Trivia: The Simpsons

  • Accidentally Accurate:
    • In the commentary for "The Crepes of Wrath", the writers note that the bit about adding antifreeze to wine was a parody of an incident where some wine was found contaminated with antifreeze, but that, obviously, the contamination wasn't deliberate. Except that the contamination was discovered when a winery started listing antifreeze as a business expense, and it was very deliberately added to make the wine sweeternote .
    • While the writers may have known that a torus is one of the contenders for the shape of the universe, Homer certainly didn't know that when he told Stephen Hawking about his theory of a doughnut-shaped (which is what a torus is) universe.
    • Abe Simpson once recalls his father talking about America being the greatest thing since sliced bread. He then says that sliced bread had been invented the previous winter. It was just meant as an old joke, but given that he served in WWII and sliced bread was invented in 1928, the writers were surprisingly accurate with this one.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • The Genie from Disney's Aladdin appears in the episode Mypods and Broomsticks, once again voiced by Dan Castellaneta. Castellaneta voiced Genie in the first Aladdin sequel, TV show, and the Kingdom Hearts video game series.
    • Both subverted and played straight at the same time with Rodney Dangerfield as Larry Burns. Instead of the actor's trademark catchphrase of "no respect," Larry talks about how he don't get "No regard. No esteem either."
    • Done by new kid Alex (voiced by Lisa Kudrow) who says "Woah don't be a Phoebe" to Lisa alluding to her best known character Phoebe Buffay on Friends
    • Fat Tony mentions that he once "Hasn't cried this hard since he paid to The Godfather Part III". Joe Mantegna was in that movie.
      • Joe Mantegna played himself playing Fat Tony in a made for tv movie in the episode "Bart the Murderer."
    • In the episode "Them, Robot", Brent Spiner provided the voices for all the robots. He is best known for playing another kind of cybernetic being, namely an entire "family" of them.
    • In one episode, Dennis Weaver, a former Western star who did a detective show in the '70s, voices Buck McCoy, a former Western star who did a detective show in the '70s.
    • Edward Norton's preacher character's last hip reference before the crowd turned on him: "...Fight Club?"
    • Sindshoe Bob, his father Robert Sr. and brother Cecil are voiced by cast members from Frasier.
    • When hired as school announcer, he claims to have always had an interest in a radio career.
      • In "The Bob Next Door," Homer and Marge note that Sideshow Bob sounds like "Frasier on Cheers" and "Frasier on Series/Frasier" and "Lt. Commander Tom Dodge in Down Periscope".
  • Actor Existence Limbo:
    • After Phil Hartman's death in 1998, his characters (Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure, plus several One Shot Characters) were retired after the remaining episodes Hartman had recorded aired, only appearing in crowd scenes after that before ultimately being retired from the show altogether in season 12.
    • With Marcia Wallace's death in October 2013, the producers announced that the same thing is to happen to Mrs. Krabappel once the remanining episodes Wallace had recorded have aired.
    • This did happen to Lunchlady Doris when Doris Grau died, but years later, Tress MacNeille took over as the voice of her.
  • Adored by the Network: Perhaps a bit too much, to the point that some of the show's remaining fansnote  want it to end so as to preserve the humor and not let it fall into Seasonal Rot.
    • The show has rapidly been losing this status due to a lot of factors: money (new episodes are now a net loss for FOX), other cartoons becoming popularnote , and FOX is revamping the Sunday night line-up to include live-action shows again, like Brooklyn Nine-Nine (which is still successful), Mulaney (which has been canceled), and The Last Man on Earth (which has become a hit and is going to be renewed for a second season). The only new cartoon coming to the line-up this season is Bordertown, created by Mark Hentamannnote . FOX first refused to renew The Simpsons in 2011 until the cast and production staff agreed to pay cuts (which is why "Holidays of Future Passed" was stated to be the final episode in case the deal fell through), and is now only renewing the series in one-season installments (renewals have previously been for two or more seasons at a time), with the renewal for Season 26, set to run from Fall 2014-Spring 2015, coming unusually late, in October 2013. In Summer 2013, while renewal talks were ongoing, Fox was courting cable networks to run Simpsons reruns (including the possibility of creating a cable network that airs nothing but The Simpsons episodes). Fox's contract with their local affiliates prevents them from even offering the show to other networks while new episodes are in production, so going to cable or creating a dedicated Simpsons channel would mean the end of the series. Recently, a deal was made so that way The Simpsons can rerun on FXX (that new FX spin-off that has old reruns of Arrested Development, Parks and Recreations, and is where It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is now airing new episodes) and appear on FX's streaming site, meaning that it's only a matter of time before the new episodes of The Simpsons stop being made (or, if the show is still going to air, then it will most likely move to that channel, as Al Jean wants the show to run until its 30th season). Season 27 is already in production and the show has been renewed up to season 28 (with some leftover episodes for a partial season 29), but, with the ratings dropping and more people tuning in to FXX to see the older episodes, it's currently up in the air whether FOX will continue running new episodes of The Simpsons on their parent channel or channel hop to FXX, like Seth MacFarlane did with American Dad!.
