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Video Game / The Simpsons: Tapped Out

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The Simpsons: Tapped Out is a village simulator based on The Simpsons that was first developed for iOS on February 17, 2012. It was then later ported to Android on January 29, 2013. The game was developed and published by Electronic Arts.

The premise of this game is that the player must help Homer Simpson rebuild Springfield after a meltdown at the Nuclear Power Plant causes the entire city to be destroyed, stripping it bare of all buildings and citizens (excluding Homer and a huge heap of radioactive waste). As you progress through the game and rebuild iconic Springfield locations, such as the Simpsons' family home and the Kwik-E-Mart, you also unlock more of the townsfolk, e.g. Ned Flanders with the Flanders' home and Principal Skinner with Springfield Elementary.

The game incorporates the use of experience points, with which the player can level up and gain access to more characters, decorations and buildings, and in-game currency that enables the player to purchase said items. Also included is premium currency, in the form of donuts, that the player can purchase with real money in order to gain access to exclusive (and sometimes limited-time only) items that enhance gameplay.

The game requires an internet connection to play, as there are regular updates available for the app that are either automatic, or require manual installation.

The game has spiritual siblings for other Fox animated comedies in Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff and Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow.

This game provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • The 2020 event "Black History" puts Dr. Hibbert, Lou, and Carl at the fore, as the event revolves around them being asked by Mayor Quimby to speak at Springfield's first public Black History Month celebration.
    • A later 2020 event revolves around Milhouse, with the storyline about Milhouse celebrating his birthday and becoming popular by hanging out with his cousin Annika. Bart tries to sabotage his friend's popularity, but every attempt to do so ends up making Milhouse even more popular.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Those boardwalks for the Squidport pier. Not only does the price go up each time, but so does the length in time it takes for the game to cough them up. For a time, there was a glitch that allowed collecting multiple boardwalks once you're done building if multiple neighbors tap on it when visiting you. This greatly eases the pain of waiting days for a single section to be built. This was patched in the Valentines 2014 Update.
  • A God Is You: Some of the characters refer to the player as one during in-quest dialogue.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The 2021 event "Rise of the Robots" has a new Robot Rumble tournament, during which Professor Frink's upgraded robot Smashius Clay reprograms the other competing robots in the tournament to subjugate the human race. The pos-i-bots rise up to stop him, only to be swayed by his side as well. Bart eventually saves the day by injecting the robots with a computer virus created by Professor Frink that forces the robots to be Three Laws-Compliant.
  • Alternate Self: The plot of the Sci-Fi 2016 event involves Homer gathering five alternate Homers from other dimensions — Barbarian Homer, Strongman Homer, King Size Homer, Cool Homer, and Evil Homer (and if the original Homer is wearing a costume matching the first four, he would have special dialogue).
  • Always Someone Better: Played With regarding Other Springfield, a developer-created town used to demonstrate the social features of the game. As Other Professor Frink points out, his town is significantly more advanced than yours will be at that point in the game, and has every premium object present somewhere within it while also being at least a couple levels higher than your town. However, Other Springfield stops leveling up or gaining new content past Level 30, meaning you'll outlevel it in short order and, with enough effort and time, can eventually outclass it completely.
  • Ambiguous Clone Ending: The conclusion of the Sci-Fi 2016 event had Springfield sacrifice the alternate Homers to seal off the black hole, but Evil Homer sneaks off and disguises himself as the regular Homer. The two Homers fight until one of them throws the other into the black hole, sealing off the black hole for good. When asked which Homer he is, the Homer who won reveals he got Trauma-Induced Amnesia during the fight. Bart asks him if he wore the monocle Evil Homer wears, Homer responds, "I always wear a monocle. Or do I...?"
  • Amusement Park: A while in, the game granted the player access to a secondary location known as Krustyland, which, despite being geographically located elsewhere in the in-game universe, has still met the same fate as Springfield at the start of the game. Explained as it was abandoned for a long time and thus needed to be rebuilt.
    • The Itchy And Scratchy-land Event involved Krustyland being demolished all over again and both having to be rebuilt. And with the Moe's Ark Event, you had to build a zoo. There are also Duff Gardens and Praiseland, both being smaller parks.
  • Anachronic Order: A one-week prelude to a major time-travelling event in 2017 features the start of a questline called "The Time Traveler’s Wife" (in which an orange-skinned Homer from the future appears), which unusually begins with Part 2. During the "Build Like an Egyptian" questline in the Egypt portion of the main event, Homer becomes interested in Egypt's religion and starts staring at the sun for hours, which leaves him with orange skin. Cue Part 1 of the questline "The Time Traveler's Wife", which shows Homer travelling back in time in the first place.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In "The Buck Stops Here, The Work Also" (the last non-premium quest when the game first launched), Homer leaves Mayor Quimby to lead the rebuilding efforts of Springfield, with the following dialogue occurring:
    Homer: Don't worry, there's plenty more of Springfield to create... including brothels and sleazy motels.
    Marge: No, NOT including those.
    Homer: Okay, not those. But there's a lot more to build and do... as long as those lazy game designers are still on the ball. I give it 50-50.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Some of the updates include alternate costumes for different characters that give them access to an alternate set of tasks. Though most characters don't get any, many do, including Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge, Abe Simpson, Flanders, Skinner, Barney, and Comic Book Guy.
