I've seen a bundle of Futurama timelines around the place and I found them all to be inadequate, firstly because they don't, by a long shot, include every conceivable dated event from the show, and secondly because they don't show sources. It's easy to guess at dates from things like "Pine trees went extinct eight hundred years ago" but that seems to be the limit of effort put in; no episode is quoted. So I went through, watched the whole 72-episode run again - yes, this is entirely my own work - and took notes in preparation for this, my considerably more exhaustive Futurama timeline.

Update 2008-03-21

Information from "Bender's Big Score" has now been incorporated into the timeline.

Notes

  • The Futurama universe is assumed to be exactly identical to ours except where the show explicitly diverges from reality.

  • Only a few episodes have specific dates attached to them, but dates for the rest of them can be guessed at with a fair degree of certainty. For this purpose, I have made the simple assumption that the chronological order in which episodes occur is the same as the order of production code. 1ACV01 is the first, 4ACV18 is the last. This system enables most of the episodes to be placed on the timeline, though it raises more than one contradiction, dealt with later.

  • Several episodes' dates are formed based on projections which may prove unreliable. For example, "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" can be firmly dated to 14th February only if Valentine's Day doesn't get moved over the next thousand years, and "That's Lobstertainment!" features the 1074th Academy Awards, which places it in 3002 only if no Oscar ceremonies are cancelled due to war in the intervening period. Luckily, evidence suggests that the writers of Futurama have made these same assumptions.

  • Time travel episodes are: "Roswell That Ends Well", which contains a single causal loop, "The Why Of Fry" which contains just two timelines, and "Bender's Big Score", which is more complex than the entire Back To The Future trilogy combined. This timeline deals solely with the final timeline to date. There are other timelines in which events played out differently, which no longer apply to current Futurama continuity. "Watch me for the changes, and try to keep up..."

The Timeline

A question mark indicates that a date is probable, but not known for definite. A tilde (~) indicates that the date is approximate.

17 years before the Big Bang
Nibblonian civilisation is born on planet Eternium.
~13,700,000,000 BCE
The Big Bang occurs, causing the entire physical universe as we know it to come into existence.
~65,500,000 BCE
A gigantic evil brain, later to become the central information repository of the brainspawn's Infosphere, wipes out the dinosaurs.
~28,997,000 BCE or earlier
Emperor Nimbala rules Zuben 5. He will be seen in the year 3000 as a mummy in a tiny sarcophagus.
1351 BCE
Travelling back in time from 3007, Bender steals the sarcophagus and death mask of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III, then hides in the limestone cavern underneath the future location of the Planet Express building until 3007.
1410 CE
Banking industry regulations originate around this time.
from 1495 to 1498
Leonardo da Vinci paints The Last Supper.
from 1502 and 1519
Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa. Bender, travelling back in time from 3007, steals it while it is unfinished, then hides in the limestone cavern underneath the future location of the Planet Express building until 3007. However, this paradox is resolved by the Time Code and the duplicate Mona Lisa is eventually destroyed.
1776
The United States of America are founded.
1788
Steamboat invented.
1793
Cotton gin invented.
1820 to 1887
Golden Age Of Muttonchops.
1874
Light bulb invented.
1900s
Gwen's family starts making candy hearts from bone meal and earwig honey.
20th century?
The Stupid Ages.
9th July 1947
Emerging from a time-warp from the year 3002, the Planet Express ship crash-lands near Roswell, New Mexico.
night of 9th July 1947
Philip J. Fry sleeps with his maternal grandmother Mildred, and inadvertently conceives his own father, Yancy Fry.
10th July 1947
The Planet Express crew return through the time-warp to 3002, leaving behind Bender's head.
~April 1948
Yancy Fry is born to Mildred.
1951
Pete's TVs: "letting people watch news reports in our window since 1951"
9th August 1960
David Duchovny is supposedly born.
1960
The 1960 Presidential elections are fixed by John F. Kennedy.
8th September 1966
The first episode of the original series of Star Trek is aired.
1969
The New York Mets win the World Championship.
20th July 1969
Neil Armstrong and Edwin A. "Buzz" Aldrin land on the Moon.
1973
Computers will double in speed between now and the year 3000.
1973
Muhammed Ali faces an 80ft-tall mechanical Joe Frazier. The entire Earth is destroyed.
14th August 1974

The New York Mets win this baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, at the exact same instant that Philip J. Fry is born. His father is Yancy Fry; his mother's name has not been mentioned onscreen.

