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Recap / Futurama S 4 E 10 The Why Of Fry

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Still unable to impress Leela, Fry sadly suspects that he has no importance in life - until Nibbler takes him on a special mission to prevent the big brains from destroying the universe. In the process, Fry learns what really happened when he was cryogenically frozen on December 31, 1999.


  • Absentee Actor: Farnsworth and Hermes don't appear.
  • Always Save the Girl: In the past, Nibbler manages to convince Fry to save the future by making him realize that Leela will die when the Brain Spawn destroy the universe.
  • Chekhov's Gun: If you were paying any attention during the "Space Pilot 3000" and the flashbacks of that episode seen in "Jurassic Bark," you'll notice the strange eye stalk poking through the trash. This episode provides an explanation for that.
    • "Jurassic Bark" in particular also sets up this episode by demonstrating Fry's future self being present at the moment of his freezing by having two shadows under the table (instead of only one, like in the pilot) and Fry himself is the one who causes the chair to tip over and send his past self into the chamber.
  • Disability Immunity: Once again, Fry's missing Delta brainwave makes him immune to the Brainspawn.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Fry's problems in a nutshell. He's quite happy to learn he is.
  • It's Personal: Fry says it upon learning that the Brain Spawn are going to destroy the universe.
  • Jerkass: Chaz, the Mayor's aide. Leela eventually realizes this and shoves his badge into his mouth when she does.
  • Large Ham: The Giant Brain.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Played for Laughs with Fry's upgraded Scooty Puff scooter, which is called The Doombringer — Scooty Puff Sr.
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  • The Needs of the Many: The Nibblonian's reasoning for sending Fry to the future, as he was the only one who could defeat the Brain Spawn. There's also a Stable Time Loop involved, but it isn't visited in this episode.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: After the Infosphere is complete, the Brain Spawn plan on destroying the universe to ensure no new information exists.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The Giant Brain shows Fry the scene where he got frozen, except with an additional scene of Nibbler causing his chair to tip over and making him fall in the cryo-tube.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: As it turns out, it was the Giant Brain.
  • Removed from the Picture: After realizing what an ass Chaz is, Leela has Bender burn his face off a photo of their date with a flaming burp. Fittingly, when Fry walks into the room, Leela sees his face where Chaz used to be.
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  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Parodied by Chaz, the mayor's aide- a connection he'll flaunt even when he doesn't need to.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Big Brain comes back, having somehow escaped Fry's crappy book.
  • Time Travel: The Giant Brain takes Fry back to December 31, 1999 in order to show Fry what the Nibblonians were up to.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Fry's meddling in the past ends up contradicting "Roswell That Ends Well" as he convinces Nibbler to provide him with a better scooter on his escape from the Infosphere. The Nibblonians give him that scooter (so he escapes successfully on the second go-around) but in doing so it breaks the causality that allowed him to go back in time to tell Nibbler to give him that scooter.note 
    • Could be justified due to the unique nature of the temporal rupture that allowed Fry to go back to 1999 on this occasion having different rules to the methods used in other cited examples.
  • Take That!:
    • After ending up in the alternate universe, one of the Brains offers to sing "American Pie" at Fry. He mutters that he deserves it.
    • Ken the Nibblonian takes the time to inform Fry that the Dave Matthews Band doesn't rock.
  • Take That, Audience!: When Fry enters the Infosphere, the Brain Spawn detect trace amounts of mental activity, "possibly from a dead weasel, or a cartoon viewer."
  • Tastes Like Purple: Trope Namer. After Nibbler gives him a mind wipe, Fry says "Did everything just taste purple for a second?"
  • Wham Episode: It turns out Fry falling into the cryogenics tube wasn't an accident...

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