Fake Simpsons: The Simpsons Go Serious

One of my favorite--er, and weirdest--things to do as I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep is pretend The Simpsons wasn't a comedy. I like to take episodes that have zany endings that could have ended quite differently, and more solemnly, if not for the show being a sitcom and then imagine what the characters would have said. Homer has come close to death numerous times--what if he died at the end of One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish? What if Lisa had never been able to get in touch with her substitute teacher, Mr. Bergstrom, before he rode away? Or what if Marge had cheated on Homer with Jacques, the bowling instructor?

Certainly the answers to all of each questions would be that the episode would be very sad and it would irreparably change the show and its characters, probably for the worse. And yet, my tired mind still played out these and other scenarios like them before drifting off to sleep. Therefore, though I've never written "fan-fiction" before, this article will be the first (and perhaps the last) foray into the alternative realities of this beloved sitcom. Join me and we'll see what happens when...

THE SIMPSONS GO SERIOUS!

The Simpson family waits for the patriarch to return home from the racetrack on Christmas eve.
The Simpson family waits for the patriarch to return home from the racetrack on Christmas eve.

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire -- Season 1

Ending Synopsis: Homer doesn't get his Christmas bonus and there is no money for presents for the family this year. Homer comes home and begins to explain to his family the bad news when Santa's Little Helper barges in and saves Christmas by becoming the family's new dog.

But What If: Homer and Bart never brought Santa's Little Helper home from the racetrack?

SCRIPT

HOMER: I didn't get my Christmas bonus. I tried to not let it ruin Christmas for everybody, but no matter what I did it wasn't enough. These past few weeks I've been secretly working as Santa Claus down at the mall but it wasn't enough money so I took Bart to the racetrack--

SELMA: --there's a surprise.

MARGE: You took Bart to the racetrack on Christmas eve?

HOMER: Barney told me it was "money in the bank" as long as I bet on Whirlwind.

BART: Yeah, and he won!

MARGE: Well then there's all the money?

HOMER: I uh, bet on another dog.

PATTY: You're not even smart enough to be stupid.

HOMER: I'm sorry, everyone. But on the bright side it is still Christmas eve. Hey, I know what'll cheer everyone up--let's sing some Christmas carols!

LISA: I don't feel like it.

BART: Me either.

PATTY & SELMA: Mmhmm.

Homer, defeated, sits down on the floor beside the couch and everyone quietly watches The Happy Little Elves, their faces all betraying their weariness.

SANTA CLAUS: Looks like Christmas is saved thanks to The Happy Little Elves! Ho, ho, ho!

The screen fades to black.

Homer's depression engulfs his entirety
Homer's depression engulfs his entirety

Homer's Odyssey -- Season 1

Ending Synopsis: Homer is fired from the plant for gross incompetence and, after succumbing to depression and being out of work, decides to kill himself by jumping off a bridge. At that moment his family rush to his side and he saves them from an oncoming car, thus finding a new purpose.

But What If: Homer had set out a few minutes earlier and his family were too late?

SCRIPT

HOMER: Well world, I guess this is it. Looks like you won, God. I'm sure going to hate all that poking though.

Homer looks over the water and closes his eyes as the traffic begins to fade away and all he is left with is his thoughts.

HOMER: [thinking] I'll miss you so much Marge. I'll always love you.

As Homer begins to slowly push the boulder into the water below a scream is heard in the distance as Marge and the rest of the family run across the busy lane.

[simultaneously] MARGE: Homer! LISA: Dad, no! BART: Dad!

Homer turns his head just in time to see his family, but it is too late as the chain that was around Homer's leg begins to pull him down into the ether below.

HOMER: [screaming] I love you! I'm sorry!

As Marge, Bart, and Lisa stand in the middle of the intersection numb with disbelief a speeding van bears down on them.

The screen fades to black.

Homer and Bart try to flee from a vicious mob. Bart will not be so lucky.
Homer and Bart try to flee from a vicious mob. Bart will not be so lucky.

The Tell-Tale Head -- Season 1

Ending Synopsis: Bart cuts off the head of the statue of Springfield's beloved founder and hides it. Feeling guilty, he attempts to return the head but is met with an angry mob of citizens. He apologies to them and the mob accepts as the head is returned to its rightful place.

But What If: The angry mob had not been so forgiving?

SCRIPT

Bart has apologized and awaits the mob's response.

MANAGER: This kid and his crumbum cronies have been sneaking into my theater for years!

BART: N-no you see, that was just the one ti--

APU: He and his friends shoplifted $17.57 in merchandise from my store!

MR. DANDY: I caught this hooligan throwing rocks at the statue!

The mob gasps loudly together.

KRUSTY: I think we've heard enough.

BARNEY: Get 'em!

HOMER: Barney!

LOVEJOY: Let's send this demon-child back to hell!

Homer grabs a flaming torch from Ned and kicks him back into the mob. Homer then begins waving the torch across the mob, daring them to approach.

HOMER: Run, boy!

Bart begins to run but is cut off by a police cruiser. Chief Wiggum rolls down the window.

WIGGUM: Get 'em, gang.

The mob engulfs Bart and drags him off as he cries and begs for mercy.

The screen fades to black.

Marge now has a secret that will slowly eat away at their marriage.
Marge now has a secret that will slowly eat away at their marriage.

Life on the Fast Lane -- Season 1

Ending Synopsis: Homer buys his wife a bowling ball for her birthday, causing Marge to take up the sport to spite Homer. Marge then meets Jacques, a bowling instructor, who attempts to seduce her with a tryst at a hotel. Marge considers it but decides instead to meet Homer at the plant.

But What If: Marge had met Jacques at the hotel instead?

SCRIPT

JACQUES: Ah, Margerie, I'm so glad you decided to take me up on my offer.

MARGE: [grumbles uncomfortably] Well, yes... let's just go upstairs.

JACQUES: Eager to begin are we? Yes, let's.

Jacques and Marge are in the hotel with Jacques sprawled across the bed and Marge sitting near the edge.

JACQUES: [patting the bed] Marge, come closer.

MARGE: [grumbles] I'm not so sure this was a good idea. I love my husband very much.

JACQUES: Marge, if you truly loved him would you be here with me now?

Jacques gets up and begins to massage Marge's shoulders slowly. Marge reaches up and grabs his hands, trying to remove them.

MARGE: I-I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I shouldn't be here. I don't know what I was thinking. Goodbye Jacques.

JACQUES: But Marge, the room is paid for the whole hour.

Marge, clearly upset, quickly walks out the door.

Marge is at the plant with Homer.

HOMER: Marge, what a lovely surprise!

MARGE: [begins to cry] Oh, Homer! I'm so sorry!

HOMER: For what, Marge? Whatever it is I'm sure we can work it out.

MARGE: I hope so.

The screen fades to black.

Bart tries to smother his sister in a rage.
Bart tries to smother his sister in a rage.

Bart vs. Thanksgiving -- Season 2

Ending Synopsis: Bart ruins Lisa's Thanksgiving centerpiece then, after getting grounded, decides to run away. The family is worried and the police are called but no one finds Bart. Then Bart returns, makes amends with Lisa, and the family has Thanksgiving dinner together.

But What If: Bart hadn't returned and was still lost?

SCRIPT.

LISA: [writing in journal] Dear Log: My brother is still missing, and maybe it's my fault because I failed to take his abuse with good humor. I miss him so much already that I don't... know... [sobs] What if he never returns? Can we ever be a family again without him? It's all my fault. All.. my.. fault.

HOMER: Lisa, what are you still doing up?

LISA: I miss Bart, dad. I can't sleep. I just keep thinking of him out there alone and cold.

HOMER: [whines loudly] Oh, my boy! My boy! Where are you, boy?

MARGE: [with Maggie] I miss Bart, too. The mean streets of Springfield are no place for a 10-year-old boy! [sobs]

HOMER: That's it! I'm going out there and I'm not returning until I find him!

MARGE: It's 11:30 at night Homer and it's freezing!

HOMER: You don't think I know that Marge? That's why I have to go find our boy!

LISA: Can I come with you, dad?

MARGE: Oh no, Lisa, no! You're not going to get lost either!

HOMER: Your mother is right, Lisa. I'll find him though, don't you worry.

LISA: Okay, dad. But when you find him.. tell him I'm sorry.

HOMER: Okay honey, I will.

Homer is in downtown Springfield, screaming from his car.

HOMER: Bart! Oh Bart! Where are you boy?

PROSTITUTE #1: Hey handsome, lookin' for a good time?

HOMER: No, I'm looking for my boy!

PROSTITUTE #2: Well, maybe we can help you. What's his name?

HOMER: B-Bart. His name is Bart.

PROSTITUTE #1: Oh yeah, I think I saw him. Toe-headed, spiky-haired kid?

HOMER: Yes! That's him! Where did you see him?

PROSTITUTE #2: Well, maybe a little money would help us remember.

HOMER: [desperately groans] Fine. How much?

PROSTITUTE #2: Fifty bucks.

HOMER: Fine. Here. [shoves money at them]

PROSTITUTE #1: That's all I needed to hear. Cuff 'em, Lou.

HOMER: What?

Prostitute #1 and #2 reveal themselves to be Chief Wiggum and Lou, respectively.

HOMER: But I wasn't.. I.. You made me pay you for information about my boy! He's lost and I'm trying to find him!

WIGGUM: Sure, like I haven't heard that one before. Where you're going you won't have much need for "finding your boy"--jail.

LOU: They only come out at night, eh Chief?

WIGGUM: They sure do, Lou. They sure do. Take him away.

Meanwhile, Bart is shown the next street over freezing by a makeshift fire as Santa's Little Helper barks distressingly into the night.

The screen fades to black.

Not So Serious

So this was merely a creative exercise to see if I could successfully put myself into the characters and write for them. Everything turned out very depressing--though I suppose that was the idea from the beginning. Still, I found it easier to kill the entire family than to have Marge actually cheat on Homer, which is why I gave her a cop out. I'm not sure what that says about me though. If you enjoyed these or even if you hated them let me know below. Thanks!

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Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 18 months ago

Interesting alternate endings. The Simpsons writers might want to consider dark endings that aren't meant to be part of the canon, similar to the Halloween Specials. On your observation about being able to kill off Homer and Bart but unable to have Marge fall to infidelity; maybe you want bad characters to get what's coming to them but don't want to have a good character turn bad. Good first fanfic effort.

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