When Aliens Attack

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Season 1 episode
Broadcast season 2 episode
When Aliens Attack
When Aliens Attack 1.jpg
Production number1ACV12
Written byKen Keeler
Directed byBrian Sheesley
Title captionProudly Made on Earth
First air date7 November, 1999
Broadcast numberS02E03
Title referenceWhen Animals Attack! and other Fox shockumentaries
Opening cartoon"Daffy The Commando"


Season 1
  1. Space Pilot 3000
  2. The Series Has Landed
  3. I, Roommate
  4. Love's Labours Lost in Space
  5. Fear of a Bot Planet
  6. A Fishful of Dollars
  7. My Three Suns
  8. A Big Piece of Garbage
  9. Hell Is Other Robots
  10. A Flight to Remember
  11. Mars University
  12. When Aliens Attack
  13. Fry and the Slurm Factory
Season 2 →

"When Aliens Attack" is the twelfth episode of Futurama, the twelfth of the first production season and the third of the second broadcast season. It aired on 7 November, 1999, on Fox. The Omicronians invade Earth due to Fry knocking out Fox a thousand years prior.

The story

Act I: "Like anyone on Earth cares..."

Back in the 20th century, Fry is delivering a pizza to a technician of a Fox affiliate. He sits down to watch Single Female Lawyer and accidentally spills a beer, shorting out the entire broadcast tower and taking Fox off the air. A thousand years later one thousand light years away, Lrrr, Ruler of Omicron Persei 8 and his wife Ndnd are watching the show when it is cut off. Lrrr is enraged and destroys the TV with a laser.

Act II: "Who's up for one last summer beach trip?"

It's Labor Day and the Planet Express crew heads to Monument Beach, a beach full of old monuments, although Fry prefers watching TV he is forced to go. He builds a sand castle, while Hermes plays a game with Bender, finding him under the sand with a metal detector, however on Bender's turn to find Hermes he just lies in a sun bed. The others play volleyball but Zoidberg bursts the ball repeatedly so he decides to go for a scuttle. Bender uses his chest as a grill to cook burgers and his ass gets red hot so he gets in the water to cool off. Nibbler eats Amy's bikini, then Farnsworth gives her some sort of spray can to "paint" a new bikini onto her body. A "Professional Beach Bully" kicks Fry's castle, Leela wants to date him but he is actually gay. Zoidberg, underwater, gets caught in a lobster trap, then Bender frees him. Everyone stands next to Fry's castle to take a picture, using Bender's eye as camera while his headless body appears in the photo, but just as he is about to take the picture, a fleet of flying saucers arrives and begins destroying everything, including the monuments and Fry's castle. The crew return to Planet Express, with the saucers chasing them.

Act III: "You heard the windbag, we've been drafted."

The Omicronians make their demand on TV: "Give us McNeal!" The people of Earth think Lrrr means President McNeal, the President of Earth. Pres. McNeal says they have to give the aliens everything they want, but when he learns they want him, he addresses the people of Earth, and declares his intention to fight to the death rather than cave to alien demands, and places Zapp Brannigan in charge of the defence of Earth. The Planet Express Ship, along with all other ships on Earth, is drafted into the defence fleet. Bender won't fight but all robots (including Bender) have their patriotism circuits activated, so he has to fight anyway. They confront the mothership, and when Bender's cocktail spills, Fry goes for the ship, destroying it once and for all, they celebrate with a Martini. But another ship looking similar to the other appears, the only difference is that this is huge. They realize that is the mothership and what they have destroyed was the Hubble Telescope. The fleet is overwhelmingly defeated by the Omicronians, and the crew flees. During Pres. McNeal's next speech, Zapp bags him and drags him away to surrender, receiving applause from congress. Lrrr tells them it is the wrong McNeal, then kills Pres. McNeal anyway. Lrrr and Ndnd wanted Jenny McNeal, the protagonist of Single Female Lawyer. They will raise Earth's temperature by one million degrees a day for five days unless they see McNeal tomorrow at 9pm. Having seen a few minutes of the show Fry is the only one with knowledge of the character or show.

Act IV: "Why does she not simply tear the judge's head off?"

Leela as Jenny McNeal on Single Female Lawyer

Under Fry's direction, the crew assemble an episode of Single Female Lawyer and broadcast it so the Omicronians can watch it. Leela plays the role of Jenny McNeal (with a fake eye added on her face), Farnsworth is the judge, Zoidberg is a lawyer and Hermes is the foreman of the jury. They act while reading the script and the Omicronians seem to enjoy it but when they reach the end of Fry's script on page 2, they are forced to improvise. After a well-meaning blunder by Leela declaring she gives up the law and being single, Fry cuts to commercial. Fry tells Leela that people don't want new things on a show, and Lrrr transmits a message confirming Fry's statement. So they continue and end the episode. The Omicronians call saying they are satisfied, though not enough to give Humanity the secret of immortality. (Fry blames it on Zoidberg's overacting.) The Aliens then depart, and the day has been saved. Fry concludes that, like every TV show, at the end of every episode, everything goes back to normal, ignoring the fact that New New York is in ruins and burning down around them.

Additional Info

Promo pic of this episode


  • Some fans believed a spherical device seen after Fry spills beer over the transmitter to be the Near Death Star, but it has been confirmed that it is not. See this for further info.
    • This object may be Jupiters moon Europa.
  • The man who Farnsworth is going to make delivery boy bears a striking resemblance to parallel Fry from "The Farnsworth Parabox".
  • In the final scene, the Statue of Liberty (now on fire) is seen holding her classic torch, not the Tube Transport System seen in 1ACV01.
  • This is the first time Linda appears without Morbo.
  • The space probe in the purple cloudish irregular galaxy seen when zooming away from earth at the beginning is the Voyager spacecraft.


Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.


  • The short clip of Single Female Lawyer that Fry and the Fox technician see is inconsistent with the one that the Omicronians see, since there are a few seconds not destroyed after the recorded lady says, "Can you repeat that last part?"
    • The Omicronians see their clip one thousand years after the Humans see theirs, so they cannot see the missing part, which never reaches Omicron Persei 8.
      • The clip the Omicronians saw should be the same as the clip seen on Earth before Fox was knocked off the air, but they are not. The clip seen by the Omicronians is cut short of the point where Fox was knocked off the air
  • Fry spills the soda in 1999, so the Omicronian invasion should occur in 2999.
    • The Professor says that "Omicron Persei 8 is about a thousand light-years away". This could mean that they are slightly more than one thousand light-years away, so the episode would reach them about one thousand years later, not exactly one thousand years later.
  • The Professor says that "most videotapes from [the 20th century] were damaged in 2443 during the Second Coming of Jesus", but, in "A Big Piece of Garbage", he found a tape from 2000.
    • Notice he says "most tapes", not "all".


    Zapp Brannigan: Stop exploding you cowards!!

    Bender: Sir. I volunteer for a suicide mission.
    [His antenna stops flashing and he bangs his head with his knuckles.] Aw. Cut it out!
    Zapp Brannigan: You're a brave robot, son. But when I'm in command... every mission's a suicide mission.

    Zapp Brannigan: The alien mothership is in orbit here. If we can hit that bull's-eye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

    Lrrr: Prepare the water cooler, that we may gather around it later and discuss things.

    Bender: I refuse to fight, I'm a conscientious objector.
    Fry: A what?
    Bender: You know, a coward.

    Bender: Single female lawyer, having lots of sex!

    Fry: I prefer shows with the genre of world's blankiest blank.
    TV Guy: She is wearing the world's shortiest skirt.
    Fry: I'm in!

    Zapp Brannigan: What the hell is that thing!?
    Kif Kroker: It appears to be the mothership!
    Zapp Brannigan: Then what did we just blow up!?
    Kif Kroker: [Checks on a map.] The Hubble Telescope.


(In alphabetic order)



Episode Credits