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Bill Plympton is back.

By Dan Snierson
March 18, 2021 at 11:00 AM EDT
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On Sunday, animated Fox comedy The Simpsons will reach an absurdly impressive milestone. The longest-running scripted prime time series in TV history — which has now aired in five decades, spanning 32 seasons — will unveil its 700th episode. Seven hundred episodes. To put that achievement in context, that's, like, three-and-a-half Bob's Burgerses, four-and-a-quarter Flintstoneses, or — hold on, still doing the math — 100 Allen Gregorys.

Titled "Manger Things," this episode tells the story of Marge retelling the story of when she kicked Homer out of the house six years ago and he wound up staying with the Flanders family. To kick these things involving a manger off, the producers tapped a familiar face, er, hand to create the couch gag: Bill Plympton.

The legendary cartoonist and filmmaker whose surreal work contorts the human form into strange new directions — and whose short films 1998's Your Face and 2005's Guard Dog were nominated for Oscars — returns to reimagine Springfield for the seventh time. (He previously opened episodes in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.)

As you will see in this exclusive peek at Sunday's installment, the episode opens with a cloudy celebration of the milestone before yielding to Plympton's gag, titled "Homer's Family." Homer's head begets a magical spawning of Simpson family members, who then rotate around him in a pleasantly entrancing manner until Homer himself begets Homer, and the family members drift down to their rightful space on the couch. Well, except for Homer and Marge. Check it out for yourself above.

"Manger Things" airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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The Simpsons

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  • TV Show
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  • 30
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  • Fox
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