Futurama (TV Series 1999–2013) Poster



The show was canceled in May of 2002. The last first-run episode of the show aired on August 10, 2003. In 2006, Billy West announced on his website that 26 new episodes had been ordered, but then later retracted the announcement, stating that series co-creator David X. Cohen had corrected him "with a hammer". Instead, four feature-length direct-to-DVD releases were produced. Comedy Central later brought the show back in June of 2010.
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Bender's apartment door number, 00100100, is binary for the dollar sign $.
The sound of the Hypnotoad is a recording of a turbine engine played backwards.
One of the more subtle running jokes in the show is that in the future, owls have replaced pigeons and rats as being pests. If you look carefully in many episodes, you can see owls pecking at food on the ground or coming out of mouse holes.
Futurama was the name of the famous General Motors exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair that depicted a futuristic landscape.
Hermes' original name was Dexter, and he was not Jamaican until after the first of his lines were recorded.
Matt Groening actually bought the rights to use the "30th Century Fox" logo after Fox said they shouldn't use it. A couple months later, Fox said they loved it.
Creator Matt Groening admits to naming Bender the robot after John Bender, a character in The Breakfast Club (1985).
According to Matt Groening, viewers were able to decipher the alien language that is sometimes seen in the background the same night as the pilot episode aired. The only primer for the code in that episode was a sign that read "Drink Slurm". The sign appeared once with the word "Drink" written in the alien code and once in plain English. This resulted in the producers creating a second, more complex alien code to be seen in the background of later episodes.
Dr. Zoidberg had teeth in the first few episodes.
Bender's first words were, "Bite my shiny metal ass."
Zapp Brannigan is loosely based on Star Trek (1966)'s Captain James T. Kirk. It's intended to show how it would be if William Shatner was the captain instead of Kirk.
J is Matt Groening's favorite middle initial in tribute to Jay Ward, creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle (Bullwinkle J. Moose) and other classics; hence the J in Philip J. Fry, Hubert J. Farnsworth, Cubert J. Farnsworth, Homer J. Simpson, Abraham J. Simpson, and Bart J. Simpson.
In the first episode, the date is December 31st, 2999 and Bender says "go in there [head museum], it's free on Tuesdays" and December 31st, 2999 actually is a Tuesday.
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth is named after the inventor Philo T. Farnsworth, one of the pioneers of television, whose invention was premiered at the 1939 New York World's Fair, along with the Futurama exhibit.
In the episode "The Luck of the Fryrish", Fry screams out, "HOWARD STERN IS OVERRATED!" Billy West, the voice of Fry, was a regular on Howard Stern's radio show for many years.
The show's creators said that after the show was cancelled it occurred to them that they should have done a parody of Martin Scorsese's films and called the episode "Gangs of New New York".
Matt Groening has said that he got the idea for the show from listening to a song by The Incredible String Band called "Robot Blues."
Bender's antenna has been used as the following: an antenna, a timer button for his internal digital camera, a beer pump lever, mailbox flag, a measure of his manhood, a popcorn butter dispenser lever, a pager vibrator, a flushing lever, a cooking timer, an alarm clock snooze button (accidentally by Fry), a voice mail alert light, a voice mail "delete all" button, "little bender", a cap for a beer still, binary time machine activator, motor oil suntan lotion dispenser and an audio tape dispenser button. As well as a laser rock show.
At the beginning of the show, during the opening credits and theme song, there is always something different displayed in text at the bottom of the screen. At the very end of the theme song, there is always something different displayed on the screen before the ship crashes into it. This is reminiscent of Matt Groening's cult phenomenon of The Simpsons (1989), as there are three distinctly varying elements in the intro music as well. (Bart's chalkboard writings, the method of the family sitting down on the couch and Lisa's saxophone solo as she leaves band practice.)
Billy West was inspired by Lou Jacobi's performance in The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) when he was creating the character of Zoidberg. He imagined Zoidberg to have Yiddish mannerisms because of the last name. He also said he was attracted to the idea of a doctor that was poor.
Crater Face, the mascot of Luna Park, is based on the "moon with a face" from the 1902 film A Trip to the Moon (1902).
Katey Sagal is the only member of the regular cast not to voice multiple characters. She is also the only one to use her natural voice (ie. she doesn't disguise it).
Matt Groening named Turanga Leela after Louise Jameson's character in the British science fiction TV series Doctor Who (1963). Coincidentally, "lila" (pronounced "lila") means "purple" in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish.
The hieroglyphics in the opening titles read: "Tasty Human Burgers". There are also two other examples of that alphabet (one just on the left a few frames after the ship passes through the R, and one during a quick pan to the right).
