%% Please remember that many YMMV tropes have their own pages.
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* AcceptableTargets:
** In the first several seasons both political parties, with jokes about how Republicans were evil and Democrats were incompetent. The bashing of Republicans versus the lionization of Democrats is relatively new, although this is largely because the series can actually get away with such content now. Creator/MattGroening has always expressed his hatred for Republicans outside the show.
** While making fun of religions is purported to be fair game, [[SingleIssueWonk Christianity tends to get singled out among religions for negative actions by the religious]] (even with the show making allusions things such as, for example, [[AllMythsAreTrue the existence of gods from the Hindu pantheon]] and having significant, recurring Hindu characters in Apu and Manjula). Scientology seems to be off limits, because Creator/NancyCartwright (voice of Bart Simpson) is a member, and would most likely threaten to quit if they make fun of it (or, given their past history with actors such as Issac Hayes of South Park fame, be pressured into it by a higher-ranking Scientologist), not to mention [[ArmyOfLawyers Scientology's usual swift response to being criticized or mocked]], the Movementarians could be seen as a stand-in for the Scientologists and other cults.
** ''Family Guy'', which the newer seasons get compared to or jokingly accuse of ripping off the show.
** As with all of Groening's work, UsefulNotes/RichardNixon is a popular target.
** Arby's is considered fair game. Whatever the restaurant is mentioned, it's always in a mocking tone.
%%** ''Film/TheGodfatherPartIII''.
%%** The elderly.
* AccidentalAesop:
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E23HomersEnemy Homer's Enemy]]": "Don't let your jealousy consume you and prevent you from accepting apologies from people who genuinely want to befriend you". The intentional Aesop is "Being the OnlySaneMan actually sucks".
** The DVDCommentary for "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E22TrashOfTheTitans Trash of the Titans]]" states that the episode's GreenAesop was entirely unintentional.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E23HomersEnemy Homer's Enemy]]". Even though Frank Grimes has worked extremely hard in his life, he also comes off as a myopic pedant and a hard worker working for all the wrong reasons -- Considering how he attempts to work and function in a society that is possibly morally and ethically broken beyond repair and is just asking for it, and how he looks at what Homer and his family has as "normal", and is pure straight out jealous of him, he also reeks of EpilepticTrees of self-entitled, self-pitying, and uninsightful idiots that believe that playing the same IdiotBall game of materialistic society will make them the kings of the Idiot Ball, instead of saying [[ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules "Screw the money, I have standards."]]
** Another alternate interpretation relating to Grimes' death: ''did'' he just have a total psychological breakdown and kill himself accidentally? Or was he fully aware of what he was doing and ''deliberately'' commit suicide because he could no longer bear to live in such a crazy world where hard work isn't rewarded while laziness is and where everyone was, as he put it, insane?
* {{Anvilicious}}:
** Most of the later plots/subplots involving Lisa (though the only episode that had Lisa as a SoapboxSadie that most fans don't object to is "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS5E14LisaVsMalibuStacy Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy]]", as the family calls her out on her activist behavior and she doesn't win in the end). Some have noted this was also a time when Groening used her as a mouthpiece for his views.
** Some argue that the show becomes this when it discusses politics or religion, though for others it may be a case of SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped.
** One of the worst SoapboxSadie Lisa episodes was "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E8LisaTheSkeptic Lisa the Skeptic]]", in which Lisa was extremely emphatic that religion and science cannot coexist, despite her consistently showing religious beliefs from the past (earlier) episodes.
* ArchivePanic:
** If you watched all 600+ episodes back to back, it would take you almost ''two weeks''. That's not including the movie or the comic along with its spin-offs which have been running since 1993.
** When the show began airing in syndication on FXX in 2014, they aired all of the then-552 episodes in a non-stop, 12-day marathon called "Every Simpsons Ever."
* BaseBreakingCharacter:
** Homer Simpson. He's a lovable not-too-bright {{jerk with a heart of gold}} or a VillainProtagonist-cum-jerkass with no respect for anyone, not even his own family.
** Marge is this, mostly due to her constant meddling and interfering in things that aren't her business and never learning from her mistakes. Whether she makes up for this by being a decent mother and the show's occasional voice of reason is debatable, as is whether her negative qualities are funny or even tolerable.
** Lisa. She's either loved for being a smart, sensitive, progressively-thinking young girl or hated for being a preachy, occasional AuthorAvatar in Matt Groening's various [[TheWarOnStraw Wars on Straw]] who gets everything benefiting her regardless of her words or deeds.
** Comic Book Guy, after {{Flanderization}} turned him into a StrawFan. The debate is over whether or not he's actually ''funny'' as one.
** For some, Sideshow Bob. While many still enjoy his suave and EvilIsCool moments, others have grown tired of him and think he's outstayed his welcome on the show. Doesn't help matters that the show giving him such a detailed life and extended family that many viewers don't care for has lead to people not finding him mysterious or threatening anymore.
** Out of the main supporting cast, Moe became particularly hated when the writers started pushing him heavily (and giving him [[SpotlightStealingSquad several episodes per season]]) to keep Hank Azaria from bailing on the show in the late 90s after he landed a series of supporting roles in several high profile films. Some even compared this to [[WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents Denzel Crocker]]'s own overexposure in his show's own [[SeasonalRot later seasons]].
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** Homer's "The Land of Chocolate" ImagineSpot in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS3E11BurnsVerkaufenDerKraftwerk Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk]]".
** Homer eating the Series/JoeMillionaire promo in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS14E14MrSpritzGoesToWashington Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington]]".
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E19SimpsonTide Simpson Tide]]", in the middle of UN negotiations, the Russian ambassador reveals that the Soviet Union never broke up, and was only pretending to have dissolved. Cut to Red Square, where the floats in a parade all abruptly stop, and open up to reveal they were concealing tanks, Germany is no longer united, and Lenin rises from the dead, moaning "must... crush... capitalism".
