Back to Main. Beware of spoilers!
open/close all folders
- I Broke a Nail: Exaggerated on "A Clockwork Origin", where Amy complains about having just done her manicure, followed immediately by her losing a finger. Fry later finds it in his soup.
- I Can Change My Beloved: Romanticorp tests pickup lines on women using test dummies. One of the dummies uses cheesy pick-up lines while another uses the line "My two favorite things are commitment and changing myself." The woman in the test chamber immediately falls in love with the dummy.
- Technically Leela doesn't do it herself but Fry's crush on Leela is a big motivation for him to try and not be a slacker, even learning to fly the ship and become musically talented in order to impress her. It tends to fail but his intentions are good.
- Lars Fillmore is what happens when Fry is successful at being the kind of man Leela wants, having spent an additional 12 years in the 21st century and going through some character-building in that time.
- Technically Leela doesn't do it herself but Fry's crush on Leela is a big motivation for him to try and not be a slacker, even learning to fly the ship and become musically talented in order to impress her. It tends to fail but his intentions are good.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Slurm. It even comes with the tagline, "It's highly addictive!" Fry is apparently more addicted to Slurm than anybody and even after we learn what Slurm is, he's still seen drinking it on a regular basis.
- I, Noun: "I, Roommate"
- If I Can't Have You
: Melllvar from "Where No Fan has Gone Before".Melllvar: If I can't have the original cast of Star Trek, no one will!
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: Bender attempts to dodge this problem during "Bender Gets Made". Averted with Morbo: kittens give him gas.
- Ignorant About Fire: In the episode "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid", a stupefied Leela and Professor try to reach for a piece of paper in a fireplace without understanding that fire is hot and get burned.
- Ignored Confession: Professor Farnsworth occasionally brings up that Fry is his uncle when trying to prove his own sanity.
- Ignoring by Singing: From "Godfellas":Fry: You can't lose hope just because it's hopeless. You gotta hope more, then put your fingers in your ears and go "Blah blah blah blah!"
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Pickles, the oracle from "Law and Oracle" who gives Fry false prophecies relating to Bender so that he could drink some strong malt liquor and suffer brain damage.
- Also invoked when Leela has surgery to give her two eyes.
- "I Know What We Can Do" Cut: In "Time Keeps On Slipping". The cut is a time jump, so the characters don't know what's going on either.
- I Resemble That Remark! / Insult Backfire:Edna: Teach me to love, you squishy poet from beyond the stars.Fry: (horrified) I'm flattered, really. If I was gonna do it with a big freaky mud bug, you'd be way up the list.Edna: (aroused) Hush, you romantic fool. Engage your mandibles and kiss me.
- Idiot Ball: As a sacrifice to the plot of Bender's Big Score, Fry for once had to pass this around to nearly every last member of the extended cast. From his much savvier crew-mates to the utterly devious (Mom, Nixon), to even the uber-psychotics like Robot Santa, there is no one of significance who does not fall for the Nudarians' transparent scams. Even worse, since all of them have morally absent moments, it never occurs to anyone to just kill the Nudarians before they can take their stuff.
- Illegal Religion: The Church of Trek became an incredibly popular and powerful religion...so powerful it started taking over governments. Since The Trek Wars prior to the start of the series, any reference to The Church or its sacred texts are explicitly banned.
- I'll Kill You!: Plenty of times.
- I'll Take Two Beers Too: Bender.
- I'm a Humanitarian: It's implied that eating people is legal.Joseph "Fishy Joe" Gilman: "After all, the only reason we don't eat people is 'cause they taste lousy."
- And, of course, "Fry and the Slurm Factory" combined this with a Shout-Out:Fry: "Oh my god! What if the secret ingredient is people!"
Leela: "No, there's already a soda like that, Soylent Cola."
Fry: "Oh. How is it?"
Leela: "It varies from person to person."
- In "My Three Suns," the crew visits a Neptunian butcher shop in New New York.Fry: Wow! You have every type of meat here but human.
Shopkeeper: What, you want human?
- The much-easier-to-translate Alien Language belongs to a race that eats humans. Their bilboard in the title sequence translates to "Tasty Human Burgers", and the 31st Century map of the U.S.A. features a state called "Human Farm". It's nice to be appreciated, isn't it?
- It is also stated that some species use "human horn" as an aphrodisiac, one film showing Neptunians grinding it with a cheese-grater.
- "Glaxnar's Human Rinds: It's a bunch-a crunch-a munch-a human!"
- In Bender's Big Score, Torgo's Executive Powder (made from real executives) is used for a wide variety of things. Lars feeds it to heads in jars and Elzar uses it as a spice.
- And, of course, "Fry and the Slurm Factory" combined this with a Shout-Out:
- I'm Cold... So Cold...: In the episode, Anthology of Interest II, General Pacman's last words after being hit by a Space Invader's beam is "So cold...".
- I'm Melting!: What happens to Roberto after eating a piece of Hermes' skin (which had become lethally spicy due to years of La Barbara's extremely spicy cooking).
- I'm Not Afraid of You: Won't work on Robot Santa.
- Immortality Field:
- The second movie, "The Beast with a Billion Backs", almost ends with the entire universe, except the Robots, living in a Utopian setting on a galaxy-sized, tentacled alien named Yivo who loves everyone (romantically), renders them immortal, and looks like The Theme Park Version of Heaven. Then a jealous Bender and his robotic army invade "Heaven" and end up getting everyone exiled... except Colleen O'Hallahan.
- The four-dimensional Space Whale Mobius Dick has a "Mobius colon," in place of regular internal organs, which recycles time and space. Those who stay inside the colon don't age, but those who are absorbed into the whale's flesh, a la the Flying Dutchman's crew, stay alive but continue to age.
- Immortality Promiscuity: Yivo is an immortal Eldritch Abomination who was already a trillion years old when the universe began, eventually being able to contact it after a Reality-Breaking Paradox tears a wound in reality connecting to shkler universe. The first thing shklee does is use shkler tentacles to mate with every sentient organic in the universe(except Leela) and for a time has a polygamist relationship with the 20 quadrillion inhabitants.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
- The episode "Anthology of Interest I" (with a section called "Terror at 500 Feet") has a 500 ft-tall Bender impaled on the Empire State Building.
- Fry was impaled twice: once by a pipe shot from an exploding boiler, and once by a giant space bee. Amusingly, neither injury was treated as serious, though in the latter case, we don't find that out until the end of the episode.
- Impossibly Delicious Food:
- In Fry And The Slurm Factory, Fry is put in a death trap to drink concentrated Slurm until his stomach bursts. He can't stop eating it, even long enough to save his friends. When Leela frees him from it by dumping it down the sewer, Fry tries to chew his own arms off to follow it.
- Slurm's tagline? "It's highly addictive!"
- The entire Earth ends up with an addiction to Popplers. They're so delicious, people even have a hard time stopping eating them when they find out the truth behind what they are. Then again, in a society that has "Soylent Cola", that is not that surprising.
- In Fry And The Slurm Factory, Fry is put in a death trap to drink concentrated Slurm until his stomach bursts. He can't stop eating it, even long enough to save his friends. When Leela frees him from it by dumping it down the sewer, Fry tries to chew his own arms off to follow it.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Parodied in the Superhero Episode. Three times in a row.Leela: Oh, I completely forgot, I left my apartment on fire!
Bender: As for me, I'm late for my L.S.A.T.'s.
Fry: And I can't take life anymore! [Leaps out the window]
- In "The Farnsworth Parabox" apparently Leela used some form of this to get out of a date with Fry, telling him she had to meet a ghost. To come to this conclusion, she flipped a coin. This comes out because the Leela in an opposite universe did the same thing and, because coin flips are reversed in that universe, went on the date...which led to her eventually marrying Fry.
- Inheritance Murder: One of the "Anthology of Interest" What If? episodes has Professor Farnsworth record a Video Will leaving everything he owns to Leela, prompting Leela to kill him so quickly it's recorded in the video will itself.
- Insane Proprietor: Malfunctioning Eddie, the robotic car dealer.
