Meanwhile, in my Chicago home, this article crossed my desk one morning at work… This is some quality reporting right here! And kudos to the anonymous bloke who set it out for me.
The Simpsons aired its landmark 600th episode and 27th “Treehouse of Horror” installment on Sunday. Now while we love Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, the reason we keep returning to Springfield nearly three decades later has as much to do with the town’s other residents as it does the residents of 724 Evergreen Terrace. Two of USA TODAY’s biggest Simpsons fans, Brett Molina and Jayme Deerwester, make their cases for the series’ most valuable supporting character.
JAYME DEERWESTER: TEAM BOO-URNS
When it comes to Simpsons supporting characters ans especially the show’s villains, I have to hand the Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence to none other than… Charles Montgomery Burns, Homer’s boss at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Smithers, release my talking points!
He’s a Funnier Version of a Political Candidate. In the 1990 episode “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish,” Springfield’s richest man (and resident Citizen Kane stand-in) seeks to “embiggen” his dominion and do away with environmental regulations – by running for governor. When a PR stunt dinner goes sideways and dooms his chances of winning he laments, “This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one going to jail. That’s democracy for you.” Sound like anyone you know?
He’s Adorably Out of Touch. Practically every line out of the old man’s mouth is a history lesson for the whippersnappers. Only back in our day we didn’t have Wikipedia to look them up. No, we had to go down to the basement and haul out the encyclopedia. Like the time he goes to the post office and tells the clerk: “I’d like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the 4:30 autogryo?”
Without Him, We Wouldn’t Have Waylon Smithers. The relationship between Mr. Burns and his long-suffering executive assistant was the original study in workplace Stockholm syndrome. An animated Devil Wears Prada, if you will. Smithers got the Ramones to play at his boss’ birthday party and identified Homer Simpson for him more times than we can count. He even grew a spine once in a while which resulted in at least one resignation and, at long last, his coming out as a gay man last season.
He’s a Dog Lover. He keeps his hounds well-exercised by releasing them on every person who shows up at his gate. Sometimes, when he’s feeling generous, he releases therapy hounds. He even sings catchy ditties about dogs. No, wait, See My Vest was actually about skinning puppies for their coats. Bad example. Moving on…
He’s True to Himself. On rare occasion, Mr. Burns dusts off what little conscience he has and experiments with becoming a better human being. He bribed Homer to tutor him on being likable. When he went broke, he agreed to give up his evil was in exchange for Lisa’s help in regaining his fortune. He even tried to find love with Marge’s mom and Gloria, the ex-girlfriend of Snake, the Kwik-E-Mart robber. But ultimately he realized he was denying his true nature as illustrated in this conversation:
Homer: “To be loved, you have to be nice to people. Every day. But to be hated, you don’t have to do squat.
Mr. Burns: “You know, perhaps you’re right. I got so swept up with the notion of being loved (that) I completely forgot who I am. I’m a selfish old crank. And that fits me like a Speedo.
You know what? If a selfish old crank is good enough for Smithers, then he’s good enough for me, too. [Jayme Deerwester]
The Simpsons Halloween Specials are a tradition in my household and possibly the main reason why I love The Simpsons so much. I don’t care who you are, if you are lucky enough to be spending Halloween with me, this is what we will be doing! As a fan of horror/sci-fi anthology shows such as Tales from the Crypt, The Twilight Zone and kids show Goosebumps, how could I not enjoy a Treehouse of Horror marathon at any stage of the year, and not just October 31st? I have watched all of the Halloween Specials countless times, and have here for you, a list of the best 15 segments, not episodes, that demonstrate how time and time again, The Simpsons have conquered the cartoon, delivering some frightful and memorable horror themed episodes every year since its second season. Get in the mood for Halloween and watch the best Simpsons segments of all time!
15. Bart’s Nightmare/The Bart Zone - Treehouse of Horror II - Season 3
“I’m not nodding, it’s the air conditioning” - Homer
A segment of Twilight Zone-esqe quality in which Bart controls the entire town of Springfield due to his telepathic and supernatural powers. We see Bart changing American history, forcing Krusty the Clown work on a 24/7 basis and Homer hilariously turned into a jack-in-a-box. In this season, like its two former, the focus of many episodes still revolve mainly around Homer and Bart, and this segment demonstrates this, and is significant in Simpsons history.