    • Invoked with the Stonecutter update, as any character shown in the episode to be a member of the organization was given an alternate Stonecutters skin (the robe).
  • Anti-Climax: The final level update is treated as this in the game. The characters anticipate who the final character is going to be, hoping it would be someone special. It turns out to be the Wise Guy, a recurring bit-part character so obscure that Milhouse thought he was made up for the game. The Wise Guy himself is excited about how memorable the level will turn out... but it turns out that all he ends up doing is odd jobs, just like in the show.
    Wise Guy: After years waiting to get in this game, THIS is my big moment? I'm barely even in this update!
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If tapped, the Sky Finger Monument collects income from all buildings that currently have it. This saves the player the trouble of trying to find every single building on the map at a time.
    • Upon completing Kirk Van Houten's questline, the Office of Unemployment can be used to send all of your Springfielders on jobs at once. While this requires money to perform (resulting in a reduced income compared to assigning everyone manually), the feature is extremely useful in the later stages of the game when you can have hundreds of townspeople active at once.
  • Anti-Hero: Homer, in the sense that at the start of the game, he does not want to rebuild Springfield, and even after building the Simpsons house and unlocking Lisa, he suggests that the two of them relocate to Miami.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The four evil mooks in the Halloween 2015 storyline are snakes, skeletons, zombies (albeit the disco kind)... and bunnies.
  • The Artifact: The Krustyland Shuttle originally served the purpose of taking the player to Krustyland (at the time a separate map from Springfield), and so it was required to actually start the Krustyland questlines. However, when the Itchy and Scratchy Land 2018 Event removed the Krustyland map and moved all of its content to Springfield, the Krustyland Shuttle became completely irrelevant due to its main purpose (taking the player to Krustyland) becoming obsolete; in spite of this, it is still required to continue the Krustyland questline.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: In the Time-Travelling Toaster 2017 event, Lisa refers to a sauropod in the Dinosaur Lake decoration as a Brontosaurus, but it is clearly a Brachiosaurus since it has a domed head and its forelimbs are longer than its hindlimbs. And then there's the typical paleontological errors as a raptor with not enough feathers, frilled Dilophosaurus, a baby Tyrannosaurus rex that looks more like an adult, and a Pteranodon that is a typical Pterosaur. And the "Flying Brachiosaurus" from the Moe's Ark 2018 event looks nothing like a Brachiosaurus (but ironically would have been better passed off as a Brontosaurus).
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Rod and Tod Flanders only ever appeared in the game during the Christmas 2012 storyline, when the player would give Ned Flanders the 10-hour seasonal task of Take the Kids Snowmobiling. At Level 33, the player can unlock the Flanders children by building Sir Putt-A-Lot's (assuming the player hadn't already obtained it during the Valentine's Day storyline). So much so that Lisa's 8-hour task Babysit Rod and Tod now requires the two kids to be available. If one, or both, of them are busy doing another task, Lisa's task is greyed out and is unable to carry it out until they are finished.
    • The same thing happened with Brandine Spuckler and Cletus's 8 hour task - Help Brandine give birth to another Spuckler. This task is replaced with something else and Brandine gets a whopping 90 day task to birth up to three more Spucklers. They don't have any tasks but they do give you money. Or you could skip the task with donuts, although that kind of defeats the point of the characters being free.
    • Mr. Teeny is now available through friendship points. You get more money for doing Krusty's task Walk Mr. Teeny.
    • Maggie Simpson only appeared in Marge's Take Maggie for a Walk task until Christmas 2015, when Maggie was finally made into her own character (to the point where Marge's portrait was revised so that she's no longer holding Maggie), and Maggie's earlier appearances were Handwaved as actually being a sack of flour in a blue onesie.
    • Sideshow Bob was initially a Moving Target Bonus with very little plot relevance, but the Terwilligers 2015 update promoted him to a controllable townsperson.
    • While many of the minor characters can be unlocked, particular note goes to the likes of Miss Springfield, Lugash, Hank Scorpio, Tom O'Flanagan, Herman Hermann, Rex Banner, Drederick Tatum, Shauna, Arnie Pye and Booberella, who either don't make many appearances in the series, or have only appeared in one episode, but are obtainable townspeople here.
    • Baby Gerald takes the cake for turning out to have been personally responsible for blowing up Springfield, setting all of the events of the game in motion.
  • The Assimilator: The tiny Rigellians of the Halloween 2014 promotion, once finding a host to bite into, seem to absorb some of the physical characteristics of that particular character.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • The Superheroes 2016 update ended with a boss battle against a giant Evil Clone of Homer's pet lobster Mr Pinchy.
    • The Halloween 2017 update features Springfield being attacked by giant trolls, dragons and other magical beasts. The monsters can be enchanted to your side, then used to battle giant Montymort at the end of the event.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Several buildings like the Popsicle Stick Skyscraper, Escalator to Nowhere and Sunsphere look cool, but are ludicrously expensive and provide no income for your town whatsoever. They're essentially there to show off how rich you are if you're able to afford them.
