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Anthology episodes

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Over the long run of the Simpsons there have been many episodes which feature 3 mini-stories that are held together by a backbone story plot. The reason for 3 mini-stories is due to the commercial break structure of the show.

Treehouse of Horror episodes[edit]

The Treehouse of Horror episodes are the most well known but there have been many others. They began in season 2 and each season since has had one Treehouse of Horror episode. After season 5, the backbone story was removed from the Halloween episodes but the 3 mini-stories still remain.


Non-Traditional episodes[edit]

Several episodes do not fall into the normal pattern of 3 mini-stories.


In 22 Short Films About Springfield Bart and Milhouse wonder about the various stories happening around Springfield. 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, but the series was never picked up.

In Springfield Up flashbacks of several characters are used featuring them at different points of their lives.

The episodes Another Simpsons Clip Show and All Singing, All Dancing are more properly categorized as clip shows but also fit the pattern of a vignette anthology type story. The separate items are taken from previous episodes but the backbone story involved with these two plays into the overall clip content. In Another Simpsons Clip Show the backbone is love stories, All Singing, All Dancing has a musical theme.

The other clip show episodes could be considered anthology stories, however with So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show, The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular, Behind the Laughter and Gump Roast the central backbone story is not connected to the clip content which is much more random and general. Considering the Simpsons is more than 20 years old and still going strong with over 600 episodes the fact that there are only six clip shows is outstanding.

Over-lapping POV[edit]

In this format the same story line is told from several different perspectives. This story telling technique has been used by several other FOX shows including Malcolm in the Middle and Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles.

In Trilogy of Error the story is told from Homer's POV then Lisa's, then finally Bart's.

The Seemingly Never-Ending Story is another POV story, with several different threads telling the same narative from different perspectives.

List of Episodes[edit]

What follows is a list of these episodes.

Season 1[edit]

Season 2[edit]

Season 3[edit]

Season 4[edit]

Season 5[edit]

Season 6[edit]

Season 7[edit]

Season 8[edit]

Season 9[edit]

Season 10[edit]

Season 11[edit]

Season 12[edit]

Season 13[edit]

Season 14[edit]

Season 15[edit]

Season 16[edit]

Season 17[edit]

Season 18[edit]

Season 19[edit]

Season 20[edit]

Season 21[edit]

Season 22[edit]

Season 23[edit]

Season 24[edit]

Season 25[edit]

Season 26[edit]

Season 27[edit]

Season 28[edit]

Season 29[edit]

Season 30[edit]

Season 31[edit]


  • Up til season 20, each anthology episode consisted of 3 short stories. The episode "Four Great Women and a Manicure" however had 4 short stories.
    • Between the third story and forth story, Marge comments "well, 3 stories, the way we always have it".