The Simpsons (TV Series 1989– ) Poster

(1989– )

Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs

  • Quite simply, voices for cartoons almost always evolve over time as certain aspects of the voice are kept, new ones are added, and others are dropped. Homer has always been voiced by Dan Castellaneta, who has said his original Homer voice was based on Walter Matthau and didn't allow for much emotional movement, hence he slowly became more high-pitched and "girlish" and evolved into his own unique voice and not just an impersonation.

  • In the first run of "Behind the Laughter (2000)" it is stated that the Simpsons are a "northern Kentucky family." However in re-runs of this episode it is stated that they are a "Southern Missouri" family. Either way there are many hints throughout the shows run to suggest that Springfield is somewhere in the Southern or Midwestern United States. However, Springfield is clearly located on an ocean (or a large body of water connected to the ocean), so a landlocked state as Springfield's location doesn't entirely make sense. In fact, if one were to reconcile all the hints as to Spingfield's location given throughout the series, it would quickly become clear that a logical physical location doesn't exist, but is just another one of the many incongruities the show is known for.

    It is also thought that it could be Springfield, OR as Matt Groening was born there and grew up in Portland. Other evidence of this are the names of the characters Montgomery Burns (referring to the Montgomery building burning down), Reverend Lovejoy and Ned Flanders (Lovejoy and Flanders are streets in Portland).

    In The Simpsons Movie, Ned Flanders points out to Bart the four states the border Springfield; Ohio, Nevada, Maine and Kentucky. The states are spread across the USA, and thus it is more than likely that the above statement of Springfield's geographical location not existing is true.

    Groening has stated that Springfield was chosen as a name for the setting because it is an unusually popular place name in the United States. The physical attributes of Springfield as shown in the show don't really correspond to any actual Springfield or any actual location. For example, Springfield is usually shown as being either on the ocean or a large body of water with access to the ocean. Yet it is also within easy driving distance of both large mountains and the desert. While this might suggest a Southern California location, Springfield is also usually depicted as being in a less arid climate.

    However during marketing of The Simpsons Movie, there was a nationwide competition for all of the different Springfields in America to create their own videos paying tribute to the Simpsons, with the winner being officially recognized as the Springfield that The Simpsons are from. The winning town was Springfield, Vermont, which showed a video of a man in a Homer Simpson outfit chasing a giant donut throughout the streets of the town.

  • Marge and Homer are Matt Groening's parents names. Lisa and Maggie are his sisters names. "Bart" is an anagram of "brat." Montgomery Burns was derived from when a Montgomery Wards across the street from Matt Groenig burned down when he was a boy.

  • Opposite of The Beatles (Be Dulls). As well as this there is also the musical joke of there being no such note as B sharp (B#). This connotes that the group themselves are supposedly out of tune (despite the reasonable vocals in the episode).

  • Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby - the late Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-Mass.)

    Chief Clancy Wiggum - the late American film actor [link]

  • "Two Bad Neighbors (1996)" was inspired by a speech made by George Bush at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in which he commented "The nation needs to be closer to The Waltons (1971) than The Simpsons". This speech featured in "Stark Raving Dad (1991)" where Bart comments 'We're just like the Waltons, we're all praying for an end to the depression'.

    Barbara Bush had previously called The Simpsons "the dumbest thing I've ever seen", which led to producers writing her a letter supposedly from Marge Simpson in protest. Barbara replied with an apology for her 'loose tongue'.

    The Simpsons' producers finally took their most effective revenge by having George and Barbara star in their very own episode, "Two Bad Neighbors (1996)", in which the couple move into Evergreen Terrace. The former president is harrassed by Bart and Homer after he spanks Bart for destroying his memoirs, while Barbara strikes up a friendship with Marge, and eventually the Bushes move out, to be replaced by Gerald Ford.

  • Apart from Grandpa's intermittent paranoid obsession with "Dea-ea-eathhhhhh!!!!", the first of life's two inevitabilities has affected the series in many ways, both in real life and within the context of the show.