    • A lot of the special event characters can provide extra benefits during the events they're made available (namely; giving out more quest items than normal characters) but lose their relevance after their respective events end, at which point they can only obtain money through their tasks and, unlike the normal characters, cannot generate any other form of currency (recycling, real estate, Krustyland tickets etc).
  • Baby Morph Episode: The "Simpsons Babies" event that ran throughout August 2019, in which various characters get "Youthenized".
  • Back from the Dead: It's implied through various characters' dialogue that everybody got killed in the explosion (except Homer). Characters who make reference to this are Herman, Lenny, Carl, Rod and Tod.
    • The ghost of Maude Flanders becomes available as a character during the Halloween 2013 storyline.
    • Frank Grimes also comes back with the level 51 update.
    • And Mona Simpson for Valentine's 2016.
    • Dr. Marvin Munroe has returned to offer cut-rate psychiatry.
    • The 2017 Jazz Festival update offered Bleeding Gums Murphy as a premium character.
    • Lyle Lanley is an unusual case— it was implied that he may have been beaten to death by the angry residents of North Haverbrook in "Marge vs. the Monorail", but we never got any sort of confirmation. He pops back up mysteriously when you unlock the monorail quests, then mysteriously vanishes not long after.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Chief Wiggum is too lazy to do much about the crime in Springfield, and has Lou and Eddie do the dirty work for him. Further implied when, during the storyline for level 33, he has the entire town arrested for petty crime.
  • Beach Episode: The June 2013 update allows you to further expand the size of your Springfield by turning the edge of the map into a beach, upon which you can build the Squidport pier.
  • Big Bad: In some events, examples including Mnsther in Halloween 2015, Montymort in Halloween 2017, Mecha-Hawking in the Sci-Fi event, Dr Crab in the first two Superheroes events, and the Scout Master in Superheroes 2017.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Bad Dream House, exclusive to the Halloween 2012 storyline.
  • Black Is Bigger in Bed: When you unlock Lou, tap on him.
    Lou: Aside from my gun, what makes me feel like a man is my enormous genitals.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Homer does this a few times. Setting him a task (such as Clean up Springfield or Plant Shift) may cause him to respond "Aw, work, I thought this was a game!" or "I wish this was a shooter game."
    • Also, repeatedly tapping on Homer will cause him to laugh, giggle and acknowledge that the player is poking him.
      Homer: Hello, giant finger!
    • The Christmas 2013 splash screen actually shows, instead of the usual Homer being chased by the giant finger, him walking alongside it! He's lost his fear of the player, it seems.
    • Some of the quest dialogue will also make mention of you, or the game-world ("all my money is fake" , "we've received complaints that it's difficult to locate characters" , "they pay whatever we ask them to whenever we need a new building" etc.)
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Players can purchase premium content by purchasing donuts using real money. These donuts can also be used to purchase in-game money and complete tasks instantly for experience. There are only two ways to succeed in this game: a buttload of time, or a buttload of money. Even mini-games invented specifically to earn one or two donuts at a time have long countdowns.
  • Brutal Honesty: When you unlock Rod and Todd Flanders, one of your early tasks is to have Lisa babysit them. She encourages them to play and they get a splinter. Ned panics, and takes them to Dr Hibbert, complaining that other children are so different, but Hibbert simply tells him that it is his children who are different, and they should go and play with other children and go to normal school. Ned reluctantly relents and you get a number of tasks with them learning to play.
  • Bumbling Dad: The premise of the game is caused by Homer not paying attention at work. Or so it seems...
  • Butt-Monkey: Strangely enough, a building serves this role. The Brown House suffers break-ins, paintball matches, copper wire thefts, and Mayor Quimby's sexual liaisons. Otto sleeps there, Homer (before Marge's return) uses their well-stocked fridge to feed the fridge, and everyone uses it as their go-to place for undesirable activities, from mob hits to human sacrifices. Lampshaded a LOT.
  • Canine Companion: Santa's Little Helper, Frink's robotic dog and the K9 Officer.
    • The tie-in with the episode "Every Man’s Dream" adds "Homer Dog" to the list.
  • Canon Foreigner: Dr Hibbert's brother-in-law Chester is a character in the game, despite having never appeared in an episode of the show, only been mentioned in dialogue.
  • Canon Character All Along: The final cutscene of "The End of the Beginning" reveals "Sky Finger" to be a godlike version of Maggie Simpson, in a Shout-Out to 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Cardboard Prison: Sideshow Bob's 4-hour task is "Serve a Life Sentence."
  • The Casino: The Casino Event in February/March 2016 has several, most notably Burns' Casino.
    • Every Casino pitched to Mr. Burns during that episode is available, including Hail Brittania. Homer and Ned's "Vegas wives" were also offered as premium characters.
  • Celebrity Star: In a fashion. Players could unlock premium character Abraham Lincoln during the 4th July update.
    • An in-universe example is the inclusion of Krusty the Clown, Kent Brockman, Wolfcastle, Arnie Pye and Booberella.
    • The list now includes George Washington, and Teddy Roosevelt for some reason.
    • "Weird Al" Yankovic was unlockable during the Jazz Festival event in 2017.
