Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles
|"Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles"|
The crew reverted to younger ages
|Episode no.||Season four
|Directed by||Bret Haaland|
|Written by||Jeff Westbrook|
|Original air date||March 30, 2003|
|Opening caption||"Now Interactive! Joystick controls Fry's left ear"|
|Opening cartoon||"Moonlight for Two" (1932)|
"Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles" is the ninth episode of the fourth production season of Futurama. It first aired on March 30, 2003 as the seventh episode of the fifth broadcast season. The episode was directed by Bret Haaland and written by Jeff Westbrook.
Professor Farnsworth is chasing his escaped gargoyle, Pazuzu. After a short time he forgets the search and goes to Florida to have a discounted dinner. Annoyed with the Professor's crankiness, the Planet Express employees take the 161-year-old to an age-reducing spa, where he is given a massage, then bathed in blistering hot tar. An accident causes the entire crew to fall into the tar pit, reverting them to a younger age (53 years old for Prof. Farnsworth, and roughly 14 for the rest of the crew). Leela decides to live with her parents so that she can have a new chance at the normal teenage life she never had. A teenage Fry and Leela begin dating while Amy is the subject of jokes back on Mars due to her childhood obesity. The Professor searches for a way to undo the de-aging effects. It seems that time-altering chronitons have become stuck to their DNA and Bender's "RNA" (the R standing for robo).
Unfortunately, his plan backfires, and the crew (except Leela, who wants to remain a teenager and does not participate) begin to grow progressively younger. In order to stop this process, they search out the mythical Fountain of Aging. When the crew get caught in the current, Leela jumps in to save them, which ends her chance at being a teenager again. The Professor remains stuck in the fountain but is saved by his lost gargoyle, Pazuzu. The Professor is delighted to find that he has become even older than he was before while Amy and Leela claim to be a little younger. In gratitude the Professor frees Pazuzu, and the episode ends revealing it has all been a story the gargoyle, now returned to France and nested on Notre Dame, has been telling his hatchling about how he gained his freedom.
- The space station the Professor inadvertently destroys is a parody of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's namesake station. The producers explained on the DVD commentary this did not mean they disliked Deep Space Nine; they thought it was one of the best Star Trek series, especially when "Worf got there".
- The DVD commentary for the episode features voice actor Maurice LaMarche making a reference to "Toben's Spirit Guide" whilst reprising his portrayal of Egon Spengler from the animated series The Real Ghostbusters for a joke during the closing minutes.
- Professor Farnsworth mentions the tooth fairy in this episode, commenting on how he is the head of the FBI in the 30th century. The line originally referred to Bigfoot but it was changed to the tooth fairy after it was revealed in "Spanish Fry" that Bigfoot was a primitive living in the woods.
- Hofstede, David. 5000 Episodes and No Commercials: The Ultimate Guide to TV Shows on DVD. Back Stage Books. p. 120.
- Cohen, David X. (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Spanish Fry" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
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