The 100 Greatest ‘Futurama’ Characters

The Mad Hatter Robot came in at number 96. No doubt he’ll demand to ‘change places!’
The 100 Greatest ‘Futurama’ Characters

Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

After being canceled twice before, Futurama will return with new episodes on July 24th on Hulu. In addition to the Planet Express crew, the trailer confirmed the return of fan favorites like Calculon, Roberto and Morbo. But what about more obscure characters like Malfunctioning Eddie, Citizen Snips or the Space Pope?

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Having run intermittently over the past 24 years — and with a scope that covers all of time and space — Futurama is a show with hundreds of funny and memorable characters. And so, in time for its return, we gathered a panel of Futurama superfans to assemble a list of the show’s 100 greatest characters ever. Sure, it might get outdated as soon as the new season premieres, but if that means you think our efforts were in vain, you can bite our shiny metal asses!


Michelle, Fry’s rude, controlling and unfaithful ex from the year 2000, is easily his least popular love interest. But while the fans hate her, she does play a crucial role in Fry’s character development, as she represents Fry’s past life and everything he left behind, for better or for worse. Revealed to have been cryogenically frozen in “The Cryonic Woman,” Michelle reminds Fry that their relationship and his old life weren’t everything he remembers them to be. She also helps answer some lingering questions by giving Fry (and us) a better understanding of how his friends and family in the year 2000 reacted to his disappearance. — Mary Laidlaw, moderator of the Facebook groups Futurama Fan Group and Tenuous and Obscure Futurama

Cubert J. Farnsworth

Cubert J. Farnsworth, the adolescent clone of Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, was designed to be annoying, and the writers of Futurama certainly succeeded on that count. Initially intended to parody the trope of know-it-all snarky kids in sitcoms, Futurama itself has sometimes fallen into this trap by having this obnoxious character in far too many episodes. — Brian VanHooker, Senior Features Writer 

Dwight Conrad

Hermes’ son Dwight isn’t quite as annoying as his frequent partner in crime, Cubert, but he’s not much better. He’s like a mini-Hermes if Hermes wasn’t so entertaining and had rather underwhelming stories. — Justis Chojnicki, admin of the Facebook group Futurama Fryposting, moderator of Futurama Fan Group and founder of Zapps Quotes


01000010 01100101 01100101 01110000 00100000 01100010 01100101 01100101 01110000 00101110 — Brian VanHooker

Mad Hatter Robot

The delightful nerdiness of Futurama doesn’t limit itself to just math and science, as they’ve also had jokes about history and literature. The Mad Hatter Robot is a metallic version of the Mad Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that appears in the popular episode “Insane in the Mainframe.” He’s only in a couple of scenes, but his demand that everyone “change places” over and over again led to an online meme in the Futurama fandom where fans would use his image in place of a final panel, joking that the Hatter had “changed places” with whatever was supposed to be there. — Justis Chojnicki

Hermes Conrad’s Fan

Perhaps the darkest joke in the history of Futurama is when the show flashed back to the 2980 Olympics and Hermes Conrad competing in the limbo competition. As Hermes is about to limbo, an excited young fan leaps out of the crowd and tries to imitate Hermes by limboing as far back as he can. Off-screen, the young boy’s spine shatters, killing him. While the joke is as funny as it is horrible, it also provides an essential part of Hermes’ backstory, as the boy was why Hermes gave up limboing and became a bureaucrat. — Brian VanHooker

Malfunctioning Eddie

A parody of real-life electronics entrepreneur and fraudster “Crazy Eddie,” Futurama’s Malfunctioning Eddie is a hilariously unstable side character who owns a rocket car dealership and explodes whenever he gets excited. In the aforementioned “Insane in the Mainframe,” Eddie ends up in the Hal Institute for Criminally Insane Robots. He’s eventually cured and released, but fortunately for us, whatever he learned from the institute was short-lived as he continues to explode in all future appearances. — Hayden Evans, Futurama Clips on Twitter

Joey Mousepad

Joey Mousepad, sporting a thick gold chain with a computer mouse attached to it, is the muscle of the Robot Mafia. While he doesn’t get as many lines as his counterparts Clamps or the Donbot, he still provides some hilarious quotes like “Psst... over there. I mean over here, sorry I forgot where I was.” — Hayden Evans

Headless Body of Spiro Agnew

The Frankenstein-like vice president is a growling, groaning, headless body usually accompanying President Nixon. He never speaks and is only a one-note character, yet Futurama has gotten a surprising amount of mileage out of him. — Brian VanHooker

Magda the Gypsybot

It’s hard to deny that Magda, the robot psychic, has some funny moments, like her opportunistic warnings to Bender about the terrible Were-Car curse, but she’s also just a robotic version of a regressive stereotype of Romani people. Even her full name wouldn’t fly today. Sure, the character is a riff on novelty products like the Zoltar machine from Big, essentially making her a parody of a pre-existing stereotype, but her brief appearances never really addressed these issues in any meaningful way. JM McNab, contributing writer

Harold Zoid

Admittedly, the episode “That’s Lobstertainment!” — which explores the life and times of Zoidberg’s uncle Harold Zoid — is often cited as one of the worst of the series. But Harold Zoid is still a show-business legend in the world of Futurama, so perhaps he deserves a spot on this list, anyway? — Brian VanHooker

Nudar, Fleb and Schlump

The nudist scammers Nudar, Fleb and Schlump are the memorably disgusting bad guys from the first Futurama movie Bender’s Big Score. While previous villains of Futurama only had to sustain 22 minutes of story (or, at most, 44 in two-parters), Nudar et al were formidable foes for an entire 90 minutes, paving the way for Futurama to make three more feature-length adventures before returning to television in 2010. — Hayden Evans

