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  • Adorkable:
    • Fry is clumsy, ditzy, and very spacey, but he's so eager about the things he loves (like space aliens, video games, and Leela) that it's hard not to love him. This is even more present when he de-ages into an awkward teenager in "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles" and takes Leela on a date, his voice nervously cracking all the way.
    • Kif is Zapp's meeker, smarter assistant with low self-esteem. He becomes painfully shy and nervous when he is around his crush Amy, and once they get together, he's an adorably nervous but doting boyfriend.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation:
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    • "Leela and the Genestalk" is apparently intended as a warning against genetically modified organisms. However, Mom is shown making very convincing arguments showing that GMOs have large tangible benefits, while Leela provides no real evidence of any harms and just alludes to the possibility of "long-term effects" which she insists are somehow still unknowable despite the technology being thousands of years old. In addition, Leela instantly gives up on the opposition as soon as she realizes GMOs can cure her disease too. As a result, it's not hard to read the message as "genetic modification is a good thing, and its opponents are just willfully blind to the massive amount of suffering that GMOs have the capacity to prevent."
    • Every episode that focuses on Bender's existentialism (i.e. Godfellas, Lethal Inspection, Ghost in the Machines, Free Will Hunting), each end with the same message "The relationships we build are what's truly important and those relationships can define the meaning of life". Bender is stopped from killing himself when Fry befriends him (he's also the reason how Bender is able to return home after being stranded in deep space), Hermes is the one who defied his orders to kill Bender for being defective and saves him from the killbots, and after Bender sacrifices himself to save Fry, he's allowed entry into heaven. In summary, every time Bender questions his own identity or existence, it's the friendships he makes that make his actions meaningful and worthwhile.
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    • In the episode "Hell Is Other Robots," the episode seems to have anti-religious overtones, yet Bender becomes a genuinely better person as a result of becoming religious and it’s the We Want Our Jerk Back! of Fry and Leela that gets him sent to Robot Hell, which would seem to suggest that the episode is more pro-religious than it is trying to be.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Linda really blissfully unaware of what Morbo says when he goes on to threaten the human race? She's been working with the guy for years, and since his people still haven't done anything to Earth she could well view his tirades as big talk. Although a later episode revealed she's a hardcore alcoholic which may have something to do with her reactions.
    • Hubert Farnsworth can be interpreted as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who is really Obfuscating Stupidity. Most of his actions cause problems, and he admits on several occasions that he has multiple doomsday devices. The slogan of Planet Express states that all crews are expendable, and the company's current employees are not his first crew. Furthermore, the Professor once had a relationship with Mom, and even created albino atomic apes for the sole purpose of proclaiming his love for her. Last, but not least, he presents himself as fairly nice in the pilot, but later on is quite mean to Fry and Leela. Considering all these facts, Hubert's supposed senility does seem to be a very good act to get away with endangering people.
      Universe A!Farnsworth: I'm going home. Where's that blue box with our universe in it?
      Universe B!Farnsworth: Oh, you'd like to get back to your evil universe, wouldn't you, and destroy your box with our universe inside it?
      A!Farnsworth: Nonsense. I would never do such a thing unless you were already having been going to do that.
      B!Farnsworth: Wha...?
      A!Farnsworth: You heard me!
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    • Is Nibbler a bit too committed to his dumb animal act, or is he shrewdly exploiting it to get away with being a Jerkass to everyone? It helps the person his misbehaviour most irritates tends to be Bender, who hates him, though even then we get cases such as him stealing Amy's bikini or taking Christmas dinner from orphans, not to mention several near lethal instances where even just acting less Too Dumb to Live would have been more beneficial for his own well being.
    • Lars Fillmore could be seen as a version of Fry who straightened out his life, learned some valuable lessons about relationships and maturity, and knew what Leela was really looking for in a man better than Fry himself or an opportunist who almost stole his less mature self's chance at happiness just because he saw a potential advantage without any regard for how Fry felt (which is something he'd be well aware of in doing so, because of who he is).
    • Is Bender a Jerk with a Heart of Gold or is he rotten to the core processor? The show has plenty of evidence for both. It gets more complicated once you account for the question of how much input he really has into his own personality and actions. A popular fan theory has it that he became the character we see throughout the show on the day of the pilot episode, with the lightbulb shock he recieved in the Hall of Criminals rebooting his system and turning him from passive and suicidal to, well, a criminal (though it's implied that criminality is actually part of the default bender unit programming and he cheats the suicide booth before the lightbulb encounter).
