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The Futurama Fan Theory About Scruffy That Would Change Everything

As the old saying goes, you can't keep a good man down. Well, in this case, it's a project that refuses to slip quietly into TV history, that being "Futurama." Matt Groening's little cartoon that could has so far succumbed to cancellation twice — first in 2003 after a mere four years on the air and again in 2013 following a brief Comedy Central revival –, but the Planet Express crew are apparently ready to make a comeback. Hulu plans to revive the fan-favorite once again, promising 20 new episodes set to premiere sometime in 2023.

It should come as no surprise that the "Futurama" fandom is excited to see the show return to the small screen. The program has gone through so much over the years, and a devoted chunk of its viewers have stuck around through it all. Loyalty like that is difficult to come by, but since "Futurama" boasts some of the most memorable characters and unique worlds in the adult animation game, it's easy to conjure up passion in the fans. It's also rife with fan theory potential, which is a surefire way to keep people coming back for more.

One of the most interesting concepts the "Futurama" fanbase has come up with focuses on the humble Planet Express janitor, Scruffy Scruffington (David Herman). If it were somehow true, this theory would forever change how you look at the series.

Is Scruffy actually an older Fry?

Though originally a minor entity in the grand scheme of "Futurama," Scruffy has become one of the show's most popular supporting cast members. He's laid-back and somewhat lazy for someone tasked with keeping Planet Express HQ tidy, but he has great faith in the company and continues to stick around. However, his overall demeanor does draw some interesting comparisons to another "Futurama" staple — Philip J. Fry (Billy West) — that Redditor IncredulousPulp couldn't help but point out and question if the two characters are somehow the same person.

"After Fry came back in a time loop as Lars, I think he then came back a third time as Scruffy. They're all paradox duplicates of the same guy," they claimed, pointing to Fry's time-travel shenanigans in "Bender's Big Score" as evidence for their theory. Some of their fellow "Futurama" fans, such as derpyfox, found their conclusion believable to some degree. "I could imagine this. Leela dies and after a while fry screws up a suicide booth and it spits him out near the year 3000. He happily gets a job sweeping up at Planet Express watching his friends antics and reminiscing about when it was him."

On the other hand, many members of the "Futurama" Reddit community weren't so quick to believe that Fry and Scruffy are one and the same. Numerous replies to the original post compared the two characters' physical appearance and highlighted the differences between them. Not only that, but a now-deleted user brought up a key detail about Scruffy that pokes some serious holes in this proposal. "But if Scruffy is a time duplicate, his paradox has been resolved multiple times throughout the series. They even hinted at him being some sort of unholy zombie that the Professor brings back to life whenever he dies."

Is Scruffy another duplicate of Fry? Or are they distinct individuals? Most likely the latter, but hey, it's fun to speculate.