main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Video Game: The Simpsons: Hit & Run
Bart Simpson: Quick! To the Fatmobile! Heheheh.
Comic Book Guy: Yes I suppose, but must we call it that?

The Simpsons: Hit & Run is a 2003 Wide Open Sandbox game in the vein of the Grand Theft Auto series, but with less firepower and more kicking. Five characters from the series are played in the seven chapter long story mode (In order: Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge, Apu, Bart and then Homer), which initially starts off with Homer's antics on his way to work, but shifts into a conspiracy involving the kidnapping of Bart, strange floating wasp cameras, and a strange new brand of cola. And it gets even stranger from there...

A game notably filled to the brim with references to past episodes and the vehicles contained within, the creators of this game sure did their homework on The Simpsons. The sheer amount of Continuity Porn and Easter Eggs could fill a page in of itself, including an entire section devoted to the Halloween "Treehouse of Horror" episodes. If a vehicle appeared on the show when this game was put into production, it was in this game.

Commonly regarded as one of the best Simpsons tie in games, it's still enjoyed by the fandom to this day, making it a licensed game that does not suck!

This video game contains examples of:

  • Abandon Ship: Your character will dive out of a car that is about to explode.
  • Acrofatic: Homer (and to a lesser extent, Apu), like the other playable characters, can do double jumps and run indefinitely. They'll complain about the workout, but that's it.
  • Action Mom: Marge
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Vehicles and outfits get more and more expensive each level, but the amount of coins you find in those levels do not. Even if you never get caught by the cops and get all the coin boxes and secrets, your cash will start to run low about halfway through the game, sooner if you stop to buy all the available cars. Fortunately, you can just go back to the first level and rampage for coins, where the wanted meter is very forgiving.
  • The Alleged Car: Comic Book Guy's Kremlin, which is a slovenly piece of junk filled with empty pizza boxes, comics, and other nerd crap.
    • Moe's Sedan.
    • If you destroy your vehicle, you can drive the chassis, rather hilariously. Drive it into a repair icon to avoid having to pay the repair fees.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Krusty essentially says this about Bart's warning about the aliens planning to instigate a mass riot with laser guns via Buzz Cola.
    Bart: Krusty, listen carefully, aliens are handing out free laser guns and cola that makes you go crazy. It'll be a massacre, the streets will be littered with lasered-off limbs and heads.
    Krusty: Yeah, right, and I'm getting into the Country Western Hall of Fame. It just ain't gonna happen, kid.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Fail a mission five times and the game allows you to skip it, except for the final mission.
    • Typically, some of the best music in the game plays during some of the most frustrating missions. 'Never Trust A Snake' is a good example.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Snake was taken prisoner when Wiggum could prove that he committed three crimes. Strike one: counterfeit designer jeans, the foulest of all crimes. Strike two: running over an elderly person without a licence. And strike three: littering.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: The rocket car in the first level is extremely fast... but is barely controllable and is extremely fragile. You'll total it in one hit.
  • Back Seats are Just for Show: The Player Characters that hop into a car take the passenger's seat - even with the Car Built for Homer, which has a giant seat in the back. Averted in at least on mission where Lisa has to help Skinner run errands, Lisa hops in the passenger seat and his mother is sitting in the back.
  • Big Bad: Kang and Kodos
  • Big "NO!": Kang finding out he has to share heaven with the credits.
    • One of Bart's quotes when he falls into a Bottomless Pit is one of these that continues for a second after you reappear.
      Bart: Nooooooooooooooo... *Takes a breath in* Oooooooo!
    • Also what Homer might say when he fails a mission.
  • Big Word Shout: Comic Book Guy will scream "KHAAAN!" during jumps.
  • Book Ends: Every 'map' gets at least two levels. The last level is the same map as the first one except with a Halloween makeover and a Broken Bridge in the last level.
