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  • 0% Approval Rating: The ultimate summary of Bender's tenure as pharaoh in "A Pharaoh to Remember".
  • 20% More Awesome:
    • When the Planet Express crew see the Beastie Boys (or their heads) in concert, Leela marvels, "They're bustin' mad rhymes with an 80 percent success rate."
      Bender: I believe that qualifies as 'ill', at least from a technical standpoint.
    • In the commentary for "The Honking", Matt Groening and David X. Cohen claim that the word "underpants" is 20% funnier than "underwear".
  • Abandoned Catchphrase:
    • "I am already in my pajamas," was Professor Farnsworth's catchphrase for the first two episodes of the series. It was never said again.
    • Also there was a lampshaded example where Cubert deleted old catchphrases from Bender's hard drive, such as "This is gonna be fun on a bun!" Fittingly enough, he only used it a grand total of twice up until that point...only for the very next episode of the series ending up being titled that.
  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • For a few seasons, Hermes was constantly pestered by Zoidberg, whom he detested, often barking things along the lines of "Go away and stop bothering me, you ugly crab!"
    • Zapp Brannigan towards Leela. She did herself no favors by sleeping with him in Season 1 out of pity, which swelled his ego and fueled his lust for her.
  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • During "Anthology of Interest"'s first segment, in which Bender asked what life would be like if he were over 500 feet tall, things quickly devolved into a Kaiju battle between a 500-foot-tall Zoidberg and Bender. Zoidberg converts a section of a subway train into nunchucks, while Bender takes a section of a people-mover tube and uses the people in it and around him as blow-darts.
    • Invoked for the DOOP regular infantry weapons. They seem to fire normal looking lasers, but require charging via a jack-in-the box style handle, to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel."
  • Aborted Arc:
    • The pilot episode introduced the career chip, which supposedly assigned one a permanent job and was ostensibly mandated by the law. Although Smitty and Leela both say that those who reject their career chips are labelled "job deserters" and "fired out of a cannon into the sun", nobody is actually shown facing the stated legal consequences when they remove them. The career chip appeared twice in the show and only once in the comics, and the time gap between its appearances in the main series was quite large. No in-universe explanation has ever been given for these inconsistencies.
    • At the end of the movie Into the Wild Green Yonder, the Encyclopod decides to preserve the DNA of Homo sapiens after the death of Hutch Waterfall. When Fry asks why he's doing this when Encyclopods are supposed to preserve the DNA of Endangered Species, the Encyclopod flies off without any further explanation, including any of the time-scale of the danger. When the show was Un-Canceled, none of the episodes bothered to expand upon this plot point. And then the show had another finale, which effectively means this plot turned into a case of Fridge Horror, implying humans are a danger to themselves...unless it has something to do with our galaxy's having been auctioned-off to 'a being of unspeakable horror' a few seasons back.
  • Absurdly Huge Population: In one episode, it is mentioned that the population of Earth in the year 3000 is 40 billion.
  • Absurdly Long Wait: in the episode "A Biclops Built For Two":
    Prof. Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! Several years ago, I tried to log on to AOL, and it just went through.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Bender, when he adopts twelve orphans for the government stipend. (How abusive? He was eventually charged with "depriving children of food, selling children as food, and misrepresenting the weight of livestock."
    • Farnsworth viewed his own parents as emotionally abusive because they were always too tired to pay attention to him. It turned out they were tired because they were up all night reading from a chemistry textbook to calm his nightmares.
    • Strongly implied with Roberto.
      Roberto: No, Mommy! Don't weld me to the wall!
    • Bender sells his firstborn son to the Robot Devil in The Beast With A Billion Backs in exchange for an army to wage war on Heaven, even going so far as to callously punt the kid into a vat of boiling blood himself. This is so evil it shocks even the Robot Devil.
    • Mom is probably the most infamous one on the show. Despite her sons being adults, she treats them like utter crap, especially Igner, who seems to have "special needs". Mom admitted that she never gave them love even when they were kids. Her favorite form of "affection" seems to be slaps.
    • Minx from "2-D Blacktop" suffered years of "unspoken verbal abuse" from her father ("It's not what he said, it's what he didn't say!"). She lets everyone know, too.
    • In "The Bees and the Bots" Bender subverts this trope by actually being a good father to his son, Ben, even though he initially planned to abandon him. The trope is played straight with Ben's mother Bev, who abandons him to Bender's care, then takes him away after they've bonded, lies to Ben about Bender dying, and threatens to chain Ben to the wall.
    • Zigzagged with Fry's parents. His dad was a paranoid war veteran who was constantly barking at Fry to toughen up and be a man, his mother tended to care more about whatever football game she had on than she did about his problems, and they both seemed to favor his brother Yancy. Fry's ex-girlfriend Michelle even claims that they called off the search for him because it was a waste of tax dollars. In later episodes, though, it's made clear that whatever their faults, they both loved Fry and were distraught when he disappeared.
  • Acceptable Targets: New Jersey is a frequent butt of potshots in this show.
  • Accidental Adultery: Inverted. Bender attempts to prove that his girlfriend Anglelyne still has feelings for her ex-husband Flexo by disguising himself as the latter and attempting to seduce her. When she responds to "Flexo's" overtures, Bender reveals the ruse and accuses her of disloyalty. She responds that "Maybe I love you so much that I love you no matter who you're pretending to be!" Given that what won her over was "Flexo" acting more like Bender than like the actual Flexo, she may have a point.
  • Accidental Athlete: Bender accidentally takes down the legendary wrestling robot The Masked Unit. He is subsequently recruited into robot wrestling.
    • Bender invokes this again when he gets a "robo-sex change" in order to compete in the women's division of the Olympics, which he wins handily. He/she even goes so far as to invent a new country, Robania, which according to the national anthem (which he made up) is a "land I didn't make up.".
  • Acting Unnatural:
    • After Zoidberg breaks the Professor's bottled ship, gets covered in glue trying to fix it, and ends up with half the Professor's lab equipment stuck to his body, including a cuckoo clock and a "Zoidberg: Do Not Touch!" sign, he dons a trenchcoat to hide it.
      Zoidberg: Casual hello. It's me, Zoidberg. Act naturally. [cuckoo clock goes off] Ow!
    • Leela tries to act nonchalant by whistling after murdering the Professor in one Anthology of Interest segment.
      Leela: Okay, just try to be nonchalant. (Not So Innocent Whistling)
      Zoidberg: All right, so you're nonchalant. Quit rubbing our noses in it.
  • Action Girl: Leela is the most physically capable of the crew and a skilled martial artist.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • 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 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.
    • In a somewhat obscure example, "Future Stock" isn't the first occasion where Tress MacNeille voices a crotchety old lady who owns one share of a failing company going off on random tangents during a stockholders' meeting. She had an almost identical role in Dilbert three years priornote .
    • 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.
    • Another obscure example comes from Hermes, in which he said "I'm nothing but a brain" word-for-word, the same way Hector Con Carne said it. Both were voiced by Phil LaMarr.
    • Fry has a few personality traits similar to Billy West's previous character, Doug Funnie (though West has said that Fry was pretty much Billy West when he was in his 20s and trying to cope with the aftermath of having an abusive childhood). 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 "The 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!
      Fry: *laughs* Billy West? What a stupid phony made-up name.
    • 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. Likewise, the sketch features George Takei playing himself as the criminal disguised as the monster; Takei had played a Scooby-Doo villain just a few years prior in an episode of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated He also played the old samurai who is revealed to be inside the armour when the villain the black samurai is defeated scooby doo and the samurai sword.
    • Two in "Leela and the Genestalk": As Fry and Bender climb up Mom's tower, they see run into Adam West (with his head grafted onto a bat's body) and Burt Ward (whose robot body 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 an 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 
  • Adam and Eve Plot: Leela ends up on the receiving end of this multiple times.
    • In "In-A-Gadda-De-Leela", Zapp tries to make Leela think that the Earth has been destroyed and they're the only ones left to trick her into sleeping with him. The charade is exposed by the rest of Planet Express turning up just before anything happens.
    • In "A Bicyclops Built for Two", Alcazar pretends to be the only other cyclops alien left to get Leela to agree to be his queen so they can rebuild their race.
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: The episode "A Clone of My Own" features an extended parody of the famous Star Wars scene during the escape from the Near-Death Star.
  • Aerith and Bob:
    • Human names haven’t changed all that much, but then you get to some alien names...
    • An in-story example: in "I Dated a Robot," the subjects of the short film are named "Billy," short for "William," one of the most common names in the English-speaking world, and "Maevis," which was probably pretty common back then (The '50s) but isn't anymore.
  • Adoptive Name Change: Before being adopted, Nibbler's original name was so long that most humans would die of old age before finishing it.
  • Affably Evil: Robot Devil is actually most of the time rather polite as a character, despite being a robot Satan, and the depths to which Bender sinks at times leave even him appalled.
  • Affectionate Parody:
    • Almost anything you can name, especially in the fields of science and science-fiction.
    • An entire episode ("When Aliens Attack") was dedicated to making fun of Ally McBeal and the Viewers Are Morons philosophy.
    • "Love and Rocket" was dedicated to parodying 2001: A Space Odyssey. It even parodied the sequence of shutting down HAL.
    • "A Flight to Remember" parodies the Titanic.
    • The season 6 finale, "Reincarnation", reimaging Futurama in 3 different animation styles (30's Max Fleischer style, pixelated 80's video-games and 70's Anime), while parodying their respective tropes.
    • The season 10 "Saturday Morning Fun Pit" has Bendee Boo and the Mystery Crew, Purpleberry Pond, and G.I. Zapp.
    • In the episode "A Bicyclops Built for Two", there's a scene parodying the 90's sitcom Married... with Children, with Leela dressing and acting like Peggy Bundy and Alcazar (who she calls "Al") acting similar to Al Bundy. Fitting, considering Katey Segal (who voices Leela) played the role of Peggy Bundy on the show.
  • Afterlife of Service: In "A Pharaoh To Remember", the Planet Express crew is enslaved by the natives of an Ancient Egypt-cultured planet and forced to work on the current Pharaoh's tomb. When he passes away, his disciples throw a bunch of cats that they consider holy "for some reason" and the Elton John-esque singer who is still in the middle of singing his praises into the tomb. Bender then cons everyone into accepting him as Pharaoh, and everyone gets to work on building a massive Star Scraper of a monument to celebrate his reign. When Bender is unsatisfied with the absolute perfection of the build, he demands that it be torn down and built again. At this point, the locals decide to forcefully retire Bender from his position of Pharaoh and throw him into his tomb. On the way down, he asks about his afterlife servants, resulting in Fry and Leela being thrown down after him.
  • Age Insecurity: Implied in an episode when the Planet Express spaceship is in danger, Leela says that she doesn't want to die at the age of 25. Bender, however, replies with "Unless we had a time warp, I wouldn't worry about that".
  • A.I. Getting High: Robots get high from electricity. They also use alcohol as fuel (although there are mentions of non-alcoholic alternatives), but ironically act drunk when sober. Bender, at least, is also a cigar smoker, although there's no sign that it has any effect on him. (He admits to only do it because it looks cool.)
  • Alcohol Is Gasoline: All of the robots are fueled by alcohol which many of them, especially Bender, take advantage of to drink incredible proportions (cleaner alternatives like mineral oil exist, but most prefer beer). Without alcohol in their system, they would begin to act like a drunk person. It's a plot point in one episode, that them inefficiently burning alcohol is the reason the future still has problems with global warming.
  • Alien Autopsy: Dr. Zoidberg is revealed to have been the alien the autopsy was performed on in the episode "Roswell that Ends Well," but he's still alive and conscious and makes comments like, "Take [my heart], I've got four of them." He seems to find the whole thing bemusing, but not unpleasant. Until... "Don't cut that! I need that to speak!" Cue increase in speed of sawing.
  • Alien Gender Confusion: Used as a throwaway joke in the second episode when Zoidberg is introduced as the company doctor, who knows nothing of human medicine, including such basics as discerning genders.
    Phillip Fry: Uh, is there a human doctor around?
    Zoidberg: Young lady, I'm an expert on humans.
    • In the episode "Neutopia", the Planet Express crew meet a Sufficiently Advanced Alien who has no concept of gender. It uses Reality Warper powers to make them genderless so that they may see each other as equals, which actutally works until they realize they can't have sex anymore. When the alien restores their genders, however, it gets them mixed up, making the male characters female and vice versa. They are killed by Zapp Brannigan before the mix-up could be corrected. Later on, a similar alien, the Borax Kid, is able to fix the mistake for good.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The scammers from "Bender's Big Score" are the most straightforward example. After stealing the rights to Earth through a series of internet scams, they spend the rest of the episode kicking every dog in sight and just generally being petty, dickish, greedy, and disgusting.
  • Aliens Made Them Do It: The final bit to the Season 6 episode "In-A-Gadda-De-Leela.". Mentioned in" When Aliens Attack", when Farnsworth claims that earlier alien invaders forced all the smarter humans to mate with each other (then freshens his breath in anticipation).
  • Aliens Never Invented Democracy: Earth's government is the only one shown to have a democratically elected president. Although President Evil that is.
  • Aliens Speaking English:
    • Parodied in the Season 7 episode T: The Terrestrial:
      Jrrr: Do you speak English?
      Fry: Eng... ...lish?
    • Invoked in the episode Mobius Dick:
      Leela:(points to carving on memorial) "It's" shouldn't have an apostrophe. This means "and it is crew." What the hell's wrong with you?!
      Alien: It's a minor error, lady. I mean, we're space aliens. It's a miracle we can even speak English.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Amy, which is the main reason she falls for Bender after her breakup with Kif in "Proposition Infinity". Arguably an example of Negative Continuity, since she'd earlier shown that she wasn't particularly affected by the charms of manly/bad boy type and was head over heels for Kif's personality.
  • All Gravity Is the Same: Despite all the planets visited, and the writers usually being very knowledgeable about such things, the only time differences in gravity comes up is in "Brannigan Begin Again" when the crew go to a planet with greater gravity than Earth. Leela warns the crew to use a special hovercart for the delivery, and as soon as they step outside the ship, they are affected by the heavier gravity (Kif instantly slumps to the ground like a stone).
  • All Hail The Great God Oprah: “Oprahism” is a mainstream religion.
  • All Just a Dream: The episodes "Anthology of Interest I", "The Sting", and "Obsoletely Fabulous".
