Early-Bird Cameo: Apu's wife Manjula is seen in the season seven episode "Much Apu About Nothing" in a flashback. She doesn't become a character proper until two seasons later.
Early-Installment Weirdness: First were the Tracey Ullman shorts, the earlier ones with very skewed character models compared to what we know. Then come the first season or so, most of which is very different in tone and humor style to everything that came after it. In particular, there's the Simpsons episode "There's No Disgrace Like Home" (in which Homer is actually ashamed of his family being dysfunctional, something that would be more in character for Marge or Lisa in later episodes). The writers' commentary cheerfully admits that pretty much everything in the episode is "wrong" compared to later seasons, though that still doesn't stop it from having a scene that continues to be extremely popular, where the Simpsons all give each other shock therapy. Finally, there's the Art Evolution bump (though minor) when production switched to HD in season 20.
Also notable is the completely different, more gruff voice Dan Castellaneta uses for Homer during the shorts and first part of the first season. The original voice of Homer was based rather closely on Walter Matthau. As well, after the first three or four seasons (after the initial craze died down) the writers realized that Homer was a much better character for generating plots, as long as they kept him fairly unpredictable and dumb. This was lampshaded with a "viewer's letter" saying that "I think Homer gets stupider every year." Dan Castellaneta actually says on several commentaries that he never really made a decision to change the voice; he just kept trying his best to match the voice he used in the previous episode, and it slowly changed to one that fit the writing better.
Noteworthy are the early appearances of black Smithers with blue hair (though that was only due to an inking error, he was never actually intended to be black) and Lou the cop (who switched from being yellow to being black).
Season 2 made heavy use of overlapping dialog. This was more or less abandoned starting in season 3.
One effect of the show's status as a Long Runner is that some younger viewers consider the first several seasons this. Note that these are the same seasons that older viewers think of as the show's Golden Age.
Earpiece Conversation: There's a gag where Kent Brockman gets fed lines this way even when he's socialising
Easy Road to Hell: Parodied and subverted as Bart is on his way to Heaven on an escalator after being hit by a car, but gets sent to Hell for not holding onto the handrail and for spitting over the side, then gets let back to Earth as the devil realizes it's not his time yet.
Eating Lunch Alone: Lisa, in "Father Knows Worst"; nobody will let her sit with them. Which is odd, because Lisa's clearly had friends before.
In "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson" she has to eat alone in the mess hall because she's ostracized for being the only girl at military school. (P.S.: The cadets are planning to throw their meatballs at her.)
Elder Abuse: It's sometimes shown that the Springfield Retirement Castle where Abe "Grandpa" Simpson lives has rather neglectful staff in many episodes when it comes to the residents' emotional needs. In one episode, the staff even destroy the Wii Lisa gave them. Also Homer would seemingly be happy to leave his father in there and never see him at all, at one point Homer even tried to light a pile of junk on fire, which his dad was buried in. It was implied he knew his father was in said pile of junk.
Embarrassing Slide: A non-sexual one occurs in "Bart vs. Australia," where Evan Conover (a representative from the U.S. Department of State) shows the Simpsons a slideshow of America's love affair with Australian culture in the 1980s. The last slide shows Fidel Castro seen through the crosshairs of a sniper rifle with the words "Plan B." Conover calmly snatches the slide, says, "Oops, let's pretend we didn't see that!", and swallows it.
Epic Fail: Several examples, most notably in "Homer The Smithers" when Homer somehow sets a bowl of cereal on fire.
Enemy Mine: Itchy and Scratchy once teamed up to fight Adolf Hitler. Itchy killed Scratchy immediately afterwards.
In a Treehouse of Horror episode. they decide to team up against Bart and Lisa after they laugh at their pain.
End of Episode Silliness: Done a fair bit, e.g. "Monty Can't Buy Me Love", where Mr. Burns captures the Loch Ness Monster. The episode ends with the monster working at a casino, and it and Homer talk about the low quality of the casino's cocktails.
Mr. Burns and Smithers bathing a manatee at the end of "Bonfire of the Manatees".
Homer having to perform in the zoo act at the end of "Eight Misbehavin'".
Grandpa's retinas detaching while playing peek-a-boo with Maggie in "Lisa's Sax".
Bart tricking Homer into trying to open a Girltech Turbo Diary in "The Dad Who Knew Too Little".
Enormous Engagement Ring: In "The Real Housewives of Fat Tony", Selma marries the maffia boss Fat Tony. However, the wedding was not real and the ceremony was held in Italian, and she was only his house mistress. Fat Tony's real wife laughs at the size of Selma's ring, which is a ring of a mistress. The wife's ring is huge and the gem is as big as her fist.
Parodied in "Old Money", as Grampa and Beatrice flirt by consuming pills in a suggestive manner.
Also on the episode where Selma tries to find a man as per her Aunt Gladys' last request, during a date video taping, Selma chews on a (lit) cigarette and sticks out her tongue where the cigarette is now tied in knots (the only reason she can do that without feeling pain is revealed on season three's "Black Widower" where she told Sideshow Bob that a childhood accident where a bottle rocket went up her nose permanently destroyed her sense of taste and sense of smell. Then again, so does smoking for a long time, which Selma also did when she was a kid.)
And inverted into Fan Disservice when Patty and Selma find out that they can suck the many-days-dead conches and hermit crabs out of their shells to clean their seashell collection.
After eating dinner, Marge and Ned Flanders both eat strawberries dipped in whipped cream more erotically in "The Devil Wears Nada". Even the promotional artwork for the episode shows this.
"The Sweetest Apu", At the Kwik E Mart, Apu tries to break up with the Squishee lady until she eats a liquorice and spells out "Do Me" when taking it seductively out of her mouth causing Apu to lose control of himself.
In an episode where they find the skeleton of what looks like an angel, Lisa postulates via Imagine Spot that it may be a Neanderthal who had been attacked by two big fish biting each of his arms simultaneously.
Wiggum: Everybody's heard of an angel, who ever heard of a "neanderthal?"
Homer says that vampires are made up, just like gremlins and Eskimos in "Treehouse of Horror IV."
