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    Nibbler 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nibbler_3319.jpg
Voiced by: Frank Welker
Debut: "Space Pilot 3000", (shadow only), "Love Labours Lost in Space"

The Ridiculously Cute Critter that the Planet Express crew encountered while saving two of every animal from a planet about to implode. He proved to have a voracious appetite, but thankfully, he's Solid Gold Poop incarnate — his species produces dark matter, which could be used as starship fuel.

It turns out that his species employs Obfuscating Stupidity in order to defend the universe from the Brain Spawn, and nobody remembers his actions due to his wiping of their minds afterwards. Until he officially assigned himself to Earth as a part of the Planet Express crew.


  • Absurdly Dedicated Worker: To maintain his secret identity, Nibbler will rarely ever break from his dumb animal facade, even when it leaves his own well-being at stake. "I Second That Emotion" is a key example, where his act earns the murderous chagrin of Bender and later leaves him a sitting duck for a sewer monster. He still never breaks from character to preserve himself.
  • Badass Adorable: There's practically a whole episode devoted to how adorable the crew find him (much to Bender's chagrin), and in as the series progresses, it is revealed that the Nibblonian race was already 17 years old at the time of the big bang, and are charged with protecting the Earth from the evil Brainspawn and also that Nibbler himself had a fairly big part to play in getting Fry cryogenically frozen for 1000 years in the first place.
  • Badass Baritone: As voiced by Frank Welker.
  • Big Eater: And how! Most things he's eaten are bigger than he is.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Present since the series premiere, in fact... if you know exactly where to look.
  • Cool Pet: A pet that poops fuel for the Cool Ship? Awesome indeed. He's also late revealed to be a member of super-intelligent species.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite his overwhelming cuteness, he is a soldier...
  • Cute Little Fangs: Well, not exactly little. He has large fangs, but he's still cute.
  • Depending on the Writer: While some episodes are shrewd enough to sneak in hints of his intellect, in others Nibbler's actions (which include deliberately endangering himself or the crew or maintaining his act even when unsupervised) make no sense under knowledge of his secret identity, implying the story treats his dumb animal act as being his real personality.
  • De-Power: After Bender's Game, Nibblonian poop is useless as fuel, being replaced with whale oil.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Older than our reality? Check (17 years). Incomprehensible name? Check (his real name takes several aeons to say). Mindbendingly hideous? Not check. Luckily, his people are benevolent.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Able to eat any creature regardless of its size.
  • The Fake Cutie: As explained, they all thought Nibbler was a cute pet, when he was actually an agent of a powerful ancient alien race... all of them cute as well.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • Idiot Houdini: Despite Nibbler's actions as a brainless animal frequently causing hindrance or dismay to the team, Leela is usually quick to fend off anyone willing to punish him for it (most often Bender). Considering these are all supposedly just an act, perhaps Nibbler is taking the role too seriously.
    Leela: It's not his fault he's a killing machine!
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Played with. Nibbler and the Nibblonians regard Earth as important for two reasons: 1) it is the homeworld of the pizza bagel, and 2) due to certain events in 1947 and 1999, it will/does/did produce a savior that will rescue the entire universe from the Brain Spawn. Aside from that, the trope is played straight: Nibbler's log refers to as a "primitive dirtball inhabited by psychotic apes."
  • Intellectual Animal: He's not the cute, brainless animal he appears to be, at all.
  • Large Ham: He is voiced by Frank Welker.
  • Memory-Wiping Crew: Many of his and the Nibblonian's appearances in the series' first run have been wiped from Earth's memory. After the movies, he seems to have simply stopped wiping the Planet Express Crew's memories of him being anything but a stupid pet. His ability to converse normally with them is a major plot point in "That Darn Katz". It's implied that he gave up wiping their memories after discovering in Bender's Game that, since he'd forgotten to wipe their memories after the events of The Beast With A Billion Backs, meaning that they'd known he could speak for some time but simply didn't care!
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He acts like a dumb pet, but he is actually a highly intelligent super-being whose race is responsible for maintaining order in the universe.
  • Older Than They Look: See Really 700 Years Old below.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Played with. When he first revealed his true nature to the crew, he decided to stick with "Nibbler," due to certain difficulties in translating his actual name:
    Nibbler: "That name is for your sake! In the time it would take to pronounce a single letter of my real name, a million cosmoses would flare into existence... and sink again into eternal night.
  • Out of Focus: He wasn't a major character to begin with but once the crew found out he could talk, he started appearing even less in the series than he had beforehand.
  • Really 700 Years Old: According to one of the Special Feature pages on the DVD, Nibbler is over 3000. His species is older than the universe.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: He's pretty weird looking, but he's small and squeaky enough to make the tough, no-nonsense captain Leela go to pieces and adopt him as a beloved pet. He later gets a little red cape and diaper.
  • Series Continuity Error: In "I Second That Emotion", a doctor determines him to be 5 years old, based on the rings around his teeth (which, in the episode, are speculated to indicate his age, similar to trees). He's later revealed to be over 3000 years old. Though, this could be interpreted as the doctor simply being wrong about what the rings indicate, as he was basically making an assumption.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Bender tends to loathe Nibbler for being a nuisance or his cuteness stealing his thunder, even once flushing him down the toilet. Some of the things Nibbler does to Bender in his pet role suggest the hatred is mutual.
  • Smarter Than You Look: He hides his hyper-intelligence with a mask of ultra-stupidity and a tendency towards doing cute things.
  • Solid Gold Poop: His waste is dark matter, which powers starships. At least before Bender's Game.
  • Suddenly Voiced: After The Reveal, starting in "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid"
  • Team Pet: After being adopted by Leela.
  • Translator Microbes: Whenever he needs to communicate with someone outside his species, he affects their brain patterns to automatically translate his cute babbling into bombastic English.
  • Vocal Dissonance: He is a monkey-looking alien that wears a diaper who has a deep, commanding, authoritative voice. Even once he starts talking regularly, the Planet Express Crew (particularly Leela) don't take him seriously due to his looks.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's a little hard to talk about him without discussing his role in "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid."
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    Twenty-Five-Star General Zapp Brannigan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Zapp_Brannigan_9790.png
"When I'm in command, every mission is a suicide mission."
Voiced by: Billy West
Debut: "Love Labours Lost in Space"

