A Futurama Community
Comedy Central (ended 2013)


Futurama has spent most of its life in the animated shadows of bigger shows. It debuted in 1999 as Matt Groening’s “other” show, never finding nearly as much support among audiences or Fox network executives as The Simpsons. After it was canceled in the mid-2000s by Fox, it found a new following through Adult Swim reruns and DVDs and was subsequently revived; even then, it was only the second-most notable show to tread that unlikely path, behind Family Guy. And so it’s only fitting that Futurama wraps up its final season in the same summer as the much more high-profile departures of Breaking Bad and Dexter

Because it's dabbled in so many tones and genre styles over the course of its 140 episodes, Futurama can be difficult to get a handle on. The series' quality has varied widely, occasionally content to lazily rehash familiar parodies, but it's often taken full and fruitful advantage of the imaginative possibilities offered by its setting. 

At the top of its game, Futurama balanced incisive cynicism with disarming sweetness, dark comedy with jaunty slapstick. These 10 episodes aren’t necessarily the series’ best, but they’re representative of the peaks the Planet Express gang frequently hit as they traversed the 31st century. Take a look, then share your own favorite episodes, moments, and characters from Futurama’s 14-year off-and-on duration in the comments. 


Note: The following season and episode listings are based on TV airing order, rather than production order. They may be numbered differently on DVD or online streaming services.


“Hell is Other Robots,” Season 1, Episode 9 


The series was frequently over-enamored of Bender-centric episodes, but its first one remains one of its best. If nothing else, it earns a place on this list for introducing a venerable returning character in the Robot Devil and giving us the Dante-inspired, Beastie Boys-featuring “Robot Hell.”


“When Aliens Attack,” Season 2, Episode 3 


The debut of Lrr and his cohorts from Omicron Persei 8 was precipitated, naturally, by the cancellation of that smash interstellar hit Single Female Lawyer. Spoofing David E. Kelley and Roland Emmerich in equal measure pretty clearly dates this episode to the late 1990s, but that winds up making a neat comment on what science-fiction has in common with parody: The future always looks like a version of the present, warped to varying degrees.


"The Luck of the Fryrish," Season 3, Episode 10 

Perhaps overshadowed by “Jurassic Bark” over the years, this early look back at the twentieth-century life of ol’ Philip J. Fry is equally affecting. It helped a high-concept series keep one foot in a small, sentimental place, paving the way for its future forays into character-based dramedy.


“Roswell That Ends Well,” Season 4, Episode 1 


What this episode lacks in sexy teen alien drama, it more than made up for in history-twisting and incest-centric time-travel paradoxes. Small wonder it took home Futurama’s first Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program.


“Godfellas,” Season 4, Episode 8 


Like any good work of sci-fi, philosophical questions always crept in around Futurama’s margins. The saga of how Bender becomes, then maybe meets, a deity shows the series at its most existential. (Plus, I’m pretty sure the First Amalgamated Church Fry visits is a model for the final episode of Lost.)


“Jurassic Bark,” Season 5, Episode 2 


Not gonna lie, I spent about 10 minutes considering omitting this episode just to watch the comments section explode in a hail of pitchforks and torches. The tear-jerking final minutes are perhaps the most memorable in the series’ entire run, but the episode constructs such a surprisingly sincere story that the emotion is fully earned, rather than easy manipulation. Now, if you’ll excuse me… I’m just gonna need a minute before we continue.


“Where No Fan Has Gone Before,” Season 4, Episode 12 


I’m not sure any TV show has ever Mary Sue’d itself into a work of fan fiction quite as thoroughly as this one, nor ever will again. With most of the cast of Star Trek: The Original Series represented, this episode is one of the purest, if one of the broadest, distillations of Futurama’s signature homage to/lampooning of its sci-fi roots.


“The Sting,” Season 5, Episode 9 


Part puzzle-box, part “what if” scenario, “The Sting” uses a series of off-kilter situations to take a deep, direct look at Fry and Leela’s relationship. It's a rare dual showcase for both the show’s penchant for genre fiction oddity and its ability to treat its core characters as genuine people.


“Lethal Inspection,” Season 6A, Episode 6 


Bender’s humanity was always a fluid concept throughout the series’ run; like Homer Simpson’s intelligence, it waxed and waned depending on the needs of a given story. But there’s nothing more human than coming to grips with your own mortality, as Bender does here. I’m sure the Hermes-Bender backstory revealed at the end is rife with retconning, but nonetheless it’s a sweet glimpse at one of the least-seen Planet Express relationships.


