It’s hard to say which has made a larger impact on pop culture: The Simpsons or Alfred Hitchcock. The director is responsible for writing the playbook on suspense that nearly every horror story or thriller borrows from in some way. And The Simpsons, well, people will still be referencing Simpsons jokes 50 years from now.
Speaking of Simpsons jokes, the show has paid homage to the late director dozens of times over the years, touching on nearly all of Hitchcock’s work. From Homer recreating the intro to Alfred Hitchcock Presents in “Treehouse of Horror III” to Principal Skinner’s very Norman Bates relationship with his mother, the show’s full of Hitchcockian nods. To mark the long-departed master of suspense’s 117th birthday and to mark the coming 28th season of The Simpsons (which debuts on FOX September 25 @8PM) here’s a guide to all those wonderful Hitchcock Simpsons gags.
“A Streetcar Named Marge” — 1992
While the title of this season four episode is obviously a take on the Tennessee Williams play, it has a great Hitchcock reference built-in. The story revolves around Marge deciding that she wants to try her hand at acting in a community theater production of the Williams’ play with Homer offering zero support. Because Homer acts like such a slob of a husband, Marge enrolls Maggie in a daycare center where her pacifier is quickly confiscated. The Birds spoof comes along when Homer and the kids arrive at the daycare center to pick Maggie up and find themselves surround by a sea of babies. The scene is topped off with the writers going the extra step to work in The Birds’ Hitchcock pet store cameo with the director walking by as Homer and the kids leave the daycare.
The most recent Hitchcock reference from The Simpsons came with Guillermo del Toro’s fantastic “Treehouse of Horror XXIV” couch gag. The opening sequence was packed with references to both del Toro’s own movies as well as other horror classics, with Edna Krabappel becoming an unfortunate bird seed victim, courtesy of Hitchcock himself.