10 Best Futurama Episodes
While we are enormous fans of the greatest animated TV show currently on the air, we will be the first to admit that season 7 (or season 6, depending on who you ask) of Futurama has seen a dip in quality. Not that it’s terrible. It’s still better than anything seen in the last six or seven years The Simpsons has produced. And it’s leaps and bounds ahead of the overrated and unfunny Family Guy.
In 2009, ING came out with a list of their top 25 Futurama episodes. Some we agreed with. Others we didn’t. Basically, 25 is probably too many when there were only 72 full episodes at the time. So, like we usually do, we compiled our own list instead. Here are our top 10 episodes of Futurama.
10. A Flight to Remember
In one of the best episodes of the show’s first season, Professor Farnworth treats the Planet Express crew to a cruise on the newest and largest space cruiser ever built. You guessed it: The Titanic. The episode is a funny spoof on that one indie-flick you may have heard of. Here, the entire Futurama ensemble is featured together for the first time, from Captain Zapp Brannigan and his lowly first mate Kiff, to Amy’s overbearing but filthy rich parents. While Fry poses as “boyfriend” for Amy and Leela, Bender meets a first class fembot, The Countess. It’s this relationship that reveals Bender to be more human than we’ve seen him before, and perhaps ever do again.
9. Leela’s Homeworld
Leela has always believed herself to be an alien from an unknown planet, and maybe even the last of her cyclops kind. It isn’t until this fourth season highlight that we find out that, not only are her parents still alive, but that she’s also not an alien. She’s human. Okay, to be more accurate, she’s a mutant… from the sewers. It’s not the greatest in terms of laughs, but it adds a gratifying and bittersweet conclusion to the story arc of Leela’s lonely past.
8. The Problem with Popplers
The lovely Leela is on another one of her moral crusades, but this time, fixing a problem she started. Earth has developed a fealty for the delicious morsels (popplers) found on a distant planet by Leela herself. Once she discovers the popplers are actually live animals, however, she tries to persuade everyone else to give up the addiction too. Here, we are treated to Lrrr’s best episode. As ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8, and king of the recently consumed popplers, the alien overlord has vowed to take vengeance on Earth and demand that, as penance, he eats the first person to ever consume one of their young. In classic Futurama irony, that person is, of course, Leela.
7. Why Must I Be A Crustacean in Love?
Poor Dr. Zoidberg. The guy just can’t catch a break. His hormones are raging, and he has no other member of his species to mate with. The Professor takes Zoidberg (along with Fry, Leela, and Bender, for some reason) to his home planet so the good doctor can participate in his nation’s sex fest. He meets Edna, and old classmate, who couldn’t be less interested. But with Fry’s help, he woos her by pretending to be interested in her personal life and her feelings. The only problem? Edna finds out and thinks she’s in love with Fry! It’s a spoof on and old Star Trek episode, but it’s the funniest we ever see Dr. Zoidberg, and it’s the best episode of season two.
The episode takes place on a seemingly deserted planet that the crew and passengers (after converting the delivery company to a commercial airline) crashed upon. A mysterious rock-thing tells them they must work together to reach the Cave of Harmony before the planet’s temperature burns them up. The men and the women form teams, and, as they refuse to cooperate with one another, have their genitalia manipulated by the giant magical boulder. While not the most philosophical episode, it does answer the age-old questions: What would the show be like if the boys were girls and the girls were boys? What if they had no genders at all?
5. A Tale of Two Santas
Any episode featuring John Goodman’s killer Robot Santa is a must-see, but his funniest outing is in “A Tale of Two Santas.” Bender, Fry, and Leela stop over at Neptune (where Santa resides) to try and undo this evil cyborg once and for all. Their plan (kind of) works. After trapping Santa in ice, Bender assumes his role. But no one on Earth is aware of this. Every time Bender makes a stop, someone tries to kill him in what they think is self-defense. This was once referred to as a lost episode, as the censors at Fox refused to let it air in its 7PM time slot, due to the violent nature of Santa. It had to sit on the shelf for a year before it was allowed to be seen… and at a later time of day.
4. Time Keeps on Slippin’
It’s the episode where Fry and Leela finally tie the knot! Okay, they get divorced (or annulled) within seconds, but still. Thanks to another crazy experiment by Dr. Farnsworth, time is now skipping forward at exponential rates. The only way to stop it is to realign the stars. But first, Fry wants to figure out what he did to make Leela want to marry him… since their marriage and divorce flashed within seconds, and no knows how or why it happened. It’s touching and poignant, and lets us know that Fry and Leela’s love may (or may not be) written in the stars after all.
3. Fry and the Slurm Factory
Yes, it’s the famous Slurm Factory. The Slurm Factory that manufactures Fry’s favorite soft drink much like the way Willie Wonka manufactured his chocolate (in the good version). It might be the most famous Futurama episodes out there, and for good reason. It’s the episode that made us fans in the first place. But not only is it on our list for sentimental reasons, it’ll also make you laugh until your sides hurt. From the growly Slurm Queen and her excreting rear end, to the musical Grunka-Lunkas, the episode is top-notch from start to finish.
2. Bend Her
Bender decides to enter the 3004 Olympic Games, but as a fembot (he can’t possibly win against the other male bender bots). He then strikes up a confusing (but funny) relationship with robot thespian Calculon. Is Bender better as a Fembot? Or is it that Bender is so incredibly sexist that whenever he tries to act like a woman he comes off so offensive that we can’t find ourselves able to stop laughing? If you haven’t already guessed, it’s the latter. The result? Some of the absolute best quotes from the entire series, and some of the most humorous moments.
1. The Luck of the Fryrish
Fry wants to track down his lucky seven-leaf clover from 1000 years ago, but discovers that his brother stole his past identity. And the more he finds, the more he realizes everything that he missed out on. The episode has moments of hilarity that come to a very emotional ending as Fry contemplates his losses at his family’s graveside, while the appropriate “Don’t You Forget About Me,” from The Breakfast Club plays in the background.