    • Hermes might claim to hate Zoidberg, but perhaps Zoidberg is actually right in his belief that they're Vitriolic Best Buds. After all, according to Fry's reading of Hermes' mind in "Into the Wild Green Yonder", he considers Zoidberg pathetic, but lovable.
    • Related: does Zoidberg really just not realize how much Hermes dislikes him, or does he know it but is such a Nice Guy that he doesn't mind?
    • Despite how narcissistic he is, Zapp is shown to be one of the few people not disgusted by Leela's eye, seemed to be okay with dating a very masculine cross-dresser (though he seemed to be unaware) in Put Your Head On My Shoulders, and pursued a relationship with Leela's mother. Is Zapp not as shallow as he seems? Or is he just so desperate that he'll sleep with Anything That Moves?
    • One theory posts the idea that Zapp is so incompetent as a leader because of PTSD from sending so many of his men to die against the killbots in "Love's Labors Lost in Space"; he used to be a genuinely competent leader (explaining how he got his position to begin with despite his stupidity) but the stress of the incident drove him to become lecherous and alcoholic in the hopes of getting discharged.
    • Did Fry's life genuinely suck as much as we're told it did before he ended up in the 31st century, or did he just paint a cynical light over everything in his life because he knew he could never go back to it? Unlike most examples, this isn't a matter of one or the other - there's too much evidence for both interpretations to outright dispute either one, and the show flips back on forth on it - but it's more a question of the proportion of both ideas.
    • While canon implies that Fry's ditziness and social awkwardness are side effects of Fry lacking a delta brainwave, it's also common to read him as having ADHD and/or autism, taking into consideration his impulsivity, his poor motor skills, his self esteem issues, and how he's skilled in very specific areas (i.e. video games and certain pop culture knowledge) but struggles to pay attention to most anything else. It's worth noting that his voice actor admitted to having ADHD and autism in 2019, and has drawn parallels between Fry and his own younger self.
    • Is Frankie from "Insane to the Mainframe" really a patient, or is he an actual lunchroom worker who the self deluded Unit 2013 convinced himself was a patient and he's just been working at a mental institution long enough not to question things like a patient asking him in a ridiculously patronizing voice how he likes his job.
  • Alternative Joke Interpretation: The "person" who orders a pizza for Fry to deliver at the cryogenics lab is named "I.C. Weiner." This is a Punny Name in two directions, both of which foreshadow Fry's fate. It's likely meant to be "icy weiner" as an insult to Fry getting frozen (especially since Nibbler is the one who placed the order under the name, as Fry was fated to go to the future). However, it could also be "I see weiner," referencing how Fry immediately gets naked after he's unfrozen and has to be probed.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Fry brushes off all of Bender's attempts to make him cry "My Three Suns" in spite of the fact that he needs to to save his life because he's "too macho" until he tells Fry that Leela's hurt. However, since it's ineffective (only "two tears" as Amy states), the rest of the crew end up beating him in order to make him cry).
    • Fry and Leela don't seem too bothered by the idea that everything in the universe is frozen in place besides them in the series finale. Well, they did have each other.
    • Played for Laughs in "Space Pilot 3000", where Fry actually expresses joy for leaving his old time period, though a later episode suggests that he just convinced himself that his past was horrible because he knew he could never go back.
  • Anvilicious:
  • Arc Fatigue: Fry and Leela's relationship is popular with fans, but the Will They or Won't They? approach to their story grows tiresome by the time of the Comedy Central run, especially because the fourth movie moved towards a Relationship Upgrade, but whether they're actually together after that varies from episode to episode. Only in the final season are they allowed to consistently exist as an unambiguous couple.
  • Ass Pull: The reveal that Igner is Professor Farnsworth's son. First, in "Mother's Day" Mom and Farnsworth both stated they hadn't seen each other in 70 years, and Igner is in his 20s. Second, unless Mom managed to cover it up, Igner didn't show up as one of Fry's living relatives in the pilot. It doesn't help that after the reveal, it pretty much never came up again in the series.
  • Awesome Ego: Bender isn't just a selfish, petty crook, he's a shameless Attention Whore who's genuinely in love with the fact that he exists! One of his catchphrases is "Bender is great!" and in one episode, he enters singing literal songs of his own praise. He also never ends a sentence with just "me," it's always "me, Bender," just in case anyone forgets his name! And all of it is hilarious!
