Simpsons Wiki

Over the long run of The Simpsons, there have been many episodes which feature three mini-stories that are held together by a backbone story plot. The reason for three segments is due to the commercial break structure of the show.

Treehouse of Horror episodes

The Treehouse of Horror episodes are the most well known, but there have been many others. They began in season 2, and each season since has had one Treehouse of Horror episode. After season 5, the backbone story was removed from the Halloween episodes, but the three mini-stories still remain.

Treehouse of Horror episodes

Nontraditional episodes

Several episodes do not fall into the normal pattern of 3 mini-stories.


In "22 Short Films About Springfield," Bart and Milhouse wonder about the various stories happening around Springfield. The episode inspired Simpsons creator Matt Groening to come up with a concept of a possible spin-off series called Tales from Springfield, about the recurring characters of Springfield, but the series was never picked up.

In "Springfield Up," flashbacks of several characters are used, featuring them at different points of their lives.

The episodes "Another Simpsons Clip Show" and "All Singing, All Dancing" are more properly categorized as clip shows but also fit the pattern of a vignette anthology type story. The separate items are taken from previous episodes, but the backbone story used influences the overall clip content. In "Another Simpsons Clip Show," the theme is love stories, and "All Singing, All Dancing," has a musical theme.

The other clip show episodes could be considered anthology stories. However, with "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show," "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular," "Behind the Laughter," and "Gump Roast," the central backbone story is not connected to the clip content, which is much more random and general.

Overlapping POV

In this format, the same story line is told from several different perspectives (points-of-view, or POV). This storytelling technique, made famous by Akira Kurosawa's film Rashomon, has been used by several other FOX shows, including Malcolm in the Middle and Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles.

In "Trilogy of Error," the story is told from Homer's POV, then Lisa's, then finally Bart's.

"The Seemingly Never-Ending Story" is another POV story, with several different threads telling the same narative from different perspectives.

List of Episodes

What follows is a list of these episodes.

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8

Season 9

Season 10

Season 11

Season 12

Season 13

Season 14

Season 15

Season 16

Season 17

Season 18

Season 19

Season 20

Season 21

Season 22

Season 23

Season 24

Season 25

Season 26

Season 27

Season 28

Season 29

Season 30

Season 31

Season 32