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Futurama fans find hidden non-binary Pac-Man joke in old episode

Patrick Kelleher December 18, 2018
Futurama finale: Futurama: fans spot gender neutral Pac-Man joke from 18 year old episode

Futurama finale (YouTube)

Eagle-eyed Futurama fans have spotted a joke about a fake non-binary version of Pac-Man in an old episode of the animated classic.

In a post on Reddit that has been viewed over 800,000 times, a user shared a screenshot of the hidden joke from an 18 year old episode.

The screengrab is from a scene set in an arcade, and a Pac-Man game can be seen in the background which reads: “Gender Neutral Pac-Person.”

Some Futurama fans said in the comments that the joke was referencing the creation of Ms. Pac-Man, which was released in 1982.

Ms Pac-Man did essentially the same thing as the male Pac-Man, and many were quick to point out that the male Pac-Man was not identifiable as male or female.

Despite this, game developers felt it necessary to create Ms Pac-Man. The character was different from Pac-Man because she had a bow on her head and wore high-heels.

“I often thought it was funny there was a Ms. Pac-Man anyway, since Pac-Man himself is just a yellow circle.”

– Reddit user

One fan responded to the post on Reddit, and said: “I noticed this watching the episode a few weeks back. God a good laugh out of it.

“I often thought it was funny there was a Ms. Pac-Man anyway, since Pac-Man himself is just a yellow circle.”

Another Futurama fan pointed out: “Isn’t Ms. Pac-Man kinda oxymoronic as a name? Wouldn’t Pac-Woman or Pac-Lady be a better name?”

Some Futurama fans say the joke is offensive

However, one fan called the joke – and Futurama – out for the joke, saying it was designed to mock non-binary and trans people.

The Reddit user pointed out that the same image was being shared in a transphobic thread and that people were “laughing their f**king asses off mocking us.”

“It’s not calling gender neutral a good thing, it’s calling them a joke and mocking them.”

– Reddit user

“It’s not calling gender neutral a good thing, it’s calling them a joke and mocking them with an absurd edit to a game tie.

“Do people just not understand that, or do people here just agree that gender neutral terms are jokes?”

Somebody else said: “Knowing what the writers of Futurama are like, they probably put that in there as a nod to trans people.”

Futurama finale
Futurama finale (YouTube)

This is not the first time that the gender neutral Pac-Person from Futurama has been unearthed by mega-fans of the show.

A number of other threads, Facebook pages and Twitter posts over the years claim to have unearthed the joke.

Futurama: an LGBT+ fan favourite

Futurama – which ran from 1999-2013 – has long been a fan favourite in the LGBT+ community.

Created by Matt Groening – who also created The SimpsonsFuturama was nominated for various awards while it aired.

Despite finishing five years ago, Futurama continues to have a huge fanbase and remains a classic.

In one episode of Futurama, it is hinted that main character Philip J. Fry’s grandfather, Enos Fry, might be gay.

In the episode, Enos says: “Did you ever get the feeling you’re only going with girls ‘cause you’re supposed to?”

He also shows no interest in a pin-up calendar gifted to him by his grandfather, but he does have a picture of a shirtless man.

Sadly, the character was killed off in the episode.

More: Futurama, LGBT, non-binary, pac-man

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