Futurama will be returning to television in June of this year and now is the best time to take a look at five of the best episodes ever aired for the cult cartoon hit. Futurama is the creation of Simpson’s mastermind Matt Groening and has always been a little on the eccentric side, a show that has no gray area. The fans that love Futurama, know every episode like the back of their hand, therefore any top five list of Futurama classics will undoubtedly create some disagreement.
The characters in Futurama all have rough edges and more complex than most cartoons. The heroes and villains in the show are not always clearly drawn. From a human like robot with no scruples to a lead character that is not the sharpest tool in the shed, it is a process understanding the characters. It is understandable when some Futurama viewers are discouraged after one viewing and others follow it religiously.
5) Bender Gets Made Original air date: 04/30/2000.
Bender has three dreams throughout the Futurama series and being a made man in the mafia was the best dream episode featuring Bender the conniving robot. Bender, always fascinated with the mafia lifestyle, dreams of life as a mafioso. The story parodies several mafia classics along the way and is one of the most hilarious episodes. See the beginning of the episode in hulu.com series snippet, here.
4) Fry & the Slurm Cola Factory Original air Date: 11/14/1999.
A different take on the classic movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Futurama takes on the classic children’s story head on with it’s typical “take no prisoners” parody style. In this episode Fry wins a trip to the Slurm factory, where they literally roll out the red carpet for Fry and his entourage.
The tour includes Slurm’s version of oompa loompas which are are Krunga Lungas. The Krunga Lungas sing a song of warning, “Keep your head down and keep your mouth shut.” To see the beginning of the strange tour view here. Fry finds out the secret ingredient and is temporarily disgusted, see here. The Futurama classic has some great lines and takes a few shots at soft drink giant, Coke along the way.
3) Roswell That Ends Well Original air date: 12/09/2001.
Roswell That Ends Well is a look at Roswell New Mexico in 1947. Futurama’s main character Fry, is transported back to 1947 to make sure is grandfather impregnates his grandmother so he will be born. The twists and turns of the story are hilarious from Zoidberg trying to befriend his captors while they are dissecting him (see here), to Fry actually having sex with his grandmother and thus becoming his own grandfather. The episode is so far out of the box it actually was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Direction and won.
2) Fighting Santa Originalair date: 12/19/1999.
Santa is a whole different character in the future as Futurama showcases a newer more hostile version of Santa. In this episode, Santa is a vengeful robot that inflicts mortal injury for being naughty. The challenge is to keep Santa out of the house and make sure he does not return. See one of the the funniest scenes here.
In this scene (see here) Fry is told details of the new robotic Santa Claus and what will happen if he does not make it back in the house before night fall. “He will chop off your head and cram gifts down your neck from his sack of horrors.” Futurama always reveled in rewriting traditions and giving them a Futurama twist.
1) Luck of the Fryish Original air date March 11, 2001.
Luck of the Fryish is the number one Futurama episode for many reasons. The episode builds the back story of Fry’s youth and his constant sibling rivalry throughout his youth with his brother Yancy. When Fry was living in Old New York, circa 1974 he discovered a seven leaf clover that made him unbeatable in every aspect of his life.
Feeling the seven leaf clover is the key to him becoming successful again, Fry circa year 3000, travels back to his old house and searches for the seven leaf clover. He discovers the lucky seven leaf clover is missing and assumes that his brother Yancy has stolen it when he sees that a Phillip J Fry (wearing his seven leaf clover) was the first man on Mars. Fry assumes that not only did Yancy steal the lucky seven leaf clover but that he stole his dream to be an astronaut and his name to boot.
Fry travels to the grave site with the intention of robbing the grave and getting his seven leaf clover back. Fry is shocked to find out the real story of Phillip J Fry when he is about to remove the seven leaf clover. Yancy, his brother, had discovered the lucky charm when going through his missing brothers records and gives the lucky charm to his new born son, named after his long lost brother Phillip J Fry.
Futurama will return to the Comedy Central June 24th with 12 new episodes. Check your local listings for air times.