    • Matt Groening himself! His dialogue reflects his own attitude towards his celebrity with lines such as "pull my beard, I've heard it's good luck!" and "Sure, I would love to draw you a sketch!"
  • Character Filibuster: The 2019 Christmas event "Abe's in Toy Land" is framed as a rambling story by Abe about how he saved Christmas, told to The Grim Reaper because none of the other Simpsons wanted to hear his Christmas stories. The Reaper wanted to take Abe to the afterlife by Christmas morning, but by the time Abe finally finishes, it's already too late.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • In an episode tie-in, Comic Book Guy says "Well, I don't have a Japanese girlfriend yet — SPOILER ALERT!" 9 months later, Kumiko is brought into the game, and dates (and later, marries) him.
    • In the level update that added Gina into the game, near the end of her questline, she bids farewell to Bart, saying "Until level 97, my love." Months later, the final level update was released, and upon reaching Level 97, Gina reminds Bart about what she said, and a new task to make Gina force Bart on a date becomes available.
  • City of Everywhere: The St. Patrick's Day update allows you to build O'Flanagan's Pub, which in the Simpsons universe, is originally located in Ireland. Blarney Castle was also added in the Thanksgiving 2015 mini update. Additionally, the Volcano Lair was originally located in Cypress Creek, and a later event made several more buildings from Cypress Creek available.
    • Pushed even further during the Destination Springfield 2017 Event, when major landmarks from France, Tokyo, and Brazil can be built in Springfield, including the Eiffel Tower and Mount Fuji.
  • Cool Helmet: Carl wears a viking helmet while performing his Honor his Icelandic heritage task.
  • Cool Train: Reverend Lovejoy rides a small one for his 6 hour task.
  • Continuity Porn: Everywhere. From alternate costumes to their actions the game is filled with nods to the series.
  • Cosplay: Comic Book Guy's twelve-hour task.
  • Creator Cameo: Matt Groening himself appears as a character in the game. He is unlocked by placing the Writers' Building.
  • Creepy Doll: One of the purchasable "characters" from the Halloween update is a Krusty Doll. Also, in the Christmas update, you can buy three different Funzo dolls which, like the Krusty Doll, wander around Springfield, will speak when tapped but will otherwise serve no actual use in the game.
  • Cross Dresser: Chief Wiggum dresses up as a woman when performing his Go on a Stake Out job.
    • During the Halloween update, whilst doing his Trick-or-Treating task, Martin would dress as a fairy. Another outfit has him dressing like Elsa.
    • Chalmers' "Break Character" task has him walking around while dressed in a frilly pink ballgown and spinning nunchucks.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Space Mutant from the Halloween 2014 event is grotesque, but he is actually a peaceful, intelligent being, and the point of his quest chain is to prove to Springfield that he's not the mindless killing machine movies portray him as. Though he does get a bit...rampage-y when hungry.
  • Demonic Possession: When a poltergeist encounters one of your townsfolk, they will become possessed and will be seen floating around with their pupils dilated. Much like the zombies from the previous Halloween update, tapping on them will return them to normal.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • Backing out of a premium purchase at the last minute? Be prepared to face the consequences.
    • If you tried to use donuts to speed up a character's task BEFORE they've arrived at the place they need to go to carry it out, it would tell you to wait.
    • Putting any of the Squidport buildings anywhere except the boardwalk nets a hilarious dialogue between Homer and the Sea Captain.
      Homer: You have to put Squidport buildings on the boardwalk, or the pirate guy will get mad!
      Sea Captain: Pirate?! Aarg, I should keelhaul the lot of ye!
    • Trying to put the Sea Captain's houseboat anywhere except the ocean results in Homer chiding the player.
    Homer: Even if that boat is a house, it still goes in the ocean.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Invoked in the 2016 Halloween update. Every four hours characters could attack Muenthster, a straight example of an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Discount Card: Gil will occasionally appear in your Springfield with offers for discounts on premium content.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Sideshow Bob totally loses interest in killing Bart, then swears vengeance anew after Bart causes him to step on a rake.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Kumiko was given in the January 7th 2014 in-game update to foreshadow the episode she's appearing in, "Married to the Blob", which aired five days after the tie-in.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Bart's previously-unnamed sons from "Holidays of Future Passed" and "Days of Future Future" were added in a January 2020 update, revealing their names to be Jiff and Skippy, after brand-name peanut butter.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Burns Monster from the Halloween 2012 update, and also the Frog Prince from the Halloween 2013 update.
    • Muenthster from the 2016 Halloween update is a straight example of this trope. His minions were smaller versions of his tentacled, multi-eyed self.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: "The End of the Beginning", the final set of quests in the main quest line, sheds new light on the incident that lead to Springfield's destruction.
  • Evil Costume Switch: As part of the Halloween storyline, you can unlock Marge's witch costume and Ned's Devil costume.
  • Experience Points: The game allows you to level up, thus gaining access to new characters, buildings and decorations. Lampshaded frequently, including in cutscenes and at level-ups.
  • Eye of Newt: Marge's alternate costume gives her a one-hour task of purchasing this.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Fallout Boy pulls one in the Superheroes 2017 event, incited by the Scout Master. He goes back to normal once the Scout Master is defeated.