    • Both the first and last levels are played as Homer.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The Spinning Paper for the first level headlines Homer ruining a hot dog-eating contest. In the ending, Homer initially thinks his actions in saving Springfield from Kang and Kodos were all part of a bad dream from eating too many raw hot dogs.
    • In the first level, Homer helps Marge gather up copies of Bonestorm 2 to protect people from the game's violence. The second level includes Bart trying to find a copy of the game and Jimbo saying "some crazy lady" destroyed most of them.
    • In the second level, Bart helps Cletus gather roadkill to deliver to Krusty Burger, then you have to avoid Apu who doesn't appreciate in the competition. In the next level, Lisa helps Apu ram Cletus's truck and gather up the roadkill he drops.
  • Camera Screw: Some locations force the camera in a specific direction, even if it will mess up a jump. First example is the Duff truck near the Kwik-e-mart — jump with the camera pointing towards the front of the truck and it turns to the side as soon as you hit the steam vent.
  • Cassandra Truth: Trying to find Bart, Lisa asks everyone about him. Prof. Frink tells her that Bart helped him to build the truck-saurus, and then vanished in a bright light. Lisa dismisses it as pure nonsense.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    Apu: We have got to prevent the aliens from distributing laser guns into the hands of cola drunk townspeople.
    Bart: Why? That sounds hilarious! I'd watch that show!
    Apu: (Face Palm) I'll tell you what; you're a bad little boy.
  • Competitive Balance: Naturally, no one car is the answer to everything; balanced between Speed, Acceleration, Toughness, and Handling means that some cars are very fast but can't take a hit, are very fast but handle poorly, are fast and tough but slow to accelerate, etc. Burns' sedan comes the closest to being universally viable, but it isn't available until near the end of the game.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Simply put, the computer can drive any car faster than you can, better than you can, and is magically much heavier than the same car is under your control.
  • Continuity Porn: That is putting it gently. The game could be called "The Simpsons; We Cram As Many Jokes From The Show In As Possible."
    • Nevermind cars featured prominently in the show like Moe's sedan or Snake's Lil Bandit, one-off cars like the Book-Burning Mobile and the car Bart drives in "Burns' Heir" appear for your driving pleasure.
    • Virtually any location featured in the show appears. You want to visit Kamp Krusty, Burns' Casino, Channel Six, Krusty Burger, the Screaming Monkey Research Lab. You can even visit the wreck of the Monorail, and the engine is drive-able as a vehicle to boot.
    • Naturally, characters constantly quote the show, both the iconic lines and the ones you'd have to be an obsessive fan to recognize.
    • Characters wear costumes and outfits from across the series, such as Homer dressing as The One of the Stonecutters, Bart donning his "tall" outfit from when he auditioned to be Fallout Boy, and Lisa getting her "Floreda" costume Homer made for her.
    • The gags found in each level include "El Barto" graffito, dropping a crate of hot pants into the ocean, watching Maggie be drowned in balls in a ball crawl, finding Rodd and Todd in Flanders' bomb shelter, and setting off the fire-breathing tiki statue in the Simpsons' backyard.
    • The side cast is sprinkled throughout the game; Dr. Nick, Cletus, the Squeaky-Voiced Teen, the Sea Captain, Professor Frink, Snake, all there and fully voiced with the show's cast.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Kang and Kodos' heavenly punishment for being behind the evil plot? Sit through the credits.
  • Cool Car: The Car Built for Homer, Homer's 70's sports car, a Rocket Car, an Indy 500 car, Bart's Honor Roller, Apu's GODDAMNED MONSTER TRUCK, Lisa's sports boat... WITH WHEELS!, and last, but not least, Frink's semi-invisible hover car.
    • A driveable RC Car, the Globex Super Villain Car owned by Hank Scorpio, The Plow King... really, it'd be hard not to list every car in the game for their own reasons.
  • Credits Gag: See MST.
  • Crop Circles: Which match the design on *GASP* Buzz Cola. Or Bart. Depends on the level.