Bender’s First Son

Not to be confused with Ben “Vending” Rodriguez, this adorable unnamed character only existed so that Bender could immediately sacrifice him to the Robot Devil. He’s the key to a perfectly ruthless Bender joke: introduce a sweet, innocent kid who is overjoyed to see his dad, only for him to immediately be condemned to Robot Hell for all eternity. Bender doesn’t even show a smidge of hesitation regarding the sacrifice, making for a hilarious bit of dark comedy. — Mary Laidlaw

Leo and Inez Wong

Multi-billionaire casino and outer space real estate owners Leo and Inez Wong own the entire western hemisphere of Mars. When not overseeing their empire, they’re seen pressuring their daughter to either lose weight or have a grandchild. Although very memorable, the Wongs slot in at the lower end of this list due to their limited appearances and overall impact on the series. They’re still great, though, despite technically being the worst. — Steve Q, freelance writer for Cracked

The Network President and the Network Execubots

Given its rocky history with the FOX network, Futurama never shied away from pot-shots at its original home. The best of these jokes was the Network President, an arcane laptop that controlled the Network Execubots, including Executive Alpha, who is programmed to like things he’s seen before; Executive Beta, who rolls dice to determine the fall schedule; and Executive Gamma who is programmed to underestimate Middle America. — Brian VanHooker

Linda van Schoonhoven

Linda, a mostly-normal newscaster, is the perfect straight woman for her co-host, the gigantic green alien Morbo, as she rarely acknowledges that there’s anything odd about Morbo or his thinly-veiled invasion plans. Linda balances out Morbo’s menacing persona, allowing his lines to effectively land as she punctuates most of them with a carefree laugh. She also provides some intelligent social commentary, as the cheery way she responds to even the most serious of stories satirizes how the news often responds to dire threats. — Mary Laidlaw


After an entire series of being the butt of the joke, Dr. Zoidberg finally gets the ending he deserves through his beautiful new girlfriend, Marianne. Marianne has no sense of smell, making her the perfect match for malodorous Zoidberg. His difficult choice to give her a sense of smell via a nose transplant, risking her leaving him when she discovers how bad he smells, is a heartbreaking twist that solidifies her episode as one of the greats. Plus, she’s voiced with sweetness and sincerity by Emilia Clarke. Here’s hoping that Marianne returns in some form in the new seasons. — Mary Laidlaw

Lucky aka Citizen Snips

For as brief of an appearance as he makes, Citizen Snips is remarkably memorable. The fact that a “seldom-used” crab is part of The Zookeeper’s evil menagerie is hilarious on its own, but Teddy Roosevelt head’s cry of “Citizen SNIIIPS!” serves as the perfect comedic punctuation to the Zookeeper’s melodramatic scene, reminiscent of a cheesy comic book. His absurd name, “Citizen Snips” (aka “Lucky”), adds to the charm, especially since he’s the only one of The Zookeeper’s creatures with a name. Like many of Futurama’s best one-off characters, he instantly fits into the universe yet leaves viewers with a thousand things to ponder about his lore. — Mary Laidlaw

Space Pope

The Space Pope manages to be a fascinating character, even though he doesn’t do much during the series other than officiate weddings and endorse anti-robot dating videos. The mere concept of a Space Pope alone is enough to earn him this slot. His completely unexplained presence raises so many questions: Why is there a Space Pope? Is he different from the Earth Pope? What role does he serve? Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the Space Pope other than he’s reptilian. — Mary Laidlaw

Moon Farmer

Appearing in the second episode, “The Series Has Landed,” the Moon Farmer is a redneck who owns a Buggalo herd which he forces Fry and Leela to milk in exchange for some of his oxygen supply. He’s best known for having three robot daughters, Lulubelle 7, Daisy-Mae 128K and The Crushinator, all of whom he is protective of to the point of never allowing them to date. Naturally, Bender is caught with The Crushinator, causing the Moon Farmer to chase them off with a shotgun. — Gordon Yarley, head admin of the Saved Futurama Facebook group and creator of a “Save Futurama” fan petition that gained 25,000 signatures


The hookerbots of Futurama are an endless source of pleasure for humans, robots and, of course, Futurama fans. — Brian VanHooker


Guenter is an intelligent monkey made by Professor Farnsworth as an experiment to see if a monkey could pass a course at Mars University. His intelligence comes from his small hat, which uses sunspots to create cognitive radiation, meaning he acts like an average monkey if he isn’t wearing the hat. Being both a super genius and a moronic monkey, Guenter is the perfect representation of Futurama’s seamless blend of highbrow and lowbrow humor. — Gordon Yarley

Dr. Lauren Cahill

Don’t be fooled by her breathy voice; Dr. Cahill is a respected doctor. She’s something of a spiritual cousin to “Hello Nurse” from Animaniacs: a “bimbo” who works as a respected doctor at the head museum. While this isn’t a new concept, Futurama does an amazing job with Dr. Cahill by never making the joke too over-the-top. — Mary Laidlaw

Universe 1 Planet Express Crew

When the Professor invents a portal to a parallel universe, the Planet Express crew discover alternate versions of themselves in “Universe B” (or “Universe 1” according to Leela’s counterpart). These characters are nearly identical in looks and personality to the crew that we know and love, the only difference being that all of this universe’s coin flips have had the opposite result. This has led to a few cosmetic differences, as well as Fry and Leela being married. Watching the characters interact with slightly different versions of themselves, each assuming the other is evil, makes for some excellent moments and a highly memorable episode. — Mary Laidlaw

