From The Infosphere, the Futurama Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Season 7 episode
Broadcast season 10 episode
Meanwhile infobox.png
An older Fry and Leela walking on water with the rest of the universe frozen.
Production number7ACV26
Written byKen Keeler
Directed byPeter Avanzino
Title captionAVENGE US
First air date4 September 2013
Broadcast numberS10E13
Title referenceSee here


Season 7
  1. The Bots and the Bees
  2. A Farewell to Arms
  3. Decision 3012
  4. The Thief of Baghead
  5. Zapp Dingbat
  6. The Butterjunk Effect
  7. The Six Million Dollar Mon
  8. Fun on a Bun
  9. Free Will Hunting
  10. Near-Death Wish
  11. 31st Century Fox
  12. Viva Mars Vegas
  13. Naturama
  14. Forty Percent Leadbelly
  15. 2-D Blacktop
  16. T.: The Terrestrial
  17. Fry and Leela's Big Fling
  18. The Inhuman Torch
  19. Saturday Morning Fun Pit
  20. Calculon 2.0
  21. Assie Come Home
  22. Leela and the Genestalk
  23. Game of Tones
  24. Murder on the Planet Express
  25. Stench and Stenchibility
  26. Meanwhile
← Season 6Season 8 →

"Meanwhile" is the one hundred and fortieth episode of Futurama, the twenty-sixth of the seventh production season and the thirteenth of the tenth broadcast season. It aired on 4 September 2013, on Comedy Central. "Meanwhile" is the one hundred and fortieth and final [1] episode of Futurama in its second run, the twenty-sixth and final episode of the seventh production season and the thirteenth and final episode of the tenth broadcast season. It aired on 4 September 2013, on Comedy Central. Fry asks Leela to marry him, and they face their destiny together as the professor's latest invention alters the fabric of time.


Act I: "My little meatbag's growin' up!"

The episode finds Fry, Leela and Bender making a delivery to the moon and visiting the amusement park there. After an accident on one of the rides, Leela seemingly dies. Luckily, all is well, as she manages to survive inside a stuffed animal. However, the close call is too much for Fry to handle. Confessing to Bender that he can't imagine life without her, he vows that he will finally propose marriage to Leela.

Meanwhile, Professor Farnsworth invents the time button, a device that lets the user travel exactly 10 seconds into the past. He first demonstrates its abilities by stealing ten dollars from Zoidberg while the rest of the crew watches from the time shelter that shields them from the button's effects. Fry, with Bender in tow, takes the time button to steal diamonds for an engagement ring.

After fashioning the stolen diamonds into the perfect engagement ring, he hides it in a clam at Elzar's. When he presents it to Leela, she reaches for the ring and the clam snaps shut, severing her hand and a bloody stump.

Act II: "Goodbye, my love..."

Fry uses the time button to go back to before Leela's hand is severed, he injures the clam and proposes once again telling Leela to meet him on the top of the Vampire State Building at 6:30pm to give her answer. Leela seemingly jilts Fry and, heartbroken, he jumps from the skyscraper.

While falling, Fry spots Leela arriving at 6:25pm; the time button did not account for Fry's watch making it seem as if Leela was late. When the rest of the clocks in the universe went back by 10 seconds, Fry's watch did not. Leela sees Fry falling, as she watches the incident in horror. Fry only realizes he can use the button to undo this after he has already been falling for more than ten seconds.

Meanwhile, the professor calls Bender, Hermes, Amy and Zoidberg into the time shelter, where Bender reveals that Fry took the time button to the Vampire State Building, they carefully make their way to the building and meet Leela, Fry loses the button and dies upon impact, left as a puddle of blood and guts. A distraught Leela uses the time button to send him back into the sky but the professor is seemingly killed at the same instant, having being inside of the shelter, less than 10 seconds prior to the button press meant his chronitons were scattered, because the button had less than ten seconds on knowledge of where to place him.

Leela uses the button over and again to hear what happened with Fry, who suffers death after death, learning a little each time. Bender devises a plan to use his air bag to save Fry. He exits to be crashed into by Amy, Hermes and Zoidberg and his air bag successfully saves Fry. Elated, everyone begins to celebrate until Fry lands on the time button, leaving the entire universe save Leela and himself frozen.

