%% Please remember that many YMMV tropes have their own pages.
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* AcceptableTargets:
** The elderly.
** 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.
** Arby's Restaurant is also considered fair game for some reason.
** Hell, almost ''everything'' is acceptable at one point or another. There's one thing they do not make fun of - the Church Of Scientology, because Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson) is a member, threatening to quit if they make fun of it (though making fun of other religions is still fair-game). Some think Scientology's usual response to being criticized or mocked has something to do with it as well.
*** The Movementarians could be seen as a stand-in for the Scientologists and other cults, however.
*** While making fun of other religions is purported to be fair game, Christianity seems to be the preferred target among religions.
** The Godfather, part III
** Family Guy, which the newer seasons get compared to.
** As with all of Creator/MattGroening's work, UsefulNotes/RichardNixon is a popular target.
* AccidentalAesop:
** ''Homer's Enemy'': "Don't let your jealousy consume you and prevent you from accepting apologies from people who genuinely want to befriend you". The intentional Aesop is "Being the OnlySaneMan actually sucks".
** The DVD commentary for "Trash of the Titans" states that the episode's GreenAesop was entirely unintentional.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: ''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 EpilepticTrees of self entitled, self pitying, and uninsightful idiots that believe that playing the same IdiotBall game of materialistic society will make them the kings of the Idiot Ball, instead of saying [[ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules "Screw the money, I have standards."]] Plus it also doesn't help that Springfield was mentioned and is constantly shown in infamous light in all of America, episodes PRIOR to his employment in "America's Crudbucket." Even though Homer is portrayed as stupid, Grimes' brand of stupidity got him what he deserved. It's also worth noting that the episode's plot is similar to ''Film/{{Amadeus}}'', which was the TropeCodifier for DrivenByEnvy. It's not hard to see Frank and Homer as analogous to Salieri and Mozart.
* {{Anvilicious}}:
** Most of the later plots/subplots involving Lisa (though the only episode that had Lisa as a SoapboxSadie 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 SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped.
** One of the worst SoapboxSadie 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.
* BaseBreakingCharacter: Really depends on the writer (and what season you watch).
** Homer Simpson. He's a lovable not-too-bright {{jerk with a heart of gold}} or a VillainProtagonist-cum-jerkass with no respect for anyone, not even his own family.
** 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 too preachy and seen as an AuthorAvatar CanonSue. Like Marge, she can also have end up acting very hypocritical and prejudiced (usually racist) without realizing. Lisa may go about preaching tolerance and open-mindedness but be blind to her own privilege in society. She has pretended to be of Native American heritage, culturally appropriated from other ethnic groups, and acts like a typical white Buddhist (such as comparing Namuci to Satan). Other characters such as Apu have called her out on this, and even ''Homer'' on one occasion.
** Comic Book Guy, after {{Flanderization}} turned him into a StrawFan. The debate is over whether or not he's actually ''funny'' as one.
*** Many fans' problem with him is that most of the writers apparently believe ''every single fan'' is like him. That or they use him as a way to ignore valid criticism of the show's quality.
*** That, and some of his deflections are a blatant TakeThat to anyone who dislikes the recent seasons.
*** Due to the series' longevity many characters have been re-used many times for a storyline/plot-thread, Comic Book Guy being one of the most prominent examples. While often this isn't bad, it has lead to the series examining him and his life on such a detailed way it makes people grow tedious and bored of him. Most people would prefer seeing characters that the series hasn't touched on to its fullest yet (like Patty or Lenny) over seeing him again being dramatic about Star Wars or his Japanese wife.
** For some, Sideshow Bob. While many still enjoy his suave and EvilIsCool 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.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** Homer's "The Land of Chocolate" ImagineSpot in "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk".
** Homer eating the Series/JoeMillionaire 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 ImagineSpot featuring him wearing a "Marge" wig, imitating her voice and muttering to himself, "I don't need her at all anymore." [[note]]Although in a later episode from that same season, "Secrets To A Successful Marriage", we see that, yes, he does need her and would essentially ''die'' if he didn't have her to take care of him since he is unable to properly care for himself.[[/note]]
* BizarroEpisode: The "Treehouse Of Horror" episodes are this by design. "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes", "Saddlesore Galactica" and "Moe Goes from Rags to Riches" may also count.
** Apart from having a title in Spanish, ''El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer'' (''The Mysterious Voyage of our Homer'' in English) is mostly centered around Homer tripping from eating extremely hot peppers.
** "Missionary: Impossible" is mostly set on a remote island, and ends with the reveal that it was all a [[ShowWithinAShow PBS pledge drive within a show]] on FOX.
** "Das Bus": The whole episode is a ''Lord of the Flies'' parody set on a tropical island, and ends with Creator/JamesEarlJones saying there isn't really an ending, so let's just say [[AssPull Moe saved them]].
** "Behind the Laughter", the 11th Season finale: It turns out the Simpsons were all [[AsHimself actors playing themselves on the show]], and that they had nearly broken up and stopped work on the show.
** "Simpsons Bible Stories": The episode ends with the Apocalypse descending upon Springfield. As the Flanders ascend to Heaven, the Simpsons literally go to Hell.
** The episode "The Man Who Came To Be Dinner," where The Simpsons go to a crappy theme park and ride a space attraction that takes them into outer space and Homer becomes the main course for Kang and Kodos.
* BrokenBase: Were the first two seasons part of the show's classic era or just so rife with EarlyInstallmentWeirdness and [[OffModel 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 [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks 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 MercyKill 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 SeasonalRot 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).
*** Speaking of the later seasons, 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 17-24 when the show has turned into a watered-down ''Family Guy'' and ''South Park''?
** Over "Saddlesore Galactica", bordering on LoveItOrHateIt. 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 [[DenserAndWackier 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.
* CrazyAwesome: Groundskeeper Willie, a drunk, insane Scottish janitor who fistfights with animals, fought actual space invaders with a shotgun, and apparently thinks movies are real.
* CreatorWorship: 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, [[RecycledScript Recycling old storylines]], [[TheCameo excessive celebrity cameos]], [[WereStillRelevantDammit trying to keep up with current events]], or retiring the characters Troy [=McClure=] and Lionel Hutz because of Phil Hartman's death). See ScapegoatCreator for more.
* CriticalResearchFailure: In "The Man Who Came to be Dinner", a [[ShallowParody shallow]] TakeThat at Creator/{{Disney}} involves a Mickey Mouse stand-in saying "My cartoons weren't good, they were just first", when anyone who's familiar with ''WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat'', 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.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: 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...
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E23HomersEnemy Homer's Enemy]]" is a dark, bitter {{Deconstruction}} of the show's mythology, [[BlackComedyBurst which was so shocking to fans]] that some think [[JumpingTheShark it forever tainted the series' legacy of being biting but lighthearted, not outright sick and twisted]].
*** The episode also suffered from focusing on a character that was basically this trope defined. Grimes' life was portrayed as [[DeusAngstMachina being difficult from the get-go, being abandoned by his parents, surviving an explosion and working every day of his life to achieve what little he has to day]]. The fact that Grimes was supposed to be seen as a regular, real-life person thrown into the insane world of ''The Simpsons'' failed precisely because he did not come across as a regular person but more a definition of this trope without being clear if they were playing it [[PlayedStraight straight]] or [[PlayedForLaughs for laughs]]. It also didn't help that Frank himself came off as something of a pompous, uptight jerk long before he ever met Homer, making him rather unlikable to begin with. To make matters worse, Homer tries to reconcile with Frank by inviting his house over for dinner but only to reject it all in a jealous rage.