- Insistent Terminology: In "The Thief of Baghead" Professer Farnsworth insists that the concept of "souls" is ridiculous and insists on calling it "lifeforce" claiming the latter term to be scientific. Though even he slips up once.
- Infection Scene: In "Cold Warriors," Planet Express gets quarantined because of a common cold outbreak (since humanity has lost its immunity to the cold, it spreads much more quickly), but Bender (who is immune due to being a robot) breaks out to avoid playing caretaker. Unfortunately, Zoidberg sneezes a bunch of green gunk onto Bender, which stays on Bender's fingers after he breaks quarantine. Bender then proceeds to shake the hands of all the CDC workers overseeing the quarantine, except the last worker, who gets his cheeks affectionately pinched by Bender, leaving green gunk all over his face. All the workers start coughing, and it soon spins into a full-blown epidemic.
- Informed Flaw: Calculon tells the protagonists about Project Satan, where the most evil car parts in the world were used to build a car. Among these were the window wipers of the car from Knight Rider. When Fry countered that KITT wasn't evil, Calculon responds that the window wipers were, it just didn't come up much in the show.
- Inherently Funny Words:
- "Pazuzu!" Though it would be unwise to repeat it three times fast.
- From "Parasites Lost", the repeated references to the pelvic splanchnic ganglion.
- Innocent Aliens: Dr. Zoidberg, who thinks most doctors are poor.
- Innocent Innuendo: In "Put Your Head on My Shoulders", Fry and Amy connect while stranded in their car. In the next scene, the recovery truck worker arrives to find Fry and Amy's car windows steamed up. Instead of having sex, however, Fry and Amy are merely playing cards.
- The sex happens a few moments later while the car's being towed. "Wo-ho-hooo!!!"
- In Spite of a Nail: In "Roswell That Ends Well", the Professor wants to take every precaution against altering history... right up until Fry sleeps with his own grandmother. At this point he just gives up and launches a full scale, laser blasting assault on the 1950's Roswell military base to get its radar dish while delivering what is probably the best line in the entire episode.Professor Farnsworth: Choke on that, causality!
- In "All the Presidents' Heads", the Professor horribly maims (possibly even kills) his own ancestor, while Bender conspires to put himself on one of the first American flags. Zoidberg also meets Andy Warhol, who paints a picture of him. Other than that, it appears to have had no meaningful effect on history.
- Instant Expert: When Bender temporarily becomes captain of the Planet Express, much to Fry's annoyance. When Fry lambastes him and accuses him of not knowing the first thing about being a captain, Bender instantly reads the entire manual and then uses the info to chastise Fry. Justified by the fact that he's a robot.Fry: Have you even read the captain's handbook?Bender: (flips through entire manual) I have now. And what's Peter Parrot's first rule of captaining?Fry: (defeated) Always respect the chain-o-command...captain.
- Instant Home Delivery: In "The Route of All Evil," Cubert and Dwight order a pedal-powered spacecraft. The form says "allow four to six seconds for delivery." Cubert says it's more like seven.
- Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: In "Attack Of The Killer App", Fry inflicts this to Leela (by filming and sending on Twitter her singing wart). Later in the same episode, he does the same to himself as a repentance.
- Instrumental Theme Tune: Based on Psyche Rock by Pierre Henry.
- Interdimensional Travel Device: Farnsworth invents the parabox which allows travel to different realities, including one where Fry and Leela are married.
- Interclass Friendship:
- Something like this happened in "A Fishful of Dollars". Normally, Bender the bending robot and Fry the delivery man are at about the same social standing, but the seventy-five cents Fry had on his bank account when he was cryogenically frozen in the year 2000 had become a 4.3 billion dollar balance after 1,000 years of interest.
- Amy comes from a very wealthy family (her parents own half the land on Mars), yet she gladly hangs out with the rest of the team.
- At the other end of the spectrum there's Zoidberg, who, despite being a doctor (of dubious credentials, but still), lives in a dumpster and eats off the garbage. He is mostly employed because he's good friends with Professor Farnsworth, and once saved his life from a Tritonian yeti and made a deal to put the Professor out of his misery if he ever got Tritonian hypermalaria.
- Interspecies Romance:
- Played with regarding Leela and Fry, though since Leela is a mutated human they're technically the same species.
- Played straight with Amy (a human) and Kif (an amphibious alien).
- Robosexuality is rampant in the future, from Fry and Lucy Liu-bot to Bender and Lucy Liu's actual head. In "Proposition Infinity," newly (but temporarily) dating Amy and Bender crusade to legalize robosexuality, as it's apparently frowned upon compared to other interspecies romances, noting that interplanetary and ghost/horse marriages are legal while robot/human is not.
- In "The Beast With A Billion Backs," Yivo, a massive alien tentacle-creature, mates with every organic thing in the universe.
- In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: Bender lampshades this by complaining about small robots cleaning up the trash at a blernsball game (after he throws some trash), supporting his rant about robots not being in an equal standing with humans in terms of competitions.
- Ironic Echo: Several examples, but a very prominent use occurs in "A Head In The Polls" when Fry realizes just how much of a bastard Nixon truly is and vows never to vote for him. Nixon's response? "Like one vote ever really mattered", a harmless phrase that was used as a minor gag earlier in the episode. This also crosses over with Wham Line.
- Another example from was when Roberto robbed the bank by punching through a large plate glass window clearly marked "laser-proof":Smitty: Don't try anything; this glass is laser-proof. (Roberto stabs through the glass)
Smitty: Fire lasers!
Smitty: (As lasers come flying back) Duck! Lasers!
- Another example from was when Roberto robbed the bank by punching through a large plate glass window clearly marked "laser-proof":
- Iron Lady: Parodied with Da Chief in "Law & Oracle".
- Irony: At the end of "Obsoletely Fabulous," when he states that "Reality is what you make of it," Bender, a cynical and sarcastic Mr. Vice Guy, envisions New New York as a children's fairy tale.
- Island Help Message: Bender can barely spell "HELP". Because he had used most of his rocks to explain who he was and how he had come to be on the island."TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: I, BENDER, BID YOU HELLO! YOU DON'T KNOW ME, THOUGH YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF ME, BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT. LONG STORY SHORT... I NEED HELF"
- Is the Answer to This Question "Yes"?: "Is the Space-Pope reptilian?" "Yes".
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: In "Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love", we get this exchange:Leela: No offense, Fry, but you've become a fat sack of crap.Fry (indignantly): Sack?
- Similarly, in "When Aliens Attack," Amy puts on a new bikini top:Amy: How do I look?
Farnsworth: Like a cheap French harlot.
- When two truckers are insulting Leela:Trucker: Yeah, you're right. She ain't gots enough meat for a guy like me.
Fry: Yes she does! She's loaded with meat!
- The alternate universe Amy finds the original's nail polish color offensive."Our professor was right! You are evil...and shallow!"
"I am not evil!"
- Similarly, in "When Aliens Attack," Amy puts on a new bikini top:
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: In the third direct-to-video film, Bender's Game, Frydo refers to Zoidberg's Cornwood counterpart as "it", to which he responds that he resents being called "it" and prefers "jerkhole" or simply "yecch".
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Anything Farnsworth explains. Lampshaded in one episode when Fry cuts a Farnsworth explanation short by saying that it's magic. Ironically, that Farnsworth explanation was one that used real-world science.
- "I've got it! The ship stays still, and the engines move the universe around it!"
- In case you're unfamiliar that was based on the so-called "The Alcubierre Drive". Which could, in theory, work just fine with faster-than-light travel. The show has regular examples of basing plot points on real science.
- "In regular fossilization, flesh and bone turns to mineral. Realizing this, it was a simple matter to reverse the process!"
- Also the Central Bureaucracy. An organization that runs on a combination of Scoundrel Code and Big Book of War philosophies, some of which their rules border on Calvinball mentality. All cubicles (at least the section that we see) are constructed in a hovering Rubik's cube. The lines are impossibly long, and those who have managed to go inside and are not bureaucrats go insane within minutes.Farnsworth: I've never been, but a friend of mine went completely insane just trying to find the bathroom.