Ron Popeil’s Head

In real life, Ron Popeil was an inventor and TV pitchman who popularized the phrase “But wait, there’s more!” In the world of Futurama, though, Popeil was far more significant. In a throwaway gag in the show’s first season, Popeil played himself as a head in a jar and revealed that he was the one who invented the technology to keep human heads alive in jars. This means that every joke and guest appearance featuring a celebrity head owes a debt of gratitude to Ron Popeil. — Brian VanHooker


The perpetually horny, elderly sex worker Petunia is a character akin to Hans Moleman from The Simpsons in that she’ll pop up for a quick visual gag that’s always funny. — Justis Chojnicki

Grand Midwife

Seemingly the only holy woman on Kif’s planet, The Grand Midwife works “five jobs, all of them grand.” You’ll also find her working as the Grand Lunchlady, Grand Funeral Director and more. The Grand Midwife’s juxtaposition of the extraordinary and the mundane, combined with Tress MacNeille’s phenomenal voice acting, makes her an endlessly entertaining character. — Mary Laidlaw

Brain Slugs

The Brain Slugs are small, one-eyed, lime-colored aliens that attach themselves to the heads of sentient beings to control. It’s hinted that the host under the brain slug’s control retains awareness of their condition, which Hermes calls a “nightmare.” The Brain Slugs can be seen in several episodes, usually attached to Hermes. Fry had one attached to him briefly, which according to Professor Farnsworth, “starved to death” due to Fry’s low intelligence. — Gordon Yarley

Grunka Lunkas

Grunka Lunka dunkety doo

Of course, the Grunkas are on this list too! — Brian VanHooker

Slurm Queen

Appearing in “Fry and the Slurm Factory,” the Slurm Queen’s rear orifice is revealed to be the true origin of Slurm, the highly addictive soft drink. “Fry and the Slurm Factory” was way back in Futurama’s first season, yet the reveal of Slurm’s source is still the show’s best gross-out joke. — Gordon Yarley


As an employee of Applied Cryogenics, Terry memorably greeted the newly-thawed Fry by bellowing, “Welcome to the world of tomorrow!” in a conspicuously theatrical voice — a choice he defends as “showmanship.” Terry also appears as a similarly bombastic greeter at Leela and Lars’ wedding and somehow loses his baby’s “milk money” in a poker game with Bender. Terry’s overly-dramatic vibe in “Space Pilot 3000” served as an apt welcome to the world of Futurama, perfectly setting the tone for the absurdities of 31st-century life.


Ah, sweet, beautiful Crushinator. We can see why Bender is so enamored with such a fine fembot. It’s no surprise that this Miss Universe contestant is frequently picked as the sexiest fembot by fans. She also acts as Bender’s first love interest, establishing his interest in larger fembots. With her undeniable sex appeal, we knew we had to give this lovely machine the nice spot of 69 on our list. — Mary Laidlaw

Mayor Poopenmeyer

Mayor Poopenmeyer was given his ridiculous name just for a quick joke in the episode “A Big Piece of Garbage.” The writers’ commitment to keeping this ridiculous name was enough to make us smile, but his corrupt, overdramatic character is even more entertaining than he needs to be. — Mary Laidlaw

Dr. Banjo

Dr. Banjo is a talking orangutan who doesn’t believe in evolution, precisely the kind of scientific joke that makes the nerdy Futurama fandom love the show so dearly. — Justis Chojnicki


Appearing in “War Is the H-Word,” iHawk is based on Alan Alda’s character “Hawkeye Pierce” from the television series M*A*S*H, sharing Hawkeye’s drinking habits, voice and comedy. His best bit is the “irrverent / maudlin” switch on his back, which is a great joke about M*A*S*H’s tendency to switch back and forth from comedy to seriousness. — Gordon Yarley

Officers URL and Smitty

Seemingly the only two cops in New New York are URL and Smitty, a smooth-talking robot and a buck-toothed doofus. These two mismatched partners (and stars of the reality show Cop Department) are equal parts cool, incompetent and horrifically unethical, lest we forget that they routinely beat innocent people with their lightsaber-esque batons and decide to “pepper spray some homeless families” as a form of relaxation. — JM McNab 

Mr. Panucci

Arguably the best personification of Fry’s old life is his former boss Mr. Panucci, owner of the wildly unsanitary Panucci’s Pizza. Sure, Mr. Panucci is mostly a jerk, not to mention an Italian stereotype that could only have been more broad had his surname been “Mario,” but Mr. Panucci is genuinely funny and even kind of sweet. Remember how Panucci lovingly toweled raw sewage off Seymour the dog using a wad of pizza dough? Yeah, it meant some kid ate pizza laced with dog fur and likely E. coli, but it was still nice of him. — JM McNab 

First Planet Express Crew

While we don’t meet the original Planet Express crew until Season Six, their very existence as Farnsworth’s deceased first crew makes for one of the best running gags in the series — that the Planet Express crew is entirely expendable. — Brian VanHooker 

Ape Leela

After the delicious snack food Popplers are discovered to be the children of the deadly Omicronians, Lrrr, the leader of Omicron Persei 8, demands to eat one Earthican. That Earthican is Leela, who first discovered Popplers and brought them to Earth. Not wanting the object of his affection to be eaten, Zapp Brannigan comes up with a perfect plan: Replace Leela with a hideous ape that looks exactly like her. 

