In recent years, The Simpsons has started casually referencing older episodes. I’m thinking back to Season 25’s “The Kid Is All Right,” when one of the show’s most-beloved one-time characters, Mr. Bergstrom, appeared in a non-speaking cameo, all for the sake of an otherwise unmemorable “someone who loves you” joke at Lisa’s expense. During last night’s Springfield-centered episode, “Walking Big & Tall,” the same sort of thing happened with another adored Golden Era episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” a.k.a. the one where Bart meets “Michael Jackson.”
Here’s a conversation Bart and Lisa had, with a tag provided by Homer.
It’s not a bad joke — Homer walking through the scene saves it from being just a reference — but it also sort of undercuts the majesty of the original episode, and in particular the scene where Bart and Not-MJ, But Actually MJ sing “Happy Birthday, Lisa.” That being said, it’s impressive 10-year-old Bart can think back on something that happened 24 years ago.
Via Sand and Glass