"Trash of the Titans" is the 22nd episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. The 200th episode of the series overall, it originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 26, 1998. The episode, which was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Jim Reardon, sees Homer Simpson run for the job of Springfield's Sanitation Commissioner. Steve Martin guest stars as Ray Patterson, the incumbent commissioner, while U2 play themselves after requesting an appearance on the show.
Inspired by a friend's experience in politics, Maxtone-Graham decided to have Homer run for Sanitation Commissioner, although one draft of the episode saw him running for mayor. The staff also wanted the episode to be about trash, and created the concept of "Love Day" as a means of generating waste. The episode's resolution was discussed extensively by the staff, with one proposed idea being that Springfield would be raised up and the excess rubbish swept underneath it. The episode also features a parody of the song "The Candy Man" and an incident involving comedian Redd Foxx.
"Trash of the Titans" won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less), something the staff believe was due to the environmental message at the end. Over 10 years after the original broadcast, an airing of the episode in the United Kingdom courted controversy when it was aired on Channel 4 in April 2008 before the 9pm watershed, with the word "wanker" left unedited.
|"Trash of the Titans"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 9|
|Directed by||Jim Reardon|
|Written by||Ian Maxtone-Graham|
|Original air date||April 26, 1998|
|Couch gag||The family appear in Edna Krabappel's classroom, where Bart is writing on the blackboard: "I will not mess with the opening credits".|
A local department store announces the formation of a new August holiday called Love Day intended to boost sales. The Simpsons celebrate it, but the vast amount of packaging it produces causes the garbage to build up. When Homer takes it out, he fails to make it to the curb in time. As the garbage men drive away without collecting his trash, Homer angrily shouts insults at them, causing a fight that leads to the family's garbage service being cut off. Garbage gradually piles up on their front lawn and despite Marge's pleas, Homer refuses to apologize to the garbage men.
Homer awakens one morning to find the pile of trash gone and believes he has beaten City Hall, only to learn that Marge wrote a letter of apology to the Springfield Sanitation Commissioner Ray Patterson, forging Homer's name. Homer sees the commissioner, demanding the letter be returned. Patterson does so and tries to be civil with Homer, but Homer insists he will fight the department and decides to run for Commissioner.
Homer's campaign starts badly with him being beaten up after interrupting U2's PopMart Tour concert, but picks up when he thinks of a slogan: "Can't someone else do it?" Homer spreads his message to the town and promises expensive services such as round-the-clock garbage service and sanitation workers doing all possible cleaning, leading to his landslide victory in the election. After being sworn in, he shows his plans by singing a parody of "The Candy Man" entitled "The Garbage Man."
However, fulfilling these promises proves costly and Mayor Quimby denounces Homer for spending the department's yearly budget in only a month. Homer gets cities all over the United States to pay him to store their excess garbage in an abandoned mine shaft on the outskirts of Springfield. Despite the budget crisis having ended and the workers receiving their salaries as promised, the garbage builds up underground and eventually erupts, pouring trash all over the town. At a town hall meeting, Homer is fired from his post and replaced with Ray Patterson, who declines reinstatement. With no other options left, Quimby moves the entire town five miles down the road.
The production team wanted the episode to be about trash, and show runner Mike Scully pitched the idea that Homer should run for office. Writer Ian Maxtone-Graham had a friend who had made their way in Chicago politics, through the Sanitation Commission, and so he decided that Homer should run for Sanitation Commissioner. They then spent a lot of time trying to get to the point that Homer would have an "over-filled trash can," and through its extensive use of packaging, the concept of Love Day was formed. Originally the episode saw Homer running for mayor, but this idea was abandoned. The ending was talked about for a while, with the original idea being that the whole town would be raised up and the rubbish be swept underneath. The ending was not intended to carry an environmental message, but it played well and is what the staff believe won the episode an Emmy.
U2 contacted the show about doing a guest spot, rather than the other way around. The writers immediately wrote them one, in case they changed their minds. They recorded their lines for the episode in October 1997. The band's head of Principal Management Paul McGuinness and Susie Smith, an employee of Principal Management, also make brief appearances in the episode. U2's drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. appears in the episode, although he has no dialogue. Steve Martin guest stars as Ray Patterson.
