This page covers tropes found in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''.

TheSimpsons/TropesAToB | '''Tropes C To D''' | TheSimpsons/TropesEToH | TheSimpsons/TropesIToM | TheSimpsons/TropesNToR | TheSimpsons/TropesSToZ | [[YMMV/TheSimpsons YMMV]]



* CableCarActionSequence: When the family goes to Brazil and Homer gets kidnapped, they decide to do the hand-over on two cable-cars. Naturally throwing the money over was a lot easier than Homer jumping over; when he does the cable snaps. The kicker is that [[InvokedTrope it turned out to be Homer's idea in the first place.]]
* CallingYourShots:
** When Homer becomes the star player on the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team, at one point he points to left field calling his home run. Then he hits a homer to right field. He stands there looking silly for a moment, then [[IMeantToDoThat retroactively calls his shot to right field instead]].
** Parodied in a later episode when CrazyCatLady Eleanor Abernathy, who's given to cat-tossing, points over the roof to call a toss.
* {{Calvinball}}: In one episode Bart and Homer are playing a board game that's a cross between Battleship and Scrabble.
-->'''Bart:''' B6.\\
'''Homer:''' You sank my Scrabbleship!\\
'''Lisa:''' This game makes no sense.\\
'''Homer:''' Tell that to the good men who just lost their lives. ''[saluting a game piece]'' Semper fi.
* TheCameo: The show has a boatload of celebrity cameos, often at the insistence of the writers who want their favorite actor or actress to appear on the show, but these days, it's because the celebrities love the show so much that they want to appear in it. This trope is also one of the many reasons behind the show's decline, due to the fact that the celebrities usually appear for just one scene and do nothing to add to the story.
* CampStraight: Sideshow Bob, though mainly in the Latin American dub.
* CanadaEh: The stereotype is of course featured, especially in episodes like "Midnight Rx" and "The Bart Wants What It Wants" where the action travels north.
** Played with in "You Only Move Twice":
--->'''Boy in remedial class:''' I moved here from Canada, and they think I'm slow, eh?
** There's a website called [[ "Simpsons, Eh?"]], featuring the show's gags about Canada.
* CandlelitRitual: One episode has Marge Simpson discover her sisters, Patty and Selma, in the attic. The sisters have a pentagram on the floor with lit candles at the points. Marge wonders what they're doing and why.
-->'''Patty:''' Trying to summon Satan.\\
'''Selma:''' Nothing good on TV.
* CannotTellAJoke:
** Homer fails at humorous limericks. He tries to disprove this by saying "There once was a man from, I think it was Nantucket. And anyway, he had this interesting characteristic..." At this point, he can't remember the rest and Lenny and Carl just snicker at him.
** It takes Principal Skinner less than 30 seconds to screw up the WhosOnFirst routine he is doing with Superintendent Chalmers, by explaining that he doesn't mean the pronoun 'who' but rather that there is a player with the unlikely surname of 'Who' playing first base.
* CanonDiscontinuity: "The Principal and the Pauper". Even Matt Groening regards the episode as a mistake.
* CanonImmigrant: Milhouse was actually created for the ''Simpsons'' Butterfinger advertisements.
* CantYouReadTheSign: Used multiple times:
** In "Homer The Vigilante", Herman shows Homer a "miniature version of the A-bomb" which "the government built in the fifties to drop on beatniks". Homer then goes into a daydream sequence where he [[RidingTheBomb rides the bomb]] a la ''Dr. Strangelove'' onto a group of beatniks only for it to cut back to reality where he's actually riding the displayed bomb. Herman then points out the adjacent sign reading "DO NOT RIDE THE BOMB".
** There's also an instance early on in the episode with Homer's heart attack when he begins a quiet prayer to God and is shushed immediately by the nurse, who points to a sign reading "NO PRAYING".
** When Homer is injured in a prison rodeo, he is treated in the prison's medical facility. When Marge remarks that he's being very stoic about the situation, he says he can't complain, then points out a sign saying "No Complaining". The doctor says that the sign's only for the prisoners, so Homer starts letting it all out: "Oh, I hurt so much! And my job is so unfulfilling..."
** Lisa is trying to ride the bus to see a museum exhibit:
--->'''Lisa:''' Um, excuse me, sir, when does the bus get to the museum?\\
'''Bus Driver:''' It doesn't.\\
'''Lisa:''' Oh, but isn't this the 22?\\
'''Bus Driver:''' Yep. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Tuesday and Thursday, it's the 22A.\\
'''Lisa:''' 22A?! But then where the heck am I?\\
'''Bus Driver:''' Don't make me tap the sign. ''[points to sign saying "DO NOT TALK TO DRIVER"]''\\
'''Lisa:''' But I'm lost and I need to know where...\\
'''Bus Driver:''' ''[repeatedly taps the sign]''
** In order to protect himself from Homer, Bart hid behind a sign reading "Report Child Abuse".
** When they made a {{Parody}} of ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode'', Lisa entered a place that had a sign forbidding it. Under it, there was another sign alternatively allowing it, stating it was a sign, not a cop.
** When Homer got lost inside a labyrinth, he tried to climb his way out but got electrocuted. He then found a sign stating it was electrified. Out of anger, he punched it and got another shock. He then found a sign reading "Signs also electrified".
* CaptainColorbeard: "The Color Yellow" contains a reference to Bart-Beard the Pirate.
* CaptainObvious:
** In "Homer vs. Dignity", during the infamous "panda rape" scene:
--->'''Lisa:''' Something's wrong! Terribly wrong!
** After Lisa's goalkeeping results in a shining victory for her team, Marge praises her performance:
--->'''Marge:''' By blocking the net, I really think you helped your team!
** One episode had Homer attempting to play "Horse Whisperer":
--->'''Homer:''' When the race starts, run real fast!
** Dr. Marvin Monroe proposed an experiment wherein he would raise a baby to adulthood in a sealed box, providing it only with basic nutrition, along with the occasional icy shower or electric shock. His theory:
--->'''Dr. Monroe:''' The subject will be socially maladjusted, and will harbor a deep resentment towards me.
** After Homer sees his nerd friends from college get mugged by Snake Jailbird:
--->'''Homer:''' Wait a minute... THAT'S not the wallet inspector...
** After Homer's brain tells him that finding $20 is better than finding a peanut because $20 will get him a lot of peanuts:
--->'''Homer's brain:''' Money can be exchanged for goods and services.
** Don Vittorio in "Homie the Clown":
--->'''Don Vittorio:''' To murder a funny man of such genius would be a crime!
** In the episode "Flaming Moe's", Homer is angry that Moe stole his drink idea. Marge tells him to take comfort in the fact something he invented makes people happy.
--->'''Homer:''' Oh, look at me! I'm making people happy! I'm the magical man from Happyland in a gumdrop house on Lollipop Lane! ''[slams door then reopens door]'' Oh, by the way, I was being sarcastic. ''[slams door]''\\
'''Marge:''' Well, duh.
** A slightly subtler example from the episode "Bart's Inner Child", overlapping {{Exposition}}:
--->'''Homer:''' Well, here we are at the Brad Goodman lecture.\\
'''Lisa:''' We know, Dad.\\
'''Homer:''' I just thought I'd remind everybody. After all, we did agree to attend this self-help seminar.\\
'''Bart:''' [[LampshadeHanging What an odd thing to say...]]
** In "Last Tap Dance in Springfield": Chief Wiggum, caught in a rat trap baited with cheese says "My mistake was grabbing the cheese".
** In "Jazzy and the Pussycats" Bart exclaims "My arm! It hurts where the tiger's biting it!"
** Combine with IdiotHero / CaptainOblivious and OverlyLongGag:
--->'''Cult Member:''' We're having a free get-acquainted session at our resort this weekend.\\
'''Homer:''' How much is this free resort weekend?\\
'''Cult Member:''' [[JustifiedTrope It's free.]]\\
'''Homer:''' And when is this weekend?\\
'''Cult Member:''' It's this weekend.\\
'''Homer:''' Uh-huh. And how much does it cost?\\
'''Cult Member:''' Um, it's free.\\
'''Homer:''' I see. And when is it?\\
'''Cult Member:''' It's... this weekend.\\
'''Homer:''' And what are you charging for this free weekend?
** In "Eight Misbehavin'", when Homer meets Allen Wrench:
--->'''Homer:''' ''[laughs]'' He's named after what he is!
** Other Marge examples:
--->'''Marge:''' Cannons are designed to hurt.\\
'''Marge:''' Maybe [what's in your hair] is just shampoo. That washes right out.
* CaptiveDate: Patty and Selma have been known to engage in this:
-->'''Tech Guy:''' Hey, this TV ain't broke. It's just been unplugged.\\
''[Patty closes the door.]''
* CaptivityHarmonica:
** Seen on "Kamp Krusty" during the montage of the miserable time the kids are having.
** Lampshaded on "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish," when Homer is in jail and asks a prisoner playing the harmonica what he's in here for? The prisoner's answer: "Atmosphere."
* CardboardBoxOfUnemployment: When Gil is fired from the real estate company, someone brings him a box with his stuff, [[BaitAndSwitch flips it upside down]] and tells him to pick them up.
* CardCarryingVillain:
** While Mr. Burns only called himself 'completely evil' once, and that was in the context of him wanting to go overboard from saying he's a [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys 'bad boy']] after his girlfriend left him for Snake, he does seem pretty damn aware that the various plans he has aren't very nice.
--->'''Grandma Bouvier:''' I swear, Monty, you are the Devil himself.\\
'''Burns:''' ''[gasp]'' WHO TOLD YOU--Oh ho ho! Yes, well...
** He gets announced with the Imperial March from ''StarWars'', more commonly used to announce Darth Vader.
** When he's sent to jail in a Literature/TheGreenMile parody, the John Coffey CaptainErsatz sucks a glowing green substance from his mouth, causing him to reply, "That was only my pre-evil." The next wave of funk is visibly nastier.
** Mr. Black from the episode "Kamp Krusty" made a toast "to evil!"
*** It's even more blatant in the Japanese dub, where he says "Akuma ni kampai," which translates to "A toast to the devil."
* CarloadOfCoolKids: This happens more than once:
** In episode "Viva Ned Flanders", Ned frets about being seen as old-fashioned and sees Grampa in a car with young ladies. It turns out they hijacked his car and he's being held hostage.
** In the episode where Edna Krabappel gets replaced by a "cool" new teacher because of [[IntoxicationEnsues Bart spiking her drink with alcohol mid-class]]). First scene of the episode is a montage of Ms. Krabappel's morning rush to school. While she's in the car [[LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn she sings along to a song playing on the radio]]; at that moment a carload of teens in a convertible pulls alongside her and heckle her for it.
--->'''Teen:''' Look at that! An old lady singing a million-year-old song!
* CarnivoreConfusion: A rare human example is lampshaded in "A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again" when someone offscreen says [[{{Squick}} "I think I ate people meat!"]]
-->'''Bart:''' [[TakeOurWordForIt Ew.]]
* CarpetRolledCorpse: In a WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror segment there's a BottomlessPit in the woods near Springfield where people dump stuff they don't want anybody to ever find. We see the Springfield Mafia dump a carpet (presumably with body enclosed) down the pit.
* CashLure: Mr Burns does it in one episode to bait children: dangling a large denomination bill on a string out of the window of his limousine and then driving away as Bart tries to pick it up.
* CasinoEpisode:
** In one episode, the church is destroyed, so Marge, Reverend Lovejoy, Ned, and some other churchgoers start going to a casino to win enough money for repairs.
