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Video Game / The Simpsons Hit & Run

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Bart Simpson: Quick! To the Fatmobile! Muh heh heh ha ha!
Comic Book Guy: Yes, I suppose, but must we call it that?

The Simpsons: Hit & Run is a 2003 Wide-Open Sandbox game by Radical Entertainment in the vein of the Grand Theft Auto series, but with less firepower and more kicking. Five characters from the series are played in the seven-level long story mode (In order: Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge, Apu, Bart again and then Homer again), which initially starts off mundane with Homer's antics on his way to work, but shifts into a conspiracy involving the kidnapping of Bart, strange floating wasp cameras, and a strange new brand of cola. And it gets even stranger from there...

The game is notably filled to the brim with references to past episodes, as well as the vehicles contained within. The developers of this game sure did their homework on The Simpsons, to the point that Continuity Porn and Easter Eggs are around every turn. Heck, it has so many, we made a page to collate them all!

Hit & Run is commonly regarded as the best Simpsons tie-in game, and it's still enjoyed by the fandom to this day. The PC version also has an active modding scene, with numerous game mods adding in content like online multiplayer, more cars, the maps from The Simpsons: Road Rage, a fully connected map, new story campaigns, and more.

"I wish I had a trope list with a saddle."

  • 100% Completion: It lets you drive backwards on the bonus courses, and on some consoles, lets you use a special cheat code that enables you to call otherwise-unobtainable cars from phone booths, such as the Milk Truck and the Black Alien Sports Car, and PC users get a cheat code that lets you play as any character model used in the game. You also get a Krusty-Brand Seal of Approval on the (progress) Scrap Book.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The final mission gives the player a beefed-up version of Grandpa's Jeep, now equipped with a small rocket that makes it much faster... and harder to control.
  • Abandon Ship: Your character and any other characters riding with you will dive out of a car that is about to explode. The exception is Agnes Skinner, who due to game limitations stays in Skinner's Sedan, but appears just fine when the car is repaired.
  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: Mentioned in the ending cutscene, where Homer says he assumed that the events of the game were just a weird dream he had from eating too many raw hot dogs. He then asks if "the ninja babysitters" were real too, and Lisa says that that was a hot dog dream.
  • Acrofatic: Homer and, to a lesser extent, Apu. Like the other playable characters, they can do double jumps and run indefinitely. They'll complain about the workout, but that's about it.
  • Action Mom: Marge gets her moment to shine in Level 4, becoming this trope.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Vehicles and outfits get more and more expensive in each consecutive level, but the number of coins you find in those levels does not scale that well to fit the increase in prices. Even if you never get caught by the cops and get all the coin boxes and secrets, your cash will start to run low about halfway through the game, much sooner if you stop to buy all the available cars and costumes. 100% Completion requires you to amass a whopping 14,800 coins, when the number of coins you can collect from destroying other cars is a mere ten.
  • The Alleged Car:
    • Comic Book Guy's Kremlin, which is a slovenly piece of junk filled with empty pizza boxes, comics and other nerd junk. The car is also lopsided, so the driver's seat has sunken deeper into the car. Worst. Car. Ever. This is however, downplayed in that it has a respectable 2.5-star speed and durability complemented by steady handling (4 stars), comparable to some mid-range vehicles like Lisa and Marge's default cars.
    • Moe's Sedan, based on his car from the episode "Dumbbell Indemnity". It's got low acceleration, limited top speed, and is worn out. Similarly downplayed to a lesser extent like the CBG's Kremlin, as its decent toughness and handling make it a fair substitute for Bart's default vehicle in the second level.
    • The Duff Truck has the worst cumulative stats of any vehicle in the game and is a borderline Joke Item, having a half-star ranking in speed and acceleration and one star in handling, with its only not-terrible stat being its toughness at four stars. Even then, every other tough car has better stats in every possible way, including the Plow King which is purchasable at the start of the game.
    • The Donut Truck for pretty much the same reasons as the Duff Truck, only being slightly better at accelerating and handling at the cost of toughness, the Duff Truck's sole good stat.
    • The Bonestorm Truck, used in a single mission in Level 1 and accessible to the player only with the "Unlock All Cars" cheat, has rock bottom stats all-around. It's slow, takes forever to accelerate, doesn't turn particularly well and is extremely easy to destroy.
    • If you destroy your vehicle, you can drive the chassis, rather hilariously. It will, of course, be painfully slow and make a shrill noise as the remains of the wheels grate against the asphalt. Oddly, the chassis is perfectly capable of turning on a dime. Drive it into a Golden Wrench power-up and repair your car to avoid having to pay the repair fees. You can also just go on foot to find a wrench, and the car will repair itself that way too.
    • The Monorail Car, Level 2's secret vehicle. It's already broken by the time you get into it and so it understandably has abysmal stats, with half a star in everything but toughness. It also constantly veers to the right, making it even more of a chore to drive.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Krusty essentially says this about Bart's warning about the aliens planning to instigate a mass riot with laser guns via Buzz Cola.
    Bart: Krusty, listen carefully, aliens are handing out free laser guns and cola that makes you go crazy. It'll be a massacre, the streets will be littered with lasered-off limbs and heads.
    Krusty: Yeah, right, and I'm getting into the Country Western Hall of Fame. It just ain't gonna happen, kid.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Each level has you switch to a different character, ranging from Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge and Apu. Averted with the last two levels, which see Bart and Homer return respectively as the playable characters.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Each level has three purchasable costumes the playable character can wear. All of them come from different episodes, and some levels actively require a specific outfit to start certain story missions.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Fail a mission five times and the game allows you to skip it, except for the final 3 missions which expect you to complete in one go. However, if you're going for 100% completion, you are required to complete all 49 missions in the game without skipping them.
    • If an AI-controlled vehicle gets stuck in one place and is unable to correct itself, the game will eventually reset it back onto the road. This is to prevent missions involving following vehicles from becoming Unwinnable if the vehicle gets stuck.
    • Player-driven vehicles have a reset function that automatically triggers if the player drives into a death pit or flips their car in a manner that prevents it from automatically righting itself. The player can also manually trigger a reset.
    • In Level 3's fifth mission "Slithery Sleuthing", where you have to help Chief Wiggum collect evidence of Snake's crimes, the Hit and Run meter doesn't rise if you commit driving felonies since you're playing as a police officer. This is helpful as this is one of the harder missions of the level.
    • In Follow objectives, which task players in pursuing a particular vehicle, said vehicles will be invincible to prevent the missions from becoming unwinnable, no matter how much damage you do to them. This can still be bypassed with a specific cheat code that allows you to destroy cars with a single hit, however, but by then, the objective becomes Unwinnable by Design, especially Hit & Follow objectives that require you to hit them to drop their cargo.
  • Anything but That!: Nelson considers reading to the elderly to be a far worse punishment than helping run races for the DMV.
  • Apathetic Citizens: The denizens of Springfield don't care too much about you ramming into a wall right next to them with a Canyonero, though the moment you kick someone in the shins, anyone nearby will run away.
  • Are You Sure You Can Drive This Thing?: Lisa and Bart are driving cars here, despite Lisa being 8, and Bart being 10 years of age. They also hold the same Universal Driver's License as the adults too.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Snake was taken prisoner when Wiggum could prove that he committed three crimes. Strike 1: counterfeit designer jeans (the foulest of all crimes). Strike 2: running over an elderly person without a license (said person happens to be Hans Moleman). And strike 3: littering.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI for vehicles isn't very refined; it's extremely easy to get AI-controlled vehicles stuck in one place to the point where the game has to respawn them. Level 1's "Flowers by Irene" and Level 2's "Bart N' Frink" are especially notable for having Surveillance Vans that get stuck on practically everything.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Apu refers to a dinosaur skeleton as a "priceless archaeological artifact". It's not archaeological, but paleontological.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Speed Rocket, the hidden vehicle of Level 1, is extremely fast... but barely controllable and extremely fragile. You'll total it in two decent hits (unless you use the unbreakable car cheat code).
    • The Hover Bike has high stats in everything except toughness and looks cool to boot, but it's only accessible by the final level (at which point there aren't many missions left to use it on), costs a whopping 1000 coins to purchase (practically guaranteeing it'll be one of the last vehicles bought) and is completely outclassed stat-wise by the Open Wheel Race Car, which is also accessible in the final level and is much less costly (merely requiring you to complete all three races).
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Crosses over with You Can't Thwart Stage One by the end of the sixth level. Even after destroying the laser gun stands and beating the aliens to the Duff Brewery, Kang and Kodos still manage to escape, taunting Homer and Bart over the success of their plans, in which the living dead will ultimately overrun Springfield.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: That would be Kang and Kodos.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Homer might belt one out when he fails a mission.