The episode marked the first appearance of Costington's department store, whose slogan is "Over a Century Without a Slogan." It took "a lot of wasted man-hours" to come up with both the name and slogan.
The scene where Ray Patterson is reinstated (to which he enters and exits to the Sanford and Son theme song) was a reference to a moment that occurred during a stand up show of comedian Redd Foxx (who starred on Sanford and Son). During a show in Vegas, Redd Foxx came on stage to the Sanford and Son theme song, only to find that there were very few people in the audience. Foxx angrily stated that he refused to do a show with such a small audience and walked off the stage. The house orchestra, puzzled by Foxx's leaving, simply played him off with the Sanford and Son theme song again. The same incident was the basis for a joke in "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons," where Moe Szyslak walks onto the stage and, without breaking stride, walks off.
In its original broadcast, "Trash of the Titans" finished 16th in ratings for the week of April 20–26, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 10.5, equivalent to approximately 10.2 million viewing households. It was the highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, beating King of the Hill.
This episode won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) in 1998. Jim Reardon won the Annie Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television Production". The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, said: "Although not a great episode, this one has a series of high points that keep you amused until the end." In a 2006 article in USA Today, "Trash of the Titans" was highlighted among the six best episodes of The Simpsons season nine, along with "The Joy of Sect," "The Last Temptation of Krust," "The Cartridge Family," "Dumbbell Indemnity," and "Das Bus."
During Toronto City Council deliberations over the proposal to turn the abandoned Adams Mine in Northern Ontario into a massive dump site for Toronto's garbage, then-councillors Jack Layton and Olivia Chow surprised their council colleagues by playing "Trash of the Titans." "It was absolutely stunning," Layton later told The Globe and Mail. "It was so accurate to what was going on." Layton, who would later become leader of Canada's New Democratic Party and Leader of the Official Opposition, called The Simpsons "the single most important influence on progressive social commentary in the world."
In 2016, the episode received a new wave of commentary from observers of the US presidential election, who compared Homer's campaign to that of President Donald Trump. Stephen Sander wrote, "Homer makes crazy promises, and panders to the lowest common denominator in the citizens of Springfield, telling everyone what they want to hear in order to win. And he does win."
In 2008, the episode caused controversy in the United Kingdom, for use of the word "wanker." The word is first used by Adam Clayton, and later by Mr. Burns, at the end of the episode. While the word is not well known in the United States, where it generally means a self-indulgent person, it is considered offensive in the United Kingdom, where it is a slang term for one who engages in masturbation.
On April 15, 2008, "Trash of the Titans" was broadcast on Channel 4 at 6pm, with both mentions of the word broadcast. Ofcom, which deals with television complaints in the United Kingdom, received 31 complaints from viewers who felt that the episode should not have been shown before the 9pm watershed. Channel 4 said that the error was caused by a member of the compliance staff, who had incorrectly certified the program as suitable to be shown from 6pm. The error was not corrected by the acquisitions department. Ofcom said that while they were "concerned," it would not look into the incident any further because it was "an isolated incident."
Adams Mine is an abandoned open pit iron ore mine located in the Boston Township of the District of Timiskaming, 11 km (6.8 mi) south of Kirkland Lake in the Canadian provinceof Ontario. It is situated on the Canadian Shield.Das Bus
"Das Bus" is the fourteenth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 15, 1998. In an extended parody of Lord of the Flies, Bart, Lisa and other students from Springfield Elementary School are stranded on an island and are forced to work together. Meanwhile, Homer founds his own Internet company. It was written by David X. Cohen and directed by Pete Michels. Guest star James Earl Jones narrates the final scene of the episode.Girly Edition
"Girly Edition" is the twenty-first episode in the ninth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 19, 1998. In the episode, Lisa and Bart Simpson must co-anchor a new news program, though when Bart is seen as a more successful news anchor, Lisa becomes jealous and seeks revenge. Meanwhile, in the subplot, Homer Simpson gets a monkey helper because of his laziness.