Leela: We'll need someone who's been there to guide us, then.
Farnsworth: Oh, I've been there. Lots of times! (cackles insanely)
- "I've got it! The ship stays still, and the engines move the universe around it!"
- It's Been Done: The creators have explained that Amy Wong was originally created to be a female character who was always hurting herself, thinking that it's typically only males who get to engage in the slapstick. They evidently didn't realize that there's already a trope for that. True, that's mostly a Japanese Media Trope, but it does have a Western counterpart.
- It's Like I Always Say
- It's Up to You: The Planet Express crew has saved the city/planet/universe from annihilation dozens of times. Sometimes this is justified with Fry's "special" brain.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Bender to Flexo's not-quite-divorced robot wife who remembers that she loves Flexo after all.
- Fry in Bender's big score. After seeing how crushed Leela was when Lars left her, he decides to bring them back together. He sums it up in a very touching and beautiful sceneFry: Leela, I want what'll make you happy, not what'll make me happy."
- Lars turned out to be a time paradox duplicate of Fry. He left her because he knew he was doomed and wanted to spare her the pain of losing him.
- Fry in Bender's big score. After seeing how crushed Leela was when Lars left her, he decides to bring them back together. He sums it up in a very touching and beautiful scene
- I Was Quite a Looker: Farnsworth upon seeing old Fry and Leela exclaims "someones beaten you two with with the old and ugly stick!"
- I Will Wait for You: "Jurassic Bark", which even makes use of the song that named the trope in the ending, which makes the ending even more heart-wrenching.
- Jackie Robinson Story: Spoofed in "A Leela of Her Own", where Leela, as the first female Blernsball player, is so terrible at Blernsball that she inspires other women to outdo her, leading to the revolution she sought in the first place.
- Bender, especially in the last seasons.
- Zapp Brannigan is smugness and sexism incarnate.
- Calculon, until he gets some belated Character Development in Season 7.
- Jerkass Genie: Most deals the Robot Devil makes:
- Fry want robot hands but he is given many bad random possible choices. RD then tries to renege on the deal.
- Leela trades a hand for Calculon's ears, but RD says it's her hand in marriage to force Fry back on his deal.
- Even the deal with Calculon was this, with Calculon trading some unknown object/favor for "un-holy unholy ACTING TALENT", but simply being made into a Large Ham.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Bender occasionally.
- Fry's family. They're portrayed as complete boors in their first flashbacks, but later episodes (namely "The Luck of the Fryrish," "Cold Warriors," and "Game of Tones") reveal their kinder sides.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Bender gets a triple whammy in "31st Century Fox," when he tries to shoot the huntmaster.Bender: *sighs* I can't shoot you.
Fry: Bender! I found your trigger finger!
Bender: *reattaching the finger to his hand* Ah, now I can!
(Bender aims at the huntmaster)
Bender: But I won't. *Beat* Not with so many witnesses.
(The robot fox jumps out and attacks the huntmaster)
Bender: *gasps* I can't watch... *telescopically extends his eyes* ...enough!
- Jeweler's Eye Loupe: When the bead the native Martians traded their land for turns out to be a giant diamond, Bender pulls out a loupe to examine it. Hermes also produces one to inspect the Countess de la Roca's diamond bracelet. ("It's fake, mon.")
- Job Song: "The Bureaucrat Song" is about how bureaucrats get a bad rap, but it's good to do what you like anyway.
- Joke Name Tag: A Decapodian spy, wearing a ridiculously paper-thin disguise (Groucho glasses, an Afro wig, oven mitts, and a "Hugh Mann" name tag), manages to convince Zapp Brannigan that he's actually a human.
- Joker Immunity: Robot Santa. He has paradox-proof hardware.
- Julius Beethoven da Vinci: Calculon revealed in "The Honking" that he has been all of history's great acting robots: Acting Unit 0.8, Thespo-mat, David Duchovny!
- "Jump Off a Bridge" Rebuttal: Parodied in the first episode.Fry: [annoyed] If someone programmed you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?Bender: I'll have to check my program... [looks away from Fry momentarily] Yep!
- Jury and Witness Tampering: Played for laughs. At one trial against the robot mafia that Bender is testifying in, his lawyer claims jury tampering, then we're shown Joey Mousepad literally rewiring members of the (robot) jury.
- Just Friends: Fry and Leela. They eventually do become a couple in later seasons
- Just Like Making Love:
- Parodied in "The Series Has Landed", when Amy is trying to retrieve the keys to a spaceship from a claw arcade game.Bender: "Come on, it's just like making love. Y'know: Left, down, rotate 62 degrees, engage rotor."
Amy: I know how to make love!
- After Fry first tries a delicious Poppler, he declares "It's like sex, except I'm having it!"
- Parodied in "The Series Has Landed", when Amy is trying to retrieve the keys to a spaceship from a claw arcade game.
- Just Plane Wrong: In-universe reaction. In "Saturday Morning Fun Pit", when Nixon's head has to quickly edit a tape of G.I. Zapp mid-broadcast, he notes how wackily drawn the team's airplane is:What the hell kinda plane is that?!
- Kangaroo Court: Futurama has had a couple occasions where the crew finds itself on trial on a distant robot planet. In one case, the prosecution's opening remarks are, "The prosecution rests."
- Kangaroo Pouch Ride: Bender's Game had orc spear-throwers riding in giant war-kangaroo pouches.
- Karma Houdini: Bender sometimes has to face some kind of punishment for his behavior, but as often as not he just does whatever he wants without having to face any real consequences. In fact, there's a surprising amount of episodes where he's directly or indirectly responsible for everything bad that happens to the crew, and he gets away with it.
- Lampshaded and subverted in "Three Hundred Big Ones", where Bender has stolen an expensive cigar and flaunted it at a fancy party; at the episode's end he notes "My story kinda petered out without me learning a lesson," at which point Smitty and URL recognize him from security footage and begin to beat Bender senseless while he enjoys this closure.
- Made fun of in "Yo Leela Leela": after her ethically questionable actions lead to the Humplings getting healthcare, plumbing, and electricity, and all of the orphans being adopted and getting paid jobs, Leela simply cannot understand that everybody got a happy ending, and demands that somebody teach her a lesson.
- Karmic Twist Ending: Parodied with the Show Within a Show The Scary Door. The best example is the one where the bookworm's reading glasses break after doomsday, pardoying The Twilight Zone episode, "Time Enough at Last".Bookworm: Finally! Solitude! I can read books for all eternity! (glasses fall off) It's not fair! IT'S NOT... Oh, well, my eyes aren't that bad. I can still read the large print books. (eyes fall out) IT'S NOT... Oh, well, lucky I know Braille. (hands fall off) *screams* (tongue falls out, head falls off) Hey, look at that weird mirror!
Bender: Cursed by his own hubris.
- Kent Brockman News: Morbo and Linda. They're presented in a format similar to Kent Brockman himself, but with Morbo often talks about how he hates all other living things, especially humans. Linda, his co-anchor, often gives him airheaded laughs.
- Kill All Humans: Bender expresses a desire to do this while sleeptalking, Fry hears him and is disturbed. "I was having the most wonderful dream... I think you were in it.""Hey, sexy mama. Wanna kill all humans?"
- Whenever I said "Kill All Humans" I always whispered "except one." Fry was that one. (That one has its impact lessened by the revelation that it was just a hallucination of Leela's.)
- The motto of the League of Robots is "Kill All Humans" but they haven't actually killed anyone in in about 800 years.
- Killed Off for Real: Calculon as of "The Thief of Baghead". He is briefly resurrected in "Calculon 2.0", only to die again by the episode's end.
- Roberto in "The Six Million Dollar Mon." He does return, this time without explanation, in "Stench and Stenchibility".
- In "Lethal Inspection" it's revealed that all robots are supposed to have an automated backup system so that if they're destroyed they can just be downloaded into a new body. This, of course, raises questions about what sort of system would bring back axe-crazy criminal Roberto but leave wealthy movie star Calculon dead. Bender discovers that he lacks the backup system and starts worrying about being Killed Off for Real.
