Space. It seems to go on and on forever and then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you.
–Fry [first words of the series]
Space Pilot 3000 is the first episode of production Season One and the first ever broadcast episode of Futurama. It was originally broadcast on March 28, 1999. The episode introduced pizza delivery boy Fry and the story of how he came to the year 3000.
On the December 31, 1999, pizza delivery boy Fry is playing the video game Donkey Fracas, Jr. He loses the game and is then sent out to his next delivery at Applied Cryogenics. On his way, he sees his girlfriend Michelle in a cab with another man, Constantine. Michelle, proclaiming she's left his stuff on the sidewalk, speeds away with Constantine. Fry keeps riding his bike, saying, "I hate my life. I hate my life." He makes it into the lab where a guy outside says, "Happy New Year!" and rides away on Fry's bike. Upon arriving at the Cryogenics chamber and trying to find I.C. Weiner, the pizza's intended recipient, Fry realises he's been duped and was sent on a crank delivery. Sitting down in a chair, he balances onto its back legs, cracks open a beer and says, "Here's to another lousy millennium." The entire world is counting down to one on New Year's Eve and as the countdown hits "one", Fry blows a Party Horn to celebrate the new millennium. The party horn makes him lose his balance, he falls back and lands in one of the empty cryogenics tube and a strange shadow can be seen, which could be a shadow of a Nibbler. The freezer sets itself for 1000 years and Fry is frozen. Over the course of the next thousand years the world is repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt by invading aliens as Fry waits in stasis, in one of the scenes there was an invasion of Bender which was actually a part of Bender's Big Score.
With a ping, Fry is released from his cryochamber and wakes up on New Year's Eve in the year 2999. With a shock he realises he is in the future and laments the loss of his family and friends but quickly dismisses his sadness with a loud "YA-HOO!" Terry, a worker at Applied Cryogenics welcomes him "to the world of tomorrow!". Fry is escorted to the Fate Assignment Officer's Office where he meets Leela, a beautiful woman with a huge eye in the center of her face, who explains that it is December 31, 2999. Talking things through with Leela, Fry confesses that the 20th century didn't hold anything for him and he feels optimistic about the future. After an encounter/examination with the Probulator, a DNA scan reveals that he has only one living relative in this time period: his many times great nephew Professor Hubert Farnsworth.
Fry starts to make himself a promise that with his "second chance" he's going to make the most of his life and not mess things up again. A menacing chime brings him out of his reverie as Leela reveals she's found him his permanent career assignment; delivery boy. Fry begs for any other job but Leela says that everyone, even herself, has to do a job whether they like it or not, citing that in the future '"You gotta do what you gotta do"'. She tries to implant a chip that will label Fry a delivery boy forever, but Fry runs away. Giving chase, Leela ends up falling into one of the cryogenic tubes, which sets itself for 1000 years much like Fry's tube. Fry then to leaves her to be frozen there but, out of the goodness of his heart, decides to reset the tube to thaw in 5 minutes, and leaves the lab.
Walking around New New York city and seeing how much it has changed, he decides to call his descendant Farnsworth. He gets in line for what he thinks is a phone booth and meets Bender waiting in line. It turns out the phone booth is actually a suicide booth, and that Bender is eagerly awaiting his death. After accidentally activating the machine, Fry pushes Bender to the other side of the booth and they survive.
Having failed at killing himself again, Bender invites Fry to get drunk with him at a bar. Meanwhile, Leela's stasis chamber is timed out and she is unfrozen, Terry again appearing and being told to shut up. After being yelled at by her boss for losing Fry, Leela is forced to continue her pursuit of Fry. Fry finds out that Bender wants to kill himself because of his programming as a girder-bender for suicide booths. Fry convinces Bender to abandon his plans of suicide and the two become friends. Leela spots them inside O'Zorgnax's bar and after requesting backup, chases them into the head museum where Fry encounters the head of Leonard Nimoy. Fry asks Nimoy to do "the thing" but being a head in a jar, naturally he can't. Leela catches up with them and Fry and Bender run for it but knock over the shelves, on which sat Richard Nixon's jar, which breaks. The backup Leela requested earlier arrives and they start beating up Fry. Leela sees the officers are out of control and helps get them off Fry. Hiding in the back room of the museum, Bender's programming is accidentally reset when he needs to bend some bars to aid their escape.
Bender and Fry run into the ruins of Old New York, where Fry has a flashback of dancing with Michelle on their first date. The memories of Fry and Michelle dancing fade into a two finned beast which bursts out the now-frozen ice. After realising that everyone he knows is gone, Bender points out that he can see someone Fry knows; Leela has found them. Giving in, Fry resigns himself to becoming a delivery boy and readies himself to have his career chip implanted but Leela instead removes hers and declares she's quitting.
They finally track down Professor Farnsworth, who clarifies that Fry is indeed his uncle. After being given a tour of Planet Express, his delivery company, all four are shocked as the police knock on the door having tracked them down. They plan to get away on the ship at the same time as the world counts down to the year 3000. As they prepare to take off the police have a cannon aimed at the Planet Express building, ready to fire at them should they try to take off. As the take-off countdown and the world countdown both reach zero, they blast off under the cover of fireworks celebrating the new millennium.
Fry, Bender and Leela realise they're all fugitives as they now no longer have career chips. Professor Farnsworth reveals he has kept the career chips from his old crew and invites them to join his company. When Fry asks what his job title will be, Farnsworth tells him his job is to transport the cargo safely to its destination. Fry clarifies that he's a delivery boy, which Farnsworth confirms. Overjoyed with his new job, the Planet Express ship flies off into the cosmos.