"Girly Edition" was the first episode written by Larry Doyle and was directed by Mark Kirkland. Much of the subplot was inspired by the film Monkey Shines. Critics gave the episode positive reviews and it is also one of Yeardley Smith's favorite episodes of the series.Hallmark holiday
"Hallmark holiday" is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe a holiday that is perceived to exist primarily for commercial purposes, rather than to commemorate a traditionally or historically significant event. The name comes from Hallmark Cards, a privately owned American company, that benefits from such manufactured events through sales of greeting cards and other items. Holidays that have been referred to as "Hallmark holidays" include Grandparents Day, Sweetest Day, Boss's Day, Secretaries' Day, Teacher Appreciation Day, International Women's Day, and International Men's Day. Some people also, to a lesser extent, consider St. Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day to be such days. The Hallmark corporation maintains that it "can't take credit for creating holidays."Ian Maxtone-Graham
Ian Howes Maxtone-Graham (born July 3, 1959) is an American television writer and producer. He has formerly written for Saturday Night Live (1992–1995) and The Simpsons (1995–2012), as well as serving as a co-executive producer and consulting producer for the latter.Jim Reardon
Jim Reardon (born 1965) is an American animation director and storyboard consultant best known for his work on the animated TV series The Simpsons. He has directed over 30 episodes of the series and was credited as a supervising director for seasons 9 through 15. Reardon attended the Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts in 1982, where one of his student projects, the satirical cartoon Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown (1986), has become a cult classic through the likes of YouTube. He was hired by John Kricfalusi as a writer on Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures and later worked on Tiny Toon Adventures. He has been described by Ralph Bakshi as "one of the best cartoon writers in the business".Reardon supervised the storyboard department and co-wrote the Pixar film WALL-E with Andrew Stanton, which was released on June 27, 2008. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for WALL-E at the 81st Academy Awards.King of the Hill (The Simpsons)
"King of the Hill" is the twenty-third episode in the ninth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 3, 1998. It was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Steven Dean Moore, and guest stars Brendan Fraser and Steven Weber. The episode sees Homer trying to climb a large mountain to impress Bart after he humiliates him at a church picnic with his lack of fitness.Linda McCartney
Linda Louise McCartney, Lady McCartney (née Eastman; formerly See; September 24, 1941 – April 17, 1998) was an American musician, photographer, animal rights activist and entrepreneur. She was married to Paul McCartney of the Beatles. Linda was a professional photographer of celebrities and contemporary musicians. Her photos were also published in the book Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era in 1992.Linda married Paul in March 1969 at the register office in Marylebone, London and thereafter went to St John's Wood Church for a blessing. Her daughter, Heather Louise, from her marriage to Melville See, was adopted by her new husband. Together, the McCartneys had three other children.
After the 1970 breakup of the Beatles, Paul and Linda formed the band Paul McCartney and Wings in 1971. She continued to be part of her husband's touring band following Wings' breakup in 1981 up until The New World Tour in 1993.
Linda became an animal rights activist and wrote and published several vegetarian cookbooks. She also founded the Linda McCartney Foods company with her husband.
In 1995, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and died from the disease in 1998 at the age of 56.Lisa's First Word
"Lisa's First Word" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It was first broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on December 3, 1992. In the episode, as the Simpson family gathers around Maggie and tries to encourage her to say her first word, Marge reminisces and tells the story of Lisa's first word. Elizabeth Taylor appeared for the voicing of Maggie's first word.
The episode was directed by Mark Kirkland and written by Jeff Martin. After its initial airing on Fox, the episode was later released as part of a 1999 video collection: The Simpsons: Greatest Hits, and released again on the 2003 DVD edition of the same collection. The episode features cultural references to two chains of fast food restaurants, Wendy's and McDonald's, as well as a reference to the 1981 arcade video game Ms. Pac-Man. "Lisa's First Word" received positive reception from television critics, and acquired a Nielsen rating of 16.6.Lisa's Sax
"Lisa's Sax" is the third episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 19, 1997, to overwhelmingly positive reviews. In the series' sixth flashback episode, it is explained how Lisa got her saxophone. The episode was executive produced by Al Jean and Mike Reiss and was the first episode Jean wrote by himself as all of his previous writing credits had been shared with Reiss. It was directed by Dominic Polcino and guest starred Fyvush Finkel, who appeared as himself portraying Krusty in a film.Lisa the Vegetarian
"Lisa the Vegetarian" is the fifth episode in the seventh season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 15, 1995. In the episode, Lisa decides to stop eating meat after bonding with a lamb at a petting zoo. Her schoolmates and family members ridicule her for her beliefs, but with the help of Apu and Paul and Linda McCartney, she commits to vegetarianism.
