The Simpsons (season 12)

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The Simpsons (season 12)
The Simpsons - The 12th Season.jpg
DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 21
Original network Fox
Original release November 1, 2000 (2000-11-01) – May 20, 2001 (2001-05-20)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 11
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Season 13
List of The Simpsons episodes

The Simpsons' twelfth season originally aired between November 2000 and May 2001. It began on Wednesday, November 1, 2000 with "Treehouse of Horror XI". The season contains four hold-over episodes from the season 11 (BABF) production line. The showrunner for the twelfth production season was Mike Scully. The season won and was nominated for numerous awards including two Primetime Emmy Awards wins and an Annie Award.


The season's executive producer was once again Mike Scully, in his last season as executive producer. He later returned to the series in season fourteen as a writer and executive producer for the episode "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation". Mike Scully has stated his goal during his tenure was to "not wreck the show".[1]

Don Payne, John Frink and Bob Bendetson began writing for the series, while Larry Doyle, Julie Thacker and Tom Martin left following the completion of this season. Rob LaZebnik received his first sole writing credit for the episode "Homer vs. Dignity". LaZebnik would not get a writing credit for another episode until the 20th season, where he was credited for writing "Father Knows Worst". Shaun Cashman received his sole directing credit on the series this season (for the 250th episode "A Tale of Two Springfields"), while Neil Affleck received his final directorial credit (also for the controversial episode "Homer vs. Dignity"). Tom Gammill and Max Pross have been promoted to produce this season. As of 2009, Gammill & Pross are still credited as such, along with David Mirkin. Mike Reiss (Al Jean's former writing partner) returned to the writing staff as a producer.

The season began with the annual Treehouse of Horror episode, beginning a practice of starting the season with the episodes, as well as airing the episodes shortly after Halloween in November, due to Fox's coverage of the World Series. This season brought back Sideshow Bob, who had not been seen since the eighth-season episode "Brother from Another Series". Ian Maxtone-Graham's episode "Tennis the Menace" became the second episode of the series to be animated using digital ink and paint, which had not been used since the season seven episode "Radioactive Man" and would not be used again (this time on a permanent basis) until the 14th season. The season would also have four episodes that would air the following season.


Critical reception[edit]

The twelfth season has received mostly positive reviews from critics. Matt Haigh of Den of Geek said that "The bad episodes are never really terrible, it's more that they're a bit boring and will most likely have you yawning 10 minutes in. With this in mind, season 12 ends up being very much a 50/50 affair".[2] Nancy Basile gave a list of "Must See TV" episodes and "Not So Must See TV" episodes — with more of the former.[3]


"HOMR" was nominated for various awards. Al Jean received a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) the eleventh win for the series.[4] Another Primetime Emmy Award nomination is for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series.[5] Another win for "HOMR" is an Annie Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Television Production.[6] Other Primetime Emmy Awards nominations include Hank Azaria for "Worst Episode Ever".[7] Lisa Simpson also won a Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award.[8] The show also won at the 2002 Kids' Choice Awards.[9]

Nielsen Rating[edit]

The season ranked 21st in the seasonal ratings with an average of 14.7 million viewers an episode rising 6% from last season.[10]


