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Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Futurama season 11, episode 3!


Summary

  • How the West Was 1010001″ is a binary pun, with “1010001” translating to “81,” referencing both “How the West Was Won” and a major Bitcoin crash in 2018.
  • The episode follows the Planet Express Crew participating in a futuristic Gold Rush, with numerous references to Western tropes.
  • Futurama fans are familiar with translating languages, as the show often includes hidden messages and codes made up of real-world and alien languages.

Futurama season 11, episode 3, “How the West Was 1010001” is out now, and many viewers are wondering what the episode’s complicated binary title pun actually means. Futurama frequently mixes science and math with pop culture references, with many episode titles having multiple layers of meaning. However, “How the West Was 1010001” isn’t as immediately obvious as some others, with the Futurama season 11 episode title having a much deeper meaning.

Futurama is finally back, with Matt Groening’s beloved sci-fi series returning for the first time in over 10 years. Hulu has picked up the series for an eleventh season, with the new batch of episodes being just as acclaimed as the previous ten seasons. Futurama season 11, episode 3 sees the Planet Express Crew go in debt to the Robot Mafia. In need of some quick cash, the gang heads west to participate in the Bitcoin Rush, with the western-themed episode featuring all kinds of references to Gold Rush story tropes. However, the episode’s title is much more than that.

Related: Futurama Season 12: Is The Reboot Getting Another Season & Everything We Know


Futurama Season 11, Episode 3 Title’s “1010001” Translates To 81 In Binary Code

Roberto with a pistol in the Futurama season 8 trailer

Futurama season 11, episode 3’s title makes use of binary code for its pun, meaning it has to be translated to make sense. Futurama fans are no strangers to translating languages, as Futurama is full of codes and hidden messages made up of real-world and alien languages. As it turns out, “1010001” translates to “81,” making the reference a little more clear.

This translation cements that Futurama season 3, episode 11, “How the West Was 1010001” is referencing a Western classic: How the West Was Won. The 1962 classic is an epic film that, among other things, spends a significant chunk of its runtime following a group of pioneers that head out west to participate in the Gold Rush. Since the Futurama episode is all about a futuristic parody of the Gold Rush, it makes sense for the episode title to homage How the West Was Won.

Related: Futurama Cast Guide: Who Voices The Planet Express Crew Across All 11 Seasons

“1010001” May Contain An Even Deeper Bitcoin Reference

Dwight and Hermes limbo to avoid bullets in the Futurama season 8 trailer

While it’s clear that “How the West Was 1010001” is a Western reference, having the binary translate to “81” is a bit odd. However, there is a much deeper reason for this. The beginning of the episode explains that a massive Bitcoin crash has occurred, kicking off the events of the episode. As it turns out, the number “81” perfectly fits this storyline.

There have been multiple Bitcoin crashes throughout the years, but one of the worst-ever Bitcoin crashes occurred in 2018. This crash saw the value of the cryptocurrency drop 81%, which makes the episode’s title pun a little clearer (via CNBC). Although it could be just a coincidence, it seems that the episode is combining How the West Was Won and one of the most notorious Bitcoin crashes in history in order to make another hilarious Futurama title that perfectly fits the episode.

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