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EPA Official: Sir, I'm afraid you've gone mad with power.
The Simpsons Movie is a 2007 theatrical film adaptation of, well, The Simpsons. The film's production was famously stuck in Development Hell for most of the series' run, with the film having been commissioned around 2001 and movie plans going back as far as the episode "Kamp Krusty" in 1992. The plot of the film centers on Homer essentially being an idiot (what else is new?), but this time it actually comes to bite him in the behind when he becomes responsible for nearly destroying the entire town of Springfield. This being The Simpsons Movie, the entire Simpson family becomes entangled in the plot of the Big Bad (power-hungry EPA agent Russ Cargill, who is hell bent on saving the world from pollution); he first encases the town in a dome, then decides to turn it into a second Grand Canyon with a small nuke.
It currently holds an 89% at Rotten Tomatoes, and scored enthusiastic praise from critics. The movie also did extremely well at the box office, and a sequel was even hinted at during the end credits.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: A kid in a commercial asks Tom Hanks to tousle his hair. Magic sparkles appear as he does.
- Amusing Injuries: Well it is The Simpsons.
- Armies Are Evil: Russ Cargill and the EPA.
- As Himself: Tom Hanks.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption
- Badass Family: The Simpsons as a whole. When made outlaws, their survival instinct and penchant for getting out of scrapes really shines through. The highlight has to be Homer who knocked out a soldier in one punch, climbed up the side of a dome with just glue is fairly badass and and motorcycled up the dome to stop the nuke.
- Bait and Switch:
- When at the motel, it looks like two cops have found Marge. But they're just there to make love.
- At first, it looks like Homer will use the jet pack to scale the dome but he instead opts to use superglue.
- Big Bad: Russ Cargill.
- Big Damn Movie: This movie is more epic than the series. Played to the hilt, as pretty much any living character in the series will make a cameo. Checking large crowd scenes will reveal plenty of non-speaking cameos from even one-off characters that haven't been seen since the earliest seasons of the show.
- Bilingual Bonus; There's a scene that shows for roughly two seconds with a bunch of signs in different languages. For example, the Korean sign says "Learn to speak English with a Texan accent".
- The Russian sign says: "Learn to speak Englisch or, get out"
- Binocular Shot: Parodied, when we see the POV of someone looking through binoculars and ZOOMING IN, complete with blurring and refocusing, before cutting to reveal Homer's just looking through his hands. And rotating them to activate the zoom effect.
- Black Helicopters/Black Vans: Both used by the EPA.
- Book Ends: The family sitting in the cinema, and also Homer repairing the house's roof.
- Bottomless Bladder:
Bart: C'mon, dad, I've been holding it since they put the dome over the town.
- Bowdlerization: The TV version of this movie that aired on Fox, the cable channel FX, and the Canadian channel Global have edited the following scenes from this movie:
- Bart's naked skateboard ride through town: On FOX and Global, the sequence is shortened so we don't see Bart riding through the hedge with his genitals covered (then uncovered when he skates past the open section) nor do we see Bart crash into the restaurant at which Ned Flanders and his sons are eating and say "Bountiful...PENIS!" as they're praying. On FX, the sequence was shown, only the open space where Bart's genitals are shown is covered with a Censor Box that reads, "EUROPEAN VERSION ONLY."
- Homer getting stuck in the sinkhole: On FOX and Global, the part where Homer flips off the townspeople as he's sinking has the middle/ring fingers removed, making it look as if Homer is shaking his fists in anger (or some weak form of defeat). FX actually showed Homer flipping off the townspeople as he sinks.
- The bomb: Marge's line, "Somebody throw the goddamn bomb!!" was changed on FOX and Global to "Somebody throw the bomb!" with a scene splice. FX altered the line to "Just throw the damn bomb!" (with the "God" part covered up by a brief muting).
- Otto smoking marijuana through a bong near the end of the movie was cut on FOX, Global, and FX.
- FOX (for reasons unknown) shortened Homer and Marge's conversation about how Homer mistook 4:00 for 7:00 (which is when Access Hollywood comes on).
- Brick Joke:
- Early in the movie, Bart says it's the worst day of his life, and Homer corrects "worst day of your life so far." This sets up a moment of heartwarming near the end.
- Soon after the dome is put on the town, Marge knits something reading "Dome Sweet Dome." Later in Alaska, she makes a similar one reading "Nome Sweet Nome."
- Early in the film, Homer jabs a hammer into his eye while nailing shingles onto the roof. At the end, he's about to do the same thing until Bart gives him a pair of safety goggles - and then, after he successfully drives the nail in, he finds he's nailed a shingle to his crotch.
