Recently, I wrote a list of the best Futurama episodes for Suite101. That site requires that you write in the third person, which was difficult for this particular article. You have no idea how hard that was for me. Futurama is probably my favorite show, and not being able to make the list more personal killed me. So, here’s the list with the original copy and my additional thoughts in italics. And, my policy is: if for any reason you are not completely satisfied with my picks, I hate you.
See what I did there?
#5 War is the H-Word
This episode is great for so many reasons, but mainly, it’s because of Zapp Brannigan, the totally unaware, incompetent captain and Kif Kroker, his sad-sack sidekick.
It’s also a great take on war in pop culture with parodies of Patton (Zapp delivering a speech in front of the Earth flag), M*A*S*H (the robot surgeon iHawk that has a irreverent-maudlin switch) and Starship Troopers (the brain balls as the bugs).
Fry and Bender are sent to war on Spheron 1 after enlisting in the army for a military discount on gum. Apparently, Zapp started a war despite the planet being “devoid of natural resources and possessing no strategic value.” Leela, not wanting her idiot friends to die, poses as a man and enlists, which causes some “weird and deeply confusing” feelings in Zapp. Along the way, Fry, predictably, acts like a coward and Bender, surprisingly, saves the day.
Like I said, Zapp and Kif really make this episode. Zapp Brannigan might be one of my favorite characters of all time. He’s part William Shatner, part Adam West and part Lionel Hutz. He’s clueless mostly, but always hilarious.
This episode earned a spot on the list partly because it has two of my favorite Zapp-Kif moments of the entire series:
Zapp: “I suffer from a very sexy learning disability. What do I call it, Kif?”
Kif: *sigh* “Sexlexia.”
Zapp: “I’m de-promoting you soldier. Kif, what’s the most humiliating job there is?”
Kif: “Being your assistant.”
Zapp:“Wrong. Being *your* assistant!”
Fry being a coward