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The simpsons remains one of the most popular animated films ever, with over 700 episodes for the whole family.
Matt Groening’s animated TV sitcom is such a crowd-pleaser because it’s appropriate for all ages — a fun, family-friendly show that also alludes to various adult themes, concepts, and references.
Though it might fly over younger heads The simpsons makes frequent reference to drugs—especially hallucinogenic ones—in some of the show’s more wacky episodes.
Armed with the creativity that psychedelics offer, the animators of The simpsons were able to let their imaginations run wild and play with all sorts of weird concepts.
Here are my favorite episodes of The simpsons that involve trippy, psychedelic experiences that are unusually weird to watch.
10. Lisa’s Pony (Season 3 Episode 8)
Part of Homer Simpson’s character – the family man and goofball – is that he’s a little selfish. But before the creators ruined him into an absolutely horrible person in later seasons, he would always redeem himself.
Sure, Homer will never win Father of the Year, but he loves his kids and often shows it in his own way. In “Lisa’s Pony,” he does this by—you might have guessed it—buying Lisa a pony.
Longtime viewers know that Lisa has always wanted a pony. She asks for it every Christmas, and in season three her wish is granted when Homer tries to make amends for ruining her saxophone recital.
The only way he can afford such a great pet is by working two jobs without sleeping, which causes Homer to nod off at the wheel and enter the Bedfordshire countryside.
His sleepless visions include floating around the midnight sky in his car and conversing with the smiling moon.
9. Brick Like Me (Season 25 Episode 20)
Although many fans think less of the newer seasons The simpsons compared to the earlier ones, but one thing is certain: the later seasons are bolder when it comes to standing up to censorship.
In Season 20, Matt Groening dedicates (almost) an entire episode to LEGO. In a utopian Springfield, Homer awakens to find that he – and the rest of the world – is made of toy blocks.
This global LEGOLAND is the norm for Homer, and it’s actually visions of his normal-skinned self that freak him out. It’s a strange and somewhat unsettling episode, but certainly loads of fun.
If you would like The Lego Movie (2014), you will love this episode. Just try to ignore the fact that this is a big product placement ad!
8. Homer Loves Flanders (Season 5 Episode 15)
“Homer Loves Flanders” is a great but pretty normal episode of The simpsons. It follows Homer’s transition from hating his irritatingly polite, fanatical Christian neighbor Ned Flanders to loving him.
Why the switch? Mainly because Flanders showers him with gifts and football tickets. In fact, Homer loves him so much that even Flanders, who is normally immune to negative emotions, is upset.
This episode is going to be just a little bit trippy, but when it is, it will be Really trippy. The scene of Marge drinking from the spiked water supply encapsulates an entire LSD trip in just a few seconds.
“Oh, the walls are melting again!” she exclaims casually as the closets drip with paint. Even the chicken flies out of the oven and says, “Personally, I think I’m overdoing it.” That’s a well spoken chicken!
7. The Springfield Files (Season 8, Episode 10)
Psychedelics and science fiction often overlap, as hippies are notoriously fascinated by other worlds and planes of existence.
The bright green alien in The Springfield Files would easily fit into a kaleidoscopic poster. Clearly a reference to the infamous Alien TV show X-FilesThis episode welcomes Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully to investigate a mysterious sighting.
A spooky, neon-lit figure with huge round eyes floats through the forest. If it wasn’t a cartoon, it would probably be pretty scary.
It turns out it’s just Mr Burns – the nuclear power plant’s Scrooge-like owner – after his weekly longevity treatment.
6. Last Exit to Springfield (Season 4 Episode 17)
“Last Exit to Springfield” is another episode that only features trippiness for a small scene, but that moment is certainly memorable.
When Mr. Burns rescinds his workers’ dental plan, Lisa is lumped in with a hideous mouth clamp that destroys her self-esteem.
When the dentist puts Lisa to sleep for the procedure, she dreams of flying and shooting rainbows through a pink sky with eyeball plants.
Like the cover of a 1960s record, the screen fills with strange creatures, sunbeams and the Beatles floating through space in their submarine. “Look boys, it’s Lisa in heaven… but no diamonds!” they exclaim in a poorly attempted Liverpool accent.