  • Awesome Music:
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Zapp Brannigan. Depending on who you ask, he's either hilarious or the worst character on the show.
    • Zoidberg. Despite his large fanbase, many people hate him just as much as the other characters do.
    • Relatedly, Hermes. Some find him a funny subversion of stereotypes around Jamaican people, but others feel his constant Kick the Dog moments towards Zoidberg completely destroy any likeability he has.
    • Kif in later seasons. Some fans don't mind his relationship with Amy, while others didn't like how his personality changed from a Deadpan Snarker to an Extreme Doormat.
    • Bender. Some people love him for how much of an unapologetic Jerkass he can be. However, some, especially after the revival when Flanderization set in, see him as a Creator's Pet who gets too much focus and too much lenience for his sociopathic behavior.
  • Better on DVD: The original run was broadcast out of order and at erratic intervals (to the point that there are actually five broadcast seasons made up of four production seasons). The DVDs thankfully allow you to watch the series as it was originally intended.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Seen all over the place. Most notably in the episode The Sting where 60% of the episode are these. Also subverted a number of times.
  • Bizarro Episode:
  • Broken Base:
    • The made-for-DVD Movies: Some like them for their higher stakes and their drama, but others hate them for having too many sub-plots to pad them out and for being full of retcons.
    • The Comedy Central episodes: Some think they're just as good as the original run, but others hate them for Flanderizing the characters (Fry and Bender getting the worst of it), making their plots more topical (you know, despite being set in the future) and preachy, and for the jokes feeling more forced.
    • "Jurrassic Bark" is either loved for being a heartwrenching Tear Jerker or hated for the exact same reason.
  • Canon Fodder: Nibbler referring to Leela as "the other" in "The Why of Fry." It's never explained, nor is it known if it was going to be explained or if Nibbler was just making up something to convince Fry to get back to the future. Those who choose the latter have fun speculating on what exactly it means — whether Leela was also a chosen one in her own right, whether it's related to the preservation of the universe in the fourth movie, or whether it's related to Fry and Leela having kids who would save the universe somehow.
  • Captain Obvious Aesop: Parodied:
    Jack Johnson: It's time that someone had the courage to stand up and say: "I'm against those things that everybody hates!"
    John Jackson: I respect my opponent. He's a good man. But frankly, I agree with everything he just said!
  • Cargo Ship: Scruffy owns a robotic Washbucket with a female voice. In "The Prisoner of Benda", Amy gets her brain switched with the Washbucket, and Washbucket declares her love for Scruffy. Scruffy declares his love back, but turns her down because she's a robot even in Amy's body. She leaves the room, and he curls up and cries.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Fry's repeated deaths in "Meanwhile". At first it's gruesome and horrifying, but after the fourth or fifth time, it becomes gruesome and hilarious.
    • Robot Santa's entire existence is based solely on this trope.
    • Any time that Fry casually mentions domestic abuse is far funnier than it has any right to be.
    • Leela murdering all her coworkers one by one through "Anthology of Interest", but especially Hermes' demise, as Zoidberg remains completely oblivious the whole while.
      Hermes: What are you hacking off? Is it my torso? (violent chopping sound) IT IS! MY PRECIOUS TORSO!
      Zoidberg: Hermes, quiet! I'm deducing things!
    • The "Lovey Bears" from "Love and Rocket". A set of adorable stuff-animal toys, made by genetically engineering super-adorable little bears, raising them in a cutesy, loving environment, and then on their first birthday, finding the cutest, murdering them and stuffing them full of fire-retardant fluff. Even Bender actually looks unnerved by that one.
    • Bender tapdancing on the recently dead body of a young girl with a heart condition, after stating that he couldn't wait to dance on her grave. What saves is that, a) she was a manipulative Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who tried to sabotage his performance earlier, and b), the tap dancing ends up resuscitating her.
    • Bender telling the Scammers he can figure out how to stealthy steal the doomsday device handcuffed to the Professor's hand, himself, only cut to him holding a bloody saw with the device still cuffed to his severed hand. Somehow topped afterwards, when a flashback reveals the saw was dull and it took several minutes to work and the Professor was still asleep the whole time.
    • Yet another one for Bender, when he goes to the Robot Devil for some help. All Bender needs to do is to bring his first born son. The scene is set up for a seemingly heart warming reunion between estranged father and son... and then Bender promptly punts his child into a vat of magma. It is both cruel and hilarious. Even the Robot Devil lampshades how messed up it was.