- Killing for a Tissue Sample:
- "A Clone of My Own". To sneak into the Near-Death Star to rescue the Professor, the crew need a DNA sample from him. Fortunately, they can get one from the Professor's clone, Cubert. Rather than one cell, however, Bender takes out a liter's worth of Cubert's blood, telling the guard to "keep the change".
- "Cold Warriors". To stave off a cold epidemic (the common cold was eradicated centuries ago and people no longer had immunity), the Professor needs to get a sample from Fry... by grinding him up into a slurry. Fortunately, Fry remembers that he had a cold sample sent to space when he was a kid, and they decide to spare Fry and get that sample instead, much to the Professor's disappointment.
- "Rebirth". The Professor uses stem cells to revive the crew. When Fry points out how controversial stem cells were in his time, Farnsworth explains that he's using adult stem cells... harvested from adults whom he had killed for their stem cells.
- In "The Sting", Professor Farnsworth prepares to test Leela's brain to see if she's sane... by putting her in a guillotine.Leela: Professor! Can't you examine my brain without removing it?
Farnsworth: Yes, easily.
- Killer Rabbit: Nibbler, and arguably the rest of the Nibblonians. They're tiny and adorable... and capable of destroying much larger opponents (including the seemingly invincible Brainspawn), running a secret society, and excreting dark matter. Though for some reason, they're utterly useless against the Nudarians.Nibbler: Alas, our Kitten-class attack ships were no match for their mighty chairs. The universe is doomed.
- Kill the Poor: In the future, the unemployment problem was "solved" by making it illegal to be unemployed.
- Also, poverty was declared a mental illness.
- King of All Cosmos: The 'Galactic Entity', the closest thing to God in the series, displays signs of this.Galactic Entity: [To be an effective god] you have to use a light touch, like a safe cracker or a pickpocket.Bender: Or a guy who burns down a bar for the insurance money.Entity: Yes, if you make it look like an electrical thing.
- Klingon Promotion: To become emperor on Trisol you have to assassinate the previous emperor. This leads to extremely short reigns, with a average length of one week.
- Kneel, Push, Trip: When Bender lets it slip that he can't get up if he's knocked on his back, his friends immediately approach him to try and test the theory. As he's backing away from them, Amy crouches behind him.
- Knife Nut: RobertoRoberto: I was designed by a team of engineers attempting to build an insane robot but it seems, they failed!
Vending Machine: Um, actually— *Roberto stabs him*
- Knight Templar: Robot Santa was programmed to only deliver presents to nice people and punish the naughty. Unfortunately his standards are set so high that everyone (except Zoidberg) counts as naughty.
- Lady Land:
- In "The Late Phillip J. Fry", the Professor Farnsworth creates a time machine that can go forward in time. The Professor, Bender, and Fry go forward in time through several different periods. Eventually they reach one where the Earth, in the year 50 Million, is populated by gorgeous young women.
- The planet of the Amazonians is entirely populated by giant barbarian women.
- One of the boxes in The Farnsworth Parabox is a dimension of all women.
- Ladyella: Leela calls herself "Clobberella" when she gets superpowers.
- Lampshade Hanging: In the Futurama video game, when Fry turns on the TV:Bender: Has anyone ever noticed how Fry always seems to turn on the TV at just the right moment?
- Land of Tulips and Windmills: Appears on the episode "Crimes of the Hot", as Morbo and Linda report on a turtle migration to Holland.Morbo: Morbo wishes these stalwart nomads peace among the Dutch tulips.
Linda: At least all those windmills will keep them cool.
Morbo: WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOOD NIGHT!
- Language Fluency Denial: Bender uses this excuse when Cubert asks why a delivery company needs a bending robot.
- Large Ham: Hellooooo, Calculon. His hamming is ramped up to dangerous levels in "That's Lobstertainment!", when director Harold Zoid tells him he isn't emoting enough. His hamminess is on display off the stage as well in "The Devil's Hands":Calculon: Well, I do owe you for giving me this... unholy ACTING TALENT!
- Zapp Brannigan. He's not an actor, but he'll steal the scene anyway.
- How dare you not mention Lrrr... '''RULER OF THE PLANET OMICRON PERSEI 8!'''
- Puny tropers would do well to list Morbo as well!!!!!
- The Nibblonians. Not to mention that they would eat the Large Ham too.
- "WELCOME, TO THE WORLLLLLD OF TOMORROWWWWWW!"
- "I'M NOT FROM HERE! I'VE GOT MY OWN CUSTOMS! LOOK AT MY CRAAAAZY PASSPORT!"
- Also Bender, from time to time. "And I... I can be an ACTING COACH!!!!
- Large Ham Title: Lrrr, RULER OF THE PLANET OMICRON PERSEI 8!. He even shouts it when he's trying to go incognito.
- Laser Cutter: Dr. Zoidberg uses them to treat people and in an inversion can use lasers to reattach severed parts of the body as well.
- Laser-Guided Karma: In "Fry and Leela's Big Fling", Bender catches Fry and Leela out in Central Park at night during his nightly crime spree, and tries to mug them. Leela stuns him with a few kicks, then she and Fry relieve Bender of his night's loot.
- Last Day of Normalcy: In the first episode, Phillip J. Fry is working as a pizza delivery boy on New Year's Eve. His last day of normalcy ends when he's accidentally frozen for a thousand years and revived in the future.
- Last-Name Basis: Fry's full name is "Phillip J. Fry". This gets a lampshade by Amy in one episode. And Zoidberg (John).
- Apparently this with Turanga Leela; but eventually subverted when we discover in that Leela's parents are "Turanga Morris" and "Turanga Munda", indicating that mutants arrange their names Asian style, with the family name first.
- Last of Her Kind: Alcazar from "A Bicyclops Built for Two" found five of them and used his Voluntary Shapeshifting to trick them each into an Adam and Eve Plot.
- Last Request: The Pharaoh in "A Pharaoh to Remember" tries to order that his slaves are free to go as he dies, although Bender doesn't exactly interpret it correctly.
- Latin Land: Tijuana in "Lethal Inspection" is a textbook example.
- Lava Pit:The championship match of The Butterfly Derby(a popular Blood Sport) is fought over one.
- Lead the Target: Fry fails to do this while playing real-life Space Invaders, and Lrrr even points this out after winning.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "Fear of a Bot Planet", immediately before a commercial break:Leela: This is a difficult decision! If only I had 2 to 3 minutes to think it over!
- The entire opening to Bender's Big Score.
- Not to mention about halfway in Bender's Big Score, Bender meets himself, with one saying "I'm Bender from the end of the movie".
- And in the first episode of the newest season, "It's some kind of new, comedy-central channel! And we're on it now!"
- Robot Devil has a couple in the ex-series finale:
- [after his own name is selected for Fry's hands] "What an appallingly ironic outcome!"
- "Ah, my ridiculously circuitous plan is one quarter complete!"
- Upon completion of the FonFon-Rubok ceremony in "The Beast With A Billion Backs", Amy joyously declares "Oh, Kif, this is just like a movie with this happening in it!"
- In the episode "Bender Should Not Be Allowed On Television", the president of the network says "Bite my shiny metal ass could be a Catchphrase" when explaining why Bender would be a great star for All My Circuits. Also Bender's Public Service Announcement that Futurama doesn't condone the "cool crime of stealing" seconds after Dwight and Cubert decide to commit a robbery.
- LEGO Genetics: The Decapodians contain parts of every known marine animal on earth, as well as every Yiddish stereotype imaginable, all wrapped up in the body of a six-foot-tall humanoid lobster.
- Leotard of Power: Leela when she became a superhero.
- Lethal Chef: Bender is a literal one, since he has a limited knowledge of organic biology. Well, knowledge he's got, concern for is a different matter.Bender: There was nothing wrong with that food. The salt level was ten percent less than a lethal dose.Zoidberg: I shouldn't have had seconds.
- Though to be fair he did make one good dish and the rest of the time he's at least trying.