** "$pringfield" has Mister Burns opening a casino, where Homer works as a blackjack dealer and Marge becomes addicted to playing slots.
* CassandraTruth:
** When Homer designs a car for his brother's company, the professional designers call Herb with concerns. Herb dismisses this as the designers hating the fact that someone else is in control, not even bothering to see what Homer is making until it's unveiled for the public.
** In "Bart the Fink", Bart swears he saw (the deceased) Krusty on the street, but when he tells Marge, she brushes it off as seeing Krusty in his mind. Turns out Krusty was actually alive, and living incognito.
* CatSmile: Whenever their heads are fully facing the viewers, the characters tend to sport one to represent their overbites. [[ This Tumblr blog features a few examples of this happening.]]
* CatapultNightmare: Seen in numerous episodes. The trope is so common in this show that the writers called attention to how unrealistic it is in many of the DVD commentaries. Perhaps the funniest example of this trope, though, was in "Moaning Lisa" after Homer's nightmare of losing to Bart in the boxing video game: He jolts up, screams for many seconds, then calmly lays back down to go back to sleep.
* CatchPhrase: So many over the years.
** Lampooned in one episode, where Lisa tells Bart to [[BeYourself be himself]] "instead of a one-dimensional character with a silly catch-phrase" (after Bart spent most of the episode repeatedly saying "I didn't do it" for the public), only to have everyone who had a catchphrase appear to belt it out. Then the entire group looks to Lisa, who's never had a catchphrase.
--->'''Lisa:''' I'll be in my room.\\
'''Homer:''' What kind of catchphrase is that?
** Mocked in another episode when Lisa uses Bart's early catchphrases "Ay caramba" and "Don't have a cow, man". When he complains to Marge, she points out that he hasn't used it in years.
** Show-within-a-show example: On "Police Cops", Detective Homer Simpson (in the pilot version) says "And THAT'S the end of that chapter", and (in the regular series version) says "Uh-oh, Spaghetti-os!" (similarly, the police chief shouts, "Simp-SON!")
** The writers frequently have fun with Nelson's "haw haw!" catchphrase, such as in "Team Homer" when he forgets his catchphrase due to the new uniforms, or in "Bart Carny" when only half of his phrase is heard when Bart briefly opens the door to the backyard, followed by the other half when Marge opens it again.
* CatchTheConscience: The school stages a play to make Mr. Burns donate to them. It doesn't work.
* CaughtInTheBadPartOfTown: In "Lost Our Lisa", Lisa gets stranded on the WrongSideOfTheTracks after getting on the wrong bus. She has to trek back through Springfield's surprising number of bad neighborhoods while Homer searches for her.
* CaughtOnTheJumbotron:
** One episode has the "Make an Ass of Yourself!" event for the Jumbo, and it focuses on Bart. He refuses, and so Homer tickles him until Bart wets himself.
** Another has the kiss-cam, only with some rats and two straight guys.
** In "Dancin' Homer", Homer appears on the Jumbo and starts waving to everyone... then the camera pans down to focus on his open fly.
* CausticCritic: Homer becomes one (misguidedly, of course) in "Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner?"
* CelebrityParadox: Rainier Wolfcastle (and his major role, [=McBain=]). To the point where Bart approached Rainier and told him:
-->'''Bart:''' Hey, [=McBain=], I'm a big fan, but your last movie really sucked.\\
'''Rainier:''' I know; there were script problems from day one.\\
'''Chief Wiggum:''' Yeah, ''I'll'' say. [[Film/LastActionHero "Magic ticket"]], my ass, [=McBain=].\\
'''Rainier:''' Maria, my mighty heart is breaking. I'll be in the Humvee.
* CensorshipBySpelling: This clever call back to Krusty's illiteracy:
-->'''Maude Flanders:''' We're talking about S-E-X in front of the C-H-I-L-D-R-E-N.\\
'''Krusty:''' The Sex Cauldron? I thought they closed that place down.
* CentralTheme:
** Family will always stand by you and accept you for who you are, no matter how much you fight, how different you are, or how crazy you drive each other.
** For Springfield in general: Everyone in the world is unique and seems a little insane to everyone else. You won't make them change. Get used to it.
** For Springfield Elementary: The education system is flawed and so are the people in it.
** The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and its effect on the town is one big GreenAesop.
* CentrifugalFarce: Homer & Barney each get put in one of these when they're being trained as astronauts. Homer in particular briefly turns into Popeye due to the G's.
%%* ChainOfPeople
* ChairReveal:
** Done in "The Italian Bob": Sideshow Bob turns out to be the mayor of [[BilingualBonus Salsiccia]], and he's just as surprised at the Simpsons for coming to Italy.
** Parodied in the "Chief Wiggum P.I." short from "The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase", where Wiggum pursues Big Daddy all the way to his mansion, and we see Big Daddy run into his office, sit in his chair, and turn his back to the door moments before Wiggum enters just so he can pull this stunt.
** Done in "New Kids on the Blecch" when L.T. Smash reveals the other three members of the Party Posse.
* ChaosWhileTheyreNotLooking: In "Summer of 4 Ft. 2", Lisa is furious at Bart for revealing her true geeky nature to her new beach friends. In one scene, when Marge leaves the room, Lisa grabs Bart by his collar and prepares to pour syrup on his eyes, only to put everything back the second she reenters.
* CharacterActionTitle: Several episodes follow this trend.
%%* CharacterDevelopment: Lots.
* CharacterOutlivesActor:
** After Creator/PhilHartman died in 1998, Matt Groening had Hartman's characters, Lionel Hutz and Troy [=McClure=], retired out of respect. The last episode to feature Hartman, "Bart the Mother", which had Troy [=McClure=], aired the following season. Both Hutz and [=McClure=] are alive in story and continued to appear in crowd shots, but have never done anything significant. They also appear frequently in the comics, since they don't need to be voiced.
** This initially happened to Lunchlady Doris as well after Doris Grau's death. Eventually, she started getting voiced appearances again with the help of Tress [=MacNeille=].
** A real problem arose in 2006 when Marge's German voice actress Elisabeth Volkmann died. She had to be replaced to keep the German dub running, but Anke Engelke, another famous TV comedian, sounds nothing like her.
** It happened again in October 2013, when Marcia Wallace, the actress for Ms. Krabappel died, so Edna Krabappel was (technically) written out of the show too, much like Hutz and [=McClure=], though didn't occur in practice until around the 25th or 26th season, as some episodes with the character had already been recorded prior to her passing. The episode "Four Regrettings and a Funeral", shown on November 3rd, 2013, was dedicated to Wallace.
* ChargeIntoCombatCut: In a far far future epilogue, two factions of Bart followers wage HolyWar.
-->'''"Bart"''' Soldier: We believe that God's last prophet, Bart Simpson preached a message of tolerance, and love.\\
'''"Bartman" Soldier:''' '''We''' believe the holy [[SomethingPerson Bartman]] preached a message of understanding and peace, before he was betrayed by his follower, Milhouse! And pulled apart by snow-mobiles, until he died.\\
'''"Bart" Soldiers:''' Eat my shorts!!!\\
'''"Bartman" Soldiers:''' Cowabunga!!!\\
''[fade to black as they charge each other]''
* CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: The TropeNamer, although not an actual example of the trope, is heard in the episode ''Round Springfield'' when, due to budget cuts, belligerent Scotsman Groundskeeper Willie is shown to be the French teacher at Springfield Elementary.
-->'''Willie:''' Bonjouuurrrrrr, ya [[TropeNamer cheese-eating surrender monkeys]]!
* ChekhovsGag: Several.
** A model airplane in "$pringfield".
--->'''Burns:''' Smithers, I've designed a new plane. I call it the "Spruce Moose", and it will carry two hundred passengers from New York's Idyllwild Airport to the Belgian Congo in seventeen minutes!\\
'''Smithers:''' That's quite a nice model, sir.\\
'''Burns:''' [[SanitySlippage Model?]]\\
''[Later, near the end of the episode...]''\\
'''Burns:''' Now, to the plant! We'll take the Spruce Moose. Hop in!\\
'''Smithers:''' But, sir --\\
'''Burns:''' ''[draws gun]'' I said, hop in.
** In "Itchy & Scratchy Land", the family, heading to the titular theme park, makes a brief stop at "Five Corners", in which five different states intersect. 15 seasons later, Sideshow Bob takes Bart to the same area in "The Bob Next Door" to [[spoiler:exploit extraterritorial jurisdiction]], setting the stage for the episode's climax.
* ChekhovsGun:
** The size of Krusty's and Sideshow Bob's feet in "Krusty Gets Busted".
** Also, "property of Bart Simpson" stickers in "Radio Bart." [[spoiler:They're a RunningGag earlier in the episode, but when Bart throws his radio down a well to prank the town into thinking a kid fell down there, Lisa finds out, and points out that he was probably dumb enough to leave one of those stickers on the radio. Bart then rushes to the well, to retrieve the radio from it, but [[LaserGuidedKarma falls into the well himself]].]]
* ChekhovsGunman: Manjula. She first appeared as a little girl in Apu's flashback in the seventh season episode ''Much Apu About Nothing'', in which Apu tells her that he is sorry that their arranged marriage will not happen, before getting on a plane departing for the U.S. She comes back in ''The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons'' where Apu finds that he can't escape his arranged marriage with her.
* ChewOutFakeOut: In "Lisa Gets An A", Skinner calls Lisa to his office to discuss the results of yesterday's test, on which Lisa cheated:
-->'''Skinner:''' I've just received some rather unusual news regarding your unprecedented A-triple-plus. To be honest, I'm surprised and saddened. Eh, no, not saddened... what's the word? Ah, yes, delighted!
* TheChewToy:
** Hans Moleman, who gets killed in nearly every appearance.
** Milhouse never has any luck, especially with his family.
** Frank Grimes exists only to point out Homer's good fortune [[spoiler:and then dies in his only episode.]]
** Bart Simpson sometimes when the plot demands it.
* ChildrenAreAWaste: There's a group of single people who get tired of dealing with other people's children and lead a campaign for more restrictions on kids. They succeed, and Marge leads a counter-campaign to get everything back to normal.
* ChildrenInTow: In one episode, the fire truck rushes to a fire only to be delayed by a mother duck crossing the road with a lot of ducklings.
* ChirpingCrickets: In "Monty Can't Buy Me Love", Mr. Burns waits for the kudos to roll in from his donation to the Springfield Hospital. He waits until evening, when the crickets outside begin chirping. Mr. Burns pushes a button on his desk, which releases cricket poison outside, killing the crickets.
* TheChosenZero: When Homer becomes a member of the secret society The Stonecutters, he is found to have a special birthmark that signifies he is The Chosen One. As Homer usually does in these situations, he screws it up. At least one or two characters have their doubts that he's really the one prophesied by the Sacred Parchment.
* ChristianRock:
** Flanders briefly dated a Christian Rock singer.
** Ned Flanders mistakes Creator/ChrisRock for a Christian Rock concert. He later says that he's "never heard a preacher use the 'm-f' word so many times".
** There's a parody of the Christian parody rock band Apologetix in "The Father, The Son, and The Holy Guest Star". Their name is Pious Riot.
* ChristianityIsCatholic: {{Averted| Trope}}, and may be one of the most prominent aversions in American pop culture. Reverend Lovejoy is married and wears a necktie instead of a Roman collar. The big town church is Presbylutheran, a fictional combination of the Presbyterian and Lutheran churches. When Catholics show up, like the priest voiced by Creator/LiamNeeson, they seem exotic in context.
