YMMV / The Simpsons


  • Acceptable Targets:
    • In the first several seasons, both political parties, with jokes about how Republicans were evil and Democrats were incompetent. The bashing of Republicans versus the lionization of Democrats is relatively new, although this is largely because the series can actually get away with such content now. As a case of Author Appeal, Matt Groening has always expressed his hatred for Republicans outside the show.
    • Family Guy, which the newer seasons get compared to or jokingly accuse of ripping off the show.
    • As with all of Groening's work, Richard Nixon is a popular target.
    • Arby's is considered fair game. Whenever the restaurant is mentioned, it's always in a mocking tone.
  • Accidental Aesop:
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • "Homer's Enemy". Even though Frank Grimes has worked extremely hard in his life, he also comes off as a myopic pedant and a hard worker working for all the wrong reasons — Considering how he attempts to work and function in a society that is possibly morally and ethically broken beyond repair and is just asking for it, and how he looks at what Homer and his family has as "normal", and is pure straight out jealous of him, he also reeks of Epileptic Trees of self-entitled, self-pitying, and uninsightful idiots that believe that playing the same Idiot Ball game of materialistic society will make them the kings of the Idiot Ball, instead of saying "Screw the money, I have standards."
    • Another alternate interpretation relating to Grimes' death: did he just have a total psychological breakdown and kill himself accidentally? Or was he fully aware of what he was doing and deliberately commit suicide because he could no longer bear to live in such a crazy world where hard work isn't rewarded while laziness is and where everyone was, as he put it, insane?
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: According to current showrunner Al Jean, when asked about the show's decline in quality.
    "Well, it's possible that we've declined. But honestly, I've been here the whole time and I do remember in season two people saying, 'It's gone downhill.' If we'd listened to that then we would have stopped after episode 13 [of Season 1]. I'm glad we didn't."
  • Anvilicious:
    • Most of the later plots/subplots involving Lisa (though the only episode that had Lisa as a Soapbox Sadie that most fans don't object to is "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy", as the family calls her out on her activist behavior and she doesn't win in the end). Some have noted this was also a time when Groening used her as a mouthpiece for his views.
    • Some argue that the show becomes this when it discusses politics or religion, though for others it may be a case of Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.
    • One of the worst Soapbox Sadie Lisa episodes was "Lisa the Skeptic", in which Lisa was extremely emphatic that religion and science cannot coexist, despite her consistently showing religious beliefs from the past (earlier) episodes.
  • Archive Panic:
    • If you watched all 600+ episodes back to back, it would take you almost two weeks. That's not including the movie or the comic along with its spin-offs which have been running since 1993.
    • When the show began airing in syndication on FXX in 2014, they aired all of the then-552 episodes in a non-stop, 12-day marathon called "Every Simpsons Ever."
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Marge is this, mostly due to her constant meddling and interfering in things that aren't her business and never learning from her mistakes. Whether she makes up for this by being a decent mother and the show's occasional voice of reason is debatable, as is whether her negative qualities are funny or even tolerable.
    • Lisa. She's either loved for being a smart, sensitive, progressively-thinking young girl or hated for being a preachy, occasional Author Avatar in Matt Groening's various Wars on Straw who gets everything benefiting her regardless of her words or deeds.
    • Comic Book Guy, after Flanderization turned him into a Straw Fan. The debate is over whether or not he's actually funny as one.
    • For some, Sideshow Bob. While many still enjoy his suave and Evil Is Cool moments, others have grown tired of him and think he's outstayed his welcome on the show. Doesn't help matters that the show giving him such a detailed life and extended family that many viewers don't care for has lead to people not finding him mysterious or threatening anymore. His severe Motive Decay and subsequent Flanderization haven't helped in this regard.
    • Out of the main supporting cast, Moe became particularly hated when the writers started pushing him heavily (and giving him several episodes per season) to keep Hank Azaria from bailing on the show in the late 90s after he landed a series of supporting roles in several high profile films. Some even compared this to Denzel Crocker's own overexposure in his show's own later seasons.
    • Apu has become extremely divisive character in recent years, especially among Indian-Americans. Some say he's an enjoyable character who's stereotypical traits are no worse than any of the other stereotyped characters on the show, while others think he's a full-blow Ethnic Scrappy who doesn't even remotely resemble a real Indian person.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Homer's "The Land of Chocolate" Imagine Spot in "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk".
    • Homer eating the Joe Millionaire promo in "Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington".
