Futurama’s Revival Introduces The Show’s Darkest Episode In 20 Years

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Futurama season 11, episode 9!


  • Futurama’s season 11, episode 9 takes a dark turn with a storyline that may unsettle some fans, deviating from the show’s usual light-hearted comedy.
  • “The Prince and the Product” continues Futurama’s tradition of non-canon anthology episodes, but one of the storylines is disturbingly dark.
  • The segment involving Zoidberg murdering the entire Planet Express crew and creating a grotesque hybrid car goes too far and feels out of character for Zoidberg.

Futurama is known for being a fairly light-hearted comedy, but Hulu’s revival just debuted the show’s darkest episode in 20 years. Futurama is a pretty wild show, with it often containing strange plots, high-concept sci-fi, and incredibly weird moments. Although it hasn’t been afraid to get dark in the past, Futurama mostly sticks to being jovial and comedic. However, Futurama season 11, episode 9 throws all of this out the window, with the episode containing an incredibly dark storyline that may rub some fans the wrong way. So, here’s why Futurama season 11’s weirdest episode is also its darkest one.

Futurama is finally back, with Hulu reviving the beloved Matt Groening series for an eleventh season more than a decade after it went off the air. The Hulu revival has managed to continue many of the stories, characters, and traditions from the original seasons of Futurama, and season 11, episode 9 does this in a big way. Futurama‘s non-canon anthology episodes have long been a staple of the series, and Futurama season 11, episode 9, “The Prince and the Product” continues this trend. The episode features three non-canon storylines in which the Planet Express crew are toys, but one of these arcs is far too dark.

“The Prince And The Product” Is Futurama’s Darkest Episode Since “The Sting”

futurama the sting fry leela bender black box

Although Futurama tended to stay away from dark storylines, “The Prince and the Product” isn’t the first time that the series has steered in this direction. Futurama season 4, episode 12, “The Sting” sees the Planet Express crew go on a journey to collect honey from space bees, a quest which killed Professor Fanrsworth’s previous crew. Upon their arrival, a space bee stabs Fry with its stinger, making him seem dead. The Planet Express crew hosts a funeral for him, but Leela gets a vision that Fry is still alive. While having Futurama‘s main character murdered is dark enough, things end up getting even worse.

After Leela gets her vision, she becomes convinced that Fry is still alive, but the rest of the Planet Express crew doesn’t believe her. They believe that Leela is going crazy, and eventually, Leela agrees. However, Leela decides to put herself into a self-induced coma so that she can be with Fry in her dreams. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Leela has actually been in a coma since the bee attack, with Leela being the one to get all of the stinger’s venom. So, while Leela thought that Fry was dead, Fry thought that Leela was dead, with the Futurama storyline getting surprisingly gruesome.

Related: 10 Unpopular Opinions About The Futurama Revival

Zoidberg Murders The Entire Planet Express Crew In Futurama Season 11, Episode 9

Although it is played more for laughs, one segment in “The Prince and the Product” is the darkest thing in Futurama since “The Sting,” as the episode sees Zoidberg murder the entire Planet Express crew. The non-canon segment takes place in a world that parodies the Hot Wheels toys, with every character being a car. A video begins to circle around New New York, and when a viewer sees it, they get a phone call soon after. Upon answering the phone call, they lose control of their minds, with the cars driving away only to be found chopped up into pieces by an unknown assailant.

As it turns out, Zoidberg is the one behind the murders in “The Prince and the Product.” After the Planet Express crew is picked off one by one, it is revealed that Zoidberg has been luring his friends to a chop shop and disassembling them. Once he has done this, he combines parts of his friends with his body, creating a disgusting hybrid car consisting of pieces of the entire Planet Express crew. Although the characters are cars in this episode, thinking about this storyline as if the characters were humans makes it even darker, with Zoidberg’s evil plan turning out to be pretty disturbing.

Related: 20 Best Futurama Quotes (That Are Still Hilarious Today)

Zoidberg’s Slasher Plot Takes Things Too Far

Fry, Leela, Zoidberg, and Bender in the desert world of Nibbler's litter box in Futurama season 11, episode 4

While the episode does have some humorous moments, Zoidberg’s slasher plot takes things too far. The storyline is incredibly out of character for Zoidberg, making it not really work. Although Zoidberg is dumb, he isn’t dumb enough to murder his friends and attach pieces of their bodies to his. Zoidberg loves the members of the Planet Express crew, and while the character does have some tragic moments, he would never take things this far. Although a dark Futurama episode like this could work, the Zoidberg storyline doesn’t quite click like it needs to.

New episodes of Futurama release Mondays on Hulu.

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