10 Moments When The Simpsons Went Too Far

Homer gets raped by a panda; Grandpa Simpson ponders suicide; Lisa takes up smoking. WTF?

Nowadays, The Simpsons is pretty much renowned as the definitive "it used to be good, but not so much anymore" show on TV. Given how long it's been on the air, though, you can't help but sympathise with the show's writers, who are constantly tasked with coming up with new and "interesting" plot lines for a sitcom that has pretty much exhausted every feasible story in existence (see South Park's "Simpsons Did It" episode for clarification of this point). In short, then, The Simpsons has felt noticeably tired over the past few years - a relic of its glory days. Occasionally, in order to boost ratings or in a slapdash attempt to inject the show with a bit of added flavour, The Simpsons will throw all integrity out of the window in order to shock or stun its viewership. In essence, these "moments of madness" tend to serve as lazy ways for the show to ignite a brief air of controversy, often in a ploy to lure lost audience members back. On other occasions, they go crazy for the sheer hell of it, just "because." Sure, it's difficult to keep a show feeling fresh after so many years on the air, and we can probably forgive The Simpsons for those times that it tried and failed to be "different" with good intentions. What we can't accept, however, are those times whereupon - for the hell of it - the show has messed with its own (once careful) continuity, broken the rules of its universe for the sake of a cheap laugh, or simply went way over the top in a hair-brained attempt to shock, provoke, tease or taunt its loyal fanbase. Here are the 10 worst offenders...
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Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.