The Animation Corner: Top 10 “Futurama” Episodes

BENJAMIN K. PAPLHAM | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNISTPasted Graphic 21.jpg

I finished all 140 episodes of “Futurama” last week, and now I’m in a transitional period, seeking fulfillment for the empty space the show left behind. To help me cross that bridge, I compiled my top 10 favorite episodes. For fellow fans, I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me. (Warning: spoilers ahead)

10. Fry and Leela’s Big Fling (Season 7. Episode 17)

The big reveal that Fry and Leela’s vacation is just an elaborate zoo exhibit is my favorite twist within an episode. It’s horrifying, invasive and utterly hilarious.

“The act of love is a beautiful and natural—oh my God! Cover your eyes!” ~ Dr. Zoidberg

9. Meanwhile (7.26)

The montage of Fry and Leela growing old together is a perfect way to end the series, but the fact that they won’t remember sleeping on pandas is disappointing.

“He sure has a lot of blood for a little guy.”  ~ Leela

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8. Saturday Morning Fun Pit (7.19)

I laughed so hard at Nixon’s voiceovers that my vision blurred with tears and I had to press pause because I couldn’t breathe.

“I, uh, landed the plane safely next to this naturally occurring fireball at Disneyland. Hi Tinker Bell!” ~ President Nixon

7. Jurassic Bark (4.7)

David Cohen originally wanted the episode to have Fry’s mom be fossilized instead of Seymour, but the idea was scrapped because they thought it would make the audience too sad. The producers still received a lot of hate mail about the ending.

“I’ll never forget him. But he forgot me a long, long time ago.” ~ Fry

6. Murder on the Planet Express (7.24)

Once I first watched this episode, I figured I wouldn’t find it as funny in subsequent viewings since I already knew the shock surprises. If anything, it’s more hilarious because of all the parody and allusions I missed the first time.

“Bad news, everyone. The creature is a shape-shifter.” ~ Prof. Farnsworth

5. The Sting (4.12)

I still feel awful that I laughed during Fry’s funeral. To be fair, a kilt-wearing Scruffy playing “Walking on Sunshine” on bagpipes is a thing of beauty.

“All those times I said, ‘Kill all humans,’ I’d always whisper ‘Except one.’” ~ Bender

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4. The Prisoner of Benda (6.10)

Every science fiction series (if they last that long) has an episode where the main characters switch bodies. Except “Futurama” writer Ken Keeler took it to the next level when he devised a real-life mathematical theorem just to use for this episode.

“Admit it! You’re disgusted by me!” ~ Fry in Zoidberg’s body

3. Godfellas (3.20)

Everyone would agree that Bender is the worst figure to become a god, but the uncomfortable dilemma I ask myself is, “Would I have done any better?” Personally, I’m impressed Bender lasted as long as he did.

“When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.” ~ “God”

2. The Luck of the Fryish (3.4)

I believe Fry secretly hoped Yancy had stolen his identity. If his family hadn’t missed Fry, then he doesn’t have to feel guilty about having exciting adventures in the future. But his nephew’s headstone reminds Fry exactly what he’s sacrificed and how his family suffered afterward.

“Here lies Philip J. Fry, named for his uncle, to carry on his spirit.” ~ Memorial marker

1. The Devil’s Hands are Idle Playthings (4.18)

Fry sacrificing himself for Leela is a reoccurring theme in “Futurama,” but no episode presents it as bittersweetly as the original series finale. It’s the epitome of the show itself: deadpan irony and cruel comedy but able to strike an emotional chord when it needs to.

“You can’t just have your characters announce how they feel. That makes me feel angry!” ~ Robot Devil

Honorable Mentions:

Mars University (1.11)

Parasites Lost (3.2)

The Bots and the Bees (7.1)

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