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Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Futurama'

List RulesVote up the fun facts about 'Futurama' you learned today.

Futurama, which first aired in 1999, has become one of the most popular animated series of all time. That's despite the fact that it was canceled by Fox. Fans didn't stop trying to get it back, which led to four new movies and three additional seasons. The show, which moved to Comedy Central, ended in 2013.

Many fans have watched the episodes numerous times, and although they are certainly knowledgeable, there are still plenty of things even they probably don't know about Futurama. After all, the writing is filled with scientific Easter eggs and jokes many people don't pick up on until a third or fourth viewing. This list includes interesting facts about the show many people might have missed or never learned. 

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    The Writing Staff Was Smart... REALLY Smart

    Futurama is filled with jokes and innuendo related to numerous fields in science and mathematics, likely due to the writing staff's education credentials.

    Collectively, the Futurama writing staff had three Ph.Ds, seven master's degrees, and more than 50 years of education at Harvard University. Futurama writer Patric M. Verrone said of the staff, "We were easily the most overeducated cartoon writers in history."

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    'Futurama' Pays Attention To Details

    In the pilot episode, after Fry meets Bender on New Year's Eve 2999 and joins him in his desperate flight from Leela, they make their way into the Head Museum. When they're about to go inside, Bender pulls him toward the building, saying they should hide in there because "it's free on Tuesdays."

    A little research reveals that December 31, 2999, will indeed be a Tuesday.

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    The Series' Saddest Episode Could Have Been Sadder

    Futurama has several emotionally draining episodes. The one often cited as the saddest of all is "Jurassic Bark," in which Fry's dog, Seymour, is found to have been flash-fossilized, making it possible for the Professor to clone him.

    This creates a conflict between Fry and Bender, who sees himself as Fry's best friend, and Seymour is nearly lost in a pool of magma. In the end, Fry decides not to clone his dog, who the Professor determines has lived a full life after surviving Fry's 20th-century disappearance by several years. The tears come as a montage reveals that Seymour waited for Fry until the day he passed.

    Apparently, the episode could have been even more heartbreaking because the first idea kicked around was to have Fry's mother fossilized instead of Seymour. The writers scrapped that idea because they thought it would be too upsetting. They briefly considered fossilizing his father, but discarded that idea for the same reason. In the end, the episode was still incredibly sad and depressing.

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    'Futurama' Needed To Create A Second Alien Language

    The world of New New York in the year 3000 is filled with images and text from an alien language. It's a nice little add-in for fans who want to decipher the text, a fairly simple alphabet substitution. Seeing ads for something like Slurm, but written in Alienese, fans were able to determine which symbol replaces S-L-U-R-M to break the code.

    Fans quickly deciphered the substitution alphabet, so the writers and animators got together to create a second language, another form of cipher alphabet. Instead of simply substituting a letter for a symbol, each letter is assigned a numerical value. The number 0 is equal to A, and so on. For the other letters, you subtract the previous symbol's numerical value. If the result is less than zero, you add 26, then convert that number into a character.

    Fans figured out the second language, as well, so Matt Groening ordered the creation of a third. Unfortunately, it was so complex, adding it to the show would have been too difficult. Several tools are available online devoted to Futurama's many languages, including this decoder/encoder.

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