    • In "Simpson Tide", in the middle of UN negotiations, the Russian ambassador reveals that the Soviet Union never broke up, and was only pretending to have dissolved. Cut to Red Square, where the floats in a parade all abruptly stop, and open up to reveal they were concealing tanks, Germany is no longer united, and Lenin rises from the dead, moaning "must... crush... capitalism".
    • In "The Cartridge Family", the episode where Homer buys a gun, he brings it into the Kwik-E-Mart, which causes Apu to believe that he is going to rob him. He denies this, but then fantasizes what life would be like if he did rob the store, which somehow leads him to become a State senator (sitting in a rocking chair and sporting a monocle, no less) and for Marge to be a go-go dancer as a 60s-inspired jaunty tune nonsensically plays.
    • "Homer Loves Flanders" has Homer being conned out of some money by Bart who deceived him into believing he had tickets to a football game. He was instead given a wig coupon, which then leads to an Imagine Spot featuring him wearing a "Marge" wig, imitating her voice and muttering to himself, "I don't need her at all anymore." note 
    • In "The Front", the episode ends with a 30-second short called "The Adventures of Ned Flanders", a throwaway non-sequitur about the Flanders. This came about as the episode was short on runtime as written and needed something, anything to get it to the length needed.
  • Bizarro Episode:
  • Broken Base:
    • Were the first two seasons part of the show's classic era or just so rife with Early Installment Weirdness and horrid art and bizarre animation that it's hard to watch them again and take them seriously, considering how much the show has changed?
    • Latin American viewers are divided in regards about the new voice actors. (changed in 2004).
    • In the same vein, should the show keep making new episodes? Many fans who don't like the new seasons still don't want to see it go off the air, and some of the people who do like them would rather see FOX or Matt Groening Mercy Kill the series before it stops being good.
    • "Homer's Enemy" (the episode with Frank Grimes): Brilliant deconstruction of the show's absurdity, or painfully and humorlessly dark? The only thing fans agree on is that the episode is only accessible to long-time viewers.
    • Which season is the last classic-era season? Seasons 8, 9, or 10?
      • Season 8 is felt to be better than Seasons 9-24 but worse than Seasons 1-7, whether it's Seasonal Rot or fun despite its flaws is debated. Seasons 9 and 10 are either considered flawed but better than later seasons, or the moment the show went downhill. The only thing fans seem to agree on is that Season 9 is the better of the two (and probably where the series should have ended).
      • Seasons 11 through 25 are generally agreed to be worse than seasons 1 through 8, but beyond there's little consensus on how they compare to each other.
    • Who was the better showrunner? For the classic era: Is it Al Jean & Mike Reiss, David Mirkin, or Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein? For the post-classic era: Is it Al Jean or Mike Scully? For Jean's episodes as showrunner, which were better: Seasons 13-16 when he tried to emulate Seasons 1-8, or Seasons 17-present when the show has turned into a watered-down Family Guy and South Park?
    • Over "Saddlesore Galactica". Many fans hate this episode and call it one of the worst ever, but a fair number enjoy it because it spoofs the Flanderization and absurd plots that started to crop up in Season 9. The other "meta" episodes, like "Behind the Laughter", are also divisive-some fans think the self-referential humor is just obnoxious and dull, while others like that the show has a sense of humor about itself, but none of them are as controversial as "Galactica".
    • In "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show", a focus group asks kids if they'd prefer Itchy and Scratchy to have more down-to-earth plotlines like people have every day or wacky, far out adventures with robots and magic powers. The kids answer enthusiastically to both options. The writers commented that at the time they felt stuck between these two avenues of the fanbase, with half the fans wanting the show to stay grounded in reality, others wanting it to get crazier and crazier.
    • What was the last "classic episode"? While most would agree that the quality of the series declined in season 9, with 10 being the last classic season, there are still episodes beyond them deemed "classic" and thus essential viewing. Contenders include: Season 11's "Behind the Laughter" and Season 12's "Trilogy of Error". Whether any episode from these post-classic and HD era can reach up to the heights the classics achieved is another debate.
  • Crazy Awesome: Groundskeeper Willie, a drunk, insane Scottish janitor who fistfights with animals, fought actual space invaders with a shotgun, and apparently thinks movies are real.
  • Creator Worship: Matt Groening gets little of the blame for the series' decline (having only a "Creative Consultant" credit for most seasons) while James L. Brooks gets none (likewise having no real involvement in the series for most of its run). Al Jean and/or Mike Scully usually get blamed for running the show into the ground (or any outside circumstances, like hiring writers who can't capture the magic of the early seasons, Recycling old storylines, excessive celebrity cameos, trying to keep up with current events, or retiring the characters Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz because of Phil Hartman's death). See Scapegoat Creator for more.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • In "The Man Who Came to Be Dinner", a shallow Take That! at Disney involves a Mickey Mouse stand-in saying "My cartoons weren't good, they were just first", when anyone who's familiar with Felix the Cat, the early animations by Windsor McCay, or even the history of animation in general would know for certain that Mickey Mouse is not the first cartoon character.