  • Critical Existence Failure: See Every Car Is a Pinto.
  • Day In The Life: Most of Level 1 and all of Level 2 have little to no bearing on the alien plot, but instead focus on the misadventures of Homer and Bart, respectively.
  • Dead Character Walking: You can drive a wrecked chassis if your car explodes. Not surprisingly, It's VERY slow, but if you drive it into a repair item, it'll be as good as new.
  • Destructive Saviour: Thanks to the poor handling of some cars and the loads of destructible scenery, the Simpsons will be this at one point or another. This trope is so prevalent it was actually advertised as a selling point of the game.
    Save Springfield. By car. By foot. By the seat of your pants.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: If you hack the game or use an action replay or some such device to play as characters on levels where you're not supposed to, you'll find that some playable characters have lines that can't be heard in normal gameplay. For example, all five playable characters have lines for destroying power conduits, even though you can only destroy power conduits in one mission in the entire game (Blind Big Brother), and said mission can only be played as Homer.
    Lisa: Anti-social behavior is fun!
  • Double Jump: Some walking sections require using this, while other sections didn't expect a double-jump (or other tactic) could be used to bypass the platform puzzle.
  • Dramatic Irony: In one mission, you have to destroy all the copies of Bonestorm 3. Early in the next level, Bart tries to get the game:
    Jimbo: Too late losers, I got the last game; four finger discount! *Laughs* Some crazy lady [Marge] destroyed all the rest.
  • Effortless Achievement: The game gives you an achievement merely for pressing start at the title screen.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Every vehicle in the game explodes when it's taken too much damage. Even the RC car. Then again, this is not exactly out of place in the Simpsons world.
  • Evil Laugh: Lisa of all people breaks out a nice one sometimes after she's driven through and/or destroyed something.
  • Face Palm: Apu when Bart doesn't see the need to stop Kang and Kodos giving cola-maddened citizens laser guns.
  • Filler: Aside from explaining how Bart is kidnapped, the entire second level is a waste of time in terms of plot. Bart spends several missions trying to get his hands on a new video game, then suddenly shifts gears to helping Professor Frink build a Truckasaurus.
  • Fragile Speedster: Many cars are very fast, but don't take hits well.
    • In the first level you find a rocket car which goes so fast you can hit the invisible border around the stage making a ramp jump, but it handles poorly and is quickly destroyed.
    • In the final level you can get the Open-Wheel Race Car, which has 5 in Speed, Acceleration, and Handling, but only a 1 in Toughness. It has the handling to avoid hitting things that often, and it needs it.
  • Freudian Excuse: One of Homer's excuses for kicking people. "An older boy told me to do it."
  • Flying Saucer: The three final missions have you loading barrels of toxic waste into one.
  • Ground Pound: Attack while doing a Double Jump.
  • Halloween Episode: In true "Treehouse of Horror" style, an entire section of the game revolves around a now Halloween themed Springfield, complete with Beetlejuice-esque music, haunted vehicles, horror themed buildings (Springfield Elementary becomes a castle-like "School For Magic") and of course Halloween costumes.
  • Hero Insurance: When Homer runs into something or someone, he may randomly blurt out "I have no insurance!"
  • Holiday Mode: For Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Halloween (only the menu is changed, though).
  • Hummer Dinger: Marge can drive the Canyonero.
  • Hypocritical Humour:
    • Comic Book Guy.
      "Videogames, what a waste of money. Now to go online and bid $1,000 on Itchy & Scratchy corn-cob holders! A terrific, terrific expense."
    • From Homer, "Tut tut tut. Reckless driving is my pet peeve."
  • I'm Standing Right Here
    Bart: I've gotta get the new Bonestorm game or I'll be as uncool as Milhouse!
    Milhouse: I'm standing right here, Bart.
  • Invulnerable Civilians: You run them over, but they don't die.
  • J'accuse!... sir.