Sideshow Bob: Madam, your children are no more.... (camera pans back to reveal he's holding Bart and Lisa by the ears) than a pair of ill-bred troublemakers!
Homer: Lisa too?
Sideshow Bob: Especially Lisa! But especially Bart!
Evasive Fight Thread Episode: At the end of "The Great Wife Hope", Bart challenges Lisa to a fight to settle the bad blood between them. They jump at each other and the scene freezes and breaks to the start of the credits, only to subvert the trope and unfreeze a few seconds later as Lisa lays Bart out with a single punch.
Even Evil Has Standards: Though not so much "evil" as a doormat to an evil character, Smithers rarely objects to the business practices of Mr. Burns except for when they're exceptionally evil. During the "Who Shot Mr. Burns" two-parter, Burns plans to block sunlight from reaching Springfield so that the residents of the town would have one less alternative source of heat and light.
Burns: Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun. I will do the next best thing — block it out! Smithers: Good God! Burns: Imagine it, Smithers. Electric lights and heaters running all day long. Smithers: But sir! Every plant and tree will die! Owls will deafen us with incessant hooting! The town's sundial will be useless! I don't want any part of this project, it's unconscionably fiendish. Burns: I will not tolerate this insubordination! There has been a shocking decline in the quantity and quality of your toadying, Waylon, and you will fall into line, now! Smithers: No Monty, I won't. Not until you step back from the brink of insanity. Burns: I will do no such thing. You're fired.
Smithers does something similar in Sideshow Bob Roberts, where he goes behind Mr. Burns' back and gives a clue about how Bob was actually elected (hint: Ghost Voter) because he felt Bob's policies were against his "choice of lifestyle" (note: remember the hints from Smithers throughout the series).
In "The Bob Next Door", the prisoners who try to grope Marge through the bars of their cells instantly quiet down and stop the moment she tells them all she's married.
Inverted in Fear of Flying: During Moe's prank day, Barney and Lenny arrange for a cobra to bite Moe and set his apron on fire, respectively, and they all get a laugh. However, when Homer pulls a harmless prank by slightly unscrewing the sugar container to result in it spilling over the Tavern, everyone in the tavern ended up disgusted with Homer and had him banned permanently from the bar (at least according to the episode).
Through just as corrupt, which has been exposed time and again, Mayor Quimby also has his limits. A known example of this was in "Who Shot Mr. Burns: Part 1", he tries to calm the crowd despite being just as outraged about Burns plot to block the sun from Springfield. In fact, to the point, he doesn’t try to have the weapons many people have brought with them despite about told.
Everybody Laughs Ending: Lampshaded, of course. In "So It's Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show", Homer awakens from a coma thinking it's still April Fool's Day. It's actually been a couple of months since then, and he's lost 10% of his brain. After the fade out while everybody laughs at the last lame joke ("Me lose brain? Uh-oh!"), the last thing you hear is Homer saying "Why I laugh?"
Parodied at the end of the episode where Sideshow Bob attempts to romance (and kill) Selma by opening a gas line: Bart closes by saying "Now let's get out of this gas-filled hallway before we all suffocate." Everyone laughs, presumably from the effects of the gas leak.
Parodied in "Last Exit to Springfield", where the main characters are gathered in a dentist's office and laugh very loudly at a mildly amusing joke, then it is revealed that the doctor left the laughing gas on.
Parodied in one of the Halloween episodes, where, after destroying an evil wig, Chief Wiggum quips "Now THAT'S what I call a bad hair day!" Everyone cracks up except for Marge, who points out that Apu and Moe are dead...but drops her protest when she gets the joke, and joins in the laughter.
Used also in the Wiggum P.I. segment of the episode "The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase", ending in a 70's freeze frame of Wiggum, Skinner, and Ralph laughing at Skinner's One-Liner, capped with a wacky brass coda.
In "Homer's Enemy", everyone laughs at Grimes' funeral.
Everyone Is Satan in Hell: Stealthily invoked in "Bart Star", when Rodd and Todd of all people are wearing football jerseys with numbers 66 and 6 respectively. They even stand side-by-side in one shot just to drive the gag home.
Bart's earring in "Simpson Tide". Sparkle sparkle!
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: A major theme with Mr. Burns. The most obvious case of this, though, is in "The Old Man And Lisa" when Burns is so tired of his usual advisors, who are such doormats that they don't even let Burns know when he's making a mistake, that he decides to hire Lisa instead, probably realizing that Lisa isn't really one to hold back. Repeatedly in the episode, Burns mistakes some of Lisa's moral advice for practical advice, but for the most part the moral option happens to be the more practical option anyway. This pattern, however, is broken when Lisa mentions to Burns that sometimes sea life gets caught in trash like 6-pack holders; obviously, Lisa considers this a bad thing, but Burns doesn't even seem to realize that Lisa does. (Or alternatively, perhaps he realizes he does and PRETENDS not to realize it so as to piss off Lisa.) So, instead of gathering the 6-pack holders to dispose of them, he gathers them up to make giant improvised fishing nets out of them and gather large quantities of sea life. It gets worse when Burns shows Lisa the factory where said sea life is mashed into a slurry that Burns refers to as "Lil' Lisa Slurry." Lisa calls him out on this.
Lisa: You're not just evil, you're worse than evil. Even when you think you're being good you end up being even more evil.
Evil Gloating: Mr. Burns is known for doing this, (Springfield's organized crime community is relatively less prone to it) but an especially sickening example is in Who Shot Mr. Burns part 1. At the town hall meeting about Burns' plan to block out the sun, Bart is telling the people at the meeting about how his dog was crippled by Burns' oil drilling operation; Bart shows the town the dog's cast and everything, and Burns walks in at this exact moment and says "oh, those wheels are squeaking a bit; perhaps I could sell him a little oil!"
Bart Simpson's laugh is pretty evil, even when he's laughing about something innocent.
Mr. Burns has a pretty good one too.
Actually, it's probably more along the lines of "a pretty good variety of them." He has several styles of evil laughter.
Sideshow Bob has one heck of a evil laugh.
Kang and Kodos also have their own, as well.