  • Fake Shemp: Anybody voiced by the main six voice actors (Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Julie Kavner, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer, plus Matt Groening as himself) speaks entirely through reused audio from the show.
  • Fem Bot: R.O.S.A., the Robotic Offspring-Sitting Automaton, is a robot nanny who works at the nuclear plant's daycare center. Her job is to give children incentives to perform manual labor and reward them donuts for completing their tasks. The ultimate goal of the final main quests is to recover her parts and rebuild her in order to learn the truth behind the plant's meltdown.
  • Fantastic Racism: Thanks to his negative encounters with Roger Meyers, Jr. and the Blue-Haired Lawyer, Krusty eventually becomes prejudiced against all blue-haired people and tries to ban them from entering his restaurants.
  • Ferris Wheel Date Moment: Parodied in "Fantastic Ferric Wheel" from the Squidport update. Mr. Burns wants to ride the Ferris wheel, but is concerned his lack of body weight will cause him to fly off, so he asks Mr. Smithers to ride with him and hold him. Smithers reacts accordingly.
  • Five-Finger Discount: A number of unsavoury characters have some form of robbing from various stores.
  • Fixing the Game: The mini-games in the 2016 Casino event have two cheating mechanisms each:
    • In the slots game you can (a) kick the machine until you get the top prize or (b) if the left and right hand slots show drunk Barney but not the middle you can stick a crudely-drawn Barney over it to get the top prize.
    • For the dice game you can (a) claim the game is fixed and that you actually picked the number showing on the dice during your third roll or (b) switch the dice for a pair of blue-starred ones.
    • Lastly, the card game has (a) Homer regressing to being a blackjack dealer should you drive five cards with a sum total of 21 or (b) draw five red cards to get The Royal Sampler.
  • Floating Timeline: The dialogue for the "Black History" event quest "No Laughing Matter" mocks this:
    Dr. Hibbert: The year was 1975. Or 1995. Depending on what season this is, and how old I am as a character.
    Lisa: Huh?
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Wolfcastle, especially when one reads his unlock message.
    Wolfcastle: I just had a nightmare that my every action was controlled by a nerd.
  • Freemium: Actually, whatever EA's telling you, it's not Freemium, as there's no Premium 'mode'. There are plenty of Microtransactions to be had though...
  • Full Motion Video: There are six main cutscenes presented this way: "Kaboom!" (which sets up the game's premise), "Home Alone" (after Homer finishes a plant shift for the first time), "Treehouse" (when Bart's treehouse is rebuilt), "True Love" (after Moe's Tavern is rebuilt), "Maggie" (after the Play-Dough Factory is rebuilt), and "The End of the Beginning" (when Homer cracks R.O.S.A.'s password at the game's climax). 2015's Superheroes event featured two exclusive FMV cutscenes: "The Death of Radioactive Man", and "The Return of Radioactive Man".
  • Geographic Flexibility: Invoked, even more so than in the show itself. The player decides where buildings are located, and can move them around at any point for strategic, aesthetic, or boredom-fuelled purposes. Frequently lampshaded.
  • Ghost in the Machine: Lampshaded in the 2013 Halloween story arch, in which your Springfield is overrun with poltergeists who possess your townsfolk and buildings. The title of the initial set of quests is even called The Ghost in the Machine-based App.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Sideshow Bob gets a teaching job at Springfield Elementary, seemingly with nothing evil in mind.
  • Good Costume Switch: As a limited time unlock, Mr. Burns can become Fruit Bat Man.
  • Grand Finale: "The End of the Beginning" is this for the main quest line, but of course, the game's more expansive than that, and as long as updates continue...
  • Guilt-Based Gaming:
    • If you stop playing the game for a long time, you might get a notification, accompanied by Homer yelling at you for neglecting the game.
    • Also, if you go to purchase donuts, and then cancel when the iTunes store asks you to confirm, the game tells you that you made Maggie cry.
    The Store: Purchase cancelled. We are all heartbroken. Maggie is crying. So hey — congratulations! YOU MADE A BABY CRY.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: In true Simpsons tradition, the "End of the Beginning" storyline (which was the final act of the Winter 2016 event before being made part of the "main questline" a year later) has this. It starts with Homer and Marge trying to find a daycare center for Maggie, then turns into Homer using the fact that he was the one who originally blew up Springfield to get people to do what he wants, and then finally turns into Homer, Moe, Lenny and Mr. Burns trying to repair a nanny-bot in order to find out the truth of how the original Springfield was really destroyed.
  • Hidden Depths: Plenty of minor or one-off characters from the show will get a few of these if you unlock them and tackle their quests. For instance, Amber Dempsey, Lisa's pageant rival from "Lisa the Beauty Queen," shows she's a Competition Freak in other areas as well when she gets into gaming and challenges Bart in a tournament.
  • Historical Domain Character: The annual Fourth of July update usually introduces at least one new historical U.S. President into the game as a premium character. So far Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Richard Nixon, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan have been added. Stephen Hawking was added to the game as part of the 2016 Sci Fi event.
  • Holiday Mode: Depending on the time of year, there are various limited time storylines, tasks, characters, decorations and buildings that can be purchased, including Halloween, Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day and Thanksgiving.
  • Holiday Volunteering: Santa Flanders' one-hour task is to Serve the Poor.