    -Although no screen time was ever devoted to it, recurring character Dr. Marvin Monroe, Ph.D., met his demise in season 7. He reappeared several years later in 'Diatribe of a Mad Housewife' claiming that he was "very sick". The character was retired as it placed a strain on Harry Shearer's voice.

    -Blues/jazz saxophonist "Bleeding Gums" Murphy died in season 6, in an episode entitled "'Round Springfield" (a play on the 1986 film "'Round Midnight" about the gradual demise of a once-great jazz musician). His passing was really the primary plotline of the episode, with his appearance in a bed at Springfield General sparked by Bart's winding up at the same hospital after swallowing a jagged metal Krusty-O.

    -Frank Grimes, a one-time character to whom Homer was his greatest nemesis, prevented Homer from falling to fatal mistakes several times during the episode and then, ironically, died while performing a mocking impression of Homer and grabbing two electrical nodes, completing the circuit and electrocuting himself.

    -Repressed teetotaller Maude Flanders, wife of Ned, mother of Rod and Todd, met probably the most high-profile death in the show's history, with an entire episode devoted to her passing (she was knocked out of the top row of a racetrack bleachers onto the concrete pavement below by a ballistic t-shirt) and Ned's struggle to cope with the loss. It is generally considered to be one of the most poignant of the show's episodes, as well as one frequently cited in real-life church sermons by clergymen attempting to relate to parishioners' pop culture sensibilities.

    -Phil Hartman voiced legendary recurring characters Troy McClure ("You may remember me from such {plural media format} as....") and Lionel Hutz, Attorney-at-Law, the worst attorney (and real estate salesman) in Springfield. In 1997, his mentally ill wife Brynn shot and killed him and then herself at their home in Encino, Calif. As a result, the characters simply ceased to exist among the Springfield populace, although no mention of either of their deaths was ever made.

    -Veteran script supervisor-turned-voiceover actress Doris Grau voiced several different characters over the show's first seven seasons, most notably recurring character Lunchlady Doris. She died of an illness in late1995 at the age of 71.

    -The character of Hans Moleman, the short, bald, eyeglass-wearing senior citizen, is never actually seen dying on-screen, but he has the tendency to end up in situations where survival seems next to impossible (e.g. crushed under a pile of burning cars). However, he always returns after some episodes without explanation (but it should be noted that the series is not known for its strict sense of continuity).

    -Homer's Mom, who had left Homer and Grampa for a group of Radicals back in the 60's came back into Homer's life a few times, but the last time she returned her and Homer had a falling out and she passed away over night while sitting in front of the fireplace. The episode was dedicated to Dan Castellaneta's mom

    -Some of the most violent deaths in the series can be ascribed to Itchy and Scratchy, but they are supposed to be animated characters (The Simpsons being an animated series itself notwithstanding).

    -The character of Dr Nick Riviera was impaled by a large shard of glass in The Simpson Movie, and has been recently seen alive in the season 20 episode "Lost Verizon."

    -Fat Tony dies of a heart attack in the season 22 episode "Donnie Fatso", however later on he is replaced by his identical cousin Fit Tony who then gains weight and is then re-named Fat Tony.

    -Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky died in the episode "Clown in the Dumps" by old age. He was having a conversation with his son Krusty the Clown about how to regain his comedy fame again. And while at the last minutes of his life he spoke his last words to Krusty: "As for you, son, if you want to know my honest opinion of you, you've always been.. eh."

    -Of course, no discussion of death's impact on "The Simpsons" would be complete without mentioning the various ways in which the show's characters, and the world at large, bought it in the various "Treehouse of Horrors" Halloween episodes. However the segments are non-canonical to the core Simpsons chronology.

    -In 2013, the voice actress of promiscuous schoolteacher Edna Krabappel passed away. Thus, the character was retired, an episode was dedicated to her memory, and Krabappel's mute ghost now haunts Ned Flanders.

