Since its inception, animated American family sitcom The
Simpsons has been lauded as one of the greatest achievements in TV history.
Yes, okay, so only the first ten or so seasons of this
long-running series constitute its much-contested Golden Age era. But said era gave
us TV viewers so many extraordinary instalments from genius writers like Conan
O’Brien, Mike Reiss, and the reclusive John Swartzwelder, that even in its
thirty-first season the show retains much love from viewers for its transformative
contribution to the medium’s landscape.
That said, like any good comedy The Simpsons isn’t
above messing with its audience on occasion, with mixed results throughout its
Some of these instances were misleading ad campaigns
or promising plots which were ultimately derailed, whilst some were episodes so
bizarre that the fans were left wondering what the writer’s room were smoking that
week (they were eating rotisserie chicken, for the record).
Here are ten times that television’s first family
pulled one over on its sizeable audience—for better or worse.