Season 3 Episode 7

The Day the Earth Stood Stupid

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Feb 18, 2001 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
288 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Professor informs the crew that their next delivery is no longer necessary because that planet has been destroyed. Meanwhile, Leela enters Nibbler in a pet show and wins dumbest pet. The evil brains responsible for destroying planets have arrived on earth and started making everybody stupid.moreless

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  • perfect

    What i liked- Nibbler winning 'dumbest pet', Leela talking to Nibbler and finding out the brains plan on making people stupid (oh.... stupider), and that every religion is wrong, Fry trying to reeducate the PE crew, Fry's way of getting rid of the brain, the references to books like Tom Sawyer and Moby Dick, amongst other things.

    good episode. it has a great, somewhat complex plot and has some very funnyscenes. what more could you want out of an episode? final grade is going to be an A+moreless
  • Nibbler can talk!

    Brains fly and Nibbler talks in this terrific episode of Futurama. I thought that this episode was hilarious, especially with everyone on Earth (except Fry) having increasing stupidity. VERY FUNNY! I loved the episode (The Day the Earth Stood Stupid), and I recommend it to anyone, ANYONE, that enjoys Futurama. It's a very enjoyable episode to watch. I really liked sitting down and watching this episode of Futurama.

    Nibbler talks... and says that Earth is going to be taken over by his species' enemies, flying brains. Everyone on Earth becomes stupid except Fry. It's up to Fry to save the Earth!moreless
  • hillarious

    This is a great example of why we watch this show, or at least of why thinkers watch this show. It has illusions to Moby Dick and Tom Sawyer, explains the creation of the universe and meaning of life (if you understand Nibbler's language, as Lila apparently does) and once everyone recovers from the brain scrambler (which made Earth's inhabitants even dumber than they already are) it was a great time! Great for anyone who ever didn't want to be called cute, knew they couldn't think in the ways that others do, or just wanted to save the world from big floating brains!moreless
  • So hilarious... A must see for every Futurama fan.

    The episode begins with Tweenis 12, one day's brain flight from Earth, collapsing due to an attack by giant brains.

    Meanwhile, there is a pet show on Earth. After hearing that the top prize is $500 and dog food, Bender and Zoidberg plan to enter to win. Leela and Nibbler also enter. After a series of tests, the Hypnotoad wins by hypnotizing the judges. Nibbler is crowned the "dumbest pet in show" while Bender and Zoidberg the "whooping terrier" win second prize, much to Bender's disappointment.

    Later the Planet Express staff discovers an ominous trail of destroyed planets leading toward Earth. Nibbler begins gibbering excitedly and runs away. Tracking Nibbler to an alley, Leela is attacked by giant floating brains. Leela is rescued by Nibbler, who has donned a uniform and is piloting a tiny flying saucer. Nibbler and Leela leave New New York and fly away from Earth.

    The next day, Fry discovers that all the citizens of New New York have been rendered stupid, except himself. Meanwhile, Nibbler begins communicating to Leela telepathically, and they travel to the planet Eternium, at the exact center of the universe. There, in the Hall of Forever (10 miles west of the exact center of the universe), the Nibblonian council tells Leela of the threat of the Brainspawn, the giant brains that have invaded Earth and are attempting to wipe out all thought in the universe. While the Nibblonians have been fighting them for billions of years--since the beginning of the universe--they are powerless against the Brainspawns' powers of stupidity; in fact, Fry is the only being in the universe immune to the Brainspawns' mental attack, and is the only one capable of combating them.

