Let’s get one thing out of the way quickly: The Simpsons is past its best.
In its prime, it was one of the greatest, most inventive TV shows going. But in the years since Principal Skinner revealed himself as Armin Tamzarian, Springfield has experienced a long, steady decline.
For all the ‘It’s not as good as the old days’ moaning, one aspect of The Simpsons that has remained consistently great is the couch gag – as this weekend’s new 80s themed episode proves.
Matt Groening and co have opened up the show’s intro to a host of brilliant artists and filmmakers over the last few years. The results have been bizarre, brilliant and, in the case of Bansky, highly controversial. Here are five of the very best couch gags.
Posted by Loaded Magazine on Friday, January 8, 2016
Homer experiences a vivid 80s fever dream in this weekend’s episode Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdles. The extended skit sees him don shades and get transported into a Miami Vice-style action movie with all of Springfield’s favourites.
Soundtracked to Push It To The Limit from Scarface, Homer gets reborn as a musclebound cop battling an evil Flanders and Fat Tony’s gangsters. Bonus points if you can spot the fleeting Back To The Future Easter egg.
Guillermo del Toro
One of the all-time best intros, Hellboy mastermind Guillermo del Toro turned The Simpsons into an epic horror movie for 2013’s Halloween special.
Everyone from Alfred Hitchcock to Stephen King makes an appearance, while del Toro tips his hat to some of the films in his own back catalogue. The highlight? Mr Burns as the creepy Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth.
Evolution of Homer
The Simpsons rewound the clock in 2014 to reverse the evolution of Homer and family in this trippy sequence from It’s Such A Beautiful Day animator Don Hertzfeldt. He manages to put so much of his own stamp on the sequence that it almost doesn’t feel like The Simpsons at all.
One of the more batshit insane couch gags, but two minutes of delightful weirdness all the same.
Marge cooks up a storm for a Heisenberg hat-wearing Homer in this 2013 tribute to Breaking Bad.
This one probably flew right over the heads of younger viewers, but for anyone who mainlined Bryan Cranston’s series it’s a doozy. Especially if you hang around to the very end for a clever reveal.
Banksy’s Exit Through The Giftshop put him on the radar of The Simpsons team, leading to this bold opening from 2010 episode MoneyBart.
The reclusive graffiti artist managed to replicate the animation style of the show to a T, but wove in digs at capitalism – chiefly 20th Century Fox for milking The Simpsons’ cash cow dry. How he managed to get away with suggesting the show’s produced in a sweatshop we’ll never know. Very impressive all the same.