Knowing that Futurama is finally returning to screens this month following a decade-long absence makes us want to party like it’s 1999, the very year that audiences were first treated to the series, as well as the year that Fry was frozen.
Ever since Futurama first launched, it’s been tricky to narrow down who our favorite characters are. There are a wealth of reasons to love each and every one of them, whether they’re loveable aliens or wild robots. However, one character that stands out is Zoidberg.
John A. was first introduced as the on-site physician working at Planet Express in episode 2—aptly titled The Series Has Landed—and the professor tells Fry that he’s a little odd because he wears sandals, failing to mention that he’s an alien from the Planet Decapod 10 and is a crustacean-like species.
He tells Fry that he’s an expert in humans, not robots, but doesn’t know the difference before hilariously telling the crew that Fry has fin rot and will be floating upside down by morning. Although immediately established as incompetent, he’s also goofy and extremely likable, with his appearance certainly helping.
However, there’s something weird about the design of the character in early installments, and only in hindsight is it really bizarre to see him in the first few episodes. Why? Because he actually has teeth in them!
The design was changed after the early installments and arguably for the better, because seeing him with teeth in his first appearance just feels… off, doesn’t it?
Interestingly, we don’t see his teeth again until The Silence Of The Clamps—season 6 episode 14—when he reaches for a nearby bird and eats it. Even then, his teeth are an alien blue and not white which makes him look more like a human hybrid.
The designers ditching the teeth after an early episode led some fans to devise theories and post them on a Reddit thread. “He broke them trying to eat something hard in the garbage,” one joked, while another suggested that “He originally had dentures but sold them for booze money.”
Whatever the reason for ditching the pearly whites, most fans will come together and agree that it was a wise decision.