It is and isn't hard to believe the first episode of The Simpsons aired on December 17, 1989. While it's flabbergasting to think the show has been on the air for more than a quarter of a century, The Simpsons is such an American institution it feels timeless. In returning to old episodes, you might find some jokes that make you grimace - there are plenty of offensive jokes on the Simpsons the show couldn't get away with in 2016.
So what's this all about? Are there racist jokes on The Simpsons? That's probably in the eye of the beholder - where do you draw the line between racist jokes and jokes about race? There are certainly jokes you couldn't get away with today, and what many would consider outdated Simpsons jokes. There are also blatant sexual references, political jabs, and a blurring of the lines between adult and children's content that wouldn't fly in an increasingly divided programming system. Read on to see the Simpsons jokes that wouldn't work today.
Homer Gets Raped By a Panda
Episode:"Homer vs Dignity" (Season 12, Episode 5. November 26, 2000)
The Joke: Homer dresses up as a panda at the Springfield Zoo and a real panda rapes him.
Why It Wouldn't Fly: Um...rape. And bestiality.
Rabbits Fake Orgasms Too, Kids
Episode: "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" (Season 3, Episode 23. May 7, 1992)
The Joke: Ms. Krabappel shows Bart's class a sex education video entitled Fuzzy Bunny's Guide to You Know What, which tells the story of a pair of rabbits who comes of age, fall in love, get married, have sex, and pump out of ton of kids. During the video's sex scene, Ms. Krabappel, completely blasé and smoking a cigarette, intones, "She's faking it."
Hoover Has Serious Suction Power
Episode: "Days of Future Future" (Season 25, Episode 18. April 13, 2014)
The Joke: An adult Bart nails one of Lisa's former teachers, Ms. Hoover. As they're lying in bed after, he says "Now I see why they call you Ms Hoover." She's got maximum suck action.
Why It Wouldn't Fly: Actually, it probably would, since this episode aired in 2014, so file this under "can't believe they got away with it."
The Catholic Church Gets a Sexy Makeover
Episode: "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" (Season 10, Episode 12. January 31, 1999)
The Joke: A fake Super Bowl ad for the Catholic Church, featuring scantily clad women at a gas station cleaning a man's car and seductively penetrating the gas tank with the pump handle, while crucifix pendants dangle between their breasts. The voice over says, "The Catholic Church: we've made a few changes.
Why It Wouldn't Fly: You could say it's due to an increasing sensitivity toward religion or a feeling that the joke is misogynistic, but actually it's because audiences and networks no longer understand, and therefore don't permit, intelligent satire - this fake commercial is obviously a parody of advertising as much as, if not mot more than, it is the Church.