- “This is Kent Brockman reporting to you on a crisis so serious it has its own name and theme music.”
- ―Kent Brockman[src]
Trappuccino was the popular term for the crisis where a dome was placed over the city of Springfield by Russ Cargill and the Environmental Protection Agency thanks to Homer Simpson. It was one of the worst moments in the history of Springfield and lasted for 100 days. The crisis was named Trappuccino by Channel 6 News.
After cracks started appearing in the dome from the townsfolk's efforts to get out, Cargill launched "Operation Soaring Eagle", the goal of which was to blow up Springfield. However, his plan was thwarted by Homer and Bart, and the dome was destroyed by the same bomb that Cargill had ordered dropped to blow up Springfield. Afterwards, the situation in Springfield slowly returned to normal.
Lake Springfield had become a source of pollution, being the dumping site for everything from empty beer bottles to radioactive waste from the Nuclear Power Plant. It was so polluted that it killed the band Green Day while they were playing a concert on the lake. The barge they were using as a stage dissolved, and the band drowned when they fell into the water.
Lisa Simpson and Colin found out about the extent of the pollution in the lake, and urged the people of Springfield to clean up the lake during a presentation at town hall, named "An Irritating Truth". To convince the audience further, Lisa placed water from the lake into their drinking glasses. The tactic paid off, and Mayor Quimby raised the town's alert level to "Code Black", the town's highest alert level.
The town then proceeded to clean up the lake. Mayor Quimby led the construction of a shoulder-level concrete wall, which was presumably "idiot-proof", as Cletus could not dump anything (a rat) in it. The lake was surrounded by "No Dumping" signs and all hazardous waste could only be disposed at a waste disposal plant.
Turn of Events
Sometime after the cleanup, Lard Lad Donuts was being shut down by health inspectors, and the doughnut shop was giving away free donuts. Unfortunately, this proved to be a distraction for resident Homer Simpson, who was waiting behind a long line of cars at the waste disposal plant to dispose of a large silo of "pig crap," filled with the leavings of his newly adopted pig Plopper after Marge insisted Homer to get rid of the disposal plant properly. Unable to wait any longer for a chance at free donuts, Homer went off to dispose of the silo quickly by dumping the waste into the lake. Ignoring the warning signs, he crashed through the concrete barrier and dumped the silo into the water, which instantly dirtied the entire lake, just days after it had been cleaned up. The dirtying of the entire lake by Homer was so severe that it caused the lake's water to turn black.
Homer and Plopper quickly fled the scene, while at the same time, a squirrel fell into the water and was instantly mutated into a multi-eyed creature. The creature was later captured by the Environmental Protection Agency and went into the possession of Russ Cargill, head of the EPA. He showed President Arnold Schwarzenegger the abomination of nature and expressed how high the pollution in Springfield has become. Russ Cargill presented the President five options on how to deal with the town. He picked Option 3 without even reading it.
Option 3 was to trap the entire town of Springfield under a thick glass dome in order to prevent the pollution from spreading. (Incidentally, Russ Cargill was also the owner of the company that made the dome.) The dome was carried by over a hundred helicopters, attaching ropes with large suction cups to the dome. The inhabitants of the entire town witnessed the dome casting a shadow over Springfield. The dome was soon lowered, covering the entire perimeter of Springfield and cutting the "Springfield" sign in half. At least one person was flattened and killed when the dome was lowered. As Marge realized that Grampa's prophecy came true and Grampa believed that "that crazy old man in Church was right" all along, the EPA helicopters tightened the dome and left. Homer then screamed "D'ooooooooooooooooooooh.....me!", a portmanteau from his own catchphrase "D'oh!".
After the Dome was Lowered
The Springfield Police Department attempted to crack the dome by shooting at it, but instead, the bullets ricocheted back towards them. Professor Frink announced that he had created a drill that could drill through anything, but unfortunately, it was right outside the dome. Soon after, Russ Cargill appeared on a giant screen projected onto the dome, explaining to the Springfieldians that in order to keep pollution from spreading into other areas, the United States government was forced to quarantine the entire town inside a dome. When Lisa Simpson exclaims to him that they just cleaned up the lake, Russ Cargill simply retorted that "someone didn't get the message".
To keep anyone from finding Springfield, Springfield was removed from the official state maps and wiped out from GPS devices.
The town soon faced the beginning of a long range of problems such as the shortage of supplies like botox and gasoline, and there was a grab for supplies. The dome also prevented swallows from returning to Springfield for the springtime (and allowed wild cats to eat them so it predictably never happens).
The RiotSometime later, the Springfield Police Department discovered a large silo with the words "pig crap" written on it, plus the message "Return to Homer Simpson. No reward." The culprit behind the pollution of Lake Springfield was revealed, and Channel 6 news called for vigilante justice against Homer Simpson as Marge berates Homer for ignoring her after she warned him, but Homer believes that nobody has watched that channel. However, a massive angry mob consisting of literally the entire town's population (except for Ned Flanders and his kids) converged on 742 Evergreen Terrace, home of Homer Simpson and family, bent on killing Homer for polluting the Lake and causing the EPA to contain Springfield within the dome. In the chaos, the house was set on fire and the family were nearly killed by a swarm of arrows and by hanging after Ned tried to save the family. The Simpsons ultimately escaped by jumping into a sinkhole in their backyard that brought them outside the dome, but the sinkhole later expanded, destroying the car, tree-house, doghouse, and finally the Simpson house.
As weeks passed, the situation got worse in Springfield. Around Day 37, intermediate power failures plagued the town (the Nuclear Power Plant was presumably shut down due to lack of plutonium and safety concerns) and the residents started looting buildings including Moe's Tavern. Eventually, a power outage blacks out the entire town, with the exception of Burns Manor.
Mr. Burns refused to supply the town with some of his remaining electricity despite the pleas of Dr. Hibbert, Chief Wiggum and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (Mostly because of Apu foolishly telling Mr. Burns that he should find what's right in his heart, as he was pretty close to allowing them to have some of his power).
By Day 93, the residents of Springfield finally reached the breaking point. After a book thrown by Lindsey Naegle spilled coffee from a coffee machine at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, Barney finally cracked, ran out to the dome, and attempted to break it. The rest of the townspeople soon followed after him, trying to crack the dome repeatedly with objects such as Boxing Gloves, Jackhammers, Battering Rams, Bubbles (Ralph Wiggum), Swordfish, Sticks, and Shovels (ironic, since the townspeople could've dug themselves out in the first place). Stampy the elephant struck the dome with his head, and managed to form a small crack on the dome.
Russ Cargill and the president witnessed this from a surveillance camera and realized that the townsfolk will eventually get out. Convincing the president that a breakout from the dome would expose a government conspiracy and start a federal investigation, Russ Cargill once again gave the president five options, but this time, he manipulated the president to pick Option 4: Blow Up Springfield.
Operation Soaring Eagle
The government passed off the upcoming destruction of Springfield as the creation of a "new Grand Canyon," and released a commercial promoting it, featuring Tom Hanks. The commercial described the new Grand Canyon to be located "East of Shelbyville and South of Capital City," the very location of Springfield. They went to describe it as nowhere near where anything is.
The Simpsons family was soon found and captured by the EPA, thanks to a nationwide surveillance program that involved tapping into people's conversations. Homer Simpson wasn't captured, as he was left by the family. The family was placed back into the Dome.
By now, Springfield was in a state of near ruin. Many of its buildings had collapsed or been destroyed, including the Town Hall and excluding Springfield Elementary and the church. Moe Szyslak had become the self-proclaimed "Emperor of Springfield" (by the time Soaring Eagle came into effect, he had at least one follower, Barney Gumble, largely due to Moe deflecting Gumble's Molotov cocktail back at him when the latter tried to protest his rule.).
Burns Manor was looted and Mr. Burns was stripped of his wealth, with Mr. Burns even hinting that he'd watch Smithers try to commit suicide to focus on something other than his current predicament. Right after the Simpsons family returned to Springfield, Russ Cargill appeared on the television screen on the dome once again, telling the Springfieldians that the United States government's decision to trap the town inside the Dome was a mistake, and the government had commenced "Operation Soaring Eagle," which involved wiping out the entire town. A bomb hoisted onto a rope from a helicopter was lowered from a hole at the top of the Dome, with a timer set to 15 minutes. After several failed attempts at stopping the bomb (namely, using a bomb disposal robot to cut the wire, only for it to panic, grab an officer's gun, and shoot itself in the head). The townspeople decided to climb the rope and escape through the top of the Dome, while Cletus distracted Russ Cargill. In a sick twist of fate, Homer Simpson came down the rope at the same time after climbing up the Dome, knocking everyone and the bomb off the rope, which broke and made the bomb's timer freeze. Unfortunately, Homer kicked the bomb out of frustration after he discovers that he actually ruined it for everyone, which not only reactivated the timer but also decreased the time to four minutes and eleven seconds.
While moping, he bumps into the tree and is implied to be talking to the Medicine Woman, who points out that he could use the Motorcycle and the stunt he used earlier to get the bomb out of the town. Deciding that he had to save the town, Homer "paid" the Boob Lady for her services (by placing it in the Tree Trunk), took the bomb and attempted to ride a motorcycle up the side of the dome (like in a motorcycle stunt cage). He took his son Bart Simpson, who helped him hold the bomb. At the moment they made it to the top, Bart threw the bomb out of the hole, ten seconds before detonation. After nearly falling back into the hole, the bomb safely flipped its end onto the dome and caused a massive explosion on the side of the Dome with a force that stripped the leaves off the nearby pine forests. The explosion caused the dome to shatter into pieces, mostly tiny and harmless except for a large one that crushed Dr. Nick, one of the few casualties of the Trappuccino incident.
Homer and Bart landed safely near Springfield Gorge, only to be confronted by Russ Cargill, who attempted to kill Homer after refusing to admit defeat. Before he could fire, he was knocked out by a boulder thrown at him by Maggie Simpson. Homer then thanked Maggie, and remarked that she turned out to be "a great little accident."
Homer Simpson was hailed as a hero, being the man who was both the direct cause of the "Dome incident" and responsible for its end. The town of Springfield was repaired and rebuilt, and the status quo returned once again and Russ Cargill was deposed as head of the EPA and arrested.
Burns later had his own construction company, Burns Construction greatly aid in the construction efforts, with it being strongly implied that he managed to regain his fortune through this effort.
- It is unknown why the residents of Springfield never bothered to dig a hole to get out of the dome, but a common idea is that they were not thinking with logic, but with force. This has been joked upon by the producers, who had created the characters to be dull and oblivious to their surroundings and situations. This was also joked by Lou in The Fool Monty, who mentioned that digging out never seemed to occur to anyone. However, it could be because of all of the guards that Russ Cargill had surrounding the dome to make sure that no one gets out as well as the surveillance system would have detected them doing so as it did they were attempting to break the dome.
- Mr. Burns later attempted to do something similar to Springfield as his revenge towards the way they treated him during the six weeks he endured six-week trauma-induced amnesia, but he had apparently forgotten that the Trappucino event had occurred until the townspeople told him that it happened before.