Futurama 20th Anniversary: 10 futuristic inventions from the show we wish were real

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 20: Josh Yguado (L) and Chris DeWolfe attend Futurama Worlds of Tomorrow Event in Hollywood at Avalon on June 20, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Jam City)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 20: Josh Yguado (L) and Chris DeWolfe attend Futurama Worlds of Tomorrow Event in Hollywood at Avalon on June 20, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Jam City) /
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HOLLYWOOD, CA – JUNE 20: Guests attend Futurama Worlds of Tomorrow Event in Hollywood at Avalon on June 20, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Jam City)
HOLLYWOOD, CA – JUNE 20: Guests attend Futurama Worlds of Tomorrow Event in Hollywood at Avalon on June 20, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Jam City) /

To celebrate Futurama’s twentieth anniversary, we took a look back at some of the amazing inventions which debuted on the animated series. Check out the list below.

Originally created by Matt Groening, Futurama continues to entertain fans around the world. The adult-animated series began airing on Fox’s flagship channel in 1998, running for a total of seven seasons. The last two debuted on Comedy Central but that was due to abrupt cancellations.

Futurama hasn’t aired a new episode since 2013 but the futuristic cartoon remains alive on Hulu. The streaming service hosts all seven seasons and is one of the few places you can still view the animated comedy online.

In any case, there’s a reason to rejoice. Futurama recently celebrated its’ 20th anniversary which makes this a fitting occasion to honor the series for all the laughter and good times that it brought us.

While there are many ways to do so, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the series’ futuristic inventions. The adult-animated comedy was set in the 30th century so quite an assortment of tools and gadgets were worked into the ongoing plot. Luckily, we’ve narrowed down the list of noteworthy inventions to ten we wish existed today.

10. Head-Jars

Scientists today continue to search for ways to extend life beyond the capacity that a human body can bear but medical advancements can only prolong life for so long. The human body is so complex and the brain so delicate that after just a few minutes, a process of decomposition begins and it can’t be stopped. Scientists on Futurama, however, conceived an unconventional way to keep people alive: Head Jars.

Futurama introduces head jars as devices that allow for people of the past to make cameos in the year 3000. The animated series even created a museum full of American Presidents’ heads. Everyone from George Washington to Bill Clinton is housed in the hall, including others who have yet to become President.

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What’s of most interest is how the Head Jars work. The containers aren’t especially intricate— they’re just filled with water and crystalline opal. The compound apparently also allows people to travel back in time—but only if they lick the head of a person in a jar. It’s weird but made for an entertaining adventure in Season 6, Episode 23 “All The Presidents’ Heads”.

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 09: Cash App sponsors Alex Wang’s Big Trouble In Little China(town) At The Rainbow Room Powered by Cash App on February 9, 2019 at The Rainbow Room in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Getty Images for Alex Wang)
NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 09: Cash App sponsors Alex Wang’s Big Trouble In Little China(town) At The Rainbow Room Powered by Cash App on February 9, 2019 at The Rainbow Room in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Getty Images for Alex Wang) /

9. Digitally-Encoded “Paper” Currency

Today’s modern age is already home to a number of digital currencies. Everything from credit cards to electronic transfers exists but scientists have yet to develop a paper currency that can remain with the same person—and practically every modern society utilizes a transferrable type of monetary note. But on Futurama, paper bills hold digital coding that allows a person to keep the currency until its’ value is depleted.

In Season 5, Episode 11 “Three Hundred Big Boys”, we see this when single $300 bills are given to each of Earth’s residents. The paper currency stands out from our own because a single bill can be used for multiple purchases.

We can already perform this transaction but rather than breaking a three-hundred-dollar bill up into smaller bills, specific amounts can be subtracted from the original three hundred note. Most of the Futurama characters who receive their $300 use them all at once but Fry decides to purchase a hundred cups of coffee. When he does, we can see that the purchase price is subtracted each time Fry uses the same note.