- If he's following a recipe, he can cook as well as anyone, but he tries to improvise. Without a sense of taste, he has no basis on which to improvise from beyond "throw it into the pot," which doesn't work so well.
- When Bender buys Neptunian Slug to cook, the vendor asks if he wants the purple or the yellow, and tells him the purple one causes terrible nightmarish diarrhea. Bender's response is "Yeah, yeah, either one's fine."
- Lethally Stupid: Brannigan, Fry and Zoidberg. Many other characters are this.
- Licensed Game: An Xbox / PlayStation 2 Platform Game, which was pretty good, very funny with a Mind Screw ending. It was written by David X. Cohen.
- Lie Detector: The truthoscope used during the presidential debate in the episode "A Head in the Polls".
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded by Bender in the episode "I, Roommate", in regards to Fry:Bender: "You own one pair of clothes and you're not taking them off while I'm around."
- Linked List Clue Methodology: Parodied in "The Duh Vinci Code" with Leela questioning the Professor's clue deductions, only to be angrily shouted down.
- Living Ark: The Encyclopods are a race of this trope for other creatures, resembling gigantic manta rays with an atmosphere-like dome and eggs that have the appearance of Violet Dwarf Stars. They harvest the Chi and DNA of every endangered species, including Humans which they expect will die off soon, to ensure such races can be reborn again in the future long after their extinction.
- Living Crashpad: Bender has done this to Fry several times.
- The Countess de la Roca (A Flight To Remember) did also, when she fell through the deck of the Titanic, but a family broke her fall. Since she weighs at least two metric tons according to Leela, things probably did not end well for them.
- Locked into Strangeness: Parodied with Zoidberg and the space whale. He's so terrified that he grows hair just so it can turn white. Lucky for him, the third time around he stops at the "grow hair" part.
- Logic Bomb: Averted with a Logic Bomb proof robot in "Mother's Day": There's a wax robot janitor taking a nap in the hall of wax robot replicas of famous robots Mom ever built. When Fry tries to figure why the robot would do this, it just ticks the robot off, prompting an even more bizarre explanation that does nothing but advance Fry's confusion and even frightens him a little.
- More traditionally, Leela attempts this on Robot Santa. His head explodes; however, he was built with "paradox-absorbing crumple zones", so a new head simply springs up to replace the old one.
- In "Free Will Hunting", a more subtle one is the case of the Robot Judge. Bender's lawyer argues that as a robot, the latter can't be held liable for his actions since he has no free will and responds and reacts by programming, and has no real control of his actions. The Judge responds to that by noting that as a robot he is probably predestined to judge each case per his programming rather than the arguments of the trial at which his point his eyes briefly flash and he acquits Bender, probably as a means of self-defense to avert this.
- Logo Joke: 30th Century Fox.
- Looking Busy: Robot Animatronio pretends to be selling ice-cream while he's spying on Fry, Professor Farnsworth and others who try to find out some big secret about Leonardo da Vinci. Animatronio wants to stop them.
- Lonely Together: The trope name was coined in the first Christmas episode. Fry misses his family and Leela is sad at X-Mas because never even had a family. Their friendship deepens as they realize they can share these feelings. It's clear that Fry has hots for Leela and loves her although she doesn't reciprocate.Leela: It's okay. You're lonely and I'm lonely. But together, we're lonely together.
- Lost Food Grievance:
- A recurring gag has Hermes lament the loss of his Manwich.
- In "I, Roommate", Farnsworth becomes livid over Fry eating an alien mummy after mistaking it for jerky...because he wanted to eat it.
- Losing Your Head: The heads in jars, Bender, Zoidberg, Hermes, Robot Santa (who produced a new one), and technically Fry (his body was damaged so they moved his head to Amy's shoulder).
- Lost Technology: One of the quirks of the future was supposed to be that the technology for the wheel had been lost (hence flying cars), however the producers realized they had messed it up because the wheel is far more common than even they realized.
- Lost World: There's one under the glaciers of the Neander Valley in "Fun on a Bun".
- Lovecraft Lite: Occasionally, the episodes inspired by horror flirt with Lovecraftian ideas. Direct allusions include the Eldritch Abomination that show up occasionally such as the actor Langdon Cobb, whose face is harmful to see via photograph ("A Thief of Baghead").
- Low Count Gag:
- Donbot introduces his two henchmen as 'the entire robot mafia'. So the criminal organization consists of the boss Donbot and his goons Clamps and Joey Mousepad.
- In "A Head in the Polls", the TV news describes the election results for the Earth presidential campaign:Linda: The sheer drama of this election has driven voter turnout to its highest level in centuries. Six percent!
- Low-Speed Chase: There's a chase scene at the Central Bureaucracy on "slowmobiles", hover-scooters that travel at slightly less than walking pace.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Fry in Meanwhile, who jumps off the Vampire State Building when he thought Leela wasn't coming.
- Luke, You Are My Father: Farnsworth is Igner's father.
- Made of Evil: The Were-car in "The Honking" is made from the most evil parts of the most evil cars in history.
- Made of Explodium: One of the bees crashes into the walls of the hive and explodes in "The Sting". As of the 2010 Christmas special episode, it appears ALL space bees are made of explodium.
- One of Fry's fellow inmates in the robot insane asylum, Malfunctioning Eddie, tends to blow up at the slightest provocation.
- Made of Incendium:
- In one episode, Doctor Zoidberg tries to re-coil a slinky after Bender has straightened it into a straight wire. It goes down two steps, falls over and then bursts into flame.
- Lampshaded in another episode where Zoidberg claims a giant conch shell on the bottom of the ocean as his home. Later in the episode they return to it to find it's burned down, leaving only a charred framework.Zoidberg: How could this happen?!
Hermes: That's a very good question!
Bender: So that's where my cigar was.
Hermes: That just raises further questions!
- Made of Iron: Pretty much the entire Planet Express crew, excluding the robotic Bender (who may or may not be 40% iron) and the lobster-esque alien Zoidberg (who's species might just be resilient; he can easily remove most of his organs with no issue). They've all died or suffered otherwise horribly fatal injuries that should've killed them multiple times, yet always get saved by the Professor's emergency fixer-uppers... usually only after surviving for several hours, when they clearly shouldn't have. Examples include; Fry and Leela having their arms torn off, Fry and Hermes surviving decapitation, Leela having her torso severed from her lower body, Zoidberg taking Amy's kidney, Bender taking Fry's kidney, Fry being stabbed by a giant bee, and once, they were all reduced to bones in a space ship explosion. Yet, they still live.
- Averted in the final episode, when Fry plummets from the Empire State Building (re-dubbed "The Vampire State Building" by 3013, apparently) to his very gory death. And multiple times too, since the topic of the episode was Time Travel (don't worry, they hit the Reset Button and save him).
- Even including Bender, the amount of damage he can take varies from episode to episode depending on the Rule of Funny. Typically though, he is portrayed as invincible. At one point he survives a particularly brutal impact and even he says "What does it take to kill me?"
- Magic Feather:
- Invoked and them subverted in "30% Iron Chef":Professor: Bender, the "essence of pure flavor" was just ordinary water!
Fry: See, Bender, you just needed confidence!
Professor: Yes, ordinary water — with a large dose of LSD!
- Similarly invoked and subverted in "I Second That Emotion." Farnsworth declares that the chip had never been turned on, and everything had come from Bender. A moment later he corrects himself, stating that the chip was working, and at triple capacity.Bender: And I still barely felt anything!
- Invoked and them subverted in "30% Iron Chef":
- The Magnificent: The water people's rulers.
- Magic Pants: Alcazar from "A Bicyclops Built for Two" is ultimately foiled because he had to rent a tux that changes shape.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: While Planet Express is meant to just be a mom-and-pop (emphasis on the pop, competitor of Mom) delivery company, throughout the series the company has been sent on different missions well-beyond a delivery boy's pay grade, including archaeology, politics, illegally smuggling animals from a dying planet, collecting honey from Slspace bees, ending Robot Santa's reign of terror and replacing him, rescuing a team of miner's from the sun's core, replacing New New York's fire-fighters, helping Farnsworth with his various inventions and hobbies and being instrumental in stopping The End of the World as We Know It numerous times (ranging from societal to universe ending, half the time being responsible for it themselves).