  • All Part of the Show: Lrrr (RULER OF THE PLANET OMICRON PERSEI 8!!!) invades Earth. He happens to land on the stage for the Comic Con costume contest. He gives his "You will be conquered" speech. Everyone applauds politely, then he gets ushered off the stage (he doesn't even win Best Costume).
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: The only non-Earthlike planets shown so far are a few moons and asteroids without atmospheres, and one high-gravity (but otherwise Earthlike) planet. Even the world with three giant suns, apart from being a bit warm at full noon, was perfectly livable to humans.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen:
    • In "Love and Rocket", the Planet Express ship computer (which has developed a crush on Bender and gone completely insane) cuts off the oxygen supply, so Leela and Fry have to wear spacesuits while they try to switch it off.
    • Occurs in "The Series Has Landed", when Fry and Leela get lost on the moon.
  • Alternate Universe:
    • One episode implies there are an infinite number.
    • An episode features only one other parallel universe: a Cowboy universe.
    • Professor Farnsworth creates dozens of boxes which act as gateways to parallel universes. Each one of those universes has doorways to all the other universes. That sound was your brain overloading. And it doesn't help that in the end, two of the universes end up with the boxes to their own universe.
    • "The Beast With a Billion Backs" reveals the existence of yet another universe, this one accessible from a tear in the fabric of space-time. It is home to only one sentient being: Yivo, the infinitely huge, love-lorn ball of naughty tentacles.
      "These aren't tentacles. They're genticles."
    • An episode has Farnsworth, Fry, and Bender get into a time machine that only goes forward. They discover that when the universe ends it is replaced by another, identical universe (except Farnsworth killing Adolf Hitler). They end up returning to their correct time period in a THIRD identical universe, inadvertently killing that universe's version of themselves as well as Eleanor Roosevelt instead of Hitler.
  • All the Good Men Are Gay:
    • One episode has a bully come up, kick sand in Fry's face, and proposition Leela. When he reveals that he's a professional beach bully ("I pretend to steal your girl, you hit me, I go down, she swoons, you slip me fifty bucks.") and not actually a jerk, Leela invites him for a walk on the beach. "Uh, no thanks ma'am, I'm actually gay."
    • The gang is at a club, and Bender's built-in gaydar shoots down the girls' hopes when they see good-looking men. It might have been interference from a gay weather balloon...
      "Just as well; I think he comes from a dimension that's big on musical theatre."
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: Whenever Bender turned into a werecar he had no memory of what he did.
  • Alternative Number System:
    • Robots sometimes use base 2; the god of Robotology seems to be expressed as the number 2 in a prayer spoken in binary.
    • When Bender has a nightmare where he sees an infinite number of 1's and 0's, he mentions to Fry that he "thought [he] saw a 2." Fry remarks that that is crazy, there's no such thing as 2. A 2 did appear on screen.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Played for Laughs in the "Wizzin'" segment of "Anthology of Interest II." Leela (or at least just her dream self) has this view on witches, considering how she jumps at the chance when offered to become one. Especially, as she puts it, as long as she gets to hurt people and not just dance around at the Equinox. Ironically, the very book series and movie the segment is spoofing has just as many good witches as bad ones.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Though they may just be aliens.
  • Amazon Chaser: In one episode, Bender poses as Leela and declares himself to be "Every nerd's fantasy".
    • He actually wins the costume contest with this outfit.
    • Fry seems to have a thing for tough women. Every time he's around an Amazonian, he flirts with them. He also falls in love with Leela, who is easily the toughest member of the crew
  • Ambiguously Bi: Dr. Zoidberg had engaged in "just friends" spooning with Hermes, been (chemically induced) attracted to the Professor, and thought President Truman was hitting on him.
    • The Professor, in an Athology of Interest episode apparently enjoyed the kiss from human!Bender.
    • Bender, most noticably in Beast with a Billion Backs, acts like a jelous lover when Fry isn't paying that much attention to him.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Fry's grandfather. He asks Fry if he ever feels like he's going with girls just because he's supposed to, and is more enthusiastic at looking at half-naked John Wayne than swimsuit-clad Betty Grable.
  • America Takes Over the World:
    • Although only Earth's world, and not most of the millions of others explored in-show.
    • In the 30th century, United States politics have become global politics, Americans as well as all other citizens of Earth are now "Earthicans," and the processes formerly used to elect a U.S. President are now employed to determine the President of Earth. In one episode, a character objects to Nixon running for president because he already ran in the 1970s, indicating that the 31st century Earth government is the same entity as the 20th century American government.
  • Amphibian at Large: In "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch", one of the native species of Kif's planet is a "poisonous froad", a giant purple amphibian that almost eats Bender until Kif scares it off.
  • Amusing Injuries: The bone-crunching sound effects do make you wince, though.
  • Amusingly Short List: Zoidberg is the only being on all of planet Earth on Robot Santa's "nice" list.
  • Anachronic Order: The episodes of the back half of season 6 were aired outside of production order. This leads to jokes that don't make sense, like Hermes saying Scruffy was revived as a zombie despite not dying in the previously aired episode.
  • Anachronism Stew: The series as a whole runs on this, due to Rule of Funny, but the tourist trap/living museum "Past-O-Rama", a "recreation of 20th-century life" in Season 2's "The Lesser of Two Evils" takes the cake, with its in-universe ad boasting a Totally Radical Albert Einstein and Hammurabai grooving to a non-existent beat in a 19th-century hot air balloon, over a recreation of late-twentieth-century Brooklyn, New York! Above a posse of surfer lingo-speaking cowboys on robot horses hunting a mastadon!
  • Anal Probing:
  • Ancestral Name: Fry's brother Yancy is named after their father. While Yancy Jr. dislikes his name, Yancy Sr. insists that every man in their family has been named Yancy Fry, going all the way back to the Revolutionary War with "Minuteman" Yancy Fry.
  • And a Diet Coke: A rather Black Humor version of this occurs when the Omnicronians demand restitution for the humans eating their young.
    Lrrr: Very well, you provide us with 198 billion humans. And an order of fries.
    Ndnd (nagging tone) Lrrr...
    Lrrr: All right! Cottage cheese!
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Though not canon, Fry, Stephen Hawking, Nichelle Nichols, Gary Gygax, Al Gore, and Deep Blue being trapped in a white void for all eternity in "Anthology of Interest I" may count, although Nichelle Nichols is the only one who shows any displeasure while the others play Dungeons and Dragons. And even then, she seems more annoyed by the fact that she's trapped for eternity with nerds than the being trapped for eternity part itself. We never see where they end up, but the same fate seems to be implied for the Brainspawn and a parallel universe Fry.
    • Averted in "Roswell That Ends Well," because although Bender is buried alive for nearly a thousand years, he claims he was having a good time until the others found him.
    • George Foreman: "As a disembodied head living in a jar, I envy the dead."
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the fourth film Into the Wild Green Yonder, once many of the hanging romantic plot threads are tied up, the Planet Express crew is on the run from the Earth military. However, they come across a massive wormhole. Professor Farnsworth warns that it could transport them trillions of light years away, with no hope of returning to Earth. Despite this, crew enthusiastically decides to fly into it anyway. It's then completely averted when the series is brought back again.
    • Meanwhile, the seventh season finale, has this when the Professor, whom Leela thought she killed when trying to rescue Fry from a time loop, appears after several decades and repairs the time button, modding it so they can return to the moment before he invented it. The Professor then says that they will lose their memories of what happened afterward. Fry then says to Leela, "Do you want to have another go?" Leela says, "I do." What makes this even cooler is that the episode that aired after this was the pilot episode, possibly implying that the professor had been thinking of the invention for the entire series.
  • And the Rest: In the episode Less Than Hero, Fry, Leela, and Bender form a crime-fighting trio called The New Justice Team, with Fry as Captain Yesterday, Leela as Clobberella, and Bender as Superking. Their theme tune becomes:
    Go, go, go, New Justice Team! Fighting justice is their quest: Superking, Clobberella, and all the rest.
    • This also occurs in "Rebirth":
      Fry: Hermes Conrad! Amy Wong!
      Hermes: Dr. Zoidberg!
      (Scruffy, LaBarbara and Kif appear)
      Fry: And the rest!
  • And You Were There: Parodied in "Anthology of Interest II," where Leela tells Fry that she had a wonderful dream, "...except you were there, and you were there, and you were there!"
  • Androids and Detectives: Those Two Guys who are the only cops you regularly see are a human/robot duo, and when Fry joins the police force this seems to be their policy.
  • Angrish: Professor Farnsworth.
    Farnsworth: If anyone needs me I'll be in the angry dome!
  • "Angry Black Man" Stereotype: Affectionately parodied and transcended. Bender the robot is sometimes employed to express opinions and complaints regarding the state of the robot class in the 30th century similar to the complaints and attitudes held by conscious black people in the 20th.
    Bender: [in response to Fry downloading and dating a robot version of Lucy Liu] Humans dating robots. Sick! You people wonder why I'm still single? It's 'cause all the fine robot sisters are dating humans.
  • Animal Lover: Leela likes animals, including alien ones. She's the primary carer of Nibbler.
  • Anti-Climax: There are many moments of this in the series.
    • The ending scene of Into The Wild Green Yonder where the main characters are on the run from the law and to escape, they flee into a gigantic wormhole which is to take them light-years away without anyway of knowing if they can return. Originally intended to by the final scene of the series, it is made dramatic by having Leela and Fry kiss for the first time as the ship flies into the wormhole and it morphs into the familiar pattern of lights shown in the opening sequence of each episode. In the first episode of the renewed season, a Snap Back is pulled and the characters find themselves back at Earth as they come out of the wormhole.
      Bender: Yeah, we're back.
    • In Season 6, Mom's plan to turn people into zombies ends up being this too (and again, bloody hilarious).
  • Anti-Gravity Clothing: In Homage to The Jetsons.
  • Anything That Moves:
    • Amy shows shades of this at times. Depending on the episode, her readiness to leap into bed with aliens, jerkasses, and complete strangers shifts between "party girl" and "college bicycle". At least until she gets together with Kif. (As of ' Proposition Infinity', you can now add robots to that list.)
    • "Happy Freedom Day, ladies! Come on, show me something. Anything. Seriously, I'd take an armpit." Needless to say Zapp Brannigan isn't picky.
    • Yivo, an extra-dimensional being that had sex with every single person in the universe at the same time. Except for Leela. But it isn't because Yivo doesn't try, it's that she's the only one who resisted.
    • Bender and Farnsworth sometimes fit this trope.
    • Hedonism Bot, of course.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: Bender gave up his seat on the only evacuation ship just so he could participate in looting when earth was about to get destroyed. (Not that he doesn't steal under mundane conditions too.)
    • Bender only participated in the robot uprising after Comrade Greeting Card assured him that 'taking to the streets' meant fires and looting, not the boring peaceful marching kind.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Naturally almost every episode, especially thanks to Professor Farnsworth having an invention for every occasion. However, it is subverted almost as often. For example, in the 2nd-season episode Fry and the Slurm Factory, the Slurm drink manufacturer runs a contest where the grand prize is won by finding one golden bottle cap hidden in a Slurm can. Fry wonders if there could be a way to find the bottlecap without having to buy millions of cans. As expected, he shortly comes into possession of the professor's "F-Ray," which can see through anything, and uses it on every can of Slurm in the city of New New York. But while this wins him lots of "minor" prizes (including a jetski!), he still doesn't find the golden bottle cap. He's so frustrated that he declares he will never look at another can of Slurm again. Of course, he immediately goes to the fridge to get another one to drink. That one's the winning can.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The other Planet Express members saying Fry has Ocean Madness after he saw a mermaid in the episode "Deep South." Apparently in a show where each and every element of science fiction is an everyday occurrence, mermaids are just too much. On the other hand...
  • Arc Words:
    • "I need you to wake up," and all its variations in "The Sting". Said by Fry to Leela and eventually revealed to be an attempt at waking Leela from a coma.
    • "A Farewall to Arms" has "Take my hand!"
  • Arson Murder And Jay Walking: Just like in Matt Groening's other show:
    • In "Neutopia", Leela lists two things she doesn't like about being a man, then inexplicably says, "The food at those strip clubs is terrible" as if it were a third reason.
    • In "The Silence of the Clamps", where the Don Bot's daughter says there are three things her father hates most: being a witness, making out with his daughters, and attempts to duplicate his meatball recipe.
    • Towards the end of "The Cyber House Rules", Bender is arrested for "depriving children of food, selling children as food, and misrepresenting the weight of livestock."
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Fry apparently survives a temperature of 109 degrees. Normally, people die if their body temperature reaches ''108'.
    • Zoidberg is seen shivering as he claims he's cold-blooded. Cold-blooded animals don't shiver when cold.
    • The crocodiles seen in "I Second That Emotion" have overbites like alligators, instead of interlocking teeth. On the other hand, the alligators from "The Series Has Landed" are properly drawn with overbites, though their skin is green instead of black or gray.
    • Rabbits and hares are drawn with noses more like a cat's or a dog's than actual rabbit noses.
    • From "Fry and Leela's Big Fling":
      • The proboscis monkeys are drawn without tails.
      • Many of the chimpanzees have their fur colored brown (real chimps all have black fur).
      • The gazelles in the zoo have body shapes and faces more like those of a deer than an actual gazelle.
    • The toucan seen in "Meanwhile" has three toes in front and one in back. Real toucans have two toes in front and two in back like parrots, which in this series are drawn with only one toe in back.
    • When Fry and Leela express their disgust at Slurm being the secretions of the Slurm Queen in "Fry and the Slurm Factory", the Slurm Queen rationalizes that marketing something that comes out of her behind as a drink isn't that bad because milk comes from a cow's behind and that honey comes from a bee's behind, both claims being complete bullshit. Cow's milk actually comes from their udders, while bees make honey by storing nectar in a secondary stomach before regurgitating it. That of course might just be the point… the Queen making excuses to justify her product.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: In one of the season 7 holiday specials, explosive reforestation has super-saturated the earth's atmosphere with oxygen. When Bender lights a cigar, this results in the entire planet being incinerated. This would only make sense if you think that oxygen is flammable. Being surrounded with pure, or nearly pure oxygen would only make the cigar burn faster, there's no way for it to somehow spread fire to anything else, much less the entire planet.