5. Treehouse of Terror VI (Season 7 Episode 6)
The Halloween specials from The simpsons have even more leeway than their regular episodes (which are pretty crazy already).
Traditionally, Treehouse of Horror episodes consist of multiple mini-episodes, eschewing all the normal rules and storylines in favor of offbeat ghost stories where anything can happen.
In Treehouse of Horror VI, Bart and Lisa battle a Freddie Krueger-inspired version of Groundskeeper Willie as billboard characters/logos come to life. In the final short, Homer is sucked into a 3D world – a sort of void that looks like the inside of a computer chip.
Not only is Homer stuck in that borderline, “like something from that Twilight show about that zone,” but he ends up in our world.
Matt Groening breaks the show’s two-dimensional laws by transporting Homer to a live-action Los Angeles. This is a rare occurrence on the show, one that taps into our curious attraction to the uncanny.
4. The Good, the Sad, and the Drug Addicts (Season 20, Episode 17)
In previous seasons of The simpsons, Drugs were only referenced. As the show progressed, the creators became more willing to actually have the characters ingest substances other than Duff beer.
In a darker storyline, Lisa is prescribed anti-depressants that wipe her out so much that she almost cuts off her face trying to kiss a fan. Sure, she might be prone to mental illness, but is pumping an 8-year-old girl on prescription drugs really necessary?
“The Good, The Sad, and The Drugly” is a commentary on the frivolity of drug companies and their drugs that chemically alter children who are often, to some degree, out of touch with reality.
However, what’s cool is how these happy pills are portrayed. When she’s high and crazy, Lisa sees the world in smiling yellow emojis. Even the local drunk Barney throwing up in the street looks funny.
However, there is something creepy about the blank yellow faces that reflects a more sinister reality.
3rd Weekend at Burnsie (Season 13 Episode 16)
Whereas cannabis used to be just a nod The simpsons, it eventually became explicit in later seasons. The most notable example is Season 13, where Homer is prescribed medical marijuana…and he loves it.
His new, easy-going manner earns him a promotion, and The simpsons throws us into Homer’s newly fogged world with some funky visuals.
Optical illusions spiral to a classic hippie song by Strawberry Alarm Clock. Rainbows stream from Homer’s face when he cuts himself shaving. His car winks at him as he soars to work through the colorful sky.
But not everything is sunsets and rainbows.
Since weed is still illegal in most places, the animators had strict rules about what they could and couldn’t show. We never actually see Homer take a hit, and Matt Groening made sure he showed both the positives and negatives of smoking like paranoia and addiction.
2. Selma’s Choice (Season 4 Episode 13)
“I am the lizard queen!” is one of Lisa’s most famous quotes printed on all sorts of merchandise. It’s from a scene in Selma’s Choice where Marge’s sister takes Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens so she can practice taking care of kids – and she’s not doing very well.
There, Bart tells Lisa to drink the different brown liquid from one of the river trips, which sends her into a frenzy. Laced with some kind of hallucinogenic chemical, Lisa wanders the park in amazement, swims naked and claims she’s a lizard.
Her journey begins with her pupils disappearing, with visions of spooky statues singing quadruple, and Selma’s skin turning green. Indeed, her aunt’s eyes are bubbling and her arm is trying to get a bite out of her, who is screaming that there is no way out. It’s actually quite disturbing…
1. The Mysterious Voyage of Our Homer (Season 8 Episode 9)
Considered one of the best episodes of The simpsons The Mysterious Voyage of Our Homer (aka El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer) features Homer’s coyote spirit guide delivering words of wisdom as he journeys through a desert journey of self-discovery.
But it’s not drugs that transport Homer to another realm, where huge snakes coil around his body. It’s a chili pepper that does it.
Eager to impress at the cookoff, Homer eats several red hot Guatemalan madness peppers and… well… goes insane.
The journey brings him to the question of his soulmate, and when Marge shows up, Homer hallucinates that she has no face. After climbing pyramids and twisting his skin inside out, Homer wakes up on a golf course – but what he’s learned during the high stays with him.