In "Space Pilot 3000", Fry's age is given as 25 on a computer screen on 31st December 2999, which gives us his birth year of 1974. (Chronologically he is 1025 years old at this point, of course, but it is established in "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles" that in the future there are handheld detectors which can tell you your biological age.) However, only sporting references during Fry's birth scene in this episode narrow down the exact day.

Note: Fry's birth date is given as August 9th, 1974 on the script for "Space Pilot 3000", which can be found on the Volume 1 DVD; while widely quoted, this source is not canonical.

1975
In Leela's dream, the Yellow Brick Road is renamed MLK Boulevard.
~1980
Fry wishes he had a robot for a friend.
1984 or later
Stricken with incurable boneitis, "that guy" (Steve Castle) is cryogenically frozen until a cure can be found.
1986
The New York Mets again win the World Championship.
1988
What Hermes will later describe as a "legendary Jamaican bobsled team" first competes in the Winter Olympics.
between 1990 and 1996
Applied Cryogenics experiences their penultimate power failure.
1994 or 1995
Fry scrawls a picture of himself on a rocket
~1995 to 1998
Fry is "given some time off work".
1996 or 1997
Fry's future pet dog, "Seymour Asses", is born.
1997
Applied Cryogenics experiences their most recent power failure.
circa 1997
Date on the last existing can of anchovies ("Angry Norwegian Anchovies" brand) in the year 3000.
August, 1997
Fry meets his dog, Seymour.
July, 1998
The summer from "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer". Seymour swims in toppings.
1999 or earlier
Nibbler is assigned to planet Vergon VI.
1999 or earlier
The evil brains begin constructing the Infosphere. The Nibblonians forsee its completion and realise their need to cryogenically freeze Fry so that he can ultimately defeat them.
1999
Fry spills a can of beer, disrupting the transmission of the series finale of Single Female Lawyer.
evening of 31st December 1999
Nibbler orders a pizza to be delivered to Applied Cryogenics, using the pseudonym I. C. Weiner.
11:35pm, 31st December 1999
Fry leaves Panucci's on his last pizza delivery, leaving Seymour to wait for him outside.
slightly before midnight, 31st December 1999

Nibbler hides underneath the desk that Fry will sit at as the new millennium rolls in, intending to deliberately make Fry fall in the cryogenics tube, so that in the future (specifically, the episode "The Why Of Fry") he can defeat the brains on behalf of all intelligent life.

An alternate version of Fry arrives from the year 3002 or so in a timeline in which he attempted but failed to defeat the brainspawn. He delivers to Nibbler the dire warning, "Scootie-Puff Junior sucks!" before disappearing.

