The Simpsons

Season 19 Episode 11

That '90s Show

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 27, 2008 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (45)

out of 10
314 votes
  • That 90s Show

    I loved the style so much, the funny thing that the show already spend a big deal in the 90s itself, Still good parody :)
  • It's a freezing cold night in Springfield and Homer did not pay the heating bill. To keep warm the family starts builds a fire using old keepsakes in lieu of wood. While getting fuel for the fire, Lisa finds Marge's college degree. A flashback begins.


    As another reviewer pointed out The Simpsons has had a pretty good track record in regards to its many flashback episodes. This particular episode is not terrible but its not as good as the ones we have seen before it. There are some very funny jokes and scenes here (My favorite scene being the one where Homer blows up the Oxygen Bar), but it does have it's flaws. One big flaw is the professor Marge develops a crush on. I didn't find him funny at all and his look at history is something I didn't care for. A mediocre episode.

  • It's not that it was bad for continuity

    It's just the episode was bad for a plot. I don't care for continuity at all, but this episode just plain wasn't funny. It had some decent parts, sure, but even with some decent parts it doesn't get above a C+ from me.

    Those that care about continuity often times find this the single worst in the show's history. I wouldn't go that far at all. Certainly one of the worst in the season.

    So, it has some mildly funny parts, like the Futurama reference, why "Lord of the Rings can never be filmed", stuff like that, but those are just references.

  • This episode is the worst flashback episode and one of the worst in the series.

    This episode is my least favorite episode of the Simpsons. I had seen some clips of it and I knew it would involve Marge and Homer's relationship in the '90's. I thought it would still be a good episode even though it broke the continuity, but I ended up hating it. The plot was not entertaining at all. It was boring and mundane. The jokes didn't make me laugh once, and there were things that irritated me to no end, like Bart saying that he never heard of the '90's and the way Marge treated Homer. I got to the point where I wanted to turn the television off. Overall,this episode was heavily disappointing.
  • Longtime Simpsons fans...

    Should love this episode.

    There are two essential reasons why.

    1.) Longtime fans of the Simpsons probably lived through the 1990s. I did, and I've been watching since the first episode. I can relate to the jokes, although they might be dated/stale/recycled, so are jokes about the 1970s, the 1980s, and some day, the 2000s. I can remember thinking "what an awful President Bill Clinton is" because of all his stupid lying, and I now look back and know it could have been MUCH worse. And grunge music deserves a beating, no matter how much it's already gotten. They also put the Simpsons twist on those 90s fads and stereotypes (Homer's OD; the origin of 'grunge').

    2.) AS FOR those "fans" who complain about the writers' "raping" the show's history, keep in mind that if Homer and Marge met in HIGH SCHOOL in the 1970s, then they would now be in their 50s (like my parents), and the EARLY show writers and CREATORS (reference the DVD commentary in "Bart Gets an F") consciously decided to keep the characters from aging. How do you reconcile your maniacal devotion to the Simpsons 'canon' without acknowledging the fact that Bart is not now, like me, in his 30s? Furthermore, take note that there was a gap in the earliest flashbacks ("The Way We Was," season 2, and "I Married Marge," season 3) between Homer & Marge meeting and their marriage, which the writers are cleverly exploiting with an update here.

    Case in point: "I Married Marge," during which Marge is pregnant with Bart, most likely takes place during summer 1980 (hence Homer's "I Shot JR" shirt), while "Lisa's First Word" takes place during 1984, despite Bart being two years old. Were the writers of "Lisa's First Word" guilty of rape because they were using the already-existing sliding timeline to keep the characters the same age? Of course not.

    Grow up and get lives, people! Or, if you're going to be anal retentive about facts in a cartoon and hold up certain seasons as "holy," review them and make sure they do not contradict you! At the very least, THINK before you react to an episode of a TV show--a 20 year old cartoon where nobody has aged for 20 years!

    Good job, Simpsons writers!
  • Time-line wrecking dreck.

    In 1980, Homer and Marge fell in lvoe. They soon got married. Now, here they met in 1990-ish and wrecked everything! This was almost laughless and continuity was thrown away.

    The 2 laughs came from a Back To The Future refrence and a Past and Future Gadgets. Beyond that, nothing. Guest voices were atrocious. A nd I wish someone could have written a much btter sotry than this? How about Homer RE-inventing Grunge? Much better.

