|“||Fifty-three years old? Oh... now I'll need a fake ID to rent ultraporn!||”|
–Hubert J. Farnsworth
"Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles" is the sixty-third episode of Futurama.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Pazuzu, Profesor Farnsworth's gargoyle breaks out of the Planet Express Building. As he flies away, Professor Farnsworth shouts "Pazuzu, you ungrateful gargoyle! I put you through college, and this is how you repay me?" before gargoyle droppings hit his face. The Professor angrily heads to the ship's controls to take up the pursuit. Faced with riding a ship with the Professor driving, Fry and Leela to strap themselves in completely and Bender rivets himself to the wall.
In a rage, the Professor flies out into space but only slows down traffic (with one turn signal on). Besides the turn signal, Farnsworth inadvertently has the "high beams" on, incinerating a direction sign and blowing up Deep Space 9.
Forgetting about the hunt for Pazuzu, Farnsworth redirects to Florida for a nice lunch. Unfortunately, his lifetime discount has somehow expired without him.
To pre-chew his meat, he activates his nuclear-powered false teeth, which run amok after biting Fry, thus "tasting human blood." A full scale panic ensues.
Fed up with the Professor's advanced senility, the Planet Express Crew kidnap him and take him to a special day spa. Massage is attempted, but because his is such an advanced case of "old," he's put into the spa's "anti-aging" tar pit.
Bender pumps the pit pump much too violently, and the Professor is tossed up and down until the tar pit's crumbling edges give way beneath the crew and they all fall in.
Everyone climbs out and gets cleaned up, but the tar has done its work: the Professor is now middle aged and the others are teenagers.
While Farnsworth tries to fix things, the others try to settle into their teenage lives. Amy goes home to Mars where her mom is angry, because she wants a grandchild and will now have to wait much longer. Amy's dad makes fun of her for being a fat little girl (again).
Leela is excited to have a second chance to be a "normal" teenager with her parents, who she never knew as a child. Fry (who has a cracked voice) soon begins dating Leela, and in a sewer race with Mandy and Moose, they collide with and collapse Martin Luther Thing, Jr. High School, earning detention. But it was only a "public school," so no biggie.
Soon, the Professor discovers time-altering chronitons stuck to their DNA (and Bender's "RNA") and concocts a bacterium to clear their DNA and get them back to their normal ages. Leela declines the treatment and continues her teenage life.
The others get into the Bacterial Spew Chamber which "coughs" on them. Unfortunately, the treatment has the opposite effect - they are now getting younger by the minute.
Farnsworth tries to think of another solution, but the kids' constant whining leads him to hire Leela as a babysitter so he can think. She discovers the existence of the Fountain of Aging from a story book, and tells the Professor about it. It's said to be located just past Teddy Bear Junction, "the worst scumhole in the galaxy."
He picks up the kids while Leela stays grounded (at her own insistence), so she can sneak out later. She guides the now-much-younger Farnsworth to the fountain, which is on the surface of a burnt-out sun. Just as time is running out, they locate it.
As they are preparing to enter the fountain, Zoidberg appears in the water, unable to escape the whirlpool, and rapidly ages, crumbling away in seconds. But it turns out to be Norman, one of Zoidberg's bud-siblings.
Now the others have become fetuses and Bender is a blueprint disc. Farnsworth (looking about five) quickly gets them in the water but the current carries them off as they age. Leela jumps in to save them, sacrificing her teenage second chance.
They emerge safe (in their underwear) but the Professor is still trapped in the center of the whirlpool, cursing Zoidberg. Just then, Pazuzu appears and dives in, rescuing him.
Scans indicate that Farnsworth is even older than before, while Leela and Amy feel a bit "younger." The Professor then asks the gargoyle how he might be repaid for the rescue.
The final scene shows Pazuzu has moved to Paris, has had a son, and has been telling his son how "Papa gained his freedom."
Ongoing Themes[edit | edit source]
Death, Injury, Dismemberment[edit | edit source]
- Farnsworth destroys a presumably staffed space station with the high beams of the Planet Express ship. The space station shares its appearance with the "Deep Space 9," from the Star Trek franchise.
- Fry is bitten on the finger by Farnsworth's nuclear-powered dentures.
- Child-Amy punches Child-Hermes a couple of times.
- Bender shoots Fry in the head with a giant spitball.
- Farnsworth predicts that the chronotons will cause everyone to get younger and younger until they experience "pre-life", then death.
- Zoidberg, in his larval stage resembling a parasitic lamprey, latches onto Farnsworth and sucks his blood.
- On the way to the Fountain of Aging, Hermes and Amy disassemble Bender and play with the individual parts like toys.
- Zoidberg falls into the Fountain of Aging and withers away to dust, but it turns out not to be Zoidberg, rather his clone-sibling Norman.
- Farnsworth appears to drown in the Fountain of Aging, but Pazuzu saves him.
- Farnsworth injures himself by celebrating the fact that he has come out of the fountain older than before.
Character Arcs[edit | edit source]
- Farnsworth pronounces the words "wait" and "while" correctly.
- Sal's speech impediment is at 50%, meaning that 50% of the words he says are garbled by adding (or removing) a plural.
Doppelgängers[edit | edit source]
- The entire crew are transformed into childhood versions of themselves that grow younger as time goes on.
- Leela's Wrist LoJack-a-mater serves as a wristwatch.
- Bender serves as a children's toy.
Fry and Leela[edit | edit source]
After quite a few episodes in which Fry and Leela seem hardly to notice each other, teenage Fry goes to the sewer-home of teenage Leela to take her out on a date. Fry puts his arm around Leela while they race Moose and Mandy, but she swerves the car to get him to move away from her. After Leela has saved the crew from "pre-life", as she reflects that she is happy with her choice to return to adulthood with her friends, she and Fry share a meaningful glance, but nothing more. It seems once again that Leela is open-minded, but not really interested, and Fry has added to his list of shallow reasons for liking Leela: lust, loneliness, the excitement of Valentine's Day, and now simple teenage hormones (lust again).