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The 10 best Futurama episodes ever, ranked

With Futurama returning to screens on Hulu, fans are anxious to see the new adventures of Fry, Leela, Bender, and the rest of the Planet Express crew in the 31st century. It remains to be seen whether or not the show’s upcoming episodes will measure up to the many classic episodes of the past.

So as the world awaits to see what the future holds for the series, fans can look back at what made it so great with the 10 best episodes of Futurama.

10. The Why of Fry (season 4, episode 10)

Fry and Nibbler in "Futurama."
20th Television

When the evil Brain Spawn return to destroy the universe, the Nibblonians call upon Fry to thwart their plan by destroying their giant Infosphere. However, Fry learns that his getting frozen and waking up in the year 3000 was no accident, so he goes back in time to undo it all.

The Why of Fry pays off over four seasons of buildup thanks to the creators’ exceptional writing, connecting the events of the pilot to the Nibblonian-Brain Spawn War and Fry’s actions at Roswell. They even revealed the identity of the notorious “I.C. Weiner.” But with Fry questioning his self-worth and realizing what was taken from him, this episode features a heartfelt exploration of his character and how he finds meaning with Leela.

9. The Sting (season 4, episode 12)

Fry, Bender, and Leele in the "Futurama" episode, "The Sting."
20th Television

When Fry, Leela, and Bender go to gather honey from a hive of giant alien bees, Fry dies when one of them stings him, and Leela becomes wracked with remorse. What follows is a surreal odyssey into Leela’s guilty conscience as she becomes convinced Fry’s spirit is reaching out to him while losing her grip on reality.

Even if audiences knew Fry’s death wouldn’t last, this episode reinvigorates the tired “it was all a dream” twist while showing how deep Fry and Leela’s loving bond runs.

8. Parasites Lost (season 3, episode 2)

Zoidberg, Hermes, Amy, Prof. Farnsworth, and Bender in the Planet Express ship in "Futurama."
20th Television

After Fry ingests a gas station sandwich, he becomes infected with hyper-intelligent worms that form an entire society inside his body. But as the Planet Express crew shrinks themselves to eliminate the parasites, Fry’s mind and body become so enhanced that Leela falls in love with him.

It’s an inventive concept that the writers take full advantage of to present many wacky, hilarious moments (with most of them courtesy of Zoidberg). It also adds greater depth to Fry and Leela’s relationship, showing how much the former is willing to go to make sure Leela loves his true self.

7. Roswell That Ends Well (season 3, episode 19)

Fry, Leela, Bender, and Professor Farnsworth in "Futurama."
20th Television

In this episode, Fry, Leela, Bender, Farnsworth, and Zoidberg accidentally travel back to 1947 and crash land in Roswell, New Mexico. As the crew gathers what they need to return home, Fry tries to ensure his own birth by keeping his grandfather alive while Zoidberg gets captured and interrogated by the U.S. government.

Futurama imagined what it would be like if a regular man got sent to the future, and this episode hilariously flips the script by sending him and his 31st-century friends back to the past.

6. The Farnsworth Parabox (season 4, episode 15)

Alternate versions of Bender, Leela, and Fry in "Futurama."
20th Television

This is the multiverse done right, folks. When Professor Farnsworth creates a box containing a parallel universe, the Planet Express crew (except for Hermes) end up meeting themselves in this other reality. The episode opens the portal to a variety of hysterical moments as each character spends time with their alternate selves and travels to other strange universes.

Fry and Leela also see what their lives would be like if they ever went out on a date, making for a terrific analysis of their budding relationship. Hopefully, Planet Express will explore many more universes with their new life at Hulu.

5. The Late Philip J. Fry (season 6, episode 7)

Fry, Farnsworth, and Bender in a time machine in "Futurama."
20th Television

The series has frequently dabbled with traveling back in time, but this episode does the exact opposite. When Professor Farnsworth creates a device that only goes forward in time, he, Fry, and Bender get thrust into many bleak and bizarre futures. While the trio is presumed dead by their friends in the present, Leela takes over Planet Express, going decades thinking Fry stood her up on their last date together.

This Emmy-Award-winning episode takes a simple concept and explores many different comedic and scientific ideas, showing how this cartoon can be equal parts smart, ridiculous, tear-jerking, depressing, and terrifying all in half an hour.

4. Jurassic Bark (season 4, episode 7)

Fry, Bender, and Leela staring at a fossilized dog in "Futurama."
20th Television

When Fry discovers the fossilized remains of his beloved dog, Seymour, audiences see Fry try to resurrect him while looking back at their time together in the 20th century. Fry eventually decides to let his furry friend rest in peace, thinking he lived a full life without him, but the show reveals that Seymour stayed loyal to Fry and waited for him to return for several years until his death.

This acclaimed episode, a playful riff on Steven Spielberg’s modern classic Jurassic Park, broke the hearts of countless viewers with its touching and tragic tale, serving as a prime example of the show’s poignant storytelling.

3. Leela’s Homeworld (season 4, episode 2)

Leela hugging her parents as Fry watches in "Futurama."
20th Television

Leela spends the first few seasons of Futurama figuring out who her parents are and what planet she is from. But this episode answers all those questions with the surprising twist that she is actually a mutant from the sewers beneath New New York.

As Leela tries to uncover the truth about her heritage, viewers see how much her parents are willing to sacrifice to give their daughter a “normal” and happy life on the surface, which makes their reunion in the end all the more heartwarming.

2. Luck of the Fryrish (season 3, episode 10)

Fry holding a seven-leaf clover in "Futurama."
20th Television

As Fry tries to reclaim his lucky seven-leaf clover, audiences explore his tumultuous relationship with his older brother, Yancy, who repeatedly imitated his achievements growing up. Fry is led to believe Yancy stole his clover after he was frozen and used it to steal his dream, along with his name. However, in a shocking twist, Fry learns that Yancy actually gave the clover to his son, whom he named after Fry, showing how much Yancy loved and idolized his little brother.

This ending remains of the most touching moments in Futurama, with it being to first to show that someone from Fry’s old life genuinely cared for him, making him realize how lucky he truly is.

1. Godfellas (season 3, episode 20)

Bender in space in "Futurama."

When Bender gets accidentally shot into space, Fry and Leela try to find a way to bring him back. At the same time, the wayward Bender becomes host to an entire society of miniature people who believe he is God. Naturally, things go terribly wrong with him in charge, as he inadvertently hurts his followers when he intervenes and lets them destroy each other in a holy war after deciding not to help them.

In the end, Bender actually encounters God (or rather an entity similar to God) and learns a powerful lesson about faith and leadership that transcends Godfellas into an existential masterpiece.

All 11 seasons of Futurama are streaming on Hulu.

Editors' Recommendations

Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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