The Simpsons' seventh season originally aired on the Fox network between September 17, 1995 and May 19, 1996. The show runners for the seventh production season were Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein who would executive produce 21 episodes this season. David Mirkin executive produced the remaining four, including two hold overs that were produced for the previous season. The season was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Animated Program and won an Annie Award for Best Animated Television Program. The DVD box set was released in Region 1 December 13, 2005, Region 2 January 30, 2006 and Region 4 on March 22, 2006. The set was released in two different forms: a Marge-shaped box and also a standard rectangular-shaped box in which the theme is a movie premiere.
An entire nation tunes in with rapt attention as Mr. Burns' assailant is finally revealed. At first, all signs point to Smithers, and Burns' right-hand man confesses when confronted by the police. But new evidence emerges that clears Smithers, and Homer Simpson becomes the main suspect. Based on DNA evidence and a lack of alibi, Homer is detained by police. He escapes custody, however, and rushes to the hospital, intending to get revenge on his boss for not remembering his name. At the hospital, with members of the Springfield Police Department, the Simpsons, and various townspeople standing by Burns' bed, the true shooter is revealed. Burns points into the crowd and gasps as he recalls that Maggie Simpson shot him after a tug-of-war over a lollypop. Since Maggie cannot be tried as an adult (or even a child), no charges are brought and she is free to live out her life as a cold-blooded would-be assassin. Guest Star: Tito Puente as himself.
When Springfield is chosen as the shooting location for Rainier Wolfcastle's big-screen adaptation of the popular Radioactive Man comic series, the entire town tries to take the movie's producers for every dime they've got. Children from Springfield Elementary are invited to audition for the role of Radioactive Man's sidekick, Fallout Boy. Bart tries his hardest to land the role, but the producers select Milhouse, who is initially excited about his new gig, but soon grows disenchanted with the movie-making process. After numerous production snafus and time-consuming re-shoots, Milhouse flees the set and goes into hiding. In addition to the loss of one of their stars, the financial burden of shooting in Springfield proves too much for the filmmakers, and they abandon the production altogether. Guest Star: Mickey Rooney as himself.
Bart decides to sell his soul to Milhouse for five dollars. Meanwhile, Moe transforms his dank, depressing Tavern into a family restaurant called Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag. When he stops finding Itchy & Scratchy funny and can no longer activate the automatic doors at the Kwik-E-Mart, Bart realizes that he really has lost his soul. Determined to recover it, he tracks Milhouse down at his grandmother's apartment and begs for his soul back. Milhouse tells Bart that it's too late, because he has already traded the soul for a handful of Alf Pogs. Over at the restaurant, Moe is exhausted by the constant smiling, good will and hospitality necessary to meet the demands of his new customers. Bart waits all night outside the comic book store to buy his soul back, only to learn that it has already been purchased. Depressed, Bart goes home and prays for the return of his soul. Just then, it is given back to him--by Lisa, who bought it the day before.
When Bart is sent home from school with head lice and Lisa loses her shoes, Marge and Homer are accused of being negligent parents and their kids are taken away by the bureaucratic do-gooders at the Child Protection Agency. As (bad) luck would have it, Bart, Lisa and Maggie are placed in the foster care of the Flanders family. While their kids must endure 5 PM bedtimes, Flanders-style nachos, and endless games of Biblical Bombardment, Homer and Marge must attend a special class for bad parents. Ned treats Bart, Lisa and especially Maggie with love and kindness, until he discovers that none of them have been baptized. After a fainting jag, Ned shores up the energy and the righteousness to baptize the kids himself. As Ned leads his new flock to the edge of the river for their baptisms, Homer and Marge, newly graduated from bad parent school, rush to the scene to stop him. Homer sees what is about to happen and dives into the river to prevent Ned from pouring Holy Water on Bart. When the Holy Water hits Homer, it burns his flesh and bubbles up. Bart, however, is saved from salvation and the Simpson family is reunited.
