Season 5 Episode 8

The Why of Fry

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 06, 2003 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
324 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Fry feels really down as Leela is head over heels because of Chaz, the Mayor's Aide. While on her date, Leela asks Fry if he could walk Nibbler, and he reluctantly agrees. When he says how unimportant he feels, Nibbler speaks and takes him to his home planet. There, Fry learn about his genetic abnormality that qualifies him for a mission to save the universe. While on this mission, we learn what really happened on the night Fry was frozen.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • This episode shows the night that Fry was frozen on December 31, 1999

    I thought that this was an excellent episode of "Futurama". It had a very good plot and with a few good humor. This episode was also very interesting because it revealed to us what happened the night that Fry was frozen on December 31, 1999. Fry asked Leela if she wanted to go on a date with him but Leela told Fry that she is already going on a date with some guy named Chaz. Fry feels disheartened and worthless. Leela sees Fry and asks him if he can watch over her pet Nibbler and then Fry kinda agrees. Nibbler talks to Fry and shows him something which leads Fry on a mission to save the world. The brains blurb out to Fry about what they did to him on the night that he was frozen. Fry was looking back at December 31, 1999 which was the night that he was frozen and it turned out that Nibbler pushed Fry into the time freezing machine. Fry gets upset at the Nibblers because that was his life and it was all gone because he was frozen for 1000 years. Bender's part in the beginning of the episode was funny and that whole orphan thing was pretty funny but I thought Chaz was being mean because he didn't let the orphans rocket skate. Everything that happened in this episode was just genius and awesome all the way. Overall, an excellent episode of "Futurama" that definitely had me hooked. 10/10moreless
  • Fry thinks he is wothless, until he discovers his stupidity is the key to saving the entire universe from some returning killer brains.

    This is one of the more popular episodes of "Futurama" but time travelling story-lines either work well or they don't work at all. "The Why of Fry" is a fun episode but is hardly as perfect as everyone makes out. There are some decent gags, but not nearly enough, and the plot is interesting until the time travelling stuff at the end, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever when I think about it.

    Overall, I preferred "Futurama" back when it was starting out and was more about the jokes in idividual episodes than the amazing science fictiony serial it's wanting to be here. But it still has its moments this.moreless
  • futurama origins

    we learn why fry was frozen: he was selected to help earth from brains trying to squeeze knowledge out of people {sounds horribly made up, and for most shows, it might be, but not for futurama}. we learn it was nibbler who was the one who made fry fall in the cryogenics freezer and the reason he got frozen. a good episode with some good backstory to the very first episode. a personal favorite of mine because it is really funny and also has a very good and interesting plot. a true delight for futurama fans, i give thee an A+moreless
  • The origin of why and how Fry is in the future.

    "The Why Of Fry"

    Grade: A*

    So this was an excellent episode explaining why Fry came to the future and his purpose. Not only that, he starts to realise that maybe he does have a chance to be with Leela, but also more talking apperances from Nibbler. Nevertheless a very important episode and in my opinion should have came just before the series finale.

    The episode begins with Fry setting off on a space delivery, but finding out that the crew went without him. He asks Leela to go to dinner with him, but his hopes are crushed when she tells him he is going on a date with Chaz, the mayor's aide.

    When Fry is told to take Nibbler out for a walk, he discovers that Nibbler can talk, and knocks him out, sending him to his home planet Eternium. The Nibblonians tell Fry that the brains are taking information from the universe and storing it into the Infosphere, a ship remiscient of the Death Star. Because Fry is immune to the brain's power, he is the only one who can stop it.

    Fry gets to the Infosphere using his Scooty Puff Jr and gets trapped after it breaks. He asks questions in the database and soon gets alerted by the other brains as a result. He plants a bomb and activates it, which will send them to a different universe. With seconds away from detonating, the brains tell Fry that they should ask the database what really happened to him on December 31st 1999.

    He asks the question and finds out that Nibbler is responsible for pushing him into the cryogenics tube. Fry is upset that they took away his life and he is sent to the other universe with the brains as time runs out.

    Seemingly trapped with the brains, Fry wished that Nibbler never took him to the future. Fortuantly, the brains give him one use of time travel to prevent this from happening. Meanwhile, Leela's date with Chaz ends when he reserves an ice rink only for her and prevents the orphans from skating with them.

    Fry arrives on 31st December 1999, and teleports just behind Nibbler. Fry grabs Nibbler seconds away from pushing the original Fry into the tube. Nibbler tells him that he needs to be frozen since he won't live long enough, but Fry feels he was "being used". In the end, Nibbler tells him if there's anything worth saving in the future. Fry tells him Leela, but he doesn't think he's important to her. Nibbler leaves the decision to Fry, and in the end Fry pushes the original Fry into the cryogenics tube.

