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In Futurama's first episode "pilot 3000" we are introduced to the idea that individuals were implanted with a career chip that labeled you with "your permanent career assignment" according to Leela.

Ultimately, this would at least suggest (at least to me) that jobs were predetermined. Also, keep in mind that Leela also mentioned that you would shot into the sun if you didn't do your job which does give the suggestion that you are only allowed to do this job and nothing else.

However, later in the series in the episode "Law and Oracle" we discover that you can legitimately move to a different career therefore giving the suggestion that jobs were not predetermined.

My question is: Were jobs predetermined or were they not?

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    They were and then they were not. Don't get bogged down by plot holes in a show like Futurama. – Daft Jan 13 '15 at 20:39
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    Check out this excellent question that addresses the fact that Futurama never bothered with consistency: Do the internal inconsistencies of Futurama ever cause it to suffer? – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Jan 13 '15 at 20:41
  • Futurama's tongue-in-cheek variant on a canon (and tendency to Hang a Lampshade on discrepancies) always made me think they might be the UR-example of the MST3K Mantra. WARNING: Those are TvTropes links; follow them, and you may lose HOURS of productivity. – K-H-W Jan 13 '15 at 21:28
  • Career chips were dropped from the story because they restrictive. The writers do make deliberate nods at this plothole in later episodes (e.g. Leela has to remind Fry not only of what a career chip is, but that 'It's how we met.'). – user33616 Jan 14 '15 at 5:27
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Well this is my personal opinion, which has no REAL basis in the series as such, never the less here we go:

Lela does determine the job for Fry at that specific moment in time - I assume if Fry was to you acquire new life skills, by going to school or getting a bionic implant he could retake the test and get a new assignment.

I think that Prof. Farnsworth has not started with an assigned job of Professor/Delivery Company owner. So there have to be some means and processes to change jobs without being shot into the sun.

  • Agreeing with @avner-shahar-kashtan 100% – mebu83 Jan 13 '15 at 21:12
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    Hi and welcome to stack exchange :) not bad for a 1st answer.. I like its simplicity.. But usually a link or quotes or article is a good idea to add in an answer ;). – Rocket Jan 13 '15 at 21:15

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