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.
Opening Caption: "Time Travelers: Only 331 Shopping Days 'til last Xmas"
"The Futurama Holiday Spectacular" was a mid-season special dropped in November of 2010. The episode contained three segments sponsored by Gunderson's Unshelled Nuts, one of many fake products from the Futurama universe.
The first segment was about bringing back the long-extinct pine tree so Fry could celebrate Xmas the same way he did in the 20th century. (FYI in the 31st century they use palm trees in place of pine.) Things don't go well when radiation gets involved.
The second segment revolves around the celebration of Robanukah, a holiday Bender made up to get out of doing work, and the third segment finds the crew searching for beeswax to create traditional beeswax candles for Kwanzaa.
Why it falls short: The episode has the lowest rating of all Futurama episodes, but it's not entirely clear as to why. It may have been due to being released mid-season, which made it feel like a break from the normal flow of the series, and some fans may have felt alienated due to the environmental and religious themes in an otherwise secular program.6551A bad episode?
Opening Caption: "Deciphered From Crop Circles"
In "That's Lobstertainment," it becomes clear that Doctor Zoidberg isn't good at much of anything. He's a terrible doctor, and as this episode proves, he's only funny when he's not trying to be. Following a horrible stand-up performance, Zoidberg reaches out to his uncle, Harold Zoid, a master comic from the era of silent holograms.
Harold is holed up in a retirement home and is miserable at being forgotten, so he jumps at the opportunity to help his nephew by helping himself. The two hatch a scheme to produce a movie by enlisting Bender in scamming Calculon to finance and star in the project, which bombs horribly.
Because they promised Calculon would win an Oscar for his work, he threatens to end the pair. At the award show, Zoidberg rushes the stage and presents the award to his uncle, and Calculon lets them off the hook out of respect for Harold.
Why it falls short: The whole point of this episode is slapstick silliness, which didn't really align with the rest of the series. Hamming up each performance simply to ham it up doesn't necessarily make something funny; it makes it ridiculous.6364A bad episode?
Opening Caption: "Scratch Here To Reveal Prize"
In "A Leela of Her Own," Leela, Fry, and Bender head to the local pizza place to meet their business neighbors. The owners, being from Cygnoid, know little to nothing about what Earthlings eat or do, so the gang offers to play blernsball with them as a sort of primer on Earth customs. When Leela steps on the mound to pitch, she immediately beans every player at-bat.
Noticing this, Abner Doubleday, the owner of the New New York Mets, puts her on the roster as a novelty act, but Leela takes it seriously. Unfortunately, all she can do is bean a player on the head, and the fans love it. In a desperate attempt to become "not the worst blernsball player in history," she enlists the aid of Hank Aaron XXIV to help her improve so that she doesn't replace him as the worst blernsball player of all time.
She almost manages to do it, but in the end, she pitches a ball hit by a female player who takes the game seriously, and the opposing team wins the game.
Why it falls short: The episode wasn't entirely bad, but it wasn't entirely great either. It did show fans a little more of blernsball, which had been introduced in "Fear of a Bot Planet." Other than that, the interactions with the rarely seen Cygnoids and other characters were unforgettable, and Leela's status as a major league ballplayer is never mentioned again despite the fact that she's the worst player in history.4960A bad episode?
Opening Caption: "There will be a test"
"Attack of the Killer App" makes fun of Apple by putting Mom in the role of Steve Jobs. When news of her company's newest eyePhone reaches the group, they get in line to get one, and the line stretches for miles, as everyone wants the new device. Once installed, the phone projects a holographic display in front of the user, and the group quickly find themselves engrossed in their own little worlds.
When Bender and Fry begin to compete over who can get the most followers from their funny videos, a bet is placed, and a vomiting, diarrhea-spewing goat, fills a pool for the loser to dive into. Desperate, Fry records a very private moment of Leela's and promises not to post it, but he ultimately does.
Leela becomes a viral sensation, and when Fry and Bender's followers each reach one million, a virus is enabled, which turns all of the eyePhone's users into slaves. They aren't slaves in the traditional sense; rather, they are slaves to the product. As the episode comes to an end, armies of zombie-like eyePhone users are flocking to their local Mom store to buy the newest gadget that just went on sale.
Why it falls short: Many viewers praised the episode for its satire, but some, like Sean Gandert of Paste, criticized the boil joke as being "a horrifically stupid joke that dominates and largely ruins the second part of the episode."4268A bad episode?