  • Hollywood Atheist: All of Jack Frost’s tasks are right out of a stereotypical playbook.
  • Identical Stranger: In the Christmas 2022 event, Bart has one in, of all people, Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol. This causes just as much confusion around town as you'd expect.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: The premium questline "Twinception" revolves around Jerri Mackleberry's struggle to tell Sherri and Terri apart.
  • Ignoring by Singing: Lisa does this in "Rod And Todd Prelude" when Bart mentions he wants to cherry bomb four toilets at once at Sir Putt-A-Lot's.
    Lisa: La, la, la, can't hear you! Not an accessory!
  • Instant Costume Change: Some of the characters' tasks allow them to change costumes, for example, Ned and Mr. Burns will suddenly don exercise gear for their tasks Power Walk and Brisk Constitutional, respectively.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: This game uses real world time, therefore if you set a character to do a 24-hour task, they will do it for literally 24 hours.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A great deal of which is aimed at the game's 'free-to-play', Bribing Your Way to Victory model.
    • Part of the game's tutorial requires you to spend some premium donut currency on a mystery box, only find even more donuts inside. Lisa remarks that it's "probably beginner's luck", to which Homer replies "The only way to find out is to buy a hundred more of those boxes!"
    • When Apu starts selling Golden Scratch-R tickets, which will win you donuts instead of standard game money like normal Scratch-Rs, Homer excitedly proclaims that he doesn't care how much they cost and will spend any amount of "fake game money" on them.
      Apu: Yeah, about that...
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the opening scene of the game, Homer plays another city-builder game on his tablet and gripes "You tap and wait and tap and wait, and for what? So your pretend town can have more pretend flowers than your pretend friends? What a colossal waste of time." And then he turns around and buys $500 worth of premium currency.
  • Loading Screen: The image will vary depending on updates or seasons. However, almost all will depict Homer running away from a giant finger.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: If you have a particularly poor connection, this can (and most likely will) happen.
    • If you have a lack of internal storage on your device, the game's data will be displayed as "Temporary Data", meaning that after a while the game will log you out (if you have your game save connected to an EA account, and it will do so at least always randomly) and once you log back in, you have to wait for at least 10 minutes for the game to load all the data into the app, leaving you to stare at the screen for ages. This bug will also claim that your "Other device didn't save your Springfield", even if you play the game on only one device.
  • Man in a Kilt: Willie when performing the Play the Bagpipes task.
  • May–December Romance: Agnes has a 2-hour task that allows her to go on a date with Comic Book Guy.
    • Which can become strange if you also happen to have Kumiko as a character.
  • Meta Guy: Homer.
    Homer: I wish this was a shooter game.
  • Missing Mom: Marge and Luann, until you unlock them. Could also apply to Agnes Skinner, except Seymour wasn't exactly missing her as such.
  • Morton's Fork: Early in the Sci-Fi 2016 event, when you are given the task, "Make Homer Do 37 Experiments for Hawking", Homer reacts by declaring he's going to refuse to perform tasks from now on. Then a "Make Homer Refuse to Do a Task" task appears, and Homer of course refuses. Cue the "Collect your reward!" screen for "completing" the task (though you don't actually get anything).
  • Moving Target Bonus: Sideshow Bob will occasionally appear in your Springfield, and tapping on him rewards you with money and Experience Points. Also, as part of the St. Patrick's Day update, you could purchase a Leprechaun that randomly gives you small amounts of money or experience points if you tapped on him.
    • Many seasonal updates create swarms of characters or critters that yield event currency when tapped, such as Halloween zomibes, Whacking Day snakes, or members of the Order of the Stonecutters.
  • My Future Self and Me: In the Sci-Fi 2016 event, you don't earn costumes, but characters from the future instead. Specifically, Mooch Bart, President Lisa, Rockstar Maggie, Robo Burns, and Doggy Smithers.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In line with other moments in the show where Bob's Reformed, but Rejected, he reconstitutes in New Springfield having finally let go of his obsession with Bart and gets a teaching job at the school, only for a suspicious Bart to reignite his vengeance by laying a "trap" in the form of a rake for him to trip on.
  • No Fourth Wall: While it was occasionally broken on the show, the characters make jokes of this nature much more frequently here.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Ned Flanders in his Devil costume.
  • No, You:
    • Courtesy of Nelson in "The Krusty-est Place On Earth Pt. 31". Since it's actually a compliment, Lisa reacts accordingly.
      Nelson: I don't like ghosts. If you try to punch one, your hand goes right through it. How does one bully that which cannot be pounded upon?
      Lisa: Huh. That's actually a very insightful answer.
      Nelson: Shut up! YOU'RE an insightful answer!
      Lisa: Why thank you.
    • Courtesy of Bart in "Welcome to the Cyberdome Pt. 4" from the "Rise of the Robots" event:
      Smashius Clay: So you became a cyborg to infiltrate my headquarters. Clever girl.
      Bart: I'm not a girl, you're a girl!
      Smashius Clay: Technically, being machines, we are genderless. But we can argue that later.
  • One-Steve Limit: In the Christmas 2022 event, Tiny Tim shows up in Springfield and Bart confidently asserts that he's the only "Tim" there (having apparently forgotten Reverend Lovejoy's first name).