    • One of Bart's quotes when falling into a Bottomless Pit is one of these that continues for a second after you reappear.
      Bart: Nooooooooooooooo... [takes a breath in] Oooooooo!
    • Kang finding out he has to share heaven with the credits.
  • Big Word Shout: Comic Book Guy will scream "KHAAAN!" during jumps or when he gets hit by a car.
  • Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: Dr. Nick cheerfully admits to torturing his test monkeys horribly when Bart asks why they won't return to him. After Bart brings them back, Dr. Nick decides to put electrodes into the monkeys' brains.
  • Blatant Lies: "Kwik Cash" has Snake enlist Apu's help for more of his community service. This "community service" consists of destroying an armoured car full of money. Apu questions the logic, but Snake quickly shuts him up.
  • Book Ends:
    • Every area of Springfield gets at least 2 levels, with only a few minor changes between them. Level 7 is the same map as Levels 1 and 4 except with a Halloween makeover and a Broken Bridge that prevents access to the wealthy district, Mr. Burns' Mansion, the Stonecutters' tunnel, and most of the Power Plant's interior (including Homer's office).
    • Both the first and last levels are played as Homer in the same map. The final mission of Level 7 also calls back to the first and last missions of Level 1. In the first Homer has to race to Springfield Elementary, and in the last, he has to race from the Power Plant. The final mission combines them, with him racing from the Power Plant to Springfield Elementary. It also uses the same music as the latter mission.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Once 100% Completion is achieved (denoted by a Krusty-Brand Seal of Approval on the (progress) Scrapbook), two special cheat codes can be entered, one letting the player use any vehicle in the game, even those that are otherwise unobtainable from phone booths, and a Version-Exclusive Content code on the PC version to play as any character, including ones that are otherwise inaccessible such as pedestrians. But since you require 100% Completion to use these cheats, there's not much use for it other than novelty. You can also drive backwards on multiplayer courses.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Everyone in the game is more meta than usual, the characters constantly reference video game-related tropes, such as cheat codes and memory cards, and even one of the civilian quotes mentions them being "generic characters" in a game. At various points, characters refer to game logic they really shouldn't be aware of:
    • Bart is the Exposition Fairy during the tutorial mission and subsequent tutorial popups in the first level and complains about having to narrate them.
    • Homer, when someone overtakes him in a race: "He used a cheat code!"
    • Bart, when suffering a minor crash: "I hope that didn't break my memory card!"
    • Oddly, Marge, despite not being much of a gamer, also has some meta dialogue, such as when entering or getting out of her car ("Where to next, video game?"), or when crashing ("Oof, polygons!").
    • The ending, with Kang and Kodos tempting fate by saying that they won't have to sit through the credits, then commenting on the credits once they roll.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The Spinning Paper for Level 1 headlines Homer ruining a hot dog-eating contest. In the ending cutscene, Homer initially thinks his actions in saving Springfield from Kang and Kodos were all part of a bad dream from eating too many raw hot dogs.
      Homer: And the ninja babysitters? Was that real or a hot dog dream?
      Lisa: Hot dog dream.
    • In Level 1, Homer helps Marge gather up copies of Bonestorm 2 to protect children from the game's violence, causing a shortage. Level 2 includes Bart trying to find a copy of the game and Jimbo saying that "some crazy lady destroyed all the rest."
    • After Level 1's final mission, Homer discovers that the mysterious black vans supposedly spying on the citizens of Springfield are actually pizza delivery vans. One of the generic traffic vehicles that spawn in Level 2 are similar-looking vans with the "Black Van Pizza Delivery" printed on the side.
    • In the fifth mission of Level 2, Bart helps Cletus gather roadkill to deliver to Krusty Burger, then you have to avoid Apu who doesn't appreciate the competition. Then in the third mission of Level 3, Lisa helps Apu ram Cletus's truck and gather up the roadkill he drops.
    • In Level 2, the Popsicle Stick Skyscraper has been set alight by the nearby 50-foot Magnifying Glass. By the time you reach Level 5, all that's left of it is a small pile of smoking Popsicle sticks.
    • In Level 3, Lisa helps Chief Wiggum collect evidence to get Snake busted on the three-strikes law. In Level 5, Snake ropes Apu into helping him with his community service.
  • Broken Bridge: Depending on the map, some areas are blocked off on the first visit and can only be accessed upon returning or vice versa:
    • The rich side of town can be visited in Levels 1 and 4 but becomes blocked off in Level 7 due to the zombie attack. In return, the cemetery, Power Plant cafeteria and Mr. Burns' office can now be visited despite being blocked off in earlier levels.
    • Mr. Burns' mansion is closed off in Level 1 but opens up in Level 4.
    • An inaccessible rooftop on Level 2 can be accessed on Level 5 via a conveniently placed fire truck. Conversely, the broken lamppost that allowed access to the rooftop of Moe's in Level 2 has been fixed by Level 5, forcing the player to find another way up. The rooftop can technically be accessed in Level 2, but only with the use of cheats.
  • Buffy Speak:
    • Courtesy of Chief Wiggum.
      Chief Wiggum: Don't be alarmed. I'm... professional... badge... guy.
    • Homer, too.
      Homer: I'm a lean, mean speed thingy!
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Bart does this with Homer in the tutorial and when buying Mr. Plow from him in Level 2.
  • Car Porn: The cars in the game are mostly straight from the show or at least inspired by it, and there are loads of cool cars to choose from. See the Continuity Porn page for the full list.
  • Cash Gate: Each level has at least one point where you have to purchase a vehicle or costume to start a mission. These vehicles/costumes gradually get more expensive in later levels to the point where you'll start to run low pretty quickly, with levels 3 and 5 being especially notable for requiring both a vehicle and a costume at different points.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • While trying to find Bart, Lisa asks everyone about him. Prof. Frink tells her that Bart helped him to build the Truckasaurus, and then vanished in a bright light. Lisa dismisses it as pure nonsense.
    • Bart repeatedly runs afoul of trying in vain to convince everyone that an alien invasion is imminent.
  • Cheat Code: They're here and boy do they make it easier for you: invincibility, blows up cars just by tapping them, honking your horn to fly in the air. It makes the game so much easier. However, the "destroy cars" cheat makes Destroy & Collect and Chase missions unwinnable, as Destroy & Collect requires ramming into the target vehicle multiple times while destroying a Chase vehicle will make it unable to reach its intended destination.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Buzz Cola. It appears in Level 1 in the first cutscene of the game and the tutorial mission where Homer has to get some food from the Kwik-E-Mart. It shows up again in Levels 3 and 4, as when Bart is found, where he occasionally mentions Buzz Cola while otherwise mumbling gibberish. Marge then uses it in Level 4 to jog Bart's memory and return him to normal, whereupon Bart tells Marge that Buzz Cola has been spiked with a mind-control agent. Kang and Kodos intend to spike Springfield's water supply with Buzz Cola and raise the undead to invade Springfield.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The crop circles are revealed by Grampa in Level 4 to be in the same shape as the Buzz Cola logonote , which Marge realises she can use to restore Bart's memory.
    • The wasp cameras are revealed to be part of Kang and Kodos's plot for their TV show, Foolish Earthlings.
    • Level 1's first proper mission, "S-M-R-T", is to race Principal Skinner to the school so Homer can give Lisa her science project. The school becomes very important in Level 7. In the playground, Kang and Kodos's Flying Saucer is located there, and several times you have to drive to it from the power plant to deposit toxic waste into it via tractor beam to destroy the saucer.
  • Closest Thing We Got: During the Level 2 Bonus Mission, Dial B for Blood, Bart is sent to find blood for Grampa, who urgently needs a transfusion. Moe doesn't have any human blood on him, but surely goat blood will do, right?
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    Apu: We have got to prevent the aliens from distributing laser guns into the hands of cola-drunk townspeople.
    Bart: Why? That sounds hilarious! I'd watch that show!
    Apu: [Face Palm] Tell you what, you're a bad little boy.
  • Competitive Balance: Naturally with cars; balanced between Speed, Acceleration, Toughness, and Handling means that some cars are very fast but can't take a hit, are very fast but handle poorly, are fast and tough but slow to accelerate, etc. Mr. Burns' limo (driven by Waylon Smithers in the third and final missions of Level 1), the Hearse (the replacement of the usual police cars during hit-and-runs in Level 7), and the Chase Sedan come the closest to being universally viable but aren't available until the later levels of the game (the former two only being available in the last level).