The only military leader we ever see, Brannigan has many medals and a high post despite a strange fixation on killing everybody who he sends into battle, whether helpful or not, whether needed or not. People serving under him tend to die. He's selfish, arrogant, gluttonous, lazy, immature, and an idiot. And those are his good qualities...

In his first episode, he tricked Leela into sleeping with him, something he's never let her live down.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Leela. Zapp is quite handsome (if a bit overweight): Leela hates him purely for his personality. On their first encounter Leela sleeps with him out of pity, complicating things for herself for the rest of the series.
  • Ambiguously Bi: He has flirted with and slept with Leela and Amy and enjoyed getting Snu-Snu from several Amazonian women, yet he apparently went on a date with Richard Nixon's Head in "The Thief Of Baghead". He is also not ashamed to show nudity in front of other men such as Kif. Zapp does not even cover himself in front of other men whenever he is naked and some of the orders he gives out to Kif have some Ho Yay in them. He was however surprised when Leela pulled a Sweet Polly Oliver that he felt lust for a man but rolled with it.
  • Armchair Military: Zapp's approach to a fight is rarely, if ever, to actually be on the battlefield, rather watching from a distance, criticizing his troops for dying en masse. In the original run, he only shows up on a battlefield twice. The first time is on a horse on a hovering pad, rather than actually fighting, and the second is just to show off to the cameras. In "The Beast With A Billion Backs", he observes the hopeless battle against Yivo's genticles from the comfort and safety of the Times Square Appleby's.
  • Bad Boss: Often sends his men on deadly missions, expecting total loyalty out of them over ridiculous causes, and emotionally abusing them — you just know what a prick he is when his Second-In-Command Kif Kroker would rather face almost certain death than work for him.
  • Big Book of War: He stamped his name onto the Trope Namer. Given his track record, it's not something that should be read by those with any sense of self-preservation.
  • The Bully: On both a personal (e.g. his treatment of Kif) and professional (e.g. starting wars with guys like the Pacifists of the Gandhi Nebula) level, Zapp delights in picking on those who can't defend themselves.
  • Captain Ersatz: His appearance, attitude, position, and mannerisms are very similar to those of James T. Kirk. In fact, he was originally pitched as "What if William Shatner was captain of the Enterprise?"
  • Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: Although unlike most examples of the trope he is more explicitly a parody of Captain Kirk (his character was originally pitched as "What if William Shatner was captain of the Enterprise rather than Kirk?).
  • Casanova Wannabe: Despite his attitude, he once admitted that Leela is the only woman who's ever loved him — physically. He did get some action with the Amazonians, but that doesn't count. And judging by a few of Leela's off-handed comments, he wasn't even satisfactory in bed either; not in his opinion though, of course.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's usually an arrogant, incompetent, idiotic, cowardly, selfish jerk. However, there are a few moments when he genuinely does something awesome like when he got rid of History's Greatest Villains in "Kif Gets Knocked Up". (Of course, this act almost destroyed his ship and killed everyone.)
    • His plan to fool the Omicronians by offering an orangutan in place of Leela in "The Problem With Popplers" actually would have worked if it wasn't ruined by a hippy tipping Lrr off to the whole thing. Absent the latter he would've successfully stopped the whole invasion with zero loss of sapient life.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He is only able to triumph over 'enemies' that are pacifistic and do not have an actual military. when facing an enemy who is 'not' a pacifist race and 'do' have a military, his forces are beaten almost effortlessly.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: A Running Gag is that whenever Zapp does have an offscreen victory mentioned, it tends to be against friendly-sounding, weak, or pacifistic races (i.e. the Retiree People of the Assisted Living Nebula).
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: A rare male-example, in reference to the infamous miniskirts of Star Trek: The Original Series. The skirt of his uniform is far above his knees. Considering the fact that Zapp used to have women under his command, one wonders if it's unisex.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Overlapping with Mala Proper. Not a lot of people try to seduce a woman while pronouncing it "sham-pagna."
  • Dirty Coward: When the chips are down, he is shown to be this. This is best summed up in the episode In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela, where he wakes up from sleep, his first words are: "I surrender and volunteer for treason!"