Lisa realizes that it's wrong to eat animals after a long petting session with a baby lamb at a local zoo. Swearing off meat turns out to be a controversial decision for Lisa, since everyone around her seems to support the eating of flesh. At school, Lisa must sit through a politically slanted pro-meat film and eat only hotdog buns for lunch; at home, she has to put up with Homer's plans for a meaty barbecue party. After fighting about her beliefs with her family, Lisa runs away to the Kwik-E-Mart, where she discovers a kindred spirit in Apu, who is not only a strict vegetarian, but a vegan as well. Lisa also meets two other vegetarians, Paul and Linda McCartney, who explain that while it's important to stick to her convictions about vegetarianism, she must also tolerate the beliefs of others. Knowing that Paul and Linda are right, Lisa makes up with Homer and they accept each other's different points of view. Guest Stars: Paul and Linda McCartney as themselves.
In this year's blood-chilling blockbuster boo-fest, the Simpsons celebrate Halloween with three visions of terror. First, Springfield is destroyed by a band of angry, marauding billboard icons. The Lard Lad, Professor Peanut, and the Duff Cowboy escape their billboards and crush everything in sight until guest star Paul Anka saves the day with a catchy jingle. In the second segment, Groundskeeper Willie picks off the students of Springfield Elementary one-by-one. In a flashback, we learn that Willie was accidentally murdered by the kids' parents, and plans to kill the children in their dreams for revenge. It's up to Bart, Lisa, and a quick-thinking baby Maggie to fight him in dreamland. In the third segment, Homer steps into an alternate dimension, where he becomes a 3-D rendering. He finds that he's trapped in the digital world and all the attempts to save him by Professor Frink, Chief Wiggum and Ned Flanders are useless. Once again, it falls to Bart to save the day, but he fails when the digital universe implodes, sending Homer into an even scarier world: ours. Guest Star: Paul Anka as himself.
Sick of the workaday grind at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Homer comes up with a scheme to gain enough weight to be classified as disabled, thereby earning the right to work from home. With a target weight of 300 pounds in mind, he eats everything in site, including Maggie's Play-Doh. Fat as a tick, Homer is granted his wish to work from home, but it's not all he thought it would be when he finds that he's too fat to stop an imminent disaster in the plant's reactor core. The only thing big enough to stop the explosion is Homer's enormous body, which he manages to wedge into an exploding tank. Having saved the plant and the town, he is rewarded for his efforts with a free liposuction courtesy of Mr. Burns.
Homer's long-lost mother returns to the Simpson family. After some initial pleasantries, Bart and Lisa suspect that something's fishy about their new grandmother. It turns out that Mother Simpson is a fugitive from the law and has spent the last quarter century in hiding. In a flashback, we learn that when Homer was a small child, his mother fell in with a band of radical hippies who planted an antibiotic bomb in the germ warfare development lab of Springfield State University. Guarding the lab at the time was a young campus security guard named Clancy Wiggum. The lab was run by a younger (but by no means young) man named Monty Burns. Ever since the antibiotic bomb attack, Burns and Wiggum have been on the lookout for Mother Simpson. Realizing that it wasn't such a good idea to emerge from the underground, Mother Simpson bids her son and his family good-bye and returns to her secret life. Guest Star: Glenn Close as Mother Simpson.
Lax prison security makes it possible for Sideshow Bob to escape from prison yet again. This time, however, he's less interested in killing Bart Simpson as he is in knocking out Springfield's television stations, since he's grown to detest TV so much while in prison. Bob sneaks onto the Springfield air base on the day of the big air show, commandeers an atom bomb, and threatens to blow-up the crowd if the mayor doesn't end all TV broadcasts. When the bomb fails to explode, Bob returns to an older, more familiar plan and kidnaps Bart. That plan is also foiled and Bob returns to prison, again. Guest star: R. Lee Ermey as Colonel Leslie "Hap" Hapablap.
