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  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Nibbler, who hides his hyper-intelligence with a mask of ultra-stupidity and a tendency towards doing cute things.
  • Obstacle Ski Course: Prof. Farnsworth is seen skiing while fast asleep. By the time he arrives at the ski lodge and wakes up, he has apparently entered an Olympic skiing competition, and come third.
  • Oddly Small Organization: "We're the Robot Mafia. The entire Robot Mafia."
  • Office Romance: Fry and Leela are the main example, but there's also Fry and Amy in Put Your Head On My Shoulder, Amy and Bender in Proposition Infinity, and Bender and the Planet Express ship in Love And Rocket. Leela attempted one with her former boss at the cryogenics lab, but he was already married to a woman he met through an office romance. Farnsworth also had a relationship with Mom, his former boss.
  • Official Couple:
    • Deconstructed in Fry and Leela. Especially in season 6 (see The Late Philip J Fry and Meanwhile from season 7)
    • Amy and Kif are (usually) a more straightforward example of this trope.
  • Oh, Crap!: From Bender's Game: "Methinks we be boned".
  • Oktoberfest: Played with. When the gang go to Germany for Oktoberfest, Fry expects the drunken debauchery of his day. He is greatly disappointed that in the ensuing thousand years, it has evolved into a classy, sophisticated event. Lederhosen and sausage are still present, though; in fact, the plot includes Bender entering a sausage-making competition. Played straight by the end of the episode.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Farnsworth focuses mostly on inventing devices, but will readily delve into other sciences.
  • Once a Season:
    • The Anthology of Interest episodes of seasons three and four, which are Three Shorts episodes with the characters using the "What If Machine" to see a story that is way off canon.
    • The Comedy Central seasons also had a Three Shorts episode in every broadcast season, but there would be no in-canon framing device and they would just have a Three Shorts format with a theme to it. The first was a holiday special with stories based around Xmas, Robanukah and Kwanzaa, whereas the other three were all based around Art Shifts; one reimagining the show in three different animation styles such as Anime, one done in the style of a nature documentary and the last parodying 80's kid shows like Rainbow Brite and The Smurfs.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
    • Zapp Brannigan will never let Leela forget the time she had pity sex with him before realizing what an absolute tool he was. It happened once, when she felt sorry for him, and she immediately regretted it and repeatedly swears it will never happen again. He's acted like she's madly in love with him and perpetually seconds away from falling into his arms (and pants) ever since.
    • Invoked hilariously in Ina Gadda De Leela, the show begins with a cheap-effects space opera being narrated by Zapp Brannigan, ending with him and an actress playing Leela (complete with crappy eye-patch thing) in bed.
      Zapp: Was as it good for you as it was for the human race?
      "Leela": Oh, Zappy, let's save another species right now!
      Zapp: Snore! (passed out)
    • Professor Farnsworth will never let Fry forget the time he unwittingly slept with his own grandmother and became his own grandfather, usually bringing it up whenever the subject of time travel is brought up again.
  • Once for Yes, Twice for No: Brannigan entirely fails to correctly interpret a paralyzed Fry when he does this. Though Fry wasn't actually paralyzed, he was using Captain Pike's chair from The Menagerie.
    Zapp: Two beeps? Double yes!
  • Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement: Roberto to Bender: "You ever killed a man with a sock? It ain't so hard..."
  • One Cast Member per Cover: The 2012 rereleases of Volumes 1-4 and the original releases of Volumes 5-8 feature a different cast member on the cover. For instance, Volume 1 has Fry, Volume 2 has Morbo, Volume 3 has Professor Farnsworth, Volume 4 features Amy Wong, Volume 5 features Bender, Volume 6 features Leela, Volume 7 features Zoidberg, and Volume 8 Hypnotoad.
  • One-Hour Work Week: The crew is rarely actually seen performing deliveries. When it is shown, it's usually just after they've made it. Lampshaded in the sixth season episode 'The Duh-Vinci Code'.
    Hermes: Didn't we used to be a delivery company?
    • Also lampshaded in the 100th episode, where the crew celebrates its '100th delivery'... which, as they say, averages out to 'ten a year' (the show had been running at that stage for ten years).
  • One-Person Birthday Party: In "Time Keeps On Slippin'", time jumps to Amy's birthday party, which is attended by everyone at Planet Express, to Zoidberg's birthday party, which is just him alone and crying.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Thanks to advances in medical technology, losing limbs and even suffering decapitation is no big deal in the 31st century as limbs can be easily reattached and heads can either be reattached or even kept alive in jars. Not to mention people seem to be capable of surviving unassisted decapitation for several minutes anyway. Perhaps the human body is stronger in the future?
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Ndnd declares in "Lrrreconcileable Ndndifferences" that she is the only one allowed to nag Lrrr.
  • Only One Finds It Fun: In "Xmas Story", Bender serves the crew a dead parrot he found. While everyone else is understandably disgusted, Nibbler likes it and eats it all.
  • Only Sane Man: Although Fry is supposedly the audience expy in the weird and wonderful future, he's just as mad (or stupid) as the rest of them. Hermes generally takes on this role when the whole cast is together, with Leela filling in when he's not around.
  • Opening Shout-Out
  • Opposing Sports Team: The Butterfly Derby has the "Murderflies", an opposing sports team who cheat by using performance enhancing drugs.
  • Orphaned Punchline: A robot stand-up comedian in "That's Lobstertainment!": "So I said, "Super-collider? I just met her!" (audience laughs) And then they built the super collider."
    • Bender in "A Head in the Polls": "So then the hookerbot says, 'That's not my expansion slot!' And my friend says, 'That's not my gold-plated 25-pin connector!'"
  • Other Me Annoys Me: On several occasions.
  • Our Werecars Are Different
  • Out of Focus: In the second half of Season 7, many recurring characters (such as Kif, Nibbler, LaBarbara, Cubert and Mom) have very limited appearances, and some don't appear at all.
  • Out with a Bang: "DEATH BY SNU-SNU!" Also, Amy's suggestion on how to face the destruction of Earth via Death Sphere.
    Amy: Well I guess it's time to indulge in some end of the world debauchery. Who's up for an orgy?
    • When Decapodians mate, they will die soon after, like many real-life crustacean species. However, they can mate with Yivo and, apparently, with humans, as a certain incident involving Fry being in Zoidberg's body and Leela being in Farnsworth's proves, without dying.
  • Overlaid Societies: Beneath the city of New New York is a society of Mutants who have built their own city out of the flushed waste from the surface. The mutants are forbidden from coming to the surface on the grounds of being "Inferior genetic scum".
  • Overly-Long Gag:
    • The Eviscerator
    • Literally, by the Neptunians in "A Big Piece of Garbage."
    • The numerous Shout-Out diseases that Zoidberg causes Fry to go through in "The Tip of the Zoidberg." For reference, Fry starts out with "Simpson's jaundice", then progresses to Garfield syndrome, to Muppet Gangrene, and, finally, an unnamed Smurfs disease, exhibiting characteristics of the main characters of each respective series.
    • "Kif, as the most attractive male, will be snu-snu'd by the most beautiful women of Amazonia, then the large women, then the petite women, then the large women again!"
  • Overly Long Scream: Bender is quite fond of these:
    Leela: They're [the Omicronians] back!
    Bender: We're Doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo— [stops to inhale] —oooooooooooooooooooooooooomed!

  • Pacifism Is Cowardice: This is referenced in "When Aliens Attack"; Bender declares himself a "conscientious objector... you know, a coward." Then his patriotism chip is activated and he becomes gung-ho against his will.
  • Pac Man Fever: In "Rebirth", Fry is seen complaining about how the ship's Gameboy isn't working while holding a NES controller. Complete with sounds from the original Donkey Kong! OK, it's Fry, but you'd think if he has one area of expertise, it's video games.
  • Painful Persona: Slurm Cola spokesworm Slurms MacKenzie is an introvert, but since Slurm is marketed as a party drink, he is contractually obligated to party all day and all night, or else he gets fired. After forty years of this, he's so exhausted that his eyes are permanently bloodshot, and he ends up committing suicide by partying so hard that a tunnel collapses around him, crushing him.
  • Painful Rhyme: In "Fry and the Slurm Factory", the Grunka-Lunkas use terribly forced rhymes in their songs. It's later lampshaded.
    Grunka Lunkas: Grunka lunka, dunkity-darmed guards—
    Bender: SHUT THE HELL UP!
  • Pan and Scan: When [adult swim] re-acquired the series in late 2021, for whatever reason, the aspect ratio for Seasons 5 and onward were all messed up. Most of the time, the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio is cropped to 4:3, while other episodes have the video shrunken down to a 4:3 Letterbox ratio, resulting in a large black border around the picture. Some episodes even have both in them! What's even weirder, some episodes have a strange, generic "FOX" network bug in the lower right corner, in a completely different typeface than the network proper uses. Seasons 1-4 air in their original 4:3 ratio.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: When the death satellite is on course for Earth, Bender mentions two TV shows that might make Earth a target, The Pimpsons and Assarama.
  • Paranormal Gambling Advantage:
    • In "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", Bender cheats at poker by wearing a pair of x-ray specs. However, he gives himself away when he mentions that one of the players has ringworm.
    • In the movie Into the Wild Green Yonder Fry uses his newfound telepathy to cheat at a poker tournament, while Bender loads up on lucky charms (most notably, the Donbot's lucky robot's foot). In the last hand Bender wins by not looking at his hand, which turns out to be all four kings plus a coaster labeled "King of Beers" that got shuffled into the deck by accident, beating Fry's Straight Flush.
  • Parental Abandonment: Fry's parents went to get his dog pal at the cryogenics plant and didn't even realize he was frozen there. To be fair, they were hungover... and bad parents.
    • Fry's dad grew up without a father. Since Fry's dad's father turned out to be Fry himself, that's probably just as well.
    • Possibly averted in a later episode. Bender's Big Score shows a back-from-the-future Fry happily reuniting with his family. Until that moment, all the information showing the horrible neglect Fry grew up with came from an early, immature Fry and his even less mature girlfriend. Why would it be a waste of taxpayer money to have the police search for Fry? Because Fry's family had probably just seen him, and didn't feel like giving his horrible ex the time of day. Regardless, some evidence exists that Fry's feelings about his family are skewed, right down to his hatred for his older brother, who "always stole everything from him". Yancy Jr. and Fry just experienced normal sibling rivalry. Upon having a son, Yancy Jr. names the boy "Philip" for Fry; his wife treats the choice as a foregone conclusion, knowing how much Yancy Jr. loves his little brother.
  • Parody Sue: Barbados Slim. He's the only person to have Olympic Gold Medals in both Limboing and Sex!
  • Parrot Expo-WHAT?: Spoofed.
    Fry: Can I use your bathroom?
    Bender: My what-room?
    Fry: Bathroom!
    Bender: The bath-what?
    Fry: Bathroom!
    Bender: The what-what?
    (goes back to sleep)
    Fry:' Never mind.
  • Pass the Popcorn: During Fry's colonoscopy.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": When a bomb that cannot be deactivated is installed into Bender, the Professor programs in a password that Bender would never use in everyday conversation. Bender, of course, immediately tries (and succeeds) to guess "antiquing."
    • After having guessed "please," "thank you," "you're welcome," "I'm sorry" and "non-alcoholic."
  • Peace & Love Incorporated: Mom Corp plays this to the hilt, so much so that both "Mom" and "love" are registered trademarks in its name. The latest season has taken to portraying Mom Corp as the 31st Century's version of Apple. Considering they are very much a Truth in Television example of this trope, it's not too much of a stretch. No one would be surprised if they eventually revealed Mom to be a direct descendant of Steve Jobs (see the Wild Mass Guessing entry).
  • People Zoo: In "Fry and Leela's Big Fling", the ape planet Simian 7 has a zoo with a human habitat. The specimens (in this case, Fry and Leela) are completely unaware that they are in a zoo; to them, it's an exclusive private resort.
  • Percussive Maintenance: How the Professor upgrades his What-If Machine for "Anthology of Interest II".
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: "Intragnisent" Yup, he mispronounced intransigent, which leads to the Mob boss's quip: "From the context your meaning is clear".
  • Perplexing Pearl Production: A rare non-bivalvian example: In Bendin in the Wind, the exhaust from the antique VW minibus causes Dr. Zoidberg to cough up pearls. Probably justified by his Bizarre Alien Biology.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Bender pets a few things.
    • The writers towards Zoidberg in the first post-cancellation season. He finally gets treated like a human, by Cubert, no less.
    • Dr. Zoidberg receives a few of these courtesy of Robot Santa in Xmas Story. He chastises Fry and Leela for never thinking about Zoidberg's feelings, and he is also the only one in the entire world that is shown to be on Santa's nice list.
    • Kick the Dog: "Robopuppy mistreatment alert! Robopuppy mistreatment aleeert!"
  • Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: Positron shooters are apparently standard issue for DOOP soldiers. They play "Pop Goes The Weasel" as they're wound up.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: Fry asks an all-knowing giant brain what really killed the dinosaurs.
    Giant Brain: MEEEEE!!!
  • Phlebotinum Muncher: Inverted; Nibblonians excrete starship fuel.
  • Phrase Catcher: Wernstrom!
  • Physical Hell: Robot hell of course! In New Jersey.
    Leela: Who would've thought hell would really exist... and that it would be in New Jersey!
    Fry: Actually...
  • Physical God: Sorta, in several occasions.
    • Fry as the incarnation of the Known Universe could be this for the Parasites.
    • Bender is this to the Shrimpkins in Godfellas.
      • And then he meets the Galactic Entity, a real physical god.
      • Then Bender becomes an actual Physical God after an extreme overclocking. It doesn't last, thankfully.
    • Yivo must be this, being some sort of Eldritch Abomination.
    • And, of course, the mighty Encyclopod.
  • Pineapple Ruins Pizza: In the episode "A Clockwork Origin", the Planet Express crew end up trapped in a cave after fleeing self-evolving robots. They decide to eat the pizza the Professor got them as payment for helping him move in order to keep their strength up, only to toss it all aside when they see that they're all Hawaiian.
  • Pink Is Erotic:
    • Zapp Brannigan is the perverted captain of The Nimbus and Leela's unwanted admirer. In his first episode, he seduces Leela into pity sex and makes all sorts of advances towards women. His bedroom is decorated with pink candles, he has a pink bed, and the walls are decorated in pink.
    • Amy Wong is one of the main characters in the series, she's openly promiscuous and a source of fanservice for the show. She wears pink clothes, has a pink bed and has a pink bedside table.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The whalers on the moon lampshade this. Bender does very little bending. Farnsworth doesn't really teach...also, at times Planet Express:
    Hermes: Didn't we used to be a Delivery Company?
  • Pity Sex: Ensues when Leela feels sorry for Zapp.
  • A Planet Named Zok: Averted often to the extent that planets are given names for reasons other than their sound-values: Chapek 9, which might seem to fit this trope, is named for Karel Čapek, the coiner of the term 'robot'; Decapod 10 is named for the biological order to which shrimp, crabs, and lobsters belong. Spheron 1 is inhabited by ball-like beings; Tweenis 12 is between us and the first planet to be destroyed in "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid", as well as being a joke word describing the perineum. Omicron Persei 8 refers to an actual star the correct distance from Earth for the needs of its introductory episode "When Aliens Attack".
  • Planetary Core Manipulation: In "That Darn Katz!", Amy invents a device that channels energy from the earth's rotation, connected straight to the mantle. Cats use it to slow down the Earth's rotation to replace their dying home planet. Amy saves the day by putting the device in reverse so that the planet starts rotating again, only in reverse.
  • Planetary Nation: Played with in regards to Earth itself. Earth has its own overarching government (that is somehow also the American government and based on American governmental traditions), but other nations are shown to still exist with their own set of laws. And then its usually played straight when any other planets show up (which is normally Once an Episode).
  • Planetary Relocation:
    • "Crimes of The Hot" has global warming caused by robot emissions cause Nixon to resort to gathering all robots to the Galapagos Island in order to kill them with an EM blast. In order to both save them and solve the problem of global warming, Farnsworth has all the robots vent their exhaust upwards to physically move the Earth out of the way and into a larger orbit, thus cooling it(and also extending the year by a week).
    • "A Farewell To Arms" has the threat of a dangerous solar flare actually hit Mars instead of Earth like the people on the latter planet thought, causing the methane pockets to ignite and blast Mars out of its orbit. It just narrowly avoids colliding with the Earth before leaving.
  • Planet Baron: Amy Wong's parents claim ownership of literally the entire northern hemisphere of Mars as part of "Wong Ranch", among other ventures.
  • Planet of Copyhats: Dr. Zoidberg's Yiddish accent turns out to be his entire species' accent.
  • Planet of Hats: Virtually a Running Gag — except for Earth, every planet has one (1) characteristic, as well as being named after it. Farnsworth's "good news, everyone!" Catchphrase was originally used to refer to the planet he was sending them to next.
    Farnsworth: Tomorrow you'll be making a delivery to Ebola 9 — the Virus Planet!
