Spoilers below for The Simpsons' season finale.
The Simpsons may have been around longer than every other primetime scripted TV show out there, but that doesn't mean it can't come up with new ways to make fans happy. Even if those ways sometimes play off of references to TV shows that haven't been on the air in 13 years. (Nobody said "new" meant "the most timely.") For the surprisingly supernatural and macabre "Flanders' Ladder," The Simpsons paid tribute to Six Feet Under's iconic finale montage by revealing the uneventful deaths for many of its main characters. Check it out below!
Back in 2005, HBO didn't yet have The Sopranos' controversial final moments to confuse viewers with, and there was just Six Feet Under's heart-stompingly lovely and depressing death montage, in which almost the entire Fisher family and then some were seen taking their final breaths in a multitude of different situations, with the show's signature white-out screens depicting their year-to-year lifespans. While nothing will ever top Six Feet Under's capper in terms of time-leaping impact, The Simpsons did manage to capture the same melancholy vibes, though that's largely due to the animated series wisely also used Sia's "Breathe Me" to complete the parody, as that track seemed tailor-made for Alan Ball's HBO drama.
For those who weren't able to watch all or any of the video above, here's a quick recap for how everyone is meant to bow out of Springfield and beyond in the coming years. A heartbroken Smithers killed himself by diving into one of the nuclear plant's smokestacks. Homer is rather scandalously shot to death by the police as he's exiting a bank holding a big bag, only for Chief Wiggum to reveal it was obviously a sandwich in the bag...which he then took a bite of, despite it presumably being evidence, and then choked to death on said bite. Marge, who got remarried to FLANDERS, died peacefully while having a cup of tea, and it's clear that Flanders is a leading cause in Springfield female deaths. The late Ralph Wiggum, meanwhile, ascended to royalty somewhere and earned himself a Game of Thrones-style poisoning.
Principal Skinner had a heart attack after seeing Bart's insulting fireworks display, and his runaway wheelchair rolled right over an aged Bart, killing him. (Which seems fitting enough.) Lisa, meanwhile, died after realizing life is a waste, which seems ill-fitting. And in a lovely final bit that pulled the cosmos together to form Maggie's pacifier-sucking visage, it was revealed that the youngest Simpsons offspring never died. Maggie is life, people.
This is a case where I'm hoping that The Simpsons' knack for future-set predictions doesn't come true, even though I'm fully aware that none of these characters are actually real, and that the show's creative team likely won't produce episodes in the future that actually depict all of these scenes with more context. Perhaps I really just don't want to see Marge happy with Flanders, because Flanders!
The Simpsons is now finished with Season 29, which means work has already begun on Season 30, which will hit Fox later this year. While waiting, check out which Six Feet Under actors told us they'd be interested in returning to that world somehow, and then hop to our summer premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.
Head to the next page to watch the Six Feet Under finale montage in its entirety.