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS18E18TheBoysOfBummer The Boys Of Bummer]]" is an ''extremely'' divisive episode for this reason. What with practically 99% of the town's population driving Bart to near-suicide, it was safe to say that ''nobody'' on the show was likable anymore.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'' attempts to address the issue regarding Homer. Homer, as everyone knows, is a bumbling idiot that always causes problems for himself, his family, and the town. When Homer dooms the town to die, Marge takes the kids with her to some place safe after she wonders why she even puts up with him after so many years, Lisa declares she has no father, and Bart finds Ned Flanders, a slightly overbearing religious nice guy, to be a better father to him than Homer ever was. Homer took this event as a wakeup call to [[EarnYourHappyEnding change himself and take responsibility for his actions]]. Of course, Homer goes right back to his usual antics on the television series.
* DesignatedHero:
** 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 RecycledScript also makes Lisa this a lot of time as she will be presented as in the right or at least the ending will be happy yet when someone else does the exact same thing they are treated as a {{jerkass}}. For example, when Bart missed a fly ball in The Boys of Bummer and was harassed to the point where he tried to commit suicide. Yet when he intentionally threw the game in Money Bart he was met with cheers because even though Lisa learned a lesson she was still technically right. In addition both Homer and Lisa have gotten the plant shut down for safety violations. When Homer did this in HOMR it is treated as a MoralEventHorizon as he ruined every one's jobs. Yet when Lisa did the exact same thing in Homerland she was in the right.
** Marge being a good parent, yet all we see is her being nagging, smothering, condescending and unaccepting of anything beyond her views and when Lisa becomes a Buddhist and Bart goes Catholic, she tries to force them back to her denomination of Christianity.
* DesignatedVillain:
** Horst and the other Germans from "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk", which also makes Homer the DesignatedVictim. 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 SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome 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 a Class Struggle in Springfield", save for [[AlphaBitch 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 InnocentlyInsensitive) 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.
* DorkAge: 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}}, [[DenserAndWackier crazy off-the-wall plots]] (and for some, too much focus on [[SpotlightStealingSquad Homer]]), and, in Season 11, the show trying to be just like more "in-your-face" satirical cartoons like ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' and ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' just to keep up. 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}} and bad writing.
** 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 ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' and ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' around Season 17 (coincidentally around the time that the former show was UnCanceled). The heavy reliance on recycled plots, dated pop-culture references, and celebrity cameos throughout hasn't helped. DependingOnTheWriter characterization has also become a problem, especially with Homer and Bart: characters' personalities have been reduced to whatever the plot of the week requires.
** This might be a consequence of the show's age, but [[RecycledPremise reusing plots]] has also become a problem: Homer's health, the Simpsons' teetering marriage, and Lisa's {{Wangst}} have all been beaten to death over the years, but keep coming back regardless.
* EarWorm: [[http://youtube.com/watch?v=e_9eMNwia5I "Everybody Hates Ned Flanders"]] from the episode "Dude, Where's My Ranch?"
** ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVPpz_X-QU0 Duff Beer for me/Duff Beer for you/I have a Duff/You have one too]]''
** ''Moe, Moe, Moe! How do you like me, how do you like me? Moe, Moe, Moe! Why don't you like me, nobody likes me...''
** ''See my vest/see my vest/made from real gorilla chest/See this sweater/there's no better/than authentic Irish Setter...''
** ''[[VillainSong I've... grown accustomed to his face, / And dreams of gouging out his eyes...]]''
** Overlapping with StylisticSuck is Kirk Van Houten's demo tape. ''Can I borrow a feeling?/Could you lend me a jar of love?/Hurtin' hearts need some healin'/Take my hand with your glove of love!''
* EnsembleDarkHorse: [[EnsembleDarkHorse/TheSimpsons It has its own page]].
* EsotericHappyEnding: Many Lisa focus plots have this as they often require ignoring or even the outright sacrifice of someone else’s happiness (and that person usually being Bart). There are even episodes where the fact people are heavily injured and even killed is ignored because Lisa got what she wanted.
** This trope gets even worse once RecycledScript start coming into play due the fact the Lisa will be given a happy ending where the character in the previous episode didn’t. And since the audience has seen the negative consequences which are ignored it adds to Lisa’s CanonSue status.
* EvilIsCool: Hank Scorpio is a fan favorite villain for being a criminal mastermind who was also a BenevolentBoss to Homer.
** Mister Burns is one of the most evil characters in the show, but being BornInTheWrongCentury 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, [[TheBadGuyWins who've managed to conquer the Earth a decent number of times]].
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: Usually PlayedForLaughs, such as the one from "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E9ItchyAndScratchyAndMarge Itchy & Scratchy & Marge]]": One person can make a difference, but most of the time, they probably shouldn't.
* FandomHeresy: Not unlike the whole [[StarWars "prequels vs. the original series" debates]], defense of any later episode will come across as this. See SacredCow below.
* FandomRivalry: ''The Simpsons'' is one of the media franchises most well-known for having [[SameLanguageDub multiple foreign dubs in the same language]], most notably two different French[[note]]Canadian (more precisely Quebec) and European[[/note]] and Spanish[[note]]Latin American and European[[/note]] 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.
* FanonDiscontinuity: Many, given the show's longevity and fans' strong preference for the first 8-10 seasons (and possibly the Ullman shorts):
** Special mention should go to "The Principal and the Pauper", the episode where it's revealed that the Principal Skinner we've known throughout the show's long-running history (8 seasons at that point) is actually [[DeadPersonImpersonation a fraud named Armin Tamzarian]]. The episode is an [[CanonDiscontinuity in-show example of discontinuity]], too, because the characters in-show [[StatusQuoIsGod decide they prefer the fake Skinner, run the real one out of town, and a judge orders that they never speak of the incident again]]. Several subsequent episodes have made self-effacing TakeThat jokes about the preposterousness of the plot as well.
** The only episode more reviled for its blatant abuse of canon than "The Principal and the Pauper" is "That '90s Show" which depicts the lives of The Simpsons throughout the 90s, completely ignoring that the events of episodes which aired during the show's earlier seasons that took place in the 90s, and completely rewriting canon as a result. This may have been upgraded to CanonDiscontinuity in later seasons, since they continue to depict Homer and Marge as having gotten together in the late 1970s into the 1980s.
** Also "Viva Ned Flanders", with its portrayal as Ned as 60 has since been ignored - with Ned's previous background as the son of beatniks being retained.
** "The Boys of Bummer" and "Million Dollar Abie" are disowned for showing abuse to Bart and Grampa respectively that goes beyond BlackComedy.
** "Saddlesore Galactica" and "Kill the Alligator and Run" aren't well-liked and are considered the reasons why ''The Simpsons'' hasn't been funny in ages, though "Saddlesore Galactica" is more divided, as some people (and the Simpsons writers) see the episode more as a surreal [[SelfDeprecation piss-take against The Simpsons' own decline in quality due to repetitive storylines and exaggerated characterizations]]. "Kill the Alligator and Run," on the other hand, doesn't have that luxury of being re-seen as a ParodyRetcon and is often put on Internet lists for "Worst Simpsons Episode Ever".
** "Bart-Mangled Banner" for being so heavy-handed against Republicans and conservatives that Creator/SethMacFarlane could rewrite it as a ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode by just changing the names and no one would be able to tell the difference.
** Some fans treat "Lisa the Vegetarian" as this, not for being bad (it's considered genuinely funny), but that they feel this episode started Lisa's eventual {{Flanderization}} into a SoapboxSadie (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).
** Fans usually ignore the presence of Sideshow Bob's Italian wife and son as seen in "The Italian Bob". Possibly CanonDiscontinuity as they're never seen or mentioned again after "Funeral for a Fiend".
** "Homer vs. Dignity" is hated by many for sinking to ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''-cum-''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''-esque levels of vulgar humor (though the same can be said for a lot of episodes from Mike Scully's era of being show-runner). The panda rape scene crosses the line into DudeNotFunny territory with sickening abandon; rarely does a two-minute scene turn an otherwise unremarkable episode into one of the most-hated in the show's history and a regular on "Worst Simpsons Episode" lists.
** The Al Jean episodes are hated just as much, only for different reasons – namely, being boring, derivative, full of forced humor, and carrying an air of WereStillRelevantDammit due to dated pop culture jokes. In fact, it's just safe to say that anything after season 8 on ''The Simpsons'' is a mixed bag at best, but has ''some'' good moments in it, though those have been getting rare since season 13.