  • Artistic License – Physics: You know how the moon's gravity has a huge impact on the tides? Well they have Mars bypass Earth so close, that the average person could literally jump from Mars onto Earth and land unharmed. While Earth and Mars are in close proximity you see bodies of water, and they are not reacting to this in the slightest. Semi-justified, in the commentary track for this episode, it's explained that this decision was made due to technical limitations.
  • Art Shift:
  • Artists Are Attractive: Leela seems to have a thing for musicians.
  • As Himself: In "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" (otherwise known as the Star Trek episode), every member of the original cast reprised their role, playing both themselves, AND were forced to play TOS' old characters "as themselves" during the episode. Well, ALMOST every member... (Doohan was still alive at the time the episode was written, but in deteriorating health. The working title of the episode was "We Got Everyone But Scotty", which wound up not being accurate anyway, as DeForest Kelley died in 1999; Bones did appear in the episode but had no lines).
  • Ascended Extra: Quite a few, including Roberto, Lrrr and Ndnd, Smitty and URL, and Hattie McDoogal.
    • Scruffy. 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.
    • A strange case of this occurred with the "Number 9 Guy", who appears in many crowd shots as early as the series pilot, before finally getting a plot relevant role. The writers had always wanted to feature him, but were unable to fit him into an episode plot until "Into the Wild Green Yonder." Originally, he was to have been a part of a futuristic caste system, but this was abandoned early on.
    • The sexy young doctor named Dr. Cahill, (although Fry just called her Dr. Good and Sexy) who, after the first movie, become a recurrent character in the next seasons.
    • Hedonismbot was initially created for a single throwaway joke, but became popular enough that he shows up repeatedly afterwards.
  • Ascended Meme: Comedy Central's promos for the 2012 season uses the "Squinting Fry", "Why Not Zoidberg?", and "Your X is Bad And You Should Feel Bad" memes. For bonus points, the ads are voiced by Billy West.
  • Asian Airhead: Amy Wong, partially subverted as she has an advanced science degree at a younger age than most scientists in the Futurama universe.
  • Asteroids Monster: A Slurm-slug exhibits this ability after being hit by Leela.
  • Asymmetric Dilemma: This is one of the series' recurring gag formats.
    Zoidberg: Oh joy, a coupon! Two oil changes for the price of one! Now if only I could afford the one. And a car...
  • Athletically Challenged: The episode "A Leela of Her Own" has Leela becoming the first blernsball pitcher. But her poor depth perception means she can't aim properly and leads her to becoming the worst blernsball player of all time. She even manages to beat out Hank Aaron XXIV for that title (even though he still holds the title of worst football player of all time).
  • Auction: In "A Fishful of Dollars," Fry buys everything on the block at one such establishment, including $50 millionnote  all for the last can of anchovies in existence.
    • When the crew goes into the Internet with their net suits, they see that the Milky Way has been auctioned off to a being of inconceivable horror on eBay.
  • Author Appeal: Deliberately parodied at numerous points.
    • While the future doesn't have Fry's "primitive notions of modesty", the only characters who seem to have no sense of modesty are Farnsworth (over 150 years old), Hermes (obese), and Cubert (twelve, overweight, and only really immodest when he's first taken out of his cloning vat).
    • Dialogue in "Why Must I be a Crustacean in Love?" may imply that humans have been genetically engineered to have larger penises, or it's possibly an oblique reference to Fry being circumcised, which according to Arthur C. Clarke, is illegal in the year 3001...unless Leela and Amy are just messing with him for being in the non-coëd steam-room with them.
    • There are the giant Amazon women in Fur Bikinis.
    • There's a speculative fiction fetish for nearly everyone, and they're all going down.
  • Avengers Assemble: In the beginning of "The Bots and the Bees", Farnsworth used a Planet Express Bat Signal to summon everybody into work at once. Amy was having sex, Zoidberg was eating out of a dumpster, Hermes left his home to go to work, and Fry, Leela and Bender escaped from a giant spider in space. Why did Farnsworth needed them so quickly? To tell them about the office's new soda machine!
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Roberto, the criminally insane, psychotic stab-bot.
      "I was built by a team of engineers tryin' to create an insane robot. But it seems... they failed!"
    • Impulsive!Leela during Anthology of Interest.

  • The B Grade: The reason that Dr. Wernstrom hates Professor Farnsworth is because Farnsworth gave him an "A" minus in college, because "Penmanship counts." Wernstrom takes revenge 99 years laternote  by giving Farnsworth's failed plan "the worst grade imaginable!"—an "A" minus minus.
  • Back for the Finale: A single scene of Into the Wild Green Yonder (which was at the time a finale), depicts up to two hundred fifty minor and recurring characters that have appeared in the series.
  • Backwards-Firing Gun: Used in "Assie Come Home". When making a delivery Leela has Bender bend the barrels of all the guns, leading to all the gang members killing themselves.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Fry's episode of Single Female Lawyer, the cast's interference with Calculon's wedding (soap opera style), Bender's audition for All My Circuits.
    • Subverted in "Yo Leela Leela". The crew gets to act on Leela's kids show. While it sounds like Bad "Bad Acting" on the surface, it actually fits with the more deliberate and easy to follow style of a real kids show. On top of that, the aliens Leela based her show on actually do speak and act like kids' show characters.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Farnsworth is a mild example (compared to others on the show), openly admitting to underpaying his employees and unnecessarily risking their lives.
    • Glurmo in "Fry and the Slurm Factory". He requires Slurms Mackenzie to party nonstop in order to keep his job and revokes the Grunka-Lunkas' bathroom break for singing.
    • The only employees of MomCorp we ever actually see Mom interact with are her sons (and Farsnworth in flashbacks), but she's abusive to all of them.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • Richard Nixon became president in "A head in the polls. He was reelected in "Decision 3012". How about that for a bad guy wining?
    • At the end of the part of "Bender's Game" that is a parody of the Lord of Rings. Momon, an expy of Sauron, finally recovered the Dice of Power
    • "Attack of the Killer App" ends with Mom's scheme succeeding mostly because the protagonists weren't even aware of it.
  • Bad Mood Retreat: Prof. Farnsworth reacts to bad news by telling everyone that he'll be in his "Anger Dome". He is then seen in a glass dome, ranting and shaking his fists.
  • Bad News in a Good Way: "Good news, everyone!" "Uh-oh, I don't like the sound of that."
  • Bad Santa: In the future, Santa Claus is real, and he's an Ax-Crazy robot who tries to murder everyone every year because nobody can meet his impossible standards for niceness. However Zoidberg does.
  • Bail Equals Freedom: Bender's arrest for serial graffiti is forgotten about after he's bailed out.
  • Bait-and-Switch Time Skip: In one episode, Fry and his ex-girlfriend Michelle cryogenically freeze themselves with the intention of waking up in the year 4000 and discover a barren wasteland when they emerge. However, the cryogenic pod was merely set to 2 days and was shipped to L.A. while they were frozen.
  • Banana Republic: Earth is effectively one, but in space and blended with Type II Eagleland for flavour.
  • Bare Your Midriff:
    • Amy's default pink tracksuit. And her riding outfit. And her assorted evening dresses. And her funeral gown. Generally, Amy.
    • LaBarbara Conrad.
  • Barn Raising: Fry participates in one while on the Amish Homeworld in "Ghost in the Machines".
  • Barred from the Afterlife: Happens to Bender in "Ghost in the Machines" when he's murdered and his software is stuck in an infinite loop on the wireless network, effectively making him a ghost.
    • The Robot Devil apparently doesn't have this power, as much as he would like to when Calculon dies and winds up in Robot Hell.
  • Basement-Dweller: Melllvar. Used as a Take That! to Star Trek fans; the obsessive and annoying ones, anyway.
  • Battle Tops: Chanukkah Zombie's space fighter shoots dreidels.
  • Beard of Evil: Invoked by Fry (and later Leela) in "Lesser of Two Evils" as one reason for believing Flexo is Bender's Evil Twin. Subverted in that Bender is the Evil Bender.
  • Beard of Sorrow:
    • Parodied in that when Bender stopped drinking, he developed a beard-shaped patch of rust.
    • Played straight with the time duplicate Fry who would eventually become Lars in Bender's Big Score.
  • Becoming the Mask: Bender gets a robotic gender switch in order to win Olympic gold medals (in female bending events). And then Calculon falls for him.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Leonardo da Vinci came to Earth from another planet because he was considered an idiot on his.
  • Behemoth Battle:
    • "Anthology of Interest I": A giant Bender is attacking the city, so Professor Farnsworth enlarges Zoidberg to fight it.
      Hermes: We're jerked! Nothing can stop a monster that big!
      Prof. Farnsworth: Nothing except an even more equally big monster!
    • "Benderama": Bender combines with his nanoreplicants to form one giant Bender to fight an alien giant.
  • Being God Is Hard: Bender becomes a god to a bunch of micro sized aliens that landed on him. His seemingly simple request for beer led to them having many hardships and famine for them. And then they waged religious war against the other micro alien colony on Bender that couldn't see him and didn't believe he existed. And then everyone died. Later in the episode Bender met an entity that may or may not be the real God, and shared notes. Conclusion reached: being god is hard.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Kif is practically the poster boy for it.
    Brannigan: And have the boy lay out my formal shorts.
    Kif: The boy?
    Brannigan: You. You lay out my formal shorts.
    • Again in "A Flight to Remember":
      Brannigan: Kif, I'm feeling the Captain's Itch!\\
Kif: Sighs I'll get the powder.
  • Lampshaded in Into the Wild Green Yonder:
    Brannigan [after having arrested everyone]: Kif — round 'em up. And spare me the weary sigh this time.
  • The Benchwarmer: Leela's short run as a blernsball player was a cross between this and Dancing Bear. She was terrible at it, due to her cyclopean lack of depth perception, but her status as the first female blernsball player (combined with her tendency to accidentally hit opposing players with her pitches) meant she would often be brought off the bench just to entertain the crowd.
  • Beneficial Disease: In "Parasites Lost", eating a bad sandwich gives Fry worms that rebuild his body, making him stronger and smarter.
  • Berserk Button: The three Benders make fun of the ugly alien giant for being ugly which he accepts, but Fry's big mistake when he talks about his mother.
  • Best of All Possible Worlds: Most of the "Anthology of Interest" episodes are like this.
  • Beta Couple: Both parodied and played straight in Kif and Amy.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Bender bending a concrete wall (not breaking it, bending it like it was flexible) in "Into the Wild Green Yonder" despite the fact that concrete is not on the list of approved bendables.
    • Earlier, he bent an Unbendable girder (with the aid of Bend-Gay). Later, he bends a wooden door.
      Fry: Bender, you can't bend a wooden door!
      Bender: You know that, and I know that, but this door looks a little dense.
  • Big Applesauce: The show takes place in New New York, which is built over the remains of old New York.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Gigantic fembots are considered this among robotkind, no matter how boxy or monotone they are.
  • Big Damn Movie: there are a couple of ordinary episodes that threaten reality, but the movies generally raise the stakes.
  • Big Eater: Nibbler (and the rest of the Nibblonians). Let the Feast Of A Thousand Hams begin! Also Zoidberg, whenever he's not rummaging through garbage cans. He destroys an entire buffet table in "Roswell That Ends Well." There were hints of Amy of being one throughout the series, but it wasn't until "The Prisoner of Benda" when she switched bodies that she wanted to satisfy her food lust.
  • Big Little Man: When Bender wonders what it would be like to be 500 feet high, we're shown a towering Bender... who then turns out to be a normal-sized robot constructing the giant Bender.
  • Big "NO!":
    • In Mars University, when Professor Farnsworth realizes his pet monkey wants to be only decently smart and get a degree in business, instead of a being a genius.
    • Fry cuts loose with one after invading aliens destroy his sand castle.
    • Large Ham acting unit Calculon has one in one of his movies. The whole clip is just the Big No, and yet he says it needs no context. It's then hilariously lampshaded:
      Talk show host-bot: ...And now a scene from All My Circuits. Calculon, care to set this one up?
      Calculon: No, I think the one speaks for itself.
      * clip of Calculon belting a Big "NO!" while a pirate, parrot and all, flips burgers on a barbecue in the background.*
      Calculon: Interesting side note: the script called for me to say "Yes", but I gave it a little twist.
    • The newer seasons favor this trope. First Fry did this when the censoring satellite V-Giny refused to censor Leela and Zapp's copulation. Then the Professor did one when he realized he'd lived to see the day when Amy and Bender got engaged. And Bender had this reaction when he learned that he didn't have a back-up unit and will die one day.
      Farnsworth: I'm just glad I didn't live to see this day.
      (Beat) Wait a minute... (checks pulse)
    • In "A Flight to Remember", there's one from Bender after losing Countess de la Roca in the black hole while evacuating from the Titanic(also sucked in the black hole):
      Bender: Tell me.... how much do you think it's worth? (gives pendant to Hermes, who whips out a loupe that he seems to just carry around)
      Hermes: It's fake, mon.
      Bender: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
    • One from Hermes in his flashback from the 2980 Olympics when one of his fans attempts to limbo the stick, which is very low, causing him to break his back.
    • Leela gets one in "Yo Leela Leela," after lying about the Rumbledy-Hump planet leads to sweatshop-like jobs for the Humplings and the orphans.
    • The Planet Express ship does this when Bender breaks up with her in "Love And Rockets".
    • Fry gets one in "Into the Wild Green Yonder" when Bender ruins the game of Tetris he was playing.
  • Big "OMG!": Bender gives one to Leela after finding out she slept with Zapp Brannigan in Love's Labours Lost In Space.
    Bender: So what's the problem? It's not like you slept with him.
    (Leela with a guilty look as Fry's mouth drops)
    Bender: Ooooooh mmmmy god.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Bigfoot exists, as seen in the episode "Spanish Fry". Also provides the page quote:
    Professor Farnsworth: Bunk! Bunk, I say! Bring me a bag full of Bigfoot's droppings, or shut up!
    Ranger Park: I have the droppings of someone who saw Bigfoot.
    Professor Farnsworth: Shut up!
  • Bigger on the Inside: Bender's torso compartment somehow fit the entirety of Fry's body in "The Honking". On other instances he can be seen cramming it full of various stuff—often stuff he'd stolen.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • The "alien writing" seen in the background of many scenes are actually ciphers. Fans made a game of decoding them, and the messages are often shouts-out. There's actually two versions; one is a simple substitution cypher — the other is almost maddeningly complicated.
