Why The Simpsons' Season 1 Finale Used To Scare Little Kids

Generally speaking, "The Simpsons" and "scary" mix together as well as oil and water. At least, that's the case for any episode other than the "Treehouse of Horror" specials. The show gets much more bang for its buck by trying to make you laugh than trying to make you scream. On the rare occasion that it is looking to invoke some horror, it probably has a gag or two waiting on the sidelines.

That said, over the years "The Simpsons" has still created plenty of situations where fear is the only natural response that its characters and audience should have. One such situation actually occurred quite early on in "The Simpsons" during the show's very first season. The Season 1 finale, "Some Enchanted Evening" used to scare little kids, and for good reason. It is basically an episode about the worst thing that can happen to a child when their parents go out for the night.

Some Enchanted Evening gives kids a new reason to hate babysitters

"Some Enchanted Evening" begins like any other episode of "The Simpsons" might, with Homer (voiced by Dan Castellaneta) ticking off his wife. After being ignored and neglected by her family one morning, Marge (Julie Kavner) finds herself phoning a radio show, where the ever-helpful therapist Dr. Marvin Monroe advises Marge to ditch Homer. Hearing this on the radio, Homer determines to make it up to Marge by taking her out for a romantic evening. However, things go awry when the babysitter he calls to watch Bart (Nancy Cartwright), Lisa (Yeardley Smith), and Maggie turns out to be a serial burglar named Lucille Botzkowski (Penny Marshall), who promptly ties up all three kids so that she can rob the house. On Reddit, fans remembered the episode and were quick to point out how scary of a scenario that would be for an actual child.

"Did this episode TERRIFY anyone else when they were a kid?? It still creeps me out' wrote the original poster, u/Hyperfangxz. "Yes!" wrote u/Abisoccer1. "I remember telling myself that this couldn't happen to me because I had older sisters to babysit me... I had to comfort myself by rationalizing."

However, the babysitter situation isn't the only unsettling thing about "Some Enchanted Evening." Like many early episodes of "The Simpsons," the animation can be a little weird. This episode, in particular, tends to stand out, especially when one learns what went down behind the scenes.

Some Enchanted Evening had a chaotic production

Despite the fact that it is the season finale, "Some Enchanted Evening" was actually the very first episode of "The Simpsons" to be produced. However, an ungodly horrible workprint of the episode meant that the animators needed to redo a shocking 70% of it before it could see the light of day. Perhaps more so than the episode's babysitter villain, the original animation for "Some Enchanted Evening" strikes fear into the hearts of viewers (via YouTube).

Throughout this original episode, the animation is wildly inconsistent. Marge seemingly gains and loses weight wild abandon and continuity errors riddle the opening breakfast scene. The original episode was so bad that, according to the episode's DVD commentary, the producers almost pulled the plug on the entire series (via CBR). Luckily, the redo of "Some Enchanted Evening," as well as later episodes that were produced, came out looking much better than this failed first attempt, and the series continued — in fact, for another 32 seasons (and counting) after the first.