      Robot Devil: Wow, that was pretty brutal even by my standards.
    • Still Bender in "The Thief of Baghead". After accidentally draining Fry's lifeforce and leaving his body a floppy pile of skin by showing him a picture of an unmasked Langdon Cobb, he starts contemplating Fry melting could have been an unrelated incident, before showing the photo to Amy (with similar results) and noting that there's a pattern, and then tests it on Hermes just to make sure. When it happens to Fry it's pure Nightmare Fuel, but by the time Hermes is drained Bender's indifference to the whole thing has turned hilarious.
    • Mom's over-the-top abuse of her sons. It's very harsh, but she's so bluntly cruel and finds so many different ways to slap them that it becomes hilarious.
  • Designated Villain: There's the parody example of the Ball aliens that Earth went to war with on "War Is The H-Word". As it turns out, it was the Earthican forces that were the invaders, the Ball people were just harmless aliens that only wanted to bounce. When Fry realizes this, he's understandably confused.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Bender the robot has no sense of morality or ethics, goes around insulting everybody while drinking beer and smoking cigars. Yet as Matt Groening explained: "He can't be a bad role model for children, because he's a robot!" Lampshaded on "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television":
    Bender: You're watching Futurama, the show that does not advocate the cool crime of robbery!
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: The Futurama game is a fairly unremarkable Third-Person Shooter/Platformer hybrid that isn't considered bad, but not great either. Its main saving grace is its story, which was penned by the actual writers and performed by the voice actors of the show and has a lot of hilarious gags lampooning both the show itself and various video game clichés. Notably, all of the cutscenes would later be stitched together and released as a special unofficial episode for "The Beast With a Billion Backs" DVD.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • "MORBO DEMANDS RECOGNITION OF HIS POPULARITY!"
    • "All glory to the hypno-toad!"
    • Calculon and his UNGODLY! ACTING! TALENT!!!
    • Scruffy was a popular character during the interim when Futurama was not producing new episodes. He only made a few appearances in the original run, and was mostly noteworthy for his extreme apathy. Since the revival, Scruffy has had a much larger role, frequently appearing alongside the main cast, almost solely due to his popularity on the Internet.
    • "That Guy" from "Future Stock" is fairly popular and frequently quoted despite only being in one episode (one that he dies at the end of, no less) and not even having a name in the episode proper (according to Word of God, his name is Steve Castle).
    • Fatbot was fairly well-liked in his debut episode, to the point where he made numerous appearances in later episodes.
    • Fry's dog Seymour, who managed to deliver one of the saddest endings of all time in his debut episode. To date, he's only appeared in five episodes, including "Bender's Big Score" and the Simpsons crossover.
  • Fanfic Fuel: One issue of the comic books indicates that foiling and then assisting the Zookeeper was not the only adventure that Fry, Leela, and Bender had as the New Justice Team. Who knows what other adventures they had with their superpowers?
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Fry and Leela has been a popular couple since before it even became canon, but in certain circles, its popularity is eclipsed by that of Fry and Bender, which was never canon but was the subject of much Ho Yay. On Archive of Our Own, Fry/Bender has twice as many fanfictions as Fry/Leela.
  • Fan-Preferred Cut Content: The episode "Law and Oracle" is a Minority Report spoof that isn't particularly hated or loved by the fandom. The original concept for the episode is more interesting to several fans, as it would have focused on Fry and Leela's Kid from the Future. This was presumably cut to avoid giving a definitive answer to Fry and Leela's relationship, but Fry and Leela having kids is a common enough Fandom-Specific Plot for fans to wish it happened in canon.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: "Anthology of Interest II" gives Bender a semi-canonical human design, a blonde white guy. Human fanart of Bender almost never uses it; most fans instead make him a dark-skinned Mexican (since he was built in Mexico and has the surname Rodriguez) with a more rugged appearance.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • A lot of jokes, references, and continuity errors are more understandable if you know anything about college-level math and science.
    • The series has a number of particularly extreme examples in which complicated jokes (possibly made in a fictional language) are hidden in the background and can only be seen for a split-second, requiring a very devoted fan to pause and get the absolute most out of episodes.
    • Everything's playing at the Aleph-Null-Plex!
    • In real life, Professor Philo Farnsworth was the inventor of cathode-ray video transmission, which brought us television, which brought us Futurama.