** Some fans treat "Mother Simpson" as the only time Mona Simpson appears, as they feel her later appearances cancel out its ''very powerful'' TearJerker ending.
** "Lisa Goes Gaga" esentially played out like a Simpsons-Lady Gaga crossover fanfiction. While there have episodes with celebrity guest stars before on the show, this was literally 20 minutes of nothing but Lady Gaga having her ass kissed, which may have been great for her fans, but not to people who aren't really into her music. It's especially grating when you consider that some of the other famous iconic guest stars on the show like Music/PaulMcCartney, Creator/ElizabethTaylor, or Creator/KirkDouglas, only appeared in small cameo roles or parts that only took up one-third of the episode's plot. The episode rehashed a lot of jokes about Lady Gaga that have been done before (and done better elsewhere) and received some backlash from fans.
** Ned Flanders getting married to Edna Krabappel is seen by some fans as another JumpedTheShark moment in the series history.
** Little Orphan Millie, due to Milhouse's parents getting back together when their divorce was considered by many to be CharacterDevelopment for their son.
** Some fans don't consider any of the permanent character deaths to be canon. This includes the death of Maude in "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily", Snowball II in "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot", Fat Tony in "Donnie Fatso", and Edna Krabappel after [[TheCharacterDiedWithHim Marcia Wallace's own death]]. With some of these deaths, the narrative pretends they never happened either.
** Comic Book Guy getting married to a Japanese woman after he acted like a disgusting MightyWhitey was highly disliked due to it portraying Asian fetisihism in a positive light.
** Bart, Lisa and Maggie were always considered special for being the three Simpsons kids but "Adventures in Baby-Getting" reveals that Homer donated his sperm and now has a massive number of offspring mothered by other women. In the same episode Homer says he never wanted to be a father which contradicts how much he enjoyed being a father in classic seasons. It is downright nonsensical that he would donate his genetic material to a sperm bank but not ever want children. He also lets Bart watch the Itchy and Scratchy movie when he had banned him from ever doing so in "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie".
** "Gorgeous Grampa" included an offensive caricature of transgender people, Marge hoping grampa is gay so she can look more progressive, a StorageWars parody, and a major SeriesContinuityError by presenting Mr. Burns as a fan of Abraham. It was established in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" that the two were mortal enemies since WWII.
* FanPreferredCouple: Nedna is ''literally'' a fan-preferred couple: FOX held a vote to see if they should break up or become an OfficialCouple. Nedna won (but not before Marcia Wallace died, leaving Ned Flanders a widow once again).
** Nelson/Lisa is more popular among fans and the voice actors even though the writers seem to sway things towards Milhouse/Lisa.
* FansPreferTheNewHer: 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 [[RuleOfSexy any further explanation]].
* FlameBait: Ask any internet forum which of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', and ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' 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.
* FranchiseZombie: Matt Groening said ''The Simpsons'' would be around a couple more seasons, but couldn't guarantee anything beyond that because SeasonalRot was becoming a real concern and he wanted the series to end on a high note. That was in ''1999''.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: [[FunnyAneurysmMoment/TheSimpsons It has its own page.]]
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: Lisa. She's a BaseBreakingCharacter 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 {{Woolseyism}}s 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). ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'' confirmed the show's popularity, being the highest-grossing movie of 2007 in Argentina, as well in the rest of the region, [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome 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.
* GrowingTheBeard: 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.
* HellIsThatNoise: That horrifying background music at the end of "Rosebud" when a cyborg Mr. Burns and his faithful robot dog Smithers run off into the sunset in the year 1,000,000 A.D., which was also used at the beginning of "Bart's Girlfriend" when the kids try to ditch going to church (and a Jewish kid named Schlomo ditching his violin lesson).
* HarsherInHindsight: In "Fear of Flying", Homer didn’t want Marge to go to therapy because he thought it would turn her against him. In "Specs and 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 that is exactly what happens.
*** Taken even further when Marge eventually admits she sees all of her children as ReplacementGoldfish, making Lisa a serious case of the MiddleChildSyndrome.
** In "Beyond Blunderdome" guest star Creator/MelGibson 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 WhatAnIdiot! 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 [[KilledOffForReal really]] ''[[KilledOffForReal is]]'' [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E14AloneAgainNaturaDiddily dead]].
** Due to the repeated use of RecycledScript many episodes become this for Bart; for example in “The Boys of Bummer” Bart became a social pariah after missing an easy fly ball. Yet the crowd cheered in “Money Bart” after Bart intentionally lost the game by trying to steel base three times in a row. Because even though Lisa was proven wrong she was technically right making it a happy ending. The same thing when you compare Bart and Lisa’s roles and actions in The Secret War of Lisa Simpson and A Test Before Trying.
** Dr. Hibbert's whole situation (by original design and {{Flanderization}}) of being the anti-[[Series/TheCosbyShow Cliff Huxtable]], in light of the ''RealLife'' crimes that Creator/BillCosby has done, 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 a sexual harassment lawsuit.
** The 2000 episode 'Bart to the Future' saw Lisa (in Bart's vision of the world 30 years in the future) becoming president of the USA and being stuck with the horrible mess left by the previous president... Donald Trump. [[http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/mar/17/simpsons-president-trump-prediction-was-meant-as-warning-to-us Writer Dan Greaney told the Guardian]] that he'd chosen Trump as president because it "just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom. It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane"...which, frighteningly enough, is becoming true thanks to Trump's presidential campaign actually gaining ground.
* HeartwarmingInHindsight: In "Worst Episode Ever" jokes are made about Comic Book Guy's [[ThisLoserIsYou 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 HappilyMarried.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** The Flaming Homer/Moe episode centers around a mixed-drink spiked with cough syrup. Flash forward a few years and we have [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_drank Purple Drank]].
** In an earlier season, after Maude dies Ned goes on a date with Edna Krabappel, who only dates Flanders to get back at Principal Skinner. Come Season 23, the two (Ned and Edna, not Edna and Skinner) are now married. [[spoiler:However, Edna was killed off in 2014 after her voice actress died.]]
** The season 11 premiere "Beyond Blunderdome" had Mel Gibson (voicing himself) and plays on the idea that he is so admired by the public that it makes him uncomfortable. With ''The Passion of the Christ'' and news about his alcoholism and his anti-Semitic and sexist remarks, it looks as if Mel's got his wish. It's both funny and depressing.
** In the Treehouse of Horror short "Clown Without Pity", a naked Homer runs screaming from his bathtub to escape a harpoon-wielding demonic Krusty the Clown doll and passes by Patty, Selma, and Marge as they have lunch together. Patty puts down her fork and says, "There goes the last lingering thread of my heterosexuality." Years after this throwaway joke in a non-canonical Halloween episode, Patty came out of the closet and revealed that she was a lesbian all along, rather than being heterosexual, but celibate since she thinks all men are as stupid and crass as Homer and will never have a real man like the actor who plays [=MacGyver=].
*** Similarly, in "Homer's Phobia", once Homer learns of John's sexuality he says "Now we can never say only straight people have been in this house". Patty had been visiting for years by that point (also Smithers, as seen in "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish").
** A similar situation happened in "Itchy and Scratchy Land" where Creator/JohnTravolta is shown reduced to working as a bartender in a 70s themed bar. The episode was released in the same year that ''Film/PulpFiction'' came out, which single-handedly [[CareerResurrection resurrected]] Travolta's career with a scene set in a retro-themed diner.
** Despite the touching undertones and Bart [[EarnYourHappyEnding earning his happy ending]], the fact that [[StatusQuoIsGod Bart is still in the fourth grade after all these years]] makes the events from "Bart Gets an F" seem senseless.
