Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Futurama S 6 E 7 The Late Phillip J Fry

Go To

Fry is sidetracked from his date with Leela when Professor Farnsworth ropes him and Bender into testing his new invention, a Time Machine that only goes forward. However, an accident causes the machine to go much farther ahead than a single minute. Will Fry EVER make in time for his date?


  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Apparently, in the future, machines will turn against the human race.
  • Apocalypse How: Many versions of this trope, with a new society emerging from the ashes of the last one anytime Fry, Bender and the Professor landed further away into the future, capping it off with the year 1 Billion, when all life is extinct and the Earth is a barren wasteland.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Adolf Hitler gets a single line in this episode. In German, it translates to "Behold my mustache!"
    • One of the books thrown by Bender to the fire is an AL 1 version of Backwards Time Travel Made Easy.
  • Brain in a Jar: Hermes takes it further by being a head in a jar on a pogo stick.
  • Brick Joke: In "The Cryonic Woman", defrostee Paulie Shore at the Applied Cryogenics building mentioned his theory that all of history is a cycle, so if you go far enough you'll eventually loop back into the past. Turns out he's right, though a measly thousand years won't cut it.
  • Bullet Hole Spelling: After realizing that Fry abandoned her because he was dragged into a forward-only time-travel experiment, Leela goes to the abandoned Cavern on the Green restaurant and shoots holes into the ceiling with her laser pistol; the water leaking out of the holes drop onto the ground, gradually forming stalactites that form a message for Fry that he reads a billion years later on a dying Earth.
  • Advertisement:
  • Chekhov's Gun: Fry was recording a card for Leela explaining why he's late that falls out of the Time Machine during transit. About 50 years after his disappearance, it finally appears before Leela, alone and bitter over her loss.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: Fry, Farnsworth and Bender discover that the universe restarts itself once it ends, so they manage to return to their era shortly before they left. However, this universe is 10 feet lower than theirs, and they land on their duplicate selves, killing them and allowing the originals to take their place.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • While explaining why the time machine only goes forward, Prof. Farnsworth mentions the events of "Roswell That Ends Well".
    • As the universe restarts again and they near the point where they left, events from several past episodes replay in fast forward.
    • Advertisement:
    • When the Professor reveals his time machine, Bender says he can't go back to the past again, as he's wanted for the numerous crimes he committed in Bender's Big Score.
  • Cool Old Guy: The Professor kills Hitler, probably the coolest thing he's ever done.
  • Crapsack World:
    • The year 10000, with New New York in rubble and men with spears living amongst the wreckage.
    • "In 252525... there is only one technology, a rusty sword for practicing proctology.
    • "In the year 1000000 1/2, humankind is enslaved by giraffe, man must pay for all his misdeeds, when the treetops are stripped of their leaves."
    • The year Ten Million is a Terminator style wasteland of endless human slaughter by machines. Bender, however, loved this place.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "Man, the future is a total craphole, and everyone in it is a crap-faced sack of crap!"
  • Dirty Old Woman: Future!Amy uses Cubert as a boytoy, taking him to Atlantic City for unspecified purposes. No mention of Kif.
  • Double Entendre: The title: Leela deals with Fry's "death", and Fry is very, very, very late.
  • Eureka Moment: When the universe recreates itself after it ends, Farnsworth realizes that they can get back home by still going forward in time.
  • Eternal Reoccurance: The universe in ‘’Futurama’’ always repeats itself.
  • Evolutionary Stasis: Humans in the year 10 Million and 50 Million look the same as today. Doubly odd since this was averted in the year 5 Million, loosely based on The Time Machine.
  • Exact Words: "That was the old Fry. He's dead now."
  • Feudal Future: Twice. The year 252525 and then the year 1 Million and a half both have mankind living in castles, the second time with the giraffes as their rulers, and the castles rebuilt accordingly.
  • Foreshadowing: The maitre'd at Cavern on the Green explains how the stalactites and stalagmites were made from dripping water over millions of years. Leela sends a message to Fry by using her laser pistol to cause water to drip in a legible pattern.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Fry loses the birthday card the first time the machine sets off, the old Leela from the year 3050 is slightly visible. It serves as a very subtle instance of foreshadowing.
    • The three books thrown out by Bender to the fire are The History of the Human Race, Backwards Time Travel Made Easy (written in AL1), and a first-generation Amazon Kindle.
  • Gallows Humor: Plenty of it in the episode, but the topper is Fry apologizing to a long-gone Leela that he's only a billion years late for their date at the Cavern.
  • Gender Rarity Value: Earth in the year 50 Million is populated by gorgeous young women. They offer to fix the boys' time machine so they can get back to the right time period...AFTER they have a fertility banquet to honor their visitors since men are very rare in their society, so "even very old and stupid males are prized". Bender, being the odd one out, cuts their visit short.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
  • Jerkass: Bender begins the episode having incredibly loud sex with a promiscuous lady-bot, yelling as such to Fry's face, then occasionally taking breaks to play music right next to Fry's bed, for no real reason. He also takes the opportunity to kill the first animal ever to step foot on land, again for no reason. Perhaps his single worst act in the entire series is when he spitefully activates the time machine after they arrive in the year 50 Million, which has everything the Fry and Farnsworth could possibly want or need, justifying it as no different from them skipping past the robot genocide in the year 10 million; if he wanted to go back there, he could have just used the backwards time machine - he just wanted to hurt them for choosing to not be killed by other Jerkass robots. (In fact, in the year 1,000,000,000, he chuckles when the Professor notes all life is extinct.)
  • Lady Land: Earth in the year 50 Million is populated by gorgeous young women.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Just as Bender's mocking the human on a giraffe, he gets a sword up the ass.
  • May–December Romance: Leela eventually marries and divorces Cubert. She only marries because he reminds her of Fry.
  • Monumental Damage Resistance: Played for laughs. Not only does the Statue of the Liberty still stand in the future... alongside it there are also the version from the Apes, the birds, the cows and the slugs.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The women of the year 50 Million. They are gorgeous and wears all Stripperific outfits.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Fry's video card reappeared in 3050, Leela learns what happened and is ashamed for being angry at Fry for something that wasn't his fault.
  • Never My Fault: Bender gets on Fry for being late to work when it was his fault because he kept Fry up all night by making a lot of noise with a hooker though how he himself managed to get there on time isn't revealed. To make it worse, Fry being late was the reason Farnsworth forced him to partake in the time travel experiment.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: On the second go-around, the Professor tries killing Hitler, and manages to hit Eleanor Roosevelt by mistake.
  • Reality Ensues: Sure a time machine that can only goes to the future will prevent the traveler from messing up with the past, it also means that the traveler is unable to return to their own timeline as well.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Cubert becomes this for Leela. It doesn't end well. Despite looking similar and having similar habits, Cubert is nothing like Fry personality wise so she didn't get the person she loved back.
  • Ridiculously Successful Future Self: Leela turns the mediocre Planet Express into a massive enterprise after 40 years. A slight subversion in the fact that she was bitter and alone without Fry.
  • Scenery Porn: With some of the most stunning examples in the whole show.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Significant Reference Date: When Fry, Bender and the Professor first get into the time machine, the machine's display says it is 10:05pm on July 29, 3010 - exactly 1000 years (right down to the minute!) to the scene's original broadcast.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Fry and Leela by an infinity of lifetimes.
  • That Man Is Dead: Used for a quick (if somewhat morbid) joke at the end.
  • To the Future, and Beyond: The episode is built around this.
  • Watch the World Die: Fry, Bender and Prof. Farnsworth watch the universe end in their time machine. And then they watch it begin all over again. And end again. And begin again.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Several examples, actually:
    • After landing in 5 Million AD, the guys are told that although a backwards time machine hasn't been made yet, the Eloi expies would focus on making one, saying it should take five years to be made. So, they jump ahead 5 years... only to discover that the Morlock expies have invaded and slaughtered the population.
    • In 50 Million AD, the time machine lands in a Lady Land where a backwards time machine is present. But Bender, out of spite of being denied staying in 10 Million AD, activates the time machine again.
    • The guys are just about to loop back to 3010... only for Farnsworth to trip, accidentally causing the time machine to hit 10,000 AD again.


Example of: