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Secondary character
Scruffy promo.jpg
A promotional picture of Scruffy.
Date of death3011 or before
SpeciesZombie (Formerly Human)
Planet of originEarth
ProfessionJanitor at Planet Express
First appearance"A Fishful of Dollars" (1ACV06)
RegularDavid Herman
Futurama ReturnsBilly West

Scruffy is the undead janitor at Planet Express and is the only person working for Planet Express who isn't a primary character. He reads pornography, and believes in his company, as evident by his purchase of 30,000 more shares of Planet Express than the rest of its employees. The other members of staff only see him occasionally, and rarely recognize him when they do. Sometimes he doesn't recognize them either.


Scruffy and his wash bucket (in the body of Amy Wong) in a tender kiss (6ACV10).

Little is known about Scruffy's background, but he has been working at the Planet Express delivery company since at least 2995, when he became employee of the year. It has also been implied that Scruffy died once, as Hermes mentions bringing him back "as a zombie" (6ACV16). In the early years of the 31st century, he also took several other jobs, for example at the Le Spa and as a roadie for the Beastie Boys.

He entered the Panama Wormhole, after helping to rescue his colleagues, along with all the other Planet Express staff members (ItWGY), and was killed and then reborn a short time later (6ACV01).

At the end of "Neutopia", Scruffy was in the bathroom while all other characters were having their genders corrected, but in "Yo Leela Leela" Scruffy appeared as a male.

Sometime before the events of "Law and Oracle" Scruffy died, and was revived as a zombie. Though he might have been killed by Santa in the first segment of the non-canon "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular". Some believe that he died in the boiler explosion that left a hole in Fry's torso, that was later fixed by worms.

By 3012, Scruffy had become a notary (7ACV01).

In 3013, Scruffy broke his spine by walking into the Planet Express ship while admiring Leela's breasts (7ACV15). He was later seen unharmed (7ACV16).

In 3014, Scruffy vaporized his head with a ray gun after a group of creatures removed his mustache (SABF16). He later swept the road outside Planet Express with no head. Disputed canon

Character description

Friendships and relationships

Though no-one at Planet Express seemed to know him in the year 3000, he and Fry seems to have developed a friendship off-stage. Fry once said that he didn't tell anyone about the location of his seven leaf clover - "not even Scruffy" (3ACV04). Fry is also shown having everyone's phone numbers, but he has two to Scruffy, home and cell (TBwaBB).

Scruffy also accompanies the rest of the crew to a Sith-il War Reenactment (6ACV06). For no apparent reason, he was seen cooking Zoidberg on a spit later in the same episode.

In 3010, Scruffy's wash bucket swaps bodies with Amy Wong, and confesses her feelings for him. While admitting his own love, he realizes that it's wrong, even in a human body, as they are too different - him, a man, and her, janitorial equipment. He ultimately asks her to leave before he changes his mind, and falls back crying to his bed (6ACV10).

Scruffy has an apprentice (7ACV24).


Scruffy was originally just a background character seen working various jobs, and the colour of his hat, hair and mustache often changed between appearances. Writers brought him in on the murder scene of "Anthology of Interest I" because they were running out of non-dead characters at Planet Express, and from there on his permanent role as the janitor of Planet Express was cemented when he was brought back in later episodes without changing jobs.

Additional Info

Scruffy's first appearance (1ACV06).