    • In "That '90s Show", a billboard in 1998 depicts Amy Rose with her design from Sonic Adventure, which wasn't released in North America until the following year.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: While the series can be sadistically hilarious at times with almost the whole town filled with jerks, there are moments where viewers thought they went too far. Such as...
  • Designated Hero:
    • Homer used to be a well-intentioned moron, but has been an outright Jerkass for the last 10 or so seasons, in part because he's become much crueler towards his family.
    • The use of Recycled Script also makes Lisa this, as she will often be presented as in the right or get a happy ending, yet when someone else does the exact same thing they are treated as a jerkass and shunned for it.
    • Margeís status as the show's Designated Victim means that no matter the situation, she's treated as the wronged party. There are many situations where Marge goes along with Homerís plans, does the same thing as him or something worse, yet she will always be treated as the victim or at least sympathetic, if itís not outright ignored or Played for Laughs. What makes this worse is that there are episodes where Marge is clearly shown in the wrong only for the plot to go through a Shocking Swerve or Halfway Plot Switch, so not only are her actions forgotten, but she usually ends up getting exactly what she wanted.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Horst and the other Germans from "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk", which also makes Homer the Designated Victim. Aside from not being threatening or even the least bit unpleasant like everyone expected them to be (barring their "threat" to Mr. Burns at the end of the episode) and the numerous and expensive repairs in need at the plant which were still out of Homer's reach even as the safety inspector, his own incompetence and inability to explain his job or provide any ways to improve productivity at the plant got him fired, and rightfully so. Even a later scene had him complaining that they had no right to fire him, while using a fork inside of a toaster oven. In spite of his Moment of Awesome of telling off Mr. Burns at Moe's, you can't blame the men for taking action, especially since he was the only employee to be let go.
    • Similarly, you have Evelyn, Marge's high school classmate, and the other country club women from "Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield", save for Sue-sin, of course. While constantly referred to as snobs throughout the episode, none of the women were intentionally rude or even catty to Marge (and, at worst, could only be seen as Innocently Insensitive) and had she and the rest of family went to the big party at the club, they would have welcomed them in with open arms. Even Sue-sin comments she wasn't serious or malicious in her attitude.
    • Burns of all people is this in "The Burns and the Bees". All he wanted to do was become popular by building a flashy new stadium for the team he brought. Unfortunately, this went against Lisaís plan to build a bee sanctuary and Burns is treated as the villain of the episode. When Homer unleashed a hoard of Africanized bees on the stadium, injuring who knows how many people, Burns was the one who was blamed and had to pay for all the damages while Lisa and Homer got off scot-free.
    • The titular SSCCATAG group of "Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays". Sure, their hatred for kids might be extreme, but with how unruly the toddlers were in that episode, it's hard to argue that they don't have a point with some of the laws.
    • In "White Christmas Blues" in order to make money Marge turns the Simpson house into a bed-and-breakfast by inviting a number of people that she had no way of accommodating and promising them things that she had no way (and no intention) of providing. Yet the tenants are the ones shown in the wrong for complaining that Marge essentially conned them out of a lot of money.
  • Dork Age: The earlier seasons ruthlessly mocked sitcom conventions, but the more recent ones generally play them straight, and the remaining satire tends to be in the form of blunt exposition, rather than being worked into the script.
    • The episodes from Mike Scully's time as showrunner (Seasons 9-12) are accused of this due to Flanderization, crazy off-the-wall plots (and for some, too much focus on Homer), and, in Season 11, the show trying to be just like more "in-your-face" satirical cartoons like Family Guy and South Park just to keep up(though the writers saw it more as taking the piss out of those types of shows). There were also issues with tone: Some of the episodes, including the infamous "The Principal and the Pauper" and "Saddlesore Galactica", tried to mock their own absurdity, but the parody was so subtle that it came across as Flanderization to some.
    • Al Jean's time as showrunner, Seasons 13-present: His first few seasons were attempts to imitate Seasons 3 through 7, but to some the show became a milder clone of Family Guy and South Park around Season 17 (coincidentally around the time that the former show was Un-Canceled). The heavy reliance on recycled plots, dated pop-culture references, and celebrity cameos throughout hasn't helped. Depending on the Writer characterization has also become a problem, especially with Homer and Bart: characters' personalities have been reduced to whatever the plot of the week requires.
