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One day, the Simpson clan is strolling through Springfield, when all of a sudden Homer bumps into Smithers, who is stealing a diamond from Springfield Jewelers for Mr. Burns. After dangling in the air for a few seconds, the diamond takes the place of baby Maggie’s pacifier, and Smithers kidnaps her. The rest of the family takes it upon themselves to rescue Maggie, fighting tons of mooks, Smithers, and Mr. Burns himself in the process.

Such is the plot of this well received, licensed arcade beat 'em up released in March 1991 by Konami, based on the first season of The Simpsons.

The gameplay engine is derived from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (another game by the same company). Up to four people can play, assuming the roles of Homer (who uses good old fisticuffs), Marge (who swings her vacuum cleaner), Bart (who swings his trademark skateboard) and Lisa (who whips enemies with her jump rope). Two players could perform team up attacks on enemies, a feature introduced in this game. In addition, the four playable Simpsons are voiced by their respective voice actors from the series, providing quips and general observations. Due to the fame of the show, the game can still be found here and there wherever arcade games still exist.

Due to Acclaim's home console license for The Simpsons in the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, it was not ported to any of the major consoles of the era. However, it was ported to the Commodore 64 and as a DOS title, but due to obvious technical limitations, they couldn’t live up to their bigger brother. Thanks to MAME technology, the game can be emulated in all its original glory on modern computers. Outside of MAME, an online-capable port of the game was released as a downloadable title for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network in early February 2012, just ahead of the 500th episode of the series. Unfortunately, it's been delisted from both services. Later it was released in 2022 as a home arcade by Arcade 1Up, this release would also come bundled with The Simpsons Bowling.

A game inspired by it, The Simpsons Arcade, was released by EA Games for the iPhone. This game had a different plot: Though Burns and Smithers are still the villains, they now have a scheme involving putting a chip in a donut and recruiting ten other recurring characters as bosses: Chief Wiggum, Mayor Quimby, the Squeaky Voiced Teen, Roger Meyers, Jr., the Bumblebee Man, Kent Brockman, Sideshow Mel, Krusty the Clown, Rainer Wolfcastle, and Rich Texan. Homer ends up bumping into Smithers as he is moving the donut, and, assuming it to be a normal donut, goes throughout six levels fighting the twelve members of the conspiracy to get it. Reception was decent, but it was criticized for having a name that might dupe people into thinking they’re buying this game. That's not to say they don't put nods to the original arcade though.

For the platform game released by EA Games, go to The Simpsons Game.

This game provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Homer manages to kick a lot of butt and go through plenty of dangerous situations in spite of his obesity.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The Simpsons themselves are all capable of fighting hundreds of Mooks as a family, despite none of them having demonstrated any combat capabilities at that point in the show's run.
    • Mr. Burns' absolute lack of athleticism due to his age is often played for laughs in the show. Here, in his appearance as the game's Final Boss, he's fully capable of throwing down against four people at once in a Plutonium-powered Mini-Mecha armed with miniaturised Nuclear Bombs, among other weapons.
      Mr. Burns: (bursts through the wall of his office) Welcome to your grave, suckers!
    • There's also the mobile game where a good chunk of the supporting characters get to throw down with Homer, and some of them are actually quite tricky. Examples include Meyers using Itchy and Scratchy merchandise, Brockman using his microphone, and Texan using his guns to make the ceiling collapse and being able to summon herds of crazed bulls.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Nelson and Sideshow Bob appear in the fifth level, offering a slingshot and food to the family respectively.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
  • Adventures in Comaland: Stage 6: Dreamland is basically one of those. It seems to take place in Homer's dream regardless of what Simpsons are in play, but it features elements from the other three playable Simpsons: Marge's Beehive Hairdo, Lisa's Sax, and devil versions of Bart.
  • Amusing Injuries: Whenever the family gets electrocuted or burned. The latter comically has their top half charred as they comment towards the screen.
    Marge: This burns me up!
    Homer: Eesh, I'm fried!
    Bart: I'm toastified, man!
    Lisa: Hey, no fair!
  • Ascended Extra: Professor Werner von Brawn, who was only in one episode of the show (he was a professional wrestler on TV), managed to become the first boss of the game. Also, the drunken boss in Moe's Tavern resembles a background character from the first season episode "There's No Disgrace Like Home".
