‘Futurama’: The Best Episode for Each Member of the Planet Express

Everyone has a story to tell, some are just better than others
‘Futurama’: The Best Episode for Each Member of the Planet Express

Futurama is a comedy that really gives hope for, well, the future. One can only dream of a world where they can travel via tubes, fly in spaceships to uncharted planets and crack open ice-cold Slurm Colas made from a large worm queen. Despite multiple cancellations and delays, Futurama has shown that the series is practically immortal, having managed to outlast the harsh realm of television for more than a quarter century. 

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Very few shows have the continuous strength of character, humor and tenacity to make it as far as Futurama has, and in celebration of the show’s revival, we’re showcasing the best episode for each Planet Express crew member... 

Hermes Conrad

Episode: “Bend Her,” Season 4, Episode 13

Why It’s His Best: The Planet Express crew attends the 3004 Olympic games, where Hermes faces not only his past life as a world champion limbo athlete but his greatest rival, Barbados Slim. This is easily Hermes’ best episode because it reveals more about the character while also introducing a fantastic supporting character in his wife, LaBarbara. Hermes is right at home in the Olympics and is able to maintain his composure despite his disqualification due to a large belly and wardrobe malfunctions. 

Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth[/subtitle

Episode: “Teenage Mutant Leela’s Hurdles,” Season 4, Episode 9

Why It’s His Best: Growing tired of his grumpiness, the crew kidnaps the Professor and takes him to a day spa where he sits in a de-aging mud pool that Bender over-stimulates. This creates a major issue for the crew by turning them all into younger teenage versions of themselves and the Professor back into his 50s. With the others continuously getting younger, the Professor must find a solution before he loses his crew to infancy and himself to his own youth. 

It’s a lot of fun to see our usual crotchety old Professor as a fruitful, bubbly young man with nothing but the wind on his back and adventure at his feet, despite him hating all of it.    

Dr. John A. Zoidberg

Episode: “Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?,” Season 2, Episode 9

Why It’s His Best: Zoidberg is going insane with his hormones and must release his “male jelly” on his home planet during the annual mating season. Despite being of normal size and stature, Dr. Zoidberg sadly fails to attract a mate, which shows some real emotional insight into what it feels like to be surrounded by your own people and still feel like an outcast. That, coupled with a classic duel to the death, will make any  Futurama fan go “a-boo-boo-boo-boo-boo!” 

Amy Wong-Kroker

Episode: “Where the Buggalo Roam,” Season 3 Episode 10

Why It’s Her Best: The crew, with Zapp and Kif, visit Amy’s parents on a trip to Mars to celebrate Mars Day. While there, the Buggalo (buffalo-sized ladybugs) are swept up in a massive sandstorm and desperately need to be wrangled, which Kif cowboys up and does herself. By denying her parents’ wealth and taking on a service job, Amy proves to be the true black sheep of her family, something that stands to reason given her naturally rebellious attitude.  

Turanga Leela

Episode: “Leela’s Homeworld,” Season 4 Episode 2

Why It’s Her Best: After receiving an award for “Orphan of the Year” from her old orphanage, Leela gets introspective and investigates her origins. Through multiple mishaps from Bender, the sewer mutants are forced to rebel to the surface featuring two hooded “monsters” that are, in fact, Leela’s actual birth parents. It’s a beautiful showcase for Leela, complete with a tear-jerking ending montage that nails the sentiment of parenthood, even when it’s done from a distance. 

Philip J. Fry

Episode: “Luck of Fryrish,” Season 3, Episode 4

Why It’s His Best: Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that Fry is down on his luck but may have a solution. He recalls finding an unheard-of seven-leaf clover as a kid, which was then stolen by his big brother Yancy. To reverse his misfortune, he decides to hunt down the clover and grave-rob it from his now-dead brother. All siblings fight, but this episode also caught the beauty of sibling connection with Fry finding out that his older brother named his firstborn son after him and gave his child the clover from his would-be uncle. A profoundly deep and heartfelt meditation on brotherhood, surprisingly delivered by one of TV’s biggest idiots, Philip J. Fry.   

Bender Bending Rodriguez

Episode: “Godfellas,” Season 3, Episode 20

Why It’s His Best: After trying to find a quiet place to rest, Bender ends up in the torpedo tube and is accidentally launched into the vastness of space, leaving him in desolate silence. After a while, Bender notices what looks like bacteria forming on him, only to discover it’s a civilization of people who have declared him God. Bender rules his society by being both feared and loved, giving his followers a true purpose in life by making his booze. 

Strangely, as a robot dedicated to chaos, when he puts on the cape of “God,” Bender shows genuine empathy and even forms a caring connection with his loyal followers that presents a softer side of the metallic menace.

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