5 Soul Crushingly Sad Fry Moments from “Futurama”

Ten years after creating one of the most recognized television families of all time, Matt Groening and company introduced us to a new kind of animated series. Futurama had a few similarities to The Simpsons. They both aired Sunday nights on Fox. The type of design and animation were similar. They even contained the same pop-culture referencing humor that has become synonymous with current generation comedies, such as South Park and v. Although they shared a few similarities, Futurama was very different from The Simpsons.

The Simpsons was and will always be one of Fox’s most beloved and successful series. Futurama may never reach that status, but it will go down as one of the funniest and original programs that Fox had the audacity to cancel after only four (almost five) seasons. Luckily after a successful string of straight to DVD releases, Comedy Central resurrected the cult series for four more seasons.

With the final episode airing this week, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit some of the things that made Futurama the under-appreciated heartwarming show that it is.  Starting with some of the soul crushingly sad moments from the shows impressive seven-season run that spanned over fourteen years.

The series finale of Futurama airs on Comedy Central this Wednesday at 10 pm

5. When Fry is Late to Dinner with Leila Because of Time Travel

Season 6, Episode 7: “The Late Phillip J. Fry”

Fry never has any luck with time travel. One of the latest examples was in last season’s episode “The Late Phillip J. Fry.” Professor Farnsworth invents a time machine and before a date with Leela for her birthday and Fry, Bender, and the Professor end up going on an adventure through time. Unfortunately for Fry, the Professor fails to invent away to go back in time, only forward. They continue to travel further in time until they kind find a year where backwards time travel exists.

Back in the present, Leela is stood up by Fry, and is never seen again. The audience sees a dismal future that does not contain Fry, Bender, and the Professor. Leela’s future is successful, but loveless. She is mad at Fry for leaving and not explaining why. Years have passed a birthday card appears out of nowhere and hits future Leela in the face. The card is from Fry and it explains why he disappeared. Leela goes back to the restaurant and leaves a message for Fry to hopefully see in the future. Fry sees the heartfelt message left by Leela and says, “I made it, Leela. Sorry I’m a billion years late.”

Fry, Bender, and the Professor are unable to find away back to their time. They travel to the end of time and watch the destruction of the universe, only to realize the universe keeps restarting in a non-stop loop. By going further in time, they could get back to the time before they left. They come back in time to kill and replace themselves (avoiding a time paradox, according to the Professor). Fry gets to go on his date with Leela, and everything is right with the world.

4. When Fry Moves the Stars Themselves

Season 3, Episode 14: “Time Keeps On Slippin'”

Ever since Fry was unfrozen and met the one-eyed Leela, fans have wanted to see them get together. Fry has always liked Leela, but it took her a long time to feel the same way. In “Time Keeps On Slippin,” the viewers got as close as ever to see them finally be together. Because of increasing large jumps in time, the gang move forward in time and have no recollection of the events that happened in between. Which leads to Fry and Leela walking down the isle. Leela is convinced that Fry tricked her into marriage, while he believes he finally did something to show Leela how much he cares about her.

When they attempt to fix the time jumps by moving stars back into place, the viewers see just how Fry got Leela to marry him. He moves the stars themselves and writes a love note in the cosmos for her. Unfortunately, Leela never gets to see the note as they blow up the stars in order to stop the time jumps. It was a crushing blow to Fry and to audiences that just wanted to see them together.

 3. When Fry Just Wants More Time With His Mother

Season 7, Episode 23: “Game of Tones”

When an unknown spaceship starts sending mysterious tones to planet earth, Fry is the only one who recognizes them. The tones start getting closer and are causing damage to the planet. The Professor detects that Fry recognizes the tones in his dreams and proceeds to infiltrate them. The viewers are teleported back to New Years Eve 1999, the day Fry was frozen. Fry must find the source of the tones before the earth is destroyed, but he can’t get himself to leave his home to find the source. He wants to spend more time with his family, especially his mother.