    • As a consequence of the show's age, reusing plots has also become a problem: Homer's terrible health, he and Marge's teetering marriage, and Lisa's Wangst have all been beaten to death over the years, but keep coming back regardless.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Homer and Bart. Sometimes fans will excuse their actions when they were in the wrong, often when Homer or Bart hurt Lisa in some way, simply because they dislike Lisa or prefer Homer and Bart to other characters. It also applies to later seasons independently of Lisa - Bart often causes problems for himself or exudes an aura of Brilliant, but Lazy, but fans sometimes think the universe of the show or the writers just aren't cutting him a break.
    • Sideshow Bob gets this from some of the fandom. While he is canonically a bit of an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, many fanworks gloss over his deliberate attempts to murder or otherwise harm people and turn him into a straight-up good guy with a heap of Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Ear Worm: "Everybody Hates Ned Flanders" from "Dude, Where's My Ranch?"
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: It has its own page.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Many Lisa focus plots have this as they often require ignoring or even an outright sacrifice of someone elseís happiness (that person usually being Bart). There are even episodes where people are heavily injured and even killed, but ignored because Lisa got what she wanted.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Apu has become the target for a lot of Indian-American people in recent years, especially from actors who'd had to go through thousands of auditions where they'd be asked to do some variation on his stereotypical voice, not to mention dealt with racism from people making fun of them by doing that voice. Comedian Hari Kondabolu once described him as "a white guy doing an impression of a white guy doing an impression of my dad," and went as far as to make a documentary, The Problem With Apu, discussing his and other Indian people's complicated relationship with this show and the character and acknowledging that it has as much to do with a general lack of representation of Indians in American media as it did with Apu himself.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Hank Scorpio is a fan favorite villain for being a criminal mastermind who was also a Benevolent Boss to Homer.
    • Mr. Burns is one of the most evil characters in the show, but being Born in the Wrong Century and taking joy in his wickedness has provided some really interesting quirks that make him stand out to other antagonists, especially in the early seasons.
    • Sideshow Bob. He's voiced by Kelsey Grammer and his plans tend to be well thought out and the only reason he loses is someone outgambits him in some way, but he comes pretty close to succeeding.
    • The all-powerful Kang and Kodos, who've managed to conquer the Earth a decent number of times.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Sideshow Bob has amassed a fair number of fangirls through the years. The fact that he's a reasonably young man with a lot of charisma and acting talent doesn't hurt.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Usually Played for Laughs, such as the one from "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge": One person can make a difference, but most of the time, they probably shouldn't.
  • Fandom Heresy: Not unlike the whole "prequels vs. the original series" debates, defense of any later episode will come across as this. See Sacred Cow below.
  • Fandom Rivalry: The Simpsons is one of the media franchises most well-known for having multiple foreign dubs in the same language, most notably two different Frenchnote  and Spanishnote  versions. However, due to the drastically different voice casts and approaches to Woolseyism between regional versions, the North American and European fans are often at each other's throats about whose dub is superior.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Many prominent examples, given the show's Long Runner status, its consequences of said status, and fans' strong preference for the first 8-10 seasons and, to an extant, the Tracey Ullman shorts:
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Nedna is literally a fan-preferred couple: FOX held a vote to see if they should break up or become an Official Couple. Nedna won (but not before Marcia Wallace died, leaving Ned Flanders a widower once again).
    • Nelson/Lisa is more popular among fans and the voice actors even though the writers seem to sway things towards Milhouse/Lisa.
  • Fans Prefer the New Her: Marge Simpson is not happy when a plastic surgeon gives her breast implants meant for one of Mayor Quimby's female interns and she spends the whole episode fretting about them (while all the men drool and ogle at them), which of course means they're gone by the end of the episode. This one probably doesn't need any further explanation.
  • Flame Bait: Ask any internet forum which of The Simpsons, South Park, Futurama, and Family Guy is the best — or better yet, ask them when The Simpsons stopped being worth watching. You'll be surprised how many people think the show is still good after all these years.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Some fans treat "Lisa the Vegetarian" as this, as they feel this episode started Lisa's eventual Flanderization into a Soapbox Sadie (which it was, due to Paul McCartney only agreeing to do the episode if Lisa stayed vegetarian for the rest of the show's run. The fans saw it as a sign that the Simpsons' writers were kissing the asses of the guest stars they let on the show, disliking Paul more than his wife Linda because of that).