** In "You Only Move Twice" Homer is disappointed when his BenevolentBoss, Hank Scorpio, gives him the Denver Broncos as a gift instead of the Dallas Cowboys. The Denver Broncos are seen practicing on the Simpsons' front lawn, and are portrayed as bumbling and laughably bad at football. The NFL season after this episode aired the Denver Broncos would win the Super Bowl, and then do it ''again'' the season after that.
*** After the 2014 Super Bowl where the Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks by an embarrassing score of 43-8, the clip of Homer bemoaning owning the team received renewed interest online.
** In "Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie", Bart watches a trailer for the fictitious ''Franchise/StarTrek'' film ''Star Trek XII: So Very Tired'', which lampoons the increasing age of the TOS cast. In May 2013, the 12th Star Trek film, ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', got released and also features the TOS crew, albeit played by much younger actors.
** ''The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase'' is a lot funnier when you realize that (a) Matt Groening originally had a ''Simpsons'' spin-off planned called ''Tales of Springfield'' (it was rejected and reworked as the season seven episode "22 Short Films About Springfield"), and (b) SethMacFarlane (Matt Groening's friend and professional rival) created a spin-off of his [[WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy Simpsons knock-off animated sitcom]]: ''Series/TheClevelandShow''.
*** The ''Chief Wiggum, PI'' segment is based on the premise of a successful TV show creating a spinoff featuring "exciting, sexy adventures" amid the "colorful backdrop" of TheBigEasy. 17 years later, cue the debut of ''Series/NCISNewOrleans''.
** In the Season 2 episode "Three Men and a Comic Book", Homer and Bart discuss how ''The Cosby Show'' was being taken off the air to keep it from becoming stale, and [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall joke about how they would "run that sucker into the ground" if they were in Cosby's position]]. More than 20 seasons later, ''The Simpsons'' is still on the air and, in some viewers' eyes, feels as if it's been run into the ground.
** Matt Groening criticized the episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E18AStarIsBurns A Star is Burns]]" because he promised his sitcom would be different from others and one of the sitcom conventions he hated is the crossover episode that plays out like a 20-odd minute advertisement for another show, even removing his name from the credits in protest. Since then, ''The Simpsons'' has had an ''X Files'' crossover ("The Springfield Files"), a brief scene in "Hurricane Neddy" where Jay Sherman ends up in a mental hospital endlessly saying his catchphrase "It stinks!", a ''24'' crossover ("24 Minutes"), a ''Terminator'' parody featuring the characters from ''Futurama'' and a ''Family Guy'' parody where The Simpsons bond with The Griffins.
** The 1996 episode "Two Bad Neighbors," in which former president UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush moves next door to the Simpsons, includes a scene where Homer tries to trick Bush into opening his door by propping up two cardboard cutouts of his sons Jeb and "[[UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush George Bush, Jr.]]" According to the Season 7 DVD commentary, the writers (and the mid-90s audience) [[AluminumChristmasTrees had no idea at the time that there actually]] ''[[AluminumChristmasTrees was]]'' [[AluminumChristmasTrees a George Bush, Jr.]], and figured that Homer was just being stupid by making up a name on the spot. And yet, they somehow knew who Jeb Bush was.
** Remember that Bonestorm commercial that started out with a couple kids playing a fighting game where you fight a tank? Enter ''VideoGame/AkatsukiBlitzkampf'', a Japanese doujin fighting game where [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1w-GBFf8Sc one of the bosses]] is ''literally'' a tank.
** Remember the epissode with "Yvan Eht Nioj"? Well it seems Katy Perry may or may not have devised a similar plan for the Marines...
** Back in the very first Treehouse of Horror, Bart makes a comment on the first ''Film/{{Friday the 13th|1980}}'' film, saying that "[[SeinfeldIsUnfunny it's pretty tame by today's standards]]." In wake of much more controversial adult animated shows like ''WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButtHead'', ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', and ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', ''The Simpsons'' has often been thought of as "tame" by modern audiences.
** In the [[VideoGame/TheSimpsons old Konami arcade]], one of the enemies are [[AnthropomorphicFood donuts]] in the Dream Land level. Cut to the Season 9 episode "Simpson Tide", it begins with Homer's dream he's on the [[Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes Planet of the Donuts]].
** The scene in Homerpalooza when Homer, worried about being out of touch with the music scene, revisits his old favourite record store ('Good Vibrations', since renamed to 'Suicide Notes'). When he mentions the Us Festival being sponsored by 'That guy from Apple computers', the Gen X cashier holds up a music CD and sardonically asks "''What'' computers?" - Amusing at the time as an example of Homer being out of touch. Funnier still decades later, after the rise of iTunes, the iPod, the iPhone...
** In "Lisa's Sax", a parody bumper for Creator/TheWB had Michigan J. Frog lamenting on how nobody watches the network. In 2006, The WB went off the air.
** The episode "The Trouble With Trillions" had Homer, Burns and Smithers landing in Cuba at the same time Fidel Castro is considering the possibility of abandoning Communism. About fifteen years later, Cuba and the U.S. restored diplomatic ties, with many pointing that socialism in the island may have its days counted once the embargo is lifted.
*** The fact that Castro took the trillion dollar banknote while leaving the trio to their fates contrasts with many Cuban exiles and Tea Party supporters who have decried the detente as the deal was ambiguous regarding any important changes to Cuba's political system.
** "Bart Star" has the family buying Bart's football gear at a store called [[Series/LazyTown Sportacus]]. In the same episode, the "WHO ARE WE? WILDCATS!" cheer is made funnier by making just a minor switch to "[[Film/HighSchoolMusical WHAT TEAM?]]"
** "That 90s Show", an episode aired in 2008 and set in the early 1990s, has a scene where Homer and Marge divide their belongings. The joke is supposed to be that Homer keeps all the stuff that ends up being worthless by the 2000s: "I'll keep the [=LPs=], and you take the [=CDs=]. I'll take the typewriter, you take the computer. I'll take the Enron stock, you take the Microsoft stock." Except that in 2008 vinyl records were already making a comeback among the music cognoscenti, and online streaming was well on its way of replacing [=CDs=] as the main form in which people consume digital music. A few years after the episode aired, those [=LPs=] would probably sell for a lot more than the [=CDs=].
** "Bart to the Future" didn’t slouch in predicting a [[Creator/DonaldTrump Donald "Maybe it says he's a Muslim" Trump presidency]], either.
** In the 2011 episode "A Midsummer's Nice Dream" [[PopCulturalOsmosisFailure Bart doesn't know who Beavis and Butt-Head are]]. Their show was revived that same year.
** [[https://twitter.com/theharryshearer/status/598707703020658688 Harry Shearer]] leaving the show in 2015 (actually, he's returning for two more seasons) becomes quite ironically hilarious considering they did [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHaXdl20Prg a gag]] about the subject, with another VA replacing Shearer as Ned Flanders, over a decade prior in "Homer to the Max". The comment "they don't have to pay the actors squat" is just the icing on the cake, as there is speculation that [[http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/14/8604495/harry-shearer-leaves-the-simpsons-no-mr-burns-flanders money had something to do with Shearer deciding to leave.]] [[note]]The joke was originally a jab at Fox for threatening to hire a new cast during a contract dispute with the voice actors in 1998.[[/note]]
** In 'When Flanders Failed" Flanders accounts having his house and assets repossessed by "nice" people who were only doing their job. This seems like a standard ExtremeDoormat disposition from the character, until "I Married Marge" features the Simpsons couple having a visit from a repo man who genuinely ''is'' cheerful, affable and apologetic about collecting their possessions ("Repossessing is the hardest part of my job").
** In "Homer Goes To College", when Homer is told he has to go to college to keep his job, Bart sarcastically asks "Barber or clown?", angering Homer. Later, in "Homie the Clown", Homer actually goes to clown college and becomes a Krusty the Clown impersonator, and he would later become a barber in "Homer Scissorhands."
** During "The Raven" segment in the first "Treehouse of Horror," Homer throws a paperweight at the raven/Bart who proceeds to dodge it. This causes Homer to exclaim, "[[VideoGame/MarioParty D'oh, I missed!]]", years before LetsPlay/TheRunawayGuys made the phrase popular.
