Rank the saddest Futurama episodes

Apologies if this has been done before, but it seems appropriate during the current and final Futurama marathon on Cartoon Network.

Jakeline and I have been catching the marathon here and there, and we were discussing our ranking of the sad puppy* episodes. Here’s my Top 5 list, with most sad being #1 (synopses provided by Wikipedia, although I suppose most of you will recognize the episodes by the titles):

  1. Jurassic Bark” – Fry discovers his dog Seymour is being exhibited in a museum as a fossil, and takes it to Professor Farnsworth’s lab to be revived. However, Bender is displeased with the lack of attention he has been receiving and becomes increasingly jealous of Seymour’s fossil.

  2. The Sting” – A mission to collect honey from deadly space bees apparently leads to Fry’s sting-induced death. Leela is wracked with remorse, until Fry visits her in her dreams. As Leela’s hallucinations intensify, she begins to suspect that she might be going crazy.

  3. Parasites Lost” – When Fry becomes infested with parasitic worms that make him stronger and smarter, he finally finds the perfect way to profess his feelings to Leela. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew goes on a Fantastic Voyage-esque journey into Fry’s body to eradicate the worms.

  4. The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings” – Desperate to learn how to play the holophonor in order to impress Leela, Fry swaps hands with the Robot Devil. He goes on to become a skilled holophonor player, winning Leela’s heart and penning an opera about her life story, but the Robot Devil still has a trick or two up his sleeve.

  5. The Luck of the Fryrish” – After a string of bad luck, Fry ventures into the decaying ruins of Old New York to regain his lucky seven-leaf clover from his childhood, only to find that his brother Yancy Fry had stolen not only the clover, but Fry’s identity as well. Fry sets out to exhume his brother’s body, but discovers the startling truth about Yancy instead.

Now, my logic.

  1. Jurassic Bark is a clear winner in this category. Probably the only comical cartoon that has ever made grown men want to cry. 'Nough said.
  2. Although the Bee Episode has a technically happy ending, watching Leela lose her sanity, and eventually her will to live, is sad and often disturbing.
  3. Poor Fry. Here Fry finally has the ability to win Leela over, but also has the nobility to forego it once he understands why. The episode doesn’t have a sad vibe to it throughout, but the point of it is kind of depressing when you’re rooting for him.
  4. Similar idea to #3. Who here hasn’t been willing to cut off his or her own hands to win over their true love? Funny episode, and the over-the-top operatic aspect takes away a lot of the sadness, but still, it gets you right here, ya know?
  5. Despite how things turn out, it’s still sad to see Fry get picked on so badly.

So what are your rankings, and why?

*The term “sad puppy” isn’t there because of my #1 choice. Jakeline and I used to watch “Emergency Vets” on Animal Planet, which we took to calling the “sad puppy show” because of its contents. So now any show that makes us sad is a sad puppy show.

You forgot the one where he works the gravity pump!


Leela: “See what?”


Futurama could be surprisingly sad. I can’t think of a sadder animated sitcom comedy thing that was on primetime.

  1. Jurassic Bark by a mile.
  2. One you didn’t mention: Leela’s Homeworld. The shots at the very end that show how Leela’s mutant parents have been secretly looking out for her her whole life are really touching.
  3. Luck of the Fryish.
  4. The Sting.
  5. Fry and the Slurm Factory. Nah, I’m just messin’ with ya.

Jurassic Bark
Luck of the Fryrish
The Sting

In that order, with Jurassic Bark waaaay ahead of the others. I won’t even watch that ep when it comes up on my geek tivo, because it makes me cry even when I’m in an otherwise good mood. Especially because they use the main theme from Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, which is also a terribly sad film.

Jurassic Bark by a mile. My wife won’t even let me watch it. It was on AS tonight, and she made me watch a show about pigs.

I gotta agree here, no way in hell would I watch Jurassic Bark again.

  1. luck of the fryish
  2. the sting
  3. leela’s homeworld
  4. time keeps on slippin’
  5. parasites lost

Wow, this show was depressing sometimes. I can hardly wait for the next movie.

  1. Jurrasic Bark
  2. Luck of the Fryrish
  3. Time Keeps on Slippin.

Obvious to the first. It really is the only thing in prime time history that has made me tear up. It’s also a REALLY funny episode.
“You been swimming in the sewers Seymour? Aww…(rubs Seymour with the pizza dough)”

I definitely think Luck of the Fryrish should be two. Pretty heart felt when you realize that Yancey loved him so much.

