Per "A Clone of My Own"
Farnsworth: These are the dark matter engines I invented. They allow my starship to travel between galaxies in mere hours.
Cubert: That's impossible. You can't go faster than the speed of light.
Farnsworth: Of course not. That's why scientists increased the speed of light in 2208.
This neatly explains why the ship is ...
For the money
Fry: This is awesome! Are we gonna fly through space fighting monsters and teaching alien women to lurve?
Farnsworth: If by that you mean "transporting cargo" then yes. It's a little home business I started to fund my research.
Space Pilot 3000
You may wish to note that the Professor does maintain an office at Mars University, ...
His parents didn't call the police.
Fry: Aww. So you froze yourself to come look for me?
Michelle: No, I did it to get a fresh start. I didn't know what had happened to you -- no one did. The police were going to conduct a
search but your parents felt it was a waste of taxpayer money.
Fry: That's the same reason they kept me out of school. So, no one even ...
I. C. Wiener = "Icy Wiener" or "I See Wiener"
Wiener is a pretty benign slang for a penis. Something you might expect children to say. It works in the joke because it's also a fairly common last name. It can also be spelled 'weiner'.
In general, they both work.
In Futurama, the joke shows up when the main character delivers a pizza to a ...
Shout-out to Balok
This most certainly harks back to the Balok puppet based on the fact that, for at least one whole season of The Original Series, a still of the Balok puppet appeared in the closing credits of every episode, despite not appearing in those episodes:
Given the similarity of Kif's appearance, it seems they inserted him at an analogous ...
In the episode "A Big Piece of Garbage" Fry finds a pile of Bart Simpson dolls and he comments about them as if he is aware that "The Simpsons" is a TV show. Also in the episode "Mars University" you can see Simpson dolls hanging in one of the booths when Fry has his flashback to the carnival. These seem to indicate that The Simpsons is a show in the ...
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, ...
Professor Farnsworth may have started the company to fund his research (see Valorums answer), but he also sees it as cheap source of labor for his projects (similar to a research group in a lab):
Farnsworth: This is not a business. I always thought of it more as a cheap source of labor, like a family.
from Future Stock
In certain cultures, a surname (i.e. family name) is said first when pronouncing a person's name. Leela's family appears to follow the same tradition, with "Turanga" being their surname, not "Leela". This is why it (intentionally) appears on the mailbox of their sewer home.
Although transcripts for episodes sometimes refer to Leela's parents by their full ...
It's—because Nibblonians are bigger on the inside, and their digestive system is somehow able to either manipulate gravity or move its contents' mass through another dimension.
Excerpt form Nibblonians article on theinfosphere.org (emphasis mine)
[…] As waste, they excrete pellets of dark matter, an extremely heavy material formerly used as a ...
Put here because I do not have enough reputation to comment on FryAmTheEggMan's comment above.
As a note, in a later episode (Law and Oracle IIRC) the employees at the cryogenics lab pull a similar prank on Fry, this time addressed to one "D. Frosted Wang". I think this heavily supports that the first meaning was the one intended by the writers. – ...
Nibbler and the Nibblonians simply allow Leela and other humans to call them by those names for convenience. As Nibbler said in the episode "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid":
That name is for your sake. In the time it would take to pronounce one letter of my true name, a trillion cosmoses would flair into existence and sink into eternal night.
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 ...
Zoidberg is supposed to be a doctor of medicine, and acts as staff doctor for Planet Express, despite his
"woeful understanding of human physiology and allusions to his
He claims to be an "M".D. (see below),but states in A Clone of My Own that he (ahem) misplaced his medical qualifications
Cubert: As long as I'm going to ...
From a computer science perspective, this is an easy answer: it is using an optimized search algorithm that searches 'down' the tree, not 'up' it.
It detected that Fry had no children below his generation, so it looked at his direct parent's generation, and found his brother as a sibling.
It ran a search down his brother's family tree, found the Professor, ...
The Sexateria is not a real thing. By analogy with "cafeteria," the implication is that the Sexateria is a place where sex is purchased and enjoyed—presumably in the open, casual manner in which food is enjoyed at a cafeteria. (The joke is that this brothel has edged out e.g. the Wailing Wall as the must-see tourist destination of the 31st century's Holy ...
The pun here is that an "I.C Wiener" (I.C being a pun for 'icy' and wiener being a slang term for a penis) is found in a cryogenics lab, where people are frozen.
You may wish to note that in the original storyboards, the Cryogenics Lab was going to be a division of Birdseye, Inc., a company famed for its frozen products and the joke name on the slip was ...
By using the Dark Matter Engine
The Dark matter engine is the key to the extreme acceleration capabilities of the modern space ship.
Albert Einstein's famous statements that it would be mathematically impossible to travel faster than light seem to have held up throughout the 3rd millennia, and although in 2208 the scientific community allegedly raised the ...
The most noticeable one is right there in the first episode, immediately after Fry awakens in the year 3000. The cryogenic technician steps into the room and dramatically exclaims "Welcome to the World of Tomorrow!":
This seems to have been taken almost verbatim from the theme of the 1939 World's Fair, described by Wikipedia as "The World of Tomorrow", and ...
Yes. Leela's lack of depth perception leads to many problems. In the first episode, it keeps her from catching Fry and Bender. In the episode, "A Clone of My Own", it keeps her from beating Cubert up (or however you spell his name). In the episode "A Leela for Her Own", her lack of depth perception causes her to become the worst Blernsball player in the ...
The Infosphere lists 12 "beings" Fry has had a relationship of some sort with:
Colleen: A former peace officer.
21st-century girl: Never named but they went on a date. Her appearance at his "funeral" suggests it was more than just a "date".
Morgan Proctor: A bureaucrat who "fraternized" him.
Michelle: His girlfriend from the past, who was also frozen ...
It's a multi-function device that Leela specifically referred to as her Wristlojackimator in the episode "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back". All other mentions she makes of it are general and vague (i.e. "this thing I wear on my wrist" or "my wrist thingy").
The functions/abilities of her "wrist thingy" are:
A communication device.
Some degree of ...
Various things were laid into the pilot as foreshadowing. This was one of them. Nibbler was introduced early in the series and was already designed at the time that the pilot was created. They didn't yet know how they would use the shadow, but they wanted things they could call back to that fans could spot ahead of time.
They talk about this in the ...
The practical answer is that he's poor for comedic purposes.
Zoidberg's characteristics juxtapose him being a doctor while being poor, and him having strong Jewish characteristics while being a shellfish and having poor financial management skills (a Jewish stereotype).
The other answers cover the main part of your question, but with respect to the techs in the cryo lab paying no attention to the new resident...
I think anyone who has been a "cog in the machine" employee would be able to tell you that nothing makes your life easier than the almighty shrug:
Tech 1: That tube was empty when I left yesterday.
Tech 2: Huh. &...