14. Bart Simpson’s Dracula - Treehouse of Horror IV - Season 5
“Lisa, vampires are make believe like elves, gremlins and Eskimos!” - Homer
A parodic adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula which is very memorable with fans of the show. With classic comedy moments, it deserves a spot on this list. The Simpsons are invited to stay at Mr. Burns’ house where Bart and Lisa learn he is a vampire, but of course, the family are never safe in these non-canon episodes, not even safe from the ‘Super Fun Happy Slide,’ which ironically leads to Burns’ lair where his immortal body rests.
13. Homer3 - Treehouse of Horror VI - Season 7
“It’s like he just disappeared into fat air.” - Selma
In this, The Simpsons creators use a 3D animation as Homer goes behind a bookcase and enters another dimension in attempt to hide from Marge’s sisters. Many of the Simpson’s characters gather to discuss how to help Homer escape. Of course, as always, Homer manages to mess everything up and collapses the dimension, taking him to a “better place” (a live action Los Angeles).
12. Starship Poopers - Treehouse of Horror IX - Season 10
“Someone needs to show your green ass some responsibility!” - Random woman in Jerry Springer audience.
Kang and Kodos are iconic characters in the non-canon Treehouse of Horror stories and undoubtedly make the episodes that little more interesting and humorous. After we learn that Maggie was conceived by Marge and Kang, instead of Homer, a custody battle begins. They all appear on the Jerry Springer show, where of course, nothing gets solved. The final segment of my all time favourite Treehouse of Horror episode.
11. The Terror of Tiny Toon - Treehouse of Horror IX - Season 10
“Momma took those batteries, she took ‘em away. Momma took those batteries, size AA.” - Homer (singing with harmonica)
Marge takes Maggie trick-or-treating but orders Bart and Lisa not to watch any episodes of Itchy and Scratchy. They then find a “highly unstable” substitute for the remote battery and end up in the cartoon itself. After finding a scene of the cartoon funny, Itchy and Scratchy decide to get their own back and plot to kill Bart and Lisa.
10. Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace - Treehouse of Horror VI - Season 7
“Bart, don’t you realise what this means? The next time we fall asleep we could die.” - Lisa
“Hey! Welcome to my world!” *falls asleep* - Grandpa
A brilliant adaptation of Nightmare on Elm Street, Groundskeeper Willie is haunting the children of Springfield’s dreams. Once most of the children realise that they are all having nightmares about him, they try to come together and beat him. After many of the children dying, Bart and Lisa try to help each other by staying awake for as long as possible. Eventually they enter the dream and try to beat him once and for all.
09. I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did - Treehouse of Horror X - Season 11
“When I think about Ned, I can’t help but remember the look on his face when Marge drove over–” - Homer
In this parody of I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Simpsons kill Ned Flanders and decide to keep it a secret from the town. However, like many Treehouse of Horror episodes, Flanders is some form of supernatural being, and here, stalks the family before revealing his true werewolf form. With many memorable quotes, this is a classic segment that deserves a top ten spot.
08. Dial ‘Z’ For Zombies - Treehouse of Horror III - Season 4
“Martin Prince, report to my office at once; and bring that big, juicy, chess-club brain of yours along with you.” - Principal Skinner
Bart stumbles across the ‘occult section’ of the Springfield Library, and decides to try a spell that will wake the Simpsons beloved cat, Snowball I. Instead, he ends up raising the entire dead population of Springfield. This segment features one my favourite Treehouse of Horror moments: “Spare my family, take me, take me.” Homer’s self-sacrifice is dismissed asthe Zombies knock on his head and walk away, not interested at all with Homer or his lack of brain.
07. Lisa’s Nightmare/The Monkey’s Paw - Treehouse of Horror II - Season 3
“The turkey’s a little dry” - Homer
An adaptation of the short story by W.W Jacobs. After a trip to Morocco (originally thought by Homer to be Monaco), Homer is enticed by a strange monkey’s paw, which he was advised not to buy. It is said to grant wishes, but with grave misfortune as its consequence. The Simpsons obviously ignore this and and try for themselves; their wishes including a pacifier for Maggie, wealth and fame, peace on earth and finally, the perfect sandwich.
06. The Ned Zone - Treehouse of Horror XV - Season 16
“But, you’re gonna kill us all!” - Ned “But, ice cream cake!” - Homer
A worthy episode simply for its adaptation of The Dead Zone, that proves even later Treehouse of Horror is capable of having top quality horror-comedy. Ned Flanders, again as a character with supernatural powers, develops the ability to see visions of peoples deaths when in contact with them. This segment is brilliant in portraying Homer at his ignorant, selfish best, and emphasises a frustrated friendship between him and Flanders that is commonly seen in the canon episodes.