** Toward the end of "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS14E6TheGreatLouseDetective The Great Louse Detective]]", Sideshow Bob resorts to killing Bart, but can't do it, [[FoeYay because he's grown accustomed]] [[NoYay to the boy's face]], and because he feels that [[VictoryIsBoring Victory Will Be Boring]] if he kills Bart, as described in his VillainSong. Nearly 13 years later, in the [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS27E5TreehouseOfHorrorXXVI Treehouse of Horror XXVI]] segment "Wanted: Dead, then Alive", Bob finally seems to have gotten over the epiphany by killing Bart; but after a few days, he recalls the notion that Victory Is Still Boring without Bart around, so he decides to prolong his victory by creating a Reanimator machine and bringing his ArchEnemy BackFromTheDead before going all ''ComicBook/EmperorJoker'' on Bart in a DeathMontage.
*** Also, it's either this or FunnyAneurysmMoment: During Bob's VillainSong, he sings that he's grown accustomed to his plans "to disembowel [Bart]" and that "Surely, if I drank his blood, I'd be at peace." In "Wanted: Dead, then Alive", Bob does just that: the former deed after {{impal|edWithExtremePrejudice}}ing Bart with a HarpoonGun, the latter deed by mixing the boy's blood with AGlassOfChianti. [[{{Squick}} It's pretty disturbing, to say the least.]]
** The final segment of Treehouse of Horror XVII called "The Day the Earth Looked Stupid" was set in the 1930s. The ending shot showed a ruined Springfield set to "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire". Two years later, ''VideoGame/Fallout3'' was released and used the same song for the intro and slowly pans out to show a ruined Washington D.C. similar to the former.
** In 2005's "Don't Fear The Roofer", while Homer is describing why he likes hanging around Ray Magini, he states that they [[Disney/{{Frozen}} finish each other's sandwiches]].
** In a pivotal scene of "Bart Gets Hit by a Car", Marge is called to testify before court by the name "Mrs. Homer J. Simpson" (rendered in some dubs as "Mrs. ''H.'' J. Simpson", even). Amazingly, the scene predates the O.J. Simpson trial, which happened in 1994/1995, while the episode aired in 1991.
** In the 1992 episode, "New Kid on the Block", Homer sues seafood restaurant, The Frying Dutchman, for false advertising after getting kicked out for eating too much at the all-you-can-eat buffet. Ten years later, [[http://www.eater.com/2012/5/15/6586551/man-denied-all-you-can-eat-fish-arrested-for-picketing a man named Bill Wisth pickets a seafood restaurant for kicking him out when takes advantage of their all-you-can-eat policy.]] Many comments on youtube and news websites made comparisons to The Simpsons episode.
** The plot of "The Principal and the Pauper" is this in light of Don Draper's backstory on ''Series/MadMen''.
** In "Lisa on Ice", Springfield Elementary's auditorium is called the "[[WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButthead Butthead]] Memorial Auditorium", named by Springfield's students, much to Principal Skinner's frustration[[note]][[RealLifeWritesThePlot This was inspired by an incident in Greenwood, South Carolina, where children proposed having a new elementary school named Springfield Elementary School.]][[/note]]. This scene became funnier when, in 2016, an online survey to name a new UK research ship led to the winning choice "Boaty [=McBoatface=]".
** In "Like Father, Like Clown", when it's explained that Krusty the Clown is Jewish, Lisa lists many other Jewish celebrities, including Creator/MelBrooks, which surprises Homer. In "Homer vs. Patty and Selma", Homer gets to meet Mel Brooks while working as a chauffeur.
* HoYay: Has [[HoYay/TheSimpsons its own page]]
* HollywoodHomely: Selma and Patty are presented as being extremely unattractive [[InUniverse in the show]], but they don't look substantially different from their sister Marge, who's considered to be beautiful.
* IKnewIt: There were quite a few people who called out that [[spoiler: 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 [[spoiler: Jackie Mason had been one of the few guest stars to win an Emmy for the show]].
* JerkassWoobie: Bart, Homer, Lisa and Grandpa Simpson. DependingOnTheWriter, Nelson Muntz, Moe, and Milhouse sometimes qualify.
** Mister 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 NoRespectGuy that everyone laughed at his funeral, and [[TooDumbToLive has had to work with Homer's stupid antics.]]
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Bart. Marge too, must run in the family.
* LoveToHate: Sideshow Bob and Mister Burns are incredibly sinister and LaughablyEvil.
* MagnificentBastard: ''Sideshow Bob''. He's devious, brilliant, manipulative, and of course funny. Though they always fail, his plans have included faking his own death and [[BatmanGambit 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.
** Hank Scorpio, no doubt. [[Film/JamesBond SPECTRE]] might've been able to actually accomplish something if they took some management lessons from this guy.
* MemeticMutation: [[Memes/TheSimpsons Has its own page.]]
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Sideshow Bob in all of his appearances [[WouldHurtAChild tried to kill Bart]], but he finally crossed the line when he [[spoiler: decides to get people to hate Bart while he's on trial, fake his death, and, with the help of his whole family, burn Bart alive in a coffin being pushed into a furnace. Fortunately, he is caught and, along with the rest of his family, is sentenced to [[LaserGuidedKarma 87 years in prison]]. Strangely, the earlier episode where he hypnotized Bart into being a suicide bomber had him sentenced to death at the end but the sentence wasn't carried out, with no explanation why]].
*** He may have crossed it earlier in "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", when he tries to atom-bomb the entire city just so he can get rid of television.
** Snake tries to run over Bart when he's with Eddie and Lou in a ride along. He ended up getting thrown through the windshield as his car caught in the narrow alleyway and stopped mere inches before he can hit Bart.
** The kindergarten teacher's treatment of Bart, as seen in "Lisa's Sax". ''She'' is one of the reasons why, if not the sole reason why Bart is the way he is today [[note]](Case in point, a lot of older episodes showed that Bart was bad since he was born. Case in point: "I Married Marge" showed him setting fire to Homer's tie at only six minutes old, and "War of the Simpsons" had Bart try to ''run over his babysitter with the family car''. On top of that, "Lisa the Simpson" reveals that Bart actually was a smart student until the Simpson gene made him dumb, and other episodes like "Bart Gets an F" and "A Test Before Trying" show that Bart can be smart when the plot calls for it)[[/note]]. To specify, the teacher basically [[DisproportionateRetribution wrote off Bart as a lost cause because he didn't catch on to things as quickly as the other kids]][[labelnote:Fortunately...]]The kindergarten teacher who appeared on "Sideshow Bob Roberts" when Bart is forced to repeat kindergarten as per Sideshow Bob's mayoral order isn't the same one from "Lisa's Sax," meaning that the one from "Lisa's Sax" either quit her job, retired, was fired, or was let go due to the school's many budget cuts[[/labelnote]].
** Mr. Burns also gets one when he blacks out the sun at the end of Season 6. Even ExtremeDoormat Smithers thinks he's gone too far.
*** Yet funnily, after [[spoiler:Maggie]] shoots him, everyone goes from hating him and threatening him to being concerned for his well-being.
** In ''Homer Simpson in: Kidney Trouble'', Homer accidentally caused his father to make his kidneys burst because he wouldn't stop to let him go to the bathroom (even though that's physically impossible). When he's forced to give up one of his kidneys, he runs away in fear of dying. He later seemingly decides to face up to his fear and give one of his kidneys. However, he finally crossed it when he ran away from the hospital ''again'', this time hoping that his father would die.
*** JerkassHasAPoint: His fears were pivoted by the fact [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate Dr. Hibbert]] (and everyone else) outright lied to him about the dangers of the operation so he'd agree. When they can't make him donate willingly, he outright ''steals'' his kidney while he's unconscious. While it's [[DirtyCoward Dirty Cowardice]] at its finest, would you trust your body in the hands of a quack that deceives and outright mutilates you without your consent?
