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Thread: An episode without the Simpsons



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  1. #1
    Non-Simpsons scare me. Road Rage's Avatar
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    An episode without the Simpsons

    I've been thinking just now how I'd like to see an episode of a television show in which the main characters are simply absent from the episode and only secondary characters are shown. Naturally, The Simpsons sounds like just the show for the job with the large selection of secondary characters.

    I realise there have been episodes that focus largely on secondary characters, but the Simpsons family always end up involved in one way or another. So how about them just not existing in one episode?

    I know this sounds ridiculous, The Simpsons without the Simpsons, but the show's been going on for long enough that I don't think they have much to lose by trying it.


  2. #2


    I think that'd be a good idea, an episode without the Simpsons and it's mostly about the secondary and minor characters might seem baffling to some but I think it'd be a good refresher.


  3. #3


    This I would love to see. Give the supporting cast the spotlight and the main characters sit out for a change.


  4. #4
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    It is not a bad idea. I think the secondary characters of this show are so many, and they are so well developed, that they could easily pull off an episode for themselves. An episode in the style of 22 Short Films About Springfield, in which no character is the absolute protagonist of the plot, would be really excellent. Or a trilogy could also work, although The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase tried something similar and did not get good results.
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  5. #5
    Stonecutter ComicBookGal's Avatar
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    I don't see why not
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  6. #6
    Wrote the book on flimflammin Grifty McGrift's Avatar
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    I'm amazed that Simpsons hasn't done it yet. In several commentaries they said whenever they had plots for side characters like Moe or Skinner they needed to shove in the Simpsons somehow, and I don't see why.

    South Park has had several episodes in which none of the main 4 appear and it worked out just fine, some amazing episodes even.

    At this point the show is so much more than just the family. This should have already been done, several times by now. But I guess not.


  7. #7
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    It feels like this question has popped up before and my answer would be the same as that time: I'd be all for them doing something like this. It would give a new, fresh perspective for an episode for a change and give a change to focus on another character or set of characters (could the family still be referenced to, though?), but I'm sure it would be called "gimmicky" like other modern episodes where they do something different from the usual, like a full length parody of a TV show or a movie.


  8. #8
    Wrote the book on flimflammin Grifty McGrift's Avatar
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    It shouldn't even be a gimmick to be honest. I mean episodes like Eight Misbehavin', did it really need The Simpsons to be around? Apu count maintain the episode on his own and it would probably be more interesting. Or take a recent episode that started with Mr. Largo's life, he could've had the episode all to himself from that point.


  9. #9
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    @Grifty McGrift, I'm just saying that it would probably be called a gimmick episode by many even when it really isn't. As soon as they do an atypical kind of episode that tries something new or different (like for example 'Brick Like Me', 'The Serfsons' and 'Wohoo Dunnit') it's referred to as a gimmick episode at least by some and/or even pointed to as an example of "Look, The Simpsons is trying so hard to be fresh and unique they are pulling something like this; how far it's fallen" or something. Looks like the natural order of things nowadays and it's unfortunate.

    Also, those examples of yours could definitely work without the family; there are indeed many past episodes where they could easily have been written out and have had their parts replaced by other supporting characters, but then again, it is called The Simpsons and the production crew naturally want the family involved to some extent so that's why they avoid making episodes without them).
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 05-17-2019 at 04:53 AM.


  10. #10
    Wrote the book on flimflammin Grifty McGrift's Avatar
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    It's amazing to me how this show has so many amazingly fleshed out characters, yet can't seem to utilize them without Homer, Bart, Lisa or Marge involved.


  11. #11
    Junior Camper Treehouse of Spoopy's Avatar
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    This is something I’ve often thought before while watching episodes that focus on secondary characters.
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  12. #12


    A Milhouse Divided might have still worked well (or better) if the Simpsons weren't in it at all—the dinner party could have been hosted by the Hibberts, Kirk and Starla could have been talking to some other regular at Moe's, etc.

  13. #13
    Actually an Esquilax Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    I think I've seen some instances of this in shows like Ed, Edd n' Eddy. Where the main characters are cameos at best. But I think the VAs have a rate they get paid regardless so they wanna get their money's worth?

    It'd be neat if it could be a regular thing but as a one-off/gimmick it could work too, perhaps with the plot involving the townsfolk becoming anxious, then paranoid when nobody hears from The Simpsons, since they seem to be behind 90+% of the crazy happenings in town.

    But as a frequent daydreamer who's dabbled in a little fanfic things (kept to myself because I suck at writing...) it is a lot of fun to break away from the main family and just let whoever else you're focusing on take the stage. And I'd imagine it'd be just as fun and/or freeing to do for the show itself. Well, not that they haven't had one or two plots that barely involves any of the mains but it's always guest stars that backseat them, ones which we've never seen before, will never see again and thus have no reason to care about so they're just kind of a waste of airtime. Constrast with Largo's opening in Girl's In The Band as mentioned above, giving the reigns to someone who existed before means a lot, even if they were never likeable before, if anything it's a good chance to change that like they did. Heck, iirc Largo took up a lot of that episode's discussion despite dropping out of the plot early on.

  14. #14
    Kwik-E-Mart Gougers' enforcer Captain Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szyslak100 View Post
    An episode in the style of 22 Short Films About Springfield, in which no character is the absolute protagonist of the plot, would be really excellent.
    It was the first thing I thought about.
    But I think The Simpsons has some secondary characters good enough to make episodes.
    Someone said A Milhouse Divided... Milhouse is a good example. Skinner, Smithers, Burns, Moe and Flanders have also been the main character in certain episodes and I think they would be capable of starring episodes where the Simpsons family wouldn't appear or at least make only cameos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venomrabbit View Post
    I think I've seen some instances of this in shows like Ed, Edd n' Eddy. Where the main characters are cameos at best.
    Nice show.



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