No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
U.S. viewers
249 1 "Treehouse of Horror XI" Matthew Nastuk Rob LaZebnik
John Frink & Don Payne
Carolyn Omine
November 1, 2000 (2000-11-01) BABF21 13.2
This year's Halloween story sees The Simpsons as "The Munsters" (with everyone except Lisa getting killed), Homer as a wandering spirit on the hunt for a good deed in "G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad," Bart and Lisa as peasants in a fairy tale forest in "Scary Tales Can Come True," and Lisa inadvertently dooming mankind by rescuing a dolphin in "Night of the Dolphin."
250 2 "A Tale of Two Springfields" Shaun Cashman John Swartzwelder November 5, 2000 (2000-11-05) BABF20 16.2
While calling Animal Control over a badger taking residence in Santa's Little Helper's doghouse, Homer discovers that Springfield has two different area codes–and ends up leading a revolt that splits the town in two.
Guest star: The Who
251 3 "Insane Clown Poppy" Bob Anderson John Frink & Don Payne November 12, 2000 (2000-11-12) BABF17 16.4
Krusty takes parenting lessons from Homer when, during an outdoor book fair, a girl tells Krusty that she is his long-lost daughter from a one-night stand with a female soldier who fought during the first Gulf War.
Guest star: Drew Barrymore, Amy Tan, Stephen King, John Updike, Joe Mantegna and Jay Mohr (credited as the voice of Christopher Walken)
252 4 "Lisa the Tree Hugger" Steven Dean Moore Matt Selman November 19, 2000 (2000-11-19) CABF01 14.9
Lisa falls for the teenaged leader of a militant environmentalist group and tries to impress him by living in Springfield's oldest tree in order to keep it from being cut down.
Guest star: Joshua Jackson
253 5 "Homer vs. Dignity" Neil Affleck Rob LaZebnik November 26, 2000 (2000-11-26) CABF04 15
When the Simpsons once again have financial problems, Mr. Burns pays Homer to play pranks on others and humiliate himself in public. Meanwhile, Smithers creates a Malibu Stacy-themed musical.
Guest star: Leeza Gibbons
254 6 "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes" Mark Kirkland John Swartzwelder December 3, 2000 (2000-12-03) CABF02 15.6
Homer decides to buy a computer after turning up to the Plant to find it closed by e-mail. He then creates his own website and it eventually gains attention when he posts gossip. Homer dubs himself as "Mr. X" to conceal his identity. When he reveals that he is Mr. X, he becomes drugged into a mysterious island where people who know too much are imprisoned after Homer starts writing conspiracy theories such as flu shots.
Guest star: Patrick McGoohan
255 7 "The Great Money Caper" Michael Polcino Carolyn Omine December 10, 2000 (2000-12-10) CABF03 16.8
Homer and Bart become father–son con artists (after Bart is given money out of pity when Homer decided to not take him home), but soon find that they are the ones being had.
Guest star: Edward Norton
256 8 "Skinner's Sense of Snow" Lance Kramer Tim Long December 17, 2000 (2000-12-17) CABF06 15.9
A snowstorm traps the students of Springfield Elementary inside, with them overthrowing Principal Skinner when he uses his Army skills to control them. Meanwhile, Homer tries to rescue the children–using Flanders' car.
257 9 "HOMR" Mike Anderson Al Jean January 7, 2001 (2001-01-07) BABF22 18.5
While working as a human guinea pig (to pay off the family's lost savings after making a bad investment), Homer discovers the root cause of his subnormal intelligence: a crayon that was lodged in his brain ever since he was a boy. He decides to have it removed to increase his IQ, but discovers that being smart does not necessarily equal being happy.
258 10 "Pokey Mom" Bob Anderson Tom Martin January 14, 2001 (2001-01-14) CABF05 15
Marge tries to rehabilitate a convict with remarkable artistic talent. Meanwhile, Homer uses a trash can to fix people's spines.
Guest star: Michael Keaton, Charles Napier, Robert Schimmel and Bruce Vilanch
259 11 "Worst Episode Ever" Matthew Nastuk Larry Doyle February 4, 2001 (2001-02-04) CABF08 18.5
Bart and Milhouse are banned from The Android Dungeon after stopping Comic Book Guy from buying a box of priceless Star Wars memorabilia for $5, but are hired as his replacements when Comic Book Guy has a heart attack and is advised to leave his job in order to make friends.
Guest star: Tom Savini
260 12 "Tennis the Menace" Jen Kamerman Ian Maxtone-Graham February 11, 2001 (2001-02-11) CABF07 14
While making funeral arrangements for Grampa's future, the funeral planner pitches the idea of a mausoleum that uses the same amount of cement as a full-sized tennis court. This prompts Homer to instead build a tennis court in his backyard, initially mistaking the sport for "Foxy Boxing". The tennis court makes Marge and Homer popular in town, but it turns out that this is only because Homer's inferior tennis ability makes them an easy target. Bart on the other hand, shines as a natural.
Guest star: Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Venus Williams and Serena Williams
261 13 "Day of the Jackanapes" Michael Marcantel Al Jean February 18, 2001 (2001-02-18) CABF10 15.4
Krusty announces his retirement due to interference from network executives and the growing popularity of the big-money game show "Me Wantee", but when Krusty reveals to Sideshow Bob that all of the episodes featuring him have been erased, Sideshow Bob uses Krusty's biggest fan (Bart) to murder him during Krusty's farewell show.
Guest star: Kelsey Grammer and Gary Coleman
262 14 "New Kids on the Blecch" Steven Dean Moore Tim Long February 25, 2001 (2001-02-25) CABF12 18.1
A music producer selects Bart, Nelson, Milhouse and Ralph to be members of the next hit boy band, who record subliminal songs about joining the Navy.
Guest star: 'N Sync
263 15 "Hungry, Hungry Homer" Nancy Kruse John Swartzwelder March 4, 2001 (2001-03-04) CABF09 17.6
Homer becomes a Good Samaritan after discovering the simple joys of helping people in need–which is put to the test when he goes on a hunger strike after the owner of the Springfield Isotopes attempts to discredit him when Homer stumbles on his plot to discreetly move the team to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Guest star: Stacy Keach
264 16 "Bye Bye Nerdie" Lauren MacMullan John Frink & Don Payne March 11, 2001 (2001-03-11) CABF11 16.1
When Lisa becomes the target of a female bully, Lisa discovers a scientific reason as to why bullies pick on nerds. Meanwhile, Homer goes into the baby-proofing business, which is threatening the businesses of pediatricians and greeting card salesmen.
Guest star: Kathy Griffin
265 17 "Simpson Safari" Mark Kirkland John Swartzwelder April 1, 2001 (2001-04-01) CABF13 13.3
When the Simpsons run out of food thanks to a bag boy strike (caused by Homer), the family finds an old box of animal crackers with a sweepstakes that sends The Simpsons to Africa.
266 18 "Trilogy of Error" Mike B. Anderson Matt Selman April 29, 2001 (2001-04-29) CABF14 14.4
Homer's rush to the hospital to reattach his thumb, Lisa's rush to school to win the science fair, and Bart's run-in with an illegal fireworks scheme are interconnected in a parody of Go and Run Lola Run.
Guest star: Frankie Muniz
267 19 "I'm Goin' to Praiseland" Chuck Sheetz Julie Thacker May 6, 2001 (2001-05-06) CABF15 13.1
After finding a sketchbook belonging to his late wife Maude, Ned Flanders opens a Bible-themed amusement park to honor her memory.
Guest star: Shawn Colvin
268 20 "Children of a Lesser Clod" Mike Polcino Al Jean May 13, 2001 (2001-05-13) CABF16 13.8
After spraining his knee during a basketball game, Homer begins taking care of the neighborhood kids to cure his boredom, prompting jealousy from Bart and Lisa, who feel that Homer is giving the kids the attention they never had.
269 21 "Simpsons Tall Tales" Bob Anderson John Frink & Don Payne
Bob Bendetson
Matt Selman
May 20, 2001 (2001-05-20) CABF17 13.4

When Homer refuses to pay a five dollar airport tax to fly to Delaware, the family is forced to ride in a livestock car of a train instead. There they meet a singing hobo who tells three tall tales:

DVD release[edit]

The Twelfth Season was released on DVD in 2009 (8 years since it had completed its broadcast on television).

...The Complete Twelfth Season...
Set Details[11] Special Features[11]
  • Optional commentaries for all 21 episodes
  • Introduction from Matt Groening
  • Deleted scenes with optional commentaries and option to watch during the episodes.
  • Featurette: "Comic Book Guy: Best. Moments. Ever."
  • Featurette: "The Global Fanfest"
  • Sketch gallery
  • Animation Showcases
  • Illustrated commentaries
  • Commercials
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Tuesday, August 18, 2009 Monday, September 28, 2009[12] Wednesday, September 2, 2009[13]


  1. ^ "Electric Journeys | BBC World Service". Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Simpsons Season 12 DVD review". Den of Geek. October 1, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ ""The Simpsons" Season 12 Review". October 6, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ White, Cindy. "The Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season DVD Review — DVD Review at IGN". Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Primetime Emmy® Award Database". Archived from the original on October 14, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Legacy - 29th Annual". Annie Awards. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  7. ^ Dutka, Elaine (August 14, 2001). "Morning Report". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Lisa Simpson animates environmental awards". USA Today. November 15, 2001. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  9. ^ Capri Sun. "Official KCA 2011 | Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards | Nick KCAs". Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  10. ^ Jun 01, 2001 (June 1, 2001). "The Bitter End". Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Release Date Finally Revealed for the Long-Awaited 12th Season DVDs!". TVShowsOnDVD. May 20, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Release Date For Season 12 on!". Amazon. May 20, 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Simpsons, The — The 12th Season: Collector's Edition (4 Disc Box Set) @ EzyDVD". EzyDVD. May 26, 2009. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 

External links[edit]