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Simply put, the computer can drive any car faster than you can, better than you can, and is magically much heavier than the same car is under your control. CPU Bart's Ferrini in the Level 5 bonus races is the second fastest car in the game, behind the secret car in Level 1, though its handling isn't as good to the point where it's possible to abuse one long corner on the lap race to make him crash repeatedly (or to even destroy his car), or to have one precious lapse of time where he fails to take a shortcut and ends up crashing during the checkpoint race. However, this often is an inverse (or sometimes heavily played with) for higher-tiered cars that appear in the later levels; Snake's Lil' Bandit in the Level 2 mission "Bart 'n' Frink" is much slower compared to the original version, but is arguably the tankiest car in the game. Needless to say, the actual stats of certain cars in control of the player and CPU are very inconsistent in terms of who has the upper hand.
    • No matter how good of a driver you are, no matter how fast your car is, the game's generic traffic Will. Screw. You. Over.
    • Your character will even call out the AI opponents for doing this in races, and they have a good reason to do so!
      Bart: You cheated, cheater!
      Homer: He used a cheat code!
    • The CPU opponents in the Bonus Game are capable of using any vehicle in the game, even those normally only accessible via the "Unlock All Cars" cheat. Human players on the other hand can only use vehicles obtained in the main game, and cannot access any other vehicles even if using the "Unlock All Cars" cheat.
  • Continuity Porn: That is putting it gently. The game could be called "The Simpsons; We Cram As Many Jokes From The Show In As Possible." There's so many that There's even an entire page!
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Kang and Kodos' heavenly punishment for being behind the evil plot? Sit through the credits.
  • Cool Car: The Car Built for Homer, Homer's 70's sports car, the Speed Rocket, an Open Wheel Race Car, Bart's Honor Roller and Ferrini, Apu's GODDAMNED OBLITERATATRON BIG WHEEL TRUCK, The Knightboat... WITH WHEELS!, Frink's semi-invisible Hover car, a driveable RC Car, the Globex Super Villain Car owned by Hank Scorpio, The Plow King... really, it'd be hard not to list nearly every car in the game for their own reasons.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: In Level 6, Bart tires to warn Krusty about Kang and Kodos' plot to use Buzz Cola to drive the townsfolk mad and distribute working laser guns to cause mayhem. First he has to scramble and find proof to convince Krusty, and when he does, Krusty reveals he's already set up stands with laser guns all over the port area, so Bart rushes to smash them all with his car. After the fact, Bart grouses that he should've just done the last part first.
  • Counting to Potato:
    • The countdowns for the bonus races, mainly in Ralph and Nelson's cases:
      Ralph: Five, five, five, four!
      Nelson: Three, two, FLOOR IT LOSER!
    • Subverted in Level 6's checkpoint race, where Ralph finally gets "three two one" right and tells everyone "he did it".
    • The zombies hosting the races in Level 7 don't even bother counting, and simply moan "Brains".
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover has several things going on that can't happen in-game under any circumstances:
    • Bart wears a dark blue shirt. He wears his usual orange shirt in-game.
    • Bart and Lisa drive a red car through the Flaming Hoops of Death. This scenario cannot occur in-game, as Lisa doesn't appear in Level 6 in any capacity beyond driving the Electaurus and Malibu Stacy Car.
    • The Kwik-E-Mart (Level 1, 4, 7), Jebediah Springfield statue (Level 2, 5), Flaming Hoops of Death (Level 6), Moe's Tavern (Level 2, 5), and City Hall (Level 2, 5) are all depicted within walking distance of each other. They are either exclusive to different levels or not even close to each other.
    • A green tentacle is seen coming out of a storm drain. Nothing like this is seen in-game. It could be foreshadowing Kang and Kodos being behind the plot, but even then, they never end up in the sewers or have an appearance outside of prerendered cutscenes.
  • Credits Gag: See MST.
  • Crop Circles: ...which match the design on *GASP* Buzz Cola (in a cutscene). And Bart (in-game).
  • Crying Wolf: No one believes Bart's story about aliens planning to invade Springfield except for Apu, Professor Frink, Homer and eventually Krusty once he's got proof. In his own words:
    Bart: It's like "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", except instead of a wolf, it's an alien conspiracy!
  • Critical Existence Failure: Once a vehicle in the game takes enough damage they explode.
  • Cut the Juice: Bart trips over a power cord, which shuts down the machine extracting Buzz Cola. This also shuts down the skeleton that just had a few drops fall on it.
  • Cutscene Boss: Truckosaurus and the T-Rex skeleton are both taken out within the same cutscene they're introduced in.
  • Dark Is Evil:
    • Subverted with the black vans in Level 1, as Burns reveals at the end of the level that they are only pizza vans.
    • Played straight with the black sedans and limo in Level 3, as both are connected to Bart's disappearance at the end of Level 2.
    • Also the black Ferrini that the aliens use throughout Level 7.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In Level 7, the normal civilian vehicles are all replaced with spooky cars driven by ghosts, skeletons and witches. Despite their creepy appearances, they're friendly enough and you can still hitch a ride with them like any other car in the game.
  • Day in the Life: Most of Level 1 and all of Level 2 until the ending cutscene have little to no bearing on the main plot, but instead focus on the misadventures of Homer and Bart, respectively.
  • Dead Character Walking: You can drive a wrecked chassis if your car explodes. Not surprisingly, it's VERY slow, but if you collect a wrench, it'll be as good as new.
  • Dean Bitterman: Seymour Skinner isn't at his worst in this game, but he's still a jerk when it comes to the subject of Bart. Level 3's bonus mission has Lisa go to Skinner for help looking for Bart. Skinner seems to assume Bart is dead, and tries to exploit it to get Lisa to run errands for him to "get your mind off this terrible loss, which we all feel", and Lisa has to remind him that Bart is only missing.
  • Death by Adaptation: Kent Brockman, Professor Frink, Snake, Grampa, Kang and Kodos all die at different points in Level 7; Kent's brains get eaten by zombies, Frink, Snake, and Grampa get blown up by the UFO, and the aliens die when their ship crashes into the school. In the show, all of them are still alive.
  • Deflector Shields:
    • Wasp cameras from Level 5 onward have a shield that lets them survive a single hit.
    • Comic Book Guy's car doesn't, though.
      Comic Book Guy: We don't have deflector shields, you know!
  • Demoted to Extra: Tress MacNeille, who only voices random female pedestrians and Agnes Skinner riding in Seymour's car.
  • Destructive Saviour: Thanks to the poor handling of some cars and loads of destructible scenery, the Simpsons will be this at one point or another. This trope is so prevalent it was actually advertised as a selling point of the game.
    Save Springfield. By car. By foot. By the seat of your pants.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In the Level 2 bonus mission, Grampa is left tired and half-mad after stupidly giving away his blood to Jasper, which he didn't think he needed. Bart is forced to find more blood for him.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The Open Wheel Race Car unlocked in Level 7 is a Fragile Speedster of the highest order, with maxed-out speed, acceleration and handling but extremely poor toughness. This means that while it's extremely fast, it also has extremely sensitive handling and will likely be totalled in short order. However, if fully mastered, you have a car that will outspeed everything and win practically any race.
    • The Speed Rocket may control terribly and have the durability of a wet paper bag, but it's still insanely fast, especially compared to the limited selection of other vehicles available in Level 1. It's fast enough that during Ralph's checkpoint race, speedrunners will start the race, go off to perform some errands around the town and still come back in time to take first place.
  • Double Jump: Some on-foot sections require using this, while other sections didn't expect a double-jump (or other tactics) could be used to bypass a platforming puzzle.
  • Dramatic Irony: In the sixth mission of Level 1, you have to destroy all the copies of Bonestorm 2. Early in Level 2, Bart tries to get the game.
    Jimbo: Too late losers, I got the last game; 4-finger discount! [laughs] Some crazy lady [Marge] destroyed all the rest.
  • Dueling Player Characters: Several of the races put you against the character you play as in the next level, such as Bart in Level 1 or Lisa in Level 2.
  • Easter Egg:
    • By looking around the various levels, various characters can be found that the player character can interact with to get bonus dialogue. The list consists of: Lisa, Ralph, Willie, Skinner, Moe, Patty, Apu, Sea Captain and Squeaky-Voiced Teen.
    • Standing on the roof of a moving car will make the player character pretend to surf on it as if to keep balance.
    • During the Level 7 mission "Alien "Auto" Topsy: Part 1", picking up the nuclear waste with a vehicle that Homer is a passenger in (like Bart's Ferrini or Mr. Burns' Limo) and stopping will result in Homer rocking out to the music by repeatedly playing his "goal complete" animation.