    Leela arrives on Earth to tell Fry of his mission, and retains just enough intelligence to remember what it is. In a successful leap of logic, Fry seeks the leader of the brains at the New New York Public Library. There Fry discovers that thinking hurts the brains, but the brain leader traps Fry and Leela in a mental realm based on Moby-Dick. Fry and Leela pursue the giant brain through The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and into Pride and Prejudice. Fry breaks free of the illusion, and attempts to attack the giant brain. Fry's efforts result in him being crushed to death by a bookcase, but this is then revealed to be an illusion based on a story Fry has quickly written, one riddled with "plot holes and spelling errors". In accordance with the story the giant brain leaves Earth for no "raisin" ("reason"), and the people of Earth regain their intelligence. Other than the Nibblonians, Fry is the only other being in the entire universe to have any recollection of the event; every time he tries to recount the story, no one believes him or really cares about what he has to say. Nibbler, meanwhile, returns to his undercover position observing Earth as Leela's adorable pet.moreless
  • Absolutely brilliant

    A pretty different episode, much more plot-heavy and science-fictiony than any episode in the first couple of seasons, this was still hilarious and very silly. It had plenty of funny stuff, most of which happened when everyone was being stupid ("Zoidy want balloon!"). I thought Katey Sagal (Leela's voice)'s delivery of stupid Leela was hilarious. The plot was (purposefully) stupid, but it was actually pretty interesting in places. The book parodies were pretty funny, but the whole 'intelligence-books' theme was kind of lame. At least we got a nice payoff with Fry's 'at your local Library' line. The highlight of this episode, of course, was the Hypno Toad. Absolutely brilliant, really classic stuff. All power to the hypno toad! I liked the ending, it gave the show a kind of over-arching plot to it.moreless
David Herman

David Herman

Pet Show Judge / Chester A. Arthur's Head

Katey Sagal

Katey Sagal

Turanga Leela

Billy West

Billy West

Philip J. Fry / Professor Hubert Farnsworth / Dr. Zoidberg / Ken

Lauren Tom

Lauren Tom

Amy Wong

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Linda / Fiona / Tom Sawyer / Elizabeth Bennet

Frank Welker

Frank Welker

Nibbler / Various Pets

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Opening theme promotion: 80% ENTERTAINMENT BY VOLUME

    • The books that Fry and Leela get trapped in are "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, and "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen.

    • When everything returns to normal, Hermes is holding a meeting that everyone appears to be sleeping at. Hermes' chart reads 'Employees Sleep During Meetings.'

    • The message below the Pet Show sign reads "KIDS: See Toucan Sam's Death Mask."

    • Some of the storage rooms in the library include 'Reference Books,' 'Books on Tapeworms,' and 'Stephen King: A - Aardvark.'

    • When Leela is being taken to Nibbler's home planet, the end of her hair, outside the ship, waves like it's blowing in wind.

    • When Hermes says he is invisible and has the plank of wood in front of his head, he is barefoot. A few minutes later when Bender suggests joining the Reform Party, Hermes hasn't moved. He is still standing there with the plank in the same place, although now he has slippers on.

    • The name on George Washington's head in a jar changes from all capitals to mixed case.

    • The shockwave from Tweenis 12 was 2 dimensional, it should have been spherical.

    • When Leela is attacked by the Brains and Nibbler waves good-bye, he has three fingers, but when he talks to her on their way to his planet, he has four fingers.

  • QUOTES (50)

    • Nibbler(voice-over): I, meanwhile, returned to my post, ever vigilant, lest Earth again come under Brain attack. And when that day comes, God help us. God help us all.
      Leela: Time for a diap-y change!
      Nibbler(voice-over): End transmission.

    • Nibbler(voice-over): Thanks to the effect of the brain rays, the people of Earth had no memory of what had transpired, except Fry, and no one believed him or cared what he had to say.

    • Nibbler(voice-over): And so life returned to normal, or as normal as it gets on this primitive dirtball inhabited by psychotic apes.

    • Fry: I did it! And it's all thanks to the books at my local library.

    • Leela: Me... feel... a bit better in cognitive faculties.

    • Fry: Leela, I've got an idea. Stay here with Queequeg.
      Leela: Is there Mrs. Queequeg?

    • Fry(writing): Leela cried for her lost love as Fry lay dead under the heavy bookcase. The Big Brain laughed in triumph... Then, for no reason, he left Earth forever. The end.

