The Simpsons
Season 12
DVD cover featuring Comic Book Guy
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes21
Original networkFox
Original releaseNovember 1, 2000 (2000-11-01) –
May 20, 2001 (2001-05-20)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 11
Next →
Season 13
List of episodes

The twelfth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons originally aired between November 2000 and May 2001. It began on Wednesday, November 1, 2000 with "Treehouse of Horror XI". The season contains four hold-over episodes from the season 11 (BABF) production line. The showrunner for the twelfth production season was Mike Scully. The season won and was nominated for numerous awards including two Primetime Emmy Awards wins and an Annie Award. Season 12 was released on DVD in Region 1 on August 18, 2009, Region 2 on September 28, 2009, and Region 4 on September 2, 2009.[citation needed]


The season's executive producer was once again Mike Scully, in his last season as executive producer, while it was produced by Gracie Films and 20th Century Fox Television. He later returned to the series in season fourteen as a writer and executive producer for the episode "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation". Mike Scully has stated his goal during his tenure was to "not wreck the show".[1]

Don Payne, John Frink and Bob Bendetson began writing for the series, while Larry Doyle, Julie Thacker and Tom Martin left following the completion of this season. Rob LaZebnik received his first sole writing credit for the episode "Homer vs. Dignity". LaZebnik would not get a writing credit for another episode until the 20th season, where he was credited for writing "Father Knows Worst". Shaun Cashman received his sole directing credit on the series this season (for the 250th episode "A Tale of Two Springfields"), while Neil Affleck received his final directorial credit (also for "Homer vs. Dignity"). Tom Gammill and Max Pross have been promoted to produce this season. As of 2009, Gammill & Pross are still credited as such, along with David Mirkin. Mike Reiss (Al Jean's former writing partner) returned to the writing staff as a producer.

The season began with the annual Treehouse of Horror episode, beginning a practice of starting the season with the episodes, as well as airing the episodes shortly after Halloween in November, due to Fox's coverage of the World Series. This season brought back Sideshow Bob, who had not been seen since the eighth-season episode "Brother from Another Series". Ian Maxtone-Graham's episode "Tennis the Menace" became the second episode of the series to be animated using digital ink and paint, which had not been used since the season seven episode "Radioactive Man" and would not be used again (this time on a permanent basis) until the 14th season. The season would also have four episodes that would air the following season.

Voice cast & characters

Main article: List of The Simpsons characters

Main cast



Critical reception

The twelfth season has received mostly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the twelfth season of The Simpsons has an 80% approval rating based on 5 critical reviews.[2] Matt Haigh of Den of Geek said that "The bad episodes are never really terrible, it's more that they're a bit boring and will most likely have you yawning 10 minutes in. With this in mind, season 12 ends up being very much a 50/50 affair".[3] Nancy Basile gave a list of "Must See TV" episodes and "Not So Must See TV" episodes — with more of the former.[4]


Main article: List of awards and nominations received by The Simpsons

"HOMR" was nominated for various awards. Al Jean received a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) the eleventh win for the series.[5] Another Primetime Emmy Award nomination is for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series.[6] Another win for "HOMR" is an Annie Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Television Production.[7] Other Primetime Emmy Awards nominations include Hank Azaria for "Worst Episode Ever".[8] Lisa Simpson also won a Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award.[9] The show also won at the 2002 Kids' Choice Awards.[10]

Nielsen Rating

The season ranked 21st in the seasonal ratings with an average of 14.7 million viewers an episode, rising 6% from last season.[11] As of 2023, season 12's Nielsen ranking of #21 remains the highest in the show's history.


