Time Keeps on Slippin'
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|Season 3 episode|
|Time Keeps on Slippin'|
|Written by||Ken Keeler|
|Directed by||Chris Loudon|
|Title caption||For proper viewing, take red pill now|
|Title caption reference||The Matrix|
|First air date||6 May, 2001|
|Title reference||Lyric in Fly Like an Eagle by The Steve Miller Band|
|Opening cartoon||It's the Cats (1926)|
"Time Keeps on Slippin'" is the forty-sixth episode of Futurama, the fourteenth of the third production season and the fourteenth of the third broadcast season. It aired on 6 May, 2001, on Fox. After collecting chronitons in an attempt to beat the Globetrotters in a basketball game, Farnsworth inadvertently causes time to start skipping forward randomly. Meanwhile, Fry tries to win Leela's affection, and during a time skip he manages to do so, while Bender tries to become a member of the Globetrotters.
 The Story
 Act I: "Your face can take a lot of punishment. That's good to know."
While the staff of Planet Express are visiting Central Park Lake, a spaceship lands and the Globetrotters emerge and challenge Earth to a game of basketball simply to embarrass them if they lose. Professor Farnsworth offers to play them and plans to beat them with a team of mutant atomic supermen, however they are currently only babies. To speed up the growth, Farnsworth sends the crew to collect chronitons. While collecting the chronitons, Fry tries but fails to impress Leela. Professor gives the supermen the chronitons and they grow into adults; mutations include a man with a cannon in his chest and a giant spider. The basketball game starts and is commentated by Marv Albert's head. The supermen are winning 48-42.
 Act II: "Enough about your promiscuous mother, Hermes!"
While playing, however, a strange flash occurs, causing everyone to reappear in a different position. Another flash happens, and Professor times the game out; he determines that time is lurching forward randomly, due to interference from the Chronotons. Time and space are ripping apart. In addition, Aracneon is killed and Fry offers to play to show Leela his skills. However, in two minutes he allows the Globetrotters to win 200 points, causing Earth to lose the game. The leader of the Globetrotters, Ethan 'Bubblegum' Tate offers to help find out what is happening with time and space. The Professor concludes that by Thursday it will be the end of existence.
 Act III: "Hello, lawsuit."
Time continues to skip forward and the Professor concludes that everyone acts normally during a time skip, but they have no memory of it. Bender expresses his love of the Globetrotters and his desire to be one. Fry shows Leela to a special room that will stop time skips; in reality, it is just a ploy for them to have sex, annoying Leela. She complains to Zoidberg that Fry is sweet but very immature. Through the Smell-O-Scope, Farnsworth finds out that time is leaking, causing time skips on Earth. Bubblegum thinks that moving a cluster of stars to a certain area will cause the time skips to move to an empty part of the universe. Using all of Earth's money, a gravity-pump is built to move the stars. After Leela successfully moves the stars, Bender shows Bubblegum his homemade Globetrotter uniform and Fry again tries to impress Leela. While Leela once again starts to reject Fry, saying she will never fall for him, a time skip occurs and Fry and Leela have just gotten married.
 Act IV: "I deserve free money!"
The time skips carry on and Leela, thinking that Fry tricked her into marriage, divorces him. The others try to console him. He tries to figure out how he managed to woo Leela. Farnsworth realises that Bubblegum's algebra was incorrect. The rest of the Globetrotters decide to cause an implosion in the Chronoton nebula to create a black hole. Farnsworth provides one of his doomsday devices for that to work. Bubblegum tells Bender he isn't 'funky' enough to be a Globetrotter, upsetting him. Fry apologizes to Leela about the possibility that he did trick her in marrying him, and begins to think that he will never find out how he and Leela married. However, he is taken aback when he finds out he really did win her heart by spelling "I Love You Leela" with the stars themselves; unfortunately, they are sucked into the black hole before he can show Leela. Leela wonders why Fry is upset, but Fry just keeps it to himself.
 Additional Info
- The name of the episode is a reference to Steve Miller's song "Fly Like an Eagle".
- It is revealed that Zoidberg's birthday is the day after Amy's.
- The background music played when the Globetrotter ship lands is based on the music from A Clockwork Orange.
