The Simpsons is America’s longest running sitcom and also the longest running animation, and has been on our screens since its first airing in December 1989. The show has broadcast well over 500 episodes over nearly 30 series, from the start of airing in September 2012.
Widely accepted as one of the greatest TV shows of all time, our favourite yellow family has been doling out satire and parodies of middle class American life to generations around the world.
The Simpsons family are a typical Middle American family, living in a regular Middle American community in the fictional town of Springfield.
Although there are more than 40 Springfields sprinkled across the States and many more in the UK, Canada, Australia and Ireland, the name was probably picked for anonymity, so the fictional town could not be identified in real life.
Mum, Marge, is a stereotypical housewife and mother, and the dad, Homer, works as safety inspector at the local nuclear power plant. Homer is well known for his oafish buffoonery and his inability to think things through, resulting in many a hilarious consequence for his friends and family.
So popular is the character that his catchphrase “D’Oh” has made its way into common English language.
The three kids are Bart, a skateboarding, slingshotting cheeky monkey of a boy, always up to no good and keen to take advantage of any situation. Next is studious Lisa, a sax-playing lover of books, animals, devout vegetarian and environmental campaigner. Baby Maggie never seems to grow up, communicating only with her pacifier (except in maybe one or two episodes – do you know which ones?) and mostly not doing a lot.
The show is well-known for having unique opening credits on each episode, adult humour and themes running through the scripts from show to show.