  • Killed Off for Real: Kang and Kodos. Professor Frink, Snake and Grampa may have died as well, as it's not explicitly stated whether they got out of the car before their car was destroyed by the tractor beam. Kent Brockman is also devoured by zombies at in the debut mission for the last level.
  • Klatchian Coffee: Buzz Cola. Kang And Kodos tailored it to send humans crazy upon consuming it, and thus get good material for Foolish Earthlings.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Referenced in one of Homer's quotes, usually when his vehicle is destroyed or he's busted by the cops, "Lousy karmic retribution!"
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: The Trope Namer itself has members running wager races.
  • Leitmotif: Several characters have their own themes. For example, Chief Wiggum has one reminiscent of '70s cop shows, Apu has several Indian-sounding themes, and Professor Frink has a theme reminiscent of Danny Elfman's compositions. Most of Bart's music is guitar rock, and most of Lisa's is jazzy saxophone numbers.
  • Lemming Cops: The cop cars that show up when you fill out the Wanted Meter explode at the slightest provocation, often simply for failing to hit you on the first past. More show up to replace them.
  • Lighter and Softer: It's Grand Theft Auto if it were a cartoon. You can run over people, but they can't die. You can take any car you want, but you're just hitchhiking, not stealing them. You can piss off the police, but all you get is a small fine (you have no weapons for the cops to confiscate).
  • Lightning Bruiser: Burns' sedan, which is second to none in all-around stats at 4/4.5/3/4.5. Its only shortcoming is its mediocre toughness, but it can still take hits better than some of the faster cars. Not far behind is Snake's Lil Bandit, at 4.5/4/2/4.5, which is much easier to total.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Most songs are longer than their missions normally take, but the music at the start of The Fat and the Furious changes to another track when you get in your car, which means most only hear the first few seconds of it.
    • If you restart the mission, it will start you in your car, meaning the music doesn't change until it's played through once.
  • May Contain Evil: The new Buzz Cola. However, Krusty mentions that this one doesn't contain any poisonsnote .
  • Medium Awareness: While narrating a flashback, Grandpa mentions that it happened so long ago he'll have to describe it in sepia tone.
    • Homer will occasionally shout, "He used a cheat code!" when losing a race, mission, or if rammed by a pursuing cop car.
  • Mighty Glacier: Some of the larger cars, like Barney's Plow King truck, are terribly slow but have high health to compensate.
  • Mistaken Confession: When Homer accuses Mr Burns of being connected to the black vans, Burns confesses to having Amelia Earhart's plane shot down.
    Mr. Burns: That hussie was getting too big for her jodhpurs.
  • Money Spider: The Wasp Cameras all drop a nice sum of coins when destroyed.
  • MST: Kang and Kodos snark at the credits and the staff, right down to the job titles.
  • My Hover Craft Is Full Of Eels: Invoked by Apu as an excuse not to help Bart by level six.
    Apu: Up down up down! Go hotdog! Butter my under-shirt! Blablabla!
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Apu's monster truck is called the Obliteratatron.
  • Nintendo Hard: There's a reason for the Mercy Mode listed under Anti-Frustration Features to appear...
  • Not Quite Dead: After a car blows up, you can still drive it. Even though all that's left is the charred, twisted framework and the bent up rims. If you find a Golden Wrench nearby, though, you can restore it to new for free.
  • 100% Completion: It lets you drive backwards on the bonus courses.
  • Optional Traffic Laws: The police will chase you if you cause too much damage, but even if they manage to catch you all they do is fine you 50 coins.
  • Orphaned Punchline: "...leaving the famous bearded cartoon creator incarcerated in a Peruvian jail."
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Bart goes "Ow, my ovaries!", referencing a line from the show when he was faking being sick.
  • Potty Emergency: One of Apu's missions involves rounding up diapers for the octuplets. "Quick, cover my incontinent children's tushies!"
  • Potty Failure: Bart soiled himself when he was abducted by the aliens.
