The Simpsons' 12th season began on Wednesday, November 1, 2000 with "Treehouse of Horror XI". The season contains three hold over episodes from the season 11 production line. The show runner for the twelfth production was Mike Scully. The season features three episodes that were produced for the eleventh season which was also run by Scully. The season won and was nominated for numerous awards including two Primetime Emmy Awards wins and an Annie Award.
Our first fright comes when Homer's horoscope is a real horror show. "Today you will die," it says, but somehow Homer manages to avoid death at every turn. That is, until dinner turns deadly. After choking on some broccoli, Homer passes to the afterlife. To get into heaven, he has 24 hours to do a good deed. Unfortunately helping old ladies cross the street isn't going to cut it. The second screamer is a fairy tale that may not end happily ever after. The Simpsons' pumpkin home is falling apart. And it doesn't help that Homer was just fired. While Marge tries to figure out how to feed the children, Homer finds an easy solution - throw them in the woods. Bart and Lisa run into even bigger trouble when they find themselves caught in a gingerbread house where a nice old lady wants to have them for supper literally. And our final spook comes when the Simpsons see a dolphin show at their local Marine World. Lisa feels bad for a poor dolphin Snorky. But when Lisa sets Snorky free, she unwittingly aids the cause of a dolphin revolution that threatens humanity.
When Bart discovers a badger has taken up residence in Santa's Little Helper's doghouse, Bart and Lisa try to lure him out. After consulting WhatBadgersEat.com and Homer, they decide to call animal control. Dialing the number, Homer runs into trouble when it turns out the area code for half of Springfield has been changed. After Phoney McRingRing and other executives fail to quell the town's fears, area code and class rivalries split Springfield in two. And when Homer becomes mayor of New Springfield, his plan to build a wall between the two towns doesn't solve any problems. The Who might be the only thing to bring the two towns together again. Guest Stars: Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle of the Who as themselves
When Homer and Bart spend the day doing chores there's bound to be some fireworks - literally. Fixing Lisa's VCR with firecrackers backfires and the two are forced to make it up to her with a trip to the Festival of Books. At the festival Krusty is signing his new memoirs. And who is waiting for a signature but his long lost daughter, Sophie, the product of a Gulf War romantic liaison. Sophie wants to have Krusty in her life, but Krusty isn't so sure. When their day at the beach is no day at the beach, Krusty enlists Homer as his mentor in fatherhood. No wonder they end up nearly getting killed by the mob. Guest Stars: Drew Barrymore as Sophie; Joe Mantagna as Fat Tony
Lisa joins up with a militant environmental group called Dirt First and wages war on corporate polluters. Finally, Lisa has a found a cause worth fighting for. Also, Jesse, the leader of Dirt First, is a totally cute non-threatening teenage boy. Feeling challenged by Jesse's intense beliefs and cute hair, Lisa decides to camp out in an ancient redwood tree to stop deforestation. Lisa prevents the loggers from destroying the tree. But when she sneaks down for one night, the tree is struck by lightning, making Lisa a martyr for Dirt First. Lisa has to decide what's more important: being a symbol for the environmental movement or being honest. Guest Star: Joshua Jackson as Jesse
In celebration of Bart's first 'A' the Simpsons go out for a nice dinner. Unfortunately, Homer's credit card is rejected and the family realizes their finances might be in more trouble than they thought. So, on the advice of a financial planner, Homer asks Mr. Burns for a raise. Lucky for him, Smithers is off to New Mexico for the production of his Malibu Stacy musical, leaving Mr. Burns in quick need of a new henchman. Promoted to Executive Assistant in Charge of Hi-jinks, Homer begins playing practical jokes at Mr. Burns prompting. For every nasty trick Homer plays on an unsuspecting sucker in Springfield, Burns pays him handsomely. Things get a little rough when Burns convinces Homer to dress up as a panda and make "friends" with a real panda at the Springfield Zoo. Realizing his dignity is worth more than money, Homer decides to quit the hi-jinks business.
After Homer realizes he's missed out on the computer revolution, he buys the nicest model a fifth mortgage can buy. However, when his web site fails to attract any attention, Homer begins calling himself Mr. X and becomes Springfield's number one source for dubious news and questionable scandals. His first scoop reveals Mayor Quimby's secret pool and his second brings down Apu's phony donut cartel. After winning the Pulitzer Prize for his journalistic dynamite, however, Mr. X's popularity wanes. In a desperate attempt to rekindle interest, Homer starts really making up the news. But when he accidentally stumbles upon a dangerous secret, he finds himself kept prisoner on a strange island occupied by other prisoners. Homer's best attempts to get back home only land the entire family on the island.
