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The Simpsons Season 1
Simpsons s1.png
The Simpsons Season 1 DVD
Series The Simpsons
Country of origin USA
Network Fox
Original run December 17, 1989 –
May 13, 1990
No. of episodes 13
DVD release date September 25, 2001 (Boxset)
Next season 2

The Simpsons' first season originally aired between December 17, 1989 and May 13, 1990, beginning with the Christmas special "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". The show runners for the first production season were Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon.[1]

The series was originally set to debut in the fall of 1989 with the episode "Some Enchanted Evening", which was meant to introduce the main characters.[2] However, during the first screening of the episode, the producers discovered that the animation was so appalling that 70% of the episode needed to be redone.[3] The producers considered aborting the series if the next episode turned out as bad, but it only suffered from easily fixable problems. The producers convinced Fox to move the debut to December 17, and aired "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" as the first episode of the series.[2]

The first season won one Emmy Award, and received four additional nominations. Although television shows are limited to one episode a category, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was considered a separate special, and nominated alongside fellow episode "Life on the Fast Lane" for Outstanding Animated Program; "Life on the Fast Lane" won the award. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was also nominated for "Outstanding Editing in a Miniseries or Special", while "The Call of the Simpsons" was nominated for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special". The main theme song, composed by Danny Elfman, was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Theme Music".[4]

The DVD boxset was released on September 25, 2001 in Region 1 and September 24, 2001 in both Region 2 and Region 4.


List of episodes

# Original title (top)
Alternate title (bottom)
Directed by Written by Original airdate Prod. code
1–1 "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
"The Simpsons Christmas Special"
David Silverman Mimi Pond December 17, 1989 (1989-12-17) 7G08
While Christmas shopping, Bart sneaks off and gets a tattoo. Marge soon discovers this and uses the family's Christmas savings to get it removed. Meanwhile, Homer discovers that he will not be getting a Christmas bonus from Mr. Burns and thus the family has no money to buy Christmas presents. He decides to keep their financial troubles a secret and gets a job as a department store Santa, but later discovers that the job does not pay enough. Desperate for a miracle, Homer and Bart go to the dog racing track on Christmas Eve in hopes of earning some money. He bets it all on a longshot named Santa's Little Helper, who loses. Santa's Little Helper's owner angrily releases the dog and Homer lets Bart keep him. Later on, Homer tries to explain that Christmas is ruined, but Bart exclaims that they have a dog and everyone happily welcomes the newest member of the Simpson family. 
2–2 "Bart the Genius" David Silverman Jon Vitti January 14, 1990 (1990-01-14) 7G02
Bart has trouble on an intelligence test and sneakily switches tests with Martin Prince, the class genius. After the results are tabulated, the school psychiatrist labels Bart a genius and sends him to the Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children. Homer starts treating Bart with respect, but Bart immediately feels out of place among his new classmates and is alienated from his old peers. He confesses that he cheated on the test and is subsequently sent back to Springfield Elementary School.
Guest star: Marcia Wallace.[5] 
3–3 "Homer's Odyssey" Wes Archer Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky January 21, 1990 (1990-01-21) 7G03
Bart's class visits the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and Homer, anxious to look like he is working, accidentally crashes his cart into a radioactive pipe, causing him to immediately be fired. Depressed and unable to find a new job, he decides to jump off a bridge. His family discover his plan and try to stop him, but in the process they are almost run over by a truck. Discovering his new purpose, Homer embarks on a safety crusade and eventually decides to go after the Nuclear Plant and holds protest rallies. To end Homer's furor, Mr. Burns offers him a job as safety inspector, with increased salary, which Homer accepts.
Guest star: Marcia Wallace.[6] 
4–4 "There's No Disgrace Like Home" Gregg Vanzo &
Kent Butterworth
Al Jean & Mike Reiss January 28, 1990 (1990-01-28) 7G04
Homer takes his family to the company picnic at Mr. Burns's manor. Marge, Bart and Lisa embarrass Homer and he notices that Mr. Burns seems to favour a family who love and respect one another. Convinced that both he and his family are pathetic, he takes everyone to Dr. Marvin Monroe's family therapy center. When standard methods prove useless in civilizing the family, Monroe resorts to shock therapy and wire the Simpsons to electrodes. Soon the Simpsons start shocking one another and causes Springfield to lose power.[7] 
5–5 "Bart the General" David Silverman John Swartzwelder February 4, 1990 (1990-02-04) 7G05
Bart runs afoul of Nelson Muntz, the school bully, who begins attacking Bart every day after school. Homer suggests fighting back, which does not work. Desperate for a solution, Bart visits Grampa for advice. Grampa takes Bart to meet Herman, who suggests that Bart rally all of the school children and declare war on Nelson. Bart and his army attack Nelson and successfully manage to convince him to give up his bullying ways.[8] 
6–6 "Moaning Lisa" Wes Archer Al Jean & Mike Reiss February 11, 1990 (1990-02-11) 7G06
Lisa becomes depressed, which begins to affect her performance in school. Neither Marge nor Homer are able to make Lisa happier. One night, she hears distant Jazz music and sneaks out of her room to follow it. She meets Bleeding Gums Murphy, who teaches her how to express her music through the saxophone. When Marge drops Lisa off at school the next day, she suggests that Lisa smile no matter how she feels. However, Marge sees that Lisa is being denied her creativity and realizes that that is what is making her sad. Marge tells Lisa to just be herself, and the entire family go to see Murphy perform at a local Jazz club.
Guest star: Ron Taylor.[9] 
7–7 "The Call of the Simpsons" Wes Archer John Swartzwelder February 18, 1990 (1990-02-18) 7G09
Homer becomes envious of Flanders' new RV and goes to "Bob's RV Round-up" to buy one of his own. Settling on a dilapidated camper, he takes the family camping and in the process destroys the RV. Leaving Lisa and Marge behind, Bart and Homer try to find their way back to civilization, but have little luck. Later on, Homer is mistaken for Bigfoot and captured. Marge, Bart and Lisa are saved and Homer is released, although scientists say that they can not determine which species he belongs to.
Guest star: Albert Brooks.[10] 
8–8 "The Telltale Head" Rich Moore Al Jean, Mike Reiss,
Sam Simon & Matt Groening
February 25, 1990 (1990-02-25) 7G07
Bart becomes friends with Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney, a group of local troublemakers. Trying to impress them, Bart decides to cut off and steal the head of the statue of Jebediah Springfield. The next day, the entire town grieves for the vandalized statue and Bart discovers that his new friends want to attack the vandal. Feeling remorse, Bart confesses to his family and Homer and Bart take the head back to the statue.[11] 
9–9 "Life on the Fast Lane" David Silverman John Swartzwelder March 18, 1990 (1990-03-18) 7G11
Having forgotten about Marge's birthday, Homer rushes to the Springfield mall and impulsively buys her a bowling ball. Marge is not impressed with the gift and after discovering that he intends to use it, she decides to spite him by going bowling herself. While at the alley, she meets Jacques, a charming French bowling instructor, who offers her lessons. Jacques begins to fall for Marge and invites her to his apartment. Although she agrees, Marge undergoes a moral dilemma, but in the end visits Homer at the nuclear plant.
Guest star: Albert Brooks.[12] 
10–10 "Homer's Night Out" Rich Moore Jon Vitti March 25, 1990 (1990-03-25) 7G10
Bart purchases a mini spy camera and manages to take a picture of Homer dancing with a belly dancer named Princess Kashmir at a co-worker's bachelor party. He gives copies of the picture to his friends, and eventually the picture starts to circulate around until eventually Marge sees it. She kicks Homer out of the house, but the next day explains that she is not upset about him dancing, but rather that Bart saw it. She demands that he take Bart and go apologize to Princess Kashmir. Homer agrees and says that he is ready to start respecting women.
Guest star: Sam McMurray.[13] 
11–11 "The Crepes of Wrath" Wesley Archer &
Milton Gray
George Meyer, Sam Simon,
John Swartzwelder & Jon Vitti
April 15, 1990 (1990-04-15) 7G13
Principal Skinner finally becomes fed up with Bart's pranks and proposes that Bart be sent to France as part of the student exchange program. The family agrees and Bart is sent to a "beautiful chateau", which is actually a dilapidated wine making facility. Bart is treated like a slave by two unscrupulous winemakers, César and Ugolin, who eventually feed him wine tainted with antifreeze. Meanwhile, an Albanian boy named Adil starts to live with the Simpsons who, unbeknownst to Homer, is a spy sent by his country to obtain nuclear blueprints. Back in France, Bart learns French and reports César and Ugolin's activities to the authorities.[14] 
12–12 "Krusty Gets Busted" Brad Bird Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky April 29, 1990 (1990-04-29) 7G12
While buying ice cream at the Kwik-E-Mart, Homer witnesses a robbery perpetrated by a man believed to be Krusty the Clown, host of the "Krusty the Clown Show", Bart's favorite program. Krusty is sent to jail and his show is taken over by his assistant, Sideshow Bob. Bart is certain that Krusty is innocent, and gathers evidence to support his claim, which he takes to "Krusty's bestest friend", Sideshow Bob. Bart realizes that the robbery was actually committed by Bob, who was trying to frame Krusty. Bob is arrested and Krusty thanks Bart for saving him.
Guest star: Kelsey Grammer.[15] 
13–13 "Some Enchanted Evening" David Silverman &
Kent Butterworth
Matt Groening & Sam Simon May 13, 1990 (1990-05-13) 7G01
Marge, feeling unappreciated by Homer, makes a call to a radio therapist, which Homer overhears at work. Homer, wanting to make it up to Marge, decides to take her to dinner at a fancy restaurant and hires a babysitter to take care of Bart and Lisa. They are sent Ms. Botz, who Bart and Lisa soon discover is actually a burglar nicknamed "The Babysitter Bandit". They are captured by Ms. Botz and tied up but eventually are freed by Maggie. Bart and Lisa capture Ms. Botz and call the police. Meanwhile, Marge and Homer return home and find Ms. Botz is tied up. Homer, unaware of her true identity, frees her and Ms. Botz makes a clean getaway just moments before the police arrive.
Guest star: Penny Marshall.[16] 

DVD release

The DVD boxset for season one was released by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Canada in September 2001, eleven years after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, Animatics, and commentaries for every episode. The set became the top selling television show on DVD by selling 1.9 million units, holding the record until October 2004 when it was passed by the first season of Chappelle's Show.[17]

The Complete First Season
Set Details[18][19] Special Features[18][19]
  • 13 episodes
  • 3-disc set
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
  • Languages:
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
September 25, 2001 September 24, 2001 September 24, 2001


  • 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.  
  1. ^ Richmond, pp. 16–17
  2. ^ a b Groening, Matt. (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.  
  3. ^ Silverman, David. (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.  
  4. ^ Emmy Awards official site "The Simpsons" "1989–1990" Retrieved on July 3, 2007
  5. ^ Richmond, p. 18
  6. ^ Richmond, p. 19
  7. ^ Richmond, p. 20
  8. ^ Richmond, p. 21
  9. ^ Richmond, p. 22
  10. ^ Richmond, p. 23
  11. ^ Richmond, p. 24
  12. ^ Richmond, p. 25
  13. ^ Richmond, p. 26
  14. ^ Richmond, p. 27
  15. ^ Richmond, pp. 28–29
  16. ^ Richmond, pp. 30–31
  17. ^ Lambert, David (2004-09-19). "Chapelle's Show — S1 DVD Passes The Simpsons As #1 All-Time TV-DVD; Celebrates by Announcing Season 2!.". Retrieved 2006-07-03.  
  18. ^ a b "Simpsons, The — The Complete 1st Season". TV Shows on Retrieved 2008-03-08.  
  19. ^ a b c d e "The Simpsons Season 1 DVD". The Simpsons Shop. Retrieved 2008-03-08.  

See also

External links



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