Fresh premises don’t come easy for a show 19 years into its existence, but hats off to last night’s The Simpsons, mining nostalgia for the decade after the show was created. It was That ’90s Show: Marge and Homer taught the kids about the decade of Zima, the Soup Nazi, and money machines. The episode’s 1990s are before Bart was born, because chronology on the The Simpsons sometimes doesn’t make sense.

Anyway! Homer’s working for his dad’s laser tag arena, and college student Marge Develops a crush on her professor, which leads Homer to reinvent his nu-R&B singing group as grunge bad Sadgasm (two tunes sound like “Rape Me” and “Glycerine”). Also featured: Semisonic’s “Closing Time,” the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony,” and of course a Kurt Loder cameo:

The Simpsons revisit the '90s, introduce Homer Simpson's band: Sadgasm

After the jump, a depressed and grungy Homer watches “Weird Al” sing “Brain Freeze” to the tune of the Sadgasm tune that’s to the tune of “Rape Me” (“Shave Me”) along with a Sadgasm performance of “Margerine” (sounds like “Glycerine”) and the explanation of Homer’s withdrawal issues.


Here, Homer invents grunge and sings “Politically Incorrect” (sorry Bill Maher), to the sort-of-tune to “Lithium”:

Nice Back To The Future reference, McFly. Here, “Brain Freeze”:

Finally, the official video for “Margerine,” from the album Desolation Hatchback:

Comments (42)
  1. Dan  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 0

    ‘The episode’s 2990s are before Bart was born, because chronology on the The Simpsons sometimes doesn’t make sense. ‘

    I’ll say! almost a century in the future, and Bart hasn’t been born yet?

  2. I thought the episode was pretty clever ;) I loved the music!

  3. TipTop  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 0

    Worst episode ever.

  4. Rich  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 0

    stop with the retcons!

  5. bookwibble  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 0

    The weird chronology confuses me.

  6. stephen  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 0

    “hats off”?? I am so dreading this episode airing in the UK. I knew they had gone downhill in the last few years, but that episode looks ridiculous. There was a time when I wished the Simpsons would go on forever. Now I wish they’d just fuck off.

  7. MildApplause  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 0

    Really stunned by the poor quality.

    At the beginning, I thought it would be great. Nobody’s lampooning the 90s, and here the Simpsons had a golden opportunity. But, it was a disappointment.

    And, I say this as a loyal Simpsons fan who watches every week.

    Instead of delivering the rapid-fire humor that we’re used to, this episode gets lost in a Marge-cheating-on-Homer thing. After the previous Marge-cheating-on-Homer thing with the bowling instructor, you’d think they’d know better than to go there.

    Still, 18 years worth of episodes and only two clinkers (in my opinion) is a pretty good batting average!

  8. silnlo  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 0

    No, no, Stephen. Seriously: put a hat on when that episode comes on. I guarantee you that it will be at least partially off by the end of the episode. Honest. It was funny.

  9. jdubs  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 0

    um…so the shows are getting a little better i guess but pretty much from ’03-now are pretty shitty.

  10. i appreciated the shave me with your irony lyric.

  11. rao  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 0

    MARGERINE!! ROCKS

  12. roy  |   Posted on Jan 29th, 2008 0

    Actually, the chronology of The Simpsons is quite simple. For example, Bart always remains the same age, so his date/year of birth advances with each passing season…same idea for the other characters.

  13. simpsons fan  |   Posted on Jan 29th, 2008 0

    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!!!

    As far as I’m concerned, 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 torture”, 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.

    • theprince  |   Posted on Apr 17th, 2008 0

      In a word, no. While I agree that those are pivotal moments in Simpsons history, The writers didn’t “p–s” on the history they actually added an element. They inserted a section where Marge was in college. They didn’t alter the prom story. And as far as the rest of the references go, those things you mentioned don’t henge on the decade in which they took place. ie Bart can still be jealous of his new baby sister in the early 2000′s even in the 3000 because the shows are simply timeless.

      At first I was a little put off by the idea of Marge cheating on Homer (more like fantasizing about it) but the more I watch the episode (about 3 times at this point) it’s actually pretty good. And so long as in the end Marge says “Homey is where my heart is.” I’m good. You can’t have more emotional stock in The Simpsons than me. If I’m satisfied you should be happy, period.