05. The Genesis Tub -Treehouse of Horror VII - Season 8
“It worked! The de-bigulator worked!” - Professor Frink
Lisa uses one of her baby teeth for a science project, which actually turns into a miniature world where she is God. It begins to develop at a rapid rate and soon creates technology to exit the tub in which they originally existed. They consider Bart to be the Devil and try to destroy him, as well as shrinking Lisa with no possible way of resizing her. Bart steals Lisa’s invention whilst she is in it and uses it for his own project, and Lisa faces the rest of her life in the miniature world.
04. The Shinning - Treehouse of Horror V - Season 6
“No TV and no beer make Homer go something, something” - Homer
“Go crazy?” - Marge
“Don’t mind if I do!” - Homer
A very funny and dedicated adaptation of The Shining. Homer begins down the path of Nicholson-style insanity as the Simpsons work as caretakers in a secluded mansion. Some of The Simpsons’ finest comedy moments feature in this tiny segment, and Treehouse of Horror V is regarded by most as the best Treehouse of Horror episode.
3. Time and Punishment - Treehouse of Horror V - Season 6
“Marge dear, would you kindly pass me a donut?” - Homer
I’m a sucker for time travel, so this segment naturally has to be one of my favourites. In this, the Simpsons’ toaster has broken, so Homer spends an unhealthy amount of time fixing it. Instead, he creates a time machine which takes him back to the age of the dinosaurs. Not following Grandpa’s advice about leaving everything untouched, Homer squishes a bug and returns back to the present day. Upon his return, Ned Flanders is the world ruler, much to Homer’s dismay and he attempts to go back and return everything back to how it was. After many unsuccessful attempts, Homer settles for what he feels is “close enough”. I have to mention, along with ‘The Shinning’ from the same episode, that I specifically love the presence of Groundskeeper Willie, who appears in each segment of Treehouse of Horror V.
02. The Devil and Homer Simpson - Treehouse of Horror IV - Season 5
“Homer, stop picking at it!” - Marge
“Aw, but I’m so sweet and tasty. - Homer
Homer’s donut craving is so severe he signs a contract with the Devil (Ned Flanders) in exchange for his soul. He tries to outsmart the Flanders by not finishing the last bite, but of course he cannot help himself, and in a sleepwalk state, eats the remainder. The Simpson’s demand a fair trial, but before this, Homer spends the day in Hell, eating an unlimited supply of donuts. This segment is packed with hilarious moments, notably an animated Richard Nixon on the Devil’s “jury of the damned”.
01. Hell Toupée - Treehouse of Horror IX - Season 10
“Freeze Hairball!” - Chief Wiggum
Snake is one of my favourite characters, and possibly the coolest. Who else could comb their hair with Kwik-E-Mart nacho cheez and still rock the bag-boy image? This specific segment is obscure but not one to be missed! It oozes classic Simpsons at a time where their innuendos and mature themes were at their best. Such genuine humour never really to be seen to that extent again, especially not from the canon episodes. It features on a VHS I bought called Too Hot For TV, and even as a child I recognised just how adult themed the collection of episodes was on that tape. After Snake gets executed for attempted robbery of the Kwik-E-mart, his vengeance is taken out beyond the grave through Homer, who was given his hair though a transplant. Apu and Moe are the first victims but Bart was also at the crime scene.
Honourable mentions: Hungry are the Damned (season 2), Nightmare Cafeteria (season 6), Citizen Kang (season 8), The HΩmega Man (season 9), Desperately Xeeking Xena (season 11) and Night of the Dolphin (season 12)
Hi! How r u? I'm on a project, and I want to know if u have any ideas or have seen any of that lot refer to TownHall, PoliceStation, Clinic, Bowlarama or Shops in Gallery to be modified later? I builded some Apts like Bronx Style w/ foundation stairs and too much bricks, Grocery like Kwik-E-Mart and FarmHouse in my small city made by me. I see u as the most genius of deco. Xo
Hi! Have you tried looking at the Tumbleton project? It has a ton of lots, maybe you can find something you like :)
… and with the new minifigures LEGO also revealed the exclusive Kwik-E-Mart. I am very positively surprised about the amount of details and accuracy. The set looks very compact and features a great deal of printed tiles (and stickers), a new minifigure of Snake and new designs for Chief Wiggum and Apu. With the size comes a high price but it seems quite worth it and I actually prefer this over The Simpsons House.
