Follow TV Tropes

Following

Discontinuity / The Simpsons

Go To

The Simpsons takes this trope and uses it as a weapon:

  • Of course, there are fans who utterly despise "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 a fraud named Armin Tamzarian. The episode is an in-show example of discontinuity, too, because the characters in-show 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 Take That! jokes and Discontinuity Nods 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 Canon Discontinuity 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. (Of course, twenty seasons later, the two are no longer incompatible.)
  • "The Boys of Bummer" and "Million Dollar Abie" are disowned for showing abuse to Bart and Grampa respectively that goes beyond Black Comedy.
  • "Saddlesore Galactica" is divided, as some people (and the writers) see the episode more as a surreal piss-take against the show's own decline in quality due to repetitive storylines and exaggerated characterizations.
  • "Bart-Mangled Banner" 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.
  • Crossing with Franchise Original Sin on this example, "Lisa the Vegetarian" sometimes gets this treatment, not for being bad (it's considered genuinely funny), but for starting Lisa's eventual Flanderization into a Soapbox Sadie (the reason being due to Paul McCartney only agreeing to do the episode if Lisa stayed vegetarian for the rest of the show's run).
  • Fans usually ignore the presence of Sideshow Bob's Italian wife and son as seen in "The Italian Bob". Possibly Canon Discontinuity as they're never seen or mentioned again after "Funeral for a Fiend".
  • Mike Scully's tenure as showrunner is hated by some due to the show's blatant use of Family Guy-cum-South Park-esque levels of Vulgar Humor. The shining example being the infamous Panda Rape scene in "Homer vs. Dignity", which crosses the line into tastelessness territory with a dash of sickening abandon.
  • The Al Jean episodes are hated just as much, only for different reasons – namely, being boring, derivative, full of forced humor, carrying an air of We're Still Relevant, Dammit! due to dated pop culture references, and the constant dueling with Family Guy in FOX's lineup.
  • 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.
  • One of the biggest complains of "Lisa Goes Gaga" was how much screentime Lady Gaga got as opposed to other celebrity guest stars (only Mel Gibson in "Beyond Blumderdome" had a comparable amount of screentime to her), to the point where the episode's absurdity resembles a Crack Fic.
  • Ned Flanders getting married to Edna Krabappel is seen by some fans as another Jumped the Shark 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 Character Development 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 in "The Man Who Grew Too Much" (after 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 was divisive due to similar reasons as Ned and Edna’s marriage, plus the implications of an Asian woman becoming spontaneously “available” to a Caucasian man.
  • 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 world. 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 also downright nonsensical that he would donate his genetic material to a sperm bank but not ever want children.
  • Among other things the episode "Gorgeous Grampa" included, like an offensive caricature of transgender people, Marge hoping Grampa is gay so she can look more progressive, and a Storage Wars parody, the episode also included a major Series Continuity Error by presenting Mr. Burns as a fan of Abraham, when it was established in "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"" that the two were mortal enemies since WWII.
  • Special mention should go to the people who ignore everything after Season 8, 9, or 10, as so many viewers agree the show declined in quality at that time. The term "Zombie Simpsons" was even coined to show how the show will never get better as it just goes on forever. They might be willing to accept some post Season 10 episodes like "Trilogy Of Error", "Holidays Of Future Past" and "Barthood" as those are the only ones released then considered on classic level. It should be noted that at this time Matt Groening was becoming less involved as he was busy with Futurama, co-creator Sam Simon had left the show, and James L. Brooks was becoming less involved after a public dispute with Groening after the episode "A Star Is Burns". 90% of the writers from the most acclaimed seasons were gone too.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report