    • Leela was named after Olivier Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie, which is notable for a few reasons, the most-relevant being its featuring of an electronic instrument, the ondes Martenot (Martenot waves), which has provided distinctive sound effects and music in many sci-fi works.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In "Space Pilot 3000", the line about Stop & Drop Suicide booths being "Americans' favorite suicide booth since 2008" becomes a bit wince-worthy in light of 2008's economic meltdown and the invention of an actual suicide machine in the same year.
    • Fry's delighted reaction to realizing that everybody and everything he knew in the 20th century has gone (since he thought they didn't seem to like, care, or even respect him) seems much harsher subsequent episodes such as "Luck of the Fryish", "Cold Warriors and "Game of Tones" have shown that his family actually did love him and were worried about him when he went missing.
    • One of the stations in the New New York tubeway system is given as "J.F.K., Jr. Airport". After the real-life John F. Kennedy, Jr. died when his private plane crashed, the line was replaced with "Radio City Mutant Hall" (though the original line can still be heard on the full-episode animatic that appears on Futurama volume one DVD).
    • In "The Honking", Bender transforming into a werecar and almost running over Leela became less hilarious after Katey Sagal, Leela's voice actor, got hit by a car for real. Fortunately, Katey survived the whole ordeal.
    • Bender expressing a wish for the death penalty in "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz" might just seem like his warped sense of laziness at first, but following "Lethal Inspection", we learn that he thought he was immortal at this point in the show's history; Bender may have legitimately assumed that getting the death penalty would have just been another easy way to avoid work, and only learned the truth when it was too late...
    • In "That's Lobstertainment", Joan Rivers' head joked she had her face lifted so many times they finally cut it off her body. It becomes a lot less funny after the real Joan Rivers died during plastic surgery.
    • The electronics disposal scene in "Attack of the Killer App" can be somewhat disquieting for actual New Yorkers. In 2015, It became illegal to submit most electronics for curbside garbage disposal in New York State.
    • In "Into the Wild Green Yonder", white rhinoceroses are shown amongst the animals preserved by the Last Encyclopod alongside extinct species. In 2018, the northern white rhinoceros was declared functionally extinct after the death of the last male.
    • Mom (who is somewhat of a Take That! to Disney's monopolistic behavior in spite of its pleasant imagery) almost buying up Planet Express in "Future Stock," given that through its purchase of Fox, Disney now owns the rights to Futurama.
    • "Decision 3012" has a victorious President Nixon build a wall around the Solar System to keep space aliens out. Come 2016, and Donald Trump becomes President promising to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep illegal aliens out.
    • In "I Dated A Robot" we see a video about how humans dating robots will destroy the world. Then we get "Proposition Infinity" and discover robosexuals are both common and repressed. Bonus awkward for the original tape being a high school health class video approved by The Space Pope.
    • In "The Lesser of Two Evils", the main characters visit a theme park modeled on 2000s New York. There's a brief scene where the stock market drops from about 11,000 to 7,200, similar numbers to the real-life 2008 crash. (Fortunately, it jumps right back up to 11,000, and all the stock brokers who jumped to their apparent deaths float back up into the building via jetpack). Considering that the scene was supposed to be a "distorted history" take on the crash that started the Great Depression, that makes this a sort of bizarre case of life imitating art imitating life.
    • "The Problem With Popplers" features an Animal Wrongs Group protesting meat consumption, with Leela pointing out that animals eat other animals and then shown a lion who was taught to eat tofu... with the lion in a very, very malnourished state. The 2010s brings us the disturbing trend of vegan pet owners forcing their pets onto vegan diets.
    • In "Attack of the Killer App", Sal's friend Hoschel remarks that the video of Fry diving into alien goat vomit and diarrhea is "disgusting and inspiring, like Jared from Subway". As of 2015, Jared Fogle has been fired by Subway after he confessed to owning child pornography and having sex with minors.
    • In "Bend Her," Bender masquerades as female as a means of dominating the fembots at the Olympics and scoring easy medals. In real life, scenarios like the one presented in the episode are often used to justify barring transgender women from participating in sports and disqualifying their achievements, under the pretense that they are men taking advantage of Political Overcorrectness to score easy wins; this escalated in 2021 when numerous U.S. state legislatures began making these restrictions into formal law. The gender testing that Bender is then forced to go through is also harsher in light of real testosterone testing for athletes, which targets not only trans women but also cisgender women with hyperandrogenism; this trend made it all the way to the real Tokyo 2020 Olympics, when outside commentators attempted to discredit cisgender Namibian runner Christine Mboma's silver medal-winning performance by claiming she was actually a man. note 
  • He Really Can Act:
    • It goes without saying that Billy West has a great range, but he also deserves credit for his genuinely heartfelt performances in episodes like "Jurassic Bark" and "Luck of the Fryrish".