- Bully Hunter: Martin, after thinking everything is going to hell.
- Butt Monkey: Homer.
- Call Back/Continuity Nod/Mythology Gag:
- Numerous cameos by supporting and lesser-known characters of the show, especially in crowd scenes.
- Bart has a Chalkboard Gag in the opening.
- When Bart skateboards in the nude, he swings around a pole in a shot replicated from the theme song sequence on the show.
- President Schwarzenegger is modeled after, and has the voice of, Rainier Wolfcastle -- a character from the show created to parody Schwarzenegger.
- The police shooting into the sandbox, which then turns into something of a black hole, is reminiscent of Chief Wiggum doing the same with the alternate dimension in "Treehouse of Horror VI."
- Some of Russ Cargill's lines (see page quote) evoke Hank Scorpio ("You Only Move Twice"). Both characters are voiced by Albert Brooks, who improvised heavily in each role, and are insane men in authority positions (Word of God reveals that Hank Scorpio was supposed to be the villain in the movie, but it was changed to Russ Cargill).
- Homer's epiphany begins with a Couch Gag.
- Moe, in a Running Gag from the series, thinks Marge's name is "Midge."
- The crashed ambulance from the end of "Bart the Daredevil" is still seen near Springfield Gorge in the climax.
- When entering church at the start of the movie, Homer says, "Praise Jebus!" Homer had previously used the name "Jebus" a few times in the episode "Missionary: Impossible".
- Before that, Homer was walking into the church saying "Oh please, Marge, I'm sure these people have better things to do than sit around wasting their lives talking to some phony-baloney God." At first this might seem like a standard jab at the religious, but in the episode "HOMR", after having a crayon removed from his brain and vastly increasing his intelligence, Homer, while working on a flat tax proposal, accidentally proved God did not exist. Since the discovery was airtight, and put Flanders in a terrible mood, it would make sense that Homer would still remember it several years later.
- Homer and Bart riding over Springfield Gorge from "Bart The Daredevil."
- When Homer and Marge's wedding is shown on the tape the song "Close to You" begins to play, following Homer as he flees outside. "The Way We Was" used this same song when they first met in high school.
- The Cameo: Tom Hanks, and boy, is it lampshaded.
- Captivity Harmonica: Hibbert plays it briefly.
- Cassandra Truth: The page-topping quote. While it seems like blatant Hypocritical Humor, you have to step back to think about it: would a random person listen to the ramblings of a psychotic who is just lying on the street, or would they rather obey someone that went off the deep end of a Moral Event Horizon while still being extremely successful and highly influential?
- Chekhov's Gun: Chekhov's motorcycle, Chekhov's wedding tape, Chekhov's sinkhole, and Chekhov's lake.
- Chekhov's Skill: Chekhov's motorcycle stunt.
- Comically Missing the Point: By the truckload.
- The town meeting is more concerned about the scissor lift not working than the environmental problem.
- Homer finds a jetpack, but his sight is drawn towards a more convoluted "climbing the dome with superglue" plan.
- "We have a wedding tape?"
- Conspicuous CG: The vehicles and many of the backgrounds are noticeably cel-shaded, unlike in the main series.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Russ Cargill.
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: As Marge lampshades, the whole movie could have been avoided if Homer had listened to her and gotten rid of Spider-Pig.
- Cutaway Gag: Two.
Cargill: We've found a way to permanently take Springfield off the map.
- The second:
Flanders: Now, whenever my boys bake up a batch of "frownies", I take 'em fishin'. Does your dad ever take you fishing?
- Criminal Doppelganger: Inverted. Bart draws over a wanted poster so that it looks like a different family... who happen to be real people and get caught instead of the Simpsons.
'Watch Are You Smarter than a Celebrity?"--Wednesdays on FOX. That's right, we even adversise shows during movies now.'
- Creative Closing Credits: A number of short sketches take place during the ending credits.
- Darker and Edgier: Although not without its comedy, due to the threatening main antagonist of the film who's much more eviler than other villains on the show (he threatens to blow Springfield up!), the protagonists as well as the town of Springfield are put through more perilous situations and overwhelmingly emotional ones too, what with the angry mob, decaying Springfield and all.
- Darkest Hour: The film has two:
- Homer was abandoned by Marge and the kids, who are headed for Springfield to save it from being turned into the "New Grand Canyon".
- Homer's return to Springfield: the town is about to be destroyed by a bomb, he has inadvertently sabotaged any means for the townspeople to escape, and he is completely alienated by his family. Thankfully, the epipha-tree gave him another sign.
- Dark Reprise: A creepier version of "Spider Pig" plays in the background when Homer is having his hallucination/nightmare. It's also in the credits. Sleep tight!