Bart becomes obsessed with magic after the family attends dinner at a magic theme restaurant. On the way home from the restaurant, a sturgeon falls from the sky onto the hood of the car, crushing it like a can. When Homer gets the bill, he takes Bart on the road with his magic act in a desperate attempt to raise some cash. While the act proves a failure, Bart manages to score some big money after Homer abandons him. Knowing a good thing when they see it, Bart and Homer begin conning Springfield's citizens out of their money using a series of confidence scams. However, when Grandpa Simpson joins them on the biggest heist of their short career, they run into trouble.
The Simpson family attends Cirque du Puree, a snooty French circus. During the show, a massive snow storm strikes Springfield, blanketing the entire town under piles of snow. The next morning, Bart and Lisa are horrified to learn that Springfield Elementary is still in session. After a treacherous bus ride to school and a day spent watching "The Christmas That Almost Wasn't But Then Was," the students and a cheery Principal Skinner find that they have been snowed in. Under Skinner's martial law, the students are forced to suffer through a night at school. Despite Homer and Flanders' best efforts to save the kids from their slow torture, Bart and the rest manage to make their unbearable situation a little more livable by capturing Skinner and taking over the school. As de facto leader, Bart runs the school with an iron fist until Homer and Flanders, with a little help from sodium chloride, save the day.
Homer takes Bart and Lisa to the "Sick, Twisted, and Totally F***ed Up Animation Festival" where they sample some of the most cutting edge cartoons from around the world. During a workshop, Homer becomes fascinated by an electronic device that renders cartoons from human movements called the Animotion machine. Later, he invests the family's life savings in the company and loses all their money. To make back some cash, Homer becomes a human guinea pig. During one experiment, the scientists find a crayon lodged in his brain-the cause of Homer's slow wit. After the crayon is removed, Homer becomes smarter. Soon, he discovers that being intelligent doesn't make people like you any more. He decides to return the crayon to his brain and become his old self again. Lisa is disappointed to lose the new, smarter Homer, however she knows that he's wise enough to continue loving her.
The family attends a prison rodeo and Marge sees artistic potential in one of the inmates after she sees some of his work hanging in the prison infirmary. She volunteers to teach art at the prison and then vouches for her artistic inmate at his parole hearing. Now back in the real world, the inmate needs a job and Marge gets him one at the school, painting a picture depicting school spirit. His take on school spirit and Principal Skinners are at odds. Meanwhile Homer, whose back was injured at the rodeo, seeks the help of chiropractor. He soon discovers that his old trashcan is just as effective as the chiropractor, so he dubs it "Dr. Homer's Miracle Spinal Cylinder" and goes into business for himself. Until the chiropractors take their revenge.
When Bart wins a $50 bet with Homer, he and Milhouse go on a spending spree through Springfield. After blowing most of their wad at the Kwik-e-Mart, they hit the Android's Dungeon for some comic book action. But when they screw up Comic Book Guy's biggest deal ever, they are banned from the store for life. Special FX guru Tom Savini is making an appearance at the store that night and Bart and Milhouse are forced to watch the amazing gore with their noses pressed against the glass of the store window. During the show, Comic Book Guy has a heart attack and must be hospitalized. While he's away, Bart and Milhouse take over the store. They discover Comic Book Guy's bootleg video library and open it to the public for profit. Comic Book Guy and Agnes Skinner find love together, but their relationship is threatened after the police raid the Android's Dungeon. Guest Star: Tom Savini as himself
When Homer installs a tennis court, he and Marge become quite popular in the Springfield social scene. Marge soon learns, however, that the town mocks them for always losing on their own court. She dumps Homer in favor of Bart for an upcoming doubles tournament and wins. Hurt, yet set on revenge, Homer enlists Lisa's help to play against their family members in Krusty's celebrity event. At the tournament, Homer befriends tennis ace Venus Williams, changes her last name to Simpson and bumps Lisa courtside. Marge protests and gets Bart replaced by Serena Williams. It's not long before Marge and Homer are bumped by Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, relegating the entire family to the bench. Guest Stars: Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras as themselves
Krusty the Clown decides to retire after his show is eclipsed by the popular game show "Me Wantee." During a farewell interview with Kent Brockman, the funnyman reveals that he accidentally erased the tapes of his first ten years on the air. When news of his erasure from the Krusty canon reaches Sideshow Bob in prison, Bob vows to get revenge. Upon his release from prison, he comes up with the ultimate revenge plot: hypnotize Bart Simpson and program him to kill Krusty during his farewell show. The night of the show, all of Springfield turns up to honor the retiring clown, including Bart, who has been strapped with explosives. Bob programmed Bart to blow Krusty up when he hears a special trigger phrase. However, at the last minute, Bob has second thoughts and attempts to interrupt his violent plan. Special Guest: Kelsey Grammar as Sideshow Bob
