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What You Likely Never Noticed About The Binary Code In Futurama

There's no denying that "Futurama" has some impressively deep references hidden throughout its episodes. With one of the most highly-educated writing staffs of any cartoon in history (via Nerdist), the series spares no expense in calling back to literature, science, science fiction, and math. They even went so far as to develop two different ciphers in the form of alien languages (via The Infosphere). Any time viewers see alien text in the series, they can actually decode what it says with little to no effort.

However, the two alien languages are just the tip of the Easter egg iceberg. As it turns out, just because the "Futurama" writing staff made their own cipher, doesn't mean it's the only language they are liable to use. Bender, along with other robot characters in the show, frequently use binary code. What you likely never noticed about the binary code in "Futurama," however, is that it often means something.

The hidden messages of Futurama's binary

Likely the best example of a binary message in "Futurama" comes in the episode "The Honking," when the Planet Express crew sees bloody binary text appear on the walls of Bender's haunted family mansion. The text reads "0101100101," which as Bender says is "just gibberish" when translated into English. Backwards, however, the message translates to "666," causing Bender to freak out when he reads the message in a mirror.

Another famous example of binary code in "Futurama" comes in the first film, "Bender's Big Score," as the secret Machine Time Code tattooed onto Fry's butt. There are many unique properties for this message, including the fact that it is a palindrome and can be read both frontwards and backwards, but when translated into english it reads "1'¡·" (via Fandom). This appears to be a reference to Fry's one-eyed love interest, Leela, though this is not officially confirmed.

Finally, Bender's binary apartment number translates to a dollar sign, which is a more-than appropriate choice for the greedy robot. Unfortunately, that's the final major binary reference in "Futurama." However, it's not the only computer science language that the writers know or use. Episodes like "Hell is Other Robots" and "I Roommate" make puns in the programming language BASIC, though only very rarely.

As cool as the coding language jokes are, the show's writers were still more keen on using their own alien language to make their hidden jokes.