TREEHOUSE OF ERROR Archives

The Simpsons Predicts The Past

Here's an intriguing headline from Vox:

The Simpsons predicted Russia's current economic downturn back in 1999

And here's an excerpt from the actual story:

Of course it was not actually "predicting" today's Russian economic downturn, but rather riffing off the earlier downturn, of which there have been several.

So, basically, the show didn't predict it at all and your headline is a blatant lie. That's some good reportin' there, Lou.

Wait a minute... this was all a ploy to get us to learn about the Russian economy, wasn't it?!

Learning? Russia? Let's get out of here!

Matt Groening's "I Think We Are Closer To Wrapping It Up" Comment Was More Than Half The Series Ago

Matt Groening giving an interview

During an interview with London's Financial Times back in April 2002, Simpsons creator Matt Groening mused "I think we are closer to winding it up." It was a fairly innocuous comment - the show had been on for over 12 years at that point, and he naturally didn't think it would go on for another 12 - but our alarmist media took it to mean the show was ending immediately, causing something of a global panic. It was all very stupid:

D’OH! THEY’RE MAKING FUNERAL PLANS FOR… THE SIMPSONS (New York Post)
Save the Greatest Show on Earth; Can Simpsons Creator Matt Groening Be Persuaded Not to Quit? (The Evening Standard)
'The Simpsons' may be . . . D'oh! (Philly.com)
Are Homer's days numbered? (Daily Telegraph)
'The Simpsons' soon to bow out (CNN Money)

In an effort to quell the uproar, Groening later clarified, "I don't want anyone to think I am predicting the demise of the Simpsons. They will live on with new adventures for years to come. As long as there are things to make fun of we will be around." The next episode's chalkboard gag also addressed the issue.

At the time of the "wrapping it up" comment, The Simpsons had been on the air for 4,517 days. It has now been 4,518 days since that comment was reported, and there is still no end in sight.

No, The Simpsons Don't Live in Oregon

SpringfieldLike a bunch of lemmings jumping off a cliff, just about every news outlet from CBS News to the E! network to the gadget blog Gizmodo to the New Yorker (!) to the Los Angeles Times to the FOX Network to local newscasts around the country has regurgitated the SHOCKING news that Simpsons creator Matt Groening had finally revealed the location of the fictional cartoon town of Springfield: his home state of Oregon. Except, uh, he didn't say that at all and you'd have to be severely incompetent at basic reading comprehension to think otherwise?

Even The Credits Are Phoning It In

A magic eagle-eyed commenter at Dead Homer Society noticed that whoever does the credits failed to doublecheck the spelling of Kristen Schaal:

via dead homer society

Internet Randomly Assigns Bart Simpson A Birthday

barty, it’s your birthday / happy birthday, bartyFor some inexplicable reason, the internet randomly decided that yesterday (or today, depending on who you ask) would be Bart Simpsons's 32nd birthday, if he were capable of aging and also not a made-up character.

As far as I can tell from Google's incredibly imprecise realtime search, the news of Bart's mortality appears to have originated from the Twitter account of record label Moodgadget, which got more than a hundred "retweets." Soon, "Bart Simpson" became a "Trending Topic" on Twitter for quite a while and news of his birthday spread like a funny cat video through Facebook and the rest of the internet.

The date isn't based on any premiere date (as every Simpsons fan knows, The Simpsons first appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987; the Christmas special aired on December 17, 1989; and the series proper premiered on January 14, 1990), any explicit date given in the series, nor the birthdates of his voice actress, Nancy Cartwright (October 25th), or would-be namesake, creator Matt Groening (February 15th).

So, when is Bart's birthday? The good people over at the Simpsons Archive already determined it years ago. According to the 1992 episode "Lisa's First Word," Lisa was born during the 1984 Summer Olympics. Specifically, Marge started going into labor during the women's 100 meter butterfly, which was scheduled on August 2nd. In the 1997 episode "My Sister, My Sitter," Bart exclaims that he is "two years and thirty-eight days" older than Lisa, which would put Bart's birthday on or around June 25th.

