4/30/2014

Futurama is a long-running and beloved show that features parodies and satires of hundreds of science fiction movies, books, and TV shows. Yet much of the show's humor owes a nod to the epic sci-fi franchise, Star Trek. Here are the twenty Star Trek references from Futurama that I love the best.


1. Monkey Fracas, Jr. ("Space Pilot 3000")

In the pilot episode, the very first scene is a reference the original Star Trek series. The first word Fry says is "Space," the first word of the monologue in the opening credits. We also see a starship floating in space, just like the Enterprise, except it turns out to be a game, Monkey Fracas Jr.


2. Fry vs. Zoidberg ("Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love")

Much of the episode, where Zoidberg  returns to his homeworld to mate and battles his best friend Fry, is inspired by the classic episode, "Amok Time." When Fry and Zoidberg fight, the music played is also from the same episode.


3. Flexo's Beard ("The Lesser of Two Evils")


When Bender discovers his "evil" counterpart Flexo, much concern is made over Flexo's beard. The beard is a reference to the evil Spock's beard in TOS episode, "Mirror, Mirror."


4. Bender's Sensor ("Into the Wild Green Yonder")

While surveying the Milky Way Galaxy for life, Bender is looking through a sensor like the one Spock used to use on the original USS Enterprise.


5. DOOP's Description ("Brannigan Begin Again")

While trying to explain what the Democratic Order of Planets to Fry, the Professor compares it to the United Nations. Fry doesn't get it. Hermes explains that it's "like the Federation, from your Star Trek program." Fry gets it.


6. Bender's Lost Head ("Roswell That Ends Well")

In this episode, the crew is sent back in time to the UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico. At the end of the episode, Bender loses his head, literally. They have to go back to the future 1,000 years later to recover it. That's a parody of the same thing happening to Data in TNG: "Time's Arrow."


7. Fisherman's Worf ("Bendin' in the Wind")

When the crew visits San Francisco, they reveal that Fisherman's Wharf has been renamed Fisherman's Worf. It's a reference to the famous TNG Klingon security officer.


8. The Holo-Shed ("Kif Gets Knocked Up A Notch")

Amy goes to visit Kif on the Nimbus. Kif takes her to the "holo-shed," explaining "it can simulate anything you desire, and nothing can hurt you, except when it malfunctions and the holograms become real." This is an obvious reference to the Holodeck, which had a habit of doing this.


9. Wrath-of-Conrail ("The 30% Iron Chef")

At one point, Bender hops on a train with the name "Wrath-of-Conrail" written on the side. The name is a reference to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.


10. Fry's Funeral ("The Sting")

When Fry is killed, his funeral closely resembles two famous Star Trek funerals: Spock's funeral from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Janeway's funeral from the Voyager episode, "Coda."


 11. V-Giny ("In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela") 

The space probe destroying obscene planets on its way to Earth is revealed to be the fusion of the V-Chip and USAF Flying Destiny probes. The name "V-Giny" is a portmanteau of the two spacecraft, but also refers to V'Ger from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.


12. The Plymouth V'Ger ("Put Your Head On My Shoulder")

One of the new cars shown to Amy is the "Plymouth V'Ger," a play on both the V'Ger probe and the Plymouth Voyager vans.


13. Roddenberries ("The Problem with Popplers")

When the crew needs food, Leela explains a nearby planet is Class M, and says they should find some "Rodden berries." That's a pun on the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry.


14. Commander Riker's Island ("Three Hundred Big Boys")

In this episode, where Kif is imprisoned, he's put on Commander Riker's Island. That's a pun on the actual prison named Riker's Island.


15. 3D Scrabble - ("Fry and the Slurm Factory")

In this episode, The Professor and Leela are playing three-dimensional Scrabble, a parody of the game of three-dimensional chess featured in the Star Trek original series.


16. Captain Musky ("A Clone of My Own")

When the professor is roasted, one of his closest friends is Captain Musky. He rolls up to the podium in a wheelchair and beeps once as a hilarious joke. This is a reference to the wheelchair-bound Christopher Pike in the TOS episode, "The Menagerie."


17. Deep Space 9 ("Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles")

At the beginning of this episode, Professor Farnsworth accidentally fires the Planet Express ship's phasers and destroys Deep Space 9.


18. The Tholian Web ("Decision 3012")

In this episode, President Nixon's Head cracks down on illegal immigration by building a fence around the Solar System. The ships constructing the fence have the same design as the Tholian ships in the classic TOS episode "The Tholian Web."


19. Charlotte's Tholian Web ("Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles")

The Tholians return in this episode when Leela is reading children's stories. One of the stories she wants to read is entitled "Charlotte's Tholian Web." An obvious pun on the classic story, Charlotte's Web. With Tholians.


20. Everything ("Where No Fan Has Gone Before")

When the Planet Express crew discovers the original cast of Star Trek is being held prisoner by an omnipotent alien, it leads to an episode that's pretty much one long Star Trek gag. Everything from the title to the plot to the voice work by most of the original actors is a reference to the original show. I could list them all, but the Infosphere does a better job.

Which is your favorite? Are there any favorite Star Trek gags that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

[Image sources: The Infosphere, FOX]

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9 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The DS9 was rather obvious.
Rodden Berries - that's funny.
Star Trek was an inspiration to so many these past fifty years. Science fiction - and space exploration - would not be the same without it.

Pat Dilloway said...

You really can't do a sci-fi parody without Star Trek. I wonder though if there were more references to Star Trek or Star Wars?

DAVID WALSTON said...

Nice work! #20 is the best, just for all the voice work that was done!
I can't wait for Futurama to come back to TV, just to be canceled again. ;-)

Tony Laplume said...

Love it! (Also, "Where No FAN Has Gone Before.")

Nigel Mitchell said...

Oh, good one. Fixed!

Nigel Mitchell said...

I look forward to the 10-yr reunion being cancelled before it airs

Nigel Mitchell said...

Good question. Sounds like I need to do the Star Wars version

Nigel Mitchell said...

Very true

Rusty Carl said...

Great stuff! I recall several of those moments, but missed a few of them.

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