"The Late Philip J. Fry,” Season 6A, Episode 7 

Nabbing Futurama its second Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program in 2011, this is another Fry-Leela episode that's more poignant than its preposterous inciting incident might suggest. Like many of Futurama's best stories, it revels in huge, convoluted sci-fi notions and tropes, but all in service to an intimate story about a central relationship.



Other contenders:
“Brannigan, Begin Again” (Season 2, Episode 6), “Xmas Story” (Season 2, Episode 8), “How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back” (Season 2, Episode 11), “The Cryonic Woman” (Season 2, Episode 19), “Anthology of Interest I” (Season 2, Episode 20), "Parasites Lost" (Season 3, Episode 4), “The Day the Earth Stood Stoopid” (Season 3, Episode 7), “That’s Lobstertainment!” (Season 3, Episode 8), “Love and Rocket” (Season 4, Episode 4), “Teenage Mutant Leela’s Hurdles” (Season 5, Episode 7), "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings” (Season 5, Episode 16), “Reincarnation” (Season 6B, Episode 13), “Game of Tones” (Season 7B, Episode 10).


What episodes would make your list?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/4/2013

Season 10 : Episode 13

67 Comments
Comments (53)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Hey Fellow Futurama Fans!
I've made a petition asking T.V networks like FOX and Adult Swim to pick Futurama back up!
Here is the link if you are interested in signing it: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/750/555/971/please-give-us-more-futurama-season-8-9-20/

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter at " Save Futurama 2014 " (categorized under TV SHOW on FB).
There we can discuss all the different ways we can help to get Futurama renewed for an 8th season (or 10th, whatever)
Thanks guys! Keep your fingers crossed!
Reply
Flag
Game of tones made tear up at the end. I love you mom!
1
Reply
Flag
This list is a little heavy on the schmaltz for me. Jurassic Bark is a less successful version of Luck-O-Fryish. And when it comes to exploring mortality w/Bender, A Pharaoh to Remember does it better (and funnier) than Lethal Inspection.

The biggest omission: Parabox. It didn't even make the runner-up list (but Lobstertainment and 'Hermes...Groove' did?? - Oof!)

Ah, but I just re-read the intro and remembered it's a FAVES list, not a best-of. Who am I to tell the reviewer what his favorites should be?

Guess I really just wanted to say "Parabox." So...Parabox! Parabox! Parabox!

Also, wolf-man.
3
Reply
Flag
What, no "War is the H word"?
2
Reply
Flag
I'm a sucker for Zoidberg and one of my favourites is "Roswell That Ends Well" because he's in it being as awful as ever, Bender gets to be a smart arse, and the time paradox which is the bone of so many other sci-fi shows gets so screwed over - it's great. Sci-fi spoofery at it's best.
3
Reply
Flag
Nice send up, Andy... I guess I'll be pulling out my DVDs for a marathon sometime very soon.
Reply
Flag
I will miss my favorite animation friends! And my fun on the bun Buddy ( bender) ! Roswell that ends well !
1
Reply
Flag
I'll miss you Bender :(
4
Reply
Flag
but season 7 was little off for me..
It came out last year with half then ended then other half came out strong then very very week 2-3 episodes then strong again.. now this..

I know i was feeling worse when watching Season um 22 i think it was or 21 when the entire season felt like they just wanted to make it instead of cared.

but picked up stronger than ever.

Luckly The Simpsons will never end (hopefully) its amazing to watch a show since your a kid till now.

I think Futurama Is that show for the generations born in the late 90s that remembers How Fry first got frozen till the day he finally played that Hologram song for Leela.

but before Season 8 maybe make few Movies again those were EPIC..


Hopefully the show comes on again.
1
Reply
Flag
oh refereing to The Simpson when i said Season 22 etc

Reply
Flag
I have to say my favourite episode of all time is "300 big boys". It showed everyones story and how they spent the money, with Fry's being the most hilarious, getting jacked on 100 coffees. Then ending with Fry in some kind of euphoric caffeine state and time halting. It was amazing....
3
Reply
Flag
That=true, best ep worst omission from the list.
1
Reply
Flag
TV Producers: Bite my shiny metal ass !!!
3
Reply
Flag
I will miss this show, again.
5
Reply
Flag
Futurama maybe second only to South Park in the department of quality Christmas episodes.
3
Reply
Flag
"The box maybe empty but the message is clear, play Santa again and I'll kill you next year"

Love the Futurama Christmas specials
3
Reply
Flag
I will cry like a baby this time. From laughter and sadness because I will miss it.