Rewatching the episode “The Problem with Popplers,” which is a parody of the Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles,” it’s hard to say what’s more remarkable, that Zapp’s plan actually almost works, or just how sexy the Ape Leela is. — Brian VanHooker 


Most of the celebrity guests on Futurama play themselves as disembodied heads in jars, but Futurama has occasionally created great original characters for guest stars. A brilliant example is the Femputer, played by the hilarious, dearly departed Bea Arthur. Have you any idea how it feels to be a fembot living in a manbot’s manputer’s world? Probably not, but Femputer does. — Brian VanHooker 

Yancy Sr. and Sherri Fry

Fry’s parents, the commie-hating Yancy Sr. and the sports-obsessed Sherri, are impressively imbued with far more personality than you might expect for characters long dead for most of the series. Despite their seeming parental indifference, and general day-to-day emotional repression, it’s clear that Yancy and Sherri care deeply for Fry. The ending of “Game of Tones” is particularly heartbreaking, as is the father-son bonding in “Cold Warriors.” — JM McNab 


Let’s get out our Spice Weasels and kick it up a notch for the four-armed Neptunian, who is Earth’s favorite chef personality, Elzar! A hilarious parody of Emeril Lagasse, Elzar is one of the series’ most memorable side characters. BAM! — Hayden Evans


Appearing in the classic Futurama episode “Where No Fan Has Gone Before,” Melllvar is a green energy being who became a Star Trek fan after it was banned from Earth due to the “Star Trek Wars,” when the show spawned a worldwide religion in the 2200s that killed all the fans. In the episode, Melllvar creates his own Star Trek convention and grants eternal youth to the original cast. He is also 34 years old and lives with his mother — in other words, he’s a stereotypical Trekkie. Despite not having a body himself, Melllvar embodies countless jokes about Star Trek and Star Trek fandom, and given how much Futurama is influenced by the Gene Roddenberry sci-fi series, Melllvar more than deserves a spot at the heels of William Shatner’s head. — Gordon Yarley

William Shatner’s Head

Best known for being Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek, Shatner had previously rejected a Simpsons appearance but agreed to a very funny and very self-aware spot on Futurama. Given Shatner’s real-life antagonism toward Star Trek fans and the ever-lovable George Takei, we all thought it’d be funny to sandwich him between Melllvar (the ultimate Trekkie) and Takei’s much more charming head. — Gordon Yarley

George Takei’s Head

Everyone, except for Shatner, of course, loves Takei. Appearing in four episodes of Futurama as himself, Takei’s best-known guest spots include “Where No Fan Has Gone Before” and “Saturday Morning Fun Pit,” where he plays a villain in a Scooby-Doo parody. While Takei is charming enough on his own, his self-parodying appearances on Futurama helped to beef up his current status as an elder statesman of nerd culture. — Gordon Yarley

Ben Vending Rodriguez

Who didn’t shed a tear seeing Bender raise his son in “The Bots and The Bees”? Watching a usually egotistical Bender learn to care for a child provided not only surprising character development but a genuinely heartwarming plot. In the episode, Ben’s storyline is fully developed, complete with a bittersweet ending where Bender sacrifices his parenthood (erasing Ben’s memories of him) in exchange for Ben fulfilling his wish of attending Bending State University and becoming a bending unit like his father. Though this episode isn’t as famously heartbreaking as “Jurassic Bark” or “Luck of the Fryrish,” it and Ben still have a special place in our hearts. — Mary Laidlaw

Morgan Proctor

Despite only appearing in “How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back,” Morgan was an instantly fascinating and incredibly fleshed-out character. As one of the only bureaucrats more “bureaucratic” than Hermes, she was his perfect foil. — Mary Laidlaw

Human Bender

The Futurama equivalent of The Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror” episodes are their “Anthology of Interest” stories, generated by Professor Farnsworth’s What-If Machine. The device has proposed several memorable scenarios, but the best one showed what it would be like if Bender became a human being. In the story “I, Meatbag,” the newly-human Bender tries to live by human restrictions but quickly throws up his hands and says, “Goodbye moderation!” Which leads to him becoming incredibly obese and dying within a week. — Justis Chojnicki

Zoidberg’s Pet Sperm

Perhaps we went a bit overboard with how high this unnamed, blink-and-you-miss-it character appears on the list, but the image of a microscopic Zoidberg riding one of Fry’s sperm has got to be among the funniest in the entire series, so why shouldn’t it rank high here? — Brian VanHooker 

Leonard Nimoy’s Head


Outranking the other Star Trek cast members by a healthy margin, Nimoy appeared in two episodes of Futurama. He was also Futurama’s very first guest star, setting the stage for the numerous sci-fi icons to come. — Gordon Yarley

The Neutral President

We have no strong feelings one way or the other about the president of the Neutral Planet, which is why he belongs firmly in the middle of this list. — Brian VanHooker 

Reverend Lionel Preacherbot

A clergyman of the Temple of Robotology, Reverend Lionel Preacherbot seems to be the go-to bot for weddings, funerals and all things religion in the series. He tries to help Bender get straight after getting addicted to electricity and provides Fry with a sacred firewall to ward off robot spirits. — Hayden Evans

Enos and Mildred Fry

Boldly going to the ickiest place any time-travel story could possibly go, the Emmy-winning episode “Roswell That Ends Well” famously finds Fry meeting his grandparents: the dim-witted Enos and the sultry Mildred. When Enos is killed, Fry rationalizes sleeping with Mildred and inadvertently becomes his own grandfather via an incestuous temporal paradox. They may not have been the most memorable characters, but Enos and Mildred were the engines of one of Futurama’s finest, most upsettingest moments. — JM McNab 