Lisa Simpson herself has her own share of evil laughter in a few episodes. In "Girly Edition", after elaborating a scheme against Bart, Lisa has an evil laugh which was comically followed by their monkey helper's own evil laugh, creeping out Lisa. Also, in "Last Exit to Springfield", after she has braces installed leading to a spoof of the Joker's laugh from the 1980's Tim BurtonBatman film.
Marge Simpson has a more raspy one herself in "All's Fair in Oven War" in which she sabotages her opponents food with Baby Ear Medicine. Also, she gives one in the third segment of TOH IV in which she reveals that she's the head vampire.
Even Homer himself has one in a few episodes such as "Flaming Moe's", "When Flanders Failed", and "The Fat and the Furriest" when he makes a big cotton candy ball with caramel on it.
"Bart Sells his Soul": Milhouse has one himself in this episode when begged by Bart to give him his soul back, but with a price: Fifty bucks.
"Whacking Day": Skinner has one himself after tricking Bart, Jimbo, Nelson, and Dolph in receiving mountain bikes only for him to forget to turn off the microphone causing everyone to hear.
Groundskeeper Willie has one himself in the second segment of TOH VI "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace".
Hank Scorpio himself definitely gives one in "You only Move Twice".
Evil Old Folks: While most of the senior citizens are just cranky and incompetent, Mr. Burns is evil enough for all of them.
Evil Sounds Deep: Sideshow Bob. Also Mr. Burns, though moreso in his earlier appearances (especially "Homer's Odyssey").
Evil Stole Myfaith: In the episode "Last Exit to Springfield," when the school photographer gets Lisa to smile for her school photo and sees the horrible 19th century style braces she's wearing (because there's no dental plan at the Power Plant where Homer works) he gasps out "There is no god!"
Exactly What I Aimed At: Bart is in a military school where they teach him to handle a grenade launcher. He hits the first four targets, but the fifth shot goes spiralling over the horizon. When the instructor tells him he missed, Bart smiles and says, "Did I?" Cut to Principal Skinner back in Springfield standing by the smoking crater that used to be his car.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Many episodes feature titles which directly describe what will occur in the episode: "Bart Gets Hit By a Car", "Krusty Gets Busted", "Bart Gets an F", "Bart's Friend Falls in Love", "Krusty Gets Kancelled", "Homer Loves Flanders", "Bart Gets an Elephant", "Bart Sells His Soul", and "All Singing, All Dancing". As the show leaned more towards parody titles, this trend has decreased significantly.
In-universe example: "It Ate Everybody".
Exact Words: Subverted in "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson":
Marge: Homer! Did you tell the mafia they could eliminate my competitors with savage beatings and attempted murder?
Homer: In those words? Yes.
Executive Meddling : Parodied and given quite a Take That in Everyman. The reason Everyman was so popular was that he was otherwise a loser with an unathletic body. Homer is casted for the movie precisely because of he being overweight. But meddlers decide that Homer needs to go through a physical conditioning. It works, but then - it being Homer - it fails. The final result : a 200 million dollar superhero movie in which the main actor swaps between very muscular and very fat every two frames. It's so terrible that it forces Comic Book Guy to give it Creator Backlash.
Exergaming: Lisa buys such a game for a retirement home.
Exposition: Lampshaded in "Bart's Inner Child" when the family arrives at the Brad Goodman seminar:
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: What an odd thing to say...
Express Lane Limit: In one episode, Edna throws away some items from her cart so she can join Marge and Agnes in a line to gossip.
Expy: Julio is essentially Agador Spartacus, Hank Azaria's character from The Birdcage.
Extreme Doormat: Bart becomes one (at Lisa's suggestion, no less) in "Bart's Inner Child", when the rest of Springfield start acting as impulsive as him.
Bart: Sounds good, sis. Just tell me what to do.
Eye Cam: Homer subverted this by arguing with the effect when it let him pass out at the wrong time.
Eye Scream: At least once Homer nearly gets his eye sucked out of its socket.
Or in another episode where Homer gets a bucket stuck on his head, and has Bart drill holes in it to see. "Whoops."
"The Scorpion's Tale": After taking the manufactured drugs that were made from a flower that Lisa discovered, it's side effects causes both of Abe's eyes to literally pop out shocking the Simpson family. Same goes for those who also took the drug.
Falling in Love Montage: Utilized in "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love", "Rome-Old and Juli-Eh", and "Dumbbell Indemnity". All feature a different licensed song played over the montage.
Family Relationship Switcheroo: In "Little Big Girl", when Darcy's mother finds out about Darcy's pregnancy, she suggests a solution is to lie to the neighbors and say that one of the babies is her's and that the babies are twins.
Fanservice: Marge when she accidentally gets breasts implants and when she becomes the sole focus of a sexy calendar. For the dude-lovers out there, Duffman, especially when shown coming out of the shower, and Ned Flanders (Stupid Sexy Flanders)
Fan Dumb: Amusingly used in-universe with the Comic Book Guy.
Fantasy Twist: The show seems to almost specialise in these. For instance, Homer's fantasy about a theme park in his backyard named "Homerland USA" consists of a shabby old thing made largely out of mattresses. And his fantasy about having two wives — which is mostly about getting twice as much housework done — turns sour when out of nowhere he gets stung by a bee. And his fantasy about having a private plane ends with him finding that the cockpit is empty. Meanwhile Bart's dream of rock stardom includes becoming a drunken, drug-addled shambles who has alienated all his friends (but he still thinks it's awesome). The list goes on and on.
Fat Camp: When Bart went to Kamp Krusty, Martin and others went to "Image Enhancement Camp."
Krusty: For you fat kids, my exclusive program of diet and ridicule will really get results!
Another example appears during Marge's episode-long flashback in "The Way We Weren't", where young Homer is mistaken for an escapee. Played for Laughs, as the only way out of the camp is up a gentle slope.
A third example features in the episode "The Heartbroke Kid". This time, it's Played for Drama: the cost of sending Bart there forces the other Simpsons to convert the house into a hostel for German backpackers.
Faux Affably Evil: Mr. Burns is clearly the most evil character in the show; even other Simpsons supervillains like Sideshow Bob eventually get redeemed; (see "Day Of The Jackanapes") Burns, on the other hand, is described within the show as irredeemable, (see "The Old Man And Lisa") and has some pretty extreme Kick the Dog moments. However, his villainy is dealt with lightly most of the time.