Act III: "I was never lonely, not even for a minute."

After witnessing a strange glimmer travel across the air, Fry and Leela go on with their marriage, bringing along their friends and family to the wedding albeit frozen in time. They spend the rest of their lives travelling the world on the ultimate honeymoon: going to Africa, France, the Arctic, among other places, living a happy life, together.

The couple, now old and grey, return to the Vampire State Building to drink their engagement champagne, both feel as if they've lived the ideal life, with Leela pointing out that she was never lonely even in a frozen universe as she had Fry. The glimmer appears again before the couple, creating a tube-like tunnel to them and revealing to be the professor; he had been "tunnelling" his way around the frozen timeline in search of the time button, Fry gives it to him and the professor effortlessly repairs it.

The time button has been modified to send the universe back to before the professor conceived of the button so he can undo the whole affair, erasing their memory of the incident in the process. Fry asks Leela if she wants to "go around again", to which she responds "I do". Fry and Leela share their final kiss, content with the knowledge they have another wonderful lifetime together to come, and with one press of the time button the timeline is negated.


This section is in need of expansion. The reason given is:
Countdown to Futurama
Please add more content or information.

This is the fourth series finale that writer and producer Ken Keeler wrote for the show. The other three are "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", Into the Wild Green Yonder and "Overclockwise". The director of the episode — Peter Avanzino — also directed Into the Wild Green Yonder.

In 2012, Futurama writer Eric Rogers made two revelations concerning the episode. On 11 April, he revealed that "["7ACV25" and this episode] now [had] stories". [2] On 20 April, he revealed that the episode was being "[pitched] out" and urged fans to buy merchandise in order for the show to "come back". [3]

On 5 February 2013, released a preview clip for the tenth broadcast season, [4] which contained footage from the episode.

On 22 April, it was announced that Futurama had not been renewed for an eight season, making this the series finale.

On 20 July, the cast read the episode's first act at Comic-Con. [5]

By 29 August, Comedy Central had released a fifty-second preview clip featuring Fry and Leela alone in a time-frozen New New York. [6]

By 1 September, Comedy Central had released a fifty-second preview clip featuring Fry, Leela, Bender, and Albert riding an attraction. [7]

Image gallery


The following paragraph was copied from this article's Wikipedia counterpart.

"Meanwhile" has received positive reviews. Max Nicholson, for IGN, wrote that "Meanwhile" was "a fitting end to a classic animated series". [citation needed] He gave the episode a 9 out of 10. Zack Handlen, writing for The A.V. Club, said that "the first five minutes are passable but rushed, and the hook of Fry deciding he needed to ask Leela to marry him isn't all that exciting". However, he later went on to say that "this finale settles somewhere between the "too happy" and the "oh dear God when will it end," which makes it just about perfect. It has just about everything you could want from Futurama: there's a nifty time-travel plot, Fry and Leela get married, Bender is a jackass, Zoidberg loses $10, there's a nifty time-travel plot, and Fry dies". He graded the episode an "A".

IGN named this episode #9 on their list of the top 25 Futurama episodes.

Additional information

The "Fry meme" image, from "The Lesser of Two Evils".