12:00:0?am, 1st January 2000
Nibbler's plan proceeds as envisaged: Philip J. Fry falls into a cryogenic chamber, and is automatically frozen for a thousand years.
12:28:00am, 1st January 2000
Bender arrives from 13th December 3007 with the mission of killing Fry when he arrives from 13th December 3007.
12:28:31am, 1st January 2000
An alternate Bender whom we shall dub "Bender-A" arrives from 12:28:50am from an alternate timeline in which he decided he needed to use the bathroom. He tells his past self, Bender-B, to cover for him while he visits the bathroom.
12:29am, 1st January 2000
Yet another Bender arrives from "way at the end" (1st January 3008) and pastes the Time Code tattoo onto Fry's backside, completing a causal loop. He then leaves and hides in the limestone cavern underneath the future location of the Planet Express building until 1st January 3008.
12:30am, 1st January 2000
Fry arrives from 13th December 2007, escaping death at the hands of the scammers. Bender-B threatens to kill him, then begins to self-destruct.
12:31am, 1st January 2000
An alternate version of Fry - whom we shall dub "Fry-A" - arrives from 1:31am in an alternate future in which he decided he wanted free lukewarm pizza. Fry-A arrives just in time to see the existing Fry - whom we shall dub "Lars" for reasons which will become apparent shortly - kick the self-destructing Bender-B into a spare cryogenic tube and set the timer for a million years. "Lars" leaves the cryogenics building just as Bender-A - the original Bender - returns from the bathroom, thus evading him.
12:32am, 1st January 2000
Fry-A falls into the cryogenic tube alongside his frozen self and is again frozen for a thousand years.
1:01am, 1st January 2000
"Lars" returns to Panucci's pizza, and is allowed to move into the room upstairs.
~2:00am, 1st January 2000
Bender bursts in on Michelle as she is in bed with her latest boyfriend, Constantine. He leaves and continues to stalk Fry.
lunchtime, 1st January 2000
Fry enjoys lunch with his family. (In the original timeline, Fry's father Yancy and dog Seymour spend the whole afternoon searching for Fry but fail to find him.)
2000
The year the Past-O-Rama experience is supposed to emulate.
2000
Great Garbage Crisis in New York City. The city's excess of garbage is eventually put on a gigantic barge which is then pushed out to circle the world's seas for the next 50 years.
2000
"Jury Duty II: Trouble On The Hubble" is released
November 8, 2000
During the controversial recount of Florida votes in the United States presidential election of 2000, Bender attacks one of Al Gore's staff members who happens to be called Phil Fry, and destroys a large number of Gore's vote ballots, winning the election for George W. Bush.
2003
Lucy Liu is named People Magazine's sexiest woman of the year.
2003
Sick of moping after Leela, "Lars" decides to move on with his life. He takes a job as keeper of a narwhal named Leeloo at the New York Aquarium.
between ~2005 and 2007?
Philip J. Fry's nephew, also named Philip Fry in honour of his uncle, is born to Yancy Fry and his wife.
2006
Wearing a sink plunger on his head as a horn, "Lars" duels with Leeloo.
2007
"Charlie's Angels III: The Legend Of Charlie's Gold" is released in cinemas
2008
Stop 'n' Drop becomes America's favourite suicide booth
2008
"Lars" plays with Leeloo on a rubber raft in her tank, which she punctures.
2012 or earlier
Fry's ex-girlfriend Michelle cryogenically stores herself until the year 2266 or so.
2010
By this time, "Lars" is Assistant Director of the New York Aquarium. Leeloo is finally released back into the wild, which "Lars" takes badly; he abandons his job and sets out to the North Pole on a whaling boat to recapture Leeloo.
2012

"Lars" finally recaptures Leeloo, but she has found a mate in the wild, so he sadly releases her a second time. "Lars" returns to Panucci's Pizza, where Seymour is still waiting for him. Bender blows up the building with "Lars" inside, flash-fossilising Seymour. "Lars" escapes alive, his appearance and voice altered, and realises that he is, in fact, "Lars Fillmore" from the 31st century. He hides inside Michelle's cryogenic tube, resetting the timer for the year 3002.

His mission apparently successful, Bender then hides in the limestone cavern underneath the future location of Planet Express until 13th December 3007.

