Last time the Simpsons were in New York City, Lisa asked Homer if they’d ever come back. To which Homer responded, “We’ll see, honey … we’ll see.” Well, 15 real world years and, I guess, zero Simpsons years later, they finally are. Surprisingly they aren’t returning to quench Homer’s thirst for crab juice; no, they’re going for love. Al Jean told TV Line:
Yes, in the season premiere. Lisa points out to Bart that any girl who likes him dumps him after a week. He’s very dejected by this, and Mary [Spuckler] turns out to be his last hope. So he tracks her down. She’s run away from home and she’s living in New York. Meanwhile, Marge and Lisa are trying to find something cultural to do in New York that doesn’t cost a fortune.
Jean also explained what Steve Carell will be doing in his guest spot:
We wrote something specifically for him, and that airs in November. He’s an accountant for Fat Tony who gets promoted to the head of the gang, and then Fat Tony wants him to start killing people. And the thing is, he actually wants to do it. He’s trying to get Homer to stop him from killing people.
They move to Springfield and live next door to the Simpsons and bring the Portlandia philosophy to Springfield. Homer really falls in love with them, except it turns out badly.