- Professor Farnsworth has mentioned Atomic Monsters before, but the only other time we see any is at the end of "Mother's Day".
- The cheque for All of Earth's Money has question marks for the date.
- The nebula where Fry, Leela, and Bender go to collect the Chronitons is named the Tempus nebula. Tempus means "time" in Latin.
- The Globetrotters consist of:
- Ethan "Bubblegum" Tate
- "Sweet" Clyde Dixon
- "Curly" Joe
- six others
- The Earth team is:
- Armo (five arms)
- Lazar (laser eyes)
- Thorias (cannon in chest)
- Growtreant (very tall with super-long arms)
- Arachneon (half-spider)
- Philip J. Fry (as a substitute two minutes from the end)
- While collecting chronitons, Leela is seen causing the rips in the nebula that will provoke the time skip. However, Fry and Bender's actions do not seem to create any disruptions.
- The same thing that the Planet Express crew is trying to put a stop to helps them to attempt the task quicker. This is the only moment where the time skips actually aid the crew.
Fry: So, Leela, how about a romantic ride in one of those swan boats? They're kinda dangerous, but I finally mastered them.
Leela: Those aren't swan boats, they're swans.
Fry: Oh. That explains these boat eggs. [He holds up some eggs.]
Zoidberg: Don't be so hard on yourself, Fry. You lost the woman of your dreams but you still have Zoidberg. You all still have Zoidberg!
Leela: Fry, stop. I don't wanna hurt you, but there is absolutely, positively no way that you and I will ever, ever-
Preacherbot: ...man and wife. You may kiss the bride.
Nixon: Now, how long will it take to build?
Tate: It won't be easy, Nixon. A jim-jam this complex might take months or even-
Farnsworth: Ah, there we are. One gravity pump. Powerful enough to move the stars themselves. Now to begin the arduous task of attaching it to the ship so th-
[Time skips. The Planet Express ship is taking off with the gravity pump attached.]
Farnsworth: Off you go, apparently.
Farnsworth: Doomsday device? Ah, now the ball's in Farnsworth's court!
[Platform rises from floor containing many doomsday devices.]
Farnsworth: I suppose I could part with one and still be feared.
Bubblegum Tate: Sweet Clyde, laugh derisively at him!
Sweet Clyde: Ha ha! Ha ha! Ah Ha ha ha!
Leela: Guess we'll divide up the china. I'll take the NFC helmets and you take the AFC helmets.
Fry: Fine. Break my heart again.
 Outside References
- The Globetrotter saucer is identical to the one featured in The Day the Earth Stood Still
- The front cover of the pop singer Wendy's album is a reference to Britney Spears' album ...Baby One More Time
- The basketball playing aliens, giant monsters, and title are all an allusion to the movie Space Jam which featured Billy West as a main character.
- Professor Farnsworth throwing a chair on the basketball court is a reference to former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight, who famously threw a chair across the court during a game.
- Farnsworth's reply to the Globetrotters' challenge, "[t]his will not stand," is the same statement President George H.W. Bush made regarding Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
- After the time skip during the wedding, when Fry gets a bouquet in his mouth, Grotrian, who is to screen right, is duplicated.
- In Bender's Big Score, the Globetrotter ship is seen with a red-white-and-blue color scheme, unlike the tan and green seen in this episode.
- They could have updated their ship or gotten an entirely new one.
- The time skip between the basketball game and the circus does not follow the rules of the other times skips, because the characters have not behaved normally during the intervening time, but rather have stayed exactly where they were.
- The Madison Cube Garden could be an isolated spot that skips time, like the Professor mentions later on.
- The "champagne" which Fry buys Leela is described as "domestic, non-vintage". By international law, Champagne may only be produced in the Champagne region of France. The correct term would be "sparkling wine".
- Seeing as how most current French culture changes a lot before the year 3000, it's a good chance that the law no longer exists.
- Debut: Aracneon
- Debut: Curly Joe
- Debut: Ethan 'Bubblegum' Tate
- Debut: Armo
- Debut: Grotrian
- Debut: Hermes' mother (mentioned in speech only)
- Judge Whitey
- Debut: Marv Albert's head
- Debut: Lazar
- Professor Farnsworth
- Debut: 'Sweet' Clyde Dixon
- Debut: Thorias