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"Well? How are they? Oh, they're great! They're like sex! Except I'm having them!"
Fry, eating popplers for the first time

"The Problem with Popplers" is the 15th episode of Season 2 of Futurama. It originally aired in North America on May 7, 2000.

Opening Sequence[]

Futurama logo with subtitle, Alienese and (often), cartoon.


Desperate for food after a visit to the Planet of the Moochers, the Planet Express Crew land on a swamp planet to look for Roddenberries and instead, find it covered in a delectable delicacy, which they decide to sell under the name "Popplers". Fry and Bender sell Popplers on the street for $1 a dozen, with great success. Fishy Joe makes the crew an offer to sell the treats at his chain of seafood restaurants for $2 a dozen, of which they get half. Fry and Bender record a Poppler's song, and Fishy Joe's sells over one million popplers.

The Problem with Popplers (Main Episode) - 106

Leela discovers the terrible truth about "Popplers".

Protesters rally outside the Planet Express Building, lead by anti-eating activist Free Waterfall, Jr., a Poppler Leela is about to eat suddenly opens its eyes and says "Mama" to her. Realizing that Popplers are intelligent, she joins the activists in protesting the trade of Popplers. At first, the crew reasonably think she is delusional, but when Professor Farnsworth suggests they dissect its brain, the terrified Poppler begs for protection. Shocked, they then vow to help Leela's cause, although they do not get much headway. Leela wears a sign saying "Free the Popplers" while a guy dressed as a Poppler wears a "Free Popplers" sin and contradicts whatever she says. Fry handcuffs himself to a revolving door to stop people from going into a Fishy Joe's restaurant, leading to him literally getting walked on. Bender tells people to stop eating Popplers, but ends up encouraging them instead. A televised debate between Fishy Joe, Free Waterfall, Jr., and Leela is interrupted when the Omicronians arrive on Earth, and reveal "Popplers" are their babies, that came from one of their nursery planets. The Omicronians vow revenge for the eating of their young, the initial demand being that Earth "serve" one human for each of the 198 billion Popplers eaten. However, during negotiations with Zapp Brannigan, it is revealed that they are not enough humans on Earth for the Omicronians to eat, so they eventually settle on Leela to be presented for consumption, for being the first person to eat Popplers.

The Problem with Popplers (Main Episode) - 310

Lrrr devours Free Waterfall, Jr.

While Lrrr waits to eat Leela on live television, Zapp formulates a devious plan to use an orangutan as a substitute for Leela, in the hopes that the Omicronians' inability to tell humans apart can be exploited. Kif attempts to give the ape a makeover as best as he can. Oblivious to the danger it places Leela in, Free Waterfall, Jr. reveals it is an orangutan. Ndnd confirms this by eating it anyway and Lrrr demands that the real Leela be fed to him at once. Only the intervention of Jrrr, the Poppler Leela found, saves her. Lrrr decides to eat Free Waterfall, Jr. instead for getting on his nerves, but becomes intoxicated as a result of eating him and the crew retires to a meal which includes a dolphin, which they deem as unintelligent because "he blew all his money on instant lottery tickets."

Ongoing Themes[]

Fry and Leela[]

While Leela awaits execution in her cage, Fry tells her that she's beautiful and a great friend.


A dolled-up orangutan takes Leela's place at the execution.