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The 15 Worst 'Futurama' Episodes Ever

April 14, 2020 1.5k votes 168 voters 6.2k views15 items

Futurama is one of the greatest animated series ever to reach the airwaves, and despite being canceled by FOX, the show returned to complete a total of seven seasons and 140 episodes. Now, calling any episode of Futurama the "worst" is essentially saying it's the one with the lowest rating on sites like IMDb. Essentially, the worst of the best, if you will.

The episodes found below are the ones at the very bottom of the list, such that they have the fewest fans coming back to watch them time and time again due to some bad moments, or perhaps because the humor hasn't aged quite as well (which is kind of ironic considering it's a show about the future). Regardless of how bad (or great) these episodes are, there's no denying the magic of Futurama. In fact, even rounding up a list of bad Futurama episodes was a chore in and of itself, which is a testament to the creative genius behind the show.

Check out all the worst episodes of Futurama according to IMDb and vote up all the less-than-stellar episodes of an otherwise standout show.

  • Photo: FOX

    Opening Caption: "Apply directly to the eyes"

    In "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela," a probe has returned to Earth after more than a thousand years, and it threatens to destroy the planet because of sleaze. The probe was actually a satellite launched by the FCC, known as the "V-chip," which censored inappropriate content. It crashed and merged into another satellite launched by the Air Force, which was called the "USAFFlying Density." When the two became one, it took on the name "V-GINY," and became a death sphere intend on destroying all indecency in the universe.

    Inevitably, the crew of the Planet Express ship gets involved, as does Zap Brannigan, as they attempt to destroy the death sphere before it reaches Earth. Their ship crashes, and Zapp engineers a ruse to try and make love with Leela. When she finds out about his plan, she becomes enraged, but when V-GINY sees them in a veritable garden of Eden, the two are compelled to sleep with one another.

    V-GINY states that their union is "approved for all audiences" and leaves Earth forever.

    Why it falls short: Being the second episode of the sixth season, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" needed to be an episode the fans loved, as it came after a long hiatus in Futurama's broadcasting. Unfortunately, the episode was fairly weak, and while it had some cleverness and interesting cultural references, it played on a theme that had been seen in the show far too often, which was the Earth is about to be destroyed, and only the crew of Planet Express could save it.

      A bad episode?
    • Photo: FOX

      Opening Caption: "Penetrates even the thickest foil hat"

      In "Yo Leela Leela," Leela attempts to entertain the children at the Orphanarium by making up a story. Unfortunately, it becomes horribly clear that Leela lacks imagination, and can't come up with an original story idea to save her life. After some time away, she returns with a fanciful tale filled with animated silly creatures she calls the "Rumbledy-Humps."

      Her tale is immediately picked up for syndication, and the gang all join in to play characters on the show, making production as cheap as possible. Leela enjoys a great deal fo success, but when Bender learns that she stole everything from a group of aliens on a picturesque planet she found, her duplicity comes to light.

      The episode ends with the actual characters finding employment in a reality show for kids, which is pretty much what they had unknowingly been starring in all along.

      Why it falls short: The episode, like many from Season six, took a safe approach to the writing, which was funny and entertaining, but not necessarily risky or trendsetting. Most fans recall the episode with some interest, but there are far better ones people binge-watch over and over again.

        A bad episode?
      • Photo: FOX

        Opening Caption: "Disclaimer: Any Resemblance To Actual Robots Would Be Really Cool"

        "The Route of All Evil" centers mostly around Dwight and Cubert, as they first get in trouble for a"salt"ing a bully, which is then followed by the pair starting a newspaper delivery service. Their fathers are threatened, but ultimately proud of their sons' ambitions, but when Awesome Express takes over Planet Express, Fry, Bender, Leela, and the rest of the gang find themselves employed as newspaper deliverymen and women.

        Eventually, it's revealed that the boys' success stemmed from taking on a huge number of orders, but never delivering any of the newspapers. The professor and Hermes agree to help the kids out of their situation, which ultimately circles back to the home of the bully from the beginning of the episode. Both fathers are beaten to a pulp by the bully's father, who closes out the episode by apologizing to his victims in their hospital room.

        Why it falls short: The main reason people didn't like "The Route of All Evil" was that it centered more on Dwight and Cubert than anyone else. Fry, Leela, and Bender were relegated to support roles, and fans of Futurama didn't like seeing the series' heroes reduced to such a role. 

          A bad episode?
        • Photo: FOX

          Opening Caption: "(Or similar product)"

          "That Darn Katz!" addressed something that had been bothering viewers for years, and that was the status of Amy's Ph.D. candidacy. She was introduced as a Doctoral student in the very first episode, but by Season six, she hadn't made any progress, and this episode takes care of that.

          Amy presents her thesis to a group of Professors, including Professor Katz, who outright objects her thesis. When she confronts him later, it turns out that he's not a human at all, but a cat who was manipulating a large human-shaped dummy! Katz planned on using Amy's thesis to generate energy he could send to his home planet (where all cats originated) to make it spin again.

          The cats employ a cuteness attack that renders the viewer helpless in stopping them, and it even works on robots. Ultimately, Amy is able to stop Katz and his plan, returning the Earth to spinning and simultaneously proving her thesis, which earns her the Ph.D. she had been working on for years.

          Why it falls short: Some of the criticism leveled at the episode centered on how similar its plot was to "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid," which saw Fry saving the world from a similar threat. The overabundance of cuteness overload may not have played as well with dog lovers, and people who generally think of cats as evil creatures who will stop at nothing to knock things off of high shelves.

            A bad episode?