Since its debut on Fox in 1999, animated sci-fi sitcom Futurama, by David X. Cohen and The Simpsons and Disenchantment creator Matt Groening, has been adored by fans and critics alike as it followed the adventures of pizza delivery guy Fry, voiced by Billy West, after he is accidentally frozen on New Year’s Eve in 1999 and wakes up 1,000 years later. The cast also includes John DiMaggio as the robot Bender and Katey Sagal as Leela.
After Fox canceled it four seasons in, the creators released some straight-to-DVD movies that were split into 16 episodes, and then the show briefly found a new home on Comedy Central and ended in 2013. Futurama was rebooted once again on Hulu in 2023 after 10 years off the air. With over 120 episodes—including some award-winning ones—Futurama offered up everything from satire to wonderfully done parodies of movies, and plenty still hold up today. Some are beloved for being smart, others for being emotional and full of heart, but being a comedy, there’s nothing like the episodes that deliver the show’s signature absurd humor the best.
10 “That’s Lobstertainment!”
Season 3, Episode 8 (2001)
In an ode to the Silent Film era, Dr. Zoidberg makes a movie with his uncle, a washed-up former star voiced by Hank Azaria, to help revive his career. Calculon, their difficult star, demands an Oscar, but the movie isn’t exactly a hit.
Although it wasn’t as well-received as other episodes when it first aired, “That’s Lobstertainment!” is now regarded by many fans as one of Futurama’s funniest episodes. It’s praised for the way it pokes fun at the entertainment industry.
9 “A Bicyclops Built for Two”
Season 2, Episode 9 (2000)
Not only does Leela finally meet someone else of her race, but he’s an attractive man, too, who presents an opportunity to continue their species. His behavior towards her shifts and becomes abusive and controlling, but she stays with him for the benefit of their race.
The beginning of “A Bicyclops Built for Two” has some funny commentary on the Internet, and the episode ultimately becomes a parody of sitcom Married…With Children, which starred Sagal. It’s also bittersweet, as Leela sees the other cyclops as an opportunity to not just procreate but learn more about herself, and in the end, he’s not at all who he claimed to be.
8 “The Beast With a Billion Backs: Part 3”
Season 5, Episode 7 (2008)
In the final episode of a three-part arc, a planet-sized monster using Fry as its mouthpiece takes over the universe, convincing everyone it’s just expressing love. It was originally presented as one of the series’ films.
The fun of “The Beast with a Billion Backs” as it comes to its conclusion is the way the monster uses Fry, especially when it makes him the pope of a religion worshiping it. But it has other great moments, too, like Bender learning that the League of Robots, despite their motto, doesn’t actually kill humans.
7 “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings”
Season 4, Episode 18 (2003)
In order to impress Leela, Fry wants to learn how to play the holophonor and makes a deal with the Robot Devil to switch hands with a randomly chosen robot—and ends up with the Robot Devil’s own hands. And he wants them back.
“The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings” marked the end of Futurama’s run on Fox, meaning it was though to be the series finale at the time. It’s not only funny—it’s also a sweet episode centered around Fry and Leela’s relationship, and writer Ken Keeler was nominated for an Emmy for the episode.
6 “How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back”
Season 2, Episode 11 (2000)
After a fight spills into his office and leaves it in total disarray, Hermes, expecting a promotion, fails an inspection and Hermes is demoted. He decides to unwind at a spa—but instead, he accidentally enrolls himself in a forced labor camp. Meanwhile, the inspector, attracted to messiness, begins an affair with Fry after seeing what a mess his locker is and promotes him.
“How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back” is a dark satire of bureaucracy, complete with references to Terry Gilliam film Brazil. The episode isone of the most well-known episodes of Futurama and is full of funny, memorable moments.
5 “Fry and the Slurm Factory”
Season 1, Episode 13 (1999)
In “Fry and the Slurm Factory,” Fry wins a tour of the factory for his favorite soft drink, Slurm, and is shocked to learn about its secret ingredient—although it does nothing to curb his addiction to the drink.
“Fry and the Slurm Factory” is a funny parody of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, complete with musical numbers. It also offers some commentary on how unwilling we can be to give up things that aren’t great for us.
4 “The Prisoner of Benda”
Season 6, Episode 10 (2010)
Professor Barnsworth and Amy invent a machine that allows them to switch minds in order to accomplish their goals, and the rest of the crew switches for their own reasons, too—but they can’t switch back.
Because of this, things understandably get out of control in “The Prisoner of Benda”—the mind swapping isn’t limited to the human/humanoid characters—and its chaotic nature is what makes it so funny and great to watch.
3 “Roswell That Ends Well”
Season 3, Episode 19 (2001)
The crew accidentally travels back in time to New Mexico in 1947, making them part of the infamous Roswell UFO crash. Dr. Zoidberg and a damaged Bender are captured by the military and taken to an air force base where Fry’s grandfather works, so Fry takes the opportunity to meet him.
“Roswell That Ends Well” is a critically acclaimed episode that won an Emmy in 2002 and is held up as a classic Futurama episode, both for its humor and clever plot. Perhaps most notably, Fry accidentally kills his grandfather, then gives in to his grandmother’s advances, making Fry his own grandfather.
2 “Amazon Women in the Mood”
Season 3, Episode 1 (2001)
Kif and Zapp crash a ship on the uncharted planet Amazonia and are captured by huge Amazon women in “Amazon Women in the Mood,” the first episode of Season 3. They are later joined by Fry and Bender, who were also captured while trying to save them.
“Amazon Women in the Mood” is often hailed as one of Futurama’s best episodes. It’s full of great moments, most notably the women revealing “death by snu-snu,” that the men they’ve been with died of crushed pelvises—and the cut to their skeletons shows each one grinning.
1 “War Is the H-Word”
Season 2, Episode 17 (2000)
Earth is about to go to war, but Fry and Bender don’t know that and join the military to benefit from military discounts. Meanwhile, Leela disguises herself as a man so she can enlist and serve under commanding officer Zapp Brannigan.
“War Is the H-Word” is a parody of multiple war movies and TV shows, including Starship Troopers, Star Wars and M*A*S*H*. It’s also full of memorable lines and moments, making it a fan favorite often praised as one of the Futurama‘s best.