The Simpsons has been one of the most iconic cartoon shows for as long as we can remember. Though the show was praised for the first ten seasons (often referred to as the Golden Era), many viewers have felt that the show has gotten significantly worse as time has gone on. After 28 seasons and a feature-length film, it's understandable that the quality of The Simpsons has dipped a little. Nonetheless, The Simpsons has been and always will be a hit in a number of different demographics. Kids, teenagers, adults. It didn't matter. Everyone loved The Simpsons.
What people found most appealing about The Simpsons is that there was something in the show for everyone. The show tackled problems middle class Americans had to face while at the same time remaining funny. On the surface, the humor found in The Simpsons seems like it's slapstick comedy. While that may be true, there were a number of jokes cleverly hidden throughout the series that only the adults would find funny. Oftentimes, the show was filled with double entendres or made references to old movies, television shows, plays, poems, and literature. Even the most well-read pop-culture fanatic would have a hard time catching every reference (or dirty joke) in the show without doing a little research.
So, what jokes did the writers hide from kids in the show? Here are 15 Jokes That Were Way Too Adult For The Simpsons — but they put them in anyway!
15 'Should I Whack Slow... Or Fast?'
'Whacking Day' (Season 4, episode 20) is one of the most iconic episodes of The Simpsons to date. The episode revolves around a completely made-up holiday called "Whacking Day," where the residents of Springfield drive snakes into the town square and whack them to death with clubs. It's a brutal episode that was pitched by one of the writers, George Meyer, who wanted to bring attention to the mistreatment of snakes.
The Whacking Day sex joke starts with Homer holding his black bat in between his legs. He sensually asks Marge if she wants him to whack slow or fast as he polishes his bat. The camera pans out from Homer shortly after, but the damage had been done.
To be honest, this joke went completely over my head when I first saw it. I thought the joke was that Marge loved Homer's ability to whack snakes. When, in reality, Marge was blushing at the idea of Homer whacking... well... not snakes.
14 'I Hope The Kids Didn't Hear Us'
Over the years, The Simpsons hasn't shied away from showing couples cuddling after having sex. For a while, it seemed like sex was featured in every episode. That said, this is probably one of the greatest sex jokes on The Simpsons, and that's saying a lot. Of course, these types of jokes just come down to personal preference. Nonetheless, it's a great joke.
This particular joke can be found in Season 13, episode 4, 'A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love.' In this episode, Mr. Burns reads a fortune that says he will soon find love. He meets Gloria, a meter maid, and asks her out on a date, which she begrudgingly accepts. In order to appear more youthful, Burns recruits Homer to make him seem younger to Gloria while they're on their dates. It's a great episode, guest-starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and George Takei.
13 'Do Not Touch — Willie'
Arguably the greatest Halloween episodes in television history, The Simpsons never failed to disappoint with their Treehouse of Horror episodes. Unlike a standard episode, Treehouse of Horror episodes were typically broken into three mini episodes, usually parodying something from pop culture. These stories had elements that most kids would find too spooky. Seriously, The Simpsons version of 'The Raven' gave me nightmares. However, the writers always managed to throw in a punchline before things got too scary.
You'll find the above visual gag in Season 7, episode 6, 'Treehouse of Horror VI.' In the episode, during a school conference to address the misprinting of calendars, Homer complains about the lousy 'Smarch' weather. Before turning up the thermostat in the school, Homer says "Do not touch Willie — Good advice!"
Don't get the joke? Say it out loud. Really think about what you're saying. If you still can't figure it out — The Simpsons managed to slip in the most subtle dick joke of all time. A similar joke was done in another episode, where Groundskeeper Willie pushes Principle Skinner and says, "That's the last time you'll slap your Willie around."
12 'What's This About A Fisting?'
One of the longest running jokes in The Simpsons was that Mr. Burns's assistant, Waylon Smithers Jr, was a closeted homosexual. Smithers was always privately admiring Mr. Burns, daydreaming about his macho physique, sliding compliments into conversations, and other times, Smithers was so in-your-face about being gay, everyone just assumed that he was. This, however, was not cannon until Season 27 (which aired in 2016), when Smithers finally came out as gay.
Although the most recent seasons of The Simpsons are less liked by fans, there have been a few comedic gems scattered through the episodes. In Season 24, episode 15, 'Black Eyed, Please,' Flanders asks Homer to punch him in the face by saying, "I'm insisting on a fisting!" Seemingly out of nowhere, Smithers appears, asking about the fisting.
For those who don't know what fisting is — think about it. Think about what two consenting adults could do with a fist in a sexual way. Urban Dictionary can be your friend if you're brave enough.
