Just wake up, Leela. Please, just wake up.
The pleas from Fry to Leela and back again in the episode “The Sting” evoke a cavalcade of emotions ready to erupt from within.
Love, the ultimate language in any medium, is at the heart of the futuristic sci-fi comedy cartoon Futurama.
From the beginning, Fry falls — literally — head over heels, and in love with a one-eyed woman from the future. Which becomes his present, a reality he embraces with the hope of uniting with the one he now considers his soulmate.
The short answer to the question, “Does Leela end up with Fry in Futurama?” is “yes.”
The long answer is, funny enough, tied to their multiverse which was a thing before multiverses became a thing everywhere you look.
Voiced masterfully, gracefully, whole-heartedly by Kathy Segal and Billy West, respectively, Leela and Fry is a love story that spans decades, nay, millennia.
Worlds, galaxies, black holes, inner and outer space, their tale has it all.
Did they wind up together? Will their future be explored in the impending new episodes of Futurama, rebooted (revived?) for, let’s say, the eleventeenth time? The news is that Futurama is coming back in 2023 on Hulu with all of the original main cast in tow.
Hop onboard the Planet Express, and let’s revisit a few of the times Fry and Leela got together — or nearly did — throughout the history of Futurama, as told by the four favorite best Leela and Fry episodes to date.
We present Fry and Leela, or, “A Lee-love story for hopeless Frymantics.”
Seems like they’re soulmates
When Phillip J. Fry is stung by a poisonous bee, we are led to believe he’s dead, or in a fugue state, on the brink of perishing, and trying to reach Leela through her dreams.
Throughout “The Sting” in season four, a season which actually contains quite a lot of will-they/won’t-they, the tug of heartstrings from both characters resonates strong.
Though there are early instances that play to the connection between mutant and time traveler, this is the one where you see that Leela’s world collapses around her when she thinks she’s losing Fry. And that Fry is the one thing that can keep her from despair, and death.
Slowly, Leela is losing her grip on sanity and reality, and we’re led to believe it’s because she’s ingesting spacy honey, leading to her dreams and delusions.
The episode takes us as far as to having Fry regenerated as himself thanks to royal jelly and his um, various fluids left on a couch. This starts to unravel as Leela does as well, and the line between reality and dream is completely blurred as Leela awakens in a room where the walls and floor are the Planet Express crew telling her “you killed Fry,” leading her to the brink of a Romeo and Juliet-style ending of slipping away forever via ingestion.
Peeled back, we see that it’s actually Leela who suffered the worst of the poisoned sting, and she is ripping through nightmares and Inception-level dramatic dreams. Fry continuously talks to Leela while she’s in a coma state, hoping that his presence will keep her connected to reality and life itself, and he appears in her dreams telling her she has to wake up, which shakes her out of the fantasy she’s in where Fry has come back to life, but it’s actually him trying to tell her to wake up from her coma.
When we see him sitting there, it’s clear he’s been sitting there all along, begging whatever heavens may exist, to get her awake alive, and the happy tears may or may not start to flow.
Well, she wakes up, and hand-in-hand, we’re left to believe the power of their bond, their love, brings her back to the conscious world.
Lovingly, the tale doesn’t say whether this put them together for good, or whether it was just another stepping-stone on their way to being happily wed.
Turmoil in paradise
Leela tells Fry she loves him. Fry tells Leela he loves her.
And yet, it’s not the one, true Fry, as we come to learn in the season three episode “Parasites Lost” that Fry has a worm infestation that is making him a smarter, stronger, and more refined version of himself.
As miniaturized versions of the Planet Express crew go into Fry’s body to try and remove the worms, Leela stays on the outside to distract Fry, who is unaware of the parasitic invasion.
Once he finds out, though, he at first ignores it, realizing that for the first time, Leela is paying attention to him and falling for him.
Leela loves this new version of Fry, as he now has manners and learns to play the holophonor to impress her with a sonnet. And Leela successfully stops the crew from eliminating the worms so that the new version of Fry will remain forever.
Deep down in his guts (literally), Fry has to find out if her love for him is the real thing, or only tied to the worms, and he now goes inside himself to fight the worms, risking his own organs to force them to flee.
Back to his somewhat doofus self, Fry has lost his strength and new intelligence, but sets out to try and learn the holophonor anyway and prove that he is the man that Leela fell in love with.
The holophonor is back again. In the season four finale — which for more than half a decade was the series finale — Leela and Fry (ok, a holophonor-created image of them) wind up together.
In the episode, Fry has unsuccessfully learned to play the futuristic instrument, and enlists help from the Robot Devil.
