Star Trek has been one of the biggest science-fiction properties since it began in the 60s. What started as an idea Gene Rodenberry ran for three seasons has become one of the two biggest sci-fi franchises to ever exist.
It is no surprise then, that it has influenced countless other sci-fi shows and movies. This is true of Futurama. It is clear that Groening and the other writers are tremendously influenced by the show and love to put in nods to it in various episodes. This happens a lot.
It can range from the odd cameo or visual gag to an episode featuring the voice talents of almost the entire original cast. No matter how big the joke it, it is always noticed by fans and gives an extra level of humour to the show, as well as give some kudos to the science fiction that has come before it.
The Star Trek references in Futurama are abundant and hilarious. And while the show is over now, it is still fun to look back and reminisce on the jokes made by the planet express crew and the nods to one of Fry's favourite shows from his time in the 20th Century, Star Trek.
30. Leonard Nimoy In Space Pilot 3000
Futurama's first episode has a few references to Star Trek within it. The episode itself parodies part of the plot of The Next Generation episode The Neutral Zone, which has three humans who had been cryogenically frozen in the late 20th century thawed in the future the series is set in. These humans then have to adjust to their new life, similar to Fry in this episode.
Fry also comments on the doors of the future, which slide open, as being like the doors in Star Trek. This is immediately followed by one of the doors closing on him.
Perhaps the biggest Star Trek reference within the episode is the appearance of Leonard Nimoy's head, which Fry meets when hiding out in the Head Museum. The head is voice by Nimoy himself.
Finally, when Fry attempts to pilot the ship, the noises used are identical to the noises made by the U.S.S. Enterprise in The Original Series.
Futurama takes a great deal of inspiration from classic Science-Fiction and Star Trek in particular. The first episode sets up references to the show as it means to go on, with regular jokes nodding to the long running bastion of Sci-Fi.