Also Prisoner of Benda? I can't really complain about this list, it's all solid. My favorties are there.
Reply
Flag
I'd probably put The Prisoner of Benda somewhere on that list, because it features my favorite Scruffy moment.
1
Reply
Flag
i dont think i will ever be able to watch Jurassic Bark without crying my eyes out!!! It hits me right in the feels, it does!!!
8
Reply
Flag
Comedy Central can bite my shiny metal ass for canceling Futurama.
13
Reply
Flag
Staff
8+ seasons. Quality TV. I'm good with it.
2
Reply
Flag
My feels still hurt from Seymour
6
Reply
Flag
Great list. I was so shocked the first time that I'm still physically unable to Watch "Jurassic Bark"'s final scene ! And "The Late Philip J. Fry" was also great : you can't forget witnessing the end(s) of the universe, or the Professor shooting at Hitler ... and missing !
5
Reply
Flag
Love that show, so may great moments and Fry, Bender and Leela are such good characters.
3
Reply
Flag
Great list.

If its one thing Futurama does better than any other cartoon comedy is its ability to make the viewer truly feel for the characters. It mixes comedy with emotion and sentiment that in my opinion no other modern cartoon has been able to do.

The Simpsons and Family Guy can be funny but we don't really care want happens to the characters in the same way.

Love Luck of the Fryish & Jurassic Bark (have never been able to watch the end of Jurassic Bark without tearing up)
2
Reply
Flag
Great list in my opinion but I think "The Farnsworth Parabox", "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" and "The Tip of the Zoidberg" should be on the list too.
I'm gonna miss Futurama. At least there will be The Simpsons/Futurama crossover in 2014. I can't wait to see the last episode. Also I thought the last season was great.
2
Reply
Flag
"The Farnsworth Parabox" should be up there, too. It gets better each time I rewatch it!
4
Reply
Flag
A lot of these are the ones that came to mind when I read the title.
2
Reply
Flag
The Luck of the Fryrish One of best episode ever
6
Reply
Flag
Someone please revive Futurama again! Netflix?
10
Reply
Flag
Luck of the Fryish > Jurassic Bark by a mile
9
Reply
Flag
Agreed, it's touching without being horribly sad.
2
Reply
Flag
I always skip over Jurassic Bark b/c it's so damn sad.
Reply
Flag
Staff
Luck of the Fryish, so damn good.
2
Reply
Flag
My list is basically everything, but for the pretense of this article, and I'll use broadcast order for my TOP LIST:
Space Pilot 3000
My Three Suns
A Head in the Polls
How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back
Mother's Day
Amazon Women in the Mood (mad props to Bea Arthur's voice work here)
The Cyber House Rules
Insane in the Mainframe (haHAA!)
Roswell That Ends Well
Leela's Homeworld
Less than Hero
Jurassic Bark
Where No Fan Has Gone Before
The Farnsworth Parabox
The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings
Bender's Big Score pts 1-4
Attack of the Killer App
The Futurama Holiday Spectacular (sponsored by Gunderson's Nuts!)
Reincarnation
Saturday Morning Fun Pit

And the Almost List:
The Series Has Landed
I, Roommate
Xmas Story
A Clone of My Own
War Is the H-Word
Parasites Lost
I Dated a Robot
Future Stock
Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch
Love and Rocket
Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV
The Why of Fry
Three Hundred Big Boys
The Late Philip J. Fry
Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences
Law and Oracle
The Bots and the Bees
A Farewell to Arms
2-D Blacktop
Fry and Leela's Big Fling
More+
2
Reply
Flag
Futurama is the most beautiful, intelligent, funny, touching, downright silly cartoon ever, and I don't have any regrets about its run on Comedy Central, not even on its 4th series finale (yes, this is the 4th series finale they've produced for Futurama). It would have been nice if more people had been open to its brilliance, but that's their loss.

