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The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family Paperback – October 4, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Nearly a decade into their run, it's clear that The Simpsons is one of the best-loved and most influential television shows to come down the pike in a long while. If the show's attitude was a little less pervasive, this encyclopedic book would be aimed solely at Simpsons addicts. But that's not entirely true--Matt Groening and Ray Richmond have created a book that is essential for anyone interested in where TV is today. That's not to suggest that the book is serious, though--it's not. The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family (that's debatable, but who cares?) is a collection of everything related to the show, from all the "couch gags" during the end of the opening credits, to the complete words to the theme song from The Itchy and Scratchy Show. There are broadcast dates, credits, and hidden jokes for every episode. You'll even find a list of things that make Homer go "Mmm..."

If you're a fan of the show, you'll be hard-pressed to find fault with Ray Richmond's collection. The only glaring one is that the stills often look a little blurry. Oh, and couldn't they have come up with a funnier title? But that's nitpicking. Simpsons fans, you know what to do.


'The wittiest and most literate show on television', Brenda Maddox, The Times 'Fact: The Simpsons is the funniest sitcom of all time. There are more gags, more characters, funnier plots, funnier sub-plots', Loaded --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1 edition (October 4, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060952520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060952525
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Groening, creator and executive producer of Fox's Emmy Award®-winning series The Simpsons, made television history by bringing animation back to primetime and creating an immortal nuclear family. The Simpsons is the longest running primetime animated series in television history and is currently the longest-running comedy on television, having aired more than 400 episodes. In July 2007, the highly anticipated feature film The Simpsons Movie opened in theaters with worldwide grosses of more than $525 million to date.

Originally brought to life in 1987 for The Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsons was Groening's amazing entry into the television animation world. Previously, he was best-known for his "Life in Hell" cartoon strip, an irreverent portrayal of love, work, school, life and relationships that currently appears in more than 250 newspapers worldwide and in a multitude of books.

Groening's other Emmy-Award®-winning creation, Futurama, launched on Fox in March 1999 and ran for five seasons. Last year Fox released the direct-to-DVD full-length original feature Futurama: Bender's Big Score. Three additional films will be released and the entire series with new episodes will air on Comedy Central this year.

In 1993, Groening formed Bongo Comics Group, where he serves as publisher of The Simpsons Library of Wisdom, Simpsons Episode Guides, Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson Comics, Radioactive Man Comics, Simpsons Comics Treasure Trove, the annual Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror, Futurama Comics, more than 36 comic compilations, as well as instant classics including Bart Simpsons Guide to Life, The Simpsons Handbook, and The Simpsons Uncensored Family Album among others!

In addition to the many awards bestowed on his creations (including Emmys, Annies, and the prestigious Peabody Award), Groening was personally honored with the Rueben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, the highest honor presented by the National Cartoonist Society. To date there are more than 14 million copies of books from HarperCollins in print throughout North America, the UK, and Australia based on The Simpsons, Futurama, and Life in Hell.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you're a die-hard fan like me and want to know every little hidden secret in each episode, then this book is for you. I wouldn't recommend it for the person that catches an episode of Simpsons whenever they can. This book is so full of trivia tid-bits that you can rest assured that many Simpson newsgroups popped up after the release of this book. Each episode has one or two pages dedicated to it and on these pages you will find, the episode's technical details, a synopsis of the episode, memorable quotes from memorable characters, chunks of "must-memorise" dialogue, film/literary/historical references, and "What You Might Have Missed" - a section of little hidden jokes. Apart from the episode guide there is a list of Homer's "Mmmms", a list of Homer's "Doh's", all the couch gags, all of Bart's blackboard writings, a list of the cast and what voices they do, a list of the signs seen in Springfield, a list of Krusty merchandise, an episode guide for the 42 Simpson shorts seen on the Tracey Ullman show, and an episode guide for The Itchy and Scratch Show. This is NOT one of those 15 page black and white books printed on recycled newspaper with illegible writing and blurry images. This is a high-quality publication from Matt Groening himself.
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Format: Paperback
"The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family" is a must have for any fan of The Simpsons. It is loaded with episode information, inside jokes, quick gags you might have missed and abundance of quotes. It is great to have handy while watching the show, but it is equally fun to just thumb through; surprisingly, the Simpson family is almost as funny in synopsis format as it is on TV.
Furthermore, this isn't just some cheap volume thrown together to make a quick buck. It is printed on high quality paper, in full color, and the stills from the episodes are beautifully rendered (not like the grainy images you frequently see in TV and movie tie-ins). Also, while it may not seem significant, each episode is described using standardized "blocks" (synopsis, Stuff You May Have Missed, etc.) so it is very east to quickly find information about a specific episode. Finally, now that each season is being released on DVD, this book becomes even more useful as it acts as a companion piece to the discs.
This book is great fun, high quality, and a must have for any Simpsons-a-holic.
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Format: Paperback
I always wanted to get this book since it came out but just never got around to it until now. Well, I got it dirt cheap but I'm still pleased to have it.
In order, every episode from 1989 to the 1998 season is covered in this book. Each show is given a plot synopsis, funniest lines in quotations, trivia notes and in-joke references along with pictures and cast details. Every page margin has a special section for one-off or returning cameo characters such as Gil or Handsome Pete. The trivia comes in sections called 'Stuff you may have missed' but most of it is easy to spot first time you watch the episodes. The real subtle humor is mostly left out and I can't imagine why this is.
Once each individual season is cover a double page spread is devoted to such whacky stuff as 'The Signs of Springfield'. Anyone who watches the show will know that there is some pretty weird stuff written over the town such as 'Costingtons-Over 200 years without a slogan' or 'Don't eat beef...eat deer'.
Matt Groening designed this book himself and he's done a cool job. It's easy to read and quickly accessible as a reference guide. There are two more books so far in this series that cover the seasons since 1998. I'll get round to buying them someday coz if they are exactly like this then they are definitely worth it.
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Format: Hardcover
The opening introduction to this book tells us that the creators of this book went to great lengths to ensure that this would NOT be a cheapy little 9 word a page guide on bad paper with lousy pictures and that just about every aspect of the episodes big or small would be shown to us and brought to our attention. They have succeeded entirely. The Simpsons: a Complete Guide to our Favorite Family covers scenes from episodes, quotes, guest stars, voices of characters, episode numbers, continuity problems (There are a few!), hard to spot stuff, stuff we might have missed, character bios, air dates, couch gags, things Bart writes on the chalkboard at the beginning of the episode, plot summaries, story similarities to movies and much more! All the pictures are clear, there is LOTS to read and I do think the paper is good. Want to know what that little note says on Krusy's door in the episode The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie show? This book tells us. Want to know just where and in what episode Homer lets out his trademark D'oh? Take a look at pages 32 and 33. Did you know that the Springfield Church once had their sign read No Shirt No Shoes No Salvation? You do now. This is wonderful and impeccably detailed source material for one of the greatest shows ever made that covers the first 8 seasons and don't worry additional guides are being made to cover subsequent seasons. Get this one though for the real meat on the show, then get the others that will be made. All in all an excellent read for the Simpson's fan and it has no reason to make us D'oh! in discouragement.
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