    • Bender is first and foremost a comedic character. This doesn't stop John Dimaggio from nailing his performance during the climax of "The Bots and the Bees".
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: In the second episode, one reason Fry lists for why he couldn't become an astronaut is that nobody liked spending a week with him. Leela agrees, "A week would be a little much." Contrast this with the finale, where not only do the two get married and explore the world while everything in the universe is frozen in time, eventually growing old together, Leela is the one to say she was never lonely during all those decades alone with Fry. It really shows how their relationship has strengthened throughout the show.
    • The last episode's opening has the caption "Avengers Us!" before it's cancellation. Hulu listened.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Has a whole page.
  • Informed Wrongness: Bender in "I Second That Emotion". His reason for lashing out at Nibbler was because an unattended can-opener nearly killed him, and as he implied, killed his father in the past. While Bender's behavior later was uncalled for, that can-opener was pretty much a deathtrap for robots.
  • Iron Woobie: Leela. She was abandoned as a baby and never knew her family or even her species, and everybody at her orphanage bullied her for being a cyclops, making her feel alone and unlovable. This spurned her to grow up cynical and tough, always trying to prove her superiority and not letting herself be vulnerable, but it's made clear that she's repressing a lot of childhood trauma and abandonment issues. She all but says it herself in "Leela's Homeworld" after Fry catches her crying:
    Leela: I'm sorry you saw that, Fry. I usually try to keep my sadness pent up inside where it can fester quietly as a mental illness.
  • It Was His Sled: Leela's origins and parentage were a big twist when "Leela's Homeworld" first aired, but it's unlikely any viewers make it to that episode without knowing ahead of time these days.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Bender is a psychopath of the highest order, goes beyond megalomania, has a laundry list of felonies, and is constantly abusing his own friends. He was also born without a backup unit, only got saved because Hermes took pity on him as a baby, is constantly abused by the Professor by being sent on deadly missions, and has a son who cannot remember him, because Bender and his son decided to have the latter's memory card replaced in order for him to go to bending school.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Leela has a committed lesbian and bisexual fanbase who love her for being a strong, commanding, and attractive space captain, as well as a relatable mutant outcast.
  • Love to Hate: Zapp Brannigan, he's a smug entitled Jerkass with an ego too big for his own ship. But according to his fans, he's too funny to truly hate.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Robot Santa, the terrifying monster of Xmas, sees almost everyone on the Naughty List and conducts a terrifying yearly raid that leaves many dead or maimed. Upon judging Fry and friends naughty—save Dr. Zoidberg, who gets a pogo stick)—Santa is driven back but vows to return the next Xmas. Seemingly bested in favor of Bender, Santa frees Bender and ropes him in for the rampage before revealing a threat to Bender to never play Santa ever again. Even after being dethroned, Santa is able to launch a plot of revenge after enjoying a rap with the Hanukkah Zombie and Kwanzaa Bot.
    • "Less Than Hero": The Zookeeper is a supervillain who commits crimes with a pack of highly trained animals. Planning to steal the Quantum Gemerald, he causes chaos in the Museum of Natural History by having animals attack the patrons, distracting the New Justice Team long enough for him to grab the Gemerald. When the heroes corner him, he drops the Gemerald off of a balcony which distracts them and allows him to escape. Learning that Leela is Clobberella, the Zookeeper kidnaps her parents and holds them hostage so the New Justice Team will steal the Gemerald for him, and ultimately escapes with the Gemerald.
  • Memetic Mutation: A page full of them!
  • Narm Charm: The part in "Hell is Other Robots" where Fry calls Bender out for his drug-addled jerkish behavior. Fry's frizzed up hair is funny to look at, but his angry speech to Bender still makes the scene work.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • Fry drinking a tub of beer that others have spat out in "Fun on a Bun".
    • Fry drinking bathtub eggnog that Zoidberg turned out to be in in "A Tale of Two Santas". Zoidberg's response makes it more gross depending on whether you think Zoidberg's being a Fish out of Water and thinks the eggnog is a bath or he's in the right and the "eggnog" isn't even eggnog at all but scented bathwater.