    • You can get busted if you're out of your car and you get knocked over by Chief Wiggum's police car in the few missions where he's present as an obstacle to avoid, race or follow, though you don't pay the 50 coins in that case. What makes this an Easter Egg is that this happening is rare since the player would usually be in a car at these points in the game.
    • All levels have a secret bonus vehicle that can't be called in from the phonebooth (unless the "Unlock All Cars" cheat is activated):
      • Level 1 has the Speed Rocket, found in the wealthy district, parked in front of a gate opposite Chester Lampwick's Mansion of Solid Gold.
      • Level 2 has the Monorail Car, found in the downtown area, atop the remnants of the monorail track on the second storey of the Springfield Central Monorail Station.
      • Level 3 has the Knight Boat, found aboard the Squidport-docked C-Spanker, parked in a green shipping container stacked atop several other containers close to the ship's bridge.
      • Level 4 has the ATV, found in the rural/impoverished district, parked near the entrance of the Royal King Trailer Park closest to the Tyre Fire.
      • Level 5 has the Obliteratatron Big Wheel Truck, found in front of the Springfield Stadium, parked on a massive concrete block beside the water fountain.
      • Level 6 has the Planet Hype 50s Car, found in the Squidport, appropriately parked in a hole in the Planet Hype's front wall.
      • Level 7 has the R/C Buggy, found in Evergreen Terrace, parked on the roof of the Krusty Burger behind the Kwik-E-Mart.
  • Easy Level Trick: The final mission of Level 6, "Kang and Kodos Strike Back" is designed to have Bart and Homer race from the Krusty Burger at the top of the hill, through Squidport and the residential areas of Springfield, to beat their opponent to Duff Brewery. However, unlike the final mission of Level 1, which also ended with a race across the map, there are no barriers to the player simply turning their car around and taking the shorter route along the dam and highway to the Brewery.
  • Episode of the Dead: The game features a Treehouse of Horror-themed final Level 7, with the main plot being that the aliens have laced the town's water supply with tainted cola which causes the zombies to rise from the graveyard. The NPC pedestrians of Springfield have now been replaced with zombies and little girls dressed up as witches, Krusty Burgers has been retitled "Zombie Burgers", and the radio describes them as attacking Springfield Station. Though the majority of the zombie NPCs never serve as enemy mobs and won't attack Homer. The zombies presumably return to their graves or are no longer active once Homer blows up the aliens' UFO.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The date on the Spinning Papers that accompany the loading screens are always one day later than the last, suggesting the game takes place over a single week (with the final level, appropriately enough, on October 31st). Not as short as some examples, but still fairly short. If it weren't for these, then the entire game would appear to take place across a single day, as the first level starts around midday with the following levels gradually transitioning to nighttime. A few more hints at the short timespan exist, such as the burning Popsicle Stick Skyscraper in Level 2 being reduced to rubble in Level 5, with the same fire trucks still attending it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even hardened criminals like Snake can genuinely take offence to threatened profanity and "bird-flipping".
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Every vehicle in the game explodes when it's taken too much damage. Even the RC car. Then again, this is not exactly out of place in the Simpsons' world.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In Level 2, Moe has no problem giving illegal fireworks to Bart, but refuses to serve him alcohol because he's underage.
  • Evil Laugh: Lisa of all people breaks out a nice one sometimes after she's driven through and/or destroyed something.
  • Exact Words: In the last mission of Level 3, Sea Captain McCallister tells Lisa that he saw Bart get inside a black limo, and points to the limo when he spots it. The mission requires Lisa to chase and destroy the limo, after which she is horrified that she just destroyed the vehicle, thinking she killed Bart. McCallister reveals to her when she talks to him again that Bart should be fine, he did get inside the limo, but since Lisa ran off after the limo, he didn't get the chance to explain that Bart got out of the limo and onto a nearby ship.
  • Face Palm: Apu does this when Bart doesn't see the need to stop Kang and Kodos giving cola-maddened citizens laser guns.
  • File Photo Gag: The levels are introduced with newspapers whose headlines set up the story for that level. One has the player character continuing Marge's investigation which is criticized by the paper. Marge's picture shows her giving birth.
  • Filler:
    • The only story relevance in Level 1 is the opening cutscene, the tutorial mission and Homer helping Marge destroy the copies of Bonestorm 2, setting up Level 2.
    • Aside from Bart being kidnapped in the final cutscene, Level 2 has absolutely no relevance to the plot. Bart spends the first three missions trying to get his hands on a copy of the Bonestorm 2 video game, then suddenly shifts gears to helping Professor Frink build a Truckasaurus, neither of which actually plays into the aliens' plan.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Keen-eyed players will notice that in the last mission of Level 3, the black limo Lisa is chasing has no passengers before McCallister tells her at the end of the mission that Bart got out of it prior to the chase.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Level 1 states that Buzz Cola has a new and improved flavour. This is because, as Bart reveals in Level 4 after having his memory and sanity restored, the Cola has been spiked with a mind-control agent by Kang and Kodos.
    • One of the messages you can find on the Springfield Stadium screen in Level 2 says "TONIGHT: TRUCKASAURUS BROUGHT TO YOU BY CRAZY SPACE COLA", setting the stage for the latter half of the level, which involves Bart helping Frink get the titular machine started as well as revealing the aliens' plan to destroy Springfield.
    • Level 2's final mission uses Professor Frink's theme; vaguely creepy-sounding music with a theremin as the signature instrument, which hints at the ending cutscene for that level and the rest of the game's main plot.
    • Each level's race foreshadows who'll be playable in the following level: Bart appears as an AI opponent in Level 1 before becoming playable in Level 2, Lisa appears as an AI opponent in Level 2 before becoming playable in Level 3, etc.
    • The spinning newspapers in the loading screen are dated in late October and go day by day towards Halloween. This is hinting that the final level is Treehouse of Horror-themed, being set on Halloween night.
  • Foul Ball Pit: In Level 3, one of the destinations Lisa can visit is Wall E. Weasel's (from the TV series episode, "Radio Bart"). In one of its windows are Maggie and some other babies playing in a ball pit. By pulling the switch next to the window, you can drop more balls onto the babies to bury them, after which some rats will crawl across them.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Frink's Hover Car has high top speed with matching acceleration and good handling. It's also very fragile, with only one star in toughness and is prone to sliding too far while turning.
    • In Level 1, you can find the Speed Rocket, a car that goes so fast you can hit the invisible border around the stage making a ramp jump, but it handles poorly and is quickly destroyed.
    • In Level 7, you can obtain the Open Wheel Race Car after winning all three races. It has a maximum of 5 stars in Speed, Acceleration, and Handling... but only half of a star in Toughness. It has the handling to avoid hitting things that often, and it needs it. At top speed, you'll be lucky to survive more than two direct collisions.
  • Flying Saucer: The third, fifth, sixth and final missions of Level 7 have you loading barrels of toxic waste into one.
  • Funny Background Event: Several locations the player can enter have funny events happening in the background, such as Maggie drinking from a dog bowl in the Simpson house or Willie walking into a rake in Springfield Elementary.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Using the PC character change cheat and attempting to start a mission with a character who isn't the level's playable character will result in the game locking up at the starting dialogue. Trying to cancel the dialogue results in the character being unable to move, requiring the player to reset to another mission.
    • In pirated copies of the PC version, entering the Electaurus causes the game to crash.
    • Getting far enough away from the Power Plant in Level 1's "Blind Big Brother" using a fast vehicle will result in the Power Couplings despawning from the map. Returning to the plant and getting close to where one of them is supposed to be will result in the game crashing.
    • Exclusive to the Spanish version: one of Groundskeeper Willie's quotes during his gag in the Observatory in Levels 3/6 uses the wrong sample rate, causing the game to crash every time said gag is generated.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Normally when a character has any kind of appearance in a level, they won't show up in the driver's seat when you call in their car to drive. For some unknown reason, Levels 3 and 7 have exceptions to this game mechanic since Snake will still be in his Lil' Bandit and Apu will still be in his car respectively despite the former being in a Level 3 mission and the latter still being inside the Kwik-E-Mart during the entire level.
    • Related to the above, Apu ends up quitting his involvement in the story out of fear of the Aliens at the start of Level 6, refusing to help Bart and pretending to not speak English. Yet in Level 7 he'll still be present in his car if you call it up and will act as the driver helping you move around town. You can even potentially sacrifice his car to attack the UFO in the third to last mission of the whole game.
    • When Lisa finally finds Bart at the end of Level 3, he has gone insane and only mumbles incoherently when Lisa tries to talk to him. However, if Bart is kicked or run over before the ending conversation is triggered, he will still speak coherently via his preset dialogue.
