So, you’ve decided to end the longest running, funniest show in the history of television that has, according to many, suffered a severe slide in quality over the past few (dozen) years. Good for you! But you can’t end a television icon on a whim, you need to put some effort into making this memorable. Technically you could not make a big deal out of it and end it on what we might call “The Whisper” but that would be lame and awful, and we will not stand for that. Do not do that. However, deciding how to end it will take some thought. Let’s peruse some options!
People like it when you tie things up in a nice little package, this is why Christmas presents look better when they’re wrapped than if you float them across a toilet to a friend. A fun way to package a TV show is the full circle storyline, which is to say bring your final episode into the way it all began.
The Simpsons first season was arguably awful, but whatever. The first episode was a Christmas episode, in which Homer gets Santa’s Little Helper from the race track. Fun! For the final episode, why not wrap the original story into the final one with a handful of the same jokes, tweaked for the passage of years.
Homer and Marge could start by attending a school Christmas play only maybe this time the school burns down. Arson is funny, ask an arsonist.
Bring in the writers from circa season 7, and have them do some justice to the program, and then permanently kill Grandpa and Jasper in another fire.
The Rock Bottom
There’s been a steady decline in show quality over the years but we’ll admit, we still watch and laugh at new episodes, even if they don’t make us want to ride a monorail. Most people would argue that its always best to bow out gracefully, but that’s kind of what our first suggestion is about. This one is about the final flush for Home and the gang, to sink the SS Turdtanic once and for all and make the shark jumpingest episode of any TV show ever. This would require a number facets be included in a fairly short amount of time, but let’s see if we can’t arrange it. The episode would require the following;
- The Simpsons travel to several exotic locations
- They meet at least 10 celebrity guests
- Patty gets married
- Moe feels lonely
- Lenny and Carl fight
- Barney falls off the wagon
- Krusty gets cancelled
- Mr. Burns does something monumentally evil
- Prof. Frink, Bumblebee Man, Disco Stu, Comic Book Guy, D. Hibbert, Gil, Moleman, Jasper, the Sea Captain, Fat Tony, Cletus and the Crazy Cat Lady all need to make unnecessary cameos
- Bart and Mrs. Krapbapple bond
- Homer and Marge reminisce about how they met and/or got married
Mix all of these plot points together into one episode and you have everything you get sick of seeing in every other episode, in this one. Just not a clip show, for the love of God.
The Beautiful Dream
The most insulting thing you can do to a television audience is tell them they wasted their time. Yes, by definition, TV is a waste of time. But to solidify it, even as a joke, is abhorrent. Never, ever let any of the following things happen;
- The show was a dream
- It took place in purgatory
- It was all a story someone was telling
That said, make the Simpsons a dream. The dream of Fry from Futurama while he was frozen before the series began. That’s crazy enough to work for 50% of the audience and piss off the other 50% but it doesn’t matter, because the show is over, so who gives a shit if anyone liked it?
This plot has 2 faults. First, the Simpsons already parodied Hamlet once, but it was an episode of short stories supposed to be from a book, Tales from the Public Domain. Second, there’s very little continuity, on purpose, from one episode to the next on the Simpsons. The events of one week do not reflect on the next. That said, again, the show’s ending, so who cares?
Given the foreknowledge we all have that this week’s story will not reflect on next week’s, the best way to exploit a story that will never have a next week is to slaughter as many characters as possible, while still being funny. So maybe a mudslide or a dinosaur attack takes out half of the familiar faces in Springfield, the screen goes black, and that’s it. We never hear from the Simpsons again, never learn if anyone else survived, never learn who all died. It’s just over.
Bart’s 11th Birthday
Bart Simpson has been 10 years old for 23 years. He’s actually older than pretty much all of his fans, it’s just that he never ages. After nearly 500 episodes, if every episode was a single day of their lives he still would have aged at least a year, never mind all the Christmases and Halloweens they’ve celebrated. After all this time, Bart, as the character who was originally intended to be the focus of the show before everyone became enamored with Homer, should finally age a year and leave Mrs. Krapbapple’s class.
Throw it Under the Bus
Did you ever see Top of the Heap? It was a terrible sitcom starring Matt LeBlanc (redundancy noted), that aired in the early 1990s. It was a spinoff of Married with Children. The way the show was introduced was in the most heinous way possible – an entire episode of Married with Children simply aired as an episode of this would-be show. None of the Bundy’s were in the episode, just Matt LeBlanc and his TV dad. That’s how you throw a show under the bus, you air a totally different show but give it the same name. So the Simpsons, in an effort to be too clever for its own good, and also to ensure you’re kind of happy it ended, could just as easily air an episode of Family Guy, dawn and animated in the Simpsons style.