    Fry returns with Scooty Puff Sr after telling Nibbler that Scooty Puff Jr sucks, and is able to set the bomb off and escape with no problems. He returns to Earth and Nibbler blanks his memory to stay undercover. The episode ends with Leela telling Fry that he may not be the most important person in the universe, but she's glad to be there with him.

    Overall, a very important episode, with good jokes and finally an explanation of Futurama and Fry's existence. It's one of my favourites, along with the pilot episode as a reason for this, and it ties up the loose ends very well.moreless
  • A hilarious explanation of why Fry came to the future.

    This episode is hillarious,and informative and some hilarious parts are when Fry said he did do the nasty in the pasty and when Fry was getting ready for the mission and he yelled at Zoidberg for giving him the same toy surprise as last time. Also it was very funny when Fry was talking to Bender and Bender kept saying nope to everything Fry said and then Fry said Bender is great and then Bender said nope and then he got annoyed. Also some more hilarious parts are when The Giant Brain said he killed the dinosaurs and when one of the brains said to Fry if he sent them into another dimention that they would make a clique that you won't be part of. Overall because of it's hilarity and explanation of why Fry came to the future is why this is such a good episode.moreless
David Herman

David Herman

Mayor Poopenmayer, Professor Ogden Wernstrum, Scruffy, Toronga Morris, Larry, Dwayne, Various

Katey Sagal

Katey Sagal

Turanga Leela, Various

Billy West

Billy West

Philip J. Fry, Professor Hubert Farnsworth, Dr. John Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, Leo Wong, Various

Lauren Tom

Lauren Tom

Amy Wong, Inez Wong, Various

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Mom, Linda the Newscaster, Various

Frank Welker

Frank Welker

Nibbler, Various

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • The orphans that Chaz prohibited from going on the ice skating rink are the same orphans that Bender temporarily adopted in The Cyber House Rules. Leela almost adopted one of them (Sally the 3-eared girl) however, she doesn't seem to recognize them.

    • Opening theme promotion: DANCING SPACE POTATOES? YOU BET!

    • Sign At Elzar's: Bathroom is for Stroganoff Customers only!

    • When the infosphere was scanning the last bits of information, one of the items was "11>4". If brains needed to collect sets of inequalities to complete their database, they would never finish since there are infinitely many such parings.

    • When Fry and Nibbler were in the past (December 31st 1999), and under the table, they were talking at normal volume so the Fry in the past sitting in the desks chair would obviously have heard them.

    • Isn't the name of the orphanage that the children are from called "the Bender Bending Rodriguez Orphanage"? If it is, then why does the bus say "Minimum Security Orphanarium"?
      Response: A wing of the orphanarium was renamed after Bender's contribution. It is still the Cookieville Minimum Security Orphanarium.

    • When the timer for the quantum interface bomb starts, it is displayed as '0:60". Sixty seconds is of course one minute, so it should have read "1:00" then "0:59". Unless the number of seconds in a minute has changed in the future.

      Response: There's nothing wrong with a timer displaying 0:60. I can type in 0:90 on my microwave and it will run for 90 seconds, or I can type 1:30 and it will run for 90 seconds.

    • Fry tells Nibbler that Scooty Puff Jr sucks, so Nibbler gives him Scooty Puff Sr when 3002 comes around again. Fry escapes the InfoSphere in time, but that means he is never trapped in the alternate universe, which means he never goes back to 1999, which means he never meets Nibbler, which means Nibbler never realises that Scooty Puff Jr sucks, which means Nibbler gives Fry Scooty Puff Jr, which means Fry gets trapped in the InfoSphere and so on.

    • When the Nibblonian ship approaches the Infosphere, the female niblonian is on the left hand side (from viewer's perspective) and then when the camera goes into the ship, she and Lord Nibbler have swapped places, she is now on the right!

    • The light in Applied Cryogenics changes during the scene. When Future-fry emerges and grabs Nibbler all shadows indicate the only light source is directly above the table. When the countdown on the clock begins the light source is between the table and the cryogenics tube, and finally when past-Fry tumbles over there's an incredible powerful light source at the entrance door.

    • Either the Nibblonians found a way to bypass the missing delta wave, or they decided not to erase Fry's memory of the brain spawn. They did decide to erase his memory of the Nibblonians, though.

    • In Jurassic Bark, we see a Nibblonian eye-stalk in the trash bin, yet in this episode Nibbler is under the desk all the time.

    • When Fry enters the Nibblonian Hall, his jacket is done up, then next shot it is undone again. He would not have had time to undo it.