    • Fry: Excuse me, have you seen a giant brain?
      Tom Sawyer: Yep. I let him help me whitewash Aunt Polly's fence.
      Big Brain: Tom Sawyer, you tricked me. This is less fun than previously indicated. Let this corny slice of Americana be your tomb for all eternity.

    • Woman: Mr. Fry, Mama tells us you're quite the oddity; a bachelor at your age.
      Fry: You think I'm an oddity? Wait'll you see-
      Butler: Presenting the most eligible landowner in all Hertfordshire, Mr. Brainly.
      Big Brain: I'm a gigantic brain!

    • Queequeg: Big whale over there.
      Ahab: Arr! I saw it first!
      Queequeg: Wait! That no white whale. It grey, think-y whale!

    • Fry: Take that! And that! This sentence I don't understand but take this one!

    • Fiona: The brains are weakening. Nibblonians to Nibble stations. Prepare cuddle bug for deployment in 40 nibblets.
      Nibbler: Sometimes I fear we are cute.
      Fiona: Oh, niggle-snoosh!

    • Fry: Hey! Thinking hurts him. Maybe I can think of a way to use that. [The Brain groans] Aha! Prepare to be thought at. Leela, give me a topic.
      Leela: Duh...
      Fry: Seriously, I can't think of anything. Gotta find something to make me think. Hardy Boys, too easy. Nancy Drew, too hard. Aha! Perfect! Bonfire of the Vanities!

    • Big Brain: Odd. My stupefaction field is having no effect on your ability to think.
      Fry: That's right. And I think you'll find that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! [He throws a book at the brain. It bounces off it harmlessly.] OK, better think of a new plan.

    • Fry: I'm here to kick your ass.
      Big Brain: Wishful thinking. We have long since evolved beyond the need for asses.

    • Big Brain: Pathetic human race. Arranging their knowledge by category just made it easier to absorb. Dewey, you fool, your decimal system has played right into my hands!

    • Leela: You go fight biggest brain of all.
      Fry: Even bigger than those? Holy nuts! Where is it?
      Leela: I 'unno!
      Fry: Hm. A giant brain is basically a giant nerd. And where would a giant nerd be? The libary!

    • Leela: Brain. Brain make people dumb.
      Fry: No, Leela. Brain make people smart.

    • Leela: Ow! Fire hot.
      Farnsworth: The professy will help! [He puts his hand in and his lab coat catches fire] Fire indeed hot!

    • Fry: Leela! I've been so worried. Are you a bonehead?
      Leela: I... have to tell... must... important... something-
      Fry: Whoa, whoa! Slow down. You're going a mile a minute.

    • Fry: Time to re-educate you dunce-bags. We'll start with US presidents. This was our first president, George Washington. Let's review. Who was our first president?
      Amy: Um.
      Bender: A pickle jar?
      Washington: Thomas Jefferson?

    • Ken: The Brain Spawn are commanded by a giant, evil brain with a gooey centre of pure hate.
      Fiona: Only Fry, with his superior, yet inferior mind, can approach him. You must tell him to disable it. We will do the rest.
      Leela: You can count on me.
      Fiona: No, we can't. Once on Earth, you will be too stupid to remember the message.
      Nibbler: That's why we wrote it down for you.
      Ken: We've also prepared a bag lunch and some mittens.

    • Fiona: The Brain Spawn suppress intelligence by attacking the delta brain wave. Every animal and robot in the universe generates this wave, as do certain trees.
      Nibbler: Fry, however, does not.
      Fiona: Somehow he has cobbled together a random assortment of other brain waves into a working mind.
      Leela: Like a prom dress made from carpet remnants.
      Nibbler: Yes, like your prom dress.

    • Leela: Why would Fry be immune to the flying brains? Because he doesn't shower?

    • Ken: Nibblonian fleet holding at perimeter of moron zone, formerly known as "Earth".

