Banned Episode: "A Tale of Two Santas", the third produced episode in season 3, was banned due to violence. The episode did eventually air in December 2001, but was never shown again, outside of the rare Comedy Central reruns and the DVD release.
Development Gag: In "The Beast with a Billion Backs", Farnsworth and Wernstrom use a robot called the Pocket Pal for a demonstration. In the show's pre-production stages, the Pocket Pal was supposed to guide Fry by explaining several aspects of the 31st century to him, and thus function as a tool for the audience to understand the show's setting better.
"Space Pilot 3000" had a part where a man told the Tube Transport System to take him to "JFK Jr. Airport". Because of JFK Jr.'s mysterious death involving a plane crash, the destination was changed to "Radio City Mutant Hall" (this was even done on the DVD release, except for the animatic seen on the special features; if you live in the UK or Australia, the "JFK Jr. Airport" line is still used).
Most of the imported FOX episodes that now air on Comedy Central have parts cut for time reasons rather than content (much like The Simpsons), though there was one odd case: On the episode "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television", after Hermes asks him, Cubert, and Dwight where they got the things for their swinging party, Tinny Tim's line, "From Bender, my good jerkwad" was changed to "From Bender, my good meatbag."
On two episodes ("The Deep South" and "Bender Gets Made"), the Professor twice yells "Holy (or Sweet) Zombie Jesus!" This line was heard when it aired on FOX (if any viewer managed to see it on that channel), on Comedy Central, on the DVDs, and on Netflix. However, the former reruns on TBS' short-lived "Too Funny to Sleep" cartoon block and Cartoon Network's [adult swim] line-up mutes out the "Jesus" in "Holy (or Sweet) Zombie Jesus!" due to that hypocritical BS&P rule stating that "Oh my God" and its variants (i.e. "Oh God" or "Oh, dear God!" or even "Oh, Lord" and "Good Lord!") are okay, but "Oh, Jesus!" "Christ!" or "Jesus Christ!" is taboo.
Following the Norway terrorist attacks in July of 2011, the scene in "The Cryonic Woman" where Bender has an arm that used to belong to the Prime Minister of Norway was changed (on most syndicated free-TV airings) to once belonging to a chainsaw juggler. The Netflix American feed once had the "Prime Minister of Norway" cut of the episode, but when they added the last season of the show and rearranged the episodes by broadcast order, the "Chainsaw Juggler" version was used instead. The DVDs have the original "Prime Minister of Norway" screen.
The Australian airing of the "The Cyber House Rules" cuts out the part where Bender stomps on a baby basket left outside Planet Express, thinking it's a real baby (it was actually a recorded invitation to the Cookieville Minimum Security Orphanarium Reunion).
PickTV in the UK and New Zealand edits out a lot of uses of the word "bastard", and the episode "A Clone of My Own" was edited to remove Bender's line "No we don't, you little bedwetter!" after Cubert tells Leela that robots are good at keeping secrets.
Also, in the Simpsons episode "Mayored to the Mob", Üter wears a Futurama shirt. In an episode of Futuramanote season one's "A Big Piece of Garbage, Bender eats the shorts off a Bart Simpson doll (an early 1990s one that had a blue shirt instead of an orange-red one).
Official Fan-Submitted Content: Suggestions for the episode titles for the German dub of season 2 were collected on de.rec.tv.futurama. And yes, several of them were actually used. They never did something like this again, however.
Out of Order: Only a quarter of the show's episodes were aired in intended sequence in both the Fox and Comedy Central runs. Just take a look at the broadcast order and compare it to the production order. The main regions of the scrambling are broadcast seasons 3 through 5 (which are a jumble of production seasons 2 through 4), as well as broadcast season 8 (the second half of production season 6). This creates the occasional continuity problem: "Leela's Homeworld", in which Leela finds out the truth about her parents, ended up airing ahead of several episodes produced beforehand, and "Jurassic Bark" contains a moment of Foreshadowing for "The Why of Fry", which is only a few episodes later in production order but several months later in broadcast order.
