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Scenes In The Simpsons We Wish Hadn't Been Deleted

Any list of the funniest TV shows of all time has to include The Simpsons. When hitting on all cylinders, the show's background gags could be the centerpiece on most shows — and even throwaway jokes can become instantly-quotable classic TV moments

Throughout the decades, Simpsons writers like Conan O'Brien made a name for themselves pouring over scripts obsessively, attempting to maximize the number of laughs they could pack into an episode. Then there's the now-legendary voice cast, so talented that many provide voices for dozens of Springfield residents, including Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Julie Kavner (Marge), Hank Azaria (Moe the Bartender) and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns). It's a winning combination that has fueled more than 700 episodes.

When a show is as good as The Simpsons, and airs as long as The Simpsons, it only makes sense that there would be a treasure trove of deleted scenes that ultimately hit the cutting room floor, but are still better than what you'd get from most broadcast comedies. With the help of the series' various home video releases, we've done a deep dive to track down the best Simpsons deleted scenes that deserved to make it to air.

"Homer's Triple Bypass" didn't have room for his hospital pizza and janked-up heart

In "Homer's Triple Bypass" (Season 4, Episode 11), the Simpson clan's paterfamilias went under the knife after a series of heart attacks. 

In one of those, his life flashed before his eyes — and we got a tour from the very beginning as Grandpa came to see him in the hospital nursery and couldn't figure out how Homer got a pizza in there. It's a classic moment, but it was designed to be even funnier as a setup to the callback planned for the end of the episode. 

In a deleted scene on the Season 4 DVD, after Homer's successful surgery, he chowed down once again on a pizza (with some great animation of the gooey mozzarella trailing out of his mouth). When Marge was supposed to ask the nurse (in Grandpa's same words) how he got that in there, the nurse responded with a shrug — just like the nurse for Homer's delivery had done.

On the episode's audio commentary, showrunner Al Jean is surprised the pizza scene is missing, describing the feeling as "like a vestigial arm." Producer David Silverman chimes in: "Doesn't he have a real creaky, bad heart, and there's wood and stuff in there?" 

Ultimately, the final product went for a less visual version of the joke. Homer's heart beat out the show's theme song, then suddenly stopped until he pounded on his chest to get it working again.

"The Front" chickened out on animal cruelty

In "The Front" (Season 4, Episode 19), Bart and Lisa came up with a script for their favorite cartoon, The Itchy and Scratchy Show, then attached their grandfather's name to give it some legitimacy. While audiences might recall producer Roger Meyers Jr. giving the kids a tour of the studio, there was one hilarious stop that didn't make the final cut. 

Meyers was meant to explain in the ultimately-deleted shot that the Itchy and Scratchy animators studied real cats and mice to be certain that their animation was authentic. After watching a man put a stick of dynamite in a cat's mouth, Lisa was supposed to ask if it was real. After Meyers assured the Simpson sister it was not, he'd close the door and BOOM! — the door got blown off the hinges. 

While it's easy to see why this might have been too disturbing for a primetime TV audience, it nevertheless shows The Simpsons' comedy craftsmanship. From the adorable animation of the confused cat to the hysterical voice work of it yowling after the explosion, to the comic timing of the explosion, this deleted scene was very funny and may have become a classic Simpsons moment. 

"The Last Temptation of Homer" cut feline mayhem and inefficient energy efficiency

Homer developed a crippling crush on the power plant's new hire Mindy (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) in the Season 5, Episode 9 classic "The Last Temptation of Homer." You might recall the moment from the episode where Homer can't stop fantasizing — even when he's in the car, causing him to accidentally drive through a fence and into a fish hatchery. 

In the episode, that's where the scene ends — but the crew animated an extra punchline, involving a seemingly endless swarm of cats racing through the now-opened fence to chow down on some seafood. The yowling on the temp track is hysterical, but it might not have been quite as funny if it had aired with the voices replaced by a more professional animal impersonator. Nevertheless, the comic timing was there, with one last little kitten intended to throw in a tiny "mew" just when you thought it was over.

