22 Short Films About Springfield
- "Sometimes I wonder about all the people in this town. Do you think anything interesting ever happens to them? I mean, there must be thousands of great stories out there..."
- ―Bart to Milhouse
| "22 Short Films About Springfield"
| Episode Information
"22 Short Films About Springfield" is the twenty-first episode of season 7 of The Simpsons and the one-hundred and forty-ninth episode overall. It originally aired on April 14, 1996. The episode was written by Richard Appel, David Cohen, Jonathan Collier, Jennifer Crittenden, Greg Daniels, Brent Forrester, Rachel Pulido, Steve Tompkins, Josh Weinstein, Bill Oakley and Matt Groening and was directed by Jim Reardon. It guest stars Phil Hartman as Lionel Hutz and the hospital board chairman.
- "Bart and Milhouse wonder if anything interesting ever happens in Springfield. Thus commence interconnecting vignettes depicting various moments in the lives of the town's residents, which include Apu's partying activities; Smithers' allergic reaction to a bee sting; and Dr. Nick's appearance before a medical review board. Also: Principal Skinner makes lunch for Superintendent Chalmers. While Lisa gets gum in her hair, Snake and Wiggum are caught in a Pulp Fiction-style situation."
- Apu in "The Joly Bengali"
Sanjay asks Apu to go to a party so Apu leaves the store for the next five minutes. During this period, he eats a semi-cooked hot dog, dances to the song "Freakaziod" by Midnight Star, has sex with a woman in a tool shed, and falls into a pool with other partygoers. He heads back to the Kwik-E-Mart with a minute to spare. He opens the door to the store, and discovers that Hans Moleman was inside during the 4 minutes Apu was away. Moleman demands his 4 minutes of time back, but quickly lets it go, claiming he would just waste them.
While skateboarding, Bart accidentally throws gum into Lisa's hair while she puts a beer can into a recycling bin. Marge tries to get the gum out of Lisa's hair with peanut butter and mayonnaise. Lisa then goes outside to let the mix sink in, but is chased around by a swarm of bees.
- Mr Burns & Smithers
Mr. Burns and Smithers are on a tandem bike ride and Smithers gets stung by a bee and has an allergic reaction after claiming that he is deadly allergic to bee stings. Mr. Burns orders Smithers to pedal to the hospital while in great pain, but in the end they crash right at the Hospital's door, and paramedics pick up the unconscious Mr. Burns instead of the ailing Smithers. Dr. Nick walks by and simply exclaims that Smithers needs booze, and drops pocket change on him.
- Dr Nick
Dr. Nick walks into the medical boardroom to have a meeting about his gross incompetence. Suddenly, a doctor walks in and tells them that a lunatic with a scalpel (Abraham Simpson) is demanding to see a quack. The board members turn to look at Dr. Nick. Dr. Nick walks though the door giving Grandpa Simpson a nonsensical diagnosis: that Abe's skeleton is trying to escape his body. He performs an improvised treatment by shocking Abe with the wires of a nearby surgery light. The grateful board allows Dr. Nick to keep his medical license, and he celebrates by offering free nosejobs to everyone, (starting with Jasper).
- Moe & Barney
Moe asks Barney if he recalls Moe quipping that he'll have to send away to NASA to calculate Barney's bar tab. The results came in, and Moe tells Barney that he owes him 14 billion dollars (He initially claims that it was $70,000,000,000 until he realized that that was actually the cost for the Voyager Spacecraft). Barney gives Moe $2,000, which Moe says is halfway there. Snake then comes and tries to rob Moe. Moe quickly runs into a room behind him with a 3 inch thick bulletproof glass window. While Moe is behind the bulletproof glass, Snake jumps over the counter, and steals from the cash register to pay off his student loans. Moe wonders how much air he has behind the bulletproof glass, and shortly after collapses.
- Principal Skinner & Superintendent Chalmers
Principal Skinner has invited Superintendent Chalmers to his house for dinner, but his roast burns and he resorts to ordering fast food from Krusty Burger and disguising it as his own cooking. While trying to come up with fake explanations to explain his actions while covering up his lie, Skinner forgets to turn off the oven and sets his house on fire. He tells Chalmers that the fire is an aurora borealis taking place entirely within his own home. After Chalmers leaves, Skinner has to get his mother out of the fire.
- Homer & Maggie
Homer is walking Santa's Little Helper, and holding Maggie and some groceries at the same time and comes across a newspaper vending machine. The paper has an article regarding a new donut tax. Concerned about the donut tax, Homer buys a paper while juggling around Maggie, etc., and accidentally locks Maggie in the newspaper vending machine. After finding only train flattened coins in his pocket, Homer tries to put a note on Santa's Little Helper about Maggie being trapped, however it was written in cheese whiz and Santa's Little Helper licks it off of the paper. Homer tries to pull Maggie out through the little space that the door opens, but pulls off Maggie's clothing accidentally. So Maggie is still in the vender and Homer decides to just steal the vending machine with Maggie still inside.
- Chief Wiggum, Eddie & Lou
Clancy Wiggum is at Krusty Burger with Eddie and Lou, and they discuss the similarities and differences between McDonalds and Krusty Burger, and the food they sell. Wiggum later leaves and goes to get some donuts.
- Bumblebee Man
Bumblebee Man returns from his show and decides to relax at home. However, he encounters a bunch of disasters (Similar to his show) that cause him to accidentally destroy his house and his wife divorces him out of anger.
- Wiggum, Snake & Herman
Snake is driving his car listening to a rock version of the Simpsons theme song while Chief Wiggum is casually walking down the street with donuts. Wiggum notices Snake, and Snake runs him over impulsively. Wiggum chases after Snake and they indirectly wind up in Herman's Military Antiques. Herman captures them at gunpoint and holds them hostage.
- Reverend Lovejoy & Ned Flanders
- Lisa (cont.)
Marge is still trying to remove the gum out of Lisa's hair. After Ned suggests freezing it out and hitting it with a hammer, he accidentally mashes more hair into it. Soon, everyone comes in to the Simpson's kitchen to offer suggestions: Groundskeeper Willie, Dr. Hibbert, Lionel Hutz, Sideshow Mel, Otto, Captain McCallister and Üter.
- Cletus the Slack-jawed Yokel
Cletus finds a pair of boots and gives them to Brandine for her job interview, but she refuses to accept them, as they may scuff up the topless runway at the place she's trying to get a job at. Brandine tells Cletus to put them back where they came from. Cletus climbs a telephone pole and hangs them over the power lines where he found them. Cletus decides to shout to his mother to get off of the roof while he's up there.
Milhouse goes into Comic Book Guy's store to go to the bathroom but Comic Book Guy tells Milhouse that he must purchase something first. Milhouse decides to buy a Hamburgler's comic for 75 cents. His father Kirk comes in and is appalled that Milhouse is just buying comics, he takes Milhouse to another place. He and Milhouse go into Herman's Military Antiques to get Milhouse to a restroom.
- Wiggum, Snake & Herman (cont.)
Herman Hermann has captured Snake and Wiggum, who are tied up, and is now holding a shotgun and waiting for Zed to get here. Milhouse and his dad come in so that Milhouse can go to the bathroom. When a nervous Kirk tries to make small talk, Herman points his gun at him. Milhouse accidentally hits Herman from behind with a spiked flail, knocking him unconscious.
- Lisa (cont.)
Lisa goes to Jake the Barber to get her hair cut. With a small bald spot from the hair getting cut, she gets it restyled, which makes Lisa feel more like a real person. She leaves the barber shop, and Nelson laughs at her hair.
Nelson laughs at Lisa's new hair, Mrs. Glick tripping and falling into a trash can and a tall man, Ian, driving a Volkswagen Beetle. The tall man stops his car and gets out. He chases after Nelson and scolds him while holding him by his head. He then pulls down Nelson's pants and makes him walk down the street to teach him a lesson. People in the street laugh at Nelson as he is splattered by ketchup and mustard by Bart and Milhouse, who are standing on top of an overpass.
Bart and Milhouse walk away, with the conclusion that everybody has their own story to tell, with not enough time to tell them all. Out of nowhere Professor Frink appears and tries to tell his story, but is cut short by the end credits.
A scene was cut from the final episode which involved Krusty and Ralph flying on a plane. The scene was to see Ralph being transferred to first class after he cut himself on the wings given to him by the pilot and Krusty being moved to in-between Patty and Selma. A cel from this scene was later tweeted by Josh Weinstein.
The original draft of the Chalmers and Skinner segment, written by Bill Oakley, was originally to see an 'opening sequence' added to it, with a song being placed over a moving background of Chalmers and Skinner arguments.
"22 Short Films About Springfield" has received wide critical acclaim. Entertainment Weekly placed the episode at 14 on their list of the 'Top 25 Simpsons episodes' and lauded the structure change-up and film references. IGN named the episode the second best episode of the seventh season, following "A Fish Called Selma".
The episode is considered a fan favorite.
The episode inspired Simpsons creator Matt Groening to come up with a concept of a possible spin-off series called Tales from Springfield, about the recurring characters of Springfield, along with the stories of young Homer. The idea has still not been made a reality.
The Skinner and Chalmers sketch would later become widely spread online under the name "Steamed Hams", a term Skinner uses in the sketch.
- John Weinstein's Twitter Picture
- Josh Weinstein's second Twitter picture
- "Chalmers VS. Skinner" first draft
- Josh Weinstein's third Twitter picture
- EW/Entertainment Weekly - Published on Jan 31, 2003 - "The Family Dynamic: As The Simpsons' 300th episode approaches, we look back at Homer and Co.'s most hilarious, inspired moments."
- IGN.com - By Robert Canning, Eric Goldman, Dan Iverson & Brian Zoromski, 8 Jan 2010 - "The Simpsons: 20 Seasons, 20 Episodes -- We pick the best episodes from each of the past 20 seasons."
- Weinstein, Josh. (2006). The Simpsons season 7 DVD commentary for the episode "22 Short Films About Springfield" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.