      • In the United Kingdom, every network that had the rights to the show aired a lot of episodes soon after its BBC premiere. Not as much now, but there were some weeks in 2000 where 30+ episodes would be aired in a week.
  • Banned Episode: Because of the 9/11 attacks, the episode "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" was pulled from syndication, as the episode centered on Homer waiting by the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. When the episode returned from being banned, some prints cut out all the scenes of Homer at the Twin Towers, making the episode incoherent and very short. Other syndicated prints just edit out the line, "Sorry, they stick all the jerks in Tower One" and cut out the part where after Homer finally finds a bathroom in the second tower, he screams after seeing his car get towed (though that may have been a typical syndication cut — the kind where parts considered superfluous or too long are cut to make room for commercials). The original uncut episode is on the season nine DVD (with commentary from the writers on how the episode is now in bad taste thanks to 9/11, but it still has its moments that have stood the test of time). In the United Kingdom, this episode was planned to air on BBC 2 on 9/28/01. It was moved to 5/8/02, they backed out of it, and then they lost the rights to the series. It had aired on Sky1 on 10/5/97 at 6:30 PM, and aired for the first time after the attacks on 11/11/04 at 7:30 PM.
    • The later episode "New Kids On The Blecch," which aired seven months before the 9/11 attacks, was also temporarily pulled, and later edited to remove a scene involving the destruction of a tower (in this case, it was MAD headquarters).
    • The episode "A Streetcar Named Marge" was also pulled from syndication after Hurricane Katrina because of its references to New Orleans being a horrid, run-down hellhole. In the UK, Channel 4 did unknowingly air this episode around the time of Hurricane Katrina and ended up issuing a public apology for it after being barraged by complaints.
    • In the UK, the episode "The Cartridge Family" was omitted from the Sky One broadcast because it showed a violent, town-wide soccer riot, addressed the issue of gun control (which is taboo in the UK, especially in light of the Dunblane Elementary massacre), and contains scenes of characters irresponsibly using firearms (particularly the scene where Bart finds Homer's gun in the refrigerator and uses it to play William Tell with Milhouse). Channel 4 showed the episode, but the end where Marge decides to keep the gun because of how good she looked with it was cut. The BBC who previously had UK terrestrial rights for the show (on BBC Two during 1996-2002) were first to broadcast this episode in Britain, and made no cuts. When Sky One regained the broadcast rights for this episode in the mid-2000s, they finally showed this episode uncut on September 26, 2005. The episode was available on a PAL VHS called "The Simpsons: Too Hot for TV," which featured a lot of episodes considered too risque for British TV.
    • Sky One also partially banned the episode "Weekend at Burnsie's" due to scenes of Homer being assaulted by animals (the crows pecking Homer in the eyes and the drug dog biting Homer in the crotch when he was a teenager) and, of course, the drug themes (Homer smoking marijuana for medical purposes). In contrast, Australia and America have aired the episode, but with higher ratings than normal (in Australia, this episode is rated M and in America, the rating is TV-14, though it does run with a TV-PG rating in syndication, even though it's not edited for content). Sky have since shown this episode on very few occasions (12/22/02 at 10:30 PM, 10/6/02 at 9:00 PM), but only after 9:00 pm with no promos about the episode.
      • Episodes involving lighthearted looks at medicinal use of drugs do seem to draw Sky's ire: "The Good, The Bad And The Drugly" (with its subplot about Lisa being put on anti-depressants after she freaks out over Internet articles predicting that Springfield will be a barren wasteland in 50 years) was also banned. It did air on April 26th, 2009 at 8:00 PM, with an encore on April 30th at 7:00 PM.
    • Similarly, Sky never runs "Whisky Business" before the watershed (as it would be impossible to remove Moe's suicide attempt without rendering the whole episode pointless).
    • In an attempt to prevent controversy from Japanese viewers, Fox never aired the episode "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" in Japan or put it on the season 10 DVD set due to scenes that mock Japanese culture and society (The Simpsons having a seizure while watching a robot anime, Homer tossing the Japanese emperor into a sumo thongs Dumpster, and The Simpsons appearing on a sadistic Japanese game show).
    • Season 13's "Blame It on Lisa" was banned in Brazil for the same reasons why Japan banned "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" (stereotypical depiction of the country). No word on whether or not season 25's "You Don't Have to Live Like a Referee" will be banned.
    • The episode "E. Pluribus Wiggum" caused controversy in Argentina because of Carl and Lenny's exchange about military dictator Juán Perón making dissidents "disappear" and saying his wife, Eva, is Madonna. FOX Latin America has never aired the episode, skipping from "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind" to "That 90's Show" when rerunning the series in order. For anyone living in Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, or Mexico, the episode has aired there uncut and dubbed in the respective Spanish dialect.