    • This also showed up as Noodle Incidents before the start of episodes, with the crew coming back dishevelled after making a delivery to Cannibalon (At least the food was good, according to Bender), and the crew coming back from the Planet of the Moochers, with Fry not wearing any pants.
      Fry:They take you out for a drink, but when the check comes, their wallet's always in their other pants - which they borrowed from me!
    • The Neutral planet, robots, ancient Egyptians, and an entire cowboy universe.
    • The planet of spheres, the planet of mathematical geniuses, the nude beach planet and the Harlem Globetrotter planet...
    • The yarn people of Nylar 4.
    • There's Doohan 6, planet of borderline-incomprehensible Scottish sheep-herders...who are all named Angus.
    • The Mobster planet, where Fry received the Kiss of Death by a guy named Vinnie, but Fry thought he was gay.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Invoked whenever the Professor or Zoidberg are shown naked (or shell-less for that matter), which is very, very often as the show is rather liberal towards wanton nudity.
  • Plot Archaeology: One of the major story arcs of the original run was Fry's status as the savior of the universe and the revelation that his cryogenic freezing was engineered by the Nibblonians to bring him to the future. Barring a brief reference in the final movie, it didn't come up at all in the Comedy Central run until one of the final episodes, "Game of Tones".
  • Pluralses: Sal does this to emphasize his lower-classness.
  • Pocket Protector: Played with in "Benderama", also an example of Exactly What I Aimed At.
  • Poe's Law: Some will be surprised to learn that "I Dated a Robot" has an anti-piracy moral, not a parody of anti-piracy morals. This confusion can be attributed to the fantastic devices (copies of Lucy Liu) used to give the message, heavy handedness and the fact that show isn't one to play morals straight.
  • Poisoned Drink Drop: In "The Thief of Baghead", Calculon faces Langdon Cobb in an acting competition with his scene of choice being Romeo's death scene from Romeo and Juliet. To ensure his victory, he opts to actually poison himself using food coloring, which is deadly to robots. Calculon drinks the food coloring then drops the bottle and after a significant amount of gasping and retching, keels over and dies. Unfortunately his method acting does not ensure his victory, as Cobb easily wins.
  • Pooping Food:
    • In "Fry and the Slurm Factory", the Planet Express crew discover that the highly popular soft drink Slurm is actually the secretions of a slug queen. When they act in revulsion at the reveal, the Queen points out that "milk comes from a cow's behind, honey comes from a bee's behind, and you don't want to know where toothpaste comes from."
    • Invoked in "The Sting".
      Fry: Bees make honey and jelly? How come nothing humans make taste good?
    • In "T, the Terrestrial", Fry eats what he thinks is colored candy, but it turns out to be Omnicronian poop. ("Feces Pieces?") They apparently don't' taste so bad, as Fry keeps trying to eat them even after the reveal.
  • Poorly Timed Confession: In "Love and Rockets", Bender has been dating the Planet Express ship's AI, and decides to break up with her while the crew is trying to escape from angry Omnicronians. The ship is so distraught she gets hit, leaving the crew stranded in space. Later, Bender says "the moment seemed right" and he likes his break-ups to be as devastating as possible.
  • Portal Books: "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid"
  • Portmanteau: When Leela takes Fry and Bender to a farmer's market, Fry samples some genuine Amazonian maple syrup. When he compliments the girls on the syrup, they start coming onto him. Fry shows both his fear and anticipation.
    Fry: I'm scareroused...
  • Post-Peak Oil: Fossil fuels ran out in the 2050s, forcing vehicles to run on whale oil. But for a while, vehicles ran on dark matter. Which is actually Nibblonian poop.
  • Potty Dance: Bender does it briefly in Bender's Big Score after drinking a bunch of beers, and then hangs a lampshade on the lunacy of a robot having to go to the bathroom.
  • Powersuit Monkey: Farnsworth comes up with a hat that makes a monkey intelligent. This results in a Type 3 rival for Fry.
  • Power Trio: The three dominant characters who appear in every episode, Fry, Bender, and Leela. They usually represent the ego, the id, and the super ego respectively.
  • The Precarious Ledge: In the first Christmas episode, Fry buys Leela a bird. It escapes its cage and flies off. He chases after it, ending up along a building edge, then dangling from the numbers of a gigantic digital clock.
  • Precision Crash: Unsurprisingly, this occurs incredibly often, with the target usually being either New New York City or - even more precisely - the Planet Express building. The first example is probably in the episode "A Big Piece of Garbage", where the titular ball flies around the solar system for almost a thousand years, then comes right back towards New New York.
  • Precrime Arrest: Futurama parodied Minority Report in an episode where Fry joined the police's Future Crimes division.
  • Pregnant Reptile: Done with Kif, who is an alien that is basically humanoid, but has Bizarre Alien Biology that points to him being some sort of amphibian. When he gets pregnant, however, he winds up giving birth to a collection of tadpoles. It's an interspecies example, too, as the biological mother is Leela.
  • Press Hat: Looks like reporters will still wear Press-credential hats in the 3000s. Throughout the series, multiple reporter characters wear hats with Press notes.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Originally Billy West, Katey Segal and John DiMaggio were the only castmembers credited as regulars. Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarrr and David Herman were all recurring or special guests for the first four seasons (despite appearing in most episodes). Tress MacNeille was added to the main cast in season 2, LaMarche in season 5 and the others followed suit in season 6.
  • Promoted to Scapegoat: In the episode "A Flight to Remember" Zapp Brannigan, being the failure that he is, decides to needlessly go off course, through a field of comets. To get away from the field of comets he flies the ship toward a black hole. After realizing he has doomed the ship, he proclaims a captain must go down with his ship, promotes Kif to captain, congratulates Kif on his promotion, and takes an escape pod.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "Raging Bender".
  • The Pratfall: Amy in her klutzy mode would often perform these.
  • Precision F-Strike: Zoidberg at the end of the episode "The Silence Of The Clamps."
    Bender: I'll just cut that—
    Zoidberg: You do and I'll [beep]ing gut you like a fish!
    • Also another earlier in the episode, when he says "My name isn't Slick. It's Zoidberg. JOHN [beep]ING ZOIDBERG!!
    • In "Where No Fan Has Gone Before":
      Zapp: This court will now hear some very sensual testimony from this court's ex-lover, Turanga Leela.
      Leela: (sitting in a device that resembles Captain Pike's wheelchair) Go [beep from the machine] yourself.
  • Present-Day Past: Fry was frozen on January 1, 2000, but in later episodes makes early 21st-century pop culture references that are current to the episode's air date, but that he would never have personally experienced. Of course, many of the other characters also make such references....
  • Pretend Prejudice: Bender's robot supremacism against humans.
  • Pretty in Mink:
    • When Bender is a fembot, and dating Calculon, the TV star, he gets a fur coat as one of many extravagant gifts.
    • In the fourth movie, Fanny is the wife of the leader of the Robot Mafia, and he held up Burlington Coat Factory to get her a white fur jacket. Bender had been having an affair with her and says, "Man, this is great! I always wanted to nail a dame in a fur coat, and now's my chance."
  • Psycho for Hire: Clamps, the Robot Mafia's clamp-happy enforcer.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: Roberto, who was specifically built to be a Robotic Psychopath
    Roberto: 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*
  • Public Exposure: Bordering on Deliberate Values Dissonance; the nudity is TV-safe, but is very frequent (even more so in the Comedy Central seasons).
  • The Public Domain Channel: A different old cartoon in every title sequence. Zapp is also shown to be watching an old cartoon in one episode.
  • Pun: The show has plenty, but possibly none so great as when visiting the President's heads in season 6.
    Bender: Anyone seen Ulysses Grant? He owes me a cheroot.
    Leela: He's over there, pukin' in the Bushes.
    [Ulysses Grant prepares to vomit in the jars of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush]
    George H. W. Bush's head and George W. Bush's heads: Nooo!
  • Punctuality Is for Peasants: Parodied in the episode "Bendin' in the Wind".
    Beck: Come on, move it! We have to get to the concert and make the audience wait for it to start.
  • Punny Name: In "Attack of the Killer App", it is revealed that Leela has a singing boil named Susan.
  • Punch Parry: Bender and Flexo.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Professor! Lava! Hot!"
  • Puny Earthlings: Zigzagged. Earth is a laughably ass-backwards and corrupt third-rate galactic power that picks fights with weaker planets but cowers before those stronger than it. On the other hand, humans seem to command considerable cultural and economic influence throughout the Milky Way.
    • Played straight in the case of the Omicronians, who have effortlessly invaded Earth several times over the course of their history (so often that Earth is Genre Savvy enough to just surrender on the spot whenever the Omicronians declare war on them). Omicronians are horned reptilian giants that can shrug off gunfire, pick up humans and eat them whole, and possess a fleet that can conquer an entire solar system in the space of a single morning.