  • The episode aired on John DiMaggio's forty-fifth birthday.
  • In "Forty Percent Leadbelly", which was also written by Ken Keeler, a Bender duplicate says that his audience deserves better than some crappy, formulaic ending. This may be a reference to the fact that Keeler wrote the finale.
  • The episode's title caption is likely a reference to the show's second cancellation.
  • The episode revisits Luna Park, from "The Series Has Landed", which was also written by Ken Keeler and directed by Peter Avanzino.
  • Tress MacNeille does the voice of Albert, who up until this episode had been voiced by Kath Soucie.
  • Bender tells Fry that he told Leela that he loved her "like 140 times". This episode is the one hundred and fortieth episode of Futurama.
  • The censored couple, Richard Nixon's head, Smitty and URL are the only characters besides Fry, Leela, Bender and Professor Farnsworth to appear in both this episode and the first episode, "Space Pilot 3000".
  • While Fry is falling, his watch says that it's 7:03, when the time is actually 6:25. Since his watch is 38 minutes ahead, he must have done about 228 resets, three of which were the professor demonstrating the button while Fry was in the time shelter.
    • 6:25 also happens to be the production number of "Overclockwise" — the show's previous series finale.
  • Assuming that the Vampire State Building has the same height as the Empire State Building, Fry's fall from the roof would take 10.8 seconds when accounting for air drag. [citation needed] The remaining height after ten seconds would be 40 meters, which matches the depiction in the episode.
    • When Fry is talking to János before jumping, there is an announcement requesting "Janitor to the 237th-floor men's room". The 102nd floor is the top floor of the Empire State Building, at 1250 feet. If the buildings were the same height, each floor on the Vampire State Building would be less that 6-feet high (assuming 237 floors in 1250 feet). So the building must be considerably taller.
      • Maybe the numeration of floors in the building doesn't start with 1, or the first floor is located underground.
      • At the end of the episode Leela states that she is in no rush after walking up 240 flights of stairs. With an average height of 10 ft per story this puts the Vampire State Building at 2400 ft. Taking into account Fry's acceleration to terminal velocity this puts his fall time at 12 seconds.
  • The professor says "time-space continuum", but the usual term is "space-time continuum".
  • In the Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror XIV", Bart and Milhouse order a stopwatch that stops time.
  • The woman holding the caviar resembles Nixon's campaign manager.
  • This is the only time that Agnew appears without Nixon.
  • When the elderly Fry and Leela observe the glimmer on top of the Vampire State Building towards the end of the episode, Leela says it's "Pretty though". At the end of "Space Pilot 3000", Smitty says the same line about the fireworks on New Year's Eve.
  • Thanks to the professor returning himself, Fry, and Leela to before he created the button, only the first four minutes and five seconds of the episode have a chance of having actually happened.
  • The first airing of the episode was immediately followed by the airing of "Space Pilot 3000". Futurama writer Patric M. Verrone initially suggested for the characters to, at the end of the episode, go back to 31 December 1999, [15] the day on which "Space Pilot 3000" is set.
  • An image of the clam is used on the setup menu for Volume 8.
  • Ken Keeler was unable to participate in the commentary, so he sent Patric M. Verrone a set of comments for him to read on his behalf.

Fry and Leela's list

These appear to be locations for Fry and Leela to have sex in.


Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.


  • When the ship is flying towards Luna Park, one can see the moon buggy that Fry abandoned in a crater in "The Series Has Landed".
  • Craterface displays his sullenness and gets a beer bottle to the eye by Bender — references to "The Series Has Landed".
  • When the Mecha-Hexadecapus malfunctions and Leela breaks a hole in the dome, Craterface flies up and stops up the dome — a reference to the moon replicated in the Holo-Shed doing the same when the Nimbus blows a hole in its hull in "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch".
  • When Fry is staring at the time button, his eyes narrow. This is a reference to a scene from "The Lesser of Two Evils", which originated an internet meme.
  • When describing the horrible deaths that the crew will experience if they leave the time shelter, the professor says that they would be shredded across the time-space continuum like human coleslaw, to which Zoidberg says "Yum". This may be a reference to "Roswell that Ends Well", in which the professor orders Soylent coleslaw.
  • Fry's tuxedo and Leela's wedding gown are both from previous episodes. The tuxedo is from "Calculon 2.0", and the gown is from "Time Keeps on Slippin'".
  • The episode features Fry and Leela's third wedding. Their first wedding was seen in "Time Keeps on Slippin'", and their second was in Bender's Big Score, when Leela was going to marry Lars — a time-paradox duplicate of Fry.
  • Leela was previously seen with grey hair in "The Late Philip J. Fry".
  • The man and woman in Paris were previously seen in "Game of Tones".
  • Bender was previously referred to as "What's-his-name" in "Stench and Stenchibility" — the previous episode.