After cheating in the Springfield Marathon, Bart becomes the target of an angry mob. He is rescued by L.T. Smash, a boy band creator that wants Bart to be the rebel persona in his newest group. Bart, ready for stardom, joins Milhouse, Ralph and Nelson to form "The Party Posse". After getting some tips from the band 'N Sync, their first single and video debuts. Lisa soon discovers that the song contains hidden recruitment messages for the U.S. Navy. Things become chaotic when the Navy pulls the plug on "Project Boy Band", sending L.T. on a mission of vengeance. The Party Posse must team up with 'N Sync to help capture L.T. and restore order to Springfield.Guest Star: 'N Sync as themselves
Homer becomes a Good Samaritan after seeing the benefit of helping people. When he attempts to get Lenny a refund on his Springfield Isotopes season tickets, Homer discovers that the baseball team's new owner, Duff Beer, plans to move the team to Albuquerque. Homer tries to rally the town in protest, however, no one believes his allegation. To expose Duff's plan, he stages a hunger strike by chaining himself to a light pole near the stadium. Days later, the Duff Corporation deems Homer their ballpark attraction. They unchain him and tempt his cravings with an Isotope Dog Supreme. Before eating it, Homer realizes that the Southwestern ingredients on the hot dog prove that the team is moving to Albuquerque.Guest Star: Stacy Keach as Duff the 8th
Lisa tries to befriend a new student, only to become the target of the girl's violent outbursts. When the bully, Francine, beheads Malibu Stacey, Lisa vows to get to the root of the problem. After scientific research on typical bully targets (i.e. nerds), Lisa discovers that it's the nerd scent that sets off Francine and the other school bullies. Lisa invents an antidote and is hailed a heroine by geeks everywhere. Meanwhile, Homer becomes driven to protect the babies of Springfield with his cheap and easy safety devices - which drives the "injured baby" industry out of business. Guest Star: Kathy Griffin as Francine
Tired of constant mistreatment, the bag boys of Springfield go on strike, creating a grocery shortage. In Homer's frantic search for food, he unearths a thirty-year-old box of animal crackers in the attic. He bites into a giraffe but is surprised to find that it's made of solid gold - which means he's just won an African safari for the entire family. Once in Africa, the family is awed by the majestic scenery, wildlife and colorful local customs. However, during a dance ceremony, the family is chased by an enraged hippo and must flee via a raging river. Lost and weary, the Simpsons are saved by friendly chimps. They return the favor by fighting off poachers and freeing the chimps from the control of an evil scientist.
Three, intertwining tales offer different perspectives on a day in the life of the Simpsons. First, Homer's attempt to steal a freshly baked brownie results in Marge accidentally cutting off his thumb. They must race to the hospital to have it reattached. In the meantime, Lisa can't find her bike and is left without a ride to school on the day of the big science fair. Her invention, a robot that corrects grammar, can't win first prize unless she enters on time. In her numerous attempts to get to school, she eventually crosses paths with the rest of the family. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse uncover a stash of fireworks. When Chief Wiggum catches up to them, he enlists their help in an undercover sting operation, with explosive results. As the mayhem of the day unfolds, it becomes clear how the actions of each family member directly affects the rest of the household.
When Ned is reunited with an old crush named Rachael, he starts to believe that he is finally ready to date again. But after he tries to mold Rachael into Maude's image, he realizes he needs to break his obsession with his departed wife. Ned asks the Simpsons to go through Maude's things. Homer is quick to put everything in the wood chipper, but Maude's sketchbook survives - revealing her dream of creating a Christian amusement park. As a final tribute, and with help from the Simpsons, Ned creates "Praise Land." The squeaky clean park is a bomb, until a miracle occurs in front of the huge Maude statue. Paid visits to "Miracle Maude" raise tons of cash for the orphanage, but Ned soon discovers that a gas leak is responsible for everyone's so-called visions. Even though the park is shut down, the experience helps Ned put the past behind him - and ask Rachael out on another date.Guest Star: Shawn Colvin.
The Simpsons take advantage of one-time-only free classes at the YMCA. While Marge learns self-defense, Homer plays in the "Over 35 Basketball League" and promptly blows out his knee. During surgery, Homer falls off the gurney and injures his back, leaving him unable to work. Bored and lonely, Homer opens a home daycare center to keep himself occupied. To everyone's surprise, "Uncle Homer's Daycare" is a huge success and earns him a nomination at the "Good Guy Awards". Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa become jealous of Homer's attention towards other kids. They decide to edit the award show with some of their home videos. When Homer is presented with his trophy, the sabotaged footage is revealed and exposes him as a "beer-drinking meanie".
Homer refuses to pay an airport tax for their flight, they hop an illegal train ride and share a railroad car with a singing hobo. The hobo enchants them with tall tales taken from American folklore. He weaves stories about Paul Bunyan (Homer) saving the earth from a meteor, Connie Appleseed (Lisa) turning settlers onto the health benefits of apples, and the lesser-known adventures of Tom Sawyer (Bart) and Huck Finn.