To play basketballs against the Harlem Globetrotters (Now a planet of its own), Professor Farnsworth uses chronotons to grow a team of mutant supermen. However, this starts to cause 'time-jumps' that threaten to destroy the universe. Meanwhile, Fry tries to win Leela's heart and just might succeed for once, provided the time-jumps don't screw everything up.
- Big "NO!": Fry, when he realises that his romantic message is about to be destroyed.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: According to the writers, the reason it's so heavily emphasized that absolutely nothing is at stake in the basketball game except Earth being seen as losers is because execs were asking that the show have episodes with higher stakes. (Ironically, the real conflict in this episode involves the near-destruction of the universe.)
- Chest Blaster: One of the mutant players, Thorias, has a cannon on his chest, just like the Professor talked about some episodes ago.
- Cleavage Window: Amy's outfit during the basketball game. When the random time skips start, Amy immediately brings attention to it as a possible explanation.
- Distracted by the Sexy: A man fleeing from the landing Globetrotter spacecraft takes a moment to admire a sunbathing Amy.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Fry's every action in this episode is just trying to get Leela to go out with him, and the one time it works, neither of them remember what happened.
- Doomsday Device: Bubblegum Tate theorizes that they need one of those to get rid of the chronotons.Prof. Farnsworth: Doomsday device, you say? Ah, now the ball's in Farnsworth's court! [pushes a button, a platform with several doomsday devices rises from the floor] I guess I could part with one and still be feared.
- Downer Ending: Is it ever. Leela divorces Fry instantly, and just as he learns what it was he did to get her to marry him, it gets blown up. Also, Bender just isn't funky enough to be a Globetrotter.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- Fry tries riding some swan boats in Central Park. Only afterwards does he learn those were just swans, even after he found all those eggs.
- Played for Drama with Fry's message to Leela, which no-one notices save Fry.
- Forgotten Birthday: When time skips and it's suddenly Amy's birthday, Zoidberg says, "I hope we all have as much fun tomorrow at my birth—" Time suddenly skips, and the lodge is empty except for Zoidberg, who only has a cupcake with a single candle in it.
- Gilligan Cut: In-universe, caused by the chronotons.
- Giant Novelty Check: Prof. Farnsworth is given one for "all of Earth's money" by President Nixon to finance his plan to stop the time skips.
- Grand Romantic Gesture: Fry used the gravity pump to make Leela a love note of stars, which was so touching that Leela actually married him. Unfortunately, not only did Leela not remember it and divorced Fry, but Fry's message was destroyed along with the nebula before anyone else saw it.
- Hidden Depths: Bubblegum Tate, and indeed all the Globetrotters, turn out to be genius physicists.
- Hypocritical Humor: Two children complaining about old people receiving social security benefits. One Gilligan Cut later, and the one complaining is an old man, demanding free money.
- Ignored Expert: Of a sort. Bender, of all beings, points out that chronotons are the ones "that destroyed a whole civilization." The Professor doesn't care.Professor Farnsworth: (angrily) Good news, everyone. You're off to the Tempest Nebula to gather chronotons!
- "I Know What We Can Do" Cut: Hermes has an idea on how to stop the time jumps. One time jump later and everyone is conga dancing naked while Hermes plays the steel drums. Even he admits he doesn't know how this would be of any help.
- Killed Off for Real: Poor Arachneon gets an accidental case of friendly fire. The Professor's more annoyed about it than anything else.
- Literal Metaphor: When Fry is trying to win Leela over while the crew is harvesting chronotons, Leela tells him to 'cool his jets', which Fry means to give it up. Turns out she meant to turn down the flames of his jetpack because they were melting Bender's face.
- Noodle Incident: Too many to list. The nature of the sporadic time skips mean a lot of crazy things can and do happen, but even in-universe, no one can even fathom what the hell they were or how they led to the predicament they ended up in.
- Put Me In, Coach!: After Arachneon is killed, Fry offers to fill in, noting that they're 35 points ahead and there's only two minutes left in the game. One time skip later, Fry has somehow lost the game 244 to 86.
- Serious Business: The game against Globetrotters. There was absolutely nothing at stake, and no consequence for losing...save the humiliation of defeat. This is treated as the worst thing ever.
- The commentary states this was done to mess with the execs.
- Tempting Fate: To quote Fry, they were twenty points ahead with two minutes left, what cold possibly happen? One Gilligan Cut later, and Fry has somehow managed to screw up bad enough that Earth's behind by over two hundred points.
- Time Skip: The main problem of the episode is that time keeps skipping forward. It's quite convenient when it comes to difficult or tedious jobs, because time tends to skip ahead to when they're done.
- Tragic Dream: Bender just isn't funky enough to be a Globetrotter, and Fry's attempts to win Leela's heart were futile at least for now. Bender even consoled Fry that he knew what it was like to have a dream that would never come true.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Mutant Atomic Supermen that the Professor created are never seen or mentioned again after this episode.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Bubblegum, celebrating an idea that might solve the chroniton problem, makes everyone in the room with him an honorary Globetrotter (The Professor, Amy, Hermes, Doctor Zoidberg). Bender hears this, but arrives just too late.
- Happens to Fry, over and over again.
- Your Mom: Referenced in this exchange:Leela: I don't know how you did it, Fry, but once again you screwed up. Now all the planets are gonna be cracking wise about our mommas.
Hermes: I'm just glad my fat, ugly mama isn't alive to see this.
Professor Farnsworth: Enough about your promiscuous mother, Hermes. We've got bigger problems.