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Video Game: The Simpsons Tapped Out

The Simpsons: Tapped Out is a free game that was first developed for the iOS on February 17th 2012. It was then later exported to the Android on January 29th 2013. The game was developed and published by Electronic Arts.

The premise of this game is that the player must help Homer Simpson rebuild Springfield after a meltdown at the Nuclear Power Plant causes the entire city to be destroyed, stripping it bare of all buildings and citizens (excluding Homer and a huge heap of radioactive waste). As you progress through the game and rebuild iconic Springfield locations, such as the Simpsons' family home and the Kwik-E-Mart, you also unlock more of the townsfolk, e.g. Ned Flanders with the Flanders' home and Principal Skinner with Springfield Elementary.

The game incorporates the use of experience points, with which the player can level up and gain access to more characters, decorations and buildings, and in-game currency that enables the player to purchase said items. Also included is premium currency, in the form of donuts, that the player can purchase with real money in order to gain access to exclusive (and sometimes limited time only) items that enhance gameplay.

The game requires an internet connection to play, as there are regular updates available for the app that are either automatic, or require manual installation.


This game provides examples of:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Those boardwalks for the Squidport pier. Not only does the price go up each time, but so does the length in time it takes for the game to cough them up.
    • There is now a feature (possibly deliberate, possibly a glitch) that allows collecting multiple boardwalks once you're done building if multiple neighbors tap on it when visiting you. This greatly eases the pain of waiting days for a single section to be built.
      • This, since the Valentines 2014 Update, has been patched.
  • A God Is You: Type B variety. Some of the characters even refer to the player as one during in-quest dialogue.
  • Amusement Park: The July 31 update of the game grants the player access to a secondary location known as Krustyland, which, despite being geographically located elsewhere in the in-game universe, has still met the same fate as Springfield at the start of the game.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Some of the updates included alternate costumes for different characters that gave them access to an alternate set of tasks. As of the current version, the only characters who have access to alternate costumes are Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Abe Simpson, Ned Flanders, Moe, Mr. Burns, Groundskeeper Willie, Apu, Wolfcastle and Barney.
    • With the addition of the Stonecutters, a whole host of new outfits have appeared. This lets Mayor Quimby, Smithers, Skinner, Arnie Pye, Kent Brockman, Jasper, Lenny, Carl, Chief Wiggum, Krusty and Disco Stu play dress up as well.
  • Anti-Hero: Homer, in the sense that at the start of the game, he does not want to rebuild Springfield, and even after building the Simpsons house and unlocking Lisa, he suggests that the two of them relocate to Miami.
  • Ascended Extra: Rod and Tod Flanders only ever appeared in the game during the Christmas 2012 storyline, when the player would give Ned Flanders the 10-hour seasonal task of Take the Kids Snowmobiling. As of Level 33, the player can unlock the Flanders children by building Sir Putt-A-Lot's (assuming the player hadn't already obtained it during the Valentine's Day storyline).
    • So much so that Lisa's 8-hour task Babysit Rod and Tod now requires the two kids to be available. If one, or both, of them are busy doing another task, Lisa's task is greyed out and is unable to carry it out until they are finished.
    • The same thing happened with Brandine Spuckler and Cletus's 8 hour task - Help Brandine give birth to another Spuckler. This task is replaced with something else and Brandine gets a whopping 90 day task to birth another Spuckler - which gives you a free character.
  • Back from the Dead: It's implied through various characters' dialogue that everybody got killed in the explosion (except Homer). Characters who make reference to this are Herman, Lenny, Carl, Rod and Tod.
    • The ghost of Maude Flanders becomes available as a character during the Halloween 2013 storyline.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Chief Wiggum is too lazy to do much about the crime in Springfield, and has Lou and Eddie do the dirty work for him. Further implied when, during the storyline for level 33, he has the entire town arrested for petty crime.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Barney and Comic Book Guy, both large men who wear t-shirts a little too short to cover everything.
  • Beach Episode: The June 2013 update allows you to further expand the size of your Springfield by turning the edge of the map into a beach, upon which you can build the Squidport pier.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Bad Dream House, exclusive to the Halloween 2012 storyline.
  • Black Is Bigger in Bed: When you unlock Lou, tap on him.
    Lou: Aside from my gun, what makes me feel like a man is my enormous genitals.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Homer does this a few times. Setting him a task (such as Clean up Springfield or Plant Shift) may cause him to respond "Aw, work, I thought this was a game!" or "I wish this was a shooter game."
    Homer: "Hello, giant finger!"
    • The Christmas 2013 splash screen actually shows, instead of the usual Homer being chased by the giant finger, him walking alongside it! He's lost his fear of the player, it seems.
