Cold opening

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A cold opening is an opening to an episode before its title sequence. As such, they can often be used to establish the premise for the episode in question or just serve as a joke.


Cold openings were mostly popular during season 1, where only "I, Roommate" and "Hell Is Other Robots" did not have cold openings.

However, already by season 2, they disappeared, and "Brannigan, Begin Again" was the last episode to have a cold opening during the original run. Some episodes of season 2 have Sponsors as cold openings.

It would not be until Bender's Big Score before the concept returned. The three other films also had its own small set of cold openings, but no where as true as Bender's Big Score. The Beast with a Billion Backs simply had a "previously on Futurama" feature, while Bender's Game did not have any and Into the Wild Green Yonder's was an introduction of the Chi, albeit small and without dialogue.

The second run premiere "Rebirth" included a three minute cold opening before the opening sequence, including both a recap from Into the Wild Green Yonder and a cliffhanger of the aftermath. Again in the second run, "That Darn Katz!", "The Prisoner of Benda", and "Reincarnation" featured season one style joke cold openings.


During the first season, cold openings was primarily used as jokes, and writers would pitch for some of these opening jokes for an episode. However, they soon realised there was no real need for them, and was disbanded.

But the original premise for the usage of cold openings did not come from experience, The Simpsons had never had cold openings, and as such, there had to be a more concrete explanation. The purpose originally grew from "Space Pilot 3000", which is the only episode to have a significant cold opening, and particularly an opening that could not have worked as decent as a regular one.[1]

David X. Cohen, however, felt that viewers should receive a sudden wakeup call, that they were watching Futurama, and as such, the show had to start with the opening sequence and the cold opening had to go.[2]

Cold openings

Image Episode

1ACV01: Here's to another lousy millennium.

Space Pilot 3000.jpg "Space Pilot 3000" (1ACV01)
Fry is living his stinky life in the 20th century before being frozen, and awaken one thousand years later.

1ACV02: Our crew is replaceable, your package isn't.

Planet Express Commercial.png "The Series Has Landed" (1ACV02)
The Professor shows his new crew Planet Express' brand new commercial.

1ACV04: It's nice to finally meet someone who's open-minded.

Doug Tounge.png "Love's Labours Lost in Space" (1ACV04)
Leela is on a date, but is put off by the guy's "vile lizard tongue".

1ACV05: From up here an entire world can seem utterly insignificant.

"Fear of a Bot Planet" (1ACV05)
Fry and Leela are in the cockpit of the Planet Express Ship, admiring the view. They're gazing out at a green, ringed planet, which then splatters on the windshield.

1ACV06: Give it a rest, you two!

SpringRobots.png "A Fishful of Dollars" (1ACV06)
Fry is trying to sleep, but is kept up by a rhythmic squeaking from the next apartment. A pan through the wall reveals a pair of spring-bodied robots playing cards.

1ACV07: Going Through the Bot Wash!

"My Three Suns" (1ACV07)
Bender goes through an automatic robot wash, much like a typical car wash, while dancing and singing a modified version of the song "Going Through the Car Wash." After he gets out, however, it starts to rain.

1ACV08: Because tonight's a special night and I want all of you to be alive.

"A Big Piece of Garbage" (1ACV08)
The Professor announces that night's event, the Academy of Inventors' annual symposium. He then reveals his invention, the Death Clock. Fry tries it out and Bender calls dibs on Fry's CD player.

1ACV10: I'm never going to another planet called Cannibalon!

"A Flight to Remember" (1ACV10)
The crew exit the ship, complaining about their latest delivery. They go to the Professor, intending to quit, but quickly change their minds when the Professor reveals that there is an upcoming company vacation, aboard the Titanic.

1ACV11: It's a little experiment that may well win me the Nobel Prize.

"Mars University" (1ACV11)
The Professor explains the latest delivery, taking a crate to his office at "Mars University". Fry kicks the crate and the creature inside shakes the crate. The Professor pulls out a tranquillizer gun and shoots into the crate.

1ACV12: Like anyone on Earth cares.

Single Female Lawyer.jpg "When Aliens Attack" (1ACV12)
In the year 1999, Fry delivers pizza to a Fox affiliate. The Technician offers Fry a beer and they watch Single Female Lawyer. Fry spills his beer, knocking Fox off the air. 1000 light years away, on Omicron Persei 8, two aliens are watching the program but are infuriated that the show cuts off.

1ACV13: No purchase necessary unless you wish to enter the contest. Odds of winning mathematically insignificant.

PartyWorm.jpg "Fry and the Slurm Factory" (1ACV13)
Fry and Bender are watching All My Circuits when a Slurm commericial begins. Slurms MacKenzie explains that someone can win a trip to the Slurm bottling plant by finding the winning bottle cap in a can of Slurm. Fry shakes his can and empties it to find a tooth. He throws the can onto a pile of empty cans and the tooth into a separate pile. He sighs, revealing gaps in his smile.

2ACV01: Glagnar's Human Rinds.

Glagnar's Human Rinds "I Second that Emotion" (2ACV01)
It's a buncha muncha cruncha human!

2ACV02: Chess.

Holographic Chess.png "Brannigan, Begin Again" (2ACV02)
Fry and Bender play a futuristic version of chess with holograms, Fry take one of Bender's pieces and Bender ask the holograms to catch Fry, to which he replies "Good move".

2ACV06: Arachno Spores.

Arachno Spores "The Lesser of Two Evils" (2ACV06)
The fatal spore with the funny name!

2ACV15: Molten Boron.

Molten Boron "The Problem with Popplers" (2ACV15)
Nobody doesn't like Molten Boron!

3ACV11: Thompson's Teeth.

Thompson's Teeth "Insane in the Mainframe" (3ACV11)
The only teeth strong enough to eat other teeth!

Into the Wild Green Yonder: Chi.

Chi.png Into the Wild Green Yonder
The concept of Chi is introduced, albeit short and without dialogue.

6ACV01: The Horror Curtain.

Rebirth preview screenshot (skeleton shot).jpg "Rebirth" (6ACV01)
A recap of the ending of "Into the Wild Green Yonder" and a cliffhanger serves as the cold opening.

6ACV08: Cash Bone.

Cash Bone "That Darn Katz!" (6ACV08)
Cash Cash Cash! 4 Your Bones! Too many bones?? Not enough cash?? Call Cash Bone! Ribs! Skulls! Spines! Even certain tiny ear bones! The leg bone's connected to the CASH BONE!

6ACV10: Doom!

Morbo"DOOM".png "The Prisoner of Benda" (6ACV10)
Linda and Morbo present the next program: DOOM!!

6ACV26: Stand by for "Reincarnation".

Reincarnation infobox.png "Reincarnation" (6ACV26)
A wise man once said that nothing really dies. It just comes back in a new form. Then he died. So, next time you see a loli salamander, think twice before you step on it. It might be you. Stand by for "Reincarnation".

Additional Info


These are episodes with cold opening.