    • Bender drinking the alcohol-flavored water Professor Farnsworth was bathing in and commenting on the flavor being a fine cognac with a hint of aged scrotum in "Benderama".
    • Bender as a morbidly obese human in "Anthology of Interest II".
    • The tub full of alien goat vomit and diarrhea that Fry and Bender make a bet over who has to dive in it in "Attack of the Killer App".
    • "Murder on the Planet Express" manages to best them all, with Leela eating Fry's kidney. Made even worse when you consider that at this point, they're dating.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Game of Drones, a puzzle game based on the show, has excellent animation and catchy music. It's also at a good difficulty level - it's not so hard that it's frustrating, but it's not so easy that it's boring.
  • Older Than They Think:
  • Play-Along Meme: Fans often gas up the Hypnotoad and his sitcom as one of the best things ever. The Hypnotoad does nothing but stare into people's eyes and hypnotize them into loving him, so the implication is that he also hypnotizes the audience (which the show has itself implied once or twice). Often crosses over with Interrupting Meme, as people will drop everything to shout "ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD!"
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • Freela = Fry/Leela
    • Fender = Fry/Bender
    • Leeler = Leela/Bender
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Opinions on Futurama: The Game vary. While it's not a terrible game, it is an uninspired Third-Person Shooter, merely So Okay, It's Average by most fans' standards. While the graphics do look rather nice and the character designs translate well into 3D, its main saving grace is its hilarious story, which was penned by the actual writers and performed by the voice actors of the show. Not only does it manage to lampshade a few aspects of the show, but it makes fun of a few video game clichés as well. Luckily, all of the cutscenes (and some filmed gameplay) were strung together and released as an unofficial episode, which is available as a special feature on the second film release, The Beast With a Billion Backs.
  • The Scrappy:
    • The "Susan" butt boil gets a lot of hate for various reasons, such as it being an already outdated joke in an already topical-heavy episode, for having a really annoying voice, and for adding an unnecessary squick factor to Leela. Thankfully, she only appeared in one episode.
    • Yivo, despite being the main antagonist of The Beast with a Billion Backs is not really villainous or evil but he is hated for forcing almost everyone in the universe into a relationship with him, meaning that he forcibly put his tentacles into people's necks and was revealed to be "mating" with those people through those tentacles, meaning that Yivo was technically raping them. Despite how serious his crimes where, he got away with everything and was Easily Forgiven for it, and was also an Invincible Villain due to being entirely composed of electromatter.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Generally agreed to not have gotten anywhere near as severe a case as its sister show, but the Comedy Central episodes and made-for-DVD movies are viewed by some as inferior to the earlier FOX episodes.
    • Futurama post-revival (Seasons 6 and 7) are also viewed as some of the weaker seasons, where plots started to be more anvilicious (see above), make reference to recent events that had fallen by the wayside by the time the episode aired, more outlandish (as in, Theory of Narrative Causality so much it's a borderline Ass Pull), and also doing a Two Lines, No Waiting plot (for Matt Groening shows, this usually means we end up with two mediocre plots instead of one decent one). However, despite these flaws, these two seasons still have several beloved episodes, and are usually seen in hindsight as pretty good, however, they fail to live up to the original FOX run in terms of consistency.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Its down-to-earth and humorous portrayal of complex scientific concepts, and its depiction of such things as "the big bang" and "the heat death of the universe" makes it one for Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics, this is especially true of the episode "Naturama".
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • A spritz from Zoidberg's empathy bladder actually *does* sound relaxing, if a bit gross.
    • That Guy (Steve Castle) from "Future Stock" is a parody of a ruthless 80s corporate raider, and also completely correct about everything while never even breaking any laws. He manages to legitimately raise the value of Planet Express to massive levels in about a week via a smart PR campaign, and if his deal with MomCorp had gone forth, every member of the cast would've been a millionaire. Lampshaded near the end of the episode where Leela basically admits as much.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The main theme, to both Pierre Henry's original "Psyché Rock" and the Fatboy Slim remix thereof; the influence of the latter is especially obvious in the extended version.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: Surprisingly enough, despite its occasionally horrifying moments, there's an entire subreddit dedicated to falling asleep to the show.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • After it was revealed that Igner was Farnsworth's son, that gave the show potential for story ideas after it was Un-Canceled. However, after the reveal, Igner stayed a side character and it was never brought up again.
    • The writers didn't really do anything with Nibbler once the crew found out he could talk. In fact, he only appeared in about 4-5 episodes of the Comedy Central run, in which he spoke in only about 3 episodes.
  • Ugly Cute: Fry's pet bone vampire, Mr. Peppy. It looks like a hideous monster and has corrosive body fluids, but acts like a puppy and loves Fry (and to an extent, the rest of the Planet Express Crew).
  • Uncanny Valley: Leela with two eyes, as seen in "The Cyber House Rules". After getting accustomed to seeing her with one big eye throughout the series, she looks incredibly off with two smaller eyes.
  • 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.
    • "A Flight to Remember" features a sub-plot that follows the best-known story beats from Titanic (1997), which was still being referenced/parodied in pop culture at the time of the episode's first broadcast.
    • "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.
    • "I Dated A Robot" involves celebrities' personalities being downloaded onto blank robots through a company called (Kid)Nappster. This is dated to the early 2000s when the Napster media-sharing service was popular, but which has since been shut down. The writers acknowledge this on the DVD Commentary.
    • "300 Big Boys" was based on big news in mid-2001 about plans for the newly-elected George W. Bush to give a $300 tax rebate to American taxpayers, owing to a budget surplus. It was dated even by the time it aired, because it finally did so two years later in June 2003, well after the September 11th attacks and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq ended those plans.
    • "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.
    • "The-Duh-Vinci-Code" makes a crack at Leonardo being unable to determine the mass of the Higgs Boson. At the time of its production (July 2010), researchers at the Large Hadron Collider famously furiously attempted to discover it. It was discovered in March 2013.
    • "That Darn Katz!" is made up largely of LOLCats jokes at their peak of popularity. They are still reasonably popular now but have been slipping out of the mainstream.
    • "A Farewell to Arms" is a parody of the supposed end of the world in 2012, complete with a stone calendar supposedly predicting this, a belief that was extremely common and widely made fun of in the months leading up to December 2012 but which fell from cultural relevancy shortly thereafter.
    • "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.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Leonardo Da Vinci in "The-Duh-Vinci-Code". The fact that he built a device solely to kill the rest of the population of his planet is supposed to be seen as some sort of great Moral Event Horizon and is even lampshaded by Fry's horrified reaction. However, he comes off as much more tragic due to the fact that the rest of his race were complete and utter jerkasses who bullied him, mocked him, belittled him, and harassed him all his life just because he wasn't as smart as the rest of his population. Given how several people in real life can be severely traumatized from excessive bullying from just a few days and how he had to put up with being bullied for several millennia due to their advanced lifespans, he comes of more of a would-be Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds than anything else. And his race showing pity for Da Vinci after his death comes off as more hypocritical of them than anything else.
    • The Aesop of "I, Roomate" would seem to be "two people can be friends and not necessarily compatible in living together". Instead, Fry gets treated as the jerk for not wanting to leave a great home that isn't a good fit for Bender, because Bender is upset about them not being roommates any more. Leela pretty much scolds Fry into moving back in with Bender even though Bender's "apartment" is literally a closet that's unfit for human habitation, and Fry had been miserable in it before. Everything turns out fine because there's actually a perfectly decent living space behind the cubbyhole, but Leela didn't know that—she was basically telling Fry to suck it up so Bender wouldn't be sad.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Fry in "Game of Tones". His desire to spend time with a dream simulation of his deceased mother is totally understandable... except that by doing so, he's willfully ignoring his mission and jeopardizing every actual living person on Earth.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Zoidberg is the In-Universe Scrappy to the other characters, but he's very popular amongst fans.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: The Comedy Central series is a lot more prone to referencing topical events that end up being yesterday's news not long after the episode airs. "Attack of the Killer App" alone has iPhones, Twitter, Susan Boyle, and references to Jared from the Subway adverts at the same time.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: In the mid 2000s, there were passionate child fans of the show who were in the 7-12 range. Even though it may look like a cool animated sitcom about outer space (and is overall much tamer compared to shows such as, say, Family Guy), at times it can be darker, edgier, and racier than Matt Groening's other animated sitcom, The Simpsons. This didn't stop the Arabic kids station Spacetoon from airing a heavily Bowdlerized dub of the first two seasons. All the more baffling is that Spacetoon did have a separate channel and later block for animation aimed at teens and young adults called Space Power, meaning it could have gone there with less edits.

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