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Bart Simpson: Quick! To the Fatmobile! Heheheh.
The Simpsons Hit & Run is a 2003 Wide Open Sandbox game in the vein of the Grand Theft Auto series, but with less firepower and more kicking. Five characters from the series are played in the story mode, which initially starts off with Homer's antics on his way to work, but shifts into a conspiracy involving the kidnapping of Bart, strange floating wasp cameras, and a strange new brand of cola. And it gets even stranger from there...
A game notably filled to the brim with references to past episodes and the vehicles contained within, the creators of this game sure did their homework on The Simpsons. The sheer amount of Continuity Porn and Easter Eggs could fill a page in of itself, including an entire section devoted to the Halloween "Treehouse of Horror" episodes. If a vehicle appeared on the show when this game was put into production, it was in this game.
A Licensed Game that does not suck.
- Action Mom: Marge
- The Alleged Car: Comic Book Guy's Kremlin.
- Moe's Sedan.
- If you destroy your vehicle, you can drive the chassis, rather hilariously. Drive it into a repair icon to avoid having to pay the repair fees!
- And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Krusty essentially says this about Bart's warning about the aliens planning to instigate a mass riot with laser guns via Buzz Cola.
Bart: Krusty, listen carefully, aliens are handing out free laser guns and cola that makes you go crazy. It'll be a massacre, the streets will be littered with lasered-off limbs and heads.
- Anti Frustration Feature: Five times you fail, and the game allows you to skip. Except for the final mission.
- Awesome Yet Impractical: The rocket car in the first level is extremely fast... but is barely controllable and is extremely fragile. You'll total it in one hit.
- You can either tap the A button for (very) short bursts so you don't crash and burn (literally), walk around on foot until you find a Golden Wrench, or teleport the car with you around town by selecting missions you've completed while sitting in a vehicle. "The Fat And The Furious" drops you (and the Rocket Car) in the parking lot of the nuclear plant, just a few seconds away from the big tire fire jump. Going at full speed, you'll easily make the jump, so much so that you may crash into the invisible wall that's always in wide open sandbox games like this.
- Back Seats Are Just for Show: The Player Characters that hop into a car take the passenger's seat - even with the Car Built for Homer, which has a giant seat in the back.
- Big Bad: Kang and Kodos.
- Big Boo's Haunt: Level 7, which takes place on Halloween.
- Big No: Kang finding out he has to share heaven with the credits.
- One of Bart's quotes when he falls into a Bottomless Pit is one of these that continues for a second after you reappear.
Bart: Nooooooooooooooo... *Takes a breath in* Oooooooo!
- Big Word Shout: Comic Book Guy will scream "KHAAAN!" during jumps.
- Book Ends: Every 'map' gets at least two levels. The last level is the same map as the first one except with a Halloween makeover and a...
- Broken Bridge: Except it's in the last level.
- Camera Screw: Some locations force the camera in a specific direction, even if it will mess up a jump. First example is the Duff truck near the Kwik-e-mart — jump with the camera pointing towards the front of the truck and it turns to the side as soon as you hit the steam vent.
- Comically Missing the Point:
Apu: We have got to prevent the aliens from distributing laser guns into the hands of cola drunk townspeople.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Simply put, the computer can drive any car faster than you can, better than you can, and is magically much heavier than the same car is under your control.
- Continuity Nod: Where do we start?
- The cars. There's the Canyonero, the Plow King, part of the Monorail, the Homer, the Elec-Taurus, the Honor Roller, the Book Burning Mobile, the sports car Bart used to rampage through Santa's Village when he became the heir to Mr. Burns' fortune...
- Cool Car: The Car Built for Homer, Homer's Seventies car, Rocket Car, and Indy 500 car, Bart's Honor Roller, Apu's GODDAMNED MONSTER TRUCK, Lisa's sports boat... WITH WHEELS!, and last, but not least, Frink's semi-invisible hover car.
- Credits Gag: See MST.
- Crop Circles: Which match the design on *GASP* Buzz Cola. Or Bart. Depends on the level.
- Critical Existence Failure: See Every Car Is a Pinto.
- Darker and Edgier: There may be Bloodless Carnage but the stakes are much higher than the average Simpsons episode.
