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The Simpsons’ Writers Pick Their Favorite ‘Itchy & Scratchy’ Cartoons

Earlier this month, The Simpsons paid homage to Downton Abbey with one of the show’s highest honors: An “Itchy & Scratchy” parody (called, natch, Downton Tabby). The ultraviolent cousins of Tom and Jerry have been an integral part of the Simpsons universe since the beginning, first appearing in a 1988 Simpsons short on The Tracy Ullman Show. Since then, there have been more than 90 installments of “The Itchy & Scratchy Show,” all of them splattered with ridiculous (and often ridiculously funny) amounts of cartoon violence. According to longtime showrunner Al Jean, one of the hardest parts about creating the shorts is deciding what to call them. (“Dazed and Contused,” “Kitty-Kill Condition.”) “Eighty-five percent of the time we spend on these is spent thinking about the title,” he told Vulture. Also tough: trying to make a list of the most memorable “Itchy & Scratchy” shorts from the more than six dozen produced to date. But we asked Jean and the current team of writers on The Simpsons to do just that anyway. After what we assume was a lot of fighting and biting, they came up with this list of their nine favorite “Itchy & Scratchy”s (in no particular order) from the past quarter century.