Technically Lars is just Fry, albeit from a different timeline where a house fire left him bald, goateed and honey-voiced. But Lars is more important than you might think. For one thing, he shows both Fry and Leela that Fry is capable of emotional growth and maturation, offering hope for his relationship with Leela. Lars was also the emotional anchor of Bender’s Big Score, the straight-to-DVD movie released shortly after Fox canceled the show. The time-bending romance, which played out over a feature-length running time, proved that the show’s creative juices were far from dried up, setting the stage for its eventual return to the airwaves. — JM McNab 

Barbados Slim

An Olympic medalist in both limbo and sex, Barbados Slim is the beefy, boastful foil to Hermes Conrad — and an occasional lover of Hermes’ wife, LaBarbara. The “mahogany god,” who brings out the best and worst of Hermes, is among the more reliably hunky antagonists in the series. His colossal confidence and chiseled Adonis body put him perfectly at odds with the pudgy, pencil-pushing accountant, but the bureaucrat always gets the best of Barbados in the end. — Keegan Kelly, Staff Writer

LaBarbara Conrad

Beloved wife of Hermes and mother to the less-fan-beloved Dwight, LaBarbara is perpetually in a love triangle with Hermes and her ex-husband (then husband again, then ex-husband) Barbados Slim. LaBarbara’s screentime is usually relegated to episodes when the rivalry between the limbo legends is reignited, but she’s always been the rock of the Conrad household and a strong support for Hermes — until he loses his limboing body and she runs back to Barbados. — Keegan Kelly


The idea of a Kwanzaa-centric counterpart to Futurama’s bloodthirsty Santa Claus robot is a pretty funny gag in and of itself, but the joke was elevated to a whole other level when the show cast Coolio (R.I.P.) in the role (in a just world, his rap explaining the meaning of Kwanzaa would be a holiday staple). Just because Coolio is no longer with us doesn’t mean that Kwanzaabot is gone for good, as the rapper reportedly recorded dialogue for the upcoming Hulu revival shortly before his death. — JM McNab 

Al Gore’s Head

Gore, the inventor of the environment and first emperor of the moon, has appeared multiple times on Futurama, sometimes as a severed head in a jar, sometimes in his original, 100-percent complete body. While it’s no surprise that Futurama was able to land Gore as a guest star (his daughter Kristin was a writer on the show), Gore’s nerd ubiquity and willingness to poke fun at his own image made him one of the series’ most memorable cameos. — JM McNab 

Stephen Hawking

Legendary physicist Hawking appeared as himself in several popular shows, ranging from The Simpsons to Star Trek: The Next Generation to The Big Bang Theory. But we have no doubt that his best work (you know, not including all the science stuff) was done on Futurama, where he showed up in the 21st century as part of Gore’s Vice Presidential Action Rangers (along with Gary Gygax and Nichelle Nichols), and in the future as his own disembodied head which has laser eyes for some unknown reason. — JM McNab 


At number 41 is the lovably crude Sal, who delivers some great one-liners in Futurama — “What do I look like, a guy who’s not lazy?” — as he takes on various blue-collar jobs throughout the series. He seemingly switches careers in each episode, which has led to a popular fan theory that makes his character more interesting: Sal may actually be a set of clones designed to take on undesirable work. This would explain why there seems to be endless versions of him with the same voice and personality. — Mary Laidlaw

H.G. Blob

The disgusting green alien, who surprisingly lives in a lovely suburb on an asteroid field outside of Earth, is seen in the show as a hot-headed monstrosity whose idea of conflict resolution is devouring his opposing party. Introduced in a commercial for Planet Express, H.G. Blob has had a couple professions throughout the series, like being a factory worker and a stockbroker. Naturally, he is also a member of F.A.R.T. (Fathers Against Rude Television). — Hayden Evans

Amazon Women

The big, beautiful, snu-snu-loving women of Amazonia are central to one of the best episodes in the history of Futurama, “Amazon Women in the Mood.” This would lead to the internet turning them, and snu-snu, into a meme about lusting over tall and muscular women. — Brian VanHooker

Tinny Tim

“You raised my hopes and dashed them quite expertly, sir. Bravo!” A parody of Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol, the unlucky orphan Tinny Tim is a side character who immediately grabbed our hearts. Introduced in Season Two’s “Xmas Story,” his loyalty and optimistic attitude were a perfect match for Bender’s evil mentoring, and since then, this cute character has always brought out the sadistic side of Futurama fans, as watching him incur misfortune after misfortune is oddly satisfying to watch. — Mary Laidlaw

Hattie McDoogal

Crazy cat lady Hattie McDoogal’s unearned confidence and signature habit of calling everything a “kajigger” never gets old. While her interactions with the main characters are limited, she consistently delivers laughs and has comedic chemistry with the entire cast. — Mary Laidlaw

The Donbot

Leader of the Robot Mafia, the Donbot provides plenty of funny moments whenever he shows up with his two goons, Clamps and Joey Mousepad. The slow, pudgy, green machine excels at the usual mob boss activities, including stealing, scamming, racketeering and whacking those who need to be whacked. His most notable potential victim was Bender, who unfortunately ticked every box on Donbot’s three most hated things list: witnessing his crimes, messing around with his daughter and trying to duplicate his meatball recipe. — Hayden Evans

Walt, Larry and Igner

Walt, Larry and Igner are some of Futurama’s earliest and most prominent bad guys. Serving their mother and business tycoon “Mom” as her spawn and henchmen, the three boys are proficient in their evil-doing, no matter what Mom puts them up to. The boys act somewhat like a Three Stooges homage in the show, hitting similarly funny banter and situations. — Hayden Evans

Matcluck aka Hyper-Chicken

Do you have a personal injury case and need representation? Are you being sued by aliens, mutants or a family member? We’d recommend… hiring a different lawyer. Matcluck — also known as “Hyper-chicken” or “the chicken lawyer” — has represented the Planet Express crew on several occasions, and he typically makes sound arguments until any grubs or chicken feed lying around grabs his attention. Essentially Foghorn Leghorn with a law degree, he fits perfectly in the strange universe of Futurama. Steve Q. 