  • Franchise Zombie: Matt Groening said The Simpsons would be around a couple more seasons, but couldn't guarantee anything beyond that because Seasonal Rot was becoming a real concern and he wanted the series to end on a high note. That was in 1999.
  • First Installment Wins: Some fans treat "Mother Simpson" as the only time Mona Simpson appears, as they feel her later appearances cancel out its very powerful Tear Jerker ending.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: It has its own page.
  • Genre Turning Point: It's impossible to overstate how revolutionary this show was. Not only was it one of the first mainstream western cartoons to be specifically written for adults, it was the Trope Codifier for animated sitcoms. In addition to that, the Laugh Track free, subversive, and often meta humor had massive influence on sitcoms in general, animated or not.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Lisa. She's a Base-Breaking Character in the United States, but Lisa is very popular with Japanese audiences, due to her studiousness and Buddhism. Promotional material for The Simpsons in Japan even portrays her as the main character.
    • The show is extremely popular abroad, due to the extensive Woolseyisms involved in each foreign dub.
      • French Canadians love the series; it's one of the only foreign shows airing in French Canada to not only be dubbed into Canadian French, but to extensively use colloquial Québécois French accents and slang as opposed to the Standard French typically used in French-Canadian dubs.
      • In South America, this is the only non-Latin show to air nowadays in over-the-air channels (aside from occasional Brazilian soaps). The Simpsons Movie confirmed the show's popularity, being the highest-grossing movie of 2007 in Argentina, as well in the rest of the region, bringing back audiences to theaters after decades.
      • Note that the "classic" Latin American dub (until season 15) was notable among imports for replacing most North American-centric references to more localized ones (as well as translated names). This largely ended after the (infamous) voice actor "switcheroo", with more recent episodes becoming less popular.
  • Growing the Beard: Seasons 2 and 3, as the show became funnier and the characterization improved while the animation issues from Season 1 were resolved.
    • Late season 2 onward especially, as the show became less and less Bart-centric and embraced the idea of being a wider ensemble piece.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In "Brush with Greatness", as Ringo Starr is responding to fan mail from the 1960s, he says "I don't care if it takes me another 20 years. I'm going to answer every one of them." In October 2008, Starr announced he'd no longer accept any more fan mail.
    • In "Fear of Flying", Homer didnít want Marge to go to therapy because he thought it would turn her against him. In "Specs In The City", he finds out that she is in therapy and he is her biggest complaint.
    • In "Lisa's First Word", Bart spent the entire episode resenting Lisa because he felt that his parents were disregarding him as she was getting all the attention. Eventually, he is about to run away until Lisa says her first word, "Bart". Then comes "Lisa's Sax" where Bart being disregarded by his parents as Lisa gets all the attention is exactly what happens. Taken even further when Marge eventually admits she sees all of her children as Replacement Goldfish, making Lisa a serious case of the Middle Child Syndrome.
    • In "Beyond Blunderdome" guest star Mel Gibson is genuinely shocked when audiences react badly to his ultra-violent climactic blood bath ending to his remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (see What an Idiot below). A few years later Gibson's life and career would spiral out of control when he couldn't cope with general audiences reacting badly to his very bloody 2004 Crucifixion film The Passion of the Christ, seriously damaging his reputation in the process as he suffered a serious nervous breakdown complete with alcohol relapse and the end of his long standing marriage to Robin Moore.
    • "Bart of Darkness": Bart worrying that Maude is dead doesn't seem so funny now that Maude really is dead.
    • Dr. Hibbert's whole situation (by original design and Flanderization) of being the anti-Cliff Huxtable, in light of the Real Life crimes that Bill Cosby has been accused of doing, even during the filming of said show. Especially in "On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister", where Hibbert makes a reference to dealing with a sexual harassment lawsuit.
    • Seeing what a cool, heroic guy that Jebediah Springfield, the town's founder, is portrayed as in "The Telltale Head" is this after his true identity is discovered in "Lisa the Iconoclast": as a conman and a scoundrel who tried to kill George Washington.
    • Homer killing Prince by choking him with his guitar and then smashing his head with it in the "How To Get Ahead in Dead-Vertising" segment of "Treehouse of Horror XIX" can become this after Prince's death in April 2016.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: In "Worst Episode Ever" jokes are made about Comic Book Guy's single status, when Dr. Hibbert comments after he has a heart attack that the job of running a comic store is something he'd call "The Professional Widowmaker" except the owners are never married. Flashforward to Season 25's "Married to the Blob" and Comic Book Guy does end up Happily Married.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Has its own page.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page
  • Hollywood Homely: Selma and Patty are presented as being extremely unattractive in the show, but they don't look substantially different from their sister Marge, who's considered to be beautiful.