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E5TheCartridgeFamily The Cartridge Family]]", the episode where Homer buys a gun, he brings it into the Kwik-E-Mart, which causes Apu to believe that he is going to rob him. He denies this, but then fantasizes what life would be like if he did rob the store, which ''somehow'' leads him to become a State senator (sitting in a rocking chair and sporting a monocle, no less) and for Marge to be a go-go dancer as a 60s-inspired jaunty tune nonsensically plays.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS5E16HomerLovesFlanders Homer Loves Flanders]]" has Homer being conned out of some money by Bart who deceived him into believing he had tickets to a football game. He was instead given a wig coupon, which then leads to an ImagineSpot featuring him wearing a "Marge" wig, imitating her voice and muttering to himself, "I don't need her at all anymore." [[note]]Although in a later episode from that same season, "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS5E22SecretsOfASuccessfulMarriage Secrets of a Successful Marriage]]", we see that, yes, he does need her and would essentially ''die'' if he didn't have her to take care of him since he is unable to properly care for himself.[[/note]]
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS4E19TheFront The Front]]", the episode ends with a 30-second short called "The Adventures of Ned Flanders", a throwaway non-sequitur about the Flanders. This came about as the episode was short on runtime as written and needed something, anything to get it to the length needed.
* BizarroEpisode:
** Apart from having a title in Spanish, "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E9ElViajeMisteriosoDeNuestroJomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)]]" is mostly centered around Homer tripping from eating extremely hot peppers.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E15MissionaryImpossible Missionary: Impossible]]" is mostly set on a remote island, and ends with the reveal that it was all a [[ShowWithinAShow PBS pledge drive within a show]] on FOX.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E14DasBus Das Bus]]": The whole episode is a ''Lord of the Flies'' parody set on a tropical island, and ends with Creator/JamesEarlJones saying there isn't really an ending, so let's just say [[AssPull Moe saved them]].
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E22BehindTheLaughter Behind the Laughter]]", the 11th Season finale: It turns out the Simpsons were all [[AsHimself actors playing themselves on the show]], and that they had nearly broken up and stopped work on the show.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS10E18SimpsonsBibleStories Simpsons Bible Stories]]": The episode ends with the Apocalypse descending upon Springfield. As the Flanders ascend to Heaven, the Simpsons literally go to Hell.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS26E10TheManWhoCameToBeDinner The Man Who Came to Be Dinner]]", where The Simpsons go to a crappy theme park and ride a space attraction that takes them into outer space and Homer becomes the main course for Kang and Kodos.
%%** The "Treehouse Of Horror" episodes are this by design.
%%** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS12E6TheComputerWoreMenaceShoes The Computer Wore Menace Shoes]]", "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E13SaddlesoreGalactica Saddlesore Galactica]]" and "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS23E12MoeGoesFromRagsToRiches Moe Goes from Rags to Riches]]" may also count.
* BrokenBase:
** Were the first two seasons part of the show's classic era or just so rife with EarlyInstallmentWeirdness and [[OffModel horrid art and bizarre animation]] that it's hard to watch them again and take them seriously, considering how much the show has changed?
** Latin American viewers are divided in regards about [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks the new voice actors]]. (changed in 2004).
** In the same vein, should the show keep making new episodes? Many fans who don't like the new seasons still don't want to see it go off the air, and some of the people who do like them would rather see FOX or Matt Groening MercyKill the series before it stops being good.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E23HomersEnemy Homer's Enemy]]" (the episode with Frank Grimes): Brilliant deconstruction of the show's absurdity, or painfully and humorlessly dark? The only thing fans agree on is that the episode is only accessible to long-time viewers.
** Which season is the last classic-era season? Seasons 8, 9, or 10?
*** Season 8 is felt to be better than Seasons 9-24 but worse than Seasons 1-7, whether it's SeasonalRot or fun despite its flaws is debated. Seasons 9 and 10 are either considered flawed but better than later seasons, or the moment the show went downhill. The only thing fans seem to agree on is that Season 9 is the better of the two (and probably where the series should have ended).
*** Seasons 11 through 25 are generally agreed to be worse than seasons 1 through 8, but beyond there's little consensus on how they compare to each other.
** Who was the better showrunner? For the classic era: Is it Al Jean & Mike Reiss, David Mirkin, or Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein? For the post-classic era: Is it Al Jean or Mike Scully? For Jean's episodes as showrunner, which were better: Seasons 13-16 when he tried to emulate Seasons 1-8, or Seasons 17-24 when the show has turned into a watered-down ''Family Guy'' and ''South Park''?
** Over "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E13SaddlesoreGalactica Saddlesore Galactica]]", bordering on LoveItOrHateIt. Many fans hate this episode and call it one of the worst ever, but a fair number enjoy it because it spoofs the {{Flanderization}} and [[DenserAndWackier absurd plots]] that started to crop up in Season 9. The other "meta" episodes, like "Behind the Laughter", are also divisive-some fans think the self-referential humor is just obnoxious and dull, while others like that the show has a sense of humor about itself, but none of them are as controversial as "Galactica".
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E14TheItchyAndScratchyAndPoochieShow The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show]]", a focus group asks kids if they'd prefer Itchy and Scratchy to have more down-to-earth plotlines like people have every day or wacky, far out adventures with robots and magic powers. The kids answer enthusiastically to both options. The writers commented that at the time they felt stuck between these two avenues of the fanbase, with half the fans wanting the show to stay grounded in reality, others wanting it to get crazier and crazier.
** What was the last "classic episode"? While most would agree that the quality of the series declined in season 9, with 10 being the last classic season, there are still episodes beyond them deemed "classic" and thus essential viewing. Contenders include: Season 11's "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E22BehindTheLaughter Behind the Laughter]]" and Season 12's "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS12E18TrilogyOfError Trilogy of Error]]". Whether any episode from these post-classic and HD era can reach up to the heights the classics achieved is another debate.
* CrazyAwesome: Groundskeeper Willie, a drunk, insane Scottish janitor who fistfights with animals, fought actual space invaders with a shotgun, and apparently thinks movies are real.
* CreatorWorship: Matt Groening gets little of the blame for the series' decline (having only a "Creative Consultant" credit for most seasons) while James L. Brooks gets none (likewise having no real involvement in the series for most of its run). Al Jean and/or Mike Scully usually get blamed for running the show into the ground (or any outside circumstances, like hiring writers who can't capture the magic of the early seasons, [[RecycledScript Recycling old storylines]], [[TheCameo excessive celebrity cameos]], [[WereStillRelevantDammit trying to keep up with current events]], or retiring the characters Troy [=McClure=] and Lionel Hutz because of Phil Hartman's death). See ScapegoatCreator for more.
* CriticalResearchFailure:
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS26E10TheManWhoCameToBeDinner The Man Who Came to Be Dinner]]", a [[ShallowParody shallow]] TakeThat at Creator/{{Disney}} involves a Mickey Mouse stand-in saying "My cartoons weren't good, they were just first", when anyone who's familiar with ''WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat'', the early animations by Windsor [=McCay=], or even the history of animation in general would know for certain that Mickey Mouse is '''not''' the first cartoon character.
