOX had cancelled the show after the episode "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", which was written to serve as a potential Grand Finale.

    Reruns soon went to Cartoon Network's [adult swim] line-up note , and the episodes actually got more viewers than the first-run episodes on FOX now that the show had a consistent time slot and no pre-emptions. The season set DVDs added to Futurama's popularity, as people now got the chance to see what they were missing without the inconveniences of television (commercials, slot changes, and pre-emptions). Because of this, Matt Groening and his crew for Futurama created four direct-to-DVD movies (Bender's Big Score, The Beast with a Billion Backs, Bender's Game, and Into the Wild Green Yonder), which were again designed to serve as a potential Series Finale if no other channel wanted to pick up the show or if Matt Groening decided to quit (Into the Wild Green Yonder ended with everyone in the Planet Express Ship flying into a wormhole, with heavy implications that they're never going to come back to Earth). Comedy Central also starting airing the movies and the regular series episodes after Matt Groening turned down the chance to have the show renewed on Cartoon Network and Cartoon Network lost the syndication rights to the show in 2007. Comedy Central subsequently ordered new episodes of the show.

    Despite some complaints about the Comedy Central episodes being inferior to the FOX episodes due to whatever reason the fanbase has, Futurama enjoyed a good four years on Comedy Central. However, the good times were not to last. In April of 2013, it was announced that Comedy Central was pulling the plug on the show, making the episodes in the second half of the show's seventh season (tenth, if you go by broadcast history) the final episodes ever aired (the final episode "Meanwhile" aired on September 4, 2013). Despite this, Matt Groening is looking to pitch the show to another channel and hopefully revive the series once again (or, at the very least, make a fifth movie [whether made for DVD or made for the movie theater] to end the series), and he is planning on a Futurama-Simpsons crossover where Bender is sent back to the past to kill Bart for a future crime that will air in the fall of 2014.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: There was a long-standing rumor that the opening sequence had to be changed after 9/11 to remove the Planet Express ship crashing into the video billboard. It never was.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Turanga Leela is named after the Turangalîla Symphonie — a piece of orchestral music by Olivier Messiaen. If you knew of the piece or of the composer without having to check Google, you are a devoted classical music fan and/or an academic.
    • Lots of jokes rely on the viewers being smart enough to understand it, especially the math, engineering, and science jokes, which most viewers wouldn't get unless they were in college or taking Advanced Placement high school classes.
  • What Could Have Been: Eric Rogers revealed that they considered making a claymation segment for the episode "Reincarnation," but didn't due to time constraints and money issues.
    • Originally, Futurama was going to be called either Aloha Mars! or Doomsville, and center on a dystopic future ruled by an elderly businesswoman named Mom and her surly, cynical delivery boy named Curtis.
    • Phil Hartman was supposed to voice Zapp Brannigan, but the death at the hands of his wife ruined any chance of that. In memory of him, Curtis Fry was renamed Phillip J. Fry and Billy West voiced Zapp Brannigan with the same kind of smugness you'd expect from a jerkass Phil Hartman character.
    • Fry and Leela were originally supposed to be played by Charlie Schlatter (from 18 Again!, Diagnosis: Murder, and Loonatics Unleashed) and Nicole Sullivan (Shego, Joan of Arc and best known as the Vancome Lady from MADtv) respectively.
    • According to Billy West, Ryan Stiles auditioned to be Dr. Zoidberg, and, in his interview with John DiMaggio, Rob Paulsen reveals that he auditioned for Fry.
    • An old character design for Bender shows that he had antennae where his ears are. The episode "Crimes of the Hot" has a robot with Bender's original design in the flashback of how Farnsworth caused global warming.
    • Hermes was originally going to have the Brain Slug on his head for all of season two instead of just the season two episode "Raging Bender."
  • The Wiki Rule: The Infosphere.
  • Word of God:
    • Bender's Do-Anything Robot capabilities is due to accidentally getting electrocuted in the first episode. He never dreamed of doing anything but bending girders beforehand.
    • Other perpendicular universes are found, each with its own distinctive quirk—a world of hippies, Romans, bobbleheads, robots, people who never had eyes who nevertheless know what "seeing" is, etc.

Other stuff

  • The Movie Bender's Game practically canonizes Walt, Larry and Igner's ages when Nibbler says "It was 36 years ago... now" when Mom started drilling for Dark Matter with the intention of selling it. With their ages being only a couple of years apart and Igner being unborn and only just concieved at the time (Mom didn't appear pregnant in flashbacks)...
    • She had to have been pregnant (but not showing) in the scene where she leaves Farnsworth, because we know who Igner's father is.
    • Walt is approximately 39
    • Larry is approximately 37
    • Igner is approximately 35

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