* ChristmasCreep: The show brings this up quite often, most notably in "Treehouse of Horror XIV", a Halloween special that was pre-empted and aired in early November, Kang and Kodos mention in the intro "Who is watching a Halloween special in November? We already have our Christmas decorations up!"
* ChristmasEpisode: Several of them, including the series premiere:
** ''Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire:'' Homer works as a mall Santa to keep the family from discovering that he didn't get his Christmas bonus after finding out that Marge blew the family's Christmas money on getting Bart's tattoo removed.
** ''Marge Be Not Proud:'' Bart gets busted for shoplifting at the Try-n-Save, and Marge becomes so depressed that she cuts Bart off from all the holiday fun.
** ''Miracle on Evergreen Terrace:'' Bart accidentally burns down the family's fake Christmas tree, and covers his tracks by saying that burglars robbed them on Christmas Eve.
** ''Grift of the Magi:'' Springfield Elementary gets closed down to a Mafia deal gone bad, but reopens when a toy company uses the school as a focus group to create the holiday season's hottest new item
** ''Skinner's Sense of Snow:'' The kids are snowed in the day before winter break, and Skinner tries to keep them in line.
** ''She of Little Faith:'' After the local church is forced to put up advertising to pay for damages done by Homer's toy rocket, Lisa loses her faith in Christianity (or Presbylutherism, as it's called on this show) and converts to Buddhism with the help of Lenny, Carl, and special guest star Richard Gere.
** ''[='=]Tis the Fifteenth Season:'' A Christmas version of the season five episode, "Homer Loves Flanders" in which Homer becomes the nicest man in the neighborhood after realizing his Yuletide selfishness has made him a jerk.
** ''Simpsons Christmas Stories:'' ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
** ''Kill Gil: Volumes 1 and 2:'' Resident ButtMonkey Gil Gunderson gets fired as a department store Santa and crashes with The Simpson family for a year, which irritates Marge.
** ''The Fight Before Christmas:'' Another multi-part Christmas episode, which includes a parody of ''Inglorious Basterds'' and guest appearances by celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart and pop singer Music/KatyPerry
** ''Holidays of Future Passed:'' 30 years into the future, Bart and Lisa are parents trying to take care of their rebellious kids while Maggie is a single, pregnant pop singer trying to get to the hospital to have her baby.
%%* ChronicPetKiller
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Lionel Hutz and Troy [=McClure=], after Phil Hartman, the voice actor who played both of them, [[AuthorExistenceFailure was sadly murdered]].
* ChurchOfSaintGenericus: The ministry of Springfield is the made up Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism.
* CircleOfShame: Happens more than once. One example comes when Bart fantasizes about his family's reaction to him "ruining Thanksgiving".
* ClassicallyTrainedExtra: Both Sideshow Bob and Sideshow Mel. In fact, Bob's original intention for framing Krusty wasn't just revenge for him being robbed of his dignity but also out of a desire to provide children's television that is not only entertaining but is educational and thoughtful as well. It worked so well that even though he was arrested after only a few days he won an Emmy for his work.
* CleanCut: In "Realty Bites", Snake attempts to decapitate Homer with a length of piano wire strung across the road. He fails, but he does cleanly slice off the arm of Kirk van Houten's (who was waving a sandwich in the air).
* ClimbSlipHangClimb: Homer does it as he climbs to the top of what he hopes to be the worlds tallest human pyramid.
* CliffHanger:
** "Who Shot Mr. Burns", the only two-parter the show ever did.
** "Missionary: Impossible", which cuts away from Homer and Lisa Jr. (who are about to fall into the lava) to Betty White and the PBS telethon. We never do find out how Homer and Lisa Jr. got out of that predicament.
** While not a true two-parter, the season 23 premiere revealed the results on the Ned/Edna relationship poll which started after the previous season's finale. [[spoiler:They stay together.]]
* CliffhangerCopout: {{Invoked|Trope}} at the end of a chapter from a "Radioactive Man" film serial from the 1940's being screened at a comic convention. Earth is shown in the middle of an EarthShatteringKaboom, already clearly split in two by an atomic bomb when the action freezes and a narrator asks, "Will Radioactive Man be able to save the Earth in time?"
* ClipShow: The production team hated to make these, but [[ExecutiveMeddling Fox forced them to do so]] for budgetary purposes. The clip show episode of ''The Simpsons'' is no longer made, due to the ThreeShorts episodes being a funnier, more cost-effective substitute. The clip shows are:
** [[LampshadeHanging "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show"]]: Bart's April Fools' prank on Homer lands Homer in a coma, and the family sits around remembering their past adventures while Homer recovers.
** "Another Simpsons Clip Show": A BottleEpisode where Marge gathers everyone in the kitchen to talk about romance (which ended badly for the kids and nearly led to infidelity for Homer and Marge) after Marge reads ''The Bridges Of Madison Country''. Known for being an exaggerated take on the clip show, as almost all the footage (including the framing device footage) is recycled from past episodes. The only thing that's new is the framing device dialogue.
** "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular": Troy [=McClure=] hosts a retrospective of ''The Simpsons'', which shows how the family first started out as filler on ''Series/TheTraceyUllmanShow'' before becoming a half-hour show. Includes viewer mail about Homer's stupidity, how long does it take to make one episode, and Smithers' [[AmbiguouslyGay ambiguous homosexuality]], a reel of actual deleted scenes (including Homer's head being used as a bowling ball in Hell in "The Devil and Homer Simpson," James Bond losing a poker game at Mr. Burns' casino in "$pringfield," and, most famous of all, The Robotic Richard Simmons on "Burns' Heir"), and "Hardcore[[note]]PG-rated hardcore[[/note]] nudity!"
** "All Singing, All Dancing": Homer's accidental renting of a Western musical (based on the infamous film ''Film/PaintYourWagon'') prompts the family to reminisce about their musical moments, leading to Snake Jailbird holding everyone hostage.
** "Gump Roast": Homer is honored at a Friars' Club Roast, and Kang and Kodos invade so they can enslave humanity.
* ClockDiscrepancy: Homer gets painted as a molester by an unscrupulous TV show editing an interview; the clock behind him jumps back & forth as he speaks.
* CloserToEarth: To the point where, in the episode "Lisa the Simpson", Lisa discovers that the Simpson bloodline has a hereditary gene that causes severe intelligence loss with age, ultimately dooming the family to unsuccessful, moronic lives... except it ''only affects the men''. All the women are smart and successful. [[DoubleStandard This is presented as a happy ending, despite Bart's rightful concern for his future.]]
* ClothingSwitch: Marge, in an intense morning rush, accidentally does this to Bart and Lisa in "Bye Bye Nerdie".
* ClownSchool:
** In one episode Homer goes to clown school to become a Krusty impersonator.
** Subverted in this exchange between Sideshow Bob and his brother Cecil.
--->'''Bob:''' You wanted to be Krusty's sidekick since you were five! What about the buffoon lessons, the four years at clown college.\\
'''Cecil:''' I'll thank you not to refer to Princeton that way.
** When Homer announces that he has to go to college to keep his job, Bart asks "Barber or clown?".
* ClueEvidenceAndASmokingGun: from the episode "Homer the Vigilante":
-->'''Abe:''' He was right under my nose the whole time. He lives in my retirement home. His name is Malloy.\\
'''Lisa:''' Wow! How'd you track him down, Grampa?\\
'''Abe:''' Good question! On one of my frequent trips to the ground, I noticed Malloy wore sneakers...for sneaking. My next clue came yesterday at the museum. We felt slighted by your age-bashing, and started home. Malloy said, "I'll catch up with you." ''[Malloy throws a grappling hook at the museum roof and starts climbing]'' I couldn't quite put my finger on it. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint There was something strange about the way he walked -- much more vertical than usual]]. And finally, Malloy, unlike most retired people, has the world's largest cubic zirconia on his coffee table.
* CoattailRidingRelative: Used many, many times, to wit:
** Abe wants to mooch from his long-lost bastard son Herb, who is a rich Detroit auto executive - but by the time Abe gets there Homer (who went to meet Herb earlier) has already ruined Herb professionally and financially.
** When Rodney Dangerfield turns up to Guest Star as Mr. Burns's long-forgotten illegitimate son, Larry, he briefly tries riding Burns's coattails. Ultimately, Larry proves too lazy and unambitious to do even that.
** When Lisa tutors Cletus's children and turns them into a singing group, Krusty hires the clan to appear on his show. Cletus lives the good life as their "manager."
** In an episode that shows Lisa becoming President [[FlashForward in the future]], Bart, now an unemployed slacker and freshly evicted from his apartment, turns up to mooch off of his successful sister and crash at the White House.
* CobwebOfDisuse: When the family goes to the library to do research for school they find no books and cobwebs on the shelves. So Marge tells them stories of UsefulNotes/HenryVIII, Sacagawea and Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart.
* ColdOpen: "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" features a cold open, with the announcer presenting Troy [=McClure=], who greets the audience and then rolls the opening.
* ColdTurkeysAreEverywhere: Happens to Homer in "Duffless" when he makes a vow to stop drinking for thirty days.
* ComeBackToBedHoney: Homer does this once, and annoying Marge greatly.
* ComebackTomorrow: In "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge":
-->'''Marge:''' Why do I always think of the right thing to say when it's too late? "Shut up, Becky!" Ohhhhh, that would've been sweet...
* ComicBookAdaptation: A major franchise in its own right, with its own imprint (Bongo Comics), dozens of titles and hundreds of issues published over the last quarter century.
* ComicallyCrossEyed: In "Last Exit To Springfield", Principal Skinner tells a pupil to "put his eyes straight". When he answers: "But I can't", he realizes his mistake and says: "Oops, sorry Quigley!"
* ComicallyMissingThePoint:
** In "Lisa the Skeptic", the town is convinced the world is going to end at sundown. Edna suggests he and Skinner have sex one last time before the end. Skinner agrees, but asks her to give him a bit so he can finish filling out the tardy slips. If the world was ending, who cares about tardy slips?
** In "Bart the Genius", Bart confesses in writing that he cheated on the IQ test. When J. Loren Pryor reads the note, he remarks: "You know... you misspelled 'confession'."
** In "Lard of the Dance" when Homer gets paid only 63 cents for all the lard he traded in:
--->'''Bart:''' Dad, all that bacon cost twenty-seven dollars.\\
'''Homer:''' Yeah, but your ''mom'' paid for that!\\
'''Bart:''' But doesn't she get her money from ''you''?\\
'''Homer:''' And I get ''my'' money from grease! What's the problem?
** In "Much Apu About Nothing," after Apu passes his citizenship exam:
--->'''Lisa:''' You know, in a way, all Americans are immigrants. Except, of course Native Americans.\\
'''Homer:''' Yeah, Native Americans like us.\\
'''Lisa:''' No, I mean American Indians.\\
'''Apu:''' Like me.
** In "A Star is Burns", Mr. Burns comments that he and Oskar Schindler are alike in that they both made shells for the Nazis -- but Burns' shells actually worked.
** In "Barting Over," when Bart gets emancipated from his parents:
--->'''Judge Harm:''' Furthermore, I hereby garnish your wages until Bart is fully repaid.\\
'''Homer:''' Mmmm... garnish.
%%* TheComicallySerious: Al Gore.
* {{Commune}}: In "D'oh-in in the Wind", it is revealed that at some point, Homer's mother Mona started spending time at a commune with two hippies, Seth and Munchie.