- Daylight Horror: Bart is abducted by aliens in broad daylight. And yes, it’s scarier this way.
- Dead Character Walking: You can drive a wrecked chassis if your car explodes. Not surprisingly, It's VERY slow, but if you drive it into a repair item, it'll be as good as new.
- Destructive Saviour: Thanks to the poor handling of some cars and the loads of destructible scenery, the Simpsons will be this at one point or another. This trope is so prevalent it was actually advertized as a selling point of the game.
Save Springfield. By car. By foot. By the seat of your pants.
- Double Jump: Some walking sections require using this, while other sections didn't expect a double-jump (or other tactic) could be used to bypass the platform puzzle.
- Egopolis: Level 2 and Level 5.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Every vehicle in the game explodes when it's taken too much damage. Even the RC car. Then again, this is not exactly out of place in the Simpsons world.
- Face Palm: Apu when Bart doesn't see the need to stop Kang and Kodos giving cola-maddened citizens laser guns.
- Fragile Speedster: See Awesome Yet Impractical. To a slightly lesser extent, there's the Formula 1 race car from the final level. It has the best driving stats period, but is about as tough as a wet paper towel.
- Freudian Excuse: One of Homer's excuses for kicking people. "An older boy told me to do it" (from "The Trouble with Trillions").
- Flying Saucer: The 3 final missions have you loading barrels of toxic waste into one.
- Genre Savvy: Homer mines Comic Book Guy's knowledge of sci-fi to navigate the last level.
- Green Hill Zone: Level 1 and Level 4.
- Ground Pound: Attack while doing a Double Jump.
- Halfway Plot Switch: In typical Simpsons fashion. It starts out as Slice of Life but slides into a plot about Kang and Kodos.
- Halloween Episode: In true "Treehouse of Horror" style, an entire section of the game revolves around a now Halloween themed Springfield, complete with Beetlejuice-esque music, haunted vehicles, horror themed buildings (Springfield Elementary becomes a castle-like "School For Magic") and of course halloween costumes.
- Hero Insurance: When Homer runs into something or someone, he may randomly blurt out "I have no insurance!"
- Holiday Mode: For Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Halloween (only the menu is changed, though).
- Hypocritical Humour: Comic Book Guy.
"Videogames, what a waste of money. Now to go online and bid $1,000 on Itchy & Scratchy corn-cob holders! A terrific, terrific expense."
Bart: I've gotta get the new Bonestorm game or I'll be as uncool as Milhouse!
- Invulnerable Civilians: You run them over, but they don't die.
- Knight of Cerebus: Once you discover who the villains are, the game starts becoming scary.
- Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: You can go to them to make extra money in racing.
- Leitmotif: Several characters have their own themes. For example, Chief Wiggum has one reminiscent of '70s cop shows, Apu has several Indian-sounding themes, and Professor Frink has a theme reminiscent of Danny Elfman's compositions.
- Lemming Cops: The cop cars that show up when you fill out the Wanted Meter explode at the slightest provocation, often simply for failing to hit you on the first past. More show up to replace them.
- Lighter and Softer: It's Grand Theft Auto if it were a cartoon. You can run over people, but they can't die. You can take any car you want, but you're just hitchhiking, not stealing them. You can piss off the police, but all you get is a small fine (you have no weapons for the cops to confiscate).
- Lightning Bruiser: Burns' sedan, which is second to none in all-around stats. It rates at least a 4 in every category, making it one of the fastest and toughest vehicles in the game.
- The Load: Useless thy name is Milhouse.
- May Contain Evil: The new Buzz Cola. However, Krusty mentions that this one doesn't contain any poisons (Announcer: that we know of).
- Medium Awareness: While narrating a flashback, Grandpa mentions that it happened so long ago he'll have to describe it in sepia tone.
- Homer will occasionally shout, "He used a cheat code!" when losing a race, mission, or if rammed by a pursuing cop car.
- Mistaken Confession: When Homer accuses Mr Burns of being connected to the black vans, Burns confesses to having Amelia Earhart's plane shot down. "That hussie was getting too big for her jodhpurs."
- MST: Kang and Kodos snark at the credits and the staff, right down to the job titles.
- Nintendo Hard: There's a reason for the Mercy Mode listed under Anti-Frustration Features to appear...