    • In the global warming episode, the crew goes to Kyoto and passes a "Curious Pussycat" billboard that states "I love you more than your mother."
    • Whenever Amy gets angry and curses in Chinese, though according to the audio commentary for the second episode, what Lauren Tom yelled in Chinese was harsh and insulting, but not obscene, for example 'Dah seh nehh!' ('I'll beat you to death!').
    • Adolf Hitler gets a single line in "The Late Philip J. Fry". In German, it translates to "Behold my mustache!"
    • Kiff is a South African slang word meaning, roughly, "Great!, Good! Fantastic!" - In keeping with the optimistic nature of the character? It's also a Moroccan word for low-grade cannabis that is usually smoked with tobacco.
    • In the first Christmas episode, the characters point out that they actually pronounce it X-mas. After Fry buys Leela a parrot, you can see a sign in the background that says 'Cerrado Para Xavidad.' 'Cerrado Para Navidad' means 'Closed for Christmas.'
    • In "The Bots and the Bees", Wanda and Ben live at "Basura Blancanote  Trailer Estates".
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mom, who presents a down-to-earth family values image to the world, but in reality is a thoroughly wicked old woman who lives for vengeance, power, and cruelty.
  • Bizarrchitecture:
    • When Fry and Bender are looking for a new apartment, and get a tour of a famous Escher painting. (Bender falls down an endless staircase.)
      Fry: I don't know if I want to pay for a dimension we're not going to use.
    • An elevator that moves the building up and down. Complete with people screaming like it's a carnival ride.
    • The Central Bureaucracy has a giant Rubik's Cube made out of smaller Rubik's Cubes, which are in turn made out of offices. So a Rubik's Cubicle.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Zoidberg and Kif. Plus most of the other Bizarre Aliens in the show.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality:
    • On the one hand, we have:
      • Violent criminals (Roberto, the Robot Mafia, Santa)
      • Amoral scumbags (Leo Wong, Zapp Brannigan)
      • Power-hungry tyrants (Lrr, Nixon, Mom)
    • And on the other hand, we have:
      • Fry, whose heart is in the right place but whose lack of intelligence often screws things up for everybody,
      • Leela, who while normally on the right side of the conflict is often unnecessarily short-tempered in achieving her goals,
      • Bender, who constantly flip-flops between good and evil depending on what the plot requires,
      • Farnsworth, an amoral crackpot with very little regard for human life (though he also flip-flops a lot),
      • Zoidberg, who exists mostly to be a punching bag,
      • And Hermes, who does exactly what he's paid to do and no more, often regardless of ethics.
  • Black Comedy: See Crapsack World way below. Random death and destruction is frequently Played for Laughs on this show.
  • Black Comedy Pet Death: In the episode "Xmas Story", Fry buys Leela a parrot as a present, only for the parrot to be killed by the Bad Santa and cooked by Bender and eaten by Nibbler.
  • Black Comedy Rape/Double Standard Rape: Female on Male:
    • The Leela/Zapp plot of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela", done to prevent a sentient death-star-like machine from destroying the planet.
    • Not to mention "Amazon Women in the Mood".
    • "Prepare to be boarded again and again."
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word:
    Bender: I prefer the term "extortion"! The "X" makes it sound cool.
  • The Blank: "The Farnsworth Parabox" - When the group is going through various alternate universes, the alternate Amy stumbles upon a universe where everyone is faceless.
    Hermes: We didn't see anything...Ever!
  • Blatant Lies: "Good news, everyone!"
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The German dub suffers from this - starting even before Fry gets frozen. "Doomsday prophets cautiously upbeat" - "Weltuntergangspropheten vorsichtig verprügelt" (which translates back to English as 'Doomsday prophets cautiously beaten up').
    • The Brazilian dub also has a lot of this. Just as example, they translated the above phrase to Portuguese as "Ano novo, cuidado ao ter muita esperança" (or "New Year, be careful in having too much hope").
    • In the Italian dub, the "Were-Car" was translated as "Auto che Era" rather than "Auto Mannara". In shorts, they've mistaken the "were" as in werewolf for the past form of "is".
  • Blind People Wear Sunglasses: Kirk, one of Leela's former bullies at the orphanarium, is a blind kid with round sunglasses. When Leela runs into him at the orphans' reunion, he looks almost the same, with the same sunglasses. He's also become deaf on top of being blind.
  • Bloody Hilarious: In spades! The fantasy and sci-fi setting of the show allow for more blatant Gorn than its Dom Com predecessor The Simpsons, and that's especially true after it was moved from Fox to the raunchier Comedy Central. Try and count how many times Fry, Leela, and Bender and the gang have had limbs cut off, been decapitated, burned, torn in half, stabbed, and even blown into mush, almost always played for laughs. 90% of that is mostly Fry though. And of course, they're always saved by science in the end.
  • Blood Sport: The Butterfly Derby, An all-female sport popular on the moon involving two teams of two fighting while wearing butterfly wingsuits. It is implied that crippling injuries are common and the championship match takes place over a Lava Pit.
    • There's also the aptly-named Death Ball in "Beast with a Billion Backs," which encourages crushing players with a giant rolling ball.
  • Blernsball Episode: "A Leela of Her Own" (though the Lead In for "Fear of a Bot Planet" introduced the sport).
  • Body Backup Drive: Robots built in Futurama have a wireless backup unit that save a copy of them every day, so if their bodies get killed, they'd just download into another body. With the notable exception of Bender.
  • Body Horror: the Bone-itis death of That Guy.
    • A fair number of Zoidberg's attempts at surgery, most noticeably in "The Tip of the Zoidberg". In that episode, an "actual doctor" describes the results as looking like a "gruesome shark attack".
    • Another example is death by Langdon Cobb (an adoration vampire). Seeing his picture leaves the viewer as an empty, paper-thin husk. The process looks incredibly painful.
  • Boobs of Steel: Leela is probably the toughest person in the series. She's also among the bustiest.
  • Book Ends: The final scene in Into the Wild Green Yonder
    • Into the Wild Green Yonder also has what could have been a Book Ends had the show not been Un-Canceled; in the first episode, Fry Bender, and later Leela are on the run. Wild Green Yonder ends with them on the run again, this time with the rest of the Planet Express crew as well.
    • The Series Has Landed, the second episode of the series, has the new Planet Express Crew making their first delivery to Luna Park, an amusement park on the moon. Meanwhile, the Comedy Central series finale, has the crew making their last delivery there. At the very end of the episode, Fry and Leela are sent in a time loop, and will relive their lives starting just before the professor thought of the Time Button which got them in the episode's mess in the first place. Immediately after the episode was broadcast, the first episode, Space Pilot 3000, started airing.
  • Boot Camp Episode: Fry and Bender enlist in order to take advantage of a discount for recruits, with the understanding that they can quit unless "War were declared". Three seconds later, "War were declared."
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: In the episode "Ghost In The Machines":
    Hermes: (indicating a graph) As you can see, since Bender's death, requests to bite one's shiny metal ass are down 98%. (Scruffy uses Bender's remains to vacuum) Do you mind doing that later?
    Scruffy: Bite my shiny metal ass. (the graph rises)
    • In "Decision 3012", Bender is partially blown up early in the episode. Once he puts himself back together he walks in and announces "Good news, everyone." The Professor does a confused double-take.
    • In "Jurassic Bark", Fry delivers the "Good news everyone!" instead of the professor.
  • Bowdlerise: In "Saturday Morning Fun Pit", Nixon does this on the fly during a showing of G.I.Zapp, unconvincingly dubbing over lines to soften the violent content; for example, having a mook hit by a tomahawk say "I caught it!", or saying that a plane crashing over a hill landed safely near a naturally-occurring fiery explosion.
    • In syndicated versions of Futurama that are shown in the U.S. Deep South and lower mid-west, Professor Farnsworth's Catchphrase is "Sweet (mouth keeps moving but there is no audio)".
  • Brain Bleach: Everyone has this reaction in "Mother's Day" to discovering Mom and Farnsworth in bed together.
  • Brain in a Jar: Heads, actually, typically involving present-day celebrities (such as the pickled head of Stephen Hawking in a way-cool rocket).
    • Also parodied, as they have the head of every US president going back to Washington.
    • Also inverted: as Vice President of Earth, Spiro Agnew is a headless body.
  • Brainless Beauty: Amy at least some of the time. Somewhat played with in that Amy is an intern going for a masters degree in astro-physics, she's just ditzy. Unfortunately, the bookworm element rarely makes an appearance.
    • The sixth season makes a concerted effort to show her assisting more with Farnsworth's experiments, and finally getting her doctorate after interning with him for 12 years.
    • Fry becomes one in 'Neutopia' after being turned into a woman
      Female Fry: Now when I say stupid things guys all laugh and buy me stuff!
  • Brain Monster: The Brain Spawn are a race of giant, flying, telekinetic brains with the ability to telepathically drain the intelligence of animals, robots, and some plants. Their goal is to store all knowledge in the universe in a giant database, then destroy the universe so that no new knowledge will be generated, because apparently that's less work than making continual updates for all eternity.
  • Brainwashed: In Insane in the Mainframe, Fry is taken to HAL Institute for Criminally Insane Robots, where after lengthy mental and physical abuse he emerges thinking he is a robot.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: In "A Taste Of Freedom", after the Decapodians have taken control of Earth, Fry, Leela, Zap, Kip, and Bender steal a heat-seeking missile from a museum to fight back. It doesn't work right until Zoidberg helps.
  • Break the Haughty: In the "Mars University" episode, Gunther, the professor's arrogant and hyper-intelligent monkey, gets taken down a peg or two when his Amazingly Embarrassing Parents are unleashed on Parent's Weekend.
  • Breaking In Old Habits:
    • In one of the earliest episodes, Fry's hands get eaten by a T. rex. He's then taken to a "Handcrafters" store to get new hands. He says "I'll break them in tonight."
    • In "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings", Fry switches hands with the Robot Devil. While the Robot Devil's hands immediately try to choke Fry, the robot devil complains that Fry's hands "keep touching me! In places!". Fry responds: "Yeah, they get around".
  • Breakout Character: Bender and Zoidberg.
  • Brick Joke:
    • When the gang goes to get Bender's brain back from the Central Bureaucracy, the elderly man in front of them states that he's still waiting for his birth certificate. Later in Season 6...
      Old Man: I'd like to file for a death certifica— ERK!
      He falls over dead
      Teller: Sorry, that's Section C. Next!
    • That Omicronian-esque "cross-species-dresser" in Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences wants to have Lrrr's Popplers!
    • Also in the hundredth episode, Barbados Slim is shown dancing with Hermes' wife, LaBarbara Conrad. In "Bender's Big Score", she leaves Hermes for Barbados because Hermes loses his body
    • In X-mas Story, Leela tells Fry that the word "ask" is now pronounced "axe". It's pronounced this way for the rest of the series!
    • In the Season 6 episode, The Prisoner of Benda, Professor Farnsworth (who is actually Leela) covers his right eye to see properly, which was done in an earlier episode.
      • This was also brought up in the episode where Leela visits the Orphanarium as a "success story." One orphan covers her eye and declares "I'm Leela!" A second orphan covers both eyes and exclaims "I'm double-Leela" and promptly runs into a wall.
    • In A Clockwork Origin, Farnsworth reveals that Zoidberg is Cubert's godfather. This seems like a typical "Zoidberg is a loser" joke, but The Tip of the Zoidberg shows that the two have been close friends for decades, meaning it actually makes sense that Farnsworth asked Zoidberg to be the godfather.
    • In "Anthology of Interest I", the Finglonger turns out to be key. It later shows up occasionally, when Farnsworth has to poke Lrrr awake.
    • In the second episode ("The Series has Landed"), we learn about Bender's secret desire to be a folk singer, which got a whole episode dedicated to it ("Bendin' in the Wind") in Season 3 as well as one in Season 7 ("Forty Percent Leadbelly") It also references magnets shorting out Bender's inhibition unit and making him sing uncontrollably, which was also revealed in the second episode.
    • Also in the second episode, Farnsworth idly muses "Ah, to be young again... and also a robot." This is exactly what happens to him in "The Prisoner of Benda" six whole seasons later, via mind-switching.
    • An extremely subtle one in Overclockwise when the Professor and Cubert are on trial: Bender convinces the court to drop charges against Cubert (as he is a minor). Once the court does so, Bender then successfully argues that the Professor cannot be charged due to double jeopardy, as Cubert is a clone of the Professor. Basically they are the same person, so the double jeopardy rules apply.
    • In "War is the H-Word", Fry joins the military so he can get a discount on ham-flavored chewing gum. At the end of the episode, Henry Kissinger commends him for having the heart of a hero "and breath that smells like a fresh summer ham!"
    • In "A Flight to Remember" in the first season, Bender comments that he can always remember the Countess by her diamond bracelet, but is dismayed to find that it's fake. Two seasons later, in a flashback set soon after the episode, Bender nonchalantly tosses the bracelet in a garbage can.
  • Brown Bag Mask: Langdon Cobb from "The Thief of Baghead" always wears one.
  • Brown Note: ...and with good reason, as he's a quantum lichen, a creature whose appearance, even in a photograph, causes one to lose their lifeforce, leaving behind a limp husk.
  • Buffy Speak: Zapp Brannigan in the episode "A Flight to Remember":
    Zapp: We'll simply set a new course for that empty region over there, near that black-ish, hole-ish thing.
  • Bullet Hole Spelling: An interesting variation occurs in a Flash Forward from "The Late Philip J. Fry". After realizing that Fry abandoned her because he was dragged into a forward-only time-travel experiment, Leela goes to the abandoned Cavern on the Green restaurant and shoots holes into the ceiling with her laser pistol; the water leaking out of the holes drop onto the ground, gradually forming stalactites that form a message for Fry that he reads a billion years later on a dying Earth.
  • Burner Phones: Exaggerated in an episode where a "nectar" dealer gives Leela and Amy the number to her disposable cell phone in case they change their minds about her product. Then a minute later they call it, before she even leaves the room, and the dealer tosses the phone into a wastebasket immediately after.
