When I finished watching Bender's Big Score, I realized something. Most of the paradoxes are ironed out, but one just kept niggling at me. Someone else somewhere on PEEL apparently noticed the same thing as me. Put better than I can, they said something to the effect that everything has a cause and an effect and as far as they could see, there was no original cause for the events of BBS - it was an effect/effect scenario. Bender going back to put the time code on Fry's ass is an effect of the events which him going back to put the time code there bring about, and so on. This post was what got me wondering seriously where the time code came from in the first place.
About an hour after I went to bed (which is when I get most of my ideas. True story.) I had the following brainwave:During the 2 year hiatus of the show, Professor Farnsworth discovers the time code in a freak experiment, not unlike the one in TFP. He realizes the danger of using it, so he hides it in the safest place his senile old brain can think of: Fry's ass (illogical, but not unlike Futurama). Then, being Farnsworth, he forgets all about it.
The events of BBS kick off, with the tattoo being discovered on Fry's ass. They fail, however, to jog the Professor's memory until after the end of the movie. By this time, Bender has placed the tattoo on Fry's ass back on 1st Jan 2000. In an unusual flash of inspiration, Farnsworth realises that, since the tattoo was not already on Fry's ass when he put it there, or, indeed, at any time during the original series (I'm sure we see enough of Fry's ass to confirm this), there will be a paradox if he doesn't do something. So, while the others are distracted by the rip in the universe, he goes back to some point between the morning of 1st Jan 2000 and the evening of 31st Dec 2999 to remove the tattoo from Fry's ass. He destroys it, then freezes himself until a while before he went back in time. He goes to Planet Express and takes over where the old him left off before he went back in time. The rest of the PE crew do not realise anything has happened.
I think this sorts out all the causality stuff I was having problems with. Bear in mind that any person or group could take the place of Farnsworth in this scenario - I just used him for the ease of answering how it was known that the time code was put on Fry's ass while he was in the cryogenic chamber and that it wasn't on his ass during the series. Alternatively, the writers could just not have thought about the lack of an original cause
. They might also be planning to sort it out later in one of the other movies.
What do you guys think? Anyone got a more plausible scenario?
Whoopsie! Just realised this should probably have spoiler tags!