Sideshow Bob Kills Bart On 'The Simpsons,' But The "Treehouse Of Horror" Tale Proves Cartoon Nemeses Need Each Other
For decades, Sideshow Bob has been epically failing to kill his nemesis Bart Simpson — until this year's The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episode. In June, exec producer Al Jean announced this huge development, so fans have had considerable time to prepare for the villain to triumph over the hero. So how does Sideshow Bob kill Bart on The Simpsons ? Well, it happens within the first five minutes of the episode — and then over and over again, because Sideshow Bob realizes you truly can't be an evil villain without a nemesis. Since it's "Treehouse of Horror," rest assured that this is not for real or canon — these Halloween specials take place in an alternate universe where Groundskeeper Willie has "The Shinning" and Homer was once in 3-D.
The episode opens with a completely entrancing sequence and coach gag by John Kricfalusi, best known for beloved '90s cartoon Ren & Stimpy, and that's your first clue that things are going to get crazy. In the segment called "Wanted: Dead, Then Alive," the wild-haired would-be murderer voiced by Kelsey Grammer corners Bart in the Springfield Elementary music room and finally does the deed with a spear gun. Just like that. It seemed too easy for a rivalry that has spanned most of the series, but don't worry, the story isn't done yet. Sideshow Bob keeps Bart's corpse around and talks to it (Eww). As Bart decomposes at home, Sideshow Bob becomes Professor Bob at Springfield University, where teaching Game of Thrones-loving, Snapchatting college students leaves him empty inside. So he does the most Sideshow Bob thing he could do — he uses a reanimation machine to bring Bart back to life and kill him over and over and over again in so many different ways.
"There’s a betting pool on the manner of death," Jean told Entertainment Weekly. "What I’m going to say is: Everyone in the pool is going to win because he gets killed so many times." And that makes it a satisfying chapter in a chase that began for Sideshow Bob in the 1993 episode "Cape Feare." If you're wondering which episode that is, I have one word for you: Rakes.
Actually, Bob's beef with the eternal 10-year-old boy began in the 1990 episode "Krusty Gets Busted," in which Bart busted the then-Krusty the Klown sidekick for framing the clown while robbing the Kwik-E-Mart Since then, Sideshow Bob and Bart joined the ranks everlasting cartoon nemeses like Tom and Jerry, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, and The Simpsons' own Itchy and Scratchy.
But Jean wanted to see Bob win at least once — and I think we all secretly wish the underdog would triumph one time after trying so hard. Yet after winning, you do have to ask yourself what's next? Do you pick a new nemesis? Take up pottery? In Sideshow Bob's case, you reanimate your nemesis to start it all over again.
Images: Fox; Giphy (2)