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The Simpsons Shorts Episode Guide

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Alternate Names: 

The Tracey Ullman Shorts.
The Simpsons Shorts.


The Simpson family was first aired in shorts format, on April 19, 1987. The shorts are a series of 48 one-minute shorts that ran for three seasons, before the characters spun off into their own half-hour prime time show. These minute long "buffer" cartoons, were showed before and after commercials in the Tracey Ullman show.

The first short aired was "Good Night". The final short to air was "TV Simpsons", originally airing on May 14, 1989.


SEASON 1 - 1987

(April 19, 1987 - July 12, 1987)

Number of episodes: 7

  1. Good Night:

    Original Air Date: April 19, 1987

    Good Night is the first Simpsons short that appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show. It originally aired April 19, 1987, during the third episode of The Tracey Ullman Show and was the first appearance of the Simpson family on television.

    Marge and Homer say goodnight to their kids but all does not go to plan. Bart philosophically contemplates the wonders of the mind, Lisa hears Marge say "Don't let the bed bugs bite" and fears that her bed bugs will eat her, and Maggie is traumatized by the lyrics of "Rock-a-bye Baby". Ultimately, all of the kids decide to sleep with their parents.

  2. Watching TV:

    Original Air Date: May 3, 1987

    Bart and Lisa quarrel over what channel to watch, but eventually agree that they need to stop Maggie from changing the channel.

  3. Jumping Bart:

    Original Air Date: May 10, 1987

    Homer has Bart attempt to jump off a table and into his arms. Each time Bart jumps, Homer is distracted and fails to catch him.

  4. Babysitting Maggie:

    Original Air Date: May 31, 1987

    Marge puts Bart and Lisa in charge of babysitting Maggie, however they end up ignoring her.

  5. The Pacifier:

    Original Air Date: June 21, 1987

    Bart and Lisa take Maggie's pacifier away to stop her from sucking on it but Maggie refuses to kick the habit.

  6. Burping Contest:

    Original Air Date: June 28, 1987

    Bart, Lisa and Maggie compete in a contest to see who can make the most disgusting burp. Marge objects several times, but to no avail.

  7. Dinnertime:

    Original Air Date: July 12, 1987

    Marge serves the family dinner and the family sits down for the meal. Marge insists that family should have table manners, but the family's crude eating habits are hard to stop.

SEASON 2 - 1987-1988

(September 22, 1987 - May 8, 1988)

Number of episodes: 22

  1. Making Faces:

    Original Air Date: September 22, 1987

    Marge warns the kids that if they make scary faces, their faces will stay those ways forever. The kids continue to make scary faces.

  2. The Funeral:

    Original Air Date: October 4, 1987

    The family attends the funeral of Uncle Hubert. Bart and Lisa both prove to be disruptive and Homer swears to never take them to another funeral, much to their dismay.

  3. What Maggie's Thinking:

    Original Air Date: October 11, 1987

    Bart and Lisa wonder what is inside Maggie's mind when looking at her in her crib.

  4. Football:

    Original Air Date: October 18, 1987

    Homer promises the kids chocolate milkshakes if Bart can catch one of his father's long football passes. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles to overcome, but Bart finally manages to catch the football—with his mouth.

  5. House of Cards:

    Original Air Date: October 25, 1987

    Bart tries to make a house of cards, but Lisa and Maggie make noises that cause the house to fall every time.

  6. Bart and Homer's Dinner:

    Original Air Date: November 1, 1987

    The girls are out watching a ballet and Homer is in charge of the dinner. Bart cannot stomach it when he is forced to eat a mix of fish nuggets and pork-a-roni.

  7. Space Patrol:

    Original Air Date: November 8, 1987

    Bart, Lisa and Maggie play a game of "Space Patrol" while Homer and Marge are out. Lisa plays a superhero with Maggie as her sidekick, while Bart puts a jug on his head with the pretense of it being the helmet of an alien warlord. However, his head gets stuck in the jug and Lisa "frees" Bart using a croquet mallet.

  8. Bart's Haircut:

    Original Air Date: November 15, 1987

    Bart's hair is too long and he is sent to a barber. His hair cut is too short and he tries multiple ways to hide it. The barbier is the first character who doesn't belongs to the Simpson's family that also appears in the half hour episodes.

  9. World War III:

    Original Air Date: November 22, 1987

    Homer wakes up the family to practice for a nuclear drill. After multiple drills the family gets tired of him and trap him in the basement.

  10. The Perfect Crime:

    Original Air Date: December 13, 1987

    Marge bakes a batch of delicious cookies and Bart attempts to steal them, when everyone except him and Maggie leave the kitchen. Homer and Marge come back to find the tray empty, but Maggie guides them along a trail of cookies running across the floor. The family catches Bart lying on his back in his bedroom amidst a pile of cookie crumbs.

  11. Scary Stories:

    Original Air Date: December 20, 1987

    Bart tells Lisa and Maggie a series of scary stories in the dark only to believe they're coming true.

  12. Grampa and the Kids:

    Original Air Date: January 10, 1988

    Grampa tells the kids stories from the good old days. When the kids stop paying attention to him, he feigns his own death to recapture their attention.
    First speaking appearance of Grampa Abraham Simpson.

  13. Gone Fishin':

    Original Air Date: January 24, 1988

    Bart and Homer go on a fishing trip. Homer asks Bart for a bologna sandwich, but Bart forgot the bologna. He puts the bait on the sandwich instead. When they get the boat in the water they hit rapids and later fall off of a waterfall.

  14. Skateboarding:

    Original Air Date: February 7, 1988

    Bart teaches his sisters how to skateboard, but is outdone every time he tries to show off.

  15. The Pagans:

    Original Air Date: February 14, 1988

    When the family is on their way to church, the kids declares themselves pagans. After the car breaks down, the kids start acting like pagans much to Homer's dismay.

  16. Closeted:

    Original Air Date: February 21, 1988

    Bart tries to avoid to doing chores and ends up hiding in the closet. He finds himself locked in and must find a way to bust out.

  17. The Aquarium:

    Original Air Date: February 28, 1988

    Homer takes Bart, Lisa and Maggie to the aquarium. Bart finds a way to get into the shark tank and swims with a shark.

  18. Family Portrait:

    Original Air Date: March 6, 1988

    Homer has trouble taking a normal family portrait. Every time they are close to a good picture the family sabotages the shot.
    Features the first time Homer strangles Bart.

  19. Bart's Hiccups:

    Original Air Date: March 13, 1988

    Lisa and Maggie try to cure Bart's hiccups using some rather unorthodox methods.

  20. The Money Jar:

    Original Air Date: March 20, 1988

    Marge warns the kids that they shouldn't steal from the money jar. Bart, Lisa and Maggie try to fight the temptation of stealing the money.

  21. The Art Museum:

    Original Air Date: May 1, 1988

    The Simpsons go to an art museum. Bart stares at a nude painting and Lisa plays with an ancient vase. Marge realizes that the kids are too young to appreciate fine arts.

  22. Zoo Story:

    Original Air Date: May 8, 1988

    The family goes to the zoo and find a lot of similarities between them and the monkeys. Homer unwisely teases a monkey at the zoo and gets a face full of poo for his trouble.

SEASON 3 - 1988-1989

(November 6, 1988 - May 14, 1989)

Number of episodes: 19

  1. Shut Up, Simpsons:

    Original Air Date: November 6, 1988

    Maggie squeaks her toy, which causes a chain reaction of anger in the family. An attempt for reconciliation leads to even more anger.

  2. Shell Game:

    Original Air Date: November 13, 1988

    Bart tries to hide one of the cookies he stole from the jar by distracting his parents with the shell game. Although his plan seems to succeed, he is bested by Maggie, who then eats the cookie.

  3. The Bart Simpson Show:

    Original Air Date: November 20, 1988

    The kids are watching TV and Homer tells them to stop watching "Itchy and Scratchy" because it's "too violent". Unable to watch cartoons Bart puts on his own show, which eventually angers Homer even more. In this episode Itchy and Scratchy make their first appeareance.

  4. Punching Bag:

    Original Air Date: November 27, 1988

    Bart and Lisa take out their frustrations on a punching bag with a face of Homer on it. When Homer commands Marge to make the kids stop, he later finds her punching the bag.
    This is the episode in which Homer says for the first time the worldwide popular expression D'oh.

  5. Simpson Christmas:

    Original Air Date: December 18, 1988

    Bart tells a story of Christmas with the Simpson family in the style of The Night Before Christmas.

  6. The Krusty the Clown Show:

    Original Air Date: January 15, 1989

    The kids get to see Krusty's show live for the first time. Bart notices that he is an impostor and exposes it on television, much to his parents' dismay.
    Krusty the Clown makes his first appearance.

  7. Bart the Hero:

    Original Air Date: January 29, 1989

    When Bart is sent outside to exercise his legs by Marge's orders, he gets handsomely rewarded big bucks for stopping a burglar from robbing a candy store.

  8. Bart's Little Fantasy:

    Original Air Date: February 5, 1989

    After the kids are ordered to clean their room by Homer and Marge; Bart tells a story about large kids who throw their small parents into a small room.

  9. Scary Movie:

    Original Air Date: February 12, 1989

    Bart, Lisa and Maggie go to the movie to see "The Return of the Happy Little Elves", but Bart convinces the girls to see "Revenge of the Space Mutants" instead. However, Bart ends up being scared by it, and Lisa and Maggie attempted to comfort him.

  10. Home Hypnotism:

    Original Air Date: February 19, 1989

    When Homer sees Bart, Lisa and Maggie going crazy and bouncing off the walls, he and Marge try using hypnotism to tame the kids.

  11. Shoplifting:

    Original Air Date: February 26, 1989

    Bart gets in trouble when he is caught shoplifting candy at the supermarket.

  12. Echo Canyon:

    Original Air Date: March 12, 1989

    The family drives to Echo Canyon and take turns making echoes.

  13. Bathtime:

    Original Air Date: March 19, 1989

    Homer makes Bart take his "Sunday Night Bath", only to flood the bathroom.

  14. Bart's Nightmare:

    Original Air Date: March 26, 1989

    Bart ends up having a horrific nightmare after eating all of the cookies from the jar.

  15. Bart of the Jungle:

    Original Air Date: April 16, 1989

    The kids swing from the trees using Homer's neckties, and Homer, who is angered by this, ends up being caught in their trap.

  16. Family Therapy:

    Original Air Date: April 23, 1989

    Homer takes the family to a psychologist because he claims they can't laugh anymore. They end up being so disruptive that the psychologist kicks them out and they end up laughing at this.

  17. Maggie in Peril (Chapter One):

    Original Air Date: April 30, 1989

    After Maggie accidentally kicks her ball on Bart's face, he kicks it out of sight and she takes off to retrieve it back. She ends up being caught on a branch and the story is to be continued.

  18. Maggie in Peril (The Thrilling Conclusion):

    Original Air Date: May 7, 1989

    Sequel to "Maggie in Peril", Maggie floats in the air hanging on to balloons and lands safely back in her playpen.

  19. TV Simpsons:

    Original Air Date: May 14, 1989

    While Homer is watching TV, Bart's kite gets caught on the TV antenna on the roof, which messes up the reception. Homer tries to fix the antenna, but ends up falling off the roof.

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