If you ever have to make yourself cry immediately for any reason, like you’re trying to convince your boss to let you leave early for your third gran’s funeral of the month, or you’ve been captured by evildoers and are trying to appeal to their sympathetic side, or you’re auditioning for the role of Crying Stranger in a Hollywood film, there’s one sure-fire go-to.
Think, for a few seconds, of the “Do It For Her” sign from And Maggie Makes Three, the thirteenth episode of the sixth season of The Simpsons, the greatest television show of all time.
BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO. Gaaahhhhhh, so many emotions.
It’s a brilliant episode beyond that, with some awesome sight gags (such as the immediately-engulfed-in-flames wooden bridge and the flashbacks showing Homer’s hair loss) as well as a surprisingly nuanced look at the complexities of family life and how it can be simultaneously wonderful and incredibly stressful. But it turns out there was a big-ass mistake in the middle of it, all this time, staring us in the face for 23 years, and nobody ever noticed.
Current Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman (who wasn’t working on the show when this episode aired) revealed the error on Twitter:
Whoa. Animation obviously reuses backgrounds all the time, and nobody thought about how the pictures on the Simpsons’ walls would be different when they had fewer children.
But hang on, you cry. It could be Lisa in the picture, of course, and present-day Maggie could simply be wearing a handed-down nightie. Right? You look really pleased with yourself.
No – look at the pictures Homer runs past when learning Marge is pregnant with Lisa. Lisa is in one of them.
Aaaand Homer’s bald in it despite having just torn his hair out. Animation, eh? And Twitter user Ben Wheatley (not the film director, just a guy with that name) has found a moment which doubles it all down.
The real point, of course, is that none of this matters. It is a beautiful, hilarious, moving episode of the best show ever made, and the fact that it’s taken more than two decades for anyone to notice these mistakes is testament to how great it all is – throughout millions and millions of viewings (possibly even billions once you think about how much the show is repeated), nobody has ever noticed the background because the characters are so compelling.
God, The Simpsons is a good show, isn’t it? Like, think about how quickly mistakes would be spotted in something rubbish.
How does that episode end again?
BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO.
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(Pics: 20th Century Fox)