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The Deep Cut Simpsons Reference You Likely Missed In Disenchantment

After tackling present-day suburbia with "The Simpsons" and the future with "Futurama," Matt Groening traveled back in time for "Disenchantment." Set in the fantastical medieval kingdom of Dreamland, the series pulls from a number of cultural and historical touchstones ranging from "The Lord of the Rings" to King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table to George Lucas' "American Graffiti."

Perhaps no pieces of pop culture, however, have been as influential to the look and feel of "Disenchantment" as Groening's previous shows. With the 2018 Netflix outing, Groening uses the "Futurama" time-hopping formula as a lens through which to crack wise about contemporary sensibilities. And like "Futurama," "Disenchantment" introduces a cast of not-quite-human players along the way.

Considering Groening's penchant for referential humor, it makes sense that "Disenchantment" is ripe with Easter eggs and winks to the audience. Some of the series' references to its original forebear, "The Simpsons," are more overt than others. Here's one "Simpsons" gag in "Disenchantment" that you may have missed.

The Simpsons and Disenchantment have similar feelings about rouge

In the pilot episode of "Disenchantment," Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson) is gussying up for her arranged marriage to Prince Guysbert. "Don't worry," Bean's handmaid, Bunty (Lucy Montgomery), tells the distressed bride. "We'll make your cheeks nice and rosy. Remember, whores rouge, ladies leech," she says, plucking a couple of suckers from a jar.

For savvy "Simpsons" fans, the line probably sounded familiar. Indeed, in the Season 2 episode "The Way We Was," Marge's mother, Jacqueline, dispenses similar beauty advice. In the long-running series' first flashback episode, Marge is getting ready for the prom. "If you pinch your cheeks, they'll glow," Jacqueline suggests before dropping the line Groening would later recycle, albeit in a medieval context. "Ladies pinch, whores use rouge." The beauty technique may not be as bloody as leeches, but Jaqueline commanded a similar beauty-equals-pain mindset: "Try to break some capillaries, dear."

The rouge joke marks a rare, if subtle, nod to "The Simpsons." Indeed, most of the references to Groening's resume in "Disenchantment" are in the form of "Futurama" jokes, whether it's Fry's orange hairdo in a medieval wig shop or King Zøg replacing the end of Bender's catchphrase "Bite my shiny metal ass!" with "axe" — a gag enhanced by the fact that John DiMaggio voices both characters (via IMDb).

While most fans relished in the "Simpsons" reference, others were more critical, calling such nods a crutch to appease an otherwise underwhelmed fanbase. "Groening is giving the fans some treats with all the Easter eggs," wrote u/Frankengeek in the r/TheSimpsons subreddit. u/DisasterRat coolly retorted, "To make up for the lack of humor."