    • Some of the quest dialogue will also make mention of you, or the game-world ("all my money is fake" , "we've received complaints that it's difficult to locate characters" , "they pay whatever we ask them to whenever we need a new building" etc.)
  • Breakout Character: While many of the minor characters can be unlocked, particular note goes to the likes of Miss Springfield, Lugash, Hank Scorpio, Tom O'Flanagan, Herman Hermann, Rex Banner, Drederick Tatum, Shauna, Arnie Pye and Booberella, who either don't make many appearances in the series, or have only appeared in one episode.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Players can purchase premium content by purchasing donuts using real money. These donuts can also be used to purchase in-game money and complete tasks instantly for experience. There are only two ways to succeed in this game: a buttload of time, or a buttload of money.
  • Bumbling Dad: The premise of the game is caused by Homer not paying attention at work.
  • Butt Monkey: Strangely enough, a building serves this role. The Brown House suffers break-ins, paintball matches, copper wire thefts, and Mayor Quimby's sexual liaisons. Otto sleeps there, Homer (before Marge's return) uses their well-stocked fridge to feed the fridge, and everyone uses it as their go-to place for undesirable activities, from mob hits to human sacrifices. Lampshaded a LOT.
  • Canine Companion: Santa's Little Helper, Frink's robotic dog and the K9 Officer.
  • Celebrity Star: In a fashion. Players could unlock premium character Abraham Lincoln during the 4th July update.
    • An in-universe example is the inclusion of Krusty the Clown, Kent Brockman, Wolfcastle, Arnie Pye and Booberella.
  • City of Everywhere: The St.Patrick's Day update allows you to build O'Flanagan's Pub, which in the Simpsons universe, is originally located in Ireland. Additionally, the Volcano Lair and the Cool Brown House were originally located in Cyprus Creek.
  • Cool Helmet: Carl wears a viking helmet while performing his Honor his Icelandic heritage task.
  • Cosplay: Comic Book Guy's twelve-hour task.
  • Creepy Doll: One of the purchasable "characters" from the Halloween update is a Krusty Doll. Also, in the Christmas update, you can buy three different Funzo dolls which, like the Krusty Doll, wander around Springfield, will speak when tapped but will otherwise serve no actual use in the game.
  • Cross Dresser: Chief Wiggum dresses up as a woman when performing his Go on a Stake Out job.
    • During the Halloween update, whilst doing his Trick-or-Treating task, Martin would dress as a fairy.
    • Chalmers' "Break Character" task has him walking around while dressed in a frilly pink ballgown and spinning nunchucks.
  • Demonic Possession: When a poltergeist encounters one of your townsfolk, they will become possessed and will be seen floating around with their pupils dilated. Much like the zombies from the previous Halloween update, tapping on them will return them to normal.
  • Demoted to Extra: Maggie Simpson only ever appears in the game when you give Marge the eight-hour task Walk Maggie.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Backing out of a premium purchase at the last minute? Be prepared to face the consequences.
    • Also, if you tried to use donuts to speed up a character's task BEFORE they've arrived at the place they need to go to carry it out, it would tell you to wait.
  • Discount Card: Gil will occasionally appear in your Springfield with offers for discounts on premium content.
  • Dummied Out: It has been reported that, somewhere in the RAW files of the app, the developers were planning on making Gil, Jacqueline Bouvier and Kirk Van Houten unlockable characters, as well as other buildings and decorations. Since the November 7th, 2013 update, however, Kirk Van Houten, along with Luann, have been added.
    • It was planned for each of the buildings to randomly drop bonus items that resulted in rewards for collecting all in a set, however this was dropped for unknown reasons.
    • Homer has a 'character unlock' image, complete with a quote, that cannot be seen in the game, as Homer is the default starting character.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Kumiko was given in the January 7th 2014 in-game update to foreshadow the episode she's appearing in, "Married to the Blob", which aired five days after the tie-in.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Burns Monster from the Halloween 2012 update, and also the Frog Prince from the Halloween 2013 update.
  • Evil Costume Switch: As part of the Halloween storyline, you can unlock Marge's witch costume and Ned's Devil costume.
  • Experience Points: The game allows you to level up, thus gaining access to new characters, buildings and decorations. Lampshaded frequently, including in cutscenes and at level-ups.
  • Eye of Newt: Marge's alternate costume gives her a one-hour task of purchasing this.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Kearney and Shauna both have a 30-minute task, Shoplift from the Kwik-E-Mart. Surprisingly, this is averted with Nelson, who is also categorised as a 'Toughie'.
    • Jimbo and Dolph have variant versions of this task; Jimbo's is Four Finger Discount and Dolph's is simply Shoplift.
  • Genre Savvy: Wolfcastle, especially when one reads his unlock message.
    Wolfcastle: "I just had a nightmare that my every action was controlled by a nerd."