71016 - The Kwik-E-Mart, 2,179 pieces.
US $199.99 - CA $229.99 - DE 199.99€ - UK £169.99 - DK 1699.00 DKK. Available May 2015.
Visit The Kwik-E-Mart—Springfield’s favourite convenience store!
Welcome to The Kwik-E-Mart—your one-stop shop for convenience foods at inconvenient prices! This highly detailed and iconic LEGO version of The Simpsons store is packed with more rich, colorful details than a Mr. Burns birthday cake has candles! Walk under the huge Kwik-E-Mart sign and join Homer, Marge and Bart as they browse the aisles filled with beauty products, diapers, dog food, pastries, fruits, vegetables and more—including Krusty-O’s and Chef Lonelyheart’s Soup for One. Then head over to the refrigerated cases where you’ll find Buzz Cola, chocolate milk, various other drinks and snacks… and frozen Jasper!
There’s also a Buzz Cola soda fountain, juice dispensers, coffee machine, arcade games, ATM and stacks of Powersauce boxes. At the counter, Apu is ready to tempt you with a variety of printed magazines, comic books, cards, tofu hot dogs, freshly expired donuts and his ever-popular hallucination-inducing Squishees. At the back, there’s a storage closet complete with rat and an exit. On the roof you’ll discover Apu’s secret vegetable garden, while outside this amazing model features bright-yellow walls, 2 phone booths, a stack of purple crates, and a dumpster area with ‘El Barto’ graffiti, opening door and an iconic blue dumpster that also opens.
You can also remove the roof and open out the rear walls for easy access. This set also includes Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird), who loves nothing more than stealing cars and robbing the Kwik-E-Mart—but this time Chief Wiggum is hot on his tail in his police car. Capture this bandit and return peace to the town of Springfield and the amazing Kwik-E-Mart. This fantastic set includes 6 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: Homer Simpson, Bart Simpson, Marge Simpson, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum and Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird).
Set includes 6 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: Homer Simpson, Bart Simpson, Marge Simpson, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum and Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird)
Features opening rear walls, a removable roof with secret vegetable garden, Kwik-E-Mart signage, light-blue walls, dusty blue floors, turquoise welcome mat, shelves, refrigerated cases, counter, Buzz Cola soda fountain, juice dispensers, coffee machine, 2 arcade games, ATM, crates of Powersauce bars, surveillance cameras, rear storage closet with a rat, cheese, rat hole and an exit door.
Shelves feature beauty products, diapers, dog food, pastries, fruits, vegetables and more—including Krusty-O’s and Chef Lonelyheart’s Soup for One
Refrigerator cabinets feature a variety of beverages including cans of Buzz Cola… and frozen Jasper!
Counter features a cash register, magazine and card display, lottery machine, hot dog oven, donut display and a Squishee dispenser with 2 Squishees
Also includes Chief Wiggum’s police car featuring an opening trunk, removable roof and space for 3 minifigures
Accessory elements include Bart’s spray can, Marge’s shopping basket, Apu’s broom and Chief Wiggum’s cuffs and truncheon
Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird) is exclusive to this set for fall 2015
Removable roof features rare, dark-orange bricks
Lift off the roof and open out the rear walls for easy access
Drink a Squishee and get that sugar-high feeling!
Apprehend Snake before he robs again!
Stock up with overpriced convenience goods
Discover frozen Jasper!
Relax in Apu’s utopian vegetable garden
Have a donut…. mmm, dooonuts!
Kwik-E-Mart measures over 5" (14cm) high, 14" (38cm) wide and 10" (27cm) deep
Police car measures over 2" (6cm) high, 2" (6cm) wide and 5" (15cm) deep.
Ooo… we get a suprise visit from a previous character…
Blackboard Gag: “Funny noises are not funny”
Couch Gag: Two robbers have robbed the living room, sans the television when the family rushes in. The family tries to sit on the couch, but the robbers throw them off and make off with the couch.
The episode begins with Homer, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie wearing formal clothing and watching a tv show similar to Dinosaurs.
Basically a dinosaur version of The Simpsons.
Marge and Patty then come into the room, also in formal wear, and Patty warns that Selma’s new boyfriend is an excon.
