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Futurama Season 11: Episode 1's Title Card Is A Callback To Its (Last) Series Finale

Contains Spoilers for "Futurama" Season 11, Episode 1 — "The Impossible Stream"

"Futurama" has long been a master of the art of the self-referential joke. During "The Impossible Stream" alone, there are several rib-ticklers about the show's multiple resurrections, deaths, and platform switches. But one of the best originates from the episode's title card, a wonderful reference to the show's last series finale. In "Meanwhile" — the show's final Comedy Central episode — the message "Avenge Us!" pops up in bloody, dripping font before the Planet Express ship coasts into the blue. Before it takes its maiden Hulu flight, the word "Avenged!" pops up in the same font and style.

That's a clear and precise callback to the show's long and ever-expanding history. But it isn't the first time "Futurama" has used its title cards to communicate a pertinent point, remark upon the show's place in pop culture history, or comment upon its state of affairs. And they've served as a set of signposts that mark out the times the show has lived through.

Futurama has a history of communicating with its viewers through title cards

Each "Futurama" series finale title card has managed to comment on the state of the show – and sometimes the finale before it. For example, "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings," the show's final Fox episode, contains the epigram "See you on another network." Soon afterward, the show began to rerun on Adult Swim through the Cartoon Network, which bolstered its popularity and kept it in the public eye. 

The title card for "Bender's Big Score!" the first post-show made-for-DVD movie, reads "It just won't stay dead!" — a fitting note for a program coming back to life after a long hiatus. While "Rebirth," the show's first Comedy Central episode, doesn't contain a witty callback to the show's final episode, during the opening credits of "The Bots and the Bees," a version of the Fry Squint Meme appears onscreen and the legend reads "Not sure if new episode or just rerun of episode I saw when I was drunk." The title card in "Stench and Stenchability" has a far more wicked message; it reads  "Not the one with the dead dog," a knowing wink at the popularity of "Jurassic Bark" and its infamously sad ending — which almost could have been sadder

Whether they're tweaking the audience or themselves, never let it be said that "Futurama" doesn't know itself.