Season 1 Episode 1

Space Pilot 3000

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 28, 1999 on Comedy Central



  • Trivia

    • In the scene in Old New York, where Leela quits her job and Bender steals her ring, she clearly puts the ring back on her finger. However, when her hand reappears after being hidden behind her leg, the ring is gone.

    • In the beginning of the episode, The Cryogenics building stays on the Old New York surface. But afterwards, the building's on the surface of New New York!

    • In the Hall of the U.S. Presidents, there are actually two heads of Grover Cleveland. This is a reference to the fact that Cleveland is the only person to serve two non-consecutive terms as President, and is numbered as both the 22nd and 24th President of the U.S.

    • It turns out Bender is the one who destroyed the city while Fry is frozen in the year 2308, as seen in Futurama: Benders Big Score.

    • Opening theme promotion: IN COLOR
      Opening theme cartoon: Little Buck Cheeser (1937) (MGM)

    • The career chips of the previous Planet Express crew come from an envelope stating they were found in the stomach of a space wasp. However, it is learned in the future episode, "The Sting", that they were killed by space bees.

    • No one reacts oddly or in alarm to Fry saying that Leonard Nimoy was Spock in public like they did in the future episode, "Where No Fan Has Gone Before."

    • When Fry asks the head of Leonard Nimoy, aka Mr. Spock, to do the Live Long and Prosper finger thing, Leonard says he no longer does that. It is presumed in this episode it is simply because he has no hands, but the truth behind this statement is seen in the future episode, "Where No Fan Has Gone Before".

    • Fry is frozen holding a LöBrau beer from 1999. But in later episodes he is seen drinking the same brand. So somehow that company lasted 1000 years...

    • While Fry is frozen aliens come and destroy civilization twice, but there are no ruins for the medieval civilization that rose up after the first time.

    • A Professor Farnsworth invention seen in this episode is The Relative Box.

    • During the complete earth shot in the countdown scene, the western hemisphere was shown in complete daylight, which does not correspond with Fry being in New York City at midnight.

    • The career chips system introduced here, in this episode, are contradicted several times throughout the series through job changes, incompetents, examples of a free market economy and references to the 'Earthican dream.'

    • Professor Farnsworth's slippers change colour and shape from one scene to the next when in the Planet Express building.

    • Leela wasn't wearing a ring prior to the handholding scene with Fry.

    • When in the Head Museum, Barbra Streisand's head is able to be seen, although it is incorrectly spelled as 'Barbara.'

    • The Panucci's Pizza box Fry is delivering reads 'Do not tip the delivery boy!'

    • The man in Leela's poster, who gives a thumbs-up, has five fingers on each hand. People within the Futurama universe, maybe a part from select mutants, have four.

    • The Circle Line ship can be seen shipwrecked under New New York Harbour.

    • In the intro, the Statue of Liberty holds a gun in her torch hand, but during the episode, in the future, she is holding part of the 'travel-tube.'

    • In 1999, Fry rides his bicycle past 'O'Harrison's Pub.' In the future, Fry goes past 'O'Zorgnax's Pub,' which looks quite similar.

    • Bender and Fry hide out in the Head Museum a lot longer than it seems, because it's dark outside once they escape.

    • The Applied Cryogenics lab is on the 64th floor.

    • A sign on the wall reads "Drink Slurm." The same sign appears off to the left, but the word DRINK is written in Alien Language #1. This was to help viewers learn the code and try to decipher it.

    • The newspaper caption seen in the pay-box just before Fry enters the Cryogenics lab reads '2000! DOOMSAYERS CAUTIOUSLY UPBEAT.'

    • When Bender snapped the bars in the hall of criminals, there were 2 bars left on each side of the window, but a quick close-up showed 3 bars left on each side, and then the scene resumed with the 2 bars.

    • When Fry is delivering the pizza, he passes by a sign written in Chinese. When translated, the characters say "fire" and "women." This probably being loosely translated to mean 'hot women.'

