A fan theory for Futurama breaks down one of the show’s darkest gags and repositions it as part of the show’s ultimate guideline.
WARNING: The following article discusses potential trigger topics, including death and suicide
Futurama has had plenty of dark comedic beats over the years, with the show repeatedly killing off the main cast in non-canon episodes while wiping out the entire world multiple times over the course of seven seasons, but there’s one aspect of the show that eventually disappeared from the series because maybe it was too dark – although it may have an important secondary meaning. A fan theory about the suicide booths of Futurama suggests that the Dark Gag is actually a bigger aspect of 31st century society than anyone realizes and that it might be one of the only real ways someone can experience death in this universe.
Introduced in the first episode of the series “Space Pilot 3000”, the Suicide Booths are among the darkest gags of Futurama. Looking to the common eye like a 20th century telephone booth, robotic booths allow customers to enter and deposit a small amount of cash. This will activate the machine, which will then execute whoever was inside the machine in the previous era – as revealed in season 6’s “Ghost in the Machine” – the body is prepared and delivered to the next of kin. It’s a sinister gag that comes close to Fry’s death in the first episode and will reappear sporadically over the course of the series.
As explained during the audio commentary for Season 1’s “I, Roommate,” the Fox network was “spooked” by things like the Suicide Booths, likely explaining why they faded into the show’s background. , but a fan theory of Reddit User Jacob_Wallace suggests that the suicide booths actually serve a firm purpose within the show’s society. The theory largely focuses on how, in the world of Futurama, it is almost impossible to die. The futuristic technology and medicine of this era makes it possible to perform medical miracles with relative ease.
Fry survives by losing his hands in season 3’s “I Dated a Robot”, only to have them replaced within an hour without consequence. Hermes is decapitated and his body crushed in season 5’s “Bender’s Big Score”, only to have his head kept in a jar while his body is repaired within days. Even old age is no longer a real threat, as Decipher Farnsworth and his parents can live in a virtual reality simulation in episodes like Season 7’s “Near-Death Wish.”
Even going through a seemingly gruesome procedure under the clutches of Doctor Zoidberg won’t kill anyone, as Hermes isn’t bothered when his body collapses to pieces in Season 6’s ‘The Tip of the Zoidberg’. There seem to be very few ways to truly die on the show despite the show’s high death toll – with the theory citing how “complete disintegration” or being eaten alive seem to be the only truly surefire ways to kill someone in this universe.
Instead, the theory suggests that suicide booths are one of the only truly effective ways to choose to die in this universe. Using one of the cabins is an easy way to prove someone made a conscious decision to end their existence, likely preventing scientists or doctors from trying to restore them. In a way, it invites the public to reconsider the purpose of the cabins. While blunt and blunt, they also serve a similar function to the more emotional final door to the conclusion of The right place.
In worlds where death is no longer truly the end, there must be some choice to end things with a sense of finality. Humans can live for centuries in the world of Futurama, but there may still be people who have lived the life they wanted and don’t want to continue. It speaks to one of the show’s ultimate guidelines – the importance of personal free will in the vastness of existence. While the delivery of the joke is potentially triggering, the suicide booths could quietly play a big role in by Futurama society.
KEEP READING: Futurama: How an Infamous Christmas Special Became the Show’s ‘Lost Episode’
Euphoria established Nate’s perfect relationship – and it’s not with Cassie or Maddy
About the Author