Season 5 Episode 8

The Why of Fry

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 06, 2003 on Comedy Central



  • Trivia

    • 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

    • 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

    • At the end of the DVD audio commentary for this episode, Maurice LaMarche asks if there should be a special 90-minute episode where they finally get Fry and Leela together, which is met with a resounding "yes!"

      This ultimately comes to pass with Into the Wild Green Yonder.

    • This is one of only two episodes Professor Farnsworth isn't in.

    • Alien code: When Fry goes to Nibler's home world, we see the same building we saw in The Day The Earth Stood Stupid. The towers out front still have Alien Code #2 on them, but don't say the same thing. When translated it reads: "Fuzzy Wuzzy."

    • The flying brains incident took place in the episode The Day the Earth Stood Stupid.

    • DVD commentary for this episode reveals that despite how nicely it ties together, Fry being his own grandfather was not originally intended as an explanation for why he lacks the delta brain wave, and was used as the explanation in this episode. It was intended that Nibler be used as the reason for Fry being frozen since the series was being planned.

    • Guest star Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show, The Ben Stiller Show) is the brother of Futurama writer Bill Odenkirk.

    • In Jurassic Bark when they show a flashback to Fry going into the chamber, we see Nibbler's eye stalk sticking out of the trash can. This episode answers the question to why Nibbler was there when Fry was frozen.

  • Allusions

    • American Pie:

      When Fry and the brains are transported to the other world, one of the brains suggests that they can all sing "American Pie" to pass the time.

      "American Pie" is a song sung by Don McLean. The length of the song (8 minutes, 32 seconds) is why the brains suggest that it, if sung, will pass the time.

    • Possible episode title references:
      Life of Pi, a novel by Yann Martel.
      The Tao of Pooh, and its companion, The Te of Piglet, two books written by Benjamin Hoff.

    • Men in Black:
      Erasing someone's memory with a blinding flash of light is reminiscent of the Men in Black movies.

    • Martians are from Mars, Venusians are from Venus
      This book title is an allusion to Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

    • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
      In a book by Douglas Adams, there's an episode which tells us about a very old race. These people built a giant computer called "Deep Thought" just to finally get an answer to "Life, the Universe, and Everything"

    • Lord Nibbler: Knows not does he!

      Again, this seems to be a reference to Yoda messing up gramatical structures in Star Wars movies.

    • Star Wars:
      Fry's mission to destroy the infosphere reminds one of the destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars.

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