The Simpsons: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes

The Simpsons: Season 1 (1989-1990)




Critic Consensus: The Simpsons' first season proves a quickly addictive introduction to America's animated first family with a run of entertaining episodes that set the stage for a groundbreaking series.


The Simpsons: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

FOX's landmark animated comedy began in December 1989 with the episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," in which family patriarch Homer deals with a Christmas in which he's too poor to buy presents by adopting a canine from the local dog-racing track named Santa's Little Helper. While the show was a phenomenon almost from the get-go (with the face of 10-year-old hell-raiser and initial breakout character Bart Simpson appearing on just about every form of merchandise imaginable), few could have predicted then that "The Simpsons" would become a cultural institution, running for over two decades and defining the comedic sensibilities of a generation. In the first series, the animation was noticeably cruder and some of the voice actors were still figuring out their characters (Dan Castellaneta stated that he based Homer's voice in the early going on Walter Matthau), but the show still excelled at telling small-scale stories about a lower-middle-class family trying to get by: Homer gets fired from his job at the nuclear power plant and tries to get rehired, Bart deals with a bully and Lisa befriends a jazz saxophonist who helps cure her depression. In time, "The Simpsons" would evolve into nothing less than an elaborate satire of every aspect of American life in the late-20th century, with jokes that ranged from highbrow literary references to humor so stupid it was almost zen; here at the very beginning, it was simply an idiosyncratic show that was equal parts hilarious and heartwarming.


Dan Castellaneta
as Homer Simpson/Grandpa/Krusty the Clown/Barney/Mayor Quimby
Julie Kavner
as Marge Simpson/Patty Bouvier/Selma Bouvier
Nancy Cartwright
as Bart Simpson/Nelson Muntz/Todd Flanders/Ralph Wiggum/Kearney
Yeardley Smith
as Lisa Simpson
Harry Shearer
as Mr. Burns/Lenny/Ned Flanders/Seymour Skinner/Waylon Smithers
Hank Azaria
as Moe Szyslak
Pamela Hayden
as Milhouse Van Houten/Rod Flanders
Marcia Wallace
as Edna Krabappel
Tress MacNeille
as Agnes Skinner/Jimbo Jones
Russi Taylor
as Martin Prince/Sidney Swift / Ian
Chris Latta
as Mr. Burns
Albert Brooks
as Cowboy Bob
Susan Blu
as Weasel #1
Sam McMurray
as SNPP Employee/Duff Commercial VO
Miriam Flynn
as Miss Barr
Ron Taylor
as Bleeding Gums Murphy
June Foray
as Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper Babysitting Service Receptionist /
Paul Willson
as Florist
Christian Coffinet
as Gendarme Officer
Kelsey Grammer
as Sideshow Bob Terwilliger
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News & Interviews for The Simpsons: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The Simpsons: Season 1

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (10)

The citizens of Springfield deliver fresh stories, sharp barbs, and unique lessons on family, week in and week out - on a broadcast schedule, no less.

July 5, 2018 | Full Review…

...10 times funnier than The Flintstones...

January 17, 2018 | Full Review…

An endless, imponderable, unstoppable Niagara of sight gags, jokes, one-liners, characters and stories that explore everything from the meaning of God to the anti-allure of Duff Beer.

August 20, 2014 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

A masterpiece which could pass as a work in progress.

December 26, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

There are more addictive series... (especially now that the old auto-conclusive plot formula seems so passé), but we will always have Springfield. [Full review in Spanish]

August 14, 2018 | Full Review…

This addition, a mordant animated series from cartoonist Matt Groening, is the most subversive beast in the Fox den, and, at least initially, the wittiest.

November 9, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Simpsons: Season 1


The groundbreaking animated family comedy The Simpsons delivers a hilarious first season. The animation style is a little crude and the character designs fluctuate a bit, but overall the series has an interesting look and feel to it. And, the comedy is especially sharp; using a lot of satire and parody. Additionally, the show does an impressive job at world building and at setting up a vast array of supporting characters. Also, several guest stars including Kelsey Grammer and Penny Marshall are featured. Season 1 of The Simpsons is a lot of fun and is full of laughs.


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