  • Only Sane Man: Ironically, (or not, if you remember the twist of his debut episode) Hugo is easily the most "normal" and level headed of the Simpsons.
    • During the Into the Simpsonsverse event Noir Homer is this when compared to his counterparts.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: One of Luigi's tasks is Practice Fake Accent. Also Bumblebee Man has a task called Attend Lessones Espanoles.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Tapping on the poltergeists will get rid of them, and they will always drop Plasma. However, on the rare occasion, they will also drop a Gremlin or a donut.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Zombies appear as part of the Halloween storyline. Human zombies would spawn from Springfield Cemetery, while pet zombies would emerge from the Pet Cemetery. If any type of zombie came into contact with a citizen, that character would instantly transform into a zombie. To get rid of the zombies, the player only needs to tap them once, and would be rewarded with experience points and either Halloween candy, eggs or toilet paper.
  • Parental Abandonment: Martin and Sherri & Terri's mothers made their Tapped Out debut during the "Real Moms of Springfield" 2019 event, but their fathers are not yet in the game. Lampshaded when Milhouse tells Bart (prior to building the Skinner House) that he misses his parents, and that he wants to build a pillow fort in the hopes that it will make his parents appear.
  • Personality Swap: The "Holidays of Future Past" event opens with the Simpsons making New Years resolutions to change their ways before imagining what their future would be like. In this future fantasy, Homer is the homemaker, Marge is a drunk, Lisa is outgoing and popular, and Bart is a workaholic. Unhappy with the state of their lives, the future Simpsons try to revert to their old ways and fail. Back in the present, the Simpsons are shaken by this vision of the future and break their resolutions.
  • Power Floats: The townsfolk can be seen floating around your Springfield once they are possessed by a poltergeist.
  • Premium Currency: The basic currency is "cash" which can be easily obtained by tapping on buildings that generate pre-set amounts a various time increments or by setting your characters to do various activities around town. The premium currency is donuts, which occasionally crop up from various taps or special quests, but are mostly gotten via real world money.
  • Randomly Drops: Purchasing a Mystery Box or Buddha Homer will result in a random premium content item being added to your inventory. This could range from a simple common decoration, or a premium content building or character.
  • Remember When You Blew Up The Sun: After the Ayn Rand School for Tots is built during "The End of the Beginning" quests, Homer starts repeatedly boasting about blowing up the town.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: When you go into a friend's Springfield, you can complete up to three tasks a day, in the sense that you can collect money and experience points from houses and shops. When you click on the Moe's Tavern, Springfield Elementary, Police Station or Town Hall buildings, however, you can vandalise them in exchange for the usual money and EXP.
    • In the 2012 Halloween update, you also had the option of vandalising the houses with eggs and the trees with toilet paper, each and every single one offering Halloween candy in exchange.
    • In the Whacking Day update, any snake eggs you collected in your own Springfield could be planted in your friends' towns instead.
    • Bart, Milhouse and Shauna each have a 2-hour task called Paintball in the Brown House, while Nelson has a 30-minute task of Shoot car with B Bs. Nelson and Kearney, being school bullies, both have a 10-minute task of Dump spoiled coleslaw in the Van Houten House. During one of the storylines, Martin shared the task to Paintball in the Brown House.
    • The 2013 Halloween update lets you possess friends' houses, and you can drop gremlins in their town to steal GOO.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Instead of menacing Bart and Lisa, Lord Montymort from the Harry Potter parody in Treehouse of Horror XII is now the arch-nemesis of Springfield's Harry Potter equivalent, Angelica Button.
  • Same Surname Means Related: The storyline of the Christmas 2021 event involves both Herb Tannenbaum from "Treehouse of Horror XXIX" and Mary Tannenbaum from "A Springfield Summer Christmas for Christmas". Homer suspects that they're married based on their surnames, even though Mary is human and Herb is a sentient Christmas tree. In the end, it turns out that Mary is Herb's niece. Her mother is married to his brother Grover.
  • Screw Destiny: Essentially what Abraham Lincoln says during his 4th July storyline when told he must return to his own time.
  • Secret Message Wink: The questline "Making a Racket" follows Homer and Kent Brockman's wife Stephanie in a doubles tennis tournament. However, Kent and Stephanie keep cheating by disadvantaging their opponents, and make this known by winking at each other. Homer thinks they're just winking for fun and continuously winks at both of them.
  • Shaped Like Itself: When certain tasks are finished, Homer will simply say "Push Notification" in monotone.
  • Shirtless Scene: Homer performing his Relax in the Pool task.
    • Also, when the Fat Homer skin does the "Get some Sun" task. He actually strips bare, and the game thankfully puts a pixelated square over his groin.
  • Sibling Team: Twins Sherri & Terri are treated as one character.
  • Socialization Bonus: One of the first tasks you get when playing the game is to add your friends as neighbours. Acquiring the required amount to complete the mission will reward you with money and experience points. You can also visit your friends' Springfields and complete up to three actions a day in each one.
  • Something about a Rose: Martin has a ten-minute task called Smell the Roses. However, the flower Martin is actually seen holding when doing this task is a snapdragon.