  • Geographic Flexibility: Invoked, even more so than in the show itself. The player decides where buildings are located, and can move them around at any point for strategic, aesthetic, or boredom-fuelled purposes. Frequently lampshaded.
    Homer: One time our house was built next to a prison so I could make a joke about how we lived next to a prison. Then five minutes later, no more prison. Weird, huh?
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During quest dialogue between Seymour and Willie, Willie calls Seymour a bastard.
    • Lampshaded by Bart after you unlock his Kamp Bart costume.
    Bart: "This camp was crap! Can I say crap in this game? Guess I just did."
    • Also, see the Black Is Bigger in Bed entry above.
    • In a similar vein as the above, Miss Springfield has the task to spend the evening with the Mayor at the Sleep Eazy Motel. Which, despite the name, lasts only three minutes.
    • Before the game gives you the task to build a Krusty Burger, Homer says how he misses Marge and that as a man, he has certain needs. While it turns out he was talking about Marge making him dinner, Lisa's reaction of "EWWW!" makes it clear she thought Homer was referring to having sex with Marge.
  • Ghost in the Machine: Lampshaded in the 2013 Halloween story arch, in which your Springfield is overrun with poltergeists who possess your townsfolk and buildings. The title of the initial set of quests is even called The Ghost in the Machine-based App.
  • Good Costume Switch: As a limited time unlock, Mr. Burns can become Fruit Bat Man.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: If you stop playing the game for a long time, you might get a notification, accompanied by Homer yelling at you for neglecting the game.
    • Also, if you go to purchase donuts, and then cancel when the iTunes store asks you to confirm, the game tells you that you made Maggie cry.
  • Holiday Mode: Depending on the time of year, there are various limited time storylines, tasks, characters, decorations and buildings that can be purchased, including Halloween, Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day and Thanksgiving.
  • Holiday Volunteering: Santa Flanders' one-hour task is to Serve the Poor.
  • Instant Costume Change: Some of the characters' tasks allow them to change costumes, for example, Ned and Mr. Burns will suddenly don exercise gear for their tasks Power Walk and Brisk Constitutional, respectively.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: This game uses real world time, therefore if you set a character to do a 24-hour task, they will do it for literally 24 hours.
  • Joke Character: Herman Hermann, but more so in a literal sense rather than the trope's actual definition. Even the storyline's dialogue ending lampshades this, saying that the dev team didn't plan that far ahead.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Some of which is humorously aimed at the game's free-to-play, Bribing Your Way to Victory model.
    • Part of the game's tutorial requires you to spend some premium donut currency on a mystery box, only find even more donuts inside. Lisa remarks that it's "probably beginner's luck", to which Homer replies "The only way to find out is to buy a hundred more of those boxes!"
    • When Apu starts selling Golden Scratch-R tickets, which will win you donuts instead of standard game money like normal Scratch-Rs, Homer excitedly proclaims that he doesn't care how much they cost and will spend any amount of "fake game money" on them.
    Apu: Yeah, about that...
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the opening scene of the game, Homer plays another city-builder game on his tablet and gripes "You tap and wait and tap and wait, and for what? So your pretend town can have more pretend flowers than your pretend friends? What a colossal waste of time." And then he turns around and buys $500 worth of premium currency.
  • Loading Screen: The image will vary depending on updates or seasons. However, almost all will depict Homer running away from a giant finger.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: If you have a particularly poor connection, this can (and most likely will) happen.
  • Man in a Kilt: Willie when performing the Play the Bagpipes task.
  • May-December Romance: Agnes has a 2-hour task that allows her to go on a date with Comic Book Guy.
  • Meta Guy: Homer.
    Homer: "I wish this was a shooter game."
  • Missing Mom: Marge and Luann, until you unlock them. Could also apply to Agnes Skinner, except Seymour wasn't exactly missing her as such.
  • Moving Target Bonus: Sideshow Bob will occasionally appear in your Springfield, and tapping on him rewards you with money and Experience Points. Also, as part of the St. Patrick's Day update, you could purchase a Leprechaun that randomly gives you small amounts of money or experience points if you tapped on him.
    • The zombies in the first Halloween update.
    • The snakes in the Whacking Day update.
    • The Gremlins and poultergeists in the Halloween 2013 update.
    • Members of the Order in the Stonecutters update.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: During the Halloween storyline/update, purchasing either of the graveyards would spawn zombies at 9-hour intervals. If any of them came into contact with any of your characters, they would turn into zombies themselves, and could be turned back by simply tapping on them.
    • Also, as part of the Whacking Day update, you could unlock Homer's Ninja costume (which consists of Homer wearing only black pants).
    • To celebrate 24 seasons of the show, one of the updates included an assortment of decorations that were limited time. Among these were Professor Frink's robot dog, which would roam your Springfield when purchased, but would otherwise serve no function other than to complete a character collection set.