  • Banned in China: Some episodes have been skipped over in other countries due to jokes against the country that really bordered on offensive:
    • "Goo Goo Gai Pan" was banned in China because of Homer's line about Mao Zedung being a "...little angel who killed 50 million people" and the scene parodying the Tiennamen Square incident (which any mention of in China will get you in major trouble),
    • "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" was banned in Japan for the "Battling Seizure Robot" scenenote  and the part where Homer tosses the Japanese emperor into a sumo thong Dumpster,
    • "E. Pluribus Wiggum" was banned in some Latin American countries due to Lenny and Carl's dialogue about Argentinean leader Juan Peron (who was implied to be behind the disappearances of a lot of political dissidents).
    • "Blame It On Lisa" was banned in Brazil for depicting the country as a run-down slum where everyone is into soccer and the children's shows are more risque than what airs in America. No word yet on whether or not "You Don't Have to Live like a Referee" will be banned.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Cowabunga: Although Bart admittedly said it twice in early episodes (The Telltale Head and Bart Gets An F), it was far from a Catch Phrase (it's more associated with the 1980s version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
    • The reason people think it's a Catch Phrase is because lots of merchandise has him saying it. This is reflected in the DVD commentaries now and then. In fact, on the commentary for "Bart Gets an F," the writers actually express surprise when he does say it — thinking they never had him say it at all.
      • Lampshaded in Behind The Laughter, which shows T-shirts with him saying "Good grief, man", "You bet your sweet bippy, man", and "Life begins at conception, man".
      • "Cowabunga" also came up in that episode, too. After Bart says it for the show, the cameras cut and Bart complains that he's never said the word before in his life.
    • He never said he's "an underachiever and proud of it". Someone else, a school psychiatrist, said something to this effect in Bart Gets An F: "I think what we have here is a classic case of what lately is referred to as 'fear of failure'; as a result, Bart is an underachiever, and yet he seems to be…how should I put this…proud of it?" Note that this is a skilled professional honestly attempting to determine why Bart is such a bad student, not a cry of rebellion. (Given Bart's reaction when he initially flunks the history final, it's painfully obvious that "proud" is about the last word you'd ever use to describe how he feels about underachieving.)
      • There's a Call Back in "Skinner's Sense of Snow", where the students break into the school records and Bart finds a permanent record that describes him with this very phrase.
    Bart: How old is this thing?
    • To be fair though, he did say it in Simpsons merchandise, which added fuel to the Moral Guardian's fire.
    • In the "Radioactive Man" episode, Radioactive Man's meme-friendly quote at the end of the episode is often misquoted as "The goggles! They do nothing!"; the actual line is "My eyes! The goggles do nothing!"
  • Cash Cow Franchise: Sales of merchandise, DVDs, and overseas syndication rights have grossed as much as $750 million a year.
  • The Character Died With Her: In the episode "The Man Who Grew Too Much", Edna Krabappel was stated to have died following the death of Marcia Wallace. After Ned Flanders' dream about him and Edna doing the tango, he looks at the picture of Edna and remarks sadly, "I sure do miss that laugh." Nelson the school bully replies "Ha-ha! I miss her, too."
  • Creator Backlash:
    • "A Star is Burns" didn't sit well with Matt Groening, who felt it played out like a 20-minute ad for The Critic. This is the only Simpsons episode not to have Matt Groening's name in the credits.
    • "The Principal and the Pauper" has been controversial among the staff. Showrunners Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, as well as writer Ken Keeler, continue to defend this episode, but they appear to be in the minority. Groening has denounced it as one of his least favorite episodes, while Harry Shearer condemned it for mangling Principal Skinner's character. Shearer also alleged that even years after the fact, the writing staff acts like the episode never happened.
    • Nelson Shin of AKOM wasn't thrilled about the sweat-shop couch gag of Korean animation studios, created by graffiti artist, Banksy, in the episode Money Bart.
  • Creative Differences: Klasky-Csupo company animated the shorts from the Tracy Ullman Show and the first 63 episodes. Garbor Csupo wasn't pleased when Gracie Films demanded they put one of their own producers to oversee the animation and production shifted to Film Roman.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Probably the most famous example in modern American animation: Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson (and most of his male classmates as well, like Ralph Wiggum, Nelson Muntz, Todd Flanders, and Kearney Zzyzwicznote ). Other examples include: Pamela Hayden as Jimbo Jones, Milhouse van Houten, and Rod Flanders; Russi Taylor as Martin Prince and Uter the German exchange student; Tress MacNeille as Dolphnote ; and Jo Ann Harris as the first voices of Wendell the sick kid and Bart's nondescript friends from the early episodes, Richard and Lewis.
  • Cultural Translation: In "The PTA Disbands!", Malk is a substitute for Milk. The Spanish version translates Malk as Loche, a substitute for Leche.
  • The Danza: Doris Grau did the voice of Lunchlady Doris.
    • In a season 26 episode, Carise Van Houten voices Annika Van Houten, a cousin of Milhouse.
  • Defictionalization: Otto's Bus Man comic from "Three Men and a Comic Book" was later made into a back-up story in Simpsons Comics.
