The Simpsons (season 20)

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The Simpsons (season 20)
The Simpsons - The Complete 20th Season.jpg
DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes21
Original network Fox
Original releaseSeptember 28, 2008 (2008-09-28) 
May 17, 2009 (2009-05-17)
Season chronology
Season 19
Season 21
List of The Simpsons episodes

The Simpsons ' twentieth season aired on Fox from September 28, 2008 to May 17, 2009. [1] With this season, the show tied Gunsmoke as the longest-running American primetime television series in terms of total number of seasons. [2] The season was released on Blu-ray on January 12, 2010, making this the first season to be released on Blu-ray. It was released on DVD in Region 1 on January 12, 2010, and in Region 4 on January 20, 2010. [3] The season was only released on DVD in Region 2 on September 17, 2010 in a few areas.

<i>The Simpsons</i> American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American free-to-air television network that is a flagship property of the Fox Corporation. The network is headquartered at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, with additional offices at the Fox Broadcasting Center and at the Fox Television Center in Los Angeles.

Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West. The central character is lawman Marshal Matt Dillon, played by William Conrad on radio and James Arness on television. When aired in the United Kingdom, the television series was initially titled Gun Law, later reverting to Gunsmoke.



It contained nine holdover episodes from the season 19 (KABF) production line. [4]

Production on the season was delayed because of contract negotiations with the six main voice actors. [5] The dispute was resolved, and the actors' salary was raised to $400,000 (US) per episode. The delay in production caused the planned 22 episodes to be shortened to 20. [6] In addition, voice actor Dan Castellaneta was credited as a consulting producer for the first time. [6] The main cast consisted of Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer. The recurring cast consisted of Marcia Wallace, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Russi Taylor, and Karl Wiedergott.

Dan Castellaneta American actor, voice artist, and comedian

Daniel Louis Castellaneta is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, producer and screenwriter, best known for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the Fox Broadcasting Company animated sitcom The Simpsons. He also voices many other characters for the show including Abraham "Grampa" Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Sideshow Mel, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby and Hans Moleman. Castellaneta also had roles in several other programs, including Futurama for Fox Broadcasting Company, Sibs and Darkwing Duck for ABC, The Adventures of Dynamo Duck for Fox Kids, Back to the Future: The Animated Series for CBS, Aladdin for Toon Disney, Taz-Mania for Warner Bros. Animation and in Hey Arnold! as Grandpa Phil for Nickelodeon.

Julie Kavner actress

Julie Deborah Kavner is an American actress, voice actress and comedian. She first attracted notice for her role as Brenda Morgenstern, the younger sister of Valerie Harper's title character in the sitcom Rhoda, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She is best known for her voice role as Marge Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons. She also voices other characters for the show, including Marge's mother, Jacqueline Bouvier, and sisters Patty and Selma Bouvier.

Nancy Cartwright American actress

Nancy Jean Cartwright is an American actress, voice actress, and comedian, known for her long-running role as Bart Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons. Cartwright also voices other characters for the show, including Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, Kearney, Database and Maggie.

The Simpsons began high-definition production in season 20. The first episode in HD, "Take My Life, Please", aired on February 15, 2009. "Take My Life, Please" is also the first to feature the new opening sequence.

High-definition television (HDTV) is a television system providing an image resolution that is of substantially higher resolution than that of standard-definition television. This can be either analog or digital. HDTV is the current standard video format used in most broadcasts: terrestrial broadcast television, cable television, satellite television, Blu-rays, and streaming video.

"Take My Life, Please" is the tenth episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 15, 2009. In the episode, Homer finds out that the class presidential election he lost in high school was rigged, and he gets the opportunity to find out what his life would have been like if he had become class president.

<i>The Simpsons</i> opening sequence The opening

The opening sequence of the American animated television series The Simpsons is among the most popular opening sequences in television and is accompanied by one of television's most recognizable theme songs. The first episode to use this intro was the series' second episode "Bart the Genius".

Also, more episodes were given the TV-14 rating than any other season. The episodes that were given this rating were "Sex, Pies, and Idiot Scrapes", "Treehouse of Horror XIX", "Gone Maggie Gone", "No Loan Again, Naturally", "Dangerous Curves", "Wedding For Disaster", and "Four Great Women and a Manicure".

Treehouse of Horror XIX 4th episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons

"Treehouse of Horror XIX" is the fourth episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 2, 2008. This is the nineteenth Treehouse of Horror episode, and, like the other "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, contains three self-contained segments: in "Untitled Robot Parody", Transformer robots run amok in Springfield; in "How to Get Ahead in Dead-Vertising", Homer is hired by ad agents to kill celebrities so their images can be used for free; and in a Simpsons-style parody of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Milhouse summons a demon pumpkin who goes berserk when it sees humans carving its brethren into jack-o-lanterns as part of Halloween tradition. It was written by Matt Warburton and directed by Bob Anderson.