Hank Scorpio is the poster supervillian for this trope.
Scorpio: Hey, Homer, which country do you like less; France or Italy?
Homer: Uh, France, I guess.
Scorpio: Heh heh. Nobody ever says Italy.
Scorpio's unique in that he's a completely Nice Guy to anyone who isn't his target.
"Homer, on your way out, if you could kill someone it would help me a lot."
A recurring game in the show is "Earthland Realms," a Simpsons version of World of Warcraft, which becomes the major focus of an episode. In stark contrast to the actual World of Warcraft, nearly everyone in the game looks and acts almost exactly like they do in 'reality'...Apu even runs a shop in the game.
There was the Punch-Out-like 'Super Slugfest' from "Moaning Lisa", 'Bonestorm' and 'Lee Carvello's Putting Challenge' from the shoplifting Christmas episode, the Crash Bandicoot-esqe game (Dash Dingo) Lisa plays in the episode where she stays home from school for some reason, and I think I remember Bart playing parodies of more recent games like Grand Theft Auto (also Grand Theft Scratchy from The Simpsons Game) and in the season 22 Treehouse of Horror Bart and Milhouse play a violent online wiimote-using game with their local pastor.
Moving on to fictional arcade games, standouts include: My Dinner With Andre, The Touch of Death, Billy Graham's Bible Buster, Escape From Death Row, and Larry the Looter.
In one episode, Bart and Lisa play a "Foul Play" pinball with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn.
Bart: "The graphics are great — the ball looks so real!"
Another time, Homer plays a pinball called "Devil's Advocate" to avoid an argument with Marge.
Furthermore, one of the Couch Gags involves the family in a Pinball Gag with a table called "Couch Gag Chaos".
Finger in the Mail: In the episode "Pranksta Rap", Bart pretends to be kidnapped and makes a call to the rest of the family while posing as the kidnapper. Homer immediately demands that the kidnapper send body parts to prove that he really has Bart. Marge objects.
In another episode, when the Simpsons find Mr. Burns's beloved teddy bear from his childhood, Bart suggests they send Burns one of its eyes.
Bart: He'll pay more money if he thinks the bear's in danger.
A disturbing example is discussed in "Homer Goes to Prep School" where Homer flatly says that he wouldn't pay ransom for Bart in the event of his son being kidnapped and would likely feed an ear cut off Bart to the dog. Even more disturbingly, Bart is fine with this, aside from telling his father that the dog wouldn't eat his ear unless it was wrapped in cheese.
Finishing Each Others Insults: Agnes Skinner says this trope complementing her relationship with Comic Book Guy in "Worst Episode Ever" when they meet Homer and Marge.
Number One: All Stonecutters must take the Leap of Faith. If you survive this five-story plunge, your character will be proven. Homer whimpers Moe: Happy landings! pushes him Homer falls two feet onto the floor; everyone laughs the floor collapses and Homer falls through with a yell and a crash — five times consecutively Homer: from the bottom I think I have to do it again. My blindfold came off.
Another Simpsons episode has Homer & Marge talking about the terrible shape their house is in, and just then Bart falls halfway into the kitchen from the 2nd floor. "Little help?" Marge pushes him back up the newly created hole with a broom handle.
And in the episode "Lisa's Wedding", Lisa's fiance Hugh falls through the floor of the addition Homer built onto the house. Thankfully, the compost heap cushioned his fall.
Homer: Sweet maiden of the spit, grant now my boon, that I might sup on suckling pig this noon.
Also spoken by the Mensa group (in character as Renaissance people) in "They Saved Lisa's Brain":
Comic Book Guy: Verily, I declare that the earth revolves around the sun, and not t'other way 'round.
Lindsay: Stop looking down my blouse, Copernicus.
Comic Book Guy: Forsooth, mine eyes doth rove of their own accord.
Foiler Footage: Several different resolutions to the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" plot were shot, including a full alternate summation where Smithers goes through his whole Motive Rant, and it's explained how all the clues could have added up to Smithers being the culprit.
Follow in My Footsteps: In "Like Father, Like Clown", it's revealed that Krusty and his dad, Hyman, hadn't talked for 25 years because Krusty became an entertainer instead of following in Hyman's footsteps as a man of the faith.
Homer: Boy, you don't have to follow in my footsteps.
Bart: Don't worry; I don't even like using the bathroom after you.
Follow the Chaos: Subverted when Homer tries to find Bart and his pet elephant via a train of destruction... only to discover that the trail of damaged houses he'd been following was caused by a twister.
Food Pills: The future episode "Holidays of Future Passed" parodies this, where Future Marge adds water to a pill... which turns into a recipe card for a cake. She then takes the ingredients out of the cupboard.
A Fool for a Client: In the episode "The Regina Monologues" Homer represented himself instead of hiring a barrister. Marge allowed it because she didn't think Homer's chances were good enough to be damaged by the decision. Not surprisingly, Homer managed to offend the judge, jury and British public at large even further (he was on trial for crashing into the Queen's carriage)-ending up in the Tower of London.
Foot Popping: In "The Springfield Connection", Homer is concerned that by Marge being the cop, he'll become the woman of the house. Marge reassures him that Homer's still the man of the house and kisses him... only for Homer to lift one of his legs while doing so.
Foreign Exchange Student: Bart becomes a foreign exchange student in France while the Simpsons family get Adil, who turns out to be a spy.
Parodied when a big burly blacksmith is shown hauling molten metal and clanging away with large tools, in order to build... a tiny key that unlocks Bart's chains.
Also, the commercial for the Krustyburger Ribwich. (Here starting at 1:48. Sorry, it's dubbed in Russian.)
Forging The Will: When Marge's great-aunt Gladys dies she leaves a Video Will. The lawyer edits it to say "I leave my lawyer $50,000." A look from the family lets him know they don't believe it, but he says "You'd be surprised how often that works, you really would!"
The family forgot Homer's birthday in "The Springfield Files". Turns out it's the same day as the dog's, whom the family immediately lavish attention on.
Homer: Lousy lovable dog.