    • In the final level, zombies (alongside little girls dressed up as witches) have overrun the town, and are considered dangerous within the story, as they're heard attacking and eating Kent Brockman's brain. However, while they replace the adult human pedestrians for the level, they won't attack Homer in any way and behave just like normal pedestrians. Homer can even catch a ride from friendly ghosts, witches, and skeletons on the road. This is justified for Homer - back in "Treehouse of Horror III", the zombies rejected Homer for a lack of brains - but not any of the human NPCs like Chief Wiggum, Principal Skinner or Comic Book Guy who remain similarly untouched by the zombies.
    • The Buzz Cola being powerful enough to raise the dead explains the zombies and possibly ghosts seen around Level 7, but it does not explain the other supernatural elements, like why there are witches flying around the streets on brooms and why the Lard Lad statue is alive. Presumably, these were done for Rule of Cool.
    • In Level 7's fifth mission, Homer destroys his own car to deliver nuclear waste to the alien spacecraft, which story-wise is why he spends the last two missions finding other cars to deliver the last two barrels. However, the player can easily go to a phone booth and just repair Homer's own car like normal, or whichever vehicle was used in that mission.
  • Game Mod: Quite a few of them have been cropping up years after the game's release. The most one could do early on was modify the .txt files of vehicles, but more and more include different textures, models and sounds. As the modding community evolved, some have gone so far as to add entirely new vehicles (like Trevor's Truck or the "Mudskipper" Airboat), maps (like importing levels from The Simpsons: Road Rage, combining the three maps in the game into one, or making brand new ones like Big Blue) and even change up the missions. The most prominent of these is the Donut Mod; a Fan Sequel to the original that includes new/restructured missions, numerous aesthetic changes, some cut content and a Hellfish difficulty; imagine the whole game, but on "Never Trust a Snake" or "Set to Kill" difficulty levels.
  • Giant Spider: As part of the Halloween theme, Level 7 has a few large spiders seen in various spots in the suburbs. They are not hostile and act more as level props, only moving up and down on their strings.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: There's a lot of stuff to collect in this game — collector cards, wasp cameras, gags, vehicles and clothing, in addition to completing all the story missions, bonus missions and races.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Lisa may meekly utter "Mea culpa" (literally "my fault") when driving recklessly. (In similar situations Marge says "My bad!")
  • Ground Pound: Attack while doing a Double Jump. Useful for taking out coin boxes in one hit as opposed to three when kicking it.
  • Halloween Episode: In true Treehouse of Horror style, the game's finale revolves around a now Halloween-themed Springfield, complete with Beetlejuice-esque music, haunted vehicles, horror-themed buildings (Springfield Elementary becomes a castle-like "School For Magic") and of course Halloween costumes. And zombies. Lots of zombies.
  • Hero Insurance: When Homer runs into something or someone, he may randomly blurt out "I have no insurance!"
  • Holiday Mode: For Christmas, Thanksgiving Day, and Halloween (only the main menu is changed, though).
  • Hopeless Suitor: Naturally, Milhouse towards Lisa. He spends an entire mission in Level 3 giving her faulty advice on where to find Bart, only to show up at the location he suggested first, and then makes a failed attempt to hit on Lisa.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The undead rising due to the evil cola in the water occurs on Halloween night.
  • Hummer Dinger: Marge's Canyonero from Marge Simpson In "Screaming Yellow Honkers" returns for her respective level and it's both tough and fast, but has lacklustre handling in contrast to its hefty weight. This makes it prone to rolling over at top speed if you make sharp turns without hitting the E-brakes.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Comic Book Guy is guilty of this after Lisa helps him in the first mission of Level 3.
      Comic Book Guy: Video games, what a waste of money. Now to go online and bid $1,000 on Itchy & Scratchy corn-cob holders! A terrific, terrific expense.
    • Practically every character who happens to be driving under the player's control can end up saying this, depending on how reckless the player is when controlling them (whether they hit traffic, destructible scenery and/or pedestrians). It will also border on Insane Troll Logic and/or Never My Fault depending on the situation and context:
      Homer: Tck tck tck. Reckless driving is my pet peeve.
      Bart: Hey, slower traffic to the right, please!
      Lisa: Don't think I won't sue!
      Marge: Are you blind!?
      Apu: Ooh, you should not have stepped in front of my car.
      Comic Book Guy: I think you could've avoided that.
      Snake: Like, out of the way, walking dude.
      Prof. Frink: Silly person.
    • The Sea Captain has this gem when Lisa tries to enlist his aid in reaching the moored cargo ship.
      Sea Captain: Yargh, I hate the sea.
    • According to Lisa as one of her interactive pedestrian responses, the band "Up with Niceness" (implied to be a kid-friendly band that sings about good behaviour) was going to perform at Springfield Elementary before the lead singer got arrested for drug possession.
    • At the beginning of the second mission of Level 6, Barney expresses skepticism that a drink could control someone's behavior and then becomes agitated at the fact that he hasn't had a Duff in two hours.
  • Idle Animation: All five playable characters have their own animations that play when idle, but more notable examples occur with the alternate costumes, as every single one of them has their own animation exclusive to that costume.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Said by Milhouse at the beginning of the first mission in Level 2.
    Bart: I've gotta get the new Bonestorm game or I'll be as uncool as Milhouse!
    Milhouse: I'm standing right here, Bart.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: How Homer excuses himself before he goes to retrieve Flanders' lost things.
    Homer: Uh, excuse me! I think I have to go... shuck some corn.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Several of the best vehicles in the game can't be accessed until Level 7, right at the end of the game:
    • The Open Wheel Race Car, unlocked by beating the street races in Level 7, has the best speed, acceleration, and handling in the game. However, it also has the worst toughness, so it's very fragile.
    • Mr. Burns' Limo is unlocked by completing Smithers' bonus mission in Level 7 and has high speed, toughness and turning. Its lowest stat is its acceleration, but even that's still above average compared to other vehicles.
    • The Hearse can be purchased from Gil for 750 coins in Level 7. While it isn't as fast as the Open Wheel Race Car or as tough as Mr. Burns' Limo, the Hearse still has very high stats in all areas, making it an extremely versatile all-rounder.
  • Insane Troll Logic: In Level 6, Bart tries to warn Skinner about the aliens' plan to distribute laser guns throughout Springfield so people driven insane by their cola will kill each other. Skinner instead complains about Bart forgetting the school's "zero-tolerance policy on lasers" and confiscates the laser gun he took as proof despite neither of them being on school grounds.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Checking the scrapbook at any point spoils the major twist of Level 7 via the level image: Springfield Elementary as a castle. This signifies that the Level 1 map is about to get a Halloween-themed makeover.
    • During the final mission, you only get fifty seconds to drive from the Power Plant to the School's playground. Acute players will realize that fifty seconds is not enough time to get there no matter how perfectly you drive. Sure enough, when you're about to run out of time, the Alien Car returns and grants you additional time to escape from it and get to the playground.
  • Invulnerable Civilians: You can run them over, but they won't die.
  • Iris Out: Used when entering/leaving buildings, buying clothes or vehicles, entering/exiting a vehicle without an animated door, and when getting in/out of a vehicle and something's blocking the way in or out. The last of which is especially helpful in speedruns or in general as it's a lot faster to jump onto the roof and get in rather than waiting for the animation.
  • J'accuse!: ...sir. Homer says this to Mr Burns in Level 1 to accuse him of being behind the black vans operating in Springfield.
  • Jerkass:
    • Homer himself literally says this to someone for one of his lines when he's in a car:
      Homer: Get out of my way, jerkass!
    • Patty and Selma are pretty bad in the bonus races. They love mocking you every time you lose and even winning won't net you anything more than Backhanded Compliments. Not even Marge is spared!
  • Joke Item: The Monorail bonus car in Level 2 is only slightly faster than a wrecked car chassis and has significantly worse steering, to the point it veers to the left without any directional input.
  • Kids Driving Cars: Bart and Lisa can drive any type of vehicle they want, despite being 10 and 8 years old, respectively.
  • Killed Off for Real: Grandpa Abe, Kang and Kodos. Professor Frink and Snake may have died as well, as it's not explicitly stated whether they got out before their car was destroyed by the tractor beam. Kent Brockman is also devoured by zombies on TV at the start of the first mission in Level 7. Of course, since Level 7 is themed off of the Treehouse of Horror episodes, one can consider it a Halloween gag not to be taken seriously.
