The Simpsons Acknowledges Continuity Watchdogs with an Online Easter Egg

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The Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman is in the egg-hiding mood for the Easter holiday. 

A couple weeks ago, bemused Simpsons fans adopted Pontius Comic Book Guy roles, virtually crucifying the show’s continuity minders for messing with the timeline of the 32-year-old series.

The episode, “Do Pizza Bots Dream of Electric Guitars?”, flashes back to the 1990s, when Homer was a 14-year-old wannabe DJ. But the established timeline from previous episodes maintains that Homer and Marge met when they were teenagers in high school in 1974 (the year rock attained perfection). The retrofit was called out by some fans as a major miscalculation.

“Homer is, like, a millennial,” one fan tweeted. “Homer is now younger than Bart,” another corrected. Even this author noticed that the Simpsons patriarch would already be “married with two kids, and starring on a show which has been on TV since 1989 at this point in his life.”

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“You may have noticed the minor Simpsons fan uproar about the show’s playful ‘elastic continuity’ as recently featured in ‘Do Pizzabots Dream of Electric Guitars,’” Selman wrote to Den of Geek in a direct message. “Anyway, I went back into ‘Pizzabots’ episode and snuck in a silly Easter egg that will delight/enrage anyone who finds it.”

The enhanced visual comes at the 4 minute and 33 second mark, and denotes a “giant continuity error,” Selman teased. It happens while Homer is debuting his rebooted robot pizza spectacular. Watch for some vintage memorabilia served up with the Calamari olives. “I put in a kid wearing a classic 90s Bart Simpson t-shirt,” Selman reveals.

Sure enough…

Head on over to Hulu or Fox.com, to check it out for yourself!

Selman previously issued a “Continuity Alert” about the episode, warning “canonical catastrophes” are to be expected in “32-year-old series where the characters do not age, so the ‘canon’ must be elastic / contradictory / silly.”

In a follow-up tweet, Selman reminded viewers, “”This does not mean other beloved classic The Simpsons flashback shows didn’t happen. None of this happened. It’s all made up. Every episode is its own Groundhog Day that only makes sense for that story (if that). There is no The Simpsons ’canon’ or ‘non-canon.’ There are only stories. If all these crazy things really happened to one family the characters would be in a mental hospital.”

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Non-canonical episodes of The Simpsons, like their annual “Treehouse of Horror” offerings, consistently top seasons. Marge and Homer’s backstories have been retrofitted into cultural landmarks from almost every generation.  The legendary actor Elizabeth Taylor voiced Maggie’s first words, and after 32 years, the youngest Simpson still can’t complete a simple sentence.

The Simpsons airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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