Yancy Fry

Sure, Fry’s brother Yancy is a bit annoying, mostly a dick and has an abjectly goofy name. Still, the final reveal in “The Luck of the Fryish” of Yancy naming his son (and future outer space pioneer) “Philip J. Fry” as a tribute to his brother, who tragically vanished without a trace, is an emotional highpoint of the whole show. He wasn’t a bad breakdancer, either. JM McNab

The Globetrotters

In the entire Futurama universe, only one race of super smart, super tall scientists invented a math theorem that became an established algorithmic fact in the real world. According to, the so-called “Futurama Theorem” proves that “no matter how a group of people have had their minds and bodies jumbled, it is always possible to restore each person’s mind back to its original body, using at most two extra people.” 

The theorem was created by show writer Ken Keeler, who holds a PhD in applied mathematics and wrote the Season Six episode “The Prisoners of Benda,” in which Ethan “Bubblegum” Tate and “Sweet” Clyde Dixon of the Globetrotters Home World help the Planet Express crew out of a body-switching bind with the simple formula. Between their basketball trick shots and their capabilities on the court of cold, hard math, The Globetrotters are a perfect example of Futurama’s ability to merge the silly with the scientific. — Keegan Kelly

Turanga Morris and Turanga Munda

One of the greatest Futurama twists is the reveal that Leela is not, in fact, an alien from some unknown cyclops planet, but rather, a mutant born in the sewers of New New York. Leela’s mom and dad, Turanga Morris and Turanga Munda, are revealed to be loving parents who sent their baby to the surface world’s Orphanarium purely because they wanted her to have a better life. In a big tear-jerking moment, we see that while Leela’s parents kept their distance, they still maintained a watchful eye on their daughter, gifting her birthday presents and tucking her in at night. — JM McNab


Flexo is identical to Bender, except he’s more lovable, has better lifestyle habits and rocks a cool-ass goatee. Once believed to be the evil twin out of the two, Flexo went a long way to prove to Fry that Bender is actually the evil one because, well, he’s Bender. — Steve Q. 

Ogden Wernstrom

Best pronounced with a tone of all-consuming bitter resentment, Professor Ogden Wernstrom is the Moriarty to Professor Farnsworth’s elderly nudist Sherlock Holmes. A smarmy nemesis with a deep-seated bitterness for his one-time teacher (who had the nerve to give him an A-). Wernstrom isn’t just an antagonist for the Professor; he’s a key fixture in the world of the show, New New York’s go-to academic voice, not to mention Mom’s ex-husband. We’d put him lower on the list, but he’s got tenure. — JM McNab


A low-key disturbing episode, “The Problem with Popplers,” finds the Planet Express crew stumbling upon a planet full of naturally-occurring globs that are incredibly tasty — as Fry notes, they’re “like sex, except I’m having them.” But after making a deal with fast-food giant Fishy Joe’s, Leela discovers that these “Popplers” are really the Omicronians’ larval offspring. The baby Popplers are adorable, but they also allowed the show to pose an intriguing thought experiment: If McNuggets could speak, would people stop eating them? — JM McNab

Planet Express Ship

The bold, retrofuturist design of the Planet Express Ship is no doubt an iconic visual element of the show, but we’d argue that the ship is a great character, too. No, not in that B.S. “New York is its own character” way, the ship literally came to life after an A.I. upgrade in Season Four’s Valentine’s Day episode “Love and Rocket.” Voiced by the great Sigourney Weaver, the ship ends up falling for Bender, despite Leela’s warnings that you shouldn’t date “your co-worker and primary mode of transportation.” — JM McNab


A great example of how a one-off joke can become a long-running character is the endurance of Hedonismbot, the debaucherous golden robot resembling a portly Ancient Roman in a state of perpetual repose. Whether it’s through vague references to perverse hobbies or more graphic depictions of the titillation he experiences while being barfed on by a hot dog-dispensing vending machine, it’s pretty clear that Hedonismbot is up for anything. Hedonismbot became so popular that he was even the focal point of one of the more lascivious Simpsons couch gags. — JM McNab


While Santa is a beloved character in nearly every other depiction, the Saint Nick of the year 3000 is a terrifying murderous robot. When you brush your teeth, he watches; when you eat your lunch, he watches; he is the all-seeing eye that somehow judges the majority of human, mutant and alien races as naughty every year. — Steve Q. 