    • In I Dated a Robot, Fry and the others see the parallel universe. The Professor remarks how there's only two universes. However, if Fry was in the future in the parallel universe, that means Nibbler must have helped freeze him, which means the brain spawn must be in the parallel universe as well! As the universes would be the same (unless the cowboy hats changed something) that means the brains would have swapped universes at the exact same time, leaving a set of brain spawn with cowboy hats in the "real" universe.

    • When Fry is flying into the sphere, there's a shot of him looking down at his wrist communicator and he isn't wearing a glove. Every other shot shows he is.

  • QUOTES (43)

    • Brain: (To Fry) We'll form a tightly knit club you won't be a part of!

    • Fry: Man I can't wait to tell everybody what happened.
      Nibbler: Yes incidentally I need to remain undercover so I'm blanking your memory.

    • Fry: Huh. Did everything just taste purple for a second? Oh well. Let's go home you dumb poop machine.

    • Fry: Yes! Here I come future! Oh no! Wait! I'm gonna get trapped in the Infosphere again! Just remember that Scooty-Puff Junior sucks...
      Nibbler: In a thousand years I'll get right on it.

    • Fry: Well, why couldn't you just ask me?
      Nibbler: We were afraid you would refuse.
      Fry: Of course not, I love the future.
      Nibbler: Then why are you choking me right now?
      Fry: Because I don't like being used.

    • Nibbler: I don't understand.
      Future Fry: Yes you do! You came back in time to knock me into that freezer. Now I came back in time to stop you.
      Nibbler: I did not come back in time. My people lack that ability.
      Future Fry: But, I know you in the future. I cleaned your poop.
      Nibbler: Quite possible. We live long and are celebrated poopers.

    • Nibbler: I hereby place and order for one cheese pizza.
      Panucci: One pie, nothing good on it. Name?
      Nibbler: I-period C-period Wiener!

    • Vogel: Alright kids. Back to the Orphanarium. You can slide around the gym in your socks.
      Sally: What socks?

    • Orphan: We came here instead of eating today.
      Leela: This may be their only chance to skate in their whole lives. Who are we to say they can't?
      Chaz: The mayor's aide, and his badge! Beat it kids! Come back when you got connections.

    • Sally: Mr Vogel. I thought we was going skating.
      Vogel: No. We're not important enough. Everybody just hold hands until the bus driver gets back from his haircut.

    • Leela: I love rocket skating! But the wait is always so long. Fry once stood in line for six hours just to get me a ticket.
      Chaz: Six hours? Pfft. Sounds like a real nobody! But now it's time for somebody and some chick he's with to go skating.
      Leela: You reserved the whole rink?
      Chaz: Yup. Buzzed ahead, let 'em know who's aide was coming by. The mayor's, that's who's.

    • Giant Brain: Interesting. You could stop the Nibblonian from pushing you into the cryogenic tube.
      Fry: That is interesting. Why?
      Giant Brain: It would be as if you never came to the future. You will have your life back and we will suceed in our plan to understand and destroy the universe.
      Fry: Everybody wins!

    • Giant Brain: Well, here we are. Trapped for eternity.
      Brain #2: We could sing American Pie.
      Fry: Go ahead. I deserve it. I wish those stupid racoons had never brought me to the future.

    • Computer Voice: Detonation in 2, 1. Will the owner of a white Pontiac Firebird...oh nevermind. Zero!

    • Fry: You little runts froze me! You took away my life!
      Nibbler: We can explain!
      Fry: No you can't. Shut your adorable trap!

    • Fry: What happened to me, Philip J. Fry, on the night of December 31st 1999?
      Infosphere Brain: Clarification request. Are you the Philip J. Fry from Earth or the Philip J. Fry from Hovering Squidworld 97A?
      Giant Brain: Earth you fat idiot!

    • Giant Brain: The Nibblonians? Good? During your last moments in this universe perhaps you should query our database concerning the night of December 31st 1999.
      Fry: The day I got frozen? What about it?
      Nibbler: No! Don't ask about that! It, it would be uh...boring!
      Fry: Eh forget it then.

    • Brain #2: A quantum-interphase bomb? Are you insane in the membrane?
      Fry: You got it poindexter!

    • Brain #1: Odd. He is immune to our psyonic attack.
      Brain #2: Impossible. We're an ambitious young squad with everything to prove.

    • Giant Brain: Detecting trace amounts of mental activity. Possibly a dead weasel or a cartoon-watcher.

    • Male Nibblonian: In a few seconds the brains will finish scanning the last bits of information in the universe.
      Infosphere: Beavers mate for life. 11 > 4. For quality carpets visit Kaplan's carpet warehouse!

    • Male Nibblonian: Fear not Mighty One, your missing brainwave makes you invisible to them. So long as you avoid intense thinking.
      Fry: Sorry, what? I wasn't paying attention.
      Male Nibblonian: That is most wise.
      Fry: Who?