    Trash, just utter trash. This episode deserves nothing, not even a mention fro mthis season. One day, MAtt Groening and MArk Kirkland will apologize fot this one. Thankfull, the great Love Springfieldina Style, the Debarted, Dial 'N' For Nerder and Smokme On The Daughter followed (Those 4 were great!)
  • A retcon disaster which rapes the established Simpsons timeline, chains it to a radiator, leaves, comes back and rapes it again, then finally kills it.

    The classic Simpson's episode "Lisa's First Word" is largely set in 1984, where Bart is two years old and Marge eventually gives birth to Lisa. In "That 90's Show", the indolent, classless potheads currently writing the show decided they wanted to do a series of trite 90's jokes, so they changed the Simpsons' history so that Marge and Homer were in college in the 90's. Never mind that Homer and Marge were in high school in the 70's, in fact pay no mind to any past season of the Simpsons. This episode can only be enjoyed by underpriveleged charlatans who have never seen the classic Simpsons seasons (1-10). You'll also enjoy this episode a lot more if you never watched "I Love The 90's", since the writers stole all their jokes from it.
  • AWFUL!

    how in the world can the show change the history of how marge and homer met etc?! total bs! all of a sudden homer and marge are teenagers in the 1990s??? give me a break! the writers can stay on strike forever if this is the garbage they are going to come up with! long time fans of the series should be very saddened to see how little respect the new writers have for the history of this great show! it is a real shame because this season had been it's strongest in years but after this epsidoe i may start tuning out! AWFUL

    PS- I am only giving a "1" cause it won't let me pick 0
  • It was alright.

    This was just one of those episode of 'The Simpsons' that isn't really anything to talk about. The whole episode story line revolved around flashback scenes with Marge and Homer. I really find it funny how the artists make Homer look so much like a little boy in the flashback episodes of 'The Simpsons'. I do however say that there wasn't anything special about this installment because there really weren't any funny scenes in it at all and the story wasn't anything special either. It was pretty good though by todays Simpsons standards, it could've been worse, but the the one thing that saved it was the Simpsons name, also the scene with Weird Al was pretty awesome.

    I thought this episode was brilliant. It totally laid waste to all the nonsense of the 90's but had a nice nostalgic quality to it. I thought the Kurt Cobain parody was hysterical. The commentary on the grunge scene was brilliant. Basically a bunch of people who get hit with one of the many things that life throws at you, decide to whine about it and be a little bi*&# about it. That whole time period spawned a generation of self absorbed, useless, delusional ego maniacs that blame their parents and the establishment for not being the gods in reality that they are in their minds. I think they call it gen x because we should x them out of the history books. This episode completely ragged on that whole time period. The professor who just bashed on anything manly or masculine and completely went die hard extreme on feminism just to pick up chicks was hilarious. I think I knew this guy in school. They really captured the entire 90's experience in detail whether from the hopeful optimism to the dial up internet that would put the kybash on your 5 hour download of a 1 megabyte picture if you picked up the phone. The final scene which commented on the joke in the white house that waited in the next decade was also great. This is simpsons satire at it's finest. One of my top 3 episodes.
  • Marge applies herself to making a collage. Wait, that's not right...

    The flashback episodes of the Simpsons are always entertaining as more of Homer and Marge's past is revealed and the revelations in this episode are entertaining as always.

    This is a very funny episode, with Homer inventing grunge music, Marge going to college and the rift caused between the two. I don't really care about continuity in TV shows, as long as they make me laugh, and the 90s references and evolution of the characters solidifies the show more than ruins it, as the ages make more sense, and the generational gap broadens, and the parents tell a story that actually goes between two previous flashback episodes since the kids are old enough now to hear about the events, despite the fact that they're the same age they were when they heard the prom, births, sax, first kiss, and many other revelations, and even if the episode has Marge dating someone while the two were split, the sweet ending is worth it, and not overplayed where Marge realises Homie is where her heart truly is. On top of all the plot developments, the episode has a lot of great lines in it as well and the music used throughout is perfect for the episode.

    While it isn't the strongest or funniest flashback episode, it still has plenty of laughs and a solid plot and is a great contribution to the Simpsons history. This is jimbo_001 reviewing from the 00s.
  • This episode did for me, what the ratings of Jericho did to CBS, search for a solution to crappy television.

