"Meanwhile" is the thirteenth and final episode of Season 10. It is also the third supposed series finale of Futurama.


After Philip J. Fry I proposes to Turanga Leela, he breaks one of Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth's inventions in such a way as to stop the passage of time for everyone but the two of them.


The series finale begins at the same place as the Planet Express crew's first delivery, the Moon. Fry and Leela are walking down the street when the mascot, "Craterface" is making balloon animals and Fry buys Leela a balloon of herself. Bender Bending Rodríguez is so excited that he cartwheels the way to Luna Park. The crew then boards the Mecha-Hexadecapus which Bender breaks by barfing up nuts and bolts (because he kept cartwheeling and jumping) which sends Leela flying through the park's glass protective bubble and into space. (The hole is sealed when Craterface is sucked into it by depressurization.) The Moon Patrol only finds her stuffed Buggalo, thinking her dead, but Fry discovers Leela had sheltered herself inside the plush while breathing the air from inside her balloon double. Later, at their apartment, Fry confesses to Bender that after that near-death accident, he has decided he's going to propose to Leela.

The next day, the Professor shows off his latest invention: the Time Button. With it, he can send the entire Universe ten seconds into the past. Only the user(s) of the button or those hiding in an anti-chroniton-resistant-grout coated "Time Shelter" can recall what happened. As the crew gets in the shelter to watch, Dr. John A. Zoidberg comes in to boast that he got a ten-dollar bill that a guy dropped while getting in a taxi. Professor Farnsworth then takes the bill before using the button and everyone takes glee in Zoidberg's disappointment when he finds no money in his pocket. Leela asks if he can use the button to go back as far as she wants by pressing it over and over again. Farnsworth claims that's impossible, as it takes ten seconds for the button to recharge. Fry then asks him if using the button can make a moment last forever. The Professor takes offense, stating that the button is to be only used for scientific purposes, as he pushes it again to watch Zoidberg's misery.

However, Fry steals the button so he and Bender can steal diamonds from "Ultra Guy's Custom Diamonds" (without the proprietor knowing about it) to create a golfball-size engagement ring. He then prepares his proposal to Leela at Elzar's Fine Cuisine. Unfortunately, the giant clam carrying her diamond ring bites off her right hand. Fry panics, but then uses the button to prevent this. However, he doesn't want to hear Leela agree to his proposal until she can accept it at the Vampire State Building at 6:30pm, where he can make the sunset last as long as she wants. As he waits for her arrival, she is apparently tardy. At 7:02pm, he decides that Leela has rejected him. He decides to commit suicide by jumping off the building. As he falls, he spots Leela arriving. Due to his repeated use of the time button, his watch was over half an hour ahead of the rest of the universe (or at least rest of Earth). He then tries to use the button to return to a point in time before he'd jumped off the building, but discovers that he has been falling for more than 10 seconds, so that he can never return to the point before he jumps.

Back at Planet Express, the Professor urges everyone to get into his anti-time shelter. With the button being used, the universe is in a constant time loop. Naturally, Bender is quick to rat Fry out. Unfortunately, they can't leave the shelter without causing a duplicate paradox. Their past selves will be caught in the loop while their present selves will be shredded across the time stream " human coleslaw." The Professor demonstrates by throwing the ten dollar bill out as the button is being used. So they run to the Vampire State Building while carrying the shelter, stopping every ten seconds. When they arrive, Farnsworth accidentally distracts Fry, causing him to lose the button and hit the ground, dying on impact. Leela uses the button to undo this, but accidentally shreds the Professor since he had stepped out of the shelter unbeknownst to her. Fry then explains his predicament to Leela amidst a series of deaths. Realizing they need an exit strategy, Bender waits for an opportune moment and saves Fry's life with his airbag. But as Fry bounces off and everyone celebrates, he accidentally falls on the button and breaks it, causing time to freeze for everyone except Fry and Leela (literally making that moment "last forever" as Fry had foreshadowed.)

Fry and Leela discover that they can still interact with objects to an extent (for example, they can still eat, but they can walk across the ocean to France, blow snowflakes out of the way and play frisbee) and with living things as though they were inanimate objects. They stage a wedding for themselves at St. Koch's Cathedral, the Space Pope silently and motionlessly presiding, as well as begin to explore Planet Earth in a multi-decade honeymoon, all the while being pestered by a mysterious glimmer ("If it keeps bugging us, we'll either kill it or adopt it," says Leela.)

When they reach old age, they return to the Vampire State Building roof garden, where Fry recites his intended proposal, in which he again makes reference to making a moment last forever. Reflecting on their years in "Frozen time," Leela repeats her salmon-self line "It's been a good life" from "Naturama" and reassures Fry that "I was never lonely-not even for a minute."

Then suddenly, the glimmer appears and turns into a tunnel, from which the Professor emerges. He explains that the button merely rotated him into " orthogonal time that runs at right angles to..." Fry and Leela's frame of reference. He's been tunneling for decades, searching every instant "...from yesterday to tomorrow" for the button. ("We've been right now the whole time," exclaims Fry.) When Fry reveals he's been carrying the pieces of the broken button with him for years, having tried to repair it but getting angry and smashing it further, Farnsworth quickly repairs and modifies the device so that he can reset everything. However, he explains that it will now send the trio back to the moment before he invented the Time Button, leaving them with no memory of any event that took place afterward. Fry and Leela decide to give their life together another go and they share one last kiss before the button is pushed for the final time.