Long before there were mainstream adult cartoons on network TV, The Simpsons was one of the first cartoon shows that parents opposed because of racy jokes and raunchy humor. Kids couldn’t understand why any Simpsons jokes weren’t appropriate for them. After all it was a cartoon, so it had to be for children, right?
Well, now that’s it’s been on almost three decades, all the kids that were forbidden to watch it are now grown up enough to look back and think, “Hey wait,maybe that wasn’t as PG as I thought.” South Park, Family Guy, and more have all made old school Simpsons seem a bit tame, but writers and animators managed to slide in a whole of innuendo, drugs, raunch, and surprisingly dark material into a show that has always attracted pint-sized viewers.
This list takes a look back at the cartoon that started it all, the show that sneaks in some of the best adult humor on primetime TV, be it dirty minded, sacrilegious, or just too adult-oriented for kids to grasp. These are the best jokes from The Simpsons that didn’t quite make sense as a kid, the ones that slyly smuggled in sex, drugs, and generally grown up content. Vote for the most surprisingly adult jokes below!