    I consider myself a huge fan of The Simpsons, I celebrate their season premieres like they are my own birthday, and yet this episode made me regret being home at 8pm on a Sunday. It pains me to say that even though I know they simply are trying to stay fresh with both their jokes and their story line, the writers are grasping at straws, and are beginning to alienate their truest fans. My personal favorite episode is "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" and to believe that in the summer of 1985 Homer started a Barbershop Quartet was a stretch, but to believe that at least 5 years later he started a "Inoffensive- Lite Hip Hop- Smooth Grooves" group with no mention of his previous experience with the B sharps is nonsense. Not to mention that during this period we were led to believe that both Lisa and Bart were born but in this episode they aren't even though of is absurd. I want the writers to realize that its not simply the die hard fans that see these flaws but also mere casual watcher. My roommate turned to me during this episode and asked "If they were dating in the ninety's then how are Bart and Lisa still 8 and 10?" I tried to say this was a joke episode but he just wouldn't have it, he stormed out of the room, and I haven't seen him since. Wait, thats a lie, but you get my point. How about in the future we keep the continuity going or I may lose my roommate to another argument of sorts and I really don't want to pay his half of the rent.
  • Best episode of season 19.

    This is by far the best episode of the season. In this episode we see Homer and Marge as they were during the 1990's. (Hey i was born in the 1990's!) The 90's were the time for grunge music which isn't all that popular today.
    It was also a great time for inventions such as the internet, the DVD player, etc. Matt Groening had also been working on famous cartoons such as... Futurama. But anyway i thought this was a very well written episode. I even think this episode deserves to win an emmy. The 90's? Never heard of it. -Bart Simpson
  • This shameful reinvention of Simpson's history along with the general crappiness of the second rate jokes easily make this the worst episode in the shows history.

    The Simpson's were turning "cutaway gags" into entire episodes long before the family guy writers began sprinkling them into every 3 lines of dialog and through it "The Simpson's have developed a well maintained and consistent mythology of sorts. In fact many episodes similar to "That 90's Show" are among the best "The Simpson's" have to offer. The earlier episodes chronicling the birth of all three of the Simpson children as well as the relationship of Homer and Marge featured for the most part original, hilarious story lines, with the occasional cultural references thrown in as icing on the cake. "That 90's Show" however has seemed to reverse this winning formula, providing a little original story line and turning Homer's life into that of Kurt Cobain. Aside from this there is the unavoidable problem of the simpson's writers destroying 19 years worth of simpson's continuity, not to mention the facts that the jokes really weren't all that funny. As evidence of this i present to you with the exchange between "Marvin" Cobain and his cousin Kurt where Marvin plays for him "that new sound he's been looking for", this joke is so old that even family guy has already used it. Then of course that brings us to the fact that this episode left simpsons fans waiting almost a month before the opportunity to see another new simpsons and when that new episode came rather than making up for this one, the simpsons writers instead go back to another formula that once provided gold in the past but is now overly used, the 3 short story format this time in a valentines day theme.
  • May be good episode.

    The episode may be ok but I like the Sonic the Hedgehog and Amy Rose cameo they added on the episode especially the Back to the Future reference of Marty playing the guitar playing Johnny Be Goode so I think its ok and for Comic Book Guy yes they made a Lord of the Rings movie well three and about to make a new one based on the Hobbit so sorry about that Comic Book guy and I like Homer's rock band and the cameo appearance of Weird Al Yankovic making a parody of Homer's song so yeah its a ok episode.
  • OMFG!!!

    i absolutly loved this episode...i thought it was the best one for a very long time! I think the only problem with it was that it messed up the timeline quite a bit (like the fact that it's saying that the simpsons is set in the 00's when its been around since '91)

    I esspically ehjoyed the inclusion of some of my fav things such as Nirvana, Weird Al, Grunge + Rock music. I also loved the idea of Lou the Cop being "one of their band" as it was a surprise (i half expected Moe...LOL)

    TOTALLY AWSOME! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
  • A brilliant episode, especially for 90's fans. But I have two words. "Wrong show".

    This recent episode of The Simpsons is very good, and it's got a very clever plot. The episode is set ten years ago, in the 1990's. All the scenery is 90's, and there are some very clever parts of the episode. This is set in the time when Homer and Marge are dating. Marge goes to University and finds another man who is actually on of her teachers. So, Homer and Marge pretty much temporarily break up. While Marge is in love with this teacher, Homer forms a rock band and becomes a heroin addict.

    Some very funny parts of the episode are all 90's related. Examples include the big advertisement with Amy holding out a ring to Sonic the Hedgehog. The ad says "Sonic says 'Say No!'". There's also the scene when Homer and Marge walk past the Comic Book Guy and a bunch of nerds and you hear The CBG say "And that's why The Lord of the Rings can never be filmed!!". Then there's a part when Homer says that there will no worse president than Bill Clinton. Many more funny parts of the episode occur too.