Gone Maggie Gone 13th episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons

"Gone Maggie Gone" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' twentieth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 15, 2009. The episode was written by both Billy Kimball and longtime Simpsons writer Ian Maxtone-Graham, and directed by Chris Clements. In the episode, Homer leaves Maggie on the doorstep of a convent, but when she disappears, Lisa goes undercover as a nun to solve the mystery and find her. Meanwhile, Homer tries to keep Maggie's disappearance a secret from Marge, who was temporarily blinded while watching a solar eclipse.

"No Loan Again, Naturally" is the twelfth episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 8, 2009.

20th anniversary

In 2009, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the premiere of The Simpsons, Fox announced that a year-long celebration of the show titled "Best. 20 Years. Ever." would run from January 14, 2009 to January 14, 2010. Several contests were run, including the "Unleash Your Yellow" contest in which entrants designed a poster for the show [7] and "Best. Couch Gag. Ever." where fans created their own live-action couch gag video. [8]

As part of the celebration, the Irish-themed episode "In the Name of the Grandfather" premiered on Sky1 in the United Kingdom and Ireland on March 17, 2009. It was the first-ever episode of the show to air in Europe before being seen in the United States. The American debut of the episode was on March 22. [9]


Critical reception

Robert Canning of IGN gave the season a 7.9 out of 10 improving 1.3 from the past season. He gave it a positive review saying that it was "Good" and that "With at least two more years of The Simpsons guaranteed, this unexpected but very welcome resurgence has come at a perfect time. If they can keep the momentum moving, the series is primed to once again approach perfection and go out at the top of its game." [10]


Episodes from the twentieth season received five Primetime Emmy Award nominations. "Gone Maggie Gone" was nominated for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour) and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series. Dan Castellaneta won the Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Emmy for voicing Homer in the episode "Father Knows Worst"; Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer were also nominated for the episodes "Eeny Teeny Maya Moe" and "The Burns and the Bees", respectively. The winners were announced on September 12, 2009. [11] The Simpsons was the only series to be nominated in the Animation category at the Writers Guild of America Awards in 2010. The nominees were: Stephanie Gillis for "The Burns and the Bees", John Frink for "Eeny Teeny Maya, Moe", Billy Kimball & Ian Maxtone-Graham for Gone Maggie Gone", Don Payne for "Take My Life, Please", and Joel H. Cohen for "Wedding for Disaster". [12] The award was won by Joel H. Cohen. [13]

Nielsen ratings

The season ranked 77th in ratings with an average of 6.93 million viewers and an 18/49 rating of 3.4/9 and the rerun timeslot ranking 113th. [14] The most viewed episode was "Treehouse of Horror XIX", with 12.48 million watching it and a 4.9 Nielsen rating. [15] The least viewed episode was "Four Great Women and a Manicure" which is the second-least-viewed episode of the series, after Season 21's "Million Dollar Maybe". [16]


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
4211"Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes" Lance Kramer Kevin Curran September 28, 2008 (2008-09-28)KABF179.3 [17]
After serving a jail sentence for starting a brawl at an alcohol-free St. Patrick's Day parade, Homer becomes a bounty hunter and tags Flanders along for the ride. Meanwhile, an Irish man gives Marge a job at his bakery, which Marge soon discovers specializes in sexually suggestive pastries.
Guest Stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Robert Forster and Joe Mantegna. [18]
4222"Lost Verizon" Raymond S. Persi John Frink October 5, 2008 (2008-10-05)KABF157.43 [19]
Bart feels left out after realizing he is the only kid in this day and age without a cell phone, so he tries to work in a country club as a golf ball finder to earn money for it—and finds Denis Leary's phone instead.
Guest Stars: Denis Leary and Brian Grazer. [20] [21]
4233"Double, Double, Boy in Trouble" Nancy Kruse Bill Odenkirk October 19, 2008 (2008-10-19)KABF148.09 [22]
Bart meets Simon Woosterfield, a boy who looks exactly like him and is a member of Springfield's richest family. As a prank, the two decide to switch places, but the joke is on Bart when he discovers that Simon is being targeted for murder by his own siblings.
Guest Star: Joe Montana. [23] [24]
4244"Treehouse of Horror XIX" Bob Anderson Matt Warburton November 2, 2008 (2008-11-02)KABF1612.48 [25]

Intro: Homer tries to vote for Barack Obama but the machine is rigged to place votes for John McCain—and kill anyone who reveals it.