When the Planet Express crew infiltrate Fry’s dream, they take him away from his family and he plays out the rest of the day leading up to being frozen. When he tries to go back to his home there is nothing left but a white room. The Professor explains that once he left his home to make the delivery Fry will have no memory of his home once he left for work that night. Fry eventually figures out the tone. It was Nibblers personal chauffeur, Digby, trying to find Nibbler’s space ship. Earth is saved. Nibbler get his ship back. But Fry is still upset. Nibbler promises Fry a gift and gives him the greatest gift of all, more time with his mother. Fry goes to sleep that night and dreams of his mother, but she is watching the 2000 Rose Bowl. Fry is confused since he wasn’t around to see that game. Nibbler appears and informs Fry that it’s not his dream; it was his mothers.

2. When Fry Finds Out His Brother Really Loved Him

Season 3, Episode 10: “The Luck of the Fryrish”

After loosing bets at a horserace and many more unfortunate events, Fry reveals to the Planet Express crew that he used to have a seven leaf clover that gave him luck. In a series of flashbacks we see Fry interact with his older brother Yancy. They never got along, and Yancy was always jealous that Fry was named Phillip instead of him. After Fry successfully tries out for a breakdancing troupe, Yancy demands to have the seven-leaf clover. Fry runs home and hides it in a Breakfast Club soundtrack.

Back in the present, Fry goes down to the ruins of Old New York to find the clover. He goes back to his childhood home to find the Breakfast club album, but the clover is gone. After leaving Fry’s house they come upon a statue that resembles Yancy. The statue reads “Philip J. Fry” and Fry’s seven-leaf clover is on his lapel. They learn that Phillip J. Fry was a famous astronaut and the first man on Mars. Fry is enraged and thinks Yancy stole his clover, name, and dreams.

In the past Yancy is looking for music to play at his wedding, he stubbles upon the Breakfast Club soundtrack and finds the clover.

Back in the present the crew goes to the cemetery where the other Phillip J. Fry is buried so they could retrieve the clover. While digging, Fry knocks some of the moss off the tombstone and reveals a message.

One more flashback reveals Yancy, his wife, and their newborn child. Yancy gives the child the seven-leaf clover and gives it to his son who he names after his lost brother, Phillip.

The message on the grave reads, “Here lies Phillip J. Fry. Named for his uncle, to carry on his spirit.” Fry, in tears, gives the clover back to his nephew. Up until the next entry on the list, this was the most touching episode Futurama had ever produced.

1. When Fry’s Dog Seymour Waits for Him…and Uncontrollable Sadness Ensues

Season 5 Episode 2: “Jurassic Bark”

This is the episode that can make a grown man cry. I have witnessed this personally. It will probably go down in history as one of the saddest moments in television history, and it involves an animated man and his dog. Fry and Bender go to a museum where the pizza place that Fry worked at has been unearthed and reconstructed. He finds the focalized remains of his old pet and “best friend” Seymour. He brings it back to the Professor who tells him he can clone and restore him to life from a fossil.

Bender is jealous of the fossilized dog and even throws him into a lava pit so Fry would pay attention to him. Fry is mad at Bender, but gets over it as usual. He recover Seymour from the lava and after learning the dog went on to live for over a decade after he was frozen, Fry thought he wouldn’t remember him anyway.

Warning, this is where the sad part comes. It cuts to a montage of Seymour obeying Fry’s last command to wait for him in front of Panucci’s Pizza. The song “I Will Wait for You” plays over the season’s changing, and years passing until Seymour finally passes away waiting for his master to return. It is literally the saddest thing I have ever watched and every time the episode comes on I have to immediately turn it off.

Posted on September 4, 2013, in American Animation, Cable, Comedy, Comedy Central, Fox, Network Television, Primetime and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Wow.

    Saw this on deadhomersociety btw.

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