When you’ve been on the air for 25 seasons and 549 episodes, eventually your well of original plot elements is going to run reasonably dry. So what do you do when roughly 30 million less people are watching your new episodes than there was when you first started? You dig into the war chest of well trodden in television tropes in order to drum a bit of buzz. That’s what you do. That’s exactly what The Simpsons has done. And who can blame them? Well, everyone, I guess. But that’s not the point.