To celebrate the momentous 138th episode of The Simpsons, Troy McClure hosts a retrospective of classic moments and never-before-seen outtakes. As a reward to the show's loyal viewers, a number of long-unanswered questions, like "What's the deal with Mr. Smithers?" are finally addressed, sort of. Also answered is the question, "Who are Matt Groening and James L. Brooks?" As the 138th episode spectacular makes clear, Groening is an America-Firster with an itchy trigger finger and Brooks is the lovable Mr. Moneybags from Monopoly.
Bart wants a new video game called "Bonestorm" more than anything in the world. When Marge won't buy it for him and Milhouse won't let him play with his copy, Bart steals one from the Try-N-Save department store. Bart is caught in the act by Detective Don Brodka, a tough-talking store security guard who calls Marge and Homer and shows them the tape of Bart in action. After the incident, Marge doesn't punish Bart, but she does ignore him a bit. Bart realizes that Marge is extremely disappointed in him and tries to make it up to her. He finally does and the family is happily reunited. Guest Star: Lawrence Tierney as Detective Don Brodka.
Homer forms the Pin Pals, a bowling team made up of Moe, Apu and Otto, but the team has to cut Otto when Mr. Burns muscles in and insists on joining. Meanwhile, Principal Skinner implements a school-wide dress code when Bart shows up to school in a MAD Magazine T-shirt. The Pin Pals take on the Holy Rollers (Ned and Maude Flanders, Reverend and Mrs. Lovejoy) and other teams until they're in the finals. Even though he's no longer on the team, Otto manages to help the Pin Pals win the tournament. Getting caught in the rain, the children of Springfield Elementary School discover that their new school uniforms are not color-fast, and are amused by the wild colors their clothes make when wet.
Former President George Herbert Walker Bush becomes the newest resident of Evergreen Terrace, moving with his wife Barbara into the large house across the street from the Simpsons. Everyone in the neighborhood is excited to have the Bushes in Springfield, but Homer and Bart get off on the wrong foot with the former Chief Executive. In a decidedly non-wimp act, Bush spanks Bart after the boy destroys his memoirs, and from that moment on it's war between Homer and Bush. A series of escalating pranks leads to a fist-fight between the two men. George decides that Springfield is not the place for him to live out his golden years and hightails it away with Barbara. In his place, former President Gerald Ford moves in and becomes fast friends with Homer.
After a chance encounter with an old high school acquaintance, Marge finds herself and her family invited to an ultra-exclusive country club. Marge worries about her social standing when some snobs at the country club notice she's been wearing the same highly-discounted Chanel dress every day. Homer and the kids adjust to club life a lot better: Homer discovers that he's a golf prodigy and Lisa is in horse heaven. On the night of the Simpson family's formal acceptance to the club, Marge's social anxiety reaches a fever pitch and she scolds her family for being less cultured and refined than the members of the club. In the midst her breakdown, however, Marge has a moment of clarity and realizes she was wrong to have such overwhelming feelings of insecurity. The Simpson family rejects club membership and celebrates their togetherness over cheeseburgers and fries at the Krusty Burger. Guest star: Tom Kite as himself.
Bart messes with Krusty the Clown's life yet again, this time getting his idol busted for tax fraud. An audit reveals that Krusty is one of the worst scofflaws in history and the IRS seizes all his assets and sells them at auction. In the throes of financial despair, Krusty crashes his plane, The I'm-On-A-Roll-A-Gay, into a mountain, killing himself. While mourning Krusty's death, Bart and Lisa start getting the sneaky suspicion that the clown actually faked his own death to avoid the taxman. After tracking down Rory B. Bellows, the man they suspect is Krusty, their suspicions are confirmed. Krusty did fake his own death, and now he will fake the death of Rory B. Bellows, whose life is ensured for millions and signed over to Krusty. With his new inheritance, Krusty can start his life over and return to showbiz. Guest star: Bob Newhart as himself.