  • Spit Take: During "The End of the Beginning" quest set, when Homer is informed that the Maggie he was watching over was actually a sack of flour, he gains an exclusive task: Spit Take. This simply takes six seconds before the storyline progresses. Later in the quest, when Mr. Burns delivers a Wham Line to Homer, Homer once again has to do the Spit Take task to continue, only this time it takes ten hours.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: The Halloween 2022 update introduces Mopey Mary.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • The premise of the game is that Homer caused a meltdown that resulted in Springfield's destruction.
    • When you set Wolfcastle a task that requires him to occupy his mansion, the animation for said building changes from idle to a constant supply of grenades being thrown out of the front doors and exploding at the end of the path.
    • The Ghost Bombs that were made available during the Halloween 2013 storyline. Using one would create an explosion that would eliminate all poltergeists in your Springfield at that moment.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Lou asks Wiggum whom Eddie's going on a date with in the quest "Moe Town":
    Wiggum: Not your ex-wife Amy! And even if it were, she definitely wouldn't be wearing that red dress you got her for Valentine's Day.
  • Take That Us: The "When Worlds Collide" questline has Homer attempting to force Matt Groening to rewrite the Simpsons/Futurama crossover episode.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: As part of the beginning set of tutorial tasks, Professor Frink from the Other Springfield neighbour city teleports into the player's Springfield to explain how to visit neighbouring Springfields.
  • Twinmaker: The Halloween 2022 event unlocks the character "Sideshow Chicken," a mad science experiment comprised of Sideshow Bob's head on a chicken's body. The storyline has the actual Sideshow Bob being kidnapped for the experiment in question, and from this point on, "Sideshow Chicken" is the original Sideshow Bob, while the Sideshow Bob in your Springfield is a clone made to replace him.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: In the "Smells Like Mean Spirit" questline:
    Lisa: First we need a name for our channel. We're devil-may-care women taking on the academic establishment, so maybe "Naughty School Girls". Type it in.
    Janey: [gasp] Not that. How about something more innocent, like Sparkle Pony Squad?
    Lisa: [gasp] The Internet is a filthy place.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Declan Desmond's storyline has the people of Springfield finally learning that not only was Homer responsible for the initial destruction of Springfield, but he's also responsible for the town's new zany layout due to receiving "bribes" from the Sky Finger. Needless to say, they are not happy.
  • Three-Quarters View: Like the show.
  • Unfortunate Search Results: During the "Smells Like Mean Spirit" quest, Lisa creates a ViewTube channel to promote education reform and has to come up with a name for it. Reasoning that she & Janey are "devil-may-care women taking on the academic establishment," her first attempt is "Naughty School Girls," which results in the two stumbling across something inappropriate after typing it in. Janey suggests "something more innocent, like Sparkle Pony Squad," only to find something equally heinous.
    Lisa: The Internet is a filthy place.
  • Urine Trouble: One of Reverend Lovejoy's tasks is to deliberately let his dog pee on Flanders's lawn.
  • The Voiceless: Characters that aren't voiced by the main six cast members of the show do not have any audio lines, with the exception of Matt Groening (voiced by himself).
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Sideshow Mel. Also, in their alternate costumes, Abe Simpson and Willie.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: In the Christmas 2022 event, this is Bart's reaction after being caught outside in a blizzard and nearly freezing to death. When Marge wonders aloud where he got this from, cue an equally frozen Homer having the same response.
  • Weapons That Suck: In the 2013 Halloween update, Marge and Mr. Burns both use vacuum cleaners to suck up ghosts.
  • Welcome to Corneria: The "Man of Few Words" premium questline during the "Into the Simpsonsverse" event revolves around Bart interacting with Pixel Homer, whose dialogue is limited to "It's a-me, Homer!", "Woohoo!", "Back, evil-doer!", "Well done, player!", and "Yes." At the end, however, he actually has a line for a very specific situation: "I'm so sorry, Marge. I shouldn't have said that."
  • Wham Line: During one part of "The End of the Beginning" series:
    Homer: Mr. Burns! I demand a raise... as well as paid time off for Homerka, Rosh Homershana, and Simpsom Kipur. Keep in mind that I'm that guy who blew up the town, and that will make you say yes to me for some reason.
    Mr. Burns: No, you're the man who THINKS he blew up the town. The truth is you had nothing to do with it.
    [Cue a ten-hour Spit Take from Homer]
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In the Gil Deal based on "The Great Phatsby", Jay G is selling his mansion as a result of a divorce from Praline. If the player buys the mansion from Gil for 225 donuts, Jay G interrupts Gil's celebration with an announcement:
    Jay G: I've decided not to sell. Praline and I reconciled after we spent a romantic weekend together looking at lawyers' bills.
    Gil: But I already booked on sale! I used my commission to buy a cemetery plot in Scottsdale — golf-course view. Old Gil could finally afford to die!
    Jay G: I'm afraid you've got to keep living, you sad old white man. I brought the real estate company and voided the sale — that means you're behind your monthly sales quota!
    Gil: That's okay. I'll just start working the phones — the first step is finding a pay phone that takes I.O.U.'s.
  • Zombie Gait: After turning into zombies, your Springfield characters move around much slower than normal.