Totbox’s Throwback Thursday: S1 E1 “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”

Hey Howdy Hey Tappers!  Most of you know Totbox from the comments and several fun posts Tot’s written here on the site.  Over the last couple of weeks Tot and I have been kicking around some post ideas that started with Tot’s reminiscing about Season 1 of the Simpsons.  After  a few ideas we settled on letting Tot’s creativity run wild…and a fun Throwback Thursday feature here on the site.
Each week Tot’s going to take us on a trip down memory lane as we throw it back to Season 1 of the best. show. ever.
So enjoy the newest feature on Addicts…and Tot’s musings about Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire… (and given the stress of the last day or so, I think we all could use a fun little trip down Simpsons memory lane…)

Merry Christmas Time Travelers!!

On November 22nd 1989 (when BTtF2 premiered) I borrowed Doc Brown’s Delorean, to the Old West? No! To the FUTURE!!! All the way to December 17th 1989… (In hindsight I could have just waited for time to pass naturally) when The Simpsons’ Season 1 Episode 1 aired.

“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”
     Bart wants/gets a tattoo and it leaves a permanent stain on the family’s Christmas budget, so,Homer moonlights as a Mall Santa for some extra Ho-Ho-Dough 🙂

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Yes December 17th 1989, four days after the birth of a Pop-singer/artist (1989…. If you can’t figure it out you might not be very Swift :p ). Again, December 17th 1989, it happened on that magical night, what was presented as a strange Christmas Special was truly a landmark of television history. The first episode of The Simpsons (no longer just shorts on the Tracey Ullman Show).

Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Grandpa, Patty and Selma, Mr. Burns, the voice of Smithers on intercom, Ned and Todd Flanders (but not Rod), Barney and Moe, Skinner and Mr. Largo, Milhouse, Sherri and Terri, Ralph, Snowball 2 and Santa’s Little Helper. Along with buildings such as Simpson’s and Flanders’ house, Moe’s Tavern, Springfield Elementary, Springfield Mall, Springfield Downs, the Nuclear Power Plant and (since it’s also in our game) X-mas Trees Slightly Irregular.

There are also character’s and items that appeared for the first time that Could come into TSTO in the future maybe. OH THE POSSIBILITIES:

Some previously requested Characters:  Wendell Burton (Come On EA!! I’m getting Sick not seeing him in the game), Lewis Clark, Happy Little Elves (Brainy, Bubbles, Moldy), Mervin Monroe the Tattoo artist (not sure if he’s related to Dr. Marvin Monroe), the Hypnotist (as the Santa trainer), Jaffee (school kid), Daria (Barney’s lady friend).

Possible Skins: Star-snow-suit Maggie, Tiki pageant Lisa, pageant Ralph, Santa-trained Barney, Pink Apron Moe.

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Possible NPCs: Pageant Santa Girl (since EA likes to give us NPCs during Christmas/Winter events).

Possible Events: Tattoo mini-event? Winter-School Pageant (“Santa of many Lands”) event with more school kids and foreign customs (hopefully without Krampus), Santa training or Santa’s in training invasion where we need to find the real Santa Claus like a Where’s-Waldo situation (which sounds kind of horrible now that I think of it). Mini-game within an event where you match one end to the other (tangled Christmas lights and extension cords).

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Characters and Things I didn’t mention because I personally have no interest in them joining the game. Don’t Mention It: cheque/check giver, other racing dogs, various other kids, Springfield Down’s worker, background people “Alfie”, “Fred” and “Norman”, Irving Zitsofsky (tattoo remover guy), other characters. Buildings: Circus of Values, the Mart, All trees $75, Trees $60 and up (which is actually just a billboard).

Some Highlights:

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Some other things to think about:
You may have noticed that the interior to Burn’s office and Moe’s Tavern were a bit different from what we are used to.  Homer falls off the roof and also hits his head on the Santa’s Workshop doorway… Maybe he’s accident prone :p , Marge keeps the Christmas money jar under her hair (it’s both fashionable and functional) but a little impractical (Cartoon Logic) :p , Mr. Burns cancels the Christmas Bonus which makes me think of Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” which hit theaters 16 days prior to this episode (December 1st 1989). Lisa wanted a Pony (and now we have it in our game) 🙂 . At the end of the episode the family sings “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer” and Bart’s wisecracks get’s Homer so mad that he says “You Little!” and you hear a choking noise from Bart. And lastly Bart’s “Miracle” pep-talk Speech, foreshadowing the success for TSTO.

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Do you remember this episode? What was your favorite moment? Where were you on December 1989? Any of the Possibilities that you Really do/don’t like? Do you have any Tattoos? Do you have any Rescued pets? Can you imagine a world without the Simpsons? Sound off in the comments and have a safe journey back to your current space/time 🙂

39 responses to “Totbox’s Throwback Thursday: S1 E1 “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”

  1. I was working as an Electrical Engineer at the Zion Nuclear Plant north of Chicago. I was just starting the two year classroom and simulator program to get my Federal License to be an Operations Supervisor in the control room. I remember watching the programs and then talking/laughing about Homer being a nuke plant control room operator. The joke was if you screwed up something on the simulator, they would call it a ‘Homer move’.