11 The Slogan On This Sperm Bank
The Simpsons slides as many jokes as possible into a scene. Usually, when introducing a new location, the writers of The Simpsons would have a gag on a sign. If you blinked when the scene changed, you would miss the joke. These are the types of gags that really added a level of humor in The Simpsons that wasn't seen in any other cartoon at the time.
Does anyone really know what the demographic of The Simpsons is? In general, the show applies to a broad audience -- so broad, in fact, that there's a show that everyone, no matter their background, can enjoy. There were silly jokes that made the show connect with a younger audience, but the most hilarious jokes on the show were often written for the adults.
Take the photo above, for example. This still is taken from Season 4, episode, 13, 'Selma's Choice.' For most kids watching the show, they have absolutely no idea what sperm is, let alone what happens at a sperm bank. But for an adult carefully watching every scene, they see one of the greatest (or worst) slogans of all time.
10 'Zookeeper! Zookeeper! Those Monkeys Are Killing Each Other'
The Simpsons had a number of writers over the years. A little known fact is that talk show host Conan O'Brien was a writer for The Simpsons over two seasons before taking over Late Night. Some hardcore fans of The Simpsons will say that the two seasons O'Brien wrote for should be considered the golden age of The Simpsons, and you can make some very promising arguments regarding that.
For example, O'Brien wrote Season 4, episode 8, 'New Kid on the Block.' In the episode, Bart falls for a new neighbor, Laura, who he learns is dating Jimbo Jones. Not only did O'Brien write this amazing episode, but he also created one of The Simpsons' most iconic characters — The Sea Captain.
During a flashback in this episode, a young Homer gets the attention of the zookeeper because he believes the monkeys are killing each other. Without missing a beat, the zookeeper whispers, "They're having sex." You can almost not even hear what the zookeeper whispers — but it's there.
What parent hasn't had this awkward conversation with a child?
9 How Smithers Feels About Female Sailors
Treehouse of Horror episodes in The Simpsons have always been flooded with genius. It's truly incredible how for years, The Simpsons was seen as a 'stupid show' by people who weren't actually watching it. If you need any more proof that the writers of The Simpsons are comedic geniuses, take this scene from Season 4, episode 5, 'Treehouse of Horror III.'
Essentially, in a parody of King Kong, Marge asks if she can join Mr. Burns's mysterious expedition. Mr. Burns, nervous at the idea of having a beautiful woman (Marge) on board, asks Smithers for his opinion. The dialogue is as follows:
Mr. Burns: "What do you think, Smithers?"
Smithers: "I think women and seamen don't mix."
Mr. Burns: "We know what you think."
If those joke is going over your head (like it went over mine when I was a kid), think about Smithers as a character. We know that for years, he was a closeted homosexual alluding to his general distaste for women. What could Smithers possibly be insinuating with his comment to Mr. Burns?
8 'Man, That Is Fragrant False Advertising!'
In the book The Simpsons Guide to Springfield, Stoner's Pot Palace is listed as a disappointment to shoppers. This becomes apparent in Season 8, episode 6, when Otto is seen walking out as the Simpson family is walking in. On his way out of the building, Otto angrily yells, "Man, that is fragrant false advertising!"
Otto Mann, also known as Otto the School Bus Driver, is loved for his excessive drug use and love for heavy metal. He's either rocking out, crashing the school bus, or seen getting high and acting unpredictably. When talking to Bart, Otto tries to seem like he has his life together — but when he's not sharing words of wisdom with his favourite fourth grader, the writers of The Simpsons throw him in an episode for a drug gag. Otto was always one of those characters that people loved seeing on screen, and the episodes revolving around him tend to rock.
7 Springfield Heights Institute of Technology
This visual gag in The Simpsons was really hard to catch upon first viewing. It's one of those jokes that went over most people's heads. And, even though I'm telling you that there's a joke in the above photo, there's a chance that you don't see it. It's the type of joke the writers put in to amuse themselves and not the audience. I'll give you a hint: what would the acronym of Springfield Heights Institute of Technology be?
How did the writers get away with it?
In addition to being used as a visual gag, the Springfield Heights Institute of Technology is a fairly important building in Springfield. Apu was able to get his PhD at this school, and the building was featured in a crossover episode between The Simpsons and Futurama. The building is such an important part of The Simpsons universe that it can be purchased for use in the mobile game The Simpsons: Tapped Out.
6 The Simpsons Sex Ed Video
Fuzzy Bunny's Guide To You Know What was first featured in Season 3, episode 23, 'Bart's Friend Falls In Love.' The video, narrated by Troy McClure (of course), follows the story of Fuzzy Bunny going through puberty, meeting a girl rabbit, and the rabbits falling in love. As you can tell by the above photos: the Bunnies end up doing it like rabbits.