  • Randomly Reversed Letters: In the episode "Bender Gets Made," the sign on Tinny Tim's oil-ade stand has a backwards L and E. This gets lampshaded by Tim himself:
    Tinny Tim: But I'm only programmed to sell oil-ade and write in cute backwards letters like on the sign here.
  • Rapid Aging: Young robots grow the equivalent of one year for every day they are activated.
  • Rapid Hair Growth: Once, Zoidberg was so traumatized he grew hair just so it could turn white.
  • Raygun Gothic: Done stylistically, like the design of the Planet Express ship or the various transport tubes around New New York. Other crafts like the Nimbus are more in line with Space Opera-type ships (and some spacecraft are just flying versions of things like box vans).
  • Razor-Sharp Hand: Played for Laughs, when Bender makes his hand spin rapidly to mimic the function of a saw and cut a plank of wood. This is especially implausible considering that his three fingers are thick, cylindrical and wider at the ends, as poorly suited to cutting as anything imaginable.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Farnsworth when re-enacting the last episode of "Single Female Lawyer":
    Farnsworth: Miss McNeal, I'm afraid I must decline your offer of marriage. For, you see, I'm dying. Cough, then fall over dead. (proceeds to do stand around and smiles at camera)
    • Also Hermes when Zoidberg celebrates his 10th year at Planet Express:
      Hermes: I will now read the mandatory speech. "Dear employee: Has it really been five, 10 or 15 years? If not, please disregard this and get back to work. Distribute token of appreciation and applaud."
    • When Zoidberg tries to hide that he destroyed the professor's model ship and managed to glue a series of objects to himself.
      Zoidberg: Casual hello. It's me, Zoidberg, act naturally.
  • Real Award, Fictional Character:
    • In "Anthology of Interest II" Professor Farnsworth tries to win a Nobel Prize for turning Bender into a human using reverse-fossilization.
    • "Bender's Big Score:" In 2308 a Nobel Peace Prize is given for ending the beef between East Coast & West Coast rappers, but Bender steals it.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • Fry, of course, is chronologically over a thousand years old. The professor is in his 170s, Zoidberg had already passed all his larval stages 80 years ago, which means he's centuries of age, and Nibbler is approximately 14 billion years old, since he and his race were already 17 when the Big Bang occurred.
    • Bender's head is about 1100 years old after "Roswell that Ends Well".
    • After the events of "The Late Philip J. Fry", Fry, Bender, and the Professor are all technically twice as old as the universe itself, having lived through two separate incarnations thereof while stuck in the Professor's one-way time machine.
  • Reclining Reigner: Hedonism Bot takes this trope to its logical conclusion.
  • Recorded Spliced Conversation:
    • A variation occurs in Obsoletely Fabulous. Bender meets an outdated cartridge robot that carries a bag filled with individual cartridges for responses and conversations.
    • On the episode T The Terrestrial, Bender accidentally abandons Fry on Omicron Persei 8, but doesn't want to let the rest of the cast find out. The only recoding Bender has of Fry is his outgoing voice mail. Luckily for Bender, the outgoing message is lengthy enough and Fry is The Ditz, so no one notices the strange syntax or awkward pauses from Bender repeatedly rewinding and fast-forwarding the tape.
  • Recurring Extra: Number 9 Man
  • Recursive Creators: Bender becomes one in Benderama, eventually leading to Grey Goo.
  • Recursive Reality: At the end of "The Farnsworth Parabox", the Professors from both universes grab the other universe's box and end up with boxes containing their own universe.
  • Red Shirt:
    • Parodied in the Star Trek episode. Welshie, a stand-in for James Doohan, is killed by the energy being. Said energy being proceeds to zap the corpse out of frustration several times, eventually vaporizing it.
    • The troops seen under Brannigan's command are given standard issue red uniforms. Brannigan is also well known for his tactics of trying to jam the enemy's gun with corpses, or forcing the kill-bots to reach their pre-set kill limit...
    Brannigan: When I'm in command, every mission is a suicide mission!
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Refusing Paradise: In one episode Bender dies and spends most of the episode as a Virtual Ghost. At the end he's offered the opportunity to go to Robot Heaven, but says "screw this!" and comes back to "life".
  • Relationship Upgrade: In the closing moments of Into The Wild Green Yonder when Leela officially returned Fry's feelings and kissed him. Appears to have stuck with the premiere of the new season.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • "Rebirth" when Leela constructs a robot version of Fry after the original Fry's presumed death, who goes on to construct a robot version of Leela after her presumed death. It all works out, somehow.
    • Leela sees Cubert as this in "The Late Philip J. Fry".
  • Reset Button:
    • Double subverted on more than one occasion. In one episode, aliens cause untold devastation, and Fry comments that "At the end of the episode, everything is back to normal"... only to have the last shot be of all the devastation... which is promptly back to normal the next. Another one: Fry is fired from his job (for ruining Professor Farnsworth's... everything), but Farnsworth was willing to forgive him because he couldn't even remember why he fired him. Then Bender reminds him exactly why, and Farnsworth tells him to get lost. He's back to working the next episode.
    • The series ends on one, in which Farnsworth says that everything will be restored to just before Farnsworth invented his 10 seconds time button. Leela and Fry had enjoyed a several decades long honeymoon thanks to Fry freezing time when he broke it. The final lines lampshade the trope.
  • Retcon: No one can really decide if the first movie did this or not. More generally the depiction of Fry's life in the 20th century has changed from a thoroughly miserable one to one that wasn't all that bad - he had a beloved pet dog, a brother who genuinely loved him (even if they fought a lot) and even his boss was pretty friendly despite his initial portrayal as abusive. He was 25 years old, lived with his parents, had a girlfriend that used him excessively when she wasn't dumping him, and had no prospects, but it wasn't the dank craphole the first episode portrayed.
    • It's really explained by this being a Time Travel clone of Fry who returned, and having learnt a few things from the future (like how Yancy really did care about him), turned his life around after getting back to the past in the first flick.
      • Also, Fry's dog DIDN'T actually live alone for thirteen years waiting for him; he lived happily with Time-Travel-Clone Fry for all those years, until he was flash-fossilized in the explosion in TTC-Fry's apparent assassination.
    • Also, in the first episode featuring the sewer mutants, the way the characters talk before entering the sewer, it seems that mutants have not yet been confirmed to live down there, and the crew were making a discovery by finding them. It was established in later episodes that they've been a known society for quite some time, and that there have been discriminatory laws set against them by New New York.
    • In a throwaway gag in "X-Mas Story", Leela says that nuclear winter cancelled out global warming, although in "Crimes of the Hot," global warming is a problem again, and has apparently been for centuries.
  • Retirony: In one of the Tales of Interest, General Colin Pac Man was only one day from retirement when he was tragically gunned down by a space invader.
    • Played with with Smitty and URL in a later episode when Fry replaces Smitty as URL's partner.
      URL: (morosely) He was just a few days away from retirement.
      Fry: What happened?
      URL: He took a early retirement. Damn.
  • The Reveal: On numerous occasions.
  • Rewriting Reality: Fry writes the reality at the end of "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid", and he saves the Earth in the process.
    Brain: The big brain am winning again! I am the greetest! Now I am leaving Earth... for no raisin!
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Inverted in "Love's Labors Lost in Space" when Zapp delivers his captain's log at the end of the episode:
    Zapp: I did make it with a hot alien babe, and in the end, is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars? (beat) Kif, I'm asking you a question!
    • Played straight in "Obsoletely Fabulous":
      Bender: If that stuff wasn't real, how can I be sure anything is real? Is it not possible, nay, probable, that my entire existence is nothing but a figment of my or someone else's imagination?
      Technician: No, get out.
    • And in "The Beast With a Billion Backs":
      Farnsworth: I know the anomaly is scary, but as scientists, is it not our sworn duty to seek out knowledge, even if it means risking our very lives?
      Stephen Hawking: No.
    • And in "Attack of the Killer App":
      Fry: Since when is the Internet about robbing people of their privacy?
      Bender: August 6, 1991.
    • And in "War is the H-Word":
      Zapp: Tell me, Kiff. What is the most degrading position in this unit?
      Kiff: (more to himself) Being your assistant, sir.
      Zapp: No, being YOUR assistant.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Whatever Nibbler meant when he referred to Leela as "the Other" in The Why of Fry looks to never be answered.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The robots, globviously.
  • Riding into the Sunset Ending: Except the sun in this case is a collapsed star.