In a game of chance, Fry will swap hands with any robot in the world and as luck has it, he wins the Robot Devil’s hands, which are able to artfully play the holophonor and Fry constructs an entire love story opera dedicated to her.
This time, with his newfound (again) skill caused by an outer force on the outside instead of the worms inside him, Fry has no problem keeping the influencing agent to woo Leela.
Fry’s opera, however, flies a little too close to the sun as he insults the Robot Devil, who then demands his hands back or he’ll take Leela’s hand — in marriage. Just a few scenes earlier, Leela lost her hearing because of Bender’s antics with an air horn, and she, like Fry, wants good things between them and strikes a deal with the Robot Devil as well, but for one of his ears, and she doesn’t realize the agreement she’s struck, which puts them both in a precarious position when the Robot Devil makes his reveal while asking for his hands back. The opera then goes awry as Fry cannot play expertly anymore.
After it all, Leela wishes for Fry to complete the opera, and he plays out a crude version of it where fans get their wish, just not in the way we all hoped.
In his episode-ending opera, the two wind up together, kissing, and holding hands as they walk off and out of our lives for the first time as this was the then-finale of the show — at the time Fox had not renewed Futurama, and it turns out, it never aired on Fox again and left the airwaves for six years before rebooting on Comedy Central.
A doozy of a heartbreaker/heart-warmer
In what will now be the penultimate series finale — there’s been four series finales so far, lol — it’s easier to understand what’s happening by watching the episode than trying to type it out in a way that makes total sense.
The last time Futurama ended, getting its cancellation from Comedy Central this time, we’ll skip to the point — Leela and Fry get married.
Sure, they are the only people left as alive and lucid people on the entire planet, as everyone else has been frozen in time, but they’re together and seemingly live out their lives happily ever after as can be.
The season seven and series finale episode, “Meanwhile,” has everything we want from Futurama, and then some.
This one’s a doozy, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of it.
In the beginning, a Bender-caused accident at an amusement park — he hurls nuts and bolts on the ride — causes Leela to launch into space and Fry believes he’s lost her forever. She survives, though, spurring Fry to commit to proposing to her.
The Professor has created a device that rewinds time 10 seconds at a time, and another device, a bubble, that protects anyone inside of it from the effects of the device.
Fry steals the device and uses the short-term time traveling to steal diamonds and construct a wedding ring for Leela. In lieu of a proposal and answer, Fry tells Leela to meet him on top of the Vampire State Building at 6:30pm if she accepts his proposal.
Not realizing his watch isn’t accurate anymore from all his time traveling, Fry sees that Leela is 32 minutes late and by his assumption, not showing up and rejecting his proposal. Heartbroken, he leaps from the tower.
As he is falling, he sees Leela is coming to accept the proposal, and the real time — as he sees on the tower —is only 6:25, not 7:02 as he thought.
It’s too late, though, as he has been falling longer than 10 seconds and cannot rewind time back to before he jumps. Fry spends what must seem like an eternity in a hopeless loop of realizing he blew it, and his love is there, in love with him, and he can’t do anything to undo things and is doomed to never have her.
Meanwhile, there are a number of things at play that threaten the universe because time is looping repeatedly now with Fry hitting the button every 10 seconds during his fall.
The Professor worries the universe could be damaged, and that anyone in the bubble could be hurt or killed if they now left the bubble during these loops.
The crew tries to go save Fry but they are devastatingly just a little too late, as Fry has grown tired and lets go of the button, plummeting to his death. A heartbroken Leela picks up the device, though, and starts to loop back 10 seconds from that moment when he is still alive as they try to figure out how to save him.
The Professor is killed in his attempt to stop Leela. Then, Leela and Bender figure out how to save Fry, but Fry’s life-saving fall onto an airbag smashes the device once and for all, freezing time for everyone except our star-and-time-crossed lovers.
They have their long-awaited wedding, confirming that yes, Leela and Fry do wind up together in Futurama.
Our saga isn’t done yet though. After decades living together, the couple go back to the fateful meeting place and realize that the Professor is not dead, but is in what we’ll call an alternate dimension and he’s searching for the device, but Fry has the pieces of it still.
Once together again, the Professor is able to reconstruct and fix the device, but with one exception of course — once he pushes it, order and time will be restored in the universe, but back to the moment before he ever even conceived the device, thus rendering this entire love and marriage story to memories that will be lost.
Even though they’ll lose their time and life together as husband and wife, the pair agree to the activation of the device, and are jolted back to the time before they were married, unaware of anything that happened.
So, then, they didn’t get together after all? It all depends on your perspective, and concept of reality, and love of, well, love.
Thus ends the series, again, with fans left to make up their own minds about what happened between Fry and Leela.