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Why The Outfits In Futurama Mean More Than You Think

Audiences pretty much accept that cartoon characters wear the same thing day in and day out. It's gotten to the point where multiple shows have done the gag where someone will open their closet and only have copies of their signature outfit hanging there. Ultimately, it's just done to make character designs easier as well as make the people on the show instantly recognizable to viewers at home scrolling past. We'd argue the Planet Express crew on "Futurama" have some of the most distinctly interesting outfits out of any animated sitcom out there.

Not only is their apparel easy to cosplay as, but they're each distinguishable by a specific color palette. Fry is made up of reds and oranges. Leela has purple hair that doesn't get overshadowed with a white tank top. And of course, Bender is 40 percent gray, baby. 

However, the significance doesn't end there. As it turns out, those working behind the scenes on "Futurama" had particular inspirations in mind when dressing these characters ... or at least Fry and Leela.

Futurama's Fry and Leela are both based off iconic movie characters

You may think Fry and Leela both wear plain white tops because they're too poor to afford anything else, but as it turns out, their looks came from two distinct movie icons. According to Factinate, Leela's white tank top was inspired by the outfit worn by Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in "Alien." People who worked on the sitcom seem to have been big "Alien" fans, given numerous nods to the franchise throughout the series. Sigourney Weaver even guest-starred in the episode "Love and Rocket" to voice the Planet Express ship. 

Fry's influence isn't so much in science-fiction, but he does have another major Hollywood star to thank for his look. Fry's red jacket with a white shirt perfectly mirrors the outfit worn by James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause." It's unclear why Dean served as the inspiration, so perhaps the look emphasized how out-of-time Fry was. This get-up was out of style in 1999, so it's positively prehistoric by the time he winds up in the year 3000. 

Sadly, it doesn't seem like the outfits for the rest of the Planet Express crew hold deep meaning. Doctor Zoidberg is dressed like a doctor, and Hermes has traditional bureaucrat attire. Still no word on why Amy's always in sweats when her family is so wealthy.