The setup menu for Volume 8, featuring the clam.
  • The clam bites off Leela's right hand, but the hand in the clam appears to be the left hand.
  • After the clam cuts off Leela's hand, Fry takes more than ten seconds to press the button.
  • When the professor calls for Hermes, Bender, Amy, and Zoidberg to enter the time shelter, the painting is ripped, despite the fact that it's intact in the previous shot.
  • When Leela presses the button, Fry is inside the button ball, so he should remain dead.
  • Since Fry (and later Leela) cannot press the button instantaneously after the device recharges he would not be able to prevent himself from falling forever; he would start closer and closer to the ground each time.
    • The button may account for this.
  • When Fry splatters on the ground, the time button survives the fall, but when Fry lands on it, it easily breaks.
    • It's possible that it has a lower terminal velocity than Fry.
  • Fry would not be able to tell a continuous story while falling, since he would be sent back in time and would be unable to remember what he had just said.
    • It's possible that since his remains were in the time bubble, he remembers. This still leaves the previously mentioned goof about how he should remain dead.
  • In the stands at the basketball match, some characters are seen twice.
  • Objects seem to react to Fry and Leela in a peculiar way: The basketball spins when it's pushed; a thrown hat continues with its trajectory; and gravity seems to affect objects thrown by Fry or Leela. If time was actually frozen, anything would stop moving when Fry or Leela stopped applying a force to it and objects wouldn't fall.
    • It's stated in the commentary by David X. Cohen (when Maurice LaMarche asks what they drank for all those years) that anything Fry and Leela touch enters their time bubble. They can walk on water simply because their shoes touch it and not them.


    Zoidberg: Friends! I found a ten dollars!

    Bender: Listen. I know who stole the button. I wasn't gonna tell, 'cuz I don't like bein' helpful, but I do like ratt'n' people out.

    Zoidberg: Hooray! I'm trapped in a tiny fun room, with friends!

    Fry: You mean we'll all get to live our lives over again?
    The professor: Oh, my, yes. Even that nasty robot what's-his-name.


(In alphabetic order)





  1. ^ Snierson, Dan (22 April 2013). 'Futurama' to end seven-season run on Sept. 4 -- EXCLUSIVE. ( Retrieved on 22 April 2013.
  2. ^ Eric Rogers (11 April 2012). ERogTweets2Much. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 12 April 2012.
  3. ^ Eric Rogers (20 April 2012). ERogTweets2Much. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 21 April 2012.
  4. ^ Jesse David Fox (05 February 2013). Watch a Preview of Futurama’s Seventh Season. ( Retrieved on 17 August 2013.
  5. ^ David Perra (21 July 2013). Futurama Panel Comic-Con 2013 (Series finale act I). (YouTube.) Retrieved on 22 July 2013.
  6. ^ Broke The Universe - Video Clip. (Comedy Central.) Retrieved on 29 August 2013.
  7. ^ Mecha-Hexadecapus - Video Clip. (Comedy Central.) Retrieved on 04 September 2013.
  8. ^ Countdown to Futurama: Leela and Fry on a Swing Made of People. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 12 June 2013. Retrieved on 18 June 2013.
  9. ^ Lee Supercinski (18 June 2013). supercinski. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 18 June 2013.
  10. ^ Countdown to Futurama: Ultra Guy. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 14 June 2013. Retrieved on 14 June 2013.
  11. ^ Countdown to Futurama: Time Shelter. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 15 June 2013. Retrieved on 15 June 2013.
  12. ^ Countdown to Futurama: Fry Falling. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 16 June 2013. Retrieved on 16 June 2013.
  13. ^ Countdown to Futurama: Fry in Tuxedo and Leela in Wedding Gown. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 17 June 2013. Retrieved on 17 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Meanwhile" Fry & Leela's wedding preview. (Comedy Central.) 31 August 2013. Retrieved on 31 August 2013.
  15. ^ Nerdist (06 September 2013). Futurama Live! Post-Show w/ Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Matt Groening and more! (32:08). (YouTube.) Retrieved on 08 September 2013.
  16. ^ Richard Bruton (01 March 2010). Meanwhile asks Chocolate or Vanilla? 3,856 possibilities from there...... (Forbidden Planet Blog.) Retrieved on 06 January 2014.