Though he's certainly built a life for himself in the future, Fry still has a life (though it's pretty lame) back in the year 2000.

Why doesn't he go back in time and stay there? What's keeping him in future Earth?

  • If you woke up in 1000 years to technology beyond current imagination, would you go back? I wouldn't, except maybe to pick up a few friends and family members.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 19:14
  • 1
    It depends on how good the pizza is in the future...
    – stevvve
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 19:45
  • 8
    In one word: Leela
    – dan04
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 22:32
  • 1
    Well if he wanted to he could always just freeze himself again.
    – Chad Levy
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 23:43
  • 2
    When/how exactly does he has the possibility to do that? Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 7:13

10 Answers 10


I believe this is answered in the first episode. Fry hates his life. His within the first 2 minutes of episode 1 he is chanting "I hate my life I hate my life I hate my life". His girlfriend dumps him.

He finds that the pizza he is delivering is a prank, and has a drink to "another lousy millennium", then falls into the cryo chamber.

His life is terrible, and in the future he has a wealth of close friends and self-appreciating accomplishments. Good choice not going back.

When he wakes up he says "My parents, my co-workers, my girlfriend, I'll never see any of them again... WOOOHOOO!". He clearly doesn't want to go back.

He also says: "I'm glad, I had nothing to live for in my old life. I was broke, I had a humiliating job, and I as beginning to suspect my girlfriend was cheating on me."

And: "I'm the luckiest guy in the whole future, I've been given a second chance and this time I'm not going to be a total loser".

  • While I know all of this, I suppose I was hoping for a revelation of some kind. My hope for a deep and meaningful reason was doomed from the start, as Fry is neither deep nor meaningful. Nicely done :)
    – stevvve
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 19:48
  • 1
    He's incredibly wealthy for a very brief period of time (at least he only knows for a brief period of time). That doesn't count, though.
    – bitmask
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 21:51
  • @bitmask Absolutely true, just threw it in there for some reason. Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 20:21
  • @GorchestopherH: You may want to change that.
    – bitmask
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 20:22
  • @bitmask done and done Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 20:26

Gorchestopher's answer is very accurate, but I'd like to add a little contribution. :)

What's keeping him in future Earth?

His love of Leela.

In "The Why of Fry" (S05E08), when Fry is trapped inside the Infosphere, the Giant Brain suggests he query the database concerning the night of December 31st 1999 (the date Fry got frozen). Fry then finds out that it was Nibbler who deliberately blew Fry's tilting chair, which made him lose his balance and the chair tipped back. They have an argument:

Fry: I, I don't understand. You made me go in the freezer tube?

Nibbler: We had no choice. You were the only one who could help us. What is one life weighed against the entire universe?

Fry: But it was my life.

Another excerpt:

Infosphere Brain: There is a nexus point between universes, at the space-time you entered the cryogenic tube. You and only you can return there.

Giant Brain: Interesting. You could stop the Nibblonian from pushing you into the cryogenic tube.

Fry: That is interesting. Why?

Giant Brain: It would be as if you never came to the future. You will have your life back and we will succeed in our plan to understand and destroy the universe.

Fry: Everybody wins!

I suspect Fry wouldn't mind of going to the future if that event was caused by casualty, but since it was a Nibblonian plot, he wanted his life back.

Let's move on. Fry is now below the table with Nibbler, back in the date Fry got frozen. The 1999's Fry is in the chair:

Nibbler: Our saviours foresee that in a thousand years, at one moment, the fate of the universe will depend on you. Since you will not live that long I must freeze you now.

Fry: Well, why couldn't you just ask me?

Nibbler: We were afraid you would refuse.

Fry: Of course not, I love the future.

Nibbler: Then why are you choking me right now?

Fry: Because I don't like being used.

Here we go, Fry does love the future. :) The real question is how Fry got there. That's why he is suffering: he would prefer to be in the future as a result of his own decision, not others. But then something happens:

Nibbler: Well now it's your choice. Is there nothing in the future worth saving?