    There is one problem with this episode I found though. The Simpsons has been around since the 1980's. And this episode is a flashback that goes into the 90's. So what will happen during the next few decades? Will they do a flashback episode into the 2010's with Homer and Marge dating. I always wonder about this.

    Overall it's a very good episode and I look forward to watching it again.
  • love it!

    I love it!Big Simpsons fan, who has followed the show from the beginning. I cant understand why everyone hates this episode so much. You can say that it is made for a new generation simpsons watchers. they cant be the same age forever, come on! now we are on the right timeline again in my view. Finally, after all this time, something is happening. and finally they solved the timeline problem. it looks like they are preparing the show to go on for many years to go! also, the grunge story in the episode was brilliant with very good music.
  • It is by far the worst episode of the entire series. This revision of the whole Simpsons timeline essentially made so many memorable episodes impossible to occur.

    This episode was garbage. This episode altered the Simpsons timeline forever. Simpsons' fans should be disgusted as everything they knew has pretty much been changed to being irrelevant. Classic moments, like Homer fighting former President Bush Sr. and meeting former President Gerald Ford never happened. Homer's barbershop quartet seems to not exist now, with Homer never meeting George Harrison. All these great times fans enjoyed have been destroyed. Being a long-time Simpsons fan, I've watched through some bad seasons as of late. This current 19th season was quite strong for the first time in years. However, this episode is a piece of crap, making this season lose any highlights it had. That 90's Show had some chuckles (Weird Al' cameo, Homer getting abused by kids), but they couldn't cover the destuction of the Simpsons timeline.
  • Once again, a flashback episode is put out for anyone who cares to see, and again muddles and confuses the time scale: The Simpsons started in 1990 (well, in Dec. 1989) and they were way past college.

    This is one of the best (and that's saying very little) of season 19. Using a 90s flashback theme is a mildly amusing gimmick, and we never did see Marge's college days. But all it is is a standard Simpsons plot dressed up in a gimmick and a bow. Once again, Marge contemplates leaving Homer. (SHOCKER!) And the big grunge band scene is boring and anticlimactic, and the "funny" gag "Kurt Cobain, this is your cousin, you know that new sound you were looking for..." is a rip off of the Back to the Future spoof in Family Guy. There were some funny moments, and it was certainly watchable and fun. But it was unoriginal, and middling as hell.
  • This episode felt boring.

    I really was hopeing thing this episode was going to be great and I really thought it would but it was a really medeocre episode.

    This episode tells how Marge & Homers life in the 90s. I guess Bart and Lisa where not born in the 80s which I thought was on a previeus episode. This story though tells how Marge let up to meeting Homer and I felt like it ruined past episdoes of how they became to know each other but I think they meet each other and had problems through collage. I really found the music of Homer and his band to be very boring and annoying. Im hopeing for a better episode next time.

    I really enjoyed some of the music that I listened to really Symestics Closing Time becuase I really remember the music of the late 90s and I really enjoed that.
  • A great episode that parodies the 90s a must see for all die hard fans of the show.

    When Bart and Lisa discover Marge's diploma from Springfield University, Marge reveals that she had attended the university back when she and Homer had first started dating. In a flash back, Homer gives up his dreams of becoming a musician and takes a job at his father's laser tag warehouse to support Marge attending Springfield University. However, when Marge finds herself attracted to an offbeat professor named Professor August, Homer decides he has had enough of Marge's wandering eye. Homer instead focuses his emotions on his music, inventing a new sound called "grunge." As Marge continues to date the pretentious professor, Homer becomes the hottest grunge artist around, as evidenced by Weird Al's parody of his music. But when Marge sees a special news report on MTV with Kurt Loder announcing that Homer's band, Sadgasm, has broken up and that Homer is holed-up in a mansion hopelessly addicted to drugs, Marge must choose between her new life and her old love.
  • One of the best this season. This site forgot to list Bush - glycerin as one of the songs

    This episode is some of the start of the simpsons getting back to how the writters use to write. It does screw with the simpsons time line but thanks to seasons 13 - 18 its already pretty messed up. At least they did end it with the correct place for marge and homer to share the place where Bart was born.With another aperence of weird al was a great choice because kurt cobain once said he knew his band had made is big once weird al asked to redo "smells like teen sprit" Finally there was one more song not listen from this episode and that is "Bush - glycerin"
  • Better than the painful ned and homers hail mary pass, but that's not saying much.