    • Jbizz  |   Posted on Jul 11th, 2009 0

      You dumb cunt, The Simpsons have ALWAYS done a flashback….. whether it be the 70′s, 80′s or 90′s,they always do it well. Since they never age, Bart wouldn’t remember the 90′s, he is 10, so yea, he wouldn’t remember. and as for the flashback “era” you talk about…. According to what youust fuckin said…. it would be the 90′s that they got together and broke up… so get you’re facts straight, you fucking SOUTH PARK fan!!!!!!! BRAIN FREEZE!!!!! BRAIN FREEZE!!!!!

  14. Hairdresser Jones  |   Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 0

    Dearest simpsons fan,
    Get a grip. It’s just a cartoon. You can’t mess with fans memories? Key-rist, get a girlfriend already. Having said that though, the episode was a bit like watching a Simpsons episode of Michael Ian Black talking about how he loves the 90s.

  15. jay  |   Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 0

    I loved the way the show depicted the 90s. The cult of Sonic the hedgehog, beanie babies, all the weird bar alternatives like cigar bars, oxygen bars, cyber and porformance art cafes, ect. and of course, weird al. Loved every second of it (thought the gas man was the prof for a while). The thing that anoyed me was the retcon though, if you do the math, nothing before 1998 happened. so that means goodbye to my favorite episodes: no more thrillhouse, no more homer as a hippie, no more frank grimes, no more little lisa recylcing. I’d have to flip a coin here. heads i give it an 11 out of 10 tails i give it -3 out of 10.

  16. simpsons mater flex  |   Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 0

    I say it’s about time we have a bring back the 90s movement! The 90s where a much better time. we should start 90s retro movement, make the 2010s a repeat of the 1990s. that said, the retcon did get me a little upset, but the pure awesomeness of this show more than makes up for this.

  17. simpsons fanatic  |   Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 0

    The episode was funny, but that doesn’t make up for the retcon. BOO RETCON!

  18. some guy  |   Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 0

    simpsons universe is elastic, all you losers need to accept this. long live the 90s!

  19. jack  |   Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 0

    greatest moment in simpsons history since flanders’ wife died.

  20. me.  |   Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 0

    if the next episode is anywhere near as controversal, or funny, the simpsons could be on their way back up. they could ride the duel waves of the movie and this episode back to the point they where at (ironically enough) in the 1990s, and bring back the 90s in the process. I can see a major 90s comeback movement for the rest of this decade and the 2010s arising from this episode. This is just what the simpsons needed: a freash start. and retcon isn’t all that bad. if not for retcon, batman would still be adam west style.

  21. educated young player  |   Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 0

    either the best, or worst episode ever, depending on who you ask. this is a 90s tribute/parody episode, and a major retcon. Probablly the most controversial episode to come down the pipes in a number of years.

  22. fronski  |   Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 0

    Only the Simpsons could possibly bring on this much discussion. I’ve been watching since I was 9 years old so I guess I grew up them. I thought the episode was ok but Homerpoolza was better. And to the people that are getting all worked up, relax it’s a cartoon, Comic Book Guy.

  23. Red Crayon Eater Viking  |   Posted on Jan 31st, 2008 0

    I’m one of the biggest Simpsons fans I can think of. I have countless hours of home made VHSs containg dated chronological Simpsons episodes, all the DVDs, and at least one unopened 6 pack of Buzz.

    Now that being said, I have to admit, the 90′s episode, was pretty funny. Spending all of my teenage years in the 90′s, as the majority of the die hard Simpsons fans did, made this episode really easy to relate to. Someone here said that this episode shows that the writers have lost all respect for their audience, but I think its just the opposite. They know exactly who their fans are. They know we were there throughout the 90s (both in reality and for the show) and I’m happy that they didn’t rely on self referential meta-humor for this episode. In fact, a big part of the Simpsons slump had been that they started using nothing but inside jokes. Had they commented on the discontinuity, it would have been that same gag that they’ve done a hundred times before. They know that we knew that this episode wouldn’t make any linear sense in the grand scheme of things. I could feel that all the way through without them having to out right say it. When Bart said, “90s? Never heard of it!” it was funny because he obviously was there… with the bartman and eat my shorts t-shirts to boot. The whole thing was tongue in cheek.

    Plus the Nirvana rip-offs were great.

    Kudos to the Simpsons for making fun of themselves without ever saying that that’s what they were doing.