Environmental activists today would protest to the use of more paper currency but a type with the capability to subtract and add amounts as needed could initiate further research into a digitally-encoded paper.

Think about it, if every person in the world had a cash note that could retain its value and change depending on purchases, the amount of physical money transferring between people would diminish greatly. In turn, there’d be less need to print and demolish paper bills.

Obviously, there are cons to implementing a currency of this type to any economy but the pros seem to outweigh the negative. That being said, digital transfers of currency appear to be phasing out paper altogether.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 15: A man being tattooed during the 10th Annual Australian Tattoo Expo at ICC Sydney on March 15, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. The Australian Tattoo expo is a celebration of tattoo creativity and art, promoting the skills of world-renowned artists in Australia and around the world. (Photo by James Gourley/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 15: A man being tattooed during the 10th Annual Australian Tattoo Expo at ICC Sydney on March 15, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. The Australian Tattoo expo is a celebration of tattoo creativity and art, promoting the skills of world-renowned artists in Australia and around the world. (Photo by James Gourley/Getty Images) /

8. Talking Tattoos

Tattooing is known around the world with many different techniques being used to produce them. Technological advancements have also made it possible to create even the most intricate and detailed designs—without much difficulty—though science has yet to crack interactive tattoos. Artists can design tattoos that fold and contort with the body’s motion but implanting an artificially-intelligent art piece is a whole nother task.

On Futurama, characters can have talking tattoos implanted on their bodies. These aren’t just pieces of artwork that repeat the same generic line over and over again, they’re artificially intelligent pieces of software embedded directly into the skin.

In “Three Hundred Big Boys”, Amy Wong gets one done on her arm and the tattoo spends a majority of the episode insulting Kif Kroker. It goes on and on about how Kif is a loser because he spent his cash refund on a lame present for Amy. The devil’s head tattoo continues to have fun at Kif’s expense until Amy spritzes herself with whale vomit—the ingredient supposedly used to craft perfumes—in the Futurama universe that is.

Amy also possesses a few other digital tattoos but they’re located on her butt, unseen to the naked eye. Of course, Amy’s promiscuous nature gives us the impression that more than a few people have seen the tattoos on her backside.

In any case, talking tattoos sound like something that will become a reality in the near future. It’s hard to say exactly when, but with nanotechnology becoming used more frequently in applied sciences, we could feasibly see digitally-encrypted ink in our lifetimes. The question is: how long will it take us to get there?

“Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” leaves Litwak’s video arcade behind, venturing into the uncharted, expansive and thrilling world of the internet—which may or may not survive Ralph’s wrecking. Video game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) must risk it all by traveling to the world wide web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope’s video game, Sugar Rush. In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet—the netizens—to help navigate their way, including a webite entrepreneur named Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site “BuzzzTube.” Directed by Rich Moore (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) and Phil Johnston (co-writer “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Cedar Rapids,” co-writer “Zootopia,”), and produced by Clark Spencer (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Bolt”), “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-Ralph 2” hits theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” leaves Litwak’s video arcade behind, venturing into the uncharted, expansive and thrilling world of the internet—which may or may not survive Ralph’s wrecking. Video game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) must risk it all by traveling to the world wide web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope’s video game, Sugar Rush. In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet—the netizens—to help navigate their way, including a webite entrepreneur named Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site “BuzzzTube.” Directed by Rich Moore (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) and Phil Johnston (co-writer “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Cedar Rapids,” co-writer “Zootopia,”), and produced by Clark Spencer (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Bolt”), “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-Ralph 2” hits theaters on Nov. 21, 2018. /

7. The “What If” Machine

In Season 2 Episode 16 “Anthology Of Interest I”, Professor Farnsworth unveils two inventions to his Planet Express employees. One is the Finglonger—a device that allows the Professor to press buttons from far away. It’s not very impressive but when he uses the Finglonger to turn on the What-If Machine, we become a little more intrigued.