  • Burning the Flag: Done for practical purposes when Zoidberg burns an Earthican flag to give a heat-seeking missile a heat source to lock onto. The plot at the beginning of the episode concerned him getting in trouble for eating a flag (ironically he's more patriotic than any of the humans present; he did it to demonstrate the freedom it represents). By burning a flag to literally preserve freedom he was able to get his point across and is vindicated.
  • Bust-Contrast Duo: This can be seen as a kind of inversion, due to flat-chested Amy Wong being a ditzy extrovert and Turanga Leela being a brooding introvert.
  • Butt Cannon: In the episode the gang goes back to Revolutionary times, someone tries to use Bender as a cannon. Much to Bender's surprise, it works (with the ball coming out his butt).
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Zoidberg and Kif, presumably unrelated to their biology, though Fry falls into the category many times as well.
    • Tinny Tim as well. He seems to be well aware of it - "You raised my hopes then dashed them quite expertly, sir"
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Occurs in "A Farewell to Arms" (and probably elsewhere too).

  • Cactus Cushion: In "The Tip of the Zoidberg", Fry gets stung trying to shake hands with the Cactus People, which turned out to be just ordinary cacti.
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": Bender's favorite insult for humans is "meatbag". Doubles as an Insult of Endearment when referring to his friends, especially Fry.
  • Call-Back: In the episode "The Late Philip J. Fry", at the very end, when Fry, Bender, and Farnsworth return to their own age (well, two universes later), they inadvertently crush the ones already existing in that time, provoking Farnsworth to remark "That takes care of the Time Paradox!" a reference to "Bender's Big Score," where the Time Paradox is a huge plot point.
    • In the same episode, you can see various scenes from previous Futurama episodes and movies, such as Fry and That Eighties Guy entering the conference table, and Professor Farnsworth attached to Yivo.
    • The best example of this was the call back to the pilot episode in the first minute of "Law and Oracle", where it starts with Fry playing a game similar to Paperboy and losing, with Zoidberg and Leela using the respective lines of the little boy and Mr. Panucci.
    • In "The Silence of the Clamps", Zoidberg uses his mating head crest.
    • In "Less than Hero", we briefly see piranhas walking with the device Ogden Wernstrom presented way back in season one's "A Big Ball of Garbage".
    • In "All the Presidents' Heads", we get this exchange in reference to Bender's various claims throughout the 1999-2003 run of the series of the different percentage of materials that he was composed of:
      Paul Revere: Ah, I see that the new scrap metal I ordered is here.
      Bender: I'm 40% scrap metal, baby. (pounds on chest)
    • In "Amazon Women in the Mood", Kiff refers to the accident in "A Flight To Remember" to explain when Amy gave him her number. It also shows Bender tossing away the fake heirloom from the fembot he met who died on the ship.
    • In the Elephant Seal segment of "Naturama", a "beach king" Bender seal murmurs in his sleep "Kill all penguins". This likely references an episode where he once posed as a penguin on Pluto and inadvertently led them to use guns.
      • Though this is probably a reference to Bender's repeated uses of "kill all humans." As a seal, Bender would see penguins as the different species, hence the "kill all penguins" line.
      • In the episode "Forty Percent Leadbelly", an engineer is sorting through Bender's saved files which include folders for his "Main Personality" and "Alternate Penguin Personality"
    • The Scooby Doo parody segment in "Saturday Morning Fun Pit" contains a callback all the way to "Space Pilot 3000" by bringing back the drawer full of wires.
      Farnsworth [Space Pilot 3000]: ...And over there is my intergalactic spaceship, and here's where I keep assorted lengths of wire. [opens drawer]
      ''Farnsworth [Saturday Morning Fun Pit]: ...That's my cloning machine, this is the drawer where I keep assorted lengths of wire [opens drawer], and those are the Harlem Globetrotters.
    • In "Bend Her", Bender gets a sex change and pretends to be a fembot named Coilette in order to compete in the Olympics, and ends up almost marrying Calculon before faking her own death and changing back to a manbot. In "Calculon 2.0", we briefly get a look inside Calculon's suitcase; there's a photo of Coilette in the corner.
    • In "The Terrestrial", Fry becomes the E.T. equivalent to a young Omicronian prince called Jrrr. Very likely the same little delicious Omicronian larval form who was almost eaten by, then protected by, then saved Leela, all the way back in "The Problem with Popplers" (who introduced himself while in Leela's mouth with the words "I am Jrrr of the Planet Omicron Persei 8".
    • In "Fry and Leela's big fling" there is again mention of Leela's ex-boyfriend, Sean. He was first mentioned in "Why must I be a crustacean in love?" This time, he appears in person.
  • Calling Shotgun: In "Parasites Lost", Bender does this for seats in the tiny ship to go through Fry's intestines, barely beating out Zoidberg.
  • Calvinball: Blernsball, the game that baseball has evolved into by the year 3000. It's as impossible for Fry to follow as it would be for someone from the year 1000 to understand modern baseball. Of course, the writers are actually just making stuff up. At various times, it included outfielders riding giant spiders, a multiball function, and a trick shot Golden Snitch in the form of an outfield target that said "Hit Ball Here to Win Game."
  • The Cameo: 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!
  • Can-Crushing Cranium: Bender, with a whole keg.
  • Cannibalism Superpower:
    • The Professor gives advice to this effect in "War is the H-Word".
      Professor: If you kill an enemy, be sure to eat their heart. To gain their courage. Their rich, tasty courage.
    • Hermes once swallowed a calculator to gain its power.
    • In a variation, when Cubert overclocked Bender's CPU, causing him to expand his processing power however possible, Bender destroyed then scavenged several Mom-corp recall robots for their processing chips.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Humorbot
    "And I said 'Supercollider? I hardly know her.' Then they built the Supercollider. Thank you."
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': A very brief example of this occurs when Fry visits the abandoned ruins of Old New York and realizes he can jaywalk without fear of getting a ticket. The moment he crosses the middle of the street, he is run-over by a lizard the size of a bus which appears out of nowhere.
  • Can't Live Without You: After Fry is critically injured in a car crash, his head is placed on Amy's body to keep him alive until his body is healed.
  • Can't See a Damn Thing: When Leela's one eye is injured, she has to wear an eye patch. Unable to see, she believes she is successfully piloting the craft, but she is holding Nibbler's feeding bowl instead of the control wheel.
    Leela: Eyesight is for chumps.
  • The Caper: "Viva Mars Vegas", where the gang tries to steal the Wong's casino back from the Robot Mafia.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • "Bender, on the screen! It's that guy you are!"
    • "Bender need brain for smart-making!"
    • "Ow! Fire hot!"
    • "Ow! Fire indeed hot!"
    • "I'm a gigantic brain!"
    • Lampshaded in The Honking, when Bender, Leela, and Fry follow some tire tracks, which lead directly under a garage door.
      Leela: The tracks lead here.
      Fry: Thanks, eagle eye.
    • These gems from Deep South:
      Farnsworth: Be careful with that unbreakable diamond filament!
      Bender: If it's unbreakable, why do I have to be careful?
    • and another
      Zoidberg: I'll save us by cutting the unbreakable diamond filament! Oh, I can't cut it.
    • and yet another:
      Fry: How many atmospheres can the ship withstand?
      Professor: Well it's a space ship, so I'd say between zero and one.
  • Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: Zapp Brannigan.
  • Cardboard Box Home: Fry asks if the homeless still use boxes to live in. Bender says yes, "but the rents are outrageous."
  • Casting Gag: In "Saturday Morning Fun Pit" Fry is an Expy of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo parody which is a reference to the fact that Billy West voiced Shaggy in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island.
  • Casual Interplanetary Travel: All the time. A few gags reference it, most notably in the second episode where Fry counts down to the ship launching, only to arrive when he gets to about 3.
    Fry: Can I count down?
    Leela: Huh? Sure.
    *They take off and rapidly approach the moon as Fry counts*
    Fry: Ten... nine... eight... seven...
    Leela: We're here.
    Fry: *quickly* Sixfivefourthreetwoone blast off!
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Distance is no barrier to plot, and our perpetually broke protagonists regularly make jaunts that are at least outside the Solar System.
  • Casually Powerful Giant:
    • In one episode, when tiny versions of the Planet Express crew are about to go inside Fry, Leela blows away Amy with a puff of breath after Amy makes a passive-aggressive comment about her appearance.
    • Happens several times in the episode "Godfellas" when Bender tries to help the people living on him. His attempts to give them wealth gets several crushed by a quarter. When he tries to provide sunlight for them to grow their crops he accidentally causes a fire, and when he tries to blow it out it puts out the fire, but also accidentally blows several of the farmers into space. And when Bender cries, he accidentally causes a flood.
  • Casual Time Travel: Initially averted as the writers felt that time travel stories were difficult to make sense and didn't want the viewers to wonder why the characters didn't use it all the time; when they finally decided to do a time travel episode, "Roswell That Ends Well", they made the method of time travel an extremely rare occurrencenote  to explain the latter point. However, the DVD movies and revived series have been playing this straighter, as source of time travel have been discovered to no great fanfare, although usually with some condition; "Bender's Big Score" and "The Late Philip J. Fry" both feature different types of one-way travel, and the button Farnsworth invents in "Meanwhile" is capable of taking the entire universe backwards ten seconds at a time (and takes ten seconds to recharge).
  • Catchphrase: Plenty.
    • Farnsworth:
      "Good news, everyone!"
    • His short lived catchphrase to explain why he lacked motivation to do things: "Although I am already in my pajamas."
    • Bender:
      "Bite my shiny metal ass!"
      • Lampshaded by Zapp when listing Bender's most frequently used words (David Letterman Top 10 style), with "ass" being the trigger for a bomb. Of course, Bender suddenly can't remember the word "ass" to trigger it.
        "Cheese it!"
        "Fun on a bun."
        "I'm back, baby."
        "Neat!" (Takes a photograph)
        "Hot diggity daffodil!"
        "Oy, this guy."
        "I'm 40% <material under discussion>!"
        "Me, Bender."
        "LET'S GO AL-READY!"
    • Scruffy:
      "I'm Scruffy...the janitor."
      "I'm on break."
    • Hermes has two which vary somewhat: "Great [animal] of [place or deity that rhymes with animal]!" and euphemisms involving green snakes and sugarcane. The first one is lampshaded in a scene in one episode, where Hermes is so weak from fatigue that he can only say, "Great... something, of... someplace."
      "MY MANWICH!"
    • In Into the Wild Green Yonder, Hermes' wife LeBarbara attempts these a few times, to Hermes' disapproval.
      Not your strong suit, woman!
    • Zoidberg:
    • Leela:
      "We're boned." (Shared with Bender.)
      "Oh, Lord."
    • While Amy doesn't have a standard catchphrase, she frequently says futuristic slang in replacement of modern slang, notably "Duh!". Examples include:
      "What the shmell happened?"
    • Elzar, though it must be noted that he's an Expy of Emeril Lagasse, and the catch phrases are borrowed from him.
      "Let's knock it up a notch."
    • Kif's exasperated sigh.
    • "I am Lrrr, ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8!"
      • Best lampshaded when he's in disguise and introduces himself as "I'm just, some guy... RULER OF THE PLANET OMICRON PERSEI 8!"
      • Also carries over to other Omicronians such as, "I am Drrr, doctor of the planet Omicron Persei 8!"
    • "I'm feeling lucky!" (Used by everyone, with occasional variations)
    • Fry's gotten one in the later seasons whenever he's in an accident.
      "Help! Police!"
      "Oh dip!"
  • Catapult Nightmare: Happens a number of times in the episode "The Sting". Leela catapults Nibbler in the process of waking up at least twice.
  • Cat Up a Tree: In "Less Than Hero", a alien looks sad his cat is in a tree. Clobberella/Leela brings it down. Then, cruel comedy happens as it turns out the alien wanted to eat the cat.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Over time, Futurama went from a Science Fiction Parody to a more character driven, socio-political satire with a darker tone and humor.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Leela, who only has one eye, believes she's an orphaned or abandoned alien, and dreams of meeting her species; later in the series, she discovers that her parents are mutants. Since mutants are second-class citizens relegated to the sewers, her parents figured their relatively normal-looking daughter would live a better life if everyone believed she was an alien.
  • Character Outlives Actor:
    • Happens to DeForest Kelly / Dr. McCoy. In "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", the main cast of Star Trek: The Original Series voice themselves, except for James Doohan and Kelley. While Doohan had simply said he wasn't interested, Kelley had died. As such, Kelley's likeness appears but has no speaking lines.
    • James Doohan may have been uninterested due to his suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Terminal Red Shirt "Welshy" was created (complete with Welsh accent) to be his substitute.
    • Another example: Colleen, Fry's polygamous love interest from the second movie, "Beast With A Billion Backs", who was voice by the sadly departed Brittany Murphy. In the story, Colleen was last seen fully engaged in a relationship with Yivo, the planet-sized tentacly creature from Another Dimension, which gateway was closed off by the end, sealing her status as "presumably still living there with shklim and not going to make any new appearances".
    • Though he technically hadn't begun the role yet, Phil Hartman was scheduled to voice Zapp Brannigan. After Hartman's murder, the role of Zapp Brannigan was given to Billy West. Fry was renamed Philip in his honor.
  • Charity Ball: "The Mutants Are Revolting" features a charity ball for a mutant scholarship program.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Parody: In the episode "Fry And The Slurm Factory".
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Although Fry's lack of a delta wave is the most prominent Chekhov's Gun, there are heaps, with some things returning in the same episode they were introduced to become something significant (e.g. the card for Leela's birthday in 6x05), to returning episodes or even seasons later to become something important (this comes to a head in the movie Bender's Big Score when everything (and everyone) introduced that may seem insignificant early on becomes absolutely essential to the plot later on).
    • Chekhov's Boomerang: That thing with Fry's head? That comes back more than once.
    • Chekhov's Gag: Considering the above list and the fact that this show is primarily comedy, what do you think?
    • Chekhov's Gun:
      • The Quantum Gemerald in The Mutants are Revolting; the powerful beam it emits turns out to be very useful when Fry uses it to save the mutants from a tidal wave of sewage. Better still, the Quantum Gemerald was first mentioned in "Less Than Hero" where the supervillain the crew was fighting against wanted to steal it.
      • In Insane in the Mainframe, Fry (thinking he's a robot) takes a can of oil from Leela and puts it in his inside coat pocket after using it. Later in the episode when Roberto stabs him, his knife ruptures the oil can but doesn't faze Fry, making Roberto think Fry really is a battle robot, causing him to Freak Out and run away, saving the crew.