  2. Where was I when this was broadcast? – Nowhere, as I wasn’t born until 1991. Incidentally, “Do the Bartman” was No1 in the British singles chart when I was born – so could that have been a precursor for my liking of the show? (Also – yes, I have a couple of tattoos, and no, I don’t have any rescued pets.)

  3. “Pantyhose. Practical and alluring.”

    Still a favorite quote !!!

  4. I was packing boxes to move from Portland, OR to Kansas City, KS when my Did.Not.Miss. The Tracy Ullman Show was on and I have a crystalline memory of stopping what I was doing to watch a Simpsons short gag and knew it was something special. Now there was even More reasons to watch her show.

  5. So I was about 8 months old when this episode aired, but I have been technically watching since this first episode. My parents not only watched every single Simpsons episode since the beginning but even recorded onto VHS each one for several years. We still have boxes of Simpsons recordings in my mom’s attic!

    • Oh man I LOVEEEEEE old VHS recordings of TV shows! Especially when you see old commercials lol

    • I have stacks of recorded VHS tapes on recorded simpsons too. I even take pains to pause at ending credit to record the serial number of the episode and wrote it onto the label of the tape.

      However I have thrown all the tapes away as they turned mouldy in my humid environment.

  6. SailorAlphaCentauri

    Where was I, mid-December back in 89? Glued to the t.v. watching the show live. I was excited to see my favorite Tracy Ullman sketch turn into a full fledged series. And at the risk for revealing my age, I was a little older than Bart at the time.

  7. I agree with the idea to include more stuff from season 1 & 2 (I want my favourite blind black bleeding gumed sax player in the game! And I want it naow!). Especially Star Suit Maggie, that would look so cute on her and she didn’t have as much skins as the others since she arrived later. And giving permanent Christmas skins to the other characters is also an idea I agree with.

  8. I don’t have a clear memory of where I was in December 1989, because I was a mere preschooler. As such, the show was a huge part of my 90s childhood. (I did the Bartman on a regular basis.) I’m not sure when I even realized there had been a time “before” the Simpsons. My parents loved it and I loved it, so it just seemed like it had always been there somehow.
    Yep, I’m definitely the target audience for this game 😄

  9. hmmm, i wonder when they’ll collect all the simpsons shorts from the tracy ullman show together and call it “simpsons: the lost episodes”.

  10. I do think I messed with the space time continuam and seriously, Christmas Themed, Merry Makers are prancing on my Dirt Roads in my Springfeild.

  11. Awesome post! I rarely read from top to bottom of a post, because there’s SO much to read here-I hope that doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings-but I read every word of this post!

  12. Yes, I saw the first episode on original airing (well, as far as I know). Let me ask you, when did the Simpsons get moved to Thursday, and when did they get moved back to Sunday? This episode aired on Sunday, but you chose Thursday for this feature. Any reason? (Besides the open thread being on Sundays…)

    Pretty good article, totbox. Especially the game aspect and the “think about” section. Silly thing about the Smurfs. And if this game ever ends I want them to turn it into the Happy Little Elves game that starts our game. lol

    There’s another blogger that is reviewing every episode of the Simpsons, in order. (It’s a bit analytic about the series.) I was glad that your post isn’t like that, so there’s room for both of these. 🙂

    • Totbox’s Throwback Sundays didn’t have the right ring to it and yes it would loom over/under the open thread. So something midweek seemed better. 🙂

    • The show moved to Thursdays at the start of the second season to compete with the Cosby Show. It stayed on Thursdays until season 6 when it went back to Sunday.

  13. I was doing my clinical rotation at the hospital, and I don’t remember watching this at the time. I’d love to see Star Snowsuit Maggie and the Happy Little Elves. I have 4 tattoos and 2 rescue cats. My pets have always been rescues. I lost one rescue dog a year ago May 1, and the other rescue dog in January. I couldn’t imagine then that tge Simpsons would still be on so many years later. I’ll enjoy it as long as it is. Do I really have to come back to the current space/time? Things were better in 1989; the world was still full of possibilities. 😀

  14. I just rewatched this the other week through cable on demand. Was the Christmas music always so cranked up, esp. during emotional scenes?

  15. Great post Tot! I wasn’t actually even alive when this episode first premiered (so to answer your question: in 1989, I was but a twinkle in my mom’s eye lol), but it’s always been one of my favourites to catch as a rerun. I just love its animation style…there’s something almost wavy and elastic about it. And of course, Maggie in her starfish snow suit is adorable. Plus I like the character’s teeth, which we don’t see as much anymore for some reason 😁

  16. I remember watching this episode when it first aired. It was a big deal for me and I was very excited. I was a big Life in Hell fan and had been watching the Tracey Ullman show just for the Simpsons. I was a senior in high school at the time and I remember watching it with a group of friends.
    In the Summer of 89, I met and chatted with Matt Groening at the San Diego Comic Con. I still have some sketches from him that he drew for me them. We talked about Life in Hell and the Simpsons, and they aired a video of all the TU Simpson clips strung together. I was ecstatic to find out at the time that it was going to be a regular series.
    I don’t think I ever would have believed back then that it would still be on the air so many years later, or that there would be a game that I could play on a portable computer that I could carry around in my pocket.
    OK, now I feel old.

  17. I want black Smithers!

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