List of Jokes and Story Ideas by Former Simpsons Showrunners Hints at What Might Have Been

Ned Flanders writes a Christian sci-fi book. Grampa Simpson visits the set of Matlock. Jimbo finally graduates from Springfield Elementary, leaving Bart all of his troublemaking supplies.

These are ideas for early Simpsons episodes by former showrunners Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein from a document they recently unearthed from an old hard drive. “Unused Stories and Premises” is an incredible look at the writing process from the golden years of the show, one that shows how tiny jokes were turned into classic episodes.

Some of the ideas were turned into full episodes and are seen here in their most embryonic form – one line simply says “Bart vs. Australia,” another says “Homer gets Smithers’ job.” But it’s mostly ideas for stories or one-off jokes for the show that, for one reason or another, never made it on air. And they’re so clearly from the minds that helped create those golden era seasons of The Simpsons. You can immediately visualize lines like “People at the photo lab have a big collection of photos of Homer in embarrassing situations,” and it almost makes you sad to never get to see that scene on the show.

Click here to see the full document, or just check it out below:

Leftover Story Ideas & Fragments-Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein•Crawlspace or small room over the garage•Homer vs. Mr. Muntz•Homer gets Smithers job•Speed limit raised to 100 miles per hour•Martin’s parents throw him a really fancy birthday party in hopes ofmaking him more popular.•Grampa has a emergency switch installed in his rest home room. Bartpulls it?-The fire department comes•Oh Calcutta or something at the Springfield playhouse. Somethingthat sounds like it might be for kids and is actually really raunchy.Maybe the family goes.•Lisa vs. the History of the United States of America.-Lisa unearths some fact that debunks some famous event in U.S. (orSpringfield) history and causes a big controversy.-She’s at center of this big controversy.•Moe, in desperation, finally gets his phone number changed.First, to 867-5309-then teenagers call him-then to Pennsylvania 6-5000-and old people call him-then to Beechwood 4-5789-and Motown women call him-and so forth•Krusty gets married- maybe to Selma or something-Rabbi Krustofsky-maybe something with Krusty’s ex-wife•Rodney Dangerfield•Sequel to some famous thing, a la “Scarlett”•Sideshow Bob, now a free man, is shot. Everyone thinks Bart did it.(JFK)•Grampa wins a trip to Los Angeles to visit the set of Matlock. (ormaybe Matlock films in Springfield)ACT ONENewspaper headline: “MATLOCK CANCELLED”Grampa sees it and has a heart attackthen he starts a write-in campaign, petition drive, etc.and gets it back on the air-Grampa is a Matlock nerd and knows all the little details of the show.The producers and Matlock are so grateful that they invite him and thefamily to L.A. so that Grampa can have a walk-on role.ACT TWOIn L.A.ACT THREEGrampa goes to the show.All the producers and staff are 70 years old, with canes and pipes andsweatersHe has a small part•Costume party at the plant. Smithers dressed as Elton John.(Halloween segment)•Bart/Playdudes.Lisa wins contest to perform at Playdude Jazz festival•Lisa takes the cat to a cat show. (The weird world of cat lovers.)•Grampa’s birthdayBart gives Grampa the novelty trophy that says “World’s WorstGrampa” and he’s really hurt.•Bart gets 144 Jeeps-find old ads in Argosy or True”WW2 Surplus Jeeps as Low as $1.00 each when bought in quantity!‘“Min. Order 1 Gross.”Gets kids to give him $, Homer buys 10, Grampa buys 50Some young army guy doesn’t know what to do, send jeeps(maybe they’re packed in grease and unassembled)”Grampa, come over and pick up your 50 jeeps”Everyone, including the kids, are driving around in jeeps. Homerwrecks his and just uses a new one.***Kids urban myths-i.e. Mikey exploded from eating space dust.Bart wants to try “MoonRocks”Older kid tells him not toHowie, the kid from moonrocksFinally, Howie goes on tv all sick.Start with commercial for “MoonRocksZ” with funny astronaut-That’s one small piece for a kid, one giant bag for a buck.” (?)•People at the photo lab have a big collection of photos of Homer inembarrassing situations•Flanders writes a Christian sci-fi book•Piece of mail for Hobart Simpson•Homer sees one of those old ads from the 60s that says “Be the Life ofthe Party! Learn to Play the Piano!” So Homer takes piano lessons,maybe with some cranky old lady, i.e. Mrs. Glick, and really doesbecome the life of the party. Or perhaps he finds that nobody cares ifyou play the piano, and people tell him to stop doing it.•Marge and Homer singing at the piano like Archie and Edith bunker.Close with “Remembering You” going doing the street.•Sinkhole•Historic Preservation•Jimbo is finally graduating to Jr. High School. He bestows on Bart thetroublemaker things that have been passed down through thegenerations, including a key to the school, an old xerox with theteachers’s home addresses and phone numbers, etc.•Lisa becomes one of the kids on Zoom-“I’m Martin”-“I’m Milhouse and I’m here with today’s droodle.””What’s this? A witch drowning. Help, help, says the witch.”-“Springfield 02134.”•The cat story•Homer and Generation X•Bart vs. Australia
List of Jokes and Story Ideas by Former Simpsons […]