  • Deleted Scene: According to The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular, the following scenes were cut from "The Devil and Homer Simpson" in "Treehouse of Horror IV'':
    • Homer's head being used as a bowling ball in Hell (and his head cracks open, revealing a note that reads, "I.O.U. One Brain. Signed, God"). Had the scene actually been used, it would explain why Homer's head and body were separated when he was brought back to the mortal realm for the trial.
    • Bart trying to sell his soul to the Devil for a Formula-One race car, and changing his mind.
    • Lionel Hutz returning with a pizza box, thinking he lost the case. When Marge tells him they won, he reveals that the pizza box was empty.
      • Other deleted scenes from "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" include: the Robo-Richard Simmons episode from "Burns' Heir," Homer and his estranged mother eating care package food and Homer telling his mom that he works at the nuclear plant and his incompetence is actually a plot to take it down from the inside from "Mother Simpson," and Apu showing The Simpsons a Bollywood movie on "Homer and Apu."
  • Fan Nickname: "Jerkass Homer" is the nickname that fans of the classic episodes give to post-Flanderization Homer. Lampshaded in "Mommie Beerest" when Homer says, "Duh, that's me! Jerkass Homer!" and again in "E. Pluribus Wiggum" with "Jerkass Homer brand cigars."
  • Fatal Method Acting: A Show Within a Show example: the family watches a late-era The Three Stooges short on TV, which ends with "Curly IV" lying unmoving on the ground.
  • Fountain of Expies: Many elements in Krusty's background are borrowed from a number of real life celebrities:
    • Jerry Lewis (Krusty's Percodan addiction, his popularity in France, his feud with Sideshow Bob [which parallel's Lewis's real life feud with Dean Martin], Krusty's easily believing he could get the French Legion of Honour and his telethons for motion sickness [which parallels Lewis's real life telethons for muscular dystrophy]];
    • Woody Allen (like Woody Allen, Krusty had a tempestuous marriage with Mia Farrow);
    • Steve Allen (Krusty's show borrows many elements from The Tonight Show as hosted by Allen, including opening monologues, interviews with guests and wacky comedy skits, even to the point of directly plagiarizing some of Allen's own gags);
    • Johnny Carson (Krusty's thwarted a number of rival children's show hosts who've all tried to dethrone him as the number one children's show in America, similar to how Carson repeatedly beat various rival talk show hosts who tried to outdo him on late night TV)
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Now with its own page.
  • I Knew It: Many people on the Internet correctly predicted that the character who would die in the season 26 premiere would be Krusty's dad Rabbi Krustofski, since this show doesn't have the guts to kill off a major character (unless the voice actor quit and a replacement can't be found- which now that Harry Shearer has announced his departure from the cast, may very well be the case).
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: After regularly producing DVD sets of the series for more than a decade and a half it was announced that production on season sets had ended because of FOX's decision of gradually discontinuing physical media releases in favor of online streaming. As a result, this means seasons 18, 19, and 21 and up won't be seeing any home release. Episodes from those seasons will still be available for viewing online on FXX's site Simpsons World but only people in the U.S. with participating cable providers. Seasons 21 and up are also available for download on the iTunes store, but still not 18 and 19.
    • In a lot of places, season 20's DVD is No Export for You as well - it only received region 1 (America) and 4 (Australia and New Zealand) releases, not region 2 (Europe and Japan).
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Ken Keeler has said that "The Principal and the Pauper", widely regarded as one of the worst Simpsons episodes, if not the worst episode of any show in American television history, has been his best work in television, even though he has done more favorably-received episodes on Futurama. These days, Keeler and other writers have purposely forgotten that this episode existed.
    • "Saddlesore Galactica"note  has been cited by many fans as the point in which the show stopped being realistic and started slavishly following in the footsteps of South Park and Family Guy and is often cited as one of the worst episodes ever. The DVD commentary, on the other hand, cited this episode as a piss take against wacky adult cartoons like South Park and Family Guy (and a piss take against the show itself recycling old stories and the fans who complain about them, hence the part where the Comic Book Guy points out that the Simpsons taking in a horse as a pet has been done before, with Homer asking if anyone cares what he thinks) and is often hailed as a brilliant work of surrealism and fourth-wall breaking.
  • Marathon Running: In August 2014, reruns of the show aired on the FXX cable channel, starting with a 12-day, 552-episode marathon of all past episodes. The episodes now air on the channel every day (barring Wednesdays and Saturdays) in four-to-six hour blocks, mostly mixing the modern, high-def episodes with the early, crudely-drawn pre-HD digital ink and paint episodes. Sundays and Thursdays are usually devoted to themed episode blocks (such as Sideshow Bob-centric episodes, Musical Episodes, and so on), with the Sunday theme usually matching the theme of the episode premiering on FOX that night (like when "Clown in the Dumps" aired, they aired episodes centered on Krusty the Clown).
  • McLeaned: Maggie Roswell left over pay disputes, as her pay wasn't covering the travel expenses to get to the recording studio (she lived out of state). Maude was killed off in response. Roswell was eventually brought back to voice her other characters, but Maude remains dead.