To make things even more awkward between Homer and Mindy, "Temptation" had Mr. Burns sending them both to an energy conference where they were expected to share the same room. Another deleted scene from the episode would have shown a booth at the conference showcasing the "Pollution-Free Techno 3000" from  Springfield's resident kooky inventor, Professor Frink. Promising an efficient, pollution-free new energy generator, he was supposed to reveal that the energy source was ... as he puts it, "common household diamonds!"

"Homer the Vigilante" had a great running joke, but it lost an even better punchline

In "Homer the Vigilante" (Season 5, Episode 11), a cat burglar voiced by Sam Neill robbed the Simpsons' home, stealing Lisa's saxophone. Trying to make up for his daughter's broken heart, Homer attempted to get her a replacement, but instead ended up with an empty beer jug. As it turned out, Homer enjoyed dancing to the jug much more than Lisa enjoyed playing it, leading to a classic running gag.

But if one deleted scene had made the cut, it could have been a lot funnier. The intended punchline paid off in the final act, as Grandpa helped Homer and the rest of Springfield apprehend the cat burglar, returning all the stolen loot. To thank Homer, Lisa was going to play one last hoedown for him in the scene. The saxophone track was never recorded — but it would have played the same plodding melody, giving the episode one last laugh tinged with some daughterly sweetness. 

"The Boy Who Know Too Much" lost Homer's tactful handling of PTSD

In "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" (Season 5, Episode 20) Mayor Quimby's nephew Freddy went on trial for assaulting a waiter over an argument about the pronunciation of "chowder." While Bart could exonerate Freddy with his eyewitness testimony, taking the stand would mean admitting he skipped school that day in front of Principal Skinner, who was on the jury. While Bart's moral dilemma got the most focus in the episode, a B-plot had Homer relentlessly, nonsensically disagreeing with the other jurors just so he could get a free hotel room while they continued to deliberate.

When Homer ended up bunking with Principal Skinner, it lead to a deleted gag that was probably too tasteless to air — but that doesn't make it any less hilarious. 

The deleted scene would have depicted Vietnam veteran Skinner tossing, turning, and screaming in the depths of a PTSD nightmare. Then as the camera slowly pulled back, we'd see Homer happily watching the show, complete with a bag of popcorn.

A hilarious Grandpa one-liner went missing from "Bart of Darkness"

"Bart of Darkness" (Season 6, Episode 1) opened on an unbearably hot summer day in Springfield, as Bart and Lisa managed to bully Homer into buying a swimming pool. It was everything the kids ever wanted, until Bart got distracted mid-high-dive and ended up confined to his room with a broken leg. 

In a parody of the Alfred Hitchcock/Jimmy Stewart classic Rear Window (a Simpsonized Stewart even made a cameo), Bart began spying on the neighbors, becoming obsessed with evidence that seemed to point to Ned Flanders murdering his wife Maude. In one of the episode's highlights, Marge tried to talk Bart out of spreading the story around: "I wish you'd stop spreading bad rumors about people. Remember how you got Grandpa tarred and feathered?" "Sure," replied Bart, "that was twenty minutes ago," and then we saw Grandpa walking down the hall covered in feathers and tar like it was the most natural thing in the world. 

One deleted scene would have made that gag even funnier. It was mostly an inessential bit with Bart trying to "prove" Ned's guilt with his drawings, but it ended with Dan Castallanetta's sidesplitting reading of Grandpa's punchline: "Help! Heeelp! I'm stuck to the terlet."

"Fear of Flying" lost some of its best bits

"Fear of Flying" (Season 6, Episode 11) isn't one of the better-remembered Simpsons episodes, but maybe it'd get more love if it hadn't left so many of its best gags on the cutting room floor.

After another of Homer's antics, Lisa asked in the episode: "How do you take it, Mom? You're a rock!" Marge's deleted answer was so hilariously square and perfectly Marge-ish that it's hard to believe it was cut: "I have my shortcomings. Sometimes I forget to dust the bananas."

Some equally hysterical deadpan absurdity got cut from a later scene. Through a series of events we can't even begin to explain here, Homer ended up with free plane tickets, which triggered Marge's fear of flying and eventual mental breakdown. One of her funniest symptoms, however, didn't make the cut: She woke up in the middle of the night and began vacuuming, even though the vacuum was unplugged. When Homer asked why, she explained that she didn't want to wake anyone. Proving strange minds think alike, Homer said, "Good thinking!" and went back to sleep.

In another cut scene, when Marge started seeing a therapist (Anne Bancroft) she described her wedding night, where Homer showed up with a branch stuck in his mouth, grunting out, "Hi, honey! I'm back!" through a mouthful of wood. The therapist assumed her tale was a dream, but as we know, it's all too plausible if you've met Homer. The deleted punchline to the joke would have had Homer coming home with another branch in his mouth, as Castallaneta delivered a priceless "Remember the good times?"

Homer lost his unorthodox bribe from "Homer the Great"

"Homer the Great" (Season 6, Episode 12) became an instant classic parodying the Masons and other secret societies, as Homer joined the Stonecutters after wondering why so many people had things better than he did.

One deleted scene from the episode will remind fans of The Simpsons' love of overkill. When Homer stopped dead in the middle of the road, it caused a never-ending pileup of crashed cars culminating with a helicopter. That gag was supposed to be a follow-up to a deleted one that depicted the TV News traffic copter reporting on a traffic jam that we learned they had caused by crashing in the middle of the highway. We even got an explanation for all these crashes, as traffic reporter Arnie Pye ("with Arnie in the Sky!") grumbled to his pilot, "You and your stupid license plate game!"

After lots and lots of pleading, Homer eventually got into the Stonecutters and reaped the rewards. Sadly, one of them never reached the screen. 

In the deleted scene, Mr. Burns was supposed to hand Homer his paycheck and, with a wonderfully animated confidential look and finger wiggle, promised, "You'll find a little something extra in your pay envelope ... fellow Stonecutter!" When Homer opened it up, he didn't find any extra money — but he did find a walnut. What really sold the joke, however, was that Homer really did get excited about his unexceptional little present from Mr. Burns.

The TV audience never got to see Milhouse's driving skills in "Bart on the Road"

"Bart on the Road" (Season 7, Episode 20) is one of the all-time great Simpsons episodes, packed from theme song to closing credits with one classic joke after another. The gags are so dense, in fact, that the crew had to leave an additional slice of hilarity on the cutting room floor just to hit their desired run time.

You may recall from the episode that it is spring break, and Bart got himself a phony driver's license, rented a car, and took his buddies on a road trip. 

In the deleted scene, Bart was to be exhausted from driving all day, with Milhouse offering to take over behind the wheel. The clip offered a perfect example of The Simpsons' mastery of the smash cut, because as soon as Milhouse took the wheel, we would jump forward to him getting pulled over. Then, the writers aimed to play with our expectations as Milhouse asked, "How fast was I going, officer?" with the patrolman replying in a classic Boss Hogg/Sheriff Buford T. Justice Southern accent, "Ee-leven miles per hour, which is not consistent with the flow of traffic on this particular throughway."

In which we make much ado about the deleted scenes from "Much Apu About Nothing"

"Much Apu About Nothing" (Season 7, Episode 23) is another episode so jam-packed with humor that the show's creators had to cut not just one, but several of their best bits in order to meet their runtime requirements. 

You may remember the episode opening with a bear wandering through the Simpsons' neighborhood. In a deleted scene, the furry critter was supposed to get ahold of Homer's wallet. Homer was horrified, mainly because he was worried about what would happen to his business cards. As one of them fell out of the bear's mouth, a peek at the card revealed that maybe it wasn't so important, after all. It read simply: "Homer J. Simpson, local man."

