Meta References on The SimpsonsBy Nicolás Di Candia
The show is heavy on meta references. This list keeps growing, but I still feel there are a lot of missing references (plus there are probably some that only insiders get, if you are one feel free to provide us with them, or better yet, feel obligated to provide us with them). So contributions and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Halloween episodes are marked with an 'h' in the production code.
A German translation of this list is available here.
New in this update:
Jay Kogen / Wallace Wolodarsky
John SwartzwelderEpisodes with bold p-code were written by him.
Names in DNA computer from 2F20
References to James L. Brooks movies
Cast & Crew
The title shows upThe obvious ones (such as "Mr. Plow") aren't listed here.
References to the opening sequence
Live action shotsNot exactly meta-references, but they do remind me that I'm watching a cartoon.
People who have five fingers
Counting with hands that have four digits
Looking at the camera
Krusty and Itchy & Scratchy equal The Simpsons
Where is Springfield? referencesThis is a list of references to the fact that Springfield isn't in any particular state. For clues as to where Springfield might be see Where is Springfield?
Simpsons as the center of Springfield
Simpsons not getting Emmys
Time slot references
The Simpsons (the show) = The Simpsons (the family)
Simpsons on TV
The character noticesSometimes meta-references are used to comment on the writing or plot devices.
Breaking characterCharacters talking to the audience outside of the main show.
Life in Hell referencesLife in Hell, of course, is Matt Groening's comic strip.
Tracey Ullman shorts references
Futurama referencesFuturama, of course, is Matt Groening's other show.
Simpsons Theme playings
Pokes at clip shows / crossovers
Self-reflective episodes(Some of these texts were shamelessly adapted from the capsules).
The Simpsons tends to have a self-reflective episode roughly every two seasons. Many of them involve Itchy & Scratchy plotwise. Some of the comments here are subject to interpretation and may be delirious.
[7F09] Itchy & Scratchy & Marge (1990)This episode comments on the critics that The Simpsons had been receiving of its run, being a cartoon for adults. There are no individual references to this (that I remember) in the episode.
[9F16] The Front (1993)
[1F11] Bart Gets Famous (1994)
[3F16] The Day the Violence Died (1996)
[4F12] The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show (1997)
[AABF09] Homer to the Max (1999)
[DABF01] Brawl in the Family (2002)This was the first episode after four years of Mike Scully as executive producer, a period perceived by many as having low quality. In this episode:
[DABF13] I Am Furious (Yellow) (2002)
[DABF21] Helter Shelter (2002)
Related pages at The Simpsons Archive
CONTRIBUTORS (contributions are always welcome and will be credited):
Last updated on March 25, 2005 by Nicolás Di Candia