  • Old Shame:
    • On the DVD commentary for "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson", the writers said they felt really bad about the line "They put all the jerks in Tower One!" after the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center.
    • The season one finale episode "Some Enchanted Evening"note  — which in fact was supposed to be the show's first episode — caused Matt Groening a lot of grief in terms of overseas animation and coloring issues. There has been a long-standing rumor stating that if the following episode, "Bart the Genius" didn't come out well (which, fortunately, it did), then the show would at best have been held back until the 1990-91 television season, and at worst canceled outright.
      • If the commentaries and back stories are any indication, everyone (except perhaps Klasky-Csupo) was ashamed at how the first version of "Some Enchanted Evening" turned out, from an animation standpoint.
  • The Other Darrin: From seasons 11-13, all parts originally played by Maggie Roswell were played by Marcia Mitzman-Gaven, as Roswell was in the middle of a pay disputenote .
    • Doris Grau, the original voice actress for Lunchlady Doris, died during production of the season seven episode "Team Homer"note  and was relegated to background scenes before being put out of sight — until the season 18 premiere episode, "The Mook, The Chef, The Wife, and Her Homer," where Lunchlady Doris returned, now voiced by Tress MacNeille.
    • Lampshaded on season 10's "Homer to the Max", when Homer comments that network TV loves airing cartoon shows because the producers pay the voice actors next to nothingnote  and Flanders (voiced by Karl Wiedergott for the sake of that joke) comes in and adds, "Plus, they can replace the actors and no one can tell the diddly-ifference."
    • Maggie Simpson has been "voiced" by Nancy Cartwright most of the time, but Elizabeth Taylor provided her first word of "daddy" in "Lisa's First Word" note .
      • Russi Taylor voices her in Bart's fantasy in "Bart Vs. Thanksgiving" and does her crying sounds in "Bart on the Road."
    • Artie Ziff was voiced by Jon Lovitz in "The Way We Was", "Half-Decent Proposal", "The Ziff Who Came to Dinner", and the recent Treehouse of Horror episode "Bart and Homer's Excellent Adventure,"note . However, for his short appearance on "The Front" (which would be a foreshadowing to the events in "Half-Decent Proposal"), series regular Dan Castellaneta voiced Artie Ziff.
    • Mary Bailey (the governor of whatever state Springfield is in) was originally voiced by Maggie Roswell in "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish", while she was voiced by Tress MacNeille in "Bart vs. Lisa vs. The Third Grade".
    • Bill Clinton has been voiced by Phil Hartman [who also played Clinton on the early 1990s episodes of Saturday Night Live], Harry Shearer, and Karl Wiedergott.
    • Lurleen Lumpkin was originally voiced by Beverly D'Angelo in "Colonel Homer" (and later reprised her role in "Papa Don't Leech"), but was voiced by Doris Grau in "Marge vs. The Monorail" (justified because Lurleen Lumpkin's life had gone to Hell after Homer traded her to a new manager, which included drug addiction, repeated trips to rehab, and homelessness).
    • Mona Simpson was voiced by three women: Glenn Close (in the three episodes which prominently feature her — including the Inception parody, "How I Wet Your Mother"), Tress MacNeille ("D'oh-in' in the Wind") and Maggie Roswell ("Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?", which featured a Mona Simpson that did not look like the one from later episodes).
    • Troy McClure, usually voiced by Phil Hartman, was briefly voiced by Dan Castellaneta in "Bart's Dog Gets an F" while Santa's Little Helper is "channel-surfing".
    • Russi Taylor usually voices Martin Prince, but in some early appearances, he was voiced by Jo Ann Harris.
    • In "The Tell-Tale Head", Jimbo Jones and Dolph Starbeamnote  had their voice actresses switched (Jimbo was voiced by Tress MacNeille while Pamela Hayden voiced Dolph). In all other episodes, Jimbo is voiced by Pamela Hayden (meaning that he shares a voice actress with Milhouse van Houten) and Dolph is Tress MacNeille. Pamela Hayden also voiced Dolph on a brief scene in "New Kid on the Block," when Kearney tries to hit on Laura, and Laura implies that Dolph and Kearney are gay (Dolph's only line in that episode was, "That chick's messin' with our minds.")
    • Fat Tony is usually voiced by Joe Mantegna, however in "A Fish Named Selma" he was voiced by Phil Hartman.
    • Several characters who were voiced by guest stars on their first appearance were later turned into recurring characters with a member of the regular cast taking over their voices. These include:
      • Akira, the Japanese waiter at Springfield's sushi restaurant, was initially voiced by George Takei (in "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Bluefish"), and afterwards by Hank Azaria.
      • Mrs. Glick, an elderly woman from the Simpsons' neighborhood, was originally played by Cloris Leachman (in "Three Men And A Comic Book") and then by Tress MacNeille.
      • Sylvia Winfield, a next-door neighbor to the Simpsons in early seasons, is initially voiced by Tracey Ullman and later by Maggie Roswell.
