|Holidays of Future Passed||
- “I'm Santa? Oh...Now I'll never die.”
- ―Abraham Simpson
"Holidays of Future Passed" is the ninth episode of Season 23.
At Christmas 30 years in the future, Bart and Lisa bring their kids to Homer and Marge's house. When there, they learn about parenting and loving your family. Meanwhile, a pregnant Maggie is traveling to visit her family and falls into labor after arriving in Springfield.
After Thanksgiving dinner, Marge announces it is time to take the annual Christmas card family photo. When Bart and Lisa complain about the pointlessness of the photos, Marge tells them they will one day grow to appreciate the photos. We then witness a sequence of the the Simpsons' Family Christmas photos from the next 30 years.
The sequence shows considerable changes, including Lisa being bisexual and having relationships with three different women while she is attending a private college, and Milhouse Van Houten, whom she marries and has a daughter with. Maggie realizes her talent for music and becomes a famous rock star, acting as the lead singer and guitarist in her band, and Bart, who flunked out of state college, is left at home until he gets evicted by Homer and Marge at 34 years of age. Homer and Marge are then seen enjoying Christmases alone together in their old age. Then, three separate photos of each of the children and their current lives are shown. Lisa is 38, appears to be a successful business woman, and is shown with her teenage daughter Zia and her husband Milhouse, now 40, Maggie is 31 and is shown performing with her formed band at a Christmas themed concert from a year previous, and Bart and Jenda are 40 and now divorced, and are shown with their two sons, Jiff and Skippy.
The sequence ends, and it is now 30 years into the future, the year 2041. Bart is now a deadbeat and living at The Lofts at Springfield Elementary, or formerly "Room 203". He watches The Itchy & Scratchy Show by hologram while drinking some coffee, but is then interrupted by his landlord, Skinner, who reminds Bart he is two weeks on behind his rent. Bart assures him he’ll have the money after he sells his good kidney when the other grows back. Bart's two sons arrive on a teleportation device, where they accordingly express their disliking of him and the apartment. Jiff says "Christmas with you is gonna suck". Bart assures them it'll be the best Christmas ever, although he thinks to himself that he will just "dump them at his mom's". His kids tell him that they heard him because they can now hear thoughts. Bart then yells "damn it."
Lisa is seen in her new modern household, working on her MyPad at the kitchen counter, when Milhouse enters, suffering from hay fever, due to being allergic to Christmas related things. Zia Simpson, their teenage daughter, enters, sitting down at the kitchen table. Lisa asks how she did on her math test, to which Zia replies "Gee I'm fine mom thanks for asking", and rolls her eyes. She then literally hooks herself online, leaving her unconscious. Lisa complains about how her daughter acts like her brother. Milhouse replies that when they had her they used only the best genetic material, which means that they used none of his genes, but Lisa says that he helped by parking the car. Lisa wonders if her mom has any advice on how to deal with Zia, and Milhouse suggests taking her to her (Lisa's) parents' house while he recovers from his allergies by going to one of the known Christmas celebrating states.
The next scene is in London, England. A pregnant Maggie is shown in The Benny Hilton, getting a sonogram by a Medbot, while her band members stand by her bedside. The Medbot tells her she cannot make a sound until the birth. Maggie's Band protest, saying that she is their lead singer, and the Medbot tells them that new research has revealed that the umbilical cord is also a vocal cord. Medbot then asks of the father of the baby, but they refuse to answer and switch football on the Medbot's screen.
Homer and Marge, now 69 and 67, respectively, are seen in their bed reading. Homer asks for 'future sex' before Marge receives a B-Mail of each of their children's arrival. Homer also receives one and opens it, despite Marge's warning of it being a virus. Homer does get a virus from this, resulting in shaking.
When the family arrives, Lisa is impressed to see Homer building space ships in bottles. Homer expresses on how it helps him after becoming sober. The bottle flies to the ceiling and Homer says he would smash them all for one beer.
Bart is downstairs with his children attempting to set up the Christmas Tree. He complains about tangles in the lights. His kids mention how their mother's boyfriend is great at untangling Christmas lights. Bart asks why doesn't she just marry him; they confirm that she has in fact married him and they didn't was supposed to tell him, upsetting Bart. Homer enters and Bart requests he take them out; he does so. Bart begins to complain to himself when Ned Flanders pops through the window expressing his sadness when Homer killed Edna. He then goes on to say he married Maude's Ghost; she then appears telling him that there is no God, with Heaven being "an empty meaningless void.