Coca-Cola Spreading Lies About The Simpsons

Even though the Simpsons are now Coca-Cola spokesmen, that hasn't stopped the soda giant from spreading lies about Our Favorite Family. Over the past year, Coke has made a big push to emphasize its historical roots, including resuscitating its long-dead founder, Dr. John Pemberton. Without mentioning names, an interactive Coke history quiz attributes the "Diet Coke and Mentos" fad that swept the nation in the 2000s to Bart Simpson:

diet coke bart simpson

They should have checked their factoids. Barring some forgettable Season 15 episode, the only Simpsons moment that comes close to that is the immortal scene from "Homer Badman" when Homer macgyvers a can of the fictional Buzz Cola and a bag of Pop Rox to form an improvised grenade, and presumably kills dozens with the resulting explosion, which you can see in this animated gif I just spent 15 minutes looking for:


homer pop rocks explosion


Now, why in the world would those corporate fatcats at Coca-Cola want to distance themselves from that? Why even bring The Simpsons into this at all? You may have won the Cola Wars, Coke, but that doesn't give you the right to rewrite history. [Coke Time Machine]

Come On, Bongo.

lisa anagramgive me a break
Do you take us for a bunch of chumps? Do you really expect us to believe Lisa is capable of coming up with celebrity anagrams, when it's been canonically proven she cannot? Howsabout paying attention to the show once in a while? Jeez... [Bongo Blog]

David Letterman Influences The Simpsons From The Future

What's wrong with the graphic from this CNN article about The Simpsons? Well, although Late Night with David Letterman started in 1982, featured many future Simpsons writers (including George Meyer & Jeff Martin), and most assuredly influenced The Simpsons, The Late Show with David Letterman began in 1993, well after The Simpsons' fourth season. [CNN]

Super Gay Organization Condemns Fictional Cartoon Character

In last Sunday's "Treehouse of Horror" episode, fictional school bully and noted haw-hawer Nelson Muntz called a giant pumpkin "super gay," a homophobic slur that has a national gay organization all a-twitter.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a non-fictional organization that focuses on facilitating positive social change in schools, sent the following statement to celebrity-stalking megablog TMZ:

Nelson's use of 'that's so gay' in a negative way is not surprising considering that 90 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth say they hear the term used this way frequently or often at school. Nelson should visit ThinkB4YouSpeak.com where he can send an apologetic e-card to Milhouse. GLSEN would also welcome Nelson's participation in our next PSA so he can make amends by helping to educate young people about why such language is wrong.


Technically Nelson said, "The Grand Pumpkin's super gay," and it was directed at the Grand Pumpkin, not Milhouse, but who cares? I'm just glad GLSEN found the time to follow in the grand footsteps of Dan Quayle and complain about a fictional TV character instead of, I don't know, maybe fighting to keep same-sex marriage legal in California? [TMZ]

Correcting the Record

As you know, we here at rubbercat.net/simpsons, we take our reporting seriously. Nevertheless, a few mistakes manage to slip themselves through and blemish our sterling reputation. We would like to take this opportunity to correct the record.

  • In our previous post, we said that writer Bill Odenkirk posted on a Simpsons message board. It was actually someone from Australia pretending to be Mr. Odenkirk.
  • Maggie Roswell did not at any time refer to fellow voice actress Marcia Mitzman-Gaven as a "slut-ass ho bitch."
  • rubbercat.net/simpsons specifically retracts all statements made on the website that state or suggest in any way that Matt Groening or his associates orchestrated or played any role in the assault on Sam Simon or that they lured him into an ambush at the Quad studios.

We regret the errors. OK not really

Doris Grau Writes From Beyond The Grave

In a quick review of "The Simpsons Handbook," a how-to-draw Simpsons book that came out earlier this year, The Courier-Journal identifies the authors as voice actresses "Doris Grau and Marcia Mitzman Gaven." One problem: Grau, voice of Lunchlady Doris, died in 1995.

To be fair, Amazon lists them as the authors as well. [courier-journal.com]

Simpsons Perv Put In Charge Of Olympics Logo

It appears one of the pervs who make erotic Simpsons fanart and ruined Google Image Search for everyone was put in charge of designing the logo for the 2012 Summer Olympics, because how else to explain this? Oh sure it's supposed to be "2012," rendered in an abstract style reminiscent of early-80's LA New Wave, but doesn't it look like something... unseemly... that will be impossible to unsee once you've seen it?

Quoth LAist:

Hell, the very first comment on Londonist acknowledged that yep that's Lil Lisa doing something that doesn't seem like something a vegetarian would do unless she's planning on spitting it out.
I think it's time for Izzy to come out of retirement. [LAist]

Gabor Csupo: The Unsung Co-Creator

Sure, Matt Groening might have his name emblazoned on every piece of Simpsons art and merchandise, but what about the other creators, such as Gabor Csupo, former supervising animation director?

Christy Lemire sets the record straight in her review of Bridge to Terabithia:

Killer birds and giant squirrels and menacing trees come out of nowhere and dart about in this live-action feature debut from Hungarian animation artist Gabor Csupo, who helped create "The Simpsons."

Csupo is a pretty accomplished guy in his own right - he's one of the two founders of successful animation company Klasky-Csupo, which produced the mega-popular Rugrats. So why is his Simpsons connection still being emphasized? [The Brunswick News]