Pop a poppler in your mouth
When you come to Fishy Joe's;
What they're made of is a mystery
Where they come from, no-one knows.
You can pick 'em, you can lick 'em,
You can chew 'em, you can stick 'em,
If you promise not to sue us
You can shove one up your nose.
- The poppler commercial jingle, "The Problem With Popplers"
While returning from a mission to the Planet of the Moochers Fry
, and Bender
came across an uncharted planet in the middle of nowhere that was covered in holes filled with what appeared to be fried shrimp
in the Futurama
episode "The Problem With Popplers
". Desperately hungry, Leela
scanned one and found that it wasn't poisonous. Upon eating one she found they were delicious and she couldn't stop cramming her mouth full of them. Fry
also found them to be yummy, and the trio decided to stuff the Planet Express ship
with as many as they could carry. Upon returning to New New York
the Planet Express
staff decided to sell the treats on street corners for $1 per dozen. But what would they call them? Bender
suggested that since they were tasty, they should call them tastecicles, but Leela
countered that the name was too close to those frozen Rocky Mountain oysters on a stick: testcicles. Hermes Conrad
ran a scan of the copyright and trademark database and found that only two names were not yet trademarked: poppler and zitsel. Fry
suggested they call them "popplers", and a taste treat was born. The crew eventually struck a deal with "Fishy" Joe Gillman
, owner of the Fishy Joe's seafood restaurant
, to sell popplers in his establishments. Popplers began showing up in a variety of packages and items, including a money-saving twelve pack and the Fiesta Poppler Salad. Customers went crazy consuming the treats, eventually pushing the number of popplers sold past one million. Planet Express
became Poppler Express and dealt solely in poppler transport and acquisition.
One afternoon Leela made a shocking discovery. While cleaning up some week-old popplers, one of them (which, during the week, had become big and scaley) spoke! The little critter took a shine to Leela, and she began a crusade to stop people from eating popplers. Fishy Joe refused to take the product off the market, and the taste craze continued unabated... until Lrr, leader of the planet Omicron Persei 8, arrived on Earth with an armada of ships. His wife, Ndnd, revealed to a shocked world that popplers actually come from an Omicronian nursery planet; humans had been eating baby Omicronians! By the time the poppler craze ended, it was calculated that humans had eaten approximately 198,000,000,000 popplers. Noted space captain Zapp Brannigan was called in to negotiate with Lrr and eventually an agreement was reached: instead of eating one humans for every Omicronian that was eaten, Lrr would only eat the first human who ate a poppler: Leela. In the end, however, the little Omicronian who was the first to talk among the popplers (Jrr), made a plea that his friend Leela not be eaten. Lrr was touched by his words, allowed Leela to live, and left Earth with his fellow Omicronians.
As for the popplers themselves, they appear much more lifelike onscreen than the other elements with which they share scenes. Some have speculated that the creators scanned and animated real fried shrimp in 3D, but instead the animators drew the popplers without a black outline, giving them somewhat of a realistic appearance (well, realistic when it comes to alien larva). Popplers that were rendered in 3D were used in scenes heavy on the tasty treats, making each one individual in its own special way and yet part of a vast poppler pile.