Directed by Mark Kirkland, "Lisa the Vegetarian" is the first full-length episode David S. Cohen wrote for The Simpsons. David Mirkin, the showrunner at the time, supported the episode in part because he had just become a vegetarian himself. Former Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife Linda McCartney guest star in the episode. Paul McCartney's condition for appearing was that Lisa would remain a vegetarian for the rest of the series. The episode makes several references to McCartney's musical career, and his song "Maybe I'm Amazed" plays during the closing credits.
In its original broadcast, "Lisa the Vegetarian" was watched by 14.6 million viewers and finished 47th in the ratings for the week of October 9–15, 1995, with a 9.0 Nielsen rating. It was the fourth highest-rated show on the Fox network that week. The episode received acclaim from television critics and it has won two awards, an Environmental Media Award and a Genesis Award, for highlighting environmental and animal issues.List of The Simpsons guest stars (seasons 1–20)
In addition to the show's regular cast of voice actors, celebrity guest stars have been a staple of The Simpsons, an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company, since its first season. The Simpsons focuses on the eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The family was initially conceived by Groening for a series of animated shorts, which originally aired as a part of The Tracey Ullman Show between 1987 and 1989. The shorts were developed into a half-hour prime time series which began in December 1989. The series' 29th season began in October 2017 and 662 episodes of The Simpsons have aired. A feature film adaptation of the series called The Simpsons Movie, was released in 2007.
Guest voices have come from a wide range of professions, including actors, athletes, authors, musicians, artists, politicians and scientists. In the show's early years most guest stars voiced original characters, but as the show has continued the number of those appearing as themselves has increased.
The first credited guest star was Marcia Wallace who appeared in "Bart the Genius" in her first stint as Bart's teacher Edna Krabappel. Singer Tony Bennett was the first guest star to appear as himself, appearing briefly in the season two episode "Dancin' Homer". Several guest stars have featured as recurring characters on the show, including Phil Hartman, Joe Mantegna and Kelsey Grammer. Hartman made the most appearances, guest starring 52 times. Grammer, Mantegna, Maurice LaMarche and Frank Welker have appeared twenty times or more; Jon Lovitz and Jackie Mason have appeared over ten times, while Albert Brooks, Glenn Close, Michael Dees, Dana Gould, Terry W. Greene, Valerie Harper, Jan Hooks, Jane Kaczmarek, Stacy Keach, Kipp Lennon, J. K. Simmons, Sally Stevens, George Takei and Michael York have made over five appearances.