A noble spirit possesses the people of Springfield as they prepare for the town's bicentennial celebration. Always the iconoclast, Lisa discovers some new data about Jebediah Springfield, the town's legendary founder, that she feels she must share with everyone. According to Lisa's research, the saintly Jebediah was actually Hans Sprungfeld, a murderous pirate who tried to kill George Washington. Lisa confronts Hollis Hurlbut, the President of the Springfield Historical Society, with her findings, but Hurlbut sends her packing and bans her from his museum for three months. Lisa, with Homer's help, convinces Mayor Quimby to dig up the body of Jebediah Springfield to prove that he's not the same man as Sprungfeld. Quimby agrees, but when the body is exhumed, Hollis Hurlbut quickly steals the evidence so that no one believes Lisa. Later, Lisa finds out for sure that Hurlbut hid the evidence, but she allows the people of Springfield to go on celebrating Jebediah anyway, since the great man's legacy is more important than the actual facts of his life. Guest star: Donald Sutherland as Hollis Hurlbut.
Mr. Burns' assistant, Waylon Smithers, nearly works himself into a nervous breakdown and is forced to go on a vacation. Fearing that whoever fills in for him in his absence might replace him permanently, Smithers places Homer Simpson in the job, figuring that there's no way the plant's worst employee could possibly be a threat. Homer approaches the job with enthusiasm, but finds that much of his day is taken up with being insulted by Mr. Burns. Finally, one day Homer snaps and punches Burns square in the face. To everyone's surprise, the punch actually whacks some decency and humility into Burns. When Smithers returns from his vacation, he finds that his worst fear has come true: Burns no longer needs him. Together Homer and Smithers concoct a plan to prove how valuable Smithers is to Burns, but when the plan backfires, Smithers and Homer get into a vicious fight and accidentally send their boss flying out the window. Later, while laid-up in bed with broken bones, Burns rehires Smithers as his assistant and Smithers sends the Simpson family a fruit basket to thank Homer for saving his job.
After a series of sordid tabloid scandals involving marine life, Troy McClure (whom you might remember from such films as The Muppets Go Medieval and P is for Psycho) needs some quick damage control. MacArthur Parker, Troy's agent, recommends he appear to in public as normal as possible. Enter Selma Bouvier, who is the perfect beard to cover up McClure's unsavory press. As Troy and Selma begin dating, the actor's public image rises considerably and he lands such highly coveted roles as The Human in the musical production of The Planet of the Apes. His star on the rise, Troy and Selma get married. Shortly after the nuptials, Selma begins to have second thoughts when Troy insists they have a baby for all the good publicity it will bring him. Selma ends the charade then and there and returns to her normal life. Troy, presumably, returns to the aquarium. Guest Star: Jeff Goldblum as MacArthur Parker.
The Itchy & Scratchy Show generates controversy yet again when Bart and Lisa befriend Chester J. Lampwick, a homeless man who claims to have invented the cartoon cat and mouse, only to have his idea stolen by Roger Meyers, Sr. back in 1919. With Bart and Lisa's help, Chester enlists Lionel Hutz and sues Roger Meyers, Jr. for $800 million and wins. Itchy & Scratchy Studios is shut down, and Chester gets to live the life every bum dreams about when he buys a solid gold house. With Itchy & Scratchy off the air, Lisa and Bart have to endure incredibly boring cartoons until two smart kids, Lester and Eliza (who look surprisingly like Bart and Lisa) figure out a way to save Itchy & Scratchy. Guest Stars: Kirk Douglas as Chester J. Lampwick; Susanne Somers are herself; Jack Sheldon as The Amendment.