    • The Sea Captain does talk a lot like a pirate.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Ned Flanders in his Devil costume.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: One of Luigi's tasks is Practice Fake Accent. Also Bumblebee Man has a task called Attend Lessones Espanoles.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Tapping on the poltergeists will get rid of them, and they will always drop Plasma. However, on the rare occasion, they will also drop a Gremlin or a donut.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Zombies appear as part of the Halloween storyline. Human zombies would spawn from Springfield Cemetery, while pet zombies would emerge from the Pet Cemetery. If any type of zombie came into contact with a citizen, that character would instantly transform into a zombie. To get rid of the zombies, the player only needs to tap them once, and would be rewarded with experience points and either Halloween candy, eggs or toilet paper.
  • Parental Abandonment: Martin, Nelson and Sherri & Terri's parents are not in the game. Lampshaded when Milhouse tells Bart (prior to building the Skinner House) that he misses his parents, and that he wants to build a pillow fort in the hopes that it will make his parents appear.
  • Power Floats: The townsfolk can be seen floating around your Springfield once they are possessed by a poltergeist.
  • Randomly Drops: Purchasing a Mystery Box or Buddha Homer will result in a random premium content item being added to your inventory. This could range from a simple common decoration, or a premium content building or character.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: When you go into a friend's Springfield, you can complete up to three tasks a day, in the sense that you can collect money and experience points from houses and shops. When you click on the Moe's Tavern, Springfield Elementary, Police Station or Town Hall buildings, however, you can vandalise them in exchange for the usual money and EXP.
    • Also in the Halloween update, you also had the option of vandalising the houses with eggs and the trees with toilet paper, each and every single one offering Halloween candy in exchange.
    • In the Whacking Day update, any snake eggs you collected in your own Springfield could be planted in your friends' towns instead.
    • Bart, Milhouse and Shauna each have a 2-hour task called Paintball in the Brown House, while Nelson has a 30-minute task of Shoot car with B Bs. Nelson and Kearney, being school bullies, both have a 10-minute task of Dump spoiled coleslaw in the Van Houten House.
    • During one of the storylines, Martin had a one-time task to Paintball in the Brown House.
    • The 2013 Halloween update lets you possess friends' houses, and you can drop gremlins in their town to steal GOO.
  • Screw Destiny: Essentially what Abraham Lincoln says during his 4th July storyline when told he must return to his own time.
  • Shirtless Scene: Homer performing his Relax in the Pool task.
  • Shop Keeper: Apu, Comic Book Guy and Herman.
  • Sibling Team: Twins Sherri & Terri are treated as one character.
  • Socialization Bonus: One of the first tasks you get when playing the game is to add your friends as neighbours. Acquiring the required amount to complete the mission will reward you with money and experience points.
    • You can also visit your friends' Springfields and complete up to three actions a day in each one.
  • Something about a Rose: Martin has a ten-minute task called Smell the Roses. However, the flower Martin is actually seen holding when doing this task is a snapdragon.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The premise of the game is that Homer caused a meltdown that resulted in Springfield's destruction.
    • When you set Wolfcastle a task that requires him to occupy his mansion, the animation for said building changes from idle to a constant supply of grenades being thrown out of the front doors and exploding at the end of the path.
    • The Ghost Bombs that were made available during the Halloween 2013 storyline. Using one would create an explosion that would eliminate all poltergeists in your Springfield at that moment.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: As part of the beginning set of tutorial tasks, Professor Frink from the Other Springfield neighbour city teleports into the player's Springfield to explain how to visit neighbouring Springfields.
  • Three-Quarters View
  • The Voiceless: Applies to Hank Scorpio, Milhouse Van Houten, Martin Prince Jr., Edna Krabappel, Fat Tony, Shauna, Tom O'Flanagan, Miss Springfield, Agnes Skinner, Rex Banner, Rod Flanders, Sherri & Terri, Booberella, Suzanne the Witch, Jimbo, Dolph, Luann Van Houten, Kumiko and Mindy Simmons. All of the other characters will speak when the player taps onto them.
    • The reason is that those characters aren't voiced in the show by the main six cast members.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Sideshow Mel. Also, in their alternate costumes, Abe Simpson and Willie.
  • Weapons That Suck: In the 2013 Halloween update, Marge and Mr. Burns both use vacuum cleaners to suck up ghost.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Marge, Milhouse, Chief Wiggum, Kirk, Luann, Roger Meyers Jr. and The Blue Haired Lawyer.
    • Krusty's hatred of, and attempt to discriminate against, blue haired characters formed a large part of the plot for Level 42 following the addition of Roger Meyers Jr. to the game.
  • Zombie Gait: After turning into zombies, your Springfield characters move around much slower than normal.
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