Third is the episode where Fry moved the stars themselves to win her heart.

Parasites Lost
The Sting
Leela’s Homeworld

Not sad at all:
Luck of the Fryrish (I found it uplifting - brotherly love, and Fry’s influence continuing after his disappearance? Major feel-good episode.)
Jurassic Bark (Blatant emotional manipulation doesn’t work when you introduce a brand new character to do it! Even if the character is a dog.)
The Devil’s Hands Are An Idle Plaything (A farce that ended on a hopeful note. It was sweet, it was a little sentimental, but it wasn’t sad.)

Luck of the Fryish wins for me. I would be devastated if either of my sisters just vanished off the face of the earth. Well, I’m sure most people would be devastated, but it just hits me really hard now.

I’ve had lots of dogs and lots of pets in my life, and I understand why people think Jurassic Bark is so sad, but I don’t really view that episode as about Fry and his dog so much as Fry and Bender. Bender jumped in after that dog because his actions hurt Fry—Bender doesn’t care about hurting anybody but Fry is his friend. I thought it was a really sweet testament to the new life Fry had.

it’s all about the closing credits. Poor dog.

My thoughts exactly.

What’s really sad, is it’s based off a true story.
Hachikō was a dog in japan who waited for his deceased owners return for 9 years

Luck of the Fryish, The Sting, Jurassic Bark are all the obvious ones, and all already mentioned (even in the OP). Time Keeps On Slippin’ is a good mention - it was a great “ordinary” Futurama episode already (“Look in your heart, Bender, and ask yourself: are you funky enough to be a Globetrotter? Are you? (Yes!) ARE You? (Well, with time, my funk level could --) ARE YOU? (…no.) Deal with it.”), then the sentimental aspect of it kind of surprised me right at the very end.

Hey! I teared up at the end of that one, what with the Last Party for that hero, Slurms McKenzie. Wimmy wam-wam wazzle!

Luck of the Fryrish
The Sting
Leela’s Homeworld
Time Keeps on Slippin’
Jurassic Bark

In order saddest to “least”. Jurassic Bark never grabbed me because it’s just not that funny or interesting an episode aside from the final hook. The rest were funny aside from The Sting which was more compelling than amusing.

Luck of the Fryrish was funny all the way through AND ended with a good punch. Top of the list.

Honorable mention, in the episode where Leela marries the shapeshifter, at the end Fry tells her she’ll find her real home world some day. Leela looks out through the star-filled infinite expanses of space and says “Sure, how many worlds can there be?” Nice melancholy humanizing moment.

Did they ever return? You know, as some sort of undead creature…

I haven’t found any Futurama episode to be especially sad. Unfunny and sentimental maybe, but not really sad.

I don’t know how you guys feel about post-rebirth episodes, but The Late Phillip J. Fry brings a tear to my eye occasionally. Fry misses a birthday dinner date with Leela when he, Bender and the Professor end up traveling in a forward-only time machine. They arrive to see the Earth has been completely sterilized, dashing their hopes of borrowing a backwards-time machine to send them home from the future. When Fry reads a message Leela left saying how much he meant to her, he resigns himself to happily kick back with a beer and watch the universe end.

Also, not a particularly sad episode overall, but I like this poignant line from Godfellas:

Fry: “Come on, you guys have forever to look for God. All I’m asking for is one measly lifetime to find my friend.”

Edit Oops, just noticed the zombie status…

I posted here about Jurassic Bark back when it first aired. I don’t want to look it up and see how its probably been ten years or more since(!) JB is really the only truly sad episode of Futurama I can think of. A few others have had some genuine dramatic pathos, and earned it by having it fit into the storyline. But the JB ending, although it certainly fit the story, was both so heart-breakingly sad, yet so not necessary! There were so many other legitimate ways they could have ended that episode, including just cutting to the credits after Fry’s speech about why he doesn’t want to revive Seymour and him & Bender making up. Plus the Connie Francis song! To this day I cannot & will not watch that episode again. :frowning:

According to Wiki this episode was nominated for an Emmy, but lost to The Simpsons Three Gays of the Condo. And while that wasn’t a bad Simpsons episode (it’s phenomenal compared to the crap that the show’s become) it really can’t compare to JB.

No worries; the OP is still very much around and amused to see this thread rectified. :slight_smile: