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The Hermes Joke Only Adult Futurama Fans Understand

Fans of Futurama know that the team behind the science fiction cartoon always put considerable effort into the production of each episode. And within each episode there are callbacks, Easter eggs, and layered jokes that can make viewers think twice about a line they just heard. 

In the season 6 episode "Yo Leela-Leela," Hermes, the Grade 34 Jamaican bureaucrat, says a line that, on the surface, might sound innocent enough to kids watching, but when examined a little more closely and a little later in life, it might only be understood by adults. 

In the episode, Leela (played by Katey Sagal) brainstorms ideas for a children's show that she is trying to write, and her crew mates at the Planet Express repeatedly interrupt her process. Fry plays trombone. Zoidberg accidentally tap dances with cans. And Hermes, for his part, proclaims that it is now, "Time for my 4:21 daiquiri," then proceeds to turn on a loud blender to make his drink.

As Reddit user MagicTriton pointed out, while they never understood the joke when they were younger, it's clear to them now that 4:21 was a reference to 4:20, a date and time celebrated by many marijuana smokers. And Hermes' need for a daiquiri, only one minute later, most likely refers to the dry mouth he experiences after smoking. The reference here is subtle, and definitely goes over the heads of young viewers, but as an adult, it's easier to figure out — and Futurama is packed with such humor, particularly when it comes to Hermes.

Futurama is packed with jokes that went over your head

In fact, if you comb through all of the episodes of Futurama, you're bound to find a plethora of pot jokes that went over your head as a child, as another Redditor named Davethemann pointed out, many of which suggest that Hermes is a frequent marijuana user. But the show likes to subvert this assumption occasionally, as well, as seen in the instance when Hermes tells Leela he likes to relax the "traditional Jamaican way: a glass of warm milk and a good night sleep."

There are many more jokes and references in Futurama you probably missed, of course. Some of those jokes might be for older viewers, but there are others which might only be understood if you happen to have a PhD in mathematics. As former Futurama writer and producer, David X. Cohen, wrote on this Reddit AMA, the show had a "ridiculously over-educated writing staff" that included writers with PhDs in math, computer science, and chemistry. As Cohen put it, "I ranked somewhere in the middle with my BA in physics and Masters in computer science."

So, if a joke about, for instance, the observer effect, went over your head ... don't feel too bad about it.