    • Nibbler: There is but one being who can resist them. A child of destiny whose bizarre brain wave pattern makes him immune to the Brain Spawn attack. He is the hope of the universe. The fate of your world, perhaps all worlds, rests in his special mind.
      Leela: Now, when you say "special"...
      [Cut to Fry holding a bullhorn backwards]
      Fry: Attention, New New Yorkers. Stop acting so stupid!

    • Leela: So why are these Brain Spawn attacking Earth, Nibbler?
      Nibbler: The Brain Spawn hate all consciousness. The thoughts of others screech at them like the forced laughs of a billion art house movie patrons.

    • Ken: For the first millisecond of time, things were OK. But then there arose a terrible enemy: The Brain Spawn. Ever since, we have waged unceasing war against these dreadful-
      Nibblonian Chef: Lunch is ready.
      Ken: Then let the feast of a thousand hams begin.

    • Ken: We Nibblonians are an ancient and powerful race. Behold. When the universe was forged in the crucible of the Big Bang, our mighty race was already 17 years old.

    • Leela: So, your real name is Lord Nibbler? That's a coincidence.
      Nibbler: That name is for your sake. In the time it would take to pronounce one letter of my true name, a trillion cosmoses would flair into existence and sink into eternal night.

    • Fiona: The four welcomes of friendship to you as well, Leela. We shall manipulate your mind so we appear to be speaking your language. Do not be afraid, my child.
      Leela: I'm not afraid.
      Fiona: Uh, good. Good.

    • Ken: Welcome back, Lord Nibbler, Ambassador to Earth, homeworld of the pizza bagel.
      Nibbler: Thank you. I bear many receipts for reimbursement.

    • Fry: Man, even the news monster is acting strange. What are we gonna do?
      Farnsworth: Duh, I know! Let's play the lottery!
      Amy: No. Let's buy Internet stock!
      Zoidberg: On margin! Zoidy wanna buy on margin!
      Hermes: Look at me! I'm invisible!
      Fry: Wait a minute! I know what's going on here. You've all become idiots!
      Bender: Hey, let's all join the Reform Party!

    • Morbo: Morbo can't understand his TelePrompTer. He forgot how you say that letter that looks like a man with a hat.
      Linda: It's a "T". It goes "tuh".
      Morbo: Hello, little man. I will destroy you!

    • (A news bulletin starts, with Morbo stupidly spinning around on his chair until he falls down...)
      : (laughs) You fell! (to camera) Hi! Today some bad things happened. One bad thing was a train got crashed in New Jersey. Wanna see? (cuts to a pile of smashed trains at a railway station) People won't be late for work though, because the governor lady said, (fake deep voice) "I'm sending in more trains!"
      (Another train pulls into the station and collides into the pile-up, and people climb aboard the burning wreckage.)

    • Leela: This is unbelievable. I thought you were a furry little moron. But here you are flying an adorable spaceship. If only you could talk. [Nibbler chatters] Wait! I understood that! [Nibbler chatters] You say you're transmitting your thoughts directly to my brain. [Nibbler chatters] You say those awful flying brains are making everyone on Earth stupid? [Nibbler chatters] Oh, stupider. And you go on to say that we're headed for your home planet where your race has lived since the beginning of the universe? [Nibbler chatters] So, how did the universe begin? [Nibbler chatters] Then the meaning of existence... So every religion is wrong!

    • Fry: Dr. Zoidberg, why is everyone acting so weird?
      Zoidberg: Zoidy want balloon! Want balloon now! Zoidy want go outside!
      Fry: I just let you back in!

    • Bender: Fry, help me! My heart stopped beating!
      Fry: You don't have a heart; you're a robot.
      Bender: Sure... right. Robot! Oh, Fry! My skin's all dry and clanky.
      Fry: Well, yeah. Robots are made of metal.
      Bender: Am I a robot?
      Fry: Bender, if this is some kind of scam, I don't get it. You already have my power of attorney.

    • Hermes: What's got into him? He's twitching like Zoidberg when someone mentions the word "food".
      Zoidberg: What, now?

    • Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! We were supposed to make a delivery to the planet Tweenis 12 but it's been completely destroyed.
      Leela: Why is that good news?
      Farnsworth: They paid in advance.

    • Leela: Maybe they're right. Maybe Nibbler is dumb.
      Fry: Don't listen to them, Leela. People said I was dumb, but I proved them.

    • Judge: And the grand prize winner... the Hypno-Toad. All glory to the Hypno-Toad.

    • Judge: And before we announce the winner we have a special award for a first-time contestant: Ms. Leela and her mystery pet, Nibbler!
      Leela: Me? Award? Him? Me? Good?
      Judge: That's just the kind of eloquence you'd expect from the owner of Dumbest Pet in Show.

    • Judge: Third prize, a party-sized keg of guinea pigs, goes to Dave Spiegel and his owner, Fluffers. Second prize, this lovely afghan made from an Afghan, goes to Bender and his wooping terrier.
      Bender: Second place? That's a fancy word for losing. You didn't stick your landing!
      Zoidberg: Forgive me, my friend.
      Bender: Never!

    • Farnsworth: Zooka barooka! First prize is $500 and a year's supply of dog food!
      Bender: "$500", you say?
      Zoidberg: "Dog food", you say?

    • Bender: Suck in that gut! You wanna be spayed?

    • Bender: Ma'am, I have a late entry: My hard-shelled wooping terrier, Mr. Zoidberg.

    • Fry: Now he's trapped in a book I wrote. A crummy world of plot holes and spelling errors.
      Brain: The Big Brain am winning again! I am the greetest! Ha ha ha ha ha! Now, I am leaving Earth, for no raisin.

    • Nibblonian: Thus they travel from world to world. Making everyone stupid in order to wipe out all thought in the universe.!
      Leela: Wipe out all thought? My God! They're like flying televisions!

    • Fry: Looks like this planet's next in line.
      Leela: That's Earth!
      (Fry stares stupidly)
      Leela: The planet we live on.
      Fry: I'd hate to be those guys!

  • NOTES (4)

    • This is the first time Nibbler speaks English. His speaking voice is provided by the same voice actor who does his "animal" voice, Frank Welker.

    • First appearance of Ken, Fiona and the Big Brain.

    • Matt Groening's favorite character in Futurama: The Hypno-Toad. The sound that it makes is a recording of a turbine engine played backwards.

    • Alien code: When Leela and Nibler get to Nibler's planet, you see a dome with two obelisks standing on each side. They have both Alien Code #1 and #2 written on them. Lucky for us, they both say the same thing. When translated they both read: "Yummy Tummy."


    • Don Martin/MAD Magazine
      Hermes: ...Then Don Martin Three went kaflooie.

      Don Martin is a long time artist/cartoonist at MAD Magazine. He is most famous for his "silent" cartoon that included very odd, but descriptive sound effect noise words like kaflooie and sprroonngg.

    • If you look at the signs at the pet show, twice you'll see a sign that says "Soylent Chow." This is a reference to the movie "Soylent Green," set in a distant future where there is no more room for dead people under the Earth's surface, and dead bodies line the streets. So some scientists developed food called "Soylent Green" which is actually made from people, to deal with the problem.

    • Brain Spawn:Superman
      The Brain Spawn share the same goal as Superman's Brainiac, who seeks to learn everything in the universe and blow up each planet to prevent new information from surfacing.

    • Council Member: Welcome back, Lord Nibbler, ambassador to Earth.
      Nibblonian council is reference to Minbari "Grey Council" in TV series Babylon 5. There is also 9 members and they wear cloaks with hoods. The lights from the ceiling are almost identical. The only difference is that Minbari had no chairs, they stood.

    • Fry: The libary!
      This is Billy West's homage to Steve Alan's "Jerk Test." If you say Libary instead of Library, you're a jerk.

    • Title: The Day the Earth Stood Still
      The title is a rip of the title of the classic SF Movie The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).