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| Season 1
| Season Information
The first season originally aired from December 17, 1989 with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", to May 13, 1990 with "Some Enchanted Evening". Matt Groening, James L. Brooks and Sam Simon were the show runners of the season.
The Simpsons and the season was intended to debut in fall of 1989 with "Some Enchanted Evening", which also includes much of the main characters' debut. But, after the workprint of the episode was met unfavourably and being deemed as unusable, 70% of its animation had to be redone, thus delaying "Some Enchanted Evening" until having finally being aired as the season finale on May 13, 1990. It was originally thought that subsequent episodes such as "Bart the Genius" would turn out just as bad as "Some Enchanted Evening" but there were only minor problems in production that were fortunately easy to fix and were suitable for airing. As "Some Enchanted Evening" was being overhauled, the producers decided to replace it with the season's Christmas special, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", on December 17, 1989 as the season premiere. The timing was very fortunate, as the episode would have had to be aired in the Christmas holidays of 1989 regardless of any other issues. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" would also become The Simpsons' first ever episode broadcast.
The season won an Emmy award and had four other nominations. "Life on the Fast Lane" won "Outstanding Animated Program," for which "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was also a nominee. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was nominated for "Outstanding Editing in a Miniseries or Special"; "The Call of the Simpsons" was nominated for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special"; and "The Simpsons Theme," composed by Danny Elfman, was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Theme Music".
All 13 episodes of Season 1, including extras such as the "Some Enchanted Evening" workprint, were released on DVD on September 25, 2001 in Region 1 and September 24, 2001 in Regions 2 and 4. It is the first of the Complete Seasons of The Simpsons released in boxsets for home media.
"Some Enchanted Evening" was originally intended to be broadcast in the fall of 1989, which would have made it the first episode of the season and of the series. However, the workprint was of such poor quality that the series premiere was delayed, as the episode had to be redone. 70 percent of "Some Enchanted Evening" had to be redone, so the episode remained in production until being broadcast at last on May 13, 1990, which made it the season's final episode. The FOX producers persuaded the Simpsons creative team to open the series "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" airing it just before Christmas the same year on December 17, 1989 as it had to be for it was a making it the season premiere and The Simpsons first episode. As the episode was a Christmas special, the producers were already locked into airing it on or near that date. The producers considered aborting The Simpsons completely if the second episode in production, "Bart the Genius", turned out as bad as "Some Enchanted Evening". Fortunately, only minor errors were present, which were easily fixed.
During this season, Judd Apatow submitted a script which saw Homer being hypnotized into thinking he was 10. The script has been produced into an episode called "Bart's New Friend" that will air in season 26.
- In the # column;
- The first number refers to the order it aired during the entire series.
- The second number refers to the episode number within its season.
- The production code refers to the code assigned to the episode by the production team. The first two characters refer to the season the episode was made for: 7F for season two, 8F for season three. The second number is the order the episode was produced, not the airing order.
||Original title (top)
Alternate title (bottom)
||1 - 1
||"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
"The Simpsons Christmas Special"
|December 17, 1989
|Christmas is coming, and it's going to be a difficult one due to the family's financial woes: Homer's expected Christmas bonus at work doesn't come through, and the family is forced to spend money previously set aside for shopping on an expensive tattoo removal procedure for Bart. Homer tries to earn money by other means such as being a department store Santa Claus, and the family does their best to have a good holiday in spite of the circumstances. This episode introduces Santa's Little Helper as the family dog.
||2 - 2
||"Bart the Genius"
||January 14, 1990
|Springfield Elementary School has an intelligence test, and Bart cheats by switching his name with that of class brain Martin Prince on their test papers. With his name associated with Martin's test score, Bart is considered to be a genius. Bart is then enrolled at the Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children, but struggles both academically and socially at his new school. With no one aware that Bart cheated, Homer and Bart develop a close father/son relationship. Everything goes back to normal, however, when Bart confesses to the switch.|
Guest star: Marcia Wallace (credited as Marsha Wallace).
||3 - 3
||January 21, 1990
||Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky
|Homer is fired after he causes an accident due to being distracted by greeting Bart and his class on their field trip to the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Depressed and unemployed, Homer considers suicide until he notices the dangers around town and becomes a safety crusader. When Homer targets the nuclear power plant, Mr. Burns re-hires him and promotes him to safety inspector. Waylon Smithers, Chief Wiggum, and Otto Man the school bus driver make their first appearances. |
Guest star: Marcia Wallace.
||4 - 4
||"There's No Disgrace Like Home"
||January 28, 1990
||Gregg Vanzo &
|Al Jean & Mike Reiss
|The Simpson family attends the company picnic at the Burns manor. After seeing the other families at the picnic, Homer notices his own family's shortcomings and dysfunctions and decides to improve everyone's behavior, pawning the family's television set to pay for a family therapy session at Dr. Marvin Monroe's clinic. The session is a flop, but when Homer forces Monroe to honor his "double your money back" guarantee, the family ends up with enough money to buy a much better TV. The episode introduces Springfield police officers Eddie and Lou, as well as Dr. Marvin Monroe, and marks the first series appearance of Itchy and Scratchy.
||5 - 5
||"Bart the General"
||February 4, 1990
|Lisa is bullied at school by Nelson Muntz and Bart stands up for her, only to find himself the target of constant bullying by Nelson and his two Weasels. With Grampa's help, Bart then organizes many other students at school into an army to fight back against Nelson. They succeed, and with their victory they force Nelson to sign a treaty which curtails his bullying. Nelson Muntz and Herman the military antiques dealer make their first appearances.
||6 - 6
||February 11, 1990
||Al Jean & Mike Reiss
|Lisa is continually unhappy, and it begins to affect her performance at school. Nothing that Marge and Homer try seems to help. Lisa then meets jazz musician and fellow saxophone player Bleeding Gums Murphy, who helps Lisa to express her depression by playing the blues on her sax. They write a blues number together, and the family visits a jazz club to hear Bleeding Gums sing and play it.|
Guest star: Ron Taylor.
||7 - 7
||"The Call of the Simpsons"
||February 18, 1990
|The Simpsons go camping in their dilapidated RV, and problems arise when the RV is destroyed by falling off a cliff. The family are separated in the woods, where Maggie is cared for by bears and Homer (who has lost his clothes and is wearing a heavy coating of mud instead) is mistaken for a hideous Bigfoot-like monster. Homer is captured and taken to a lab, and not allowed to return home until the scientists are convinced that he really is a human being.|
Guest star: Albert Brooks.
||8 - 8
||"The Telltale Head"
||February 25, 1990
||Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Sam Simon & Matt Groening
|The episode opens with Bart and Homer being chased and cornered by an angry mob, and Bart has the severed head of Jebediah Springfield's statue. Bart explains his actions: He cut off the head to impress a trio of troublemakers he was trying to make friends with, but the stunt backfired as the act of vandalism outraged the whole town, including Bart's three would-be friends. Bart then confessed to his family what he had done, and Homer, feeling responsible, agreed to help him put the head back. Finishing his story, Bart says the incident made him realize he was taking the town's heritage for granted, of which they were all guilty. Touched by the story, the crowd forgives Bart, and he puts the head back. This episode marks the first appearances of Sideshow Bob, Jimbo, Dolph, Kearney, Rev. Lovejoy, and Apu; as well as the first series appearance of Krusty the Clown.
||9 - 9
||"Life on the Fast Lane"
||March 18, 1990
|Marge becomes unhappy when her birthday present from Homer is a bowling ball (which he clearly intended for himself) as she does not even bowl. To spite Homer, Marge sets out to learn to bowl, and ends up taking lessons from an instructor named Jacques, who pursues an affair with her. Marge nearly gives in, but at the last minute chooses to stay with Homer, surprising him by showing up at the nuclear power plant.|
Guest star: Albert Brooks.
||10 - 10
||"Homer's Night Out"
||March 25, 1990
|Bart takes a picture of Homer dancing with Princess Kashmir, a belly dancer. The photo is then copied all over Springfield, and when Marge sees it she at first thinks that Homer is having an affair. Homer explains the photo, but a still-angry Marge kicks him out of the house and demands that Homer introduce Bart to Princess Kashmir in person to show him that women are not sex objects.|
Guest Star: Sam McMurray
||11 - 11
||"The Crepes of Wrath"
||April 15, 1990
||Wesley Archer &
|George Meyer, Sam Simon,
John Swartzwelder & Jon Vitti
|After Bart blows up Springfield Elementary's toilets by flushing a cherry bomb, Principal Skinner decides to put Bart into a student exchange program. Bart ends up in France, where he is hosted by a pair of criminals and becomes a national hero when he exposes their plan to spike wine with antifreeze. Back in Springfield, the Simpsons host an Albanian student named Adil. Unbeknownst to the family, he is actually a spy in search of nuclear secrets. Touched by Adil's interest in his work, Homer ends up giving Adil the secrets he's after by showing him all over the nuclear plant.
||12 - 12
||"Krusty Gets Busted"
||April 29, 1990
||Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky
|Krusty the Clown is accused, tried, and convicted of robbing the Kwik-E-Mart, and Sideshow Bob takes his place as TV show host. Bart, however, believes that Krusty was framed. He enlists Lisa's help, and together they uncover evidence showing that the robber was actually Sideshow Bob in disguise. Krusty is freed and Sideshow Bob goes to jail, thus beginning the long-standing enmity between Sideshow Bob and Bart.|
Guest star: Kelsey Grammer.
||13 - 13
||"Some Enchanted Evening"
||May 13, 1990
||David Silverman &
|Matt Groening & Sam Simon
|Homer and Marge spend an evening out on the town, leaving the children with a babysitter named Ms. Botz. Bart and Lisa, however, learn from watching TV that Ms. Botz is actually a wanted fugitive named Lucille Botzkowski, better known as the "Babysitter Bandit". They succeed in capturing the sitter, but Homer, ignorant of her real identity, turns her loose.|
Guest stars: Penny Marshall, Paul Willson, Christopher Collins.
Season 1 episodes script covers
Season 1 was released on DVD by 20th Century Fox in Region 2 and 4 on September 24, 2001, and on September 25, 2001 in Region 1. While primarily consisting of the original 13 episodes, the DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, Animatics, and commentaries for every episode. The set sold 1.9 million units, becoming the highest-selling television program on DVD—a record which it held until October 2004 when it was passed by the first season of Chappelle's Show.
The season won an Emmy award and had four other nominations. "Life on the Fast Lane" won "Outstanding Animated Program," for which "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was also a nominee. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was nominated for "Outstanding Editing in a Miniseries or Special"; "The Call of the Simpsons" was nominated for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special"; and "The Simpsons Theme," composed by Danny Elfman, was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Theme Music."
- Richmond, Ray; Antonia Coffman (1997). The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to our Favorite Family. Harper Collins Publishers. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-00-638898-1.