On Sunday, the long-running animated series “The Simpsons,” known for skewering many aspects of American life, finally put the beleaguered NFT market in its crosshairs.
During one segment of the show’s 34th annual Halloween-themed “Treehouse of Horror” anthology series, Homer accidentally mints Bart onto “the blockchain” as an NFT, triggering a daring rescue mission featuring multiple eerily recognizable designs and characters from the NFT ecosystem.
Here are a few key highlights from the episode, which pokes fun at NFT hype while referencing the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Doodles, Beeple, Dmitri Cherniak’s “Ringers,” and plenty in between.
Homer’s Thoughts on the Value of NFTs
Once Homer realizes he’s destroyed the physical body of his son by turning him into an NFT, he’s devastated—until he realizes that NFT, the first-ever made from a real human, is worth $1.5 million.
After that, Homer, high on profit, tries to convince his wife Marge that the move was for the best.
“Honey, remember how we were always saying we wished Bart was less fungible?” he asks her.
Marge doesn’t take kindly to the development though, panicking when she sees Bart on Homer’s phone screen.
“Aaahhh! My baby is an app!” Marge exclaims.
Homer quickly corrects her: “Uh, no, apps actually do stuff. He’s an NFT.”
Marge Meets the Lower Classes of the NFT-Verse
Intent on saving her son, Marge soon mints herself as an NFT. She quickly discovers that “the blockchain,” as she calls it, is ordered in a strict hierarchy, from the most-hyped and valuable tokens, to the forgotten and now-worthless.
At the back of the literal train that embodies this hierarchy, she encounters multiple NFTs reminiscent of CryptoPunks, Doodles, Axie Infinity, and NBA Top Shot moments—each which, over the last year and a half, has encountered substantial hurdles or depreciations in value.
The Engine of the NFT Ecosystem: FOMO
We soon learn that the train Marge is traveling on, which carries all NFTs, is powered by the raw power of FOMO—a propulsive, hyperactive energy source that (as the show ultimately reveals) can collapse in on itself at any moment.
A meter shows the train chugging along at a healthy level of FOMO: “Uber driver says ‘go for it.’”
The True Source of NFT Value: Conquering the Market
In the next carriage of the train, which is supposedly for slighter more valuable NFTs, Marge encountersa gathering of “Cuddle Kittens”—obvious stand-ins for the CryptoKitties NFT collection. CryptoKitties, some of which sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars each in 2021, are now selling for an average price of $19, according to NFT Stats.
Marge learns from these cats that in order to increase her own value as an NFT, she must kill as many other NFTs as possible. As one Cuddle Kitten puts it: “What you call mindless slaughter, crypto bros call ‘disruption.’”
Digital Art: The Upper Crust of the NFT Hype Cycle
When Marge finally gets to the front of the NFT train, she finds herself in an elegant hall populated by digital artworks worth millions of dollars. The pieces she encounters are clear stand-ins for real on-chain art pieces, including “Everydays: The First 500 Days” and “Human One” by Beeple, “A Coin For the Ferryman” by XCOPY, and Dmitri Cherniak’s generative “Ringers” series.
There she also finds Bart, who is receiving a massage from a “Jaded Ape”—an unmistakable reference to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which apparently still counts among the top remaining NFT collections of value, in the opinion of “The Simpsons’” writing team.
Some of the artists referenced in the scene took to Twitter to rejoice in the references, which they apparently found to be complimentary.
And One Last Great Line From Homer
“This is my chance not to miss out, after I’ve missed out on everything! The housing bubble, the first tech bubble, the second tech bubble, the current tech bubble. Just one time, I wanna be the guy who gives all his money to Bernie Madoff!”
Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.