Mrs. Krabappel, Bart's teacher and one of the more iconic characters on The Simpsons, was known for her realness. She was the most accurate depiction of a teacher who doesn't care about her job. She was a great character who will be missed greatly.
The voice of Edna Krabappel (and Ms. Mellon) was Marcia Karen Wallace. Marcia Wallace unfortunately passed away in 2013. She died of pneumonia, one week shy of her 71st Birthday. With her passing, the character of Edna Krabappel was killed. How Edna died is never revealed in the show, though there have been several homages to her deceased character in the show.
5 Marge's New Yoga Pose
In Season 14, episode 6, 'The Great Louse Detective,' the Simpsons family wins a free spa weekend. At the spa, Marge takes a brief yoga class. As you can see from the photo above, she learns a rather uniquely named yoga position. Without going into much detail, you can clearly see what the writers were trying to insinuate with the way Marge is posed.
The joke itself is a cheap jab at the idea of paying taxes, but that doesn't mean it's a bad joke. It's the type of joke that most people will politely laugh at and shout out, "I hear that!" Besides, for a kid (or innocent-minded adult), it looks like Marge is bowing down to the government as she gets ready to pay her absurd taxes.
4 'Now I See Why They Call You Miss Hoover'
No, the picture seen above is not from some weird erotic version of The Simpsons. It's from an actual episode (Season 25, episode 18) and was seen as disgusting among longtime fans of the show.
The Simpsons writers have always loved to do 'flash forward' episodes. These episodes are not considered canon but give the writers (and fans) a chance to see what life would be like if the characters on The Simpsons aged. In this particular episode, Bart looks for love by hooking up with a number of women. One of these women is Lisa's second grade teacher, Miss Hoover.
As the two characters relax in bed together, Bart remarks "Wow, now I see why they call you Miss Hoover. You must have been vacuuming for an hour." It is, by far, the most inappropriate sex joke made on The Simpsons. It manages to be clever and incredibly tacky at the same time.
Her name is Miss Hoover. Hoover is a brand of vacuum. And what do vacuums do? They suck.
3 The Nudity In The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons movie came out in 2007 and made an absolute fortune. On a budget of $75 million, the film pulled $527 million at the box office, further proving just how much the world loves The Simpsons. They truly were everyone's favourite family for a number of years.
There were a number of gags in the movie that writers for The Simpsons wouldn't have been able to use for the show. For example, in the show, there's almost no nudity. Sure, you might see half of a cartoon butt every now and then — but that's no big deal. Characters' naughty bits are often covered by objects, branches, or even their own limbs. That changed, however, in The Simpsons Movie.
Wanting to test his son in a dare contest, Homer dares Bart to skateboard down to Krusty Burger completely naked. Bart does so without hesitation, despite the entire town seeing his doodle. In typical fashion, almost every item you can think of covers Bart's private parts, until Bart skates behind a bush that covers every part of him — except his wiener.
It was a bold move for The Simpsons. Even South Park hadn't shown a 10-year-old's penis until 2016, 9 years after Bart bared all for the world!
2 Sneed's Feed And Seed
You could write an entire article about genius signs in The Simpsons. Somebody may have done it already. But, for now, can we take another moment to appreciate this subtle joke found in Season 11, episode 5, 'E-I-E-I(Annoyed Grunt).' The episode, where Homer grows a hybrid of tomatoes and tobacco that he calls 'tomacco' is a great episode and a must see for anyone looking to watch the best of The Simpsons.
In the episode, Homer stops by a convenience store close to the farm that he grew up on. He's looking to buy some supplies when he arrives. The store, called "Sneed's Feed & Seed," was formerly known as "Chuck's." If the rhyming pattern in the store name is anything to go on, you can only imagine what the store was called when it belonged to Chuck.
Seriously, how did the writers get away with this?
1 'All Of Us Pull A Few Boners'
Season 3, episode 16, 'Bart the Lover,' is home to some of the best wordplay that you'll find on The Simpsons. One of the subplots of the episode is that Flanders tries to get Homer to limit his swearing, after his son, Todd, repeats some of his foul language at the dinner table.
Flanders, a devout Christian, approaches Homer in his backyard and says, "Look Homer, all of us pull a few boners now and then — go off half-cocked, make asses of ourselves." It's the chain of euphemisms from a hardcore Christian character that makes this one of the most clever scenes in The Simpsons.
Flanders was trying to say everyone swears occasionally. The writers, of course, were playing with the stereotype that devout Christian men are often closeted homosexuals.
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