      • Roger Meyers Jr. was first voiced by Alex Rocco in "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" note , then by Hank Azaria in "The Front" note , "Lady Bouvier's Lover" note , and "Itchy & Scratchy Land" note . However, Rocco returned to the role in "The Day the Violence Died" note , and "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" note .
      • Manjula, Apu's wife, was voiced by Jan Hooks when she first appeared as an adult in "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons", and continued to be played by her for several years afterwards, but eventually Tress MacNeille took over the role (she had already voiced Manjula in her very first brief appearance as a child in a flashback in "Much Apu About Nothing").
    • In Season 27 the show suffered its first loss of a major cast member as Harry Shearer left, requiring his numerous roles to be spread around several other actors.
  • The Other Marty: Christopher Collins originally voiced Moe in "Some Enchanted Evening" and Mr. Burns on "Homer's Odyssey," but his track was never actually used for the final cut of those episodes, and was replaced with Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer.
  • Parody Retcon: What many fans consider the creators' explanation of "Homer's Enemy" to be.
  • Permanent Placeholder:
    • An In-Universe case occurs when the producer of Itchy & Scratchy insists that the writers make a new dog character.
    Meyer: The rest of you writers start thinking up a name for this funky dog; I dunno, something along the lines of, say... Poochie, only more proactive.
    Krusty: Yeah!
    [Myers & Krusty leave]
    Oakley: So, Poochie okay with everybody?
    All: [reclining in their chairs] Yeah...
    • In the episode with Sherry Bobbins, a Whole Plot Reference to Mary Poppins, originally Julie Andrews was going to play Sherry. But during the initial table read Andrews wasn't available and series regular Maggie Roswell filled in. The producers liked it so much that she ended up voicing the character.
  • Posthumous Credit: Writer/producer Don Payne wrote two episodes that only aired after his death in 2013 (in addition to other episodes which he was a producer on), "Labor Pains" and "White Christmas Blues".
  • Screwed by the Network: Fox briefly moved the show to Thursdays early in its run, against the juggernaut of The Cosby Show. The commentaries point out that this is an inexplicably common tactic that always harms the newer show, and "I think it's much to the show's credit that it didn't kill us; it only hobbled us for a bit."
  • Short Run in Peru: Al-Shamshoon, the Egyptian dub of the show, only lasted for 52 episodes, of which just 34 made it to air despite casting major Egyptian actors to do the voices. The poor reception was probably due to omissions and rewrites in the localization, such as cutting all pork and alcohol references, including all scenes at Moe's Bar, and giving Springfield a large Arab population.
  • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: For years merchandise almost always had Bart with a blue shirt instead of an orange one. This was done to deter counterfeiters (and possibly as a reference to the Tracy Ullman Show episodes).
  • Shown Their Work: Though the show does like to warp facts for laughs or to make an Idiot Plotnote , there are times where the writers do exhibit some signs that they know something. In "The Spy Who Learned Me", Homer sustains a concussion on the job. Smithers states that Homer must be given time off, in compliance with contemporary research. In recent years, sports leagues have legislated whole sets of precautionary and disciplinary rules involving players who suffer head injuries.
  • What Could Have Been: Some examples:
    • The "Robot Richard Simmons" scene from "Burns' Heir" was cut because the writers and test audience thought it wasn't all that great, but apparently, it was a rave at animation conventions and guest lectures at colleges.
      • Richard Simmons originally wanted to voice himself, but declined when he discovered that he would be voicing a robot version of himself.
    • "Kamp Krusty" and "Bonfire of the Manatees" were originally supposed to be plots for The Simpsons Movie, but the writers didn't know how to make them compelling enough for 90 minutes (and already had enough problems making them compelling for 30 minutes, which is why "Cape Feare" has the Overly Long Gag of Sideshow Bob stepping on rakes).
      • Hank Scorpio, the Villain of the Week from Season 8's "You Only Move Twice", was such a One-Scene Wonder that the writers seriously considered casting him as the Big Bad for the film. The writers decided against it because they found that he was way too likeable.
    • The episode where Homer meets a big, bald mental patient who looks, acts, and is voiced by Michael Jackson (under a pseudonym due to contractual stipulations) was supposed to have a sequel where that same big, bald mental patient now thinks he's Prince and encourages everyone in town to be free and open with their sexualities. Because Prince refused to do it (after penning the script, which was considered too out-there for network TV), that script is now the only Simpsons episode that has been written, but never produced.
    • Before his death, Phil Hartman had pitched the idea of doing a live-action movie about his washed-up B-movie actor character on the show, Troy McClure.
    • Marge was initially planned to become The Alcoholic out of boredom during "You Only Move Twice", having nothing better to do in a house that can clean itself. This was deemed too depressing, so the final version of the episode features a Development Gag where she just takes occasional sips of wine while the viewer is assaulted by Scare Chords and dramatic closeups.