    • In Bender's Game, while acting out his Dungeons & Dragons-inspired delusions Bender scoops up a ton of dark matter (Nibbler's poop). Later, that same dark matter, responding to the two crystals, combined with Bender's delusions transports everyone to Cornwood.
    • Chekhov's Gunman:
      • Nibbler. Starting from the very first episode.
      • On a less significant scale, several characters show importance later on (in the form of a Chekhov's Army): Scruffy (the janitor (owns half the company)), Robot Santa (important in the movies), President Nixon (introduced as a throwaway and then proceeds to fuck up the earth royally more than once (no surprise)), the Harlem Globetrotters (... they're all brilliant applied physicists), Amy (turns out she's a brilliant grad student), the Robot Devil (sorta).
    • Chekhov's Gift: they're a delivery service... *hint*
    • Chekhov's Hobby: A few, from Professor's Farnsworth's proclivity for inventions (mainly doomsday machines) right down to Hermes' ability to limbo.
      Farnsworth: Doomsday device you say? Ah, now the ball's in Farnsworth's court!
    • Chekhov's Skill: Fry learns how to pilot the ship. And how to play the holophoner, a futuristic musical instrument.
      • In "The Series Has Landed", Amy spends a lot of time playing The Crane Game, in order to get the keys to the ship back. All that practice sure came in handy at the end of the episode, when she needed to save Fry, Leela and Bender using a magnet.
      • Munda's exolinguistics skills (her PhD is brought up in season four's "Leela's Homeworld") come in handy in a season seven episode.
    • Chekhov M.I.A.: ... I'm not even going to bother.
    • Chekhov's Development Team: Because if it's introduced, it is going to come back at some point, even if just to lampshade itself!
  • Chimney Entry: The robotic Santa Claus often enters houses through a chimney to try and kill the people living there. It leads to chimneys having sealing security systems.
  • Chirping Crickets
  • The Chosen One / The Chosen Zero: Fry. Thanks to being his own grandfather (that's time travel for you) Fry is the only sentient being in the universe who lacks a delta brain wave, thus making him immune to various forms of telepathic attack, and earning him the title of "The Mighty One" among the Nibblonians.. In the 30th century, he turns out to be the key to mankind's survival on a number of occasions, to the point that we eventually learn that Nibbler froze him on purpose in the year 2000 so he'd be alive to save the world in the 31st century.
    • When Fry is told that the fate of the universe depends on him in the fourth movie, he casually replies "Yeah, I get that a lot."
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Robot 1-X, who is introduced as a new Planet Express staff member in "Obsoletely Fabulous" and is gone without a trace in the next episode. He does appear in "Beast with a billion backs" and a few other appearances in the Comedy Central run.
  • Church of Saint Genericus: Inverted with the Amalgamated Church.
  • Clark Kenting: Fry, Bender, and Leela somehow manage to pull this off in the episode "Less Than Hero."
  • Cleavage Window: The DVD commentaries mention that the animators liked putting Leela and Amy in dresses with these whenever the plot required them to dress up.
    • Lampshaded in one episode that had random time skips during a basketball game. Amy, wearing such an outfit, immediately brings attention to it as a possible explanation.
    • In "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings," Leela wears a long formal dress with a keyhole in the chest to Fry's opera.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: The cliffhanger of the fourth movie, in which the ship dives into a wormhole, with potential for Nothing Is the Same Anymore, was completely ruined by the Uncancelled season premiere taking the characters back to Earth immediately. Lampshade Hanging and Rule of Funny mostly make up for it.
  • Clingy Aquatic Life: Leela falls into a mutagenic lake. At first it appears that she has an octopus for a head, but it turns out to be a real octopus atop her head. An octopus that used to be a little girl named Virginia.
  • Clock Punk: Leonardo Da Vinci's workshop and the entire planet Vinci in the "The Duh-Vinci Code"
  • Clockwork Creature: Animatronio in "The Duh-Vinci Code"
  • Cloning Body Parts: Sometimes comes up in the series, such as when Fry went to "Handcrafters" after a T. rex feeding accident, or later in the series, when Fry and Leela each had an arm ripped off and the Professor grew them new ones.
  • Closer than They Appear: "Objects may be less sexy than they appear" shows up on a clothes shop mirror.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • Enforced in "I Second That Emotion." When Leela is offered up as a "virgin" sacrifice by the sewer mutants, the mutant leader orders a minion to chain her to a post, then tear her shirt a little.
    • In an Affectionate Parody and Homage to Star Trek, William Shatner in Kirk's uniform simply tears it right before they get into a discussion.
    • In the "A Clockwork Origin" the nanobots, after become larger, devour the ship, Farnsworth's new house...and most of the crew's clothes. And Amy and Leela look as Nubile Savage.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Fry and Zoidberg. Also Professor Farnsworth, thanks to his senility.
  • Coattail-Riding Relative: Fry's initial plan in the pilot is to avoid work entirely by mooching from the Professor. He settles for low-grade employment via Nepotism instead.
  • Comatose Canary
  • Combat Pragmatist: Pretty much everyone, but especially Leela and Bender. Although, it is often Played for Laughs.
  • Combined Energy Attack: All of the robots combining their exhaust to push the Earth out of harm's way in "Crimes of the Hot".
  • Come Back to Bed, Honey: Fry hears this from his grandmother-to-be in "Roswell That Ends Well".
  • Comedic Work, Serious Scene: The show is mainly a wacky, satirical sci-fi comedy, but it's not afraid to pull at the heartstrings on occasion.
    • Leela's Homeworld introduces Leela's parents, who turn out to be mutants who gave her up and passed her off as an alien so she could have a normal life. When Leela discovers them, she assumes that they killed her real parents; her parents don't contradict her, and are willing to have their own daughter kill them rather than burden her with the terrible truth. Fortunately, Fry comes just in time to straighten things out, and Leela is just happy that she finally met her parents, no matter what they are.
    • Jurassic Bark might be the best known example. Fry discovers the fossilized remains of his beloved dog Seymour, and wants him revived. Just as he's about to, Prof. Farnsworth analyzes the fossil and determines that Seymour lived a long life. Fry assumes that meant he went on with his life and forgot about him. The ending reveals that the opposite was true: Seymour never forgot Fry and spent his entire life just sitting outside his home, waiting for him to return.
    • Game of Tones revolves around Fry having to go into his memories of December 31st 1999 to remember a tone he heard which would be needed for saving the world. At the end of the episode, as a gift from Nibbler for doing so, he's given an opportunity to see his mother again (which he had wanted to spend time with all episode) in her dreams. The end of the episode ends with a heartwarming moment of them having a final moment together.
  • Comic-Book Time:
    • Subverted. Years actually go by and the characters comment on it, yet none of them age visibly. The show took place from 3000-3013, and Fry and Leela (for example) therefore have aged from 25 to 38, a pretty massive difference. But, their designs haven't changed at all, they don't ever mention their numerical ages, and they haven't matured too much past "20-something" behavior (or Manchild behavior, in Fry's case).
    • Cubert's design and voice never changes, even though about a decade passes in-universe. By the time Overclockwise happens, he should be in his twenties.
    • Gets really screwy when you think about it like this; An alternate version of Fry (Lars), age 32 in 3007, aged visibly into his late 30's and 40's when he went back to the 2000's (wrinkles and matured behavior and all). Yet, now that the Fry is actually that old, he doesn't look a day over 25.
  • Comic Trio: The idiotic brothers Walt, Larry and Igner. They're ALL idiots, even Walt; the only reason their plans work is because they perform them on Fry.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Joey Mousepad, especially in Bendless Love:
    Donbot: That scab's gonna have a little on-the-job accident.
    Joey Mousepad: With all due respect, Donbot, I don't think we should rely on an accident to happen. Let's kill him ourselves.
    (Donbot makes a sound that's between a groan and mumbling)
  • Compliment Backfire
  • Concealing Canvas: In Bender's Big Score
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Kiff: In one episode, he ends up accidentally touching Leela when his gloves come off and gets impregnated by her (his species reproduces by touch). Although the wearing of gloves is simply down to part of the uniform he and Capt. Brannigan wear.
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: The end of Bender's reign in "A Pharaoh to Remember".
  • Contamination Situation: Fry has a dormant 20th C. strain of the common cold, which had been eradicated centuries earlier. It leads to the entire island of Manhattan being quarantined and then launched to the sun for good measure.
  • Content Warnings: The movies which comprise season five air on TV in episode form. Apparently, the production team wasn't counting on their airing on TV at all, because their content is somewhat more mature, garnering a TV-14 rating, rather than Futurama's customary TV-PG. Each such episode airs with a small passage of preemptive warning, and a verbal warning of "viewer discretion advised" from one of various characters.
  • Context-Sensitive Button: The antennae on Bender's head seems to do everything from cooking popcorn to interrupting TV signals and it's a metaphor for a penis on top of all that.
    Cop Robot: (finding Bender's antenna in the grass) You call that an antenna?
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Fry's nephew was revealed to have been buried in Orbiting Meadows Cemetery in season 3's "The Luck of the Fryrish". Now, whenever a character that is important to that episode's plot or important to the main cast dies, his or her funeral is always held at Orbiting Meadows.
      • Also involving Orbiting Meadows: During Fry's funeral in The Sting, an Amazonian woman is sad at Fry's death stating "him make good snu-snu." Cut to a shot of a row of Fry's ex-girlfriends: Michelle from the 20th century, bureaucrat Morgan Proctor, the girl from the club that talked about when "the cyborgs ruled" and even the "radiator woman" from the "radiator planet". They all give a so-so gesture at the Amazonian's statement, indicating his average performance.
    • Cosmic Ray's Pizza was used as a throwaway gag in season one's "A Fishful of Dollars." Now, it's the common place for the Planet Express crew to order or eat out.
    • All four films that comprise Season 5 contain a number of nods to previous episodes, arguably to the point of Continuity Porn.
    • The best nod was probably Lucy Liu's brief reappearance in Bender's body cabinet in "Love and Rocket", several episodes after he'd put her there at the end of "I Dated a Robot".
    • Early in the series Professor Farnsworth mentions that they renamed Uranus "Urectum" to finally put an end to that stupid joke. In "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" when they zoom in on the Death Sphere, the caption on the planet where Uranus is reads Urectum.
    • Richard Nixon's election as the President of Earth seems like the kind of that would be undone by a Snap Back, but he's still there.
    • The Harlem Globetrotters were introduced as an alien race that wanted to ruin Earth's reputation by utterly humiliating them in a basketball game and ultimately helping the Planet Express crew solve the episode's major conflict in "Time Keeps On Slippin'". Now, whenever there's a crisis that's too big, even for Farnsworth to solve, the Globetrotters (primarily Ethan "Bubblegum" Tate) step in to save the day. Tate is also seen as a dean at Mars University in "That Darn Katz!"
    • In "Lethal Inspection", Bender notes he was "in Italy last week", a nod to the previous week's episode.
    • Poodles were established as extinct, however at least two have appeared in Series 6, a reference to "The Wild Green Yonder" where all extinct species were brought back.
    • "The Late Philip J. Fry" is full of these, since Fry, Bender, and the Professor, travel through all of recorded history. The best example could be that time is indeed cyclical. Also, it recounts the first millennium that passed when Fry got frozen, including the fall of the original New York City, its reemergence as a medieval kingdom (and its destruction), before the emergence of New New York.
    • In "The Mutants Are Revolting" As Fry leaves the Land Titanic, you can see a case of anchovies in the bottom right corner, a nod to "A Fishful of Dollars."
    • In "Bender's Big Score," you can briefly see the fossilized remains of Seymour on a shelf over Lars' shoulder. Might also be seen as Foreshadowing of Lars' reveal later in the movie.
    • Hermes finds another one of Fry's fossilized dogs in "A Clockwork Origin." He throws it into some soup to avoid a repeat of the last one.
    • A couple more in "Ghost in the Machines," both by the Robot Devil, and within a minute of each other. The first is when he mentioned the hand-swap deal he made with Fry in the first Series Fauxnale "The Devils Hands are Idle Playthings." The second reference is when he starts singing the Robot Hell song from "Hell is Other Robots," but Bender interrupts it within the first few seconds.
    • And now a major one in "Law & Oracle." Let's see what we have here: The episode starts with Fry playing an arcade game, and fails miserably. Someone says "You stink, loser" in response to his failed attempt to play an arcade game. Someone comes in with a pizza and shouts "Hey, Fry, pizza going out. Come on!" Fry takes his (hover)bike out to the Applied Cryogenics building, where he realizes he's been duped once again. These are all taken, almost from contextnote  from Space Pilot 3000. He even Lampshades his tendency to not look at the customer name before making the delivery!
    • The episode "All the President's Heads" features a major nod back to the third season episode "Roswell That Ends Well". In the more recent episode, the crew discovers a new method of time travel and goes back to Revolutionary days. Fry removes one of the lanterns from the "one if by land, two if by sea" church, prompting Paul Revere to exclaim "the British are coming! By land!". Upon seeing Fry's error, the Professor exclaims "Fry, you've really screwed the granny this time!".
    • "All the President's Heads" also contains a nod to "Bender's Big Score". The Busty Head Doctor greets Fry at his job as a head feeder by calling him Lars. Fry tells her his real name, to which she replies, "whatever".
    • "Overclockwise" shows a profile of Bender, including his full name (Bender Bending Rodriguez), serial number, and the fact that he was inspected by Inspector #5.
    • Also from that episode, a sewer mutant is seen serving on the jury, a nod to them now being able to come to the surface from "The Mutants Are Revolting".
    • In "A Leela of her Own", the Atlanta Braves' uniform has a trident in place of the familiar tomahawk, a nod to "The Deep South", which showed Atlanta had become an Underwater City.
    • During Bender's Big Score, we see Bender fleeing after stealing an award. The chase scene involves the city being destroyed...cue the scene from the pilot of ships destroying the city outside the cryogenics lab's window.
    • In "The Late Phillip J. Fry", when approaching the "present" time, scenes from previous episodes are shown (albeit re-animated), including Fry and Zoidberg dancing on a table in "A Taste of Freedom".
    • Bender's gender-flip form in "Neutopia" is Coilette from "Bend Her".
