I think the main premise of the film doesn't make any sense unless it's somehow explained in some other film. I mean although it's seen that the one who puts the code on Fry is

Bender, when he travels back in time to Lars's funeral.

The code could only be put because

the code already existed in Lars. It looks like the only reason that Bender could put the code on Fry is because it already existed on Fry. No one somehow obtained the knowledge to create the code. This creates a circular paradox which would make all the events impossible to happen.

Am I missing something?

  • 2
    So many time travel stories feature circular paradoxes like that. Person A tells person B something; person B travels back in time to tell person A. so person A now knows it, so they can tell person B. etc.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 12:23
  • 1
    You're not missing anything. This is a classic "bootstrap" paradox, where the events of an earlier event rely on the actions of someone in the future, where those actions are driven by something happening earlier.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 12:25
  • Yes, but the point of the film was that it allowed time trivel without paradoxes. So it makes me wonder if I've missed something or it's a plot hole. Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 12:25
  • @user2638180 - Nope. In the film the use of the time code would always end with the paradox resolving itself (usually by killing the user) but that's just dumb. Whether the user is alive or dead doesn't affect the fact that they're there, just the nature of their personal reality. It's best just to accept that paradoxes happen in Futurama and get over it
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 12:27
  • 2
    Like with a balloon and something bad happens.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 12:46

1 Answer 1


It is never explained.

From The Infosphere's page on the time code:

It is interesting to note that it has yet to be truly explained where the time code comes from or how it ended up on Fry's butt in the first place. The code was put on the frozen Fry's butt by Bender, using a flap of skin from Lars, but it only existed on Lars' butt because he is a paradox time copy of Fry. This is an example of the bootstrap paradox.

The original act of the time code being placed on Fry is never shown and probably was erased from the timeline entirely.

  • The fact that the code is a paradox in itself is probably the reason anybody who uses it to cause one ends up dead. Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 15:44
  • 1
    Well, it had to be somewhere.
    – Liesmith
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 20:07
  • Note that there doesn't necessarily need to be an "original act". Perhaps it's entirely valid to say that the time code just always existed.
    – DavidS
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 9:01

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