Are We Living In The Future From "Phil Of The Future" Yet? An Investigation

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Remember this guy? The titular Phil from Phil of the Future (and he's holding one of his super-duper high-tech devices from the year 2121).

RIcky Ullman with a remote control

It definitely does not look like a McDonald's toy. It totally looks like a real computer.

Disney Channel / Courtesy Everett Collection

In the classic Disney Channel sitcom, the Diffy family from 2121 (including Phil) get stuck in the year 2004 when their time travel machine breaks down. And so a family with all kinds of futuristic gadgets must rough it in the aughts as they try to blend in with the locals.

Brenda Song, Ricky Ullman, and Aly Michalka in cheerleading attire

Imagine us going back to the year 1904 and having to blend in. I'd definitely get caught taking IG pics in my top hat next to a horse.

DIsney Channel / Courtesy Everett Collection

But since we are in the year 2021, a perfect century away from the Diffys' time, I thought it might be a good idea to check in and see how close we are to having the technology they use in the show.

Ricky Ullman creates another version of himself

Such as the body replicator seen here.

Disney Channel

So without further ado, an investigation into the technology in Phil of the Future and an analysis as to just how futuristic it actually is.

Ricky Ullman and Amy Bruckner talk to replicated versions of themselves
Disney Channel

1.Time Machine

Ricky Ullman, Amy Bruckner, Lise Simms and Craig Anton in a colorful time machine

2.Laser Squash

Craig Anton holds a glowing orb

3.Spray Food

Amy Bruckner looks at a cabinet full of spray food

4.Unification Day

Ricky Ullman, Craig Anton, and Lise Simms gather around a globe Maypole


Lise Simms aims the instamorph at Amy Bruckner


Craig Anton and Ricky Ullman fly over water on skyaks

7.Hologram Recordings

A hologram of Amy Bruckner plays in a shed

8.Omnimatic Grabifiers

Craig Anton hangs from the ceiling using his omnimatic grabifiers

9.Typing Only

Aly Michalka stands beside Ricky Ullman, who is holding a poorly written cue card

10.Stunner Device

Ricky Ullman stuns a fellow student in the hall of his high school

This is basically a fancy stun gun. You aim it at someone and it knocks them out.

Do we have it in 2021? Yes. It's a stun gun.

Disney Channel

11.Shrink Ray

A tiny, dirty Ricky Ullman stands beside a sink

12.Volume Changer

Ricky Ullman aims the volume changer at Aly Michalka


Replicant versions of Lise Simms unpack the groceries

14.DNA Scrambler

Ricky Ullman with a massive head sits in a classroom

15.Virtual School Headseat

Ricky Ullman wears a VR headset

16.Penny Missiles

Amy Bruckner stands beside a garbage can with a penny missile on it

17.Nose-Recognition Lockbox

A box with a nose-shaped hole in it

18.Ultrasonic Laser Lights

Amy Bruckner washes a stack of plates with a crystal light

19.Four-Toed Feet

A foot without a pinky toe

20.Thought-Activated Garden Hose

Craig Anton holds a hose next to Ricky Ullman in their front yard

21.Dog Translator

A dog is growling at a dog translating device

22.Instamorph Halloween Costumes

A baby goes trick-or-treating


A catalog of cyborgs, including the Sugar & Spice 800

24.New Ager

Ricky Ullman and Aly Michalka grow a tree rapidly with the new ager

25.Brain Exchange

Ricky Ullman with the brain of a caveman on top of a cabinet


Ricky Ullman becoming invisible in a bathroom stall

Invisibility cloak who? I'll take the spray every day. Phil uses it at school to spy on Pim.

Do we have it in 2021? No, and I'm going to need some inventors to get on this because I love to eavesdrop, and this would be a real game changer on that front.

Disney Channel

27.Video Holograph Chat

Ricky Ullman's holograph face-talks to Amy Bruckner


Amy Bruckner lounges on a hammock wearing her cinespecs

29.Lowfat Milk Fuel

A hand pours milk into an engine

30.Ingredient Detector

An ingredient detector listing out the ingredients in a scone


Craig Anton stands next to a statue version of Ricky Ullman

32.Electronic Painter

Ricky Ullman and Aly Michalka change the color of a garage door from purple to green

33.Remote Comet Racing

Ricky Ullman holds a remote control

It's basically like remote control car racing, but you are controlling a giant hunk of rock spinning through space rather than a miniature automobile.

Do we have it in 2021? No, and I don't think we're close.

Disney Channel

34.Hologram Mall Shopping

Aly Michalka and Ricky Ullman look at a hologram dress

35.Robot Waiters

Aly Michalka shares a drink with a robot waiter

36.Laser Hedge Trimmer

A laser trimming the hedges

Cut your hedges with a laser beam! But somehow, the laser doesn't work on the wood fence behind it? Strange.

Do we have it in 2021? No, and I'd be VERY nervous if people were just running around with laser beams that could cut through whatever they aim it at.

Disney Channel


Ricky and Ullman and Aly Michalka put their heads together to share a helmet projector screen

38.Cheese Soda

A woman holds a can of cheese soda in front of some cows

Watch every episode of Phil of the Future with a Disney+ subscription now for $6.99 a month or $79.99 a year. If you’re not ready to commit yet, you can test it out for seven days for free!