Untitled Robot Parody: In this light parody of Transformers , Lisa gets a Malibu Stacy car that turns into a robot bent on fighting the mortal enemy of his race (more transforming robots). [26]
How to Get Ahead in Dead-Vertising: After accidentally killing Krusty the Clown over the destruction of a daycare mural that used his image without his express permission, Homer is hired by two ad agents who have discovered a legal loophole in using celebrity likenesses in their advertising campaigns. [27]
It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse: In this parody of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown , Milhouse summons a demon pumpkin, who goes berserk when he discovers that humans carve his brethren into jack-o-lanterns as Halloween tradition. [26]
4255"Dangerous Curves" Matthew Faughnan Billy Kimball & Ian Maxtone-Graham November 9, 2008 (2008-11-09)KABF188.16 [28]
Homer and Marge remember their dating years where a young Ned and Maude tries to keep them apart and their early years of marriage where Homer and Marge almost cheated on each other. [29]
Guest Star: Maurice LaMarche.
4266"Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words"Nancy Kruse Tim Long November 16, 2008 (2008-11-16)KABF198.52 [30]
Lisa becomes obsessed with crossword puzzles and enters a contest, where Homer places bets against his daughter in order to earn money lost from his couples break-up business. [31]
Guest Stars: Will Shortz, Merl Reagle and Scott Thompson.
4277"MyPods and Boomsticks" Steven Dean Moore Marc Wilmore November 30, 2008 (2008-11-30)KABF207.80 [32]
Bart makes friends with a Muslim boy named Bashir and his family, but Homer fears the family may be terrorists because of their religion. Meanwhile, Lisa is given a MyPod and becomes addicted to downloading songs on it. [33]
Guest Star: Shohreh Aghdashloo.
4288"The Burns and the Bees" Mark Kirkland Stephanie Gillis December 7, 2008 (2008-12-07)KABF216.19 [34]
After winning the "Austin Celtics" in a game of poker, Mr. Burns builds a new stadium in Springfield in the same place where Lisa has built a bee colony to save honeybees from extinction. [35]
Guest Stars: Mark Cuban, Jeff Bezos and Marv Albert.
4299"Lisa the Drama Queen" Matthew Nastuk Brian Kelley January 25, 2009 (2009-01-25)KABF225.75 [36]
Lisa meets a new girl named Juliet and helps her write stories about a fantasy world called Equalia, but spending too much time with Juliet (and the story) begins to warp Lisa's sense of reality.
Guest Stars: Emily Blunt [37] and Fall Out Boy. [38]
Note: This is the last episode to be broadcast in standard definition, the last episode to include the old opening (which was used ever since season two), and the first episode to begin immediately after the credits without a commercial break.
43010"Take My Life, Please"Steven Dean Moore Don Payne February 15, 2009 (2009-02-15)LABF016.82 [39]
After an old high school rival named Vance is honored on the Springfield Wall of Fame, Homer becomes depressed when he discovers that Principal Dondelinger rigged the student council election so Vance would win. While at an Italian restaurant, a mysterious chef shows Homer how his life would have turned out had he actually won. [40]
NOTE: This is the first episode to broadcast in 720p high definition and to use to the new opening (which is similar to the old one, only it includes new characters).
43111"How the Test Was Won"Lance Kramer Michael Price March 1, 2009 (2009-03-01)LABF026.52 [41]
Bart gets a perfect score on Springfield Elementary's latest standardized test, leaving Lisa worried that Bart may be smarter than she when Bart is rewarded with a field trip—that turns out to be an elaborate trick into getting the low-testing students (and Principal Skinner) out of the way. Meanwhile, Homer forgets to mail off his insurance payment and must keep himself and the house accident-free until his coverage can be reinstated at 3:00pm. [42]
43212"No Loan Again, Naturally"Mark Kirkland Jeff Westbrook March 8, 2009 (2009-03-08)LABF035.99 [43]
The Simpsons get into a mortgage crisis of their own when Homer cannot afford to pay off the money he borrows from his home equity loan (so he can finance his extravagant Mardi Gras parties) and the Simpsons sell their home to Ned Flanders. [44]
Guest Star: Maurice LaMarche.
43313"Gone Maggie Gone" Chris Clements Billy Kimball & Ian Maxtone-GrahamMarch 15, 2009 (2009-03-15)LABF045.99 [45]