  • Dumb Blonde: Male example.
  • Eats Babies: He continues to eat Popplers even after discovering what they are... during his peace negotiations with the Omicronians.
    Lrrr: Stop eating our young!
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Boy howdy. He has won offscreen victories, and taken credit for other people's deeds, so he keeps his job, and is even well-regarded by many. Most people think he's an amazing hero and The Ace, until they actually meet him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards the Neutrals, the Spheroids, mutants, and possibly others.
  • Fat Bastard: He has a prominent beer belly and is very sleazy, arrogant, and sexist.
  • Fat Idiot: It's not super obvious, but he has quite a gut. Best observed when he goes to a planet with super-high gravity and the force of his belly rips open his girdle. As for the "Idiot" part, that's self-explanatory. Though he is fluent in Morse code.
  • General Failure: One of his primary gags. Zapp doesn't have a tactically competent bone in his body, and tends to only come out on top if he either ludicrously outclasses the enemy in terms of numbers and firepower, or has the Planet Express crew do the work for him. Even the first one doesn't save him all the time; in one episode, his army was completely routed by a band of Neanderthals with bone spears. It doesn't help that his first response for anything amounts to "swamp the enemy in bodies."
  • General Ripper:
    • Has started tons of unnecessary wars, including against a race of sapient balls on Spheron 1 (which resulted in them being forced off their home planet), the Spiderians, the Neutral Planet, the Retiree People of the Assisted Living Nebula, and the dreaded Pacifists of the Ghandi Nebula. He also attempted to get the Carcarons to declare war on Earth by having them sign a 'peace treaty' that was actually a declaration of war (in English, which the Carcarons don't understand) so he'd have an excuse to deploy DOOP's fleet to crush them. The implication being that he had done this many times before.
    • President Nixon advocates just about everything Brannigan does, which is why he's able to be such a free wheeler. The Democratic Order Of Planets doesn't seem to really care (the only way he was able to get on their bad side was to destroy their brand new headquarters, otherwise they seem to ignore his attitude towards combat).
  • Handsome Lech: To some extent. He'd be played straight if he got rid of the gut.
  • Hate Sink: Zapp is a smug, narcissistic Know-Nothing Know-It-All who is completely out of shape and broadcasts his delusions of superiority with reckless abandon. Though he is also hilarious.
    • He is a Chick Magnet who is so repugnant and regressive in his views on women that the moment they see anything other than his fame and positive reputation they drop their admiration like a heartbeat. In-turn, he has trouble taking the hint and acts as an Abhorrent Admirer, continuing to act like a chauvinist pig with no sign of self-awareness. Even when he opens up and hints that all of his bluster is a way of masking his insecurity, it is usually done as a ploy so that women would have sex with him out of pity.
    • As a general, he is a Dirty Coward who acts in two-defaults when the military calls for his leadership: either surrender immediately without a fight and leave Earth at the hands of whatever tyrannical invader or eldritch horror comes by or takes the Leeroy Jenkins approach and sends all of his men into battle with absolutely no hope of surviving it. Half the time he starts wars against peaceful alien races with no real reason other than his own lack of impulse control and is lucky to be punished for any of it.
    • In-turn, his Bad Boss behavior is murder for morale for the people he governs, his entire crew not humoring his leadership choices. He is a Jerkass to One to his right-hand man Kif, often forcing him to do everything for him while abusing him, demeaning him and taking all of his privileges for himself. In the years under his service, Zapp had Kif fired for his own incompetence, denied Kif various privileges and decency his position should afford him, killed in the line of duty and had slept with his grieving widow Amy right after.
  • Idiot Houdini: Most of the time, despite endangering people through his constant idiocy and lack of regard for the life of anybody but himself, he rarely suffers any retribution for it.
  • Ignore The Fanservice: It's revealed that Zapp doesn't wear underwear and it's only by virtue of the length of his uniform top that he's not always exposed. But don't follow behind him while climbing a ladder. It seems he extended it to the soldiers under his command, and possibly the entire Earth military considering his high position in it.
  • Insufferable Imbecile: A sexist, arrogant jerk with no redeeming qualities but manages to be funny because of his idiocy.
  • Irrational Hatred:
    • Of the Neutrals, since he regards them as untrustworthy (and seems to genuinely think they're up to something).
    Zapp: With enemies, you know where you stand, but with Neutrals? Who knows? It. Sickens. Me.
    • And on several occasions, of Kif, who he treats with undisguised and unprovoked contempt.
  • It's All About Me: He doesn't care about the danger any of his actions cause unless he ends up in danger from them.
  • Jerkass: He's got lots of examples that could be cited but a crowning moment might be the time he tried to pass off a declaration of war to a non-English-speaking alien race as a peace treaty, giving him the justification to invade their homeworld when their guard was down. Thankfully his translator, Leela's mother Munda, actually had a conscience and ratted him out.
  • Jerkass to One: While Zap Brannigan is callous and a terrible leader on the best of days - sending all of his male soldiers to die needlessly and single-handedly having female officers banned from the Earth's military via sexual harassment - he is particularly abusive to his right-hand Kif. He insults him, has him do menial labor, takes advantage of what little hospitality Kif offers to give him, and has Kif dishonorably discharged along with him in "Brannigan, Begin Again" for a crime Kif had nothing to do with and sleeps with his grieving Fonfon Ru Amy. That last one bares mentioning since Zap had Kif dislodge a missile they intended to fire, spamming the launch button while Kif was still stuck to it, leading to his death and eventually sleeping with Amy after the funeral, implying that Zap's contempt for Kif is based around legitimate hatred for his lieutenant and not just ego and lack of forethought.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk:
    • He shows himself as one on this very first appearance: after he breaks down to Leela and admits he's just an idiot who had no idea what he's doing, he uses her sympathy to get her to have sex with him then gloats over it for the rest of the series.
    • In one episode, he accidentally causes his ship to go down, and he says that "the captain must go down with his ship" after Kif comments on how noble that is of him, he immediately promotes Kif to captain and then flees the ship in a one man pod.
    • His infamous plot to get Leela to have sex with him in "In A Gadda Da Leela".
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: He often likes to give a Techno Babble solution that is clearly something he made up on the spot — for instance, the "gravity boost" idea.
  • Large and in Charge: He's one of the taller characters (compare him to Fry and Bender here), has a broad upper body, and is rather stout. Occasionally it's shown that he's actually about as strong as he looks, such as in "Brannigan, Begin Again" where he's able to easily restrain Leela, drag the 150+ pound pillows as far as Fry and Bender (despite being fatter than them and logically having much worse stamina), and later effortlessly lift Kif with one arm. Or in "In A Gadda Da Leela" when he easily lifts the branch pinning Leela when he decides he wants to. He's too much of a wuss for this to be too noticeable, though.
  • Large Ham: Imagine William Shatner playing William Shatner playing William Shatner... as Kirk.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: While he keeps his job depressingly well, most of the time Zapp ends up looking a fool.
  • Lawful Stupid: Played for Laughs. Zapp Brannigan will always enforce "Brannigan's Law" wherever he goes (a parody of the Prime Directive), even though he made the law up, and he has no idea what that law even is. Other than that, he is generally a selfish Dirty Coward who would happily sell out his friends and sacrifice hundreds of people to save himself.
  • Laughably Evil: In a serious show, he'd be a monstrous villain. See General Failure and General Ripper.
  • Lethally Stupid: Whenever he is called for help, he'll come to make things worse.
  • Malaproper
    Zapp: Brave-o! En-core!
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • In "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela".
    • In "The Beast With a Billion Backs" acting bereaved over Kif's death to bed Amy was probably a new low for him.
  • Miles Gloriosus: The patron saint of this trope. He will never rush in to a fight, but obtained a reputation of being a good fighter through his willingness to sacrifice wave after wave of his own men, while avoiding any risk to himself. If he does end up fighting, it's because he believes he has an overwhelming advantage, or is too stupid to realize that he's in danger.
  • Modern Major General: At times.
  • Narcissist: He's shamelessly vain and full of himself.
  • The Neidermeyer: He's especially fond of saving himself by sacrificing those under his command.
  • Never My Fault: No matter what death and destruction his actions cause or whatever mistake he causes, he never admits it to making a making a mistake himself.
  • New Jobs As The Plot Demands: A minor example; it's a Running Gag that Zapp has a different, invariably silly-sounding rank whenever it's introduced. This has included "25-star General", "General Major Webelo", "Rear Brigadier", and "Commodore 64."
