The Simpsons Primer for Children

An incomprehensive guide to introducing the longest running animated sitcom to your children. Inspired by @murray the kid's list on why my husband and I should start letting him watch The Simpsons Why My Parents Should Let Me Watch the Simpsons
  1. The Tracey Ullman Show
    The Simpsons ran for three seasons as animated shorts within The Tracey Ullman Show (to date one of my top favorite comedians). This is the basis for what we know today. Watch the shorts on www.simpsoncrazy.com/Ullman-shorts
  2. The Evolution of the characters
    This site is a little outdated but it compares The Simpsons Shorts character illustrations to mostly present day. Www.nothans.com/thesimpsons/
  3. The Merchandise
    To quote Spaceballs, "Merchandise. Merchandise. Merchandise." For all of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s, the Simpsons memorabilia was epic. It's part of the history of the show. Do an online show and tell via eBay. Sotheby's has even gotten in on the action of auctioning off rare items http://mentalfloss.com/article/70101/9-rare-pieces-simpsons-memorabilia-sothebys-sam-simon-auction
  4. The Behavior: There are both benefits and detriments to your child's vocabulary once you introduce them to the Simpsons
    They may go to school and tell their teacher to "eat my shorts." But also it will increase their knowledge of the Spanish language, "Ay caramba!" Either way, you know your kid best and whether or not they'll start repeating whatever is said. This may go over your kids head but a nice read for you: The Psychology of The Simpsons http://www.amazon.com/Psychology-Simpsons-Doh-Popular-Culture/dp/1932100709/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452608388&sr=8-1
  5. The Voices: Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer and Dan Castellaneta (and more)
    Another nuance to share with your child is that three people do the voiceovers for over 65 of The Simpson characters. Hank Azaria is an incredible talent. The Simpsons cast was on Inside the Actors Studio. Various places online that you can look up to watch it… That's just a cool thing to show the kids so they realize the talent behind the voices.
  6. Start from the Beginning... Literally: I love to point out to my kids little nuances in movies or TV shows that they may be missing. I think we can all agree that the show opening of the Simpsons is full of awesome ever changing details: the chalkboard, the cash register scanner, the couch.
    Of course there is a Wikipedia link compiling just the couch gags https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Simpsons_couch_gags -- I would recommend showing them a series of show opens and pointing out little things they can be looking for as your kid begins to watch the show.
  7. Now Let's Get Started
    Watch the series from the beginning. You can start by streaming the first 25 seasons via the FXNow app.