It’s one thing when characters are incredible on their own, but when you throw them together they’re a force to be reckoned with. For Futurama fans, the results are always really special when you get Bender and Zoidberg together.

Matt Groening’s iconic animated sci-fi sitcom Futurama is host to so many amazing characters, but Bender and Zoidberg are often cited as two of the very best—and for good reason.

John DiMaggio as Bender and Billy West as Zoidberg standing next to vault with Bender holding Xmas card in Futurama
Futurama episode 1106 cr. Disney+ media player

With the announcement of the Hulu and Disney+ reboot, audiences were eager to learn what to expect from season 11, and so far we’ve had episodes from everything as diverse as Dune parody to a satire on Amazon. However, episode 6 may be the most special yet because it gave the fandom something it’s always wanted… a Bender and Zoidberg episode in the truest sense.

I Know What You Did Next Xmas finds the unlikely pair becoming friends in bizarre circumstances when they’re faced with having to dispose of Santa. Honestly. it’s the best dynamic between the duo we’ve seen yet. That being said, it did compel us to think back on five of their funniest moments sharing the screen:

How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back

Season 2 was arguably the golden age of great Bender and Zoidberg moments, and what better scene illustrates how little Bender cares about the crustacean than the poker scene?

The classic episode begins with Leela hosting a poker game with former colleagues from the cryogenics lab. Bender shows up with X-ray glasses and clears everybody out, but as the night winds down they suspiciously ask to examine the shades.

They close in on him as Zoidberg jumps to the rescue. “No, don’t hurt him, he’s my best friend!” Plotting his escape, Bender shoves him to the floor without a word and cheeses it.

The Deep South

Just one episode on from the previous entry on this list, the unforgettable episode in which the crew finds themselves trapped at the bottom of the ocean boasts an iconic Bender and Zoidberg moment. More than one, actually.

Zoidberg finds a shell to live in and makes himself at home. “Say Robot, old buddy, could you help me move a couch?” he asks.

“Errr,” he replies hesitantly. “Okay, but I’m not carrying it upstairs.”

We see Zoidberg gardening outside with the shell decorated later on, but towards the end of the episode he discovers in horror that it’s been burned down. “How did this happen?” he asks.

“That’s a very good question,” Hemes admits. However, it was Bender. “So that’s where I left my cigar,” Bender says while gazing at the wreckage. “That just raises further questions!” Hermes shouts standing next to a furious Zoidberg.

Anthology of Interest I

We couldn’t bid farewell to season 2 without tipping our hats to the fight between a giant Bender and Zoidberg in the very first Futurama anthology episode, which ultimately felt like the show’s answer to The Simpsons‘ Treehouse Of Horror.

Bender asks the professor’s ‘What If’ machine what it would be like if he was 500 feet tall but when he goes on a rampage as a giant the crew decides to enlarge Zoidberg to the same size.

“Hey, I called this city, quit touching my stuff,” Bender tells Zoidberg, who has also decided to wreak havoc.

“Tell it to the claw,” he tells him, triggering a Kaiju-style showdown in New New York.

The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz

When Leela is protesting an oil tanker, her absence gives Bender the bright idea of appointing himself captain of the Planet Express, making Zoidberg his steward and giving Fry the nickname Wiggles.

He goes mad with power, but Zoidberg’s persistent obedience is basically comedic gold in every scene they share. “Brilliant,” he cheers after Bender tells an obviously bogus story.

After a fallout with Fry, Bender refuses to drink and Zoidberg tries to get him back on the wagon (in robot fashion). “Have some liquor, you robots need alcohol to function.”

“Get out,” Bender snaps at him. “I once knew a guy, you look like him. He wasn’t neither.”

It’s episodes like this that tease the mismatched comedic potential that the recent Xmas special absolutely delivers on.


Bender evolves into an all-powerful being in this much later installment of the series.

Speedily reading through a book, he says “I’m processing information so fast it’s like I can anticipate that the ceiling fan’s gonna fall and knock Zoidberg unconscious.”

The ceiling fan falls but lands next to Zoidberg. “Wrong Mr. Genius,” he tells Bender, who points out “Not that ceiling fan” just before another plummets straight down onto him.

I Know What You Did Next Xmas may be the funniest and most satisfying shared screen time yet, but there were some great moments leading up to it over the years.

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