    • The writers originally considered having Skinner wear a toupee, but it was dropped as Groening thought toupee jokes were cheap and predictable. Despite this, one image from "The Simpson's Guide to Springfield" (specifically one relating to King Toots) did have Skinner's top hair fly off in a similar manner to a toupee when covering his ears from Willie's bagpipe playing. Also, one of the blackboard punishment gags is, "The principal's toupee is not a Frisbee."
    • William H. Macy was picked to voice Frank Grimes for the infamous season eight episode "Homer's Enemy," but due to scheduling conflicts, Hank Azaria's beforehand recorded voices were used instead.
    • In 1994, Groening envisioned a live-action Krusty Spin-Off starring Castellaneta. The pilot script (co-written by Michael Weithorn) would've seen Krusty get a talk show based in L.A. The project never moved beyond the writing stage due failed contract negotiations with FOX. Purportedly, another reason it was shelved is a subplot would involve Krusty's house — built on stilts — slowly being eaten by beavers, but Groening found out that it would be prohibitively expensive to use either animatronic or trained beavers and lost interest.
    • Matt Groening once said that in the final episode, Marge was going to be revealed to have rabbit ears under her hair. This was scrapped due to inconsistencies and being deemed to surreal. This gag appears in the arcade game when Marge gets shocked.
    • Some other ideas that were dropped early on included Kang and Kodos being aliens that only Homer could see and the season six episode "Homer the Clown" actually being about Homer revealing that he is Krusty the Clown (as opposed to going to a clown college where he gets a job as a Krusty impersonator who appears at events that the real Krusty wouldn't touch with a ten-foot clown pole). The Kang and Kodos concept was dropped for being too surreal and the Krusty idea was phased out, as it would have royally screwed up the continuity, not unlike Principal Skinner's past as Armin Tamzarian or the entirety of "That '90s Show."
      • As Cracked notes here, it had been Groening's idea that Krusty the Clown would be Homer's alter ego, to the point that on a closer look, you can see that Krusty has the same facial build as Homer, aside from the hair and makeup. But it was decided to make Homer and Krusty be separated into two different characters for a couple of reasons, because Cracked points out that "it would be a bit far-fetched to think of Homer as being capable of successfully leading a double life as a local celebrity while maintaining a job at a nuclear power plant and also barely being competent and sober enough to tie his own shoes. Not to mention that a number of early storylines about the family's financial difficulties would have lost a bit of their oomph factor if Homer was secretly sitting on a wealth of branded Krusty home pregnancy test and imitation gruel royalties."
    • Back when The Tracy Ullman Show was searching for someone to do animated fillers, Matt Groening initially wrote material based on Life in Hell. When he realized that the licensing could have cut into his publishing rights, he immediately drew up a crudely-drawn family, named it after his family, and voila, that's how the longest-running, most influential and memorable series on American TV came to be.
    • There was supposed to be a season seven episode that dealt with racism called "Homer vs. Dr. Hibbert," but the writers ditched it after realizing how heavy-handed and preachy it was.
    • An episode parodying Scientology was drafted for season eight, but never produced as the writers feared that it would upset cast members who were Scientologists (such as Nancy Cartwright). Kinda funny, considering that South Park did a Scientology episode ("Trapped In The Closet") that did what the unmade Simpsons episode feared would happen (i.e., piss off a Scientologist who was a cast member on the show [Isaac Hayes, in South Park's case note ).
    • Season eight's Very Special Episode "Homer's Phobia" was supposed to be called "Lisa Goes to Camp" in which Lisa finds an interest in kitschy collectibles and Bart gets into it too, only for Homer to worry about Bart's sexuality. The "Homer worries about Bart's sexuality" part was still there, but the rest of the story was changed to the story of Homer befriending the John Waters-esque antique store owner.
      • "Homer's Phobia" would have been the first Banned Episode in the show's history. Back in the 1990s, producers were wary over sitcom writers doing episodes dealing with homosexuality and homophobia, and when they saw the original script for "Homer's Phobia," they told the writers that they couldn't do it. It wouldn't be until FOX got a change in management that the episode would be made, albeit with some changes in dialogue for censorship reasons.
    • "Rosebud" originally had several darker scenes in Bobo's backstory, such as Bobo being involved in John F. Kennedy's assassination, and two more scenes before the robotic Burns finds Bobo, the first where Canadian troops invade and destroy Washington DC and find Bobo, the second where the earth is overrun by giant Redwoods and spotted owls. The scenes of Bobo's backstory, such as the one with JFK, were cut because the writers felt they were in poor taste, while the ending scenes were cut for time.
    • The original plot for "Insane Clown Poppy" dealt with Homer finding out he had a daughter with another woman (before he met Marge) out of wedlock. Al Jean didn't like this idea and they decided to make it Krusty's daughter instead.
    • The character Milhouse was originally created by Matt Groening for a Saturday morning cartoon show on NBC that never went past the planning stages. He was reused in a Butterfinger commercial that aired a month before the series premiere, then went on to be a recurring character.
    • Comic Book Guy's name originally was going to be "Louis Lane", and would have a Running Gag of being infuriated when someone mentioned the similarity to the name "Lois Lane".