A day spent with Aunts Patty and Selma at the DMV leads to a fake ID for Bart and a cross-country road trip for his friends. With Bart's sparkling new driver's license and $600 Martin Prince made in the stock market, Bart, Martin, Milhouse and Nelson rent a car and hit the open road. Their plan is check out the World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, but when the kids get there, they discover that the fair ended about 14 years earlier. While Bart and the boys are away, Lisa begins spending a lot of bonding time with Homer, even having sleepovers at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. After Bart's rental car is destroyed, the boys are trapped in Knoxville. Only Lisa can save the day, but she needs to enlist the help of her new best buddy, Homer, to get them back home .
In this breakneck tour through a day in the life of Springfield, we learn that a lot goes on in a little town in some state, somewhere in America. Apu takes the day off from the Kwik-E-Mart and has a kwik-e-romance. Barney finally pays Moe his bar tab only to witness Snake steal it. Principal Skinner nearly burns down his house while making lunch for Superintendent Chalmers, and Homer gets Maggie stuck in a newspaper vending machine. Lisa gets gum--and mayonnaise, and peanut butter--stuck in her hair, and Smithers almost dies from a bee sting. In a nod to Pulp Fiction, Snake and Chief Wiggum are taken hostage by Herman, the one-armed pawnshop owner, who wants to do god-knows-what. The two men are saved by Milhouse, who had to go to the bathroom really, really badly.
After Grandpa's old army buddy passes away, the biggest secret in old Abe's life is revealed. During the Second World War, he was a member of the Flying Hellfish, a platoon that included Mr. Burns and several other men. Seizing a Nazi mansion, the Hellfish stole some priceless paintings and locked them away. The agreed that only the last living Hellfish would get to call the stash his own. The only problem is, Grandpa and Mr. Burns are both still alive, and Mr. Burns would like to have the paintings now. Grandpa, with some help from Bart, escapes Burns' attempts on his life and finds the hidden paintings on his own. A violent confrontation with Burns ensues, but the paintings don't go to either aging Hellfish. Representatives from the government break up the fight and give the prized paintings to an obnoxious German guy who is the grandson of the works' original owner.
When Proposition 24, an anti-immigrant law, is put into effect, Apu risks being deported as an illegal alien. All of Apu's attempts to get fake papers and Americanize himself fail and it's up to Homer to help his loyal Kwik-E-Mart counterman pass his naturalization exam. An all-night cram session ensues, but when Apu takes his test, he proves to be too smart to be an American. Luckily, though, he passes, and is allowed to stay in Springfield. That's more than we can say for Groundskeeper Willie, who is deported, kicking and screaming, back to Scotland.
Homer gets grungy when he becomes a sideshow performer at Hullabalooza, an alternative rock festival that features Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Cypress Hill and, uh, Peter Frampton. Homer's performance consists of using his enormous gut as a target for cannonballs, which makes him a huge hit with the pierced and tattooed Hullabalooza crowd. It also gains him the respect of his kids, who finally think that their dad is cool. When a doctor tells Homer that he is causing permanent damage to his internal organs, Homer must decide between his newfound acclaim as a sideshow freak or long-term health. Luckily for all, Homer chooses the latter, and leaves the life-threatening stunt to someone else. Guest Stars: Sonic Youth as themselves; Smashing Pumpkins as themselves; Cypress Hill as themselves; Peter Frampton as himself.
When her family goes away to a beach house for the weekend, Lisa decides to transform herself into a new, cooler person. Her first step is abandoning her old, dorky clothes in favor of tricked-out threads. She also hides her egg-headed impulses by dumbing-down her vocabulary and pretending she doesn't read books anymore. Soon, Lisa befriends Erin, a cool but disaffected local kid, and her friends. Lisa's transformation is complete: she is popular. Of course, Bart is seething with jealousy and comes up with a plan to ruin his sister's popularity. Bart shows Erin and her friends Lisa's elementary school yearbook to prove what a good student and a goody-goody his sister really is. Bart's plan backfires, however, when Lisa's new friends turn out to like her anyway, even if she is a nerd. Guest Star: Christina Ricci as Erin.