What the device does is create visual representations of ‘what if’ scenarios. The user simply needs to ask the machine a question and a depiction of that scenario is displayed on the screen. When the crew asks it a question, the scenes are a bit odd, to say the least.

In one of them, Bender becomes a 500-foot robot who rampages throughout New New York. He meets Fry after journeying to Earth in hope of conquering it. Fry being Fry—has no idea that Bender is there to destroy civilization—but sparks up a friendship with the behemoth. Unfortunately for Big Bender, his goal of becoming ruler of Earth ends when an equally large Dr. Zoidberg impales him with a skyscraper.

The other entries in the Anthology Of Interest episode are just as gripping, and it’s the premise that has built a fair level of intrigue.

Since various types of virtual reality simulators are already in production, a What-If Machine is somewhat conceivable. Come to think of it, a device of this kind sounds oddly similar to RPG (Role-Playing Games) videogames that incorporate non-linear gameplay.

In those games, a player’s decisions determine how the narrative turns out. Some tinkering would need to be done but the principles applied to those games could eventually conceive thousands of scenarios—creating a working prototype of a real What-If Machine.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 20: (L-R) The new Samsung Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10+ and the Galaxy S10 smartphones are displayed during the Samsung Unpacked event on February 20, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Samsung announced a new foldable smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, as well as a new Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Buds earphones. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 20: (L-R) The new Samsung Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10+ and the Galaxy S10 smartphones are displayed during the Samsung Unpacked event on February 20, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Samsung announced a new foldable smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, as well as a new Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Buds earphones. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) /

6. Eyephone

Not to be confused with Apple’s popular iPhone, the EyePhone on Futurama is implanted directly into the user’s head. This may seem a bit extreme for a device but considering how blinded people are by today’s iPhones, they’re basically in our heads already.

The EyePhone was first introduced in Season 6 Episode 3 “Attack Of The Killer App” wherein a majority of the episode revolved around Planet Express using their EyePhones on social media. Bender takes advantage of the internet craze, suggesting a bit of a competition between himself and Fry.

The two come to an agreement that whoever reaches a million followers first gets to watch the other dive into a pool of goat vomit. Fry has a difficult time getting anyone to subscribe to his channel but his EyePhone captures a video that goes viral. He appears to have an advantage at this point but then winds up tying with Bender.

What we should take away from this particular episode of Futurama is that the EyePhone could be the next evolution in smartphone technology. Tech devices are constantly being upgraded and changing so it only makes sense that the following phase will be implanting them directly into our bodies. Keep in mind that there are negative ramifications to augmenting one’s body with foreign technology.

As we see in “Attack Of The Killer App”, MomCorp’s CEO uses her Twitworm virus to infect all of the followers accrued by Bender and Fry. They become mindless slaves to Mom’s demands, subsequently surrendering their free will. This all happens as a joke in the episode’s conclusion but the risk presented is a real one.

When scientists begin contemplating the augmentation of people’s minds with technology, they’ll be faced with a major ethical dilemma: how do they insert such a device without compromising an individual’s free will?

Despite the existence of advanced firewalls and safeguards, even the most advanced software is susceptible to hacking—and people who possess agendas of their own—could use said vulnerability to manipulate others. That doesn’t mean every inventor developing cybernetic technology will act maliciously, but just one attempt to brainwash a populous would make the dangers of EyePhones all too real.

PARIS, FRANCE – APRIL 20: Yellow vest demonstrators set motorbikes on fire as they protest for a 23rd week on April 20, 2019 in Paris, France. Over One Billion Euros has been raised by French businesses and ordinary worshippers towards the cost of renovating Notre Dame Cathedral, devastated by fire on Monday night. Trade Unions and key Gilets Jaunes spokespeople say the amount donated by big French businesses highlights the complacency of those in power towards low-income workers in poverty. The Gilets Jaunes will be banned from approaching Notre Dame. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – APRIL 20: Yellow vest demonstrators set motorbikes on fire as they protest for a 23rd week on April 20, 2019 in Paris, France. Over One Billion Euros has been raised by French businesses and ordinary worshippers towards the cost of renovating Notre Dame Cathedral, devastated by fire on Monday night. Trade Unions and key Gilets Jaunes spokespeople say the amount donated by big French businesses highlights the complacency of those in power towards low-income workers in poverty. The Gilets Jaunes will be banned from approaching Notre Dame. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) /

5. Heat-Shielding Spray

Today’s modern societies already possess access to sprays that shield objects from heat but nothing like the formula shown on Futurama.

In Season 7 Episode 18 “The Inhuman Torch”, Professor Farnsworth introduces a special spray to his crew. He coats Fry, Bender, and Leela with the substance so they can voyage to a helium mine and rescue the miners trapped inside a fiery death trap.

Once there, the trio of spacefarers attempts to brave the fires. The flames appear to be too much for them so Bender jettisons out the mine. He does so for selfish reasons but winds up saving one of the miners. After he saves one, Bender has no choice to go back for the rest. He does have a choice but Bender chooses to, most likely for the cash reward.

As for the Heat-Shielding Spray itself, the product is something we could definitely use today. With so many catastrophic fires plaguing our planet, a spray-on substance that can withstand immense levels of heat would be a game-changer.

Firefighters with the ability to approach fires while the flames are still rising could prevent widespread destruction and further loss of life. We understand that not every fire can be doused—especially when chemicals are factored in—but any chance to reduce a fire’s devastation would help.

Products similar to the Heat-Shielding Spray are already on the market—mostly used for construction purposes—though nothing matches up to the level of protection produced by Professor Farnsworth’s formula.

The good news is that heat-shielding technologies are continually being developed. Items like this Foldable Heat-Shield that NASA is preparing to use for space exploration are in production so we’ll likely witness the creation of a Heat-Shielding Spray within our lifetimes.

MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 02: Husband and wife research team Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D (R), director of the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, University of Miami, and Jeffery M. Vance, M.D., Ph.D, chair of department of Human Genetics, University of Miami, are seen next to a cryogenic freezer that holds DNA samples in the genetics lab where they did research that discovered the cause of retinitis pigmentosa, a form of blindness, on February 2, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The ground breaking discovery that was announced today, February 3, 2011 has helped Betti and Carlos Lidsky’s nearly 20-year search for what caused three of their four children to lose their sight. Researchers used a new technology known as whole exome sequencing to find the cause and now hope with the new information to be able to work on a possible cure for the eye disease. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 02: Husband and wife research team Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D (R), director of the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, University of Miami, and Jeffery M. Vance, M.D., Ph.D, chair of department of Human Genetics, University of Miami, are seen next to a cryogenic freezer that holds DNA samples in the genetics lab where they did research that discovered the cause of retinitis pigmentosa, a form of blindness, on February 2, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The ground breaking discovery that was announced today, February 3, 2011 has helped Betti and Carlos Lidsky’s nearly 20-year search for what caused three of their four children to lose their sight. Researchers used a new technology known as whole exome sequencing to find the cause and now hope with the new information to be able to work on a possible cure for the eye disease. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) /

4. “Working” Cryogenic Freezers

While the science is still in its early stages, we’re probably not long for the age of functioning cryogenic freezers. This FAQ page from Cryonics Institute: Technology For Life, for instance, speaks of cryogenic preservation as though it’s a reality. There’s even a section about neuro-cryopreservation which blends into another recurring theme on Futurama. 

To sum it up quickly, neuro-cryopreservation refers to removing and preserving the head by itself. The assumption is that a replacement body can be cloned from the information stored in a person’s brain and storage of a head is much easier to handle than an entire body is. There’s no way to confirm one way or the other but the science makes sense—or at least it does in Futurama’s universe.

As for the show itself, cryogenic freezers were one of the first futuristic inventions to be featured on Futurama. To be more specific, the show’s premise essentially revolves around the technology.

