Who doesn’t love The Simpsons? America’s ultimate dysfunctional family. Many of us have followed the madcap life of Homer, Marge, Bart. Lisa and Maggie since they made their debut on the Tracey Ullman show back in 1989. Since those early days, they have gone on to become part of American culture and a worldwide phenomenon.
Part of the reason for their enduring popularity is the way in which they manage to include so much into every episode. Aside from the main plot The Simpsons always manage to include multiple in-jokes or ‘Easter Eggs’ to keep the audience engaged.
One of the recurring ways in which they do this is through the use of headline news stories taken from the local rag the Springfield Shopper. We’ve searched around for some of the best ones, and here is what we came up with. Think you can do better? That is what the comments section is for. Enjoy!
#10 Spinning Newspaper Injures Printer
Aired on September 24, 1995, the spinning newspaper was shown in series 7 ‘Radioactive Man’. This episode featured Hollywood legend, Mickey Rooney.
The spinning newspaper is a constant thing in the Simpsons when introducing important news stories into the narrative. It is also a homage to the classic 60’s Batman series. Radioactive Man was based upon Adam West’s interpretation of Batman. This time the spinning newspaper was turned into a parody of itself by the use of this clever gag.
#9 President Simpson Wins Superbowl
Episode 3 season 3 ‘When Flanders Failed’ was the first to have Ned Flanders’ name in the title and be based around this character. Featured during the show was this unbelievable headline about Homer Simpson
Ned Flanders decides he wants to open a store in Springfield that caters specifically to left-handed people. When you consider that the ratio of lefties in the USA is around 1/10 and that there are only 30,720 residents of Springfield [https://simpsonswiki.com/wiki/Springfield] you can understand why this may not be such a great business idea.
Whilst attending a BBQ round at Flanders’ house, Ned offers the wishbone from a chicken to Homer and asks him to pull it and make a wish. Homer (taking it way too seriously) initially thinks about winning the Superbowl as POTUS. What he decides on though is to wish that Ned Flanders’ new business should fail, which ultimately it does.
#8 Obese Nerd Eats Humble Pie
Obese Nerd Eats Humble Pie is from series 15 ‘Simple Simpson’. This episode sees Homer Simpson take on the role of ‘Pie Man’ in order to settle perceived injustices, made against Bart and Lisa. The title in question refers to Homer’s revenge on the owner of the comic book shop after he rips off young Bart.
We think ‘Pie Man’ was a super character and would certainly have made a brilliant spin-off series. judging by the amount of online content referencing this fictional character (a fictional character playing a fictional character hmmm!) it seems many of you agree. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below about your favourite Simpsons episode.
#7 Squirrel Resembling Abraham Lincoln Found
‘Radio Bart’ is the 13th episode of season 3 of The Simpsons. It is Bart’s birthday and Homer does not know what to get him for a gift. After seeing an ad on TV he decides to buy Bart a ‘Superstar Celebrity Microphone’. Bart is not overly thrilled with this gift, nor anything else he receives. However, later he puts the microphone to good use (or bad depending on which way you look at it) to play a prank on Springfield.
To cut this story short, Bart tricks the town into thinking he has fallen down a Well. Later on, he actually does fall down the Well. The citizens of Springfield having been tricked once are not keen on rescuing the unfortunate Bart. This headline comes into the story when the local news reporter stops writing a piece about ‘Well Boy’ after receiving a telephone call about a ‘real’ story… Squirrel Resembling Abraham Lincoln Found.
#6 Ketchup Truck Hits Hamburger Stand
Lisa Simpson is well known for her environmental proclivities. This programme from series 12 entitled ‘Lisa the Tree Hugger’ sees Lisa fall in love with an animal rights activist. In order to impress him, she camps out at the top of Springfields oldest Redwood tree in order to stop it being cut down.
Ketchup Truck Hits Hamburger Stand comes right at the beginning of the episode. Marge Simpson, sitting in her kitchen with Maggie, is amused by the headline. So much so, that she decides to cut it out and send it to Jay Leno.