2012
War of 2012. Conan O'Brien loses his freakishly long legs.
21st century
Cyborgs enslave humanity.
2019
Calculon is a robot arm working on Project Satan, the world's evilest car.
2038
Petroleum reserves run dry.
2052
New York City obtains a rocket with which to launch its garbage into outer space.
2063
Lucy Liu is again named People Magazine's sexiest woman of the year.
2063
Humanity starts dropping ice cubes into the ocean to counteract global warming.
2158
Central Bureacracy is established.
~2200
Pine trees become extinct.
~2202?
Lucy Liu is captured and held prisoner by kidnappster.com.
2208
To get around relativity, scientists increase the speed of light.
2200s
The Decapodians arrive on Earth.
2200s
The anchovy becomes extinct.
23rd century
By this time, Star Trek has become a religion.
2200s
The Star Trek cast do some musical reunions, but the guy who plays Scotty has trouble yodelling so he is replaced by Welshy.
2256
Date on a spear seen in a museum of weaponry.
2265 to 2270
Time period in which the original series of Star Trek is set.
2265, 2266 or 2267
Fry's ex-girlfriend Michelle is originally scheduled to be unfrozen this year.
2275
The Fairness In Hell Act is passed, requiring the Robot Devil to release a soul (and a solid gold fiddle) from hell if someone can beat him in a fiddle contest.
2308
Travelling back in time from 3007, Bender steals the 2308 Nobel Peace Prize and he and his fleet of decoy flying saucers demolish the city of New York with lasers. Humanity is partially reduced to barbarism. Bender then hides in the limestone cavern underneath the future location of the Planet Express building until 3007.
24th century
A medieval civilisation arises on the site of old New York. It will later be destroyed by aliens.
~2302?
Dashuba monks begin using a radio telescope to search the skies for God.
2354
Kwanzaabot begins giving out "What the hell is Kwanzaa?" books.
~2400
American Express ceases to exist.
2443
Second coming of Jesus. Most 20th century-era videotapes are damaged.
2475
Washington DC is rededicated to Washington the Sweathog.
~2500
Visa ceases to exist.
~2500?
New New York City becomes garbage-free.
2600s
New Yorkers elect a supervillain governor, who steals most of the world's monuments and puts them on Monument Beach.
2620
To end that stupid joke once and for all, Uranus is renamed... to "Urectum".
2636
Mars University is founded.
~2702
The original cast of Star Trek leaves Earth behind.
2790
Bender's Uncle Vladimir is constructed.
2790
Ava Porter is born.
2800 or earlier
Voter turnout in world presidential elections dips below 6%, and will stay that low until 3000.
2801 or earlier
The last ghost at Bender's Uncle Vladimir's castle dies.
2801
Robot Santa is built.
9th April 2841
Hubert J. Farnsworth is born.
9th April 2851
2856
Eloise Porter is born.
2880?
Ogden Wernstrom is born.
~2881?
Hubert Farnsworth begins working for Momcorp.
2890
Staadgi & Staadgi auctioneers are established.
~2900?
Ogden Wernstrom, Professor Farnsworth's most promising student, is disgusted to be awarded an A-minus in one of his classes, for poor penmanship, and swears revenge.
2922
The classic Harold Zoid silent hologram "A Close Shaving" is filmed.
2923 or 2924?
Bigfoot is born.
2927
The heads of the Yankees from this year will be put in a jar in a Blernsball museum.
1:54pm, 17th October ~2927?
While 14 geese fly outside the window, Farnsworth invents the pollutant robot.