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS19E11That90sShow That '90s Show]]", a billboard in 1998 depicts Amy Rose with her design from ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', which wasn't released in North America until the following year.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: While the series can be sadistically hilarious at times with almost the whole town filled with jerks, there are moments where viewers thought they went too far. Such as...
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E23HomersEnemy Homer's Enemy]]" is a dark, bitter {{Deconstruction}} of the show's mythology, [[BlackComedyBurst which was so shocking to fans]] that some think [[JumpingTheShark it forever tainted the series' legacy of being biting but lighthearted, not outright sick and twisted]].
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS18E18TheBoysOfBummer The Boys Of Bummer]]" is an ''extremely'' divisive episode for this reason. What with practically 99% of the town's population driving Bart to near-suicide, it was safe to say that ''nobody'' on the show was likable anymore.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'' attempts to address the issue regarding Homer. Homer, as everyone knows, is a bumbling idiot that always causes problems for himself, his family, and the town. When Homer dooms the town to die, Marge takes the kids with her to some place safe after she wonders why she even puts up with him after so many years, Lisa declares she has no father, and Bart finds Ned Flanders, a slightly overbearing religious nice guy, to be a better father to him than Homer ever was. Homer took this event as a wakeup call to [[EarnYourHappyEnding change himself and take responsibility for his actions]]. Of course, Homer goes right back to his usual antics on the television series.
* DesignatedHero:
** Homer used to be a well-intentioned moron, but has been an outright {{Jerkass}} for the last 10 or so seasons, in part because he's become much crueler towards his family.
** The use of RecycledScript also makes Lisa this, as she will often be presented as in the right or get a happy ending, yet when someone else does the exact same thing they are treated as a {{jerkass}} and shunned for it.
** Margeís status as the shows DesignatedVictim means that no matter the situation she is treated as the wronged party. There are many situations where Marge goes along with Homerís plans, does the same thing as him or something worse, yet she will always be treated as the victim or at least sympathetic. If itís not outright ignored or played for l;aughs. What makes this worse is that there are episodes where Marge is clearly shown in the wrong only for it to go through a ShockingSwerve or HalfwayPlotSwitch so not only are her actions forgotten she usually ends up getting exactly what wanted.
* DesignatedVillain:
** Horst and the other Germans from "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS3E11BurnsVerkaufenDerKraftwerk Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk]]", which also makes Homer the DesignatedVictim. Aside from not being threatening or even the least bit unpleasant like everyone expected them to be (barring their "threat" to Mr. Burns at the end of the episode) and the numerous and expensive repairs in need at the plant which were still out of Homer's reach even as the safety inspector, his own incompetence and inability to explain his job or provide any ways to improve productivity at the plant got him fired, and rightfully so. Even a later scene had him complaining that they had no right to fire him, ''while using a fork inside of a toaster oven.'' In spite of his SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome of telling off Mr. Burns at Moe's, you can't blame the men for taking action, especially since he was the only employee to be let go.
** Similarly, you have Evelyn, Marge's high school classmate, and the other country club women from "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E14ScenesFromTheClassStruggleInSpringfield Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield]]", save for Sue-sin, of course. While constantly referred to as snobs throughout the episode, none of the women were intentionally rude or even catty to Marge (and, at worst, could only be seen as InnocentlyInsensitive) and had she and the rest of family went to the big party at the club, they would have welcomed them in with open arms. Even Sue-sin comments she wasn't serious or malicious in her attitude.
** Burns of all people is this in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS20E8TheBurnsAndTheBees The Burns and the Bees]]". All he wanted to do was become popular by building a flashy new stadium for the team he brought. Unfortunately, this went against Lisaís plan to build a bee sanctuary and Burns is treated as the villain of the episode. When Homer unleashed a hoard of Africanized bees on the stadium, injuring who knows how many people, Burns was the one who was blamed and had to pay for all the damages while Lisa and Homer got off scot-free.
** The titular SSCCATAG group of "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS15E8MargeVsSSCCATAG Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays]]". Sure, their hatred for kids might be extreme, but with how unruly the toddlers were in that episode, it's hard to argue that they don't have a point with ''some'' of the laws.
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS25E8WhiteChristmasBlues White Christmas Blues]]" in order to make money Marge turns the Simpson house into a bed-and-breakfast by inviting a number of people that she had no way of accommodating and promising them things that she had no way (and no intention) of providing. Yet the tenants are the ones shown in the wrong for complaining that Marge essentially conned them out of a lot of money.
* DorkAge: The earlier seasons ruthlessly mocked sitcom conventions, but the more recent ones generally play them straight, and the remaining satire tends to be in the form of blunt exposition, rather than being worked into the script.
** The episodes from Mike Scully's time as showrunner (Seasons 9-12) are accused of this due to {{Flanderization}}, [[DenserAndWackier crazy off-the-wall plots]] (and for some, too much focus on [[SpotlightStealingSquad Homer]]), and, in Season 11, the show trying to be just like more "in-your-face" satirical cartoons like ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' and ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' just to keep up(though the writers saw it more as taking the piss out of those types of shows). There were also issues with tone: Some of the episodes, including the infamous "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E2ThePrincipalAndThePauper The Principal and the Pauper]]" and "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E13SaddlesoreGalactica Saddlesore Galactica]]", tried to mock their own absurdity, but the parody was so subtle that it came across as {{Flanderization}} to some.
** Al Jean's time as showrunner, Seasons 13-present: His first few seasons were attempts to imitate Seasons 3 through 7, but to some the show became a milder clone of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' and ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' around Season 17 (coincidentally around the time that the former show was UnCanceled). The heavy reliance on recycled plots, dated pop-culture references, and celebrity cameos throughout hasn't helped. DependingOnTheWriter characterization has also become a problem, especially with Homer and Bart: characters' personalities have been reduced to whatever the plot of the week requires.
** As a consequence of the show's age, [[RecycledPremise reusing plots]] has also become a problem: Homer's terrible health, he and Marge's teetering marriage, and Lisa's {{Wangst}} have all been beaten to death over the years, but keep coming back regardless.
* DracoInLeatherPants:
** Homer and Bart. Sometimes fans will excuse their actions when they were in the wrong, often when Homer or Bart hurt Lisa in some way, simply because they dislike Lisa or prefer Homer and Bart to other characters. It also applies to later seasons independently of Lisa - Bart often causes problems for himself or exudes an aura of BrilliantButLazy, but fans sometimes think the universe of the show or the writers just aren't cutting him a break.
