The Best Times the A and B Plots Collided on ‘The Simpsons’

Fans choose their favorite scenes when the Simpsons family’s wacky misadventures met in the middle
The Best Times the A and B Plots Collided on ‘The Simpsons’

If the two plots just stayed a little bit further apart, maybe Springfield would still have its burlesque house.

Sometimes on The Simpsons, a subplot supplants the main story for the most memorable narrative of the episode. For instance, few Simpsons fans would ever remember “In Marge We Trust” for the Simpson matriarch’s short stint as her church’s “listen lady” when Homer’s Mr. Sparkle B-plot is so much more entertaining. Perhaps that’s why, at some point in the last two decades, The Simpsons’ writers decided to mostly phase out the old formula of an A-plot and B-plot one-two punch and focus on getting just one of them right. Today, you’ll rarely see dueling storylines in a new Simpsons episode, and you’ll see the two plot lines intersect even less often.

However, over in the Simpsons subreddit, fans recently poured over the old episodes when the Simpson family’s individual adventures connected, if even for a brief moment. Here are their top picks, starting with…

Mojo Joins in Lisa’s Conniving Cackling

In the Simpson household, its probably not all that unusual for the kids to come home and find that their father has adopted a “helper” monkey after seeing one at the Kwik-E-Mart as he did in “Girly Edition.” However, that doesnt make it any less surprising when Lisa, thinking she was alone, delighted at the devilish plan to oust Bart from the anchors desk at their short-lived kids news show only to hear a little “monkey see, monkey do” action coming from above her bookcase.

A Vision of Barts Future Included A Story About Homer and Lincolns Gold

Along with eerily calling Donald Trumps 2016 presidential campaign a full four election cycles early, “Bart to the Future” provided one of the most underrated meta moments in the history of The Simpsons. After the Native American casino manager who caught Bart sneaking into his establishment finishes predicting the Simpson scamps future, he explains that the side-story of the fortune-telling session wherein a future Homer searches for lost treasure was necessary because, I guess the spirits thought the main vision was a little thin. Now Bart knows where B-plots come from.

“Now, Marge, You’re Gonna Hear a Lot of Crazy Talk About Bart Working in a Burlesque House”

We almost forgot that, in the absolutely iconic episode “Bart After Dark,” the inciting incident that leads to Barts gig working as the doorman at the Maison Derrière was Lisa and Marge leaving the house to do some mother-daughter bonding time by scrubbing sea life clean after an oil spill. Homer probably forgot that, too, when he prematurely declared, “If Homer Simpson wants his 10-year-old son working in a burlesque house, then Homer Simpsons 10-year-old son is going to work in a burlesque house!” 

When Marge finally returned from the beach, it became clear that Barts her 10-year-old son, too.

A Newly Close Lisa and Homer Bail Out Bart and the Boys When They Get Stuck in Tennessee

If we were to make a supercut of Dan Castellanetas best line readings as Homer Simpson, the moment in “Bart on the Road” when he calmly tells Lisa, “Alright, Ive thought this through. I will send Bart the money to fly home, then I will murder him,” would be an obligatory entry on the highlight reel. When Principal Skinner slaps together a “go to work with your parents day” for the elementary school, it leads Lisa to spend more time with her father in his own element as they grow to appreciate each others presence. Bart and his friends just booked it to Knoxville, Tennessee.


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