Futurama/The Day the Earth Stood Stupid

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The Day the Earth Stood Stupid
The Day the Earth Stood Stupid
Season 3, Episode 7
Airdate February 18, 2001
Production Number 3ACV07
Writer(s) Jeff Westbrook
David X. Cohen (story)
Director(s) Mark Ervin
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FuturamaSeason Three

The Day the Earth Stood Stupid is the seventh episode of the third season of Futurama, and the thirty-sixth episode overall. This episode sets up the beginnings of Nibbler's backstory with the backdrop of an alien brain invasion. It also foreshadows events coming in the future involving Fry and his "brain thing."

Guest Stars: Maurice LaMarche (The Big Brain), Dave Herman (Ishmael), Phil LaMarr (Hermes), Lauren Tom (Amy)


Plot Overview

After a shameful showing at the pet show due to Nibbler's refusal to obey and constant attempts to eat everything, the crew learns that the package delivery they were meant to make has been cancelled on the count of the planet having been destroyed. Even worse, an entire line of planets have been destroyed with Earth next. Nibbler jumps out a window after hearing the news, when Leela goes to find him she is chased by flying brains and is saved by Nibbler in a tiny spaceship.

While the two fly off to destinations unknown, the brains are quickly making everyone in New New York suspiciously dumb, except for Fry. He attempts to go through the process or re-educating the crew to little avail. Meanwhile, Nibbler and Leela arrive at Planet Eternium, the exact center of the universe-- particularly at the hall of forever. At the hall, Leela is filled in on the brains' mission and that the only one who can save the planet is Fry because of a quirk in his brain.

The Nibblonians send Leela back to Earth after explaining further that Fry doesn't have the delta brainwave and is immune to the brains' power. Just to be sure, they pin a note to her shirt. Unfortuantely, when she gets back, she forgets and Fry's not the smart anyway so he ends up throwing away the note. In order to stop the brains, Fry figures out that he must defeat the big brain who he correctly assumes is at the public library. Fry battled the brain using his mind through several novels, including "Moby Dick", "Tom Sawyer" and "Pride and Prejudice". Ultimately, Fry traps the brain in a book he writes on the spot, one filled with plot holes and spelling errors. The Nibblonians devour the fallen brains, saving the planet. Unfortunately, only Fry remembers because he wasn't affected by the brain waves and nobody cares what he thinks.


Alien Language Sightings

  • The Obelisks: Yummy Tummy


  • Leela: Leela discovers that Nibbler is part of a race of ancient guardians of the universe. Unfortunately, she forgets soon after she returns to the planet and is zapped stupid by the brains.



The Show

  • Opening Caption: 80% Entertainment By Volume
  • Nibbler's Background: Nibbler's mystery species is revealed when we find out that he's a Nibblonion, one of the ancient guardians of the galaxy.
  • Hypnotoad: The Hypnotoad is Matt Groening's favorite character in the show, the hypnotizing sound it makes was originally just a temp sound. But, it was so wrong that they decided to use it anyway. The sound it makes is actually an electric turbine played backwards called "Angry Machine".
  • Rosetta Stone: The columns outside the Hall of Forever are actually rosetta stones for the two alien languages. The second alien language was decoded using those obelisks.
  • Nibblonians: The main two Nibblonians (other than Nibbler) are Ken and Fiona, voiced respectively by Billy West and Tress MacNeille.

Behind the Scenes

  • Alien Language #2: The second alien language was developed using modular addition, meaning the next letter is given by the summation of all the previous letters plus the current letter, otherwise known as mod(26).

Allusions and References

  • Day The Earth Stood Still: The title of the episode is a reference to the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still, which also had a plot involving alien visitors.
  • Dewey Decimal: The Dewey Decimal system is a card catalogue system used to teach children how to find books in the library. The system has since been replaced in most libraries by a more advanced computer search engine.
  • National Jerk Test: Billy West decided to say "Liberry" instead of "Library" because of Steve Allen's "National Jerk Test." It was something of a proto-"You Might be a Redneck" where Steve Martin would say something like, "If you say Liberry instead of Library, you're a jerk."

Memorable Moments

  • The hypnotoad herding sheep into the pen.
  • Leela having a conversation with Nibbler in the space ship where she declares that every religion is wrong.
  • Fry attempting to teach the crew about the presidents using George Washington's head in a jar.
  • The battle between Fry and the brain in classic literature.


  • Judge: All glory to the hypnotoad.
  • Fry: Now he's trapped in a book I wrote. A crummy world of plot holes and spelling errors.
    Brain: The Big Brain am winning again! I am the greetest! Ha ha ha ha ha! Now, I am leaving Earth, for no raisin.


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