* CommunityThreateningConstruction: When Sideshow Bob becomes mayor, one of the first things he does is reroute a new freeway to go directly through the Simpson property, seizing their house via eminent domain and forcing them to live under a bridge.
* CompanionCube: The couch for the Simpson's family in the opening credits.
* CompanyTown: Cypress Creek by Hank Scorpio's Globex Corporation is an Utopian example of this in the episode "You Only Move Twice"
* CompetitionCouponMadness: Apparently Bazooka gum gives out much better prizes in the Simpsons universe.
-->'''Bart:''' Nice jacket!\\
'''Milhouse:''' Thanks, it cost me 50,000 Bazooka Joe comics!
* ComplainingAboutThingsYouHaventPaidFor:
** One episode sees Homer get excited about receiving a coupon book in the mail, including one coupon for "two free pizzas at Doughy's." When Lisa points out, "Doughy's makes ''terrible'' pizza," Homer counters, "[[ComicallyMissingThePoint Yeah, but there's TWO!]]"
** The famous "[[WorstWhateverEver Worst Episode Ever]]" dialogue:
--->'''Comic Book Guy:''' Last night's ''Itchy and Scratchy'' was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured that I was on the internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world.\\
'''Bart:''' Hey, I know it wasn't great but what right do you have to complain?\\
'''Comic Book Guy:''' As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me.\\
'''Bart:''' What? They've given you thousands of hours of entertainment for free. What could they possibly owe you? I mean, if anything, you owe them!\\
'''Comic Book Guy:''' Worst. Episode. Ever.
* CompletelyOffTopicReport: In "Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner?", the first restaurant review Homer submits mostly consists of nonsequiturs and random rambling:
-->'''Editor:''' ''[laughs]''\\
'''Homer:''' Well, what do you think?\\
'''Editor:''' This is a joke, right? I mean this is the stupidest thing I've ever read!\\
'''Homer:''' What's wrong with it?\\
'''Editor:''' You keep using words like "Pasghetti" and "Momatoes" You make numerous threatening references to the UN and at the end you repeat the words "Screw Flanders" over and over again.\\
'''Homer:''' Oh, it's so hard to get to 500 words.
* CompressedAbstinence: The prohibition episode, brought on by one exceptionally rowdy St. Patrick's Day. This is enforced, as the 200 year old prohibition law is revealed early in the episode, and the 199 year old anti-prohibition law is revealed near the end.
-->'''Narrator:''' And so, one town's brief flirtation with prohibition ended in a joyous remarriage to Lady Liquor. Congratulations, Springfield! We wish you the very best!
* CompressedVice:
** Homer's homophobia in "Homer's Phobia".
** Homer's inability to punish Bart in the episode ''Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie'' is strange given his usual modus operandi of strangling Bart whenever Bart does something wrong.
%%* ConcealingCanvas: In Mr. Burns' mansion.
* CondensationClue: When Marge and Homer get trapped in a revolving door, Homer writes "save her first" on the fogged-up glass.
* {{Confessional}}:
** This is how Chief Wiggum arrests Smithers in "Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2", by hiding in the confessional booth and hearing Smithers confess to shooting Mr. Burns.
** Homer, to Father Sean, in "The Father, The Son, and the Holy Guest Star", goes into a highly detailed confession of his many sins in [[MotorMouth rapid-fire manner.]]
* ConflictBall: Nearly every significant character at some point, but by far the most blatant example is Bart and Lisa. By season 7, they've accomplished so much together, helped each other so many times, and genuinely love and admire each other so much, they not only don't have ''any'' sane reason whatsoever to keep ragging on each other, they should be disgusted at the very idea.
* ConfusingMultipleNegatives: From "Boy Scoutz 'n the Hood", when Bart is reading a knife safety book:
-->'''Bart:''' "Don't do what Donny Don't does." ''[sighs]'' They could've made this clearer.
* ConeOfShame: When Mr. Burns' slant oil drill ruins Bart's treehouse (with him & Santa's Little Helper inside), SLH is reduced to wearing one of these while in a doggie-wheelchair.
* ConsolationWorldRecord: In the episode "Sweets and Sour Marge".
* {{Constellations}}:
** In "Bart's Comet" Principal Skinner points out the constellation "The Three Wise Men" to Bart; it looks like Film/TheThreeStooges.
** Another gag constellation is known as "The Chariot Race", which consists of a ''single star''.
** In another episode, Homer gets an orphan to be a "Bigger Brother" to, and the following exchange occurs.
--->'''Pepe:''' Tell me more! I want to know ''all'' the constellations. \\
'''Homer:''' Well, there's... Jerry the Cowboy. And that big dipper looking thing is Alan... the Cowboy.
* ContagiousCassandraTruth: Lisa discovers that town founder Jebediah Springfield was secretly a villainous pirate. No one believes her story except Homer, who knows Lisa tends to make the right assumptions on these things. They fail to convince anyone else and Homer is stripped of his role in the town parade as punishment. [[spoiler:Subverted when Lisa realises that the museum curator covered it up (he relents, but Lisa decides that the lie inspires the town and leaves things be).]]
* ContinuityNod: In "Homer at the Bat", guest star Mike Scioscia is unable to play because of radiation poisoning from working at the Springfield Nuclear Plant. Years later, Scioscia makes another cameo in "[=MoneyBART=]", where he reveals the radiation poisoning gave him super-managing powers.
* ContrivedClumsiness: In one early episode, the family is supposed to solve their problems by shocking each other. At the beginning of the exercise, Bart accidentally-on-purpose shocks Lisa, claiming his finger slipped. Lisa shocks him back saying, "So did mine."
* ConvenienceStoreGiftShopping: In "New Kid on the Block", Bart visits Grampa to get dating advice:
-->'''Grampa:''' You remembered my birthday!\\
'''Bart:''' Uh... ''[sees the twinkle in Grampa's eye]'' Oh, I sure did! Here's a bus schedule!\\
'''Grampa:''' Wow, fits right in my pocket!
* ConvenientlyCellmates: Sideshow Bob has been seen with his family in jail.
* ConvenientlyTimedDistraction:
** In season 7, "Bart the Fink", Superintendent Chalmers is returning Agnes Skinner from a date when they are greeted by Seymour on an apron. Skinner wishes for a distraction to take attention away from his embarrassing situation, and at that moment Krusty flies by on his airplane, wailing loudly. "That'll do", says Seymour.
** In season 11, "Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner", after the French chef is arrested for trying to kill Homer and he's handcuffed, Chief Wiggum suggests to Eddie and Lou that they go get some Belgium waffles but Lou would rather have frittatas. While Wiggum and Eddie laughs at Lou for his frittata obsession, the French chef uncuffs himself and escapes [[PoliceAreUseless with none of them noticing that he's gone despite the fact that he was standing between Eddie and Lou.]]
** In season 12, "Treehouse of Horror XI", "Scary Tales Can Come True" segment, when a witch tries to stuff Homer into her stove, she gets distracted when she hears a knock at her door allowing Homer to overpower her and shove her into the stove and lock her inside.
** In season 14 "Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington", when the Simpsons are trying to help Krusty the Clown pass his air traffic bill during a session in Congress, Lisa needs to attach the bill to a popular bill. When Lisa said she needs a distraction, Homer enters the session drunk after getting one of the congressmen drunk and gets beaten by security. Lisa uses this opportunity to attach Krusty's bill to the popular bill without getting noticed.
** In season 16, "She Used to Be My Girl", when Chloe Talbot, a news reporter and Marge's old friend from high school, tries to get Mayor Quimby to answer some questions about his multiple paternity suits filed against him, she gets distracted when she sees Marge again allowing Mayor Quimby to run back into his office to avoid answering her questions.
*** In the same episode, when Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather are picking on Kent Brockman by teasingly dangling his microphone out of his reach, they get distracted when Chloe greets them giving Kent the opportunity to take back his microphone.
** In season 16, "Future-Drama", Bart is working for the Kwik-E-Mart and he makes a delivery to Mr. Burns at his mansion. He is held at gunpoint by Snake's combination phaser/cellphone, but Bart saves Mr. Burns when Snake is distracted by a phone call on his phaser and Bart knocks him out with a large diamond.
* CoordinatedClothes:
** Twin sisters and [[ThoseTwoGuys Those Two Women]] Patty and Selma who are single and live together wear similar clothes and have similar hairstyles.
** Mr Burns bought matching green shirts for his bowling buddies. The guys were very moved by it, almost forgiving him that he was such a poor player.
** Marge and Bart Simpsons and Agnes and Seymour Skinners wore matching outfits for singing in a competition where they performed as mother-son duos.
* CorruptChurch: Springfield's church was rebuilt into one in "She of Little Faith".
* CorruptPolitician: Mayor Quimby, whose motto is ''Corruptis in Extremis''.
* CosmopolitanCouncil: The Republican Party in Springfield.
* CostumeTestMontage:
** Episode "Bart the Lover" has Edna Krabappel try different outfit for her date with a mysterious lover (that was a PrankDate made by Bart).
** In one episode, when Lisa feels that Maggie is now the smart one in the family, she feels insecure and decides she needs to find a new identity, and tries several outfits. Nothing feels right.
* CouldntFindALighter: Done in an episode with multiple rockstars making guest appearances. For a benefit concert, they have a motorized Devil-head on wheels, complete with pyrotechnics, which Keith Richards lights his cigarette on by putting it in his mouth and sticking his head into the stream of flame.
* CountingToPotato:
** Notorious for its portrayal of the "typical hillbilly". In "Rednecks and Broomsticks", Lisa is playing with the Spuckler children, they counted while she hid as saying, "One, two, backwards-z, one-legged triangle, banana hotdog, double-banana hotdog, sixty-corncob-two..."
** In "Marge's Son Poisoning". Homer is doing curls with a dumbbell. He starts counting normally, before randomly skipping through numbers, and then including 'banana'.
* CourtroomEpisode:
** "Bart Gets Hit by a Car"
** "The Boy Who Knew Too Much".
** There are also numerous episodes that feature court scenes, even if they aren't the main focus of the episode, such as "Krusty Gets Busted", "The Monkey Suit", "Marge in Chains", "Sideshow Bob Roberts", "The Great Money Caper", the list goes on.
* CoverIdentityAnomaly: Homer pretends to be Mr. Burns. This is made more difficult as he doesn't know Mr. Burns' first name.
* CoverVersion: "Twist and Shout" plays in "Behind the Laughter", and it's sung by someone other than Music/TheBeatles (while they didn't create the song, their rendition was arguably the most famous).
* CowboyBebopAtHisComputer: InUniverse.
** Parodied when Homer writes letters to movies instead of actors.
** In another episode when they're watching ''Film/DieHard'', Bart refers to the main character as the title.
** Marge also refers to a Darth Vader mask as a Franchise/StarWars.
** A Comcast description for the episode "I, D'ohbot" says it's about Homer builds a robot to unleash terror on Springfield. The plot involved Homer and Bart building a robot for a ''Series/BattleBots''-like show, and when it didn't turn out well Homer disguised himself as the robot.
* CowboyEpisode: "Dude, Where's My Ranch?"
* CPRCleanPrettyReliable:
** "Boy Scoutz 'N the Hood": One scout member gives one to Bart after being choked by his necktie caught in the door.
--->'''Ned:''' Now, just breathe into him every three seconds. Make sure you form a tight seal around his mouth!
** "Dog of Death": SLH is revived by CPR during his stomach operation after SLH dreams of going to heaven.
** "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Marge": After Homer faints into the Ark Ice Cream Bowl, Becky, noticing he's not breathing, gives Homer CPR to try to revive him only to have Marge think that she's a usurper the minute she arrived.