    • Bender takes Fry to hide inside the 'Head Museum' saying, "It's Free on Tuesdays." 31 December 2999 will, in fact, be a Tuesday.

    • As the group is escaping the restaurant, there is graffiti written in Alien code on the wall in the alley, saying 'VENUSIANS GO HOME.'

    • The opening titles have several signs written in the first Alien code. There are three different signs that go by real quickly, in order, they are; 'Rent A Human,' '3D Rulez!,' and 'Tasty Human Burgers.'

    • The suicide booth says "You are now dead. Thank you for using Stop-N-Drop, America's favourite suicide booth since 2008" even though the person using it is dead.

    • The beer Fry drinks in 1999 is called 'LöBrau.'

    • When Fry and Bender get into the Suicide Booth and avoid their death, how come the floor doesn't drop on them? If you notice, everytime someone else gets in the machine, it's clear of any evidence of the previous person.

    • When Fry and Bender are at the bar, the barman hands Bender a bottle of liquor. He takes a big swig of it, but the level in the bottle remains the same.

    • When Fry falls into the cryogenic chamber his whistle drops right next to the chair. When it cuts, the whistle is gone.

    • When Fry is queueing for the booth, he opens the piece of paper, showing the picture and writing. Just before he steps in to the booth, it's changed colour and gone blank, then in the next shot it's back as before.

    • When the police tell the job deserters that they are partially surrounded, Bender, quite literally, "shits a brick."

    • In the opening credits you can see the cast of the show flying though the tubes.

    • In the opening sequence, you see a taxi cab pass by with an advertisement on its roof that says 'Liquid Wisdom.'

    • In the alien ship, as they are counting down to the new year you see two symbols on the screen. This is not an Alien Code, its just a fancy way of writing "6" and "7."

    • In the head museum, several famous heads that are seen include; Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball, Ed Begley Jr., David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Liz Talyor, Dennis Rodman, Billy Corgan, Barbara Streisand and Matt Groening.
      In the Hall of the U.S. Presidents; Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, Warren Harding, Andrew Jackson, Grover Cleveland, and Benjamin Harrison.

    • Leela's officer code is 1B-DI (One Beady Eye).

    • The signs and billboards seen during the opening credits read: "Public Library", "Rent a Human" (in Alien Code), "Drink Slurm!", "Eat Bachelor Chow: Now with Flavor!", "Mom's Robot Oil: Made with 10% More Love than the Next Leading Brand", "Liquid Wisdom", "BAB - BIG APPLE BANK", "Girls, Girls, Aliens", "All Tenticle Massage", "Mass Hypnosis Hour - TV's #1 Show!", "Flesh-O-Poid Dating Service", "Sexatorium", "3D Rulez!" (in Alien Code), "Park - $42", "Bachelor Chow: Makes its Own Gravy!", "Tasty Human Burgers" (in Alien Code), "DEF-CON - Kills Owls Dead", "Robot Wash", "MOM'S Friendly Robot Company", "Smar! Sausages", "Got Protoplasm?"

    • French has become a dead language in the thousand years Fry has been frozen. This is evident during the New Year's 3000 countdown where the people of France say "Seven" instead of "Sept"

    • In the countdown scene, it shows numerous countries counting down from 10-0, but all the countries would be in different time-zones.

    • The last set of buildings built before Fry wakes up looks 100% different than it does when Fry wakes up and looks out the window.

    • You can see Nibbler's shadow on the floor as Fry falls backwards into the tube. A story line that was set up in advance when the show was being created.

    • When Fry is seen taking his first stroll in the new millennium, a nudist couple passes by censored with black bars. They probably used a black bar generator shown in the episode "A Leela of Her Own", when she joined the New New York Mets.

    • At the Cryogenic facility, right where Fry shouts "Pizza delivery for..." the desk is positioned almost parallel to the window, but when Fry sits down at the desk, its positioned perpendicular to the window. And Fry can't have moved the desk because in both shots the freezing chamber is placed behind it so he would have had to move that as well.