  • Aside Comment:
    • If left idle for too long, the characters will turn to the screen and say a line. Except Homer, he just yawns.
      Marge: (shaking her hair) How's my hair?
      Homer: (yawns) Eeeeeeugh!
      Bart: (making a face) Who the hell are you?
      Lisa: (making a face) Ha ha, made you look!
    • When burned by an enemy, the characters will turn to the screen and say a line.
      Homer: Eesh, I'm fried!
      Marge: This burns me up!
      Bart: I'm toastified, man!
      Lisa: Hey, no fair!
  • Ass Kicks You: One of Marge’s attacks is to thrust her rear end forward.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: At the end of Springfield Butte, your characters jump into a river to swim after Maggie, who's currently floating away. But then they see a waterfall coming up (along with Smithers grabbing Maggie from a helicopter) and instantly change their tune.
  • Armor Is Useless: Mr. Burns's mecha is seemingly made of a material that is very strong and hard to break but each Simpsons family member using their fist, or a weapon that looks ill equipped to fight the material the mecha is made of, can break through it just fine. Bonus points to Bart and Lisa as their combination attack sees them simply hold hands and scream and even this damages the material.
  • Badass Boast: Mr. Burns gets a pretty good one just before you fight him — with emphasis added by him bursting through the wall of his office in a plutonium-powered mech suit and throwing Maggie to one side.
    Mr. Burns: Welcome to your grave, suckers!
    • Likewise, Smithers when he appears wielding fistfuls of cherry bombs to throw:
      Smithers: Welcome to my world!
  • Badass Cape: Mr. Smithers wears one in this game. It conceals his plethora of bombs.
  • Badass Family: The four playable Simpsons qualify, since they're fighting loads of bad guys just to save Maggie.
  • Balloon of Doom: The second boss is a giant, sentient balloon shaped like Krusty the Clown.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Homer uses his bare mitts to fight.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The boss of Springfield Butte is a ferocious bear. Once defeated, it's revealed to actually be a fat mook in disguise.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: While no character bleeds or shows injury, the facial expressions and reactions to situations of Marge and Lisa are more subdued than Homer and Bart's. This is notable when being shaken by the fat mooks.
  • Big Bad: Mr. Burns and Smithers are the main villains.
  • Big Brother Instinct: This CAN be invoked depending who is played. If Marge is played then she can be considered a Mama Bear, and if Homer is played then he could be a Papa Wolf. However if Bart and/or Lisa are selected, they could be considered having this for their baby sister, Maggie.
    • Unfortunately for Lisa, even she isn't immune to being in the business end of this trope. In one of the game's attract mode sequences, she and Bart are in the Springfield Butte level and Lisa gets caught by one of the fat thugs who begins shaking her. She isn't in his grasp for long as big brother Bart almost immediately saves her.
    • Bart actually seemingly has this instinct much stronger than Lisa does towards Maggie, and presumably towards Lisa herself. Aside from the stated examples when the family sees Smithers getting away with a balloon if Bart says something he will say "Hey, man!" in a much angrier tone than how Lisa would say "That's my sister, mister!", where she sounds almost a little more negotiating. The actions afterwards of all the family are the same, however.
  • Bonus Stage: There are two bonus levels. The better you do, the more points you get.
    • In the first one, which follows Downtown Springfield (stage one), you have to pump up a large balloon shaped after your character’s head by mashing the attack and jump buttons.
    • After Dreamland (stage six), you have to mash the attack and jump buttons to slap your character into waking up.
  • Boss-Only Level: Stage 8 pits your characters against Smithers as he throws bombs around, followed by Burns in a multi-stage battle in which he pilots a mech suit.
  • Breath Weapon: The drunk boss of Moe's Tavern breathes fire. He sometimes sneezes out smoke as well.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
  • Brick Joke: In Krustyland (Level 2), you see a bear escape from its cage. Then in Springfield Butte (Level 5), you see (presumably) the same bear chase off Mr. Smithers.note 
  • The Bus Came Back: Roger Meyers appearing in the mobile game counts as this, since unlike the other bosses, he had made only a few appearances by the time the game was released.
