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Season 1
Season 2

The first season of The Simpsons premiered on December 17, 1989 with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", and ended on May 13, 1990 with “Some Enchanted Evening”. Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon were the showrunners of the season>

The original plan was to begin the season and the series in the Autumn of 1989 with "Some Enchanted Evening". However, the workprint of the episode that AKOM sent in was of poor animation and quality and was declined to be used. James and Matt thought it would be best to cancel show production if the subsequent episodes, like Bart the Genius, came out just like the awful original workprint, but thankfully, said episode had minor problems in production that were easy to fix and were suitable for airing. After that, seventy percent of Some Enchanted Evening's animation had to be redone, delaying it for months throughout the season until it finally was aired as the season finale on May 13, 1990. As "Some Enchanted Evening" was being overhauled, the producers decided to air the Christmas special, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", on December 17, 1989. The timing was very fortunate, as the episode would have had to be aired in the Christmas holidays of 1989 regardless of any other issues.

The season won one Emmy award and had four other nominations. "Life on the Fast Lane" won "Outstanding Animated Program", for which "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was also a nominee. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was also nominated for "Outstanding Editing in a Miniseries or Special"; "The Call of the Simpsons" was nominated for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special"; and "The Simpsons Theme," composed by Danny Elfman, was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Theme Music".

All 13 episodes of Season 1, including extras such as the "Some Enchanted Evening" workprint/early prototype, were released on DVD on September 25, 2001, in Region 1 (the USA and Canada) and on September 24, 2001, in Regions 2 (Europe, Japan, etc) and 4 (Latin America, Australia, etc). This is the first of the complete seasons of The Simpsons released in box sets for home media. After receiving many praises, Matt Groening decided to launch more seasons.

This is the only season to not have a Treehouse of Horror, possibly due to none of the episodes airing in October. This is also the only season to have 13 episodes, as the rest usually have at least 20 episodes (Season 35 has 18, however).


Picture # Original title (top)
Alternate title (bottom)
Original airdate Directed by Written by Prod. code Episodes Rated
Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire promo 1 - 1

"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

"The Simpsons Christmas Special"

December 17, 1989 David Silverman Mimi Pond 7G08 TV-PG-D

Christmas is coming, and it is going to be a difficult one due to the family's financial woes: Homer's expected Christmas bonus at work does not come through, and the family is forced to spend money previously set aside for shopping on an expensive tattoo removal procedure for Bart. Homer tries to earn money by other means such as being a department store Santa Claus, and the family does their best to have a good holiday in spite of the circumstances.

Bart the Genius 2 - 2 "Bart the Genius" January 14, 1990 David Silverman Jon Vitti 7G02 TV-PG-D

When the school has an intelligence test, Bart is considered to be a genius when he switches his name and Martin Prince's on the test's answer sheets. Bart is then enrolled in the Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children, a school which quickly proves to be beyond his capabilities. The experience actually brings Bart and Homer closer together, until Bart confesses to the switch.

Homer's Odyssey (Mr. Burns Looking Out the Window) 3 - 3 "Homer's Odyssey" January 21, 1990 Wes Archer Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky 7G03 TV-PG-DL
Homer is fired from his nuclear technician job after he causes an accident due to being distracted by greeting Bart and his class on their field trip to the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Depressed and unemployed, Homer considers suicide until he notes the dangers around town and becomes a safety crusader, which earns him the job of safety inspector.
Theres No Disgrace Like Home 4 - 4 "There's No Disgrace Like Home" January 28, 1990 Gregg Vanzo &
Kent Butterworth
Al Jean & Mike Reiss 7G04 TV-PG-DLV

The Simpson family attends the company picnic at the Burns Manor. After seeing the other families at the picnic, Homer notices his own family's shortcomings and dysfunctions, so he decides to improve everyone's behavior.

Bart the General 5 - 5 "Bart the General" February 4, 1990 David Silverman John Swartzwelder 7G05 TV-PG-V

Lisa is bullied at school by Nelson Muntz (introduced in this episode) and Bart stands up for her, only to find himself the target of constant bullying by Nelson and his two Weasels. With Grampa and Herman's help, Bart then organizes many other students at school into an army to fight back against Nelson.

Moaning Lisa 6 - 6 "Moaning Lisa" February 11, 1990 Wes Archer Al Jean & Mike Reiss 7G06 TV-PG

Lisa is continually unhappy, and it begins to affect her performance at school. Nothing that Marge and Homer try seems to help. Lisa then meets jazz musician and fellow saxophone player Bleeding Gums Murphy, who helps Lisa to express her depression by playing the blues on her sax.

The Call of the Simpsons (Promo Picture) 7 - 7 "The Call of the Simpsons" February 18, 1990 Wes Archer John Swartzwelder 7G09 TV-PG-D
The Simpsons go camping in their dilapidated RV, and problems arise when the RV is destroyed by falling off a cliff. The family are separated in the woods, where Maggie is cared for by bears and Homer (who has lost his clothes and is wearing a heavy coating of mud instead) is mistaken for a hideous Bigfoot-like monster.
Season1 Episode8 Promo Card 1990 8 - 8 "The Telltale Head" February 25, 1990 Rich Moore Al Jean, Mike Reiss,

Sam Simon & Matt Groening


Bart severs the head of Jebediah Springfield's statue in order to impress some troublemaker boys he is trying to make friends with, but the vandalism outrages the townspeople and Bart finds himself targeted by an angry mob.

Life on the Fast Lane 9 - 9 "Life on the Fast Lane" March 18, 1990 David Silverman John Swartzwelder 7G11 TV-PG-DLS

Marge becomes unhappy when her birthday present from Homer is a bowling ball (which he clearly intended for himself), and she does not even bowl. To spite Homer, Marge sets out to learn to bowl, and ends up taking lessons from an instructor named Jacques, who pursues an affair with her.

7G10 10 - 10 "Homer's Night Out" March 25, 1990 Rich Moore Jon Vitti 7G10 TV-PG-L
Bart takes a picture of Homer dancing with Princess Kashmir, a belly dancer. The photo is then copied all over Springfield, and when Marge sees it, she (at first) thinks that Homer is having an affair. Homer explains the photo, but a still-angry Marge kicks him out of the house and demands that Homer introduce Bart to Princess Kashmir in person to show him that women are not sex objects.
The Crepes of Wrath (Promo Pictures) 11 - 11 "The Crepes of Wrath" April 15, 1990 Wesley Archer &
Milton Gray
George Meyer, Sam Simon,
John Swartzwelder & Jon Vitti
7G13 TV-PG
After Bart blows up a cherry bomb in the school toilets, Principal Skinner plans to put Bart into a student exchange program. Bart travels to France, where he is hosted by a pair of criminals and becomes a national hero when he exposes their plan to spike wine with antifreeze. Meanwhile, back in Springfield, the Simpsons host an Albanian student named Adil, who (unknown to the family) is actually a spy in search of nuclear secrets. Touched by Adil's interest in his work, Homer gives Adil the secrets he's after by showing him all over the nuclear plant.
Krusty Gets Busted (Promo Picture) 12 - 12 "Krusty Gets Busted" April 29, 1990 Brad Bird Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky 7G12 TV-PG-L

Krusty the Clown is accused, tried and convicted of robbing the Kwik-E-Mart, and Sideshow Bob takes his place as TV show host. Bart, however, believes that Krusty was framed. He enlists Lisa's help, and together they uncover the truth behind the robbery.

See 96 13 - 13 "Some Enchanted Evening" May 13, 1990 David Silverman &
Kent Butterworth
Matt Groening & Sam Simon 7G01 TV-PG-DLSV
Homer and Marge spend an evening out on the town, leaving the kids with a babysitter named Ms. Botz. Bart and Lisa, however, learn from watching TV that Ms. Botz is actually a wanted fugitive named Lucille Botzkowski, better known as the "Babysitter Bandit".


Characters introduced[]

Locations introduced[]

Vehicles Introduced[]

DVD Release[]

Season 1 was released on DVD by 20th Century Fox on September 25th, 2001 in Region 1, and on September 24th, 2001 in Regions 2 and 4. While primarily consisting of the original 13 episodes, the DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, animatics, and commentaries for every episode. The commentaries were recorded in late 2000. When the first season DVD was released in 2001, it quickly became the best-selling television DVD in history. It was later overtaken by the Chappelle's Show Season 1 DVD release on February 24, 2004. As of October 19, 2004, the DVD boxset sold 1.9 million units.

The Complete First Season
Set Details Special Features
  • 13 episodes
  • 3-disc set
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital 5.1, with subtitles)
    • French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Spanish (subtitles only)
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
September 25, 2001 September 24, 2001 September 24, 2001


The season won one Emmy award and had four other nominations. "Life on the Fast Lane" won "Outstanding Animated Program," for which "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was also a nominee. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was nominated for "Outstanding Editing in a Miniseries or Special"; "The Call of the Simpsons" was nominated for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special"; and "The Simpsons Theme," composed by Danny Elfman, was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Theme Music".


  • Despite "Some Enchanted Evening" (not counting the final cut in 1990), "Bart the Genius", "Homer's Odyssey", "There's No Disgrace Like Home", "Bart the General", "Moaning Lisa", "The Telltale Head" and "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" being produced in 1989, they were mistaken to be produced in 1990 instead of the 1989 copyright year The Simpsons TV series have started their first eight episodes on. FOX themselves didn't fix the error after the first season.
  • It is the only season where Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer are recurring actors in the series.
  • This was the shortest season of the show ever produced, with only 13 produced episodes in it as opposed to the usual 20-25.
  • This is the only season of the show to be produced in the 1980s.
  • This season has the least amount or number of couch gags out of every single other season that the show has aired and produced. This season only has just a measly 5 different couch gag animation scenes and that's it.
  • And also, if you take in note that this season has a total of 13 episodes in it, and the Bart the General & Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire episodes had no couch gags, you will be noticing that this is the only season where every single couch gag in the entire season was repeated.
  • When gathering all of this info, this is to be the season with the most amount of couch gag repeats, with a grand total of 6.
  • This is the only season to have Homer speak like Walter Matthau (aside from the Simpsons shorts that were on The Tracey Ullman Show). He would adopt his more familiar robust voice in later produced episodes of this season all the way up until right now.
  • This is the only season without a Treehouse of Horror special.
  • There were movie references to Miracle on 34th Street, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, Cool Hand Luke, Patton, Stripes, The Longest Day, The Godfather, The Gay Divorcee, An Officer and a Gentleman, Le ballon rouge, and The Night of the Hunter.
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