However, when they meet Selma’s boyfriend it’s…
Yep. However, Sideshow Bob doesn’t hold too much of a grudge on Bart, despite the fact Bart cracked the case on who robbed the Kwik-E-Mart.
At the dinner table, Bob explains how life in prison was. He was abused by other cell mates and the guards due to his fame. He then joined a cellmate penpal program and gets paired with Selma. Things go well, and Bob promises not to hurt anyone again. And here’s the juicy part: Sideshow Bob proposes to Selma, and she agrees to marry him! Bart on the other hand is none too happy since he still doesn’t trust Bob.
This is followed by a montage of Selma and Bob doing romantic things together accompanied by themselves singing Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s “Something Stupid.”
While The Simpsons watch Krusty’s Marathon for Motion Sickness, Sideshow Bob gets invited onstage.
While Krusty forgives him, Bart is told by the family that he should forgive him too, but Bart is still stubborn.
Next, Homer and Marge help with wedding preparations.
When it comes to appetizers, Selma doesn’t care what they serve, all food tastes like styrofoam to her. Why? When she was a child, she got a bottle rocket stuck up her nose. Hopefully it was removed, but due to the accident, she no longer has a sense of smell or taste.
A few days later, we come to the first clash between Selma and Bob: During a date, Selma realizes that they’re late for the next McGuyver episode! They rush home, and Selma joins her sister on watching the episode.
After the show, Sideshow Bob says he hates the show and makes a harsh criticism on it.
Selma comes crying to the Simpson family about it, much to Bart’s delight.
However, this problem is quickly solved: Bob doesn’t have to watch McGuyver; instead he should go for a walk or visit friends.
The wedding day finally arrives. Maggie gets to be the flower girl, much to Lisa’s chagrin.
At the reception/party, Patty depressingly points out that she’s the only single girl left in the family. Gee, Patty and I have a lot in common, don’t we? I’ve never had a boyfriend/girlfriend before, and probably never will.
Marge tries to get Krusty to tell a joke, but he almost tells the one about the small piano player.
You know what I’m talking about…
Selma then makes an announcement: She is going to cut back on smoking and only do it after meals and McGuyver.
Bart then asks Chief Wiggum if Bob is going to commit another crime, but Wiggum is not so sure.
After the wedding, Selma and Bob drive away. Bob then secretly shows his true colors: He plans on murdering Selma!
A few days later, Selma and Bob are on their honeymoon in Shelbyville and they send a tape to The Simpsons. Geez, that was awfully fast, wasn’t it? During the recording, Sideshow Bob is berating the bellhop because he wanted a suite with a fireplace.
Anyway, they do, and Bart wonders why Bob wanted a room with a fireplace. Marge suggests it’s too suggestive for Bart to understand.
During one of Selma’s foot massages,
Bob mutters, “soon I will kill you.” Selma asks what he says, and he replies that he said, “Sa pied sentit beau,” French for “Her foot smells lovely.” Then he says “prepare to be murdered,” I mean, he said “your toes smell like perfume” in Sanskrit. Then he says, “voy a matar a usted,” Spanish for, “I’m going to kill you.” Nevermind, McGuyver is coming on.
While Selma watches, Bob turns on the gas from the fireplace and sneaks out for his walk.
Meanwhile, Patty comes over to the Simpsons house and they watch TV together.
When McGuyver comes on, it dawns on Bart: Selma has one hour left to live!
With Bob, he lounges near the hotel pool when… BOOM!
Bob then calls the front desk in panic and tells what happened. Then he goes into the room and expects to see Selma’s corpse, but instead he sees…
Selma then comes into the room and angrily shouts that she wants a separation.
Bart then tells everyone how he knew what was going to happen. Here’s how he found out…
Sideshow Bob wanted a room with a fireplace because it uses gas. Selma couldn’t tell if the gas was on due to her lack of sense of smell. All the gas needed to cause an explosion was flame, ie from a cigarette. Selma kept her promise to cut back on smoking, and after McGuyver was one of her smoke times. Bart then tried in vain to warn Homer
until he told Marge.
The family then rushed to Shelbyville hotel right in the nick of time!
But why did the room explode despite the fact Selma was saved? That was Chief Wiggum’s fault. He accidentally threw a match into the room while celebrating a job well done.
Anyway, Bob is sent to prison and the family watch him get escorted out.
My thoughts: A great way to reintroduce Sideshow Bob, and I like how it continues Selma’s everlasting wish to marry the man of her dreams.