What I know already:

When stating her name, Turanga Leela's surname comes first (her parents' names are Turanga Morris and Turanga Munda).

Some cultures put the surname last, others put it first.

What I want to know is, do we know specifically why the Turanga family puts the surname first? Has it ever been stated in an episode, or through some official channel, what culture they come from that would lead them to do this (Hungary? India?)? or is there some other reason - the mutants do this, for instance?

  • 4
    Because Leela's name is a pun on the Turangalila symphony by Messiaen. Not sure there's any other reason. Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 7:23
  • 4
    Gnovice's answer specifically addresses this "Leela's family appears to follow the same tradition, with "Turanga" being their surname, not "Leela". This suggests they may be of Hungarian or East Asian descent."
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 18:04
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    Just slapping "was this ever addressed in an episode" onto a dupe doesn't make it not a dupe since if it was addressed in an episode, that would have been mentioned in the answers to the dupe.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 18:06
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    The answer is that there is no answer. The Infosphere page I linked to in my answer to the linked duplicate provides some speculation in the "Trivia" section. But speculation is all there is, so there really isn't anything more that can be added besides what I put in my answer.
    – gnovice
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 16:42
  • 3
    Reopened based on meta consensus. Although I don't know anything about Futurama, that's a pretty clear show of hands (votes) for reopening.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 20:13

1 Answer 1



We don´t know

Out of universe answer:

to match the title of a symphonie

We don't know which culture Leela's family belong to or if all mutants use family names first.

However one Easter egg hidden in Futurama is the naming of Turanga Leela after the Turangalîla-Symphonie, a large-scale piece of orchestral music by Olivier Messiaen.

The author derived the title from two Sanskrit words, turanga and lîla, which roughly translate into English as "love song and hymn of joy, time, movement, rhythm, life, and death"and described the joy of Turangalîla as "superhuman, overflowing, dazzling and abandoned". This last description applies to some aspects of Leela's character.

There is a canon reference for this out of universe answer since Leela has a copy of this piece in her appartment. enter image description here

(/speculation begins) The lîla Sanskrit word sounds much more like a given name, it seems the authors went with that and, to leave her name like the title of the symphonie, put her family name first. (/end speculation)

  • Which episode is the shot from, do you know?
    – Octopus
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 22:37
  • @Octopus It's "Fry and Leela's Big Fling"
    – Ram
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 1:25
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    This is the correct answer the my question. The other post to which this one was marked as dupe, unmarked and then remarked, never ever provided any such answer and was apparently settled six years ago with perfectly acceptable answers for that particular question. Which is plenty of evidence that this is not a dupe. Thank you for settling my question.
    – Octopus
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 18:12
  • 1
    @Octopus there was a somewhat similar speculation, but it was deleted (probably because there was no evidence provided to support it. the answer can be seen by 10K + rep users) "The Turangas are French, their surname being after an opera named Turangalila Simphonie. Leela sounds more like of a given name than Turanga, so they decided to make it so ..."
    – user68762
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 21:55

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