See also: List of The Simpsons episodes

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
2491"Treehouse of Horror XI"Matthew NastukRob LaZebnikNovember 1, 2000 (2000-11-01)BABF2113.23[12]
John Frink & Don Payne
Carolyn Omine
This year's Halloween story sees The Simpsons as "The Munsters" (with everyone except Lisa getting killed), Homer as a wandering spirit on the hunt for a good deed in "G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad," Bart and Lisa as peasants in a fairy tale forest in "Scary Tales Can Come True," and Lisa inadvertently dooming mankind by rescuing a dolphin in "Night of the Dolphin."
2502"A Tale of Two Springfields"Shaun CashmanJohn SwartzwelderNovember 5, 2000 (2000-11-05)BABF2016.18[12]
While calling Animal Control over a badger taking residence in Santa's Little Helper's doghouse, Homer discovers that Springfield has two different area codes–and ends up leading a revolt that splits the town in two.
Guest star: The Who
2513"Insane Clown Poppy"Bob AndersonJohn Frink & Don PayneNovember 12, 2000 (2000-11-12)BABF1716.44[13]
Krusty takes parenting lessons from Homer when, during an outdoor book fair, a girl tells Krusty that she is his long-lost daughter from a one-night stand with a female soldier who fought during the first Gulf War.
Guest star: Drew Barrymore, Amy Tan, Stephen King, John Updike, Joe Mantegna and Jay Mohr (credited as the voice of Christopher Walken)
2524"Lisa the Tree Hugger"Steven Dean MooreMatt SelmanNovember 19, 2000 (2000-11-19)CABF0114.87[14]
Lisa falls for the teenaged leader of a militant environmentalist group and tries to impress him by living in Springfield's oldest tree in order to keep it from being cut down.
Guest star: Joshua Jackson
2535"Homer vs. Dignity"Neil AffleckRob LaZebnikNovember 26, 2000 (2000-11-26)CABF0414.99[15]
When the Simpsons once again have financial problems, Mr. Burns pays Homer to play pranks on others and humiliate himself in public. Meanwhile, Smithers creates a Malibu Stacy-themed musical.
Guest star: Leeza Gibbons
2546"The Computer Wore Menace Shoes"Mark KirklandJohn SwartzwelderDecember 3, 2000 (2000-12-03)CABF0215.60[16]
Homer decides to buy a computer after turning up at the plant to find that it is closed, and that, not having a computer, he did not receive the e-mail telling the workers. He then creates his own website and it eventually gains attention when he posts gossip. Homer dubs himself as "Mr. X" to conceal his identity. When he reveals that he is Mr. X, he becomes drugged into a mysterious island where people who know too much are imprisoned after Homer starts writing conspiracy theories such as flu shots causing increased holiday spending.
Guest star: Patrick McGoohan
2557"The Great Money Caper"Mike Frank PolcinoCarolyn OmineDecember 10, 2000 (2000-12-10)CABF0316.84[17]
Homer and Bart become father–son con artists (after Bart is given money out of pity when Homer decided to not take him home), but soon find that they are the ones being had.
Guest star: Edward Norton
2568"Skinner's Sense of Snow"Lance KramerTim LongDecember 17, 2000 (2000-12-17)CABF0615.87[18]
A snowstorm traps the students of Springfield Elementary inside, with them overthrowing Principal Skinner when he uses his Army skills to control them. Meanwhile, Ned temporarily redeems himself to help Homer rescue the children–using his car.
2579"HOMR"Mike B. AndersonAl JeanJanuary 7, 2001 (2001-01-07)BABF2218.52[19]
While working as a human guinea pig (to pay off the family's lost savings after making a bad investment), Homer discovers the root cause of his subnormal intelligence: a crayon that was lodged in his brain ever since he was a boy. He decides to have it removed to increase his IQ, but discovers that being smart does not necessarily equal being happy.
25810"Pokey Mom"Bob AndersonTom MartinJanuary 14, 2001 (2001-01-14)CABF0515.01[20]
Marge tries to rehabilitate a convict with remarkable artistic talent. Meanwhile, Homer uses a trash can to fix people's spines.
Guest star: Michael Keaton, Charles Napier, Robert Schimmel and Bruce Vilanch
25911"Worst Episode Ever"Matthew NastukLarry DoyleFebruary 4, 2001 (2001-02-04)CABF0818.50[21]
Bart and Milhouse are banned from The Android Dungeon after stopping Comic Book Guy from buying a box of priceless Star Wars memorabilia for $5, but are hired as his replacements when Comic Book Guy has a heart attack and is advised to leave his job in order to make friends.
Guest star: Tom Savini
26012"Tennis the Menace"Jen KamermanIan Maxtone-GrahamFebruary 11, 2001 (2001-02-11)CABF0713.98[22]
While making funeral arrangements for Grampa's future, the funeral planner pitches the idea of a mausoleum that uses the same amount of cement as a full-sized tennis court. This prompts Homer to instead build a tennis court in his backyard, initially mistaking the sport for "Foxy Boxing". The tennis court makes Marge and Homer popular in town, but it turns out that this is only because Homer's inferior tennis ability makes them an easy target. Bart on the other hand, shines as a natural.
Guest star: Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Venus Williams and Serena Williams
26113"Day of the Jackanapes"Michael MarcantelAl JeanFebruary 18, 2001 (2001-02-18)CABF1015.39[23]
Krusty announces his retirement due to interference from network executives and the growing popularity of the big-money game show "Me Wantee", but when Krusty reveals to Sideshow Bob that all of the episodes featuring him have been erased, Sideshow Bob uses Krusty's biggest fan (Bart) to murder him during Krusty's farewell show.
Guest star: Kelsey Grammer and Gary Coleman
26214"New Kids on the Blecch"Steven Dean MooreTim LongFebruary 25, 2001 (2001-02-25)CABF1218.12[24]
A music producer selects Bart, Nelson, Milhouse and Ralph to be members of the next hit boy band, who record subliminal songs about joining the Navy.
Guest star: 'N Sync
26315"Hungry, Hungry Homer"Nancy KruseJohn SwartzwelderMarch 4, 2001 (2001-03-04)CABF0917.55[25]
Homer becomes a Good Samaritan after discovering the simple joys of helping people in need–which is put to the test when he goes on a hunger strike after the owner of the Springfield Isotopes attempts to discredit him when Homer stumbles on his plot to discreetly move the team to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Guest star: Stacy Keach
26416"Bye Bye Nerdie"Lauren MacMullanJohn Frink & Don PayneMarch 11, 2001 (2001-03-11)CABF1116.11[26]
When Lisa becomes the target of a female bully, she discovers a scientific reason as to why bullies pick on nerds. Meanwhile, Homer goes into the baby-proofing business, which unfortunately threatens those of pediatricians and greeting card salesmen.
Guest star: Kathy Griffin
26517"Simpson Safari"Mark KirklandJohn SwartzwelderApril 1, 2001 (2001-04-01)CABF1313.28[27]
When the Simpsons run out of food thanks to a bag boy strike (caused by Homer), the family finds an old box of animal crackers with a sweepstakes that sends The Simpsons to Africa.
26618"Trilogy of Error"Mike B. AndersonMatt SelmanApril 29, 2001 (2001-04-29)CABF1414.41[28]
Homer's rush to the hospital to reattach his thumb, Lisa's rush to school to win the science fair, and Bart's run-in with an illegal fireworks scheme are interconnected in a parody of Go and Run Lola Run.
Guest star: Frankie Muniz
26719"I'm Goin' to Praiseland"Chuck SheetzJulie ThackerMay 6, 2001 (2001-05-06)CABF1513.06[29]
After finding a sketchbook belonging to his late wife Maude, Ned Flanders opens a Bible-themed amusement park to honor her memory.
Guest star: Shawn Colvin
26820"Children of a Lesser Clod"Mike Frank PolcinoAl JeanMay 13, 2001 (2001-05-13)CABF1613.81[30]
After injuring his knee during a basketball game, Homer begins taking care of the neighborhood kids to cure his boredom during his recovery from surgery, prompting jealousy from Bart and Lisa, who feel that Homer is giving the kids the attention they never had.
26921"Simpsons Tall Tales"Bob AndersonJohn Frink & Don PayneMay 20, 2001 (2001-05-20)CABF1713.43[31]
Bob Bendetson
Matt Selman