Phillip J. Fry, the series’ main protagonist, gets flung in one and travels 1000 years into the future. And it’s here that Fry, Leela, and the Planet Express crew have their adventures together.

What’s interesting is the cryogenic freezers sort of fell to the wayside after the first season. The show’s writer only visited the cryo-storage center one other time to introduce Fry’s ex-girlfriend from the past. Though, that too was a brief sequence with no follow-up whatsoever.

The significance of Fry’s travel through the cryogenic freezer, however, became a subject of intrigue again when he visited the Infosphere in “The Why Of Fry”. There he learned the Niblonians were responsible for pushing him into the freezer. Had they never interfered, Fry would’ve continued his life in the year 2000 as if nothing happened. Of course, that scenario would have resulted in the future being doomed.

For us, the prospect of functioning cryogenic freezers presents us with the possibility to do the same things that Fry did. The only problem with freezing is that we don’t know what will happen to the world in ten years, much less a thousand years from now. For all we know, the companies who offer cryogenic preservation will be defunct or nonexistent by then.

Considering all of these factors, it might not be such a good idea to freeze one’s self after all. Then again, venturing into the future ten or twenty years for a medical cure or something equally important would be worth the risk.

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME..L to R: Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019
Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME..L to R: Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019 /

3. Superhero Cream

Whether you read comic books or not, everyone at one time or another wish they had some sort of superpower. Be it super strength or mental manipulation, we’ve all dreamt of performing extraordinary feats before. Unfortunately, the human body is only capable of so much.

Futurama, however, gave those of us with dreams of being superheroes hope that scientists would one day create a cream or gel that imbues average people with abilities.

In Season 4, Episode 4 “Less Than Hero”, Fry and Leela have to construct a supercollider for the Professor. He tasks them with it knowing the job is a heavy one to undertake.

When they complete the task, Fry and Leela complain of feeling sore all over to Dr. Zoidberg so he prescribes them an ointment called “Dr. Flimflam’s Miracle Cream”.

"*The brand name is a shot at untested remedies pedaled around the Old West when modern medicine was still in its’ infancy. Anything labeled as miraculous or instantaneous sold quickly, mostly to those without an education to know the difference between real medicine and an untested homemade remedy.*"

After applying the cream to their bodies, Fry and Leela take a walk together. They don’t get far before a mugger approaches them. He pulls out a gun, demanding they hand over their possessions. Leela refuses so the homeless mugger shoots at them.

The gunshots hit Leela but they bounce off of her body. She doesn’t know what happened but Leela wastes no time in taking down the mugger. A discussion shortly after reveals that the Miracle Cream granted them temporary superpowers which they decide to use as a crime-fighting trio. Oh yeah, Bender joins their heroic crusade as a superhero too.

DETROIT – OCTOBER 4: A sign promoting the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit is seen at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center October 4, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. More than 1,200 scientists and researchers from around the world are expected to attend the summit that focuses on the advancement of embryonic stem cell research. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
DETROIT – OCTOBER 4: A sign promoting the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit is seen at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center October 4, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. More than 1,200 scientists and researchers from around the world are expected to attend the summit that focuses on the advancement of embryonic stem cell research. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) /

2. Stem-Cell Gel

Surprisingly, stem-cell research has taken a backseat in recent years. The topic used to be a highly controversial one as many Americans were divided over the ethical implications of stem-cell research. People supportive of the science argued that further research could bring scientists/doctors closer to replicating dead or missing cells in humans. And those against development claimed that extracting stem cells from unborn fetuses was unethical. It’s not for us to decide which is correct but it seems like the controversy will subside in the future, according to Futurama.

In “Three Hundred Big Boys”, Professor Farnsworth spends his Nixon fun bill on a pound of stem cells. Yes, you read that correctly, a pound of stem cells. The substance is so common in the future that any average person can walk into a bank and purchase pounds of it. Farnsworth does so and then proceeds to rub the slime directly into his skin right there in the lobby.