Lrrr and Ndnd

Lrrr, ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8, and his wife Ndnd are a creative take on the typical sitcom couple. Ndnd acts like the typical nagging housewife, constantly bugging her lazy alien warlord husband to occasionally invade a planet. Lrrr, meanwhile, would rather spend his time watching 1,000-year-old Earth sitcoms like Single Female Lawyer. Their aggressiveness toward other species is only matched by their aggressiveness toward each other. However, we still occasionally get glimpses of the characters’ softer sides, revealing how happy their marriage used to be. Together, they make a fantastic comedy duo. — Mary Laidlaw

Brain Spawn

Other villains, like Mom and Richard Nixon, may rank higher due to multiple appearances, but the Brain Spawn are arguably the most important villains in the history of Futurama. It’s because of the Brain Spawn that Nibbler brings Fry to the year 3000, which means that without the Brain Spawn, Fry would have lived out the rest of his life in the previous lousy millennium. — Brian VanHooker


The very concept of Morbo is enough to secure him this spot, as he’s an alien scout gathering information for a pending invasion while working as a newscaster. His hilarious premise is part of what made Futurama a classic from day one; the other part is Maurice LaMarche’s superb voice acting. In fact, LaMarche’s voice was initially lowered using software to achieve Morbo’s signature menacing tone. When LaMarche learned this, he perfectly imitated the edited voice himself, with his unedited voice being used for all of Morbo’s future appearances. — Mary Laidlaw


Picture Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, then turn him into metal and exchange his hands for bolt clamps — then you have Clamps, who is easily the craziest and funniest member of the Robot Mafia. — Steve Q. 


Perhaps the best episode of Futurama is one fans are most likely to skip because it’s too sad. The episode in question, “Jurassic Bark,” is about Seymour, Fry’s dog back in 1999, who faithfully waits for his master’s return outside of Panucci’s Pizza, only to die years later, still waiting. While the episode is legitimately heartbreaking, it’s also a masterful piece of storytelling about love and the loyalty of man’s best friend. — Brian VanHooker

Slurms MacKenzie

Slurms MacKenzie, “The Original Party Worm,” sits high on this list because he’s a rip-roarin’ dude that is contractually obligated to party all the time thanks to his iron-clad contract with Slurm Cola. Although he’d just like to settle down, he legally can’t, so if you see him coming your way, there’s only one thing to do: crack open a can of Slurm and get ready to have a good time! — Steve Q. 

The Remains of a Computerized Space Probe that Collided with God

Despite Futurama being well-regarded for being unabashedly nerdy, it’s occasionally profound as well. The episode “Godfellas” finds Bender hurtling through space, where, over time, a civilization of small people develops on him only to destroy themselves with nuclear weapons. After their destruction, Bender discovers what can only be God, or, more accurately, “the remains of a computerized space probe that collided with God.” From there, the two discuss the meaning of life and the role God should and shouldn’t play. The entity also supplies possibly the most memorable line from the entire series: “When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.” — Brian VanHooker


Whether you’re another robot, a human being or an alien, you’re never safe around Roberto, the mentally unstable robot who threatens just about anyone with a stabbin’. The violent robot is a favorite of Futurama fans, just don’t call him crazy — he’s simply not “user-friendly.” — Hayden Evans


The star of the soap opera All My Circuits is the finest actor the entire universe has ever seen and the 16th-finest character on this list. — Steve Q. 


As a major villain in the series and on-again-off-again love interest for Professor Farnsworth, the CEO of MomCorp is the biggest supplier of Earth’s robots while also supplying some of the Planet Express crew’s most memorable adventures. — Brian VanHooker

Scruffy Scruffington

The lazy janitor for the Planet Express slowly became a fan favorite as the show progressed. Moving beyond being a simple background character, Scruffy eventually became established amongst the crew and now participates in a good number of Planet Express’ hijinks, even if the crew often forgets who he is or what he does. Whether it be reading Zero-G Jugs as the boiler overheats or falling in love with a wash bucket, Scruffy placed his 40,000 Planet Express shares into our hearts. — Hayden Evans

Beelzebot, the Robot Devil

“Robot Hell is quite real. Here’s our brochure.” Beelzebot, the Robot Devil, is everything you’d expect from a devil composed of metal, and his ability to summon flames and musical numbers is second to none. He rules Robot Hell with an iron fist, all while always keeping an ear out for anyone looking to sell their soul or be judged for the final time. The original series finale, “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings,” is easily among Beelzebot’s strongest showcases and one of the show’s best episodes. — Steve Q. 

Richard Nixon’s Head

Had the real Nixon been as beloved as his bodiless parody on Futurama, he might never have had to resign the presidency. Most head-in-a-jar characters on Futurama provide funny guest spots for one-off jokes about history, but the head of Richard Nixon has become a pivotal villain in the show. By installing him as the president of Earth, the Futurama writers have given us the greatest supply of Nixon jokes since the 1970s. — Brian VanHooker

Hermes Conrad

Hermes Conrad is more than just a bespectacled, pencil-pushing, red-tape-taping bureaucrat. He’s a Grade 36 bespectacled, pencil-pushing, red-tape-taping bureaucrat and proud of it. In early Futurama episodes, Hermes functioned primarily as the stingy, business-minded hall monitor of the crew, but in line with Matt Groening’s maximalist, imaginative approach to world-building, Hermes’ character and his quirks quickly expanded into some of the more engaging and hilarious elements of the Futurama universe. 

Between his former life as a limbo star, his lovely wife LaBarbara and his endless devotion to (and struggles with) the shadowy Central Bureaucracy, our love of Hermes extends far beyond his job as the penny-pincher and paper worker of the crew. — Keegan Kelly


Given the incredible mind-controlling powers of the Hypnotoad, we nearly had the almighty amphibian internet sensation at the very top of this list. Yet somehow, our panel of Futurama superfans managed to stay clearheaded enough to realize that the supremely meme-able Hypnotoad belongs in the number 10 slot instead. We hope not to incur his wrath. — Brian VanHooker

Kif Kroker

As the old saying goes, “Behind every great man, there stands a tall, thin, weird collection of green fluid sacks.” For the famed space hero Zapp Brannigan, that bizarre creature is Kif Kroker. While Kif is capable of the occasional bout of bravery when defending his lady love, Amy, he is best known for being the literally and figuratively spineless sidekick of the braggadocious Zapp Brannigan. He’s also on the short list of TV characters who have used a defeated sigh as a catchphrase. — Steve Q. 