  • Pro Bono Barter: One of Homer's lines when calling for a different car. "Can you come and get me? I'll pay you in back rubs!"
  • Racing Minigame: Several, with different announcers. They often flub the countdown. Ralph has to be the funniest.
  • Reference Overdosed: What did you expect from a Simpsons game?
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Destroying the scenery gives coins... and adds to your heat meter.
  • Room Full of Crazy: When driving around Evergreen Terrace during the final level, a house at the end of the block is covered head-to-toe with scribblings of 'NO TV NO BEER MAKE HOMER GO CRAZY', a clear reference to the first act of Treehouse of Horror V, in itself a reference to The Shining.
  • Side Quest: There's one bonus mission in each chapter, which rewards you with a car, plus the collector cards that unlock a bonus movie of Itchy & Scratchy.
  • Sixth Ranger: Apu, the only playable character who's not part of the family.
  • Society Is to Blame: Another of Homer's excuses.
    Homer: I blame society.
  • SpaceX: Space-ratings and space-viewers who watch their SPACE TV about the SPACE REALITY SHOW about EARTH ZOMBIES EATING EACH OTHER, provided by SPACE ALIENS Kang and Kodos.
  • Special Effects Failure: Invoked by Comic Book Guy, in regards to the UFO and its tractor beam. Homer is quick to protest that it is in fact real, but Comic Book Guy sticks to his guns.
  • Spies in a Van: See Van in Black.
  • Spinning Paper: One at the beginning of each level. The one for the first level, for example, includes this:
  • Spring Jump: Steam vents are an extra powerful jump, and can be combined with a double jump. The vents are necessary in several foot-on quests and sidequests.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Milhouse. An early mission in Lisa's level consists of him offering her 'leads' on Bart's whereabouts, only to somehow beat her to each destination.
    "You're stalking me, aren't you, Milhouse?"
  • Stone Wall: The Armored Car has 5 in Toughness, making it the most durable vehicle in the game. However, it has a 1.5 in everything else, so it's very slow to move and slow to turn.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Kang: "At least we don't have to sit through the stupid videogame credits."
  • This Loser Is You: The characters' various comments after crashing into someone/something ("You're not a very good driver...", "What were you thinking?!", etc.) can be interpreted as Breaking the Fourth Wall and telling the player that they can't drive.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Homer, but lucky for you, he's just extremely stupid in non-lethal situations.
    • Something closer to the trope: Grandpa, who is too senile to bail out of his Military Jeep, rigged with a rocket and nuclear waste, when he and Homer blow up Kang and Kodos' ship.
      Grandpa: I smell tooooaaaassst!
  • Truman Show Plot: Those robot wasp cameras are filming everyone so Kang and Kodos can turn Springfield into an intergalactic reality show.
    Bart: I knew there was a simple explanation.
  • Van in Black: Except they're only pizza vans.
    Homer: ...I'm a Class-Five Idiot!
  • Vent Physics
  • Wanted Meter: Every time you break stuff and abuse civilians this little meter goes up until police cars show up and dash to catch you. Getting caught means a 50 coin fine but you can hide in car-unreachable locations or go into accessible buildings to cool the meter off.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Only the main missions and bonus races can be replayed. Completing bonus missions, collecting cards and floating coins, destroying certain parts of the scenery in each level, and killing camera wasps are permanent.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The last level of the game has zombies wandering around due to Kang and Kodos's evil Buzz Cola soda.

Scarface: The World is YoursCreator/Radical EntertainmentThe Simpsons Road Rage
The Simpsons: Road RageNintendo Game CubeSecond Sight
The Itchy & Scratchy ShowWesternAnimation/The SimpsonsThe Simpsons Game
Silent ScopeXboxThe Simpsons: Road Rage
The Simpsons: Road RagePlay Station 2 The Simpsons Game
The SaboteurWide Open SandboxThe Sims

alternative title(s): The Simpsons Hit And Run
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy