The Simpsons is an American animated television series created by Matt Groening for the FOX Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a working-class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional city of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition.
The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and was an early hit for FOX, becoming the first FOX series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–1990).
Since its premiere in late 1989, over 525 episodes have been produced and broadcast by FOX, which also broadcasts Family Guy. A feature film was also released in 2007. Family Guy has often been accused of being a rip-off of The Simpsons. There have been a number of Simpsons-related gags in episodes of Family Guy. Seth MacFarlane has stated that Matt Groening is a friend of his and there is no real rivalry between the two shows. The show broke two Guinness World Records, Longest Running Primetime Television Show and Television Show with the Most Guest Stars.
In a special Police Squad!-style opening in "PTV", Stewie runs Homer Simpson over with his toy bike in the garage. His attempt to run away is analogous to running away from the car. Here, he does not crash through the door, and is knocked unconscious.
In "Mother Tucker", Brian mentions Stewie selling out. The resulting flashback parodies the Butterfinger commercials The Simpsons did in the early 1990s. Stewie says Bart Simpson’s catchphrase from the commercials, “Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger,” before adding a forced “D’oh!”.
Marge Simpson and Glenn Quagmire are seen together in a fake promotion for the show in "Movin' Out (Brian's Song)". After enjoying their time together, Marge brings Quagmire to Springfield to have more fun. After a long night of sex with Marge, Homer catches them in the act. The Simpsons family is then killed in one-by-one a chain reaction shooting by Glenn. This scene was omitted from all FOX broadcasts at the insistence of Simpsons producers, who did not allow the voice actors to reprise their roles for the scene. It is only available on the Adult Swim, TBS and DVD editions.
In a DVD exclusive song in "Lois Kills Stewie" called "I've Got a Little List", one of the "society offenders" on Stewie's list is "The guy who watched The Simpsons back in 1994 and won't admit the damn thing isn't funny anymore".
In "Big Man on Hippocampus", Peter, who had amnesia, can't remember his catchphrase, so he uses Homer's annoyed grunt, "D'oh!".
The font used for Simpsons credits is used for the executive producers of "Dial Meg for Murder".
Peter's yellow color and remarking that he could go on for twenty more years in "New Kidney in Town" is a reference to The Simpsons.
In "Cool Hand Peter", the jury of the trial of Peter, Joe, Quagmire and Cleveland consisted of Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Comic Book Guy, Groundskeeper Willie, Edna Krabappel, Ned Flanders, Otto Mann, Moe Szyslak, and Mr. Burns. Peter is at first relieved to find that it's a jury of their peers but Joe Swansonpoints out that they don't see it that way.
Peter appeared in The Simpsons episode entitled, "Treehouse of Horror XIII" where he was as one of the hundreds of clones of Homer, in "Send in the Clones". Peter also appeared in "The Italian Bob", where he was wanted for plagiarism, implying that Family Guy was accused of ripping off The Simpsons, and Stan Smith was wanted for plagiarism of plagiarism, implying that American Dad! was accused of ripping off Family Guy, which itself is already a ripoff.
Seth MacFarlane appeared in the show's 20th anniversary special entitled The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3-D! on Ice!. He was also referred to in The Simpsons Game based on the series, when Homer answers that MacFarlane is his creator and "TV's most beloved animation visionary!".
A drunken Peter recounts several of the Simpsons adventures such as Maggie's first tooth, Mr. Plow and Bart jumping the canyon as his greatest moments in life in "Save the Clam".