  • Button Mashing: Subverted, as over-reliance on button mashing will actually cause your character to stall for a secondnote . Played straight in the Bonus Stages.
  • The Cameo:
    • The rabbits from Matt Groening's Life in Hell comic strip, appearing in the pre-level bumpers and even as enemies (well, mooks dressed as them at least)! And as a gag, Marge's X-Ray Sparks animation reveal her to be a rabbit in disguise.
    • If you look at a spritesheet, Marge's rabbit ears also show up occasionally. It's most noticeable when she throws something (her hair gets caught and nearly pulled off).
    • Milhouse offers a hammer and Nelson a slingshot to whoever gets to them first, in Stage 2 (Krustyland) and Stage 5 (Springfield Butte).
      • Also Patty and Selma, Abe, Terri and Sherri, Skinner, Martin, Otto, Howard (from the episode "Moaning Lisa") and even Sideshow Bob make small cameos throughout the game. The XBLA/PSN port catalogues all of the Simpsons universe cameos.
  • Camera Abuse: Getting hit by opening doors or being too close to the bowling ball boss of the Dreamland stage will knock a Simpson's face into the screen.
  • Canon Foreigner: All the bad guys in the game were created for the game and never appeared on the show save four, Professor Werner von Brawn (the pro wrestler boss who's just really obscure), the drunk at Moe's (also really obscure), Smithers and Mr. Burns.
    • Though the tall thug boss has a resemblance to reporter Dave Shutton from the early seasons. One might consider the boss of Dreamland Marge's bowling ball named "Homer" (it even scratches its butt).
  • Canon Immigrant: Krustyland first appeared in this game; it had not even been mentioned in the show up to this point, and wouldn't appear until several seasons later.
  • Cartoon Bomb: Smithers wields hundreds of these as part of his second-to-last boss appearance; running around and throwing handfuls of them toward the player(s) to blow them up, or slap them with his cape if they get too close. Certain ones turn out to be duds, which can then be thrown back at Smithers to damage him.
  • Character Catchphrase: Homer's "D'oh!" returns when he gets hit to the point of being knocked down.
  • Coin-on-a-String Trick: Done in the intro of the mobile game.
  • Circling Birdies: The bear boss of Springfield Butte has birds fly over its head before turning back into one of the fat henchmen.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer:
    • The status displays of each player are uniquely colored depending on the character (Marge - red; Homer - blue; Bart - green; Lisa - orange).
      • In the Japanese 4-Player version, the colors of Bart and Lisa's status displays are switched.
      • In the 2-Player version, player 1's character select cursor is red while player 2's is blue.
    • Also applies to the characters' clothing so players can easily distinguish one from another (Homer's white shirt, Marge's green dress, Bart's blue shirt, Lisa's red dress).
  • Combination Attack: Any two family members can do a combination attack if they idle next to each other long enough. There are four types - Homer and Marge hold each other's ankles and quickly roll around the screen, Bart and Lisa link arms and wail to defeat foes (wider range but less speed than their parents' attacks), Homer lifts Bart or Lisa on his shoulders to attack from up there for extra damage, and Marge picks up either kid to throw them across the screen. They can also team up to use very heavy objects for an attack, such as picking up and throwing a police car.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: After the first boss attacks (usually after striking every Player Character), he'll make some kind of garbled, guttural moaning sound and his pants will drop, revealing pink sparkly briefs.
  • Complexity Addiction: Mr. Burns steals a gem he could likely just buy with ease; abducts Maggie rather than just take the gem back from her; and likely spends far more than the gem's worth on all those Mooks, weapons, etc., to try and stop the Simpsons from coming for her.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Rainer Wolfcastle can only be harmed by hitting him with a hammer in the mobile game.
  • Cowardly Boss: Mayor Quimby in the mobile game. Rather than fight, he hides in the trunk of his car and calls in mooks to fight you. You need to pull him out of the trunk to hurt him.
  • Creator Provincialism: The only reason why those ninjas and that kabuki warrior appear in the penultimate stage of the game, being programmed by Konami, a Japanese developer, and the fact the game was programmed when the series wasn't dubbed yet to Japanese until a year later.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Burns is the richest man in Springfield. Can't he just buy that diamond? Sure, he's infamously cheap, but at some point between kidnapping a toddler, the hordes of mooks, and the giant robot, he really should have started asking if it was really worth all this.
