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This Fantastic Comedy of an Animated Series follows the life of Philip J. Fry: right as the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 1999, Fry — a pizza delivery boy in New York City — falls into a cryogenic tank and gets frozen for a thousand years. He emerges from his cryo-nap on the eve of New Year's Day 3000 to find a world of space travel, robots, aliens, mutants, and a buttload of new technology. After making friends out of a suicidal robot and a one-eyed alien, Fry tracks down his distant relative — Dr. Farnsworth, a physically-older Mad Scientist nephew — and becomes a delivery boy for Farnsworth's package delivery business, which allows him to have all kinds of various adventures.
Upon its release, many people expected "The Simpsons in SPACE!", but the show proved those fears unfounded soon enough. It also started as a Fish Out of Temporal Water series, but as Fry got used to everything (which didn't take long), it became an ensemble comedy set in the future. (Fry still reguarly needs strange futuristic concepts explained to him, though.)
Futurama has a well-established canon — which plays into numerous episodes at times — and the occasional dramatic moment hidden admist the comedy. Episodes notable for such moments include "Roswell That Ends Well", "The Why of Fry", "The Sting", "The Luck of the Fryrish", "Jurassic Bark" (whose bittersweet ending had the producers getting hate mail from viewers who had cried), and "Prisoner of Benda" (which invented a new mathematical theorem for brain switching).
A large portion of the original writing staff had college-level educations; they left all potential Did Not Do the Research moments up to the Rule of Funny and inserted numerous mathematical, engineering, and scientific jokes (ranging from subtle to extremely obscure) into the show.
The show's original run on Fox lasted from 1999 to 2003; the network cited disappointing ratings as the reason for its cancellation, but the creative staff cited its poor timeslot. After years of being kept on life support by Adult Swim, the show returned with four direct-to-DVD movies released between 2007 and 2009 (later syndicated as a sixteen-episode "fifth season"), then Comedy Central properly Uncanceled the series in 2010 after ratings improved in syndication.
Futurama serves as the Trope Namer for the following tropes:
- Big Book of War
- Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Though Buffy the Vampire Slayer technically used this phrase first.
- Bowel-Breaking Bricks
- Especially Zoidberg
- Hugh Mann
- The Hypnotoad
- Lonely Together
- Made Myself Sad
- My Friends and Zoidberg
- Ocean Madness
- Roswell That Ends Well
- Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks
- Tastes Like Purple
- That Makes Me Feel Angry
- Where No Parody Has Gone Before: Named after the episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", which, along with the series as a whole, contained ridiculous amounts of affectionate parodies of Star Trek, from the most obscure to the famous moments.
- X Makes Anything Cool
- You Mean "Xmas"
Futurama contains hundreds of examples of various tropes. To keep this page short, we've split off the tropes into separate pages:
- From left to right, top row first: Professor Farnsworth, Fry, Bender, Leela, Hermes, Amy, And Zoidberg