Maggie is shown at Heathrow Teleport Departures. When she is about to board, the worker tells her she cannot transport while pregnant, and must travel by air. A largely outdated plane reminiscent of Madmax is then shown. Maggie gets in line to board the plane.
In the kitchen, Marge is making Christmas cookies while Lisa works on her laptop. Zia enters and condescendingly rejects Lisa's offer to 68% of a Cher live show. Again she hooks onto the internet, making her unconscious. Lisa wishes it was still legal to strangle your kid (Homer's law made it illegal). Marge suggests that she helps her make Christmas Cookies with her and leave Zia alone. Lisa ignores it and says that she's trying to deal with her disrespectful daughter, and that Marge is too clueless to know what that's like, and she storms out of the kitchen, to Marge's annoyance.
We open to the airplane, where the inside looks like a subway train, the lights keep flickering and the plane keeps shaking, and the flight attendant is serving things such as dog food, suicide pills, and Mohawk gel. A man sitting next to Maggie orders dog food and tells the waitress he wants the whole can. As he eats, an annoyed Maggie checks her watch, while the other man she is sitting next to is sleeping and leans next to her.
Lisa is sitting at the kitchen table, angrily eating a Christmas cookie and glaring at Zia, who is still plugged in. Homer enters with Bart's kids after Marge told him of the issues. Lisa complains that her daughter thinks that she's a ruthless tyrant.
Homer then leaves to take Jiff and Skippy to Downtown Springfield. Following is a sequence of Springfield. They visit the Kwik-E-Mart where Apu and his children are robbed (but defending themselves with laser guns) by a cyborg Snake Jailbird. As this happens Homer and the boys steal Squishees. We then see Homer throw a rock into Burns Manor, which causes Mr. Burns ordering the hounds on them. Smithers empties a box full of dog bones before Homer and his grandchildren.
We then cut to a tired Maggie in a taxi being driven by Kearney Zzyzwicz. He tells her they are almost at Evergreen Terrace, and he then asks if he went with her brother to jail. Maggie shakes her head yes, and she opens her mouth to speak, but she suddenly begins to suffer contractions. Kearney orders the computer in the car to take him to the hospital, but it takes him to Computer Hospital. He then gets out gloves and issues the command again, but the gloves themselves drive.
Lisa goes into the backyard glum with a bottle of wine and a wine glass. Advertisements of Buzz Cola and Cookie Kwan are developed in the sky. Bart invites Lisa into his old tree house, and the two get drunk. A drunk Lisa asks Bart if she should have married Nelson, because they still talk on the phone. Bart and Lisa lament on how their children think they're lousy parents, and Lisa complains on how Marge took Zia's side and told her to leave Zia alone. Bart tells Lisa that Marge did the same with her, and she turned out great. Bart also admits that Lisa was the person he wishes to have grown into, and the two hug. Homer is then seen playing with Bart's Children in Bart's old bedroom. Bart says that he has to reconnect with his kids. Lisa leaves to apologize to Marge, causing the tree to come alive and lower to the ground — much like the trees from The Lord of the Rings.
Homer and Marge are sleeping in their bedroom. Lisa comes in, which wakes Marge up, and she tells Marge that she's the best, and they both hug, with Marge saying she's waited so long for Lisa to say that. Bart attempts to connect with Jiff and Skippy by showing them The Krusty the Clown Show, yet the show's quality has declined and fails to impress them.
At the Springfield General Hospital (now next to the Montgomery Burns Institute For Soul Extraction), Maggie is in a wheelchair and is in labor. Kearney attempts to get her a room, but the receptionist reveals all the rooms in the In-Patient facility are all filled. Kearney argues that Maggie just played a sold out show in Beijing. After hearing that Maggie is a "star in the east", the receptionist finds her a little room in the "manger", and then corrects herself saying mangier wing, with the entire scene referencing the Nativity story.
It is now Christmas Eve. Marge, Lisa and Bart are in the living room and they converse. Zia is still hooked online, but Lisa tells Marge she is going to listen to her and do nothing. Bart is angry for Homer taking his children out, saying that he's a cool grandpa and a lousy father. Patty and Selma enter with their 'lovebots'. Selma's Lovebot then refuses her affections, saying not even a robot made only to love her could not love her. He then leaves with Patty's Lovebot, much too their annoyance.
At Apu's Taj Mahal, Marge visits Apu, Manjula and the Octuplet's Octuplets. Marge leaves after receiving a B-Mail of Maggie's labor. However, she closes the door as slow as she could, but it still makes all of the babies start crying. Apu then tends to a dead cow which keeps telling its not (Sanjay) him, he has mistaken as the reincarnation of Sanjay Nahasapeemapetilon.
Back at the home, Lisa is anxious about Zia, who is still online. Lisa chooses to go onto the Ultranet to check on Zia. Upon entry she is taken into a vast world. She enters Google to find Zia. Zia's door is visible, and Lisa contemplates entry.
Bart is driving Springfield looking for Homer and his children. He passes District 9 and District 10. He is pulled over by a now police officer Ralph Wiggum, however it turns out it is his clone and he kills himself — followed by many other clones dying. At Moe's Tavern Bart sees Moe, Larry and Sam. Lenny and Carl then tell Bart where Homer is - they both swapped brains and therefore speak from different bodies. With their help, Bart deduces where Homer took his boys.
Back at the Springfield General Hospital, Mr. Burns can be seen leading the Devil to his Soul Extraction facility. Marge arrives to Maggie's room as she is about to give birth.
Back on the Ultranet, Lisa enters Zia's Ultranet Room. She is surprised to find the room is more than appropriate, dealing with studies and contains posters of: Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth I, Marie Curie, Empress Zimzam and herself (Lisa). Zia is heard asking Lisa what she's doing there, and a substance comes out of a test tube and turns into Zia, who is unimpressed with her mother's intrusion. Lisa begins to say she was worried, but she is happy because she learned that her daughter looks up to her. Zia reveals that she looks up to both her parents, and then Milhouse briefly interrupts, dressed in a burqa, saying that someone needs to FedEx him a prayer mat. He then disappears, and Zia finishes by telling Lisa she especially looks up to her. Lisa and Zia hug, and as they do a door opens showing a club with people dancing. Zia closes the door without Lisa noticing.
Homer takes Jiff and Skippy to a spot in Springfield Cemetery — specifically, a grave leading to the Cryogenic Facility. Inside are hundreds of frozen people, including Abraham Simpson. Homer explains his father had a disease with no cure and froze himself. Jiff and Skippy ask if there is a cure, Homer replies there is, but cryogenics is much cheaper than a nursing home. He unfreezes Grampa. Grampa begins to complain and Homer freezes him again. The two boys ask the reasoning for coming here, Homer answers that all fathers aren't the greatest, but as you grow older you appreciate them. Bart appears apologizing to the kids. They initially reject him, but eventually accept him when he teaches them the true meaning of Christmas which schools are not allow to teach anymore. Homer is inspired to reconcile with his father and eventually succeeds.
We see the entire family at the house on Christmas morning. Marge arrives with Maggie and her baby girl. Grampa asks who the father is. Maggie opens her mouth to answer, but Grampa interrupts, saying it doesn't matter and that if there is one day unwed mothers needs a break it is Christmas. Marge tells everyone the pets are going to take their picture. Santa's Little Helper and the cat (it is unknown what Cat, as Snowball II dies in earlier episodes) enter, and they both have human features, Bart thinks its funny how they (the animals) evolved and they (the humans) didn't, the animals also had large craniums. They take the photo, and the credits roll.
Behind the Laughter
Holidays of Future Passed is the ninth episode of Season 23, the fourth episode set in the future, and 495th episode of the series. It was first announced at a Comic-Con Convention in San Diego, California on July 23, 2011. The episode was originally aired on the FOX network on December 11, 2011 in the United States.
Holidays of Future Passed has received highly favorable reception. Many fans and critics alike believe it is one of the best episodes in years of the series, and emits a surprising emotional plot and reasonable humor. It has been described to contain that 'Classic Simpsons'. The episode received a Nielson rating of 3.0. It is mentioned that 8.43 million people tuned in to watch the episode during its original broadcast.
Writing for HitFix, Alan Sepinwall cited "Holidays of Future Passed" as the best future-set episode of The Simpsons since the first one, "Lisa's Wedding". He noted that it was "the emotional side of things" that made the episode successful, such as Bart and Lisa not being satisfied with their lives because of their disconnection with the children, and also Homer's transformation into a "very wise, sweet guy after somehow surviving into old age." Sepinwall particularly praised the scene at the cryonics facility where Homer encourages the children to give Bart another chance as "really sweet", and he described the idea of a frozen Grampa as "a clever variation on the very familiar joke of how Homer and the family neglect Grampa because he's such a pain in the ass."
- [ Review: 'The Simpsons' - 'Holidays of Future Passed': The darkest timeline?]
- Holidays of Future Passed at the Christmas Specials Wiki