» » The Simpsons That '90s Show (1989– )

The Simpsons That '90s Show (1989– ) Online

The Simpsons That '90s Show (1989– ) Online
Original Title :
That u002790s Show
Genre :
TV Episode / Animation / Comedy
Year :
Directror :
Mark Kirkland
Cast :
Dan Castellaneta,Julie Kavner,Nancy Cartwright
Writer :
Matt Groening,James L. Brooks
Type :
TV Episode
Time :
Rating :
The Simpsons That '90s Show (1989– ) Online

Homer and Marge tell the kids about their life in the early 1990s before they were born, when Marge was enrolled in Springfield College and Homer was the lead singer of a grunge rock band
Episode cast overview:
Dan Castellaneta Dan Castellaneta - Homer Simpson / Grampa Simpson / Barney Gumble / Krusty the Clown (voice)
Julie Kavner Julie Kavner - Marge Simpson (voice)
Nancy Cartwright Nancy Cartwright - Bart Simpson (voice)
Yeardley Smith Yeardley Smith - Lisa Simpson (voice)
Hank Azaria Hank Azaria - Kirk Van Houten / Carl / Lou / Comic Book Guy / Prof. Stefan August / Gas Man / Marvin Cobain / Moe Szyslak (voice)
Harry Shearer Harry Shearer - Lenny / Various Students (voice)
Kurt Loder Kurt Loder - Himself (voice)
'Weird Al' Yankovic 'Weird Al' Yankovic - Himself (voice)
Pamela Hayden Pamela Hayden - Buxom Coed (voice)
Tress MacNeille Tress MacNeille - Fan #1 (voice)
Karl Wiedergott Karl Wiedergott - Various (voice)
Michael Dees Michael Dees - Additional vocals (voice)

The song "Shave Me" parodies Nirvana's song "Rape Me".

The song "Margarine" parodies Bush's song "Glycerine".

Homer's first song, "Politically Incorrect", is set to the tune of Nirvana's "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle."

Upon release, this was panned by both critics and lifelong fans of the show for contradicting the continuity and history of the show, with the canon already establishing that Homer and Marge graduated in the mid '70s and Bart, Lisa and Maggie being born in the early '80s, but this episode changes it to have Homer and Marge grow up in the '90s and remain childless.

The title is a reference to "That 70's Show".

Most of Homer's songs in this episode are a takeoff of the band Nirvana. He even has a song parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic. In real life, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain once said that he didn't feel like he had "made it" as a musician until Yankovic recorded his parody of Nirvana's song "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

User reviews



The show was a slap in the face to all long-time loyal Simpsons fans who've been watching it since it started in 1989. I kept watching it in disbelief. It was kind of like watching a train wreck, but I wanted to see it through to the end to see if this was actually supposed to be a real flashback, because I kept hoping it wouldn't be real, and Marge would wake up saying, "Homie, I just had the strangest dream!" But alas, it wasn't.

As so many people have already stated, this episode completely destroyed all pre-established history of the Simpsons from past episodes. Now I know, I already heard the rebuttals about how the characters don't age and there's no continuity on the Simpsons, but until last night the one thing you could trust is that the writers wouldn't mess with already pre-written history. I just always assumed the characters were frozen in present-day time to equate for the non-aging thing, but the history such as how Homer and Marge met (in high school in the 70s, Marge went to the prom with Arnie, she realizes she likes Homer, she beeps at Homer on her way back and lands up picking him up as he's walking on the side of the road-"Alright, alright, I'll walk in the mud", remember?) or Marge being pregnant with Maggie in the 80s (Bart was a toddler and jealous of his baby sister Lisa getting all the attention-Lisa's first word is Bart)-this is classic show memories and you don't mess with them. When you mess with character history, you are also messing with character development, and that's unforgivable.

They want a tribute to the 90s? The show was on the air all throughout the 90s-in fact it was its heyday where the show was not only great but also pure comedic genius-the best thing on TV at the time. Most of the episodes were chock-full of pop culture references. Seasons 2-10-right there-there's your tribute to the 90s. They would have been better off just re-showing one of these episodes then resort to the atrocity that was last night's show. In fact, long-time fans of the show might remember that they already did a show that was a perfect parody of the 90s-it was called Homerpalooza. And the ironic thing about it is, if I recall, Bart thought Homer was uncool because he didn't like 90s music and all his music was old, so Homer tries to prove them wrong by taking them to a rock concert that was making fun of Lollapalooza. And the grunge is in there-Cypress Hill and Smashing Pumpkins are in it-as well as the crowd swaying, stage diving, sarcastic cynical teens, all of that. And that's why I cringed when I heard Bart make that absolutely asinine comment in the beginning of last night's show, "The 90s, never heard of it." WHAT!!!

With last night's episode, the writers pi--ed all over the long-cherished memories of long-time Simpsons fans of happier episodes gone by. The sad thing is this used to be a show that would never stoop to such lows and unlike other shows on TV, had huge respect for its audience. Now with this episode it has shown great disdain for its audience. The only thing that could have saved it was a little bit of self-referential humor that would have been like winking at the audience to say, "Hey, we know this is completely wrong and we just completely ignored the first 10 seasons of the show", such as comic book guy popping up and saying, Wait a minute...are we to believe that Homer and Marge were dating in the 90s while clearly in past episodes it was established that...." in that self-important, know-it-all tone of his. But they didn't even do that.

As far as I'm concerned, the writers have effectively killed the Simpsons as of last night's episode. The show is now dead and unless they somehow do something next week where they formally revoke last week's episode and say "let's all forget last week's episode ever happened, and it shall be banished from our memories and never be spoken of again under punishment of death", ala The Principle Skinner is not really Principle Skinner episode, then I don't think I'm going to be watching anymore. You can't mess with fans memories. The writers of this episode should be ashamed of themselves.


Again in trying to be funny by having a joke about the show's age and longevity compared to modern times this episode takes us to the 90s before Bart was born. Having loved the earlier seasons this episode should be burned. Bart grew up in the early 80s and not the early part of the 21st century.

That being said, this episode is just one big 90s joke. It even gives us Marge with a Rachel from Friends hairdo. It lacked wit and contained jokes run in the dirt by everyone 10 times over. Including the Back to the Future gag of 'hearing that sound you've been looking for' and Homer doing every classic Seinfeld moment in under 20 seconds. I tried to close my eyes so I could be taken away from this ungodly episode.

Shame on you writers for making this episode. This made me cry for all the wrong reasons!


... wait until you see this one! This show contradicts so many previously well-established facts about OFF that it boggles the mind. I'll mention only what peeved me the most: in "Homerpalooza" Homer is depicted as being completely out-of-touch with 90s pop culture, and the whole idea behind "How I Spent my Strummer Vacation" is his unfulfilled dream of becoming a rock star. Guess what? In this episode we learn that not only he WAS a very successful one, but a real influence to Kurt Cobain to boot! Talk about suspension of disbelief. That "Back to the Future" reference what the only real LOL moment of this episode for me. As a long time Simpson fan (been following the series loyally since 1992) I always thought all the whining about "jumping the shark" and such was a little exaggerated... until I saw "That 90's Show".


This truly is the "Worst Episode Ever". If, in the end, we had found that Homer had been hit in the head with a brick, or had drunk some bad eggnog, and hallucinated this whole thing, all would be forgiven. Previous episodes have gone far off the reservation, and all have been redeemed by over-the-top, far fetched explanations (the "real" Principal Skinner being run out of town on a rail comes to mind). However, this apparent attempt to "update" the history of the family without, ultimately, returning us to the traditional timeline is unprecedented. Anyone who DOESN'T understand what a big deal this departure is cannot claim to be a true Simpsons fan. I believe The Simpsons was a on a rather short list of shows that had never Jumped the Shark. I fear that the streak has ended. Hopefully this does not signal a desire to "modernize" the show in a broader sense.


We are living in 2008, not 1989 or 1995. It used to be that Homer and Marge were these 37 year old parents with a family of three that often reminisced about their days as teenagers and young adults in the 70s. But as we live in real time, the 37 year olds of today were 18 in 1989 and college aged 21 or 22 year olds in 1993. It's bizarre beyond belief to see Homer and Marge being "grunge kids", when the heyday of The Simpsons was IN the 1990s, where Bart and Lisa grew up in that youth culture. Heck, technically Bart Simpson is a complete product of the late 80s, his "don't have a cow", buzz hair cut and skateboard obsession is all 80s. We can stretch Homer and Marge into the early 80s, possibly even 1984 or 1985, and see them listening to stuff like Asia, The Police or other early early 80s stuff instead of their usual 60s or 70s flair. But I'm sorry the 90s? Doesn't work. Will NEVER work. This is like doing a Growing Pains reunion where the Seaver parents remember being college kids in the 80s, or a Leave it to Beaver episode where the Cleaver parents remember how they were the youth in the 1950s. The Simpsons have officially jumped the shark with this episode. This was the nail in the coffin, it's over. I don't care if real 37 year olds were kids back in the 90s. Plus this episode just makes everyone feel too damn old.


This episode is clear evidence that The Simpsons - once the very best show on television - has way overstayed its welcome. Everything about it was awful. The gags fell flat; Homer as a grunge rocker (with a far bushier mop on his head than he ever had in the 1960s or 1970s) was mind-numbingly unfunny; the band Sadgasm was a stupid "spoof" of grunge; the use of the Verve's Bittersweet Symphony puts the action in 1997, a year when some of the best Simpsons episodes were actually made; the character Professor August adds nothing to the show and the subplot involving Marge attending university was pointless. Clearly, The Simpsons has been on television too long. Either it needs to go off the air or it needs fresh writers who can bring back the show's edgy 90s humor. Watching this episode reminds me of the bad old days when we were subjected to some of those later Happy Days episodes or reruns of Archie Bunker's Place or the final season of The Love Boat. Some critics were upset by the fact that "That 90's Show" more or less subverted the entire Simpson family history time line. For example, the episode invalidates just about all of the flashback episodes, including the classic "Homer's Barbershop Quartet," which was set in 1985 and showed Bart as a little kid. But this is not what offended me about the episode. It was tired. It lacked creativity. It didn't even have as much edge as your typical Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode. What a sad assessment of a show that in its heyday used to excite TV viewers so much with its splendid subversive humor.
Musical Aura Island

Musical Aura Island

I wonder if those that detest this episode were meant to take it seriously. I really didn't take it seriously, we know Bart is 10 in 1989 and is 10 in 2008. The entire city of Springfield has been stuck in a rift in the Matrix, where the space-time continuum is stuck in a loop.

This episode is merely a throwback to the 90s, I can't see how anyone that has watched more than a dozen episodes would assume this is part of the history of Simpsons. Every season has an episode or two that have no relevance on the history, ie, Simpson Bible Stories, and Tales from the Public Domain.

Relax people, the episode was far from great, though it had moments, but it hardly caused the series to "jump the shark."
elegant stranger

elegant stranger

For those complaining about continuity the episode explained why the change occurred, as Lisa calculated Homer is 40 & Bart is 10. Homer has been between the ages of 36-40 during the entire show. This could fit in before the episode I Married Marge & if Homer and Marge were hiding this from the kids & in the past have always been the ones to tell their kids about their past that puts in all into question as to when what happened right? This has happened before anyway. In I Married Marge Bart was born in 1980 but in a later episode Bart starts school around 1990. The worse continuity error is in the episode's own time line where Kurt Cobain is still alive and Homer quotes Seinfeld phrases which came after Kurt's death. The show is more interesting when not tied to years. If you ignore the actual dates used in past episodes the sequence of events can still make sense in continuity.


I really don't see how this episode could get such a bad rap. What's made the Simpsons so great throughout the years is how it continues to change with the times to stay relevant and although most of the foundation has remained relatively untouched throughout the years there are plenty of examples of really good content that deviates from the original story. If it hadn't, Bill Clinton would still be president instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Obama. I really think that weather or not you take it as cannon or not, this was a good episode that modernized the characters in a funny parody of the 1990s. Keep in mind that unlike the children (as far as I know) Homer actually has a set date of birth in 1954 making him 54 years old by the time this episode comes around and makes it hard to keep them all timeless. Also you don't have to take this episode as canon if you don't want to since unlike the original story, I doubt there will be reference to any of the characters in it since what they really wanted was to make a 90s parody and I think they did that very well!


As a total grungehead, I think I am in love with episode 11 of season 19 Simpsons, titled 'That 90s Show'.

Homer and Marge tell the kids of the period between school and when Bart was born when Marge got a university degree and fell for her professor and Homer was so sad he started a grunge band called Sadgasm.

Anyway, the songs he does through the episode are Margerine (parody of Glycerine by Bush), Politically Incorrect (sounds like Lithium by Nirvana) and Shave Me (parody of Rape Me by Nirvana). On the TV Weird Al parodies Sadgasm's song 'Shave Me' and calls it 'Brain Freeze'. At one point he is playing a college campus and a guy rings his cousin Kurt Cobain and goes 'you know that new sound you're looking for... listen to this'. Haha. Lol at Homer's definition of grunge: 'Guitar Rock Utilizing Nihilist Grunge Energy'.

Other awesome 90s things were the use of Semisonic's 'Closing Time' and the Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony' in the soundtrack, references to Sonic the Hedgehog, Seinfeld, Kevin Costner's career killing 'The Postman', Matt Groening working on Futurama, kids all crying and crowding around on Homer's mansion's front lawn when Homer breaks up the band (like when Cobain died) and Melrose Place.

Basically, the show started getting terrible a couple of years ago and I stopped caring about things like continuity, which is why I don't care that this episode screws the Simpsons' time-line around. People can have a cry about it, but if they were true fans, they'd realize the show never had perfect continuity, for instance all the Halloween episodes.


Wow I have never heard such a such moaning about a show before! I have now realised how anal some Simpsons fans could actually be especially as this episode has finally breathed a fresh air into the show.

My main criticism of the Simpsons post season 12 is that constant feeling that the writers were just not trying anymore and relying more and more on slapstick (Homer Vs Tony Hawk anyone?). While still funny, I always felt that the show was losing it's soul. After seeing this episode I'm glad to see that the writers still have it, that ability to be both funny and intelligent.

OK briefly: When Bart and Lisa discover Marge's diploma from Springfield University, Marge reveals that she had attended the university back when she and Homer had first started dating. In a flash back, Homer gives up his dreams of becoming a musician and takes a job at his father's laser tag warehouse to support Marge attending Springfield University. However, when Marge finds herself attracted to an offbeat professor named Professor August, Homer decides he has had enough of Marge's wandering eye. Homer instead focuses his emotions on his music, inventing a new sound called "grunge".

This episode is not the greatest ever by a long shot and its not even the series best satire of the 90's (Homerplazooa wins hands down). However its nice to see that the shows writers are willing to update the show successfully. Most of the gags do tend to be referential but none I thought were duds. So what that the shows heyday was during the episodes set piece? This is the twenty first century people!! I love The Simpsons and we finally have a new episode that reaches back for the shows classic qualities: Pure and brilliant satire.


For me this was truly the most atrocious experience I had when I saw this episode. When I saw this episode for the first time I wasn't stupid enough to know that the Simpsons already existed in the 90's and after seeing this drivel I was flabbergasted and thought to myself: Wait a minute? Why did they even make this episode when people know that the Simpsons existed in the 90's?"

Many people would still be wondering: What exactly is wrong with this episode? I'll try to explain: This is a "retcon" episode. What does it mean? It means that a story-line receives a change to a previous event. And that's exactly what this episode does. It's not really a nice way to do that on a certain series or fictions that suddenly get's into a new entry only because the characters does not age at all.

It's not exactly the jokes and the events that are the problems on this episode it is it's presentation for ignoring the past of the Simpsons making the Simpsons look younger and completely changed and not the Simpsons we know. It really, really, really is a shame that an episode like this was created.

For those who liked the episode I'm not going to call you stupid, but I think you need to understand that whenever a memorable show has it's continuity it should not ignore it's past and suddenly giving it a new entry. Because that's an unforgivable and bad way to do to a beloved series. I have to disagree with those who tells us: "It's just a cartoon." Because the Simpsons is a show with continuity and when the writers made this episode they certainly made a huge misstep.

Although I do agree with the others that the only way that could have saved the episode was a message or a self-referential humor that could tell us how and why they made this episode. But no, apparently they were too lazy to tell us why. And I still would love to ask them why they made this. Maybe we will find out why if we wait for the DVD edition of season 19 and hear what their process was when they created this episode because I don't think even they would have love to make an episode that destroys the Simpsons past.

Is it recommended? No, I would never recommend any Simpsons fans to see this abomination and neither to the non-fans because it's never a good thing to retcon a series especially if it is a beloved one. Ignore this.


I admit this episode contradicted the Simpsons history, but come on, the show is set in a floating timeline, you don't seriously believe that Bart would still be 10 years old, when the show started in 1989?

OK, maybe the writers should have scrapped this idea, but in my opinion, the episode turned out pretty well. Their was some hilarious references and parodies (such as Homer's parody of 'Nirvana - Rape Me', with a song called 'Shave Me', which Weird Al parodied in the episode), the Back To The Future reference with Marvin Cobain, a parody of Marvin Berry.

This was criticized an awful lot by fans and critics alike, I am a passionate fan of The Simpsons, I have watched nearly every episode, and I can honestly say I enjoyed this episode, it wasn't great, but it was a lot of fun.



The main reason why this is one of my least favorite Simpsons episodes is because of the plot. Homer and Marge Simpson never went to college. They only went to high school and Marge got pregnant after she and Homer had intercourse at that mini golf course Homer worked at before he started working at the nuclear power plant. Now I don't think this is one of the worst Simpsons episodes ever, I just don't like the idea of Homer and Marge actually going to college during the 90's, which is the time of the classic Simpsons era. I also didn't like it when Marge dated that college teacher in this episode and that made me a little irritated. Also why is Homer still part of a barber shop quartet when he really did it in 1985? I also sort of didn't like the idea of Homer being like Kurt Cobain and that guy died in 94 after killing himself. Now I also do know that Weird Al Yankovic is a guest star in this episode and he's been a guest star in the show twice. That's one good part I like about this episode, but the rest is meh. I certainly do not recommend this episode to anyone else.


So what did we know about the Simpsons history? What did we learn from 1989-2008? Homer and Marge met in high school, she chose him over Arnie at prom etc etc. Well forget all that! That's right, erase it all from your memories because the Simpsons writers had a lazy idea for a terrible episode.

So here's the new history according to the episode (spoilers... if you care):

  • Homer and Marge were dating in the 90's and lived in a very originally named apartment block called "Springfield Place".

  • Homerwas in a 90's boyband with Lenny, Carl and Loue (why Loue? Who knows, he only had one line).

  • Marge gets accepted to Springfield University.

  • Homer goes to work for Grandpa Simpson who owns a laser tag centre to help pay for tuition fees.

  • Marge and Homers relationship is put in turmoil as she falls in love with her history/anthropology professor.

-Homer gets depressed and invents grunge music (they do some dumb Back to the Future rip-off where Kurt Cobain's cousin calls him to listen to music).

-Marge and Homer break up

-Homer spends his time at Moe's which is now a cigar bar.

-Marge leaves the history professor because he doesn't believe in marriage.

-Marge sees one of Homers music videos and falls back in love with him.

-Homers band breaks up, despite rumours of a heroin addiction it turns out that he was taking insulin.

-Marge and Homer get back together.

And that's about it. All there is to know about the new Simpsons history. Sucks doesn't it?

What I don't understand about this episode is who was it aimed at? The people who would get most of the references grew up in the 90's and most likely spent considerable amounts of their childhood watching The Simpsons on TV. Why would they want to watch an episode that butchers everything they knew about the history of the show for the sake of some weak jokes and bad references? So dumb.


The Simpsons has been, and probably will always be, a cultural phenomenon. It's one of those shows that you can quote to anyone and guarantee that they'll get the reference. This was never more true than in its first ten years (read good ten years) during the 1990s. What then were the writing team thinking when they decided to do an episode set in the 1990s?!!!? Maybe someone suggested it as a joke and was shocked when this actually got written?

The problem lies in the fact that if you want to go back and reference a time period you'll have to fill it with cultural references but in the 90s that means The Simpsons. However that will always be off limits to this show. Instead we get Homer in a grunge band undergoing a not-especially-subtle parody of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. Also, Marge has her hair done to resemble Rachel from Friends for no apparent reason.

This pukes all over the established history of the show. What about the Be-Sharps? What about Homer and Marge at prom? What about how Homer married Marge because he'd got her pregnant? All classic episodes. This ignores them entirely and gives us a boring story where Marge considers leaving Homer for a university professor. I'm pretty sure there are rules against staff-student relationships like this one, aren't there?

Professor August turns out to be one of those left-wing "marriage is bad for women" sorts that everyone hates and Marge decides to get rid of him and go back to Homer, who turns out to be suffering and taking drugs. These drugs turn out to be insulin. Why has Homer suddenly got diabetes?! You'd think it would have come up at least once before at some point?!

There are a few passable jokes scattered throughout ('Margarine' is one of the best Simpsons parody songs out there) but the fact that this tarnishes so many fan-favourite episodes en route is inexcusable. Avoid this episode at all costs.


In an episode from Season 5, Homer, along with Principal Skinner, Apu, and Barney (who replaced Chief Wiggum) were part of a barbershop quartet. This was set during the 1980s (1985-1986). And this also means that Homer and Marge were born in the 1950s, Bart and Lisa were born in the 1980s (Maggie didn't exist at this time yet). But this episode definitely ruined the original continuation. Now, from or in this episode, Homer and Marge WERE childless during the 1990s. This means Bart, Lisa, and Maggie were born either in the late 1990s (excluding Maggie) or the 2000s. But hey, at least it's not as bad as "The Principal and the Pauper" (the Season 9 episode that scarred The Simpsons grievously).