** "Mobile Homer": After he is smashed repeatedly on the neck by the garage door and getting suffocated by the spiders, Lisa gives her father CPR with Bart compressing his chest.
** "The Haw-Hawed Couple": After Nelson saves Bart, Skinner gives Bart CPR which lead the children to blurt out a 'gay joke' between them.
** "Stealing First Base": When Bart accidentally falls off the roof of the school causing him not to breathe, Nikki rushes to save him with her knowledge of CPR, defying the 'no touch' policy Springfield Elementary has. What follows between is a montage of kissing scenes from classic movies (The Godfather Part II, Lady and the Tramp, From Here to Eternity, Gone With The Wind, Alien 3, etc.), just when Nikki proceeds to breathe air into Bart's lungs, reviving him, saving his life.
** "24 Minutes": After Bart and Willie are saved from drowning, Mrs. Krabappel gives Willie CPR, who would rather die than clean the mess in the gym.
** Subverted in "Pranks and Greens": Andy shows Bart a slideshow of his body of pranks, one of which showing a flight attendant giving him CPR after he [[KissOfLife faked a heart attack on an international flight]].
** "Rome-Old and Juli-Eh": During a montage of Selma and Abe dating, Selma is shown giving him CPR.
** "Midnight RX": Mr. Burns gives Smithers CPR after applying his thyroid medication.
* CrashCourseLanding: In "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs", Homer has to land a private jet after the pilot passes out. Marge calls his life coach to talk him through the process, but the life coach doesn't know how to land a plane either.
* CrazyMemory: Almost all flashbacks involving Grampa.
* CrazyPrepared: In "Marge vs. The Monorail", when Lyle Lanley's plane [[spoiler:has to make an unexpected stop in a town where he previously sold a bad monorail to, the citizens just happen to be waiting for his plane to land, one instantly sees that he's in the plane (which is really far away to tell), and they all enter the plane as soon as it lands to give Lyle a beating.]]
* CreativeClosingCredits: Numerous instances:
** "The Squirt and the Whale" uses cutesy images of a hypothetical InterspeciesRomance Homer describes in the episode between a whale and an octopus.
** "The Homer they Fall" has images of Moe travelling around the world in a flying machine and aiding various people were used.
** "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" has more footage of Homer in the waiting room of the dealership while "Spanish Flea" plays.
* CreatorBacklash: [[spoiler:Comic book guy]], in-universe.
* CreditCardPlot: The first act of "The Canine Mutiny".
* CreditsGag: Numerous instances:
** In "All Singing, All Dancing", Snake causes the music to repeatedly be cut off by shooting his shotgun.
** In "G.I. (Annoyed Grunt)", the colonel assigns most everyone in the credits to frontline infantry, except for his voice actor who's given coast guard.
** In "Bart Star", Homer cuts '''everyone''' (save NFL legend Joe Namath, who guest starred in this episode) in the credits from the football team.
** "The Mansion Family" has Homer complaining how everyone in the credits is richer than him. He also says the voice actors "aren't as rich as they should be."
** In "Marge Simpson in "Screaming Yellow Honkers"", Homer is forced to apologize for saying NBC is a great channel, and is supposedly shot for quickly remarking that CBS is great.
** "Lady Bouvier's Lover" has Grampa's ramblings shushed by the Gracie Films logo.
** "Don't Fear the Roofer" has Homer constantly getting the timeslot and channel of ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'' wrong.
* CreditsJukebox: Many episodes featured a credits theme different from the usual Simpsons ending theme:
** Any Halloween special will have the Simpsons theme played in a Halloween style. From 1990 to 2003, it was typically a harpsichord arrangement usually with eerie whistling, played at the same tempo as the normal theme. Beginning in 2005, the main Halloween end credits theme was a slower, somber string-based version. A couple of episodes used a variant parodying ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' theme song.
** "Lisa the Greek" (and later, "Bart Star") played the theme in a football style.
** "Marge on the Lam" played the theme in a style similar to ''{{Franchise/Dragnet}}''.
** "$pringfield" played the theme in a big band style.
** "Homer the Vigilante" played the theme in a style similar to ''It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World''.
** "Lisa on Ice" played the theme on an organ, like you'd hear at a hockey or baseball game.
** "Bart vs. Australia" played it in Australian style, naturally.
** "Lisa's Wedding" played the theme in a renaissance style.
** "The Springfield Connection" played the theme like a parody of ''Series/HillStreetBlues''.
** "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" (part 1) used an ominous, ''{{Film/JFK}}''-style theme, while part 2 used a Latin big band arrangement by Tito Puente.
** "Mother Simpson" had a gentle, quiet theme playing while Homer looked at the stars, which Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein had to battle Fox to let air without a CreditsPushback or announcer blathering over it.
** "Homerpalooza" had the theme performed by Sonic Youth, one of the guest bands in the episode.
** "A Milhouse Divided" played the theme in a '70s combo style.
** "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala-D'oh-cious" had a lyric-less reprise of the songs from the episode.
** "Bart After Dark" was the same, only for "We Put the Spring in Springfield".
** "Take My Wife, Sleaze" had the theme performed by NRBQ, [[AuthorAppeal one of Mike Scully's favorite bands.]]
** "Little Big Mom" played the theme in a Hawaiian style.
** "Simpsons Tall Tales" played the theme in an Ozark style.
** "She of Little Faith" played the theme in an Indian style.
** "Blame it on Lisa" played the theme in a Brazilian style.
** "My Fair Laddy" had a lyric-less reprise of the songs from the episode.
** This isn't even counting the times when a licensed song was played over the credits. For a full list, [[ see this link.]]
** A number of episodes in recent years usually feature a custom theme tune; the normal credits theme isn't used very often lately.
* CreditsPushback:
** Parodied in "Das Bus" when God revealing the key to salvation to Noah is interrupted by Kent Brockman giving a news teaser.
** Also parodied in "Bart Gets Famous" when Bart pauses the videotape to show his friends his name in the credits. But since the credits portion of the screen is so squashed, Bart's name is hard to read and they don't believe him.
* TheCrimeJob: "The Book Job", an ''Film/OceansEleven'' parody.
* CripplingTheCompetition: When Mr. Burns forces his way onto Homer's bowling team (for which he was tricked into writing a $500 check), the team is disgusted at the old man's complete ineptitude but cannot simply kick him off. Moe hatches a plan to bash in his knee with a lead pipe so he can't play. Unfortunately, he does so when Burns is already indisposed and his whack on the knee has the exact opposite effect: the injured Burns is able to play again.
* CrookedContractor:
** The repairman from "Homer the Great" says he won't get the parts he needs for the job for [[strike: two]] three weeks, and that's if he orders them today. Which he won't.
** Also a main plot point in [[spoiler:"Don't Fear the Roofer".]]
* CrossingTheBurntBridge: In a flashback episode, Homer, upon quitting his nuclear plant job, plays Burns' head like a bongo in front of all the other employees, and then throws Burns at a barrel of toxic waste. He LITERALLY burns a bridge he drives over on his way out. He eventually has to take the job back after impregnating Marge with Maggie.
-->'''Burns:''' Oh, I should be resisting this, but I'm paralyzed with rage...and island rhythms!
* {{Crossover}}:
** ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'''s Jay Sherman (Jon Lovitz) appears in "A Star Is Burns", and makes a cameo in "Hurricane Neddy" and "The Ziff Who Came to Dinner".
** ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' 's core cast make a surprise appearance in "Bart Star"...a surprise ruined on the episode's premiere by Fox's advance promotions.
--->'''Hank Hill:''' We drove 2,000 miles for THIS?
** [[WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} Bender]] appears briefly in the episode "Future-Drama".
** Bender and the other ''Futurama'' characters will [[ have a more extensive guest appearance]] in the near future.
** [[Series/TheXFiles Mulder and Scully]] make a fairly significant appearance in "The Springfield Files".
** The Simpsons [[ officially meet the Griffins]] in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' called "The Simpsons Guy".
** For a CouchGag, the title characters of ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' crash Rick's spaceship into the house and smash the Simpsons into goo, leading to them having to make duplicates of the family. They also freeze Ned Flanders in a similar fashion to a character in their show's pilot episode.
* CrossPoppingVeins: [[LampshadeHanging "Look at the vein on that guy's forehead, he's gonna blow!"]]
* CrossReferencedTitles: A few recurring ones, like "*Simpson* vs. *something*"[[labelnote:Examples]]"Marge vs. the Monorail", "Homer vs. Dignity"[[/labelnote]], "*Simpson*" Gets a *grade*"[[labelnote:Examples]]"Bart's Dog Gets an F", "Lisa Gets an A"[[/labelnote]], and "*Simpson* the *title*"[[labelnote:Examples]]"Bart the Genius", "Homer the Smithers"[[/labelnote]].
* CrowdChant: "Where's My Burrito?! Where's My Burrito?!" Not to mention a certain pachyderm.
* CrowdedCastShot: Used in two Couch Gags in the fourth season.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[TheyKilledKennyAgain Hans Moleman]]. He's been drilled in the head, burned, buried alive, irradiated, dismembered and eaten by alligators, trapped inside of a morgue while still alive, and suffocated by a giant bubble.
* CruellaToAnimals: Mr. Burns of course.
* CrushParade:
** The episode "Lisa's Sax" sees Lisa's prized saxophone sail out her bedroom window and into the street where it's run over by a car, a truck, stamped on by Nelson (who then points at it and mocks, [[AnnoyingLaugh "Ha ha"]]), and concludes with a man on a tricycle who falls over to the side when his front tire hits what remains of the flattened saxophone, accompanied by the scene transition music from ''Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In''.
** Another episode sees Milhouse crushed by an actual parade, featuring an endless number of marching bands, parade floats, elephants, etc.
*** The same exact thing also happened to Sideshow Bob in "Cape Feare" right after he said, "[[TemptingFate Surely there's no harm in laying the middle of a public street]]."
* CryingIndian: At the end of "Trash of the Titans," Chief catches an empty potato chip bag and sheds a single tear. His friend advises him not to look behind him, as behind him is the ruins of Springfield covered in garbage.
'''Indian:''' I ''told'' you not to turn around.
* CryingWolf: The subplot of "Marge Gets a Job"; Bart hasn't read the end of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and thus doesn't realize the lesson of not repeatedly faking sick to get out of a test.
** Lisa ends up being the victim of Bart crying wolf in "My Sister, My Sitter". Bart went out of his way to ruin Lisa's attempts to babysit him. After Bart knocks himself unconscious, Lisa tries to call 911. The operator won't listen because of the prank calls Bart made earlier in the night.
--> '''Operator''': Simpson? We've already been out there tonight for a sisterectomy, a case of severe butt rot, and a leprechaun bite. How dumb do you think we are?
* CryptidEpisode: In an attempt to become the world's most lovable billionaire Mr. Burns goes to Loch Ness to capture Nessie.
%%** The episode "Springfield Files" was this.
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: While the writers may have known that a torus is one of the contenders for the shape of the universe, Homer certainly didn't know that when he told Creator/StephenHawking about his theory of a doughnut-shaped (which is what a torus is) universe.
* CueTheFlyingPigs: From "Lisa the Vegetarian", Burns says he'll donate a million dollars to the local orphanage... when pigs fly. Just as he and Smithers share a laugh, the pig from a scene earlier goes flying by their window.
-->'''Smithers:''' Will you be donating that million dollars now, sir?\\
'''Burns:''' Mmm, no, I'd still prefer not.
* CueTheRain:
** {{Subverted}} in an episode where the Simpsons lose their house. Tossed out unto the street, Homer says, "Well, it could be worse. At least it's not raining." ({{Beat}}) "See? Told you it could be worse."
** In another episode, Mr. Burns is telling the story of how he went to jail. As Smithers leaves, Burns notes that this the point in a story where it would start raining, and decides that, since he's telling the story, it did rain. Then he decides that rain wasn't depressing enough, so he has it snow instead, capping it off with Smithers losing his nose to frostbite.
** In "Bart the Murderer", it immediately begins pouring when Bart misses the school bus, and the second he gets to school, the sky clears up ("D'oh!"). Likewise, it starts pouring when he leaves school.
* CultureChopSuey: Lampshaded in "Lisa Gets an A" where Lisa is playing a video game based on TheThemeParkVersion of [[LandDownunder Australia]] (and a very blatant parody of Franchise/CrashBandicoot). She is killed by a group of koalas dressed as ninjas, leading her to remark, [[LampshadeHanging "Nunchucks? Those aren't even Australian!"]]
* CutASliceTakeTheRest: Played with in "Simpsons Bible Stories":
-->'''Homer:''' ''[as King Solomon]'' The pie shall be cut in two. ''[takes a knife and cuts a pie in half, then holds up each slice as if offering them]'' Now each man will recieve... ''[withdraws the slices]'' death! I'll eat the pie. ''[scarfs both slices down]''
* CutawayGag: Oddly enough, Simpsons used it do a lot but then stopped for no real reason. Then ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' came along and used them constantly. Then when Simpsons tried to use them again, people accused ''them'' of ripping off ''Family Guy''.
%%* CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon: Mostly Moe.
* CuttingCorners: A frequent RunningGag with Springfield Elementary and the nuclear plant, with the consequences almost always endangering peoples' safety.

* DadaAd: Parodied in Homer's Mr. Plow ad, which featured an opera singer [[Film/CitizenKane and someone smashing a snowglobe.]]
-->'''Bart:''' Was that your ad?\\
'''Homer:''' ...I don't know.
* DamnedByAFoolsPraise: When Homer [[FlowersForAlgernonSyndrome becomes smarter than average but hates it]] he goes to a BackAlleyDoctor (i.e., Moe) to insert a crayon up his nose to re-dumbify him. The "doctor" delicately shoves it up there; he doesn't want Homer to end up too dumb or too smart.
-->'''Moe:''' All right, tell me when I hit the sweet spot. ''[gently slides crayon in]''\\
'''Homer:''' Deeper, you pusillanimous pilsner pusher!\\
'''Moe:''' All right, all right. ''[with a small hammer and chisel, taps the crayon further up Homer's nose]''\\
'''Homer:''' De-fense! [woof-woof] De-fense! [woof-woof]\\
'''Moe:''' Eh, that's pretty dumb. But, uh ... ''[taps once more]''\\
'''Homer:''' Extended warranty? How can I lose?\\
'''Moe:''' Perfect.
* DanceLine:
** Mr. Smithers is sent on vacation, and goes to a gay resort. He calls Mr. Burns to check up on him... and a conga line forms behind him at the payphone, [[ClubKid which he proceeds to lead]].
--->'''Mr. Smithers:''' Well, I've gotta go. There's a line forming behind me.
** If "Blame It On Lisa" is any indication [[DudeNotFunny (and the Rio de Janeiro board of tourism would like you to believe otherwise)]], this is also the preferred method of transportation in town.
* DanceSensation:
** "Do the Bartman"!
--->'''Ralph Wiggum:''' That is so 1991.
** Grampa claims that back in 1906, everyone was doing a dance called "The Funky Grampa". Of course, knowing Grampa, this is definitely senility talking.
* DarkerAndEdgier:
** Several episodes focused on Mr. Burns and Sideshow Bob get dark considering their villainous status.
** Any episode with a character who has no funny quirks and is played seriously. Examples include the winemakers from "The Crepes Of Wrath" (who nearly killed Bart by giving him antifreeze-laced wine), the Babysitter Bandit from "Some Enchanted Evening" (who tied up the kids and tried to rob the house) and Bart's kindergarten teacher from "Lisa's Sax" (whose treatment of Bart made him what he is today).
* DeadGuyPuppet: After digging up Jebediah Springfield to disprove Lisa's vocal claims, Chief Wiggum tries his hand at ventriloquism with the city founder's skull.
* DeadlyHug: Sideshow Bob brainwashes Bart into killing Krusty by hugging him, which will complete a circuit on Bart's suicide belt and make them both blow up.
* DeadManWriting: "Homer's Odyssey" played it straight and [[PlayedForDrama dramatically]]; parodied in "Half-Decent Proposal".
* DeadpanSnarker: Various characters have their moments, but Comic Book Guy is the most apparent, such as when Bart sees a sign saying "Bonestorm - 99 cents" outside the store.
-->'''Bart:''' I'd like to buy a copy of "Bonestorm." Here's 99 cents.\\
'''Comic Book Guy:''' Allow me to summarize the proposed transaction. You wish to purchase "Bonestorm" for 99 cents. Net profit to me: negative 59 dollars.\\
''[Comic Book Guy opens the cash register]''\\
'''Comic Book Guy:''' Please take my 59 dollars, I don't want it.\\
''[Bart [[ComicallyMissingThePoint reaches forward to take the cash]]]''\\
'''Comic Book Guy:''' Uh uh - Seeing as [[SarcasmFailure you are unfamiliar with sarcasm]], I shall close the cash register at this point, and state that 99 cents is the rental price.
* DeadPartner: A RunningGag in the show are snippets from the fictional ''[=McBain=]'' movie, essentially an Arnold Schwarzenegger parody. Grizzled CowboyCop [=McBain=] loses his old partner in a hit arranged by his arch-enemy, the drug-dealing Senator Mendoza. For bonus points, the partner in question is A] [[BlackDudeDiesFirst black]], B] [[{{Retirony}} due to retire in a few days]], and C] [[FatalFamilyPhoto shows McBain a picture of his family]] right before he dies.
* DeadPersonImpersonation:
** Principal Skinner, or rather Armin Tamzarian. The episode leads to one of the most explicit uses of NegativeContinuity in the series, with a judge [[LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain ordering everyone never to speak of the incident]] (the return of the real Skinner) [[DisproportionateRetribution under pain of torture.]]
** Lampshaded in the episode "I (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot" with the following conversation:
--->'''Lisa:''' I'm keeping you! You're Snowball V, but to save money on a new dish, we'll just call you Snowball II and pretend this whole thing never happened.\\
'''Principal Skinner:''' That's really a cheat, isn't it?\\
'''Lisa:''' I guess you're right, ''Principal Tamzarian''.\\
'''Principal Skinner:''' I'll just be moving along, Lisa. Snowball II.
* DeathDealer: Ricky Jay appears in "The Great Simpsina" where he attempts to kill Lisa by hurling cards at her with enough force to shatter a steam pipe.
* DecadeThemedParty: Marge's OldFlame Artie Ziff tries to woo her back by recreating their prom and paying everyone in town to dress like they did in TheSeventies (Disco Stu, of course, "is working pro bono").
* DecidedByOneVote: In "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken", the curfew law which made it illegal for anyone under senior citizen age to be out after sundown was passed by a single vote. This was announced after Homer foolishly declared that one vote never made a difference.
* DefeatByModesty: In "The Falcon and the D'ohman", Wayne has a flashback where he is training against a huge range of opponents. One of them is a 19th century muscle man whom he defeats by ripping off his OldTimeyBathingSuit.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: In Bart The General Nelson Muntz was introduced as a bully and enemy of Bart, in subsequent episodes he became a friend of Bart and no longer a bully per se but just liked to laugh at the misfortune of others.
* DeliberatelyJumpingTheGun: During the annual company picnic Mr. Burns gets a very quiet "go" from Smithers in the sack race before everyone else. They all know that Burns is supposed to win the race.
* DeliveryStork:
** Flanders asserts that storks are fictitious:
--->'''Ned:''' God put us here and that's that.\\
'''Todd:''' But you said a stork brought me.\\
'''Ned:''' Umm... that was God disguised as a stork.\\
'''Rod:''' Who brings baby storks?\\
'''Ned:''' There's no such thing as storks! It's all God!
** In a later episode, Ned claims that he and Maude specifically picked Dr. Stork to deliver the boys, this way they could say that the stork delivered the babies without technically lying.
* DenserAndWackier:
** The show's genre trappings from season to season have undergone this gradually from the first season onwards.
** The Mike Scully years were an embodiment of this trope, with "Saddlesore Galactica" and "A Tale Of Two Springfields" being infamous examples.
** In terms of both writing and directing, Jon Swartzwelder has ramped this trope UpToEleven even during the Mike Scully Years.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment:
** From "Last of the Red Hat Mamas":
--->'''Announcer:''' Welcome back to Fox Sports West II Classic Fox Sports FOX!
** From "Lisa on Ice":
--->'''Skinner:''' Attention, students: This is Principal Skinner, your principal, with a message from the principal's office.
** From "$pringfield":
--->'''Announcer:''' The News On Parade Corporation presents: News On Parade! [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Corporation... News!]]
** From "Marge in Chains", a sign reads "Springfield Women's Prison: A prison for women."
** In "Homer's Enemy", when Lenny introduces himself to Frank Grimes, he says:
--->'''Lenny:''' I'm Lenny. This is Carl and Homer. I'm Lenny.
** From "The Dad Who Knew Too Little":
--->'''Protest leader:''' What do we want?\\
'''Group:''' The gradual phase-out of animal testing over the next three years!\\
'''Protest leader:''' When do we want it?\\
'''Group:''' ''Over the next three years!''
** From "Homer: Bad Man":
--->'''Announcer:''' Tonight, on "Rock Bottom": We go undercover at a ''sex'' farm for ''sex'' hookers!
** From "The Itchy & Scratchy Movie":
--->'''Homer:''' I can't let that happen, I won't let that happen, and I can't let that happen!
** From "Dumbbell Indemnity":
--->'''Moe:''' I'm just going to die lonely, and ugly, and dead.
** From "Heartbroke Kid":
--->'''Homer:''' Did you hear that, Foxy, the Fox Network fox?
* DependingOnTheArtist:
** The eyes in the earlier seasons were an easy way to tell the [[Creator/{{AKOM}} three]] [[Creator/RoughDraftStudios animation]] [[Creator/SunwooEntertainment studios]] apart. [[note]]The eyes in an AKOM episode tended to use animation smears for quick pupil animation, Anivision's eyes were [[OffModel larger than normal]] (especially in far shots), and Rough Draft animated the eyes normally with small pupils[[/note]]
** Whenever characters are facing toward the camera, [[ sometimes]] they would sport a CatSmile, and [[ sometimes]] they don't. Note that both provided examples occur in the same episode.
* DependingOnTheWriter: Some episodes are very pro-democracy and even patriotic in tone for a show that takes joy in mocking politics and political spectacle at every opportunity ("Mrs. Lisa Goes to Washington" for example) while others depict the US government as incompetent and even directly antagonistic ("The Frying Game" and to a lesser extent "The Cartridge Family" for example). It should come as no surprise that some of the most anti-government episodes are written by John Swartzwelder, a right-libertarian and a member of the NRA.
* DepravedKidsShowHost: Krusty the Klown isn't as funny as his audience would like to believe.
* {{Deprogram}}ming:
** After the family was rescued from the Movementarian cult in "The Joy of Sect".
** Also attempted by the family when Bart was living with Mr. Burns. The deprogrammers got Hans Moleman instead.
* DepthDeception: Leading to Kent Brockman welcoming his alien overlords.
* DerailedForDetails: In an episode that takes place before Lisa was born, Marge is telling Bart a typical prince-and-princess story before he goes to bed.
-->'''Bart:''' And then what happened?\\
'''Marge:''' They had 30 sons and 30 daughters.\\
'''Bart:''' What were their names?
* DescentIntoAddiction: In "$pringfield", Mr. Burns opens a casino in Springfield and Marge becomes a gambling addict.
* DesertedIsland: "Das Bus", in a parody of ''Literature/LordOfTheFlies''.
* DespairEventHorizon: In "Bart gets an F", Bart himself hits this briefly. He is informed that he must pass his next exam otherwise he will be held back a year, and he ''really'' does not want that to happen. Despite his best efforts, he fails the exam anyway, and completely breaks down sobbing, shocking even Edna Krabappel. [[spoiler:During his crying-induced rant of self-hatred, he quotes an obscure bit of history regarding George Washington, and Ms. Krabappel, impressed, awards him an extra mark, the one mark needed to get him a D- and pass.]]
%%* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: Homer.
* {{Determinator}}: You think [[MagnificentBastard Sideshow Bob]] is going to let being driven through cactus patches, trampled by elephants, and [[OverlyLongGag repeatedly stepping on rakes]] stop him? [[IronButtmonkey Think again.]]
* DeusAngstMachina:
** Frank Grimes hated his life and his whole set of circumstances. Everything he tried to accomplish backfired on him, he lived in an apartment sandwiched between two bowling alleys, and his arch-nemesis, Homer Simpson, seemed to have a better life than him. Frank's hell is thought of as Heaven by Homer, but the final attempt to shame Homer for life (by having him enter a children's model building contest) imploded spectacularly when Homer ''won'', and thus, he went crazy. And ''electrocuted'' himself. And as a final little insult, Homer fell asleep during his funeral and loudly ruined it by yelling "Change the channel, Marge!" in his sleep, to the amusement of everyone else attending. The producers later attempted to rebut criticism that they went a bit over the top torturing Grimes by claiming that it demonstrated that a 'real' person couldn't survive in the Simpsons universe, but even this explanation is a little unsatisfying considering the sheer amount of misfortunes piled on top of Grimey is ''way'' over the top.
** Then there's Kirk Van Houten's divorces, where [[WomenAreWiser his wife is shown as inherently right]] despite the divorce obviously coming from mutual resentment and disrespect, he's fired from his job for ''being single'', and apparently got nothing out of the divorce settlement so he ends up straight in low-income housing, and it's one of the few times the show defies StatusQuoIsGod by keeping it this way. All of this just to deliver a BrokenAesop to Homer about respecting his wife that [[AesopAmnesia he'll forget by the next episode]].
** Hans Moleman is interesting in that he is a literal example--he originated as an animation mistake that creator Matt Groening hated, but the rest of the staff loved. His RunningGag of being repeatedly killed was, according to DVD commentary, a teasing attempt to placate Groening's demands that the character never be seen again.
%%** And then there's old Gil.
* DevilInDisguise:
** In "Lady Bouvier's Lover", Marge's mother goes out dancing with Mr. Burns:
--->'''Mrs. Bouvier:''' I swear, Monty, you're the Devil himself.\\
'''Mr. Burns:''' WHA?!! WHO TOLD Y-- Oh, er, heh heh...
** Not to mention the Halloween episode where it's revealed the Devil is ''Ned Flanders''. "Always who you least suspect", indeed.
--->'''Devil Flanders:''' Hey, Bart.\\
'''Bart:''' ''[nonchalant]'' Hey.
* DevilsAdvocate: Parodied. Homer states that he's about to "play devil's advocate" in regards to helping Apu... it then cuts to him playing a pinball game called "Devil's Advocate".
* DidNotDieThatWay: Grandpa Simpson told Homer that his mother had died, and pointed out her tombstone from time to time as they passed by the cemetery. Turns out that [[spoiler:Mama Simpson is alive and hiding out from the Feds]]. The cemetery marker Grandpa points out is actually Creator/WaltWhitman's.
* DidntWeUseThisJokeAlready: It gets a little meta considering the fact that South Park claims that "The Simpsons Did It".
-->'''Marge:''' Hmmm. Should the Simpsons get a horse?\\
'''Comic Book Guy:''' Excuse me, I believe this family already had a horse, and the expense forced Homer to work at the Kwik-E-Mart, with [[HilarityEnsues hilarious consequences.]]
* DidYouDie: Grampa Simpson doesn't let logic get in the way of his warnings.
-->'''Grampa:''' Son, don't go up that mountain! You'll die up there like I did!\\
'''Homer:''' You? Did?\\
'''Grampa:''' Sure.
* DietEpisode:
** Homer went on one in "Brush With Greatness" after he got stuck in a water slide at a water park.
** Lisa went on a diet in "Sleeping With the Enemy" after her friends said she had a big butt.
* DifferentInEveryEpisode: The First Church of Springfield does not appear often, but when it does, the sign out front has different text. In "Steal This Episode", for example, all it said was, "Joke?"
* DiggingYourselfDeeper: Principal Skinner in "Girls Just Want to Have Sums" keeps accidentally insulting women, and with each attempt to rectify the situation, he just keeps making it worse. Eventually, he just breaks down and pleads to the women: "Just tell me what to say!"
* DingDongDitchDistraction:
** In one "Treehouse of Terror" episode spoofing ''Film/StrangersOnATrain'', Bart makes a deal with Lisa to get even with their respective teachers, with Bart telling her to do a "ding-dong ditch" on Ms. Krabappel. Turns out Bart meant that Lisa ''murder'' Ms. Krabappel, as in "kill that ding-dong and throw her in a ditch".
** In "Burns' Heir", when Bart abandons his family to live with Mr. Burns, Homer arrives and challenges Burns to do his worst. Burns simply locks Homer out, and Homer responds by ringing the doorbell and running away.
* DinnerTheatre: Springfield Dinner Theater has featured Creator/MarkHamill in ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls'' and Krusty the Klown in ''Theatre/KingLear''.
* DinkyDrivers: In one episode, Bart was steering while Lisa and Milhouse were operating the gas and brake pedals. They failed spectacularly due to their total lack of coordination, though Milhouse took the opportunity to ask Lisa out.
* DinnerOrderFlub: Selma takes Hans Moleman out to dinner in order to seduce him (she wants a baby, and by this time doesn't much care with who). He tries to read the menu but the waiter tells him it's the wine list.
-->'''Moleman:''' Very good.
* DinnerWithTheBoss: Several examples.
** Mr. Burns does this in "Two Cars in Every Garage, Three Eyes on Every Fish" as part of his political campaign.
** Also [[ParodiedTrope parodied]] in "The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase", where the family consists of beavers and the boss is a skunk (played by Tim Conway).
** In the episode "Twenty-Two Short Films About Springfield," there's a segment about Principal Skinner having Superintendent Chalmers over for dinner.
** One more Simpsons example: In "Behind the Laughter", this was the plot of the pilot Homer shot. Bart played the boss.
* TheDinosaursHadItComing: In one episode lampooning Literature/TheBible, a pig in the Garden of Eden warns Adam (Homer) against eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. One of the dinosaurs ate one and well... that's why there aren't any more of them.
* DisabilityAlibi: In "Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2", Groundskeeper Willie is cleared as a potential suspect due to being medically certified to be unable to use a gun from playing too much ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders'' in his youth.
%%* DisasterDominoes: Frequently.
* DiscretionShot: Near the end of the second act of the episode "Bye Bye Nerdie", Lisa gets beaten up by Francine. This happens the same time we see the shot of one of the security camera monitors in which Wille replaces a toilet paper and giving a thumbs up to the camera.
* DisproportionateRetribution:
** In "Two Bad Neighbors", former President George H.W. Bush spanks Bart for destroying his memoirs. When Bart tells Homer about the spanking, Homer decides it's the last straw and starts a conflict with Bush. Homer didn't even know about the memoirs until the final confrontation, and even then he still attacks Bush.
** This is the reason why the infamous "The Boys Of Bummer" is so hated. It basically gets to where losing a baseball game can get you branded a pariah and be DrivenToSuicide.
** In Homer and Marge's growing legal battle with Judge Constance Harm this trope it set up to be averted when their retribution is to hang a protest banner on Harm's houseboat. However when their plan is foiled by a [[ItMakesSenseInContext guard Sea Lion]] Homer's solution is to ''blindside the Judge with a cinder block''(!) which ''only'' manages to hit her house and sink it.
* DisneyAcidSequence: Several.
** Homer's [[ComicStrip/LittleNemo Slumberland]] dream when he sleeps on the car's steering wheel in "Lisa's Pony".
** Lisa's [[WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine Purple Submersible]] dream when she gets gassed in "Last Exit to Springfield".
** Happens when Bart dares her to drink the water in the "[[SouvenirLand Little Land of Duff]]" boat ride in "Selma's Choice".
* DisneyCreaturesOfTheFarce: In "Homer the Heretic", after he creates his own religion, a group of woodland animals gather around him and Homer happily accepts their presence -- until he asks them to leave while he's showering.
* {{Disneyesque}}: A ''Disney/LadyAndTheTramp'' parody has the backgrounds drawn in Disney style.
* DisqualificationInducedVictory: One episode has NASA look for ordinary people to become astronauts, ending up with Homer and Barney. Barney by far outperforms Homer, but as soon as he drinks alcohol reverts to his previous state, leaving Homer the winner by default.
** We see the other side of the coin in an early episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' where Lisa is crowned Little Miss Springfield [[note]] Lisa was first runner up and gets the title when the winner is hit by lightning, making her unable to "fulfill her duties" as Little Miss Springfield [[/note]]. The pagent's sponsor (Laramie Cigarettes) don't like her speaking out against smoking so they find a [[LoopholeAbuse loophole]]: on the entry form where it says "Do not write in this space" Homer wrote "O.K." Lisa is [[ExactWords disqualified]] and the title goes back to the original winner.
* DistractedByTheSexy:
** In the episode "Bart After Dark", Homer attempts to chastise Belle for allowing Bart to work at her burlesque house, but has difficulty doing so while watching Princess Kashmir exhibition.
** "A Star Is Born Again": when Sara Sloane's wearing a somewhat revealing outfit, Homer drolls a little over her and drops his nachos when he trips over. He swaps between whining over his nachos and drooling over Sara's breasts.
* DistractedFromDeath: Burns reunites with his long lost love in one episode, only to take too long in the bathroom getting ready for sex. When he comes out, she has died.
%%* DodgeballIsHell: ...Of a sort.
* DoesNotLikeMen: Patty & Selma, especially if said "men" are anything like Homer, though that doesn't stop them from trying to find men that are worse than Homer for Marge to marry (i.e. Artie Ziff, Andre on "Homer's Triple Bypass," the man from "Regarding Margie" [the episode where Marge has amnesia and loses her memory of being married to Homer]). Despite this, there was an arc where Selma wanted to find a man so she doesn't die alone and single (as seen in the episodes "Principal Charming," "Selma's Choice," and "A Fish Called Selma"). Patty, on the other hand, revealed in "There's Something About Marrying" that [[spoiler:she's a lesbian]], along with being a misandrist.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: In Tree House of Horror X, after being affected by radiation Lisa becomes the super hero Clobber Girl. During which she remains barefoot the entire time.
* DoesNotUnderstandSarcasm:
** Homer, on many an occasion especially when he thinks Chief Wiggum is serious when he tells Homer to wait for a cop who cares after Homer fails to bribe him.
** Bart, in "Marge Be Not Proud", doesn't understand Comic Book Guy's sarcasm when he tries to buy a new video game for only 99 cents.
* DoIReallySoundLikeThat:
** When Bart and Lisa were encouraging Homer to audition for the role of Poochie, they record his voice so he could hear it.
--->'''Homer:''' Oh... I don't like having such a hilarious voice.
** Parodied on "The Otto Show": Bart tapes himself impersonating Marge to use as proof that Marge gave Bart permission to let Otto live at their house. The impersonation is poor, but Homer believes that it's Marge and uses the line that everyone says, "That's not my voice" when they hear themselves on tape.
* DomesticApplianceDisaster:
** Parodied when Homer has to cook. Wisely, he just prepares a bowl of cereals. But as soon as he pours (cold) milk into the bowl, it ''catches fire''.
** In the "Stark Raving Dad " episode, Bart puts his red cap into the white laundry and all Homer's shirts turn pink. It leads Homer to be judged as a [[PinkMeansFeminine defiant mind]] at work when he wears one - and to be put in an asylum.
* TheDon: Fat Tony oozes this trope. Never has mob menace been so second-language articulate.
* DoNotAdjustYourSet: Played for laughs as Bart takes over at the start of "Treehouse Of Horror V".
* DontExplainTheJoke: the show has the tendancy to do this frequently in meta, but one point it's played straight as a joke: one of the many bad acts in the Springfield Elementary Faculty Variety show is Skinner and Chalmers trying to do WhosOnFirst, only for skinner to ruin it in his very first line by flat out explaining the first baseman's name really is "Who".
* DoomedNewClothes: When Homer had to quit his dream job at the bowling alley in "And Maggie Makes Three", he gets a "Sorry you had to 'split'" jacket as a going away present. When he returns to the SNPP, acid rain sprang up and dissolved the jacket.
* DoorClosesEnding: ''Film/TheGodfather'''s final shot is homaged in the ending of a mafia-themed episode, with Lisa in the role of Kay. Subverted as the door opens again to reveal Michael is playing with his toys.
* DorkHorseCandidate: Seen in a couple episodes; "Lisa's Substitute" featured Bart running for class president against Martin, and "Trash of the Titans" featured a disgruntled Homer running against Ray Patterson for sanitation commissioner.
* DotingGrandparent: Mona Simpson, supposedly deceased mother of Homer Simpson, created a bond with Lisa as soon as they met in "Mother Simpson".
* DoubleEdgedAnswer: In "Hurricane Neddy", when Ned Flanders asks Reverend Lovejoy if God is testing him, Lovejoy answers, "Short answer, yes with an if; long answer, no with a but."
* DoubleStandard:
** Lisa can be just as petty and mean as Bart, but generally gets rewarded for her behavior, and the show usually tries to justify her actions, while he gets punished. The good side of this is that whenever Lisa gets punished, it's usually an awesome episode because it stands out.
** In the shorts, Lisa was often as mischievous and impudent as her brother but [[KarmaHoudini usually avoided any comeuppance]], either by being wily enough to avoid the same consequences as her brother or [[SelectiveEnforcement simply having it ignored by her parents]]. Allegedly this was because [[DoubleStandard writers were dead against planned gags]] having [[WouldntHitAGirl Homer violently discipline her]] [[MenAreTheExpendableGender in the same way as Bart]].
** Marge can sometimes benefit from this: She can be a {{jerkass}} on the same level as Homer, but her bad behavior is a sign that she's unappreciated or overworked, so she's really the victim here; when Homer does this he's [[WhatTheHellHero chewed out by everyone in town]].
** Woman in the Simpson universe are generally always presented as in the right to the point of reaching TheUnfairSex levels. DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale and even DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale is repeatedly used while men are usually required to [[TookALevelInJerkass take a level of jerkass]] when abuse is taken seriously.
* DoubleStandardViolenceChildOnAdult: In the episode with George Bush (senior) as a guest character. The first act of the episode has Bart floating around the former president as a wannabe [[ComicStrip/DennistheMenaceUS Dennis The Menace]], simply causing havoc and Mr. Bush being unable to do more than fume while his wife is oblivious about Bart's antics and thinking he's a nice kid. When Bart shreds Mr. Bush's auto-biography, the former president has had enough and spanks Bart's bottom ''once'' before sending him home to "think about what he had done". Bart's response: go to Homer and tell him that Mr. Bush had hit him, making both guys (who had been chums during the first act) go on the (increasingly serious) warpath. At least ''once'' during the next two acts, Mr. Bush tells Homer that Bart deserved it because he destroyed his auto-biography and other havoc and wants an apology, but Bart doesn't want to give it and Homer doesn't care about it; Bush hit his kid, and Homer wants payback.
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: In "Beware My Cheating Bart", Jimbo’s girlfriend Shauna pretty much molests Bart first by exposing herself to him while forcing a relationship with him, dating him behind Jimbo’s back. However, the episode treats her as the victim with Bart getting punished for everything.
* DramaticCurtainToss: Several, but mostly notably the unveiling of Marge's portrait of Mr. Burns.
* DramaticShattering: In "Last Exit to Springfield", Lisa angrily shatters the mirror when she sees how her braces look.
* DramaticSpotlight: Parodied in the episode where Krusty reveals to the world he's Jewish. He asks for a spotlight, and the spotlight operator thinks he's doing a bit.
-->'''Krusty:''' Boys and girls, I'd like to be serious for a moment if I may. Spotlight, please. I just wanted ''[spotlight moves away from Krusty]'' I just wan- ''[spotlight moves away again]'' Come on, guys, I'm not doing the spotlight bit!
* DreadfulMusician: [[WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty Rick]], when he encounters Lisa's saxophone.
* DreamIntro:
** The episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS4E16Duffless Duffless]]" has Bart at the school science fair where his entry is a gun called the "Go Go Gun" which when zapped at people makes them do dances from the 1960s like The Monkey, which Bart demonstrates on Prinicipal Skinner, who then awards him first prize. Bart then wakes up to Lisa repeating the words "first prize" repeatedly.
** The episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS4E1KampKrusty Kamp Krusty]]" has Bart in class on the day before summer vacation where Skinner makes an announcement over the speakers to tell them to take out their hardware tools to destroy the school, leading to a montage of the kids destroying the school as the song "School's Out For Summer" plays in the background. The dream ends with Bart destroying the school with a wrecking ball and then being woken up and having to attend the last day of school for real.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS10E5WhenYouDishUponAStar When You Dish Upon a Star]]" begins with Homer dreaming he is WesternAnimation/YogiBear mauling Ranger Smith, and was about to maul Boo-Boo when Bart wakes him up to remind him that they're going to the lake. Homer goes back to sleep and dreams he's WesternAnimation/MagillaGorilla mauling Mr. Peebles.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS4E3HomerTheHeretic Homer the Heretic]]" begins with Homer dreaming he is in a womb when a pair of hands attempt to pull him out. Fade to Marge trying to drag Homer out of bed.
* DreamSue: Homer is given to this, imagining himself as a muscular, more handsome version of himself.
* DrenchCelebration:
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS22E3MoneyBART MoneyBART]]": After Lisa leads Bart's baseball team to victory using statistical analysis like the film, ''{{Film/Moneyball}}'', some of the players pour Gatorade over her laptop computer in celebration with obvious results.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS22E10MomsIdLikeToForget Moms I'd Like to Forget]]": When the fourth grade class think they have won a game of dodgeball, Nelson takes the opportunity to dump the drinks cooler on Krabappel.
--->'''Krabappel:''' Hey! I'm not the coach! There is no coach!\\
'''Nelson:''' I know... I just wanted to see if you were wearing a bra.\\
''[Krabappel puts a hand to her chest and smiles at Nelson]''
* DressedToPlunder: Standard pirate attire appears on the cover of ''Literature/TreasureIsland'' that Bart tries to BS his way through a book report of.
-->'''Bart:''' Well, as Mrs. Krabappel already mentioned, the name of the book that I read was ''Treasure Island''. It's about these pirates, ''[Looks at the illustrated cover of the book]'' pirates with patches over their eyes, ''[Looks at cover]'' and shiny gold teeth, ''[Looks at cover]'' and green birds on their shoulders. Did I mention this book was written ''[Looks at cover]'' by a guy named Robert Louis Stevenson? ''[Looks at cover]'' And published by the good people at [=McGraw=]-Hill. So, in conclusion, on the Simpson scale of one to ten--ten being the highest, one being the lowest and five being average--I give this book a nine.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Parodied, of course:
** In "Viva Ned Flanders", Homer and Ned are running away from their new wives. They take two janitors into a broom closet to beat them up and take their uniforms, but the janitors beat Homer and Ned up and neither the janitors are mugged for their clothes nor are Homer and Ned posing as janitors.
** In "Burns, Baby Burns", Homer and Larry Burns are running away from the police, and duck into a costume store. Moments later, two people emerge wearing outfits whom we assume are Homer and Larry in disguise. However, it's revealed that those are two random people, and that Homer and Larry are hiding in the shop's bathroom until the shop keeper tells them to buy something or get out.
* TheDriver: Otto gets a lot of performance out of a school bus.
* DrunkenMontage: Krusty in "The Last Temptation of Krust".
* DudeNotIronic:
** In "Grift of the Magi", Lisa writes "I will not do math in class" on the blackboard as a punishment.
--->'''Bart:''' Lisa in trouble? The ironing is delicious.\\
'''Lisa:''' The word is irony!\\
'''Bart:''' Huh?
** In "The Dad Who Knew Too Little", after the laser hits the detective in the eye:
--->'''Homer:''' How ironic: He's blind, after a lifetime of being able to see.
* DullSurprise: Years of practice have made this Marge's habitual response to zany schemes, from as far back as Season 3. In "Buddy, Can You Spare Two Dimes?", Herb Powell unveils his latest invention, a shambolic-looking thing obviously cobbled together with pieces bought from Radio Shack.
-->'''Marge:''' ''[with obviously feigned enthusiasm]'' ''Ooooooooooooooh.''\\
'''Herb:''' Marge, you don't have to humor me.\\
'''Marge:''' I dunno, it's pretty ingrained.
* DumbBlonde: Averted with Lisa; hell, it wasn't even addressed until Lisa joined the school's debate team, where her opponent tried to justify this with ComicallyMissingThePoint and InsaneTrollLogic.
* DumbMuscle: Subverted with Ox, a member of Abe Simpson's old Army squad in UsefulNotes/WorldWar2. He comes off as this trope initially, and his [[NomDeGuerre nickname]] reinforces it. However, it turns out he's the only one who knows what a {{Tontine}} is. It also turns out the name is short for "Oxford".
* DustbinSchool: Bart got threatened by Skinner with being sent to a disciplinary school run by Catholic soldiers for truancy.
* DyingDeclarationOfLove: Arnie Pie shouts that he loves his wife in "Mr. Plow" before his helicopter is hit by a blizzard.
-->'''Kent Brockman:''' Hehe. That's great, Arnie.
* DynamicEntry:
** "Lisa's Substitute": Mr. Bergstrom shows up in cowboy attire and fires off fake gunshots into the air.
** "The Springfield Connection": Marge saves Homer's ass from a hostage situation by using Bart's secret treehouse entrance.