- Hell, even the theme song gets this a couple times!
- Deconstruction: In the movie, Homer's normally idiotic, selfish behavior create some realistic problems with his family. Bart begins to despise his own father because of Homer's lack of care and hilarious abuse for him and tries to find a father figure in Ned, and Marge eventually leaves him for being a selfish, apathetic dick, taking the children with her. This forces Homer to really look at himself and work on changing his ways in order to regain his family's trust and love, rather than pull a one-minute gesture of thoughtfulness out of his ass and be Easily Forgiven. And it's not easy, either, he fails several times before he finally manages to get it right.
- The issue of pollution. While normally Springfield seems perfectly fine, in here it becomes so deadly the United States is willing to lock away and later destroy Springfield to prevent it poisoning the planet. It could be considered a Mythology Gag, due to the Simpsons' long running gag about the Nuclear Power Plant.
- Decoy Protagonist: Some Simpsons fans think Marge is the film's Deuteragonist. But she is the film's tritagonist. The true Deuteragonist is Bart, who helps Homer save Springfield at the film's climax.
- Deuteragonist: Bart becomes this in the film to Homer's Protagonist. He even helps Homer save Springfield at the end of the film.
- Dirty Coward: When the Springfielders storm 742 Evergreen Terrace, despite the strength of numbers, they always shrink back at even the tiniest implication that one of the Simpsons could harm them.
- Disney Creatures of the Farce: The sex scene in the movie is an obvious send up of classic Snow White and Sleeping Beauty moments.
- Driven to Suicide: The bomb defusing robot.
- Drunk with Power: Happens to Russ Cargill. To his credit, he doesn't try to hide it.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Homer's pig-waste silo, which he marked "PIG CRAP."
- Face Palm: Maggie, after failing several times to point out her sinkhole escape.
- Fan Disservice (or plain 'ole Squick): Bart's naked scene ain't much until he rides past a fence with a hole in it, showing a (rather lengthy) shot of 10-year old Bart's penis and testicles.
- Flanderization: Surprisingly averted (given the concurrently produced episodes from the TV series); pretty much all the characters act closer to their early-to-mid-nineties portrayal, particularly Ned Flanders with Bart, and Marge arguably reaches emotional depth unexplored in the series. Though Homer is still a Jerkass, he actually realizes that his latest boneheaded plan is the worst thing he's ever done...so far.
- Although there's a literal Flanderization that may be Lampshade Hanging: Bart draws Ned's trademark mustache and hair on a picture of Homer to show his disapproval at Homer's parenting.
- Flipping the Bird: Homer flips off the Angry Mob with both hands as he escapes down a sinkhole. Then he gets stuck and tries to use the fingers to dig himself out.
- Homer is one of the rare examples of a four-fingered character that can do this.
- Fiction 500: The never-mentioned company that Russ Cargill belonged, and still belongs to, before being appointed head of the EPA. From what we've seen of its resources so far, they have enough funds to produce a dome to permanently seal in a giant metropolis like Springfield, set up extremely high-tech security cameras all around said metropolis, and produce a bomb powerful enough that, when detonated, can leave a crater the size of the Grand Canyon.
- Forgot Flanders Could Do That: Ned Flanders himself had this happen, as Bart becomes annoyed with Homer's Jerkass ways, and begins viewing Flanders as a better father figure who's very caring, if still quirky.
- Funny Background Event: Homer climbing the dome.
- Fun with Subtitles:
"TO BE CONTINUED"
- Geographic Flexibility: Evergreen Terrace is at the very edge of Springfield, and Moe's Bar (which usually doesn't have that sign) is suddenly next to the church. The hill Mr. Burns' mansion is on is at a much higher altitude as well.
- Goggles Do Nothing: At the end of the movie, Homer continues to reshingle the roof, but Bart hands him a pair of goggles so he doesn't hammer himself in the eye like he did earlier. This protects his eyes, but doesn't stop him from nailing the shingles into his leg and falling off the roof.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Played with and inverted.
Lisa: Oh wait, I didn't tell you the best part: he loves the environment. Ooh wait, I still didn't tell you the best part: he's got an Irish brogue! No no, wait wait, I still didn't tell you the best part: he's not imaginary!
- Government Conspiracy
- Green Aesop: Played straight and inverted. Although there is a green message, the villain of the movie happens to work for the E.P.A., and is perfectly happy to kill everyone in Springfield in the name of protecting the environment. Oh, and in case you forgot this is The Simpsons, both sides are mocked.