  • Damsel in Distress: Maggie is in Smithers' captivity for the majority of the game.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Once you defeat Smithers, all the bombs hidden in his cape are suddenly ignited, much to his horror. He gets blown up to a crisp. Averted in the mobile game where he gets knocked out like the other bosses.
  • Difficulty by Region: The Japanese version is a bit easier than the American release. For instance, it adds nuclear bombs that instantly KO all on-screen mooks, more weapons and food throughout the whole game, the ability to jump while carrying items, a slingshot that kills all enemies in one hit, the ability to have more than 100% health by eating more food when your health bar is full, and a free health refill when you finish a level.
  • The Dragon: Smithers kidnaps Maggie on Mr. Burns' orders and is the last boss fought in the game prior to the final battle against Mr. Burns.
  • Dream Land: Stage 6 - Dreamland.
  • Dual Boss: The two thugs you encounter throughout the first three stages of the game. They can do a Combination Attack just like player characters. Additionally, there will be two mini-boss robots in the Channel 6 stage if there are enough Simpsons in play.
  • Early Adaptation Weirdness: The show was only in its second season when this was released, and all indications are that the team working on the game only had the first season and some pre-production and merchandising material to work from, so many aspects of the game are inconsistent with what has since been established in the cartoon.
    • Take for example, Lisa, an extreme vegetarian since the season seven episode "Lisa the Vegetarian", exclaiming, "All right!" as she devours a health-regenerating Krusty Burger. She's also shown to be brattier, before she gained her more familiar characterization as the intelligent voice of reason.
    • In one of the most infamous examples, Sideshow Bob cameos in the Springfield Butte, but since he'd only had one appearance beforehand, he doesn't speak or even attack the Simpsons. Today, he'd be the logical choice for an antagonist of this sort of game, but his villainy wouldn't be established until the end of the first season.
    • The game's bosses all actually appeared in the show, but seeing as the show was only in its second season at the time of release, most players won't recognize them. Even longtime fans would be hard-pressed to remember what episode the wrestler at the end of Level 1 is from.
    • Also, Smithers has blue hair (as he did in the early episodes).
    • The whole game is quite out of character for Smithers, who is usually shown to do the right thing in spite of his devotion to Mr. Burns. In one episode he didn't even want Burns taking candy from a baby. He's unlikely to go along with kidnapping one!
    • Barney has blond hair and wears a green shirt in the game just like he did during most of the first season.
    • Bart is wearing a blue shirt (as shown in most merchandise of the time) instead of the signature red one he's well-known for, though he wears the red one in the intro. The change makes it easier for players to distinguish him from Lisa during the game.
    • Lisa is listed as being 7 years old instead of 8. She would have a birthday not long after the game's release. Similarly, Homer and Marge's respective ages are listed as 35 and 34 instead of 36-40.
    • Homer's hobby is listed as "Bowlin' a big one!"; he really only had an interest in bowling in two first season episodes, and he is otherwise not shown to be interested in sports (let alone bowling), with his job at the bowling alley being more an excuse to goof off.
  • Early-Bird Boss: Werner von Brawn has unpredictable attack patterns which makes him a surprisingly difficult first level boss.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: One grave in the Springfield Discount Cemetery covers a slowly descending elevator that leads to Moe's Tavern.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Zombies appear in the Springfield Discount Cemetery.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: A wrestler, a balloon, goons, a drunk, a bear (or rather a Mook in a bear costume), a giant bowling ball, a Kabuki Master... And those are just the bosses.
  • Excuse Plot: Even if we accept the notion of Mr. Burns as a jewel thief, it seems like Mr. Smithers could have taken the gem out of Maggie's mouth at any point and just left her behind.
  • Explosive Stupidity: How Smithers is defeated. Upon having his health knocked to zero, he stands up, unfurls his cape and does an Evil Laugh… only to realise seconds too late — complete with loud high-pitched scream — that all the cherry bombs he had stashed in said cape have been accidentally lit.
  • Father's Quest: This is the main plot, in which Mr. Burns and Smithers kidnap Maggie and all the family goes after her. Although you also can choose Marge, Bart or Lisa, this trope goes straight if you choose Homer as your character.