Forgotten First Meeting: Marge & Homer met when they were circa 10 years old at summer camp and shared their first kisses together. When they met again in high school neither recognized the other (in part because one had very different hair and the other had an eye-patch when they first met).
Homer: Marge honey, I've got five words to say to you! (holds up his right hand and lifts one finger per word) Greasy Joe's Bottomless Barbecue... (realizes he needs his left hand) Pit.
In "Bart's Friend Falls in Love", Lisa shows Bart an article about how in another 1,000 years, man will have an extra finger (making five total). Bart places his hand over the artist's rendering and says "Eeew, freak show."
The Freelance Shame Squad: Humorously exaggerated in an older episode. Bart already didn't want to go clothes shopping with his mom, but then Marge has to go and throw open his changing room door and leave it open on him, stripped to his tighty-whities. Predictably, everyone in the store points at Bart and guffaws at his embarrassment, one guy even yelling, "Look at that stupid kid!"
Free Prize at the Bottom: At least two episodes revolve around prizes found at the bottom of breakfast cereals. Of note is the jagged metal "O" that Bart ate with his bowl of Krusty-O's.
Free-Range Children: Bart and Lisa are only ten and eight respectively, yet get in all sorts of adventures more suited for teenagers or adults.
Free Wheel: Parodied. After Abe crashes Homer's car and consequently has to walk along the neighborhood, a hub cap manages to roll alongside him, even though the crash happened the previous day. Abe just tells it to "go home", and it seems to oblige.
French Jerk: The winemakers with whom Bart stays in "The Crepes of Wrath"; also, the waiter from "The Boy Who Knew Too Much".
Freudian Couch: In "Fear of Flying", Marge sees a therapist and lays on the couch.
Freudian Slippery Slope: This instance is seen during "The Last Temptation of Homer", as Homer and Mindy are in the elevator:
Mindy: I guess we'll be going down together, I mean getting off together, I mean...
Homer: That's OK. I'll just push the button for the stimulator, I mean, elevator.
Fridge Logic: Invoked in "Skinner's Sense of Snow" when the students look up Skinner's salary.
Nelson: Hey, look how much money Skinner makes. $25,000 a year! (students exclaim, "WOW!") Bart: (calculating) Let's see, he's forty years old times 25 grand- whoa, he's a millionaire! Skinner: I wasn't a principal when I was one! Nelson: Plus, in the summer, he paints houses. Milhouse: He's a billionaire!
Stacy Lavelle, the woman who invented Malibu Stacy, is implied to be this. When Lisa tracks her down, she opens her electric gate to let Lisa in. A neighbor boy takes the opportunity to get his frisbee.
Boy: All right! I've been waiting nine years to get my frisbee back. [He throws it, but it goes right back inside] Aw!
Thats really more because she's a shutin and never opens her gate, though.
Springfield Elementary has a whole room full of stuff confiscated from students over the years.
Funny Foreigner: Many, but Apu, Üter, Groundskeeper Willie are some of the most prominent examples.
Fun With Palindromes: The members of Mensa have new palindrome discoveries on their meeting agenda. Comic Book Guy's mention of "Rise to vote, sir" is misinterpreted as an actual request for a democratic procedure.
Fur Bikini: During the opening of a show called "Eye On Springfield".
Futureshadowing: The season 2 episode "The Way We Was" has this exchange, after Homer reads a pamphlet advertising the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant:
Young Homer: Me? In a nuclear power plant? (chuckles) Ka-BOOM!
Gag Boobs: The "Large Marge" episode, where Marge is accidentally given breast implants.
Then there's Titania during the Duff bartender contest.
Gaia's Lament: Played for laughs in the episodes "Lisa's Wedding" and "Future-Drama." In the former, trees are extinct, and the the latter, Alaska is a tropical paradise.
Also "The Burns and the Bees": During a daydream, Homer envisions a future world without honey, which is decaying and horrible.
The ending to "Rosebud" depicts Earth as a barren desert in the year 1,000,000 A.D. It's also ruled by damn dirty apes.
"The Great Money Caper" also may count: Before Lisa could explain why the town, media and police officials had "nothing better to do" than show Bart and Homer the consequences of their actions, Otto runs through the courtroom doors, shouting, 'Surf's Up!' and the episode ends with everyone surfing.
"Homer Goes to Prep School" ends with a meteor covered in zombies that's making its way towards Springfield.
The ending to "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes", where the entire family is exiled to "the island" for life.
The Gambling Addict: Marge develops an addiction to slot machines when gambling is legalised in Springfield. Notably, she never gets over it either, which is lampshaded at the end.
Garden Hose Squirt Surprise: At the end of one episode, Bart does this to Homer several times, getting him in the eye, the ear, the other eye, etc.
GASP: Parodied in "Bart the Mother". Marge reads a letter stating that Bart and Lisa are included in Who's Who of American Students. Homer gasps... except it's simply a gear-up for a belch and has nothing to do with surprise.
Genre Blindness: Bart's Inner Child contains an interesting example. It appears to be played straight, then it's subverted, and then it's played straight for real. A trampoline bounces from the bottom of the cliff. It lands on Homer and pushes his body into the cliff, trapping him there. Then this happens:
Homer: If this were a cartoon, the cliff would break off now.
''[The day turns into the night, and Homer is still trapped.]
[The cliff finally breaks off.]
Genre Savvy: Various characters have been known to demonstrate this on the rare occasions they fumble the Idiot Ball.
Get a Room!: After an episode in which Bart Simpson goes from embarassed by his grandfather to having just rescued Nazi treasure from the depths and from Mr Burns, Bart gives his grandfather an unembarassed hug. Then a pampered German aristocrat drives by and shouts "Hey, fun boys, get a room!"
The trope also appears in Money BART as an incest joke by Nelson about Bart and Lisa.
Subverted at the end of "Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1 D'oh!" in which Bart yells this at Homer and Marge making out in his treehouse:
Bart: Get a room!
Homer: C'mon boy, be cool.
Homer: Be cool, or you're grounded!
Get Out: Marge has kicked Homer out of the house on more than one occasion. "Homer's Night Out" and "Secrets of a Successful Marriage" are two examples.