** Sideshow Bob gets this from some of the fandom. While he is canonically a bit of an IneffectualSympatheticVillain, many fanworks gloss over his deliberate attempts to murder or otherwise harm people and turn him into a straight-up good guy with a heap of DarkAndTroubledPast.
* EarWorm: [[http://youtube.com/watch?v=e_9eMNwia5I "Everybody Hates Ned Flanders"]] from "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS14E18DudeWheresMyRanch Dude, Where's My Ranch?]]"
** ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVPpz_X-QU0 Duff Beer for me/Duff Beer for you/I have a Duff/You have one too]]''
** ''Moe, Moe, Moe! How do you like me, how do you like me? Moe, Moe, Moe! Why don't you like me, nobody likes me...''
** ''See my vest/see my vest/made from real gorilla chest/See this sweater/there's no better/than authentic Irish Setter...''
** ''[[VillainSong I've... grown accustomed to his face, / And dreams of gouging out his eyes...]]''
** Overlapping with StylisticSuck is Kirk Van Houten's demo tape. ''Can I borrow a feeling?/Could you lend me a jar of love?/Hurtin' hearts need some healin'/Take my hand with your glove of love!''
* EnsembleDarkhorse: [[EnsembleDarkHorse/TheSimpsons It has its own page]].
* EsotericHappyEnding: Many Lisa focus plots have this as they often require ignoring or even an outright sacrifice of someone elseís happiness (that person usually being Bart). There are even episodes where people are heavily injured and even killed, but ignored because Lisa got what she wanted.
* EvilIsCool:
** Hank Scorpio is a fan favorite villain for being a criminal mastermind who was also a BenevolentBoss to Homer.
** Mr. Burns is one of the most evil characters in the show, but being BornInTheWrongCentury and taking joy in his wickedness has provided some really interesting quirks that make him stand out to other antagonists, especially in the early seasons.
** Sideshow Bob. He's voiced by Creator/KelseyGrammer and his plans tend to be well thought out and the only reason he loses is someone outgambits him in some way, but he comes pretty close to succeeding.
** The all-powerful Kang and Kodos, [[TheBadGuyWins who've managed to conquer the Earth a decent number of times]].
* EvilIsSexy: Sideshow Bob has amassed a fair number of fangirls through the years. The fact that he's a reasonably young man with a lot of charisma and acting talent doesn't hurt.
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: Usually PlayedForLaughs, such as the one from "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E9ItchyAndScratchyAndMarge Itchy & Scratchy & Marge]]": One person can make a difference, but most of the time, they probably shouldn't.
* FandomHeresy: Not unlike the whole [[Franchise/StarWars "prequels vs. the original series" debates]], defense of any later episode will come across as this. See SacredCow below.
* FandomRivalry: ''The Simpsons'' is one of the media franchises most well-known for having [[SameLanguageDub multiple foreign dubs in the same language]], most notably two different French[[note]]Canadian (more precisely Quebec) and European[[/note]] and Spanish[[note]]Latin American and European[[/note]] versions. However, due to the drastically different voice casts and approaches to {{Woolseyism}} between regional versions, the North American and European fans are often at each other's throats about whose dub is superior.
* FanonDiscontinuity: Many prominent examples, given the show's LongRunner status, its consequences of said status, and fans' strong preference for the first 8-10 seasons and, to an extant, the Tracey Ullman shorts:
** Special mention should go to "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E2ThePrincipalAndThePauper The Principal and the Pauper]]", the episode where it's revealed that the Principal Skinner we've known throughout the show's long-running history (8 seasons at that point) is actually [[DeadPersonImpersonation a fraud named Armin Tamzarian]]. You can tell it's bad when [[CreatorBacklash even Skinner's own voice actor Harry Shearer disliked it]]. The episode is an [[CanonDiscontinuity in-show example of discontinuity]], too, because the characters in-show [[StatusQuoIsGod decide they prefer the fake Skinner, run the real one out of town, and a judge orders that they never speak of the incident again]]. Several subsequent episodes have made self-effacing TakeThat jokes about the preposterousness of the plot as well.
** The only episode more reviled for its blatant abuse of canon than "The Principal and the Pauper" is "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS19E11That90sShow That '90s Show]]" which depicts the lives of The Simpsons throughout the 90s, completely ignoring that the events of episodes which aired during the show's earlier seasons that took place in the 90s, and completely rewriting canon as a result. This may have been upgraded to CanonDiscontinuity in later seasons, since they continue to depict Homer and Marge as having gotten together in the mid-1970s.
** Also "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS10E10VivaNedFlanders Viva Ned Flanders]]", with its portrayal as Ned as 60 has since been ignored - with Ned's previous background as the son of beatniks being retained.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS18E18TheBoysOfBummer The Boys of Bummer]]" and "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS17E16MillionDollarAbie Million Dollar Abie]]" are disowned for showing abuse to Bart and Grampa respectively that goes beyond BlackComedy.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E13SaddlesoreGalactica Saddlesore Galactica]]" is divided, as some people (and the Simpsons writers) see the episode more as a surreal [[SelfDeprecation piss-take against The Simpsons' own decline in quality due to repetitive storylines and exaggerated characterizations]].
** Fans usually ignore the presence of Sideshow Bob's Italian wife and son as seen in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS17E8TheItalianBob The Italian Bob]]". Possibly CanonDiscontinuity as they're never seen or mentioned again after "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS19E8FuneralForAFiend Funeral for a Fiend]]".
** Mike Scully's tenure as showrunner is hated by some due to the show's blatant use of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''-cum-''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''-esque levels of VulgarHumor. The shining example being the infamous Panda Rape scene in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS12E5HomerVsDignity Homer vs. Dignity]]", which crosses the line into [[DudeNotFunny tastelessness territory]] with a dash of sickening abandon.
** The Al Jean episodes are hated just as much, only for different reasons Ė namely, being boring, derivative, full of forced humor, carrying an air of WereStillRelevantDammit due to dated pop culture references, and the constant [[DuelingShows dueling]] with ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' in FOX's lineup.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS23E22LisaGoesGaga Lisa Goes Gaga]]" one of the biggest complains of this episode was how much screentime Lady Gaga got as opposed to other celebrity guest stars(only Mel Gibson had a comparable amount of screentime to her), some have said that the episode is so absurd that it resembles fanfiction.
