Thirty-two seasons is a tonne of time to generate plenty of emotions, and The Simpsons is a show that has done just that. The cartoon sit-com was created by Matt Groening, James L. Brooks and Sam Simon as an attempt to satirise the traditional values of the family sit-com. It was dedicated to becoming anti-culture and in the process became the opposite.
With its original intent being to attack the overly happy and cheesy sit-com format of its predecessors such as Full House and Family Matters, it comes as no surprise that the show delved into some very dark territory. Byways of humour and mean-spirit, the show delivers plenty of moments and episodes throughout that feel far removed from the happy aesthetic.
The following entries generated disturbing experiences that kept viewers in shock and horror, whilst still splitting their sides with laughter. A property that can successfully entertain and disturb you is quite a special thing, and thus it's no surprise that The Simpsons has the longevity that it does.
The Treehouse of Horror episodes will not be included in this article as there are plenty of other episodes that are not centred in the genre of horror that are just as, if not more, disturbing.
A heavy spoiler warning is in effect.
10. Alone Again, Natura Diddly
The Simpsons very rarely deals with the concept of death, despite running for such a long time. Therefore the one that is occurs in the episode Alone Again, Natura Diddly is incredibly out of left field and utterly disturbing.
This episode sees The Simpsons discover an oval racing track built around a bird sanctuary and upon entering find that Ned and his adoring family are there. Soon after a T-shirt cannon appears, Homer forcibly requests one but ducks to pick up a bobby pin as it fires towards him, thus resulting in the package colliding with Maude Flanders and causing her to tragically fall to her death.
The moment is so out of the blue and is shown in a surprising amount of detail. But the death of this regular character isn't the only disturbing thing about the episode, as soon we see the devout Ned Flanders completely crumble and lose his faith. This feels incredibly utterly uncomfortable as religion is how Ned's character has always found its base.
There is also the disturbing realisation that comes from the fact that Homer Simpson is partly responsible for man-slaughter, adding a thoroughly horrifying implication for the otherwise innocent character.