Gigantic Gulp: One episode features a giant beer mug at an Oktoberfest celebration. Marge decides to nurse the drink but ends up drunk.
In the episode "A Star is Burns," Barney wins a film contest and swears that he is giving up alcohol. The curtain behind him is then pulled away to reveal is prize: a lifetime supply of Duff beer (in a semi-trailer truck).
Barney:(tearing away his sleeve) JUST HOOK IT TO MY VEINS!!
Parodied in "Bart vs. Australia".
Homer: Hey! Give me one of those famous giant beers I've heard so much about.
(Bartender places a can of beer the size of a keg on the counter, Homer is visibly upset)
When Apu's getting married, Homer tried to put a stop to the wedding by dressing as Ganesha. No one is fooled (indeed, anyone with a passing familiarity with Hindu mythology would know he got the characterisation all wrong).
Indian Wedding Guest: You are not Ganesh! Ganesh is graceful!
In another episode, Bart plays with his Mr. Microphone by telling Rod and Todd next door (who were listening to the radio) that he's God, and tells Rod to walk through a wall which he will make vanish. So Rod walks into the wall.
God Help Us All: Chief Wiggum says this in "Dumbbell Indemnity" when Homer (who drove Moe's car into the ocean) hasn't surfaced from the water yet:
Chief Wiggum: That car thief can't hold his breath forever.
Lou: And if he can, Chief?
Chief Wiggum: Then God help us all!
Godly Sidestep: God is about to tell Homer the meaning of life when the episode ends.
Godiva Hair: Homer's fantasy of Mindy in "The Last Temptation of Homer" results in this. Of course, this is a parody of Botticelli's famous painting, "The Birth of Venus".
"Hello this is the Repo Depot, I'm just calling to distract you while we repossess your plow."
Or this classic bit, where Bart distracts Moe via this brilliant diversion:
Bart: Hey, Moe, look over there.
Moe:[turns and looks at the wall] What...what am I looking at? [several seconds pass, Moe continues staring] I'm going to stop looking soon! [several more seconds pass, Moe is still staring] what...is that it?
Gone Horribly Right: In one episode, Mr. Burns forces Mr. Smithers to take a vacation, and since he likes his job, to avoid having this happen again Smithers looks for the most incompetent person possible to take his place, so naturally he picks Homer. This turns out to work all too well, as Homer is so terrifyingly incompetent that he scares Burns into learning to take care of himself, so after Smithers comes back, Burns no longer needs him and thus fires him.
Go to Your Room: Used frequently (Bart Vs. Thanksgiving, Bart the Daredevil, Bart Gets an Elephant, Homer Vs. the Eighteenth Amendment, etc.) with an interesting inversion in "Lisa the Vegetarian":
Lisa: If you'll excuse me, I'm going to my room.
Homer: That's it, go to your room!
The Simpsons also had a time when Homer said Bart shouldn't go to his room since all of his toys are in there. He instead tells him to go into the garage. A few moments later Bart passes by the window on a lawnmower with several police cars chasing him.
Kirk Van Houten says this to his son Milhouse after trying to translate a writing on the wall that he wrote on (Trab Pu Kcip) in "Brother from the Same Planet":
Kirk: What did we tell you about writing on the walls. Go to your room!
"Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?": Homer crosses his fingers on both hands when he's expected to receive the First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.
When kids of Springfield Elementary take a career aptitude test and are getting their results, Martin crosses his fingers and chants "Systems analyst...systems analyst" before getting the result of systems analyst.
In "Missionary: Impossible", Lisa Jr. crosses her fingers when she says she wants to give up gambling. She doesn't hide it behind her back so her wish is probably sincere and she really hopes to stop.
Gossip Evolution: In "The PTA Disbands", Bart wants to rile up the teachers, so he tells one of the teachers that Skinner says the teachers will crack any minute. That teacher tells another teacher, who tells another teacher, so that by the time it got to Edna (who was leading the group's strike), it had become "Skinner says the teachers will crack any minute, purple monkey dishwasher."
Milhouse: What are you now Lisa? An Oakland Raiders fan? Lisa: It's called "Goth", eternally clueless one. My new name is "Ravencrow Neversmiles." Milhouse: Cool. We could be Goth together. We'll go to the cemetery and summon the Dark Lord by kissing and junk. Lisa: Okay... but first you must apprentice, by kissing the Goddess Ironica. Who lives in this rock. (Lisa picks up a rock and hands it to Milhouse.) Lisa:(sneaking away) Do it for an hour, hour and a half. Milhouse: Yes, my mistress.
Gotta Have It Gonna Steal It: Marge Be Not Proud" focuses on Bart getting caught while trying to steal a copy of Bonestorm, and how this changes Marge's relationship with him.
Grade Skipper: Lisa Simpson. She's smart for her age, certainly, but only brilliant by comparison with Springfield's stupid children and horrible school system. When she gets the opportunity to study at Waverly Hills, an elementary school with actual standards and quality, Lisa finds that she's only a B student, rather than the straight As she got at Springfield Elementary, which traumatizes her. In another episode, she gets to skip to the third grade early, but finds it difficult (made more embarrassing for her because Bart was demoted a grade and found it easy):
Principal Skinner: Lisa, you have a choice: you may continue to be challenged in third grade or return to second grade and be merely a big fish in a small pond.
Perhaps the most notable example is the Tomacco plant Homer accidentally created in "E-i-e-i-(Annoyed Grunt)," resulting in a reverse case of Real Life Writes the Plot when an actual farmer managed to breed the plant in real life after the episode aired.
Green Aesop: Lisa is very pro-recycling in "The Old Man and the Lisa". Of course, given this show, the aesop is parodied and subverted many times, including how Mr. Burns took Lisa's recycling advice at face value and ended up butchering oceans of animals just to make his slurry (Mr. Burns: "Not a single animal was wasted.").
Green Around the Gills: This happened to Bart in "Homer's Night Out", after being disgusted by some vile-looking seafood.
"Bart Star": Bart, wearing a cup, goads Milhouse into kicking his crotch in. Milhouse repeatedly does so, to which Bart merely yawns. Eventually:
Marge: Milhouse, stop that!