** Ned Flanders getting married to Edna Krabappel is seen by some fans, including Skinner-Edna fans, as another JumpedTheShark moment in the series history.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS19E6LIttleOrphanMillie Little Orphan Millie]]" for some people, due to Milhouse's parents getting back together when some considered their divorce to be CharacterDevelopment for their son. Though some people really liked that episode and felt like it was good character development for Kirk and Luanne, as they were getting tired of all the constant jokes of Kirk being a complete loser.
** Some fans don't consider any of the permanent character deaths to be canon. This includes the death of Maude in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E14AloneAgainNaturaDiddily Alone Again, Natura-Diddily]]", Snowball II in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS15E9IAnnoyedGruntBot I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot]]", Fat Tony in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS22E9DonnieFatso Donnie Fatso]]", and Edna Krabappel in "The Man Who Grew Too Much" (which occurred after [[TheCharacterDiedWithHim Marcia Wallace's own death]]). With some of these deaths, the narrative pretends they never happened either.
** Bart, Lisa and Maggie were always considered special for being the three Simpsons kids but "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS24E3AdventuresInBabyGetting Adventures in Baby-Getting]]" reveals that Homer donated his sperm and now has a massive number of offspring mothered by other women. In the same episode Homer says he never wanted to be a father which contradicts how much he enjoyed being a father in classic seasons. It is downright nonsensical that he would donate his genetic material to a sperm bank but not ever want children.
* FanPreferredCouple:
** Nedna is ''literally'' a fan-preferred couple: FOX held a vote to see if they should break up or become an OfficialCouple. Nedna won (but not before Marcia Wallace died, leaving Ned Flanders a widower once again).
** Nelson/Lisa is more popular among fans and the voice actors even though the writers seem to sway things towards Milhouse/Lisa.
* FansPreferTheNewHer: Marge Simpson is not happy when a plastic surgeon gives her breast implants meant for one of Mayor Quimby's female interns and she spends the whole episode fretting about them (while all the men drool and ogle at them), which of course means they're gone by the end of the episode. This one probably doesn't need [[RuleOfSexy any further explanation]].
* FlameBait: Ask any internet forum which of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', and ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' is the best -- or better yet, ask them when ''The Simpsons'' stopped being worth watching. You'll be surprised how many people think the show is still good after all these years.
* FranchiseOriginalSin: Some fans treat "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E5LisaTheVegetarian Lisa the Vegetarian]]" as this, as they feel this episode started Lisa's eventual {{Flanderization}} into a SoapboxSadie (which it was, due to Music/PaulMcCartney only agreeing to do the episode if Lisa stayed vegetarian for the rest of the show's run. The fans saw it as a sign that the Simpsons' writers were kissing the asses of the guest stars they let on the show, disliking Paul more than his wife [[YokoOhNo Linda]] because of that).
* FranchiseZombie: Matt Groening said ''The Simpsons'' would be around a couple more seasons, but couldn't guarantee anything beyond that because SeasonalRot was becoming a real concern and he wanted the series to end on a high note. That was in ''1999''.
* FirstInstallmentWins: Some fans treat "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E8MotherSimpson Mother Simpson]]" as the only time Mona Simpson appears, as they feel her later appearances cancel out its ''very powerful'' TearJerker ending.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: [[FunnyAneurysmMoment/TheSimpsons It has its own page.]]
* GenreTurningPoint: It's impossible to overstate how revolutionary this show was. Not only was it one of the first mainstream western cartoons to be specifically written for adults, it was the TropeCodifier for animated sitcoms. In addition to that, the LaughTrack free, subversive, and often meta humor had massive influence on sitcoms in general, animated or not.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff:
** Lisa. She's a BaseBreakingCharacter in the United States, but Lisa is very popular with Japanese audiences, due to her studiousness and Buddhism. Promotional material for ''The Simpsons'' in Japan even portrays her as the main character.
** The show is extremely popular abroad, due to the extensive {{Woolseyism}}s involved in each foreign dub.
*** French Canadians love the series; it's one of the only foreign shows airing in French Canada to not only be dubbed into Canadian French, but to extensively use colloquial Québécois French accents and slang as opposed to the Standard French typically used in French-Canadian dubs.
*** In South America, this is the only non-Latin show to air nowadays in over-the-air channels (aside from occasional Brazilian soaps). ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'' confirmed the show's popularity, being the highest-grossing movie of 2007 in Argentina, as well in the rest of the region, [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome bringing back audiences to theaters after decades]].
*** Note that the "classic" Latin American dub (until season 15) was notable among imports for replacing most North American-centric references to more localized ones (as well as translated names). This largely ended after the (infamous) voice actor "switcheroo", with more recent episodes becoming less popular.
* GrowingTheBeard: Seasons 2 and 3, as the show became funnier and the characterization improved while the animation issues from Season 1 were resolved.
** Late season 2 onward especially, as the show became less and less Bart-centric and embraced the idea of being a wider ensemble piece.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E18BrushWithGreatness Brush with Greatness]]", as Music/RingoStarr is responding to fan mail from the 1960s, he says "I don't care if it takes me another 20 years. I'm going to answer every one of them." In October 2008, Starr announced he'd no longer accept any more fan mail.
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E11FearOfFlying Fear of Flying]]", Homer didnít want Marge to go to therapy because he thought it would turn her against him. In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS25E11SpecsInTheCity Specs In The City]]", he finds out that she is in therapy and he is her biggest complaint.
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS4E10LisasFirstWord Lisa's First Word]]", Bart spent the entire episode resenting Lisa because he felt that his parents were disregarding him as she was getting all the attention. Eventually, he is about to run away until Lisa says her first word, "Bart". Then comes "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E3LisasSax Lisa's Sax]]" where Bart being disregarded by his parents as Lisa gets all the attention is exactly what happens. Taken even further when Marge eventually admits she sees all of her children as ReplacementGoldfish, making Lisa a serious case of the MiddleChildSyndrome.
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E1BeyondBlunderdome Beyond Blunderdome]]" guest star Creator/MelGibson is genuinely shocked when audiences react badly to his ultra-violent climactic blood bath ending to his remake of ''Film/MrSmithGoesToWashington'' (see WhatAnIdiot below). A few years later Gibson's life and career would spiral out of control when he couldn't cope with general audiences reacting badly to his very bloody 2004 Crucifixion film ''Film/ThePassionOfTheChrist'', seriously damaging his reputation in the process as he suffered a serious nervous breakdown complete with alcohol relapse and the end of his long standing marriage to Robin Moore.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E1BartOfDarkness Bart of Darkness]]": Bart worrying that Maude is dead doesn't seem so funny now that Maude [[KilledOffForReal really]] ''[[KilledOffForReal is]]'' [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E14AloneAgainNaturaDiddily dead]].
** Dr. Hibbert's whole situation (by original design and {{Flanderization}}) of being the anti-[[Series/TheCosbyShow Cliff Huxtable]], in light of the ''RealLife'' crimes that Creator/BillCosby has been accused of doing, even ''during'' the filming of said show. Especially in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS16E11OnAClearDayICantSeeMySister On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister]]", where Hibbert makes a reference to dealing with a sexual harassment lawsuit.
** Seeing what a cool, heroic guy that Jebediah Springfield, the town's founder, is portrayed as in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS1E8TheTelltaleHead The Telltale Head]]" is this after his true identity is discovered in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E16LisaTheIconoclast Lisa the Iconoclast]]": [[spoiler: as a conman and a scoundrel who tried to kill UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington.]]
* HeartwarmingInHindsight: In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS12E11WorstEpisodeEver Worst Episode Ever]]" jokes are made about Comic Book Guy's [[ThisLoserIsYou single status]], when Dr. Hibbert comments after he has a heart attack that the job of running a comic store is something he'd call "The Professional Widowmaker" except the owners are never married. Flashforward to Season 25's "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS25E10MarriedToTheBlob Married to the Blob]]" and Comic Book Guy does end up HappilyMarried.
* HilariousInHindsight: Has [[HilariousInHindsight/TheSimpsons its own page]].
* HoYay: Has [[HoYay/TheSimpsons its own page]]
* HollywoodHomely: Selma and Patty are presented as being extremely unattractive [[InUniverse in the show]], but they don't look substantially different from their sister Marge, who's considered to be beautiful.
* IKnewIt: There were quite a few people who called out that [[spoiler: Krusty's father]] would be the one to die in the Season 26 opener, particularly due to Al Jean specifically saying that he was "an Emmy-winning" character, and [[spoiler: Jackie Mason had been one of the few guest stars to win an Emmy for the show]].
* JerkassWoobie: Bart, Homer, Lisa and Grandpa Simpson. DependingOnTheWriter, Nelson Muntz, Moe, and Milhouse sometimes qualify.
** Mr. Burns, whenever he tries to atone for what he's done (he usually gets rejected).
** Frank Grimes is another example. He's had a god-awful life after being abandoned by his parents, was such a NoRespectGuy that everyone laughed at his funeral, and [[TooDumbToLive has had to work with Homer's stupid antics.]]
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Bart. Marge too, must run in the family.
* LoveToHate: Sideshow Bob and Mr. Burns are incredibly sinister and LaughablyEvil.
* MagnificentBastard:
** ''Sideshow Bob''. He's devious, brilliant, manipulative, and of course funny. Though they always fail, his plans have included faking his own death and [[BatmanGambit guilting Bart into coming to see his corpse]] so he can burn him in the cremation oven, impersonating a man about to be released from prison to escape and move in next to the family, stealing a nuclear bomb and holding the town hostage, rigging an election to become mayor of Springfield, and hypnotizing Bart into being a suicide bomber to kill Krusty. Those last two plans in particular are notable because they ''worked'': his election scam was uncovered after he won the election, and his suicide bomber plan had him intervene when he was overcome with newfound love for Krusty.
** Considering he's managed to outsmart Sideshow Bob at nearly every turn, Bart Simpson himself could very well qualify. Though his full potential is hampered by him being BrilliantButLazy and BookDumb
** Hank Scorpio, no doubt. [[Film/JamesBond SPECTRE]] might've been able to actually accomplish something if they took some management lessons from this guy.
* MemeticMutation: [[Memes/TheSimpsons Has its own page.]]
* MisBlamed: Since he became showrunner in Season 9, Mike Scully gets blamed for "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E2ThePrincipalAndThePauper The Principal and the Pauper]]" during that season. Except Scully was never involved in it. It was a leftover episode from Season 8, with Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein as showrunners, Steven Dean Moore was the director, and Ken Keeler was the writer.
** Lisa sometimes gets this from the fans, being blamed for Marge and Homer's bad parenting when fans feel they favour her over Bart. In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E3LisasSax Lisa's Sax]]", many felt that Bart's unhappiness at school was shoved aside in favour of nurturing Lisa's gift. While the episode supports this to an extent, it's not really Lisa's fault as she was a toddler at the time and not consciously trying to steal their parents' attention.
* {{Moe}}:
** Maggie, the adorable CuteMute baby who is always sucking on her pacifier (though she has a dark side).
** Lisa, being a smart, caring, and idealistic AdorablyPrecociousChild.
** Ralph, one of Lisa's classmates, qualifies due to his innocence and being a {{Cloudcuckoolander}}.
** Ironically the character named Moe ''definitely'' averts this trope.
* MoralEventHorizon: Has [[MoralEventHorizon/TheSimpsons its own page]].
* MostAnnoyingSound: Dr. Marvin Monroe's very raspy voice. Which is why Creator/HarryShearer, Creator/MattGroening, and the audience never liked the character.
** The running gag of characters going "WHHHAAAAAAAAAAA!?!".
** Similarly, the other running gag of characters making a Charles Nelson Reilly-like "bleeeuugh" noise while pulling at their collar or sticking their fists up.
* MostWonderfulSound: The heavenly choir at the beginning of the opening sequence.
* NeverLiveItDown:
** Lisa's profile quote in the arcade game: "Embrace nothingness!" She [[BeamMeUpScotty only said it once in the actual show]] but many fans know her best for saying just that.
** Similarly Bart said "Cowabunga" in only a couple of instances in the second season, despite it being slapped on endless merchandise of the character. DVD commentary reveals the creative team were surprised he even said it in the actual series ''at all''.
** Ever since [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS18E18TheBoysOfBummer Boys Of Bummer]] premiered, despite the townspeople apologizing for treating Bart badly to the point Bart was nearly DrivenToSuicide. Many viewers see this as [[ThisIsUnforgivable "too little, too late]], and would never see nearly any citizen of Springfield in the same light ever again. One particular case is Chief Wiggum for driving Bart back to the crowd for losing the game and was the one who [[SuicideDare taunted Bart into jumping off]].
* OneSceneWonder: Hank Scorpio. Many fans love him even if they don't like Season 8, and he was so popular that the [[WhatCouldHaveBeen writers even considered making him]] the BigBad of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie''. Even when they didn't do so, [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute the villain they did make was almost completely like him]] (except minus [[AffablyEvil his personable manner]]).
** When Marge joins the police, one of her fellow cadets is a twitchy GunNut who screams "Forget about the badge! When do we get the FREAKIN' GUNS?!"
** When Burns sends an assassin after Abe Simpson over a treasure, a [[BadassBystander random nurse at the rest home]] chased the assassin off with a shotgun.
-->'''Nurse:''' OUR RESIDENTS *BANG* ARE TRYING *BANG* TO NAP! *BANG*
** Sideshow Raheem is surprisingly popular for a character who has only said two words in the run of the show.
* OpinionMyopia: Even so much as suggesting latter-day episodes have a bit of spark in them is an ''incredibly'' easy way to provoke the steadfast feelings of fans of the older episodes. (But, of course, it actually works both ways: for those who tend play up the Zombie Simpsons ideology, there are also those who may deny any kind of flaws in the newer episodes whatsoever).
* PolishedPort: The [=XBLA=] and [=PSN=] port of the arcade game is basically arcade perfect.
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames:
** With few exceptions, most ''Simpsons'' games are [[NintendoHard terrible.]] The arcade game and ''VideoGame/TheSimpsonsHitAndRun'', however, are regarded as classics, ''Bart's Nightmare'' is fairly decent, and the 2007 multi-platform game, despite camera issues, has some genuinely hilarious moments.
** Also averted with the pinball machine ''Pinball/TheSimpsonsPinballParty'', which pinball fans commonly regard as one of the 21st century's best.
* SacredCow: The episodes of TheNineties and/or TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation. Suggested to be infallible, genius, a never-ending cultural icon, and television stewed to perfection. Suggesting even the slightest bit of flaws or NostalgiaFilter in any fan favorite, or even so much as pointing the finger to them for [[CriticalBacklash poor reception of the newer episodes]] is tantamount to FandomHeresy, regardless of the validity of each passing season.
* ScapegoatCreator: Everything wrong with the show post-Season 8 tends to be blamed on the showrunner: Mike Scully for seasons 9-12 and Al Jean for seasons 13 to the current one.
** Scully also gets accused of ruining the show after season 12, either because he became an producer starting with Season 13, or because he did so much damage as showrunner that the show couldn't be saved.
** Likewise, Jean gets accused of ruining the show before season 13, either because he returned to the show in season 10 or he became executive producer in seasons 11 and 12.
** A VocalMinority of fans, especially those who think SeasonalRot set in around Season 6 or 7, point the finger at the writing staff who left the show after season five (or in the early part of it, as "Cape Feare"[[note]]the episode where The Simpsons go into Witness Protection after Sideshow Bob gets paroled[[/note]] is the last episode written by the original writers).
* TheScrappy: Everyone in this show is a BaseBreakingCharacter in some way, but these are the characters just about everyone hates.
** Marvin Monroe is hated by almost everyone, mostly because of his annoying raspy voice. His voice actor, Harry Shearer wanted the character removed from the show which actually damaged Shearer himself. And even Matt Groening hated him and found his voice annoying, which is why he was removed from the show.
** Agnes Skinner. She has a very toxic relationship toward her son Seymour (just about every form of abuse but sexual), openly insults anyone without them doing anything to her (like calling Homer "Jumbo" for no reason in "Simpsons Safari"), complains constantly about nothing, and is just plain unpleasant to be around.
* SeasonalRot:
** The general consensus is that the show stopped being good after either seasons eight, nine or ten.
*** Season 8 is often cited as the last time ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' created good episodes, although a lot of people feel that some of season eight's episodes weren't all that great, except for "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E2YouOnlyMoveTwice You Only Move Twice]]", the episode with Hank Scorpio, and "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E23HomersEnemy Homer's Enemy]]", the episode with Frank Grimes.
*** Season 9 is usually cited as the last good season, because, despite Mike Scully running the show and featuring the infamous episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E2ThePrincipalAndThePauper Principal and the Pauper]]", season nine did have some good episodes like "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E1TheCityOfNewYorkVsHomerSimpson The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson]]" and "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E5TheCartridgeFamily The Cartridge Family]]".
*** Season 10 is cited by some as the beginning of the SeasonalRot, with others calling it the last good season (classic examples include "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS10E23ThirtyMinutesOverTokyo Thirty Minutes over Tokyo]]" and "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS10E7LisaGetsAnA Lisa Gets an "A"]]"), as it was during the time Creator/PhilHartman died (meaning no more [[EnsembleDarkhorse Lionel Hutz or Troy McClure]]) and when it became obvious the writers were running out of ideas.
** But the seasons that deserve a mention are Seasons 11 and 12, which many feel they were the show's worst. Those seasons rely heavily on [[BizarroEpisode bizarre plots]], [[GainaxEnding nonsensical twist endings]], [[CelebrityStar tons of special guest stars]], and ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''/''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''-style humor.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: In the early days, this cartoon was criticized for being a kids' cartoon (even though the only reason Matt Groening made the show bright and colorful was to grab their attention, not make it a kids' show) that dealt with a lot of smutty and controversial content. These days, it barely (but occasionally) raises a blip on the MoralGuardian's radar, thanks to ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' and Creator/SethMacFarlane's cartoons being far more shocking and controversial.
* SnarkBait: The seasons 11-27 episodes, particularly the post-movie episodes are ''prime'' targets of this. Even positive comments about them will often draw negative comparisons to the earlier seasons.
* SoOkayItsAverage: The post-SeasonalRot episodes are this for some fans.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: How longtime fans and animation students felt about the TitleSequence that has been in use since the LABFXX production season (i.e. season 20 starting from "Take My Life, Please"). Two main instances stand out. The first one is [[http://imgur.com/gallery/AhCu0 Marge's animation during the supermarket scene]], which went from elaborate movement to a simple turn of her head. It's understandable in context (her time was shortened in order to add in Gerald and Maggie fist shaking), but still. The second one is Homer getting hit by Marge's car and bursting through the door in the garage instead of him screaming at the sight of the car and running away from it via the same door.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: Has [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter/TheSimpsons its own page]].
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: Has [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot/TheSimpsons its own page]].
* ToughActToFollow: Some of the criticism of the newer seasons comes from [[OvershadowedByAwesome the extremely high expectations fans had after the first 8-10 seasons]].
* ToyShip: Mary Spuckler almost married Bart, due to the Spuckler family's backwards marital traditions. She's also the only one of his many love interests to be featured prominently in more than one episode.
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: The Scully era (namely season 11-12 with the episodes "Saddlesore Galactica" and "The Tale of Two Springfields") got routinely scathing reviews and a good amount of a BrokenBase, but it has gotten praise by some as a brilliant surrealist, experimental take on all the cliches ''The Simpsons'' was dishing out. Some art critics have even called it a genuinely good work of post-modernism.
* UncannyValley: The grotesque animation style of the early era episodes (including the ''[[Series/TheTraceyUllmanShow Tracey Ullman]]'' shorts) and in some episodes in which the Simpsons are depicted in another medium (claymation, live-action, as drawn by Creator/JohnKricfalusi, as drawn by Creator/BillPlympton, CGI, Lego, ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken''-style stop-motion, etc)
** The real-world celebrity cameos can come off as this, as they're always drawn as realistically as possible which clashes with the semi-abstract designs of the main and recurring cast.
* UnintentionallySympathetic: Since the writers enjoy playing fast-and-loose with morality and SympatheticPOV, viewers might agree with characters who are not supposed to be seen in the right.
** Bart, if you think about all the crap he goes through. Sure, he's a brat, but Homer strangles him constantly, he often feels ignored and useless in the face of Lisa's accomplishments, he's picked on at school, blamed for things other people have done, and of course Sideshow Bob keeps trying to kill him.
** Homer can get this treatment as well (specifically if you don't consider him a JerkWithAHeartOfJerk VillainProtagonist [particularily in [[SeasonalRot the later seasons]]], this even is used to [[JustifiedTrope justify his traits]]): FreudianExcuse, a menial job, [[WhatTheHellHero being called out by everyone each time he does something wrong]], and (earlier on) having AlwaysSomeoneBetter as a neighbor.
** Edna Krabappel was supposed to be the bitter, cranky teacher who yelled at Bart for every misdeed of his, but over time it was hard not to pity her when you realized how bitter and lonely she was.
** Seymour Skinner. So what if he's an uptight authority figure who can't run his school worth beans? Look at the way his mother treats him!
** Patty and Selma. They're almost always portrayed as the villains when they're involved with conflicts with Homer, but they just want the best for Marge and while they can be legitimately mean when you consider the way Homer treats her sometimes you have to agree with them.
** Ned Flanders, sometimes when they're using him as a target to take jabs at religion, mainly because one episode implied his fundamentalism was a coping mechanism for dealing with his wife Maude's death.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Has [[UnintentionallyUnsympathetic/TheSimpsons its own page]].
* UnpopularPopularCharacter:
** While the audience finds them lovable, it's made clear that most of the populace finds the Simpsons troublesome and/or dangerous. In the episode "Simpson Safari", this subtle exchange occurs:
-->'''Homer''': The Simpsons are going to Africa!\\
'''Family''': Yay!\\
''(In Africa, two tribesmen dance around a fire. Suddenly, one of them stops)''\\
'''Tribesman''': What is it, N'gungo?\\
'''N'gungo''': [[VaguenessIsComing Evil is coming.]]\\
'''Tribesman''': What shall we do, N'gungo?\\
'''N'gungo''' ''(puts his mask on the other tribesman's head)'': [[YouAreInCommandNow You are N'gungo now!]] ''(runs away screaming)''
** Milhouse is treated as a ButtMonkey in-universe, but he has his fans among the viewers as he's also TheWoobie.
* VindicatedByHistory:
** The Mike Scully era (1997-2001). Back when he was the show runner, a lot of fans thought it was a decline in quality due to the [[DenserAndWackier change of tone that resulted]]. But now, some people consider his first two seasons (seasons 9 and 10) part of the classic era, most likely due to Al Jean having the show runner position longer than the Scully, Oakley/Weinstein, Mirkin, Jean/Reiss, and Brooks/Groening/Simon years combined (15 years and counting).
** Many earlier episodes were actually [[http://uproxx.com/tv/reminder-the-internet-even-hated-on-the-simpsons-during-the-golden-era/ heavily criticised]] when they first aired. Nowadays, many of them are fondly remembered as the show's golden era.
** The voice actors all agreed that "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS4E12MargeVsTheMonorail Marge vs. the Monorail]]" was one of the worst episode they had ever done. Nowadays, it's often remembered as one of the best by fans.
* ViewerGenderConfusion: Kang and Kodos are brother and ''sister''. Arguably justified as they ''are'' StarfishAliens.
* {{Wangst}}: In later seasons. From ''all'' directions.
* WeirdAlEffect: Some of their various political parodies may fall into this for newer viewers who weren't around (or were too young to remember) to witness them.
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E16BartVsAustralia Bart vs. Australia]]", there is a parody of Film/CrocodileDundee with a man going "think that's a knife? THIS is a knife". For newer viewers, the film from which the meme came is not so familiar, and therefore many people think back to this series instead.
** The title song from the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E15TheSuperSpeedyCiderSqueezy6000 The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000]]" was believed by many younger viewers to be a reference to the Simpsons' "Monorail Song," when they're actually both based on the same source: "Trouble" from ''Theatre/TheMusicMan''.
* WereStillRelevantDammit: The later seasons get so much flak for this that it ends up having [[WereStillRelevantDammit/TheSimpsons its own page]].
* WhatAnIdiot: Has its [[WhatAnIdiot/TheSimpsons own page]].
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical: "Bart-Mangled Banner" was criticized for being so heavy-handed against Republicans and conservatives that Seth [=MacFarlane=] could rewrite it as a Family Guy episode by just changing the names and no one would be able to tell the difference.
* TheWoobie: Has its [[Woobie/TheSimpsons own page]].
* WriterCopOut: Due to being a LongRunner in SeasonalRot, this would be eventual.
** Many people were excited for "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS26E1ClownInTheDumps Clown in the Dumps]]", the premiere of Season 26, which had been [[TonightSomeoneDies hyped up for featuring the death of a major character]]. The character in question turned out to be [[spoiler:Hyman Krustofski]], a SatelliteCharacter at best. A lot of people were colored disappointed by this and felt misled. The event was been compared to ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'''s infamous "Life Of Brian" arc in terms of being a ratings stunt.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS27E1EveryMansDeam Every Man's Dream]]", the premiere of Season 27 was also a mixture of ratings stunt and this. Did you believe that Homer and Marge would separate? That Homer would start to date ''another woman''? [[spoiler:Nah, it's AllJustADream. [[GainaxEnding Or a tattoo. Or something.]]]]
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