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • He bears many similarities to William Shatner. Word of God says this was intentional, as he was pitched as "what if William Shatner was captain of the Enterprise instead of James T. Kirk?"
    • Reportedly, Billy West based a lot of his mannerisms on Phil Hartman, whom the role was originally meant for. Zapp has a lot in common with the characters Hartman tended to play in The Simpsons—a conceited but deeply untalented and immoral huckster with a smarmy "radio announcer" voice.
  • The Obi-Wannabe: Especially when giving Kif love advice.
  • Of Corsets Funny: "C'mon girdle... Hooolddd..."
  • Pants-Free: Not only does he not wear pants, he doesn't wear underwear, either.
  • Parental Abandonment: Zapp's hinted to do this on occasion. He brings up once or twice the fact that he's often got slapped with failed paternity lawsuits from lovers in the past or virtual-reality lovers brought to life.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • He does have one genuine moment, which is providing assistance during Kif's pregnancy. But even then, he didn't really care about the situation so much as he was just going along with what everyone else was doing.
    • He has a half-one in "Where the Buggalo Roam" when he compliments Kif on a brave act by calling it "Brannigan-worthy". It's half a moment since it's a surprisingly sincere compliment, but also shows that he can't even give those without also finding a way to sing his own praises at the same time.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Pretty much his only battle strategy.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He's very cowardly, dim-witted, immature, and perverted. Though that's more disturbing as he's also a high-ranking officer in the Earth's military, with the authority to get people killed in mass amounts. Which he fully utilizes to do just that.
  • Ramming Always Works: His most effective "tactic" is to simply ram his ships into the enemy. His initial plan for the Omicronian invasion force was to have all his ships file directly into the alien cannons to clog them, and his plan for dealing with the "Neutral war machine" is to let the Planet Express ship build up sublight acceleration for several minutes and then crash it into the Neutral capital.
  • Shout-Out: Between the many William Shatner shout outs, one stands out as he dramatically recites the lyrics to "Lola", imitating Shatner's infamous rendition of "Rocket Man". Not to mention ordering Kif to climb out on the wing and pretend he's a gremlin.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Kif's Sensitive Guy.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Subverted. Someone with his personality would be a Small Name, Big Ego in most situations if not for his absurdly high rank.
  • The Sociopath: Egotistical, arrogant yet charming, incapable of learning from his mistakes, utterly without guilt for his actions, manipulative, an exceptional liar, and of course lacking a shred of respect for any life other than his own, Zapp shows all the classic signs of sociopathy. It's just that he's an idiot too.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In fact, it's even a wonder he is alive since half the things he does nearly get himself killed (the other half gets everyone else killed). Somehow he rationalizes bouncing between asteroids will induce "some kind of gravity boost" and thus he tries to pilot a gigantic space cruise liner through an asteroid field. His stupidity makes Fry look like a Nobel Prize scientist in comparison.
  • Ultimate Job Security: He keeps his job despite being a vain, womanizing idiot who's subordinates tend to die horribly, often by his own command. The most egregious example would have to be when it was explained that Zapp was such a rampant sexual-harasser that the DOOP opted to ban all women from serving in the military rather than punish him.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The only possible reason for how he retains a job.
  • We Have Reserves: His method for dealing with pretty much everything? Send wave after wave of men at the problem until it's solved or he runs out of men. In one particular case, he used this as a "clever strategy" to overload the kill counters of the Killbots (a strategy almost as effective as just letting the Killbots run rampant, though he might have been more concerned with preserving property than lives in that case).
  • Would Hurt a Child: Has absolutely no problem sending children to their deaths in a battle. In fact, he once ordered the creation of a Children's Ship, on the basis that "children are our future."
  • Zerg Rush: A favorite tactic of his.
    Zapp (indicating enemy mothership on chart): ...my strategy is so simple an idiot could have devised it! On my command, all ships will line up and file directly into the alien death cannons, clogging them with wreckage!