  • Klatchian Coffee: Buzz Cola. Kang and Kodos tailored it to send humans crazy upon consuming it, and thus get good material for Foolish Earthlings.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Referenced in one of Homer's quotes, usually when his vehicle is destroyed, crashes into something or he's busted by the cops, "Lousy rotten karmic retribution!"
  • Language Fluency Denial: The start of Level 6 has this conversation after it's discovered that Kang and Kodos are behind the whole plot:
    Bart: Apu, you've got to help me warn Krusty of this alien plot, and thus saving the good people of Springfield.
    Apu: I'm sorry, sir. I do not speak English. I only speak Hindi.
    Bart: But you're speaking English now!
    Apu: Ah-yes, I learned these words phonetically.
    Bart: You're just afraid of getting vaporized by the space monsters.
    Apu: Up down! Up down! Er-go hot dog! Butter my undershirt! Blablabla!
  • Law of Conservation of Detail: The Player Character that hops into a car with a driver already in it will occupy the passenger's seat — even with the Car Built for Homer, whose back seats are in a separate dome behind the driver. If the player selects the Honor Roller in Level 7, Bart will occupy the driver's seat with Homer sitting in the rear. Agnes Skinner also occupies the rear seat of Skinner's Sedan if he's driving it, though only as a static, low-poly model similar to the civilian vehicle drivers.
  • Leitmotif: Several characters have their own themes. For example, Chief Wiggum has one reminiscent of '70s cop shows, Apu has several Indian-sounding themes, Professor Frink has a theme reminiscent of Danny Elfman's compositions, and Marge has a Tom Jones-esque song. The music for Homer mostly consists of low brass instruments and bass-heavy riffs. Most of Bart's music is guitar rock, and most of Lisa's is jazzy saxophone numbers.
  • Lemming Cops: The cop cars that show up when you fill out the Wanted Meter travel so fast that they'll explode at the slightest provocation, often simply for failing to hit you on the first pass. More show up to replace them as long as the meter remains active.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • It's Grand Theft Auto if it were a cartoon. You can run over and kick people, but they can't die. You can get in and drive any car you want, but you're just hitchhiking, not carjacking. You can piss off the police, but all you get is a small fine (you have no weapons for the cops to confiscate).
    • Unlike the TV series, the game's jokes rarely, if ever, swerve into political and/or sexual jokes, and instead rely on family-friendly graphical jokes and slapsticks (Larry the Looter and Itchy and Scratchy notwithstanding).
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Mr. Burns' limo, which only becomes available in Level 7, the final level. It has pretty good all-around stats at 4.5-star Speed / 3-star Acceleration / 4.5-star Toughness / 3.5-star Handling. Its primary shortcoming is its mediocre acceleration and handling, but it is the fastest "tough" car.
    • An equal contender is the Hearse, which also only becomes available in Level 7. With stats at 4.5-star Speed / 4.5-star Acceleration / 3.5-star Toughness / 4-star Handling, it is slightly less durable than Mr. Burns' Limo, but its equal speed and increased handling and acceleration stats more than make up for it.
    • A lesser example would be the Car Built For Homer obtained in Level 5. Its stats are 4.5-star Speed / 3.5-star Acceleration / 3.5-star Toughness / 3-star Handling. Although its stats are inferior to the two above vehicles, it is unlocked earlier in the game, making it more accessible and can easily be relied on to reach Level 7.
  • Little Sister Instinct: Level 3 revolves around Lisa searching the Squidport for Bart, who disappeared in a tractor beam at the end of Level 2. She eventually finds him on a ship at the end of the level.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Most songs are longer than their missions normally take, but the music at the start of the seventh mission in Level 1 called "The Fat and the Furious" changes to another track when you get in your car, which means most only hear the first few seconds of it. If you restart the mission, it will start you in your car, meaning the music doesn't change until it's looped through once.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Certain missions in the game require you to either obtain a certain vehicle or change the character's clothes to continue. However, once you do just that, there is nothing that can stop you from picking the vehicle or character's clothing of your choice before starting.
    • In some missions the timer doesn't start until you get into your vehicle... which means nothing is stopping you from driving to the next checkpoint, walking back to talk to the NPC at the previous checkpoint, and then walking to your destination without having to worry about the timer.
    • There are a few race missions that can be made much easier by going the opposite way than the developers intended; namely "The Fat and Furious" (Level 1, Mission 7; Carl needs to be pushed inside the Power Plant before talking to him for this one to work), "Getting Down with the Clown" (Level 6, Mission 2), and "Kang & Kodos Strike Back" (Level 6, Mission 7).
  • Luck-Based Mission: A fairly minor example, but still many missions have significant luck to them. For example, missions that involve another vehicle, be it a Follow, Avoid, Race or Destroy objective, are made much easier if the opposing vehicle crashes. The most significant example is probably the bonus mission in Level 5, where you have to destroy Prof. Frink's out-of-control Hovercar. It's really hard to even catch up to it, let alone damage it, but sometimes it will just crash and destroy itself.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Subverted. Level 5 is played as Apu, the one level not played as a member of the Simpsons family (Homer in Levels 1 and 7, Bart in Levels 2 and 6, Lisa in 3, and Marge in 4).
  • May Contain Evil: The new Buzz Cola. However, Krusty mentions that "this one isn't poisonous to anybody".note 
  • Medium Awareness:
    • While narrating a flashback, Grandpa Abe mentions that it happened so long ago he'll have to describe it in sepia tone.
    • Homer will occasionally shout, "He used a cheat code!" when being overtaken in a race.
    • When calling a vehicle from a phone booth Lisa might say "I hope kids at home don't imitate my hitchhiking".
  • Mighty Glacier: The Plow King, Duff Truck, Fire Truck, School Bus, Cola Truck, (or any significantly large truck, for that matter) and Armoured Car all lack speed, but are very strong to compensate.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: The game features an unlockable multiplayer mode. Despite allowing up to four players, the mode is very unbalanced since there is no attempt to balance the vehicles for multiplayer, resulting in several of the later-game vehicles like the Open Wheel Race Car completely steamrolling everything else. The AI opponents aren't bound by the same restrictions as human players and can use vehicles that are not in the phone booth, and the multiplayer tracks don't appear to have gotten the same amount of polish as the main game's levels.
  • Mistaken Confession: When Homer accuses Mr. Burns of being connected to the black vans, Mr. Burns confesses to having Amelia Earhart's plane shot down.
    Mr. Burns: That hussie was getting too big for her jodhpurs.
  • Money Spider: The Wasp Cameras all drop a nice sum of coins when destroyed. Though their method of attacking is to shoot a laser blast at you and make you lose coins.
  • Mood Whiplash: During the mission There's Something About Monty, intense rock music will play as you escape from the Black Alien Sports Car while driving to the Power Plant. Upon arriving at the Plant, an upbeat, lighthearted jingle will play until you reach Mr. Burns' office. The same music plays in the credits.
  • MST: Kang and Kodos snark at the credits and the staff, right down to the job titles.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Invoked by Apu as an excuse not to help Bart at the start of Level 6.
    Apu: Up down up down! Er-go hotdog! Butter my under-shirt! Blablabla!
  • Naked People Are Funny: One of Homer's costumes in Level 1 is him in his underwear. He even has a unique idle animation where he does a short half-naked dance.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Apu's monster truck is called the Obliteratatron.
  • No-Damage Run: The final three missions, the "Alien "Auto" topsy" trilogy, each require you to deliver a barrel of waste to the alien ship's tractor beam. Since it's strapped to your bumper, you have to make the delivery without a single major impact to the car. While this might sound easy, you're on a time limit and two of the three missions throw the Black Alien Sports Car into the mix which you have to outrun on the first pass. Part Three also forces you to use the mission-unique WWII Jeep With Rocket, which is fast but handles poorly, making it even harder to avoid hitting anything.
  • Non-Giving-Up School Guy: Skinner at the start of Level 2 tries to catch Bart while Bart is cutting class and the player has to avoid him. Unlike in the episode where Bart named the trope, however, Skinner gives up fairly easily.
  • Noodle Incident: The mid-Level 1 cutscene opens with the tail end of Homer listening to a news segment that concludes with "...leaving the famous bearded cartoon creator incarcerated in a Peruvian jail" before moving on to the story-relevant bit (the Wasp Cameras and black vans). It is likely a reference to Simpsons creator Matt Groening, but the story behind how and why the cartoon creator ended up in jail is never explained.
  • Not Me This Time: Homer's fifth mission in Level 1 has him trying to uncover the source of the mysterious black vans. He follows one to Mr. Burns' manor, from which he deduces that Burns is behind their appearances. When Homer confronts Burns at the end of the seventh mission and makes the accusation (after dismissing the Mistaken Confession above), Burns reveals that he had nothing to do with them; turns out they are just part of a pizza delivery service.
  • Not Quite Dead: After a car blows up, you can still drive it, even though all that's left is the charred, twisted framework and the bent-up rims. If you find a Golden Wrench nearby, though, you can restore it to new for free, otherwise, you have to fork over 10 coins to restore any of the vehicles available from the phone booth.
  • Oh, Crap!:
  • Ominous Legal Phrase Title: In keeping with the Grand Theft Auto parody, the title uses a name of a crime.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Driving into the UFO's tractor beam on the school playground in Level 7 instantly blows up your car.
    • You can input a cheat code that allows you to destroy any car you run into in one hit.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The tutorial mission "The Cola Caper" and all seven Bonus Missions cannot be completed a second time once cleared.
  • Optional Traffic Laws: The police will chase you if you cause too much damage, but even if they manage to catch you all they do is fine you 50 coins.
  • Orphaned Punchline: One is said by Kent Brockman during his newscast as Homer watches TV in Level 1.
    Kent: ...leaving the famous bearded cartoon creator incarcerated in a Peruvian jail.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Played for Laughs. You can have the normally-pacifistic Marge and Lisa kick the crap out of innocent bystanders.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: At the end of Level 2, Bart escapes the stadium and from being roasted by Truckasaurus, only to then be abducted by a tractor beam.
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Many characters have variants of this.
    • Homer will occasionally say "Ow! My neck!", "Ow! My ass!", and "Ow! My head!".
    • Bart goes "Ow, my ovaries!", referencing a line from the show when he was faking being sick. He also says "Ow, my skull. My beautiful skull!" and "OWWW! My coccyx!"
    • Lisa says "Ow, my hair!"
    • Grandpa Abe says "Ow, my metal skull!"
    • Apu's line is "Oh no! I smashed my skull!"
    • Moe also says "Ow, my coccyx!" when being hit by a vehicle in Level 1.
    • Chief Wiggum and Marge say "Ow, my tushie!"
  • Palette Swap: The Bonestorm Truck and Cube Van are slightly modified versions of the Duff Truck from Level 1. The main differences that separate the two from the Duff Truck are different textures, the door at the back being open instead of closed and both being less durable overall.
  • Parody Names: Bart's default vehicle for Level 6, and the Black Alien Sports Car both visually evoke a Ferrari, but are called "Ferrini" in the game.
  • Police Are Useless: Chief Wiggum does nothing but stand outside his house during the Zombie Apocalypse in Level 7, for no reason aside from making it so he can't help Homer out even if Homer drives his police car.
  • Potty Emergency: The third mission of Level 5 involves Apu rounding up diapers for the octuplets.
    Apu: Quickly, cover my incontinent children's tushies!
  • Potty Failure: The spinning newspaper at the beginning of Level 4 reports that Bart soiled himself when the aliens abducted him.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Discussed in the mid-level cutscene of Level 1. A large number of wasp-like camera bots with teleporting powers appear all over Springfield. Mayor Quimby's concern? That they're in womens' locker rooms, dressing rooms, and bathrooms, and he wants to see what the Wasp Cameras there recorded.
    Quimby: I think I speak for all Springfielders when I say, WHERE IS THE SEXY FOOTAGE?
  • Pro Bono Barter: One of Homer's lines when calling for a different car. "Can you come and get me? I'll pay you in back rubs!"
  • Product Displacement: Apu's Pontiac Firebird sports car in the show is renamed to "Longhorn", its color changed from red to golden brown and its "screaming chicken" decal switched out for a cattle skull decal.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Kang and Kodos ultimately boost the ratings of their show to number 1, but die in the effort.
  • Racing Minigame:
    • There are four in each level, three Street Races and one Wager Race.
      • Street Races will cordon off a portion of the level for the player to race in, and come in Time Trial Goal , Circuit Goal  and Checkpoint Goal  varieties, each run by Milhouse, Nelson, and Ralph respectively note . Completing all three Street Races unlocks a bonus vehicle for the player to call up from phone booths, and is required for 100% completion. They often don't do a standard countdown, though Ralph has to have the funniest ones.
      • Wager Races are run by Louie, which is not necessary for 100% completion and requires the player to pay an entry fee in order to participate. The player must complete a full lap of the level map note  within a specified time limit. If successful, the player receives a coin reward that scales with the race's difficulty, itself tied to the vehicle the player uses: fast cars with good acceleration and/or handling receive the Easy payout (2x the entry fee); cars with middling stats receive the Medium payout (3x the entry fee); slow cars with bad acceleration and/or handling receive the Hard payout (4x the entry fee). The difficulty of each race, alongside the entry fee and subsequent coin rewards, also increases for each successive level.
    • The "Bonus Game" is based on slot car racing. Each of the seven tracks is unlocked by collecting all the collector cards found in a single level.
  • Red Herring: The black vans show up around the same time as the wasp cameras, so it would lead the player to believe there is a connection between them. Nope, the vans are just part of a pizza delivery service.
  • Reference Overdosed: What did you expect from a Simpsons game?
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Destroying the scenery and other cars gives coins... and adds to your heat meter. Doing this in the first level is the fastest way to earn coins after you've exhausted the wasp cameras, coin boxes and vending machines, which don't respawn. Just smash cars near the Simpsons' house and hide in the backyard to let the heat die down.
    Bart: That's the stuff, psycho! And so it begins.
  • Room Full of Crazy: When driving around Evergreen Terrace during Level 7, a house at the end of the block is covered head-to-toe with scribblings of "NO TV AND NO BEER MAKE HOMER GO CRAZY", a clear reference to the first act of Treehouse of Horror V, in itself a reference to The Shining.note 
  • Running Gag:
    • Many of the levels feature vehicles that resemble or literally are bosses from previous levels, such as the second level featuring Black Van Pizza Delivery.
    • Ralph failing to count "3, 2, 1" properly during his races. He finally counts properly in Level 6, which happens to be the last level where he hosts a race.
    • Of the quips that play when breaking objects or smashing in to things, the Simpson family all try to shift the blame on each other:
    Homer: Bart did it.
    Bart: Lisa did it!
    Lisa: I hope Bart gets blamed for that.
    Marge: Send the bill to Homer.
  • Sanity Slippage: When Lisa finds Bart at the end of Level 3, he's speaking in random gibberish and has soiled his pants. This continues into Level 4 until Marge shows him a can of buzz cola, restoring his memory. Apparently, his brief period of insanity was caused by the aliens giving him tons of cola in their spaceship.
  • Sarcasm Mode: There are three known examples.
    • Milhouse will say a single sentence in this manner every so often when he is kicked by any of the characters in Levels 1-6.note 
      Milhouse: Oh, good. Another bully.
    • When a random adult man is hit by a vehicle, sometimes he will say "Thanks a lot, Mr. Break-My-Legs!"
    • Occasionally, when kicking Comic Book Guy, he may occasionally say this:
      Comic Book Guy: Oooh, thanks a lot, Mr. I-Can't-Walk-Without-Hurting-Someone!
  • Scratch Damage: All on-foot attacks, the Ground Pound especially, can deal a small amount of damage to vehicles. This is entirely useless under most circumstances, but if the target vehicle is already about to explode, it can work as a last-ditch option to destroy it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Apu does this at the start of Level 6 when he hears of Kang and Kodos's plan to take over Springfield, leaving Bart to attempt to foil them on his own.
  • Self-Botched Catchphrase: When Lisa finally finds Bart at the end of Level 3, he is reduced to The Unintelligible. Lisa tries to jog his memory by asking him what his favourite Catchphrase is ("Eat my shorts!"), only for Bart to instead say "Kiss my grits!"
  • Shock and Awe: The wasp cameras come equipped with stingers capable of firing blasts of electricity. If a playable character gets zapped, they'll suffer X-Ray Sparks and lose coins.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Attempt to get into Chief Wiggum's car while he's in the driver's seat and you'll get this:
      Chief Wiggum: What is this, Grand Theft Auto? Get outta there...
    • While being chased by the police Lisa might say "Who ARE these people?"
  • Side Quest: There's one bonus mission in each chapter, which rewards you with a car, plus the collector cards that unlock a stage in the Bonus Game for a completed level collection and a bonus movie of Itchy & Scratchy for collecting all of them.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Apu and his level are completely absent from a promotional trailer that otherwise features footage from every other level in the game.
  • Sixth Ranger: Apu, the only playable character who's not part of the family.
  • Sleazy Politician: Quimby is outraged that the wasp cameras are invading Springfielders' privacy... but only because it's not him that has access to the "sexy footage".
  • Society Is to Blame: Another of Homer's excuses.
    Homer: I blame society.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The soundtrack for "There's Something About Monty", is an epic heavy metal song... up until the final part where Homer climbs up the wreckage to Mr. Burns' office, at which point the music very abruptly changes to a very pleasant, Land of Chocolate-style song. The same song also plays during the end credits.
  • Space "X": Space-ratings and space-viewers who watch their SPACE TV about the SPACE REALITY SHOW about EARTH ZOMBIES EATING EACH OTHER, provided by SPACE ALIENS Kang and Kodos.
  • Special Effects Failure: Invoked by Comic Book Guy, in regards to the UFO and its tractor beam. Homer is quick to protest that it is, in fact, real, but Comic Book Guy sticks to his guns.
    Comic Book Guy: The alien craft is using some sort of tractor beam to suck up trespassers to their doom. Worst. Effects. Ever.
    Homer: But that's real!
    Comic Book Guy: Worst. Effects. Ever.
  • Spies In a Van: See Van in Black.
  • Spinning Paper: One at the beginning of each level, which includes the main headline and an additional headline with accompanying images. The one for Level 1, for example, includes this:
  • Spring Jump: Steam vents are an extra powerful jump, and can be combined with a double jump (which, if timed too early, can easily cancel the height of the prior jump). The vents are necessary for several on-foot missions and sidequests.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Milhouse. The second mission of Level 3 consists of him offering Lisa "leads" on Bart's whereabouts, only to somehow beat her to each destination.
    Lisa: Stop following me!
  • Stock Sound Effects: Many bits of dialogue for the driving sections are reused from The Simpsons: Road Rage.
  • Stone Wall:
    • The Armored Car has 5 stars in Toughness, which makes it incredibly durable. However, it has 1.5 stars in every other stat, making it very slow to move and slow to turn. It's also the "destroy" target for the Level 5 mission "Kwik Cash", where it can take a serious beating.
    • The most durable driveable vehicle is the Nonuplets Minivan, which can only be unlocked when using the "Unlock All Cars" cheat code after achieving 100% game completion. It has 99 hitpoints, far surpassing even the Armored Car, but is balanced out by having poor stats everywhere else.
    • The AI-controlled Bandit in the Level 2 mission "Bart 'n' Frink", specifically during the "Talk to Chief Wiggum" objective. Should the player chase after Snake and try to destroy his car, it will take a very long time to do so, due to it having an immense amount of hitpoints, although it isn't as fast as the drivable version.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Falling into any water deep enough will instantly make the player character void out and respawn, whether on foot or in a vehicle. This even includes a swimming pool on the rich side of Levels 1 and 4.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Krusty: Hey, hey! I'm endorsing a new cola, kids. And this one isn't poisonous to anybody!note 
  • Tempting Fate:
    Kang: Well at least we don't have to sit through the stupid video game credits.
  • This Loser Is You: The characters' various comments after crashing into someone/something ("You're not a very good driver...", "What were you thinking?!", etc.) can be interpreted as Breaking the Fourth Wall and telling the player that they can't drive.
  • Timed Mission: There are many of these throughout the game.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • Barney mentions using Ned Flanders' cooler as a toilet when Homer asks for it back.
    • Bart has soiled his pants when Lisa finds him at the end of Level 3.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Homer, but lucky for you, he's just extremely stupid in non-lethal situations.
    • Something closer to the trope: Grandpa Abe, who is too senile to bail out of his Military Jeep, rigged with a miniature V-1 rocket (that he claimed to acquire via social security) and nuclear waste, when he and Homer blow up Kang and Kodos' ship.
      Abe: I smell tooooaaaassst!
  • Took a Shortcut: Lisa, while looking for Bart, is lied to several times by Milhouse, who keeps mentioning how he saw Bart in such-and-such a place. Every time Lisa arrives, she is instead greeted by Milhouse again, who always somehow gets there ahead of her no matter how fast she goes.
  • Totally Not a Criminal Front: The former Trope Namer itself has Louie running wager races. Its actual location is around the same area as Moe's Tavern in Levels 2 and 5.
  • "Truman Show" Plot: Those robot wasp cameras are filming everyone so Kang and Kodos can turn Springfield into an intergalactic reality show.
    Bart: I knew there was a simple explanation.
  • The Unfought: The Truckasaurus in Level 2 and the Dinosaur Skeleton in Level 5 are introduced in cutscenes at the end of their respective levels, only to be defeated a few seconds later without any player input.
  • Units Not to Scale: Krusty Glass is normally large enough for even the largest vehicles to completely drive through so that it can be used as a short-hand to mark shortcuts. When it's on the Glass Trucks that carry them in Level 1, it's small enough so that two panels can fit on it.
  • Unwinnable by Design: The One-Hit Kill cheat code makes car destruction objectives a breeze, but Hit & Collect objectives become unwinnable as destroyed cars cannot drop any items. Follow objectives are still completable but become much harder as you need to be extra careful not to hit the car you're chasing.
  • Van in Black: Mysterious ones with roof-mounted satellites have begun to show up. Except they're only pizza vans.
    Homer: WHAT?! They were only pizza vans? [moaning] I'm a class-5 idiot!
  • Vent Physics: Vents send you sailing into the air like a trampoline.
    Homer: Ooh! I'm soaring like a candy wrapper in an updraft!
  • Version-Exclusive Content: While otherwise identical to the console versions, the PC version of Hit & Run includes a special cheat code unlocked at 100% Completion. When activated, the code allows you to cycle through all of the game's character models with the kick button.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • You have the ability to kick civilians and even other Simpsons characters and send them flailing on the ground. Doing this too much in a short amount of time will result in the police coming after you. But in Levels 1 and 4, Ralph Wiggum is behind a fence that the police can't get to, so you can endlessly kick him as much as you want while the police blow themselves up trying to reach you. This trope is very likely the only reason why he's there at all.
    • You can kick pelicans in the Squidport area on levels 3 and 6 and have them explode into a shower of feathers.
    • Among the destructible objects in the game, one of them is a kid's lemonade stand. Since it is part of the path taken in the tutorial mission, it is likely the player will break it by accident.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you kick a civilian too much or cause a lot of property damage within a short period, you'll trigger a Hit & Run, which causes cops to come after you. Getting caught forces you to pay a 50 coin fine.
  • The Voiceless: Eddie, one of the cops, has no dialogue even when run over or kicked.
  • Watch the Paint Job: If you borrow a car from another character, such as Comic Book Guy, they'll berate you for damaging their vehicle. Many characters themselves also have variations of this as well for comedic effect.
    Bart: Not the detailing!
    Bart: These rims cost $900!
    Lisa: NOT THE CAR!!!
    Marge: Mmmm, I just had it painted...
  • Wanted Meter: Every time you break stuff and abuse pedestrians/motorists this little meter goes up until police cars show up and dash to catch you. Getting caught means a 50-coin fine, but you can hide in car-unreachable locations, go into accessible buildings, or simply outrun the police without causing further destruction to cool the meter off.
  • Welcome to Corneria:
    • The pool of quips that the characters choose from while doing various things is only about 6-10 lines for each, so it's likely you'll hear the same lines at least a few times per session.
    • Get ready to hear "Vote Quimby!" a lot in Level 5, as campaign vans are everywhere.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Only the main missions and bonus races can be replayed. Completing bonus missions, collecting cards and floating coins, destroying certain parts of the scenery in each level, and killing camera wasps are permanent.
  • Wicked Wasps: The spy cameras that are sent all over Springfield by the Big Bad and fire electricity at people are built to resemble large wasps.
  • Would Hurt a Child: A Played for Laughs variant, as there are several kid NPCs roaming around the levels, ranging from actual Simpsons characters to generic NPCs, and you can still kick them around just as much as the adults.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Comic Book Guys says things this way on occasion:
    (when you crash into someone) Worst. Driving. Ever!
    (when he sees the alien tractor beam, despite it being real) Worst. Effects. Ever!
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Apu's version of the Ground Pound attack is a falling elbow drop combined with a body slam.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Whenever you're hit by a wasp camera's electric blast. You simply lose five coins each time you are hit as there's no health to lose.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Homer's "Casual" outfit is just him in his underwear. For some reason, he needs to pay to unlock the ability to take his clothes off.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Level 7 of the game has zombies wandering around due to Kang and Kodos's evil Buzz Cola.


Video Example(s):


The Simpsons Hit and Run

In Level 6, Mission 1, "Going to the Lu", Bart wants Apu to help him warn Krusty about the alien plot, but Apu denies ever speaking English to get out of it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (28 votes)

Example of:

Main / LanguageFluencyDenial

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