Dr. Amy Wong-Kroker

Professor Farnsworth’s clumsy Martian intern is a delightful mix of humor and heart. In Amy, the writers managed to create a rich and spoiled character who is still likable and funny. As the Professor’s sole intern, she is genuinely bright, eventually earning a doctorate. Meanwhile, her infectious enthusiasm and quick wit make her an integral part of the crew, with her quirkiness and naivete making her a fan favorite. She also dates Kif, the two of them serving as the “beta couple” to Fry and Leela. Their relationship is incredibly well-developed and genuinely wholesome. Amy Wong’s quirky, kind, determined and occasionally obtuse personality is always a joy to watch. — Mary Laidlaw


Nibbler would still be a great character if he were merely Leela’s adorable, ham-loving pet — but, of course, he is also Lord Nibbler, a member of the ancient Nibblonian race (which somehow predates the big bang by 17 years). Nibbler is fiercely intelligent and noble, having saved the universe on multiple occasions, but that doesn’t make him or his friends any less cute, despite their vocal protests. — JM McNab

Zapp Brannigan

Zapp Brannigan is the savviest, snazziest, jazziest hero the galaxy has ever seen. As captain of the Nimbus, he’s an intergalactic sex symbol and a James Bond of outer space, except that he has horrific judgment and is, in fact, a terrible captain. Despite these glaring flaws, Zapp is part of what makes the future great with his hairbrained ideas and impulsively destructive decision-making. A ladies’ man at heart, Zapp is a true romantic in the most chauvinistic sense, but his attempts at love and personal incompetence do bring about some of the show’s greatest adventures. — Steve Q. 

Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

Between his love of constantly declaring “good news” and his penchant for getting completely nude at the drop of a hat, who doesn’t love Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth? Fry’s great-nephew-30-times-removed is brilliant enough to create a box leading to parallel dimensions and senile enough to forget how to count down from five. Without the Professor, there would be no Smell-o-Scope, no What-If Machine and no giant anti-pressure suppository. — JM McNab


The concept for Dr. Zoidberg, Planet Express’ Decapodian physician, came from two ideas: the comedy of a doctor who was poor and the horror of being treated by a doctor from another species. These two premises mesh beautifully to form a delightfully odd, lobster-like alien who we love watching succeed almost as much as we love watching fail. With his quirky, easily meme-able personality, Zoidberg quickly became a favorite, especially in internet spaces. (Who could forget the popularity of the “Why Not Zoidberg?” meme?) 

The writers must have caught on to this because he has gone from being just a side character to being at the center of many episodes. These stories further fleshed him out, exploring his history with the professor in “The Tip of the Zoidberg” and giving him a dedicated finale and happy ending in the (previously) penultimate episode “Stench and Stenchibility.” — Mary Laidlaw

Turanga Leela


Turanga Leela contains multitudes. Everybody’s favorite mutant cyclops is an ass-kicking badass, but she’s also one of the most emotionally-vulnerable characters on the show. She’s extremely smart, yet still occasionally vocalizes total inanities. Leela’s long-running romantic relationship with Fry is so engaging because it taps into a central conflict within her: that the trappings of mature society may not offer the feeling of home she’s longed for since childhood. While Leela may not be ranked number one, it’s almost impossible to imagine Futurama working without her— and not just because she’s clearly the most competent resident of New New York. — JM McNab

Bender Bending Rodriguez

Straight outta Tijuana, Bending Unit 22 is 40 percent zinc, 40 percent dolomite and 100 percent kickass — oh, and he’s 40 percent everything else, too. After Bender and Fry initially meet in the line of a Stop-N-Drop suicide booth, Bender’s first line, “Bite my shiny metal ass,” immediately became the most iconic utterance of the 31st century. 

Bender is the alcohol-fueled engine of the series, as his attitude, style and aggressiveness drive the plotlines of so many Futurama episodes forward. He is the Futurama writers’ Swiss Army knife, always ready to bring chaotic momentum to any situation and dig the Planet Express crew out of any hole with his characteristically flexible capabilities. And if Bender doesn’t fit into an episode’s arc, he’ll start his own story with blackjack and hookers — in fact, forget the story. — Keegan Kelly

Philip J. Fry

While Bender is the most beloved character in Futurama, he loses out on the top slot because Philip J. Fry is literally the center of the Futurama universe. The high-concept world of Futurama began as a story about a regular guy frozen for a thousand years, awakening in the year 3000. Over time, the show became more and more high concept as we learned that Fry didn’t fall into that cryogenic chamber by accident; he was, in fact, pushed in by Nibbler to ensure that Fry’s unique brain — which lacks a delta brainwave thanks to him being his own grandfather — would be able to prevent the apocalypse at the hands of the evil Brainspawn. 

In addition to that, Fry is utterly hilarious and expertly performed by the great Billy West. During the series, the grandma-loving pizza delivery boy undergoes the most substantial character development of anyone on this list, all while still being a delightful dummy. Again, Bender may be the most popular Futurama character, but there is no Futurama without Philip J. Fry. — Brian VanHooker

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