  • Right on Queue: Played with with the queue for the Central Bureaucracy, which got longer every time someone had a baby in it and had an old man still waiting in line for his birth certificate.
    • The first episode had people waiting in line for a Suicide Booth.
  • Rip Van Tinkle: In the episode where Fry goes to work at the cryogenics building, there is a scene where he tells a man where the bathroom is first thing after waking him up. The man rushes off. Fry also mentions it was the first thing he needed after he was woken up.
  • Rip Van Winkle: Fry; later his ex-girlfriend and Pauly Shore.
  • Robbing the Dead: In "Luck Of The Fryrish", the cast goes to a graveyard intending to steal a seven leaf clover that belonged to Fry from his nephew's grave.
  • Robosexual:
    • The episode "I Dated a Robot" where Fry date his Lucy Liu-bot. Relationships between robots and humans are actually seen in-universe as a bad thing, with a propaganda film showing the negative effects. At the end, between Bender and Lucy Liu's head.
    • Also mentioned in the pilot, when Fry asks Bender to be his friend:
      "All right, but I don't want anyone thinking we're robosexuals, so if anyone asks, you're my debugger."
    • The post-resurrection episode "Proposition Infinity" deals with the controversial issue of robosexual marriage.
  • Robosexuals Are Creeps:
    • "Space Pilot 3000": Bender doesn't want others to mistakenly believe that he's dating Fry and be disliked for it.
      Bender: Well, ok. But I don't want people thinking we're robosexuals. So if anyone asks, you're my debugger.
    • "I Dated A Robot": The Planet Express crew is disgusted with Fry dating a Lucy Liu-bot, and they show him a propaganda film to try (and fail) to make him stop.
    • "Proposition Infinity": Subverted. Once robosexual marriage becomes a pretty clear gay marriage allegory, most characters become more accepting of robosexuality, with Farnsworth being the only member of the main cast unaccepting of robosexuals, and that's only because he is one who tried to suppress his robosexual urges after a robot lover of his cheated on him with another robot.
  • Robot Athlete: The Robot Olympics shown in "Bend Her", before Bender got a sex change.
  • Robot Clown: On the episode "Bendin' in the Wind", an injured Bender is treated by a robot version of Patch Adams in a clown outfit.
  • Robotic Torture Device: The Probulator.
  • Robotic Reveal: Poor Robot Fry...
  • Robotic Psychopath: Roberto, Bender plays this for laughs.
  • Robot Antennae: Mom builds all her robots this way. She says that most people think she does that for the aesthetic purpose, but she really does it so she can control all the robots she sells by remote control. This hasn't stopped the show from making several juvenile penis jokes about Bender's antenna.
  • Robot Hair: Any Fembot that appears tends to have some sort of hair-like structure on their head, notably Bender as Coilette.
  • Robot Kid: Tinny Tim.
  • Robots Think Faster: When Bender's CPU is overclocked he eventually ends up achieving The Singularity.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The Neanderthals defeat the military's spaceships and tanks in a Curbstomp Battle with spears, catapults, and prehistoric animals.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: The episode "Roswell That Ends Well" is the obvious Trope Namer.
  • Romantic Fusion: The Planet Express gets a computer AI that falls in love with Bender (voiced by Sigourney Weaver). After she turns into a crazed, murderous Yandere and finds out that Bender is a philanderer, she decides to merge with him so the two will be together forever. Bender is not enthused about that.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Despite frequently averting this trope with great ingenuity, most of the cast are either human or humanoid - Zoidberg and Kif's species both have different stages of physical make-up, but for most of the time they're humanoid.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: the episode "The Tip of the Zoidberg" has the protagonists use one on the professor. Being a Rube Goldberg Device, it was not quick, allowing time for the execution to be interrupted. After Farnsworth is removed, more events happen, destroying the device. Amy comments that none of those were supposed to happen.
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: While more of an Anti-Hero, space captain Zapp Brannigan is a self-absorbed Jerkass, while his aide, the alien Kif Kroker, is a timid, kind, and sensitive person.
  • Ruder and Cruder: The direct-to-video movies and Comedy Central episodes use more frequent and stronger (yet still censored) swearing, notably in "Silence of the Clamps".
  • Rule of Cool / Rule of Funny: Since the writers are keen to show their work (considering that most of them studied math and science in college), any unrealistic instances are most likely these tropes.
  • Running Gag:
    • In the original run of the show, every time Zapp Brannigan appears Bender goes out of his way to remind Leela that she had sex with him.
      Leela: Oh, God... not Zapp Brannigan...
      Zoidberg: You know Zapp Brannigan?
      Leela: Let's just say we've crossed paths...
      Bender: Was that before or after you slept with him?
    • Hermes will yell out a rhyming cry that combines both an animal with a place, such as "Sweet gorilla of Manila"!
    • Zapp's ship has a tendency to be neatly cross-sectioned in battle.
    • Another gag from the original was odd facts being brought up, most of them in response to Fry's nostalgia by bringing up how something went extinct.
    • "I'm forty percent [material]!"
    • "I'm Scruffy. The Janitor."
    • "Sweet [something] of [somewhere]!" There’s even a compilation video of this one.

  • Sacrificial Planet: When the Brains go on a rampage, Hermes points to each destroyed planet on a flat star map and notes that each planet forms a straight line that points directly toward the Earth; precisely the planet that the Brains attack next.
  • Sapient Ship: episode "Love and Rocket": the Planet Express Ship gets a new AI, which quickly falls in love with Bender.
  • Say My Name:
    • WERNSTROM!!!!
  • Scarily Specific Story: Parodied where Fry starts his campfire horror story with "Once not long ago, four people set off on a trail ride", mirroring the four of them there, to which Bender interjects, "Robot gets bored and kills Fry with a hammer!"
  • Scavenged Punk: The sewer mutants build all of their world out of trash thrown into the sewers and toilets.
    "It'll be many a long year before anyone flushes another guitar string!"
  • Schizo Tech: Leonardo da Vinci built a working clockwork spaceship.
  • Science Fiction
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Usually done intentionally for Rule of Funny.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Quite possibly the only time the trope was subverted. In the Scooby-Doo segment of their Saturday Morning Cartoon parody episode where Scooby (Bender) and Shaggy (Fry) run through one of the doors in the Scooby Doo Doors hallway and don't come out.
  • Screaming at Squick: Leela has pity sex with Zapp. When when wakes up in the morning, it takes a minute to sink in, and then she screams.
  • Seasonal Rot: In-universe - in the episode "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV," Fry comments that Everybody Loves Hypnotoad has been going downhill since its third season.
  • Second Episode Introduction: The Planet Express crew (Amy Wong, Dr. Zoidberg, and Hermes Conrad) on "Episode 2: The Series Has Landed."
  • Second-Face Smoke: In "Three Hundred Big Boys", Bender steals a fabulously expensive cigar expressly for the purpose of blowing its smoke into the faces of the "fantsy-pantses" at an upscale art gallery.
    Bender Zubans? They're the most expensive cigars in the universe! I could stink up a whole maternity ward with one of those!"
  • "Second Law" My Ass!: Bender, obviously. Or as Bender would put it, "Second Law My Shiny Metal Ass". Aaand he's not a fan of the first law either. For that matter, he can do without the third law; he and Fry first met in a suicide booth (before he even learned to act against his programming).
  • Secret Ingredient: In "The 30% Iron Chef", after Bender wins a cooking competition using drops from a crystal flask filled with "the essence of pure flavor", Professor Farnsworth runs a chemical analysis and announces the mystery liquid is "Water! Ordinary water!" Immediately after Fry concludes that all Bender needed to cook well was confidence, the professor adds, "Yes, ordinary water, laced with nothing more than a few spoonfuls of LSD."
  • Secret Relationship: When Hermes is temporarily replaced by bureaucrat Morgan Proctor, she becomes infatuated with Fry because she has a kink for dirty slobs. However, she wants to keep it secret from everyone and states that she will deny their affair if Fry tries to reveal it.
    Fry: Just like every other woman I've dated.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies:
    • A running gag in the series is that eating humans is seen as no big deal at all. Soylent Green is treated as a commercial product that is regularly served. Leela's opinion on the Soylent Cola soda is that "it varies from person to person." "Fishy" Joe Gilman claim that he only doesn't serve human meat because he thinks it tastes terrible.
    • In "Fun on a Bun", everyone thinks Fry has been ground up into sausage. He wasn't.
  • Seeker White Blood Cells: Avoided completely when the Planet Express crew go inside Fry's body with nanomachines and are never attacked by any part of his immune system. Though the sentient parasite worms that got there first and remodeled his body to their liking may have something to do with that. If so, Fridge Horror since they are forced to leave at the end of the episode....