- Noodle Incident: Nelson, Milhouse, and Ralph Wiggum act as referees for the street races. Although Nelson and Milhouse both have some explanation for why they took up the job (Nelson being legally required to do so via court-mandated community service after getting busted for selling bootleg CDs near the Kwik-E-Mart, and Milhouse outright being forced to by Patty and Selma in order to get a license for a bike without training wheels, and eventually continuing to do so in order to help pay for his father's alimony), Ralph's reasons were never made clear, with the closest thing to a explanation being in Lisa's level where he mentions his dad and him acting up in a hardware store.
- Not Quite Dead: After a car blows up, you can still drive it. Even though all that's left is the charred, twisted framework and the bent up rims.
- One Hundred Percent Completion: It lets you drive backwards on the bonus courses.
- Optional Traffic Laws: The police will chase you if you cause too much damage, but even if they manage to catch you all they do is fine you a few coins.
- Orphaned Punchline: "...leaving the famous bearded cartoon creator incarcerated in a Peruvian jail."
- Ow, My Body Part: Bart goes "Ow, my ovaries!", referencing a line from the show when he was faking being sick.
- Palmtree Panic: Level 3 and Level 6, with the latter overlapping with Alien Invasion.
- Potty Emergency: One of Apu's missions involves rounding up diapers for the octuplets. "Quick, cover my incontinent children's tushies!"
- Pro Bono Barter: One of Homer's lines when calling for a different car. "Can you come and get me? I'll pay you in back rubs!"
- Racing Mini Game: Several, with different announcers. Ralph has to be the funniest.
- Red Herring: Mr. Burns seems to be the Big Bad at first, but it is quickly revealed that he isn't the Big Bad. The real villains are Kang and Kodos.
- Reference Overdosed: What did you suspect from a Simpsons game?
- Rewarding Vandalism: Destroying the scenery gives coins... and your heat meter.
- Sidequest: There's 1 bonus mission in each chapter, completing them rewards you with a car, there is also collector cards scattered around each chapter's world; collecting all rewards you with a bonus movie of Itchy & Scratchy.
- Sixth Ranger: Apu to the family.
- Society Is to Blame: Another of Homer's excuses.
- Space X: Space-ratings and space-viewers who watch their SPACE TV.
- Spies in a Van: See Van in Black.
- Spinning Newspaper: One at the beginning of each level. The one for the first level, for example, includes this:
Study: 90% of video games start with easy tutorial level
- Spring Jump: Steam vents are an extra powerful jump, and can be combined with a double jump. The vents are necessary in several foot-on quests and sidequests.
- Stalker with a Crush: Milhouse. An early mission in Lisa's level consists of him offering her 'leads' on Bart's whereabouts, only to somehow beat her to each destination.
"You're stalking me, aren't you, Milhouse?"
Kang: "At least we don't have to sit through the stupid videogame credits."
- This Loser Is You: The characters' road rage ("You're not a very good driver..." "What were you thinking?!" etc.) can be interpreted as Breaking the Fourth Wall and telling the player that they can't drive.
- Too Dumb to Live: Homer, but lucky for you, he's just extremely stupid in non-lethal situations.
- Something closer to the trope: Grampa, who is too senile to bail out of his rigged Military Jeep when he and Homer blow up Kang and Kodos' ship.
Grampa: I smell tooooaaaassst!
- Truman Show Plot: Those robot wasp cameras are filming everyone so Kang and Kodos can turn Springfield into an intergalactic reality show.
Bart: I knew there was a simple explanation.
- Van in Black: Except they're only pizza vans.
- Vent Physics
- Wanted Meter: Every time you break stuff and abuse civilians this little meter goes up until police cars show up and dash to catch you. Getting caught means a $50 fine but you can hide in car-unreachable locations or go into accessible buildings to cool the meter off. This can even happen during Level 7, even though the police have more pressing concerns than a man causing destruction with a vehicle, namely a horde of ravenous zombies.
- Wide Open Sandbox: Only the main missions and bonus races can be replayed. Completing bonus missions, collecting cards and floating coins, destroying certain parts of the scenery in each level, and killing camera wasps are permanent.
- Zombie Apocalypse: The last level of the game has zombies wandering around due to Kang and Kodos's evil Buzz Cola soda.