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Futurama Zoidberg, also known as “Why not Zoidberg?”, is an advice animal image macro series featuring the cephalopod-like alien Zoidberg from the cartoon TV series Futurama. Captions typically start with a query of some sort, followed by the rhetorical question “why not Zoidberg?” at the bottom.
Doctor John A. Zoidberg is a fictional character for the Futurama television series. He is an alien that appears like a mix between a lobster and an octopus, and serves as a doctor despite his poor understanding of human physiology. A “Futurama Zoidberg” Quickmeme page was created on July 5th, 2011. The first submission was captioned with “You call that an ink defense? Blughidihlgidgldgdd…” The same day Redditor mrrabbitfluff posted a thread titled “Zoidberg offers himself” that linked to a Quickmeme submission with the text “Need a new meme? Why not Zoidberg?” The post reached the front page and has received 6,665 up votes as of September 23rd, 2011.
According to Wikipedia, “why not” is sometimes used to ask rhetorical questions that “bring an end to a debate or to finalize a decision.” On March 16th, 2011, a thread questioning Zoidberg’s rhetorical use of the phrase “why not” was submitted to the Peelified Futurama forum. Other users responded addressing the speculation that the phrase was inspired by Yiddish stereotypes.
Emoticons for Zoidberg were popularized when Redditor SmashBoomPower posted a thread titled “In need of a new emoticon?” featuring an image macro with the emoticon “(V)(°,,°)(V)” on September 20th, 2011. The thread was linked on The Daily What on September 23rd, and several variations of the emoticon popped up afterwards.
Several pages of fan art can be found on the art sharing website deviantArt under the tag “#why not zoidberg.” The meme has since spread to other sites including Memebase, Tumblr, FunnyJunk and Reddit. The Quickmeme page has accumulated over 3,300 submissions and a Facebook page has 960 likes as of February 8th, 2012.
Search queries for “why not zoidberg” began in July of 2011, the same month the Quickmeme page was created.