- Mainlining the Monster: The galaxy's favorite soft drink is Slurm, which is secretly 100% slug juice. As in, it comes from a queen slug. She and her underlings have built a powerhouse corporation by marketing this highly-addictive beverage.
- This was invoked in a scene that has strangely disappeared from reruns. As Leela is being dipped into "royal slurm jelly" that will turn her into a Slurm queen, the queen's majordomos mention this:Majordomo 1: But Your Highness, she is a commoner! Her Slurm will taste foul!
Slurm Queen: Yes, I know. We'll market it as "New Slurm" and when people complain, we'll bring back "Slurm Classic"! We'll make millions! (Both give Evil Laugh)
- This was invoked in a scene that has strangely disappeared from reruns. As Leela is being dipped into "royal slurm jelly" that will turn her into a Slurm queen, the queen's majordomos mention this:
- Major Injury Underreaction: Occasionally, characters seem to react with little to no pain even if they suffer from any sort of amputations including decapitation. Special points go to Fry in "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?", whose reaction to Zoidberg severing his arm is to start beating him with it.
- Make-Out Point: In the robot Slasher Movie.
- Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: Large parts of the show fall into this, like the Headless Clone of Agnew and the living heads of famous people who should be long dead, all of this falls into Rule of Funny.
- Male Gaze: Often. Amy and Leela are both very shapely and often wear revealing outfits. It makes sense for Amy's character, but Leela's wardrobe is blatantly just there for Fanservice.
- Marilyn Maneuver: Leela in episode "Attack of the Killer App" during her humiliating montage after her singing boil is exposed online, she attempts to hide her appearance only for her dress to fly up and the paparazzi group take pictures.
- Parodied in episode "The Mutants Are Revolting" where a royalty girl is walking on the streets with the Mayor when an air conditioner, which had just lifted her dress a little too high, exuded an enormous quantity of sewage that sent her through the air.
- Martial Arts for Mundane Purposes: Leela's martial arts are applied in grossly inappropriate situations; she has even been known to shout "HI YA!!" when unplugging a refrigerator.
- May Contain Evil:
- Slurm, a soda advertised with the slogan "It's highly addictive!"
- The Popplers, which turn out to be the offspring of an alien race.
- The Slurm episode also parodies this with Soylent Cola, the taste of which "varies from person to person".
- Also Soylent Green. Yes, that Soylent Green. Everyone is quite aware of what it's made of, no one cares though.
- MayDecember Romance: Exagerated. The Professor, who is over 150 years old, gets into a relationship with a girl in her early 20s at one point.
- Any relationship Fry gets into counts as this due to him being chronologically over 1000 years old.
- After The Late Philip J. Fry any relationship Bender, Fry and the Professor get into are this due to them technically being about twice the agenote of the universe.
- In one episode, Zapp dates and almost marries Munda, Leela's mother.
- Meaningful Name: A number of the cast's names are ShoutOuts or Genius Bonuses to some degree.
- Philip J. Fry himself, named for the dearly departed Phil Hartman.
- Leela's full name (Turanga Leela) is a direct reference to Olivier Messiaen's famous Turangalîla Symphony.
- Zapp Brannigan's name shares resonance with the semi-obscure term "brannigan", meaning an embarrassing drunken bender.
- Bender... in more ways than one.
- And of course, Professor Farnsworth, named after the inventor Philo Farnsworth, who invented the television.
- And he's revealed in "All the Presidents' Heads" to actually be a descendant of Philo Farnsworth.
- Tonya, Bender's tap dancing rival in "Stench and Stenchibility" turns out to be an allusion to Tonya Harding.
- The Meaning of Life: While Fry, Bender and The Professor are watching the universe end.Fry: Hey, uh... What was the purpose of life, anyway?Professor: Who knows? Probably some hogwash about the human spirit.Bender: Mm-hm.Fry: Sounds about right.
- Meat-O-Vision: In "Obsoletely Fabulous", Bender is stranded on a desert island without any alcohol. Seeing a gaggle of ducks with a six pack ring stuck round their neck. He hallucinates that they are a six-pack of beer and attempts to drink them.
- Mechanical Evolution: In the episode "A Clockwork Origin", Professor Farnsworth releases some Nanomachines to purify water on an uninhabited planet. Subsequent generations of nanites are more complex, and the situation very quickly gets far out of hand. In one day they become trilobites, the next day there's robot dinosaurs, the next cave-bots, then human-bots, and finally energy beings.Energy Being: It is our experience that all material beings are yokels.
- Meet My Good Friends "Lefty" and "Righty": Bender in the initial finale affectionately names his hands Grabby and Squeezey.
- In "Assie Come Home" he says their names are Gropey and Cheaty.
- Merchandise-Driven: The Purpleberry Pond segment of "Saturday Morning Fun Pit" is a parody of this type of show. It keeps being interrupted by commercials for the breakfast cereal it's based on, and at one point becomes a cereal commercial itself.
- Mermaid Problem: Fry encounters it in "The Deep South".
- Me's a Crowd: Bender, in "Benderama".
- Mess on a Plate: Bender's final presentation in the episode "The 30% Iron Chef."Morbo: The challenger's ugly food has shown us that even hideous things can be sweet on the inside. [Begins to cry]
- Metaphorgotten: A lot. Zapp Brannigan and Fry being the more notable offenders.Fry: Bender! You can't date the ship! It would be like me dating a really fat lady, and then living inside her! And she'd be all (makes space travel motions with his hands) Vrrrroooom vrwooo bweeee zooom!Zapp: "If we hit that bullseye, the rest of those dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate."
- In the Season 6 episode "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences":Scary Door intro You're taking a vacation from normalcy. The setting; a weird motel with a bed that is stained with mystery. And there's also some mystery floating in the pool. Your key card may not open the exercise room because someone smeared mystery on the lock.
- In the Season 6 episode "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences":
- "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: Bending is Bender's middle name. His full name is Bender Bending Rodriguez.
- Microwave Misuse: Fry stupidly puts a metal pack of popcorn into a microwave. This somehow combines with a supernova to send the Planet Express ship and crew back to the 1950s. It also destroys the microwave. This is a problem, because making a return trip to the future requires a functional microwave.
- Mile-High Club: Inverted in "The Duh-Vinci Code". While searching for a tomb underneath Rome, Fry asks Leela if she wants to join the "Mile Deep Club". She consents but they're interrupted by the Professor.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: In one "What if" story, Fry destroys the entire universe with a time paradox.
- Mind Screw: "The Sting". And how!
- "Obsoletely Fabulous" ventures here too but more mildly. The bulk of the episode is just a long string of fictitious events in Bender's head to make him appreciate the 1-X robots.
- "The Farnsworth Parabox" is all over this, starting with the creation of a box that contains a parallel universe (while simultaneously, the parallel universe creates a box containing the other parallel universe) and ending with the two Farnsworths somehow pulling each other's boxes through each other so that both universes now contain a box containing their own universe (and the boxes themselves are probably worth something as well.)
- Mirror Universe: Parodied when one is encountered in "The Farnsworth Parabox." Though each set of Planet Express crews immediately assume the other is evil, the differences are mostly cosmetic; Leela has bright red hair, Bender is golden, and so on.
- Played with, as our universe is designated "Universe A", and theirs "Universe 1".
- Misfit Mobilization Moment: In Bender's Big Score, this happens in the climactic battle against the scammers when Hermes' head is plugged directly into the battlegrid. Cue Theme Music Power-Up and much ass-kicking.
- Misguided Missile: Fry and Fry crew attempt to use a heat-seeking missile against the Decapodians' Mobile Oppression Palace, only to learn that Decapodian technology is "cold-blooded", so there's nothing for the missile to lock onto. Cue Zoidberg, a lit cigar, and an Earthican flag...
- Mistaken for Exhibit: In "Mother's Day", Fry justly mistakes the janitor (who happens to be a robot made out of wax) for one of the wax robot sculptures in a museum.