#5 Mayor Unveils Erection to Cheering Crowd
Marge is well known for spotting witty headlines in the papers and forwarding them to Kent Brockman at Channel 6 News. Mayor Unveils Erection To Cheering Crowd appears at the beginning of ‘My Mother the Carjacker’ (series 15; episode 1) when Marge features in the viewer’s participation section, ‘Oops Patrol’.
#4 Bumblebee Man Caught In Sting
‘Three Gays of the Condo’ is the 17th episode of season 14. Homer and Marge begin to have issues over Homer’s drinking which causes him to move out of the marital home. Homer ends up moving into a flat with two gay guys, Grady and Julio and starts to buy into the gay lifestyle.
Bumblebee Man Caught In Sting appears whilst Homer is having breakfast with Julio. Homer questions why Julio reads the New York Times when he lives in Springfield. Julio then produces a copy of the Springfield Shopper and announces “I despise the Springfield Shopper, what is that? All the headlines are jokes.” Well, you got that right Julio! This is yet another piece of self-parody by the writers of The Simpsons.
You guys don’t have a gay time machine, do you?
#3 Incontinent Old Man Wins Miss Teen Ameria
Episode 18 of season 6 ‘A Star is Burns’ is a brilliant (aren’t they all) episode in which, George Montgomery Burns enters a movie about himself into the Springfield Film Festival.
The town of Springfield decides to hold a film festival to try to improve its image after finding out that Springfield has been voted the least popular town in America.
Meanwhile, all is not well at the nuclear power plant owned by Mr Burns so he enters his own film directed by world-famous Mexican Director Senor Spielbergo. Profits are down and GM Burns wants to boost his popularity with the public by showing what a nice guy he is. Well, that was never really going to work was it!
#2 Bart Named World’s Greatest Sex Machine
Who would have thought it? Bart Simpson the world’s greatest sex machine! This headline is taken from season 6 of The Simpsons in the episode Homer v Patty and Selma.
In this episode, Homer loses all his money in a dubious stock market trade and is forced to go cap in hand to Marge’s sisters. Patty and Selma agree to lend money to Homer but in return, they expect their hapless brother-in-law to pander to their every whim. Basically, Homer becomes Patty and Selma’s bitch. Talk about ultimate humiliation!
Prior to making his deal with the terrible twosome, however, Homer takes to looking through the wanted ads in order to land himself a part-time job. Unfortunately for Homer, the paper is a joke paper bought at the Carnival. When Lisa points this out to him he exclaims “No wonder I didn’t hear about Bart being named the world’s greatest sex machine!”
OK, I confess! Our number 1 headline is not taken from The Simpsons at all. This classic headline from November 2016 featured in that Great British tabloid ‘The Sun’. Old ‘Orange Man’ himself Donald J Trump has just been elected President of the United States. We won’t debate the wisdom of that decision here, but it did throw up one remarkable coincidence.
Sixteen years earlier in an episode of The Simpsons entitled ‘Bart to the Future’ (Season 11, Episode 17) the writers (seemingly) predicted Trump’s presidency. In this episode, the infuriatingly smug Lisa Simpson becomes President of the United States. She has taken over the Oval Office from a certain Donald J Trump who has left the country flat broke. Unfortunately, this puts poor Lisa in a difficult situation as she finds she doesn’t even have the funds to fulfil her dream of building the world’s largest bookmobile.
The simplicity of this headline reflected the collective opinion of a nation as we woke up to what America had done. It is also a brilliant headline in its own right and deservedly takes the number 1 spot in our list.
So, do you agree with our choices? Are there any other headlines from the Simpsons that you feel deserve to be on our list? Tell us about your suggestions below and maybe we can include them in a future post. Of course, I wouldn’t like to make a prediction!
[If you are a fan of The Simpsons check out Simpsonwiki at https://simpsonswiki.com/wiki/Main_Page or Simpson Crazy http://www.simpsoncrazy.com/lists/newspaper for more interesting facts about the series.]
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