    (Lieutenant) Kif Kroker 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Kif_Kroker_8217.png
Zapp: "Kif, round them up, and spare me the weary sigh for once."
Voiced by: Maurice LaMarche
Debut: "Love Labours Lost in Space"

Brannigan's long-suffering personal assistant, Kif just can't seem to get away from the guy. Eventually evolved from merely a Satellite Character for Brannigan to also having a relationship with Amy.


  • Adorkable: He serves as Zapp's meeker, smarter alien assistant. He tends to be a nervous Extreme Doormat and becomes painfully shy when he's around his love interest, Amy.
  • Alliterative Name: Kif Kroker.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: In "Brannigan Begin Again," he comes across as less of an annoyed sidekick and more like a person who's legitimately struggling with depression. The way he says "I'm actually laughing!" implies that his job has sucked almost all of the joy out of him and that moments of genuine happiness are a rarity for him.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: To Zapp. He currently provides the trope image.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He turns out to be a pretty demanding boss when he has an underling of his own, and after learning that Zapp used his temporary death as an excuse to sleep with Amy he snaps and punches Zapp right in the stomach.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: His digits can stick to walls and ceilings, he has no muscles or bones (his body is supported by bags of fluid instead), and we've also seen him inflate his head (to scare off predators on his home world) — and only his head, get your mind out of the gutter. His race is otherwise amphibian. Also, his race has a late metamorphosis stage in which they become clouds of Hive Mind-operating fly-like creatures (his father is this form). In Proposition Infinity, Kif says that he would be the closest related to the Sea Cucumber out of all of Earth's aquatic animals.
  • Butt-Monkey: Zapp frequently has him do humiliating things, and Kif often gets the blame when Zapp makes a mistake.
  • Camp Straight: He likes the color pink and other typically feminine things, but he's in a happy relationship with Amy.
  • Catch Phrase: A weary sigh seems to be his, always in response to whatever dumb thing Zapp has just said. It seems to be contagious: in "Into the Wild Green Yonder", Bender does it with him.
  • Characterization Marches On: In his early appearances, he was a Deadpan Snarker who was clearly disgusted with Zapp's stupidity; the creators actually came up with him based on the question "What if Spock had hated Kirk?". In subsequent episodes, he quickly evolved into an Extreme Doormat, miserably suffering under his boss' idiotic commands.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To Zapp, despite not wanting to be, although he can't bring himself to stop. In one of the comics, he becomes extremely depressed when Zapp gets a new toady (and goes into an Unstoppable Rage when said toady is manipulating Zapp).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially early on, before he hooked up with Amy.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "The Beast With a Billion Backs", where he punches Brannigan in the stomach for sleeping with Amy. It was a long time coming.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Turns out to be this once he gets a subordinate. It's mostly the result of pent-up stress from serving under Zapp, though.
  • Extreme Doormat: It starts in Season 2, when Kif is fired with Brannigan, and yet inexplicably goes along with him into homelessness and prostitution. Even more so after he hooks up with Amy, he becomes less of a Deadpan Snarker and much more passive.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: A male example in-universe. Females in at least two cultures of humanoids find him attractive.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Hypercompetent might be pushing it a bit, but he's got a good head on his shoulders and is usually standing near Zapp.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "War is the H-Word", Fry is demoted to Kif's assistant and Kif proves to be an even worse boss than Zapp, being openly hostile towards and constantly yelling at Fry. Then again, working for Zapp definitely has led to some severely repressed anger on Kif's part.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: A couple of times. He does pretty well, considering.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Out of Zapp, Kif, and Fry, Kif is apparently supposed to be the best looking. At least, according to the Fem-Puter.
    Fem-Puter: Kif, as the most attractive male, will be snu-snued by the most beautiful women of Amazonia... then the large women... then the petite women... then the large women again.
    • Of course, Kif was being measured up against Zapp and Fry. And unlike them, wasn't being a sexist jerk.
  • Insecure Love Interest: To Amy.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Amy.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • In "Where the Buggalo Roam", to save Amy from a tornado.
    • "300 Big Boys" shows that Kif is actually capable of holding his own in a fight, when he's put on the front lines of the Spiderian War.
  • Little Green Man: He fits the bill for being small and green. However, neither he, nor his species, have hostility towards humanity.
  • Mr. Seahorse: In the aptly-named "Kif Gets Knocked Up A Notch". Apparently, his species has a strange method of reproduction.
  • Nervous Wreck: He tends to stutter and hyperventilate incomprehensibly when he's nervous. He also tends to lose control of his camouflage reflex when under stress.
  • Nice Guy: He's kind of bitchy early on, but grows more into a shy, sensitive nice guy through his relationship with Amy.
  • No Respect Guy: He is put upon a lot because Zapp blames him for his own failings.
  • Occidental Otaku: In the comics, he's shown to have various anime posters hanging in his room.
  • Only Sane Man: When you work with someone like Zapp, you're this by default.
  • Punny Name: "Kroker" as in "croaker" as in "frog."
  • Rubber Man: A mild form of this. Being an amphibian-like alien with no bones, he can stretch himself to a considerable degree, though this causes apparent discomfort and isn't really treated as a superpower.
  • Running Gag:
    • Kif being accused of being spineless, causing him to explain he doesn't have a spine and his body is supported by a series of fluid-filled bladders. He often gets cut off though before he can finish.
    • One from the early seasons is Kif's disgusted reactions when following Zapp up a ladder, implying that Brannigan eschews underwear in addition to pants.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: He sticks behind Zapp no matter what (probably because it's his place in the military), but makes it painfully obvious that he hates Brannigan for it. Oddly enough, Zapp is never fazed by Kif's commentaries.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy Guy to Amy's Energetic Girl.
  • The Scapegoat: Official Zapp policy seems to be blaming Kif whenever he does something wrong.
    Kif, stand by to take the blame... now!
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Zapp's Manly Man.
  • Shrinking Violet: Usually a Deadpan Snarker when dealing with Zapp, but seems to show this side when his Love Interest Amy is around. In the episode that brought them together as a couple, she kept getting phone calls of someone breathing and panting heavily on the other end; she assumed they were prank calls, when it was really Kif calling to tell her how he feels, but too scared to say anything, thus hyperventilating until he hung up.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: "Brannigan Begin Again" has him find a competent boss in Leela, and despite his irritating her with his tales of how awful Zapp is, he still enjoys the feeling of being free from Zapp's command. Then Zapp mutinies, and Kif is dragged back into being his assistant.

