When asked what his favorite character was, Kaplan was quick to answer:
“My favorite Futurama character is Dr. Zoidberg because he is the all-purpose comedy crab; he is all of us; he looks weird. When I interviewed for this job and saw the picture of Dr. Zoidberg (long before the first episode aired) I desperately wanted to work at ‘Futurama.'”
Zoidberg has a lot of personality. He is mildly inscrutable, given that his mouth is blocked by several dangling tentacles. One can read a lot into the fact, however, that he is a medical doctor who wears sandals in the office.
“Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?” follows Zoidberg and the rest of the Planet Express crew back to his home planet of Decapod X, where the good doctor must find a mate. Being a lobster, he is dispassionate about romance, and Zoidberg’s mammalian co-workers have to teach him how to romance lobster women. When Fry (West) recommends that Zoidberg compliment a woman by calling her thin, Zoidberg misinterprets the intent and says to his paramour that she looks malnourished and that she might have a parasite. She says that she does, and thanks for noticing.
Naturally, the episode ends with Fry and Zoidberg in a gladiatorial arena fighting to the death. Zoidberg even clips off one of Fry’s arms. Comedy gold. Luckily, Zoidberg is a doctor and reattaches Fry’s arm without any issues. Although, because he is a bad doctor, he reattaches the arm on the wrong side. Kaplan certainly knew how to do a lot with the character.