    This wasn't great compared to the wonderful simpsons episode "eternal moonshine of the simpsons mind". To me, it totally ruined the simpsons timeline, and in a way, didn't make much sense. To be honest, most of the jokes in this episode fell flat. I remember there was one joke which i chuckled at, but that was about it. The storyline was alright, that's the positive side of things. Overall, this episode wasn't a highlight from season 19 but i guess compared to the previous seasons, this one deserves at least an 6 or 6.1. Here's wishing that the future episodes to be 10x better than this one. Cheers!
  • This episode is responsible for once again ruining the Simpsons' continuity. I sure do miss the Golden Era...

    The Simpsons once again ruins their continuity by producing an episode that explains Marge and Homer's relationship during the 1990's. There were so many things wrong with this episode that contradict the continuity of the series. Bart exclaims, "The 90's? Never heard of it!" How could Bart not know what the 90's is? He's been around since the late 1980's! Bart was one of TV's most popular icons during the show's run in the 1990's. This, along with many other things, made this episode painful to watch. There were some mildly funny moments and 90's references, but not enough to dedicate an episode to them.

    Apparently, the writers don't care that they're ruining the Simpsons legacy.
  • The Arrival of Middle Class Respectability. The Death of Social relevance.

    I think that the saddest thing about this episode is that it clearly marks the end of any social relevance the Simpsons ever had. Not that there was much left to begin with, but now we can rest assured it is gone for good.
    Part of what I felt was so poignant about the original Marge-Homer story is that it depicted the life of two working class kids who screw up, were disillusioned with their lives, but somehow managed to keep a semi-happy life for their family. Marge was the smart girl who never made it out of small town, working class life. Homer was forced into a miserable job from the get go to survive. They represented a great screw you to the pedantic establishment of the 90's that claimed to have delivered prosperity to the doors of all Americans. Marge and Homer were among those left behind.
    The humor came from the very real problems of a working class marriage that consistently failed to make ends meet, unable to cope with anger, regret, and disappointment. This gave the show both its edge and its humanity.
    Now this has been dropped for bland middle-class respectability. Marge makes it to College. She is no longer the knocked-up smart girl forced into marriage to a good guy with no future. Homer loses his whole past to serve the purpose of a dumb pop parody of Grunge.
    Now, when they eventually get married, it will be made to look as a choice, rather than a desperate attempt to cover up a life-changing mistake. Surrendering the working class roots of the show, have given up their identity, exchanging scathing social critiques and sincere humanity for the vacuous pop irony that fuels Family Guy. This I'm sure, will allow them to connect to the new breed of fans who care very little for social issues and live for random pop references.
  • homer and marge pretty much tell the story of kurt kobain with homer as kurt

    I love this episode!!!!! I like Nirvana and Bush so this episode was really fun to watch. Shave me will stick with me forever. It also had a guest apperance from wierd al and it was halarious. The best part was defenetly when homer goes to work at grandpa simpsons laser tag. In my opinion sadgasm's story was hallarious and a true reflection of all rock stars. I mean come on do you know any rock stars that have never been on the white powder or the big h. I dont think so bottom line. This episode rox my sox
  • Probably my favourite Simpsons episode,this season.

    This episode is about the Simpsons in the 90s and how life was back then for them.It also talks about how Marge went to college and how Homer begans his own grunge band.It actually surprising how well the episode was executed as at first having read a recap about the episode and wasn't expecting much.I actually feared it might be a bad episode as I listen to grunge and thought it might just have lame jokes on the style of music , but the jokes didn't revolve around grunge at all,which is surprising as usually whatever the storyline is about get's mocked.Overall I really liked this episode and think it was one that was worth the half-hour of my time.
  • homer and marge talk about life in the 1990s

    when i first saw this episode on the previews for fox amd it didn't look real promosing and i thought that i wouldn't like this episode . really . it was not a bad episode but nothing to get excited about . the plot was was not that bad and i laughed a few times especially when marge thinkshomer is overdosing on illegal drugs even though it was insulin , lol , that made me laugh a little . overall , it is not a bad episode but isn't great either . it's just ok and ok is fine with me.
  • Great episode.

    This is one of the episodes which is greatly written. The writing makes the episode. Although it isn't an episode where you have a lot of "funny jokes", yet the jokes are clever and witty. " You get the Microsoft Stock, I get the Enron stock"
    " Hi Kurt, It's Marvin, Marvin Cobain"
    " One thing is for sure, We will never have a worse president than Bill Clinton"

    These are just a few quotes which are worth watching. Not to mention this episode explained the years which were never told. I am happy this episode is so good, because the last few episodes were a bit less in my humble opinion.
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