    • Several in the latest season:
      • The time sphere, as well as the time code and Bender tattoo, which were last seen in the first DTV movie Bender's Big Score, reappeared as a minor plot point in "Decision 3012".
      • The all-robot planet, as well as the Society of Robot Elders, from the fifth episode of the entire series "Fear of a Bot Planet", made a comeback in "Free Will Hunting", with an added layer to their society.
      • While snooping on her mother and Zapp during "Zapp Dingbat", one of Leela's disguises is Lee Lemon, the male persona she assumed during "War is the H-Word".
  • Continuity Snarl: Averted. A Deleted Scene in "Bender Gets Made" features Bender crudely replacing his serial number with the number 14 to hide himself from the Robot Mafia. However, the serial number depicted was that of his good twin Flexo (2716057), not Bender's (3370318) — the implication to attentive fans being that Flexo has covertly taken over Bender's life. The creators realized this wouldn't go over well with anyone and took the scene out.
    • The episode Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles shows Bender aging backwards into a smaller and smaller robot, then finally into a CD of blueprints. However he previously showed a picture of himself "just 4 months old" that he was going to send to Mom, which showed him at his current size, contradicting the whole 'robot aging' thing. It is possible to justify this, however. If one is willing to remember the scene where he was built in the factory, he was not 'born/finished' until fully produced. Meaning that the smaller robots and cd and blueprints would effectively be the robot equivalent of being a fetus. By this argument, He could be fully grown at 4 months, as he was effectively born fully grown. This is all probably overthinking the gag a bit, though.
    • There was an episode of the original run about Bender coming to terms with his mortality, having two funerals for himself. There is an episode of the new run about Bender claiming to be immortal and shocked when he discovers he isn't.
      Bender: I never said I wasn't a drama queen!
    • In Xmas Story the Professor says they use palm trees as Xmas trees because Pine trees are now extinct, yet earlier in the same episode we see a bunch of pine trees.
    • The most glaring one occurs with the show's treatment of Star Trek; in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", even mentioning the show's name will send people in the immediate vicinity in a panic and will likely get you arrested, and Leonard Nimoy seems adamant on denying any involvement with it. Yet in episodes before that, not only was Star Trek mentioned without incident, but Nimoy seemed perfectly comfortable talking about being Spock. Fry actually addresses Nimoy as "Spock" in the first episode, being the first head in a jar he ever meets.
    • If Zoidberg's species dies after having sex, then how could his body survive having sex with Farnsworth's, even if he wasn't mentally present?
      • A possible explanation for this is that, like many real-life species, the female kills the male after mating
    • At the end of "The Why of Fry", Nibbler blanks Fry's memories of the events of the entire episode, including his discovery that the Nibblonians were responsible for his cryogenic freezing so he could save the universe from the Brainspawn. By the time of "Game of Tones" (a Sequel Episode to "Why") Nibbler casually mentions that Fry is aware of these events.
    • In season two's "A Clone of My Own", the Professor's Universal Translator establishes French as a dead language, but season four's "Bend Her" featured an Olympic team from the Republic of French Stereotypes. Since we never hear any of them speak, it's possible they only have accents. That still doesn't explain Pazuzu.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In "Godfellas", Bender's return to Earth is only prompted after a very lucky spin of the radio telescope's trackball and then Fry crossing his Despair Event Horizon in earshot of the microphone. Leela Lampshades this:
    Leela: This is by a wide margin the least likely thing that has ever happened!
    • Hermes was the one who inspected Bender at the Tijuana manufacturing plant (as revealed in "Lethal Inspection"). Years later, they both happened to end up working at Planet Express.
    • Subverted in "Fry and Leela's Big Fling": Sean's presence at Fry and Leela's vacation resort seems awfully contrived, until the reveal that it's all an arranged social experiment.
      • Also played straight when the "resort" turns out to be on the same planet where the other Planet Express members are making a delivery.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: In The Butterfly Derby, Leela, Amy, and the Opposing Sports Team fly within inches of the molten Lava Pit in their wingsuits with no apparent ill effects.
    • There's also an open Lava Pit in the basement of the Planet Express building. Every time it appears, multiple characters get extremely close to it without any discomfort.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: Bender and Fry get implicated in a bank robbery with Roberto, a maniacal robot. Once they are imprisoned in the robot insane asylum, Fry's cellmate turns out to be... Roberto!
  • Cool Old Guy: Farnsworth.
  • Cooperation Gambit: In the episode "Mother's Day", Mom has set off a Robot War (with a remote control that forces all the robots in the world to rebel) because it's the anniversary of the day she was spurned by Prof. Farnsworth. Her sons try to end the uprising and make her happy by tracking down Farnsworth and getting him to get back together with her.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mom.
    • Farnsworth may count too, despite being one of the protagonists. After all, the Planet Express slogan is "Our crew is expendable, your package isn't!"
  • Corrupted Character Copy: Zapp Brannigan is clear parody of Captain Kirk from Star Trek, poking fun at his more inept and egotistical moments. As a result Zapp has Kirk's lustiness and ego cranked up to "parody," but lacks any of his competence or A Father to His Men traits, instead being a General Failure relying on We Have Reserves. Leela once had Pity Sex with him, and he never let her forget it.
  • Couch Gag: The tagline below the logo at the beginning of the theme song and the animation clip at its end. Some taglines:
    "Painstakingly Drawn Before A Live Audience"
    "As Foretold By Nostradamus"
    "Psst — Big Party at Your House After the Show"
    "When You See The Robot, Drink!"
    "See you on some other channel!" on the last Fox episode (and worked equally well when Cartoon Network's rights to rerun the show ran out and with Comedy Central dropping the show).
    "The Proud Result of Prison Labor"
    "The Flames You See on the Screen Are Not Part of the Show"
    "Bender's Wardrobe Provided by Robotany 500"
    "For The Sophisticated Shut-In"
    "Known to Cause Insanity in Lab Mice"
    "Brought to You By Regretto Permanent Clown Make-Up"
    "Ask Your Doctor if Futurama is Right For You"
    "Press eyeballs to screen for cheap laser surgery"
    "It knows what you're thinking!"
    • At the end of the opening credits, the ship crashes into a large screen that is playing a different classic cartoon each time. The majority of the episodes from after the show was Un-Canceled skip this part because the commercial time became longer.
      • The first part of Bender's Big Score uses a clip from the pilot of Futurama itself (specifically Fry falling into the cryogenic tube) as the cartoon on the screen.
      • In one episode, when Leela crashes into that screen as part of the episode, one of the crew complains that she's always doing that.
      • In the beginning of "Decision 3012," the crew actually avoids crashing into the screen...but it starts advertising "Free Beer" right below them, provoking Bender to grab the wheel and crash into the screen like always before jumping ship. This is a rare moment where the opening sequence directly connects to the plot.
  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: The first time crew encounter the sewer mutants, Fry quickly lights a makeshift torch and starts swinging it around threateningly. One of the sewer mutants casually lights a cigarette from the torch.
  • Counting to Three: Ndnd does this to a baby when it jumps into Leela's mouth in "The Problem With Popplers" in a different language.
  • Courtroom Episode: Several examples including part of the most recent movie.
    Bender: Court's kind of fun when it's not my ass on the line.
  • Cowboy Episode: The episode "Where the Buggalo Roam" is a Western parody set on Mars, including Martians who closely resemble American Indians.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: Bender is shown more than once to be able to completely remove his head and continue to function in any way his head normally would.
  • Crapsack World: Any place that has insane head of Richard Nixon as president of Earth, Zapp Brannigan as supreme commander of its military, a snooty WASP as a powerful judge, alien invasions being quite frequent, mutants living underground, a law that forces you to work or else be shot into the sun, and numerous other awful things, and you can see why suicide booths are common.
    • The authors themselves have described it as being like present-day New York with the same problems/benefits of now, only more futuristic and apparently condemned by the Space Pope.
    • This is pretty standard of Groening's work.
  • Crazy Memory: Subverted and parodied, twice. In the episodes "Fry and the Slurm Factory" and "A Clockwork Origin," Professor Farnsworth is declared crazy and everything he has just said has been lunacy. In retaliation, he begins ranting and shouts "and he's my uncle" pointing to the much younger character, Fry. This is actually true, as Fry comes from the distant past and is Farnsworth's great great great great great uncle. However, nobody believes him, writing him off as nuts.
  • Creator Cameo: Matt Groening appears in the first episode as one of the heads in the Head Museum.
  • Credits Gag: In "Law & Oracle", Fry is being promoted:
    Farnsworth: Executive delivery boy!
    Fry: Executive?!
    Conrad (whispering): It's a meaningless title, but it helps insecure people feel better about themselves.
    Fry: I feel better about myself!
  • Crippling the Competition: Bender drugs a bunch of race horses (and a jockey who caught him) so the only one he hasn't drugged will win and net him a big payoff.
  • Crossover: One with The Simpsons has been confirmed for 2014, either at the end of that show's 25th season or the beginning of its 26th.
    • In The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings, both playings of Für Elise have Donkey Kong throwing barrels at Beethoven and Elise from offscreen.
    • In-universe, also in The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings. After Fry trades hands with the Robot Devil and perfects the song "The Grumpy Snail" on his holophoner, the titular snail recurs in every other song he plays short of his final opera. Particularly noteworthy is his appearance in Für Elise, in which he dances with Beethoven while Donkey Kong hits a jealous Elise with a barrel.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Arguably, Nibbler, of all people. Despite his overwhelming cuteness, he is a soldier...
    • Zoidberg is developing into one of these, as well. JOHN F*CKING ZOIDBERG!
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Steve Castle's death from boneitis, in the episode Future Stock, certainly counts.
    • In the season one episode Roommates, Fansworth is discussing a death on the phone. We don't hear the other side of the conversation, but his question of whether the victim died painlessly is followed with 'to shreds, you say?'. It's also implied the victim's wife suffered the same fate.
  • Cry Laughing: In the second episode, Bender taunts a park mascot who says that he still has his self respect, tries to laugh it off and falls into this trope.
    Mascot: Hello, sir! I'm Craterface! I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to confiscate that alcohol!
    Bender: Better mascots have tried. [drinks beer and shoves bottle into mascot's eye]
    Mascot: At least I still have my self-respect! Hahahah...[breaks into sobbing]
  • Crying Indian: Subverted. It looks as though he's crying about the litter, but it's because the Slurm can reminded him of how much he missed someone named Cynthia.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: A thousand years of history have passed between the time Fry was frozen and let out, characters will often make casual references to events that occurred during that period of time much in the same way people in our time do with our own history.
    • In Cold Warriors, everyone seemingly knows about a specific, incredibly vague plan:
      Zapp: We have only one option. Protocol 62.
      Nixon: Not possible, we don't have nearly enough piranhas!
      Zoidberg: They're flying Manhattan into the sun! They mustn't have had enough piranhas!
  • Cryptid Episode: In "Spanish Fry", Fry goes to look for Bigfoot, who appears at the end to act as a Deus ex Machina.
  • Curbstomp Battle: The Neanderthals against the military, despite the military's advanced technology. Even called a "overwhelming victory" by Zapp Brannigan. See Rock Beats Laser.
    • Zapp Brannigan is generally introduced as having won such a battle ("Fresh from his victory over the pacifists of the Gandhi Nebula!")
  • Cut Apart: "Beast With A Billion Backs" shows Brannigan's ship, the Nimbus, fighting fruitlessly against the tentacled creature while Brannigan narrates. We then find out he's piloting the ship by remote in an Applebees on earth.
  • Cutaway Gag: In "The Mutants Are Revolting", the series' 100th episode, one of the ways that the mutants plan to take their revenge against the humans is by forcing the West Manhattan Sewer Line back up to the surface, prompting this exchange:
    Fry: But who could bend such a huge steel pipe like that?
    (scene then cuts to Bender, in a Hugh Hefner-style jacket, wearing sunglasses shaped like the number 100, throwing a wild party with every single minor character in the series)
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Amy, for comedy reasons. The creators wanted to have a female slapstick character that's always getting herself hurt, since they're almost always male (in western animation, at any rate).
  • Cute Giant: The episode Mother's Day reveals that Farnsworth and Mom used to be in a relationship...until she tried to make his latest toy, Cutey McWhiskers, 18 feet tall with lasers, causing him to angrily proclaim, "Eighteen-foot-tall things aren't cute; you don't understand me!" and break up. Later they reconcile, Farnsworth admits they're still cute at 18 feet tall then Mom reveals that there's an even taller model and he gets angry first.
  • Cute Kitten: In "That Darn Katz!", everyone finds kittens adorable (except for Amy, who is allergic to cat fur). And one episode revealed that kittens give Morbo gas.
  • Cuteness Proximity:
    • Leela is often a victim of this, even in the presence of animals that are generally not that cute, such as the muck leech on Mars in Into the Wild Green Yonder. A muck leech who turns out to be evil.
    • This is also a plot device in the episode "That Darn Katz!"
  • Cypher Language: The alien languages found throughout the show can be decoded to reveal hidden messages.

  • Damned By a Fool's Praise: In "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid", the entire population of the world except Fry become chronically stupid as a result of an invasion by the brainspawn. As soon as Fry figures this out, Bender declares "Let's all join the Reform Party!". For syndication, it was changed to Tea Party.
  • Danger with a Deadline: Discussed and Exploited when Zap Branigan lists some of his "accomplishments," namely, his method of winning the war with the Killbots. Since the Killbots have a killing quota of 999,999, before automatically shutting down, Branigan just ordered wave after wave of earth soldiers to go after the Killbots.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The movies are definitely edgier, most likely due to the writers being free from network television handicaps. The commentary for Bender's Big Score notes that they now seem to have more dismemberment and butt shots than they did in the original series.
    • And the Comedy Central episodes, with more partial nudity, offensive language ("Silence of the Clamps" had several bleeped-out uses of the word, "fuck" — something that was unheard-of on FOX), and sexual innuendo that not even FOX would deem appropriate.
    • The Xmas episode "A Tale of Two Santas" invoked this, but the episode ended up getting pulled until late 2001 (which, considering the scenes of New New York City being on fire and wrecked, is actually a very bad time to air the episode).
  • Darwinist Desire: Zoidberg's people pick mates according to strength and fitness, with Zoidberg's main love interest for that episode flat out telling him that she isn't interested in him because he's an "inferior male specimen".