  • I Knew It!: There were quite a few people who called out that Krusty's father would be the one to die in the Season 26 opener, particularly due to Al Jean specifically saying that he was "an Emmy-winning" character, and Jackie Mason had been one of the few guest stars to win an Emmy for the show.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Bart, Homer, Lisa and Grandpa Simpson. Depending on the Writer, Nelson Muntz, Moe, and Milhouse sometimes qualify.
    • Mr. Burns, whenever he tries to atone for what he's done (he usually gets rejected).
    • Frank Grimes is another example. He's had a god-awful life after being abandoned by his parents, was such a No Respect Guy that everyone laughed at his funeral, and has had to work with Homer's stupid antics.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Bart. Marge too, must run in the family.
  • Love to Hate: Sideshow Bob and Mr. Burns are incredibly sinister and Laughably Evil.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Sideshow Bob. He's devious, brilliant, manipulative, and of course funny. Though they always fail, his plans have included faking his own death and guilting Bart into coming to see his corpse so he can burn him in the cremation oven, impersonating a man about to be released from prison to escape and move in next to the family, stealing a nuclear bomb and holding the town hostage, rigging an election to become mayor of Springfield, and hypnotizing Bart into being a suicide bomber to kill Krusty. Those last two plans in particular are notable because they worked: his election scam was uncovered after he won the election, and his suicide bomber plan had him intervene when he was overcome with newfound love for Krusty.
    • Considering he's managed to outsmart Sideshow Bob at nearly every turn, Bart Simpson himself could very well qualify. Though his full potential is hampered by him being Brilliant, but Lazy and Book Dumb
    • Hank Scorpio, no doubt. SPECTRE might've been able to actually accomplish something if they took some management lessons from this guy.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: A strange thing about Apu is that while he has been criticized by Indian-Americans or rather South Asian Americans (since even Pakistanis and Bangladeshis who aren't Indians are confused for the stereotype and accent), Apu is well-liked in India itself for the fact that Apu was one of the few Indian-origin characters in American TV, and that he was in the context of his time, non-stereotypical i.e. not defined entirely by religion, not overtly submissive, and generally shown with the same flaws and quirks as any Springfielder, compared to most Indian characters in Western media.
  • Mis-blamed: Since he became showrunner in Season 9, Mike Scully gets blamed for "The Principal and the Pauper" during that season. Except Scully was never involved in it. It was a leftover episode from Season 8, with Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein as showrunners, Steven Dean Moore was the director, and Ken Keeler was the writer.
    • Lisa sometimes gets this from the fans, being blamed for Marge and Homer's bad parenting when fans feel they favour her over Bart. In "Lisa's Sax", many felt that Bart's unhappiness at school was shoved aside in favour of nurturing Lisa's gift. While the episode supports this to an extent, it's not really Lisa's fault as she was a toddler at the time and not consciously trying to steal their parents' attention.
  • Moe:
    • Maggie, the adorable Cute Mute baby who is always sucking on her pacifier (though she has a dark side).
    • Lisa, being a smart, caring, and idealistic Adorably Precocious Child.
    • Ralph, one of Lisa's classmates, qualifies due to his innocence and being a Cloudcuckoolander.
    • Ironically the character named Moe definitely averts this trope.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Has its own page.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Dr. Marvin Monroe's very raspy voice. Which is why Harry Shearer, Matt Groening, and the audience never liked the character.
    • The running gag of characters going "WHHHAAAAAAAAAAA!?!".
    • Similarly, the other running gag of characters making a Charles Nelson Reilly-like "bleeeuugh" noise while pulling at their collar or sticking their fists up.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The heavenly choir at the beginning of the opening sequence.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Lisa's profile quote in the arcade game: "Embrace nothingness!" She only said it once in the actual show but many fans know her best for saying just that.
    • Similarly Bart said "Cowabunga" in only a couple of instances in the second season, despite it being slapped on endless merchandise of the character. DVD commentary reveals the creative team were surprised he even said it in the actual series at all.
    • Ever since Boys Of Bummer premiered, despite the townspeople apologizing for treating Bart badly to the point Bart was nearly Driven to Suicide. Many viewers see this as "too little, too late, and would never see nearly any citizen of Springfield in the same light ever again. One particular case is Chief Wiggum for driving Bart back to the crowd for losing the game and was the one who taunted Bart into jumping off.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Hank Scorpio. Many fans love him even if they don't like Season 8, and he was so popular that the writers even considered making him the Big Bad of The Simpsons Movie. Even when they didn't do so, the villain they did make was almost completely like him (except minus his personable manner).