    Scruffy "The Janitor" Scruffington 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Scruffy_2_9337.jpg
"Scruffy's work here is done."
Voiced by: David Herman
Debut: "A Fishful of Dollars"

Originally a recurring background character in the series, Scruffy was randomly tossed about the series who held multiple jobs much like The Simpsons Wiseguy. However, during the episode "Anthology Of Interest," the writers ran out of characters to killnote  and decided to feature his character as another victim as a result. Ever since then, he became an Ascended Extra and his job was cemented into the full time janitor at Planet Express.


  • Almighty Janitor:
    • He does own more than four times the rest of the employee's stock in Planet Express.
      Scruffy: Scruffy believes in this company! (sniffles)
    • When asked what he did at Planet Express by Hermes, who was looking to reduce overhead, he replied, "Toilets 'n boilers, boilers 'n toilets. Plus that one boilin' toilet. Fire me if'n you dare."
  • Ascended Extra: He shows up to comment on things when all other characters are used up. He's also occasionally featured as being even lazier than Fry, spending all his time in the basement reading porno magazines.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Borrows Bender's as part of a joke in "Ghost in the Machines":
    Hermes: As you can see, since Bender's death, requests to bite one's shiny metal ass are down 98%. (Interrupted by Scruffy vacuuming) Do you mind doing that later?!
    Scruffy: Bite my shiny metal ass.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "Yyyup"
    • "[I'm] Scruffy. The janitor."
    • "Second."
  • The Comically Serious: Not even nearly dying in an explosion fazes him that much.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In "2-D Blacktop", he broke his spine by walking into the Planet Express ship while admiring Leela's breasts.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Scruffy is the source of much simple-minded wisdom.
    Scruffy: (referring to a depressed Bender) I have never seen him so down. Or ever before.
  • Expy: His voice seems to be based on Karl Childers. Mmmhmm.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Leukine.
  • Hidden Depths: Scruffy apparently has quite the vocabulary, though it's Played for Laughs.
    Scruffy: (after learning about Fry being Kicked Upstairs in "Future Stock") What fever dream is this that bids tear this company in twain? (picks up and starts reading National Pornographic)
  • Lazy Bum: He is lazy and can usually be found in the basement of the building, watching the boiler and reading.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: He's rarely seen without some humorously named porno magazine (e.g. National Pornographic, Chef Play-Boyardee, and Astounding Tales [Of Doing It])
    Scruffy: Scruffy's gonna die the way he lived. (licks finger, turns page of magazine)
  • Mutual Masquerade: No-one remembers who he is, and he doesn't remember them.
    Leela: Who're you?
    Scruffy: I'm Scruffy, the janitor.
    Leela: I've never seen you before.
    Scruffy: I've never seen you before neither.
  • Nice Hat: He wears a brown hat (when he was just a background character originally, the color of his hat, hair and mustache often changed between appearances).
  • Our Zombies Are Different: It is been implied that Scruffy died once, as Hermes mentions bringing him back "as a zombie" in "Law and Oracle".
  • Recurring Extra: He is often present and makes comments on situations that have nothing to do with him.
  • Repetitive Name: According to the 2008 Futurama wall calendar, his full name is "Scruffy Scruffington".
  • Running Gag: No-one ever remembers that Scruffy works at Planet Express. Except Fry, who apparently befriended him at some point. He never remembers them, either.