  24. i like it when people go, “that’s unforgiveable.”

  25. joykicksdarkness  |   Posted on Feb 2nd, 2008 0

    @ rkx:

    Even better when they say it and then immediately tune back in next week.

  26. I think it’s interesting that some people are so upset that this episode “destroyed” all the characters’ history. So, it’s more plausible that Marge was pregnant with Maggie in the ’80s even though she’s still a baby?? Like a lot of you already said, it’s a cartoon, don’t have a cow man.

    I thought the “Back to the Future” reference was bloody brilliant and Sadgasm has to be one of the best band names ever. I rarely watch new Simpsons episodes because they’re just not that funny anymore, but this one had me laughing the whole way through.

  27. chinaboy  |   Posted on Feb 4th, 2008 0

    for all of those bashing this episode, arguing that this new series of events ruins the chronology of the simpsons &/or has already been done before, stop watching the show & tune into braindead criminal/medical dramas like “CSI,” “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: Helena,” or “Grey’s Anatomy.”
    while the show is not as fresh after 400+ episodes as seasons one through eight, i would much rather watch a “piss poor” simpson’s episode than an episode of family guy or american dad. all of you haters do me a favor: thank the simpsons for providing years of well written laughs & jump off a cliff.

  28. Kenny  |   Posted on Feb 7th, 2008 0

    I think the episode was alright. I mean, it shocked me in the beginning when Homer first mentioned the 90′s as being before Bart was born considering that everyone pretty much considers Bart to had been born in the 1980′s. But considering the fact that The Simpsons is now two decades old, what sense does it make for a 10 year old to have a birthdate in the 90′s. It was also quite interesting to see the 90′s references as that is our generation. It took away from the continuity, in fact I thought that by the end it was going to be revealed as some sort of joke or at some point like when Lisa began to calculate, there would be some sort of pun. But overall I liked it. Stop living in the past haters. Its almost 2010.

  29. Jim  |   Posted on Feb 8th, 2008 0

    I thought this was a fantastic episode. The songs rock and Margerine rules, poetry. I see a lot of people are pissed about the odd space time continuum in Springfield. All I can say is wow.

    I have to agree with Beckeye, the Simpsons isn’t what it used to be but I always have laughs which is more that I can say about many of the new sitcoms. Believe me I know, I watch A LOT of tv.

  30. It’s hilarious that so-called Simpsons fans are bitching about retcons. I bet you also have a pet theory about what state Springfield is REALLY in.

  31. The Simpsons rule. Haters step off.

  32. electric_youth  |   Posted on Jul 23rd, 2008 0

    I think many perhaps missed the point of this episode. I doubt it’s meant to erase the already established history in some definitive way. It seemed more like they were just playing with the idea that they are still that age now, and giving the Simpsons a what-if history, as if they really were that age now. It’s more playing with the absurdity that these characters never age. Think of it more as an anomaly like a Halloween episode, where characters often die. Being filled to the brim with 90s references – more so than era references in other episodes – makes me think this is not a setting they plan to revisit.

  33. Carla  |   Posted on Sep 28th, 2008 0

    Amazing episode. The “90? Never heard of it” line was specially funny, given that Bart is one of the great icons of the 90s. The Simpsons as a show has always made fun of the sitcom genre itself, and implausible retconning was the punchline here. Anybody but extremely literal-minded people can appreciate that. The criticisms of 90s academia were also on-point, although perhaps missed by some. One of the smartest episodes in a while!

  34. Mullet  |   Posted on Nov 7th, 2008 0

    i reckon i watched the best simpsons episode in ages today
    it had homer as the front man of a grunge band named sadgasm playing rips of Nirvana, Bush and some others. Brilliant =]

  35. Time is relative, relative to present.

    Bart’s 10, Lisa’s 8, Maggie’s 1(?), it’s 2009. 15 years ago they wheren’t born yet. Piece of cake.

    Less analyss, more enjoying.
    El cuco.

  36. Dan  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2009 0

    Well, people seem to either love it or hate it–I think it’s one of my favorites of all time. But those who whine about the chronology are missing the point–that the Simpsons WAS a nineties show. That Homer is a slacker-turned-suburban dad makes total sense. For those of us who watched the show in college in the 90s and now have to work at the “plant,” everything now makes sense. Rock on Sadgasm!

  37. best episode ever sadgasm love it

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