  • Final Boss: Mr. Burns, even though he doesn't appear in the game at all until the very end.
  • Flash of Pain: Most bosses blink red after they take enough damage. The faster they blink, the closer they are to going down for good.
  • Force and Finesse: Homer is the force while the rest of his family is the finesse. Homer simply uses his fists and feet to attack, while the rest of his family use some sort of weapon to achieve the same effect. Furthermore, the rest of the family has to add some technique to their blows to match Homer's kicks and punches.
    • Bart and Marge have to noticeably get some "swing" on their weapons to match Homer's punches and Lisa has to spin her Jump Rope for a fair amount.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • When you pass by the Noiseland Video Arcade in the first scene, it has a sign in the window advertising... this game.
    • Occasionally, if a player dies, when they fly in to respawn, they can smack face-first into a wall. This is most common with Lisa, as she flies horizontally the most before landing.
    • At certain points, you can get a piece of fruit to fall from a tree by hitting the trunk. Keep hitting it, and eventually Bongo the rabbit (a character from Matt Groening's comic strip Life in Hell) will pop out of the branches holding a sign: "All gone! Beat it!"
  • Golf Clubbing: Downplayed during Rainer’s fight in the mobile game. He doesn’t hit you with golf clubs, he throws them at you while making golf puns. You’d figure he’d be referencing his movies instead…
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: While Marge has a vacuum cleaner, Bart has his skateboard, and Lisa uses her jump rope as a whip, Homer decides to let his fists (and feet and flying cross body dives) do the talking.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: The last part of the Channel 6 level has you fighting ninjas on a Japanese-themed film set.
  • Happy Dance: Each of the Simpsons does one of these upon completion of most levels.
  • The Heavy: Smithers makes several more appearances than Mr. Burns himself, though he's not actually the final boss of the game.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In his appearance as the second-to-last boss of the game, Smithers is defeated by having all the bombs he had hidden in his cape to throw at you be all accidentally lit and detonated at once; blowing himself up and leaving him lying on the floor dazed and covered in ash.
  • Hope Spot: In the fifth level, Smithers stops over near Springfield Butte for a little rest only to be chased by a bear, throwing Maggie into an (oddly convenient) floatie, only seconds before the family arrive from Moe's secret elevator. After going through the level and beating the boss, the family spot Maggie floating past and jump in to grab her... only for Smithers to show up in a helicopter and nab her once again. If that wasn't bad enough, the stream leads right into a waterfall.
  • Humiliation Conga: Mr. Burns. All his presumably hired mooks and bosses were defeated, his presumably-very expensive battle machine was destroyed, he didn't get the diamond he had sent Smithers out to steal in the first place, and right after losing, he gets a baby pacifier stuck in his mouth as the icing on the cake. All in all? Really not a good day to be Mr. Burns.
  • Humongous Mecha: In his role as the Final Boss, Mr. Burns attacks the Simpsons in a giant plutonium-powered mecha suit. It's equipped with multiple backup forms of movement (legs, then tank treads, and finally a hovercraft mechanism) and various weapons — including extendable punching fists, stabbing claws, missiles, shoulder-mounted laser guns, and even miniature nuclear bombs.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: You can restore your life with apples, oranges, corn, burgers, donuts, roast chickens, hot dogs, and pies. Some items are obtainable from fruit trees or NPCs, while others are simply strewn about.
  • Idle Animation: Each character has some reaction to the player doing nothing for too long; for example, Homer lets out a yawn, while Bart looks at the camera and says, "Who the hell are you?"
  • Improbable Weapon User: Marge uses a vacuum, Bart uses his skateboard, and Lisa uses a jumprope.
  • Improvised Weapon: Marge's vacuum and Bart's skateboard count, since they're the respective default weapons (but aren't typically designed for fighting). Grabbing a hammer or a slingshot is the reverse, but many of the other things you can pick up and throw at enemies are this trope.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: At the end of Stage 5, Springfield Butte. The Simpsons plummet to the bottom and are knocked unconscious, setting the scene for Stage 6: Dreamland.
  • Irony: You see Krusty's face several times throughout the game. Krusty himself is nowhere to be seen.
  • Kabuki Sounds: Fittingly the boss battle against the Kabuki Master has these in the music. He also lets out one final "Yooo~oh" upon defeat.
  • Kabuki Theatre: The boss of Channel 6 Station (second half) is a Kabuki warrior on a Japanese-style stage. He lets out one final "Yooo~oh" upon defeat.
  • Kid Hero: Bart and Lisa are just as capable of kicking ass in this game as Homer and Marge are, despite being 10 and 7 years old respectively.
  • Last Ditch Move: Dreamland's bowling ball boss explodes into a flurry of smaller balls upon being defeated. It's completely unavoidable. In an easier variant, Smithers' final barrage of bombs is easy to avoid.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When hit by certain attacks, the Simpsons are smashed into the screen.
  • Logo Joke: The Konami logo appears on the Simpsons’ TV while they sit on the couch.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: The bosses of Downtown Springfield, Moe's Tavern, Dreamland, and Channel 6 are not allied with Mr. Burns.
  • Mad Bomber:
    • Mr. Smithers throws Cartoon Bombs around the arena when you fight him. This was carried over to the mobile game, though you can throw his bombs back at him to damage him.
    • Also Mr. Burns, considering his death machine drops miniaturised nuclear warheads that deal a ton of damage. When at low health, he can even spam multiple nukes at once.
    • The boss of Stage 2 sometimes places balloons in the air that drop off bombs.
  • Made of Iron: The only harm a large fall from the top of a waterfall does is knock the Simpsons unconscious and provide the set-up for the Dreamland stage.
  • Mama Bear: Marge, especially if she is picked alone out of the family for the job.
    • She kind of averts this in the same game with her two older children Bart and Lisa, she directly throws them at the enemy regardless of who they are and what their enemy is armed with.
  • Michael Jackson's Thriller Parody: In Stage 3, when a batch of zombies rise from the ground they briefly perform the Thriller dance.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Final Boss, Mr. Burns piloting a Plutonium-powered mech suit armed with an assortment of weapons and with a variety of different redundant mobility forms (legs, tank tracks, and a hovercraft mechanism).
  • Oddball in the Series: This is the only game of the franchise that was not developed by a Western studio, and it shows sometimes.
  • Off-Model: Burns' sprite outside of his machine after being defeated in the end cutscene is almost twice as tall as any of the player characters.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Simpson's family at the end of the Springfield Butte level after Smithers flies off in a Helicopter with Maggie and the family is about to fall off a waterfall.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Hilariously, Mr. Burns goes down with any attack after his mech is destroyed. You can also opt to just wait and he'll fall over anyway.
  • One-Man Army: Or woman, if you prefer. Even the demure Marge and Lisa can and will take on literal armies of Mr. Burns and Smithers' goons for Maggie's sake.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The Discount Cemetery level has some mooks disguised as ghosts as they drop from trees. At the end of the level, actual real ghosts arrive as a pair of mooks run to open a hidden passage under one of the gravestones. The family screams in terror and escape into the passageway before it shuts, though one of the mooks doesn't make it and apparently got scared to death.
  • Pinball Scoring: Averted in the American version, but played straight in the Japanese version, which adds 2 extra zeroes to the end of your score (so 1 US point = 100 Japanese points).
  • Pre-Final Boss: You finally catch up to Smithers at the Nuclear Power Planet and face off against him just before you take on Mr. Burns. Averted in the mobile game where there’s still a bit left to go between the two of them.
  • Regional Bonus: Besides the difficulty changes listed above, the Japanese version (released several months after the American version) has a more sophisticated scoring system and adds more characters to the game's ending.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Mr. Burns has a mech suit equipped with extending fists, claws, missiles, lasers, and bombs. Marge has a vacuum cleaner, Homer has his fists, Bart has a skateboard, and Lisa has a jump rope. Guess which side ends up winning.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Hitting a tree with a beehive will cause it to break and release an angry swarm of bees that will attack anything indiscriminately.
  • Sequential Boss: The Nuclear Plant stage consists of two boss fights in a row: Mr. Smithers and Mr. Burns, the latter having multiple stages before defeat. In the mobile game, it’s still the final level, but you’ll have to go through a lot of tough mooks before you can fight them- in between them, too.