Fry: Leela. But she doesn't think much of me.

Nibbler: Ah, she must be the other. You must not give up on her. I am stationed on a distant world known as Vergon 6. But if you return to the future I will transfer to Earth to give you what help I can.

Fry: You really think I would have had a chance with Leela?

Nibbler: You must choose. The present or the future? To save yourself? Or to save Leela?

Then Fry blew the chair. :)

Later, in "Bender's Big Score", when one of Fry's time paradox duplicates saw his reflection in the mirror and realized he was Lars:

Fry: I'm Lars? I'm Lars! Wait for me, Leela! I'll be there in a thousand years.

Besides, there's also Zoidberg. /ducks :)

  • 3
    Just remember... scooty-puff jr. suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks
    – user20155
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 1:14

Fry is a laid back guy who enjoys futuristic gadgets, but doesn't make much effort to do anything. Fry grew bored of his 20th century life. He didn't care much about anyone, and didn't care much about anything. But he also didn't make much of an effort to change his boring life. In the 20th century, Fry was content to be discontent.

All this changed when he was cryogenically transported into the future. Even though his future job was still as a delivery boy, the texture of life changed enough to make it fun and exciting - without any effort on Fry's part. It helps that Fry has family (Farnsworth) and there is a mandatory employment system in place to place him in society. These two things eliminate much of the difficulty that an immigrant would ordinarily encounter when moving to a radically different culture.

Ten or fifteen years later, Fry will probably be just as bored of the future as he was of the 20th century. But the short run of Futurama only gives us a brief glimpse into Fry's first few years in the future.

Fry is lazy and bored on the 20th century. He is still lazy in the future, but the world is a lot more interesting to him. Not only is there nothing for him in the 20th century, but his laziness prevents him from even trying to get back into the 20th century on his own. In 20 years, Fry will probably be bored of the future. All he will do is complain.


He has. Several times. And met himself. Several times. The first time was when he tried to stop the Brains for the Nibblonians. The Brains told him he could go back in time to stop himself from falling in the tube. He did go back for that purpose, but changed his mind when he realized that he never would have met Leela if he stayed in his 2000 life. By then he had begun to have feelings for her. He also travels back twice in 'Bender's Big Score'. Once to wait on Bender and stop him from killing him while he was in the tube, but he decided to go back further so the pizza will be hot. He meets himself as he travels back in time and has an argument with himself about the plot. The stickler-for-the-rules Fry ends up living his life in 2000, where he took care of a narwal named Leeloo.


In the episode Anthology of Interest I Fry asks the "what if" machine what if he never came to the future. Fry hits his head instead of falling into the cryogenic chamber. The universe implodes in on itself.


His love for Leeela, obviously, is a huge factor because now that he's met her it would be impossible for him to go back to his old time and never see her again. Also, apart from the time with the brains, he's never had an opportunity since there are no reverse time machines in existence.


Because he was frozen inside a tube; while that preserved him, he cannot be preserved backwards in time. So even if he wanted to, he couldn't, unless possibly by using the freak microwave popcorn thing.


Because there is no backwards time machine (as found in the recent episode where the professor can't go back from the year 30000) and that he prefers the future (as shown in the episode which shows his old life).


The central point of the story is that Fry was "meant" to come to the 31st century. Even though he is not a scientist, and not even just a nerd, he felt a close association to outer-space and space-travel.


I think fry should go back to his time because after a few years in the futur you start to see his family treat him like crap,but you also see how his family missis him,for example the episode when they try to get his clover back in the graveyard realy toched because it turned out to be his nephew. I also think he should return to his home because he had a dog that realy loved him and the love between a man and a dog is way better than some on again off again relation ship with a purple headed alien with one eye.

  • 1
    The question is about why Fry doesn't return to his time, not about whether he should.
    – Micah
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 23:23

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