Recap / The Simpsons S 11 E 22 Behind The Laughter
Original air date: May 21, 2000

In a parody of VH-1's Behind the Music (and other cable documentaries that chronicle the rise and fall of celebrities and casts of famed TV shows, like E! True Hollywood Story), this episode of The Simpsons depicts The Simpson family as actual celebrities whose egos, addictions, feuds, and run-ins with the law are jeopardizing the future of the show.

This episode contains examples of: (YMMV Examples here)

  • Affectionate Parody: Of Behind the Music and other celebrity documentary shows
  • All Part of the Show: Lisa tries to reassure the audience during the Simpsons' argument at Habitat for Hilarity, but everything goes to hell from there.
  • Animated Actors: The Simpsons and their fellow Springfieldians are presented as such.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: The episode is full of Lampshade Hanging. One particular example ties in with a Mythology Gag where Bart criticizes Homer's script for making him say "Cowabunga, Dude!"
  • The Cameo: Huckleberry Hound appears in a teaser for a "future" episode of Behind the Laughter admitting he is a closeted homosexual.
    • While Bart is briefly in jail for assaulting a flight attendant, his role is covered by Richie Rich.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Literally, as Homer reveals with a prop with a bite taken out of it
  • Christmas Songs: "Simpsons Christmas Boogie", which is really just "Simpsons Boogie" with "Christmas" and jingle bells added on.
  • Clip Show: Midway through the episode, the episode shows a series of clips of Homer getting hurt as the narrator goes on to explain about how Homer became addicted to painkillers while performing these stunts. Both the opening and ending credits show more of the stunts, the ending credits set to "Simpsons Christmas Boogie".
  • Couch Gag: One scene features a failed cough gag that apparently involves the Simpsons dressing up as cowboys but is ruined when Bart doesn't get into the scene due to being called to partake in another sequel to Teen Wolf.
  • Depart Of Redundancy Department: "Comic Book Guy: comic book guy"
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: After the breakup, Lisa writes a tell-all book revealing such harsh behind-the-scenes events of the show, such as being fed anti-growth hormones. Homer responds as such.
    Homer: That's ridiculous! How could I even get all five necessary drops into her cereal? (beat) What?
  • Dinner with the Boss: The plot of Homer's pilot for the show, with Bart as the boss.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Apu snitched on Homer's tax evasion because he misused the Take a Penny Leave a Penny tray.
  • Dork Age: In-universe, the period when Richie Rich stood in for Bart.
    Narrator: Fans reacted to these slapdash episodes with yawns. (audience yawns) Angry yawns. (audience yawns angrily)
  • I'll Kill You!: At the Iowa State Fair
    Homer: I'm gonna kill you!
    Marge: {Prods him in the chest} You don't have the guts, little man!
  • In-Character Commentaries: Homer provides commentary for his famous gorge jump from "Bart the Daredevil":
    Homer: Everything was going great at first. I felt like I was king of the world. Right about here, I realize something's wrong. Yep, there I go. Then came the rocks — jagged rocks, hitting me with their jags.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: In a manner parodying other celebrities that have done the same, The Simpsons get busted for tax evasion and the IRS agents are shown literally carting off their mansion.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: Inverted with Moe.
    Moe: Oh, Homer was spending money like a teenage Arab. (chuckles) He bought me a Rolex and, uh, Cashmere jeans. I felt kinda guilty 'cause I was always trying to score with his wife. So, when do we start filming? (beat) Oh.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Homer's opinion on the Thanksgiving the family had with their lawyers during their falling out.
    Homer: I mean, emotionally, it was terrible, but the turkey was so moist!
  • Jimmy Carter: Manages to keep an audience at a country fair performance entertained with breakdancing when the Simpsons break into an argument.
  • Lemony Narrator: Using such odd metaphors as:
    • "The Simpsons began on a wing and a prayer, but now the wing was on fire, and the prayer had been answered... by Satan."
    • "The dream was over. Coming up: Was the dream really over? Yes it was. Or was it??"
    • "Would Willie's fence-mending eggs bear fruit? Or would his olive branch be torn apart, by woodpeckers of mistrust? That night, fate wore a cumberbund... of suspense."
  • Metafiction/Postmodernism
  • Metaphorgotten:
    Homer: Why did I take much punishment? Let's just say that fame was like a drug, but what was even more like a drug was the drugs.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Lisa complains of being given anti-growth hormones.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Homer gives this gem:
    I want to set the record straight: I thought the police officer was a prostitute. *Gives a satisfied smile.*
  • Parody Assistance: Jim Forbes guested as the narrator, and the Behind the Music producers let the Simpsons animators use their graphics package to get the look just right.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During a Grammy award show, the presenter Ozzy Osbourne announces that, somehow, "Simpsons Christmas Boogie" won a Grammy for Best Thrash Metal. Angered, he bites off the "head" of the Grammy, causing it to bleed, referencing a similar incident with a bat.
    • Homer talks about his return to legitimate theater and is shown in a performance of RENT II. He acts as the characters' new landlord Mr. Stingely who apparently dresses like Snidely Whiplash.
  • Sound Effect Bleep: Both Marge and the narrator have a single contribution to the rare instances of censored dialogue in The Simpsons.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Homer's response to Lisa's claims of being given anti-growth hormones.
  • Talks Like a Simile: A running gag with the narrator.
  • Un Installment: Apparently, there's an episode called "Disorder In the Court", in which Richie Rich substitutes for Bart while the latter is in rehab.
    Marge: Bart, what do you mean you have jury duty?
    "Bart": Don't have a cow, Mother.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: After years of speculation as to what state Springfield is in, the narrator just casually says The Simpsons takes place in Northern Kentucky.
  • Written by Cast Member: Invoked; Marge mentioned that Homer writes the Sunday Simpsons comic strip.
    Bart: So you know it's good!
    Homer: Why you little... (chokes Bart)