  • Matt Groening has stated that Scruffy was named after "a bar in Venice".[1] He is presumably referring to Scruffy O'Shea's, a restaurant located in Venice, California.[2]
  • Scruffy puts cameras up in every room in "Futurama Returns".
  • A comment made by Fry in "The Luck of the Fryrish" ("I didn't reveal the clover's location to anyone. Not even to Scruffy!") suggests that the two may have become close friends. But, at the time, this was more likely to be a joke on the fact that everyone always seem not to know who Scruffy is. However, in The Beast with a Billion Backs Fry is shown to keep two of Scruffy's numbers, vs. one of everyone else's. This seems to extend the joke even further.
  • Before the episode "Anthology of Interest I", when his real job was cemented, Scruffy had different seen jobs not in Planet Express.
  • "The Sting" suggests he might be Scottish, though this was during Leela's coma dream.
  • His hair turned gray prior to (or during) "Anthology of Interest I". The hair and hat colour alternates between old and new during that episode.
  • Scruffy is regularly seen with adult magazines such as National Pornographic, Play-Boy-Ar-De, Zero-G-Juggs, Extra Long Honkers, Unique Knockers, etc. He reads the articles.
  • Has yet to complete his masters in Theoretical Janitorial Science.
  • Scruffy's character is based on Billy Bob Thornton's character (Karl Childers) in the movie Sling Blade.
  • The October page of the 2008 Futurama wall calendar states that his last name is "Scruffington", however his credit card in "Bendership Galactica" identifies him with just the mononym "Scruffy". It's possible that neither of these is canon.
  • Scruffy often refers to himself in the third person when he talks, except when he has to introduce himself, in which case he will say "I'm Scruffy, the janitor".
  • In Bender's Game, he became a person who apparently cleans up after the Centaurs.
  • He has more stock than the rest of the Planet Express crew, making him the largest shareholder in the company.
  • He is also a zombie.
  • It is implied he has been imprisoned at some point in his life.


A British Scruffy (6ACV23).

    Scruffy: I'm Scruffy... the Janitor.

    Hermes: I don't even know who this guy is!

    Scruffy: Boy, I've never seen him so down. Or ever before.

    Scruffy: Somebody called "the robot devil" is here to see somebody called "Fry".

    Scruffy: Life goes on, but I believe we'll forever carry the pain on the inside.

    Scruffy: Scruffy's gonna die the way he lived. [Turns page of Zero-G Juggs magazine.] Mmhm.

    Scruffy: Oh, Marmalade!

    Scruffy: Scruffy's rolling out a large pill.

    Scruffy: Scruffy's goin' to get one of them $300 haircuts, this one's lost its pizzazz

    Scruffy: [In a deleted scene.] The day of reckoning is nigh... I reckon...
    Leela: Wait, who are you again? [Minutes later, Leela walks out the door.] Turns out his name is Scruffy.

    Scruffy: Scruffy votes his forty thousand shares for the mysterious stranger.
    Leela: Wait a minute, how come you have four times as much share as the rest of us?
    Scruffy: Scruffy believes in this company. [sniff]

    Scruffy: Dern it. [After learning about the loss of complimentary porno magazines.]

    Scruffy: I'm on break. [eats potato chip]

    Scruffy: The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. Mmhm.

    Scruffy: What fevered dream is this that bids to tear this company in twain? [Returns to reading National Pornographic magazine.]

    Scruffy: Scruffy's work here is done.

    Scruffy: Ms. Wong?
    Wash bucket: No, Scruffy, I am wash bucket. I love you. Wash bucket has always loved you. [Kisses Scruffy passionately.]
    Scruffy: It's wrong, wash bucket. Oh, it would be sweet for a while, but in the back of our minds we'd know that I'm a man and you're janitorial equipment.
    Wash bucket: In another city, we could be anyone we want.
    Scruffy: Go. Go now. Before I beg you to stay.
    [Wash bucket leaves. Scruffy lays down on his bed, apparently sobbing for a second.]
    Scruffy: Yep.

    Scruffy: I took a regular board, and made it into a divin' board. Mhrm.

    Amy: I've never been sad at a party before. I wonder if my mind is thinking about Kif being in jail.
    Scruffy: Jail's not so bad. You can make sangria in the terlet. Course, it's shank or be shanked.
    Amy: [crying] Of course.

    Scruffy: Life and death are a seamless continuum.

    Scruffy: It's a mirror into Scruffy's soul.

    Farnsworth: There's some dirt on this computer.
    Scruffy: Sorry. I was eatin' a can of' lookin' at porn.

    Zoidberg: [to Leela] Well, at least Scruffy saved you.
    Scruffy: Don't thank me. Thank the ladder.

    Scruffy: My job. Toilets 'n boilers, boilers 'n toilets. Plus that one boilin' toilet. Fire me if'n you dare.


Scruffy without his mustache (SABF16).
Scruffy appears in all episodes (not counting film episodes), due to being visible in the opening sequence. The list below consists of appearances outside of the theme only.