    • When Leela is calling for backup outside the head museum, her arm band switches from her right arm to her left

    • While Fry is frozen, we see through the window that Aliens destroyed civilization twice. Why is it that the building he is in is spared both times?

      EDIT: Another question is how was it raised from ONY to NNY without disrupting power to the cryo-tubes.

    • By simple calculations, Fry should have woken up a few seconds after midnight on January 1, 3000. BUT the earth does not rotate by our simple math. By rough estimation, the Gregorian (standard) calendar millennium is about 7 1/2 hours short of 1000 rotations of the earth around the sun. Therefore, Fry waking up during daylight hours and having plenty of time to do all the things he did can be explained by the fact that he was unfrozen at the end of 1000 Gregorian years, but the earth hadn't quite made it there. He was unfrozen at about 4:27 PM on December 31, 2999.

    • When Fry and Bender are in the museum and locked in the "Villains" room, Bender breaks the two girders in the window, and then his arms falls off. As he puts his arms back in, you can see behind him that the girders are back in place in the window.

    • In the 2999 countdown, Bender pulls the arms off the chair he was sitting on. A moment later, an armchair is missing!

    • Leela speaks into her wrist-a-majic which is on her left wrist, instead of the right as it should be, when she calls for peace officers Smitty and Url.

    • During the scene where Fry is flying through the tubes he goes through a tube which is being held by the statue of liberty but in the opening credits and in other episodes,it isn't holding the tube.

    • David Duchovny is seen in the Head Museum, but Calculon claims to be him in "The Honking."

    • After Bender gives Leela her ring back she puts it on, but then a second later it's gone.

  • Quotes

    • Terry: (Dramatically) Welcome to the WORLD OF TOMORROW!!
      Leela: Shut up, Terry.

    • Leela: (Trying to catch Fry to implant his career chip) Hold still, damn it! I don't have good depth perception!

    • Leela: Look, I know it's not much consolation. But, I understand how you feel.
      Fry: No, you don't. I've got no home, no family.
      Bender: No friends.
      Fry: My whole world is gone. You can't possible understand what it feels like to be so alone.
      Leela: I understand. I'm the only one-eyed alien on this whole planet. My parents abandoned me here as a baby and I don't even know what galaxy they were from. I know how it feels to be alone.

    • (after he freezes Leela)
      Fry: See ya' in a thousand years.
      (Is about to leave, then comes back and switches it from 1000 years, to five minutes)
      Fry: You owe me.

    • Fry: So I guess without jobs, we'll be fugitives forever.
      Prof. Farnsworth: Not necessarily. Are you three, by any chance, interested in becoming my new spaceship crew?
      Bender: New crew? W-What happened to the old crew?
      Prof. Farnsworth: Oh, those poor sons of - but that's not important. The important thing is I need a new crew.

    • Leela: Can't we get away in the ship?
      Prof. Farnsworth: I suppose it is technically possible. Though I am already in my pyjamas.

    • Smitty: Attention, job deserters! Come out with your hands up. We have you partially surrounded!

    • Prof. Farnsworth: Let me show you around. That's my lab table and this is my work-stool. And over there is my intergalactic spaceship! And here's where I keep assorted lengths of wire.
      Fry: Whoa! A real live spaceship!
      Prof. Farnsworth: I designed it myself. Let me show you some of the different lengths of wire I used.

    • Prof. Farnsworth: Who are you?
      Fry: I'm your dear old Uncle Fry.
      Prof. Farnsworth: I don't have an Uncle Fry.
      Bender: You do now!

    • Fry: It's my old neighbourhood. Man, this brings back a lot of memories.
      Bender: Keep 'em to yourself, pops.

    • Bender: You were right, Fry! From now on I'm going to bend what I want, when I want, who I want!

    • Smitty: Keep your big nose out of this, eyeball!
      Leela: No one makes fun of my nose.

    • Leela: Look, he's just a nobody who doesn't want to be a delivery boy. I'd really rather not force it on him.
      Ipgee: Well that's your job, whether you like it or not and it's my job to make you do your job whether I like it or not - which I do - very much!