When Homer refuses to pay a five dollar airport tax to fly to Delaware, the family is forced to ride in a livestock car of a train instead. There they meet a singing hobo who tells three tall tales:

Home media

The DVD boxset for season twelve was released by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Canada on Tuesday, August 18, 2009, eight years after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release feature bonus material including deleted scenes, animatics, and commentaries for every episode. The boxart features Comic Book Guy, and a special limited edition "embossed head case" package was also released.

...The Complete Twelfth Season...
Set Details[32] Special Features[32]
  • 21 episodes
  • 4-disc set
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
    • English 5.1 Dolby Digital
    • Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround
    • French 2.0 Dolby Surround
    • English SDH
    • Spanish[32]
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Tuesday, August 18, 2009 Monday, September 28, 2009[33] Wednesday, September 2, 2009[34]


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  5. ^ White, Cindy (August 18, 2009). "The Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season DVD Review". IGN. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  6. ^ "Primetime Emmy Award Database". Archived from the original on October 14, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  7. ^ "Legacy - 29th Annual". Annie Awards. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  8. ^ Dutka, Elaine (August 14, 2001). "Morning Report". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  9. ^ "Lisa Simpson animates environmental awards". USA Today. November 15, 2001. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  10. ^ "Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2011". Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  11. ^ "The Bitter End". Entertainment Weekly. June 1, 2001. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
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  15. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (Nov. 20-26, 2000)". The Los Angeles Times. December 1, 2000. Retrieved February 27, 2023 – via Newspapers.comFree access icon.
  16. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2000)". The Los Angeles Times. December 6, 2000. Retrieved February 27, 2023 – via Newspapers.comFree access icon.
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  25. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (Feb. 26-March 4, 2001)". The Los Angeles Times. March 7, 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2023 – via Newspapers.comFree access icon.
  26. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (March 5-11, 2001)". The Los Angeles Times. March 14, 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2023 – via Newspapers.comFree access icon.
  27. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (March 26-April 1, 2001)". The Los Angeles Times. April 4, 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2023 – via Newspapers.comFree access icon.
  28. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (April 23-29, 2001)". The Los Angeles Times. May 2, 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2023 – via Newspapers.comFree access icon.
  29. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (April 30-May 6, 2001)". The Los Angeles Times. May 9, 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2023 – via Newspapers.comFree access icon.
  30. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (May 7-13, 2001)". The Los Angeles Times. May 16, 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2023 – via Newspapers.comFree access icon.
  31. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (May 14-20, 2001)". The Los Angeles Times. May 23, 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2023 – via Newspapers.comFree access icon.
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  33. ^ "Release Date For Season 12 on!". Amazon. May 20, 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2009.
  34. ^ "Simpsons, The — The 12th Season: Collector's Edition (4 Disc Box Set) @ EzyDVD". EzyDVD. May 26, 2009. Retrieved May 26, 2009.