Fry's favorite song is "Walking on Sunshine".
Lines of an unknown language, similar to hieroglyphics can be seen in varying locations throughout the intro song. According to Matt Groening, the glyphs *do* mean something, and it's up to loyal viewers to figure them out.
Characters intended for one-time appearances, such as Professor Wernstrom, were brought back because the writers liked them so much.
When he started working on Futurama, David S. Cohen (I) joined the Writer's Guild. Since there was already a David S. Cohen in the Writer's Guild, he changed the S to an X because he felt it was more "sci-fi-ish."
In one episode it is said that they can translate the second alien language, but only into beta crypt 3, a language so complex that it is even less likely to understand, this is an inside joke, because the second alien language is in fact beta crypt 2 with symbols replacing the initial alphabet.
The character of Zapp Branagan, which was patterned after William Shatner's James Tiberius Kirk was specially written for Phil Hartman. When Hartman was murdered, the role was given to Billy West - who actually impersonates Phil Hartman when he does it.
As the opening credits cut to the final shot, just before the Planet Express Ship crashes, several characters are seen moving through one of the transport tubes. The very first guy to go through is reading a news paper, the headline reads, "Moon pie fight in Mars Bar."
The character Cubert (the Professor's clone) was initially conceived as being somebody who would point out all of the show's inconsistencies and plot holes. The idea was that he would be the voice of obsessed fans that paid far too much attention to detail. Unfortunately, the writers couldn't figure out a way to introduce him until Season 2, and aside from his debut episode he never took on his original intended role.
Matt Groening modeled the look of Bender after the robot Necron 99/Peace from the 1977 Ralph Bakshi animated post-apocalyptic fantasy film Wizards (1977).
Fry, Leela and Bender are the only characters to appear in every episode. Professor Farnsworth appears in every episode except for Futurama: Where No Fan Has Gone Before (2002) and Futurama: The Why of Fry (2003) while Dr. Zoidberg appears in every episode except for Futurama: Space Pilot 3000 (1999), Futurama: Mars University (1999) and Futurama: Brannigan, Begin Again (1999).
Leela's costume choice is inspired by the popular female heroines that have graced famous science fiction films. Starting in the pilot episode, she takes off her jacket to reveal a white tank top underneath. The fashion is believed to have originated with Sigourney Weaver in Alien (1979) and has been copied by Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and Carrie-Anne Moss in Red Planet (2000).
Some of the show's sound effects are from other science-fiction television series, including The Jetsons (1962) and Star Trek (1966).
EASTER EGG: In volume 4, there is an easter egg that can be found by clicking on the robot devil's hands. Doing this will start a table read of the final episode.
Zapp Brannigan's portrait in his captain's quarters is based on the famous White House portrait of US President John F. Kennedy. They are both in the same distinctive pose, arms crossed against the chest and solemnly looking downward.
Writer/producer David X. Cohen is a Dungeons and Dragons player. References to the game have been included in the show, including a cameo by D&D creator E. Gary Gygax, and 'Al Gore' referring to himself as a "10th level vice-president". At least two D&D monsters have made appearances as well: a Rust Monster at a veterinarian's office, and a beholder appearing as a guard in the bureaucratic building. The third straight-to-DVD Futurama feature film, Futurama: Bender's Game (2008), also uses a lot of D&D references, and is, in fact, hugely based on the game. The credits tribute the film to the memory of Mr. Gygax.
According to an interview with Kevin Pollak, Billy West stated that 200 people auditioned for Futurama, including Ryan Stiles who auditioned for Fry.
Throughout the seasons Bender has admitted to being 40% titanium, 40% scrap metal, and 40% luck. Also the third world workers in Futurama: Attack of the Killer App (2010) say he is 40% chromium. (Not to mention the episode Forty Percent Leadbelly)
Originally aired on Fox, and canceled in season 5. The last episode aired August 2003. In June 2009, Comedy Central announced that it will revive the show with new episodes. The first episode of season 6 then aired in June 2010.
Billy West used Dr.Zoiberg's voice in the movie Joe's Apartment (1996).
In the UK, the series was released the same day as Family Guy (1999).
The concept of having a celebrities head in a jar was originally used in The Simpsons: Bart Gets Famous (1994). Bart sees himself in the future on TV show Match Game in which Bart is special guest as the boy who said "I didn't do it". Regular guest Kitty Carlisle appears as a head in a jar.
Billy West auditioned for Bender. He played it like a construction worker.
DVD EASTER EGG: Season 4, disc 3. Go into the sub menu for "Where no fan has gone before". Highlight the option "HOME". Press "RIGHT" on the DVD remote to display the Planet Express ship in the menu. Press "PLAY" to start a behind the scenes video.
John DiMaggio said in an interview with Kevin Pollak that he was channeling Slim Pickens and a drunken boxer among other sources when he created the part of Bender.
Other titles thought of for the show were 'Aloha Mars!' and 'Doomsville'.
Leela's full name is Turanga Leela. This is a reference to French composer Olivier Messiaen's "Turangalîla-Symphonie" (1948), an 80 minute work in ten movements for piano, ondes Martenot and orchestra. The name "Turangalîla" derives from two Sanskrit words which may be translated a number of ways, including "love song".
The show went through only four production cycles, but not all the episodes from cycle four were aired during the fourth broadcast season. These were held over for a fifth season before cancellation took effect. The original DVDs were not released in seasons, but rather according to the production cycles. For this reason, there were only four volumes, though all the original episodes were included.
In the season 7 episode, "the duh-vinci code", the crew heads down to the tombs looking for saint James. they find Roman numerals to indicate how many paces to take... II*XI- (XXIII×LXXXIX) OR 2*11- (23×89) OR 2048 - 2047= 1
One of Bender's secret fantasies is to be a folk-singer.
The final 2 minutes of the final Futurama: Meanwhile (2013) hints at the possibility of a reboot and that the reboot could be given the Star Trek (1966) and Terminator Genisys (2015) treatment. With Professor Farnsworth, elderly Fry and Leela entering a new time line via the Time Button.
Planet Express is a package delivery company; however, very few packages actually get delivered.
The show uses sound effects from Space: Above and Beyond (1995).
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The show's cold openings were phased out in the latter part of the series.
The tune Bender is sometimes heard whistling is the Harlem Globetrotters theme song, Sweet Georgia Brown.
The Wongs' Mars ranch house is modeled after the Benedicts' house in Giant (1956).
The television announcer Morbo is modelled after the aliens in the 1957 sci-fi movie Invasion of the saucer men.
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In Greek mythology, Hermes was the messenger of the Gods. This makes the name appropriate for someone who works for a delivery company.
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Bender is considered to be a robotic version of Homer Simpson.
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The long-running British science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf (1988) is considered as a possible influence behind Futurama (1999). Like Dave Lister, Fry is frozen in suspended animation and is revived centuries later.
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Chef Elzar squeezing a body of Spice Weasel to propel a cloud of spices from its snout is reference to Mulan (1998), when Mulan squeezes Mushu to propel a sparks of fire from its mouth.
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Considered to be the American version of Red Dwarf (1988).
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Bender's last name is Rodriguez.
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Bender is 40% titanium.
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In the episode "Naturama" the "Scruffy salmon" is eaten by the lobster that looks like Zoidberg. However, he is still seen several times later in the episode.
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Tauranga is a city in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand. Leela's first name is Turanga.
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It's revealed in Futurama: A Big Piece of Garbage (1999) that Ron Popeil (likeness and voice) appears and reveals that he invented the technology to keep disembodied human heads alive.
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Futurama: Xmas Story (1999) was the last episode to air in the 20th century (ie. the year 1999). Futurama: Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love? (2000) is the first episode of the year 2000 (ie. the third millennium).
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It's mentioned in Futurama: Raging Bender (2000) that Bender weighs 535 pounds (243Kg).
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During the opening credits, Amy, Hermes, Zoidberg, Kif, Zapp, and URL, among others, can be seen riding in the tubes.
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Nicole Sullivan was originally cast as Leela.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Nibbler's shadow can be seen in the pilot right before Fry falls into the cryogenic tube. Later during the series it is revealed that it was actually Nibbler who pushed Fry into the cryogenic tube.
In Volume 4 DVD an Easter Egg can be found by clicking on the sandwiches in the fridge. It reveals a long alien message, the message reads: "This DVD includes a specially encoded Easter egg which you are now meticulously translating from an alien language because you have no life and are a compulsive nerdlinger, how sad. It's especially sad if you don't speak English and you have to translate the alien language into English and then into your own tongue and you come upon a word like nerdlinger which really isn't a word at all, but still aptly describes someone who would actually translate such a word twice and those of you who are reading this translation on a Futurama newsgroup aren't any better. We lurk on those newsgroups and we know what nerdlingers you guys are, too, of course, you're also probably our biggest fans, which is sad in its own way, but since you went to all this trouble to translate an Easter egg we do owe you something, so here's a secret about the show. The writers, producers, directors, and most of the actors who worked on the show are all nerdlingers too."

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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