Then Nelson comes by and kicks Bart there so hard he breaks his cup.
The infamous "Man Getting Hit by Football" short film shown in the film festival episode "A Star is Burns". Homer, upon seeing it, says "The contest is over, give that man the $10,000!", even though it was pointed out that this wasn't America's Funniest Home Videos. Homer replies, laughing the whole time, "but... the ball... his groin... it works on so many levels!"
At the end of the episode, Homer's comedic taste is vindicated when a remake of the film starring George C. Scott wins the Best Actor Oscar.
Jay Sherman also got hit by a football in the same episode.
Homer Simpson himself is at the end of a variety of attacks to the groin, in the episodes 'Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington', 'Bart the Mother', 'Little Big Mom ', 'Tennis The Menace', 'Mom and Pop Art', 'Ice Cream of Margie (with the Light Blue Hair)', 'Goo Goo Gai Pan', 'You Gotta Know When to Golem', 'Million Dollar Abie ', 'Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes', 'Reaper Madness' and 'Weekend at Burnsie's', as well as in The Simpsons Movie, where he gets kicked in the crotch by a tree.
In 'The Computer Wore Menace Shoes', an episode spoofing The Prisoner, Homer returns home only to be attacked by his own German body double. As the evil Homer tries to strangle him, Homer counters with this attack, reasoning that "If I know me, he won't like being kicked in the crotch!"
In 'Homer to the Max', The "fat and stupid" version of the 'fictional' Homer Simpson (From the show 'Police Cops'), falls from a great height and lands on a cactus.
In "Lisa the Iconoclast", a flashback shows George Washington using his wooden false teeth to bite infamous pirate Hans Sprungfeld, a.k.a. Jebediah Springfield, on the family jewels.
Sideshow Bob and Bart fall from the "new" Springfield Dam, and Bob lands straddling a large, protruding pipe. It's implied to be very painful, as Bob doesn't even scream, he just stares forward blankly, as still as a statue.
In an unusual female example, Marge knees a female child therapist in the crotch. Appropriately, the woman crumples over in pain.
Comic Book Guy gets kicked in the crotch by Nelson in the episode 'Lisa the Drama Queen', and Krusty gets bombarded by snowballs to the nuts in the episode 'Simpsons Christmas Stories'.
Although it's offscreen, in "Lisa's First Word" a toddler Bart jumps off the TV trying to land on a sleeping Homer's stomach. When Bart makes the jump it implies he jumped a little too low and it cuts to Homer screaming in pain.
Subverted in Beyond Blunderdome, as during shooting of Rainier Wolfcastle's Saving Irene Ryan (Which Homer, Mel Gibson, and studio executives interrupted due to a chase between the executives and Homer/Gibson in regards to an edited film), Rainier's character is carrying Irene Ryan through a battlefield while she's kicking and screaming, and it is implied that she's kicking him in the crotch, yet his only reaction is "...and stop kicking me there!"
In "Million Dollar Abie", Bart is helping Grandpa train to be a bullfighter by pretending to be the bull, using a pair of horns strapped to his bicycle's handlebars. He misses Abe, but heads right for Homer, who's bent over doing something else. Bart manages to brake in time, but then Homer turns around and walks groin-first into the horn, complete with a cartoonish "doink" sound effect, and falls over clutching at himself.
"The Greatest Story ever Doh'ed": Bart gets groined by Dorit, the daughter of Jakob the tourist, and from Lisa herself; both in the art of Krav Maga.
The Wandering Juvie had a female prisoner, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar no less. When Bart goes over to where the female juvies are held he makes the mistake of trying to hit on them, which leads to him being tied up, a big girl pulling a switchblade from her hair to cut Bart's pants off, and these words.
I'm Gina. Touch my fence again and puberty's gonna be very boring.
Gross-Up Close-Up: In "$pringfield", the camera zooms in on Smithers's face, where we see a bunch of germs that say in unison: "Freemasons run the country!"
Homer (on a rickety boat about to go over a waterfall): So, do you think they settled that bag boy strike yet?
Hammered Into The Ground: In an homage to the Road Runner cartoons, when Homer tried to get rid of a trampoline by throwing it off a cliff outcropping it bounces back up, then falls on him pounding him into the rock. Then he falls out the bottom of the outcropping to the bottom of a ravine.
There's also "(frustrated murmur)" for Marge's "Hmmm..." and "(Frink noises)" for Professor Frink's mumbling.
Hate at First Sight: Frank Grimes dislikes Homer from their first meeting, an impression that just gets worse and worse until he accidentally electrocutes himself in a fit of rage at how the universe seems to bend over backward for Homer.
Have a Gay Old Time: Common with Mr. Burns, due to his age. An example from "Monty Can't Buy Me Love":
Rude: When was your first gay experience?
Burns: Oh, well, when I was six, my father took me on a picnic. That was a gay old time! Oh-ho, I ate my share of wieners that day.
Homer also gets one in "The Telltale Head":
Homer: You know, Bart, when I was your age, I pulled a few boners.
Ned Flanders does it in "Bart the Lover", though it's not clear whether it's this or Hypocritical Humour, as he was lecturing Homer on swearing in front of his children at the time.
Ned: Now, some of us pull a few boners now and then, go off half-cocked, make asses of ourselves...
On the Extreme side Bart was knocked back to Kindergarten when Sideshow Bob became mayor. While Kearny is actually a grown adult.
The Hedonist: "Bart's Inner Child" had a self-help guru convince everyone in the town to be like this. It ends badly.
Heel Realization: Lisa in "Make Room For Lisa". Though it's debatable that she was certainly justified for being angry at Homer for snoring loudly during an opera.
Bart in "Bart vs. Thanksgiving" when he realizes he hurt his sister's feelings by knocking her centerpiece into the fireplace.
Helicopter Flyswatter: In "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" the plane that the Simpsons are on going home gets attacked by Godzilla.
Pilot: Uh, folks, we're experiencing some moderate Godzilla-related turbulence at this time, so I'm going to go ahead and ask you to put your seat belts back on. When we get to 35 thousand feet, he usually does let go, so from there on out, all we have to worry about is Mothra, and, uh, we do have reports he's tied up with Gamera and Rodan at the present time. Thank you very much.
