Top 10 Times The Simpsons Roasted Other TV Shows
VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild
WRITTEN BY: Sarah Osman
As it's been on for decades, "The Simpsons" has poked fun at a ton of other TV shows. For this list, we'll be looking at the best zingers our favorite Springfieldianites have lobbed at other shows. Our countdown includes “Pokémon” (1997-), “The X-Files” (1993-2002; 2016-18), “American Idol” (2002-16; 2018-), “Batman” (1966-68), and more!
Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times The Simpsons Roasted TV Shows. For this list, we’ll be looking at the best zingers our favorite Springfieldianites have lobbed at other shows. Which show do you wish “The Simpsons” would roast? Let us know in the comments!
#10: “American Idol” (2002-16; 2018-)
“American Idol” brought us so many iconic moments that it was only a matter of time until “The Simpsons” mocked it. The Springfieldianite family appeared on an episode of “American Idol” to judge the harshest judge in pop culture history: Simon Cowell. He serenades the family with his own version of “Don’t Cha”. The Simpsons are not impressed with Cowell’s singing, and send him through a trapdoor. That wasn’t the only time Springfield lampooned “American Idol.” Despite having a show clearly based on “American Idol,” Krusty the Clown claimed that he has never heard of it. Sure, Krusty. We totally believe you.
#9: “South Park” (1997-)
The creators of “The Simpsons” and the creators of “South Park” have always enjoyed a playful rivalry. In one of South Park’s episodes, “Simpsons Already Did It,” the characters comment on how every scheme Butters thinks of has already happened in Springfield. On “The Simpsons” side, Bart and Milhouse watch a spoof of “South Park,” which Marge is less than thrilled about. The series later directly satirized the boys of “South Park,” where Otto accidentally kills Ralph - before revealing he killed Kenny yesterday. Thankfully, Kenny was not actually harmed and went on to be killed many more times in “South Park.”
#8: “Behind the Music” (1997-2014; 2021)
“Behind the Laughter”
In this fan favorite episode, “Behind the Laughter” parodied the infamous VH1 docuseries. Following the same beats as a “Behind the Music” episode, we learned the rise, fall, and eventual rise again of “The Simpsons.” Some of the best jabs include actual “Behind the Music” narrator Jim Forbes commentary and many of the scandals the family was involved in. Bart was arrested for assaulting flight attendants, Lisa was fed anti-growth hormones, and Homer became addicted to painkillers. It’s a clever take on the series, and the best part is the implication that other cartoon characters are also featured on “Behind the Laughter.”
#7: “Pokémon” (1997-)
These little pocket monsters are still outrageously popular, but that hasn’t come without a bit of controversy. “The Simpsons” mocked the Pokemon Go craze when Springfield’s citizens couldn’t stop playing Peekimon Get. The first time “The Simpsons” satirized Pikachu and his friends was when they visited Tokyo. While watching a show called “Battling Seizure Robots,” the characters actually experience seizures. This was a reference to an unfortunate real-life incident where multiple Japanese children had a seizure while watching an episode of “Pokemon.” Japan didn’t take too kindly to this satire, but they were much more incensed by the scene where Homer threw the Emperor of Japan into a bin of sumo wrestling undergarments. The episode has still never aired in Japan.
#6: “Married... with Children” (1987-97)
When “Married... with Children” first aired, it was considered downright raunchy. The series had multiple controversies, which of course “The Simpsons” had to poke fun at. When NASA is trying to determine how to get more Americans interested in space again, they watch a short bit of “Married... with Children.” In this bit, Al Bundy flushes a toilet - literally bringing to life the phrase, “toilet humor.” Ned Flanders also watches a bit of the toilet humor and remembers Fox’s catchphrase: watch FOX and be damned for all eternity. Ironically, both “The Simpsons” and “Married... with Children” aired on Fox. It’s safe to say that the creators knew exactly what they were doing when they slipped that joke in.
#5: “Batman” (1966-68)
Over the years, “The Simpsons” have poked a bit of fun at the 1960s “Batman” series. However, it wasn’t until season 14 that the show made a spoof of “Batman.” Bart and Milhouse watch an old episode where Krusty the Clown plays a villain named Clownface, who shares a few traits with the Joker. Clownface even has a few clown sidekicks, just like the Joker! Filled with absurd catchphrases, traps, and of course Batman’s utility belt, the parody packs the right zow. The best bit may be Batman’s carousel reversal spray, which he uses to save the day!
#4: “Law & Order” (1990-2010)
There is a joke that if you’re an actor in New York, you’ve probably been on an episode of “Law & Order.” The series has spawned multiple spin-offs and a recent reboot, many of which have had crossover episodes. “The Simpsons” couldn’t help but joke that with so many spin-offs, “Law & Order” would start airing a version called, “Law & Order: Elevator Inspectors Unit.” Homer groans as the series follows the same music, beats, and oh-so-serious dialogue. One detective comments that they will puke over an elevator light that’s gone out. It’s a clever take on the ultimate formulaic series.
#3: “The X-Files” (1993-2002; 2016-18)
“The Springfield Files”
Technically a crossover episode, the creator of “The X-Files” considered it an honor to be satirized by “The Simpsons.” The episode was actually one of the longest to complete, and showrunners worried that audiences wouldn’t find it funny. Multiple details pay homage to the original X-Files, including the design of Mulder and Scully’s office. Even though Mulder and Scully are trying to determine whether or not Homer actually saw an alien, there are references to some of the actual cases they solved. Neither Mulder nor Scully are particularly thrilled about this case and they leave before it’s even solved.
#2: “Star Trek: The Original Series” (1966-69)
“Itchy and Scratchy: the Movie”
“The Simpsons” takes great delight in taking jabs at “Star Trek.” Some of the stars of the series have even guest starred as themselves. Leonard Nimoy rode the Springfield monorail much to the discomfort of other Springfieldianites, who asked if anyone wanted to change seats. In one of the best gags, Bart and Lisa watch a trailer for “Star Trek XII: So Very Tired.” The elderly crew have very little fight left in them, as Captain Kirk complains that his hernia is acting up and is frustrated when told the Klingons are up to no good - yet again.
#1: “Tom and Jerry” (1940-67)
Wanting to include a cartoon within a cartoon, Matt Groening created “The Itchy & Scratchy Show.” A clear parody of “Tom and Jerry,” the cartoon features a mouse named Itchy terrorizing a cat named Scratchy. Each episode ends in blood, guts, and usually a blown up or severed Scratchy. While the characters are used to poke fun at the ultra cartoon violence present in “Tom and Jerry,” they have also been used to make fun of “The Simpsons” themselves. In “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show,” the creators add in a new character. Poochie is not well-received by Springfieldians, but the episode is a hilarious take on TV shows “jumping the shark.”