Homer leaves Maggie on the doorstep of a convent, setting off a Da Vinci Code -style chain of events involving Freemasons and the hunt for a rare jewel. Meanwhile, Marge goes blind after viewing an eclipse without an eclipse shoe box viewer and Homer tries to cover up Maggie's disappearance. [46]

Guest Star: Ed Begley, Jr.
43414"In the Name of the Grandfather" Ralph Sosa Matt MarshallMarch 22, 2009 (2009-03-22) [lower-alpha 1] LABF116.15 [47]
After neglecting his father during a wheelbarrow race, Homer makes it up to Grampa Simpson by taking him to a pub in Ireland, only to learn that pubs are not popular in Ireland anymore. [48]
Guest Stars: Colm Meaney, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. [49]
43515"Wedding for Disaster" Chuck Sheetz Joel H. Cohen March 29, 2009 (2009-03-29)LABF056.58 [50]
When Reverend Lovejoy reveals to Homer and Marge that they are not legally married, Homer and Marge decide to have another wedding to legitimize their union once and for all. But when Marge begins acting like a bridezilla and Homer mysteriously disappears, it is up to Bart and Lisa to save the day. [51]
Guest Star: Kelsey Grammer.
43616"Eeny Teeny Maya Moe"Nancy KruseJohn FrinkApril 5, 2009 (2009-04-05)LABF066.50 [52]
Moe once again searches for love and falls for a woman named Maya over the Internet. However, when Moe meets Maya face-to-face, he discovers it is more like face-to-knee, as Maya is only three feet tall. Meanwhile, Maggie is put in a playground full of hostile babies. [53]
43717"The Good, the Sad and the Drugly" Rob Oliver Marc WilmoreApril 19, 2009 (2009-04-19)LABF076.50 [54]
Bart sets up Milhouse to take the fall for a prank the two of them pulled, and the duo's friendship becomes strained when Bart falls for a charitable girl named Jenny. Meanwhile, Lisa becomes insane and depressed after reading Internet articles predicting that Springfield will be a barren wasteland in fifty years, and is given anti-depressants that turn her into a mindless zombie.
Guest Star: Anne Hathaway. [55]
43818"Father Knows Worst"Matthew Nastuk Rob LaZebnik April 26, 2009 (2009-04-26)LABF085.94 [56]
Marge discovers a sauna in the basement of their house and shuts herself off from the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Homer becomes a stricter parent after meeting a helicopter mom who criticizes Bart for being an academic failure and Lisa for being a social outcast. [57]
43919"Waverly Hills, 9-0-2-1-D'oh" Michael Polcino J. Stewart Burns May 3, 2009 (2009-05-03)LABF106.75 [58]
While desperately searching for a bathroom during her morning jog, Marge discovers how low-rent Springfield Elementary School really is and moves Bart and Lisa to Waverly Hills Elementary by having Homer rent an apartment there so the city inspector of Waverly Hills does not get suspicious. Meanwhile, Bart helps Lisa become popular by telling others that Lisa is friends with a teenage pop star named Alaska Nebraska.
Guest Stars: Ellen Page and Maurice LaMarche. [1]
44020"Four Great Women and a Manicure"Raymond S. Persi Valentina L. Garza May 10, 2009 (2009-05-10)LABF095.16 [59]
While at a nail salon, Marge and Lisa argue over whether or not a woman can be smart, beautiful, and powerful all at once, which leads to yet another Simpsons anthology show, featuring four stories of women trying to survive in a man's world: Aunt Selma defending England as Queen Elizabeth I, Lisa in a non-copyright-infringing retelling of Snow White , Marge pushing Homer to be a great Shakespearean actor in a modern-day version of Macbeth , and Maggie fighting against conformity in a parody of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead .
Guest Star: Jodie Foster. [1]
44121"Coming to Homerica"Steven Dean Moore Brendan Hay May 17, 2009 (2009-05-17)LABF125.86 [60]
The citizens of Ogdenville swarm into Springfield in search of work after their local economy plummets, but when the Ogdenvillians' Norwegian culture begins rubbing off on others, Mayor Quimby hires citizens to act as border patrol. [1]

Blu-ray and DVD release

The DVD and Blu-ray boxset for season twenty was released by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Canada on January 12, 2010, eight months after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the Blu-ray and DVD releases feature hand-drawn menus by Matt Groening.

The Complete Twentieth Season
Set DetailsSpecial Features
  • Hand-drawn menus by Matt Groening
  • The 20th Anniversary Special Sneak Peak (US DVD/Blu-ray Only)
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
January 12, 2010September 17, 2010 [61] January 20, 2010


  1. This episode first aired on Sky1 on March 17, 2009.

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