Futurama proved that creator Matt Groening wasn’t a one-trick pony when it came to his comedy shows. Set in the 31st century, it follows the Planet Express Delivery Company crew as they have all sorts of crazy adventures across the galaxy. The show has survived multiple calculations and will soon be returning for a new season.
A major reason for the show’s success is its cast of unforgettable characters. Each of them has a strong personality that you can’t help but fall in love with and lend themselves to multiple hilarious and dramatic storylines.
10 Zapp Brannigan
A high-ranking general in the Democratic Order of Planets, Zapp Brannigan (Billy West) has many military victories under his belt. Of course, most of them come from fighting inferior opponents, as his tactics are incompetent. When he’s not sending waves of men to their deaths, he attempts to seduce Turanga Leela (Katey Sagal).
Though Brannigan is a dim-witted chauvinist, you can’t help but enjoy his presence. There’s a certain innocence to his buffoonery, especially since it spoofs William Shatner‘siconic character Captain Kirk. His voice pays homage to both Shatner and Phil Hartman, the latter of whom was going to voice him before his death in 1998.
9 Kif Kroker
As Brannigan’s begrudging Lieutenant, Kif Kroker (Maurice LaMarche) is forced to go along with his superior’s decisions. His timid disposition means he can’t stand up to his incompetent superior, so he has to resign himself to dry sarcasm. He has much better luck in his love life when he develops a relationship with Amy Wong (Lauren Tom).
Everyone has been in Kif’s position at least once in their life, which helps to make him relatable. When he’s away from Brannigan, he’s able to let his guard down and show how sweet he can be, especially when he tries to take Amy on fancy dates. Sadly, he’s never able to get away from Brannigan for long, and ultimately falls back into his defeated, deadpan snark attitude.
8 Amy Wong
The long-term intern of Planet Express, Amy Wong comes from Mars and is the only child of the influential Wong family. Although she could have gotten her doctorate years ago, she enjoys hanging out at Planet Express, and the Professor keeps her because they share a blood type. When not working, she lives a party-girl lifestyle.
Amy is a slightly spoiled rich girl who is prone to accidents. Coupled with her fun-loving lifestyle, she can sometimes come across as inconsiderate, especially towards Leela, who she enjoys passively aggressively teasing. Still, she is much more bubbly and positive than her cynical co-workers, which helps to brighten the mood.
7 Prof. Hubert J. Farnsworth
The owner of Planet Express, Professor Hubert Farnsworth (Billy West) is one of Earth’s most brilliant scientific minds. He has a long history of both ethical and unethical discoveries, which bleeds into his current business practices. At over one hundred and sixty years old, he’s also prone to moments of senility and can fall asleep at any time.
Farnsworth is an admitted mad scientist and will gleefully send his crew on suicidal missions without a hint of remorse. It’s also made clear that he views them as disposable, and even has a backup crew ready for when any of them die. Yet he is also one of the show’s funniest characters thanks to just how amoral he is, and who doesn’t love his iconic, “Good news, everyone”?
6 Scruffy the Janitor
The most laid back and content of the Planet Express staff, Scruffy (David Herman) is a janitor who puts a lot of faith in the company. Amusingly, nobody can seem to remember him whenever he shows up for staff meetings. Scruffy doesn’t seem to mind and states his name and profession on each reintroduction.
Scruffy’s gruff voice, blunt mannerisms, and near-constant vacant expression make him a hilarious character in the hilarious animated show. Yet what really makes him stand out is his dialogue. When he’s not giving blunt reactions to a situation, he gives out the occasional word of wisdom or partakes in forbidden love affairs with his wash bucket.
5 Hermes Conrad
Formerly an Olympic limbo athlete, Hermes Conrad (Phill LaMarr) is now Planet Express’ bureaucrat and accountant. Rather than go on missions, he handles the paperwork and regularly reprimands the crew for not working hard enough or destroying company property. He hates Zoidberg in particular and regularly cuts his pay and insults him.
Though he can sometimes come across as harsh and overly critical, it stems from Hermes’ love and dedication to his job. Over time, Hermes softens to his coworkers, especially Bender, who he has risked his life and job several times for. Outside the office, he also tries to be a good father to his son, Dwight (LaMarr).
4 Turanga Leela
Originally working at Applied Cryogenics, Turanga Leela joined Planet Express as its ship captain. Despite having only one eye, she is a skilled pilot and is also trained in hand-to-hand combat. She is professional and committed to her job, but her pride can often jeopardize her mission and personal life.
Leela is one of the most passionate characters on the show. Usually, she funnels this into her job, but if the mission risks harming animals, or if there’s a chance to one-up her detractors, she’ll happily derail it all. Besides work, she goes through very relatable issues, such as learning about her past and finding love, which leads to a sweet relationship with Fry.
3 Dr. John Zoidberg
The staff doctor of Planet Express (and a fictional doctor who shouldn’t have a license), Dr. John Zoidberg (Billy West) is an old friend of the professor. Due to his Ph.D. being in alien physiology, he knows next to nothing about humans and often hurts his patients more than he helps. This leaves him poor, destitute, and always scraping for his next meal.
Zoidberg consistently ranks as one of the show’s most endearing characters because of how innocent he is. Though his co-workers despise him, Zoidberg values their friendship and loves to include himself in their escapades whether they want him there or not. His friendship with Farnsworth is also explored in great depth in a few episodes, which helps to explain why he is kept around.
2 Bender Bending Rodriquez
A bending robot built in Mexico, Bender Bending Rodriquez (John DiMaggio) originally worked as a mindless drone bending girders. After getting an electrical shock from a light bulb, he decides to take charge of his life and joins Leela and Fry at Planet Express. Unfortunately, his need for attention and his love of crime gets him and the crew into trouble.
Bender is easily the show’s break-out character and is now one of the most iconic TV robots. He goes all in with his love of drinking, smoking, burglary, and sex workers, and is never afraid to speak what’s on his mind regardless of how offensive it is. Yet beneath his showboating and love of vices, Bender has a lot of affection for his crewmates, especially Fry.
1 Philip J. Fry
On New Year’s Eve, 1999, Philip J. Fry fell into a cryogenics tube and was frozen for a thousand years. Due to his past delivering pizza, he is hired as Planet Express’ official courier. Of course, his tendency to slack off, plus his confusion about certain aspects of the future, tends to cause him problems.
What makes Fry so likable is how relatable he is to audiences. He is the fish out of water that audiences can latch onto as he explores all the future offers. While immature most of the time, his heart is the biggest out of the cast, and when he finds the right way to show it, he can be very sweet, compassionate, and loving.
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