- Mistaken for Insane: In "Insane in the Mainframe," Bender and Fry's lawyer pleads insanity after they're framed for a murder case, so Bender and Fry are sent to a robot institution. Fry tries to convince everybody that he's not actually a robot, but they assume he's just delusional. Eventually, his spirit is so broken down that he actually becomes delusional, believing he's a robot.
- Mister Seahorse: Kif Kroker's species has "males" who become pregnant by absorbing genetic material from other lifeforms via skin contact. In another episode, Bender allows Fry and Leela to homebrew beer inside his torso and it's treated like a pregnancy. In one of the spin-off comics, Zapp Brannigan basically gets this with the intent of using him as a human weapon.
- Mobile Fishbowl: The Professor's rival, Wernstrom, makes one of these for his goldfish as his entry for the science symposium.
- Mobstacle Course: Bender's cow catcher on Freedom Day.
- Moby Schtick: Leela becomes obsessed with hunting down the Space Whale that destroyed the first Planet Express ship.
- Modern Major General: Zapp, at times.
- Modesty Bedsheet: Morgan Proctor, when she and Fry got caught having sex in Bender's closet, and then running out to catch a taxi with the bedsheet covering her when Bender figures out the truth about her.
- Moment Killer: It's very common for the genre, but "Fry and Leela's Big Fling" is particularly filled of those. Fry and Leela want to have a romantic moment for themselves, and stay in Planet Express after everybody else left. Scruffy is cleaning, as always. They try to have a romantic date in Elzar's. Zoidberg works there as well. They try to be alone at Leela's apartment. Nibbler is there, and he behaves like a pet but he's an intelligent creature, so they are not "alone". Finally, they take a vacation to a place where they may be completely alone. Fry meets Leela's former boyfriend, who was there with his wife and couldn't leave; and it was later revealed that the vacation resort was actually a "human habitat" in the zoo of the planet of the apes
- Money Dumb: A Running Gag is that Dr. Zoidberg's Perpetual Poverty at least partly stems from him being terrible with money. For example, impulsively buying several records he sees on an infomercial (and doing the same with a late edition newspaper from a street vendor later in the same episode). Despite the fact they're records by Fry, and he could have presumably got them for free by asking. Most notably, he manages to win himself a fortune in the Wongs' casino with two lucky and highly improbable bets at a roulette table, then immediately loses it all by pushing his luck too far.
- Monster Progenitor: The Project Satan to all Were-cars.
- Monumental Damage:
- There's a send-up of the trope in the episode "When Aliens Attack", by having the alien invasion occur on Monument Beach, where a former supervillain governor of New York left his collection of stolen world monuments, complete with the White House being blown up by an alien saucer in a parody of Independence Day. The aliens then go on to destroy Fry's sandcastle with a tiny saucer to complete the parody. The aliens even refer to their weapon as an "anti-monument laser".
- Mocked again in "That Darn Katz"; when the Earth stops spinning, we see a shot of the Eiffel Tower... which snaps off and flies offscreen, only for Big Ben to land in its place. Then Big Ben is hit by a flying Statue of Liberty.
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa gets this again, being rebuilt in Pisa after having been destroyed in Monument Beach. In "The Cryonic Woman", Fry and Bender joyride across the world with the Planet Express ship hitting the tower upright then knocked down completely with the Planet Express building being tethered behind the ship.
- Mood Whiplash: Coma-coma-coma-coma-coma-chameleon...
- Moon-Landing Hoax:
- Parodied in Roswell That Ends Well, when Truman is shown Zoidberg and the remains of Bender recovered from Roswell:
- "Into the Wild Green Yonder": While using his telepathy to search for the person who is the Dark One, Fry picks up some thoughts from Richard Nixon's Head in a Jar.Nixon: The one secret they never suspected was that I really did stage the moon landing... on Venus! Aroo! Muahahaha!
- More Dakka: Mom's killbots, which have a minigun on each arm and one on their chest. They only ever manage to kill each other.
- Motivational Lie: The team makes use of this to get Fry to cry out the Emperor that Fry drank.
- Multi-Armed Multitasking: Elzar. The DVD commentary mentions that the animators went out of their way to have each arm work independently rather than have each arm on either side move in the same way.
- Multiple-Choice Past: The circumstances of Bender's "birth" differ every time it's brought up.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Hermes is a master of tedious office work. He is sometimes called upon to display his superhuman ability to fill out paperwork, balance accounts and so forth. Also limbo.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Al Gore and his Vice Presidential Action Rangers appear to have only one method for resolving time-space paradoxes.Nichelle Nichols: Something's wrong! Murder isn't working and that's all we're good at!
- Mushroom Samba: In the episode "Hell is Other Robots", Bender injects himself with electricity causing him to go on a mind trip.
- Must Make Amends: Fry finds his old dog from the 20th century fossilized in a construction site. Feeling bad for abandoning it (despite not meaning to) he arranges for the Professor to actually revive it. With Science!
- In that same episode, Bender, in a fit of jealousy, literally kicked said dog's fossil into hot lava, but after realizing what he did, he went in to save him and recovered him.
- Must State If You're a Cop: When Fry's nose is stolen as an aphrodisiac, he, Leela and Bender go to a "human horn" dealer in search of it. Before letting them in, he asks if they're cops.
- Mutants: A group of them live underneath the city in its Absurdly Spacious Sewers, including Leela's parents
- My God, What Have I Done?: "I just told you, you've killed me!"
- "What have I will have done?!"
- Naked People Are Funny: Most scenes with the characters naked make some joke about it.
- The show is astoundingly partial to showing Fry in underpants and the Professor buck naked, like every-other-episode-frequent.
- Namesake Gag: "Bender's Game" features 'the Cave of Hopelessness'. The cave was discovered by as well as named for Reginald Hopelessness, who was also the first man to be eaten alive by the Tunneling Horror.
- Narm: Invoked by Fry in "Future Stock." He says the disease That Guy is afflicted with has a name that's more funny than fearsome:"Bone-itis"? That's a funny name for a horrible disease.
- Nausea Dissonance: In "Parasites Lost", after learning there are worms inside Fry's body:Hermes: (eating popcorn) It's nauseating, mon! (eats more popcorn) Is there no way to get rid of the disgusting maggots?
- Near-Miss Groin Attack: In "Roswell That Ends Well", Fry, while trying to protect his future grandpa, causes a fork to slide off the table of the diner they're at. The fork embeds itself in the seat, inches from grandpa's groin, causing Fry to freak out.Fry: I almost neutered you!Enis: Well, t'ain't as bad as gettin' killed.Fry: For me it is!
- Negative Continuity: Subverted between the 1st and 2nd direct-to-TV movies.
- Nepharious Pharaoh: Bender in "A Pharaoh To Remember" forges an inscription on a Egypt-like planet making him the pharaoh. He immediately goes about devising new ways to terrorize his slaves and designing his own monument so that he will always be remembered."Citizens of me! The cruelty of the old Pharaoh is a thing of the past!"[crowd cheers]"Let a whole new wave of cruelty wash over this lazy land!"[crowd cheers, then is confused]
- Never Trust a Trailer: The commercials for "Neutopia" made it appear that the cast being Gender Bent would be the focus of the episode. It doesn't happen until the last five minutes, and most of the jokes in those five minutes were shown in the commercials.
- New Job as the Plot Demands: Sal, the morbidly obese redneck, is always seen in a different low-level job, primarily one that involves heavy lifting. It's even mentioned in the audio commentary for the second episode that the writers frequently debate on whether there are many clones of Sal, or if he just keeps moving from job to job.
- Kif's homeworld also has the Grand Midwife. She's also the Grand Priestess, the Grand Lunchlady, the Grand Funeral Director and the Grand Butterfly Curator."I work five jobs; all of them grand."
- Kif's homeworld also has the Grand Midwife. She's also the Grand Priestess, the Grand Lunchlady, the Grand Funeral Director and the Grand Butterfly Curator.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Bender's robotic abilities, Leela's wristband, Kif and Zoidberg's Bizarre Alien Biology.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: Lampshaded by Bender.Bender: Geez, what does it take to kill me?
