Futurama is one of those rare shows that can be rewatched multiple times and will still elicit giggles upon each viewing. Besides the fact that most of its jokes have stood the test of time (even though the show first started airing in 1999 — can you believe that?), one of the major reasons for this is that the creators of Futurama made the effort to ensure it would reward its most loyal fans.
That means the show is absolutely packed with Easter eggs, many of which are tossed out in such an offhand way that they’re nearly impossible to catch unless you’re watching the episode for the second or third time. The amount of subtle jokes and interesting tidbits they managed to cram into that show was impressive.
Did you catch these jokes and running gags the first time you watched Futurama? (Obviously thar be spoilers here — but honestly, if you aren’t caught up on Futurama at this point, we can’t really help you.)
Bender’s apartment number in the Robot Arms Apartments is 00100100 — which, when translated from binary, is a dollar sign. It couldn’t be more appropriate.
Professor Farnsworth was named after Philo Farnsworth, an inventor who is generally considered to be the father of modern television. Philip J. Fry is named after Phil Hartman, who was supposed to voice Zapp Brannigan but was tragically killed before the show began. Bender is named after John Bender from The Breakfast Club.
The noise that accompanies the Hypnotoad is a reversed recording of a turbine engine. All glory to the Hypnotoad!
The name Futurama is a nod to Futurama, an exhibit at the 1939 General Motors World’s Fair about the wonders of “the world of tomorrow.” Welcome… to the woooorld of tomorroooooow!
When Al Gore appears in the show, it really is Al Gore voicing the character. Apparently he’s a pretty big fan.
According to creator Matt Groening, he came up with the idea for Futurama while listening to “Robot Blues” by The Incredible String Band.
In the episode “The Prisoner of Benda” from Season 6, the crew all switches bodies and are faced with the dilemma of how to return to their original bodies, given the limitations of the body switching machine. While in the show the Harlem Globetrotters show up and create a mathematical formula to solve the problem, in real life, Ken Keeler (PhD mathematician and the episode’s writer) created a new mathematical proof to solve the problem. This proof, which can be seen written on the blackboard in the episode, is now alternately knows at the Futurama Theorem and Keeler’s Theorem.
(Most trivia sourced from IMDb)