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Every Main Character In Futurama Ranked

The fact that "Futurama" is still as widely beloved today as it was when it first aired is a testament to its exceptional quality. Originally premiering on Fox in 1999,  Matt Groening's influential sci-fi comedy series is one of the best works of adult-oriented animation ever made. It's also one of the quirkiest. Centered around a time-displaced pizza delivery man who finds himself stranded in 2999, "Futurama" uses its bizarre, far-flung premise to freakishly predict our own future, imagine wild adventures, and tell a whole lot of jokes.

Fans love "Futurama" for many reasons, from its irreverent humor to its massive imagination. However, the most important factor in the show's success is its cast of characters. Each of the main players in the "Futurama" saga possesses a unique personality, visual design, and intricate backstory. These characters are reliable sources of humor, but they're also nuanced enough to hold viewers' interest over the course of many seasons. Ultimately, they become three-dimensional people fans connect to in a genuinely emotional way. Whether you're drawn to goofy Fry, fierce Leela, or amoral Bender, everyone has a favorite character among the Planet Express crew — but who stands above the rest? We're ranking every main character on "Futurama" to find out.

7. Hermes Conrad

Hermes Conrad, Planet Express' Jamaican accountant, is proud to be a full-fledged bureaucrat. A fierce advocate for order, he believes wholeheartedly in the power of paperwork and stringent regulation. Workaholic Hermes is the main authority figure among the series' central characters, frequently criticizing his Planet Express crewmates for their poor work ethic.

Hermes' love of bureaucracy and tireless drive are just two of his most obviously appealing qualities. Believe it or not, this orderly man was once a world-renowned Olympic athlete who regularly competed in elite limbo contests. After a fan's attempt to emulate Hermes resulted in tragedy, however, the traumatized bureaucrat quit the sport. This drought doesn't last forever, though — he returns to the Olympics in "Bend Her," where he must face his old rival, Barbados Slim.

Hermes outright loathes, and even tries to kill, some of his fellow Planet Express crewmates over the course of "Futurama." This animosity creates a certain distance between him and the rest of the main characters, which puts him at the bottom of our list. But Hermes is still an immensely fun character, especially when it comes to his love-hate relationship with Zoidberg. Though Hermes views his Decapodian crewmate with very clear disdain, Zoidberg remains completely oblivious. Naively, he believes them to be good friends. This results in a great dynamic, which provides "Futurama" with many of its most humorous moments. Such a one-of-a-kind relationship wouldn't be possible without Hermes' nonstop negativity, nitpicking, and inflexible adherence to the rules.

6. Amy Wong

Amy Wong starts out as a young, flighty student intern Professor Farnsworth keeps around because they share a blood type. She initially comes across as shallow, air-headed, and more than a little vain. As "Futurama" progresses and viewers learn more about her background, however, Amy becomes a genuinely sympathetic and likable character.

Amy comes from a wealthy family of buggalo farmers who own a large portion of Mars. Wanting to distance herself from her overbearing parents, Amy seeks a life of adventure with the Planet Express crew, spending more of her time having fun than actually working. Though she can be superficial, she has a kind disposition, and is always willing to help others. Far from the most intelligent Planet Express crew member, Amy is hugely gullible. "Fool me seven times, shame on you," she memorably intones, "fool me eight or more times, shame on me."

Amy's innocence makes her an appealing character, but it's her youthful rebellion and estranged relationship with her parents that truly set her apart. As she fails to meet her family's high standards, she becomes a classic symbol of youth looking to live authentically, rather than adhering to the wishes imposed by the world. This independent streak turns out to be one of Amy's most defining traits. It grounds her, counters her trivial side, and makes her a relatable figure within the far-fetched world of "Futurama." She might be a little ridiculous, but she's also got real heart.

5. Dr. John A. Zoidberg

A crustaceous alien from the planet Decapod 10, Zoidberg is Planet Express' medical officer ... despite his complete lack of knowledge regarding human biology. A comedic subversion of the respected modern doctor, Zoidberg is probably the saddest character on "Futurama." Virtually destitute and looked down upon by practically everyone he meets, he lives in a dumpster behind Planet Express and endures his crewmates' general contempt towards his alien origins, strange habits, and murky credentials.

Zoidberg is generally oblivious to the group's hostility, however. He innocently believes they're his friends (especially Hermes), and treats them as such. This wide-eyed kindness and playful nature make Zoidberg a truly great character who inspires some of the show's best moments. Nearly all of his interactions with the Planet Express crew are defined by their one-sided hatred towards the self-proclaimed human expert, and his happy, bumbling ignorance.

As one of the few aliens to ever work for Planet Express, Zoidberg's strange biology and practices also provide many funny scenes throughout "Futurama." Seeing him eat out of garbage cans and squirt ink is always humorous, but it's the reactions of his disgusted crew members that make these moments truly worthwhile. One of the series' best recurring jokes is that whenever the crew stumbles upon another crustacean, Zoidberg turns out to be somehow distantly related to them. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Zoidberg makes an impression — a gross, troubling, weirdly adorable impression.

4. Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

A classic mad scientist, Professor Farnsworth is Fry's distant descendant and the careless head of the Planet Express crew. Despite being widely considered one of the universe's most brilliant scientists, Farnsworth's intellect is hindered by his incredibly advanced age. His genius is also troublingly drawn to creating doomsday devices and death machines.

Professor Farnsworth's indifference to basic morality makes him a hilariously unstable character who blurs the line between hero and villain. His age is also reliably laugh-inducing, especially expressed through his penchant for falling asleep in the middle of things. And of course, there's the fact that what, exactly, Farnsworth is a professor of is never made clear. This allows for plenty of convenient deus ex machina moments in which his intelligence helps the Planet Express crew get out of an impossible jam.

Like most of his fellow "Futurama" characters, Professor Farnsworth is shown to lack any real connection to the people around him. This emotional detachment often leads to fantastically dark moments in which the Professor exhibits complete disinterest in preserving his employees' lives. He has no issue sending them on dangerous missions they have almost no chance of completing, let alone surviving. This is an incredibly entertaining facet of Farnsworth's character, lending everything he does and says a potent air of unpredictability. Any time he bursts into a room, eager to share his latest ridiculous invention or business venture, you know you're in for a wild, weird, and wacky treat.

3. Turanga Leela

The closest thing "Futurama" has to a classic straight man, Turanga Leela is far and away the most rational character on the show. Originally introduced as an officer overseeing cryogenically preserved individuals, Leela quits her job after meeting Fry and joins the dysfunctional Planet Express team. Throughout the series, she's portrayed as an on-again, off-again love interest for Fry. Their relationship ends up being one of the show's main story arcs.

The most responsible member of the Planet Express crew, Leela routinely demonstrates leadership skills that save her friends from certain death. This strength, fearlessness, and consistent competence make her a stand-out character. She's also the toughest and most no-nonsense person aboard the Planet Express ship: Leela is used to solving problems entirely on her own. Dependable, intelligent, and loyal, she's the complete opposite of virtually every other protagonist on the show, and acts as the glue that holds the crew together.

In spite of her rough exterior, Leela has an emotional side. This tenderness makes her one of the series' most compelling and likable characters. Initially believing herself to be an alien, she suffers severe feelings of insecurity upon learning that her single eye is actually the result of genetic mutation. Having been given up for adoption when she was just a baby, Leela holds everyone at arm's length. Watching her realize she can trust people — even if they're her ridiculous crewmates — is one of the greatest joys of being a "Futurama" fan.

2. Philip J. Fry

The main character of "Futurama," Fry is a young man from the 20th century who wakes up in the year 2999. We explore this era's quirky technological advances and bizarre alien races from his vivid perspective, which never fails to be entertaining. A lovable, dimwitted slacker with a heart of gold, Fry doesn't have the greatest luck. Stuck in an uneventful job as a pizza delivery boy and having been dumped by his girlfriend at the start of the series, he's actually kind of a sad sack. But his pure enthusiasm for life and amazement at the future make him an incredibly likable character. Never one to give into defeatism, Fry is made happy by the simplest things in life, whether that means playing video games all day or hanging out with his friends at Planet Express.

As great as Fry is on his own, it's his relationships with his fellow crewmates that make him such a memorable character. Seemingly ignorant of his best friend Bender's outright hostility, occasional love interest Leela's disdain, and plenty of other people's naked condescension towards him, Fry sees the world through rose-colored glasses. How bad can things really be in a world with cool robots and private spaceships? It is this wonderful, indefatigable positivity that helps Fry rise about the pessimistic attitudes of his friends. This makes him a character you can't help but root for, no matter how goofy, lazy, or ridiculous he might be.

1. Bender Bending Rodriguez

Greedy, conniving, and motivated almost entirely by self-interest, Bender is responsible for the worst crimes committed on "Futurama." With hobbies that include drinking, smoking, and shoplifting, this perpetually surly robot isn't afraid to rub people the wrong way. Possessing almost no redeemable traits whatsoever, Bender is the closest thing the series has to an antagonist — and that's precisely why he's its best main character.

Generally untroubled by feelings of remorse or regret, Bender does his best to undermine and manipulate his fellow crew members to his own advantage. Regularly lying, stealing, and putting them in harm's way, he is a permanent wild card on the crew's universe-spanning adventures. His next move is always a mystery, even to himself. However, Bender's amorality suffers occasional lapses. He has a genuine soft spot for some of his crewmates, especially Fry. In fact, he likes Fry so much, he puts him on his "Do Not Kill" list.

This unpredictability makes Bender an endlessly entertaining character. He's not a relatable figure like Amy, Leela, or Fry, but his infinite selfishness, rudeness, and eccentricity make him an individual you just can't get enough of. Far and away the most widely recognized character on the show, Bender's popularity has cemented him a long-lasting place in pop culture. He's awful — and the public can't get enough of it.