- Nightmarish Factory
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Zapp Brannigan. The original concept for the character was "What if William Shatner was the captain of the Enterprise instead of James Kirk?"
- Elzar is a clear parody of tv chef Emeril Lagasse.
- Larvae Slevin in "Thief Of Baghead" is an obvious parody of TMZ head honcho/ex-lawyer Harvey Levin.
- Robot Devil's voice is based on Hans Conried as Captain Hook in Peter Pan.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: In the episode "Free Will Hunting", Bender is acquitted in court because, as a robot, all decisions are dictated by his programming and he is thus not responsible for his actions. This depresses Bender, since it means he has no choice in how he acts, and he goes on a spiritual journey (which he hates doing).
- Nondescript, Nasty, Nutritious: 31st-Century society sells "Bachelor Chow" to the domestically inept, like Fry. Its nutritional value is unknown, but it looks like kibble and is Damned by Faint Praise by its own advertising:Now With Flavor!
- Non-Natural Number Gag:
- The TV channel seen the most is Channel Square Root 2.
- Blernsball (the 31st Century version of baseball) players have fractions and equations on their uniforms because all the available whole numbers have been retired.
- There is a pi-th Avenue in New New York.
- The episode "The Late Philip J. Fry" features a parody of the Zager & Evans song "In the Year 2525" which mentions the year 1,000,000 1/2.
- Non-Residential Residence: Zoidberg lives in a dumpster.
- Noodle Implements/Chekhov's Gun: And this is from the very first episode. Professor Farnsworth introduces a drawer full of "assorted lengths of wire" to distract Fry, Leela and Bender from the fact that he has a spaceship in "Space Pilot 3000". In "The Farnsworth Parabox", a full 4 seasons later, they are used as tools to help the gang and their Universe-1 counterparts find the missing box with Universe-A.
- Noodle Incident: Professor Farnsworth has a one-sided conversation on the phone."Oh, how awful. Did he at least die painlessly? [Beat] To shreds, you say. Well, how's his wife holding up? [Beat] To shreds, you say. Very well, then."
- In "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch", Zapp remarks that the last time the Nimbus's holo-shed broke and the holograms turned real, he got slapped with three paternity suits.
- Apparently, Jesus came back at one point, causing all existing video recordings to be erased. Whether anything else associated with Biblical story of the Second Coming happened at that time is not mentioned.
- "Bend Her" has Bender refute the official's suspicions of Robonia being a made-up nation by asking "Ever been beaten up by a guy dressed like a chick?" The official responds by fearfully squirming in the affirmative, implying that he had been beaten by a man in drag before without specifying the exact circumstances under which that happened.
- Notably Quick Deliberation:
- Spoofed in one episode. The jury dramatically walked into a room to deliberate and then immediately walked out the next door. And then declared the defendant guilty.
- Another episode has a Supreme Court case in which the justices decide "using high-speed telepathy" in a matter of moments.
- Not Afraid of Hell: Bender's first visit to "Robot Hell" is harrowing, but then Leela arrives and beats up the Robot Devil himself. This disillusions the characters to the point where any subsequent visits to Robot Hell are treated at worst as a nuisance.Fry: That could be my beautiful soul sitting naked on [Leela's] couch! If I could just learn to play this stupid [holophonor].
Bender: Oh, but you can. Though you may have to metaphorically make a "deal with the devil". And by "devil" I mean Robot Devil. And by "metaphorically" I mean 'get your coat'.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: The show makes it pretty clear that several years do go by during the seasons (the pilot episode is set on New Year's Eve 2999, while as of season 7 it is already 3012), but none of the characters ever seem to age. This can be justified for the adult characters since some of them are aliens (who believably would age at a slower rate than humans) or robots (who don't age in the first place), and the average life expectancy for humans has drastically increased in the 31th century, but it's very noticeable with the child characters. Cubert, Dwight, and the Cookieville Orphans constantly remain at the same age as they were upon their introduction.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy:
- In "Jurassic Bark", Amy and Leela are doing some gratuitous wrestling in skimpy gym outfits, but Fry is too preoccupied with the impending resurrection of Seymour to be bothered.
- In "The Six Million Dollar Mon", Fry is trying to eavesdrop on a conversation Hermes and Bender are having, refusing to help Leela and Amy rub on their new scented body oil in the shower.Amy: Please Fry, If I don't do it right she punishes me!
- Not Rare Over There: In "Time Keeps On Slippin'", a character mentions that they'll need "some sort of doomsday device" to solve the problem of the week. Quoth Prof. Farnsworth;Farnsworth: Doomsday device? Well, now the ball's in Farnsworth's court![The professor presses a button on a remote, causing several different stereotypically "mad scientist" style machines to come up through a trap door]Farnsworth: I suppose I could part with one and still be feared.
- Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: In Luck of the Fryish, Bender is fixing a horse race by crawling around in a bad horse costume drugging the other horses with Comatonin to make them sleepy, when he's confronted by a tiny jockey.Jockey: Hey! What are you doing?
Bender: This. (drugs jockey)
- Not Really a Birth Scene: In the episode when the Planet Express crew brew some beer inside of Bender, the whole thing is an extended pregnancy metaphor (right down to the fermentation process causing his belly to expand). So naturally, the scene where they bottle the beer is just like this.Bender: I think I'll call it Benderbrau if it's an ale, or Botweiser if it's a lager...
- Not So Above It All: Generally speaking, robots in fiction almost always brag about how they're better than humans. The robots of Futurama are just as boastful... but don't quite live up to the standard they project, struggling with rampant social issues like organized crime (see The Robot Mafia), unorganized crime (see Bender), and addiction to illicit activities (again, see Bender).
- Leela has been subject to this trope at least twice.
- Rather than pay a nominal parking fee for a Hollywood premiere, Leela flies around for hours before landing on the La Brea Tar Pits... which is exactly the sort of thing she usually scolds Fry and Bender for.
- Leela usually serves as Fry's voice of reason whenever he lets something go to his head. However, in the episode where Leela went blind (which was indirectly Bender's fault), she practically thought she was Daredevil (with the expected but not unwelcome hilarity ensuing).
- "Fun On A Bun" from the seventh season begins with Fry doing a very Fry-like thing: using his bare foot to pick up a tortilla chip between his toes, dip it in some salsa, and then put it in his mouth.Leela: Ugh! Fry! That's disgusting!
Leela: You double-dipped! Geez.
[Leela picks up a chip with her own toes, dips it, and eats it]
- In the episode "War is the H-Word", it turns out Kif can be just as much of a Mean Boss as Zapp is to him. This seems more to do with blowing off steam from years of abuse he has taken from Zapp, rather than simply being spiteful. He seems to be fine with Fry other times.
- Leela has been subject to this trope at least twice.
- The Not-So-Harmless Punishment: From "Space Pilot 3000,"Fry: And what if I don't want to be a delivery boy?Leela: Then you'll be fired.Fry: Fine!Leela: ...out of a cannon, into the Sun.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: What happens when Zoidberg's ignorance of human biology is taken to its logical conclusion: his doctorate is in Art History.
- Not What It Looks Like: Happens in the episode "Why Must I Be A Crustacean in Love" with Fry when Zoidberg walks in on both Fry and Edna who is kissing him on her sofa.Zoidberg: Edna, I couldn't stand it any longer. I— Gasp! Fry!Fry: Dr. Zoidberg, it's not how it looks!Zoidberg: Her caviar is on your neck!
- Not Where They Thought: The episode "The Cryonic Woman", not only do Fry and Michelle think they've gone a millennium forward in time when they haven't, they also think they're still in New New York (or what's left of it), when actually they're in LA.
- Number Two: Hermes appears to be Professor Farnsworth's second in command as he usually fulfills and gives commands to the crew members when Farnsworth is away. In Tip of the Zoidberg, Zoidberg is revealed to be Farnsworth's most trusted friend in the company, as he enlisted him so that Zoidberg can mercy kill him in the future when the Yetism advances, meaning that Hermes is his second-in-command in the business.