*** However it was still entirely Homer’s fault that Abe was sick in the first place so him running away from his responsibility to fix the problem still counts
** The winemakers in "Crepes of Wrath" after they poured anti-freeze in the wine, and forcing Bart to drink it.
** Patty and Selma have always hated Homer and made it clear since day one that they do (mostly because he's fat, ugly, and unworthy of being Marge's husband and the father of her children), but they crossed this line when they attempted to murder him when Homer and Marge were going to remarry in the later seasons. And outside of being blackmailed to pay for the wedding by Bart and Lisa, they suffer no repercussions.
*** In episodes such as "Mother Simpson", they are actually in glee when they believe Homer has actually kicked the bucket (even buying a tombstone just to add insult to injury, with the epitaph, "We are richer for having lost him"). They hate Homer to the point of wishing death upon him.
** Lisa may have had one in "On A Clear Day, I Can't See My Sister": In retaliation for one of Bart's pranks, she takes out a restraining order against him and gleefully uses it to make his life a living hell even after he stops bugging her. Even if he was really mean to her at the beginning of the episode, even her family thought she was taking it way too far.
*** For many viewers anytime Marge decides to abandon Bart as punishment when he does something wrong.
*** The worse example is arguably in "Lisa's Sax" where she and Homer decided to ignore Bart’s problems to make it more convenient to help Lisa.
* MostAnnoyingSound: Dr. Marvin Monroe's very raspy voice. Which is why Matt Groening and the audience never liked the character.
** The running gag of characters going "WHHHAAAAAAAAAAA!?!".
* MostWonderfulSound: The heavenly choir at the beginning of the opening sequence.
* NeverLiveItDown: Lisa's profile quote in the arcade game: "Embrace nothingness!" She [[BeamMeUpScotty only said it once in the actual show]] but many fans know her best for saying just that.
* OneSceneWonder: Hank Scorpio. Many fans love him even if they don't like Season 8, and he was so popular that the [[WhatCouldHaveBeen writers even considered making him]] the BigBad of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie''. Even when they didn't do so, [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute the villain they did make was almost completely like him]] (except minus [[AffablyEvil his personable manner]]).
** When Marge joins the police, one of her fellow cadets is a twitchy GunNut 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 [[BadassBystander random nurse at the rest home]] chased the assassin off with a shotgun.
-->'''Nurse:''' OUR RESIDENTS *BANG* ARE TRING *BANG* TO NAP! *BANG*
** Sideshow Raheem is surprisingly popular for a character who has only said two words in the run of the show.
* OpinionMyopia: 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).
* PolishedPort: The [=XBLA=] and [=PSN=] port of the arcade game is basically arcade perfect.
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames:
** With few exceptions, most ''Simpsons'' games are [[NintendoHard terrible.]] The arcade game and ''VideoGame/TheSimpsonsHitAndRun'', 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 ''Pinball/TheSimpsonsPinballParty'', which pinball fans commonly regard as one of the 21st century's best.
* SacredCow: The episodes of TheNineties (i.e. the first 8-10 seasons). Suggested to be infallible, genius, a never-ending cultural icon, and television stewed to perfection. Suggesting even the slightest bit of flaws or NostalgiaFilter in any fan favorite is tantamount to FandomHeresy, regardless of validity.
* ScapegoatCreator: 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 VocalMinority of fans, especially those who think SeasonalRot 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]]the episode where The Simpsons go into Witness Protection after Sideshow Bob gets paroled[[/note]] is the last episode written by the original writers).
* TheScrappy: Everyone in this show is a BaseBreakingCharacter in some way, but these are the characters just about everyone hates.
** Even Dr. Marvin Monroe's voice actor, Harry Shearer wanted the character removed from the show, mostly because of his annoying raspy voice which actually damaged Shearer himself.
** 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.
* SeasonalRot: The general consensus is that the show stopped being good after either seasons eight, nine or ten.
** Season 8 is often cited as the last time ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' created good episodes, although a lot of people feel that some of season eight's episodes weren't all that great, except for "You Only Move Twice", the episode with Hank Scorpio.
** Season 9 is usually cited as the last good season, because, despite Mike Scully running the show, season nine did have some good episodes like "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpsons" and "The Cartridge Family".
** Season 10 is cited by some as the beginning of the SeasonalRot, as it was during the time Creator/PhilHartman died (meaning no more [[EnsembleDarkhorse Lionel Hutz or Troy McClure]]) and when it became obvious the writers were running out of ideas.
** But the seasons that deserve a mention are Seasons 11 and 12, which many feel they were the show's worst. Those seasons rely heavily on [[BizarroEpisode bizarre plots]], [[GainaxEnding nonsensical twist endings]], [[CelebrityStar and tons of special guest stars]], not unlike ''SouthPark'' and ''FamilyGuy''.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny and WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids: 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 MoralGuardian's radar, thanks to ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' and SethMacFarlane's cartoons being far more shocking and controversial.
* SoOkayItsAverage: The post-SeasonalRot episodes are this for some fans.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: How longtime fans and animation students felt about the TitleSequence that has been in use since the LABFXX production season (i.e. season 20 starting from "Take My Life, Please"). Special mention goes to [[http://imgur.com/gallery/AhCu0 Marge's animation during the supermarket scene]], which went from elaborate movement to a simple turn of her head.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: ''The Simpsons'' has a lot of one-shot characters that are quite popular, such as Jessica Lovejoy, Allison Taylor, Alex Whitney, Colin, and every guest spot child character. Many fans are unhappy that they only got a single appearance.
** Hank Scorpio. The man was a [[AffablyEvil genuinely nice]], down-to-earth... James Bond supervillain. He's every bit as awesome as he sounds, and "You Only Move Twice", the episode in which he appears, is generally regarded as the best episode of Season 8. He could have been a great recurring villain or DealWithTheDevil character (he offers Homer a job in "You Only Move Twice"), especially as Mr. Burns became senile and ineffectual in the later seasons, but no luck.
** Samantha Stanky is a good example to apply to this trope. Not only could she have been the one true LoveInterest for [[ThrowTheDogABone Milhouse]] (and end Milhouse's embarrassing attempts to win Lisa over), but she could have been a second best friend for Bart, [[ThreeAmigos making the three of them a trio]], and by possible association, the first true friend Lisa would ever have. Sadly, Samantha's [[OverprotectiveDad prudish father]] sent her to an all-girl convent school, where she is locked away from the outside world, and hasn't been seen or referenced since. On an analytical note, Samantha also could have been one of the rare glimmers of purity in lackluster town full of jerks.
** After regaining his wealth and reconciling with Homer, Herb Powell could've been the BigGood of Springfield, given his status in contrast to Mr. Burns' BigBad. He could've also been an excellent benefactor in helping the Simpson family in any of their recurring financial jams. However, by the time the writers decided to get Creator/DannyDeVito involved with the Simpsons again (now on the onset of the Great Recession), he was given one off-screen line confirming that he was poor again.
** Mr. Bergstrom could've been the one teacher who cared about Lisa's education. However, as a substitute teacher constantly on-call by other schools, he had to leave, while Ms. Hoover would remain as Lisa's teacher and respond to her zest for learning with apathy.
** [[MassiveNumberedSiblings The Nahasapeemapetilon Octuplets]] themselves could've been given individual quirks that distinguish them from each other ([[NotAllowedToGrowUp if they would get older]] and receive more screen time). However, any future incarnation would involve all eight of them working at the Kwik-E-Mart as eight mini-Apus, and being bossy and rude to any of their employees.
** Even though Ling Bouvier was able to be adopted from China by Selma, both Patty and Selma are shown more frequently than her own baby (bring to question, who is watching their baby?). In terms of possible use, Ling could've served as a playmate for Maggie. Though later episodes have her and Maggie (and sometimes, with other kids) in the background for side jokes.
