|A screencap from the infamous lost episode.|
Dead Bart is a lost, unreleased episode of the Simpsons said to have been written entirely by Matt Groening. Its existence is proven by Fox's strange system of counting due to the episode being ignored.
While information about the episode is scarce, it was apparently created during a 'quiet' phase of Groening's life near the beginning of Season 1. Multiple sources have stated that when confronted, anyone who was present during production gets extremely frustrated, and forbid anyone from mentioning it to Matt. The animation was stated to be "very poor" of quality, and unstable.
“At the beginning of the series, Matt had an idea that the animated style of the Simpsons' world represented life and that death turned things more realistic. This was used in this episode. The picture of Bart's corpse was barely recognisable; they took full advantage of it not having to move, and made an almost photo-realistic drawing of his dead body.”
Because no copies of the short have ever surfaced, much of this information is speculation. According to various sources, the first act of the episode was fairly normal, although the characters were written slightly differently.
“Homer seemed angrier, Marge seemed depressed, Lisa seemed anxious, Bart seemed to have genuine anger and hatred for his parents.”
Near the end of the first act, the Simpsons would board an airplane. After the plane had gone about 50 feet off the ground, Bart broke a window while fooling around and was sucked out. Act one ended with a shot of a hyper-realistic drawing of Bart's corpse.
Act two began with the rest of the family mourning at the kitchen table. As they continued crying, the audio was said to have become 'pained and more realistic', and the animation began to decay until they were unrecognisable. Some reports state that murmuring was in the background. The crying went on for the rest of act two.
In act three, Maggie and the pets were noticeably absent, while the rest of the family were skeletally thin. They visit Bart's grave in a deserted Springfield, and as they walked towards the cemetery the houses became 'more and more decrepit'. Bart's body lied in front of his tombstone, as his family began mourning. They eventually would stop, stare at Bart, and Homer would tell a joke before the episode closed. During the credits, a scene with all the Simpsons guest stars and their deaths were engraved, including ones who are still alive today.
“...there's something odd about most of the ones who haven't died yet. All of their deaths are listed as the same date."
Efforts to Recover the Lost Episode
Many fans of the show have attempted to confront Matt Groening and his staff about the project, but many simply turn him away. One fan was successful in downloading a copy of the short but has refused to release it, stating that it had destroyed their computer. Whether or not it will ever be seen is a mystery.
- The official Simpsons website. Last retrieved 26 July 2016.
- A viewer's recount of the episode Last retrieved 26 July 2016.
- A fan-made recreation of the short. Last retrieved 26 July 2016.
- A very cool rap battle between him and Squidward's Suicide. Last retrieved 26 July 2016.