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The Saddest Futurama Episode That Isn't Jurassic Bark According To Some Fans

It's not often that an animated sitcom can have you bust a gut from laughing one minute and then push you to the verge of tears the next. But Matt Groening's animated sci-fi comedy "Futurama" has managed to do that and then some during its first run. The series, which takes place in the year 3000, follows the exploits of a quirky space delivery crew as they navigate an ever-changing future. "The Simpsons" creator imbues his self-aware, trademark humor from that series into this futuristic setting, lampooning the trends of our current time and predicting how they would evolve over the course of time. This gave room for endlessly memorable moments that helped the show grow a strong fanbase who, even through the show's numerous cancellations and network changes, stuck with the off-beat series until the original run of the show ended in 2013.

Part of the reason the show has endured comes not only from the comedy, but also its equally affective drama. Much of this stems from the show's protagonist, Philip J. Fry (Billy West), who is accidentally cryogenically frozen in 1999 and awakes in 3000, leaving behind everything and everyone he's ever known. While the series prioritized the zany antics, there were special episodes that took the time to dive into the tragedy of Fry's situation. When it comes to the most emotional of these episodes, most fans will point to the Season 4 episode, "Jurassic Bark," which sees Fry attempt to resurrect his dog. 

But, just one season earlier, another episode delivered an equally emotional punch to the gut that continues to leave viewers heartbroken to this day.

Grab the tissues if you want to watch The Luck of the Fryrish

On the Season 3 episode "The Luck of the Fryrish," Fry is fed up with his constant bad luck and sets off with Leela (Katey Sagal) and Bender (John DiMaggio) to the ruins of his old house to retrieve his hidden seven-leaf lucky clover. Throughout the episode, we learn of Fry and his jealous older brother, Yancy (Tom Kenny), who often takes credit for Fry's actions and pesters him for his clover constantly.

When the trio reaches the basement where Fry kept his clover, it is discovered missing, and Fry blames Yancy for losing it. They later find a statue of an individual with a seven-leaf clover attached to his suit named Philip J. Fry, noted to be the first person to land on Mars. Fry believes that his brother stole his name because Yancy was also jealous of Fry's name when he was born. They locate the tomb to take back the clover from the body, and Fry discovers a shocking twist. This individual was not Yancy, but rather Yancy's son, whom he gave the clover to and named in memory of his brother. Realizing his brother always loved him, Fry places the clover back in the grave.

To say this was one of the show's most emotionally powerful episodes would be an understatement. Yancy transforming his bitterness into love for his long-lost sibling is a thing of beauty. And for Fry, who is constantly jeered at as a dumb nobody, having someone go out of their way to honor him is endlessly touching. Anyone with a rocky relationship with a family member is likely to identify with this heart-wrenching episode.

Fans might need a hug after watching this Futurama episode

With its relatable themes and heartfelt execution, it's no wonder fans constantly put "The Lucky of the Fryrish" up there as one of the show's very best. An August 2021 Reddit post from u/geoffr4w56yrdt4r featuring the caption, "When naming a sad episode, why does absolutely everyone name Jurassic bark like if this one never existed," sparked passionate conversation amongst fans. Redditor u/Shagrrotten responded by saying, "'Jurassic Bark' makes me say, 'Wow, that's sad.' This episode, when I see 'named for his uncle,' I immediately start crying."

Many fans bring up the painfully identifiable conflict Fry faces within the episode as a big reason for its staying power. Reddit user u/AlabamaNerd comments on this by sharing, "This one is absolutely one of the 'hit me in the feels' ones, too. But then again, I have a brother, and I love that guy." Redditor u/aJediLMFBM expands upon the notion even further. They explain, "Over the series, you see Fry go from, 'My parents ... my friends ... my coworkers, I'll never see any of them again. Ya-hoo!' to realizing his family meant something to him and he to them...the softest Yancy senior ever was for his baby boy, seeing that his brother honored him by naming his son after him." Wow, does anyone have a spare tissue lying around? We need it ASAP. 

While there can be plenty of arguments as to what episode of "Futurama" is the saddest, there's no denying that "The Luck of the Fryrish" hits hard and stays in your mind long after it's over.