    • Female Nibblonian: Your mission is to infiltrate the Inforsphere and plant this quantum-interphase bomb, blasting them into an alternate universe, from which there is no return.
      Nibbler: Then outrun the blast on this Scooty-Puff Junior.

    • Nibbler: Being brains, they feel compelled to know everything. And soon they will.
      Fry: I'm as mad as I've ever been.
      Male Nibblonian: Once their task is complete, they will ensure no new information arises in the only way possible: by destroying the universe.
      Fry: Now it's personal.

    • Male Nibblonian: For a thousand years, the evil brains have been constructing the giant Infosphere, a giant memory bank twice the size of three ordinary memory banks.
      Fry: What's so evil about that?
      Female Nibblonian: They plan to collect all the information in the universe and store it in the sphere.
      Fry: So they're trying to learn things?
      Female Nibblonian: Right.
      Fry: Those bastards!

    • Fry: So I really am important? How I feel when I'm drunk is correct?
      Male Nibblonian: Yes. Except the Dave Matthews Band doesn't rock.

    • Nibbler: Fry, do you remember some months ago when the Earth was attacked by flying brains?
      Fry: Hmm, I remember the square dancing stomachs, although that might have been a milanta commerical. Wait! The brains! I do remember! But no one else does. They said I was crazy.
      Male Nibblonian: On the contrary. You remember beause you were the only one immune to the brain's mental attack.
      Fry: Because I'm so smart?

    • Male Nibblonian: Fry, it is my duty to inform you that the fate of humanity, the fate of our race, indeed the fate of all that exists and all that will exist rests with you. You are the single most important person in the universe.
      Fry: Oh snap!

    • Male Nibblonian: Stop that! Uh...please. Your mightiness -
      Fry: Mightiness? Are you off your nut? I just got kidnapped by a bunch of guineapigs.

    • Fry: Oh Nibbler, at least I'm important to you. Even if it's only 'cause I clean up you poop.
      Nibbler: The poop eradication is but one aspect of your importance.

    • Fry: Are you my mommy?
      Nibbler: Negative.

    • Fry: I'm as worthless as this trashcan.
      Trashcan: You think I'm as worthless as you? Try catching garbage in your head and raising six kids you dumb townie!

    • Leela: Wow, free bread at a restaurant? Is there anything you can't do?
      Chaz: I can't fail the major, not ever.

    • Fry: I'm nobody. There are guys in the background with Mary Worth comics who are more important than me.
      Bender: Ah, buck up meatloaf. Bender'll take you out tonight and cheer you up. What do you wanna do? And I mean anything. You have the power! Name it an I'm there, you the man!
      Fry: Um, OK. Let's go bowling.
      Bender: Nah.

    • Fry: So? I'm just as important as him. It's just that, the kind of importance I have, it doesn't matter if I...don't do it.

    • Leela: I've got a date with Chaz.
      Fry: Chaz?
      Leela: I met him at that charity cock fight last week. He's the mayor's aide.
      Bender: Ooo, you go mutant girl!

    • Fry: Interesting, interesting. Dr Zoidberg, mission bag?
      Zoidberg: Packed and ready sir.
      Fry: What's this? This is the same toy surprise I got last time! I can't work under these conditions.

    • Fry: Delivery boy Philip J. Fry reporting for duty.
      Zoidberg: Dr Zoidberg, soaking in brine.

    • Fry: I'm real sorry I missed the mission. I wasn't there and you might have needed me...
      Bender: Nope!
      Fry: But if I'd been there, I...
      Bender: Nope!
      Fry: Li...
      Bender: Nope!
      Fry: Bender's great!
      Bender: Nope.... OH!

    • Nibblonian Councilman #1: 'Does he not know?'
      Nibbler : 'He does not know!'
      Nibblonian Councilwoman: 'He knows not?'
      Nibbler : 'Knows not does he!'
      Nibblonian Councilman #2: 'Not he knows?'
      Nibblonian Councilman #1: 'ENOUGH!'

    • Fry: Without me, there is no mission! I am the mission.
      Leela: We're back from the mission!
      Fry: What, what? You went without me?
      Bender: You were looking up curse words in the dictionary. It seemed like a better use of your time.
      Fry: But, but I'm the delivery boy.
      Leela: Don't worry, everything went fine.
      Bender: Better than usual!
      Leela: We got medals!

    • Nibblonian 1: It's a genetic abnormality which resulted when you went back in time and performed certain actions which made you your own grandfather.
      Fry: I did do the nasty in the pasty!
      Nibblonian 2: Verily. And that past nastification is what shields you from the brains. You are the last hope of the universe.

    • Fry: Are stamps really made of -
      Big Brain: Yes, toad mucus.
      Fry: What really killed the dinosaurs?
      Big Brain: ME!

  • NOTES (7)