    • Suicide Booth: You are now dead. Thank you for using Stop-N-Drop, America's favourite suicide booth since 2008.

    • Suicide Booth: Please select mode of death: "Quick And Painless" or "Slow And Horrible".
      Fry: Yeah, I'd like to place a collect call.
      Suicide Booth: You have selected: "Slow And Horrible".
      Bender: Great choice!

    • Leela: You've been assigned the job you're best at just like everyone else.
      Fry: What if I refuse?
      Leela: Then you'll be fired...
      Fry: Fine!
      Leela: ...out of a cannon into the Sun!

    • Prof. Farnsworth: My god, I am your nephew. This is absolutely incredible!
      Bender: Heh-heh, can we have some money?
      Prof. Farnsworth: Oh my, no!

    • Fry: So what do you do, Bender?
      Bender: I'm a Bender. I bend girders. That's all I'm programmed to do.
      Fry: Were you any good?
      Bender: Are you kidding? I could bend a girder to any angle - thirty degrees, thirty-two degrees... thirty-one... but I couldn't go on living once I found out what they were for.
      Fry: What?
      Bender: Making suicide booths!

    • Fry: Why would a robot need to drink?
      Bender: I don't need to drink. I can quit any time I want!

    • Fry: C'mon, Bender! It's up to you to make your own decisions in life. That's what separates people and robots from animals... and animal robots.

    • Bender: You really want a robot for a friend?
      Fry: Yeah, ever since I was six.
      Bender: Well, okay. But I don't want people thinking we're robo-sexuals, so if anyone asks, you're my debugger.

    • Fry: Can I ask you a question?
      Leela: As long as it's not about my eye.
      Fry: Uh...
      Leela: Is it about my eye?
      Fry: Sort of.
      Leela: [sighs] Just ask the question.
      Fry: What's with the eye?
      Leela: I'm an alien, all right? Now let's change the subject.
      Fry: [excited] Cool, an alien. Has your race taken over the Earth?
      Leela: No, I just work here.

    • Fry: My God! It's the future. My parents, my co-workers, my girlfriend. I'll never see any of them again. Yahoo!

    • Fry: Wait a minute, is that blimp accurate?
      Leela: Yep. It's December 31st 2999.
      Fry: My God! A million years!

    • Fry: Space; It seems to go on and on forever...but then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you.

    • Fry: Whoa... a real live robot; or is that some kind of cheesy New Year's costume?
      Bender: Bite my shiny metal ass.
      Fry: It doesn't look so shiny to me.
      Bender: Shinier than yours meatbag.

    • Fry: This is awesome! Are we gonna fly through space fighting monsters and teaching alien women to love?
      Farnsworth: If by that you mean transporting cargo? Then yes!

    • Fry: Hello! Pizza delivery for... I.C. Wiener? Aww, crud. I always thought by this point in my life I'd be the one making the crank calls.

    • Leela: Well, at least here you'll be treated with dignity. Now strip naked and get on the probulator.

    • Fry: If your programming told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?
      Bender: I dunno, I'd have to check my programming... yup.

  • Notes

    • It took the cartoonists over 2 years to come up with the look of the characters on the show.

    • The 30th Century Fox logo at the end of this and every episode almost didn't happen as FOX didn't approve of the idea. Matt Groening then commissioned it at his own expense, and seeing the results, FOX gave the go-ahead and reimbursed Groening.

    • There are many characters introduced in this episode including Philip J. Fry, Leela, Bender, Professor Hubert Farnsworth, President Richard Nixon, Leonard Nimoy, Smitty, URL, and the Cryogenics staff.

    • Fry, Leela, Bender, Professor Farnsworth and Richard Nixon are the only characters to appear in both this episode and the finale, 'The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings.'

    • In the first and second network airings on FOX, the man who entered the pneumatic tube, just before Fry, asked the tube to take him to "J.F.K. Junior Airport." After the plane crash death of J.F.K. Jr., the line was changed to "Radio City Mutant Hall" for the subsequent airings, and on the DVD. Although the animatic (found on the DVD) still has the JFK jr line.

    • The Original Alien Language devised by the writers and hidden throughout the episode was solved completely by fans after only the first and one airing. The Second language took several months.

    • In the rough draft version of the script, Michelle was named Janet, and Fry was actually named Curtis Fry. It was changed to Philip after Phil Hartman, who was set to have a recurring role as Zapp Brannigan on the series until his unfortunate murder.

    • This was voted the best episode of Futurama during the Adult Swim marathon.

    • When Matt Groening and David X. Cohen were starting this show, they decided to add little secrets to some episodes that would pay off in later episodes.

    • This episode is the most watched premiere episode in FOX's history.

    • According to the DVD's audio commentary, John DiMaggio (Bender) had originally auditioned for the voice of the Professor, and co-creator David X. Cohen had actually considered doing the voice of Bender.

    • Although the JFK Jr. reference has been dubbed out (even on the DVD) in the Spanish dubbed version of this episode the man can still be heard asking to be taken to JFK Jr. Airport.

  • Allusions

    • Matt Groening
      In the head museum if you look fast enough, a head of a man with brown hair and glasses can be seen, with the name Matt Groening written underneath. Matt is the creator of Futurama, as well as the popular cartoon sit-com The Simpsons.

    • The Watergate Scandal
      When the head of Richard Nixon says "You just made my list!", this is a reference to the Watergate Scandal. Nixon kept an 'enemies list' of over 200 people whom he believed were part of a conspiracy against him.

    • Daffy Duck
      The 'Suicide Booth' is based on a Daffy Duck cartoon where he went into the future and played numerous coin-op devices which injured him severely.

    • Sleeper
      The premise for the series is similar to the movie Sleeper, and the concept of the 'Suicide Booth' is similar to 'Sleeper's Orgasmatron.'

    • Life in Hell
      A sign outside that reads 'Akbar.' Akbar was the name of a gay character in Matt Groening's comic-book series Life in Hell.

    • The Caves of Steel
      The way in which Bender swallows his empty liquor bottle is a reference to a robot in the Isaac Azimov novel The Caves of Steel.

    • War Games
      The first scene where Fry is teaching a kid how to play a video game also occurs in the movie War Games. In the film, the first scene with the character David Lightman has him playing Galaga. He then leaves and gives the control of the game to a kid.

    • Young Frankenstein
      The scene with all the heads in jars and the two live ones in the middle, and then the camera shot doing a double take is a direct reference to the film Young Frankenstein.

    • Volkswagen Beetle
      One of the cars on the street before Fry and Bender enter the Head Museum looks like a Volkswagen Beetle. It swerves past a Slurm truck that was going too slow.

    • Star Wars
      The part where Fry gets hit in the head by the remote door is a possible reference to the scene in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, where one of the stormtroopers accidentally bumps his head into a similar gadget.
      The lightsabers in which the police use look the same as those in the Star Wars series.
      A guy on a jet bike is wearing a helmet like Leia wore in Return of the Jedi on the speeder bike.

    • The Simpsons
      Fry's middle initial is J. This seems to be a popular choice for Matt Groening characters, having used it for Homer, Bart and Abe on The Simpsons. Matt uses the "J." middle name, referring to one of his favourite shows, The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
      Fry also passes a three-eyed fish when going under water in the tube, this fish being 'Blinky' from The Simpsons epsiode 'Two Cars in Every Garage, Three Eyes on Every Fish.'
      The chef on the Panucci's Pizza box is very similar to the chef Luigi in The Simpsons episode 'Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song.'
      Whilst in the Head Museum, Matt Groening's head is able to be seen, as well as Rodney Dangerfield's, who is drawn as his Simpsons character Larry Burns from the episode 'Burns, Baby Burns.'
      Fry has 9 spikes in his hair just like Bart Simpson from Groening's hit show The Simpsons.
      When Fry uses the 'travel-tube,' a person who resembles Ralph Wiggum can be seen.

    • Got Milk?
      When Fry walks out of the lab, an ad on a taxi behind him reads 'Got Protoplasm?', this being a reference to the Got Milk? series advertising slogans.

