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Homer, family and friends take on everything from The Internet to Apple and Google Glass.
Throughout the show’s 25-year run, The Simpsons has mocked technology in different ways. Sometimes with full episodes, sometimes with subplots or just a very funny joke. Here are our favorites:
Episode 14, Season 9
Homer sets up his own Internet company that gets “bought out” by Bill Gates. When Comic Book Guy tries to download a racy picture of Captain Janeway from “Star Trek Voyager”, the slow download is interrupted with an advertisement for Homer’s “Internet King” service, at which point CBG says to Homer: Homer: “Welcome to the Internet, how can I help you?” CBG: “I’m interested in upgrading my 28.8 kilobaud Internet connection to a 1.5 megabit fiber optic T1 line. Will you be able to provide an IP router that’s compatible with my Token Ring Ethernet LAN configuration?” Homer: “Can I have some money now?”
The Computer Wore Menace Shoes
Episode 6, Season 12
Homer buys a computer and creates his own website to spread gossip. But after he’s nabbed for posting copyrighted images, he changes the site’s name to “Mister X” and eventually wins a Pulitzer Prize before being taken away to a secret island (a parody of the TV show “The Prisoner”) for knowing too much.
Specs and the City
Episode 11, Season 25
Mr. Burns gives out Oogle Goggles to employees, which allows him to spy on everyone. Dead-on parody of Google Glass and privacy issues the tech world is facing.
Mypods and Boomsticks
Episode 7, Season 20
In a subplot to the main story, Lisa gets her own MyPod at the Mapple Store, but soon gets obsessed with buying content, until she gets billed for $1,200 in purchases. Contains references to several Apple products, Steve Jobs and the Apple fanboy culture.
Episode 2, Season 7
The main plot revolves around the making of the Radioactive Man movie (a spoof of the frenzy around the original 1989 Batman film), but a very funny segment has Comic Book Guy using the Internet (actually, Usenet message group alt.nerd.obsessive) to discover secret plot points about the film.
King Size Homer
Episode 7, Season 7
The main point of the episode is Homer’s attempt to get so heavy that he gets on disability and can work at home. While he achieves this feat, he also provides for a very funny segment where he has to use a computer to hit the yes button, and we get the famous line, “To Start, press Any Key. Where’s the Any Key?” Homer also tries to order a Tab by pressing the Tab key.
Episode 2, Season 20
Bart, jealous of his friends and their cell phones, steals one from Denis Leary. Marge uses the GPS on the phone to track Bart’s movements.
Deep Space Homer
Episode 15, Season 5
NASA decides to send an “averagenaut” into space, and selects Homer Simpson (after beating out Barney Gumble in a competition). While in space with astronauts Buzz Aldrin (real) and Race Banyon (fake), Homer opens a bag of potato chips that clogs up the instruments.
Other moments: Siri joke in “Four Regrettings and a Funeral” (mocking how poor the voice recognition is); Homer sets up an auto-dialer that annoys residents with nonstop phone calls (“Lisa’s Date with Density”); Lisa has to move in to Bart’s room after the OmniTouch cell phone company places a tower inside the Simpsons home (“Make Room For Lisa”); the family visits a cybercafe called “The Java Server”, at which point Snake steals all of their money in a cyberscam (“Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo”); in “Lisa on Ice”, Kearney has Dolph take a memo on an Apple Newton that says “Beat up Martin”, which gets translated to “Eat up Martha”.