Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?

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Season 2 episode
Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?
Why Must I be a Crustacean in Love.jpg
Production number2ACV05
Written byEric Kaplan
Directed byBrian Sheesley
Title captionFrom the network that brought you "The Simpsons"
First air date6 February, 2000
Broadcast numberS02E09
Title referenceLine from the song "A Teenager in Love" by Dion and the Belmonts
Opening cartoonMy Old Kentucky Home (1926)
Nomination(s)Annie Awards
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television Production, 2000, Brian Sheesley (won)


Season 2
  1. I Second that Emotion
  2. Brannigan, Begin Again
  3. A Head in the Polls
  4. Xmas Story
  5. Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?
  6. The Lesser of Two Evils
  7. Put Your Head on My Shoulders
  8. Raging Bender
  9. A Bicyclops Built for Two
  10. A Clone of My Own
  11. How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back
  12. The Deep South
  13. Bender Gets Made
  14. Mother's Day
  15. The Problem with Popplers
  16. Anthology of Interest I
  17. War Is the H-Word
  18. The Honking
  19. The Cryonic Woman
← Season 1Season 3 →

"Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?" is the eighteenth episode of Futurama, the fifth of the second production season and the ninth of the second broadcast season. It aired on 6 February, 2000, on Fox. It's mating time for Dr. Zoidberg's species, and the crew travels to Decapod 10 for him to join in the frenzy. On Decapod 10, Zoidberg finds himself in a battle with Fry for the affection of Edna.

The Story

Act I: "Just 19 hours until the mating frenzy!"

Amy and Leela persuade the rest of the crew to come to the gym, as they have been getting lazy and out of shape lately; Zoidberg agrees enthusiastically, as he says he has had too much energy lately. At the gym, he begins acting strangely (for example, insisting on bench pressing hundreds of pounds of weight), and when it seems he may become violent, the crew is forced to restrain him. The Professor examines Zoidberg, and determines that he is feeling the effects of the fact that it is mating season for his species. To help him, the crew must take him to his home planet of Decapod 10, so that he can participate in the mating frenzy. Fry, Leela and Bender set off with him in the Planet Express Ship.

Act II: "You're right, my stink gland is weak!"

After arriving on Decapod 10, Zoidberg sets up an erotic display on the beach and attempts to attract a mate. After a long day of rejection, Zoidberg is ready to give up. He then encounters Edna, a female he went to high school with. After she rejects him as well, Fry offers to help win her over by teaching him how to fake love. He tells Zoidberg what to say outside Edna's apartment, and then while they are out to dinner. However, Edna is reluctant, and when Leela reveals to Edna that Fry has been instructing Zoidberg, she falls in love with Fry, invites him over to her apartment, and attempts to seduce him. Fry is horrified and attempts to escape from her, but Zoidberg catches them together and assumes the worst. Edna confirms his suspicions by announcing that she intends to mate with Fry at the frenzy, and Zoidberg responds by challenging Fry to the traditional duel of Claw-Plach.

Act III: "How will I ever get rid of my male jelly now?"

Fry and Zoidberg begin their battle to the death in the recent and sacred tradition of Claw-Plach. The winner will mate with Edna. Fry, armed with a giant nutcracker, doesn't want to fight, but holds his own against Zoidberg, who is armed with his own claws. Just when Fry has Zoidberg at his mercy, he decides not to kill him. He starts to make a moving speech about friendship, but is interrupted when Zoidberg cuts his arm off. Fry, now willing to fight to the death, retaliates by beating Zoidberg with his own severed arm. The fight suddenly stops when they realize that the other Decapodians have left to perform the mating frenzy. Zoidberg is devastated to see that Edna has chosen to mate with the Decapodian leader (who is supposed to remain celibate), and misses out on the frenzy altogether. However, it is revealed that Decapodians die after mating, and so Zoidberg's life has been spared by his failure to secure a mate. He apologizes to Fry for attempting to kill him, and the two make amends. On the way home, Zoidberg tries to reattach Fry's severed arm, but messes it up and leaves Fry with two left arms. In his effort to fix things, he then cuts off Fry's legs and, implicitly, his head.


This episode was subject to censorship by BSkyB and Pick TV.

Additional Info


  • This is the first episode where Zoidberg is the main character.
  • Fry, Leela, Bender, Zoidberg, and Edna eat at Red Primate, a reference to the restaurant chain Red Lobster.
  • A still of Zoidberg, in the scene when he's explaining Claw-Plach to the crew, is infamous on the Internet as part of the "Why Not Zoidberg?" meme.


  • The window scene where Fry coaches Zoidberg is a reference to a similar scene from "Cyrano De Bergerac".
  • The story is based on the Star Trek episode "Amok Time", which is about the Vulcan mating time "Pon Farr". Some elements of the plot (namely Edna falling in love with Fry as he attempts to woo her for Zoidberg) also strongly resemble William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, although the writers have never acknowledged this as an influence.
  • The Decapodian Anthem is the distinctive fight music written by George Fried for "Amok Time", which can be found on Star Trek "Original Television Soundtrack" Volume 2, within the track "The Ritual / Ancient Battle / 2nd Kroykah". The Decapodian Emperor's accent is likely a reference to the accent of the Vulcan officiant in that episode.
  • Robo-Rooter is a reference to Roto-Rooter which is a plumbing company.
  • Dr. Zoidberg marks Fry's T-shirt with a Z, referencing Zorro.
  • The title "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?" may be a reference to the song "A Teenager in Love" also called "Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love?"
  • The top weapon in the weapon case is a Vulcan Lirpa, yet another reference to "Amok Time".


  • In "Mars University" Fry asks Professor Farnsworth if the monkey can talk because of genetic engineering, and the Professor replies that genetic engineering is "preposterous science-fiction mumbo-jumbo." But when Fry is inside the women's steam room, Amy makes the comment to Leela: "Psst, look what life was like before genetic engineering."
    • It is possible that genetic engineering in the future is limited, and can enhance existing physical features of an animal, but cannot drastically change their brain functions, or the Professor simply forgot that genetic engineering existed.
    • It is also possible that they were making a joke as his expense to make him feel uncomfortable and leave.
  • Leela's nose vanishes when Zoidberg forces her to sniff his stink gland.
  • When Zoidberg is chasing Fry by walking on his claws, the distance between him and Fry, the color of Zoidberg's pants, and the little teeth in between his toes change in subsequent shots.
  • During the one-on-one fight between Fry and Zoidberg, Zoidberg carves the letters "Dr Z" on Fry's T-shirt. However, when Fry makes his speech to the crowd, his shirt is back to normal.



    Amy: Fool me seven times, shame on you. Fool me eight or more times, shame on me.

    Fry: Maybe he has a parasite.
    Hermes: Maybe he is a parasite!

    Professor: We, by which I mean you, will have to rush him to his ancient homeworld, which will shortly erupt in an orgy of invertebrate sex.
    Fry: Oh, baby, I'm there!
    Leela: Fry, do you even understand the word invertebrate?
    Fry: No, but that's not the word I'm interested in. No need to pack pants, people! Let's roll!

    Zoidberg: It's all so complicated, with the flowers, and the romance, and the lies upon lies!

    Amy: And Bender, your beer belly is so big your door won't even close. And that doesn't even make sense.

    Zoidberg: Fry, look what you did, she won't shut up.
    Fry: [whispering] That's normal. Just nod your head and say "Uh-huh".

    Zoidberg: I choose my own claws. I want the tactile pleasure of chopping him right here, in the gonads! [points to Fry's neck]
    Fry: Shh! Nobody correct him!


February - 2007 Calendar
(In alphabetic order)



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