    -Mr. Smithers' father dies of radiation poisoning and Burns hides the body in a quarry, later accidentally traumatizing a younger Homer who is swimming there.

    -One of the most noteworthy episodes of the "Treehouse of Horror" segments involves Homer becoming a Grim Reaper, after which he begins killing off Springfield citizens at random, including old man Jasper. At a ball game, Blue-Haired Lawyer is seen in the background in a state of shock, desperately trying to wake up a friend of his after Homer, dressed in a black shroud, kills him. Homer is then ordered by God to kill off Marge, but he kills her hag-like sister, Selma, instead. The episode is one of few that analyzes moral values, as well as the damage that messing with death can cause.

    -In one episode, Marge is hired by Chief Wiggum to clean up grisly crime scenes. There is a lot of on-screen gore and blood featured, and this doesn't bother Marge initially until later on, when she becomes severely depressed by it. When Lisa's pet hamster, Mr. Nibbles, dies Marge is snapped out of her trauma and goes to comfort her daughter.

    -Characters are often seen trying to hang themselves for comedic effect, including Artie Ziff, Moe Syzlak, Ol' Gil and an unnamed Moe female lookalike living in Europe. That being said, The Simpsons has never outright mocked or tried to trivialize suicide.

  • Funnily enough, it stands for Jay.

  • Yes, it's true. Nancy Cartwright has voiced Bart all the way throughout the show.

  • The first episode was actually "Some Enchanted Evening (1990)". But because the animation was so bad, the whole show had to be redone. So this episode was not aired until the end of season 1. The Simpsons were originally set to premiere in the fall of 1989. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (1989)" was the first episode aired but not made.

  • To get a list of what Bart Simpson writes on the chalkboard in one of the classrooms at "Sprinfield Elementary School" at the beginning of each episode, click on the following link, , click on the episode title and then click on the episode's FAQ. The FAQ should tell you what Bart Simpson writes on the chalk board in one of the classrooms at Springfield Elementary School at the beginning of each episode.

  • To get a list of what happens in the couch scene at the beginning of each episode, click on the following link, , click on the episode title and then click on the episode's FAQ. The FAQ should tell you what happens in the couch seen at the beginning of each episode.

  • To see a list of the phone jokes that Bart Simpson tells in each episode, click on the following link, , click on the episode title and then click on the episode's FAQ. The FAQ should tell you the phone jokes that Bart Simpson tells in each episode.

  • In "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (1989)" the Simpsons had a cat as a pet, "Snowball", who got ran over by a car on accident and died (Cat not shown being run over by a car but Marge Simpson wrote the story in a letter to Santa Claus), and have a second cat as a pet, "Snowball II" (Not shown but Marge Simpson wrote the story in a letter to Santa Claus). In "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (1989)," the Simpsons have a dog named "Santa's Little Helper" (Santa's Little Helper ran to Homer Simpson after being thrown to the street after losing a bunch of races at the dog race track and was taken home in place of Christmas presents because the family couldn't afford Christmas presents). In Lisa's Pony (1991), Lisa gets a pony named "Princess" but gives it away to a stables because Homer couldn't afford to take care of it. Bart also gets a elephant in the episode Bart Gets an Elephant (1994) called "Stampy" but gives it to a animal life sanctuary because the family couldn't afford it, Stampy does return in Large Marge (2002) to help Bart in one of his pranks. In Bart vs. Australia (1995) Bart had a pet frog but set it free in Australia, the frog's name is unknown.