  • Shout-Out: Moe's Tavern features appearances of Aliens cabinets, also a Konami arcade game based on a Fox license.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Mr. Burn's mech can shoot miniature nuclear bombs, whose explosions are smaller than that of conventional explosives, not even damaging the room the fight takes place in.
  • Slap Yourself Awake: A mini-game consists of the player slapping their character's face to make them regain consciousness, following the Inevitable Waterfall. You also do this in the mobile game every time Homer loses a life.
  • Smashing Survival: When your character gets grabbed by one of the mooks, the game says "Wiggle Joystick! Push Buttons!" which is required to break free. Or one of your teammates can save you.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Surprisingly averted, given the era it came out. Bart is no more or less important or prominent than the rest of the Simpson family in the game itself or its advertising.
  • Stalked by the Bell: Take too long to hustle when there's no enemies around and a hand will appear pointing to the right with a message reading "HURRY UP". Fail to heed its command and the hand will float over to the offending player and flick them for a chunk of their health.
  • Stern Chase: The entirety of the game consists of the titular family chasing down Mr. Smithers throughout Springfield (and beyond) after he kidnaps Maggie.
  • Stock Sound Effects:
  • Strong Flesh, Weak Steel: Sure, Mr. Burns' machine hits hard, but you can take it down with about as many punches/kicks/makeshift weapon strikes as you would a regular fleshy boss. In a variation however, Burns's machine has multiple forms; as evidenced by it going from legs to treads to a hovercraft skirt as each previous form of mobility is destroyed, then eventually its armour plating starts to break apart.
    • Also inverted, as after you completely destroy Burns's machine, Burns himself only takes one hit to finish off.
  • Stout Strength:
    • The fat thugs in the second half of the cemetery qualify, Homer himself to a lesser extent.
    • Specifically for the fat thugs, they can physically lift and shake each of the playable characters. While not much of a feat for the children as Lisa isn't even double digit age, and while Marge is an adult she is very thin, but Homer is not only taller than the other adult in Marge, but notably obese, and they can shake him just as easily as they can Lisa.
  • Straw Nihilist: Lisa's quote in the intro is "embrace nothingness" (which doesn't make sense, especially long before she became a Buddhist). It may be a reference to the episode "Moaning Lisa," but is more likely a case of Early-Installment Weirdness.
  • Sultry Belly Dancer: In Moe's Tavern, a group of belly dancers who look like palette swaps of Princess Kashmir are seen dancing on a stage to the sax playing of Bleeding Gums Murphy.
  • Tank-Tread Mecha: Mr. Burns' robot suit extends tank treads as a second form after the first bipedal form receives too much damage. After those break, it becomes a hovercraft skirt instead.
  • Theme Naming: Just like the city itself, "Springfield" pops up in the stage names of most of the stages.
  • Turns Red: Bosses tend to get faster and more aggressive with their attacks as their health dwindles.
  • Underside Ride: After the Channel 6 stage boss is defeated, Mr. Smithers flees in the Krusty Toys helicopter. The Simpsons latch on to the bottom and ride off into Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Homer's fighting style can degrade to wild flailing. That said, he's strong enough to not need a weapon.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • Mr. Burns and Smithers have very different voices than in the show. It can be quite jarring to long-time viewers.
    • After you defeat the drunkard in Moe's Tavern, says "Wow!" in a young boy's voice.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Lisa logically shouldn't be physically strong due to being the youngest playable character at a single digit age, but with the help of her jump rope she can hit just as hard as her father using his fists. When she gets the mallet she is shown visibly having a problem holding it up (though it doesn't really affect her movement while holding it) and she hits just as hard with it as anyone else in her family.
  • Weaponized Ball: A bowling ball (in bag), is waiting at the first boss. Homer puts a little wind-up into his throw if he takes it as well. There's also a billiard ball to throw in stage 4.
  • Wingding Eyes:
    • Happens when one player dies with zero lives; the controlled Simpson's eyes become X's.
    • Mr. Burns' eyes become crosses after Maggie sticks her pacifier in his mouth.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Mr. Burns, Smithers and the rest of the bad guys have no problems hitting Marge and Lisa.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Likewise, they have no issues with attacking and hurting Bart and Lisa, as well as physically grabbing and kidnapping Maggie.

Alternative Title(s): The Simpsons Arcade Game