Hell is Other Robots, not a great choice but not a bad choice either, and it's got Homer Simpson as the Robot Devil, plus the church of robotology's symbol is a resistor which is hilarious.

When Aliens Attack, all I can give you from that is "camera 3". ;)

Luck of the Fryrish made me cry from such an incredibly touching ending, as well as giving Philip J. Fry a sense of value in the universe, something he was striving for the entire episode.

Roswell that Ends Well is the absolute best episode of the series, it's the best-produced, best-looking, best-acted, funniest, a brilliant use of sci-fi, and genuinely damned exciting!

Godfellas, not a bad choice, very philosophical. It doesn't hold up as well on repeat viewings only due to too much Bender.

Jurassic Bark, you can pretend you wouldn't include it but the reality is that this is THE episode that makes people cry hard, and for good reason! After having to put my pet to sleep in 2011, I couldn't watch that episode for a year and a half at all it's so poigniant and sweet and teary.

Goddamn I love Where No Fan has Gone Before! As a 3rd generation Trekkie, that was the best thing ever.

The Sting is fair, I can't say I'd include it on my list but it's not a bad one, and it shows how much these characters will go for each other.

Lethal Inspection I cannot agree with, this is an episode DESIGNED to emulate Jurassic Bark and Luck of the Fryrish-type episodes, and that causes it to come up just a little short. It's an ok episode, but honestly not a home run for me.

On the other hand, good include on The Late Philip J. Fry, kudos.

Not a bad contenders list at all.

Honestly though, my list will have to include Bender's Big Score 1-4, my god did it really elevate Futurama to epic status, it had heart, it was cohesive unlike the other movies, and it was brilliant.
More+
5
Reply
Flag
Now get to making a list of the best quotes!
"Sweet Zombie Jesus!"
2
Reply
Flag
The best one fo sho
Reply
Flag
It's that or..
"Tell them I hate them!"
Reply
Flag
The show has made me tear up more times than I care to admit

gonna miss it...(again)
3
Reply
Flag
Needs more Time Keeps on Slippin
Reply
Flag
Staff
I'm a sucker for "Mars University," it's one of the funniest episodes of the series. ROOOBOTTTTTT HOUUUUUUUSE!
7
Reply
Flag
That's number 13 on my list. Glad I am not the only one who thought that was the best line.
Reply
Flag
Every time I see that episode, I feel like there's 10 minutes of more Robot House antics that they cut from the original. I know it's not true, but that storyline is so spot-on that it feels like those Animal House-esque movies it is spoofing are a natural extension of it.
Reply
Flag
"All I want out of life is to be a monkey of moderate intelligence who wears a suit. That's why I've decided to transfer to business school!"
8
Reply
Flag
"NOOOOOOOOOO!"
4
Reply
Flag
Jurassic Bark and Luck of the Fryish are definitely great episodes.

There are a couple episodes that really stick out to me because they change tones and really hit the audience.

Leela's Homeworld- after finally meeting her parents, you see these flashbacks of Leela's parents being there throughout her life

Cold Warriors- Fry finds out from his father that the reason he treated him so harshly was to make Fry into a better man

Lethal Inspection- Hermes is really more like a father to Bender than he'll admit

Game of Tones- Fry spends time with his mom

I think I'm just a sucker for those episodes that go for the "feelz" at the end.
13
Reply
Flag
Cold Warriors almost didn't need that coda at the end with Fry's dad, it almost went overboard in that part, but a good episode none the less.
Reply
Flag
Leela's Homeworld was a fantastic episode!
2
Reply
Flag
Nearly cried on that one, great use of a song to punctuate an ending.
2
Reply
Flag
Even though this round of episodes hasn't been as good as the previous ones I'm very sad to see this show go. It perfectly mashed together my love for animated comedy and Sci-fi.
6
Reply
Flag
Jurassic Bark tears at my heart every time I see it. Easily the best episode of the show ever.
15
Reply
Flag
I agree, no matter how many times I watch that ending, I just can't stop tearing up over it. The poor dog. I will say that the recent seasons were great in showing the dog again, so it makes the 'death' easier to deal with.
I forgot the name of the episode/movie, but when the pizza place exploded and 'flash froze the dog, wouldn't that make the dog much younger than when they first found him? I would hope they bring the dog back, if the show is renewed again.
Reply
Flag
Follow this Show
Members
1,819