  • Dead Artists Are Better: Subverted in "The Thief of Baghead." Calculon needs to beat Langdon Cobb in an acting competition in order to weaken Cobb's ego. On stage, he drinks a bottle of food coloring (which is poisonous to robots) to make a believable death scene. Langdon still wins unanimously.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kif at his best and Hermes in the 2010 season. Also, in this universe, God.
    Bender: I was God once.
    God-galaxy: Yes, I saw that. You were doing well until everyone died.
  • Deaf Composer: Bender loves cooking, but can't taste food.
  • Death by Sex: Or, as it's referred to on the show, "snu-snu."
  • Death's Hourglass: The Professor's death clock states how long it will be until someone who sticks their finger in it will die, give or take a few seconds.
  • Decided by One Vote:
    • "A Head In The Polls"
    • "Future Stock" - Farnsworth is replaced as the CEO of Planet Express by one shareholder vote.
  • Deconstruction: Futurama is generally one for most science-fiction imaginings of the future, whether utopian or dystopian. Its main parody is the Zeerust futurism embodied in The Jetsons and Star Trek to a lesser extent, the idea of a tech-driven world that automatically solves all social and political problems. The main idea is that new technology will bring new and even more problems with it, that the rise of technology and new standards won't inherently create a more equal, fair or just society. This is embodied in the very first episode where Fry says, "Here's to another lousy millennium" before being frozen, a Take That! to the old optimistic view of science-fiction that envisioned a paradise by the 2000s, when by the late 90s (the time the show was conceived), this was no longer the case.
  • Defector from Paradise: In an episode, Bender went to Robot Heaven after saving Fry's life as a ghost. Upon entry, Bender met the robot version of God and promptly possessed it and made it hit itself until it decided to return him to his original body. All this for the sake of seeing Fry again.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Some of the flashbacks to Fry's early life in the 1970's and 1980's employ this, mostly in relation to Yancy Sr. More specifically, the first segment of "Reincarnation," which is fashioned like a 1930's cartoon, employs this a few times- even the title card calls it a product of "Child Labor Syndicate."
    Fry: Do you think a space-age dame like her would ever marry a two-bit, low-life delivery boy like me an' also I 'ave bad posture and severe financial problems?
    Bender: Have you tried gettin' 'er pregnant?
    Fry: Gosh, yes. I've tried an' tried, but, so far, I only got Amy pregnant.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: Tinny Tim.
    Tinny Tim: "I'm sorry, sir. I'm only programmed to make oilade and write signs with cute backward letters like these."
  • Department of Major Vexation: The Central Bureaucracy, a massive organization whose sole purpose seems to be to hinder businesses and governments. Their headquarters is an endless maze of filing cabinets and pneumatic tubes that can take decades to deliver messages. When Hermes Conrad, an employee of theirs, sorts a huge pile of undelivered messages with two seconds to spare, he ends up getting demoted because "a good bureaucrat never finishes early."
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Zapp Brannigan and Fry are the poster boys of the show for this trope.
      Fry: Look! On the TV! It's that guy you are!
    • Also, Bender's full name is Bender Bending Rodriguez. When he says "bending is my middle name" he means it.
    • Bender's Catchphrase "Me, Bender."
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • The writers can't seem to decide whether or not Bender is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Similarly while some episodes are shrewd enough to hint to Nibbler's Obfuscating Stupidity, other episodes seem to treat his dumb pet act as his real personality, keeping to the ruse to inappropriate levels or even when no one is around to see him anyway. After the crew learns of his intelligence, episodes fluctuate between him being treated as an equal member of the crew or still being treated as a simple pet.
  • Depth Deception: When the spaceship threatening to destroy Earth in "Game of Tones" lands, it is revealed to be tiny (whereas the shots of it travelling through space had implied that it was huge). This is mostly Played for Laughs, but revealing its true size ahead of time would also have spoiled the plot.
  • Desperate Object Catch: When the villainous Zookeeper drops the priceless Gemerald off a balcony, Leela/Clobberella rushes downstairs to catch it safely.
  • Deus ex Nukina: Nixon wants the Brain Balls dead.
  • Devil, but No God: Seems to be one of the driving principles of Robotology; the Robot Devil is even a reoccurring character. Though, Bender did meet God once, or at least "the remains of a space probe that collided with God."
    That seems probable.
    • This was actually brought up on the DVD Commentary. "If there's a Robot Devil, where's the Robot God?" "There is no Robot God." Yet at a 'bot mitzvah' it's revealed there was a Robot Jesus, but Robot Jews only believe that Robot Jesus was built and was a well-programmed robot, but he's not considered the Messiah.
    • Averted, as of "Ghost in the Machines", where Bender is pulled from Robot Devil in Robot Hell to Robot Heaven. However, the being running Robot Heaven denies being Robot God.
  • Diegetic Visual Effects: In "A Leela of Her Own," several Blernsball players are naked in a locker room, censorsed by black bars. Bender accidentally unplugs the "black bar generator" in the corner, making the bars vanish and the guys have to cover up with towels (except for one apparently hung player who proudly looks around and declares, "I win!" Also counts as Leaning on the Fourth Wall as his back was to the camera and therfore didn't automatically have to cover himself.)
  • Dirty Old Man: Professor Farnsworth has his moments, though he's more insane, forgetful, mean, and lazy than lecherous, as far as old man stereotypes go.
  • Dirty Commies: It is the primary source of Paranoia Fuel for Yancy Fry, Fry's father. Whenever he is seen with Fry in a flashback in the '80's, he is constantly making sure if "Kremlin Joe has let the nukes fly yet."
  • Disability Superpower: Fry's lack of the delta brainwave grants him immunity to the evil Brainspawn's powers. It also makes him immune to mind readers as seen in "Into the Wild Green Yonder."
    • Also the brain slugs that attach to his head die of starvation.
  • Disappeared Dad: Bender is one, as we find out in The Movie, when he returns to his son... so he can give him to the Robot Devil as payment for a robot army.
  • Disintegration Chamber: The suicide booths seem to have this as the default option, though when Fry accidentally selects "slow and painful" a bunch of crude automated weapons pop out and attempt to kill him.
  • Dismemberment Is Cheap: Characters get mutilated semi-regularly on this show, up to and including decapitation. However, even the hilariously incompetent Dr. Zoidberg can reattach limbs and make them fully functional in a minute. Cloning new limbs doesn't take long either, as evidenced by Fry visiting "Handcrafters" after a dinosaur-feeding accident.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The Yellow Submarine-esque opening sequence to Bender's Game.
  • Disney Death: Fry gets many.
    • Kif has one in The Beast With A Billion Backs.
    • Leela has one in "Rebirth".
  • Disrupting the Theater: "Raging Bender" has the group go to the movies. First, Fry makes a snarky comment about the quality of the special effects, only to be hushed by another patron (Crow from Mystery Science Theater 3000 oddly enough). Then another robot blocks Bender's view of the movie, resulting in them fighting. Bender wins and it turns out his opponent was a professional robot fighter, leading to the main plot.
  • Disappointing Promotion: Inverted and discussed in "Law And Oracle", After the events of the episode, Professor Farnsworth decides to promote Fry to Executive Delivery Boy. Fry ponders the term "executive" as Hermes whispers to Leela "It's a meaningless title, but it helps insecure people feel better about themselves" as the executive producer credits for Matt Groening and David X. Cohen flash in between them. Fry then exclaims, "I feel better about myself!"
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • This is done mostly every time Amy Wong is wearing less than usual.
    • In "Bender's Game", during the parody of The Lord of the Rings, one orc-thing climbing a ladder while assaulting the castle catch sight of Amy taking off her top through a window. Cue abundant drooling, which happens to be acidic and burns through the ladder's steps, sending him falling.
    • In "2-D Blacktop", Scruffy broke his spine by walking into the Planet Express ship while admiring Leela's breasts.
  • Ditzy Genius: A rather literal example in Amy - despite being an airheaded, klutzy, promiscuous party girl, Amy is also a brilliant physicist in training (and later gains her doctorate). However, this took many seasons to become apparent: only after the return of the show post-cancellation did the series actually start using her in plots involving her as an academic or scientist on top of plots involving her as a ditz.
    • Also, Professor Farnsworth of course, though this is mainly due to extreme senility... but even disregarding that the Professor enjoys a healthy dose of mad-scientist brand insanity and an occasional lack of care about the consequences of his actions. Many episodes are kicked off by some experiment of his nearly dooming everyone because he simply didn't care about the negative side effects.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The cute, gluttonous sidekick/pet Nibbler, performed by Frank Welker?
    • Proposition infinity - infinity looks like an '8' on its side...
    • In "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings," Bender walks in on Fry practicing his holophoner ... an oddly shaped, multi-colored pipe which (when played badly) exudes smoke-like whisps of holographic image. When Bender enters Fry's room, Fry frantically waves the "smoke" away and attempts to hide the holophoner.
    • During the episode "Fear of a Bot Planet", Bender goes on a rant about the role of robots (compared to humans) in the game of blernsball. He claims that humans won't allow robots to play because they're afraid of the competition the robots would provide, and that robots are given menial jobs while humans get high-profile, managerial positions— it draws similarities to the plight of ethnic minorities in early-20th-century pro sports.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The cast hates and mistreats Zoidberg. He gets payback in "The Silence of the Clamps". After being neglected the whole episode for his cutting ability, he snaps after Bender offers to cut a pizza.
    Zoidberg: You do that and I'll [bleep] gut you like a fish!
    (Bender quietly sits down as Zoidberg slowly cuts the pizza while giving a challenging glare to the rest of the crew.)
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The identity of the Dark One at "Into the Wild Green Yonder": Did he appear before the reveal? Check. Was he Beneath Suspicion? Check. It is a surprise both to the characters and the audience? Check. Does it make sense with the general theme of the series? Check.
  • Domesticated Dinosaurs:
    • T. rexes are inexplicably alive and well in the year 3000 and are used to give children rides in petting zoos. Presumably they were cloned.
    • A random Stegosaurus also shows up grazing on the White House lawn in one episode.
  • The Don: Don Bot.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: All the time.
    • In one memorable example, after Earth is invaded by aliens, this exchange takes place:
      Professor Farnsworth: Dear Lord, they're back!
      Amy: We're doomed!
      Hermes: Doomed!
    • During "The Farnsworth Parabox", the parallel benders do a nifty reverb-double-DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!
      Tonight at Eleven: DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!
    • Bender's Big Score gave us countless Doomsday Devices, a Platinum Doom-Proof Vest, and the Doom Meter, Which measures exactly how doomed something is measuring the amount of millidooms it's emitting. (A Time Paradox) duplicate emits doom at 10 times the background level.)
  • Doomsday Device: Professor Farnsworth may just be the patron saint of Doomsday Devices.
    Farnsworth: I suppose I could part with one and still be feared.
  • Downer Ending:
    • "Jurassic Bark", among others.
    • Done deliberately in the three segments of "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular" (Earth's fiery destruction, the crew's death and humanity's later extinction, and the crew being encased in giant wax candles and slowly burning away). Since the episode is non-canonical, all three examples are Played For Very Dark Laughs.
    • Every single one of the shorts of "Naturama" end with the narrator giving a morbid analysis of why nature is a cruel and uncaring force
      Narrator: And so the endless circle of life comes to an end, meaningless and grim. Why did they live and why did they die? No reason.
  • Double Entendre: The episode title "The Mutants Are Revolting". note 
  • Do Wrong, Right: In an Anthology of Interest episode, Leela murders Hermes, and is trying to dispose of the corpse using the food disposal. Bender enters, leading to the following lines:
    Bender: Hermes' dreadlocks? And his arm?! Leela. I'm shocked! Food goes in the disposal, hair and flesh go in the trash!
    Leela: I'm sorry, I couldn't stop—w-wait. Don't you care that I murdered Hermes?
    Bender: Not even a little!
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: In "Why Must I Be a Crustacean In Love?", Zoidberg wants to ask for sex up front, despite Fry's advice.
  • Dramatic Irony: "Jurassic Bark" ends with Fry ultimately deciding not to clone Seymour, his beloved dog from 1999, reasoning that the dog lived a long and fulfilling life of fifteen years after his disappearance (Fry had the dog until he was three) and that tampering in the domain of God is unwise. The Downer Ending montage cruelly reveals that, actually, Seymour spent his life waiting and pining for Fry outside his workplace, all day, every day until the day he died. It's a notoriously, soul-crushing Tear Jerker of an ending, so much the writers eventually Retconned the whole thing in "Bender's Big Score".
  • Dressed in Layers: Parodied when Leela became a superhero. She wore her costume under her street clothes, and then another set of street clothes under her costume. It was a cold day. Furthermore, neither of her outfits could hide under the other (her superhero outfit has a collar and shoulders that would be visible under her tanktop, and her tanktop covers her navel while her super hero outfit doesn't, and her normal outfit has a pair of pants, while her Super Hero outfit is just a Leotard.)
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Leela and Fry dress as robots to infiltrate a planet of human-hating robots.
    • Lampshaded by Bender while watching Leela dance "the robot":
      Bender: That's pretty good! How do you do that?
  • Driving Stick: The Planet Express ship has a manual transmission whose first gear is notoriously difficult to engage without grinding. Since transmissions are strictly a motorized machines thing, this is purely Rule of Funny. It might also be a shout-out to Red Dwarf, who did this exact gag whenever the crew was driving Blue Midget.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • Happens in the episode "Less Than Hero" when the Zookeeper dismisses the New Justice Team as "super zeroes" and Captain Yesterday (Fry) dejectedly replies that his statement was uncalled for.
    • In "Obsoletely Fabulous", when Bender admits he's scared of Robot 1X, Leela laughs about it. Fry, the Professor and Amy all shoot her a Death Glare for it.
  • Dude, Not Ironic: A running gag in "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings" is Bender correcting the Robot Devil on his abuse of "irony".Culminating in him reading the definition from the dictionary.
  • Dumb Blonde: Totally Zig-Zagged for laughs in Bender's Big Score. There's a sexy blonde female doctor named Dr. Cahill (although Fry just called her Dr. Good and Sexy) whose entire joke is alternating between being a competent doctor offended by dumb blonde stereotypes to... well... being a dumb blonde.
  • Dutch Angle: Crops up in the series from time to time. For classic examples, look at the episodes "I, Roommate" and "All The Presidents' Heads".