In season one, "Fry and the Slurm Factory", Bender uses the F-ray on Fry.

                     What should we point it at first?

                     I 'unno. Try it on me.  Ow! My sperm!                    

                     Wow, neat! Mind if I try that again?                      

           [He points it at Fry's crotch again but nothing happens.]

                     Huh, didn't hurt that time.

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This ray is so strong when the professor uses it he is in a gigantic radiation suit. Then in season 3 "Roswell That Ends Well", and continuing forward it is stated that Fry is his own grandfather. How can this be if his "bits" were irradiated?

  • Because he married his grandmother – user11600 Jul 9 '14 at 14:48
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    Fun fact: this contradiction is actually mentioned in the DVD commentary for "Fry and the Slurm Factory". – Stuart P. Bentley Jul 10 '14 at 16:07

Between those episodes Fry had Brain worms from episode 34 "Parasites Lost" they repaired many things in Fry. It makes sense that they repaired that problem as well as many others for him. They did increase his strength and stamina overall. By the time he got to do the nasty in the pasty in episode 51 (get it!) "Roswell That Ends Well" he should have been able to impregnate everyone's grandma.

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    In "Parasites Lost" Zoidberg is even riding one. – his Jul 8 '14 at 21:56
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    Made an account to +1 this. You could have gone sperm grows back, but no, you found a canon reason that meant he must have been able to. Utter brilliance. – user11607 Jul 10 '14 at 0:29
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    It may "make sense" that they repaired that particular problem but this is still purely conjecture. – Jason C Jul 13 '14 at 1:50
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    @JasonC Of course it is, since the actual answer is as simple as "it's nothing but a throwaway joke, the makers didn't have any kind of continuity in mind". But if one desperately wants an in-universe answer (as the OP certainly did when asking the question at all), this comes close to a reasonable explanation, even if nothing but a retcon. – Napoleon Wilson Jul 16 '14 at 15:41

Fry says "Ow! my sperm!" insinuating that his sperm died (and that he could feel it, which is a different matter), this has nothing to do with the rest of his reproductive system. New sperm would be generated in a couple days and he should be OK. The reason it didn't hurt the second time is simply because all the sperm was already dead.

Now the fact that he can feel his sperm dying is a separate issue, but is as believable as the rest of it...


It's a throwaway joke. There is nothing more to it.

Since so many people were quibbling this answer, I went back and watched both episodes on DVD with audio commentary.

There is no mention of Fry being sterile in Roswell That Ends Well.

In Fry and the Slurm Factory, the later episode is acknowledged by (I think) David X Cohen:

We established a few scenes ago that Fry is sterile. Yet in season 3 we find out that Fry impregnates his own grandmother.

That is their only comment and they offer no explanation, showing that it was just a throwaway joke that they did not try to make canonical.

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    -1. There's always more to Futurama. – corsiKa Jul 9 '14 at 16:46
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    @corsika No, not always. Often a throwaway joke is exactly that, even in Futurama. If you think the writers thought about this F-Ray gag they did when writing an episode two years later, you are sadly mistaken. – DisgruntledGoat Jul 9 '14 at 20:45
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    Read "The Mathematics of the Simpsons" by Simon Singh, you'll find that in the Simpsons or Futurama a throwaway joke is never just that. Especially if its a number. – user11607 Jul 11 '14 at 0:34
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    @DisgruntledGoat A plot hole answer is valid for almost any in-universe question. As such, when posting these you should really be fairly certain that no valid in-universe answer exists or wait some time after the question is asked. – user9110 Jul 12 '14 at 21:53
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    @Lego You are talking about a completely different concept. There is a big difference between a joke that has depth to it, and a joke that has no depth at the time but could be ret-conned into an explanation later. See my earlier comment. – DisgruntledGoat Jul 12 '14 at 23:31

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