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In The Tip of the Zoidberg we learn that the Professor and Zoidberg have known each other for around 85 years, since 2927. However in the episode That's Lobstertainment we see a film from only 5 years before the Professor and Zoidberg met. (the film is 2922's A Close Shaving)

Harold Zoid has aged quite an astonishing amount over the last 80-odd years. So just how old is Zoidberg?

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+100

We can make a few rough estimates of his age, but there isn't enough information/consistency to get an exact number...

First consider the Decapodian life cycle:

enter image description here

These stages were introduced in the episode "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles" where the crew is "de-aged" due to the effects of chroniton-infused tar and oil-eating bacteria. Unfortunately, the rate of de-aging doesn't tell a lot about Zoidberg's age relative to the other characters since it is highly inconsistent across the characters: The Professor seems to get younger at a faster rate than the others, while Hermes (who is about 20 years older than the others) ends up being about the same age as the rest of the crew. Add to this the fact that chronitons can cause random jumps in time and can exhibit highly localized effects and there's no telling how much each character was affected.

The one thing we do learn with certainty from this episode is that the Cuttlefish Stage of Zoidberg's development occurs when he is a teenager:

Zoidberg: Hooray! I'm a teenage heartthrob again!

Further, we also know from the episode "A Taste of Freedom" that the Humanoid Stage of development starts with Zoidberg looking like a small child. If we assume that growth from child to adult during this stage follows the same rate as it does in a human (along with the amount of schooling) and that it takes about 4 years to finish college and 5 more years to get a doctorate in art history, then we can estimate that by the time Zoidberg and the Professor first meet Zoidberg must be at least around 40 years old already.

This would place Zoidberg's current age at around 125 (rough minimum). So why might Harold Zoid look so much older after 80-or-so years but Zoidberg doesn't? I can only speculate that the Humanoid Stage of Decapodian development is very long with a prolonged stage of "middle-age" where aging isn't apparent. Harold Zoid could have been near the end of his middle-age stage during the 2920's, with the effects of aging subsequently setting in over the next 80 years and making him look much older.

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    So we'll call 125 a likely minimum age for Zoidberg? And the final stage of Decapodian lives is like humans, slow aging over 80 years until death. (Provided they never breed, because once they breed they die) Actually, where does the episode where Fry, Bender and Farnsworth travel into the future fit in? We can assume that Zoidberg is about to start aging like Harold Zoid. So perhaps 200 is roughly as long as they live, or Zoidberg sat around with his degree for some time before meeting the Prof. – DampeS8N Jun 22 '12 at 16:19
  • @DampeS8N: Ah, I forgot that there was an old Zoidberg in "The Late Philip J. Fry". Yes, one of those assumptions would have to be true then (more time before their meeting or he's close to his senior years) for Zoidberg to look aged in 3050. – gnovice Jun 22 '12 at 16:32
  • In light of some recent episodes. O – DampeS8N Nov 2 '13 at 21:44
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I feel that this is one of the not-so-well thought out aspect of the show. Another reference to his age is from the episode where they all get spattered with tar that "blisters the age out of you in what top scientists are calling a miracle" or something like that. In said episode, everyone begins to revert in age at a proportionately similar rate (i.e. the professor is still a young boy by the time the all of the crew members are fetuses). However, Zoidberg ages at the same rate as the crew members, which would place him in the 20s-30s range.

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Unless it is a continuity error, Zoidberg is aware of the smell and taste of anchovies, and according to Prof. Farnsworth in 'A Fishful of Dollars' (E06S01) anchovies have "been extinct since the 2200's"..

Now I know his people could describe them, but Zoidberg knew them from scent alone. This should put his age at around 800+- years, correct?

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    Hi and welcome to SF&F StackExchange! I'm afraid this is more a comment than an answer (I realise you can't comment yet, but one or two good answers will change that). Also, the anchovies aren't a continuity error. Fry has told everyone he has the last can of anchovies; so when he opens it and Zoidberg smells them, Zoidberg can make the connection between the glorious aroma and these legendary "anchovies" the Decapodians still talk about. – Royal Canadian Bandit Nov 4 '14 at 9:45

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