  • Self-Botched Catchphrase: In "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", Hermes is so shocked from seeing his office trashed on inspection day, he can only mutter "Sweet...something...of someplace" instead of his usual Mad Libs Catch Phrase.
  • Self-Deprecation
    • In "The Butterjunk Effect", while on the moon Bender proclaims "With one-sixth gravity, you can work and be lazy at the same time! It's like being a voice actor!"
    • Fry thinks Billy West is a stupid phony made-up name.
      • Of course, the above two would only really count as self-deprecation if the voice actors wrote them... it comes across as more of a Take That! on the part of the writers, with salt rubbed into the wound by the fact that the voice actors have to say them, which if anything makes them even funnier.
    • Fry received a promotion to Executive Delivery Boy, which Hermes explains is, "A meaningless title, but it helps insecure people feel better about themselves." The credits for the Executive Producers appear immediately afterward.
  • Sense Loss Sadness
    • In one episode Fry's "human horn" (ie, nose) is harvested by aliens to be sold as a black market aphrodisiac for aliens. Futurama being Futurama, this causes him to lose his entire sense of smell until his nose is reattached.
    • In another, Bender is upset because, as a robot, he has no sense of taste. At one point he says that he'd give up his other eight senses, even "smision"note , to be able to taste things.
  • Sequel Episode: "The Cryonic Woman" is this to the Pilot episode.
    • "The Why of Fry" is also a sequel to the pilot, but also ties into "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" and "Roswell That Ends Well".
    • "The Why of Fry" itself received a sequel with "Game of Tones".
  • Sequel Hook: The first movie ends with the Bender duplicates' explosion basically and literally ripping the universe a new one, hinting at a later continuation. Appropriately, the second movie picks up from that.
  • Sequential Symptom Syndrome: After trying to hide it for several decades, Prof. Hubert Farnsworth finally confesses to his employees in "The Tip of the Zoidberg" that he long ago contracted an illness known as Tritonian Hypermalaria. Amy reveals that she recognizes the disease as "the one that causes fever, insanity, spasms, coma and death", with Farnsworth acting out each symptom as it's said (save for death, which is instead a Beat followed by "Yes, you moron!")
  • Serendipitous Survival: Exaggerated in the episode "A Bicyclops Built for Two" in which Alcazar claims he survived the depopulation of the Cyclopian planet because he was cleaning a pool at the time and the massive fireball passed over him safely.
  • Series Fauxnale: Seems to be trying to set a record as there have been no less than four times a story was composed in such a way that could leave the series off for good: "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings" (the end of the original run on Fox), Into the Wild Green Yonder (the fourth and final movie), "Overclockwise", and "Meanwhile" (the end of the Comedy Central run and until 2022 the actual end of the series but has become a Fauxnale as well with the announcement that the series will continue in 2023 on Hulu).
  • Sexposition: In-Universe in "A Big Piece of Garbage". The documentary the Planet Express gang downloads about the Garbage Ball is also porn.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot:
    • "The Late Phillip J. Fry": Bender makes out and has robotic sex with another female robot off-screen, which disturbs Fry.
    • "The Prisoner of Benda": Happens between Fry, who's in Zoidberg's body, and Leela, who's in Professor Farnworth's body, when both argue and do disgusting acts at each other when they're on a date, only to start making out on the table. Later, we see them in bed naked in the same bodies, after making love.
    • "Put Your Head On My Shoulder": Played with. After Amy's car runs out of gas on Mercury, she and Fry talk a bit, then look at each other seductively. Hours later (judging by the sunset), a tow driver wipes some condensation off the glass of Amy's car, revealing them... playing cards inside. Then, while the car is being towed:
      Amy: So while they're towing us, want to do it?
      Fry: Yeah! (they start making out, then duck out of view)
    • "Amazon Women in the Mood": The "Snu-Snu" scenes with Fry, Zapp and Kif.
    • "A Flight To Remember": One scene with Bender and the Countess parodies the sex scene from James Cameron's Titanic (1997).
    • "A Bicyclops Built For Two": Happens between Leela and Alcazar after he tells her the history about their heritage.
    • "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back": Happens between Fry and Morgan Proctor in Bender's closet. Morgan sees Fry as she unbuttons her blouse before proceeding to have sex with him. Cut to Bender walking with a candle he made for Fry, and then walking in on both Fry and Morgan naked under the sheets.
    • "Mother's Day": Happens between Professor Farnsworth and Mom when attempting to seduce her to get the robot controls from her bra only for Farnsworth to throw away the bra blinded by his lust for Mom. Later, the rest of the Planet Express crew barged in the house and after Fry opens the bedroom door, we see both Farnsworth and Mom in bed naked.
    • Used humorously (perhaps was even meant as a Lampshade of sorts) at the end of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela". The V-GINY says it will spare Earth but only if Zapp and Leela have sex. Leela forces Zapp into it and the deed is done offscreen. Unfortunately Fry has to watch and begs for the V-GINY to censor it (It doesn't).
    • "Fry and Leela's Big Fling": Happens when Fry and Leela start having sex. They are shown to be making out and lying down on the bed but the camera pulls away after this and instead shows their friends' reactions to seeing them.
  • Sexy Sax Man: Leela dated a saxophone player named Sean for an unknown period of time before the series began. He wasn't sexy in terms of appearance with Leela mentioning that while he was pasty and hunch with no ambition, he would move her by playing naked on her couch. He would make an appearance on screen in "Fry and Leela's Big Fling" where he was revealed to also be a complete Jerkass and cheapskate who told his future wife that Leela was a crazy girl he dumped.
  • Sexy Stewardess: In the episode "Neutopia", Leela, Amy and LaBarbara become this when the Planet Express ship is changed into a commercial airline.
    Leela: There. It was hard work, but it beats posing in demeaning, skimpy modelling outfits.
    Professor Farnsworth: Ladies, here are your demeaning, skimpy stewardess outfits.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In the video game, the Stable Time Loop has Farnsworth selling Planet Express and getting his crew killed - because Mom tossed in a sombrero. No matter what happens.
  • Sham Wedding: Alcazar has a scam working on five alien/mutant women, including Leela. He pretends to be the last male of their kind so he could convince them to marry him. All five weddings are thrown on the very same day (because he could afford to rent a shapeshifting tuxedo for only a single day) and Fry and Bender expose him. His brides beat him up.
  • Sherlock Homage: Parodied with Zoidberg in "Anthology of Interest I". He's completely oblivious.
  • Shoot the Television: Lrrr does this when the season finale of "Single Female Lawyer" is knocked off the air and replaced with several cartoon shows.
  • Short-Lived Leadership: The emperors of Trisol have an average reign of two weeks on account of Klingon Promotion. After Fry accidentally drinks (they're liquid beings) the emperor and becomes the new one it's pointed out that his future assassin and his assassin already have spots reserved in the portrait gallery.
  • Shorttank: Leela, in a rare non-anime example.
  • Shout-Out (on its own page)
  • Shown Their Work: In the Pilot, Bender mentions that the Head Museum is free on Tuesdays. As it turns out, December 31st, 2999 is, in fact, a Tuesday!
  • Show Within a Show: All My Circuits, The Scary Door, and let's not forget Everybody Loves Hypnotoad.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: By the time Zapp's done with his exposition on how he'll deal with Leela, the Planet Express Ship's already boarded his ship.
  • Sick Episode: "Cold Warriors". Fry comes down with a cold. No big deal, except that the common cold had been eradicated 500 years before, leading to a mass quarantine and a frantic search for a vaccine.
  • Signed Up for the Dental: Fry and Bender signed up to join Earth Army to get a 5 percent military discount to buy gum (which cost 40 cents), intending to quit directly afterward. Then war were declared.
  • Silence, You Fool!: The robot elders, to the point where it's basically a Verbal Tic for them.
    Elder #3: Silence! Come forward Bender. You will have the honor of executing the prisoners.
    Elder #4: Silence! I concur.
  • Silicon Snarker: Bender is as sarcastic as they come. And he would object to the trope being a case of Servile Snarker, as, when Fry suggested Robots were built to make humans' lives easier, Bender protested that he'd never made anyone's life easier, and they knew it.
  • Silly Will: In one episode, Bender is left a haunted castle on the condition that he spend one night in it. The will also contains the clause 'To my loyal butler, You There, for his decades of service, I leave a pittance, to be paid in 20 equal installments of one-twentieth of a pittance each.' On the other hand, the clause that Bender only inherits if he didn't somehow cause the will-writer's death shows a healthy dose of practicality and foresight.
  • Similar Squad: The Parallel Universe of anti-coin tosses.
  • Simple Country Lawyer: The hyperchicken as well as Old Man Waterfall.
  • The Singularity: Mentioned and seen in "Overclockwise". Bender starts upgrading himself, and before anyone knows it, he's hop-scotched his way up to the level of Physical God. Of course, Mom sets him back to factory specs. But he manages to write down Fry and Leela's future before-hand.
  • Sinister Car: In the episode The Honking, Bender transforms into a sinister werecar.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Leela usually wears a tank top and she's a tough action girl.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: Several, apparently, while Fry is in suspended animation.
  • Slipped the Ropes: Bender does this briefly (and with no actual consequences) in "Amazon Women in the Mood".
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Futurama on a whole is down the middle. Several known species of animal are extinct, New York City has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, crack is readily available in vending machines, there are suicide booths in every corner, the universe is threatened on a regular basis, the nation's military is commanded by an incompetent, womanizing Manchild who is more than willing to sacrifice his own men for unnecessary reasons, and is more than willing to start a war with a species just because he hates them; hell exists, and it is in New Jersey; racism exists in one form or another, human meat is implied to be legal to eat, and the world's leading manufacturer of robots, starship fuel, and electronics is an evil, abusive, amoral person. But there are episodes that show that some of the worst offenders (namely Bender) have a human side to them, that no love goes unrequited, even the most pathetic slob can make a difference, and that humanity can band together and make changes in their world, i.e. allowing mutants, who had been treated like vermin and subjected to shoddy conditions over the course of the series to finally be able to walk on the surface as equals, legalize robosexual marriage, and come to an equally satisfying consensus on controversial topics like the theory of evolution.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Amy is an engineering student (though in one DVD commentary, the writers admitted that they'd completely forgotten that). It was confirmed in "That Darn Katz". She came up with an idea to use the Earth's rotation to generate energy for her thesis so she could finally get her doctorate. She had spent the night before drinking and having sex with Kif and went into the exam in her underwear.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Bender and Zapp Brannigan.
  • Smash Cut:
    • Pretty much the entire gag of "Time Keeps On Slippin'", where due to a space-time continuum messup, chunks of time are randomly skipped.
    • "Put Your Head on my Shoulders" has a memorable one.
      Bender: Wait. You mean people would pay good money for romance? Hmm... I think I have a scheme so deviously clever that I—
      [Gavel strikes block]
      Judge: $500 and time served.
      Bender: Stupid anti-pimping laws!
  • Smell Phone: The Smelloscope, a telescope that can allow the user to smell odors from far away places.
    Professor Farnsworth: If a dog craps anywhere in the universe, you can bet I won't be out of the loop.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Referenced in "Amazon Women in the Mood", known informally as "Snu-Snu".
  • Smoking Is Cool: According to I, Roommate, Bender smokes specifically because it looks cool. Even apart from Bender, smoking is fairly common in the show, so common that I Second That Emotion got a Black Lung Award for glamorizing smoking. (The writers pointed out in the commentary for I Second That Emotion that no one with lungs smokes in that episode.)
  • Smorgasbord Test: In "Roswell That Ends Well", the temporally-displaced crustacioid Dr. Zoidberg is in Area 51 and the scientists try to determine his diet by putting him in a room with a massive buffet, which he absolutely demolishes upon being told it's all free.
  • Snap Back: Fry is fired at the end of season 2, but returns at the start of season 3 with no explanation given.
  • Soap Within a Show: "All My Circuits", which is the Former Trope Namer.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: Prof. Wernstrom's plan to stop global warming is a giant mirror that reflects excess light away from the Earth. Then a small piece of space debris knocks the mirror askew, and a beam of concentrated sunlight slices across the planet.
  • Solar System Neighbors: There's a number of aliens from the solar system, such as the Native Martians.
    • In "The Inhuman Torch", after harvesting the Sun for helium, a criminal flame called Flamo hitches a ride to try and turn the Earth into a miniature sun. His race are living solar energy that dwell from the star and members of his race come back at the end to arrest Flamo.
    • The alien Blobs were heavily implied to come from Venus, before being confirmed as such in the licensed puzzle game "Game of Drones". In the series it's suggested due to one of the blobs featuring in the Venus de Venus picture.
    • The Neptunians, four-armed purple aliens, come from the planet Neptune, as do the short elves that Robot Santa Claus forces to work on the planet's north pole. The planet is depicted as a solid world instead of the gas giant it is in real life, and whether or not it was terraformed to be like that by the 30th century is never stated.
  • Soldiers at the Rear: Fry and Bender join the military purely for the benefits. Unfortunately for them, shortly afterwards, "war were declared" and they are shipped to the front lines.
  • Solid Gold Poop:
    • Nibbler's crap is the crew's starship fuel. Also there's Zoidberg's snot-pearl things.
    • In an episode spoofing ET The Extraterrestrial ("T: The Terrestrial"), Fry eats candy dropped on the ground, which turns out to be Omnicronian feces.
  • Something-itis: "Eighties Guy" had himself frozen until the 31st century when he developed terminal "bone-itis". He was thawed after the cure was invented, but he never got around to getting cured and at the episode's climax the symptoms suddenly displayed themselves.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: At the end of "Assie Come Home," Bender's reunion with his ass-plate (after it abandons its lighthouse duty) is accompanied by a heartwarming orchestral piece...which continues playing as we cut back and see all the ships crashing around the now-defunct lighthouse.
  • Space Amish: Fry even joins them for a while!
  • Space Clothes
  • Space Is an Ocean + 2-D Space: Subverted. In one episode, protesters make a "peace ring" around an oil tanker-spaceship, planning to trap it. The spaceship moves 20 feet vertically, and then zooms off.
    Leela: "When you were designing this peace ring, did you realize spaceships could move in three dimensions?"
    Free Waterfall Sr.: "No, I did not."
    • However, Space Is an Ocean is consistently played for laughs- see "Möbius Dick" and "Assie Come Home".
  • Spaceship Girl: Parodied in the episode "Love and Rocket", where upgrading the Planet Express ship's computer caused it to become a love-obsessed and unbalanced female voiced by Sigourney Weaver, no less!. Interestingly, the voice was male by default, until they fiddled with the settings.
  • Spaceship Slingshot Stunt: In one of the Futurama comics Leela did this with the Planet Express ship to avoid being late to class, unfortunately destabilizing the star she sling-shot around.
  • Space Pirates: You know, pirates - but IN SPACE!!
  • Space Suits Are Scuba Gear: Its space suits use the classic air tank-and-hose design.
  • Space Sailing: The Titanic
  • Space Whale: Leela goes after one in "Mobius Dick".
  • Space Whale Aesop: A rare literal example, also from "Mobius Dick".
  • El Spanish "-o": Bender's attempts to speak Spanish tend to turn out this way.
  • Sphere Eyes: A majority of characters, as with Matt Groening's other series, The Simpsons.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • To The Jetsons to which it has given a few Shout-Out (namely Amazon Women in the Mood's opening nightclub is done in the same retro-future aesthetic). The Jetsons expressed the 60s view of the future, and projected the nuclear family and "man in the gray flannel suit" into the far future. Futurama on the other hand is a 90s view that is informed by both the utopian views of the future formed early in the 20th century and the more cynical and jaded, dystopian vision of the 70s-90s and early 2000s. Indeed, the line "Here's to another lousy millennium" that originated from Futurama was a typical expression of 90s disillusionment that the future would be as fun and awesome as everyone expected.
    • Likewise it's also one to The Simpsons, even if Groening and Cohen went out of their way to make sure the show isn't "The Simpsons IN SPACE!". The Simpsons was largely based on tropes and ideas from the 50s and 60s having a fairly anachronistic portrayal of suburbia and the American nuclear family, based on Groening's youth. Futurama on the other hand deals with a more grown-up early adult and mid-20s world and deals with office culture, workplace and corporate control, and the changes that technology can bring to society. The tenor of The Simpsons is that it stays essentially the same despite the passing of many real-world decades and updating of cultural references, the tenor of Futurama is that the future is constantly in flux and keeps changing and nothing can be taken for granted.
  • Spit Take: Bender has one when he hears the government sends a small stipend of $100 a week to whoever adopts a child. He then refills his drink and spits it again.
  • Spoof Aesop: The Beast with a Billion Backs: Bender explains that love cannot be shared and it's not truly love if you're not jealous.
  • Spontaneous Skeet Shooting: The episode "A Fishful of Dollars" features Fry getting insanely rich by collecting 1000 years worth of interest from his savings account. To show how much money he now has, he takes Bender and Leela to go skeet shooting with famous priceless works of art such as the Mona Lisa as skeet targets.
