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In the episode "The Late Philip J. Fry" Professor Farnsworth stops in the second universe and uses a ray gun to kill Adolf Hitler. In the third universe he attempts to do the same thing but accidentally kills Eleanor Roosevelt.

Why would Farnsworth single Hitler out as a person to kill considering the events of World War 2 were 1000 years before his time, and surely there were other atrocities that could have been prevented?

Particularly since at one time Farnsworth puts Hitler's brain inside a great white shark for the advancement of science.

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Probably because Hitler was an evil mass-murdering maniac.

Killing Hitler is pretty much the first thing most people try to do when they invent a time machine. (I'm extrapolating from a sample size of zero, but there's plenty of fiction to back it up.)

And although Futurama takes place in the 31st century, it's written for a 21st-century audience. Realistically Farnsworth might have preferred to kill some famous evil person from the 29th or 30th century, but it wouldn't have meant as much to the audience. The 31st-century world in which Futurama takes place is IMHO unreasonably influenced by the 20th and 21st centuries (Richard Nixon is president of Earth, for example), so it's clearly driven more by things the viewers (and writers) are familiar with than by strict logic.

Of course timing is important.

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    "Everyone agree - If you get a time machine, you kill Hitler" - xkcd's Cueball – DavRob60 Jun 30 '12 at 2:46
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    "I've got a gun - you've got a time machine - Let's Kill Hitler" (Melody Pond) – DJClayworth Jul 11 '12 at 2:49
  • @DJClayworth So that's why this question shows up under related for Doctor Who questions... (Side-note, I'm not sure Mels had the family name Pond, which would have been rather weird what with Amy's last name) – Zommuter Jun 11 '15 at 12:02
  • @Zommuter Keep watching, and you'll find out what Mel's mother's last name is. – DJClayworth Jun 11 '15 at 13:11
  • @DJClayworth That I know, what I meant was that there was no mention of the second incarnation's (the one between the girl Melody Pond and the Doctor's wife (whose name I avoid to mention due to the spoilers)) last name, only that she was called Mels. Or did I miss that? – Zommuter Jun 11 '15 at 17:58
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He could have regretted putting Hitler's brain in a shark, seeing as he then said "Everyone was in favor of saving Hitler's brain. But when you put it in the body of a great white shark, ohh, suddenly you go too far!" It seems he is at least partially aware that putting Hitler's brain in a shark was a bad idea.

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    Cyanide was involved in the death of Eva Braun & Adolph Hitler, but Hitler also put a gun to his right temple and pulled the trigger (destroying the brain). So perhaps Farnsworth assassinating Hitler at a rally by a shot in the chest not only save the brain, but left Hitler in a position where he was lauded as a hero and his body carefully interred, as opposed to it being dragged outside the bunker and being set fire to. From that reasoning, it could be argued that Farnsworth was assassinating Hitler explicitly so that the brain was available & 'healthy' for his later experiment. – Andrew Thompson Mar 10 '13 at 10:10
  • @AndrewThompson now you're being timey wimey... – Zommuter Jun 11 '15 at 12:07

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