It’s hard to imagine a television institution more beloved or venerated than The Simpsons, the ridiculously long-running animated show with a staggering 530 episodes plus a feature-length movie to its credit, as well as an enormous cast of supporting characters easily numbering into the hundreds. Beginning in 1987 with its crudely drawn shorts on the long-forgotten Tracey Ullman show, to the present day merchandising juggernaut it has evolved into, the Simpsons has grown into a massive cultural force, whose influence can be seen from South Park to Adult Swim.
Having such a long and convoluted past, with many different writers and producers, there are inevitably many continuity errors within the series that you may not be aware of.
Here’s your chance to brush up on some of the more absurd plot-holes of the series history before the 25th season begins on September 29.
10. The Existence Of Armin Tamzarian
The episode “The Principal and the Pauper” from the 9th season is one of the most contentious among fans, many of whom pinpoint this episode as the beginning of the end of the so-called “Golden Age” of the show (and I would tend to agree.) In it, we learn that the person we know as Springfield Principal Seymour Skinner is actually Armin Tamzarian, a street tough who stole the real Principal Skinner’s identity during the Vietnam war. The show attempted to deal with this by running the hog-tied real Skinner (voiced by Martin Sheen, incidentally) out of town on a rail, and by having Judge Snyder threatening anyone in the town who mentions anything about the existence of Tamzarian with torture.
This has lead to many confusing jokes in later years such as the one from “Boy Meets Curl” showing Agnes Skinner complaining about how Seymour kicking her in the womb at the 1952 Summer Olympics at Helsinki made her lose the Gold Medal in pole-vaulting, leading one to wonder if she actually believes that or is just trying to avoid being waterboarded.
This article was first posted on August 12, 2013