    • When Marge joins the police, one of her fellow cadets is a twitchy Gun Nut who screams "Forget about the badge! When do we get the FREAKIN' GUNS?!"
    • When Burns sends an assassin after Abe Simpson over a treasure, a random nurse at the rest home chased the assassin off with a shotgun.
    Nurse: OUR RESIDENTS *BANG* ARE TRYING *BANG* TO NAP! *BANG*
    • Sideshow Raheem is surprisingly popular for a character who has only said two words in the run of the show.
  • Opinion Myopia: Even so much as suggesting latter-day episodes have a bit of spark in them is an incredibly easy way to provoke the steadfast feelings of fans of the older episodes. (But, of course, it actually works both ways: for those who tend play up the Zombie Simpsons ideology, there are also those who may deny any kind of flaws in the newer episodes whatsoever).
  • Polished Port: The XBLA and PSN port of the arcade game is basically arcade perfect.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games:
    • With few exceptions, most Simpsons games are terrible. The arcade game and The Simpsons: Hit & Run, however, are regarded as classics, Bart's Nightmare is fairly decent, and the 2007 multi-platform game, despite camera issues, has some genuinely hilarious moments.
    • Also averted with the pinball machine The Simpsons Pinball Party, which pinball fans commonly regard as one of the 21st century's best.
  • Sacred Cow: The episodes of The '90s and/or The Renaissance Age of Animation. Suggested to be infallible, genius, a never-ending cultural icon, and television stewed to perfection. Suggesting even the slightest bit of flaws or Nostalgia Filter in any fan favorite, or even so much as pointing the finger to them for poor reception of the newer episodes is tantamount to Fandom Heresy, regardless of the validity of each passing season.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Everything wrong with the show post-Season 8 tends to be blamed on the showrunner: Mike Scully for seasons 9-12 and Al Jean for seasons 13 to the current one.
    • Scully also gets accused of ruining the show after season 12, either because he became an producer starting with Season 13, or because he did so much damage as showrunner that the show couldn't be saved.
    • Likewise, Jean gets accused of ruining the show before season 13, either because he returned to the show in season 10 or he became executive producer in seasons 11 and 12.
    • A Vocal Minority of fans, especially those who think Seasonal Rot set in around Season 6 or 7, point the finger at the writing staff who left the show after season five (or in the early part of it, as "Cape Feare"note  is the last episode written by the original writers).
  • The Scrappy: Everyone in this show is a Base-Breaking Character in some way, but these are the characters just about everyone hates.
    • Marvin Monroe is hated by almost everyone, mostly because of his annoying raspy voice. His voice actor, Harry Shearer wanted the character removed from the show which actually damaged Shearer himself. And even Matt Groening hated him and found his voice annoying, which is why he was removed from the show.
    • Agnes Skinner. She has a very toxic relationship toward her son Seymour (just about every form of abuse but sexual), openly insults anyone without them doing anything to her (like calling Homer "Jumbo" for no reason in "Simpsons Safari"), complains constantly about nothing, and is just plain unpleasant to be around.
  • Seasonal Rot:
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: In the early days, this cartoon was criticized for being a kids' cartoon (even though the only reason Matt Groening made the show bright and colorful was to grab their attention, not make it a kids' show) that dealt with a lot of smutty and controversial content. These days, it barely (but occasionally) raises a blip on the Moral Guardian's radar, thanks to South Park and Seth MacFarlane's cartoons being far more shocking and controversial.
  • Single-Issue Wonk: If there is an episode discussing a religion, or religion itself, in a non-positive manner, you can bet your bottom dollar the religion used as an example will be Christianity.
  • Snark Bait: The seasons 11-onward episodes, particularly the post-movie episodes are prime targets of this. Even positive comments about them will often draw negative comparisons to the earlier seasons.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The post-Seasonal Rot episodes are this for some fans.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: How longtime fans and animation students felt about the Title Sequence that has been in use since the LABFXX production season (i.e. season 20 starting from "Take My Life, Please"). Two main instances stand out. The first one is Marge's animation during the supermarket scene, which went from elaborate movement to a simple turn of her head. It's understandable in context (her time was shortened in order to add in Gerald and Maggie fist shaking), but still. The second one is Homer getting hit by Marge's car and bursting through the door in the garage instead of him screaming at the sight of the car and running away from it via the same door.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Has its own page.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Has its own page.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Some of the criticism of the newer seasons comes from the extremely high expectations fans had after the first 8-10 seasons.