    Bart also gets another dog in The Canine Mutiny (1997) named "Laddie" but gives it to the police force. Homer adopts a helper monkey in Girly Edition (1998) named "Mojo". Bart adopts two Baby Bolivian Tree Lizards named "Chirpy Boy" & "Bart Junior" in Bart the Mother (1998), he sets them free at the end of the episode. In Lisa Gets an 'A' (1998) Homer can't bring himself to cook a lobster, so he adopts it as a pet named "Pinchy", Pinchy dies when Homer accidentally puts him in hot water, and a distraught Homer eats his late friend. The Simpsons get another horse in Saddlesore Galactica (2000) named "Duncan" and Bart and Homer train him to become a race horse. In the episode I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot (2004), Snowball II gets hit by a car and Lisa and Marge go to find a new cat. They get "Snowball III", who drowns trying to catch the fish in the Simpsons' tank. They then get "Coltrane" (aka Snowball IV) who jumps out the window to his death after hearing Lisa play music by his namesake, John Coltrane. While she's sitting outside, the Crazy Cat Lady throws a cat at Lisa, which looks identical to Snowball II, she originally wanted to name it Snowball V but changed it to Snowball II "To save time, and money on dishes".

    In Stop or My Dog Will Shoot (2007) Bart gets a pet Snake named "Strangles" after Santa's Little Helper joins the police force but later leaves Strangles when Santa's Little Helper comes back to him with Strangles hissing ''I'll always be there for you'' after Bart walks away with Santa's Little Helper. At the end of the episode, Strangles is seen with Groundskeeper Willy. Bart raises a cow named "Lou" in Apocalypse Cow (2008) but sends it to india (Where Apu says he'll be treated like a God) to save him from being killed in a Slaughterhouse. In Papa Don't Leech (2008) Grampa gets an Otter to feature in a family song that he was late for, the otter's name is unknown and was never seen again. Bart adopts a carrier pigeon named "Raymond Bird" who is eaten by Santa's Little Helper in How Munched Is That Birdie in the Window? (2010), his death leaves Bart distraught.

  • Bart is 9 when the series begins and turns 10 in Radio Bart (1992).

    Lisa is 7 when the series begins, and turns 8 in Stark Raving Dad (1991).

    Maggie is under a year when the series begins, and celebrates her first birthday in Lady Bouvier's Lover (1994).

    Homer's age is 36-39 and Marge is 34.

    Patty and Selma are about 45. Grampa is well over 80.

  • Minor characters such as "Rich Texan", "Crazy Cat Lady" (who now actually has a developed name and story of her own), "Disco Stu" and "Blue-Haired Lawyer" were originally intended to just fill in during certain scenes wherever needed. That being said, some of them have developed further over the years, for example Disco Stu is "super Christian!" and dates Marge's sister, Selma. Blue-Haired Lawyer in later seasons is revealed to be a self-published author on the side, and is frequently seen during church scenes, praying in the background. Some of these minor characters do have more to them in the Simpsons "Tapped Out" video game and the comic book series; Blue-Haired Lawyer is revealed to be a superhero called "Flossie", the townsfolk of Springfield nearly kill him by mistake when singing a copyrighted version of "Happy Birthday" before a raging fire, and in the video game he mentions having a teenage daughter, though it's just a passing statement. He also tells Lisa in one of the comic books that his name is "Mr. Lawyerman", though he tells her that there's a chance he could be joking. There's a fanfiction which lists him as being named "Clarence Lawman" (https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12528097/1/Lisa-and-the-Blue-Haired-Lawyer). Another character who became drastically more developed in later seasons was the pretentious, overweight "Comic Book Guy", whose name is revealed to be "Jeff Albertson". Comic Book Guy has his own spin-off comic book series in real-life, not to mention he is now married to an anime-loving new character who was in Springfield from Japan. The Sea Captain character was also in later seasons given a name (Captain McAllistar), and during one particular episode where the Springfield Church burns down, he tries to rob the Kwik-E-Mart to feed his "coke addiction". Though many fans of the show have expressed interest in getting backstories about these many background characters, the current producers of The Simpsons appear to be focusing mainly on bringing in "celebrity guest stars" like Lady Gaga, and developing secondary characters, such as Moe the Bartender and Apu the Cashier.

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