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The Biggest Question Futurama Left Unanswered

Futurama is one of the greatest sci-fi comedies of all time, but despite its surprisingly tight and well-planned timeline, the series didn't answer every question it raised (that's the kind of thing that happens when a show is canceled twice). What became of Bender's son, Ben? What happens to Fry and Leela after the time-bending events of the finale, "Meanwhile?" Is Fry's old girlfriend, Michelle, still going out with the reanimated body of Pauly Shore?

The answers to all of these questions could make for intriguing episodes we'll likely never get. And while we can live with a little mystery in the year 3000, there's one question, in particular, that's rather irksome in how it never received any closure. That question is: What is the Other, and why is she so important to the universe's future?

We know who the Other is, of course. It's Leela. That's revealed in the season four episode "The Why of Fry," which is arguably one of the most important Futurama episodes ever made. In "The Why of Fry," Fry learns that the accident that landed him in the cryogenic freezing tube and sent him to the future wasn't actually an accident at all. It was part of a scheme by Nibbler, who spills Futurama's big secret during the episode: Fry isn't just a doofus. He's actually the most important person in the entire universe.

Leela is both the answer and the question

See, because Fry is his own grandfather (as revealed in the Emmy-winning episode "Roswell That Ends Well"), the former pizza delivery boy is immune to attacks by the evil Brainspawn, making him the only person who can stop their plans for galactic genocide. In "The Why of Fry," the Nibblonians give Fry a Quantum Interphase Bomb and send him off to fight the Brainspawn, helping him save the galaxy.

Unfortunately, there's a complication, as tends to be the case with anything involving the Planet Express crew, and Fry ends up back in 1999, before he was frozen and sent to the future. After some time-travel shenanigans, Fry goes back to that fateful moment when he became stuck in the cryogenic unit. It may seem like a retcon, but if you go back to watch the "Futurama" pilot, you'll see Nibbler's shadow underneath where Fry sat, showing how the creative team behind the sitcom had a plan in place all along.

Back to Season 4, Fry tries to stop Nibbler from sending his original body to the year 3000, but Nibbler protests, arguing that there must be something in the future that Fry thinks is worth saving. That's where the crucial piece of dialogue comes in. When Fry admits that he has feelings for Leela, Nibbler responds, "Ah, she must be the Other." Fry doesn't know what that means. We don't either.

We never will. Fox canceled Futurama after its fourth season, and while it came back from the dead two times — once as a series of direct-to-video movies, and again for a three-season run on Comedy Central — its writers never bothered to explain what Nibbler was talking about.

Have fans figured out the answer to Futurama's biggest unanswered question?

Given "The Why of Fry's" important place in Futurama canon, Nibbler's words seem like they carry a lot of weight — or they would, if they were ever elaborated on. Of course, in the absence of a real explanation, fans have theories. Many assume that the Nibblonians have plans for Leela that never made it to the screen. Some think that Nibbler simply meant that Leela is the second-most important person in the universe.

As that theory goes, Leela essentially saved the galaxy by making Fry care. Ultimately, Fry decides to send his past self to the future in "The Why of Fry" because he loves Leela. As such, she's indirectly responsible for all of Fry's heroics. Fry is the one in the middle of things, but Leela is the person who gives Fry something to fight for.

Or, other fans argue, maybe Nibbler is referring to the series finale, in which Fry and Leela live together as a couple for decades while everyone else around them is stuck in time. Maybe it's a Star Wars reference — Nibbler and Yoda have some similarities, after all, although we hope that Fry and Leela aren't secretly brother and sister. Maybe it's just a mistake. On Futurama, those are known to happen.

Whatever the case, fan theories are the only explanations as to the Other's significance that we're going to get. By all indications, Futurama isn't ever coming back, making this one big question that's bound to go unanswered.