    • H.G Wells' The Time Machine
      When Fry is frozen in the cryonic chamber, time is seen passing outside the window until the year 3000. New York City is leveled by aliens, rebuilt as a medieval city, leveled again by aliens and rebuilt as New New York. This is a parody of the scenes in the film The Time Machine based on H.G Wells' novel when the inventor pushes the lever forward on his Time Machine and sees the world, and time, moving forward very rapidly.

    • Monkey Fracas Jr.
      Fry is playing a video game called 'Monkey Fracas Jr.' at the pizza place, during the start of the episode. The game starts out as a space shooter similar to Asteroids or Defender. At the end of the level, the ship approaches a saturn-like planet, at which point, the planet breaks in half, and an ape resembling Donkey Kong emerges. The ape throws barrels at the spaceship and destroys it. The game's name itself, and the Donkey throwing barrels are parodies of the game Donkey Kong, Jr.

    • Pulp Fiction
      The Robot Policeman, URL, says he would go "24th century on their ass." This being a reference to the 1994 film Pulp Fiction where the character Marsellus Wallace says to Zed and the Gimp "I'm a get medieval on yo' ass."

    • Fry's Appearance
      Fry's primary costume of blue jeans and a red sports jacket resembles James Dean in the movie Rebel Without A Cause.

    • The Beach Pneumatic Subway
      The pneumatic tubes that transport people all over New New York are an allusion to The Beach Pneumatic Subway, which was a failed attempt in 1870 by Alfred Ely Beach to move people around New York by air power.

    • Hot Dog On A Stick
      The feeding lady at the head museum is wearing a uniform like that at the corn-dog specific restaurant, Hot Dog on a Stick.

    • War of the Worlds
      The ships that level the city in the background during the time skip sequence are the same as the ones seen in the 1952 film War of the Worlds.

    • Star Trek
      Theme played with the video game during the first scene.
      Fry comments on the door being "just like on Star Trek."
      Leonard 'Spock' Nimoy that he no longer does the Vulcan 'live long and prosper' sign.
      The whole Head Museum concept is, possibly, a subtle reference to the original Star Trek series episode 'Return To Tomorrow' where the alien minds were preserved in glowing spheres.
      Several sound effects used within the episode also. All of these are direct references to the Star Trek series.

    • Mystery Science Theater 3000
      The number '3000' can bee seen written on the moon, and it looks like the Mystery Science Theater 3000 logo, it's in the same typeface.

    • Logan's Run
      Implanting a 'fate chip' in the palm of the right hand is a reference to the movie Logan's Run, which also spawned a TV series.

    • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
      Aside from having the same type of premise as Douglas Adams' novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Bender acts much like the cynical manic depressive, Marvin the robot, and the coffee machine in Professor Farnsworth's ship is a reference to "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" in which a spaceship's specialty was producing hot drinks.

    • Doctor Who
      The countdown to the millennium occurring at the same time all over the world is the same as the countdown in the 1996 tv movie Doctor Who.

    • Beneath the Planet of the Apes
      When Fry goes back to Old New York, it is a quick reference to the people going underneath the world in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

    • Babylon 5
      The chips that people have implanted into their hands is a reference to the popular sci-fi series Babylon 5.

    • Phil Hartman
      Fry's first name, Philip, is a tribute to the late Phil Hartman. Hartman was originally cast to do the voice of Zapp Brannigan, but was tragically murdered by his wife before production started.

    • Philo T. Farnsworth
      Professor Farnsworth is named after the inventor Philo T. Farnsworth, a Utah native and television pioneer whose invention was premiered at the 1939 New York World's Fair, along with the Futurama exhibit.

    • Futurama
      The title of the show, Futurama, was the name of the famous General Motors exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair that depicted a futuristic landscape.

    • Olde Fortran Malt Liquor
      In the pub, Bender can be seen drinking 'Olde Fortran Malt Liquor.' FORTRAN was the name of the first high-level computer language.