    • Phil Hartman was supposed to play Disco Stu when he debuted in "Two Bad Neighbors", but when the animators needed to do a model change, Hartman wasn't available, so Hank Azaria took the part.
    • After the episode "22 Short Films About Springfield" the creators wanted to make a Spin-Off called Springfield Stories, which would tell 3 separate stories each episode about random Springfield residents. The workload, however, would have been too much for the writers, but they maintain the series could happen someday.

This animated series provides the page image for:

Tropes Named:

  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Substitute French teacher Groundskeeper Willie calls his class this on the season six episode, "Round Springfield" in a brief scene showing that the school's budget has been cut so much that the brash Scottish janitor now has to work double duty as a French teacher.
  • Close Enough Timeline: "Treehouse of Horror V."; Homer manages to return to his normal, present-day reality where doughnuts are plentiful and Fridays (at the time) is TGIF night on ABC, but everyone has lizard tongues and uses them for eating. Rather than travel further through time, Homer shrugs, "Eh, close enough," and eats with the rest of the family.
  • Commie Nazis: From a one-off joke from a McBain movie trailer.
  • Couch Gag: Started the trend.
  • Dean Bitterman: The Dean in one-off movie-within-the-show School of Hard Knockers.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: One of Homer's ideas for some changes for the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington remake in Beyond Blunderdome was, as Mel Gibson put it, to replace the main villain with a dog.
  • Flanderization: Ned Flanders used to be only mildly religious, in that he was a typical "good American" who enjoyed going to to church on Sundays in earlier seasons; now he's a Bible-thumping Overprotective Dad. Other characters have been hit with it over the years.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Those goggles won't protect your eyes from real acid, Radioactive Man. On this website, the trope is used to describe moments when characters have goggles for fashion reasons and never uses them to shield their eyes.
  • Kent Brockman News
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All
  • The Krusty
  • Kwyjibo (trope renamed Scrabble Babble): Bart made up the word to cheat at Scrabble.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: Fat Tony et al.
  • Mayor of a Ghost Town
  • My Beloved Smother: Agnes Skinner to Principal Skinner.
  • Named Like My Name: Homer Simpson's observation when he finds out that one of the main characters on Police Cops has his name.
  • Non-Giving-Up School Guy: Skinner.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Embiggens is one. Also "cromulent".
  • Retirony: On the season 12 episode, "Homer vs. Dignity" (a.k.a, the one where Homer gets raped by a panda), Chief Wiggum tells his financial advisor that he's not going to save his money for the future because, like all cops on TV shows and movies, he'll be killed in the line of duty days before he retires.
    • Possibly counts as a Trope Codifier as well, since Wiggum constantly laments various people and things being "only two days til retirement".
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: It feels like Ned Flanders is wearing nothing at all! Nothing at all! Nothing at all!
  • Suspect Is Hatless: Chief Wiggum described Snake as this on an in-show episode of COPS.
  • Think of the Children!: Helen Lovejoy's primary concern should be everyone else's as well.
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts: Homer used this mantra whenever he was alone with Mindy (a new coworker he was infatuated with because she's basically his Distaff Counterpart, only with red hair, a slim figure, and the voice of Michelle Pfeiffer).
    • She used this as a mantra when in an elevator with Homer.
  • Trash of the Titans: Title of the 200th episode and a frequent trope in the early days.
  • Whale Egg: Ralph Wiggum isn't very good with biology...
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Does anybody know? The characters just won't tell us. Though in The Movie, Ned says it's bordering bordering Ohio, Nevada, Maine, and Kentucky. At the same time.
    • In Bart vs. Lisa vs. The Third Grade, when they get the new satellite dish and we get a shot of it going from the Earth to outer space, it's implied that they live in Springfield, Illinois, just shortly southwest of what looks like Lake Michigan.
      • However, recently Matt Groening stated that Springfield is in Oregon.
  • A Wizard Did It: Used by Lucy Lawless to explain the glaring continuity errors in Xena: Warrior Princess.
  • You Might Remember Me from...: Such trope pages as this one. Troy McClure (a washed-up B-list celebrity with an alleged sexual fetish for fish) would always introduce films, documentaries, and even two behind-the-scenes Simpsons episodes (the 138th episode spectacular and the episode featuring three pilots for spin-off shows) with this trope phrase and two fictional titles of movies/TV shows/specials, etc he's been in (such as "The Erotic Adventures of Hercules," "Zombie in the Endzone," "Mommy, What's Wrong With That Man's Face?" "2 Minus 3 Equals Negative Fun," "Lead Paint: Delicious But Deadly," "Here Comes the Metric System," "five fabulous weeks of The Chevy Chase Show," "Alien Autopsy," "Smoke Yourself Thin," and "Get Confident, Stupid!")
  • Your Secret's Safe With Me, Superman: Barney talking to Adam West (who actually played Batman).
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: Bart had the "shinning" in the Halloween segment of the same name, not the "shining." Get it right, people!