** Maude Flanders deserves a special mentioning. Given Ned Flanders' reputation as the nicest neighbor in Springfield, and Marge's constant pleading for Homer to be on good terms with him, one would think that Marge and Maude would get along better than their husbands. Unfortunately, Maude is shown as nothing more than an overprotective mother and a religious fundamentalist who is more on par with the gossipy Helen Lovejoy, and has been critical and disapproving of Marge on separate occasions (including hiring by the Yakuza to stomp out her pretzel business). By Season 11, [[spoiler: the writers decide to kill Maude off, mainly due to [[McLeaned the dispute with her voice actress]] Maggie Roswell]].
** Mona Simpson. She loves Homer and regrets abandoning him, in contrast to unrepentant [[TheEeyore Eeyore]]-{{Jerkass}} Abe, so she could have provided a different perspective on his childhood, and her history of activism and radicalism could have made her an interesting partner or foil to Lisa.
** Ruth Powers and her daughter Laura were introduced in season 4 as the Simpsons' new neighbors. Laura acted as Bart's crush and become something of an older sister to him at the end of her first appearance. In the next season, Ruth had her own episode where she became good friends with Marge and went on an adventure with her. They could have played a larger role in many Simpson's adventures, but aside from a few cameos, Ruth herself only made a sinlge appearance a decade later.
** Rita [=LaFleur=], Homer's long-lost stepmother. She was an interesting character and added some insight to Abe's life after Mona. Despite them reconciling at the end of her episode and continuing to develop their relationship, she's never seen or mentioned again. Probably justified as she was voiced by a guest star, rather than one of the in-house cast members.
** Really, there's a massive load of characters that could desperately do with more development or even just things to do but nope, let's see what the Crazy Cat Lady was like before she became obsessed with throwing cats!
** Creator/FrankieMuniz guest starred as a character who only had a few lines in Trilogy of Error. This was a waste because he was the main star of a [[Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle show where he is a genius outcast living with a very dysfunctional family]], much like Lisa.
** Julia, a beauty stalker that tries to seduce Homer and, not accepting refusal, she tries to kill him. She could have been the personal Sideshow Bob of Homer.
*** Other one-time characters who could serve as personal Sideshow Bobs for the family include Frank Grimes Jr. for Homer, Mrs. Cantwell for Lisa, and Jack Lassen for Bart.
** Walt Warren from Season 21's ''The Bob Next Door''. This man first started out as a low-level criminal, and was scheduled for early release after Mayor Quimby released minor offenders to save money, but Bob gets to go instead thanks to his latest EvilPlan to kill Bart. For the rest of the episode, Walt does everything in his power to stop Bob and save Bart, actually showing off some pretty smart feats in the process. He forms a perfect plan to escape from prison, and doesn't trust a certain waitress when she "[[ItMakesSenseInContext tries to throw him and the rest of the Simpsons off the set after falling in love with Walt's face]]", and would much rather continue on the proper route to save Bart. Most criminals, even minor offenders, probably wouldn't go that far to save one boy that they've never even heard of, but knowing that Walt would shows a true hero. A true hero that [[DudeWheresMyRespect never gets the thanks or proper goodbye he deserves]]. He obviously has to [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished go back to jail for his escape]], but fans who admired his efforts would probably prefer that than just vanishing from thin air.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: Inevitable in a show where the first five to ten minutes set up things that later turn out to be unrelated to the main plot.
** The episode "I Don't Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" starts with Marge yelling at Homer for not going to Lisa's award ceremony, Homer decides to prove her wrong and wants to make sure that he is in the auditorium before anyone else. This seems to be the main plot of the episode, but then it is forgotten and the main plot is about Marge and a bank robber and has nothing to do with Homer getting to Lisa's ceremony.
** "Homer The Whopper" could have been a funny episode about the making of a superhero movie in the vein of "Radioactive Man", but instead focuses on the overused plot of Homer sticking to another diet (and failing it), with all the movie stuff happening in the b-plot.
** The episode where Maude dies. It could have been a TearJerker CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming episode (and it was a little bit, especially when Flanders briefly denounced his faith in God and met Rachel Jordan after going to church), but more than half of it was Homer setting up Ned with horrible new girlfriends (even though Homer wasn't being a jerkass about it; he was genuinely trying to help Ned out).
** Mona Simpson's death, for similar reasons as Maude's: Her death comes out of nowhere and lacks gravity, especially since the funeral was off-screen, and it is quickly forgotten as the story progresses-the rest of the episode focuses on the Simpsons sabotaging Mr. Burns' rocket launch (a plot that could have easily been done without her death).
** Many viewers felt that the first act plot of Season 19's "Husbands and Knives", starring Jack Black as the owner of the new comic book store across the street from The Android's Dungeon, was superior to the rest of the episode, which focused on Marge starting a franchise of women's gyms and Homer getting plastic surgery in fear that his newly-rich wife will run off with another man.
** The episode "Simpsorama" didn't make a single comment about the different skin tones of the cast. While the Family Guy crossover already did this, it still feels strange that nobody seemed to notice, considering that Fry lived in that time period and nobody was portrayed as yellow.
*** Fry didn't get to do much in that episode. We even didn't get to see the events unfold when Professor Farnsworth asked him to team up with Homer in a nuclear powered experiment.
** In "To Courier with Love", There is no mention of Bart's time living with Ceasar and Ugolin in France, despite them all being in the same room. [[NegativeContinuity They act like they've never met despite the fact they treated Bart like dirt and he got them arrested]].
* ToughActToFollow: Some of the criticism of the newer seasons comes from [[OvershadowedByAwesome the extremely high expectations fans had after the first 8-10 seasons]].
* ToyShip: 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.
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: 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 BrokenBase, 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.
* UncannyValley: The grotesque animation style of the early era episodes (including the ''Tracy Ullman'' shorts) and in some episodes in which the Simpsons are depicted in another medium (claymation, live-action, as drawn by Creator/JohnKricfalusi, as drawn by BillPlympton, CGI, Lego, ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken''-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.
* UnintentionallySympathetic: Since the writers enjoy playing fast-and-loose with morality and SympatheticPOV, viewers might agreeing 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 (specially if you don't consider him a JerkWithAHeartOfJerk VillainProtagonist, this even is used to [[JustifiedTrope justify his traits]]): FreudianExcuse, a menial job, [[WhatTheHellHero being called out by everyone each time he does something wrong]], and (earlier on) having AlwaysSomeoneBetter 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.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Same as the above.
** Lisa comes off like this in later episodes. While it's easy to sympathize with her feeling like the OnlySaneMan among fellow Springfieldians and her MiddleChildSyndrome, she goes too far in trying to change her town and her family for the better which is extremely offputting for some fans. And while you can understand why she gets angry at Bart, some of her retaliations take it too far.
** Homer is this in any episode where he is presented sympathetically when you remember his many Jerkass actions in the past, usually within that self same episode. A more recent example is in "You Don't Have to Live Like a Referee" where Bart told Homer that he wasn’t really Lisa’s hero; while this was supposed to be seen as a KickTheDog moment for Bart given that Homer has repeatedly told Bart to his face that he is an unloved accident it comes across more as a Crowning Moment Of Revenge.
** Frank Grimes from ''Homer's Enemy'' was supposed to be what happens when a normal person exists in the Simpsons universe, but went out in a jealous rage in front of Homer and his family even though he tries to reconcile with him. Furthermore, Frank is far from a "real" person in that his life is just exaggerated misery after misery, such as his parents abandoning him and waving goodbye all the way to losing a sweet position in the power plant to a ''dog''. And Homer's annoying tendencies and stupidity were amped up a lot more than he usually was as if the writers were specifically trying to make Homer so obnoxious the viewers would have no choice but to sympathize with Frank (and even then Homer, and almost every other character except Mr Burns [[PetTheDog is sympathetic towards Frank]], [[ComicallyMissingThePoint just his frustration towards Homer goes over their heads]]). But it's hard to feel sympathy when Frank is overly wound up already. Also, despite Homer's increased stupidity and obnoxious behavior, he was the only one who cared about Frank's well-being.
