|The Problem With Popplers|
|Air date||May 7, 2000|
|Directed By|| Chris Sauve |
|Written By|| Patric M. Verrone |
Darin Henry (story)
|Guests||Phil Hendrie as Free Waterfall Jr.|
|Opening subtitle||For External Use Only|
|Preceded by||"Mother's Day"|
|Followed by||"Anthology of Interest I"|
- "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 episode 15 in the second season of Futurama. It originally aired in North America on May 7, 2000.
Desperate for food after a visit to the Planet of the Moochers, the Planet Express crew land on a planet to look for Roddenberries, and instead find the planet covered in a delectable delicacy, which they decide to sell under the name Popplers. The crew create a catchy jingle and 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.
Protesters, including "Anti-food activist" Free Waterfall, Jr. rally outside the Planet Express building. A Poppler Leela is about to eat opens its eyes and says "Mama" to her; realizing that Popplers are intelligent, she joins the activists in protesting the trade in Popplers. While at first, the crew reasonably think she is delusional, but when Professor Farnsworth, suggests they painfully dissect its brain, leading the terrified Poppler to beg for protection. Shocked, they then vow to help Leela's cause, although they do not get much headway (i.e., 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). A televised debate between "Fishy Joe" Gilman, Free Waterfall, Jr. and Leela is interrupted by the arrival on Earth of the Omicron Persei 8, who reveal that Popplers are in fact Omicronian young, with the planet Leela, Fry, and Bender found being one of their nursuries. The Omicronians demand vengeance for the eating of their young; the initial demand that Earth 'serve' one human for each of the 198 billion Popplers eaten. However, during negotiations with Zapp, there are revealed to be not as much humans so they eventually settle on Leela, as the discoverer of Popplers, to be presented for consumption.
While Lrrr waits to eat Leela on live television, Zapp formulates a "brilliant" plan to use an orangutan to be substituted for Leela, in the hopes that the Omicronians' inability to tell humans apart can be exploited. Kif attempts to makeover the ape as best he can. Oblivious to the danger it places Leela in, Free Waterfall Jr. reveals that the ape is an ape; Ndnd confirms it by eating it and Lrrr demands the real Leela. Only the intervention of Jrrr, the poppler Leela didn't eat, saves her. Lrrr eats Free Waterfall, Jr. instead, but feels woozy from eating him and the crew retires to a meal which includes dolphin, which they deem as unintelligent because "it blew all its money on lottery tickets".
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.