Why it killed you: Futurama has always been pretty dark. It never let you go too far without reminding you exactly how scary the idea of waking up in the future would be. Fry gets used to it, but the very premise of the show is pretty sad when you think about it.
Level of devastating: A dull ache, like a brain slug sitting on top of your head.
13. “Near-Death Wish”: The reveal that Professor Farnsworth’s parents stayed up late at night with him every night growing up.
Why it killed you: If you didn’t see this episode don’t worry, it’s from the newer seasons on Comedy Central, which aren’t great. But it contains a wonderful moment where Professor Farnsworth discovers that his parents really did care about him all along.
Level of devastating: A beautiful gem of a scene, like the moon sapphires Al Gore is trying to keep away from dark wizards.
12. The Beast with a Billion Backs: When Bender comes to save Fry and the humans.
Why it killed you: The Futurama movies vary in quality, but one thing Beast With A Billion Backs did well was show exactly how much Bender and Fry care about each other. Fry might be an idiot meatbag, but he’s Bender’s idiot meatbag.
Level of devastating: Definitely a sweet, tingly moment, like the first sip from a can of delicious, highly addictive Slurm.
11. “Parasites Lost”: When Fry fights the worms in his brain for Leela.
Why it killed you: One thing Futurama has always done amazingly well is let you know exactly how much Fry cares about Leela. In “Parasites Lost” Fry has a choice — does he let the worms in his brain make him Leela’s dream guy, or does he get rid of them and find out if Leela loves the real Fry?
Level of devastating: A cute lesson about love, like when all the Decapodians from Zoidberg’s home planet mated and then died.
10. “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings”: When Fry gets his hands back.
Why it killed you: This episode was originally going to be the end of Futurama. To jog your memory, it’s the one where Fry trades hands with The Robot Devil and puts on an opera for Leela, who incidentally lost her ability to hear because of Bender’s butt being replaced by an air horn. At the end, though, after everyone’s gotten their hands, ears, and butts back, Fry tries to play a little song for Leela on his holophone. It’s a crude little song, but it’s beautifully simple in that way only Fry could be beautifully simple.
Level of devastating: It was a quiet and powerful ending, like the rumbling of a passing Martian buggalo herd.
9. “The Late Philip J. Fry”: Leela’s letter to Fry etched in stone.
Why it killed you: Fry misses his date with Leela, falling into Professor Farnsworth’s time machine. Leela’s whole life goes by, with Fry trapped hurtling through the future. After she learns that Fry missed their date because he’s stuck in the future, she decides to leave him a note in rock formations.
Level of devastating: Sweet and wonderful like the brain slug you’ve since decided is actually great and are happy you put on of your own free will.
Why it killed you: Futurama’s last episode is a weird one. How else would they end things? But it’s also a beautiful one. Fry and Leela finally get married. With the rest of the world frozen in time, they go on a backpacking trip that takes them all over the world and they grow old together. As the episode comes to an end, The Professor appears and explains he’s figured out a way to unfreeze time and go back to before it froze. Fry asks Leela if she wants to do it all over again and she says yes.
Level of devastating: Full on chills, like ones you get after the first bite from a poppler.
7. “The Sting”: Fry trying to pull Leela out of her space honey-fueled nightmare.
Why it killed you: “The Sting” is an incredible episode that also works pretty well as a summary of Leela and Fry’s whole relationship. Leela spends the episode trying to save Fry, trapped in a neverending series of nightmares, only to discover he’s been trying to save her. In the end, Fry’s voice pulls Leela out of her coma, but not before she goes through hell to try and get him back.
Level of devastating: The whole episode is intense and exhausting, like trying to pick up one of Nibbler’s poops.
6. “Lethal Inspection”: Hermes preventing baby Bender from being scrapped.
Why it killed you: Hermes doesn’t get a lot of quality screentime, but in a season six episode, it’s revealed that Hermes was working in the factory where Bender was manufactured. And what’s more, Hermes was the one who made sure Bender wasn’t scrapped by overriding Bender’s “defective” assessment. The tingly feeling creeps in when you realize he’s known Bender was the robot he saved all along.
Level of devastating: It probably gave you a good, efficient, bureaucratic teary eyed-feeling, which is technically a correct way to feel, and technically correct is the best kind of correct.
Why it killed you: Oh, boy. We’re on the last lap, people. If you keep reading after this don’t say you weren’t warned. At the end of “Time Keeps On Slippin’” you discover what made Leela fall in love with Fry during the time jumps. The Planet Express crew flies out to a safe distance to detonate a chunk of space in the hopes it will stop time from skipping forward randomly. That’s when Fry sees the love letter he wrote Leela in the sky. Fry realizes he proved his love to Leela by moving the stars themselves, only to watch the bomb detonate, erasing all of it.
Level of devastating: You probably cried more than Guenter did when his parents show up to Mars University and threw their poop at everyone.
Why it killed you: The whole episode is pretty dang poignant. Bender becomes God to a race of tiny people that grow on his stomach after he’s jetisoned into space. Then the race of tiny people kill each other in a tiny nuclear war. Then Bender meets God, or something close to it. But the episode’s last line is what really makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up: “When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.”
Level of devastating: It crushed you like the Clamps’ clamps.
Why it killed you: An on-going theme of Futurama is wrapped up pretty wonderfully in that quote from the space God. Time and time again you see characters doing the right thing without anyone ever knowing. In the episode where Leela finally meets her parents, it ends with a montage of Leela’s mutant parents protecting her and keeping an eye on her throughout her whole childhood, revealing that she was never alone after all.
Level of devastating: *Morbo voice* It destroyed you!
2. “The Luck of the Fryrish”: When Fry learns that his brother didn’t steal his name, he named his son Fry.
Why it killed you: Fry spends all of “Luck Of The Fryish” furious that his brother Yancy stole his lucky seven-leaf clover and his name and used them to become a rich and famous astronaut. Fry is so angry he heads to the graveyard where “Phillip Fry” is buried to steal his clover back. It’s only when he gets to the graveyard that he realizes that Ylancy didn’t steal his name and his clover, he gave Fry’s clover and name to his son.
Level of devastating: You were lost a sea of your own emotions like one of the heads in a jar in the President’s Wing of the Head Museum.
Why it killed you: Fry tries to clone his fossilized dog, Seymour. But he discovers that Seymour lived a long life after Fry was frozen. Fry decides that Seymour forgot about him a long time ago. Then the episode cuts a montage of Seymour waiting for Fry, for the rest of his life.
Level of devastating: You don’t want to live on this planet anymore.