The Other Marty: A particularly tragic example: Zapp was originally meant to be voiced by Phil Hartman, but Hartman died after only recording a few lines, so the role went to Billy West.
Permanent Placeholder: The Hypnotoad's trademark droning sound was originally a placeholder, but it sounded so bizarrely wrong that they kept it in.
Science Marches On: While it's pretty clear that they really take a lot of Artistic License on science, they actually add tons of accuracy in there. One that was intended to be at least somewhat accurate at the time was when the crew went to Pluto, and it was shown as having only one moon. As of 2012, five moons have actually been detected around Pluto, but around the time when the episode was made, only Charon was known.
Matt Groening unveils Futurella at Comic Con. Opening music starts, title appears, CANCELLED. Groening then comments on how Fox has streamlined the process.
Schedule Slip: The original run on Fox had a seriously erratic schedule, resulting in several episodes from season 3 airing in season 4.
Star-Making Role: John DiMaggio himself said that it wasn't until he started voicing Bender that his voice acting career really took off. Beforehand he was a stand up comic and bit tv actor.
Talking to Himself: Most of the main cast play multiple characters, though Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, and Tress MacNeille are the most frequent. In fact, the only one who plays a single character is Katey Sagal as Leela note Unless you count the alternate universe Leelas in "The Farnsworth Parabox" and the robot Leela in "Rebirth".
Bound to happen with any long-running show that makes joking comparisons to technology of the time. One of the most glaring examples would be in "When Aliens Attack" when the crew were unable to find a VHS of a show called 'Single Female Lawyer' (due to most VHS's being damaged during the second coming of Jesus). No more than a year after the episode aired, VHS's were pretty much overshadowed by the superior DVD format, and a decade after that, most TV shows can be easily found online in one format or another (legally or otherwise).
Doubly the case for the computer programming jokes, which are all in the BASIC language. It was popular when the writers were growing up, but had long since been eclipsed by languages like C, Java, and Python by 1999.
Also happens with cell phones. In one episode, Amy's phone is comically tiny, since in the real world at the time, cell phones had just become mainstream and were getting smaller each year. During The New '10s, however, touch screens on phones have become popular, and since bigger screens are easier to manage, cell phones have gotten larger.
Un-Canceled: Once upon a time in 1999, FOX had been giving the show an inconsistent airing time after season one, and the show was frequently pre-empted by football games. Once, they didn't even bother with the football game and just ran commercials for 10 minutes where the first act should have been. For obvious reasons, this led to disappointing viewer turnout and ratings, despite the pilot episode ("Space Pilot 3000") being the highest rated premiere in the history of the FOX Network. Soon, it was announced that FOX had cancelled the show after "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", which was written to serve as a potential Grand Finale.
Reruns soon went to Cartoon Network's [adult swim] line-up note (along with Family Guy, which was also canned after three seasons of mediocre ratings), and the episodes actually got more viewers than the first-run episodes on FOX now that the show had a consistent time slot and no pre-emptions. The season set DVDs added to Futurama's popularity, as people now got the chance to see what they were missing without the inconveniences of television (commercials, slot changes, and pre-emptions). Because of this, Matt Groening and his crew for Futurama created four direct-to-DVD movies (Bender's Big Score, The Beast with a Billion Backs, Bender's Game, and Into the Wild Green Yonder), which were again designed to serve as a potential Series Finale if no other channel wanted to pick up the show or if Matt Groening decided to quit (Into the Wild Green Yonder ended with everyone in the Planet Express Ship flying into a wormhole, with heavy implications that they're never going to come back to Earth). Comedy Central also starting airing the movies and the regular series episodes after Matt Groening turned down the chance to have the show renewed on Cartoon Network and Cartoon Network lost the syndication rights to the show in 2007. Comedy Central subsequently ordered new episodes of the show.
Despite some complaints about the Comedy Central episodes being inferior to the FOX episodes for whatever reason the fanbase has, Futurama enjoyed a good four years on Comedy Central. However, the good times were not to last. In April of 2013, it was announced that Comedy Central was pulling the plug on the show, making the episodes in the second half of the show's seventh season (tenth, if you go by broadcast history) the final episodes ever aired (the final episode "Meanwhile" aired on September 4, 2013). Despite this, Matt Groening is looking to pitch the show to another channel and hopefully revive the series once again (or, at the very least, make a fifth movie [whether made for DVD or made for the movie theater] to end the series), and a Futurama-Simpsons crossover ("Simpsorama") in which Bender and the Planet Express Crew is sent back to the past to kill Bart for a future crime aired in the fall of 2014.
The writers loved the character of Barbados Slim so much that there were plans for a Musical Episode focused on him, but the series' first cancellation put an end to that idea.
Unintentional Period Piece: Despite the setting being in the future, a lot of the humor of the show comes from commenting on modern events and other pop culture trends of the time.
"When Aliens Attack" is built around a parody of Ally McBeal, which was topical at the time, but the show quickly fell out of public consciousness after going off the air.
"Decision 3012" is set around the premise of getting a qualified, passionate but young politician elected President of Earth, but his opponents start spreading rumors that he was not born on Earth and thereby cannot become president. The episode aired during the 2012 election campaign, featuring Barack Obama running for a second term and the exact thing became an issue in his first presidential bid.
"Proposition Infinity" is about the efforts to allow robosexual marriage as an analogy to same sex marriage. In 2015 in the United States, a federal ruling allowed same sex marriage across all the states, rendering the topical nature of the episode dated.
Urban Legend of Zelda: There was a long-standing rumor that the opening sequence had to be changed after the September 11th attacks to remove the Planet Express ship crashing into the video billboard (as a lot of references to terrorism, buildings exploding, people panicking, and shots of the World Trade Center towers in comedic and dramatic movies and TV shows were subject to censorship during that time). This never happened.
Viewers Are Geniuses: Turanga Leela is named after the Turangalîla Symphonie — a piece of orchestral music by Olivier Messiaen. If you knew of the piece or of the composer without having to check Google, you are a devoted classical music fan and/or an academic.
Lots of jokes rely on the viewers being smart enough to understand it, especially the math, engineering, and science jokes, which most viewers wouldn't get unless they were in college or taking Advanced Placement high school classes.
Word of Gay: According to executive producer Bill Odenkirk in the commentary of the Season 3 DVD set, all of Robot Santa's elves are gay. Odenkirk said this in response to questions on why all of the elves were holding hands with others of the same sex.
Bender's Do-Anything Robot capabilities are due to accidentally getting electrocuted in the first episode. He never dreamed of doing anything but bending girders beforehand.
Other perpendicular universes are found, each with its own distinctive quirk—a world of hippies, Romans, bobbleheads, robots, people who never had eyes who nevertheless know what "seeing" is, etc.
Zoidberg's appetite, according to producers, includes there being only three things that Zoidberg dislikes: fluorescent light bulbs, brown crayons, and tofu.
Working Title: Several titles for this series were considered before Groening and Cohen settled on Futurama. Among these working titles were Aloha, Mars! and Doomsville.
No Export for You: The UK version got cancelled at the end of 2013 due to catching up with the US originals. The next issue would've used content from the issue still on sale in the Us, and the following one would've overtaken the source! However, this means that the US issues 69 onwards will not be reprinted in the UK unless they get re-released as trade paperbacks.
The MovieBender's Game practically canonizes Walt, Larry and Igner's ages when Nibbler says "It was 36 years ago... now" when Mom started drilling for Dark Matter with the intention of selling it. With their ages being only a couple of years apart and Igner being unborn and only just conceived at the time (Mom didn't appear pregnant in flashbacks)...
She had to have been pregnant (but not showing) in the scene where she leaves Farnsworth, because we know who Igner's father is.