The Simpsons' first season originally aired between December 17, 1989 and May 13, 1990, beginning with the Christmas special "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". The executive producers for the first production season were Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon.
The series was originally set to debut in late 1989 with the episode "Some Enchanted Evening", which was meant to introduce the main characters; during the first screening of the episode, the producers discovered that the animation was so appalling that 70% of the episode needed to be redone. The producers considered aborting the series if the next episode turned out as bad, but it only suffered from easily fixable problems. The producers convinced Fox to move the debut to December 17, and aired "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" as the first episode of the series. The first season won one Emmy Award, and received four additional nominations.
The DVD boxset was released on September 25, 2001 in Region 1 and September 24, 2001 in both Region 2 and Region 4. Season one was also released for the iTunes Store on December 22, 2010, dubbed a "digital edition."
Christmas is nearly ruined when Marge has to spend all of the family's gift money to remove Bart's tattoo. Homer becomes a department store Santa to raise more cash, but bets it all at the dog races on a hot tip from Barney. Homer and Bart save Christmas by adopting the losing greyhound, Santa's Little Helper.
Bart cheats on his intelligence test and is mistaken for a child genius. In order to offer him more stimulation, Marge and Homer enroll him in a school for gifted students where he is immediately made to feel like the mediocre student he is. Bart eventually bluffs his way back into Springfield Elementary by claiming he'll study his classmates but winds up confessing to everyone that he cheated.
Homer reevaluates his life after getting fired from the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant for causing a meltdown. He becomes a public safety advocate and rallies to have speed bumps installed on roads and fights against his old boss. Eventually, he abandons his cause and gets rehired at the plant with a raise.
After an embarrassing experience at his company picnic, Homer begins to wonder if his family is too dysfunctional. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie attend family therapy sessions with Dr. Marvin Monroe, an unorthodox psychotherapist who uses shock therapy to "cure" them.
After years of being picked on by Nelson, Bart and other kids from Springfield Elementary decide to fight back. With the help of Grandpa and one-armed Herman, the kids attack Nelson and his buddies with water balloons until he agrees to sign a cease fire treaty.
Lisa gets sent home from school with a terrible case of the blues. One night she meets Bleeding Gums Murphy, a jazz musician who teaches her how to express her feelings through music. Lisa writes a song for Bleeding Gums, who plays it at his club, making Lisa feel happy again.
Homer buys an RV and takes the family camping. Accidentally driving it off the edge of a cliff, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie are trapped in the woods and must fend for themselves. Marge makes her way back to civilization, but Homer is mistaken for Bigfoot and eventually captured by hunters.
Bart tries to impress Jimbo Jones and his friends by stealing the head of the Jebediah Springfield statue in the town square. The townspeople are devastated by his act of vandalism and only Homer can help him return the head to its shoulders and fend off the angry mob.
Homer buys Marge a bowling ball for her birthday, prompting her to take up bowling lessons with a suave, French bowling instructor named Jacques. As her game improves, Marge and Jacques grow closer and closer until they're spending every night of the week at the bowling alley and sharing brunch. Realizing that he may be losing Marge, Homer tries to tell her how he feels and remind her of her loyalty to the family. Guest star: Albert Brooks as Jacques
Using his toy spy camera, Bart captures Homer drunk and cavorting with a belly-dancing named Princess Kashmir. When he gets the photo developed, it is photocopied and distributed all over town, ruining Homer's reputation and nearly wrecking his marriage to Marge. Fearing that Bart may be learning a bad lesson about how to treat women, Marge insists that Homer introduce Bart to the Princess so he can learn that women aren't sex objects.
Bart is sent to France as a foreign exchange student and is forced to live with two slave-driving French winemakers. In his place, the Simpson family takes in Adil, a student from Albania, who's actually a spy stealing the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's secrets. Bart escapes his tormentors' vineyard and manages to speak enough French to tell the authorities. He returns home a national hero.
With the help of eyewitness Homer Simpson, Krusty the Clown gets busted for robbing the Kwik-E-Mart. Convinced that his hero is wrongly accused, Bart, with Lisa's help, examines the clues and case and determines that Krusty was framed by his bitter sidekick, Sideshow Bob. Krusty is cleared and Bob begins the first of his many prison terms. Guest star: Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob
Homer and Marge go out for a much-needed romantic dinner and leave Bart, Lisa and Maggie with a babysitter named Ms. Botz. Bart becomes convinced that Ms. Botz is actually the Babysitter Bandit, a wanted criminal he saw on America's Most Wanted Armed and Dangerous. Bart turns out to be correct and when Ms. Botz ties him and Lisa up and attempts to rob the house, only Maggie can save them. Guest star: Penny Marshall as Ms. Botz