  • Sports Preemption: Occurred so often on Fox from about season 3 onward that it was actually a pleasant surprise when you got to see a new episode.
  • Squee: Done (rather disturbingly) by the Professor in "The Duh-Vinci Code".
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • Fry travelling back in time to become his own grandfather, the origin of the time code in Bender's Big Score.
    • In a stranger example, one episode indicates that time itself loops around naturally, with the end of the universe leading back to the Big Bang.
    • The final episode implies that the entire series is one: after repairing the Time Button, the Professor says that the modified device will transport Fry and Leela back in time to shortly before the Professor invented the device. As soon as the episode ended, without even pausing for a commercial break, the network immediately aired the first episode, implying that the entire series has been reset.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • The first post-revival episode had a somewhat...odd way of tying up the end of Into The Wild Green Yonder and bringing everyone's lives back to normal (except for Fry and Leela obviously), but they did...somehow. The Professor and Leela survived. Fry was reduced to a pile of dust saving Leela. Everyone else was dead from the neck down. Leela built a robot and loaded Fry's memories on it but then he electrocuted her and he lost his short term memory thinking he was the real Fry. Leela and the others are "reborn" but she is in a coma, causing Fry to make a robot version of her. Eventually she wakes up resulting in two Leelas before Robo-Fry realizes who he is before the real Fry is reborn. The two robots shed their human skins and leave the rest to move on with their lives. And then the less said about Bender's part of the story, the better.
    • Hilariously lampshaded in When Aliens Attack:
      Fry: It was just a matter of knowing the secret of all television. At the end of the episode, everything's always right back to normal (*camera pans out to show New New York crumbling and burning around them*).
    • In "Obsoletely Fabulous", the Planet Express crew buys a new robot, the 1-X, that replaces Bender, and Bender is brainwashed into loving it. While it appears as a cameo throughout the rest of the series, the specific 1-X owned by the Planet Express crew is never seen again.
    • Two examples in "Law and Oracle":
      • After Scruffy dies in the previous episode, his revival is lampshaded when Hermes states that "There'll be no promotions unless somebody dies. And even then, only if we can't bring them back as a zombie like Scruffy"
      • It seems Fry did a great job as a policeman without getting Bender in trouble, but of course he has to return to being a delivery boy. "I got my [detective's] shield for stopping Bender... But then I got fired for tipping off Bender." (Even though Bender wasn't the primary criminal and Fry's secret plan worked completely.
    • Subverted at the end of "Stench and Stenchibility," when Zoidberg's new girlfriend arrives at his dumpster in a garbage truck:
      Zoidberg: Marianne?
      Marianne: Yes. Listen. I've got a new job and...well, I'm going to have to dump you.
      Zoidberg: I'd like that!
      *Marianne literally dumps Zoidberg into the truck, right next to her, and they kiss*
  • Stealing from the Hotel: Bender steals from Calculon's dressing room (which looks like a hotel) in the episode "Bender Should Not Be Allowed On TV".
  • Stealth Pun: Leela's singing butt blemish is named Susan Boil.
    • This moment from "The Luck of the Fryrish":
      Fry: I may not know much about horses, but I know a lot about doing anything for one dollar.
      (Fry struggles to reach for the dollar, leaning over the telephone pole)
      (Fry climbs back down the pole, climbing back up with a metal rake)
      Fry: If you think bad luck can defeat me, than you don't know my name is Phillip J.— (As the rake makes contact with the wire, Fry is electrocuted, and survives, with a trail of smoke billowing off of him)
    • This moment from the third episode:
      Calculon: I've been processing this for quite some time. Monique, will you marry me?
      Monique: Oh, Calculon! Yes! (Calculon fits the ring on her finger) It fits! Then you must know I'm...
      Calculon: Metric? I've always known, but for you I'm willing to convert.
    • In "Benderama" a whole bunch of tiny Benders put so much alcohol in the water system that everyone on Earth experiences a huge...bender.
    • Instead of the subway, New New York has the tube(s).
  • Stinky Flower: Zigzagged. Zoidberg meets a flower girl who has no sense of smell, and the two fall in love. Eventually, Zoidberg uses his surgical expertise to grant her the ability to smell, all while accepting that she will hate him for his tremendously awful odor. To his surprise, she instead hates how the flowers smell and believes he smells just fine.a
  • Stock Audio Clip:
    • The show uses the exact same scream every time Amy falls over.
    • The opening of "Brannigan, Begin Again" uses a recording of the judge calmly saying "I'm going to allow this" several times, in increasingly odd circumstances.
  • Stock "Yuck!":Fry buys the last can of anchovies in existence to serve to his friends on a pizza. He enjoys them, but his friends (except Zoidberg) do not (which he puts down to them being an "acquired taste").
  • Stolen Good, Returned Better: Bender swaps Leela's engagement ring with a fake, but after examining the stolen ring, he realizes that the replacement he made is actually more valuable. He shrugs it off, considering it his gift to Leela.
  • Stomach of Holding: Most of the robots in Futurama have some sort of chest compartment. Bender's is the most blatant, reguarly played to be big enough for any joke, and once, fifteen robot clown midgets.
  • The Story That Never Was:
    • In the first of the "Anthology of Interest" What If style episodes there is this trope in the context of the short. It turns out that Fry not getting frozen and getting on with his life would lead to a Time Paradox (he's much happier in the future, but he doesn't know that). Parodied when a team lead by Al Gore try to kill him under the assumption he was meant to die (with the implication that they've done this before), before realizing that he was meant to be frozen. Subverted when Fry learns this, he destroys the cryogenic pod instead of being frozen, and the universe is destroyed, leaving the group to play Dungeons & Dragons for the rest of eternity.
    • Futurama: "The Why of Fry" teases at this. The brain spawn's last-ditch effort to destroy the universe is to send Fry (the only person capable of stopping them) back to 1999 to prevent himself from getting cryogenically frozen—the event that kicked off the entire series. But Nibbler gives future-Fry a pep talk that convinces him that getting frozen and sent to the year 3000 is necessary. Fry instead makes a minor change that ensures he isn't in a position to be tempted by the brain spawn in the first place.
  • Straight Gay: Implied with Fry's grandfather Enos. In "Roswell That Ends Well," Enos asks Fry "You ever think you date girls only 'cause you're supposed ta?" and expresses interest in a photo of a big burly male model on a calendar.Turns out, he's not Fry's grandfather.
  • Straw Feminist/Animal Wrongs Group: The Feministas in Into the Wild Green Yonder who murder (most of) a human being, while struggling to save a vicious parasite worm. Especially Frida Waterfall, who injects gender into almost everything she says: "I will fem-cunicate your man-formation."
  • Strong Family Resemblance: All of Fry's relatives (Professor Fransworth when he was younger, Qbert, Fry's parents, etc.) share his distinctly spiky orange hair.
  • Strictly Formula: Parodied in When Aliens Attack.
  • Stupid Future People: The 3000's setting is filled with less than smart people, although it is mostly for comedy's sake, and 20th century's folks were not the brightest either. At worst, they stagnated, which could explain why Fry feels so at ease in the future.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The comic book Fry wrote in "Lrrreconciliable Nd-Ndifferences", and pretty much any book Fry writes.
    • The Bendy-Boo and the Mystery Crew segment in "Saturday Morning Fun Pit", a Scooby-Doo spoof that mercilessly mocks that show's Limited Animation, Strictly Formula plots, and use of a Laugh Track.
  • Sunken City: The Lost City of Atlanta.
  • Super-Fun Happy Thing of Doom: Mom's friendly [x] company.
    • Scooty Puff Sr. The Doom Bringer
  • Superhero Episode: Fry and Leela get superpowers from a miracle cream in "Less Than Hero", and form a team with Bender. Parody ensues.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: The team in "Less Than Hero".
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Bender seems to have much more gadgetry than would be useful or even practical for a robot whose only purpose is to bend girders. It could be justified as he works for Professor Farnsworth, who would be more than likely to experiment on the robot.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The Professor is quite fond of this.
  • Swallowed Whole: In one of the earlier episodes, Fry delivers a package to an absurdly hot planet. Right when he's about to deliver the package (as well as heavily dehydrated), he finds a single bottle of (presumably) water sitting on a table. He drinks it, and it turns out to be the emperor of a race of gelatinous people.
  • Swan Boats: Spoofed. Fry mentions having finally mastered the swan boats, only to be told that they were real swans. "That would explain these boat eggs."
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Leela as "Lee Lemon" in "War is the H-Word".
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Zapp, when Leela posed as a man in "War is the H-Word".
    Zapp Brannigan: "That young man fills me with hope! Plus some other emotions which are weird and deeply confusing."