In the aftermath of this little crisis, an angry mob of Springfielders demanded action from Mayor Quimby, then complained again when the high-tech Bear Patrol lead to higher taxes. In a quandary, Quimby replied: "Perhaps we could take money from another part of the budget ... But where? There's not an ounce of fat!" His aide would then suggest getting rid of the secretarial pool — as a camera pan revealed an actual swimming pool full of giggling bikini models.

Quimby finally deflected by cracking down on undocumented immigrants with Proposition 24. Another deleted scene depicted an ad from Schwarzenegger parody Rainier Wolfcastle, but despite his own immigrant heritage, he would come out in favor of the proposition. It's a shame the show had to lose this bit — if only for Harry Shearer's hilariously monotone delivery of "Paid for by my wealth."

"Lisa's Date with Density" lost some hilarious dream and driving sequences

"Lisa's Date with Density" (Season 8, Episode 7) explored an unusual pairing between Lisa and school bully Nelson Muntz. 

In the classic episode, their puppy love was obviously doomed to end before the episode's conclusion, yet took some exciting turns before it fizzled out.

One of those twists never made it to air. In it, Lisa fantasized about she and Nelson's future together as motorbike-riding outlaws. When Lisa saw a cute little house in the vision, Nelson offered to get it for her — and did, by telling the current owners to "Beat it!" Then, he pulled a baby out of his bag, explaining as only a kid could: "Our love created it somehow."

Later in the episode, Marge came to pick Lisa up in the car. Another deleted scene would have given us more matter-of-fact wackiness, with Marge telling Lisa, "Hurry, Lisa! My night blindness will be starting soon!" But the funniest part would come later via the punchline, when Marge interrupted their conversation to ask if they were still on the road. Lisa's deadpan reply? "Pretty much." 

"Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious" cut a blah song with a brilliant punchline

"Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious" (Season 8, Episode 13) was a surreal little episode that brought Mary Poppins — sorry, her non-copyright-infringing substitute, Shary Bobbins — into The Simpsons' world. 

This, of course, meant a music-heavy episode with parodies of "Feed the Birds," "A Spoonful of Sugar" and other classic Mary Poppins tunes. Unfortunately, some of them never left the studio. 

The DVD reveals one such scene, a musical number centered around Marge's sisters Patty and Selma. After Shary took Bart and Lisa for a visit to see them, it would ruin their newfound good cheer. It's not hard to see why the scene didn't make the cut — Patty and Selma's song just doesn't live up to the high standards set by the episode's other tunes. 

The scene is fueled by gags about how Patty and Selma are smoking themselves to death, which feel too mean-spirited (and more than a bit half-finished) to be funny. But it's worth tracking down the deleted clip just for the ending, which is so hilariously unexpected we're still laughing.  As everyone left the apartment coughing and hacking, Shary discovered baby Maggie had a cigarette in her mouth — and just then, Bart coughed up a whole ashtray.

Even the producers regret cutting down "This Little Wiggy"

In "This Little Wiggy" (Season 9, Episode 18), Marge felt sorry for Lisa's airheaded classmate Ralph Wiggum and attempted to get Bart to play with him. At first, Bart resisted, until he learned that as the police chief's son, Ralph had access to all kinds of troublemaking devices, including a skeleton key that could open any lock in town. 

You might recall the ensuing scene where Bart and Ralph snuck into an abandoned prison, using the key to turn on the electric chair. But of course, the kids forgot to turn it off again and when Mayor Quimby paid it a visit, they had to think fast to keep him from getting fried, with Ralph recruiting Lisa to come up with a plan.

In the rough cut, there was a planned intermediate step to the sequence. It would have shown Bart recruiting Homer to think of a plan, as we immediately cut to the three of them on the couch, with Bart deep in thought while the other two stared into space. "There's something wrong with this team we've put together," Bart would observe. 

The line's so good that even the show's creators, looking back all these years later, can't believe they cut it. On the DVD audio commentary, writer/producer George Meyer said he quotes that line all the time, observing with regret: "One of my favorite jokes ever in the show, wasn't in the show."