By Chris Ann – 23:10: 2019
In all honesty, it often feels like Futurama was canceled before its time. Very few animated shows on television were as witty and funny as Matt Groening’s creation. Even The Simpsons, with its refined humor and clever references, seemed to lack many of the things that Futurama brought to the table. Particularly the freedom to go above and beyond with science-fiction jokes, in a format that had never been truly explored until the show premiered.
But thankfully, we live in the age of streaming, and there is absolutely nothing stopping fans of the television series binge-watching Fry & friends until exhaustion hits. But even if you are one of these hardcore fans, how many small details and references do you think you missed over Futurama’s seven seasons course? Well, let’s find out. It’s time to take a look at ten details about the main characters that everyone missed.
10 A Curious Address
It comes as no surprise to anyone that Futurama took quite a few liberties in order to come up with laugh out loud moments. Properties that many times almost demanded viewers to have degrees in mathematics, science, and the likes. While not all of them went to this extent, many actually had the power to make you smarter.
And the coolest thing is that there are a ton of smaller references spread all over the world of Futurama that you need to pay close attention to. Take Bender’s apartment number, 00100100. This is actually the binary reference to the dollar sign.
9 That Mouth Is Missing Something
When a show runs for several years, some details are bound to be scrapped eventually. Either because they don’t add anything to the story, or because there’s no point in going the extra mile. And when we’re talking about a show that has to be hand-drawn in its majority, this becomes even more relevant.
Take the lovable character of Zoidberg, for instance. Everyone loves him and laughs when he’s on screen, right? But do you actually remember that he used to have teeth in the first few episodes? It doesn’t quite compute.
8 Bender’s First Words
Going back to the very first season of an incredibly beloved show is always extremely satisfying. And a little weird, especially in animated shows that started airing before the 2000s. The animations are wonky, the dialogues don’t seem quite right. But still, we can’t help but love it nonetheless.
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If you were to ask if you remember each of the main characters’ first words, what are the odds you would remember? Maybe not that high. Our personal favorite has to be Bender, of course. In his own words, “bite my shiny metal ass”. Classic.
7 What’s In A Name?
What would Futurama be without Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth? From his notable catchphrase to his unique voice, he’s probably one of the most memorable characters in animated television history. And the series creator, Matt Groening, wanted such a character to be named after someone worthy of note.
Philo T. Farnsworth was an inventor and one of the first people to ever dabble with television, a concerto he showed to the world in the late 30s at the Futurama exhibit. There’s a two in one piece of trivia for you.
6 Multi-Use “Body” Part
If we had a robot, what would we use it for? And if our robot just happened to be as sassy and complex as Bender, the possibilities would become even wider and funnier. You might recall that Bender’s antennae has been used for many, many things throughout the course of the show, but can you recall every single one?
Some of the uses include a timer button for its internal digital camera, a beer pump lever, a mailbox flag, a popcorn butter dispenser lever, a cigarette lighter, an alarm clock snooze button, a voice mail alert light, a cap for a beer still , a binary time machine activator, an audio tape dispenser button, and a laser rock show.
5 Leela’s Singular Voice
Very often in animated shows, a single voice actor or actress plays several characters. Take Nancy Cartwright, for instance, the talented actress who plays Bart, Nelson, Ralph, and Maggie, amongst many other characters from The Simpsons.
The same goes for Futurama, with a single exception. Katey Sagal, who plays Leela, is the only actress in the entire cast who does not change her voice to play her character, and who only voices one character.
4 Howdy, Howard
Who doesn’t love some good old references to the actors’ actual lives when they’re playing a character? It’s always a hoot for writers, actors, and audiences who are familiar with the artists’ lives. If nothing else, it makes for a pretty cool inside joke.
One of the times this took place in Futurama was back in season three, when Fry yelled: “Howard Stern is overrated!” The punchline? The actor who voices Fry, Billy West, has been a regular at Stern’s radio show for several years.
3 Past Inspirations
Many of the details and mannerisms that make each character unique to the show are actually inspired by past movies and pop culture references. This is, of course, very common in the world of entertainment. But there’s just a lot of finesse in the way the team behind Futurama does.
For instance, Zoidberg’s character is inspired by Lou Jacobi in 1959’s The Diary of Anne Frank. Bender’s look is molded after the one we see in 1977’s Wizards, while Leela’s style is very much inspired by beloved sci-fi heroines, most notably, Sigourney Weaver’s 1979 classic Alien.
2 We Love You, You Can Stay
It is very interesting to dig into the history and development of a show and see what small and major things have changed from its original inception to the point where it is now – or at the time it ended, like Futurama. One of the most curious things is peeking at the plans the writers had for certain characters.
It might come as a surprise to you that many characters from the show were actually supposed to only appear in one episode. But they became so popular, they ended up becoming regulars, including Professor Wernstrom, our favorite antagonist.
1 Matt Groening’s Signature Move
Fans of both The Simpsons and Futurama have probably noticed that Matt Groening has some signature moves he enjoys applying to all of his projects. But the most interesting parallel between the two shows is the way they open.
With Futurama, there’s always something different to show during the opening theme. And at the end, another piece of text is shown right before the ship crashes. This is, of course, a nod to the way The Simpsons opening sequences work, most notably the things Bart writes on the board.