- Groin Attack: When the crowd is booing Green Day for trying to preach the environment, Moe throws a rock which passes through one of the drums and is implied to have hit the drummer in the crotch.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Lisa, to Colin.
- Heroic Team Revolt: When Homer refuses to help Springfield, the rest of the family goes back without him.
- Impossibly Compact Folding: At one point, Homer folds up a billboard sized poster of Alaska down to the size of a business card and places it in his pocket.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Trappuchino" is meant to be a lame news headline.
- Internal Retcon: Springfield is removed from GPSes by the government, and Tom Hanks' advertisement for the "second Grand Canyon" states that nothing ever existed east of Shelbyville or south of Capital City.
- Juggling Loaded Guns: provided the page image, Chief Wiggum can't carry enough donuts, so he stacks them on the barrel of his gun, and eats them straight off it. The gun goes off while he's between bites, blowing a hole through his hat. He says "Whoa, that was a close one!" and continues eating.
- The Key Is Behind the Lock: Prof. Frink has invented a drill that could cut through the dome and free them all. "It's right there, out... side the dome."
- Knight of Cerebus: Downplayed and zigzagged. Although Russ Cargill can be seen as one of the most insane and destructive villains in all of Simpsons history (as he wants to blow Springfield up), he still has the comedic quirks that a Simpsons character should have.
- Lack of Empathy: Homer's empathy levels are generally Depending on the Writer based on the plot requirements but even as the mob storms his house with the intent to kill him and his family for polluting the lake, he clearly doesn't feel like he did anything wrong and can only offer a half-hearted apology when it looks like he's going to be killed. Until his family abandons him, he feels nothing for the life-long friends who are going to be killed for his crime. Though as he says, they did try to kill him.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The DVD Commentary notes that the Bambi-like forest creatures in Marge and Homer's love scene still have that distinct Simpsons overbite.
- Mega Corp: The EPA... ironically.
- Moment Killer: Lisa has a romantic moment with Colin (Window Love variant), during which Bart immediately mocks, "Lisa has a boyfriend... that she'll never see again." *PUNCH*
- Mood Whiplash: This movie likes to switch up between slapstick, regular Simpsons humor, drama, and black comedy, very fast.
- Mouth Cam: Homer before he meets Plopper.
- Negative Continuity: Other than a few brief cameos by Plopper/Spider-Pig and the Inuit Boob Lady & the season premiere after the movie's release having modified opening titles, and a still wrecked Springfield, the movie's impact has rarely been brought up on the show, though the The Simpsons episode "The Fool Monty" Mr. Burns attempts to put a giant dome over the town, however everyone complains that It's Been Done and decides not to do it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Homer near-immediately subverts Lisa's clean-up efforts, and gets the town a nice, big lockdown dome around it. Then, when the angry mob is out for his blood, he stupidly draws attention to the fact they're walking in the wrong direction. Near the end, he tries to break into the dome and foils the town's attempt to escape before they're nuked. He quickly makes up for that though with his motorcycle stunt.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Lampshaded. Lisa wouldn't leave the theatre until she saw this message. Strangely enough the text itself is played completely straight.
- No Endor Holocaust: The dome around the city is destroyed, and the only person to die is Dr Nick. Even then, he gets better.
- Off the Chart
- Offing the Offspring: Grandpa is part of the mob that marches on the Simpsons' house with the intent to kill the family. He even brandishes a shotgun right in their faces.
- Oireland: Colin.
- Our Presidents Are Different: President Schwarzenegger is the President Buffoon kind: "I was elected to lead, not to read."
- To be fair, Schwartzenegger did end up having second thoughts and was reluctant to pick an option randomly and even said he should read over the options. Not that it mattered anyways, since Russ Cargill tricked him into picking at random (kind of) again
- Plucky Comic Relief: Bart reprises his role as this in the movie.
- Precision F-Strike:
Marge: SOMEBODY THROW THE GODDAMN BOMB!
- Reality Ensues: When Springfield is sealed off, supply chains instantly begin breaking down without imports. Kent Brockman's first broadcast after the Dome is lowered is all about dwindling resources.
- Refuge in Audacity: Bart skateboarding through town naked (well, Homer dared him), and drinking whiskey at a motel, just to name a few - and from only one character.
- Rule of Cool: Homer and Bart saving the town by driving a motorcycle across the dome's walls.
- Scenery Censor: Subverted bigtime! We give thanks for this bountiful... PENIS!!!
- Sanity Slippage: Russ Cargill. He fully admits that he's Drunk on the Dark Side and is scrambling to cover himself.
- Scenery Gorn: The ruined Springfield, particularly the town square.
- Scenery Porn: The Alaska scenes.