  • Secret Keeper: Apparently serves as one for Fry. Except when it came to the whereabouts of his seven-leafed clover.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: In "The Prisoner of Benda", it is revealed that his robotic washbucket harbors romantic feelings for him which it confesses to when its personality is transferred to Amy Wong's body. Scruffy tells Washbucket that nothing can come of its love because deep down he knows that it's just 'janitorial equipment', he then tells Washbucket to leave before he begs it to stay. When Washbucket leaves he cries, implying that he returns its feelings.
  • The Stoic: He almost never shows any significant emotion.
  • Third-Person Person: Scruffy almost always speaks in the third person.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Based on his performance review with Hermes, he knows no one else is either capable of or willing to do his job.
    Scruffy: Fire me if'n you dare.
  • Verbal Tic: mmmhmm.

    Linda van Schoonhoven 
Voiced by: Tress MacNeille
Debut: ''"A Big Piece of Garbage"'

A human anchorwoman for Channel √2 News who works alongside Morbo. She often smiles and laughs at the wrong times.


    Morbo 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/download16.jpg
"In lighter news, the city of New New York is doomed."
Voiced by: Maurice LaMarche
Debut: ''"A Big Piece of Garbage"'

A green alien who is Linda's co-anchorman. He often speaks condescendingly about humans.


  • Ambiguously Evil: He often claims that his people plan to invade Earth some day. However, we never see him act on this threat.
  • Berserk Button: He gets really worked up over misunderstandings about windmills.
  • Body Horror: We never see it, but whatever is underneath his clothes is so horrific that it made Stepford Smiler Linda break out into hysterical screaming.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Morbo, an evil, misanthropic alien, is the only person who likes Richard Nixon. That should tell you everything you need to know about Nixon.
  • Evil Is Hammy:
    "Windmills do not work that way! Good night!"
    "Hello, little man... I will destroy you!"
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He subverts this by having a deep voice and an expressed desire for destruction of all of humankind, but only works as a news anchor.
  • Explosive Breeder: Apparently is married to one.
    Nixon: Hello, Morbo! How's the family?
    Morbo: Belligerent and numerous!
  • Fantastic Racism: His hatred of humans is very comparable to Bender's, and in fact he's threatened to start an Alien Invasion and Kill All Humans a few times.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: He hates humans, calling them "puny", "insignificant", and other insults (which his human co-host Linda oddly doesn't seem to mind), but he seems to hate and insult robots, other aliens, and pretty much everyone, even his wife. The only friends he seems to have are Richard Nixon and Linda.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He seems to consider Linda a friend, and once implied that he may actually love his wife deep down.
  • Kent Brockman News: He and Linda are presented in a format similar to Kent Brockman himself, but with Morbo often talking about how he hates all other living things, especially humans.
  • Little Green Man: He certainly isn't little (he's about the size of a well built human), he has green skin and hates humanity.
  • Mood Whiplash: Prone to this, thanks to his job.
    Morbo: Across the galaxy, my people are completing the mighty space fleet that will exterminate the human race! But first, this news from Tinseltown.
  • Pet the Dog: Is sympathetic towards swarms of turtles seeking refuge from a heatwave by migrating to Holland. It's about the nicest he's ever been to anyone.
  • Third-Person Person: "All humans are vermin in the eyes of Morbo!"
  • Villainous Friendship: Is good friends with Richard Nixon.
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