Here We Go Again: Said by the family at the end of "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming" when Grampa approaches on a motorcycle and said he's gonna haul ass to Lollapalooza. The same thing was said by Vanessa Redgrave in a sitcom earlier in the episode.
Heroic BSOD: After Mr. Burns revokes giving 3 free donuts to each worker per day:
Similarly, Homer freaks out when the high school science teacher sets a donut on fire in "The Front".
Homer: (weakly) This is NOT happening! This is NOT happening!
Heroic Dolphins: Subverted when Bart, Homer, Flanders and his kids stranded at sea and being approached by dolphins; Flanders is relieved, stating that dolphins always help people lost at sea; but the dolphins merely chitter that they are all going to die, giggle a bit, and then leave.
Hero-Worshipper: Bart idolizes Krusty, and as he himself put it, has based his whole life on his teachings.
He's Back: In "Blood Feud", Mr. Burns is dying from hypohemia, and Bart donates his blood to save him. He dictates his epitaph in an increasingly hammier way as he recovers, culminating with him getting up and exclaiming, "Smithers, I'm back!"
Burns again in "The Fool Monty." Burns becomes childlike and an amnesiac after a failed suicide attempt. Visiting his old mansion jogs back his memory. He then sits menacingly on a chair made of skulls and says in a sinister voice, "Daddy's home."
Mr. Burns and Smithers would also count, at least from Mr. Burns' point of view.
Hey Lets Put On A Show: In "Grift of the Magi", Skinner decides to produce a school play in order to convince Mr. Burns to donate enough money for the school to re-open.
Hidden Depths: Almost everyone has shown these at one time or another. Bound to happen, what with over 22 years of shows.
Hide And No Seek: Bart uses this as a pause button for his reluctant playdate with Ralph Wiggum, giving himself a chance to clean the syrup stains off of all his toys.
Ralph: I've been in [the hallway closet] for two hours, and Bart still hasn't finded me!
High Dive Escape: Big Daddy makes one in the "Chief Wiggum, P.I." segment of "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase".
Higher Education Is for Women: A flashback episode revealed Marge went to college after high school while Homer formed a grunge band. Similarly, a very realistic flashforward shows Maggie and Lisa at college while Bart works a blue-collar job.
Higher Understanding Through Drugs: Parodied in "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer". In the episode, Homer eats some "merciless peppers of Quetzalzacatenango" and goes on a hallucinatory trip, complete with colourful Mayincatec imagery and a coyote Spirit Advisor, who urges him to "find his soulmate". Homer eventually figures out, unsurprisingly, that Marge is his soulmate. It remains unclear whether his trip had supernatural qualities, or whether it was just the sort of regular hallucination Homer often has.
Hint Dropping: Marge, to Homer laying in a hammock in "Mom and Pop Art":
Marge: You know, Homie, a lot of men use their Saturdays to do things around the house; hint, hint!
Homer: But Marge, I'm not like other men. That's why you buy my pants at that special store!
History's Crime Wave: One Treehouse of Horror had Billy the Kid leading a gang of historical villains, including the most evil German in history — Kaiser Wilhelm!
Homers Want Redheads: This is proven by Mindy Simmons in the episode "The Last Temptation Of Homer" when Homer almost has an affair.
Hollywood Magnetism: One prank Bart pulls involves two pieces of metal in the bottom of Principal Skinner's shoes and a pair of horseshoe magnets under the stage, which Bart manipulates to make Skinner do a wild dance. In reality, the magnetic field wouldn't be strong enough to pass through that much wood.
Honest Advisor: Mr. Burns once hires Lisa to advise him after listening to yes-men nearly ruins him.
How About A Smile: A variant occurs in "Black Widower" when Sideshow Bob is chewing out a hotel bellboy:
Sideshow Bob: I WANTED A ROOM WITH A FIREPLACE, YOU BLASTED MONKEY! (realizes Selma is capturing him on camera) Oh Selma dear... I was just chatting with my good friend... (looks at his name tag) Dennis! Now, smile for the camera, there's a good lad! (Dennis struggles to produce a nervous smile)
"Homer the Heretic": Homer falls asleep while smoking a cigar, and a hot ash ignites one of his girlie magazines, causing a fire that heavily damages the house.
"Miracle on Evergreen Terrace": Bart's new fire truck sprays water on an overloaded outlet, causing a fire that destroys the Christmas tree and the presents underneath.
Also the episode where Homer passes out trying to blow out his birthday candles ("Homerazzi"). After the fire department shows up, they suggest buying a fireproof safe.
Homer: Or we COULD just try to be more careful with fire. Firefighter: Sir, this is the 4th time we've been called out this month. Homer: Um, yeah. But one of those times, I accidentally called 9-1-1 and I was too embarrassed to admit it, so I set the house on fire.
How the Character Stole Christmas: Homer in "Tis the Fifteenth Season" has the misguided idea that people would be a lot happier if they were free of material possessions, so he steals the Christmas presents of everybody in town. It doesn't go over well.
Homer also steals all the Funzos under the tree of every house in town in "Grift of the Magi", with Bart and Lisa's help.
Homer has apparently (Counting that Christmas) Saved three Christmases, ruined Eight, and two where "Kind of a draw"
Huddle Shot: Seen in "Bart Star" and "Children of a Lesser Clod".
The episode "The Last Temptation of Krust" features the Canyonero. The truck's commercial jingle makes up the page quote. Homer complains that it's a women's car when he finds that his "F-series" model has lipstick holders built in instead of lighters, and proceeds to give it to Marge.
Hypno Fool: Used a few times. In the episode "The Blunder Years", Homer is regressed to 12 years old through hypnosis, which triggers a repressed memory that makes him scream incessantly until the next day. In the episode "Day of the Jackanapes", Bart is hypnotised by Sideshow Bob to blow up both himself and Krusty.
Hypocrisy Nod: Sideshow Bob makes one of these in his televised rant against television.
In one episode Bart asks Milo, the owner of a new comic book shop in town, who would win: The Thang or the Mulk. Milo asks Bart what he thinks. Bart is impressed that a comic shop owner would encourage discussion rather than pontificating.