In Futurama, we find out that Fry's brain is special in that it is unable to produce the delta wave and is incapable of analytic thought. Later in the series we find out it's because he is his own grandfather.

Wouldn't that mean he's also his brother's grandfather and his nephew's great grandfather, and thus those two also wouldn't have the brainwave? We do see that Phillip Jr is capable of analytic thought as he was an astronaut (and oil baron, and rock star and so on).

  • 4
    I've no backup for it, but presumably the fact that Fry's ancestor was genetically identical to himself was the problem. His brother's DNA would be very similar, but by no means identical in the way that Philip's was. Philip Jr would be even more dissimilar given that 50% of his DNA came from his mother.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 0:53

1 Answer 1


Genetically speaking, brothers can be quite dissimilar while still retaining a significant amount of DNA in common.

The ability to produce delta waves is most likely dependent on one specific gene being switched on or switched off.

However your question is flawed if you take the clover into account, since the nephew had the lucky clover. Then you could explain his success by him being lucky.

  • Genetically speaking humans and chimpanzees can be quite dissimilar while still retaining a significant amount of DNA in common. Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 7:40
  • @GeoffAtkinsYes and this backs up the answer. The differences are even more obvious to casual examination (for most people)
    – user001
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 10:29

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