- Self-Deprecation: The two "bunny trailers" lampshade this movie's relative ugliness in comparison to all the CG films on the scene.
- Sequel Snark: When the family is watching the credits at the end, Maggie's first word (that they've heard, at least) is "Sequel."
- Sexy Discretion Shot: The sex scene with Homer and Marge in the Disney spoof scene.
- Shoo Out the Clowns:
- Bart, despite being the film's Plucky Comic Relief, remains silent during the Dome drop and Cargill's first speech to Springfield.
- Lisa, while finding Colin, is absent from the scene where Homer and Bart save Springfield
- Sins of Our Fathers: Despite Carl's claim that the mob just wants Homer, it's made very clear that they intend to kill the whole family.
- Smug Snake: Russ Cargill is a pretty big one.
- Swiss Messenger: Springfield gets domed because Homer decides to adopt a pig.
- Take That:
Bart: Look mom, I'm the mascot of an evil corporation!
- Many toward the US Government and the EPA, notably when the government apparently surveillances everything and when Tom Hanks states that the US government has so little credibility that they have to borrow from him.
- There's a Take That toward oil drilling companies destroying Alaska's beauty when the family reaches the Alaskan border.
- In The Stinger, a Squeaky Voiced Teen is sweeping away gum at the theatre. It's implied that he's the film's assistant manager, and this is where four years of film school lead him.
- The DVD Commentary confirms that the Grand Theft Walrus sequence was a Take That toward the Penguin craze started by March Of The Penguins and Happy Feet.
- This Is No Time for Knitting: When they are in the treehouse surrounded by the angry mob, and they don't know how to get out, Maggie keeps pointing to the sandbox, but Marge assumes she wants to play in the sand and tells her "Not now!" and "We'll play later!". When Maggie finally jumps, Marge realizes that she wanted them to jump into the sinkhole beneath the sandbox so that they'll reappear on the other side of the dome, where the mob can't see them.
- Throw It In: Hans Zimmer produced a choral version of Spider-Pig for the soundtrack just for shits and giggles, but the music worked so well with the epiphany scene that the producers placed it there.
- Time Bomb: At the end.
- To Be Continued: Parodied with an "immediately" around the beginning of the third act.
- Token Romance: Let's be honest--would the plot have been significantly different if Lisa hadn't been given a random new Love Interest?
- Took a Level In Badass: Martin Prince of all people.
Martin: This feels good! No wonder you do it!
- Trailers Always Lie: While a Big Damn Movie in of itself, the "world" isn't really at stake, only a single town and the movie is a lot more gag-based and emotional than the trailers imply. Also, Reverend Lovejoy at no point says "here comes the money shot".
- The latter is a Missing Trailer Scene, replaced by Comic Book Guy showing Marge the cell phone video.
- Trailer Spoof: Several examples.
- An early trailer pretended to be for Superman Returns, but it was just Homer wearing a Superman shirt.
- A later Simpsons trailer used the Spider-Man font before revealing... Spider-Pig.
- Yet another spoofed the first teaser for The Da Vinci Code, with Homer's face in place of the Mona Lisa.
- One trailer does it a bit differently by not being based on any particular movie:
(Fully CGI sequence of a bunny dancing with flowers to the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy".)
- Trash the Set: First the Simpsons' house, then all of Springfield three months later.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Lenny's innocent phone call alerting Homer to those free donuts quickly leads to Homer dumping the pig crap silo in the lake in his attempt to finish his chores in time to get some donuts.
- Vagueness Is Coming
- Visual Pun: The wrecking ball sequence has one: after it comes back to Homer, he is swung at many things, including between a rock and a building called "A Hard Place".
- What Happened to the Pig?: Spiderpig. As soon as the family is chased out of town this plot thread is forgotten about. It's not the only one, either, just the most notable. Hell, he's only showed up in a couch gag and another minor plot in the main series.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It borders Kentucky, Maine, Nevada and Ohio. Also it's east of Shelbyville and south of Capital City, and not in Alaska. As usual, it still doesn't help.
- According to the credits, the film was filmed on location in Springfield, ______
- If the contest prior to the movie's release is to be believed, Vermont.
- Window Love: see Moment Killer above.
- Would Hurt a Child: The Springfield residents make very clear that they intend to kill Bart, Lisa and Maggie when they storm 742 Evergreen Terrace. Krusty even explicitly orders Mr. Teeny after Maggie.
- You Monster!: Lisa calls out Homer after learning that it was he who caused the ecological disaster that got Springfield placed under a dome.
- You Would Do the Same For Me: Ned starts to say this about Homer, and Bart just gives him a look.
Ned: "Point taken. Now get your butts over here!"