Two guest stars, Ricky Gervais and Seth Rogen, earned writing credits for the episodes in which they appeared. Grammer, Mason and three-time guest star Anne Hathaway all won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for guest voice roles on the show. The show was awarded the Guinness World Record for "Most Guest Stars Featured in a TV Series" in 2010. As of May 12, 2019, there have been 826 guest stars on the show[A], with this figure rising to 831 if The Simpsons Movie is included.Oscar the Grouch
Oscar the Grouch is a character on the television program Sesame Street. He has a green body, no visible nose, and lives in a trash can. His favorite thing is trash, as evidenced by the song "I Love Trash", with a running theme being his collection of seemingly useless items. Although the term "Grouch" aptly describes Oscar's misanthropic interaction with the other characters, it also refers to his species. The character is performed by Caroll Spinney, and has been performed by him since the show's first episode. Since 2015, Eric Jacobson has been the understudy for the character.Politics in The Simpsons
Politics is a common theme in the animated television series The Simpsons, and this phenomenon has had some crossover with real American politics. U.S. conservatives voiced opposition to the show early in its run, when it was still controversial for its crude humor and irreverent take on family values. Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush said that the U.S. needed to be closer to The Waltons than to The Simpsons. The show's admitted slant towards liberalism has been joked about in episodes such as "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular", in which a reference is made to "hundreds of radical right-wing messages inserted into every show by creator Matt Groening". More recently, however, conservative bloggers and commentators have enthusiastically promoted cultural memes from the series, such as Groundskeeper Willie's derisive term for the French, "cheese-eating surrender monkeys".Political topics addressed on The Simpsons include homophobia and gay marriage (in the episodes "Homer's Phobia" and "There's Something About Marrying"), immigration and border control (“Much Apu About Nothing,” “Midnight Rx”, “Coming to Homerica”), drug and alcohol abuse ("Brother's Little Helper", "Weekend at Burnsie's", "Smoke on the Daughter", "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment", "Duffless", "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", and "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses"), gun rights ("The Cartridge Family"), environmental issues ("The Old Man and the Lisa", "Trash of the Titans", "Lisa the Tree Hugger", "The Wife Aquatic", "The Squirt and the Whale", in addition to being an important plot device in the feature-length film), election campaigns ("Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish", "Sideshow Bob Roberts", "Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington", "See Homer Run", "E Pluribus Wiggum", "Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson"), and corruption ("Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington").Ray Patterson (animator)
Raymond "Ray" Patterson (November 23, 1911 – December 30, 2001) was an American animator, producer, and director. Patterson was born in Hollywood, California, and was the younger brother of animator Don Patterson.Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song
"Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song" is the 19th episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. The 100th episode of the series overall, it originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 28, 1994. In the episode, Superintendent Chalmers fires Principal Seymour Skinner after a disaster at the school. Bart Simpson, feeling partially responsible for Skinner's firing, tries to help his old principal get his job back.
The episode was written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, and directed by Bob Anderson. It was selected for release in a 1999 video collection of selected episodes called The Simpsons: Greatest Hits. The episode features cultural references to films such as Alien and Full Metal Jacket and the television series "The Wonder Years". The title is a parody of the film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. Since airing, the episode has received a positive critical reception from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 12.7, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.The Simpsons (season 9)
The Simpsons' ninth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997, with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". With Mike Scully as showrunner for the ninth production season, the aired season contained three episodes which were hold-over episodes from season eight, which Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ran. It also contained two episodes which were run by David Mirkin, and another two hold-over episodes which were run by Al Jean and Mike Reiss.Season nine won three Emmy Awards: "Trash of the Titans" for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) in 1998, Hank Azaria won "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" for the voice of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Alf Clausen and Ken Keeler won the "Outstanding Music and Lyrics" award. Clausen was also nominated for "Outstanding Music Direction" and "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" for "Treehouse of Horror VIII". Season nine was also nominated for a "Best Network Television Series" award by the Saturn Awards and "Best Sound Editing" for a Golden Reel Award.The Simpsons 9th Season DVD was released on December 19, 2006 in Region 1, January 29, 2007 in Region 2 and March 21, 2007 in Region 4. The DVD was released in two different forms: a Lisa-shaped head, to match the Maggie, Homer and Marge shaped heads from the three previous DVD sets, and also a standard rectangular shaped box. Like the previous DVD sets, both versions are available for sale separately.The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons
"The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 16, 1997. It was written by Richard Appel and directed by Steven Dean Moore. The episode sees Apu Nahasapeemapetilon marry Manjula, and incorporates several aspects of Hindu wedding ceremonies, which the writers researched during the episode's production. Appel pitched the episode several years before season nine but the idea was not used until Mike Scully became showrunner. The episode's subplot, which sees Homer stay at the Springfield Retirement Castle, was initially conceived as a separate episode, but could not be developed in enough detail. The episode received mixed reviews.Wanker
Wanker, literally "one who wanks (masturbates)", is a general insult. It is a pejorative term of English origin common in Britain and other parts of the English-speaking world (mainly Commonwealth nations), including Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It initially referred to an "onanist" and is synonymous with the word tosser.