The cells do their thing and Professor Farnsworth looks like a young man again. This new appearance definitely suits Farnsworth but the clerk informs him that any cosmetic changes are temporary. Farnsworth proceeds to get his money’s worth from the unstable compound by impersonating a young fellow.

Before we even delve into the ethical dilemma of stem-cell research, using them to rejuvenate one’s skin is a far cry from the practical applications that it’s been designated for. Stem cells are actually used to treat immune disorders bone diseases—which is a huge benefit to mankind—though we should mention that their regenerative properties could expand from there.

Even though stem cells are mainly utilized in the treatment of major illnesses, there is a chance that they’ll one day be used for cosmetic purposes. Since they possess the ability to replicate nearby cells, it goes to reason that a clump pasted onto someone’s face would revive the decayed portions so the subject appears young again. Any potential remedy will be more complex in application but Farnsworth’s method could be exactly how they’re administered.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 02: The Clock face on the Queen Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben on April 2, 2019 in London, England. The current deadline which the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union is April 12, 2019. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 02: The Clock face on the Queen Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben on April 2, 2019 in London, England. The current deadline which the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union is April 12, 2019. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) /

1. Time Button

Unlike the other entries in this list, the Time Button is one futuristic device that we have a difficult time picturing in our lifetimes. Don’t get us wrong, the concept is a promising one, but the ramifications of such a device worry us.

In the Futurama Series Finale, Professor Farnsworth introduces the Planet Express crew to his final invention: the Time Button. Not to be confused with the Professor’s backward-only Time Machine, the Time Button allows the user to rewind the clock back ten seconds.

The caveat to using the Time Button is that it also has a ten-second delay on restarting so the maximum amount of time that can be reversed is ten seconds. Any longer and the time-space continuum could be destroyed by irreparable changes made to history. It’s unclear if Professor Farnsworth designed the device to function in such an efficient manner but his efforts surely prevented Bender from destroying their timeline. Of course, Fry still manages to break time.

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When Fry gets his hands on the Time Button, he uses the device to prepare a romantic evening for Leela. He does everything correctly but makes a crucial error in checking the time. Fry looks at his watch and sees that Leela is late—so late that it seems like she isn’t going to show up at all.

With nothing left to live for, Fry jumps off of the building’s ledge. He’s ready to die but that’s when he realizes his clock read the wrong time. Leela is also walking towards the building so he knows that she did accept his proposal. The only problem is Fry winds up becoming a pile of goo on the sidewalk.

Leela miraculously saves Fry by pressing the Time Button but they remain stuck in an infinite loop of Fry falling to his death and Leela saving him. They appear to be trapped in this moment forever until the Professor gets the crew to help save Fry.

The ragtag group improvises a plan to keep Fry from hitting the pavement and it works. Unfortunately, the bounce that saves Fry results in him smashing the Time Button, freezing time in place. He and Leela then find themselves frozen in the same moment for fifty years. They’re able to walk around and explore freely but Fry and Leela are basically the only people left on Earth.

In regards to us and today’s world, a device like the Time Button would essentially carry the same risks—namely the danger of breaking time. All it would take is one person to tamper with time incorrectly and we’re all frozen in place for eternity. What’s worse is we wouldn’t even know about it.

On the other side, a Time Button could be extremely useful to someone who needs money. We saw how Fry and Bender manipulated a jewel maker into carving jewelry for them than hit the button so he wouldn’t remember that they robbed him multiple times. The same con could feasibly play out in our world, proving the Time Button’s usefulness. Keep in mind that a device which rewinds time can be used for all sorts of mischief. I mean, if Bender and Fry were able to mug a crafty jeweler, a more conniving criminal could create all sorts of mayhem with the device. Luckily, we don’t have to worry about that reality becoming true anytime soon—no pun intended.

All episode of Futurama are currently streaming on Hulu. For more on this canceled Fox series, follow us on the Hulu Watcher Twitter Account @HuluWatcherFS or on the Hulu Watcher Facebook Page.