10th May 2931?
Farnsworth walks out on Mom.
~2952
The invention of Smellovision coincides with the beginning of Harold Zoid's decline from stardom.
~2960?
Slurms MacKenzie's babes join him.
2962
The Bigfoot video is made.
2967 or 2968
Melllvar is born.
2972?
Sheldon and Gwen get married, also start running Romanticorp.
2973 or 2974
Calculon claims to have been born.
2974 or 2975?
Turanga Leela is born. Her parents are Turanga Morris and Munda, both sewer mutants.
2975?
RobotMania is held for the first time.
2980
At the 2980 Summer Olympic Games, Hermes Conrad witnesses a kid die while attempting to imitate him in the limbo event. Hermes quits competitive limboing.
2983?
The tradition of Claw-plach is instituted on Decapod 10.
2984
Future teen singer Wendy is born.
2984
Hermes is beaten in every Olympic limbo event by Barbados Slim.
2984 or earlier?
Fry's Holophonor teacher, Mrs. Mellinger, starts taking the joy out of music.
2989
Cubert Farnsworth is cloned from skin cells scraped from a shapely growth on Farnsworth's back.
2989
Dwight Conrad is born to Hermes and LeBarbara Conrad.
2991 or 2992?
Leela gets her green jacket.
2992?
Zoidberg joins Planet Express.
2995?
Nibbler is presumed to have been born.
2996
A coin with Coolio's profile on it is minted.
2996 or 2997 or 2998?
Bender Bending Rodriguez is constructed in Tijuana, Mexico.
2997
Fronty's Meat Market: "Not a front since 2997"
2999?
Farnsworth presents his Death Clock at the science symposium.
2999?
Farnsworth builds the smelloscope.
2999?
Farnsworth declares himself dead as a tax dodge.
31st December 2999
Philip J. Fry is unfrozen. The second, unseen Philip J. Fry, frozen along with him (see 12:32am, 1st January 2000), freezes himself for a further 7.95 years.
12:00am, 1st January 3000
Leela and Fry first blast into space aboard the Planet Express ship.
3000
Events of "The Series Has Landed".
2nd February 3000?
During Superbowl MXXIV, a Planet Express ad airs (on another channel).
February, 3000
Events of "I, Roommate".
Stardate 3000.3
Events of "Love's Labor's Lost In Space". The Planet Express crew acquire Nibbler from Vergon VI, shortly before it implodes.
April 13th.2, 3000
Further events of "Love's Labor's Lost In Space".
3000?
Events of "Fear Of A Bot Planet".
3000
Events of "A Fishful Of Dollars".
3000?
Events of "My Three Suns".
3000?
Events of "A Big Piece Of Garbage".
3000?
Events of "Hell Is Other Robots".
3000?
Events of "A Flight To Remember".
3000?
Events of "Mars University".
1st September 3000
Events of "When Aliens Attack".
3000?
Events of "Fry & The Slurm Factory".
3000?
Events of "I Second That Emotion".
3000
Events of "The Cryonic Woman"
3000?
Events of "Brannigan Begin Again".
4th November 3000
Events of "A Head In The Polls".
24th December 3000
Events of "Xmas Story".
3rd January 3001
Trash pickup resumes outside the Planet Express building.
3001?
Events of "Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love?" Decapodian mating season on Decapod 10.
3001?
Events of "Lesser Of Two Evils".
14th February 3001
Events of "Put Your Head On My Shoulder".
3001?
Events of "Raging Bender". RobotMania XXVII is held.
3001?
Events of "A Bicyclops Built For Two".
9th April 3001
Events of "A Clone Of My Own".
3001?
Events of "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back".
3001?
Events of "The Deep South".
3001?
Events of "Bender Gets Made".
10th May 3001?
Events of "Mother's Day".
3001?
Events of "Anthology Of Interest".
3001?
Events of "War Is The H-Word".
3001?
Events of "The Problem With Popplers".
12th June 3001?
Omicron Persei 8 invades Earth - this will not occur for at least another 247 days.
3001
Events of "The Honking"
3001?
Events of "Amazon Women In The Mood"
3001?
Events of "Parasites Lost"
24th December 3001
Events of "A Tale Of Two Santas"
3002
Lars Fillmore is unfrozen, and takes a job at the New New York City Head Museum.
3002?
Events of "Luck Of The Fryrish"
3002?
Events of "The Birdbot Of Ice-Catraz"
14th February 3002?
Events of "Love & Rocket"
3002?
Events of "Bendless Love"
3002?
Events of "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid"
March? 3002
Events of "That's Lobstertainment!"
3002?
Events of "The Cyber House Rules"
3002?
Events of "Where The Buggalo Roam"
3002?
Events of "Insane In The Mainframe"
3002?
Events of "The Route Of All Evil"
3002?
Events of "Bendin' In The Wind"
3002
Events of "Time Keeps On Slippin'"
3002?
Events of "I Dated A Robot"
3002
Events of "A Leela Of Her Own"
3002?
Events of "A Pharaoh To Remember"
3002?
Events of "Anthology Of Interest 2"
21st September 3002
Events of "Roswell That Ends Well". The Planet Express Ship enters a time warp back to 1947, before returning to the present and digging up Bender's head.
?
Events of "Godfellas"
?
Events of "Futurestock"
?
Events of "30% Iron Chef"
?
Events of "Kif Gets Knocked Up A Notch"
?
Events of "Leela's Homeworld"
?
Events of "Less Than Hero"
?
Events of "A Taste Of Freedom"
3002
Events of "Bender Should Not Be Allowed On TV"
?
Events of "Jurassic Bark"
?
Events of "Crimes Of The Hot"
?
Events of "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles"
?
Fry is sent by the Nibblonians into the evil brainspawn's InfoSphere so that he can destroy it. Thanks to the warning from 31st December 1999, the Nibblonians provide Fry with a Scootie-Puff Senior with which he escapes the InfoSphere before its implosion.
3002
Events of "Where No Fan Has Gone Before"
3002 or later
Events of "The Sting"
Summer 3004
Events of "Bend Her"
3003
Events of "Obsoletely Fabulous"
?
Events of "The Farnsworth Parabox".
3004?
Events of "Three Hundred Big Boys".
3004?
Events of "Spanish Fry".
3004?
Events of "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings".
3005
The Planet Express Delivery Service is "cancelled" by the Box Delivery Network, though nobody informs the Planet Express crew about this for two years.
26th November 3007 or earlier
Bender travels back in time from late 3007, decapitates Hermes Conrad and brings his healthy body back to the present day.
27th November 3007
News of Planet Express's cancellation is delivered by Farnsworth. The crew are fired. Then re-hired. During the celebrations, Hermes is (non-fatally) decapitated. Leela meets Lars Fillmore, who begins to successfully woo her.
the day before the next entry
Nudar the scammer - Nudar-A - comes back in time from the following day and meets his past self, Nudar-B, for a drink. They spend the night together. (Eww!)
November-December 3007
Scammers take control of Planet Express and discover the secret of time travel, the Universal Machine Language Time Code, hidden in a binary code tattooed to Fry's buttocks where it has been since January 1, 3000. Nudar tests this out by going back in time to yesterday.
immediately afterwards

Both Nudars return to the Planet Express building, where Nudar-B is crushed and killed by a falling Smelloscope.

Despite this and dire warnings from Nibbler, the scammers send Bender backwards in time to steal ancient treasures and then hide in a limestone cavern beneath the Planet Express building until the present day before revealing himself.

shortly after this

Bender travels back to 1351 BCE, 1509 CE, 2308 CE, and many other eras, retrieving priceless treasures and bringing them to the present day.

shortly after this

The final Bender - the one "from right at the end" - persuades all of his alternates in the basement not to surface after all, but to wait until after the scammers are defeated.

December 3007
Bender goes back to November 3007 and retrieves a healthy body from the past for Hermes's decapitated head to use.
13th December 3007

Pursued by the scammers, who want to erase the Time Code forever, Fry travels back in time to 12:30am, 1st January 2000. Bender is sent after Fry to terminate him, and arrives at 12:28am on the same day. He immediately returns from the cavern underneath Planet Express, incorrectly claiming success in his mission. Fry is briefly reported dead and a small memorial is held, but then reappears, having just unfrozen himself for the second time. The Time Code tattoo is now erased from his rear.

24th December 3007
By now, the Planet Express crew is destitute and living on the street. Leela announces that she is engaged to Lars.
4:00pm, 27th December 3007
At the wedding of Turanga Leela and Lars Fillmore, Hermes' doomed time paradox duplicate body is decapitated, crushed and electrocuted by a falling chandelier. Lars realises that he, too, is a doomed time paradox duplicate. He calls off the wedding and dumps Leela.
31st December 3007

By now, the scammers have taken possession of planet Earth and the Planet Express crew is living on Neptune. Leela assembles an invasion force to take back Earth and the scammers are defeated. All the ancient treasures which Bender retrieved from the past are destroyed by fire.

1st January 3008

Nudar, the last surviving scammer, threatens Leela, Fry and Lars in the cryogenics laboratory. To protect Leela, Lars unfreezes Bender-B (last seen 12:31am, January 1, 2000) and blows himself up along with Nudar. At Lars' funeral, Bender, now in funeral wear, extracts the Time Code tattoo from Lars' butt cheek and travels back to January 1, 2000 one final time to paste it onto Fry's ass, completing the Time Code causal loop. Finally, Bender-from-way-at-the-end and his hundreds of doomed duplicates emerge from the Planet Express basement, prompting Nibbler to hurriedly exit the universe entirely as the spacetime continuum begins to collapse...

3021?
Time when Leela could expect to receive Bender's brain back from Central Bureacracy, if she filed a request during "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back".
3022?
Kif's babies sprout legs and crawl back onto land as children.
~3300
Trapped robots on the universe's last titanium mine on Titan are expected to all be dead by now.
4000
The year Fry and his girlfriend would have woken up if they'd stayed frozen for another thousand years.
c. 4972
"A Brief History Of Time Travel", a copy of which will find its way back to 3007, is published.
1,002,000
Bender-B would be unfrozen in this year, if he hadn't been unfrozen in 3007.
~1,000,000,000,002,000
Al Gore, Fry, Deep Blue, Stephen Hawking, Nichelle Nicholls and Gary Gygax finish playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Conclusions

I found the Futurama timeline very rewarding to construct because it turned out to be significantly more internally consistent than I originally believed it would. If we arrange the episodes in order of production code, then bolt on the known dates, we find that the undated episodes fit the existing pattern extremely well - at least, for the first three production seasons. Only "The Cryonic Woman" messes things up - it should be set around September 3001, but Fry states that it's the year 3000, most likely to avoid confusing viewers.

It's during the fourth production season, 4ACV, that everything goes to pot. The Fox network was screwing everything up for the writers at this point during the show's production, to the point that four production seasons were eventually aired over the course of five broadcast seasons. This meant the show timeline got borked. "Love & Rocket" (4ACV03) should have taken place around Valentine's Day 3003, but a caption during the episode gave Omicron Persei 8 as "247 days without invading Earth", which is clearly meant to correspond with "The Problem With Popplers", which is nominally set in mid-3001, placing Love & Rocket in Valentine's Day 3002. This is not an anomaly beyond repair, but then "Bender Should Not Be Allowed On TV" also occurs in 3002, and so does "Where No Fan Has Gone Before". Then "Bend Her" leaps forward to the 3004 Olympics, followed by "Obsoletely Fabulous" which jumps back to 3003! While there are no direct contradictions created by these shenanigans, it does seem to result in there being twice as many episodes set during 3002 as there should be, and almost none in 3003 or 3004. Ordering these later episodes using their airdates instead of their production codes has not proved much more useful.

Still, Futurama has a pretty rich timeline which is much more complete and consistent than most people would imagine. I do not believe that this is unintentional. I believe that David X. Cohen knew full well that millions of science fiction fans would scrutinise Futurama as closely as they ever did Star Trek or The Simpsons. For this reason I think he set out to create a universe which, unlike certain lesser continuities, rewarded rabidly intense analysis with interesting new discoveries, rather than punishing it with continuity errors. Speaking as both a Futurama continuity freak and a time travel nut, I feel like Bender's Big Score in particular was a personal gift to me, sam512.

There is one other thing I like in my television shows, and that is closure. Futurama is nearly over now, and I have high hopes for its conclusion.

Stay tuned.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.