Out of all the crazy character who inhabit Futurama, space general Zapp Brannigan may be the funniest. The thing about Zapp is that he’s so fun to laugh at because he’s such a terrible person. He is arrogant about all aspects of himself, no matter how false they are. He is incompetent at his very important job. And he treats other people like garbage. And to balance all of this out, he’s also an idiot.
Zapp is probably the dumbest character in the universe and fails to realize that fact. This leads him to say a lot of hilariously stupid things. With characters like Zapp Brannigan, we can all feel a little better about our own intelligence. Here are his very best quotes to brighten your day!
10 Fighting Words
“We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like. But we can assume this. They stand for everything we don’t stand for. Also they told me you guys look like dorks.”
Every great leader needs to motivate their troops before going into battle. They need to know what they are fighting for. Unfortunately, Zapp rarely knows what they’re fighting for, so he has to make it up. Without knowing anything about their enemy, Zapp needs to make some big assumptions and hope that his soldiers are extra sensitive about their appearances.
9 Is That French?
Zapp Brannigan is the most suave and alluring man in the galaxy – at least in his own head. And the unfortunate target for most of his advances is Leela. However, during a rare moment of weakness, Leela did get romantic with Zapp. It could have been his floating bed that convinced her. Or maybe it was the velour bedsheets. But the most likely reason was the way he pronounces “champagne”.
Who among us hasn’t tried foolishly to pronounce a French word we weren’t familiar with? The only problem is, even after he hears the correct pronunciation, Zapp still thinks he is correct.
8 All In The Family
“The way to a woman’s bed is through her parents. Have sex with them and you’re in.”
Part of what makes Zapp’s quotes so great is that he’s often so close to saying something intelligent, or at least not stupid, before he screws it all up at the end. This is especially true with the unwanted advice he constantly gives his right-hand man, Kif.
As Kif is trying to build a relationship with Amy, Zapp takes it upon himself to share his own courting secrets. Worst of all, this is definitely something Zapp has tried himself.
7 If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…
“I surrender and volunteer for treason.”
Though he positions himself as the greatest and bravest military commander in the galaxy, Zapp Brannigan is far from either. He is, in fact, a coward who more often than not, jeopardizes the mission with his incompetence. And it’s always fun to watch.
When he is met with the slightest indication of defeat, Zapp wastes no time in saving his own skin. To be honest, the speed with which he switches from leader to total sell-out is impressive.
6 Take-Out Food
“She’s built like a steakhouse, but she handles like a bistro!”
Some of the situations Zapp gets in are so bizarre, they’re hard to explain. And these situations are usually always dangerous, and even more frequently his fault.
After an awful double-date on a restaurant/spaceship, Zapp tries to impress the crowd by captaining the vessel. His description of the ship is a laugh-out-loud moment because of its absurdity. It makes no sense and that’s what makes it so funny. Of course, it is possible this is not the first restaurant he’s flown.
5 Intergalactic Man Of Mystery
“I am the man with no name. Zapp Brannigan, at your service.”
Sometimes Zapp Brannigan just seems like he’s regurgitating “cool guy” lines he’s heard before without thinking about what logic there is behind it. He likes to present himself in a certain impressive light, even if he contradicts it in the very next moment.
He is even incapable of introducing himself in a normal way. He wants to be the mysterious spaceman but is also too in love with himself to not let everyone know who he is. Also, he’s not very smart.
4 Good Advice
“Stop exploding you cowards”
Zapp’s military commands are often quite simplistic to the point of being idiotic. Here, he outdoes himself. With his fleet dropping like flies thanks to his poor planning, he gives this very straightforward order for them to stop getting killed.
It’s funny that in the moment of defeat, Zapp, like most poor leaders, will blame anyone but himself. Even those who are dying. If you think about it, Brannigan’s poor leadership has probably resulted in a lot of death. But Futurama is a comedy so let’s not think about that too much.
3 Too Much Snu-Snu
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is spongy and bruised.”
After getting stranded on a strange planet inhabited by Amazonian women, Zapp and Phillip Fry are sentenced to death by the natives. The method of execution, however, is called “snu-snu”, which basically means they’ll be sexed to death.
For a man like Brannigan, this is the ideal way to go. However, the women prove to be too much for him. This leads to the rather graphic plea for mercy. Extra points for referencing a Bible quote, probably accidentally.
2 Bold Strategy
“My instinct is to hide in this barrel, like the wily fish.”
With all the military action he has seen and the little brains he has, it’s a wonder how Zapp has managed to survive this long. Here again, we see his unique military mind at work.
The fun of Zapp Brannigan is seeing far they can push his stupidity. It’s almost as if his mind goes to the most absolute wrong thing he could possibly think of. Seriously, who in this world thinks of fish in barrels as something to strive for?
1 Mixed Metaphors
“If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.”
There are few things as funny as someone who is extremely confident while also being extremely wrong. Even in his most pompous moments, Zapp does not miss an opportunity to prove to everyone that he is the dumbest man in the room.
The writers of Futurama must have had a ball writing for this character. Here is a prime example why, as it’s just an exercise in seeing how wrong one person can be over the course of a sentence. It’s a truly impressive feat.