The Simpsons has been on the air since 1989, and in that time it’s racked up a fair few scandals. Evidently it’s survived them all, though some have left indelible marks on the show’s reputation.
Some wipe clean like a kitchen countertop, where others get absorbed like a bathroom rug.
This isn’t a list of things the show has done "wrong", necessarily, or of reasons it should be hated, criticised, cancelled etc. Instead, it’s a catalogue of all the times the show has, for one reason or another, generated negative press.
Focusing on both on screen incidents and drama behind the scenes (as well as public reaction to both), there’s a lot to sink your teeth into. When The Simpsons is finally over, it will go down as one of the best shows in television history, but there’s a fair few times it’s made the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
An episode just being bad isn’t really what this is about; more an episode making someone, somewhere, angry. On a few occasions though, that anger has come from inside the Simpsons’ writers room itself.
10. Jumping The Shark
Though the bulk of these entries will focus on singular, concrete incidents the show has been involved in, the fact The Simpsons have jumped the shark is a scandal unto itself.
You simply cannot have a conversation about the show without someone somewhere popping up to tell you that it’s not as good as it used to be, and that’s if they’re being kind. A lot of the time, criticism is even worse, with fans who haven’t watched for years apparently still experts in the weekly goings on.
Whether you gave up a long time ago or stuck with it though, it’s undeniable that things ain’t what they used to be.
Though there’s been periods of steady decline, peaks of recovery and The Simpsons Movie thrown in the mix, there are two main episodes often pinpointed as their shark jumping moment.
The most famous is The Principal & The Pauper, where Skinner is revealed to be an imposter. Even the likes of Matt Groening and Harry Shearer have since criticised the show for throwing out Skinner’s development.
The other is Saddlesore Galactica, where Homer discovers jockeys are really a race of evil elves, in a plot twist that made absolutely no sense.