The first season is the start of The Simpsons universe. It 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 show runners 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 work print of the episode was of poor quality and was declined to be used. Seventy percent of its animation had to be redone, delaying it for months throughout the season until it finally being aired as the season finale on May 13, 1990. Subsequent episodes such as "Bart the Genius" had minor problems in production that were easy to fix and were suitable for airing. 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" work print/early prototype, were released on DVD on September 25, 2001 in Region 1 (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 other seasons have at least 21.
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".
- Al Jean
- George Meyer
- Jay Kogen
- John Swartzwelder
- Jon Vitti
- Matt Groening
- Mike Reiss
- Mimi Pond
- Sam Simon
- Wallace Wolodarsky
|Picture||#||Original title (top)
Alternate title (bottom)
|Original airdate||Directed by||Written by||Prod. code||Title Reference|
|1 - 1||
"The Simpsons Christmas Special"
|December 17, 1989||David Silverman||Mimi Pond||7G08||Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire|
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.
|2 - 2||"Bart the Genius"||January 14, 1990||David Silverman||Jon Vitti||7G02||N/A|
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.
|3 - 3||"Homer's Odyssey"||January 21, 1990||Wes Archer||Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky||7G03||The Odyssey|
|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.|
|4 - 4||"There's No Disgrace Like Home"||January 28, 1990||Gregg Vanzo &
|Al Jean & Mike Reiss||7G04||There’s No Place Like Home|
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.
|5 - 5||"Bart the General"||February 4, 1990||David Silverman||John Swartzwelder||7G05||N/A|
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.
|6 - 6||"Moaning Lisa"||February 11, 1990||Wes Archer||Al Jean & Mike Reiss||7G06||Mona Lisa|
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.
|7 - 7||"The Call of the Simpsons"||February 18, 1990||Wes Archer||John Swartzwelder||7G09||The Call of the Wild|
|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.|
|8 - 8||"The Telltale Head"||February 25, 1990||Rich Moore||Al Jean, Mike Reiss,
Sam Simon & Matt Groening
|7G07||The Telltale Heart|
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.
|9 - 9||"Life on the Fast Lane"||March 18, 1990||David Silverman||John Swartzwelder||7G11||Life on the Fast Lane|
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.
|10 - 10||"Homer's Night Out"||March 25, 1990||Rich Moore||Jon Vitti||7G10||N/A|
|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.|
|11 - 11||"The Crepes of Wrath"||April 15, 1990||Wesley Archer &
|George Meyer, Sam Simon,
John Swartzwelder & Jon Vitti
|7G13||The Grapes of Wrath|
|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.|
|12 - 12||"Krusty Gets Busted"||April 29, 1990||Brad Bird||Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky||7G12||N/A|
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.
|13 - 13||"Some Enchanted Evening"||May 13, 1990||David Silverman &
|Matt Groening & Sam Simon||7G01||Some Enchanted Evening (Song)|
|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".|
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 set sold 1.9 million units, becoming the highest-selling television program on DVD, a record which it held until October 2004 when it was passed by the first season of Chappelle's Show.
|The Complete First Season|
|Set Details||Special Features|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|September 25, 2001||September 24, 2001||September 24, 2001|
- 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 produced.
- This is the only season to have Homer speak like Walter Matthau (aside from the Simpsons shorts that were on The Tracy Ullman Show).
- This is the only season without a Treehouse of Horror special.
|The Simpsons Season Directory|
|Season 1 • 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 • Season 33 • Season 34