There is no other animated television show that has had a profound impact on culture than The Simpsons. By far the longest-running animated show in history, The Simpsons has strung together numerous storylines over its 32-season run. Although the show has dipped in quality over the past decade, it has still managed to produce some nonsensical storylines that have made little sense to viewers, from Seymour Skinner’s “imposter” storyline to the bizarre episode in which Moe’s bar rag gained sentience—yes, that really happened.
The show’s nonsensical moments are too much to list all of them, so, here are the 10 Simpsons storylines that made little sense to fans.
10 Sweets And Sour Marge
Good grief, was this a really, really bad storyline. The Simpsons are known for trying to make social statements, but they completely missed the mark on this episode that was based on Erin Brokovich. It’s totally awesome that Marge was passionate about her community, but this storyline made absolutely no sense and could have been done better if re-written to, you know, make sense.
9 The Musk Who Fell To Earth
With the rise in popularity and celebrity of Elon Musk, it was seemingly destined that the show would dedicate an episode to the new tech mogul. This episode featured the mogul supplying Springfield with unlimited power through the town’s nuclear plant. While it may have seemed like a good idea at the time, in hindsight, this was a bad storyline that could have also gone back to the writer’s table.
8 E Pluribus Wiggum
It seems like The Simpsons are linked with politics on every level these days, and, while the series has had some good political storylines that were entertaining, E Pluribus Wiggum wasn’t among them.
In this episode, Ralph Wiggum won a primary, which sets off a fight in the town for his support. We don’t know where the writers were going with this storyline, but it seemed to be nowhere as the episode was completely flat.
7 Lisa’s Wedding
This is a television show where the kids haven’t grown up in 32 years, so it’s pretty pointless for the show’s writers to tease its audience as to what the kid’s future would look like when everyone knows they’re going to revert back to the pre-teens they have been for so long. It was so pointless to make the episode Lisa’s Wedding, in which the storyline is, of course, Lisa’s wedding. It was flat and had no purpose. This episode should have been left on the writer’s floor.
6 Gump Roast
The long-running series has made a name for itself for its parodies of popular movies, which was taken to another level with Family Guy. Most of these episodes are funny and witty, which is baffling as to why Gump Roast, a parody of Forest Gump, just simply missed the mark and decided that the best way to tell this story was through flashbacks.
5 Girls Just Want To Have Sums
It was clear from the outset that the writers wanted to make a point about how education can be prejudice against girls, but this wasn’t the way to make that point. Here, Principal Skinner has a belief that girls can’t do math, which was a problematic episode to make in 2006, and is even more so today. This storyline is not only idiotic and pointless, but it was also unusually cruel.
4 Moe Goes From Rags To Riches
Just looking at the episode title, one would have thought that this episode would have told the story of how Moe, the lovable bar owner, finally became rich. Instead, what viewers got was a storyline that went all over the place, centering on—get this—his table rag.
This is not to say that the writers couldn’t come up with a witty storyline surrounding a rag, but this episode was an early sign that the writers were beginning to run out of ideas.
3 The Great Phatspy
Broken up into two parts, “The Great Phatsby” was one of The Simpson’s greatest misfires when it comes to storylines. This was another storyline that went everywhere it could go, from hip-hop to classical novels, and it misfired on every route it took. Not even the celebrity cameos could have saved this storyline from being one of the most pointless in the show’s history.
2 Pranksta Rap
8 Mile is considered by many to be one of the greatest music drama films of all-time, which also made it ripe for The Simpsons writers to come in and do a parody episode about it. The bad part is that the storyline misfired badly on this, and it really didn’t have a meaning as to why it was made. Maybe it was just to poke fun at 8 Mile, no one knows. What people do know is that this was a bad storyline.
1 That 90s Show
With so many episodes and so many storylines, there were numerous choices for the top spot. However, it may have to go to this episode, which screwed up the show’s timeline and had viewers scratching their heads.
According to the storyline, Marge and Homer met in the 90s, which, if following traditional timelines, The Simpsons is actually set well into the future? Does this sound weird? If so, that’s because it was weird, and was really, really pointless.