…The Luck of the Fryrish is the episode of Futurama that really got to me. I’ve seen discussions of Futurama online, and a large portion of people agree that among the show’s many emotional moments, the dog episode tops them all. Even though I agree that it’s probably the saddest episode overall, Luck of the Fryrish, which is often considered to be one of the saddest episodes rather than the saddest, has more of an emotional impact in my opinion. It’s not just straight-up sad, but also very bittersweet, which adds more to the impact than plain old sadness. The ending of Jurassic Bark left me with the typical sad scene feel, but Luck of the Fryrish almost made me cry, which says a lot because I’ve never cried from a work of media.
Compare the two episodes’ endings:
- Before leaving for his final pizza delivery, Fry tells his dog he won’t be gone long. His dog spends the next day searching for him, finds him frozen, and waits for him to return for twelve solid years until he dies. There’s no degree of positivity in this ending, and the joy of the flashback scenes is what makes it sad in the first place. If Fry knew his dog never forgot about him, then it not be so “straight sad” so to speak, but he never knows this.
- Fry goes to his brother’s grave only to find out that it isn’t actually his brother; rather than stealing his name and his lucky clover like he was led to believe, his brother named his son Philip J. Fry and gave him the clover. And thanks to reading the gravestone, Fry himself knows the truth about his brother and starts to cry with a smile on his face. Leela even tells Bender that Fry needs a moment to himself.
What is so impactful about Luck of the Fryrish? For one thing, I have an easier time relating to sibling rivalry than dog loyalty. As an oldest child I can easily find myself in Fry’s brother’s shoes, but I’ve never owned a dog. But another thing with this one is Fry finds out the tear-jerking truth, allowing the audience to cry with him, something Jurassic Bark does not do.
The reason why Jurassic Bark is considered the saddest episode is because it’s straight-up sad, rather than heartwarmingly sad. While Jurassic Bark is more sad overall, Luck of the Fryrish has more of an emotional impact, at least in my experience. It varies from person to person obviously. I’m sure some people have an easier time relating to Jurassic Bark, like dog lovers who never had any siblings.
But Jurassic Bark was still a great episode! Despite how cruel the ending was, it had some great moments. My favorite part is when the dog finds out what happened to his owner but his family doesn’t. It’s just that Luck of the Fryrish is even better, and still my favorite episode.
The thing with Futurama is that it’s perpetually hilarious, but unlike what I’ve seen of other shows of its type, it does a great job of making you feel for the characters. I can think of at least ten episodes that people typically bring up as emotional moments. I should note that I’m not that well-versed in television: there’s mostly a handful of cartoons (no live action shows, those don’t appeal to me) that I’ll watch when I have downtime, and a smaller handful that I follow or watch particularly often.