** Ned Flanders in later seasons. He lost two wives and has had to put up with Homer's antics for decades. One episode even has him be the butt of a joke for the whole town despite earlier episodes implying he's a pillar of the community in Springfield. But he's also a self-righteous fundamentalist (though some believe [[WatsonianVsDoylist the writers]] [[WriterOnBoard made him a fundamentalist to use him whenever they want to take a jab at religion]]) who kept his kids shut away in a restrictive religious school until Edna pulled them out and started sending them to Springfield Elementary.
** Mona Simpson, aka Homer's mother. We're supposed to feel sorry for her because one act of decency made her have to give up her life because Mr. Burns saw her face, but she did commit alot of crimes in stopping his germ warfare lab regardless of her intentions, cheated on Abe several times (although he did the same to her and she only did it after he started it) and abandoned Homer and everytime she comes back into his life, she then abandons him again until finally she dies and uses her last will and testament to manipulate Homer into sabotaging a nuclear silo launch with her ashes.
** Marge when the show tries to make out to be a put upon mother due to the fact that Bart and Lisa either [[TookALevelInJerkass take a level of jerkass]] as seen in [[TheSimpsonsS8E13SimpsoncalifragilisticexpialaAnnoyedGruntcious Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious]]) or she has a ItsAllAboutMe attitude. In many episodes Marge feels unappreciated even what she does is completely halfassed. In [[TheSimpsonsS16E3SleepingWithTheEnemy Sleeping with the Enemy]] when throwing Bart a party instead of waiting she threw it together at the last minute so no one was able to come. With Lisa was worse as she had a serious eating disorder with Marge doing little more than ask her to eat. She then went on to find a kid who appreciated what little she did while ignoring Lisa’s eating disorder and the fact that Nelson openly bullied Bart.
*** In “Catch 'Em If You Can” for family game night instead of getting a movie for the family Marge got a movie specifically for her and Homer. When Bart and Lisa obviously didn’t like the movie Marge acted surprised and hurt and eventually the two ran off to have vacation online without Bart and Lisa. This problem could have easily been solved if Marge had just gotten two tapes.
* UnpopularPopularCharacter:
** 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''': [[VaguenessIsComing Evil is coming.]]\\
'''Tribesman''': What shall we do, N'gungo?\\
'''N'gungo''' ''(puts his mask on the other tribesman's head)'': [[YouAreInCommandNow You are N'gungo now!]] ''(runs away screaming)''
** Milhouse is treated as a ButtMonkey in-universe, but he has his fans among the viewers as he's also TheWoobie.
* VindicatedByHistory:
** 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 it (mainly seasons 9 and 10) part of the classic era, most likely due to Al Jean having the show runner position for so long (14 years and counting).
** Many earlier episodes were actually [[http://uproxx.com/tv/reminder-the-internet-even-hated-on-the-simpsons-during-the-golden-era/ 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.
* ViewerGenderConfusion: Kang and Kodos are brother and ''sister''. Arguably justified as they ''are'' StarfishAliens.
* {{Wangst}}: In later seasons. From ''all'' directions.
* WeirdAlEffect: 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.
** In "Bart vs. Australia", there is a parody of Film/CrocodileDundee with a man going "think that's a knife? THIS is a knife". For newer viewers, the film from which the meme came is not so familiar, and therefore many people think back to this series instead.
** The title song from the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" was believed by many younger viewers to be a reference to the Simpsons' "Monorail Song," when they're actually both based on the same source: "Trouble" from ''Theatre/TheMusicMan''.
* WereStillRelevantDammit: A common complaint about the newer seasons is their over-reliance on using current events and pop-culture for laughs ''a la'' ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' and ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', such as Mr. Burns' endorsement of Mitt Romney for President in 2012. Making things worse, these references tend to be dated ''the first time they appear on the show''. {{Anvilicious}} political commentary has also become more common, almost all of it bashing Republicans.
** Any episode involving a musician or band popular during the time the episode aired. "New Kids on the Blecch" with Music/{{NSYNC}} and "Lisa Goes Gaga" from season 23 come to mind.
*** It's not just musicians and bands: [[Series/BreakingBad Walter White and Jesse Pinkman]] made a [[MediumBlending live-action appearance]] at the end of the couch gag for Season 24's "What Animated Women Want", which aired in April 2013, a few months before the other show ended.
** This trope is blatant in season 15's "Co-Dependent's Day" when the family goes to see [[StarWars Cosmic Wars: Episode I]], and it's a parody of the disappointment of Episode I. It would've been relevant in 1999 or 2000, but this episode was released in 2004. It also creates a CelebrityParadox because StarWars has been referenced by name dozens of times, and parodied.
** In season 17's "See Homer Run", they did a parody of the California 2003 recall election... in 2005. It wasn't just a throwaway gag, it was the plot of the whole episode.
** "Gorgeous Grampa" parodies StorageWars and has Bart wearing shutter shades.
** "Politically Inept, With Homer Simpson", a 2012 episode whose plot is a TakeThat at GlennBeck's Fox News show... which had been cancelled the previous summer (not to mention the fact that ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' had done essentially the same thing in fall 2009, when Beck's show was generating far more buzz, and ''Series/TheDailyShow'' had done so repeatedly since November of 2009.)
** Newer Treehouse of Horror episodes have become this as the pop culture they parody are already a few years old and spoofed into oblivion. "Treehouse of Horror XXIII" which aired in 2012 and spoofed ''Film/ParanormalActivity'', which was released in 2009 and "Treehouse of Horror XXII", aired in 2011 and spoofing ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', which was also released to theatres in 2009 come to mind.
** "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes" was an episode from 2000 about Homer discovering the Internet and using it to start a gossip page. This came maybe 2 or 3 years after the Internet had become mainstream, and a solid decade after computers had.
** The Season 25 premiere, "Homerland", is a full episode parody of ''Series/{{Homeland}}''.
*** From the same season, Homer sings about "swag", of all things. While it's supposed to be a parody of older people trying to prove they are still relevant, it didn't quite have the result the creators were probably hoping for.
*** The season also had an episode simply titled ''YOLO,'' which aired in November 2013, LONG after "YOLO" stopped being relevant (and for those who want to point out that ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' -- another long-running comedy whose quality in recent episodes has been called into question -- did the same on the season 38 episode hosted by Creator/AdamLevine and the season 39 episode hosted by Drake, the former was making fun of the "YOLO" fad with a music video about ParanoiaFuel and the latter was Drake [the episode host] apologizing for starting "YOLO" in the first place).
** The season 25 episode "You Don't Have to Live Like A Referee" features a parody of Jared Fogle from the Subway commercials. Jared was in his prime in the early 2000s and hasn't been prominently featured in advertising since 2008.
** Artie Ziff going broke in "The Ziff Who Came To Dinner" is a parody of the Enron scandal, down to the crooked Z statue, which had happened two years prior.
* WhatAnIdiot: Has its [[WhatAnIdiot/TheSimpsons own page]].
* TheWoobie: Has its [[Woobie/TheSimpsons own page]].
* WriterCopOut: Due to being a LongRunner in SeasonalRot, this would be eventful.
** Many people were excited for the premiere of Season 26, which had been [[TonightSomeoneDies hyped up for featuring the death of a major character]]. The character in question turned out to be [[spoiler:Hyman Krustofski]], a SatelliteCharacter at best. A lot of people were colored disappointed by this and felt misled. The event was been compared to ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'''s infamous "Life Of Brian" arc in terms of being a ratings stunt.
*** It didn't help that the [[SpoilerTitle episode's title]] ([[spoiler:Clown in the Dumps]]) heavily hinted on who died...
** The premiere of Season 27 was also a mixture of ratings stunt and this. Did you believe that Homer and Marge would separate? That Homer would start to date ''another woman''? [[spoiler:Nah, it's AllJustADream. [[GainaxEnding Or a tattoo. Or something.]]]]
** Only one can think of what WriterCopOut will the show do on the next season premiere.
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