Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Futurama'

Over 300 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Futurama'
Voting Rules
Vote 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. 

Photo: 20th Television

  • 1
    125 VOTES

    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.

    125 votes
  • 2
    159 VOTES

    Billy West Created Fry's Voice For Job Security

    Voice actor Billy West has created a plethora of character voices over the years. On Futurama, he was responsible for Professor Farnsworth, Doctor Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, Richard Nixon's Head, Smitty, Leo Wong, and of course, Philip J. Fry. He made a specific choice when creating Fry's voice.

    West was cast to provide the voices of Farnsworth, Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan before landing Fry, which he did differently from the others. He made the voice the closest to his natural one, saying he thinks of Fry's voice as his own when he was 25. West acknowledged he did this primarily so it would be next to impossible to replace him, making Fry's voice the best job security the voice actor ever had.

    159 votes
  • 3
    205 VOTES

    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."

    205 votes
  • 4
    183 VOTES

    '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.

    183 votes
  • 5
    234 VOTES

    A Math Theorem Was Invented For The Show

    In the episode "The Prisoner of Benda," several characters have their minds swapped out from one person to the other, but they can't return to their own bodies because they can't trade with someone they traded with before.

    It created a mathematical dilemma, but writer Ken Keeler, Ph.D., created and proved a mathematical theorem to work out how the characters could have their minds returned to them. It is the first and only known theorem created for the sole purpose of entertainment, and it was shown on screen (pictured), briefly.

    234 votes
  • 6
    94 VOTES

    There's A Trick To Hypnotoad's Signature Sound

    If you play the Hypnotoad's signature sound for more than half a second, and a Futurama fan is within earshot, they'll probably come running with a smile on their face. The Hypnotoad's signature sound is certainly distinct and otherworldly, but in reality, the sound was created using something relatively mundane.

    The sound, which is technically called "Angry Machine," was originally the result of someone erroneously hitting a button that elicited an auditory notice in the editing program used by the show. It's not clear who hit the button, but audio editor Paul Calder apparently liked what he heard, so he looped it and created the sound.

    It was initially supposed to be a temporary placeholder, but everyone on the staff loved it, so they decided to keep it, and Hypnotoad became an internet meme celebrity.

    94 votes