  • Toy Ship: Mary Spuckler almost married Bart, due to the Spuckler family's backwards marital traditions. She's also the only one of his many love interests to be featured prominently in more than one episode.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: The Scully era (namely season 11-12 with the episodes "Saddlesore Galactica" and "The Tale of Two Springfields") got routinely scathing reviews and a good amount of a Broken Base, but it has gotten praise by some as a brilliant surrealist, experimental take on all the cliches The Simpsons was dishing out. Some art critics have even called it a genuinely good work of post-modernism.
  • Uncanny Valley: The grotesque animation style of the early era episodes (including the Tracey Ullman shorts) and in some episodes in which the Simpsons are depicted in another medium (claymation, live-action, as drawn by John Kricfalusi, as drawn by Bill Plympton, CGI, Lego, Robot Chicken-style stop-motion, etc)
    • The real-world celebrity cameos can come off as this, as they're always drawn as realistically as possible which clashes with the semi-abstract designs of the main and recurring cast.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Since the writers enjoy playing fast-and-loose with morality and Sympathetic P.O.V., viewers might agree with characters who are not supposed to be seen in the right.
    • Bart, if you think about all the crap he goes through. Sure, he's a brat, but Homer strangles him constantly, he often feels ignored and useless in the face of Lisa's accomplishments, he's picked on at school, blamed for things other people have done, and of course Sideshow Bob keeps trying to kill him.
    • Homer can get this treatment as well (specifically if you don't consider him a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk Villain Protagonist [particularily in the later seasons], this even is used to justify his traits): Freudian Excuse, a menial job, being called out by everyone each time he does something wrong, and (earlier on) having Always Someone Better as a neighbor.
    • Edna Krabappel was supposed to be the bitter, cranky teacher who yelled at Bart for every misdeed of his, but over time it was hard not to pity her when you realized how bitter and lonely she was.
    • Seymour Skinner. So what if he's an uptight authority figure who can't run his school worth beans? Look at the way his mother treats him!
    • Patty and Selma. They're almost always portrayed as the villains when they're involved with conflicts with Homer, but they just want the best for Marge and while they can be legitimately mean when you consider the way Homer treats her sometimes you have to agree with them.
    • Ned Flanders, sometimes when they're using him as a target to take jabs at religion, mainly because one episode implied his fundamentalism was a coping mechanism for dealing with his wife Maude's death.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Has its own page.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • While the audience finds them lovable, it's made clear that most of the populace finds the Simpsons troublesome and/or dangerous. In the episode "Simpson Safari", this subtle exchange occurs:
    Homer: The Simpsons are going to Africa!
    Family: Yay!
    (In Africa, two tribesmen dance around a fire. Suddenly, one of them stops)
    Tribesman: What is it, N'gungo?
    N'gungo: Evil is coming.
    Tribesman: What shall we do, N'gungo?
    N'gungo (puts his mask on the other tribesman's head): You are N'gungo now! (runs away screaming)
    • Milhouse is treated as a Butt-Monkey in-universe, but he has his fans among the viewers as he's also The Woobie.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • The Mike Scully era (1997-2001). Back when he was the show runner, a lot of fans thought it was a decline in quality due to the change of tone that resulted. But now, some people consider his first two seasons (seasons 9 and 10) part of the classic era, most likely due to Al Jean having the show runner position longer than the Scully, Oakley/Weinstein, Mirkin, Jean/Reiss, and Brooks/Groening/Simon years combined (15 years and counting).
    • Many earlier episodes were actually heavily criticised when they first aired. Nowadays, many of them are fondly remembered as the show's golden era.
    • The voice actors all agreed that "Marge vs. the Monorail" was one of the worst episode they had ever done. Nowadays, it's often remembered as one of the best by fans.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Kang and Kodos are brother and sister. Arguably justified as they are Starfish Aliens.
  • Wangst: In later seasons. From all directions.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: Some of their various political parodies may fall into this for newer viewers who weren't around (or were too young to remember) to witness them.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: The later seasons get so much flak for this that it ends up having its own page.
  • What an Idiot: Has its own page.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: "Bart-Mangled Banner" was criticized for being so heavy-handed against Republicans and conservatives that Seth MacFarlane could rewrite it as a Family Guy episode by just changing the names and no one would be able to tell the difference.
  • The Woobie: Has its own page.
  • Writer Cop Out: Due to being a Long Runner in Seasonal Rot, this would be eventual.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheSimpsons