Recap / The Simpsons S 7 E 10 The Simpsons138th Episode Spectacular
Episode - 3F25
First Aired - 12/3/1995

The third Simpsons Clip Show, albeit presented as a retrospective/anniversary special of the series rather than as a normal episode with the characters reminiscing (as seen with "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show" and "Another Simpsons Clip Show").

Troy McClure, whom you may remember from such Fox Network specials as Alien Nose Job and Five Fabulous Weeks of The Chevy Chase Show, opens the program with a look at creator Matt Groening — who is depicted as a crazed, right-wing Southerner who came up with the Simpsons to pay off his gambling debts — and clips from the original Tracey Ullman Show shorts. After that, there's:

  • Fake trivia in the commercial break bumpers (one about the Freeze-Frame Bonus during the opening credits when Maggie is put through the grocery store checkout scanner and one about which two popular characters died in the past yearnote )
  • Viewer mail questions about Homer's stupidity, how long it takes to make an episode, and Smithers' ambiguous sexuality.
  • Actual deleted scenes from several episodes, including Krusty getting cancelled after his arrest for trying to sell a pornographic photo book to minors in "Krusty Gets Kancelled," Homer's head being used as a bowling ball in "The Devil and Homer Simpson," Homer eating food from his mom's undelivered care packages and talking about how he's taking the nuclear plant down from the inside in "Mother Simpson," Apu showing a Bollywood film to The Simpsons in "Homer and Apu," Mr. Burns using a robotic Richard Simmons to scare Homer away in "Burns' Heir," and a montage of alternate scenes made for "Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)" to keep the real shooter's identity secret until broadcast, presenting everyone from Moe to Tito Puente to Santa's Little Helper as the culprit. This is followed by a complete alternate ending in which Smithers turned out to be the culprit all along (and, according to Troy, the ending was cut because it conflicted with the plot point about the attempted murderer being someone having Simpson family DNA).

McClure closes the show with the real reason people want to watch the show: "Hardcore nudity!" (albeit PG-rated hardcore nudity). The episode closes out with a montage of naked male characters set to "Shake Your Booty" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Art Shift: The purposefully bad drawings of Grampa Simpson and Krusty the Clown that look as if a kindergartener drew them.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Troy McClure's self-introduction (see above) mocks some of Fox's most embarrassing efforts of The '90s — the Documentary of Lies Alien Autopsy and The Chevy Chase Show, a late night talk show that lasted less than two months in 1993.
  • Bollywood: Parodied in the "Homer and Apu" deleted scene.
  • Clip Show: Albeit with even more Lampshade Hanging of the concept than usual for this show, and the only Simpsons clip show that doesn't have the Simpsons family sitting around and remembering past adventures.
    • Notably, the producers tried to avoid the usual clip show tropes as much as possible, with the inclusion of previously-unreleased deleted scenes and the rare Tracey Ullman shorts (which, pilot short aside, aren't even available on DVD outside of this clip show). As Troy McClure points out, Act Two's Deleted Scenes montage is arguably a Defied Trope.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In response to a question about Smithers, Troy shows a montage of his Ambiguously Gay moments... then states he's simply an unmarried white male, presently residing in Springfield.
  • Domestic Only Cartoon: To date, this is the only episode of the series to be fully animated in America, with no Korean outsourcing involved. This is because there was very little new footage that needed animating, and what little was required was just the outside shot of the Springfield Amphitheater (with the sign gag that the next day's event is an "Alternate Lifestyle Prom"), and all the scenes involving Troy sitting, standing, and talking to the audience. The episode was also digitally colored in America.
  • Exact Words: The announcer asks which two popular Simpsons characters died in the past year, with the answer being Bleeding Gums Murphy (who did die in season 6's "Round Springfield") and Dr. Marvin Monroe, but it's incorrect because "they were never popular."
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus / Unreadably Fast Text: Troy takes time to acknowledge everyone who made The Simpsons popular... and shows a two second scroll of names that whizz up the screen. The names are actual staff members.
  • Milestone Celebration: Parodied In-Universe with the arbitrary 138.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The end credits showing different scenes of various characters being naked.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: The Simpsons are described as "America's favorite non-prehistoric cartoon family."
  • Take That: There's one to the O.J. Simpson criminal trial's jury, when it's noted that the Smithers-as-culprit ending to "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" could not work because it would require ignoring "all the Simpson DNA evidence", which was what the jury was accused of doing.
    And that would be downright nutty.
  • Take That, Us:
    • Matt Groening is potrayed as an old, bald, gun-toting maniac who shoots at the camera crew who tries to interview him.
    • Troy's reaction to the earliest Simpson's episode is stunned silence.
    • At the end of the deleted scenes, Troy's shown having fallen asleep, and has to be prodded with a stick to wake up.
    Troy: If that's what they cut out, what they leave in must be pure gold!